Battle with Bulls, Rematch with Raptors

The Hawks have had a chance to rest and reload since the grind-it-out win in Dallas. The last time they had a rest like this, they came in focused and blew a badly struggling Toronto Raptors team right out of the water before the halftime buzzer sounded. Will they do the same against Chicago tomorrow night, or will the Bulls be the latest in a line of teams that shouldn’t be beating the Hawks, but are?

After tomorrow’s hosting of the Bulls, the Hawks travel to Toronto for a rematch with the Raptors. While it’s doubtful that another 146 point explosion will take place, the Hawks clearly have what it takes to put Toronto in their place, and pad their road record in the process. But first things first. Let’s take a look at the Bulls.

HAWKS VS BULLS

What You Might Remember

Atlanta swept the season series with Chicago last year, 3-0. Only one of those wins was by double figures, and each time, the Hawks struggled when it came to containing Ben Gordon. Derrick Rose was a problem as well, though in the third game he became less of a factor. On the other side of the ball, Al Horford and Josh Smith took turns laying a beating on the Bulls (both players missed one of the three games each, against the Bulls, due to injury). The most consistent Bull-beater? Mike Bibby. After watching him average 22 points and 6 assists against them, the Bulls probably aren’t in a hurry to see him again. Bibby’s offense isn’t needed as much this year, and that’s due to a former Bull. Seeing Bibby again is bad enough for Chicago. But now they get to face Jamal Crawford as well.

These Guys Might Be Trouble

Chicago has struggled badly on offense, but they have maintained many of their defensive precepts. Leading the way is a now-healthy Luol Deng, who is leading the Bulls in scoring, and on defense. Deng is slick around the basket, has a decent midrange jumper, and is now shooting a respectable 45%.  He also rebounds the ball rather well, particularly from the small forward spot. He’s taking very few 3 pointers, but hitting the majority of what he attempts (7-13). On defense, Deng may not get eye-popping stats. But make no mistake, his length, instincts, and committment make him a solid defender that will be trouble for 2s and 3s alike.

Derrick Rose has had a rocky start to his season, as have his Bulls. But with the ball dominating Gordon out of Chicago, the backcourt belongs to Rose, and so does the team. What makes him dangerous (besides his athleticism and obviously wonderful tools) is the fact that he may have finally grasped the concept that he needs him to be a leader more than they need him to just be a good point guard. Taking the hint, Rose has begun to up his scoring. With blinding speed and a nice crossover, Rose is hard to keep out of the lane, where he finishes well most of the time. Allow him to spend more time in the lane, and he will get his teammates involved quickly. The last thing you want is for Rose to have a 20 and 10 kind of night. As in 20 points, 10 assists.

Matchups to Watch

1) Al Horford vs Joakim Noah. The former NCAA championship teammates are both quick in the open floor or the halfcourt, and both are very smart with the ball. Al Horford came into the league pretty much as a double double machine. Noah struggled with inconsistent playing time, some attitude, bad coaching (ahem…Jim Boylan), and even worse teammates (ahem…Ben Wallace) when he first arrived on the scene. Since then, he has managed to translate his hard-working and energetic ways to the NBA game, and has even gotten a little bit stronger. Noah is opportunistic and efficient on offense, and leads the Bulls in rebounding with just a hair under 12 rebounds per game. But can he handle the more offensively capable (and stronger) Al Horford, who is shooting a brilliant 57% from the field and a tick under 10 rebounds per game?

2) Joe and Jamal vs the Bulls backcourt. I’m thinking Luol Deng may end up guarding Joe Johnson more than the Bulls would like for him to, though that may open things up more for Marvin Williams. Even then, Johnson is hard to contain even if he’s allowed to play one on one all the time, and right behind him (or beside him, depending on what the lineup looks like) is the also dangerous Jamal Crawford. Think they’ve had enough? Throw Mike Bibby into the mix, and the Bulls should be worried.

