Underestimation

Sometimes teams do it to the Hawks. Sometimes the Hawks do it to other teams (see this afternoon’s game against the Thunder).

Maybe the Hawks do it to themselves.

Really, could it be that the Hawks underestimate themselves? Or maybe they just don’t take things seriously enough all the time. Now I know what you might be thinking, because I’d be thinking it too, if I wasn’t writing these words myself. Atlanta sits atop the southeastern conference division with Orlando, forty games into the season. That’s just one game shy of the true halfway point in the season. The Hawks are winners at home. They are winners on the road (anything above .500 is winning, no matter how you slice it). When is the last time they’ve been this good? For even the most patient fans, it probably has been too long. So, what am I complaining about? I’m not, actually. Just pontificating (and I use the term loosely) on what I think is one of the many steps a team has to take on its way to being the best.

The Haws are on their way. But, they have to take every step to get there. This is the part of the journey where a team learns to not underestimate themselves or the competition. As we while away these January mornings and evenings, discussing such matters of great importance, like whether the switching defense can alleviate world hunger, if Jeff Teague’s playing time has an effect on the economy, or if Marvin Williams will discover a cure for cancer….perhaps we can also talk about the mindset of this mercurial team. If each of us had a nickel for each time we heard any variation of the following: “How can we beat Boston three times, but get blown out by Orlando all the time?” or “How do we win in Dallas, but lose in New York?” Well, we’d all say it a lot more once we figured that it produced a nickel out of thin air each time it was uttered and heard. Yet this team stands at the top, right next to the very team they cannot seem to figure out, no matter who that team is missing that night.

Is this some sort of reverse psychology or self-hypnotism that the team has put upon themselves? Are the Magic that good, and that much of a matchup problem? While there may be some kernel of truth here, it does not explain their inability to even compete physically or mentally with their division adversary. Maybe the Hawks collectively think they aren’t good enough. Maybe that’s what they, as a team, tell themselves when the Magic go on a run. But, move on to Boston, where every move or countermove the Celtics make, the Hawks come fighting, clawing, and scratching back, all the way to victory. Boston feels that this is no rivalry, but you can bet they feel something has changed. Have they underestimated the Hawks? Absolutely. Will they do it again? No, but it is probably too late. Boston is aging. Atlanta is maturing. Big difference between the two.

And yet this is not nearly the same situation as a loss to Oklahoma City. No, games like this remind the Hawks that they aren’t good enough yet to let a team take them by surprise and outhustle them for a quarter or tw0, before regaining control and claiming the victory. Games like this remind the Hawks that they just recently stepped off the platform that the Thunder are trying to reach, that space where you may be a contender for the playoffs. The Hawks have made it to the platform of “all but guaranteed” playoff team, but they seek that next level, that designation of threat to make the conference finals. You don’t get there by not respecting all competition. You don’t get there by not displaying the ability to consistently make key runs on offense, clamp down for a significant period of time on defense, and regain control of the game by exerting your will however necessary. THAT is the next level.  THAT is true competition. THAT is being a contender. THAT is what the Hawks want.

Can they get there despite losses like today’s? Sure. These things happen. The Thunder have beaten teams like Orlando and San Antonio. Their world is not crumbling, as we know. But they can’t get there by not having the mental fortitude to compete every night. Mental toughness is crucial. Losing because you’re tired? Happens. Losing because the other team is simply bigger and more physical? Reasonable. Losing because you are not in the proper frame of mind? Unacceptable. The Hawks will get there. They will take that next step. One foot on the ground, the other in the air, the Hawks will eventually get there.

At 5 wins and 4 losses, Atlanta is so far surviving January. Six more games remain in the month. The homestand continues with a game against the Sacramento Kings, before concluding against the Charlotte Bobcats.

