Tougher than they appear

That has to be how several teams are viewing the Hawks by now. This team has always looked very athletic on paper. With the offseason changes, they’ve also looked more potent from a scoring standpoint. But tough? Few really ever thought of the word in connection with these guys. Well, the exception being when they were having one of those defensive “moments of clarity” that helped them to a win that they otherwise wouldn’t have  had.

But it seems that this is the new Atlanta Hawks. Tough. The second half meltdowns are no longer just…inevitable. The scoring droughts almost don’t happen at all. They might for an individual, but not for the team as a whole. The rebounding disadvantages? A thing of the past. How about those moments where Joe Johnson can’t get it going, and the entire team lays right down around him? Not the calling card or character trait it used to be. Big plays at the end of games? The Hawks are making them, like they did last night against Houston. The great thing is, they haven’t had to for the most part.

So far, it’s a winning formula. What formula, you might ask? I don’t know if there’s a name for it, but some of the ingredients are obvious. One part growth, one part re-committment. Another part offseason acquisition, yet another maturity. The list goes on. The result is a team that can beat opponents any number of ways, with recent glimpses of being able to do this on the road as well. The difference is that they’ve gone from can to does. The time for potential has passed. The time for fulfillment is here. The Hawks are fulfilling. Nowadays, Al Horford does more than grab rebounds and get a block or two. He scores. Nowadays, Josh Smith doesn’t shirk his duties down low, while trying to establish a mid/long range game. Instead, he scores efficiently, and terrorizes the opposition on the glass, at the rim (on both ends of the floor), and anywhere he can get to a loose ball. Nowadays, if Joe is shooting 6-17, he also gets 6 boards, and 8 or 9 dimes, which means that not only is he passing the ball, but his teammates are converting those passes into buckets. Nowadays, there is a guy coming off the bench who can score as much as Joe on any given night. Nowadays, Mike Bibby hustles on defense, and nobody thinks twice if he shoots 3-8, especially when two of those three shots are timely jumpers. Nowadays, Zaza isn’t the only big guy coming off the bench to help out in the paint.

To be more fair and not get to ahead of ourselves, we have to acknowledge that the Hawks haven’t passed all tests. There are still questions, there always are. Some want to know if this team can sustain it’s level of play throughout the regular season, and into the playoffs. Others worry about minutes and player rotation. Still more worry that this is all a fluke, because happy times in Hawksville just can’t be true. And then there are those who just have to be right about everything, or want to analyze the future, when the present is still shaping itself. Whatever the case may be, the story runs chapter to chapter, page to page. Is this team “for real?” Yes, they are. There is nothing fake about a regular season game (okay, maybe the officiating). Will they keep this up? We shall see. But one thing any Hawks fan should be willing to believe by now is that this team is tougher than it has been for years, and tougher than it has been in years past. Tougher in ways that you didn’t think about at first. Tougher individually. Tougher collectively.

The Hawks have faced some pretty decent tests so far, and have passed most. By my estimation, they’ve only faced two tests of the elite variety. That would be the games against Boston and L.A. In my opinion, Denver is close, but doesn’t quite make that cut. Please feel free to disagree with that theory, however. At any rate, the Hawks failed one test (L.A.) and passed the other (Boston), one in miserable fashion, and the other in fine fashion. A third one comes up in the form of Orlando, but we will discuss this later. For now, the Hawks must avoid looking past tonight’s opponent, the New Orleans Hornets.

HAWKS VS HORNETS

The buzz in New Orleans surrounds the minor matter of two consecutive wins for a team that has seen it’s head coach fired, it’s GM demoted, and it’s star (Chris Paul) sidelined indefinitely with injury. And yet, there’s this small winning streak, which includes victories against the Clippers, and the high-flying Phoenix Suns. Winning two in a row may not seem like such a big deal in comparison to a team like our Hawks, who have just gotten their seventh victory in a row. But never, ever underestimate the influence of home cooking. That’s right, both wins for the Hornets have been at home, which is where we play them tonight.

