Wins in a row is the way to go

Few things are more energizing to a team than a winning streak. Ten games into the season, the Hawks have a record of 8-2, including three winning streaks. Better yet, they have NO losing streaks.

Granted, ten games is not a big sample size. That’s really not even quite a tenth of the season, but short of going undefeated, there’s hardly a better start the Hawks could hope for. They’ve won at home, and they’ve won on the road. Consistently. Then again, perhaps we should revisit this after twenty games, when the season is then nearly a quarter of the way finished. Things will get tougher as the season wears on, but the optimist in us whispers that it won’t just get tougher for the Hawks. It will get tougher for every team in the League. Already, some teams have succumbed to the dreaded injury bug. While we don’t wish that on anyone (ok, we shouldn’t….if you are, then keep those unsportsmanlike thoughts to yourself), I think we can agree that our prayers are going all into one hat…the one with the screeching Hawk on it.

So far this season, it seems that the Hawks have finally begun to learn that keeping the losses spread out, and the wins strung together, is the way to go. Losing is never fun. Losing consecutive games is worse, because then guys began to lose focus. Finger-pointing, playing “out of role”, and other forms of infighting begin to take root, eating at the core of a team’s chemistry. Players don’t just have a hard time coordinating with other players, they have issues with the coaching staff as well. Hey, losing affects everybody. And even though there is much to work on, everybody goes about the job with a better attitude, when you win. Everybody is more willing to learn in a winning culture. Tweaks and adjustments are more easily made. It’s amazing what winning does. It even seems to help guys recover their energy better. I’ll never forget what an old high school coach of mine said: “You’re never as sore after a win, as you are after a loss. Everything hurts more, and for longer, when you lose.” I think he’s right.

On another note, I had a word or two with a name many of you regulars will recognize. Anybody remember Astro Joe? Aw, come on. It hasn’t been that long. Well, he has been on hiatus for a minute or two, and with good reason. The details I’ll leave to him if he wishes to divulge (no, he was not incarcerated or involved in any illegal activities, so let’s not be unnecessarily rude by speculating along those lines), but he did wish me to express the sentiment that he has missed blogging here with the Hawks faithful, and hopes to be back up and barking with the rest of us in a few weeks. In his own words, “I’m still alive and almost kickin’. ” Let’s all wish him the best, and a speedy return to Hawksville.

 

UP NEXT

The Hawks fact the Portland Trailblazers on monday evening in Phillips Arena, for a rematch. I’m sure they feel like they’ve got a thing or two to prove in the Highlight Factory after having their trousers snatched, back in the Rose Garden. Look for the usual suspects (Roy, Aldridge, and Outlaw) to headling the biggest threats. At the same time, the Hawks must remember to close out better on Fernandez and Blake, who will nail those open shots. McMillan is certain to try some different things after that loss, and one of his keys has to be getting Roy free in the fourth quarter. In that game, Woodson deployed Joe Johnson on Brandon Roy in the fourth quarter, effectively helping to quell any Blazer comeback attempts. We still almost lost that one, but this time we should be better prepared. On to the next game….

 

HAWKS VS HEAT

What you might remember

Well, besides being invaded by the more rakish Heat Fans, the last thing you should remember about Miami is limping away from a first round playoff victory against the Heat, a series that went the full seven games. And I meant literally limping, as when the Hawks arrived in the second round against Cleveland, they were already hopping on a single foot, and holding one arm against themselves. Hawks fans were exuberant, Heat fans were enraged, and Dwyane Wade had to console himself with taped re-runs of his T-Mobile commercials. Hey, who can blame him? When you were expecting twenty-five foul calls per game to go your way, and you only get twenty-four….well, that’s just a travesty.

