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

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Hawks v. Raptors

April 9th, 2010
3:20 am

Hawks play great at home, so hopefully Toronto struggling/missing they’re star player will be a non factor.

time to nail down #50!

TheAntiMe

April 9th, 2010
3:41 am

I think that you’re right, Ray, when the playoffs roll around, the Hawks are going to have to get the ball inside to Al, and Josh as well as to Zaza when he’s on the court. Al has shown a proclivity for being able to make the 16-footer and has even gotten noticeably better at posting his man up.

If the Hawks can get the ball inside good things will happen. Either they will get a high percentage shot, get fouled and go to the line, or open things up to kick the ball back outside for someone to have an open look at an outside jumper. Josh, however, as you mentioned will have to be better at making his foul shots or it’s going to be tough going in the playoffs.

If the Hawks stand around and fall in love with the outside jump shot and get away from taking the ball inside, then it will be another 5+ minute scoring drought waiting to happen.

Another very obvious but important key to success will be how well the Hawks are able to maintain focus on defense. To this end, I think it will be imperative that Woody gives the second unit meaningful minutes. I know this goes against the conventional wisdom that you should shorten your bench for the playoffs. It’s just my opinion but I really believe that it will be important for the Hawks to keep some fresh legs in the game to defend as well as to keep the starters out of foul trouble.

I seriously hope to see the Hawks get a win at Washington and, more importantly, against the Bucks up in Milwaukee. As we all know, they have had some serious issues in trying to win on the road this last month, even to the point where it appears to be getting into their heads a bit. They need to win these road games just to give them some much needed confidence away from Philips. I know they can do it though. Not only that, they are due to go on one of their patented hot streaks. I can’t wait to get this thing started.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
4:48 am

This is all pretty useless.

If we get by the first round we will win 1 game – at best – in the second.

Bill Laimbeer anyone? Has anyone followed the WNBA and saw what type of offense he runs?

And exactly is his job in Minny as an assistant to Rambis? Rambis – reportedly – has been trying to implement some fractions of the triangle offense, so my guess is that his assistants are all for ball movement as well, which should be a good sign.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
4:54 am

Vava,

:lol: All pretty useless, but you keep posting. Well, dear ol’ Harbinger of Doom, you obviously haven’t given up yet.

As for Laimbeer, I vote we hire him. To play and to coach. :)

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution 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. [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution 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. [...]

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
8:08 am

Ray,

I know you meant to say Cleveland will be playing “without” LeBron…

Mibe Bibby’s season average against the teams we will probably play in the first round:

Miami => 30 mins, 8.5 pts, 2.8 assists
Bucks => 24 mins, 7.5 pts, 2.5 assists
Charlotte => 21 minutes, 4.3 pts, 2.7 assists.

With numbers like that, I dont expect much from Bibby in the playoffs (unless he finds the fountain of youth). However, he is capable of making the big shot at key moments, and thats what we will need. Big shot making (something which Marvin knows nothing about).

As for the Raptors game, Hawks will be at home and coming off 2 consecutive road losses, Raptors will be without Bosh (and possibly Hedu). I think Hawks start out slow, but blow them out in the end. Teague should get more minutes too, trying to keep up with the Raptors PGs, and Bibby is usually more effective in limited minutes.

vava,

As we have seen all year with these Hawks, they are consistently inconsistent. So you just never know what they have in store for the second round. And part of that will also depend on their opponent; Cleveland or Orlando.

My preference of who to play in the first round would be 1) Bucks 2) Miami 3) Bobcats. And for the second round, give me Orlando.

Daniel

April 9th, 2010
8:41 am

Really good analysis Ray,
The Hawks need to take care of the Raptors and get the stink of these last two games off of them.

Vava- love ya man, but by your rationale only one team (whomever wins the championship) are “pretty useless”. Is that not the nature of sports? So do you predict doom and gloom, so that you can say “I told you so” or do you wait until a team wins it all to root for them? What is the point of either? I know you deeply care about the Hawks (no doubt, there), but being cynical is not the same thing as wisdom, and there is nothing ignorant about hope and faith. Ultimately, that is what any of us really have anyway. I encourage you to let go and enjoy, because as Hawks fans we can’t be jaded to 50+ win seasons and second round playoff losses just yet. Can we?

Daniel

April 9th, 2010
8:42 am

I meant that by your rationale all other teams but the champions are “pretty useless”, but I think you knew what I meant.

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
9:04 am

Blue-Ray

(Light-Beam!)

That’s a lot to chew on! You just about covered every conceivable angle on here.

The last four games are so winnable, especially the home games. But, we can not risk Joe further aggravating the thumb joint. My specialty is extremity joint care (I.E. Arms/Legs correction & rehabilitative therapy). I work the side-lines with a women’s pro football team (Atlanta Xplosion 2006 Champions) & some behind the scenes work w/Atlanta Dream)

I tell you from experience that a sprain is worse than a fracture due to the ligament injury component which causes swelling & unbearable pain). It is my professional opinion that Joe should shut-it-down for the regular season. & Pray for health in the play-offs! I am really concerned re: his injury. I say rehab it 24 hrs/day until then. ( Ice, Electric Muscle Stimulation, Ultra-Sound & rubber bands, compression, REST).

If Joe can’t go in the play-offs? The hawks are one game & done!

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
9:16 am

Blue-Ray

If JJ can’t go @ 90% ? The ranking & Opponent is IRRELEVANT!
JJ does so many little/BIG things for this ball club… That may go un-heralded in the stats. We really need him.

These games are an opportunity for the bench to get some burn, touches, & confidence.

Let’s Go!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution 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. [...]

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
9:26 am

Blue-Ray

(Clear Image)

A thumb sprain is a hyper-extension injury. (I.E. Stretched or torn ligament.). Similar to ACL tear, the saving difference is thaty the Knee is a weight-bearing/pivotal joint & The thumb is NOT weight bearing. However, in basketball the hand is irreplaceable due to the shooting motion.

Much like a Chirorpactor or a Boxer – whose hands are the bread-winner.

FYI

niremetal

April 9th, 2010
9:40 am

Don’t fall asleep on Bargnani – sweet shooting big men tend to give the Hawks lots of trouble. While Andrea’s defense has improved, it’s still not going to scare anyone, so this would be a good game to take it hard to the rim instead of settling for jumpers.

The most frustrating thing about Marvin for me this year has been that he almost never puts together a “complete game.” The games where he steps up and scores more, his defense is usually not as good. The rest of the games, he tends to give good-to-great defense, but nothing on the offensive end. I think the time has come to trade him, both for the Hawks’ sake and for his. He doesn’t have a role here and probably never will, and he plainly is not the type of player who finds a role for himself. I don’t want a Rudy Gay or Danny Granger to replace him – I’d much rather see if we can get a Battier (or another lockdown-defender who scores efficiently), since whoever comes in will have to live with being the 4th or 5th option at best on offense, unless we’re willing to stunt the offensive development of Al and Josh. But here, I’m convinced that Marvin can’t succeed. The drive and fire that he had in college seems totally extinguished, and I don’t think it’ll come back as long as he’s here.

