Hawks face ailing Raptors as time runs out

Watching the desperate Chicago Bulls defeat the Cavaliers with Lebron on the bench, I had to wonder if maybe it’s a matter of pressure. The Bulls are trying to make the playoffs. The Hawks are trying to gain the third seed in the playoffs. The Bulls are talking about doing everything they can to stay locked in and get the win. The Hawks are talking about not knowing what went wrong. Surely, it’s the difference in pressure, right?

 

Final Four

This is it. Toronto at home. Visits to Washington and then Milwaukee. The finale at home against Cleveland, who will be playing with Lebron, no doubt. Apparently Mike Brown is scared to deatht that his superstar player will catch whatever Chris Bosh has, and I don’t blame him. After stumbling last year, the Cavs are determined to win it all this time around. So, they’ll sit Lebron, but they will still be very dangerous. How motivated are the Hawks in their final four games? Do they still want that third place seed, or have they given up? Most of us probably did not expect the Celtics to fade down the stretch, and they haven’t. At least, not as much as the Hawks have. The race for the third seed is not over yet, but it’s nearly done.

Joe, Playoffs, and Other Concerns

How much longer is Joe Johnson going to be out, and what is the extent of his injury? Maybe it’s too late for the Hawks to be trying to figure out how to win without Joe (at least in the soon-to-be-over regular season), and just worry about preparing for the playoffs. The biggest concern at this point has to be how healthy Joe will be for the playoffs. Make no mistake, he is needed at 100%, or the team could be looking at a similar, or perhaps worse result than last postseason. Here are a few reasons why:

_ This will be Jamal Crawford’s first time in the postseason since he began his NBA career 10 years ago. There is no substitute for postseason experience. Just ask Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Mo Williams, who had more then Crawford has, having played 5 games in the playoff for Milwaukee in 2005-2006. Williams was fine all regular season long, averaging nearly 18ppg and 4 apg, as the Cavs won a stunning 66 games in 2008-2009. Then the big, hot lights came on, and things came just a bit unglued for the Cavs’ #2 scoring option. His shooting percentage sank nearly 7% (down to 40% overall) and his scoring dipped, although his assists remained about the same. More than once it was mentioned that LBJ’s running partner wasn’t everything he needed. Will Crawford be a steady hand in the playoffs and provide that second best scoring punch, or will he fade into bad shot selection, high turnovers, and horrid defense?

_ Josh Smith has grown into a legit scoring option in post-ups and drives to the basket. However, he is still struggling mightily with his free throws, and there does not seem to be any relief in sight. In the playoffs, he will find his lanes cut off at times, or teams will simply foul him and dare him to score at the charity stripe. Smith has had some good games at the line, but they have been too far and few between. In the meantime, a few misses seems to encourage him to settle for the mid-to-long range jumpers that teams love for him to take, and everybody else dreads seeing.

_ This could be Bibby’s last truly decent days. The Hawks starting point guard isn’t walking around on crutches, and his shot is as sweet as ever…when he’s making it, that is. Bibby is still dangerous from 3 point land (38.5%) if he can get a clear look at the basket and shoot in somewhat of a rhythm. But his minutes (27.5), defense, overall scoring (9.1 ppg), and assists (3.9) are all on the decline. While it’s easy to blame that on the minutes, there is also the lack of aggression  that is becoming more evident every day, and may explain what would otherwise be a brilliant assist-to-turnover ratio. Take also into account that when Bibby is not playing, most likely Jamal Crawford is. Still, Bibby is a polarizing presence on the offensive end of the floor, where he is more apt to keep the ball movement going than anybody else is. Are we feeling better about this, or worse?