These Guys Might Be Trouble

Well, there’s always Wade, but that’s not my nomination for game maker/breaker. Fact is, he can be very difficult to stop, and yet the Hawks have just the right personnel to flummox him if they give the proper effort. The guys that bother me are the role players like Udonis Haslem. The guy gets sent to the bench in favor of Mike Beasley, and watches new guy Quentin Richardson grab the other starting forward spot in short order. How does Haslem respond? By averaing 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds from the bench. And that was BEFORE he dropped 28 point and 12 rebounds on the New Jersey Nets! Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has commented on Haslem’s newfound ability to guard small forwards as well as power forwards. Speaking of defensive versatility, here’s my other source of worry: Quentin Richardson. Few guys are probably happier about being traded as many times in the last year as Richardson. And even fewer guys are probably happier about his new destination than Dwyane Wade.

Richardson’s presence means less difficult defensive duties for Wade. Richardson will probably draw the assignment of guarding Joe Johnson against the Hawks. On offense, Richardson has range, and is opportunistic. While his scoring numbers (7.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (44.6) are hardly fear-inspiring, you never ignore a guy who is shooting just a hair under 40% from the arc. And while his rebounding stats aren’t that great either, Richardson is a tough/able glass worker.

Then of course, there’s the darkhorse: Mike Beasley himself. This guy is a matchup nightmare if and when he is on. He can shoot from anywhere on the court, and has good enough ball-handling skills to drive it as well. He’s another one not wowing anybody with his stats, but the talent is undeniable. Add to the fact that Beasley seems to be more motivated, a bit more mature, and more serious about the game…and you have a guy that might be trouble for the entire league when that light comes on.

From Elsewhere in the Stands

What do you think the ‘Blazers will do to gameplan differently against the Hawks, or will they stick to their formula, and hope to hit more shots at the end of the game this time around?

Will the Heat be motivated by revenge, and a burning desire to prove the legitimacy of their glowing record? Who are your nominations for game maker/breaker in these two upcoming home games?

Can the Hawks stretch there win streak to 5, or 6?

Fillin’ Up and Phillips

Of the Hawks first ten games, only four have been at home. Of those four, reported fan attendance has broken the 18,000 barrier just once. Is it the economy, the quality of the visiting teams, or the spectre of Hawks past (you know, the ghost that has kept these guys on a roller coaster for years, despite last year’s 47 win total)?

216 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

November 15th, 2009
3:49 am

Yuck. Should read “Can the Hawks stretch THEIR win streak to 5 or 6?”

Oh crap. I’m first, aren’t I? Bleh….

KevinA

November 15th, 2009
6:02 am

I have a feeling the Portland Trailblazers will be looking revenge. JT and Marvin have shown spark but are the only players that are having trouble firing on a very powerful Hawks offensive engine.

The good news? Were at home. The players seem to feed off the high octane fuel the fan support gives them. I look for a very competitive game with no let down from the Blazers. While the Hawks are hot and riding a 4 game willing streak the Blazers (Quote from the Blazers web site) “The Portland Trail Blazers continued their reign as the hottest team in the league”.

The Boston game was huge on many levels but Portland may play us even tougher. Last year and this year the Portland team has shown to be one of the best teams in the NBA. Neither team will want to give up the momentum they have worked so hard to dev elope.

The Hawks better be ready to “bring it” . Lets flip the “reign” into a rain of tears as they head for their plane.

KevinA

November 15th, 2009
6:12 am

By the way Outlaw suffered a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his left foot 50 seconds intio last nights game.

The Real Hawk

November 15th, 2009
6:51 am

Marvin Williams F 25:44 2-10 3-4 0-1 7
Bench him or move him. Tired of waiting!

Ken

November 15th, 2009
8:27 am

Actually 10 games is more than 1/10th of the season…do the math. But I enjoy reading all these Hawks blogs! keep up the good work.

