Can Hawks weather adverse conditions?

After watching the Hawks fight somewhat gamely for the better part of the game, I began to believe they could pull it off. The last five minutes proved that thought wrong, at least for this game.

In the long line of steps it takes to become one of the best teams in the league, the Hawks have just discovered the latest: learning how to win when you’re short on manpower. It’s not easy, but that’s not the point is it? Wait a minute. Maybe it IS the point. Winning when you’re at full strength isn’t easy, but winning when you’re NOT at full strength is even harder. An old adage says that anything worthwhile is never easy. That seems to hold true in a lot of places, including the NBA, but I digress. Wednesday night’s loss to the Miami Heat looked a bit uglier in the end than it truely was. It also exposed Atlanta’s habits when faced with adversity, as well as the need to find other ways to counter such conditions. Was this loss just a case of missed shots? Shooting less than 38% from the field certainly didn’t help. Was it defense? The Heat shot just over 50%, but scoring 94 points is nothing to write home about. Not only that, but no Heat player scored more than 19 points, even though they did have five guys score in double figures. Still, no particularly exceptional games from Wade, Beasley, or even Jermaine O’Neal. Did they miss Jamal Crawford that much? Well, let’s look at what are probably some of the more common questions on our minds as Hawks fans.

 

Do the Hawks have enough scorers?

Conventional wisdom and a butt-load of team stats says yes. Joe is a 20+ points per game guy. Josh averages roughly 15 per game, Al is between 13 and 14, Marvin gets 10, and Jamal Crawford comes off the bench for almost 18 per contest. That’s five guys averaging double figures, with a sixth (Mike Bibby) just a point away from doing so. But what happens when you take one of those guys away? How about 1 and a half (Crawford was out, Joe was sick)? What if it was two of them? Maybe the question isn’t whether or not there are enough scorers. Maybe it’s a little more detailed than that. Moving right along…

Are there others who can step up, and how can this be managed?

Every team needs a backup plan for when the proverbial “Plan A” isn’t working. Plan A might be a batch of screen and roll plays, or screen and shoots, or even ISOs. The whole team practices the main plan, but not everybody can execute the plan the same way. If they could, we wouldn’t have starters and reserves. So naturally there has to be more than one main idea, right? So what happens when bench players come in? More importantly, what happens when bench players have to come in and play very significant minutes? Let’s get more into the nitty gritty and ask this: what happens when key players of the main gameplan aren’t available? Do you go with an alternate gameplan, one that you have practiced? And who is supposed to take on the new roles, or pick up the slack, as it were?

The Hawks get the bulk of their scoring from the backcourt by rote. But what happens when they can’t do that? This past game against Miami ought to be a clear warning against such scenarios. Plan A is to let Joe do his thing, which wasn’t working so well in the later stages of the game. The closest thing to a Plan B would be to let Jamal Crawford do his thing. Only, there WAS no Jamal Crawford. Now what? Could the Hawks get enough scoring out of their reserves and their starting front line? The bench players took exactly 8 shots, and missed all but two of them. With Crawford and Pachulia missing, that still was a telling statistic. Meanwhile, Marvin Williams gave a good effort, but still missed 8 of his 11 total shots.

The Hawks went to Josh Smith 14 times, and he delivered on half of them. Al Horford only got 7 shot attempts in his 44 minutes of play, 4 of which he connected on, but don’t start the protest just yet. He also had a season worst 6 turnovers. Those alone could account for 6 chances at either taking a shot or making a play, and were certainly something that had to influence how many more looks he would get. So there it is. Was this just a bad game, or do the Hawks have what it takes amongst it’s other heavy rotational guys to get it done?

Is it a matter of personnel, or a matter of strategy and tactics?

Joe and Jamal are good at the ISO game most nights, and their abilities alone make it possible for others to find openings. But if your ISO guys aren’t playing well, or aren’t available, how do you win the game? Perhaps running more screen and roll plays, or setting screens to get guys good looks at the basket. Perhaps something else. This is something the Hawks have to figure out as they move forward. As good as they’ve had it in the injury department (let’s all knock on wood at the same time, so to speak), they can’t count on that, especially come playoff time. Devising and implementing an alternate plan or two may go a long way when adversity rears its ugly head again.  Again, this is easily said, but perhaps not feasible if the right personnel are not in place. Do the Hawks need to add somebody, and if they do….what or who should they be looking for?