_ Al Horford is becoming a better scoring option than even Mike Woodson anticipated, I think. With his ability to consistently step out and hit the 15 to 18 foot jump shot, and a willingness to work hard in the paint, the Hawks would be well served to keep going to him. His free throw shooting (78%) is nothing to sniff at, and he has begun to recognize how to attack different defenders. Horford has shown that he can attack quickly against slower defenders, powerfully against smaller/weaker defenders, and punish bigger ones from the perimeter. He won’t be  the scoring threat that Johnson and Crawford present, but going to him as a possible third option is worth more than just a try. At the same time, the second round of the playoffs will be a serious learning and gauging tool, as Horford is liable to face Cleveland’s 4-deep big man front, or Orlando’s Dwight Howard. Either will be a challenge that the young all-star center cannot overcome on his own. Thinking with a “glass is half full” mindset however, Horford may show us more than just a few flashes of the player and leader he is becoming.

_ What can the Hawks expect out of Marvin Williams? What does he expect out of himself? The fifth year forward has taken a step back this season, and the one thing that he could be counted on before (consistency) is the one thing he can’t seem to remember how to be. Instead of finally finding his niche, Williams has struggled mightily to do that or fill a role in some games, then flashed brilliant supporting performances in others. As much as we may foolishly lament his not morphing into a 18-20 point per game scorer, oh how we miss what he used to be: a steady 14 points and 6 rebounds per game guy who could play some pretty steady defense when needed. As it is, expecting Marvin to suddenly jump up and provide yet another steady/credible scoring threat to the mixed bag, is likely little more than a pipe dream. In fact, we might expect more of an explosion out of Maurice Evans, who seems to be playing on a different level lately.

 

HAWKS VS. RAPTORS

Chris Bosh is lost for the season now, so he won’t be on hand for the struggling Raptors, as they limp into Philips Arena. Perfect time for an easy victory, right? Well, if it wasn’t a home game, I wouldn’t even think twice about Bosh not being there, what with the way the Hawks have been playing against less successful teams.

Hedo Turkoglu might also be missing, as he is day to day after a recent collision with another player. He will travel with the team, so there is the chance that he will play, but you never know. At any rate, it doesn’t matter, as the Hawks need not be thinking about who will and won’t play. They need only be thinking about how to beat the opponent they are facing, and doing it in convincing action. In fact, maybe holding Joe out for another game is a good idea. What do you think?

Matchup Thoughts

This would be a good time for Mike Bibby to try and get back into a good groove at the series of miscues at the end of the Detroit game. Bibby is a “bounce back” type of player anyway, so this probably won’t be an issue with him. That, and he has played pretty well against Toronto for the most part, in recent years.

The Raptors simply cannot handle Al Horford. Likewise, they won’t be able to do much with Josh Smith if he’s on his game. Both guys should get a lot of looks and a good tuneup, especially if Joe isn’t playing. Jamal Crawford and much of the bench should see some decent time as well.

On the other hand, Toronto has to be trying to hang onto their very tenuous playoff spot. Coming off a three game losing streak and having lost their best player to injury, the Raptors could be coming with some unexpected fire. How to avoid embarassment (or an unnecessarily close game)?

- Don’t let Andrea Bargnani get hot from deep or score inside with easy dunks and layups.

- Jose Calderon has been underwhelming this year. Let’s not change that.

- Don’t allow Demar DeRozan to make play after play. The rookie is quick and athletic.

- Jarrett Jack, who may not be at full strength, is a tough cookie. Allowing him to have a good game is trouble, as he will alternate efficiently between scoring (48% shooting this season) and involving his teammates ( 5 apg).

Should be an easy game for the Hawks, particularly at home. Win #50. Let’s go get it!

184 comments Add your comment

newkid

April 12th, 2010
11:58 am

AJ, we get Houston’s 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft, but it’s top 40 protected.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
12:06 pm

newkid, thanks.

O'Brien

April 12th, 2010
12:13 pm

newkid,

If we dont get it in 2011, is it unprotected for 2012?

Either way, I would like to see the Hawks use their second round pick and end up with guys like who the Spurs ended up with. Ginobli, Blair, Scola, Splitter. How do they do it?

vava,

I would not be surprised if the Hawks win the first round 4-3. If we play Cleveland, I would not be surprised if we lose 4-1. If we play Orlando, I would not be surprised if we lose 4-2.