Big Ray

November 15th, 2009
10:14 am

Ken ,

Yep, you’re right. I was thinking about the 8 wins in 10 games, and confused myself. That’ll teach me to write blogs at 3:45 a.m. Nodded off twice before I finished it. I’m surprised there aren’t more errors (and more egregious ones).

junebaby

November 15th, 2009
10:31 am

good stuff big ray. portland is a good team, looking to prove something, it should be a good test for the hawks. i, for one, am very suprised by miami’s start. they seem to be playing very well to start the season. and while beasley’s stats aren’t all-world, i’m sure the heat are very pleased after the off-season stuff with him. what happened to boston? were they just tired, or, are teams figuring them out? after the first couple of games, i counseled giving the hawks about 20 games to work out the kinks and then judging them. i still think that’s the proper way to go, as everyone, should then have a feel for what they’re trying to do on offense, defense, and players’ minutes. as of now i’m only dissatisfied with the charlotte loss(i don’t feel they came to compete in that game). the next western road streak should really put things in perspective.

Ree Roe

November 15th, 2009
11:28 am

The only thing we’re not doing is playing solid defense. There’s no reason NO should have scored 98 last night. If we can defend on a night by night basis like we did @ POR & @ BOS, we’ll be a title contender this yr.

Anybody know a good place in downtown to catch a game at? I’ve heard Stats & Taco Mac are good…

-REEcently Roe!

Melvin

November 15th, 2009
1:39 pm

Good blog, Big Ray. Thanks for the update on Astro Joe. I ask about him in the past and was worried about his well being. If you talk to him again, please pass my well wishes on to him.

Nice stretch of games coming up for the Hawks. Portland and Miami will provide a good early season test. Heck, even the Houston game will be tough b/c they are a scrappy bunch that plays hard. And the Hornet may have CP3 back when we visit New Orleans. Yep, it may be a tough week ahead for the Hawks. Things should be interesting. I look forward to it.

Going back to last week, I think out of the big four teams (LA, Bos, Cle and Orl) we matchup better with the Celtics. I find that interesting b/c I belive when all four are healthy I think the Celtics are the better team. Unlike the other 3 elite teams, the Celtics does not have that dominant post player in the paint. Although KG and Sheed can hurt us in there, they have a habit of drifting back to the perimeter which plays into the Hawks favor. The other 3 elite teams (Orl-Howard, LA-Bynum/Gasol, Clev- Shaq/Big Z) gives us fits inside b/c we have trouble matching their length and they bigs spends the majority of the their time on the court in the post. I know we haven’t played Clev since they added Shaq but historical, he’s give us problems.

i_am_soulstar

November 15th, 2009
2:30 pm

I’m looking forward to both games. Portland has been rolling since that lost to the Hawks at the Rose Garden, and the Hawks have beasted through these past 4 games. If we keep up the beautiful rebounding that has been contagious as of late (and if Josh Smith grabs 17 boards again, I’m going to sleep in my Josh Smith jersey), Portland shouldn’t be a problem. Especially if J-Smoove can do something about that pesky Lamarcus Aldridge (I only replace “uber-talented” with “pesky” when he’s playing the Hawks).

We CAN outscore Miami easily if its all about offense. Even with Wade, if both teams are firing on all cylinders, the Heat likely can’t match our firepower. Unfortunately, the Heat are like top 10 in points allowed so far. This one’s gonna be tough, but certainly winnable if the Hawks continue their switch defense like their life depended on it (or like they were playing the Celtics).

Just keep a hand in Wade’s face, a body between him and the basket, and hope he only gets 25.

And yeah Ray, I’ve had trouble getting folks to take an evening trip to Philips solely based on the teams we’re playing. I honestly had trouble giving away an extra 100 section ticket last night for Chris Paul-less Hornets. Hopefully things’ll change when the big names come to town. Or hopefully the ATL will crank up behind a winning Hawks team and the aforementioned sentence won’t be necessary.

Tony from Stone Mountain

November 15th, 2009
3:18 pm

I’ll take any section 100 tickets anyone wants to give away!

i_am_soulstar

November 15th, 2009
3:29 pm

And good point Melvin, I think the biggest test of the season will be how we match up against teams with truly dominant centers. Now I’ll admit when the Hawks get outplayed, and I’ll admit when they beat themselves with ridiculous on-court shenanigans.