 

HAWKS VS KINGS

When the Hawks visited Sacramento back in November, they went 10 deep in the playing rotation, and walked out with an 8 point victory in what was a shootout. Jason Thompson was the surprise performer for the Kings, while Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford combined for 52 points for the Hawks. The Kings have a miserable record of 3 and 16 on the road, and have lost 4 straight. Looks good for the home team…

 

Key Matchups

Rookie guard Tyreke Evans has arrived. Oh, I’m sure that like any rookie, he has a million ways to grow right now. But the kid has Joe Johnson numbers (20, 5, and 5) in his rookie year. And before you start talking about good players playing on bad teams, consider that he is playing right next to a guy who is averaging over 25 points per game. Yes, Kevin Martin has been injured, which explains a spike in Evans’ production. But to be able to turn it on like that, and still shoot 46% from the field? As a ROOKIE? It goes without saying, but this guy is special. So who gets the task of guarding him? Will a switch defense help us, or help the Kings? It worked last time. But Evans has grown since then. Believe it.

Oh, and then there’s that guy, Kevin Martin. He’s still trying to shake off the rust, but all it takes is a number of good looks at the basket for a good shooter/scorer, and he soon gets into a rhythm. After that, it’s trouble for any defense. Then again, Martin could be his team’s weakest link. The man likes to shoot far more than he likes to pass, and if the Hawks pressure him into rushed shots, he could shoot the Kings right into a blowout.

On the frontcourt side of things, Al Horford can be counted on to hold his own. The question is, will he get enough touches on offense to make a positive impact on that end of the court, or will he get frozen out? At the same time, Josh Smith needs to bring his “A” game effort against Jason Thompson. Last time, Thompson outperformed Smith handily on the scoreboard and on the glass. If that happens again, or if Smith gets into foul trouble, others like Marvin Williams and Joe Smith have to take up the slack. With Zaza Pachulia back, that may be less of a concern.

So should the Hawks roll with the backcourt doing most of the damage, or is the shooting performance against Oklahoma City yet another unheeded cautionary tale of living and dying by the jumpshot? Atlanta shouldn’t have much trouble with Sacramento, but they shouldn’t underestimate a team with nothing to lose, either. Will they get back to beating the inferior teams and focusing on the opponent in front of them? Orlando plays L.A. late tonight. Atlanta plays Sacramento on Wednesday. This could be the Hawks’ best chance to take sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division, and then try to get some space between them and the Magic, before facing them at the end of the month.

62 comments Add your comment

richbrave

January 18th, 2010
10:09 pm

richbrave

January 18th, 2010
10:06 pm
Rumors, rumors, rumors. The latest – the owner of the MAGIC has been inquiring about GILBERT ARENAS, twice, last week, and this weekend

vava74

January 19th, 2010
2:21 am

I couldn’t catch the game.

It turns out that the early tip off ended up messing things up for me: I arrived home mid way the second quarter and I had cooking and fatherly duties to attend to.

I did manage to see a few minutes here and there and the felling I got is the following:

1. We let OK be in the game and gain an advantage due to lack of mental toughness, just like Big Ray is saying.

2. We hustled a bit too late but when we did we could have come out on top.

3. However, we suffered yet again from a significant lack of X and O’s offensively. The last play for Crawford to shoot was pathetic: poorly designed (if any design was put into it) and poorly executed (he shot from 31 ft!).

4. A good coach would have played this the other way round: Crawford should have been the decoy, and JJ (or even Bibby after some ball rotation – we had 4 seconds) should have made the last shot.

thomas22

January 19th, 2010
8:41 am

I’m a diehard Hawks fan and a season ticket holder- I dont believe it’s underestimation- I believe it’s a team attitude that the Hawks should face each game with- it’s called “KILLER INSTINCT”.

No matter who you are playing the mindset before each game should not only to win the game, but win it decisively, no matter if’s Boston or OKC. Once we take on that spirit of competition we’ll not allow games to slip away from us……

doc

January 19th, 2010
8:47 am

oklahoma is 11 games over 500 against the east. not a disaster but why would we be caught asleep?

Astro Joe

January 19th, 2010
9:27 am

doc, same reqason those other 14 East victims were caught off guard… because they underestimate how good the Thunder have become. And maybe they don’t realize that they play an East Conference style of basketball… strong defense, strong rebounding and opportunistic running.