 

AL’S FIRST BIG GAME

Well, since his college days, anyhow. Al Horford has played in two national championships in college (winning both times), so he’s no stranger to big games. But the NBA all-star game? That’s a horse of another color. At least he’s not going alone, and perhaps teammate Joe Johnson can clue Al in on some of the festivities and what not. You know, where to go, what to do, and how to act during the game-time introductions. It will be interesting to see what Al does when he gets in the game (you better play him more than a minute or two, Stan Van Puff-A-Lot!). Will he be nervous for the first time in years? No matter how it turns out, we wish him the best, and we’re all proud of him. Even, I’m sure, those of us who think he’s undersized and out of place. After all, an all-star is an all-star. And Al is OUR all-star!

Trade Winds

Okay, I just had to ask. Some of the answers have already been given, and some I can predict rather accurately, I’m sure. But do you think the Hawks need to try and make a tweak before the trade deadline passes? Do you think they’re willing to do so? If so, what or who should they be looking for, and what deals do you think are feasible? For what it’s worth, I think Joe Johnson is absolutely out of this mix altogether, as that story will be told this coming summer. But that’s just me talking….

80 comments Add your comment

Melvin

February 10th, 2010
11:12 pm

Ray,

Good stuff. To answer your question, i think its a combination of all(personnel, strategy and tactics). First of all, we need to upgrade the bench (personnel) with another scorer. I proposed bring in another SF (John Salmons) to play behind Marvin on the beat blog. Salmons would take some pressure off of Joe and Jamal b/c he can create his own shot and for others which would help in the S&T area. This will allow the Hawks to run less Iso-plays for Joe and Jamaal or better yet open up the floor for them b/c the defense will have to defend Salmons as well..

niremetal

February 10th, 2010
11:49 pm

Melvin,

I don’t see how on earth we could acquire Salmons except as part of a multi-player deal. There’s no one on the roster except Horford that we could trade for him straight up except Marvin. The packages we could put together are not appealing either (Zaza + Teague, Horford + Teague, Zaza + Mo, or Horford + Mo). So that’s not really feasible.

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
12:34 am

Nire,

I see there is conflicting reports between Hoopshype (5.4) and Espn (6.4) according to Salmons salary. I was thinking maybe we could package Mo, Collins and pick for him if the ASG is okay with adding more money to the payroll. Keep in mind, that its rumor the Bulls are trying to lower payroll for FA this summer and he’s one of the players they have on the block b/c he has another year on his contract. With Mo and Collins, they have lower they payroll and possibly pick up an extra pick. As for us, we could S&T Chills this summer for a player(s) and/or pick(s) to compensate for the pick we sent the Bulls. Just a thought.

But I think we need another perimeter player thats capable of creating offense and I like Salmons ability to play the 1, 2 or 3. It would be a nice closing unit to have with Joe,Jamal,Salmons,Josh and Horford. Salmons would be a better third option then Bibby or Marvin. Pick your poison b/c we would have three perimeter guys thats almost interchangeable on offense/defense. Hey, at least I can play fantasy GM two….

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
9:24 am

Melvin,

It’s not a matter of spending money or whether he’d be a good fit. The finances of the deal just don’t work unless you gut the second unit.

Mo and Collins come in well below his salary regardless of whether you believe HoopsHype or ESPN. Even assuming Hoopshype is correct, we’d have to throw in all of our remaining minimum salary players (Joe Smith and RandMo and Mario) to make it work. In other words, our bench would consist of Crawford, Salmons, Zaza, Teague, and Rio after that trade, meaning we’d have to go out and sign 3 more players just to have the league minimum roster size – and at least two of those would have to be rotation-ready guys who Woodson would be willing to play. You think that’s a good idea at this stage in the season?

(If you don’t believe me, you can check it using either the ESPN or RealGM trade checkers. On ESPN, you can get the equivalent of Salmons’s salary on Hoopshype by using Tyrus Thomas + Chris Richard, whose salaries add up to $5.48M.)

The easier solution would be to shift Marvin to the bench and start Mo in games where Crawford is out. Marvin steps out of his shell when both JJ and Craw are out of the game. In any case, trading Mo isn’t the answer. I know you don’t like Mo, but he’s a very good perimeter defender. He doesn’t shut anybody down, but he guards the best team’s opposing player and makes them work for their points when he’s on the floor – and you generally don’t have to bring help defenders on the guy he’s guarding, which is huge. That’s all you can expect out of a defensive specialist coming off the bench.

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
9:26 am

*Correction on Rio – we can’t trade him anyway since he’s a recent signee. ESPN says the trade works without him, RealGM says it doesn’t (ie even the combined salaries of Mo, JoeS, Collins, and RandMo aren’t enough).