What’s funny is, the Hornets have been shooting a lower percentage than their opponents, and while they have consistently put up a large number of 3-point shots, they haven’t consistently hit them. So how have they won? One big reason that stands out to me is rebounding advantage. Over the last two games, the Hornets have averaged roughly 53 rebounds, while holding their opponents to an average of roughly 37 rebounds. Lets take a closer look, though. Against the Clippers, the Hornets managed 19 offensive rebounds. Against the Suns? Try 25 of them. If the Hawks thought they had it rough against the Rockets, they’d best be prepared for more heavy compeition in The Hive.

Last Time Out

The Hawks beat the Hornets silly. 121-98, to be more specific. But that was here in the Highlight Factory. Now, they’ll look for some measure of revenge, putting aside Southern hospitality. The Hawks took with them a rebounding advantage of 48 to 41, and a shooting percentage that was 10% better than what the Hornets could muster. Will things flip-flop tonight? We’ll see.

These Guys Might Be Trouble

Hey, where’s Chris Paul? Nevermind that. The Hornets are forced to do things differently without him, and in some ways that truly is a good thing. Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton are not just seeing decent minutes, they are producing. Devin Brown may yet ease the loss of the fairly steady Rasual Butler. Okafor and West have returned to their glass-eating ways. The ship isn’t yet righted, but it might be getting closer to floating on it’s side, as opposed to beating submarines for dive speed.

Having said that, my game maker/breaker picks are Peja Stojakovich and David West. Why those two? Well, Peja seems to finally have found enough of his shot again, for one thing. For another, he seems to be getting better looks from the arc lately. Nothing is worse for an opposing defense than a natural shooter finding his groove and getting open looks. The Hawks have been inconsistent when it comes to closing out on shooters. This problem can and always will be magnified when playing on the road. Stojakovich can hit you for 25 points anytime. He’s done it twice in the last three games. Both times, he was shooting rather well from long range. Keeping him under wraps will be as much a priority for the Hawks every bit as much as getting him open will be for the Hornets.

Ah yes, there’s David West. The man is an all-star, a two timer at that. He hasn’t looked all that good this season, but it can’t keep up forever, can it? As with Lamarcus Aldridge in Portland, a power forward with a pretty good jumpshot is always trouble. The main reason for this is it tends to negate the tough inside defense that Al Horford and Josh Smith have been providing. Those two fellas have provided a combination of stinginess that has frustrated opposing teams in ways they never expected. But guys like West will constantly draw you out, opening things up for shooters, and taking away the athletic help defense that Josh and Al provide, and also making it harder for them to crash the glass.

Countermeasures

The Hawks have their choice of weapons. Nobody in the Hornets backcourt can guard either Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford without help. If they forget about Mike Bibby, he will burn them from mid and long range at will. Okafor and West will have their hands more than full with Horford and Smith. Who is going to guard the recently confident Marvin Williams? If the Rockets couldn’t contain him, what can the Hornets expect to do? Marvin got his groove on (and then some) against the Rockets, and I see no problem with making him the focus against New Orleans as well. Not only will it do wonders for his recent surge in confidence, it presents the perfect opportunity to rest guys like Bibby and Johnson. We’ll want them at full strength for Thursday’s test.

So…..how does this game stack up to you? Will Stojakovich shoot the lights out in The Hive, or will the Hawks keep him bottled up? Will West teach Smith a lesson or two in how to be a young all-star power forward, or will it be the other way around? Should Marvin be the headliner, or just get back to playing his role? Will the Hawks overlook the Hornets, or will they treat this as another opportunity to win on the road?

55 comments Add your comment

SWAT Native

November 21st, 2009
11:51 am

SWAT Native

November 21st, 2009
11:54 am

Another huge win by the Hawks last night, but they made it more exciting than they needed to. I think they will cool off eventually (hopefully they can stay away from injuries), but I think their style of play will make them a consistent force the rest of the season and a tough out in the playoffs.

I was a little disappointed in the looks on Teague’s face late in the game when they would show the bench. I’m afraid he may be getting down on himself for not playing more.