That game (third quarter) against the Lakers was one where they were their own worst enemy (I cried myself to sleep that night). So I’m anxious for Thanksgiving, and not just because grandma’s gonna stuff me and the little sisters like Hansel and Gretel.

But if we beat the Magic, or even make it very competitive, then count me among the convinced that we can contend for the Eastern Conference title. Man those guys have a lot of weapons though. This one’s gonna be all on you Woody.

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 15th, 2009
4:30 pm

Big Ray
I’m an avid reader of all the major newspapers of the NBA cities …. and there are modest crowds
league wide; which I believe can be attributed to our economy. Always enjoy your perspective on
our Hawks. Just watched the Falcons beat themselves. I’m usually kinda down after such a game,
but my pity party will be short lived b/c I’ll be watching last night’s Hawks game as a pick me up !

O'Brien

November 15th, 2009
6:32 pm

I like the way we play when we have Crawford, Bibby and JJ on the court at the same time. Other teams cant zero in on one guy. I just hope JJ doesnt do his 3D-S (dribble, dribble dribble, shoot) too much. That is my one complain against him this year.

And now that we have Crawford, I hope JJ is not afraid of exerting himself while guarding Roy. Crawford, Bibby and Josh can pick up the slack on the offensive end.

doc

November 15th, 2009
7:34 pm

best news to hear that astro is still lingering around. miss my friends at the table. folks dont realize it but when they are gone something special is missing and felt by many. get on with what has to be done my friend. you were and are missed.

thanks for keeping us together ray.

gone on a camping trip so missed out on some of the fun this weekend. wonder how many are still reluctant to get on the bandwagon. many missed out on some fun last year being non-believers sticking to their pet peeves while missing the big picture. would everyone be satisifed if we make it to next saturday standing at 11 and 2?

yup the blazers will want to return the favor but the start i mention is doable and the cavs, magic and C’s have not shown themselves to be invincible. watch out if our guys get a head of steam going as it could even be tough for the magic to deal with these guys if they do. yeah, been saying it is a distinct possibility that the hawks could end up as high as the three seed and maybe higher if they continue to make hay early in the season.

Big Ump

November 15th, 2009
8:35 pm

Big Ray keep up the good work. I really enjoy your Blog.

KevinA

November 15th, 2009
10:19 pm

“It’s not the team that it was three, four years ago,” coach Mike Woodson said following the team’s 121-98 Saturday night demolition of New Orleans. “It’s not. We’re a deeper team and we’ve got guys that have been together and they’re growing up.”

Funny how Woody uses “growing” up in his comments. Is this praise or a back handed way of saying of saying – Should have listened to me earlier. Did he read a Phil Jackson book? Is this the next Zen Master?

I really like one thing. Many of the teams biggest complaints have been discussed in the media about Woody and the team. Woody and the team talk to the media about their problems. Rather than play big ego Woody even explains who he is going to talk to an how. Combined with an 8-2 start how could it have worked out so good. Criticism and critique are always swallowed best when washed down with success.

KevinA

November 15th, 2009
10:28 pm

I want JJ, Bibby and Jamal to pass more and shoot less. I want Jamal and JJ to quit the ISO ego shots. I want Marvin to shoot better and drive more. I want the bench to play a little more. I want JT to play better. I want a lot of things.

What I will take – an 8-2 start, a win against Boston, Blazers and Denver. A team with a .486 FG. The best balanced scoreing in years. A winning road record.

I guess the only thing that could make me happier is a pecan pie covered in whipped cream and a spoon.

PS I want Josh to make the all-star game. Remember to go vote.

doc,
Why can’t I have it all. The appreciation and the critique. The wins and hope for improvement. It doesen’t have to be oil and water.

doc

November 15th, 2009
10:46 pm

kevina, just so you dont miss the forest for the trees and cant enjoy anything because of nit picking. some folks do. they could do it right up to a championship. me i am having fun watching this team and just as i am not perfect neither are they and so be it nor do i expect it. overall they are getting there and it.

durn this is a fun team to watch right now. they can play offense and clamp down when they have to with stops on defense. last year it was defense only.