O'Brien

January 19th, 2010
10:08 am

vava,

I read that the play was actually designed for Bibby as option 1. Crawford (or JJ) was the second option. And I thought Crawford had a better look yesterday than he did against the Suns. It just didnt go in this time.

And no matter what Woody says, his end of game plays are get the ball to JJ, Crawford, or Bibby, and hope they make the shot.

In the Teague article, there is nothing Woody said that implied Teague has not earned his PT. Woody’s point was, he is going to stick with his vets. Which is understandable. But if JJ resigns with the Hawks, then that suggests that Teague will be buried again on the bench next year, and the year after that (barring injuries). At what point does Woody give the kid some relevant burn (and I dont mean in blowouts)?

Last season, we saw how Woody said he played JJ all those minutes because he knew how important it was for him to make the all star team. (Needless to say, JJ was already a 2 time all star, so I dont see what the big deal was, and ultimately JJ got hurt in the playoffs).

My question is, All Star teams will be announced soon, and we have seen Josh and Al shoot a good percentage, hustle, play good defense. Why not feed them the ball to help their quest for their first All-Star selection? Why is it ok to do whatever it takes to help JJ to make it, but yet, not do the same for Al and Josh?

Melvin

January 19th, 2010
11:09 am

OKC is a good team. They didn’t sneak up on the Hawks nor did the Hawks underestimated them. The Hawks had 1 major matchup problem, it was Bibby. Hawks could not hide Bibby on defense when Durant, Sefolosha and Westbrook were in the game. OKC constantly exploited Bibby. OKC first 3 plays to start the 3qtr was to post Sefolosha, who was defended by Bibby. When the Hawks made their run in the 2nd/3rd quarters, Bibby was not on the court.

Woody prefers not to have Bibby matchup against quick nor big perimeter players that like to play in the play. Not sure how the Hawks are going to get around this problem when they play teams with that type of personnel. The scouting report is out on the Hawks. Exploit Bibby on defense. Not to overlook the Kings but I think the Hawks are going to have the same problem with Bobcats. They have Felton, Jackson and Wallace starting. Who will Bibby guard???

Melvin

January 19th, 2010
11:26 am

*play in the paint.

Daniel

January 19th, 2010
11:29 am

Great blog Ray,

I particularly enjoyed the break down of the usual complaints around here. I think you have hit the nail on the head about mindset. That is the key more than any of seeing this team improve. I have said all along that to me the biggest indicator of where the Hawks are as a team will be blow out losses. Last year we had too many blow out losses, especially for a team with a winning record. We have had less so far this year, with a couple of notable exceptions: Orlando, Miami. So I think that is a marker of improvement. I also think it is fair to look at the OKC team like the Hawks were 3 years ago, very good, learning how to win, will sneak up and beat good teams.

Now, how do we as fans look at those kind of losses? I think the truth is that we as a fan base don’t know. This is an area where as Hawks fans we are in uncharted territory. Fans in other cities with consistent winning basketball don’t freak out about mid season, afternoon game losses. I think we are going to have to see how the playoffs work out to be able to look back at this season with more clarity.
The team aren’t the only ones who are learning how to win consistently, we as fans are learning too.

vava74

January 19th, 2010
11:54 am

I must say that although I sometimes dog Ken Strickland for his one dimensional contribution to the blogs, I think that the Hawks should consider sacrificing 4 to 8 wins and change the line up.

Bibby could still contribute (maybe even more) if he played off the bench and was limited to about 20/25 minutes a game.

He is still a very savvy player and against the opposition bench his numbers would be more effective.

I know that giving JT0 the starting job is a huge shot in the dark, however, we are stuck in no man’s land: we are a very good team, capable of winning consistently but our switching defense and our offense do suffer a lot because Bibby is a liability defensively against many teams and offensively he stops the dribble and does not penetrate.

If we keep this line up we will almost certainly get to the second round and be competitive, but the conference finals might be difficult to achieve since in a 7 game playoff series it will be difficult to hide our deficiencies.

O'Brien

January 19th, 2010
12:42 pm

Daniel,

The Hawks from 3 years ago (who others have compared OKC to) only won 30 games (the Hawks from 2 years ago only won 37 games). OKC is on pace to win 45 games.

