Highlight Factory hits the road

There wasn’t much talk of this earlier, and those who did bring it up, did so quietly.

Well, not all of them. Hawks legend Steve Smith decided to go out and a limb and say it out loud. Sweep. Really? Yeah, really. An interesting subject, considering how much it’s been said that the Bucks will prove to be a tough opponent. However, after the first two games, the whispers are turning into open discussion. For more on that, read up on AJC staff writer Ken Sugiura:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-hawks/steve-smith-predicts-hawks-481165.html

 

Proving a point vs. Having something to prove

Before the Hawks can begin talking sweep or anything like it, they have some work to do.

Unlike last year’s playoffs, there was no letdown for the Hawks in game 2 after winning in game 1. Maybe it was because they didn’t totally and completely blow the Milwaukee out. Maybe it was because Mike Woodson had them prepared and focused. Perhaps it’s a sign of increased maturity. Whatever it was, the Hawks did what they were supposed to do – win at home. That does two things. One, it reminds them that they can get it done in their own place without a letdown. Two, it shakes the opposition’s confidence and puts them in a tough position. If you’re Milwaukee, you realize that you have to win both games in your own arena - just to even things up. Lose one game, and you’re all but a lame duck participant. The Hawks are more talented, tougher, and more versatile. In the first two games of this series, those points have been proven.

However, Atlanta still has a lot to prove. The Hawks have won just one road game in the playoffs in the last 3 postseason trips (this being their third). They’d like to add to that total, and there is no better opportunity than this coming Saturday and Monday. Having won in Milwaukee as the regular season winds down, the Hawks should already know what it feels like. But more to the point, they know how to beat the Bucks. Is there really a different gameplan that the Hawks would have to employ to beat their opponent on the road, than the one they used in Philips Arena?

More is better, better is more

As many of us know, stats can take a nose-dive in the playoffs. However, the better players raise their games to another level. While it can be argued that a weak first round opponent is the main reason, a few Hawks have raised their games significantly. Whatever the case may be, we can only hope this continues. In the scoring department, Joe Johnson and Al Horford have both raised their averages by 3 points per game. Al’s improvement has him as the team’s second leading scorer so far in the playoffs. Coming in at third place on the team is Josh Smith, who has raised his scoring average by about 1 point. The guy with the biggest spike in points per game? None other than Mike Bibby, who is averaging 14.9 per contest, after posting 9.1 ppg in the regular season. It just about goes without saying that this could not have come at a better time. Overall, the Hawks are executing rather well on offense, even against a tough, scrappy Milwaukee squad that wants to prove a point on the defensive end. Every member of the starting lineup is shooting better than ever, led by Josh Smith’s insane 71.4%

On the glass, Al Horford has fallen some, posting 1.5 boards less per game. However, his low post partner has chipped in to more than make up for it: Josh Smith looks like he’ll win the fabled windex award at 12 grabs per game (more than 3 per game over his regular season average), and who knows…he may actually maintain this pace. Also helping the cause is Joe Johnson, who is snatching 1 more per game than his season average. Joe, Mike, and Josh are also dishing out more assists in the postseason, with Josh leading the team at 6.5 per game.

Continuing on the defensive side of the ball, several Hawks are looking quite good so far. Horford and Smith look like they are trying to set new records with a combined 7 blocks per game (Horford has 4bpg, Josh has 3bpg). Meanwhile, Joe leads in steals (2 per game), followed by Marvin (1.5 pg) and Jamal (1.5 pg). Kinda makes you feel a little better about the lagging defensive efforts of the regular season, doesn’t it?

Trending Down

Of course, not all is picture perfect.

The Atlanta bench has seen better days, and if the Hawks want to see better days later in the playoffs, these guys have to get it together. A popular refrain might be bashing Mike Woodson and his staff for shortening up the rotation, but at this point, that argument is baseless. Mo Evans leads the second unit in shooting at 40%. It drops off significantly from there. Perhaps the scariest part is Jamal Crawford’s pathetic field goal percentage (28.6%) and pedestrian scoring average (11ppg) , which represents a drop of roughly 7 ppg from his regular season average. Worried about Joe Johnson logging 41+ minutes per game in the playoffs? You can start looking  Crawford, the man who was signed to take some of the pressure (and the double teams) off of our number one option. Assuming the Hawks make the second round of the playoffs, and we have little reason to assume otherwise, the #2 scoring production that Crawford brought during the regular season will be sorely needed. Maybe it’s “first time in the playoffs” jitters. Maybe not. Either way, the Hawks will have to help Jamal find a cure.

Zaza Pachulia and Joe Smith are needed just as much as Crawford is, but in different ways and obviously for some different reasons. With the Hawks starters playing well and getting out to good leads, somebody has to hold the fort down while they get a breather. On defense and on the boards, this falls to Pachulia and Smith. Both players are averaging more fouls than they are rebounds (literally), and neither one looks comfortable out there. This is a bit disconcerting, considering that neither of them are playoff virgins, perhaps the only excuse available for Jamal Crawford. Giving up leads at home is one thing, and bad enough. Give up a lead on the road, and you might never get it back. Pachulia and Smith won’t be called upon much to provide much scoring, other than on dump-offs or opportunistic situations. But keeping a lead isn’t just about keeping a scoring pace. It’s also about maintaining a defensive pace. Reserves can and must do that, or the starters will get burned long and hard each game. What can happen in the second round of the playoffs goes without saying….

Get this show on the road!