Astro Joe

April 9th, 2010
9:56 am

I’m done defending Marvin. I won’t join the posse with the pitch-forks and relentless pot-shots (that marketplace is over-crowded), but I won’t make any attempts to defend him anymore. His no-show in Charlotte put me on the edge and it was an insignificant play in the Detroit game that put me over the edge. He had an open 18 foot jumper but upon receiving the pass, he immediately gave the ball to Josh who bricked an 18 foot jumper. I’m all for deferring because we can use a few players who aren’t constantly looking to chuck up a shot but there is nothing within the concept of “basketball IQ” that suggests that Josh should be shooting a jumper before Marvin. Just very, very frustrating.

dap01

April 9th, 2010
9:59 am

Bibby is the least athletic guard in the NBA. He is horrible at defense and he can not handle ANY pressure defense. He can not break down any defensive player in the league witht he dribble. Yet he starts for us. Woodson says that he is a defensive minded coach. Right….

Daniel

April 9th, 2010
10:09 am

astro and nire- I agree with you guys on Marvin, but we will have to wait on that until the summer. Once the BYC is off and his contract moves into more reasonable numbers, we might be able to move him.

Daniel

April 9th, 2010
10:10 am

Howevr, we probably could only hope for a non-lottery first round pick.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
10:22 am

nire,

“The drive and fire that he had in college seems totally extinguished”

I dont recall seeing much drive and fire in college. He was content to be the 6th man. In my opinion, drive and fire should make him want to be the starter (and his game should have dictated that). If I’m not mistaken,he played behind Jawad Williams and Rashad McCants.

AJ,

Marvin is a very frustrating player to watch. At times when he gets the ball, its like ‘hot potato’, because he is so quick to give it up to somebody/anybody else, even if he is in a better position. And I agree with nire. I think a change of scenery might do him good.

Because as long as he’s here, we will be reminded of the #2 pick that wasn’t CP3 or Deron, and with him being so passive, inconsistent, and being the 5th or 6th option on offense, I dont think he will live up to his contract (which i still believe Rick Sund overpaid).

Since his offense is so inconsistent, he should be extra motivated to be a monster on the boards, and a more consistent (good to great) defender. But I just dont see the passion and the drive. He seems like a good guy, and a great team player, so I will root for him as long as he is on the Hawks though.

Daniel,

Because of his salary (and the possible new CBA), I dont think the Hawks will get much in return. And that puts them in a tough spot. They might be forced to keep Marvin and hope and pray that he steps his game up.

dap01,

How do you feel about Bibby and Crawford in the game at the same time lol.

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
10:47 am

DR MaryB is in the house. Ups to you good lady.

Daniel

April 9th, 2010
11:28 am

O’brien- I totally hear you. I think it would be a major coup if we were able to get anything of value in return, because we have to take on roughly equal salary in return. But, that is why Sund gets paid the big bucks.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
11:48 am

Daniel,

Sund also gets paid the big bucks to NOT give Marvin that contract when he was bidding against himself.

Sund gets paid the big bucks to find a way to keep Chills, or trade him for something in return.

I also think Sund gave Bibby one year too long on his deal (or it should have been a team option). But at least Bibby will be an expriring contract in 2011-2012, and I think he will have some value.

This offseason will be HUGE for Sund. Do we keep JJ? Do we keep Woody? Do we bring Chills back? Can we make a deal for a defensive minded PG? With Joe Smith, RandMo, Mario and Collins gone, how do we fill out the bench? Do we offer Crawford an extension from now?

Ray,

Even without LeBron, the Cavs have looked tough, so our home finale will not be easy. I hope the 3rd/4th seed will be decided by then, so Woody can give our guys a rest too. Because if JJ or Crawford gets injured, we will be in big trouble.

niremetal

April 9th, 2010
11:51 am

O’Brien,

You must not have watched Marvin at UNC. The dude played like he wanted every rebound, every loose ball, and every pass. The number of jam putbacks he had that year is probably more than he’s had in any season as a Hawk. Every scouting report raved about his intensity and desire.

He wasn’t “content to be the 6th Man.” Instead, he was playing the only role available to him there because Sean May, the best college forward in the country, was the starting PF. Lots of top-tier players started off playing on the bench in college, especially if they played at top programs – remember that the top college players often are rarely the top prospects. Show me anything that says Marvin was “content” with being 6th man, and I’ll shut up, but you won’t find anything. He wasn’t “content” with the role any more than Havilcek was “content” with it for the mid-60’s Celtics, Hill/Brand/Battier in their freshman years at Duke, etc. All of them came off the bench early on, but played starters’ minutes and were on the floor at the end of every close game.

niremetal

April 9th, 2010
11:52 am

*the top college players are rarely the top prospects

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
11:53 am

RICH BRAVE

OMG! A sigthing? Blue-Ray & I have been wondering where you were?

Man, you inducted me into the BLOG! I took my razor-sharp thong to the Good-Will – when my Hawks started WINNING! Yeah! No more uncomfortable azz cuts & burns! LOL!

Hey howz them Washington Bullets? What is our chance of signing Arenas in the ATL?
What’s up man? How’s your health these days? We got to meet at a game or somewhere soon!

I LOVE me sum R-Brave!

vava74

April 9th, 2010
12:04 pm

Ray,

I keep posting, but not on any matters concerning this season which for me will just be like watching a movie for a second time (not a particularly bad one, just an uninspiring one).

OB,

That is where you are dead wrong.

We all know exactly what will be the outcome of an EVENTUAL second round series for us: awful play away from home, reasonable play at home until the 4th quarter and a quick elimination (4 or 5 games).

Anyone thinking otherwise is in the realm of “faith”, meaning: IRRATIONAL BELIEF in something which you cannot prove.

Daniel,

I had a “founded hope” in the beginning of the season (meaning a belief based in a rational analysis of what could happen given the probable evolution of the roster and of the coach) as I may have again next year IF JJ is re-signed and Woody is not AND (a big one) we hire a good replacement coach.

Now, we all have enough info in our hands to rule out any dreams of us being COMPETITIVE in the playoffs.

I never talked about a championship and from day 1 I said that we were between 1 to 3 years away from being able to talk about a championship run (meaning battling for the Easter crown with a fairly tangible prospect of going to the Finals).

This year my projected objective was to be competitive in the second round and MAYBE reach the ECF.

It’s a fact that when a team reaches the second round and is really competitive, it may sneak into the ECF AND if and when that happens it means that the team will also be competitive in the ECF.

Right now, we are guaranteed that we will not be competitive AND let me even tell you something: we are weaker than we were last year.

Sometimes the sum of the parts does not make a whole and this is precisely where we are:

AL improved significantly;
Josh improved significantly;
JJ improved (better stats);
Craw is an improvement in relation to Flip (maybe more on paper than in reality – I’ll explain below);
Bench is deeper;

Yes, Marvin has regressed, but his regression is not crucial for our success: a few points and a rebound per game less cannot be considered crucial.

Also, his regression has been caused by the way that Craw has been integrated in the rotation and they way that most of his few shots are stand still jumpers from the corner (we have seen him recently drive a bit more and get some putbacks).

Zaza has regressed, but that is directly linked with the decrease in minutes: when called to play more, his production was more than satisfactory.

Mo? Ditto: low minutes – almost zero production » high minutes, more than satisfactory production.

Teague? Poorly used and poorly developed.

Bibby is clearly out of shape and our HC refuses to do what an alledgely disciple of Bobby Knight and Larry Brown would do: bench him deep until he gets his chops back or create a role that suits his current ability which cannot be IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE more than 20 minutes of play.

And when he played, he should be the main feature of the offense in order to take advantage of his sole remaining ability, his shot.

When Bibby played we should GO BIG: make sure that we have shot blockers in our paint to overcome his bad defense and rebounders to get all the opponents misses and on offense all second chance points possible when Bibby’s shots were not going in.