Back then the Hawks had an established player in JJ to rely on. OKC is relying on a guy who played 1 year in college, and in his 3rd season in the league. We were in Woody’s 3rd year, and Woody was as assistant on a championship team, while Scott Brooks has been coaching them for less than 2 seasons.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this OKC team is way ahead of where the Hawks were 2-3 seasons ago. They seem to have better coaching, their players seem better utilized, and if they ever get a big name free agent, watch out.

And the way Durant is playing is probably the kind of level the Hawks hoped Marvin would reach.

vava,

Another way the Hawks could change the starting lineup is to bring Marvin off the bench. Maybe that will give him more opportunities playing against the other team’s bench, and if JJ is not on the court, that could help Marvin find some aggressiveness.

But the team is #3 in the East, so changing the lineup is probably unnecessary at this point.

niremetal

January 19th, 2010
1:02 pm

The issue is less whether to start Marvin or bring him off the bench than it is whether he’s going to be in the weakside corner on each and every possession – which seems to be the case no matter who is in the game. On offense, he is very much cast in the role of Battier or Bowen – ie stay out of the way, but be ready to spot up on a bailout pass if need be (the same as Mo does when he’s on the court with JJ and/or Jamal).

If that’s the role he’s been given, it might not make a difference whether he’s in with the first or second unit, unless you start Crawford and assign Marvin the role of being the main scorer off the bench – but that would make our starting 5 ridiculously weak defensively at the backcourt positions.

Or maybe we could, you know, hire a coach who “give[s] a sh*t about the offense.”

niremetal

January 19th, 2010
1:04 pm

Ray – blog monster ate my post :evil:

doc

January 19th, 2010
2:03 pm

aj, they were 10 wins over 500 when they got here in 18 games. colectively they really missed it or found our weakness on d and o. if they snuck up on us then that is sad. i dont believe it though they forgot to bring the intensity from the start. agree with melvin.

what is with the lousy minus that horford posted last night. was he the one abused or just out of the line up at he wrong time due to fouls.

niremetal

January 19th, 2010
2:23 pm

The issue is less whether to start Marvin or bring him off the bench than it is whether he’s going to be in the weakside corner on each and every possession – which seems to be the case no matter who is in the game. On offense, he is very much cast in the role of Battier or Bowen – ie stay out of the way, but be ready to spot up on a bailout pass if need be (the same as Mo does when he’s on the court with JJ and/or Jamal).

If that’s the role he’s been given, it might not make a difference whether he’s in with the starters or first-line reserves, unless you start Crawford and assign Marvin the role of being the main scorer off the bench – but that would make our starting 5 really weak defensively at the backcourt positions.

Or maybe we could, you know, hire a coach who “gives a sh*t about the offense.”

niremetal

January 19th, 2010
2:23 pm

Nevermind – edited it so that it passed muster :)

Sautee

January 19th, 2010
3:03 pm

As W used to say: “We misunderestimated” ;-)

Melvin

January 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

Hawks held OKC to 15pts in the 4th qtr. Only if they could have manage to score 20pts in the 4th, they would have won the game. Nope, they don’t have a problem on the offensive side of the ball… DEFENSE, you want to talk defense????

MannyT

January 19th, 2010
4:41 pm

@niremetal…Wednesday should be a favorite coaching matchup for you.

Knows no D comes to town to play knows no O.

Winner — heaven only knows ;-)

Fundamentals

January 19th, 2010
5:46 pm

Great post Ray. My thoughts exactly. It seems like some nights they just expect to win without giving the effort. They’re not mentally or physically ready to bring it every night. They haven’t learned that killer instinct of a championship team. It’s a maturity issue. Hopefully time will fix it. Face it – we still have a very young team in terms of age, regardless of “NBA Experience”.

KMart & Evans will be quite the tandem to contain on the perimeter. Josh & AL should have fun with their bigs. Should be an easy win for ATL, but like I’ve said time and again…anythings possible. If we don’t give the effort we’ll lose yet another game. The next two are critical with the week ahead.

richbrave

January 19th, 2010
6:52 pm

Wow, if the rumor-mongers are to be believed, next year the HAWKS have HAYWOOD, and the MAGIC have ARENAS. Not likely on either count, IMHO.