The Hawks have to what’s working with them. The defensive intensity. The offensive efficiency and execution. But they will need help in from the bench in both aspects of the game. Mike Woodson should be able to go 9 deep, as needed. Right now he can’t. And to his credit, he has not bowed to the panic or pressure, pulling those guys before things got bad. As for the starters, we probably should not expect them all to keep up their torrid pace, as nice as it might be to see. More than that, we should not expect them to have to do so.

COY announced

Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks came home with the award, much to the chagrin of some, and the expectance of others. Whatever you might think of him or the list of other candidates and how many votes each got, what do you think about Mike Woodson in all of this? Woodson’s 7 total points (2 second place votes, 1 third place vote) was good for 9th place overall, and a full 16 points behind mentor and former boss Larry Brown, who was in 6th place.

Personally, I don’t think Larry did something that much better with Charlotte than Mike Woodson did with Atlanta, nor should he have been ranked above George Karl and Rick Adelman. At the same time, Woodson didn’t find himself in very bad company, getting more votes than Stan Van Gundy, Mike Brown (he got it last year), and Rick Carlisle.

But what do you think? Does Woodson deserve more recognition? Would you take his place in the COY voting to mean he’s a top 10 coach in the NBA? Is he better than that? Worse?

Have the Hawks become more balanced in their scoring production? Will Jamal Crawford get back to his usual self, or will he make people wonder if Flip Murray wasn’t a better postseason option? Can the bench get it cranked up?

 

Go Hawks!

115 comments Add your comment

Cannon

April 21st, 2010
11:42 pm

I expect the Hawks to take the series in 5. Milwaukee will be pumped for there 1st playoff game in a few years, so that could influence the game a bit. Woody and co. will re-group take game 4, fly home to the ATL and win game 5 easily.

COY is a joke, it seems like the voters just vote for the coach of the team that makes the biggest improvement from year-to-year. For a coach to lead a team to six straight years of improvement, now that’s unheard of. Woody deserves A LOT more credit for what he’s been able to put together.

Bluu

April 22nd, 2010
12:53 am

I remember I pitched a story on Woody to a local publication three years ago, with the premise that he’d proven all the naysayers wrong with the first play-off appearance. The editors looked at me like I was crazy. I think he needs to bring in a creative offensive coach. But, overall, what other team has improved year by year like that Hawks? And doing it as a “team,” not as a supporting cast to a superstar?

Bluu

April 22nd, 2010
12:54 am

That’s a job well-done.

Bluu

April 22nd, 2010
12:55 am

And Michael, you’re doing a super job! They finally got somebody as good as Denberg!

grip

April 22nd, 2010
2:36 am

Game Three is the Key!!! Look for Crawford to settle down and look good doing it. Mo Evans will do the same in his own fashion, for all the flack Joe gets his play has been spectacular, his defense on young Jennings has been fantastic. I don’t agree with woody’s iso plays but there is no denying what his system has brought our team, RESPECT. Know one laughs or jokes about playing us anymore. Game three is the Key!!!!

doc

April 22nd, 2010
6:51 am

too funny, someone is lost on a blog.

Big Daddy

April 22nd, 2010
6:55 am

I believe the team will split the games in Milwaukee. That means they will come back to the ATL for game 5 and hopefully the closer for the series. BR, I agree with your assessment of the bench. We have to have production from them. Jamaal, Zaza and Joe Smith are going to have to step-up and play to their capabilities. This is the time when we really need them. Mo is making a contribution but we are suffering in the backcourt when the starters go out. I was surprise at Rook’s play with the game he had against Cleveland. I expected the 1st two games to be his coming out party for all of us to look for him to have a more definitive role later in the playoffs and certainly going into next year. Maybe he will blossom later in the playoff but the two games here have been a disappointment.

We always seem to have a problem with teams with quick guards and they get to the rim far too easily. The coaches are going to have to address that problem now. It can’t be overlooked any further. I thought some good adjustments were made in Game 2 but, the Hawks are going to have to be consistent with the defense. They should be ready to jump on the Bucks early and often in games 3 & 4. Let’s hope they get at least one and dream of two because it would be a nightmare for them to come back tied. GO HAWKS!!!!

O'Brien

April 22nd, 2010
7:05 am

Ray,

To be fair, another (possible) reason why there was no letdown is because the Bucks just dont have the firepower. Would there have been a letdown if Redd and Bogut were playing? Possibly. But credit the Hawks for doing what they were supposed to do.

And this is one of the reasons Atlanta appears more balanced in their scoring. Because Woody and the guys have done a good job exploiting the matchups down low, where the Bucks dont have anybody to keep up with Al or Josh. Plus, Crawford has only attenpted 21 shots in 2 games.

However, in the second round, playng against D-12 and Gortat, I think the number of shots from our frontcourt will decrease, while the backcourt picks up the slack.

Bench players play better at home, so being at home, I expect Milwaukee to keep fighting, and keep the game close. However, Hawks won in Milwaukee at the end of the seaosn without Crawford, so if he returns to form (and I think he will), his presence should be the deciding factor.

I thought the series would go 6 (based on Hawks inconsistencies on the road), so I will stick with that (although Hawks have looked really good, so it might be over in 5 games or less).

Woody at 9th is about where he should be, but its all subjective. I think he tied Rick Adelman, but I dont think Woody is on the same level of Rick Adelman. Make Woody the coach in Houston this past season, and see how they do, and make Adelman the coach in ATL (this past season) and see how we do.