Big Ray

November 15th, 2009
11:23 pm

KevinA,

I understand your wants. Like you said, I’ll also take 8-2 with some serious, earned wins. May the good times continue to roll.

Doc,

Yeah, you’re right with the nitpicking for some. Not speaking of KevinA of course. I think when the nitpicking takes over, it is far more about the person posting and their need to be “right” or something to that effect, if one cannot fade that to the background and enjoy the win.

At the same time, different strokes/different folks. We’ve been down this path with familiar parties before, eh?

KevinA

November 15th, 2009
11:31 pm

doc,

lol I plan my life around the Hawk games. In the last 4 years I may have missed 1/2 dozen games. Beats the heck out of working and mowing among other manly duties. When I looked at the schedule I thought we might be 10-10 after the first 20 games. With every game it’s like Hot Darn we just beat another play off team. Can’t remember having so much fun.

i am not perfect neither are they and so be it nor do i expect it. overall they are getting there and it. Would never argue with any of that.

doc

November 16th, 2009
12:09 am

kevina i was not referring to you nor anyone in particular. it is one of those, if the shoe fits …. only directed my comments towards you as you spoke up. everyone is entitled to their opinions, that is what we are here to do. it does become scroll time for some folks as they continue the same trend over and over.

look woody might never make it to the level of even flip saunders who has been able to coach two pretty good teams that went into decline after he left. it is just woody has these guys still working hard and is beginning to resemble a jerry sloan type of players coach. sund gets credit for keeping it together and avoiding the foibles of ego and bk for putting it together under very extraordinary circumstances with the BASG debacle.

agree, i thought the opening schedule would have us about 6 and 4 now when i first looked at it. team is on a roll and hope it continues. 15 and 5 for the first 20, dare hope something as gaudy as that?

well stated ray. it is obvious when someone has to be right that they keep on saying the same thing until it finally becomes right, then pat themselves on the back. what do they say about a broken clock?

The spoils of victory | Crashing the Glass

November 16th, 2009
2:06 am

[...] he type more? What have the corporate swine done with Sekou Smith? At least we still have Big Ray, for whom a shortage of content has never been a genuine concern.  The Original B.R. is featuring [...]

Ramon

November 16th, 2009
4:21 am

Big Ray, this was a very interesting post.

I think the Hawks starting five may actually be the difference in the upcoming games. If the Hawks get out to a 8-10 point lead against Portland and Miami within the first quarter (which is very likely when they play at home), then you can easily expect to see the Hawks able to withstand any Roy and Wade heroics. The key is to take all confidence from the supporting casts as soon as possible. Both of these teams are relative young teams. Portland may fold on the road (no Outlaw) if they get behind big early, because without Outlaw they become very limited on the perimeter. I think Horford boxing out Oden will be the difference in the game.

With Miami, I think Miami are still remember being blown out the last 4 times they played in Atlanta. I say attack O’Neal. If you can attack O’Neal and Haslem on defense (and I do not think Haslem can guard Josh on the block), then you can put yourself in very favorable match ups for a rebounding advantage. If the Hawks can at least have an 9 reb advantage throughout the game, and keep the TOs to less than 14, they should be able to have their way in an uptempo game with the Heat.

————

Now so far this season, there are two major things that stand out to me about the Hawks that I am loving from a fan point of view. First their lack of high turnover games, to accompany the rebounding, is something that is off setting their problems from beyond the arc. Joe, Marvin, Teague, Evans, and at times Bibby, have all been struggling from three point land. But when you are averaging 5-6 turnovers less than what you’re causing, then you’re able to get away with some shooting slumps.