Melvin

January 19th, 2010
7:05 pm

Astro,

If you watch Clemson/GT game tonight (7pm/ESPN2). Keep an eye on Clemson #35 Trevor Booker. He’s that tweener forward that you like…

[...] Big Ray’s take on the Hawks Fall to Thunder [...]

Big Ray

January 20th, 2010
9:11 am

Richbrave ,

Interesting rumor. They’ll get even more interesting in the next 2-3 weeks. If the Hawks acquire Haywood, what would they have to do to get him?

Fundamentals ,

Thanks for the props!

O’brien ,

I agree about the lineup. Not so sure if changing it up is a good idea. Maybe for some nights, but not for most.

As to the OKC Thunder, I agree. They are further ahead at this point in time than we were at the same point in time. The question is “why”….

Big Ray

January 20th, 2010
9:15 am

I see my man Dawson Devitt is in the house! Y’all visit him over on the Bird Cage for the REAL Falcon fans discussion.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
12:27 pm

OKC seems to have all their pieces and everyone knows their roles. We took a long time to get our group together. Once together alot of our talent needed time to develop. We’re not there yet, whereas their kids seemed almost NBA ready upon entering the league.

They also have a bonified star in KD. I love Joe, but he’s not quite that type of player. He’s a team guy, not someone who can take over night in and night out.

Teams like Memphis, Portland and OKC really make you scratch your head. Is it coaching? Is it our kids? What’s up? I just think our young talent was much more raw and they’re not there yet.

JSS

January 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

Hey Melvin… Doesn’t Booker remind you of the guy who played at Maryland with Juan Dixon? Was it Lonny Baxter? But he has better footwork than Baxter had… What do you think?

JSS

January 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

Big Ray, greetings and salutations!!!
Evans is all man, do you think he hits the rookie wall after about 20 more games?

Big Ray

January 20th, 2010
1:21 pm

Fundamentals ,

I tend to agree. And some of our talent HAS needed a lot of time to develop. Part of it is how a coaching staff works with their guys, another part is what the players do on their own.

I think the underrated example is Al Horford. When he got here, I don’t think he was asked to do anything beyond defend and rebound. He did just that. He didn’t get many touches, and although those have increased this year, they still aren’t where they could be. Some people are quick to blame it on the player, saying Horford’s lack of a go-to post move is why he doesn’t get more touches.

I beg to differ, and I’ll use a quote from Tyrone Hill, who is on the coaching staff:

“He’s a coach’s dream. He’ll do everything you ask him to do.”

Am I blaming the coaching staff for his “lack of development?” No. Even Woody has remarked on more than one occasion that he has not had to treat Horford like a rookie. In the end, I feel that Horford is not as far along offensively as many would like, simply because he has not been asked to be. THIS year is the first we’ve heard anything of the sort, wherein Woody was also quoted as saying he wanted Horford to get around 13 points a game. Personally, I’d like to see more along the lines of 15-16, but that’s just me. The guy learns quick, works hard, and has plenty of heart. I’d say it’s just a matter of time, and that right now is probably the first time he’s been truly called upon to be a factor on the offensive end, besides getting putbacks and dump-offs.

The best kind of team players do what is asked of them. Horford exhibits that as much or more than anybody else on the team.

Big Ray

January 20th, 2010
1:24 pm

JSS,

I’m not so sure. If Evans hits the wall, I say it’s more about team chemistry than anything else. He has some natural skills and intangibles that just scream “he’s the real deal.” He’s got a slick handle kinda like Rod Strickland.

What will bother both him and Omri Casspi is Kevin Martin. The guy is all shooting, all offense, and needs the ball…A LOT. Can the Kings make this work?