I know vava and AJ have talked about it, and I think Woody ranks about 10th or so.

mario

April 22nd, 2010
8:12 am

all is well…hawks dhould sweep but if not, this series can’t and won’t go past
5 games…..bring on orlando, clev and whoever out of the west..
HAWKS NBA champs……

Melvin

April 22nd, 2010
10:01 am

I got my broom in one hand and my shotgun in the other. I will Buckshots after we sweep Milwaukee…

i_am_soulstar

April 22nd, 2010
11:04 am

let’s finish in Milwaukee, if I have to buy a Game 5 ticket, I’m gonna be disappointed. Go Hawks!!

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2010
11:49 am

Ray good stuff. Bucks have played a lot without Redd and Bogut over the past few years (especially Redd). I wouldn’t even mention Redd’s name at this point. Bogut is obviously a big loss to that team. Still, the Hawks earned their way to the 3rd spot in part by sweeping the 4th seeded team. No need to apologize because our opponent has some empty chambers… I don’t recall Orlando issuing an apology last year for beating a KG-less Celtics team..

Woody didn’t deserve much COY consideration, not relative to some of the outstanding performances of his peers. Most COY winners either exceed expectations (based on them initially being low) or are forced to battle through unexpected adversity (like injuries)… as far as I’m concerned, I hope that we don’t see a Hawks coach win the COY for the next decade. I neither want to see the team enter a season with low expectations nor do I want to see the team ravaged by injury.

Rod from College Park

April 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Big Ray,

From previous blog…..

I have no idea were you got the Beasley stuff from. I actually argued against Beasley vs. Josh a couple of time on the blog. If you are asking me if Beasley is a bust, I would say no. He has only been in the league for 2 years. After 2 seasons he is averaging 14.3ppg and 6rpg vs. Marvin after his first 2 years averaging 10ppg and 5 rpg. In matchups vs. the Hawks this year, when he was guarded by the great Marvin Williams and the 2nd best defensive player in the league (Josh Smith) he has averaged 18ppg and 8rpg vs. Marvin 10ppg and 3 rebounds. Beasley is also guarded by the likes of Kevin Garnett, Josh Smith, Carlos Boozer…, while Marvin is guarded by the likes of Kirk Hinrich, and O.J. Mayo. I would venture to say that if teams left Beasley open, the same way they leave Marvin open, he would be averaging a couple more ppg. If you want to compare players, I would compare guys who were drafted very high that play his position. Compare him to Carmelo, Durant, Gay, Lebron, not Beasley. Compared to those guys, he is a tremendous bust.

If you want to keep blaming Billy Knight for Marvin being a bust, that’s your perogative. I choose not to. You as many other bloggers here think that he has all the skills to be great. What’s the problem? Marvin has been given every oppurtunity to be a great player. Billy Knight has nothing to do with Marvin not being able to hit wide open jumpshots in his fith year in the league. Is Billy responsible for Marvin not being able to score over guys 4 inches shorter than him in the post? Is he responsible for Marvin not being able to stay on his feet? I think not. He has played heavy minutes from day one, and has other players on his team to keep the pressure off him. I will ask you a qustion. Why is Marvin the 5th or 6th option on our team this year? Last year Marvin shot roughly 30 more shots than Al Horford. This year Al shot almost 200 more shots than Marvin. I wonder why? Maybe Al improved his game and deserved more shots. Is that Billy Knight’s fault? Flip Murray was a journeyman. Why is it that he comes to Atlanta, and all of the sudden overtakes the 2nd pick in the draft in the team pecking order. Is that Billy Knight’s fault? LOL

Last knight on TNT Barkley, Smith and Webber were duscussing confidence. They all agreed that great players never lose confidence. How many times this year have we heard that Marvin has to regain his confidence? If you think that a guy drafted #2 ahead of 2 of the best point guards in the league is not a bust because he is servicable then that’s on you. I say with no hesitation that he was, is and will always be a bust. If you really must know where I was in 2005, I was living a much more exciting life, and had no extra time to be blogging on a board with a bunch of old men who think they are basketball experts, and probably never put on a uniform. (Not personal, it’s a joke). Anyone that knows me will tell you that I knew he would be a bust from the minute we drafted him. I never liked his game at Carolina. I knew guys who played against him in college that were not impressed. I actually thought his pick was worse than Sheldon’s pick because of what was on the board. I knew Chris Paul would be a star, was not sure about Derron Williams playing the point, because he did not play the point in college, but I also knew that Granger was a much more refined and skilled player than Marvin was in college. We took a gamble and lost. The big problem I have is once you saw what he was after 3 years, you actually thought that you should make him a big part of your future, when no one else in the league would. I guess that’s Billy Knight’s fault also. Check the history, I said before we resigned Marvin that if we did, it would be one of the worst mistakes the franchise could make, and I stand by that.

Gamer

April 22nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Hawks, go for the kill. No need to pro-long a short series. Win and get the much needed rest for a more power pack opponent.

We all know the Bucks would be a more competitive team with their missing key players.

So send a message Hawks at Milwaukee.

HAWKS MAKE BEDLAM!!! STRIKE FRIGHT INTO YOUR OPPONENT!!! !!!

doc

April 22nd, 2010
12:47 pm

rod, very nice comments and comeback, stellar and a-game no less. guess you are saying you didnt lick after all. playoffs are for you. marvin backed up this year for sure to meet your expectations not mine. my bad, heh heh, his role also changed when jamal came on board. not excusing it by that comment; he was MIA a lot this year. rod a … marvin d+ for the year.

as far as beasley, a huge disappointment as he has had “issues” along with his basketball inconsistency. bust will come next year if he continues to shy away from being the man which is what he was to be.