The key is Rick Sund. But remember, last year, he said he was fine with a losing record, as long as we made the playoffs. So this year, I think as long as the Hawks win at least 1 game in the second round, I think Woodson gets extended.

If the Hawks only win 1 game, then he might only get a 2 year deal, whereas if the Hawks win 2+ games, he might get 4 years and a pay raise.

Somebody on the other blog made a comment about Mo opting out, and I never thought about it before. But if you’re Mo Evans, why wouldn’t you opt out?

By opting out, he might get a multi-year contract, and if he plays well in the playoffs, he might even get a pay raise.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

Vava,

I think that you have to look a lot further back than his last couple years in Seattle to make a fair assessment of Sund’s coaching hirings. Carlesimo was after Sund was demoted from GM, btw. Sund hired Weiss and Hill, true (along with Richie Adubato) He has hired Rick Carlisle, Dick Motta, and John McLeod in his career, all of whom had more than solid coaching careers. He also hired Doug Collins and Alvin Gentry, both of whom are at least average and probably slightly above average. The biggest black mark on his coach-hiring history was losing McMillan and bringing in Weiss, but every commentary I’ve ever read (including McMillan’s) says that McMillan’s departure was due to circumstances totally beyond Sund’s control. In any case, a ~60% success rate in hiring coaches isn’t bad. That’s better than most GMs, who generally bat well below 50% in finding a good coach for their team. And honestly, as long as he hires someone who gives a $h!t about both ends of the floor, the next guy won’t be worse than Woody.

Vava/O’B,

I think Woody’s extension is a foregone conclusion unless the Hawks lose in the first round. Even with a second-round sweep, I think he gets extended. Coaches of 50-win teams who still seem to be improving just don’t get fired.

Frankly, I want to see Woody extended if it means a better chance at keeping JJ. The good news about the coaching contracts is that they aren’t guaranteed. So a 4-year extension doesn’t mean you have to deal with (or pay) Woody for 4 more years. Once we get JJ under contract, I would cut Woody loose at the earliest opportunity. But I’d much rather keep Woody than lose JJ.

doc

April 12th, 2010
1:46 pm

big question ….who do we want to see in round one? can it be “arranged”? guess i would rather see it with the bucks and then the cavs so we get the queen to come to town. with bogut out i prefer them over the d wade and co. then to win a game or two against the cavs and seriously challenge them in some other games would be a good finish to the season. i actually prefer the match up with the cavs over the magic who woody admits to not having a clue on.

nire unless there was a sure fire better coach out there i agree to re-up on both woody and jj.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
1:51 pm

doc, the best chance to get your scenario would require that the Bucks beat us tonight.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
1:53 pm

nire, I thought that coaches’ contract were guaranteed. At least until the fired coach gets a new job. isn’t Michael Curry still receiving a paycheck from the Pistons (as an example)? I’m fairly sure that Avery Johnson is still receiving checks from Cuban.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
2:00 pm

nire,

I’m not too confident that JJ wants Woody back if we do not have a very strong playoff showing.

JJ is a wasted talent under Woody’s system and I actually believe that due to the way he has been coached he may be ruined for the rest of his career (mentally trapped into ISO mode).

I would like to know what is JJ’s shooting percentage when he is on the move, off picks and with ball movement allowing him to simply catch and shoot.

I’m sure that it is very high. If we had plays run for him consistently that way he would would also be much more effective when he went ISO.

Right now everyone know EXACTLY what JJ will do when he gets the ball and that makes him an easier target for defenses.

On Sund: thanks for the detailed report. Several of the names you mention are significantly better than Woody and are known to be good fundamental coaches.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
2:19 pm

Joe is assisted on about 2 of every 5 made field goals. I, for one, don’t really want to see opposing SGs (and sometimes SFs) banging into Horford or Smith on a regular basis as Joe tries to used them as screeners. At some point, you have to match a strategy to the personnel of the team. If you have Dale David and Antonio Davis, you can run screens all day long for Reggie Miller. If you have Ben and Rasheed, Rip can dart all over the place. But with a SF and PF playing one spot bigger than they should (not to mention being valuable pieces who aren’t as expendble as the typical screener0, it doesn’t make too much sense to constantly run Joe off of screens. Add a Reggie Evans and play him for 30 minutes a game and the story would be different.