We have no structure, no plays, no defined roles, no defined rotations, no bread and butter plays, no variation on the type of defense, no variation on the type of offense, NO LOGIC.

We are a raggady quilt, poorly sewn and disintegrating fast as the season advances.

niremetal

April 9th, 2010
12:07 pm

PS – Don’t forget that when Marvin committed UNC, a lot of people thought that McCants and possibly May would jump to the NBA, and Marvin would have started if either of those had happened. But in college, you’ve got to play the role you’re assigned. I don’t think Marvin was “content” to play the role. I think he took the only role that was available to him, and threw himself into it. Today, he’s taking the role available to him, but he’s no longer throwing himself into it. That’s the difference.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
12:21 pm

Forgot to mention why Crawford may be worse than Flip (which I did not particularly liked):

Crawford is a huge defensive liability on his own (specially when playing SG) and he is paired many times with another defensive liability (Bibby).

Flip was not a good defender but he had a bit more spunk and tried to squeeze by picks more than Craw (at least that is how I recollect his defensive stance).

This means that we are defensively weaker and having to switch more often. Consequently, we end up with too many defensive possessions where we have horrible match ups.

This, on a continuos basis, every single game along a season, takes its toll: it’s tiring and demanding and makes it extremely difficult for all 5 players be focused and keep up with the switches and with having to defend players against whom they are miss matched.

Also, the fact that Craw is a better overal player than Flip makes Woody fall in the temptation of overutilizing him.

The overutilization of Craw has several negative consequences:

a) more minutes with a poor defender on the floor – a situation which opposing teams tend to attack when the see that he his on the floor longer;
b) after a few minutes Craw sometimes loses focus and stops acting rationally (stops looking for his mid range game and stops penetrating regardless of his outside shot being off);
c) when he plays extended shifts, his defense gets worse as minutes progress (again, he loses focus).

Basically, all the problems which made Craw an underachiever as a starter throughout his career become evident.

Crawford, like many talented offensive players has to be deployed as a special weapon for 25 to 30 minutes MAX and not as a main feature.

Since Flip was not regarded so highly by Woody, his presence in the roster was less disruptive of the rotations.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
12:25 pm

Jamal,

I am not sure if you read this blog as well – we know that you read MC’s – but if you do, I would like you to know that I love your game but really believe that you are more effective when you have time on the bench to “read the game” and come in to do your thing rather than when you stay out there for longer periods.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
12:27 pm

dang, so many typos!

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

the real nire,

To be fair, the only UNC games I remember seeing were the games against GT (I’m a GT fan), and the national championship game (in which he had the go-ahead tip-in). So in the words of Roger Clemens, maybe I mis-remembered.

Or maybe my memory is clouded because I dont remember seeing anything in his game that made me think he should be a top 2 pick.

The irony to me, is Sund implied Chills was a utility player, and did not think highly of him (compared to Marvin). But in my opinion, if Marvin would play a game similar to Chills (cut to the basket, key rebounds and tip-ins, make the open jump shots, play defense), the Hawks would be a much better team.

On that note, do you think Marvin would be a better player (or would have a more positive impact to the Hawks) if Woody brought him off the bench?

vava,

Although I’m not into the doom and gloom, I do think this team has underachieved. Last year we won 47 games with Josh and Al missing games, Flip was our 6th man, our backup PF was Solo, and Acie our 3rd guard.

This year, we added the SMOY Crawford, Joe Smith, and drafted Teague. Plus we have been the healthiest team in the NBA, and we had no chemistry issues. But yet we will only win 2-6 more games.

I think Woody is part of the reason why, but it’s not all his fault. The players contributed alot to the underachievement. Where I fault Woody, is for not pulling the right strings, and for not putting players in the best position to help them succeed.

As for the Crawford discussion, he averages 31 mpg for the season. Compare that to Manu who averages 28.7 mpg, and Jason Terry, who average 33 mpg, so 31 mpg for Crawford is not the problem.

The problem (to me), is Woody gives him free rein out there, so he gets off track sometimes and just keeps shooting (even when his shot isn’t falling). Its even worse when JJ is not on the court to help keep defenders away from him.

Overall, his minutes are fine to me, he just needs to play under control, especially when his shot isn’t falling).

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
12:59 pm

Niremental???

I thought you were a DUDE! Watch yourself BLUE-RAY is married to a TIGER!

Oh snap! Tiger’s are freaky … Maybe she will join in! LMAO!

dr.maryb

April 9th, 2010
1:07 pm

Blue-Ray

(No Static)

Where are you? This here blog is smoking!

The Real niremetal

April 9th, 2010
1:45 pm

O’Brien,

I really don’t think that bringing Marv off the bench would help at this point, even if we moved Crawford into the starting 5 at the same time. I think that the addition of Crawford has left Marvin with no offensive role. Last year and even the year before, he was our #1 scoring option on the perimeter when JJ was out of the game, and he did quite well in that role. But now, Crawford is clearly supposed to take that role. Marvin gets fewer touches as a result, but instead of making the most of his reduced touches, he seems to be even less aggressive on the touches he still gets, and he isn’t working to create more touches for himself like Chill would (as you said).

The other thing is, even if moving Marvin to the bench helped Marvin “find himself,” it wouldn’t help the Hawks. Really, as long as we keep doing the switching defense, replacing someone who’s 6′8/6′9 with a guy who’s 6′5 makes us really vulnerable defensively when we switch, as we’ve discovered in the past couple games without JJ. Any increased offensive production we’d get would be more than offset by the number of extra points we’d give up.

No, I think Marvin has just become an underutilized asset at this point. With his touch, athleticism, and defensive fundamentals, he has the potential to play a Tayshaun Prince or Andrei Kirilenko type of role on a contender. He already does well enough defensively, but I don’t think we’ll get much more from him offensively as long as JJ and Crawford are in the fold. Just as Chill is an unutilized asset, Marvin has become an “underutilized” asset. The smart course is to trade him to a team that would make greater use of his skills than we do, and get back someone who fills our needs better.

Astro Joe

April 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

I think this team changed at least 1-2 tires (without stopping) during the course of the drive to the finish line and that is pretty hard to do and still finish ahead of last season. I certainly don’t have the bandwidth to do so, but I’d venture that we are one of the few teams that has seen such a significant re-distrbution of FGAs from November to March. When a team’s top scorer is injured, there is no doubt that his shots must be re-distributed… there is no other choice. But when a player (or two) emerge as viable offensive options, it forces a change in roles within a season without the benefit of “obvious choices”.

Think of it this way, when our playoff opponents are game-planning against us, would they find it easier to defend us this year or last year? I’d suspect that the scouting report on this team last year was stop Joe, stop Joe and stop Joe. That is simply no longer the case. But that advantage comes with growing pains that are far less obvious than a player being hurt for 5-10 games. Credit goes to the team (players and coaches) for changing the tires without any known disruption or griping from guys whose roles were reduced.

if we had won 2 more games against the Knicks and 2 more games against the Pistons, I’m not sure that I would have personally felt any better about this team.

O'Brien

April 9th, 2010
2:50 pm

AJ,

I know they’re still young, relatively speaking, but I dont know if thats enough of an explanantion as to why they are so up and down.

I havent looked at the numbers (maybe you have), but they probably won more games against teams above .500 this year (compared to last), but if thats the case, then they probably lost more games to lesser opponents too.

I guess just like we have good Josh and bad Josh, we also have good Hawks and bad Hawks.

nire,

vava suggested this move a long time ago. Start Mo, send Marvin to the bench. That gives us 2 options. Play Mo at SF, and JJ at SG, or start Mo at SG, and JJ at SF.