Geezer 23

April 22nd, 2010
1:08 pm

If you really must know where I was in 2005, I was living a much more exciting life, and had no extra time to be blogging on a board with a bunch of old men who think they are basketball experts, and probably never put on a uniform. (Not personal, it’s a joke).

You are right Rod. This is what most people around here look like:
http://www.wordsandpicturesonline.com/images/me.jpg

I guess Rod is going to pretend Marvin wasn’t playing better last year and the year before, rite?

Hubie Brown

April 22nd, 2010
1:12 pm

Rod is right, old people know nothing about basketball. Take me, for instance. I obviously don’t know anything either, since I praised Marvin’s defensive skills several times this year.

O'Brien

April 22nd, 2010
2:46 pm

AJ,

Speaking of expectations, I posted the same thing on MC’s previous blog for Samuel.

“If you have the healthiest team in the NBA, and 4 possible all stars (JJ, Josh, Al, and Crawford), then 50-55 wins is expected (in my opinion).

OKC won 27 games more than they did last year, and they did not sign any big free agents. I dont think anybody expected them to win 50 games (didn’t they beat the Hawks twice too?).

With Milwaukee and Portland injured like they were, their coaches exceeded expectations. COY is about teams who exceed expectations, and injuries play a part in expectations”.

Rod,

Thanks for the paragraphs. It was a lot easier to read.

The interesting thing with Marvin, is most GMs (not just BK) and websites probably had him rated in the top 2. But yet most casual fans were not that impressed. What did the GMs and the media see in him that we didn’t?

If I remember correctly, I was okay with Sund giving Marvin a new contract, but at the time, I wasn’t sure what to make of the length and dollars). However. I preferred what Chills brought to the table, so I was very disappointed to see Sund let Chills go (twice), and then give Marvin the contract he did.

Why would you give the #5 or #6 option that kind of money, when he never really excelled at anything? Marvin’s career average is 12 pts, and 5.5 rebs in 31 minutes, which isn’t bad. But you could get those numbers from Mo Evans at 1/3 the price. You could get that from almost any other SF in the league.

It will be interesting to see what Beasley does going forward too.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
3:30 pm

Not that stats don’t mean anything, but good on-ball defense is rarely reflected by stats, and on-ball defense is Marvin’s single greatest strength. So while you might be able to get the same stats from Mo and other SFs (although even then, I think you’re overestimating how many SFs could average 10 and 5 with a .540 TS% as a #5/6 option), it’s tough to think of one who could do that without losing a significant amount on defense or efficiency (Marvin committed fewer TOs/gm this year – 0.9 – than any other rotation SF in the league).

Marvin is played slightly above the league average in salary, and he’s slightly above the league average in overall talent. But in the NBA, as in all things, the key is relative value. We don’t need our SF to be a big-time scorer. It’s just not necessary as long as we have our current top 4 scorers (and I am confident that JJ will be coming back, but that’s another story). Boris Diaw was a good player who was a terrible fit in Atlanta, where he was asked to basically be a spot-up shooter and nothing more. Marvin is being asked to play a similar role now. Thus, it might be possible to find a team that has a greater use for his particular talents – on-ball defense, perimeter shooting, and getting to the line (he’s been in the top 10 amongst SGs + SFs in FTAs/FGA each of the past 2 years) – than the Hawks do.

My ideal would be to swap Marvin for Kirilenko from Utah. Like Marvin, he’s a versatile defender who would be ideal for our switching defense, and who gets to the line at a good rate. He also is a better help defender, a better passer, and a more versatile scorer. He’s actually the most efficient SF in the league in terms of scoring, largely because he gets to the line at a remarkable rate for someone who gets as few touches as he does. The only significant downside to his game is that his jumper is incredibly streaky. Unfortunately, Kirilenko makes $17.5M next year, which is too much to pay him unless we’re just going to flip him for someone else. Next to Kirilenko, I think Thabo Sefolosha would be a great fit. He’s not remotely as athletic or as good a shooter as Marvin, but he is Marvin’s equal at defending wings. Battier and Prince would work too. What I do NOT want is a gunner who won’t play good defense.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
3:30 pm

That last post was directed mainly at O’Brien…

Rod from College Park

April 22nd, 2010
4:07 pm

Nire,

If your not good at anything, then just because you do one thing a little better that does not make it a strength. Marvin’s only real strength at this point is free throw shooting. I will also admit that even though he is a stumbling goofball, he does seem to get to the line a lot. As I argued when I first came on this blog, he is not our best defender any kind of way, and really has problems guarding scorers at his own position. He has no ability to guard smaller gaurds or bigger players the way Josh and Joe can. As a stated 2 to 3 years ago, Joe is a much better man to man defender than Marvin, and so is Josh if you put him on guys at his position (4). Mo Evans is a better defender also, but I will admit that is is often times overmatched at the 3. He is a natural 2 guard. I would also venture to say that Horford is a better defender than Marvin at this point. I think the stats would prove that. I do agree with you that we don’t need our 3 to be a big time scorer, but we do need him to be able to knock down wide open jumpshots, defend his position, rebound and pose some sort of offensive threat while his is on the floor. Marvin has not been able to do any of those things at an above average level this year. I am pretty sure that these things will rear their head again after we dispose of an undermanned Bucks team.

Rod from College Park

April 22nd, 2010
4:15 pm

doc,

“as far as beasley, a huge disappointment as he has had “issues” along with his basketball inconsistency. bust will come next year if he continues to shy away from being the man which is what he was to be.”