I’m guessing that we can map a great off-the-screen shooter with a burly “expendable” big man over the past 10+ years. Like Allan Houston and Oakley/Mason or Ray Allen and Danny Fortson/Reggie Evans, along with the previous mentioned tandems.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
2:24 pm

Astro,

I think some coaches – like Phil Jackson and Don Nelson – get fukky guaranteed contracts. But most of them are only partially guaranteed – ie they contain a clause allowing the coach to get bought out for a specified amount of money even while the contract is still in force. There is no collective bargaining agreement with coaches like there are with players and refs, so really it’s a case-by-case thing. My guess is that few coaches are fully guaranteed, most are only partially guaranteed, and a handful (likely rookie coaches for bad teams) are non-guaranteed. So I guess I should have said “NBA coaching contracts need not be guaranteed” rather than “NBA coaching contracts are not guaranteed.”

If Woody is looking for a fully guaranteed contract, I say cut him loose. If he is willing to accept a reasonable buy-out clause, I say “why not, if it’ll help us retain JJ?”

newkid

April 12th, 2010
3:09 pm

O’Brien, site I visited only took the option through 2011. I’ll try and re-coup it to share.

doc

April 12th, 2010
3:36 pm

yes aj and finish with a loss against cavs.

my guess, jj would rather not spend all night being chased through screens and wearing out his legs. it isnt like he is small and agile say like a ray allen. he seems to rather like to pound the ball then make his move, not as strenuous.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
3:56 pm

O’Brien,
Here’s the site:

http://www.draftexpress.com/transactions.php

Interesting to note that Houston also has the option of conditionally swapping its 2nd round pick with the Clippers. Leads one to wonder if Houston has also passed on this ‘option’ (remember the ‘other considerations’ portion of the deal?) to the Hawks (in the Andersen trade). If so, and Houston finishes the 10/11 campaign in a 40+ 2nd round slot, and the Clips finish in the low 30s 2nd round, could be good news for the Hawks. Possible to pick-up a low 30s 2nd rounder (for Andersen), and maybe package it with high 20s Hawks selection (if we finish strong next year) to potentially move into late teens. What might we get if were to package ‘a player’ with a high 20s and low 30s selection in next year’s draft?

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
4:11 pm

But with a SF and PF playing one spot bigger than they should (not to mention being valuable pieces who aren’t as expendble as the typical screener)

Problem 1: I’m guessing the “SF and PF” were a reference to Josh and Al. I thought that the idea that Josh is, could, or should be a 3 was put to bed long ago. Percentage-wise, Josh is the worst jumpshooter in the NBA. No, I am not exaggerating. He also is a worse-than-average perimeter defender. On the other hand, he is a very good rebounder, has a couple nice post moves, is very strong, and is the league’s best help defender around the basket. Everything points to him being an elite PF and a below-average SF. Charles Barkley was 6′5. 6′8 isn’t even an unusually short height for a PF. I honestly don’t even know how people can even suggest that Josh is/should be at SF anymore.

As for Al…HE’S AN ALL-STAR. What the HELL do people need from him before the “he’s not a real C” crap stops? You do not have to be a 7-footer to be even a Hall-of-Fame center, much less a merely All-Star caliber one. From Bill Russell to Willis Reed to Wes Unseld to Moses Malone to Hakeem to Ben Wallace, there have always been elite Cs 6′10 or shorter. Always. At absolutely no time in the NBA’s history since the league was founded has that not been true.

The continued hang-up on height is just absurd at this point. Josh and Al are stronger and more athletic than most of the guys at their respective positions. They are each in the top 10 in the damned league at their respective positions. Come on.

Problem 2: Your counterexamples are Rasheed and Ben? You really think they were more expendable for those Pistons than Josh and Al are for us??? I bet most coaches would say that Ben and Rasheed were the #1 and #2 most important players on those Pistons.