Either way, I have more confidence in Mo knocking down those corner 3s that Marvin gets from the JJ pass. And more often than not, when Mo has received starter minutes, he plays well.

And with Marvin playing mostly with the bench players, he will no longer be the 5th or 6th option. Among the bench players, he would probably be the 2nd or 3rd option. And playing him with Crawford helps out defensively (Crawford needs all the help he can get).

The 2 drawbacks of course, is when Mo (or JJ) has to go up against the LeBrons and Carmelos.

But I really think a starting lineup change is worth looking into (this offseason). Who knows, maybe it will get Marvin extra motivated. Or maybe the bench role will suit him like it did at UNC.

Astro Joe

April 9th, 2010
4:35 pm

OB, if the regular season is about preparing for a post-season run, then I’d suggest that games against the Knicks, Pistons, Pacers and Wizards are far less meaningful than games against the playoff-bound teams. The reason you showed Bibby’s stats against playoff teams is because you are trying to use regular season performanceto predict post-season success. That makes sense. That’s why wins against lottery-bound teams is not particularly relevant to me. It would be like showing Bibby’s stats against the Wizards.

We are better against the better teams this year than last year. We should be harder to defend. IMO, the biggest concern is that our team defense has regressed. Sure, we defend well in spurts but not always for 48 minutes. That’s what has me worried… as our offense has improved, we have lost some of that defensive tenacity that served the team well in the past.

i_am_soulstar

April 9th, 2010
5:00 pm

Good point Astro Joe,

While I hate how the Hawks play down to the lesser teams, there are no lesser teams in the playoffs.

Maybe they’ll get their swag back just in time.

#overlyoptimistic

vava74

April 9th, 2010
5:45 pm

OB

my opinion on Crawford’s minutes is more focused on the size of his shifts than on the overall minutes.

even so, I still think his average should not go over the 30 minutes mark.

don’t underestimate the defensive damage which 1 or 2 minutes more per game which a given player might cause and likewise on the offensive end.

it’s even possible to conjecture that Marvin needs 2 or 3 minutes more of game play to produce.

I’m not affirming this – far from it – but merely saying that the difference between success and disaster (and in the productivity of a player) in many cases is in micro details which are hard to find tune.

Look at Mo: when he plays 10/12 minutes he typically produces a lot less than 50% of what he produces when he plays 20/22 minute.

Geometric proportions do not apply!

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
7:24 pm

What was Marvin worth when he signed the contract? He was shooting 46% from the field, 35% from 3-point territory, averaging basically 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. He was expected to improve , not regress. I don’t recall anybody railing against his contract at the time (okay, except maybe Rod ;) ). Would we complain about his contract if he was still giving us that kind of production?

That’s my only defense of Sund’s decision, and this is an example of hindsight being 20/20.

As for how Marvin played at UNC, I don’t care. There was never anything that suggested to me that he was anywhere near a #2 pick, and I disagreed with any “evidence” presented by the draftniks and various sites. Just my opinion. Trying to prove anything one way or another based on college production is all but useless by the this point in time, except in the cases of freshmen who were TRUE stars in college (Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Carmelo Anthony, etc). Of that group, only Beasley is behind the curve, and clearly that is all about maturity, and not ability. Funny. Even in his turbulent rookie season, he was already shooting a better percentage from the arc and the field overall, and duplicating pretty much all of Marvin’s best stats. Huh.

At any rate, I’m okay with Marvin being traded if it comes to that. I’m done with the whole “victim” argument, however.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
7:31 pm

drmaryb ,

Sorry, gal. I’ve still got a month of night shift left, so while this place has been poppin’ off, I’ve been asleep. Thanks as always for the kind compliments, though!

Astro Joe ,

Well, you called it in the beginning. Adding Jamal Crawford has done nothing for this team’s defense. Not only was learning Woody’s switch concepts not an easy thing (Jamal still blows assignments regularly), but the man plays starter level minutes in our backcourt. The offensive production would offset the defensive deficiency if there was more consistency (especially in games where Joe is out or struggling). The sad fact is that Bibby’s offensive capability has decreased, and Crawford has had some games where he just took one bad shot after another.

Unfortunately, Marvin’s inconsistent defensive performances have further complicated things, putting the pressure of defense squarely on Al Horford and Josh Smith. We really didn’t see that coming. Marvin’s ability to defend perimeter players, bother them with his length, and get into the passing lanes should be helping. But he’s not doing these things often enough, and it has shown to be a major deciding factor in certain games. It’s all the worse if one of his front court mates is struggling or not giving a full effort, themselves.

niremetal

April 9th, 2010
7:56 pm

…considering that no one was talking about Marvin’s draft position, not sure what that was about. And what “victim” argument?

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
8:02 pm

Miss this?

“Because as long as he’s here, we will be reminded of the #2 pick that wasn’t CP3 or Deron, and with him being so passive, inconsistent, and being the 5th or 6th option on offense, I dont think he will live up to his contract (which i still believe Rick Sund overpaid).”

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
8:08 pm

“Victim argument” refers to what I used to defend Marvin with.

In the past, I’ve said that Marvin doesn’t get enough plays run for him. I (and several others) have stated many excuses for why Marvin hasn’t done this or that, and all of them have ended up with “it’s not Marvin’s fault.” To me, that’s a “victim argument.” Sort of what some people will use to defend any other player…or coach.

My opinion now is that there is nothing to hold him back from consistently rebounding, defending, and simply hitting the open shot when he can get it. Really, more emphasis on the first two, than on the third. Josh Childress managed to shoot well over 50% when he was here, despite having a funky jump shot, and not having many plays run for him at all. Marvin has the physical tools and capability to do something similar.

Transitioning to a different role is never easy, but when was he ever a major focal point of the offense? Again, Childress was able to accept such a role. If Marvin can’t get the shots, then he can rebound and defend. He does not do this consistently, therefore I’m done with my “victim arguments.”

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
8:21 pm

Need Horford to warm it up out there. Need Josh to connect on some of those attempts. He’s had more shots than Joe, but not doing much with them.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
8:46 pm

well, this seems to be one of those games where Craw does need to be on the floor… :-)

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:08 pm

Bibby and Smith warming up just a bit, JJ leading the team in assists. Looking better and better on offense.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:09 pm

Melvin

April 9th, 2010
9:17 pm

I like that Amir Johnson guy…. Plays with a lot of energy…

vava74

April 9th, 2010
9:21 pm

I guess I spoke too soon. during this shift he has been horrendous…

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:21 pm

Smith giving the effort. Don’t know what is up with Horford. He should be man-handling the Raps.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:23 pm

I think this is Amir’s third team already in his young career. He could use some consistent coaching, but he also has to work on his own game. Kid’s got potential.

Then again, maybe it’s that unrealized potential that has gotten his butt traded a couple/few times.

Melvin

April 9th, 2010
9:23 pm

Calderon are abusing the Hawks on the switching def…

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
9:23 pm

DRMaryB:

Was on my way to a double-header in TABB, VIRGINIA (close to ALLEN IVERSON’s childhood haunts) when you hit me back. Saw my High School freshman grandson take out the opposition with a double and go yard. In five games, he’s batting .667(6-9) 1 home run, 2 doubles, has seven runs batted in, 15 runs scored, 14 base on balls, and 2 strikeouts. In centerfield, he’s errorless with ten put outs and two assists. I’m been blogging over on BRAVES baseball and up in D.C. with the REDSKINS and WIZARDS.