I agree, but I don’t think you can make a judgment on him after year 2 as Big Ray inferred. Just think, he put up much better numbers than Marvin in his first two years while being a weedhead (which makes you lazy), and constantly not taking his psych meds like he should. That alone should tell you something.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
4:31 pm

Rod,

No stats properly capture the effectiveness of an on-ball defender, so Marvin’s defensive proficiency is a matter of observation, interpretation, and opinion. By my observations, he stays in front of his man and contests nearly every shot of the man he’s guarding without fouling, and he does that when he’s guarding players from any position from 1-4 in our switching defense (although I grant that he gets overpowered by stronger 4s, which is the vast majority of 4s in the league). The ability to contest without fouling is the hallmark of a good perimeter defender. He doesn’t do it at the level of Battier (at least not yet, and I doubt he ever well), but he does it well and it’s rare to see him get burned these days.

Statistically, the team stats that show what happens to points allowed when a player leaves the floor is pretty much the only measure available to compare perimeter defenders. In that regard, the 82games stats show that we get a lot weaker defensively than Marvin leaves the floor. The effect is actually more pronounced for Marvin than it is with Josh, Al, or JJ. In fact, it’s more pronounced with Marvin than it is with any rotation player among the top 4 seeds than the east except for Vince Carter (whose improved defense this year has been much-discussed). Now that might just mean that we really, really need a better backup SF defensively. But it’s pretty much the only thing there is to go on besides observe-interpret-opine.

I won’t argue that he’s a Battier or Bowen lockdown-type defensively, but I do think he is significantly above average as a perimeter defender.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
4:34 pm

That being said – I will grant that I’ve given up on Marvin becoming the 20ppg guy I once thought he could be. I still think you go overboard when you say that a D-Leaguer could replace him without losing much, but certainly that’s less overboard than the dude on the last blog who said he could become a superstar.

Rod from College Park

April 22nd, 2010
5:29 pm

Only arguemnt I have with your observation is that our defense gets worse because this year, when he is taken out of the game he has mostly been replaced by Jamal Crawford, and last year it was Flip. Neither are small forwards, and neither are decent defenders. As much as a love Jamal, defense is not a strength of his. I can understand you thinking that I go overboard with the D-league statement, but I watch D-league games on a regular basis, and trust me there are numerous guys who could say in front of guys defensively, and could certainly average 10 ppg at the SF spot with smaller guys or nobody guarding them. I would much rather have a guy like Kyle Korver or any other spot up shooter than Marvin. Would make us a much more deadly team.

Clyde

April 22nd, 2010
5:45 pm

O'Brien

April 22nd, 2010
5:53 pm

nire,

I agree with Rod in that when Marvin leaves the floor, he is replaced by Crawford or Mo Evans. We know about Crawford’s defense, and although Mo gives everything, sometimes he is just overpowered (he is 6′5″ and a natural SG). And thats part of the reason for the defensive letdown.

Marvin is an adequate (sometimes good) defender, and a good FT shooter. But other than that, he is barely average. And I think whatever we lose on defense by replacing Marvin will be be more than sufficiently offset by what we gain on offense.

Also, during crunch times over the last few years, Marvin has been replaced by Chills, Flip, or Crawford at the end of games. And that proves to me that when the game is on the line, Woody prefers to go with other players besides Marvin.

Another guy I like (which AJ has talked about too) is Mike Miller. He will knock down a lot of those open shots that Marvin missed. I would love to have a SF combination of Chills and Mike Miller (or Kyle Korver).

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
6:33 pm

O’Brien,

When Marvin was healthy last season, there was a grand total of 1 game where he was on the bench during crunchtime of a close game (I remember it was early in the season, and I can’t even find that one game now….all the ones I’ve checked from when he was healthy, he was in). Crawford and Chill, yes. Flip, no. And I don’t know how the idea that Flip was in instead of Marvin came from. Maybe people saw that Flip was in during crunchtime when Marvin and Josh were hurt, and assumed that he also was in when Marvin was healthy. But I’m a bit surprised people don’t remember that Marvin was in defending LeBron, hitting that shot against the Celtics, etc. If you don’t believe me, check out our schedule from last year, click the close games, and check the play-by-plays to see for yourself.

Granted, that was just last season, which was the best season of Marvin’s career and the year in which we had our worst 6th Man. But he has earned enough demerits that he shouldn’t get extra ones for things that aren’t true.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
6:54 pm

And this year, Woody would often do offensive/defensive substitutions in close games with Williams and Bibby. But that doesn’t really help my cause either, since Bibby is such a poor defender at this stage that leaving him out there on key defensive possessions was not smart. This year, there aren’t as many good fruits of that to point out – his defense against LeBron in 2 out of the 3 meetings was good, but the only other crunch time play involving him that I remember now was him pulling a Durant (who this year has passed once to an opposing player and once to a ref during crunchtime) and passing the ball to Nash on an inbounds play.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2010
7:55 pm

From Hollinger’s artcile about top story lines so far in the playoffs:

8. Josh Smith is an All-Star

One of the most questionable All-Star snubs in recent years, Smith has provided even more momentum for his cause with a dominant first two games against Milwaukee and a second-place finish in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year voting.

The Bucks are down 2-0 because they can’t match up with Smith without Andrew Bogut. With defensive ace Luc Richard Mbah a Moute assigned to Atlanta leading scorer Joe Johnson, the Bucks are defending Smith with players who are either too small or too slow to check him.