The second thing I’m loving is the changes Josh has made in his defense. Its true that Josh still takes some risks in the passing lanes, that doesn’t always pay off. But the improvement I see is in his not challenging every shot. Josh used to try and block every shot that was under the rim. Some of you may think that’s a lack of effort now, but the truth is it helps Josh stay on the court longer. No matter if you’re Dwight Howard, David Robinson, Hakeem, Dikembe, or whoever, there are certain angles and positions that you will not be successful when faced with. The only thing can happen is ending up fouling the opposition and playing right into his hands. Though Josh is challenging less shots, he’s still averaging the same amount of blocks that he is accustomed to.

I am starting to see the light on Teague. Teague is going to be an excellent PG in the future I believe. However, as someone mentioned previously, Teague needs to concentrate more on getting other teammates involved and creating more for Zaza, Joe Smith, and Evans when he is on the court. I am in total agreement with the belief that if Teague takes 5 shots, it should be because he has 4-6 assists. Teague has the athletic ability to average 4-5 rebounds to go with 4-5 assists and affect the game just as much as if he would’ve averaged 14 ppg with only 2 assists and 1 rebound. When you can jump like he can, you have to be able to help Zaza and Joe close out defensive possessions by attacking the boards. I think if Teague concentrates on rebounding more and trying to up his assist numbers it will open things up for him, and open Woody’s mind about giving him more playing time.

Hawk fan in LA LA Land

November 16th, 2009
5:03 am

Looking at the Rocket/Laker game, someone in the Hawk front office over the past couple of years made a mistake by not getting David Andersen in a Hawk uni. I find it hard to believe that the way he is playing this season that he could not have been a contributor the last couple years. He is playing D against the Laker Biggs, running the floor, rebounding and stroking it from 3. i think those skills might have been helpful in the past two playoff runs. Im just sayin’

JSS

November 16th, 2009
7:38 am

Go Hawks!!!
Big Ray…
I left you an answer to your comment on the Schultz blog (Page 3)… Thanks for the reply, I don’t want to bring it over here… Sending Astro well wishes…
Do it right Hawksville!!!

newkid

November 16th, 2009
8:37 am

Big Ray,
Ditto doc’s remarks regarding the Astro man. Celebration of the emergence of the young birds not quite the same absent AJ’s insights.

Where’s HB Ando?

Big Ray

November 16th, 2009
9:02 am

i soul star ,

Sorry, your comment got lost in the spam. I see you tried it four times, lol! Well, I went ahead and approved it. I have no idea WHY it was in the spam filter, but it should be up now. The only thing about it is when a comment is approved, it posts as the exact time that it was written. So if you submitted it at 3:00 pm yesterday, and I approved it just now, it will still show up at 3:00 pm yesterday. Don’t ask, I don’t know…. ;)

Ramon ,

That was an excellent post! I have a few thoughts on Teague.

1) While I agree that he needs to look to set up teammates, is that what Woody wants to see him do? I don’t know for certain, but historically….Woody wants his guards to shoot. Maybe that’s why Teague goes for it. That, and he has natural scoring instincts, he just has to learn the NBA game, and adapt to it. He’s definitely got the physical specs to get the job done. Funny thing is, I seem to remember Teague racking up assists early on, then starting to shoot more. Did he do that on his own, or was he told to? I don’t know. What I do know is that Crawford came in thinking “pass, pass, pass” and was starting to play that way. Guess who told him to “shoot, shoot, shoot?” I’m not complaining, but I think we sense a pattern here, do we not? Still, just guessing….

2) I agree that Teague should be able to grab some more rebounds out there. Most opposing bigs won’t even think to look for him, so he can sneak himself into position.

3) Teague also has to learn to quit “going for the stat”, something that (as you mentioned), plagued Josh Smith for a long time. In college, he could block a lot of shots. He still has the capability, but the pros are a lot quicker/stronger/savvy, so he can’t gamble as much. He has to learn to stay in front of his man and hawk the ball. No more letting guys go by, then trying to pick their pocket from behind, or block them at the rim.