Doc,

You don’t actually believe that running off screens is MORE strenuous than having to go 1-on-1, change direction multiple times, jump, and contort yourself in order to get an open look, do you? ISO play is exhausting. There’s a reason you have guys stay in the league as catch-and-shoot players until their late 30’s, but there isn’t a single, solitary player older than 32 or 33 in the league today who makes their living off perimeter 1-on-1 play. Jordan gave an interview where he talked about that a few years ago. It’s why Stockton was able to live off the pick-and-roll for years even after he became slower and less agile than most of the guys guarding him (early in his career, dribble penetration was how he racked up most of his assists; later in his career, it was almost entirely pick-and-rolls and transition buckets).

And JJ is very agile. I had to laugh when you suggested that he wasn’t. He doesn’t jump very high, but he changes direction and moves his feet better than all but very few SGs in the league.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
4:18 pm

If your 1, 2, and 5 are capable of consistently shooting from range, and your 4 is adept from 15-18 feet, then what says your 3 has be to a dead-eye jump shooter for the side to be effective on the offensive end?

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

Here’s the link on the jump-shooting stats:
http://www.hoopdata.com/shotstats.aspx?team=%25&type=pg&posi=%25&yr=2010&gp=0&mins=35

Click on the “FG%” tab twice to sort it from worst-to-best in the league. At 29%, Josh is the worst perimeter jump-shooter in the NBA. Slightly closer in (10-15 feet), he’s even worse at 26% (fourth-worst in the NBA). If you add up those two columns, Josh is slightly worse than Ariza from that range, and Ariza is the only one who is close. Factor in Ariza’s higher percentage from 3-land, and Josh is the worst by an even wider margin.

Not incidentally, the BEST 16-23 foot jumpshooter in the league, percentage-wise, is…Al Horford (at 49%). Of course, nearly all of those were wide-open jumpers unlike, say, Dirk’s (who shoots 46% from that range).

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

Newkid,

What about on defense? Why would we take the best interior help defender in the NBA and move him to a position where he would spend most of his time on the perimeter?

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
4:28 pm

And PS…being a less-than-deadeye jumpshooter is one thing. Being one of the worst jumpshooters in the entire league (and that’s with teams leaving him wide open whenever he’s outside 14 feet) is another.

Josh’s offensive efficiency has only gotten better as he’s done more and more of his work closer to the basket. As a PF, he is an All-Star caliber player on both ends of the floor. Move him to the perimeter, and you dramatically reduce his effectiveness on both ends. He won’t be able to take advantage of his strengths, and he’ll be more exposed to his weaknesses. I’m all for upgrading us at SF at this point. But moving Josh there is not the way to do it.

doc

April 12th, 2010
5:38 pm

nire, whatever the reason if you ask jj, i bet he says he would rather have the ball in his hands instead of running through traffic hoping someone will reward him for the effort. again, he doesnt have the body type of most of the listed catch and shoot players, just doesnt.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
5:51 pm

niremetal,
Okay, let’s separate the offensive end of the floor from the defensive end. Speaking solely of defense, Smoove’s long suite is helping from the weakside I’m sure you’ll agree. Smoove doesn’t thrive in man-on-man defense, but is murder helping off the the ball as it approaches the basket. With his length and anticipation (highest steal rater among 4s in the league), he doesn’t need to be planted in the post to be effective on defense. In fact that’s just what you DON’T want with him. I will admit that he’ll likely have issues with 3s who have super quick first steps, but otherwise he’ll be fine; it won’t be a deal breaker.