The result? A dominant first quarter of Game 1 that led the Hawks to a 17-point advantage before putting it in cruise control, followed by a near triple-double performance in Game 2. For the series Smith is 15-of-21 from the floor, and his averages — 16.5 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.0 blocks — speak to his knack for filling the stat sheet. My favorite stat, however, is that big “0″ next to 3-point attempts. As long as Smith keeps attacking, Milwaukee can’t handle him.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2010
8:11 pm

Joe Joshnson interview from earlier today…. pretty rare for Joe to appear on local Atlanta radio.

http://www.790thezone.com/instantreplay/Episodes.aspx?PID=1345

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2010
8:12 pm

Joe Joshnson? What’s wrong with me? Oh yeah… dog-tired.

Joe Johnson.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2010
10:05 pm

OB, you said “If you have the healthiest team in the NBA, and 4 possible all stars (JJ, Josh, Al, and Crawford), then 50-55 wins is expected (in my opinion).”

Like I said, Woody was not a viable COY candidate, but let’s be honest, he didn;t enter the season with 4-potential All-Stars. Maybe, the way he challenged Jamal to lead the league in bench scoring AND improve his defense had something to do with Crawford’s success. Maybe the way he altered the offense to allow Josh to play some point-forward (not to mention years of harping on him to improve his decision-making) may have helped Josh gain a ton of momentum toward next year’s ASG. Maybe the way the team featured Horford in the post after being perimeter-oriented since Bibby’s arrival, allowed Horford to showcase the results of his hard work at practice.

So I wouldn’t dismiss the way Woody modified his offense during the course of the season that not only resulted in team success but also individual success.

But no, not as strong a performance as some other peers… but again, not to be readily dismissed as the luck of a healthy season.

Melvin

April 22nd, 2010
10:19 pm

Najah,

Posted the below link on the MC blog. And the Horford Bashers are quiet. Interesting, check it out.

http://www.raptorblog.com/100422b.php

niremetal

April 22nd, 2010
10:25 pm

Crawford averaged the same number of points that he has in the past 5 years, AJ. So how on earth was his play the result of Woody “challenging” Jamal? And his defense was still, in fact, atrocious. His success this year had NOTHING to do with his defense. And I saw zero evidence that Josh’s development was the result of anything Woody did. In fact, the reason I think it took Josh as long as it did for him to “get it” was precisely because his coach didn’t give a $h!t about offense, and so never gave him much guidance on that end.

doc

April 22nd, 2010
10:49 pm

aj nice interview on jj. thanks.

O'Brien

April 23rd, 2010
7:35 am

nire,

I remember the shot Marvin made against the Celtics, but I was thinking as the season wore on, Flip was in at the end of games more than Marvin. Either way, I dont think Marvin’s defense or rebounding is good enough to offset his inconsistencies on offense.

AJ,

True, he didnt enter the season with 4 potential all-stars, and nobody expected Marvin, Bibby and ZaZa to regress like they did. But if I’m not mistaken, they were still projected to win 45-50 games before the season started. So expectation wise, they weren’t that far off.

I hope JJ stays with the Hawks. Because if he leaves, we will take a HUGE step bacwards. And if I was him, my top 2 choices would be ATL, and Chicago.

Big Ray

April 23rd, 2010
7:52 am

Rod ,

1) I blame Billy Knight for picking Marvin when Deron Williams and Chris Paul were available. I blame Rick Sund for re-signing Marvin for the money that he did. If you choose to continue to blame Marvin for picking himself for the Hawks, and then re-signing himself, then that’s on you. You can stop blaming the fans here, they didn’t do it.

2) I never wanted him as our #2 pick, but I don’t hate the guy. I realize you were out “doing other things” when I was posting that in 2005, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I felt that way then. Nobody is questioning the fact that you have never liked the guy. Some are beginning to think you may have been born that way.

3) Of course you don’t want to compare Beasley to Marvin. It would be horribly inconvenient. Beasley put up Marvin’s top numbers in just his second season, but you seem to forget one tiny little fact that you always remember when you want to bash Marvin: Marvin is this team’s fifth option, sixth at times. Hey wait, didn’t you just post that? Oh yes, you did. Meanwhile Beasley put up wicked college stats and is his team’s #2 scoring option.

Hate to break it to ya, but 2nd year or not, if a team’s second best offensive option can’t do more than another team’s 5th or 6th option (especially one that is a bust), then there is something wrong. ” He’s only been in the league 2 years” isn’t gonna cut it for an excuse. Didn’t you also say that you knew Marvin was a bust before he ever hit the League? Again, I ask how is it that Beasley is the 2nd option on a team with only one scorer better than him, and he can’t do better than a bust who has always been a bust, was born a bust, and can never be anything but a bust?

4) I recall you sticking your nose into the “Josh vs. Beasley” thing. And as I recall, you never mentioned Marvin at all then, you just disagreed with the idea that Josh struggles at times with quick forwards who can shoot from the outside. So why is Marvin in the discussion now? Nevermind, I already know the answer. The fact is, Beasley scored those points against Josh, not Marvin. Josh is our starting PF, not Marvin. Didn’t you just tell me that we should compare Marvin to other small forwards? Then why are we talking about him guarding a PF? Nevermind, again…I already know. We argued up and down about Josh vs Beasley. You said that Josh’s production was better or equal to what he gave up to Beasley. No mention of Marivn….until now.