Newkid ,

Your guess is as good as mine….

Michael Vick

November 16th, 2009
9:15 am

For all of you Marvin Williams haters, He is the perfect fit for this team. There are not too many shots to go around with ISO JOE and ISO Jamal on this team. Marvin never complaints about not having enough shots, he continues to go out there and play good defense. HE is never going to be Chris Paul, JUST ACCEPT IT People.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 16th, 2009
9:56 am

Ree Roe
<>

I know of one – Philips Arena – go to the games!

KevinA

November 16th, 2009
9:58 am

I wish I had saved the link and I don’t remember exactly the numbers were but the Hawks are #1 in points in the paint and by a large number. Our Team FG% is .486. What is amazing is that were are lousy in 3pt shooting with only Bibby and Evans shooting well.

If you combine those thoughts, the Hawks big strengths has to be driving the ball, shooting floaters and attacking the basket. We know Josh and Al are off to a fantastic but it has to be more than that. Joe, JC, JT even Evans and Marvin drive the ball. Our bench big’s shoot a few jumpers but mainly get points in the paint. You would think that kind of effort and the high shooting % would wear on an opposing team. Maybe that is why we have good 4th qt’s.

meanwhile I will look for that stat.

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
10:01 am

Hawk fan in LA LA Land,

I’m impressed by David Andersen play so far and think he could have help this team as well….

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
10:12 am

Will the real number 2 shooting guard (Kobe #1) please stand or take his spot? With B.Roy and DWade coming to the Hightlight Factory in back to back games, will Joe outshine the two guys that he’s compared to the most in the elite guard status? This could be two statement games for him individually. Can wait until 7pm, this should be fun… Go Hawks.

KevinA

November 16th, 2009
10:36 am

Hawks ranked #1

After the Hawks matched Cleveland’s win in Orlando with their own breakthrough W in Boston, it’s time to throw it out there: How much more must Atlanta do before we all start saying that the East elite runs four teams deep?

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking

Daniel

November 16th, 2009
10:38 am

Great blog Ray!!
I will be at the game tonight. I hope we don’t have a let down after this nice stretch. I don’t here a lot of complaints about minutes and such from the bloggers. What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?

nice point Melvin.

westurd

November 16th, 2009
10:53 am

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
10:57 am

Daniel,

I will admit, I was one of those who complaint about the lack of mins for the bench players (mainly Teague and Joe Smith). I have since back down from my stance especially after Woody has been extended the mins the past two games. Good job Woody….

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
10:58 am

* has been extending the benchplayers mins

niremetal

November 16th, 2009
11:05 am

Acie can’t catch a break. Looks like he’s heading to yet another team with no use for him at PG:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4659552

Ramon

November 16th, 2009
11:31 am

Big Ray, I agree with you. I just feel though as a point guard on nights when your shot isn’t falling, you have to find ways to be useful on the court. The thing with the rebounding and setting players up, is that it will help Teague understand and get used to the speed of the game. Every player respect rebounding because it is all about timing. Every player loves playing with a high assist guy, and they understand that this player must have a great understanding for the game. The more Teague works on these two phases of the game, the easier it will be for him to score. This will happen because it will take him looking at the game as a more of a 3 dimensional approach instead of just one outlook to score. And we all know 3d is better, lol.

Stephen Jackson going to Charlotte is a great move for the Hawks. I feel this way because with Jackson there, that mean’s he’s not going to Cleveland where everyone thought he would end up. Cleveland landing Jackson would have been them taking another step to distance themselves from the Hawks.

Also it benefits the Hawks because it gives up the one advantage the Bobcats had over the Hawks, and that is perimeter defense. Jackson’s offense is something the Hawks can live with. Because at the end its just like the Bobcats traded Richardson for Jackson. Raja Bell hurt the Hawks on the defensive end way more than Jackson ever will hurt them on the offensive end.

Now if only it was a way the Hawks could acquire Bell from the Warriors. I really think Bell could help in defending the 3 position.