The Darkhorse

I had a hard time picking between John Salmons and Brad Miller on this one. Miller has good shooting range, but if the more athletic Hawks big men stick with him, he gets no free looks, whether it’s beyond the free throw line, or on easy cuts to the basket. Salmons is a different deal. Streaky does not begin to describe him, as the Bulls don’t know what they’re going to get from him one night to the next. However, lack of skill is not the issue. Salmons can score from anywhere on the perimeter, and is not a bad finisher near the rim. But that’s why these guys are darkhorses. They can sneak up on you if you let them, but they shouldn’t.

Bottom Line

The Bulls are struggling badly on offense, something that should whet the Hawks’ defensive appetite. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take the Bulls as seriously as any other team. On the bright side, the Hawks won’t likely have to deal with major halftime adjustments from Vinny Del Negro. There’s really only so much he can do. Chicago lost six straight before taking one from Detroit (that alone should be warning enough, seeing as how WE lost to that same Detroit team), and then went right back to losing. One the one hand, Chicago doesn’t have to worry about any overly frustrated, but very pivotal veterans who are sick to death of the losing. On the other hand, that’s also exactly what they probably need to get them out of the funk they’re in.

 

HAWKS VS RAPTORS

Since the record-setting beating at the hands of the Hawks, the Raptors have gone on to beat the Wiz by two, absolutely trounce the Bulls, and take down the Timberwolves. Bosh has returned to form, rookie Demar DeRozan is improving, and Jarrett Jack has stepped in nicely for the injured Jose Calderon, who wasn’t doing a bad job himself before he went down. Toronto has to be embarrassed with that loss. They’ll want some revenge, naturally. Bosh will likely be determined to show that the last showing against the Hawks was just a fluke. Head coach Jay Triano will likely attempt to make adjustments of some kind.

 

So….

What do the Hawks need to do to improve a home record that is already tied for best in the Eastern Conference (tied with Cleveland), and improve a road record that is good for 4th in the East?

Will the Hawks be able to slow down Derrick Rose one night, then contain a resurgent Chris Bosh two nights later? Will Big Al and J-Smash have big nights against both pivotally challenged teams?

Is fan attendance at Phillips Arena every going to get better?

77 comments Add your comment

Melvin

December 8th, 2009
11:08 pm

The Gizzy beat the Cavs and Refs tonight. My goodness, not only Lebron gets touch calls on offense, he also gets phathom calls on defense. I hope Woody watch this game tonight and observe how Memphis took advantage of Shaq in the pick n rolls. Impressive win for Memphis…

And out of all the years Billy Knight could have pick a 6-8/6-9 guy, why the heck didn’t he pick Rudy Gay…SMH… I’m on record yelling at the Fro’ during that draft to pick Rudy Gay. Dude didnt back down from Lebron at all tonight. Marvin step your game up…

Melvin

December 8th, 2009
11:12 pm

Knicks and Pistons are on a winning streak since they beat us. I guess we shouldnt feel too bad about losing to them. Heck, even the Raptors are on a winning streak. I guess we should feel better about a win over them…

KevinA

December 8th, 2009
11:57 pm

Neither team has answer for Josh. I see the bigs having big games. Like you said a resurgent Chris Bosh and a team that took a beating in the national press will be lookng for revenge. If we continue to attack the basket we should win both games. If we settle for jumpers and threes any NBA game can beat us if were not hot. Like most games it should be “feed a big day”.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
8:10 am

Grizz beating the Cavs was great. I used to think that the crack into the “Big Three” lay in Boston. Well, we beat them in our first meeting this season, but they look pretty dang good right now.

The Cavs? Good, but not quite as good. I’d say they are third in the Eastern triumvirate. If we can stay healthy and keep our heads screwed on straight, we may have a shot at overtaking them. Maybe. We’ll have to see. Losing to teams like New York, New Orleans, and Detroit won’t help in that quest.

And while Detroit and Toronto have been winning since beating us, as Melvin noted, it still leaves me with an unsatisfied feeling. Ah well….