5) Please stop with the exaggerations. I know why Marvin is the 5th/6th option on our team. I never said I blamed anybody but him for his regression and lack of aggression. I clearly said I blame the GM who picked him…for picking him. NOT for his development.

6) ” If you really must know where I was in 2005, I was living a much more exciting life, and had no extra time to be blogging on a board with a bunch of old men who think they are basketball experts, and probably never put on a uniform.”

Ok, so did you grow old between 2005 and now? You must have a lot of extra time now , and you always have time to talk about Marvin. Lord knows if you actually talked about something else, we might not think it’s really you. By the way, I just turned 33, so if that makes me a geezer, what are you? ;) And while I never played D1 basketball (I did play in high school) , I’m not sure where that guarantees expert opinion. Is it something like having stayed in a Holiday Inn last night? :lol:

7) You know, like Doc said, you make some really good arguments sometimes, if you separate some of your thoughts. When you put them all together, they tend to be at odds with each other. I think it’s due to your zest at Marvin-bashing. Oh well, everyone must have a hobby.

By the way, I also never thought Marvin could be “great”. I thought he could be a better scorer and player overall. Clearly, he proved that idea wrong this year. I’m glad that you always knew this would be the case. I would have never guessed that until now.

That was a joke….

Big Ray

April 23rd, 2010
7:55 am

Astro Joe ,

Nice link and great points. I don’t care so much for the COY award as it is, more concerned with what our coach can do for our team.

Astro Joe

April 23rd, 2010
8:57 am

nire, Crawford is not going to win the 6th Man of the Year award simply because he matched his previous scoring average. That’s a very naive way of looking at it. He is going to win it because he fit well with a winning team and contributed to that winning team. Also, because his coach utilized him as a 4th quarter closer (something that is not guaranteed on a team that features an All-Star at the same position). And at least part of that is based on the culture of the organization… the same culture that allowed for at least one player to shine off the bench since the days of afro-man, on to Flip and now Jamal. There have been way too many “whispers” about Jamal previously for the NBA family to bestow one of their post-season awards of him simply because he can score. And I’m certain that when he wins the award, he will recognize that he didn’t win it by simply being the same player he’s always been nor without the support of coaches and teammates.

doc

April 23rd, 2010
9:01 am

as far as the coy thing. woody gets it only if he wins 50 next year with a roster decimated by injuries or wins an nba championship. he lost his opportunity with the way we plodded up the win scale each year rather than showing a huge turnaround or meteoric rise unexpected by the rest of the league. plodding is good if you can keep your job because it is hard to be a meteor each year when all things have fallen in place or it is hard to find lightening in a bottle a second time around.

woody is a good coach, good man and deserves to be recognized as such. he has shown little reason to put him at the top of the list just yet, maybe top 10 to 15 thus far. he will have to depend on sustaining what he has and become a sloan like coach that wins over time, gets the most out of players and coaches against adversity well. he has not shown this thus far. he says it was because of youth so only time will tell. for him to move up the ladder of credibility it will require a resume built over time. it is going to be interesting to see if he is allowed this privilege.

melvin who would have thunk it about al? do you think that is why the coaches respected al enough to put him on the all star roster? isnt that the vote he got rather than fan voting? i mean coaches dont know this stuff do they? it is only us smart fans sitting on our butts at home, at games or even better reading about games on the computer the next day, then deciding who must be good or not. this is why this is the liars table.

two major jokes in sports, fans voting for all stars and the baseball all star game deciding which league gets home field advantage. baseball is a joke period. one other joke, stern deciding finalists when he can. heh heh.

vava74

April 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

Melvin,

Great link! I bet that TS is coughing blood and melting quickly like some vampire exposed to the sun!

Ray,

You are younger than me and I never though you were!

Rod,

You make solid arguments but you take them too far. Sounds like a vendetta, not a contribution to the blog.

Marvin is what he is. He should do better and try more given the fact that earns so much money.

I take from your past interventions that you had some personal aspirations as a baller but something cut them short. If that is true, then we have an explanation for your bitterness: you think/believe that you would do better than Marvin.

As for D-Leaguers being able to produce as much or more than Marvin, I think you are probably going overboard.

The least talented guys in the NBA are 99,9% of times a lot better than the most talented guys in any other league.

Do you remember a PG called Randy Livingston? He played briefly in the NBA – on and off – but never got to stay afloat.

He retired after one (or two consecutive) season(s) in which he was the NBDL’s MVP posting Magic/Big-O type of stats.

Our very “own” Jeremy Richardson averaged 18ppg in NBDL… and we know that could shoot pretty well but what about the rest of his game?

Actually, one of the things D-Leagues usually don’t do is defend well and when they do defend well, they lack any other crucial aspect of the game.

Look at Mario? He was doing pretty well in the D-League and how “out of sync and overmatched” does he look sometimes (many times) during NBA play?

O'Brien

April 23rd, 2010
10:44 am

It’s unfortunate that BK and Sund made 2 decisions that have held the Hawks back. I know its easy to look back in hindsight, but BK should not have picked Marvin #2 (we had other forwards, and we really needed a PG), and Sund should not have given him that contract.

That being said, we are stuck with him for the time being, so I will root for him (and complain about him) since he plays for the Hawks.