[...] That has to be how several teams are viewing the Hawks by now. This team has always looked very athletic on paper. With the offseason changes, they’ve also looked more potent from a scoring standpoint. But tough? Few really ever thought of the word in …Read Original Story: Tougher than they appear – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

doc

November 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

just read your new blog ray, funny i scribed posted this about the time you were setting it up. please dont renounce me for plagiarism, only like minds maybe?

doc
November 21st, 2009
11:44 am

truth, agree, i’ve been watching the toughness grow on this team for the last few years. at times they had it on defense, now their toughness even occurs on the offensive end. all is good in hawk land right now. undestand your point all folks need to get there but different paths to it. holographic universe with many viewpoints, all as “truths”. keeps it fun, real and from being boring.

ray, keep up the good work there dude.

my suspicion is this is a road game and the bench and jj better come up strong tonight and play team ball as keys.

yardie

November 21st, 2009
1:03 pm

Its lonely being on top baby ha ha !!!!!

doc

November 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

last one got stuck ray.

Big Ump

November 21st, 2009
1:50 pm

Big ray that’s an awsome article. Keep up the good work.

Season Ticket Holder

November 21st, 2009
2:43 pm

The Hawks once again did what was needed to win – a sign that they HAVE grown up! They will grow and learn more from these close wins than the blow outs they’ve had this year. Go Hawks.

Prizzice

November 21st, 2009
2:50 pm

In the past the Hawks would have found a way to lose in the Boston, Portland, and Houston games! The team this season is showing much improved teamwork, more heart, more maturity, and most of all more leadership from Joe Johnson!!!! Whoever has finally sunk into Josh Smith’s head and has him on the right track this year….please make your new home there and don’t leave!!! I have been waiting for this for over 10 years! GO HAWKS!!!!

preston

November 21st, 2009
3:12 pm

very good breakdown and analysis of the game tonight Big Ray.

doc

November 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

not sure why this didnt get up there. was sharing that we said about the same thing though of course my discourse much shorter posting at the same time essentially:

doc
November 21st, 2009
11:44 am

truth, agree, i’ve been watching the toughness grow on this team for the last few years. at times they had it on defense, now their toughness even occurs on the offensive end. all is good in hawk land right now. undestand your point all folks need to get there but different paths to it. holographic universe with many viewpoints, all as “truths”. keeps it fun, real and from being boring. \

i was probably writing my prose as your posted. heh heh

nice job on the blog ray. you are really smart. ;-)

KevinA

November 21st, 2009
5:52 pm

Ray always writes good blogs. One more win and 5 days of rest as the #1 team. Like the sound of that.

The Hawksta

November 21st, 2009
6:18 pm

Bringin it Big Ray! I think we are a tougher team. The mental toughness has really been key this year. I mean last night we were all blogging and you could sense some way some how we were going to win that game despite the foul trouble and officiating. That my friends means we as fans also get the sense that this Hawks team is different. There was several shots of Josh on the sidelines cheering his team on while he was on the bench. No one posted on that fact. ESPN made it a point to show him cheering and waving a towel. Joe making that extra past to Crawford with confidence early in the season shouldn’t go unnoticed either. That’s a sign of chemistry and confidence in his teammates. Keeping the same starting five and adding depth has paid off.
As for Charlotte the Hawks need to forget about the margin of victory in their last meeting and get back to boxing out and rebounding. The Houston game was a good wake up call. How they continue to react with positive energy will dictate the end results of this game!

niremetal

November 21st, 2009
9:49 pm

Just got here. First two plays I saw: ISO-Joe, and then ISO-Jamal.

Nice. :roll:

Melvin

November 21st, 2009
10:09 pm

Just tuned in at the start of the 4th. The offense comes to a halt when JJ gets the ball. Drive it or get rid of it please….