Big Ray

January 20th, 2010
1:26 pm

And I don’t mean that in a Kevin Durant sort of way. Martin is no leader, and he doesn’t really do much (on purpose, anyway) besides shoot and score.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
2:05 pm

Big Ray – Still on the same page here. My question is: Why wouldn’t a player like Al take the initiative to develop himself to the best of his ability? Does he need Woodson to declare he’ll get touches to develop his inside game? Did Marvin & Josh really need someone to tell them to develop a midrange jumper and 3-point shot before trying them in a game?

Every player should be working on their skill set every day to improve. Several show great strides from obvious work in the offseason. We didn’t see alot of that early. I think they’re just now seeing the potential and believing, and thus working. In years past they “worked hard”, but really were just there for a paycheck.

Our team mentality is changing rapidly for the better. Kids are growing & improving. I’m loving what I’m seeing. I think it’s the tip of the iceberg per se. We can only get better.

We’ve just gotta have the maturity to work like a real vet and bring it every night. Maturity and professionalism are our weakness, besides a coach that won’t use all his pieces. Of course, he’s maturing as a coach as well. Woodson has his flaws, but in the end this is his first real shot. He deserves a chance to grow as well. He too needs good mentors.

JSS

January 20th, 2010
2:17 pm

Fundamentals and Big Ray, how much did having to deal with the International Trapazoid all last summer hinder Hotford over last off season in terms of his offensive post play?

Ray, I can see your thinking on Martin, but Westphal has had that kind of “dog and pony” show before with Barkley in Phoenix. So, maybe he can handle it…

ESR

January 20th, 2010
2:18 pm

Coach Woodson has brought this team through it’s infancy. It is time to
get him under contract. This is insane to thave this coach uncertain about his future why the basketball world marvel the Hawks. Be careful because if this team goes to the finals, Woodson will get offers that you can not match.

ESR

January 20th, 2010
2:22 pm

Coach Woodson has brought this team through it’s infancy. It is time to get him under contract. This is insane to have this coach uncertain about his future while the basketball world marvel the Hawks. Be careful because if this team goes to the finals, Woodson will get offers that you can not match.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
2:30 pm

Horford is proving he worked hard in the offseason. He’s improving every day. I think the Olympic experience only helped fuel his competitive fire. He’s alot of the reason our team doesn’t give in. He demands excellence & effort. 9 times out of 10 he’s highly contagious. I love his effort.

Spririt & Sund want to handle it in the offseason. If Woodson meets expectations of really competing in round 2 they better be ready to pay. If he gets to the ECF or Finals then he’s defnitely due. They’re risking alot by waiting. He’ll deserve the cigar and fat paycheck when it comes.

If the players buy in he’ll win. If not I’m a bit worried a new coach won’t keep our chemistry the same? We might improve, we might regress? No one knows.

Woody deserves the chance to show us and the chance to get paid. If we fail by losing in the 1st or proving we can’t compete in round 2 the Spirit have every right to look elsewhere.

I’d poll the players for their honest opinion as well and have it weigh heavily in any decision. Our group has been together for a long time. They deserve a voice.

O'Brien

January 20th, 2010
2:39 pm

Ray,

Our ball movement is very inconsistent, and I dont think changing the lineup would help anyway. Acie used to bring the ball up, give it to Flip, and get out of the way. Right now Bibby brings it up, gives it to JJ, and stands around in case he gets it back and has to shoot. If Teague was our starter, he would do the same thing. Bring the ball up, hand off to JJ, and get out of the way. What does Marvin do? Stand around in case he gets the ball and has to shoot.

Fundamentals,

Did you see the article on ajc.com about Al staying after practice and working with the big man coach? They said Al takes tons of extra shots after practice, and works on his offensive moves. That tells me that he has taken the initiative to work on his offense. I think Al has the makeup to be the leader of this team in time.

But the problem lies in our guard oriented offense. Combined, JJ, Crawford and Bibby have taken 1597 shots (shooting on average 44%). Josh and Al combined have taken 855 shots, shooting an average, 55%. Our guards have taken 742 more shots than Josh and Al. 742 more shots. That number is way too much.

Woody and the guards have to make the effort to feed the bigs. Also, if they were feeding Al from day 1, game 1, I think he would have been averaging 16-18 points, and would be a lock for the all star game. He is shooting 58%. Get him the ball, especially when our guards are struggling.