The WIZZIES wet themselves constantly. That franchise is “professional” in name only. What a frickin’ mess. Boy, it’s nice to see the HAWKS flyin’ high, and that my cyber lover is still on the beat. You go girl, and GO HAWKS.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:31 pm

A good pg always will, Melvin .

In the meantime, Hawks building on their lead…

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
9:34 pm

DrMaryB:

Health? Eating too much and no extra-curricular exercise.

As far as ARENAS is concerned, I heard a rumor about ATLANTA having some interest. His contract is an albatross around the WIZARDS neck, however. Four years at an average 20 million per. Just can’t move it, or I’m sure they would. I think the HAWKS wanted to have the WIZZIES pay part of his contract in exchange for moving him out of town. But the team’s on the block, and TED LEONSIS is already a 44% owner in the franchise and the PHONE BOOTH. IRENE POLLIN and her family are still wrangling over the details of a transfer of majority ownership to TEDDIE. And somehow I think LEONSIS and some of the ASG minority owners are tied in together. Don’t know if that’s really true or not. Just something I read here or elsewhere about six months ago. Anyway, the D.C. franchise will be worthless if the two keep waltzing around one another and don’t finalize this deal. They can’t sign any players now because of the pending sale, and they are running out of D-leaguers to recruit.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:45 pm

The thing I don’t like is that we’re letting Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani, and Sonny freakin’ Weems tee off on us. WTF…

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
9:47 pm

Richbrave ,

I can’t see how the Hawks are interested in Arenas and his bloated contract unless they see Joe Johnson walking away from Atlanta and need a “star” attraction who is capable of 20 ppg. And with him and Jamal in the same backcourt (bye bye Bibby), we could count on 45 shots per night from the guards alone…

vava74

April 9th, 2010
9:47 pm

Ray, why are you surprised?

Melvin

April 9th, 2010
9:48 pm

Hawks could have put this game away several times but they kept letting the Raps go on a run…

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
10:05 pm

Thankyou Hawks, for win #50!

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
10:06 pm

Hey RAY:

Something put up by a D.C. sportswriter or blogmeister a couple of months back unless I took it wrong. Would point you to the article, but I never considered it seriously.

vava74

April 9th, 2010
10:07 pm

Melvin, I think that the right word is “should” because it is obvious the they “couldn’t”

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
10:07 pm

Vava,

Surprised at what? Nothing surprised me in this game, to be honest. Hate to see role players and ne’er-do-wells beating our hides off, but I’m glad for the win regardless.

JJ did rather well, as did Horford once he woke up. Same with Josh, and our bench (Jamal, Mo, Zaza) poured in some solid performances after a while.

I’ll take this win and the Boston loss.

Speaking of which, we need to go into Washington meaning business. These guys just dispatched the Celtics (which helped us). Easily.

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
10:08 pm

And it did have something to do with JOE JOHNSON if I remember correctly. But then the club fell apart like a house of cards, and the rumor just went away.

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
10:12 pm

WIZARDS are a powerhouse no doubt. LOL. So HAWKS check your baggage in the PHONE BOOTH locker room, and hit the court ready to play. These guys are hungry for next year’s paycheck, if not in D.C. then somewhere else. They will beat you if you give them a chance.

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
10:14 pm

FLIP SAUNDERS has re-made the offense recently. Haven’t seen the CELTS game due to my grandson’s baseball play, but they were effective tonight. SAUNDERS is the best coach the WIZARDS have had in the last ten years. IMHO of course.

Gwinnett Fred

April 9th, 2010
10:56 pm

Thanks for saying the hunt for 3rd is basically over.

“The race for the third seed is not over yet, but it’s nearly done” I believe was your exact quote.

Anyway a win and a gift from the Wiz and destiny is in our hands (again).

So Big Ray, while you are on such a roll with your predictions, please say we are doomed to be bounced in the first round. That way with your track record, we’ll be playing the Lakers here in another 6 weeks!!!

Go Hawks – Game 1 tickets in hand, just tell me when & where next weekend to be there!!!!!!

richbrave

April 9th, 2010
11:35 pm

So are the HAWKSTER’s giddy with 50? Who among us would have thunk it three seasons ago?

Gwinnett Fred

April 10th, 2010
12:11 am

I have to admit, I’ve been on the FIRE WOODY side of the ledger more than the other side – but the facts do speak for themselves – 5 straight years of more wins than the season before, and now 50 wins for only the ninth time in Atlanta history (as in 9 out of 42 years) and when they get to 51 Saturday night, it will be the 5th best record in Atlanta Hawks history!

rusty

April 10th, 2010
12:28 am

why does woody consistantly not play jc at the start of the 3rd quarter when he is lighting it up in the second is something wriiten down in stone that you cant

vava74

April 10th, 2010
7:42 pm

Teague’s passing timming is not bad at all.

He usually coughs up the ball quickly to the right spot.

vava74

April 10th, 2010
7:48 pm

And his defensive fundamentals are also pretty good.

He just needs more experience.

niremetal

April 10th, 2010
7:48 pm

Of course, his defense is still godawful. Yes, worse than Bibby’s.

vava74

April 10th, 2010
7:52 pm

Depends on the match up. Sometimes Bibby is unbeatably bad not even trying to get pass picks and instantly switching and generating a bad defensive possession 5 seconds into the shot clock….

vava74

April 10th, 2010
7:54 pm

Bibby is still looking for his kidneys after this one… E may have found Teague’s laying around too…

vava74

April 10th, 2010
8:02 pm

Nire,

who would you like to see coaching the Hawks next year?

Big Ray

April 10th, 2010
9:05 pm

Teague’s defense is bad.

Teague has had 9.5 mpg this season. Bibby has had about 11/12 years.

Where is Teague going to learn better defense? Joe Johnson is his only hope, as learning from Bibby or Crawford is an absolute joke.

At least Teague stays with/in front of his man unless he is screened…hard.

Big Ray

April 10th, 2010
9:06 pm

Vava,

Tough question. Haven’t been hearing any volunteered answers, though. Not any that actually make sense.

Big Ray

April 10th, 2010
9:21 pm

Hell yeah, I’ll take that road win!!

Great coaching by Woody, nice performances by our bench (Zaza, Crawford, Evans).

Solid play by JJ, and Horford played well down the last stretch of minutes.

Good job, Hawks!

niremetal

April 10th, 2010
9:33 pm

Vava/Ray,

Here’s my thing. When you’re a PG, it’s better to let your man go by you and trust your help defenders than it is to foul them, because guards typically shoot 80% or better from the line. Even if the other team isn’t in the penalty, it gives the other team a longer clock and brings your team closer to the penalty, which changes the defensive calculus for the worst for the rest of the quarter. The best perimeter defenders (Battier, Artest, Tayshaun, *shudder* Kobe) all have one thing and only one thing in common with regard to statistics – they rarely, rarely foul. Jeff Teague is worse than Crawford and Bibby because he is far too foul prone for a PG.

Now, obviously, the fact that you don’t foul much doesn’t mean you’re a GOOD defender. But if you do commit a lot of fouls, it’s pretty much a surefire sign that you’re a bad perimeter defender.

Bibby is the only one of those three who at least makes an effort to funnel his man towards the help when he’s about to get burned. It’s subtle, but he usually positions himself so that his man has to run towards either Smoove or Al. That being said, he gets burned so often that that’s small consolation.