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
8:13 am

Melvin ,

I still have relapes on that one. I try not to imagine what it would have been like with Gay or Roy on this team. And as often as the fake crystal ball-wielding conjectures might want to naysay it, you can’t tell me that either guy wouldn’t have worked out here. Gay and Mayo seem to be co-existing just fine. Ugh…blood pressure rising at the very thought of the 2005 and 2006 drafts. They haunt us STILL…

Fundamentals

December 9th, 2009
10:08 am

Think about the Hawks drafts over last 25 years buddy. Those two years didn’t make or break us. We crapped up alot more than those two. As much as folks bash Marvin at least he’s a starter. We drafted more kids who never even played 50 games than anyone else I know. What do you think Detroit is thinking about every day in regards to Darko? What about the folks who drafted Kwame? What about Portland right now with the Oden Curse? We’re not exclusive. We missed some chances, but at least the chance we took is contributing and has a chance to develop into a really nice piece that’s every bit as good as some.

G-Money

December 9th, 2009
10:14 am

And if we draft Roy or Gay which would have made us appreciably better, we presumably would not have been in lottery position to be eligible to take Horford. I know, Let us find a way to blame Woody.

Fundamentals

December 9th, 2009
10:23 am

Excellent point G-Money. Everybody wants to whine about what we missed instead of enjoying the pieces we did get. Horford was a unique blessing we never would’ve seen with just one more win that year.

niremetal

December 9th, 2009
11:25 am

Kedrick Brown, Rodney White, Yaroslav Korolev, Rafael Araujo, Adam Morrison, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Kwame, and Darko were all worse draft choices than anyone Billy picked. Billy never picked a complete and total dud in the first round. Even Shelden has turned out to be good enough to play in the rotation of a title contender, although people are so red-eyed with hatred over the Shelden pick that they’ll never admit that he was worth anything.

The 2006 draft was terrible for pretty much everyone other than Portland. And Horford is a better fit for this team than Roy or Gay would have been. Hell, Horford is a borderline All-Star at center. I used to be upset over the Shelden pick, but that mistake allowed us to make our best draft pick of the past 25 years – it’s the one time we can look at the draft board for a lottery pick and say that no one picked after him would have been a better choice (except, ironically, in the case of Pau Gasol – another Billy Knight “pick”). So I’m done feeling anything about those earlier drafts. Even the greatest GMs make major blunders, but it’s amazing how some people either don’t remember, don’t recognize, or don’t care about that because they are so fixated on rehashing our own team’s mistakes. The team made mistakes, but at least it learned from and improved on those mistakes. That’s all you can ask for in life.

Daniel

December 9th, 2009
11:49 am

nire- Sheldon was and still is a terrible pick. We can spin it anyway we want, yes, we eventually got Bibby out of it. But, absolutely embarrassing. Remember all the other GMs were literaly mocking Knight when he made that pick.

Hawks should handle Chicago tonight at home, off a rest. I expect a HUGE game from Josh Smith. He is due, and they have no one who can guard him.

Fundamentals

December 9th, 2009
11:55 am

Josh has alot of work to do after the past few games to make up for his mental lapses. He needs to stay out of foul trouble and come with a strong game. He just flopped after shutting down Bosh. Should be fun to watch as they have nobody to stop him!

tbhawksfan

December 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

Gotta remind some people that in the 2006 draft that Sheldon was taken 5th; Tyrus Thomas was taken 4th and Adam Morrison 3rd. Can’t rate a BK on one or two picks. In the big picture BK did a fine job.

You can look at every draft and find 2, 3, ….10 blunders.

tbhawksfan

December 9th, 2009
12:32 pm

Is Gay better than MW? Gay is a 1st-2nd option and MW a 4th-5th option on a good team. Switch them and Gay’s numbers go down and MW’s go up.

With Roy, we would have been better in 2007, but we’d have missed out on Horford and his pick would have gone from a #3 to an early to mid-teen 2008 pick.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
12:55 pm

Draft gaffes are not exclusive, and I never said or suggested that they were. Somehow I think Hawks draft issues are more of a concern to Hawks fans that what the other teams did.

As for the rest of it, I’ll leave it simple and say I agree with Daniel .

Here’s a hint: while some will try to sell you planning, the real answer is ping pong balls….