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
9:49 am

Nire,

Crawford was out last night and Marvin went 3-11 and 4 rebounds. There was plenty opportunities for him to step up. Moving him to the bench would only make our undersize frontcourt even smaller. Do you really expect Mo to defend Lebron and Pierce? Having Marvin come off the bench and calling more plays for him (or having the offense run thru him) is not going to work b/c he is not the type of player that could create his own shot on a consistent basis. I say leave him in the starting lineup to the the intangibles (reb, defend and contribute some points) and find a guy who can score at the SF spot to come off the bench. Oh yeah, If we have to giveup RandMo, Mario and Joe in the deal then I say do it. Maybe we could resign one or two of those guys back after the Bulls waive them to stay within the league 15 man roster. Heck, outside of Joe Smith. It’s not like those guys bring a lot to the table anyway.

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
9:50 am

Nire,

How much value does adding a draft pick (1st or 2nd) worth in a trade?

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
9:55 am

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
9:56 am

My belief is that this team currently constructed is probably good enough to be any team (except for the Cavs, Magic and Lakers) in a 7 game series. Upgrade the bench, they could beat the three elites teams I exclude from my prior statement.

These are just my thoughts…

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
9:59 am

Nire,

Damn…. Oh well, find a third team (with cap space or a trade exception that would like an addition pick) to balance the trade. Thats why they pay Sund the big bucks.

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
10:04 am

Melvin,

I wouldn’t count on the Bulls waiving JoeS or Collins. They are definitely hoping to get the 4 or 5 seed and make a playoff run to make an impression on potential free agents. They also have 1 open roster spot, and considering how thin their frontcourt is, it’s likely that they would keep those two and waive Devin Brown, Lindsey Hunter, and/or Chris Richard.

We obviously can agree to disagree. I think your proposed trade would ultimately make our bench worse, not better. In any case, it’s way too big a risk for us to take based on 1 bad game on the second night of a back-to-back where Crawford was out, Joe was sick, and they other perimeter players were cold. You don’t gut the bench of a 50-win team right before the trade deadline.

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
10:14 am

Nire,

You made a good point but I don’t think this team is good enough to standpat and make it to the ECF either…

O'Brien

February 11th, 2010
10:17 am

Our bench did not produce last night. And although it would be nice to see the bench come in and play well whenever their number is called, we can also say that Woody hasnt played them consistently all year, so he should share some of the blame.

Mouse Daddy (I think Manny coined the term for SVG) said the Hawks have not dealt with any injuries all year. And he’s right. Boston played some games w/o KG and Pierce, Magic played some games w/o Vince and Nelson, Cleveland has played games w/o Delonte and Mo Williams.

We have been healthy all year. We finally play a game w/o somebody significant, and we struggle (although it came at a bad time with JJ maybe still feeling ill). I know our payroll is $10-$15 mil less than those guys, but still. Lakers went into Utah (who was on a 9 game win streak) and beat the Jazz. I dont hink Bynum or Kobe played.

Bottomline is Hawks need to be mentally stronger, and Woody needs to have a plan C.

I proposed this trade on the other blog.

A backup SF I think worth looking into is Chris Douglas-Roberts from the Nets. He was a second round pick, and this is only his second or third year, so his contract is cheap. He lost his starting spot to Jarvis Hayes, and rumor has it he is unhappy (who wouldnt be, when your team is 4-48).

Nets might also be willing to move Josh Boone. He can provide spot minutes at PF and Center. My trade idea is Mo Evans and a second round pick (or maybe a 1st rounder, since it will in mid 20’s) for Josh Boone and CDR.

Ray,

I think Horford will be fine. He seems very mature, so I think he will stay out of trouble, and just play his game. And for what its worth, I think SVG speaks highly of him. Did JJ play at all last year?

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
10:36 am

Obrien,

I can live with CDR but will he be willing to comeoff the bench? It’s reported that his attitude has been stink since he’s been demoted to the bench. What would the Nets want in return being that his salary small (NBA wise)? Most importantly, can we refrain him from Yapping his big mouth on Twitter????

Astro Joe

February 11th, 2010
11:52 am

I wonder if the teams that played without some of their top guns won the first time or had to learn how to win over 2-3 games. Also, it seems like Crawford’s injury came out of left field… was he even on the bench last night? I’d also suggest that gievn Joe played only 26 minutes the previous game and took 9 shots, that he was clearly not at his best. So one could argue that we were missing at least 1.5 of our SGs last night.

O'Brien

February 11th, 2010
12:09 pm

Melvin,

They say winning cures all. And if he’s leaving a team thats 4-48, and coming to a team thats 33-18, I would hope he would be okay coming off the bench. Especially when you look at Crawford who could start for other teams, but is flourishing as a 6th man. And if CDR is backing up Marvin, I think he will get plenty of PT.