Stirg d'Nahsif

November 21st, 2009
10:15 pm

I’m watching the Hawks (Atlanta vs. New Orleans) and I suddenly realized what’s wrong with our game. There’s no offense when necessary. When its time to call for a play, when we need a point, Coach Woodson do not know how to call an offensive play. I know, I am fully aware of the necessity to play team defense and we have established that (best in the east); but our offense, when necessary, is in desperate need of identity. We need signature plays that will produce points, when needed.

What’s going on, Big Ray?

niremetal

November 21st, 2009
10:21 pm

Correction – you don’t want Jamal and JJ charged with setting up Woody’s “offense.” You know, the offense that consists of a series of one-on-one plays and bailout passes. Bibby sets screens, calls pick and rolls, and keeps defenders off-balance. Jamal and JJ? There’s a reason they’re natural SGs and not PGs.

leonard jones

November 21st, 2009
10:54 pm

The Hawks I Think Are A Fluke. The Reason Why I Say This Is Because, If They Say That They Want To Be In The Elite Team Status In The East, Then You Have To Play Like It, Even If You Have Played BackTo Back Games. Thats The Difference Maker Of A Team Like The Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, Those Teams Understand The Principle Of Winning EVERY GAME. I Actually Fault The Coaching Staff, For Allowing Such An Act Of Lazy Incoheviness To Infiltrate The Staff And The Players. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEAT NEW ORLEANS. THEY PLAYED SORRY AS H@##. The Announcers Need To Stop Making Excuses For Them Also. At The End Of The Season, Everybody Will See That I Am Right. Cleveland Played Last Nite Also, But, They Won Their Back To Back Game, The Hawks Did Not. Maybe Somebody On The Hawks Team, Need To Take Notes From The Cavaliers. I Wish That The Hawks Staff Was Able To Read This Post. I Guess They Were Thinking About That TURKEY. As A Matter Of Fact, They Are Going To Be TURKEY On Thanksgiving Nite, When The Magic Gobbles Them Up And Take Over First Place, For The Rest Of The Season. The Truth Is The Truth, So Think About That.

leonard

November 21st, 2009
11:23 pm

Furthermore, They Are Going To Give The Atlanta A False Sense Of Belief, When Reality Steps In. They Are A Medium #4 Seed In The East And The Heat Is Going To Be Putting HEAT, On Them Come Playoff Time. I Really Can’t Stand A Perpertrator And I Think That Is Exactly What They Are, A BUNCH OF PERPERTRATORS. All You Guys Notifications, On What Their Problems Are, Are Exact. The Offense Really Sucks. PLAYGROUND BASKETBALL is what it is. When Coach Woodson Get His Head Out Of His REAR-END, He Will Realize That They Should Have Fired His @## Last Year. I Really Feel Sorry, For The People That Have INVESTED (SEASON TICKET HOLDERS) For Example. They Are Going To Come CRASHING DOWN, Like The Walls Of JERICHO. But, I Give Hope, To The Hawks Staff, As I Believe That Somebody Needs To Close Their Eyes And Have A Dream, Then Maybe They Will Wake Up And See WHAT THEY REALLY ARE FOR WHAT THEY ARE DISPLAYING. If No One Wakes Up, Then, The Season Will Be As It Has Been Already And The Disappointment Will Be The End Result Of A Season Full Of FLUKES. Chew On This Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!………We Will See In The End, Because, That Is Where Success Is Gained, Not In The Beginning. Yeah! I’m Real………………..

Ed

November 21st, 2009
11:47 pm

Good work Ray…didn’t get to see the game but noticed Bibby only got a little over 5 mins playing time. Anyone know why he didn’t get more burn? I get the sense the game on offense broke down to a bunch of ISO’s and bailouts. JT0 got what is becoming his normal 5 mins off the bench. JJ &
Crawford appear to have dominated the ball and the shots (also the norm). Josh on the other hand (even shooting poorly) appears to have had another decent game overall.

niremetal

November 22nd, 2009
12:18 am

Bibby’s ankle got tweaked, Ed. Hopefully the 4 days of rest will be enough to heal it because man….we needed a PG on the floor today. This looked eerily like that game that Bibby missed last year when Acie took over the reins and nothing went right…

Big Ray

November 22nd, 2009
3:59 pm

Thanks, guys.