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
12:56 pm

Heh. In Hawksville, what Joe Dumars or somebody else did doesn’t really matter…does it?

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
1:16 pm

Out of all the 5 latest lottery picks we’ve had, two are starters. That’s pretty good. Well, until you start comparing starters to starters. At that point, it’s not so one-dimensional. Horford shakes out quite well. Marvin is a bit of a different story.

The other three lottery picks ended very differently. One is on a championship squad. Only…that squad won the championship a couple years ago, when said player was NOT on the squad. He’s on his third team (something that bears mentioning) after not making favorable impressions on his first two. Being the 9th man on a squad trying to compete for a championship is not a bad thing…but not impressive by a long stretch. As I recall, that distinction was shared by Mikki Moore. Yeeeeeaaahhhhh….

Another is no longer in the NBA.

Another is…well, where is he? Oh yeah, on HIS third team, toiling in obscurity. Well, when he’s allowed to toil, that is.

What the heck. 2 out of 5 ain’t bad.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
1:21 pm

Is Gay better than MW? Gay is a 1st-2nd option and MW a 4th-5th option on a good team. Switch them and Gay’s numbers go down and MW’s go up.

Yes, but how much? Just saw an article on Marvin wanting to be more aggressive. And there’s your main difference. Gay:forever aggressive. Marvin: wanting to be, in year 4.

I ain’t mad at Marvin. But that’s the difference.

O'Brien

December 9th, 2009
1:22 pm

Good blog Ray,

I wonder how things would have been if we drafted Deng instead of Chills.

Obviously, if we drafted CP3, DWill, Roy or Gay, we probably miss out on Horford. Although I love the player (and potential team leader) Horford is, I would have been quite okay if we had drafted one of those studs (Gay, Roy, CP3 or Deron).

The Hawks are so inconsistent, I would not be surprised if they go 0-2 or 2-0. But I think they go 1-1.

The key for the Hawks is ball movement and tempo. If we can do those things well, then we win both games easily.

SWAT Native

December 9th, 2009
1:24 pm

I would just like to say that this was a very good scouting report. I think the Hawks beat the Bulls in a great game tonight, but I’m concerned about the Toronto game. It’s very hard to beat the same team in a home and away match-up both times.

SWAT Native

December 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

…and while we’re speculating on who the Hawks could have had, who else would love to see a Horford/Jo Noah combination on the Hawks one day?

O'Brien

December 9th, 2009
1:29 pm

“Yes, but how much? Just saw an article on Marvin wanting to be more aggressive. And there’s your main difference. Gay:forever aggressive. Marvin: wanting to be, in year 4.” Ray, 1:21 pm.

This is Marvin’s 5th year. Which makes it even worse. And he has had the same head coach the whole time too. He was quite content being the 6th man in college, and I think he is quite ok being the 5th option on this team. I just dont think he has the aggressiveness to be anything more, regardless of what he says.

But for what we are paying him, I hope he steps his game up.

Daniel

December 9th, 2009
2:15 pm

Man, I am having a good blog day. Ray has given me props twice!!
Fundamentals- I am right there with you on Josh being due for a monster.
SWAT- I agree about the home and home with Toronto, but that team has NO inside defense.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
2:29 pm

Swat ,

Believe it or not, I wanted to see that on draft night. I wanted to see us take both, not because I was absolutely sure both guys would be what they are today, but because I believed that perhaps one would morph into a good starter, and the other would at least be a capable backup. I’d love to have Joakim Noah. Don’t know how we’d get him, how the rotation and minutes would work, but I dang sure wouldn’t mind having him.

Fundamentals ,

Josh is more consistent than he has ever been, but you’re right. He disrupted his own rhythm by getting himself tossed, among other things. He wasn’t brilliant against Dallas (nobody was except JJ that night), but if that’s one of his low points for the season, I’ll take it. If I were Woody, I’d look to establish him and Al against the Bulls. Early, and often.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
2:33 pm

O’brien ,

Thanks for the correction, don’t know why I typed “4th” when I was thinking “5th.” It bugs me that he’s saying that now. I’d much rather him say that he just wanted to be a glue guy or do whatever the team needed him to do. I didn’t want to read that he wanted to be more aggressive, because that doesn’t have to do with just offense.