On offense, running a scheme with a 5 like Z, with Horford at 4 and Smoove at 3 would do exactly what we want in terms of keeping the middle open for Smoove and Horford to operate, and for a penetrating PG to dish off the dribble (either to the 5, 4, or 2) for open jumpers, and play alley oop with the 3. Surely that’s why Woody coveted Sheed so much last summer; that’s why the love affair with Z back in March. No way was Horford or Marvin going to the bench if one of those guys took a liking to the ATL. Starting line-up would’ve been Bibby, Joe, Smoove, Horford, and (fill-in the name), with Marvin joining JCross, JQuick, et al on the 2nd unit. Don’t be surprised to see Sund take precisely this approach as he continues to build the team in the off-season.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
5:53 pm

Sorry, MARVIN indeed would have gone to the bench with the addition of Z or Sheed.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
6:12 pm

nire, I may not have specified, but my post was in regards to size. Yes, Smith and Al are quite capable at their current position but their SIZE is more akin to one spot down for each. And thus, I don’t like the idea of too many collisions with those guys.

dr.maryb

April 12th, 2010
6:49 pm

Newkid
551pm Post

S W E E T. Stuff right there! Very interesting points made. I like bloggers who really think about how to make theam better. I hope SUND is reading our blog past the hate chanting who same the same thing all day every day to the point where they don’t even sign their name.

We all know who they are just from the same old rhetoric.

I like your idea of the big 5 & moving Horford to his natural 4. Smoove goes to the 3 to sweep in the lanes foralley oops & hook shots. That would really open this team up & move Marvin to the bench.
I like that name too for Jamal: JCtoss / JQuick! LOL!

Keep up the good work.

dr.maryb

April 12th, 2010
6:54 pm

Newkid
551pm Post

S W E E T. Stuff right there! Very interesting points made. I like bloggers who really think about how to make theam better. I hope SUND is reading our blog past the hate chanting who same the same thing all day every day to the point where they don’t even sign their name.

We all know who they are just from the same old rhetoric.

I like your idea of the big 5 & moving Horford to his natural 4. Smoove goes to the 3 to sweep in the lanes foralley oops & hook shots. That would really open this team up & move Marvin to the bench.
I like that name too for Jamal: JCtoss / JQuick! LOL!

Keep up the good work.

NewKid you sound like a GrownMan! LOL!

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
7:21 pm

Ok, Newkid. You’re the first person I’ve heard seriously suggest that Josh play the 3 in a loooooong time. Let me attack this in a different way: Please name me any successful small forwards with Josh’s skill-set (poor outside shooter and below average off the dribble player on offense, and poor on-ball defender) from the past 15 years. The only one I can think of is Gerald Wallace, but even he 1) is a far better mid-range shooter than Smoove and 2) lacks Smoove’s physical strength and interior D skills.

Putting Smoove at the 3 would expose all of his weaknesses and diminish all of his strengths. We would have to overhaul our offensive and defensive schemes in order to accommodate him, and we would have to PRAY that he doesn’t take the shift as a sign that he should fall more in love with his outside shot. It would be a terrible, terrible idea. There’s a reason that he has played a grand total of 9 minutes at SF during the past two seasons, despite the fact that we have lacked a true backup SF throughout that time. But hey, you’re entitled to your opinion…

vava74

April 12th, 2010
7:33 pm

Nire,

One of the good things about your posts is that you save me a lot of typing.

I guess newkid and drmaryb look but don’t Smoove being consistently burned by perimeter players every single time he switches.

Fortunately for him, he sometimes recovers on time to swat the shot attempt (I think that at least 15% of his blocks come out of plays like this).

I think it was against Philly that Josh was abused by Iguodala and Tadd Young quite a few times being consistently beaten off the dribble.

Josh should never leave the paint, both on offense and defense.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
7:38 pm

“look but don’t see”

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
8:18 pm

Doc,

I’ll just say this: You must not have seen JJ play in Phoenix much.

Hawkfan33

April 12th, 2010
8:22 pm

Lessons for the day: Josh cannot ever play small forward and Jeff is a crappy pg who will never amount to anything.

Did I miss anything?

Sounds like the other blog.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
8:22 pm

Aren’t those noise makers that the Bucks fans are using illegal????

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
8:29 pm

Heh…. hawkfan ,

A lot of the people who post there, post here, if you’re talking about Michael Cunningham’s blog. And yes, that tends to be the consensus. At the same time, there are people who occupy the other end of the spectrum. They think Teague should be a starter, and that Josh Smith is a natural small forward.