Doc ,

No sooner than we express our thoughts about toughness, then the Hawks exhibit everything BUT that. Yeeesh….

Stirg ,

Welcome! Long time no see, although I have to admit that I’ve been a bit derelict in visiting The Cage. Stick around, my man, stick around.

Big Ray

November 22nd, 2009
4:13 pm

I watched that game all the way through (had to DVR it). Niremetal has it right. We went to a series of ill-fated ISOs.

To be honest though, there is a trend I have noticed, and it’s really nothing new. Sekou Smith spoke of it well over a year ago. He talked of how successful the Hawks were when Joe Johnson and Josh Smith both scored 20 or more points. It’s more than that, though. The dual 20 point barrier doesn’t mean as much as the idea that both guys play well . One can struggle or the other can struggle.

But when they BOTH struggle, it’s hard for this team to win. Josh had some nice stats, particularly for a power forward (14 pts, 10 rbs, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 0 turnovers). However, he shot 4-12. Meanwhile Joe Johnson finished with a not so impressive 14 pts, 5 rbs, 3 assists, 1 turnover, but his shooting was every bit as bad at 6-18.

Add the fact that they were missing Bibby’s steadiness, and you can see where the damage was. Even Crawford couldn’t bail them out as it took him 21 shots (of which he only hit 8) to score 20 points.

The other glaring thing was the defense. It was so bad that I saw Josh Smith yelling at some people and slamming the ball on the floor.

Marcus Thornton is a player for sure, and so is Darren Collison. You look at these two guys and you ask yourself, “What’s the difference between these guys and Jeff Teague?”

Are they more skilled, or is it something else?

doc

November 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

ray, so sad but so true.

Ed

November 22nd, 2009
7:48 pm

Ray I gotta think it’s something else.

Sautee

November 22nd, 2009
8:06 pm

Maybe the extra two years each of them spent in college?

Sautee

November 22nd, 2009
9:35 pm

It’s gonna feel like FOREVER until Thursday night.

O'Brien

November 22nd, 2009
9:43 pm

Are those guys better than Teague? I dont know.

Maybe because they’ve gotten PT (especially now that CP3 is out). Plus the Hawks were tired, so their defensive rotations were not what it should be…

The Hawks better hope Bibby is ready to go on Thursday. Because if he isnt, who does the Hawks start at PG? Teague? Is he ready?

Ed

November 22nd, 2009
10:10 pm

No Teague’s not ready but that isn’t just because of the lack of playing time, but also the absence of proper player development from Woody. You can tell he’s not playing with any real confidence and Woodrow has no patience whatsoever with young PG’s.

BA

November 23rd, 2009
2:36 am

Teague is in a tougher spot than Collison and co., who are on a crummy team and don’t have much to lose.

While these guys are getting minutes, the pressure is on Teague to even break the Hawks deeper rotation. Who knows what Teague would have accomplished to this point with the kind of playing time Collison has been getting.

Offensively, wasn’t the duel between Crawford and Johnson compelling? The race to not pass the ball went down to the wire, didn’t it?

Move the ball. Any team in the NBA can do a reasonably good job stopping the same iso play thirty possesions in a row.

Nice article Ray…

niremetal

November 23rd, 2009
7:19 am

Offensively, wasn’t the duel between Crawford and Johnson compelling? The race to not pass the ball went down to the wire, didn’t it?

I would laugh if it weren’t so true and so frustrating.

Move the ball. Any team in the NBA can do a reasonably good job stopping the same iso play thirty possesions in a row.

You’d think Woody would have figured this out by now, right? As I said, there’s a reason we do so much better with Bibby. Bibby is a true floor general who shouts instructions to the troops, sets screens, calls for pick-and-rolls, etc. With him in the game, there isn’t nearly as much need to draw up plays in order to create movement. I’m just tired of the team relying on Bibby to do things like that. It shouldn’t be up to the players to decide whether and how to initiate either ball movement or off-ball movement. But in Woody’s “offense,” it’s up to the players to initiate both.