And Woody has done a good job of keeping all his players in line and they’ve stayed out of trouble. Maybe the Nets will take a second round pick for CDR, or the rights to one of our second round picks that’s stashed overseas somewhere.

AJ,

Its also another example of the Hawks players not showing up to play for whatever reason. Last time they played Miami in Miami we got blown out from the start. Even without Crawford, I expected a better effort from the players.

vava74

February 11th, 2010
1:27 pm

OB,

CDR is a slasher without 3pt range and we need that anyone occupying the SF slot is able to knock down the 3pt ball.

Melvin,

Mo would play the SG spot and JJ the SF slot.

I actually think that this should be our primary option in light of Marvin’s bad play.

However, yesterday was not a good measure on Marvin’s improvement or non improvement: everyone played like rubbish with the exception of J-Smoove and Bibby who was OK.

In the end, we were torched by MIA’s bench, a clear indication of bad coaching from our side: we did not adjust to the new players on court.

HOW CAN YOU LEAVE one of the best 3 point shooters in the NBA open 4 or 5 possessions in a row???

Also, with JJ clearly struggling, why insist in keeping him playing for so long? 44 minutes coming out of a flu? He started well, then he completely lost it, a clear sign of tiredness…

Midway the 3rd quarter I was already 95% sure that we would lose the game and my only hope was that a combination of Bibby’s 3pointers and Josh’s defensive and offensive spurts allowed us to get back into the game and hold on.

Unfortunately, Bibby’s shot is still off and Josh can’t do it all.

And with us struggling, why not give RandMo a try? Maybe he could have worked inside and tired O’Neal…

And why don’t we see more plays like the one in which Bibby makes a baseline cut then gets to the free throw line off a pick by Al and drains an easy jumper??

This can be done with virtually anyone!!! And why do our pick and roll plays look so clumsy and un-rearsed???

Poor coaching!!! (Or lack of)

With this I am not saying to fire Woody, but god damn me if he doesn’t need to improve his side of things as well!!!

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

I tend to lean towards what O’brien has to say. Chris Douglas Roberts would probably be happier in a winning atmosphere. He’s another young guy though, and would really have to work hard and prove himself. He won’t get the same opportunities here as he’s had in New Jersey. Is he mentally tough enough to square with that?

In the meantime, I see the trade proposal police are loose…. ;)

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
2:05 pm

It’s true that Douglas-Roberts is not happy with playing behind Jarvis Hayes. Then again, doesn’t that prompt a rather obvious question – why would we want to rock the boat in order to get someone who’s playing behind Jarvis Hayes? Why would we be looking to the bench of a 4-44 team in order to upgrade ours? I mean, my 11-year old brother could average 12 a game for the Nets…

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
2:09 pm

PS, if any of you have a snowblower that you can overnight to Philly, lemme know. 50 inches of snow in 5 days is cramping my style…

Daniel

February 11th, 2010
2:13 pm

nire- I hear what you are saying, but sometimes players get a change of scenery, get put in a new atmosphere with more mature players around them and they respond. All that said, I don’t think CDR is much of an upgrade to our bench.

Astro Joe

February 11th, 2010
2:14 pm

OB, I disagree. I think they were down by a few points at half-time and ran out of steam in the second half. I think they showed up, they were just either tired or ready-to-go (as MC suggested in his blog). While I would love for my team to be mentally tough enough to look past an imminent vacation, I also know that I have been less than productive on the day before I was headed for a long-awaited vacation.

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
2:23 pm

I think CDR was bench b/c of his attitude and not his play. Also, he’s in a tricky situation for the Nets. His talent level and previous production would ordinarily return more in value than his salary. The Nets know this, so they have said publicly that they would like to keep him. I think they would consider trading him, if they could off load a bad contract or receive a 1st round draft pick.

Astro Joe

February 11th, 2010
2:41 pm

How bad must his attitude be for a 4-win team to decide that they would rather bench him than play him? Aren’t you guys always clamoring for player development? How long has CDR been in the league that his team has decided that he is no longer worth player development on a team that is streaking toward the worse record in professional team sports history (that’s right, they are on pace to be worse than any baseball, football or basketball team in f’ing history). If that’s not a blazing red flag…

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
3:00 pm

Hmmmm. A young player is reportedly having an attitude on a team that is losing every which way possible. I’d say there is a red flag issue alright. Start with ownership and work your way down….

I’ve seen this too many times. Once upon a time Joakim Noah reportedly had such an attitude when the Bulls were losing disgracefully with the incredibly overpaid Ben Wallace. He was bench, lambasted, you name it. It seems that he turned out just fine.