Back to the games though, Cleveland and Lakers both lost on the road last night. I will not be surprised to see Boston, Orlando, and Atlanta all lose game 3 on the road.

doc

April 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

good solid pick by the falcons btw: great quote and explains the difference between TD and his predecessor mckay and BK:

“We felt that we were zeroed in on Sean Weatherspoon,” Dimitroff said. “We didn’t want to try to be cute and creative. We decided to pull that tag off the board at 19.”

the emphasis is on cute. in my mind both mckay and BK tried to get cute, thinking in doing so they would show everybody how much smarter they were than everybody else.

yes, the thunder got durant but we had our chances at similar franchise players to add to JJ players early all along and rather than rebuild in two to three years it took us 6 with the picks of marvin and shels. sorry, bk you just didnt get it done with your model and though it looks nice, most owners (not dysfunctional ones) and fans dont wait 6 years to be competitive. it is why you are still on the sidelines, unless gearon et. al. were holding a gun to your head to be stupid.

funny, TD does things that sensible fans would do if given the choices. yes,TD does the work to make good choices, too, so i am not saying it is that easy. just the same the KISS principle applies rather than the cuteness one. go falcons and hawks. now if wren could make the same kind of decisions before the season is half over instead of the reject pattern he saw with his predecessor fail so often we might be a baseball mecca again. cuteness loses.

doc

April 23rd, 2010
11:06 am

ob, wasnt using you as a platform but it is funny the similar thread runs true. folks, it isnt marvin’s fault he didnt go about 15 in the draft instead of two. there was way too much hype about him from the man wilkens if i remember. still dont know what they saw in him that was so special as he doesnt have a great body nor tremendous classical athletic skills to even suggest the smoothness required of a small forward. i still wonder if he isnt a power forward in the future and that is what i saw him as when i finally saw him move. btw just a fan talking that doesnt like cuteness.

niremetal

April 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

O’Brien,

Marvin is getting paid slightly above the NBA league-wide average. Do you really think that he is not slightly above-average for an NBA player? Bear in mind that that includes not just starters, but all of the guys on all NBA rosters?

niremetal

April 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

To come at it from another angle, check out the number of players who are getting paid more than Marvin, and look at how many of them Marvin equals or exceeds in terms of “production” (and really, box score stats seems to be the only basis on which you judge a player). You talk as if Marvin’s contract is some kind of albatross. It’s not, especially considering his age. The NBA’s average salary is around $6M. For starters, my eyeballing guess is that it’s about $9M. For a fifth option on a 50-win team, $7.5M is hardly excessive.

doc

April 23rd, 2010
11:50 am

nire, i think for what we saw in marvin last year and what i still hope he can be if he returns to the level of play we saw last year marvin may turn out to be a bargain. on the other hand, i wish we had paid chills that number and kept him instead and then negotiated with marvin from that base. chills is more the athletic player that i think i had expected from marvin though with bigger upside. it hasnt happened thus far.

Rod from College Park

April 23rd, 2010
12:36 pm

Vava,

I appreciate your opinion, but whether you or Big Ray think I have a vendetta against Marvin really does not concern me one bit. I speak on what I see and what I know, and I have pretty much been proven correct whether you like it or not. In life and business you learn that people will not like you no matter what you do. If you don’t beleive that a guy who plays in the NBDL could stand in the corner and hit a wide open jumpshot or drive to the hole and finish with nobody guarding him then we really disagree. I personally believe that Jeremy Richardson or MArio West for that matter could give you 10 ppg and 4 to 5 rebounds a game if given 30 minutes a night. Excuse me for being so stupid for believing that. I hate to break this to you, but I am positive that there are guys in the NBDL, and overseas who are much better playes than the worst guys in the NBA. Guys who are called up in the middle of the season and perform (like the Golden State Warriors this year)should tell you that.

Big Ray,

Again if you want to blame Billy Knight, that’s your perogative. I choose not to blame him. I blame the player who has done nothing to improve his game, while most of the other players on the team have.

You are right I really don’t want to compare Beasley to Marvin, he should be compared to Durant, Mello, Granger and Gay, but since you seem to continue it I will. You argument holds no weight because Marvin was not our 5th or sixth option in his second year. He was actually our third behind Joe and Josh. I would actually consider Beasley to be Miami’s third option when O’Neal is healthy. When Marvin played on a team with the likes of Estiban Batista, Jeremy Richardson, Jon Edwards, Royal Ivey then in some peoples eyes hi might have looked like a rising star. When the talent level was raised to an NBA level, he has shown what he really is. Some might have been able to see it, but people who have played the game at a level above high school, and know some of the signs to look for in above average baskeball player should be able to see it. I agree with doc’s post above that Marvin does not have a grat body nor tremendous athletic skill to even suggest the smoothness required of a small forward. That was never really that hard to see.

I personally believe that with experience and knowledge comes wisdom. While my points on a blog are not more valid than yours, I would venture to say that if I competed in something at a level higher than you did, I might just be able to make a more educated judgement, or opinion than you. That is the way most things in life work. Your age now (33) as you say just makes you a young dummy. The goal in life should be not to become an old one.

To me it would seem to be very hard to seperate my thoughts if as you say, they are all the same (LOL). Similar thoughts should be in the same paragraph. I just learned that from O’brien the other day(LOL). You don’t see me bashing Joe, Josh, Al, Jamal or Bibby(except for this year) because 8 times out of 10 those guys are going to produce play hard and give everything they have. I will continue to bash the guy who shows up 2 times out of every 10 and is a master magician. Maybe his calling is to be like Copperfield, because he has already mastered the art of disappering.

doc

April 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

rod, you keep getting better and better, good stuff. last year though marvin was a better player because most of your arguments surrounded how many times he fell in a game. heh heh, marvin made it easy for you this year and provided you with much more ammunition.