O'Brien

November 23rd, 2009
7:33 am

I give Woodson credit for this season so far, because he has made a couple changes (finally). The Hawks play a faster tempo, and we dont do the switching defense (as much).

However, if the Hawks are in need of a bucket, I still have no confidence that Woody can draw up a play. His plays at the end of games are basically “give the ball to JJ or Bibby”, and have them create something.

He also needs to work on his in game adjustments. And thats something that will show up in the playoffs, because you play the same team 7 times. Plus I dont like how he handles JJ’s and Teague’s minutes
(Teague looks like he has already lost confidence).

That being said, the Hawks are 11-3. All they have to do is beat Orlando (avoid losing streaks)and get back to their winning ways.

KevinA

November 23rd, 2009
10:18 am

Bibby going out gave JJ and Jamal to do their thing. Jacking up 3 pt shots and going ISO.

The sample set of games is still way to small to draw conclusions but the chemistry of adding Jamal was forewarned. We were told he would wow in some games and be problematic in others. In the game with NO we saw to bad side of two stats trying to take over the game, eventually causing the loss. Can we afford two high volume players playing so many minutes? Is it the fault of Woody or JJ and Jamal.

Here a few points from an earlier blog of mine.

Marvin and Stojakovic were pretty much a wash.
A couple of rookie guards. Thorton/Collison went for 17-29
Our star guards went JJ/Jamal went 14-39
We won the battle of turn overs, we won the rebound battle.
Josh and Al were 9-22
Okafor and West 8-24
Al and Josh won the battle of the big’s.
Within the team Al and Josh won the race to assists.
We did lose the assist race, Josh/Al. having 9 of our 15.
A rookie Collison had 11 on his own with the rest of the NO team chipping in for another 11.
The only battle we lost was the battle of the guards.
Why we don’t give the rock to our post players at least 30-35 times a game, every game, is beyond me. Clearly the post is the strength of our team – why not pass it to them.
As posted before, where do these shots come from? 3 pt shooting. Yep a whopping 4-22.
Offensive balance has been on the downswing even in the last couple of wins.We are trending toward an even more guard dominated shooting offense. Al and Josh are the key to our team. Pass them the rock.

KevinA

November 23rd, 2009
10:37 am

On the optimistic side of things I thought we would be close to 8-6 now and 12-8 by the end of 20 games. In the months of February and March the schedule is much more favorable, the opportunity for the big winning push. So far so good on our way to 50-54 wins.

doc

November 23rd, 2009
11:31 am

is woody a one trick pony? rebound, defense and iso plays, will we see more of the same as injuries mount? could adelman rest on those laurels? good start, now to get into cruise control. do it woody.

vava74

November 23rd, 2009
12:28 pm

Everyone is hyperventilating around here.

When we won, EVERYONE, including Ken Strickland praised Woody and the adjustments made, both on defense (re-switching) and on offense (shots off picks, better ball rotation, more inside game, JJ posting, …).

Only niremetal remained in almost complete silence during this period.

Now that we have lost a game where our starting PG went down after 5min (when we were leading by 8), we had dead legs, our outside shot was not falling and there were several dubious calls against us (just by looking at the highlights I saw 2 strips on Marvin and on Zaza which were clear fouls and other bloggers reported more) everything is now wrong…

Daniel

November 23rd, 2009
1:17 pm

vava- You had to know that some people would over react to one loss. I think the real issue with the game was “we were just due”. A road back to back after a tough overtime win with a little break ahead. Hey, it happens. We didn’t get blown out or anything. We just couldn’t hit our jump shots, esp the 3 pointer and they were on fire.

In a weird way, I am kinda glad for this loss. Playing Orlando on National TV was already going to be big, and with a winning streak to protect, I just felt like we could be too tight. Sort of like a brand new car needs a couple of dings so you can relax and go drive.

The break couldn’t have come at a better time for Bibby.

Teague got plenty of minutes in NO and honestly got whipped. Where is everyone that was complaining about his minutes? Is his play all Woodson’s fault?