Any team that’s losing that badly is not likely to have a player on it who has a GOOD attitude, but what do I know? Do we know for certain that Chris has a bad attitude, and that’s why he has been benched? Wait, what’s wrong with a coach starting a player with more experience over one with less experience? I hear it’s called good coaching around these parts…

I wouldn’t side too quickly with management and coaching here. Seems they are in full rebuild mode. Nah, what am I saying? Surely management has made all the right moves (cough, cough) and the coaching staff is doing an excellent job (hack, hack), but the players are determined to sink the ship for no apparent reason (snort, snort). Yeah, that must be it.

In the meantime, CDR is another young NBA player whose future is unknown. Would his addition to this team help us or not? How much would it help us? I tend to think it wouldn’t help us. We’d need a player with more experience. I’m not looking for some young 2nd or 3rd year small forward to come off the bench and solve our scoring woes when Crawford isn’t available, or whatever. But that’s just my two cents worth. Nothing more, nothing less…

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
3:06 pm

If we could keep our top 10 players and acquire CDR then I’m all for it. Standing pat is not the solution.

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Per ESPN:

Player News (last updated: February 9, 2010)
News: Douglas-Roberts did not play Tuesday against the Cavaliers because coach Kiki Vandeweghe wanted to look at other players , the Associated Press reports.

Spin: Douglas-Roberts left Saturday’s game with back spasms, but he was ready to go on Tuesday and fully expected to play. He was clearly disappointed after the game, and although the Nets have denied it publicly, it still wouldn’t be a shock if CDR gets moved before the trade deadline.

From Fantasy Basketball site Head2Head (I’m sure this will get discredited immediately):

02.02.10
Chris Douglas-Roberts will be replaced in the starting lineup by Jarvis Hayes, the Nets’ official Twitter page reports.

Impact:
Douglas-Roberts put up some big point totals in games earlier this season, but he’s only reached double figures once in his last nine contests. Head coach Kiki Vandeweghe said the lineup change was made in order “to get Chris more involved with the offense,” so hopefully Douglas-Roberts can regain his scoring touch in his new role. The move to the bench hurts Douglas-Roberts’ short-term fantasy value, but hopefully it will make him more productive in the long run.

02.05.10
Chris Douglas-Roberts totaled 10 points and three boards in 10 minutes during Friday’s loss to Boston.

Impact:
Douglas-Roberts has clearly fallen out of favor with coach Kiki Vanderweghe, and is basically useless to fantasy owners (6.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG in last three games) coming off the Nets’ bench. There are rumors swirling that CDR may be heading to Memphis according to Ball Don’t Lie’s J.E. Skeets. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this situation, as Douglas-Roberts might once again gain fantasy relevance.

02.08.10
Nets owner Rod Thorn told The New York Post he doesn’t plan on making any trades before the Feb. 18 deadline, singling out Chris Douglas-Roberts, stating that he’s not looking to trade the young guard, despite rumors that Memphis was interested in his services.

Impact:
The Nets’ troubled swingman, who was leading the race for Most Improved Player early this year, has seen his season fall by the wayside, dealing with confidence issues because of the Nets’ losing ways, and eventually losing his starting gig to veteran Jarvis Hayes. This recent news actually hurts Douglas-Roberts more than it helps him, as a change of scenery seems like exactly what he needs to salvage his season.

O'Brien

February 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

AJ,

This is CDR’s second year. In 30 mpg, he is averaging 12ts, and 4 rebs, which is comparable to Marvin’s numbers. His 3pt shot is horrible (28 attempts this season, 11 makes), but the key for me is I think he will do a better job on defense than Mo.

Mo tries, but he is just not big enough to guard backup SFs. Plus when Cook had 8 points in 65 seconds, wasn’t it Mo who was supposed to be on him? And having CDR on the bench would give us some options. Plus if JJ or Crawford misses time again, Mo would be our backup SG, and CDR our backup SF.

People on the outside used to say Josh had an attitute problem, and couldnt get along with his coach. Randy Moss and Corey Dillon had attitudes, but they went to the Patriots, got it done and won a SB. I’m just saying that being on a losing team can lead to issues and attitude problems.

I agree that there are some concerns, but I’m just brainstorming on ways to improve the bench without spending too much money (which we know Sund won’t/can’t do). And I dont want the team to stand pat and hope the guys we have are enough to get it done.

Ray,

Trade police is/are loose. Which is ironic because Sund said he does not expect to make a move or even add a vet who gets bought out later on. I guess this is what you call working for free.