Now could Teague become a very good perimeter defender? Yes. It’s possible. Most great perimeter defenders look the part from day one, but there’s plenty who don’t, and Teague certainly has the tools. Saying “who does he learn from” doesn’t do it for me, because most guys don’t have a player-mentor who “teaches” them like that. Anyway, I’m not nearly, nearly as high on JT0 as I was when I hyped up that nickname…

Vava,

I have a feeling Flip Saunders will be available at the end of the year. I’ve always thought he’d be a great fit here.

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2010
11:44 am

nire, I completely agree with your assessment on how a good defensive PG defends his position. It’s mostly about directing the opposing PG into help defense. And that requires both physical skills but mostly mental skills. You have to LNOW where the help defsne will be. Jameer Nelson is a decent defender and he funneled Derrick Rose directly into Dwight Howard who twice this year has put Rose out of the game with a hard foul. Sure, a great PG defender needs to stop dribble penetration and stay in front of his man, but that is plan A. Plan B must involve directing the guy into help. Teague will get there, but th enotion that Teague is a better defender this season is not entirely true. Teague may be able to do a little more of Plan A but he does straight to Plan C much too often… foul the guy.

I used to like Flip also until the rumor about Rasheed Wallace’s outbreak in Detroit. Something about Rasheed going off on Flip with no consequence. Some of the DC crowd even suggested that Flip too easily gave in to Blatche after a recent dust-up. I have no interest in a coach who may have rep as being soft. I don’t think our locker-room leadership is strong enough to endure a team who may perceive their coach as soft.

Remember my prediction from several weeks ago, Doc Rivers will likely be a free agent in July.

vava74

April 11th, 2010
12:40 pm

Nire,

Your reasoning on how perimeter defenders should behave (avoid fouling and funnel players to help defenders) is indeed correct. Your knowledge of the game is superior and it is a treat to “harvest knowledge” from you.

On Teague: JT0 sole problem – IMO – is lack of experience. He simply does not have enough minutes in his belt to be able to fine tune his ability to the level of the NBA.

That is evident when he miscalculates the speed of the defenders when he drives and gets his shots blocked or when he is forced to alter his tear drop shots beyond his usual mechanics AND that also happens when he fouls his man on defense.

He has ALL the tools to be an excellent perimeter defender: quick feet and lateral movement, quick hands, long and strong arms and good size for a PG.

All his shortcomings are directly connect to lack of playing time and a coach which is a confidence killer: there wasn’t a single time that Woody left JT0 on the floor after his first TO besides the game in which we were shorthanded.

On the coach:

I like Flip’s playbook and focus on organized team basketball however, I think he too likes to work with short rotations and coaches “scared” when the game is on the line.

vava74

April 11th, 2010
12:58 pm

Forgot to mention this:

Bibby’s ability (which also results from his experience) to funnel the opposing player to the help defender would be fine if we did not switch all the time and had our post players in the perimeter instead of in the paint blocking shots…

dr.maryb

April 11th, 2010
1:24 pm

Rich-Brave
(Lover Man)

Sounds like your Grand-Son is a Blue-Chipper! (Chipper Jones Jr?). Mmmmh. Maybe.
Glad you’re doing well.

I always liked Arenas. Looks like he pulled one silly prank too many, I didn’t know dude was banking 20 Mil$$/Year? Geez! But if JJ doesn’t re-sign (I doubt that tho!). He may be worth a hard look.
Like many teams, the Hawks could have drafted him, But , I think we took jamal Crawford with that pick & traded our rights to Indiana that night for Lord knows who? I forget who we ended up with – I think that Duke playerr ? Forget his name, but he was SOFT (like all Dukies), Lenny Wilkens was our coach then.

Blue-Ray
(Mega – Pixels)

I know you’ll be glad when that Grave-Yard Shift is over! We all know “The Freaks Come Out at Night! You be careful out there. But, what’s a GOON to a GOBLIN? (LOL)

I predicted you would be a BLOG EDITOR some day. Any thoughts of being a Beat Writer & Travel with the Hawks someday? Hey, why not? Why NOT you? What’s your feelings on Arenas in Atlanta for maybe…
(Marvin, Teague & Chills & Cash?). I personally like the Big PG. Maybe throw in a 1st round pick too.

We need talent infusion and another PROVEN playmaker to help Joe. More Bench Help too.
Like a Charles Oakley or Lambieer type – Nasty Dude to committ Flagrant Fouls!

I see that dude didn’t come back in the paint (McGee) last nite. Zsa was RUdE & didn’t bother to help that Punk to his feet either – No Apologies afterwards either! Play-offs Man – will suspend you though for that.

Peace & Love Guys!

niremetal

April 11th, 2010
1:52 pm

Vava,

Superior knowledge? Come on, man, flattery will get you nowhere ;)

I guess I haven’t noticed Flip coaching scared. I know he uses a slightly shorter-than-average rotation, but the big thing for me is that he adjusts his rotations on a game-to-game basis. He is a happy medium between Woody (rigid and inflexible with his rotations) and Doc (uses so many different rotations that chemistry sometimes suffers). He’s also a counterpuncher in strategy who reacts well to what the other team is doing in terms of pace and tactics. Lastly, his is not a 1-on-1 machine offense. There ain’t no such thing as a perfect coach, but I think Flip’s strengths complement the team well.

Astro,

I have a tough time blaming a coach for backing down from Sheed. Better than being kowtowed by Bibby, which we’ve all seen Woody do ;)

niremetal

April 11th, 2010
6:17 pm

Kobe bricks two free throws after a stupid foul by Webster, then commits a dumb foul on Webster (and Webster sinks all three FTs) to add insult to injury. Funny how people seem to forget that good as Kobe is, he is more of a volume scorer than an efficient one during the closing minutes of games:
http://www.82games.com/0910/CSORT11.HTM

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2010
8:39 pm

nire, as I recall, Bibby was suggesting a basketball strategy, Sheed was exploring a description of his coach. It’s one thing to say “your play-calling is idiotic” it’s quite another to say “coach, you’re an idiot”. One speaks to a person’s job skills, the other speaks to his character. Big f’ing difference.

Home losses to New Jersey and DC (that I am aware of). Y’all just remember my Doc Rivers prediction (and even the 2nd part about McHale replacing him).

Astro Joe

April 11th, 2010
9:12 pm

Does anyone know what year we get Houston’s 2nd round draft pick as part of the David Andersen trade? I have a feeling that it may be one of those “magical disappearing” draft picks (the real trade was for straight cash). I can’t seem to find any concrete info on when we actually get that pick (maybe when Tea Party members take off MLK Day and peform voluntary community service in poor urban areas).

vava74

April 12th, 2010
5:37 am

Nire,

Praise is due when it’s due. Regardless of how much i like reading your posts we still disagree on Woody taking out JJ against the Lakers.

I still think it was a good call since I believe that, the fact that a player is super hot – specially a perimeter guy – tends to result in a loss more frequently than a win since that will alienate the rest of the team – in particular the bigs.

As for Flip: his performance in the regular season and in the playoffs is quite different.

His rotations shorten, his play calling and adjustments diminishes in quality and ISO emerges (Rip during the playoffs stopped shooting out of screens and Billups jacked up bad shots with no ball rotation.

So, either he stops doing the right thing strategically or his loses control over his players easily.

I don’t remember his days in Minny since I had taken a break from watching bball back then but I am under the impression that he also choked in the playoffs then.

O'Brien

April 12th, 2010
7:53 am

When ‘Sheed was going off on Flip and Flip did nothing, maybe he was thinking about PJ Carlesimo and Sprewell, so he decided to leave Sheed alone.

I do think Flip let Blatche off too easy though, but I also wonder how much authority Flip really has in DC (compared to management and Arenas). If he gets fired, maybe Woody can hire him as an offensive coordinator.