Welcome to Hawks blogging…. :)

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
8:30 pm

I sure hope Josh is okay.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
8:30 pm

I didn’t know those were illegal, Melvin. I thought the only things they barred were those hypnotizing concentric circle things…

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
8:43 pm

Loved watching Bibby hit that long three earlier.

Loving what I’m seeing from Joe Smith as far as activity level. I hope to see more of it in the playoffs.

Hawkfan33

April 12th, 2010
8:44 pm

Blogging huh. I have not tried this before, I thought this was an article.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
8:47 pm

ZaZa is bring it tonite….

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
8:53 pm

Eight of our twenty-one total rebounds have come from Zaza and Joe Smith. I hope they play like this throughout the postseason, we are going to need it.

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
8:54 pm

hawkfan33 ,

Nah. Just a blog. And I’m just a fan. But welcome anyway :)

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
8:56 pm

Is there any doubt that Stackhouse can still play????

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
9:03 pm

WHOOOOOOOO!!!! Joe with the sweeeeet move!

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:03 pm

“Not just Richard Jefferson…Atlanta’s Maurice Evans will likely be opting out of his 2.5 million $ contract this summer as well I’m told.
Jonathan Givony- DraftExpress”

Oh well, extra money to give the Childress…..

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
9:03 pm

Melvin,

There’s no doubt Stackhouse can still score.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:07 pm

Nire,

You know how I feel about defense….:)

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
9:07 pm

Melvin ,

No doubt whatsoever. But we kept Othello Hunter for no reason (we needed a legit backup 3, which Hunter is NOT), and then cast him aside for the marginally more useful Mario West. My crystal ball is broke, but I seem to recall that it was reported by Sekou that Stackhouse stayed in the ATL area trying to get a job. He ended up in Milwaukee. Arrrrghhhh…

vava74

April 12th, 2010
9:15 pm

Teague made two very good simple passes after penetrating half way into the paint. It was not his fault that the JoeS missed the shots.

People talk a lot about his rookie fouls but we got a good sample from Josh. Teague makes these fouls due lack of experience and Josh made this out of lack of focus.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
9:18 pm

Stack would not play unless – like today – we had an injury.

Stack is not a SF – this means that instead of one we would have two SG mascarading as the SF coming off the bench.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:30 pm

Vava,

If we can play Mo at SF, we definitely could play Stack at SF….

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
9:34 pm

I think Teague has some pretty good instincts, but you don’t get to hone this in practice alone. Next year will be a different year, I think.

Or, we could just throw out yet another draft pick and say he’s no good. Heh.

Josh needs to do the point forward thing more in the halfcourt, and less on the break.

Meanwhile, great pass on the run to Pachulia from Bibby. That’s how it’s done.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
9:36 pm

Melvin,

Stack is not nearly, nearly as strong or athletic as Mo is anymore.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
9:36 pm

Sorry Nire,
Juggling a few projects and checking in when time allows. With respect, I think you’re missing the point if you’re looking for individual comparisons of the type you’ve described. Gotta look at team concepts instead. One that comes to mind is the ‘06 or ‘07 Utah Jazz with Mehmet @ 5, Boozer @ 4, AK47 @ 3 (a real jump shot artist right?), Brewer @ 2, and Deron Williams @ 1. Sloan used same concept Woody would’ve used had he gotten Sheed or Z; have Mehmet take the post player outside the paint with his long-range prowess, while Boozer and AK47 operated in the paint. There are others but I haven’t the time right now to do any research.

When you’ve got two talents like Smoove and Horford (or Boozer and AK47), you’ve gotta at least try building a team concept around them that allows you to maximize their potential while allowing you to compete against teams that are more conventionally constructed. Don’t get stuck on convention. Getting stuck on Smoove’s limitations at the 3 (and I agree there are some limitations) might cause one to mis-read the ‘opportunity’ that’s there if one were only flexible enough to think outside the box.

Gotta run.