And I am okay with Woody, because the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side. I just wish he would hire an offensive coordinator, and be more flexible with his game management.

Melvin

January 20th, 2010
2:45 pm

JSS,

Lonny Baxter did play for Maryland. However, Booker reminds me of Clarence Witherspoon with a little more size.

In comparing OKC, Memphis and Portland to the Hawks, I think the biggest difference is their young players talent fits a defined position whereas the Hawks young guys (Josh, Marvin, AL) are a group on tweeners that play multiple positions but not really dominant at one position (similar to fitting a round peg into a square hole).

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
2:54 pm

I’ll agree with that O’Brien. Horford & Josh are leaps ahead of where they were last year. Horford is proving himself night after night. Josh just needs to work on his ball handling and attitude and we’d have one scary tandem. It’ll take time, but I think it’ll all mesh before March & April. We’re headed in the right direction for sure.

richbrave

January 20th, 2010
3:22 pm

RAY:

Did you ever follow JACK ELLIOTT’s music. I loved his theme from Night Court. Is he related to RICHARD ELLIOTT? And I’m just remembering VANGELIS’ theme from Mutiny on the Bounty with Mel Gibson.

O'Brien

January 20th, 2010
3:23 pm

Fundamentals,

I think its a matter of the guards making the extra effort to go inside to our bigs, and giving them the ball in certain areas for them to be more effective.

If they can;t get the ball in the post on one side, then the ball needs to swing around, and the bigs need to get open on the other side. But JJ only knows one way to play, and thats with everything going through him. And then he holds the ball for 10 seconds dribbling. Which is the way Woody usually coaches (although it sounds like Woody has been hollering at Bibby recently to get the ball inside).

March and April should be where teams hit their stride and we find out about them, so hopefully the Hawks will get it together by then. Because when our guards are hitting shots, we are very tough to beat. But if our guards are missing, we’re in trouble.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
3:26 pm

I’m there 100% O’Brien. I’ve argued for a good 2 months that it all falls on Bibby to be the floor general. All that got me was haters claiming Bibby wasn’t the issue. Joe needs to be the catch & shoot guard, Bibby the floor general. He should dictate the play, the offense and who gets the shot. Instead we let Joe or Crawford hold the ball in isolation over and over again.

richbrave

January 20th, 2010
3:28 pm

RAY:

I just saw your post from this morning. Probably ZaZa. The WIZ are paying BH 6.0 million under his expiring. Probably will sign for three or four at 10.0 million to start. Just 30 years old, but definitely wants out of the circus that POLLIN has built. I don’t know if new ownership can change his mind or not, but without him WIZARDS only have a totally unprepared McGEE to replace him. BLATCHE is not a viable option as he is a PF.

richbrave

January 20th, 2010
3:30 pm

How is TEAGUE’s and/or CRAWFORD’s defense? BIBBY’s in gone with the wind. I notice the CELTS abuse him like a rented mule.

JSS

January 20th, 2010
3:34 pm

Melvin, Spoon was a load… Does Booker have those kind of hops like Weatherspoon had when he first came in the Association? I’ve only seen him schooling folks at NC State last week…

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
3:35 pm

Teague’s D to me looks decent if not good for a PG. Crawford’s is nonexistant to excellent depending on the situation. If Crawford would bring the D we’ve seen in flashes every night he’d be an All-Star no doubt.

Melvin

January 20th, 2010
4:13 pm

JSS,

Spoon may have a higher vertical but Booker is a capable shot blocker. I think he would be a nice rotational player. Too bad he doesn’t have his bother height (6-11/7-0)…

JSS

January 20th, 2010
4:25 pm

Melivin…
I did enjoy watching the Booker bros. running the high/low with elder one finishing against NC State… Everyone enjoy the game tonight… Hopefully the vets will bring intensity from the opening jump..

Blast

January 20th, 2010
6:57 pm

Great blog, Ray. Agree on all points.

Sautee

January 20th, 2010
7:51 pm

Here we are misunderestimating the Kings