However, I hope he’s as good as his word, realizing that aggressiveness in other areas really helps this team.

niremetal

December 9th, 2009
2:49 pm

I never said it was part of the plan, Ray. Few things in life are planned. And the bouncing ping pong balls argument goes both ways. We slipped BACKWARD in the draft lottery relative to our record in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Things might have turned out a lot differently if we’d had the chance to draft #1 in 2004, no? Heck, they might have turned out much differently if we’d rolled up in 2005 or 2006 – maybe Bogut wouldn’t have been a walking ACL tear if he weren’t playing for a team notorious for having one of the worst medical, training, and conditioning staffs in pro sports, and I sure as hell wouldn’t mind having Aldridge (the guy Billy coveted most in 2006, if memory serves). Billy’s luck with the ping pong balls was bad more often than it was good.

Anyway, my point was that there is zero use crying over spilled milk. None of those picks ultimately turned out to be catastrophic for the franchise. Our two most maligned picks turned into solid players either directly (in the case of Marvin) or indirectly (in the place of Shelden-Bibby). And as I said, even the poor pick had the unintended but huge benefit of putting us in a position to draft one of the best young big men in the NBA today. And even if THAT weren’t true, even the best GMs make mistakes. You can’t judge a team until its run is over. And since I like our roster now, I don’t see any point in crying over milk that was spilled 3.5+ years ago.

Melvin

December 9th, 2009
2:51 pm

Ray and Obrien,

I see yall responded to the MW vs. Gay production results before I could. Marvin is no way as talented as Gay. If Gay was on this team, he would have been a clear cut number #2 option at the worst. Funny, how Flip and Jamal came to this team and didn’t find a problem to getting their shots or worry about being aggressive.

If I recall correctly, we didn’t have the 3rd worst record in the 2006 season. I thought we move up to the 3rd pick and if that’s correct, who’s to say we still wouldn’t have done the same had we pick Roy or Gay. I mean Portland didn’t have the worst record that year either and they end up with the number #1 pick. I wonder if they regret not picking Durant?

Which brings me to this point, if the lottery picks are drawn with the luck of the ball then how come the league doesn’t televise the process? I mean, they could at least show the recap like they do with the state Powerball lottery… Hmmm, did anyone else saw the folded corner on the Knicks envelope in the inaugural NBA Lottery Draft that allows them to pick Patrick Ewing???

O'Brien

December 9th, 2009
3:04 pm

Melvin,

I agree that Gay is more talented than Marvin.

However, Flip and Jamal had no problems getting their shots. In fact, Woody told Jamal he wants him to lead the league in scoring off the bench (and he probably told Flip he wants him to shoot and keep shooting).

Although Woody is telling Marvin to be agrressive, I’m sure he is also telling him (in a subtle way of course) that JJ, Crawford, Josh and Bibby are ahead of him. So he has to pick his spots, whereby Flip and Jamal had the green light all the time.

That being said, Marvin is not getting the job done, especially at his price tag.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
3:41 pm

Nire ,

I think you and I have discussed this very subject enough times in other venues to the point where I would have assumed that you would know I was not addressing you. Well, that and the fact that I didn’t use your name. Oh well, wouldn’t be the first time I assumed incorrectly, or failed to think that somebody might take what I was writing personally. I’m such a putz.

If having an opinion is labeled as crying over spilled milk, then I would imagine any sports blog is high in liquid calcium content, and anybody claiming exemption is blowing it out of their nose. :)

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
3:45 pm

Melvin ,

If Portland does, they’d never admit to it. No GM in the business is likely to. Want an example? Recall a recent article when Billy Knight was asked what he thought about the 2005 and 2006 drafts in retrospect. Hey, it’s just my opinion. I think we’re still allowed to have those, however useful or nonuseful they might be.

mountain_jim

December 9th, 2009
3:51 pm

Well last time the game was available to me to watch here in NC, the Hawks stunk it up against Orlando. Hopefully if I watch this one they will play better and win it.

jerrywest

December 9th, 2009
3:53 pm

If Al dominates Noah on national TV tonight, he takes the inside lane for the race of the all star reserve center position.