And I agree with Melvin. What if the Nets will take a draft pick for him? Is CDR worth our 1st round pick next season (which will probably be close to # 24)? I dont know. But whoever we draft is probably not not going to do much right away anyway.

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
3:18 pm

Then there’s this from Yahoo Sports:

Between now and then, the Nets can’t do much. They’ll keep trying to move Chris Douglas-Roberts(notes), who’s fallen out of favor. And they’ll hold the threat of a D-League demotion over first-round pick Terrence Williams(notes) to keep him in line.

Interesting. Tells me that Terrence Williams appears to be the bigger problem when it comes to players, and I’m willing to bet that coaching has just an teensy weensy bit to do with all of this. And losing. Yeah, that might have something to do with it as well.

Isn’t it great to not be in such a position with OUR team? The Nets have it so bad that even player development, possibly the only thing they really can legitimately be trying to accomplish, is failing badly. Youch.

Mike is Back

February 11th, 2010
3:21 pm

Ray, GREAT STUFF. You touched on some key points. I agree with the notion that the bench needs to be upgraded to seriously challenge for a ring. However, I strongly believe that the reserves we have are capable of providing more support…if given a chance. I know this a difficult issue for all coaches to deal…but I think it has especially been a difficult issue for Woody. I hope we are not having this same conversation heading into the playoff.

Nire, excellent illustration of the difficulties Sund faces trying to upgrade the bench at the trade dead line. It is hard to imagine some GM giving the Hawks a valued asset without wanting equal value in return.

Ray, is it appropriate to throw in a GO HAWKS…in the nests. lol

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
3:26 pm

O’brien ,

I’m actually not opposed to obtaining CDR if it won’t hurt budget-wise. I actually like him as a player. The guy has stayed out of trouble and was doing well for a while there. He has some old school to him.

Young players struggle. If it’s okay to preach patience for Marvin after 4 years, then why not a 2nd year player? And like you said, Josh had a rather bad reputation himself. What’s funny is how these judgements are rarely across the board. Some will defend a 4th or 5th year player on our team but won’t give a rookie the first bit of slack. Huh? Methinks there is always a background agenda… ;)

MannyT

February 11th, 2010
3:27 pm

…or did NJ say, we won only 4 games with CDR playing a siginificant role. We can do this poorly with or without him.

Our salary structure makes it hard to trade for a contributor. We might be able to pick up the most gifted (offensive or) defensive player in the D-League, but would Woody play the guy. Unless Sund has another magic beans trade up his sleeve, I don’t see any useful trade opportunities. Some days I wonder if we have a plan B or is it, try harder with plan A.

Hawks had enough people in double figures, but we didn’t get the bench production or enough stops on the Miami bench players. That 4th quarter lead came from the back ups.

One goal of the break should be to develop a better plan B.

BWAF

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
3:39 pm

Mike is Back ,

Good to see you still around! It’s always appropriate to sound off in the Nest. Especially with a “GO HAWKS!”

O’brien ,

The only other thing to consider with that pick is whether or not we could get a bruiser like DaJuan Blair in the draft. If it can be done, does that fit better than CDR does, or should we try to acquire such a player through free agency or trade? We’re gonna need the help, I don’t think we will have Joe Smith’s services next year, and he isn’t exactly a goon anyhow.

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
3:44 pm

I don’t hear anyone preaching patience for Marvin, Ray. And I agree with MannyT – the Nets were historically bad with CDR in the lineup. Lost their first 18 games bad. And they’ve been epically bad with him coming off the bench. Clearly, they are going to lose regardless of his role.

I find your spin on the NJ situation…interesting. If the Nets simply didn’t like CDR’s attitude and wanted to trade him, they wouldn’t be benching him. Rule 1 of dumping a player: You can’t move a guy if you don’t play him. If CDR was some diamond in the rough down there, his role wouldn’t have been reduced in the first place, and it sure as hell wouldn’t have been cut to the point where he’s getting DNP-CDs. You don’t think the Nets know the things you’re talking about? Kiki Vandeweghe is not a fool, despite what you apparently think. He wouldn’t be benching a guy that he thought had value either as a future player or as trade bait.

You seemed to overlook a lot of the very statements you’re quoting when forming your opinion of the situation in NJ. Why does “Vandeweghe wanted to look at other players” indicate a problem with the Nets instead of with CDR? “Douglas-Roberts put up some big point totals in games earlier this season, but he’s only reached double figures once in his last nine contests.” You think that decline is solely because the Nets are losing? You don’t think the fact that he has “fallen out of favor” has more to do with the fact that he can’t shoot worth a damn from the perimeter and doesn’t pass, play defense, or rebound (all of which leads me to wonder what exactly is “old school” about him) rather than an attitude problem that apparently only you see (nothing you cited and nothing I’ve seen suggests that the Nets don’t like him as a person or think that he has an attitude problem)?