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
11:44 am

Dang, Acie Law can’t catch a break. Now he’s with the Bobcats and playing behind DJ Augustine/Raymond Felton….

Melvin

November 16th, 2009
11:45 am

Nire,

Look like we had the same thoughts on Acie…. SHM

Daniel

November 16th, 2009
12:34 pm

Melvin- you are a stand up guy.
Ramon- I like Bell’s game for the Hawks in our back court rotation, but man his contract is just WAY too much for that kind of service.

westurd

November 16th, 2009
2:03 pm

Its hard to complain about Woody and his distribution of minutes (I can’t believe I am really saying that), but Woody has gotten everyone there minutes this last week and while looking like a good coach coaching a good team.

Has anyone else noticed Woody calling timeouts to run a play as the quarter expires? I’ve seen Doc River do this all the time and always wondered why the Hawks don’t take advantage of the final seconds of a quarter or half. Woody is coaching all 48 minutes now and it is exciting to watch.

I have called for Woodys head for years just like everyone else, but it seems like he is evolving just like the team is. Its exciting to see the team and the coach (can’t believe I said it again) raise their games. Winning is contagious.

Also, does anyone else feel Teague is trying to do too much while on the court? It seems like he is trying to do to many things with his minutes instead of just taking it easy and dishing the rock. Too many turnovers for Teague Saturday. He just need to relax a little out there.

Get it done tonight Hawks!!

Ramon

November 16th, 2009
3:01 pm

Daniel, it comes off the books at the end of the season!

KevinA

November 16th, 2009
3:23 pm

nire,

tks for the link.

Big Head

November 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

Great post Big Ray. I used to be G Money in years past, but there seems to be another blogger by the same name. So as to not get confused, you’ll see me post as Big Head. I was a season ticket holder last year but with the economy, I’m a bit pickier about when I go to the games. However, I was there on Saturday. It was actually boring for most of the game. The Hawks have evolved so over the last three years that we’ve all come to expect the win. Certainly there was the stretch of fast breaks, steals and dunks that was entertaining, but the Hawks had NO problem at all with the undermanned Hornets. They really look poised and mature.

For me, the key will be dealing with teams that have legitimate bigs. They’ve always manhandled Josh down low and caused match up problems with their strength and length. I really love what Pfund has assembled. And like westurd, I have to say that I can’t complain too much about Woody. Certainly, I’d like to see a few more plays run that capitalize on specific situations, but so far, it’s not been bad.

Every year there seems to be a whipping boy – and this year it’s Marvin. He seems completely out of sync, as if he’s lost all his confidence. His defense isn’t even as good as last year (which I thought was excellent against the top players). Being the #2 pick, you just hate to see him slip into mediocrity or be called “serviceable”. Last year he had the ability to guard the Paul Pierces, DWades, and Kobes while also extending the opponents’ defense with his perimeter shooting. I’d be interested to know what he did as far as his workouts this summer. When you see RandMo make a complete 180, Josh grow up, and the team take a big step, you wonder why Marvin hasn’t taken his game farther. Big Ray do you have any insights, or can our new guy, Ken, help me out?

Ramon

November 16th, 2009
3:41 pm

Big Head, what team has the over sized power forward that you think will manhandle Josh? And that same team, what will they do when Atlanta collects the defensive rebound, and Josh and Horford sprint back on offense? Smoove is way bigger than Rodman was, yet Rodman could guard any PF at that time. I don’t see Smoove not being able to. If Smoove continues to concentrate on the glass, the mismatch will be in his favor against opposing PFs. All of the great PFs now play center for majority of the league (Duncan, Amare’, Jefferson, Rasheed). The only one who may concern me is Gasol. And he concerns everyone in the league that he plays against. Hickson and Bass are both smaller than Smoove.

Wabe

November 16th, 2009
3:47 pm

Wabe

November 16th, 2009
3:48 pm

Damn, my bad about the link. Didn’t notice so many of yall already beat me to it.