Fundamentals

December 9th, 2009
5:03 pm

Don’t take my comments earlier to say Josh hasn’t been different this year. You watch the games, hear the interviews, watch his responses. He’s growing up. The past few nights are not the Smoove of today. He’s gonna bring a monster game soon. I think it’s tonight. I have a feeling we’ll see less and less of the immature kid. Even before some monster games you could tell in his interviews this year. The kid is articulating well. He sounds like he’s intelligent, plugged into the game and focussed. The last two he sounded like a spoiled punk. We need Smoove. As he goes – we go. He and Al are the keys to virtually every game.

KevinA

December 9th, 2009
5:37 pm

By Marvin wanting to more aggressive may in fact him begging for the ball. Maybe he just wants to be included in the offense. What does Josh talk about? Our team needs to be unselfish. Both players may be in a polite way asking the guards to cut out the ISO and move the ball. Al may be wondering why he is the team leader in FG% and can rarely get the ball.

I love the added addition of Jamal but neither he or JJ plays within themselves enough or passes enough for team ball and ball movement on a consistent basis. Something I was worried about at the time of the trade for Jamal.

All is not bad, the Hawks are moving in this direction of better balance. Over time our balance has become better. While Woody still gives JJ the green light he has pulled Bibby, Jamal and Marvin for bad shooting. As long as Al and Josh play well I think the trend toward better balance will continue. If Marvin has a few more good games the team would be where we want it to be. Dangerous from every spot on the floor.

KevinA

December 9th, 2009
5:39 pm

Fundamentals,

We need Smoove. As he goes – we go. He and Al are the keys to virtually every game.

Couldn’t agree more.

Melvin

December 9th, 2009
7:10 pm

I see Marvin has decide to wear an arm band tonight. Maybe that will make him more aggressive…

niremetal

December 9th, 2009
7:23 pm

Speaking of which…does anyone know what the deal was in the game late last season where all the Hawks wore headbands?

niremetal

December 9th, 2009
7:32 pm

ISO-Teague…hey, it’s a twist :)

Melvin

December 9th, 2009
7:34 pm

Slope first qtr from the Hawks. I like what Mark Jackson said about Teague. Put the ball in the young fella hands, tell him to do what he been doing to get to the league and live with the results.

Melvin

December 9th, 2009
8:14 pm

Good 1st half by the Hawks. When Joe and Jamal has it going, we can be a very dangerous team….

Truth-Serum

December 9th, 2009
9:01 pm

Id like to see RMorris get some burn

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
9:50 pm

I’ll take that win. Are we going to say “Congrats Hawks” on doing what they should do to a bad team, or are we going to say “aww, not so impressive, it’s only the Bulls?”

Nice teamwork out there, and nice to see the second unit hold in down early in the game, BEFORE we started running them out of the building.

KevinA

December 9th, 2009
10:07 pm

Ray,

Nothing but WTG for our Hawks. After our games the teams we toast seem to play much better.

Bench not only held but increased lead and some of it against their starters. The guards played great tonight but the big’s came through with some awesome passing early.

The extended bench gave our starters rest minutes including JJ. In past years these were the kind of minutes saved that came only of blow outs going the wrong way. If we can put together games like this every 6-7 games it will keep JJ and Bibby fresh for play offs. I have long thought the extra minutes by Woody for JJ and Bibby were because on not having games like this. We are finally becoming dominant enough to get this “cheap” rest.

Funny how playing great gets rest for the starters. Great coaching? Or better execution by players gets the starters rest.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2009
10:10 pm

Kevin A ,

I agree. And I think it’s a combination of the two. Execution fuels the coaching, fuels the execution, fuels the coaching. It’s reciprocal. Well, when things are going well, anyway.

Teague gets 8 assists. Like it.