Lacsho

November 23rd, 2009
3:19 pm

Everyone, I have figured it out. Daniel = BWAF, he’s been using Daniel as an alias. Only BWAF makes a statement like the one above.

KevinA

November 23rd, 2009
3:54 pm

vava74 ,

Apparently you scroll past my posts. Not that I blame you. Through good times and bad I post about better balance, ball rotation and feeding our post players. Not that JJ/Jamal/Bibby/Teague are not good ballers – they are. Smooth, Al, Joe Smith and ZaZa are not a magic silver bullet that solves all Hawks woes but the above mentioned points on style of play will optimize their chances for wins. And lets not forget Marvin and Evans who are the third leg of the stool in the search of the holy grail – team ball.

doc

November 23rd, 2009
4:11 pm

vava just asking a question that is legit and/or stating facts.

Big Ray

November 23rd, 2009
4:52 pm

Daniel ,

I can certainly understand the theory of “we were just due.” In fact, I’ll roll with that, though it’s easy to split hairs and explain HOW we lost.

As for Teague getting plenty of minutes against New Orleans, I didn’t know that 5 minutes was that many. And I’m not entirely sure what anybody was expecting him to do in that 5 minutes. He missed a shot, committed two fouls, had an assist and didn’t turn the ball over.

I’m not blaming Woody for his play. The kid is averaging half a turnover a game, and 1.7 assists. He’s missing shots and missing defensive assignments. Sounds like one of our three main rotation guards on any given night, if you ask me.

The last time the kid got “plenty of minutes” was against New Orleans, in Atlanta , where he had 15. In fact, that’s the most he’s had in the last 7 games. Oh, he’s averaging 9.4, but don’t let the average fool ya. The other six of the last seven saw him get 7 minutes or less.

Not a complaint, just stating the facts.

As for getting whooped, if you think Teague got whooped, than what do you suppose happened to Jamal and Joe? Just sayin’….

Big Ray

November 23rd, 2009
4:57 pm

What tickles the brain just a bit is something that somebody else brought up. What happens if Bibby’s not ready to go on Thursday….or any other stretch of the season?

Oh, I think we know the answer. Jamal starts, and the usual suspects come off the bench. Jamal and JJ will play 42+ minutes apiece (okay, okay, 45 minutes or more). Teague will get some burn…right where his hiney meets the chair….

Seriously, if Bibby is not ready to go, that is what most likely will happen. Now here’s what I think (for what it’s worth…uh, nothing). I’d rather keep from burning JJ and Jamal too hard, and let Teague get thrown to the wolves a bit. Let him feel the burn on the court some. Yes, you want to win the game, but let him at it just a bit. Unless of course he is just really screwing the pooch out there. Just use it as a learning/teaching experience. After all, who else do you have? We have exactly 4 guards. They all need to be ready to play, and able to get into a rhythm.

Sautee

November 23rd, 2009
9:08 pm

Good stuff, Ray

Lacsho

November 24th, 2009
9:51 am

Great Post Ray !!!!!!

Big Ray

November 24th, 2009
12:29 pm

There should be another blog up tonight or tomorrow, guys/gals….

Big Ray

November 24th, 2009
12:29 pm

Sautee, Lacsho

Thanks!

niremetal

November 24th, 2009
2:52 pm

Ray,

You suck.

Sorry, just had to break up the goodwill that was building up around here :) . I’m just messin’ with ya.

Big Ray

November 24th, 2009
3:48 pm

:lol: Good one, Nire

up and onward

November 24th, 2009
9:54 pm

Astro Joe

November 25th, 2009
7:05 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope to be back on the regular before Christmas. I’ve been through a tough stretch but “morning by morning new mercies I see”.

Woody should be giving Teague, Joe Smith and Mo more playing time. Marvin and Josh still can’t seem to have great games at the same time. Josh has been remarkable. Crawford far better than I thought. And Woody has grown as a game-manager (which is not to say that he is perfect). Glad to see the blog is thriving. Y’all hold it down.. GO HAWKS!