AJ,

If Doc gets fired (as you predicted), do you think he would be a good fit for the Hawks?

I dont think we will ever see that 2nd round pick from Houston, because even if we do draft somebody, it will probably be a (young) international pick, who will stay overseas indefinitely.

Ray,

I no longer look at Marvin as a victim, but I think a change of scenery will do both him and the Hawks some good.

richbrave

April 12th, 2010
8:22 am

DRMaryB:

Shout out girl. Still doing that football thing?

Our grandson was called a “stud” by a pro scout we know who lives in TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA and came by the game to watch. He though the young man a senior, and asked him where he was going to college in the fall. He fell out when he found out he’s a freshman. I’m sending him to a TEXAS camp this summer to get him seen a bit.

Astro Joe

April 12th, 2010
8:52 am

OB, I think Woody returns with an extension. But if Sund chooses to go elsewhere, Doc Rivers will likely be outside of our price range (but I do expect that we wil flirt with him).

dr.maryb

April 12th, 2010
9:23 am

Richie-Bravo
(Lover Man)

What is your G-Son’s name. I will try and google him on the high school & College boards. Sounds like he may a FUTURE! He’s lucky to have You in his corner.

richbrave

April 12th, 2010
9:54 am

I better not my love. Cyber-space has all sorts as you know. I don’t know if he’s that well known yet anyway to be on a list. I make him sound grand, but he does have talent. Sent him to a UNIVERSITY of RICHMOND camp as a thirteen year old and they pulled him out of his age group and he won all the individual competitions with the seventeen year olds there. He’s had a serious football injury since though, so he’s now in center field instead of shortstop. Slowly regaining his lateral quickness.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:10 am

Looking into next season and the likely prospect that Woody is sacked, my only – but huge – concern is Sund’s track record hiring coaches…

Didn’t he hire Carlesimo, Hill and Weiss?

O'Brien

April 12th, 2010
10:10 am

AJ,

As long as the Hawks make it to the second round, I think Woody returns with an extension. Their quality of play in the second round is more likely to determine length and dollar value.

O'Brien

April 12th, 2010
10:19 am

vava,

“the likely prospect that Woody is sacked”. Why do you think thats likely?

The only way I see Woody being sacked is if the Hawks lose in the first round, or maybe get swept in the second round. But I think the Hawks will advance to the second round and win at least 1 game against Cleveland/Orlando.

I do share your concerns about Sund and his track record of hiring coaches though.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:26 am

OB,

IF we get to the second round, we will win – at most – 1 game and lose all away games – on average – for 15+ points.

Hence, Woody will not be with us next year.

I think Sund will only retain him if we win the first round at least 4-2 and lose against Cle 2-4.

Anything worse than that, he should go.

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.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
9:37 pm

Melvin, that’s the problem: we can’t play Mo at the SF slot because he is not productive there and his lack of size is exposed on defense.

Stack would be useful as an offensive tool for very limited minutes.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:41 pm

Josh is hosting a block party in the 3rd qtr….

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
9:41 pm

Wow. This is gonna be one heck of a series.

We talk about Stack gearing up to play us. Let’s not forget Zaza was once a Buck. And he’s giving his former team some kinda hell, ain’t he?

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

I think playing Mo or Stack at backup SF for 15mins games wouldnt be a big issue. Now asking them to play 25-30mins at SF is a different story. Scenario #2 would mean that we are having problems with our starting SF effectiveness…

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:50 pm

I hope the Hawks don’t run out of gas in the 4th.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
9:52 pm

Can anyone spell “zone” and “fourth quarter choking”.

My guess is that Salmons will start to hit his shots and JJ start to
miss.

I hope that I’m wrong though.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
9:54 pm

Newkid,

Sorry, but AK-47? That’s your counterexample? Maybe the best on-ball perimeter defender amongst all NBA forwards during the middle part of the decade, and one of only 2-3 guys in the past decade (the others being Garnett and Tayshaun) capable of playing adequate defense against all 5 positions? I’m sorry, but Kirilenko was probably the BEST defender at SF in the NBA for a couple years, and is still in the top 5. Josh is well below average as a perimeter defender. The comparison collapses on that alone.

And again, you make it sound like Josh is simply streaky or inconsistent as a jumpshooter (as I admit AK-47 is). He’s not. He’s a terrible jumpshooter. The worst in the NBA, in fact.

Josh is a better PF than Kirilenko, by far, But Kirilenko is a better SF than Josh, by far. The team’s defense moving Josh to SF would suffer doubly – once because Josh is a bad perimeter defender and again because it would significantly reduce his ability to play defense within 6-8 feet of the basket, which is where he does his best work.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
9:58 pm

And I should modify “the worst in the NBA” to “the worst in the NBA among guys who shoot more than a negligible number,” which is what that Hoopdata page tracks. I have no doubt that Shaq is a worse jumpshooter than Josh. Then again, I would be even more horrified of the prospect of Shaq playing SF than I am of Josh…

I just don’t get it, Newkid. Josh is one of the top 5 PFs in the league right now. He would not even be in the top 15 at SF. Why would we do that to him? Why would we do it to ourselves?

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:05 pm

Man… Teague can’t even stand the sound of Woody’s voice…

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:06 pm

Great “funneling” by Bibby! :-)

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
10:10 pm

Ok, I will be the odd man and say I would prefer to see the Hawks play the Heat. I think the Heat would be a more exciting matchup. Also, I think the attendance would be better and we would get a better TV slot (more like primetime) playing against the one of the Superstars in the league.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
10:13 pm

I’ve said it before – Bibby is one of the best pick-and-roll PGs in the NBA, and Horford is a GREAT pick-and-roll big. Why don’t we run that more?

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:15 pm

Lucky lucky lucky…

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
10:15 pm

Two straight great pick-and-rolls with Bibby and Horford. Followed by one of the ugliest possessions in NBA history (but somehow ending in a Hawks bucket)…

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
10:17 pm

Melvin,

That all sounds great, but with the way the Heat are playing right now, I would MUCH rather see the Bogut-less Bucks. Unless Atlanta fans are even worse than I think, they’ll sell out a playoff game even against the Bucks.

I’ve already told my boss and family that I’m heading home if the Hawks make the ECF…

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:17 pm

Nire,

There I think you are a bit off mark. Maybe the correct words are “used to be”.

Right now his execution is too slow to be a money play against good teams.

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
10:21 pm

Bibby has 7 rebounds. Who said he doesnt have any lift in those old legs…

Melvin

April 12th, 2010
10:22 pm

Nire,

ECF? You sure when out on a limb on that one…..

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
10:22 pm

Nire ,

I’ve said it before – Bibby is one of the best pick-and-roll PGs in the NBA, and Horford is a GREAT pick-and-roll big. Why don’t we run that more?

Good point, as usual. My guess is that this isn’t the call all that often, and Joe is probably looking to shoot or something like that every time he comes down teh court.

Considering he can tear the Bucks apart and we need him to be aggressive, I’m not arguing too much. At the same time, that’s such a wonderful option that I think Bibby is just going to have to initiate/enforce it every now and again. It’s what makes him a polarizing force on the court. Change the direction of the overall flow now and again, and let Joe be himself (a predator, when aggressive).

Teague will have to learn to be this way some day.

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
10:23 pm

Melvin ,

It’s called “wanting it.”