Kiki

December 9th, 2009
10:28 pm

Big Ray, is it me or Al has slowed down in rebounding and scoring lately? I like the way Al plays, but it will be his curse also. He is a “team first” player, and he seems to be willing to sacrifice his stats to play the role the team needs him to. That sounds great but it can hurt his chances to be an all-star in the future.

Ed

December 10th, 2009
4:58 am

Now let’s see how much Woody let’s Teague play next game after looking so good tonight. It’s time to take the training wheels off Woody.

Lacsho

December 10th, 2009
8:54 am

Great Win, I enjoyed the commentary from the espn game crew (That’s when they were talking about the home team) I’m sure Clyde was smiling when they mentioned his tide. Its obvious Bibby is still hurt; he really needs to rest that ankle. Teague looked good, and I like to see more of Randmo, however; Joe Smith is really looking good. I’m looking forward to the next game.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!!!!!

Peace

Bangladesh

December 10th, 2009
10:01 am

Nice to see our starters getting some rest…nice to see woody get some rest…he was sitting most of the 4th quater himself.

Fundamentals

December 10th, 2009
10:07 am

Bench was huge tonight. Hopefully it’d bode confidence from Woody. Bibby is definitley still limping. Joe Smith is out a few. Can we see some more Teague and Randmo now? They’ve both played well without making mistakes. Schedule’s not too tough till we hit Denver. Is there any way to drop Collins and pick up Siler from the D-League. Collins is miserable! Much of this comes from so many DNP’s and no diet, but he’s got to stay sharp if he’s to be useful in the playoffs. Right now he’s dead weight.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2009
10:32 am

Kiki ,

As a Horford fan, I can appreciate your concern. Being team first can indeed hurt Al’s chances to be an all-star. You could also argue that playing C instead of PF is hurting his chances as well. However….there are only so many guys in the league with good talent and a true team-first personality. In the grand scheme of things, I’ll take that over an all-star berth, if it means winning. I suspect that’s how Horford sees it. I still hope for the all-star status. Chasing the O’brien trophy comes first.

Ed ,

It’s anybody’s guess, really. But Woody may just surprise us. I think maybe the next question is, will he be willing to put Teague in when the starters aren’t playing so well, and maybe we’re down by a few points? Of course, it ain’t all about Teague. We know he’ll already have Crawford in, and maybe Pachulia. But another guy who should get good minutes in those times is Joe Smith, who is finally getting some decent minutes. Maybe even RandMo on occasion, though I’m not sure he’s risen to that level just yet.

Fundamentals ,

Collins seems to be where RandMo was last season. RandMo is showing effort and desire out there, and he looks so much better, having shed some pounds. I’d say he’s earned a roster spot, something I couldn’t say last year.

Siler’s lack of big time/big game experience may have hurt him. Seeing Collins play the way he does really can make you wonder if Siler could be any worse. It could be a difference of knowing where to be and when. Collins probably knows where to be in plays on the court, just doesn’t have the motivation to get there with any urgency. Perhaps Siler had the will, but didn’t know where to go on plays. I don’t know.

I can say this, though: Collins seems to have picked up what RandMo laid down: 50 lbs of bodyweight and several trips to Wendy’s. Metaphorically speaking, of course. :)

Fundamentals

December 10th, 2009
10:57 am

Definitely proud to see Randmo show some signs of desire. Collins has definitely hit Wendy’s too hard. It’s easy to get lodged on Woody’s bench, but effort can get you on the court. Once there you gotta produce. I think Randmo is doing that this year. Granted it’s only in 3 brief appearances, but the kid must’ve worked like a beast all summmer to improve that much. Is there room for more? Can he develop into a good solid backup? I think so.

Collins weight and lack of desire make me question why he’s on our bench. Just like last year w/ Randmo I say drop him. He might surprise me later, but right now he’s a miserable dissappointment. I’ve seen him play for other teams. What he’s doing to us shows me he’s only there for the paycheck.

At least Siler would’ve tried his best…whatever that might be.

Can we send Collins to “inactive” status and let Hunter play? Why wouldn’t you. It’s obvious Collins is inactive!