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
3:47 pm

Sorry to be sarcastic, but the Nets cleared the deck to make a run at a free agent this summer. CDR should be viewing this seasons as a chance to show his skills that he would never have had with another team. I have a tough time blaming the Nets for the fact that he hasn’t taken full advantage of it. You make it sound like CDR is in the position of a Sean Williams or something…

O'Brien

February 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Where is Sean Williams these days? Hanging out in Alabama?

nire,

The Hawks dont have many options when it comes to upgrading the team. Sund wont/cant spend any money, and we dont have any attractive pieces that we are willing to give up. We will probably just end up standing pat anyway.

Ray,

Who are the Hawks second round picks over the least few years? Cenk Ayol, David Andersen (who we traded), Salim (out of the league), and some foreign young kid who we took last year I can’t even remember his name. The Hawks have not gotten contributors in the second round like some teams (Spurs come to mind).

In the 1st round where we pick, you just dont know who is going to be available, because we wont pick until the 22-25 range. So its a risk either way. And then after we draft them, we will be having the discussion as to whether or not they are getting enough PT, and are they good enough to contribute.

I dont think Joe Smith will be back next year either. I think Josh Boone, former 1st round pick (from the Nets again, easy targets I guess) is someone to keep an eye on. I think he makes about $2 mil, and he could provide spot minutes at PF and maybe even center.

Anyways, I just dont want the Hawks to be signing some over the hill veteran next offseason.

O'Brien

February 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

For the record, I havent seen many Nets games, so I’m not sure how good the aforementioned players are. But I’m sure GMs know, so I was just throwing it out there. Seeing if anything sticks lol

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
4:19 pm

Nire ,

Where shall I start? Well, I could say that I never called Vandeweghe a fool. I could say that perhaps all of this losing could be attributed to not just play on the court, but coaching and management. But of course, we know those two things never affect the actual games. I could say that perhaps there is just a little more to this than “player A simply sucks and is regressing” in the case of Douglas-Roberts, but that would be an idiotic idea altogether. I could say that the quotes I posted are simply what I saw on the internet, and not my own spin, but that’s merely an uninformed opinion. I could say that the only quote I directly commented on was the one about Terrence Williams, who seems to be posing more of a problem than Douglas-Roberts, but obviously that’s another stupid opinion. I could say that I’ve seen guys like Astro Joe outspokenly preach patience in the case of Marvin Williams, recently even…but I must be making that up, right? Besides, we know that Marvin’s regression this year is all because of him, and not in any way affected by anything else.

But instead of saying things like that, I’ll just label myself a self-serving, spin-doctoring idiot who has no right to his own worthless opinion, and then apologize for my well-intended sarcasm.

After all, I’m just a Hack. :) :) :)

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
4:29 pm

Ray,

You said: “A young player is reportedly having an attitude on a team that is losing every which way possible. I’d say there is a red flag issue alright. Start with ownership and work your way down” and “The Nets have it so bad that even player development, possibly the only thing they really can legitimately be trying to accomplish, is failing badly.” In connection with CDR, that just seems to be off-base. His production dropped before his minutes did. And having watched him play quite a bit, I gotta say I’m not impressed by his ability to do anything besides take people off the dribble.

Never said you had no right to your opinion, obviously. This is a blog. You’re entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mock it, and you’re entitled to mock me back. There’ve been occasions where the mocking started with you, and others where it starts with me. Blame it on the snow. In any case, would get boring around here if there were no posts with a biting tone ;) .

Speaking of snow, I’m about to venture out. Someone call the Marines if I’m not back in an hour…

Mike is Back

February 11th, 2010
4:29 pm

Ray, I’m trying to get be in back in the groove…thanks for shout back.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Astro Joe

February 11th, 2010
6:40 pm

So if Rod Thorn wants to attract free agents to the arena off the turnpike, does benching a potential young gun make sense? We’re not talking about some upstart NBA exec, we’re talking about Rod Thorn… he was there when Naismith hung the basket. If Thorn (and Kiki) are tossing aside debris (see Sean Williams), then I’d let someone else sort through the trash. Why do we need to take that risk? We don’t need to swing for the fences here to find a back-up SF with size. If CDR is being held down by the man, let him prove that on another squad. I’m not looking to provide refuge for the victims of oppressive management, just someone who can guard big SFs for 10 minutes and sit happily on the bench for the rest of the game.