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
10:25 pm

Vava,

The best pick-and-roll PGs are rarely the quickest. Stockton, Mark Jackson, Nash…the pick-and-roll is much, much more about knowing how to create separation, make precise passes, and hit jumpers off the dribble than it is about quickness and speed. By my eyes (and by all the scouting reports I’ve read), Bibby is still among the best pick-and-roll PGs in the league. He certainly isn’t one of the best penetrating PGs anymore, but he still always seems to know exactly how the pick-and-roll will unfold.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
10:27 pm

Great win!

Now onto the even more playoff-crucial Blazers-Thunder game…

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
10:28 pm

Win #52 !

Good job by Woody, good job by the team.

Go Hawks!

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:28 pm

Second game in the last three that Bibby starts hot and then misses all his remaining shots.

And I remember that there were other similar occasions.

vava74

April 12th, 2010
10:34 pm

Nire, I was not talking about speed of penetration. I was talking about his inability to launch shots and make passes quickly (his jump shot is now a slow motion shot and his passing is not crisp enough).

Consequently one of the parts necessary for a PG to play a good pick and roll game – being a dangerous shooter in motion, is no longer present and the othe – his passing – is also diminished.

Nash and Stockton did not have blazing speed but their shot release is/was faster and remained dangerous shooters in moderate traffic until late in their careers.

Bibby is now strictly a spot up shooter with an occasional j off a pick to start the game.

newkid

April 12th, 2010
10:48 pm

Okay, I’m back Nire. Unless you’re playing fantasy basketball, it matters much less how Josh plays at what you (and likely many others) would term the 3, and much more how the Hawks play with Josh in a PF/PF/C configuration (as I’ve termed it elsewhere). I said much earlier that in strictly one-on-one match ups with conventional 3s with quick first steps, Smoove would be at a disadvantage; but since when does a team’s total success sit on such a fulcrum? Bibby gets massacred 9 of 10 nights in one-on-one defensive match-ups with other teams points; how many games have we won with Bibby at the 1 this year? Did someone say 52? Right, our won/loss record isn’t a simple regression with ONE independent variable: that being some measure of Bibby’s defensive effectiveness against the opposing team’s point guard. It’s those simple functions (that really aren’t so simple) that so often result in smart people drawing – with astounding precision – exactly the wrong conclusions.

But this is polemics isn’t it? Let’s see how Sund builds the team from this point forward.

niremetal

April 12th, 2010
11:16 pm

Newkid,

Alright…but who is this mystical jumpshooting big man who will be an equal or better defender at C compared to Al? Because unless you can find one, your proposed lineup would make us weaker defensively at both SF and C. In fact, every jump-shooting big man I can think of is a poor defender at C. No exceptions. Add to that our aforementioned defensive shortcoming at PG. We would be going from having one bad positional defender (PG) to three (PG, SF, C). And we’d be putting our best interior help defender at a position where he’ll be further away from the basket and unable to help and block shots as much as he can now. Yup, sounds like a great plan to me.

Not much point continuing this further. You keep trying to isolate each of Smoove’s weaknesses as an SF and basically say “they aren’t important” or “we can work around them.” Josh is a great PF, for a couple dozen reasons. He would be a bad SF, for a couple dozen reasons. We have one of the top 5 PFs in the NBA and one of the top 5 Cs in the NBA. Why the hell is the answer to have them change position instead of simply bringing in a better SF?

Big Ray

April 12th, 2010
11:44 pm

Nire ,

Not trying to butt into your very engaging conversation with Newkid , but I would like to quibble just a hair:

The one jumpshooting center I can think of who turns out not to be a poor defender is Mehmet Okur. Someone brought this to my attention during a conversation about Horford and other centers. Apparently, according to 82games.com or one of those stat-arific sites, Okur has one of the league’s BEST defensive percentages.

Of course, it’s no coincidence that Okur plays for Sloan, the one man who should have been named COY 5 times already and has yet to be named as such even once (that I can recall), but that’s what I hear.

Side note: I’m not taking on your entire argument or the true target thereof. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

Now back to your regularly scheduled argument….

;)

newkid

April 12th, 2010
11:46 pm

Nire,
Was it yours truly or was it Woody who said he’d start Z if he could convince him to sign with Atlanta after the Washington trade? I didn’t concoct the scheme, nor was I involved in the attempted recruitment of Z (or Sheed for that matter). If you think it was folly for Sund and Woody to consider going that route (and I can certainly imagine that there are several in the Spirit front office with whom you are a kindred spirit – and I wasn’t intending pun), you may yet have a chance to protest that strategy. It’s not my scheme my friend (I can’t even play the game, much less devise such schemes), but I’m perceptive enough (from afar) to recognize that it just may be worth a shot (despite your protestations to the contrary) when you have two PF talents such as Al and Josh. If Sund and Woody (perhaps against the protestations of your brethren among the Spirit Group) decide to pursue a Z-like talent this off-season to complement Al and Josh on the starting front line, we’ll know soon enough who the candidates are. Do I know if this will happen? How would I know that? If it were to happen, do I know who the candidates might be? Right, sure I do.

Oh, and I didn’t say Smoove’s weaknesses weren’t important. I said his weaknesses were less important than the TEAM’s success. I further suggested that if Sund and Woody decided that a PF/PF/C configuration is likely to yield more TEAM success than the current scheme, that’s far more preferable to Smoove achieving some set of fantasy basketball numbers that allowed him individual accolades.

Getting late and I’ve still got to polish a powerpoint.

Buenos noche.

niremetal

April 13th, 2010
12:13 am

Newkid,

Now you’re just off the deep end, addressing arguments I never made All of the weaknesses I mentioned were brought up because of (and explicitly tied to) how they would affect the Hawks as a team, and are things that will NOT necessarily show up in fantasy stats. I care about fantasy stats about as much as I care about American Idol (translation: I DON’T CARE ABOUT FANTASY/BOX SCORE STATS). Seriously, it’s not worth continuing this with you.

Ray,

That’s true of Okur 2-5 years ago that had a spring in his step, but it’s not true of Okur today. I actually used to bring up Okur as the one example of a sweet-shooting center who also could defend well (following in the proud tradition of East Euro centers like Divac and Sabonis), but Okur today is simply too weak to stop big centers and too slow to stop the quick ones. He’s certainly not atrocious defensively, but I would place him below the median as a defensive center. I wouldn’t object to bringing in Okur, but I’d want him in a reserve role in the East, not in the starting 5.

niremetal

April 13th, 2010
12:30 am

Man, Portland and Utah might be two of the NBA’s smallest markets, but I think they are the two toughest arenas in the league for road teams to play in…

doc

April 13th, 2010
8:43 am

melvin, it is all about being scrappy and position, two things neither jj or jamal do around the basket for rebounds by guards.

nire got to go see how our blazers made out after reading your comment. quite a season for the crew with so many injuries. huge coaching and player effort there.

great to see our guys win and by that maybe hold onto milwaukee as a draw in the playoffs. only trouble it might hurt ticket sales because the bucks cant compete with d wade for draw. so proud to see the guys hit two marks i hoped to see from them 52 to 54 wins and third in the conference. they have earned cudos throughout the season aided by the lack of injuries that seem to be piling up here as the playoffs begin. i mean what gives as four of the top seven, including zaza and his hip begin to falter down the stretch and how serious are these injuries?

as we conclude the season let me comment on what a great job our fearless leader big gay has done to handle the information and this motley crew. nice going there ray. ;-)

doc

April 13th, 2010
11:01 am

hard to believe portland joins the elite class with 50 wins with the injuries they had. andre miller a great acquisition for them along with camby. i wonder if he is still so upset over the trade, seems like he came up huge last night.