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
7:17 pm

Haven’t said this in a loooong time, but…co-sign Astro Joe ;)

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
7:17 pm

PS – You can call off the Marines.

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
8:12 pm

I’m with Big Ray, the Nets problems starts at the top all the way down to the empty seats. This team is in total disarray. From firing coaches, bad draft picks(Sean Williams,Boone,Marcus Williams) and fail trades (Vince,Yi) just to name a few areas. On top of all that, they are on course to win the few games in league history. Good thing they lock that deal in with the new/owner-to-be Russian Billionare b/c Jay Z can’t save this franchise.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Lowly-Nets-play-in-front-of-just-1016-fans;_ylt=An8LMT3sImjfLtTRxfUiCqW8vLYF?urn=nba,218906

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
8:13 pm

*fewest games in league history.

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
9:46 pm

Melvin ,

That was my point. I don’t see how it can’t be more obvious that the Nets are in TOTAL rebuild mode, from moving the franchise to fielding an actual team. Highlighting the struggles of a single player as if he were playing in perfect conditions and was just a total failure….well, I just didn’t see it that way. Not when they’re talking about threatening their draft pick with being sent down to the D-League. Sorry, but at that point, I’d have to say that player development, among many other things, is in a fail stage right now, which was my point. Some see a franchise throwing out the trash. I see a 4 win team trying anything and everything they can to avoid being the worst team ever. That includes benching a young player when his quality of play takes a dip. How is this not a possibility, or do alternate possibilities only exist for other people when they choose to “go against the grain” of arguments they hear? Eh, different strokes, different folks, whatever….

As I said before, I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on the kid if we could use him. I’m just not sure we’d use him. Which is NOT the same thing as saying he’s not useful. But I digress. A fifth year forward deserves patience when his game regresses, but a 2nd year guard/forward is trash when he falters. Um, right. I’ll leave that one alone now….

Nire ,

Two different trains of thought, and not even from the same post. We’ll cut and paste what I said again and I’ll explain:

A young player is reportedly having an attitude on a team that is losing every which way possible. I’d say there is a red flag issue alright. Start with ownership and work your way down”

Translation: I feel like the Nets have bigger problems than one player who reportedly has attitude problems, none of which seem to have any details whatsoever attached to them other than what a few sites are saying in a rather vague way.

The Nets have it so bad that even player development, possibly the only thing they really can legitimately be trying to accomplish, is failing badly.”

Translation: The Nets are struggling in every area, but since they have young players, they at least have a shot at some player development, no matter how painful it might be. But even that is not going right, as one of their most recent draft picks is apparently being threatened constantly with a d-league demotion to keep him in line and CDR is being benched. Outside of Brook Lopez, can you name a Nets player who is excelling and growing right now, with any certainty? Looks bleak up that way.

All of which leads to one single opinion: I am willing to think that perhaps with the case of Chris Douglas Roberts, maybe not all is what it seems to be, and there are a lot of negative factors affecting ALL of the Nets players, perhaps with the exception of Brook Lopez, who is having things centered around him (as perhaps they should be).

A simple opinion. A simple disagreement would suffice, as Astro Joe amply displays….

Big Ray

February 11th, 2010
9:52 pm

Astro Joe ,

As far as I can see, Sean Williams is indeed the bottom of their barrel. I think Douglas-Roberts has potential still and can fit in somewhere. I can understand the opinion of letting him fulfill it elsewhere. While I wouldn’t mind seeing him here, I question if he fits and if we can use him/optimize what he brings. I’m sure he could use a dose of veteran help and competition. I seriously doubt we’ll acquire him, and I also don’t tend to see him as a solution to our backup SF problem as much as I would a more well-rounded veteran with the skills that we need. I say that in light of the idea of acquiring a player who can push us that much further in the standings, and in the postseason.

Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t mind having him. Probably not a move you’d get to bemoan though…

Melvin

February 11th, 2010
9:55 pm

Halftime score for the Heat and Magic game, 66-63 znd these are two of the best defensive teams in the league. As I said before, there is no defense for good offense. Defense is sooooooo overrated….

niremetal

February 11th, 2010
10:12 pm

Melvin,

Let’s talk about that during the playoffs, hmm?

O'brien

February 11th, 2010
10:48 pm

Melvin,

Try telling that to Woody. Remember, he doesn’t give a $*#t about offense.

But nire also has a point. You must be able to play defense in the playoffs.

Magic having some of the Hawks 4th quarter scoreless woes. What was a closegame, now has Cleveland leading by 14 pts with 2 minutes left.