No joy in Hawksville

You know, the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Individuals have something in common. Both don’t get the respect they are seeking.

Oh sure, the reasons are different for each team. The Individuals don’t get the respect they want because they simply have not finished earning it. The Magic don’t get respect because they have yet to be challenged in this year’s postseason. Same problem, different reasons, but both teams should come out of this hungrier than ever. Oddly enough, that’s another thing these two teams have in common. Nobody knows yet if either team is hungry enough to accomplish their mission. Can Orlando show that last year’s Finals appearance was no fluke, and that they are the best team in the East? Can Atlanta show that they are more than just a team that can limp through the first round of the playoffs? Orlando’s quest is an ever-brightening adventure, like a summer blockbuster movie. Atlanta’s quest? Should be featured on the hit TV series “Lost.”

 

The Dreaded Three Oh

No, I’m not talking about being 29 years old with a birthday right around the corner. I’m talking about that death knell that is heard ’round the world when your team is down 3 games to none in the NBA playoffs. Nobody comes back from that in this league. Have you ever gone diving into statistics and come up with something you wished you hadn’t? I just did, and this is what I came up with: The Magic have beaten the Individuals by a total of 87 points over the 3 games the two teams have played in this series. That’s more points than Atlanta has scored in either game 1 or game 3. Significantly more, in fact. Is anybody getting beaten this badly in the playoffs? What, not even the 7th and 8th seeds in each conference? Ouch.

At this point, you have to wonder if the Individuals have much left to give. Game 3 would indicate that this answer is “no”, but the diehard fan in me wants them to get at least one win. Or so I thought a game ago. Now, seeing as how there is obviously not a slaughter rule in effect (okay, there never was), I’m entertaining blasphemous thoughts…of ….a mercy killing. Is it wrong for a fan to say “oh please let it be over in 4, don’t let it stretch any longer” ? What might the Individuals themselves be thinking? Would they rather this be over quickly on Monday, or do they still have an ounce of pride left? How many fans will show up to Philips Arena is anybody’s guess. How many turn on their televisions and watch more than a couple of quarters (depending on what the score looks like) is just as sketchy, I’m thinking.

And that was before team captain and free agent-to-be Joe Johnson made his comments about fans, featured in the column of AJC writer Jeff Schultz (link provided):

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/05/08/hawks-quit-on-season-and-joe-doesnt-care-what-you-think/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

If you are looking at the picture objectively, you probably realize Joe was speaking out of frustration and total dejection. On the other hand, he’s the team leader. You’re always responsible for what you say.

 

The Atlanta Who?

Maybe I sound like a cynical columnist, but what I am is a somewhat depressed and disappointed fan. Yeah, go ahead and tell me what I should have expected. Remind me of your soothsayings from early in the year. We’re going to do this to each other for the next few weeks as we await every ill-conceived piece of repugnant rumor involving Joe Johnson that will be coming this summer.

So, have you been wondering why I’ve been calling our team the Atlanta Individuals? Ehhh, probably not…but I’ll say it anyway. This was no team that we saw out there. Please feel free to correct me, and understand that I’m thinking back through the haze of  a 30 point beating. But, I can’t remember more than about 180 seconds of this game in which five guys with the word “Hawks” on their shirts actually played together at the same time. Oh, there were times when we saw two or three guys with the previously described jerseys looking like they knew each other. Other than that, there were a bunch of individuals on the floor. Individuals that looked like they didn’t know what they were doing there, or didn’t want to be there. Individuals, I say. Not a team. There were individuals who made some shots. Some grabbed rebounds. Others played defense on occasion. No group of five Atlanta guys played anything together at once. Except for the aforementioned 180 seconds, and I may have been generous there. We’re past asking how this came to be. We’re done talking about matchups. And we’re finished coming up with solutions. I know it’s not a game 4 loss yet, but it feels like it already. The Atlanta Individuals have not competed in this series, at least not for more than a few minutes or a couple of quarters at a time, and in this latest game, nearly not at all. If there is one thing they are guaranteed to do as a team, it’s lose. And that is a sad commentary in and of itself.

 

Where did you go, Joe?

Before you go thinking that I’m going to jump on Joe Johnson’s back like the bulk of the national media (well, the ones that care, anyway), just hear me out. There are three guys who really and truly are the most pivotal to this team, in my opinion. If you disagree, then by all means say so and explain why. For me, it’s these three:

Al Horford’s learning curve probably could not be more painful. The young center is making strides as a team leader and as a player. A winner before he came to the League, Horford would probably understand having to work his way up from a losing atmosphere to a winning one. The problem is, he came into this league and enjoyed a playoff berth in his rookie season. A competitive one, at that, against the team that was to be the eventual NBA champion that year. Three years later, he and his team have shown growth in a number of areas, and have added more talent to the roster. So in a way, it’s probably even more painful than losing, for him to watch this team self-destruct in ways that it should not. Horford has not been perfect, learning some tough lessons against Milwaukee, wherein his mettle (and his heart) were tested. Admirably, he got back behind the wheel and has been both more aggressive and more productive against Dwight Howard than he was in the regular season. True leadership is often forged in the hottest fires. Al has to be feeling the burn right now.

Josh Smith still can’t seem to keep the batteries in place. His role is the one of motor, of energy source, of a jolt of power. What he has brought instead has been inconsistency. After acquitting himself to an extent in an up-and-down first round series, Smith knew he had to show up for the second round. His scoring totals went up, while his rebounds and shooting percentage went down (from the 1st round to the 2nd). It’s not all about the stats, though. Rather, it has been the energy level and attitude that Smith has brought to the court. His motor and focus have run hot and cold, hurting the team at times. Post game interviews are neither the time nor the place to remember that you are the tip of the spear when it comes to energy and intensity. On the floor and during the heat of battle…..THAT is the time. Josh still does not seem to get this all of the time, and it will inevitably lead to summer time speculation about his future with the team. Well, who needs to wait for summer?

Joe Johnson is the man of the hour when free agency begins. Too bad he’s been anything but that in the second round of the playoffs. I had thought we’d get to see a different and better Joe, considering he came into this postseason healthier and less fatigued than he did last year. Averaging 20, 5 , and 5 on a not-so-impressive 43% shooting, Johnson still looked the part of top team scorer and #1 guy against Milwaukee. His struggles weren’t so bad against a defensively dogmatic Bucks squad that was determined not to let him torch them. His line against Orlando has been much worse, though. How does 14.5 ppg on 12 for 42 (28.6%) shooting sound? Truth be told, game 4 against Milwaukee was the last time Joe shot over 40%. What do you do when your top offensive option and best player is playing this badly? As much as we’d like to talk about other guys stepping up, Joe is who and what he is to this team. It has to have been frustrating to produce this poorly, but this is also supposed to be a better team, if not just a more talented one. Unfortunately, few have struggled more than Joe has. As if you didn’t hear that a half dozen times from the ESPN commentators.

Disappointed that I didn’t mention Jamal Crawford? Don’t be. Crawford’s shooting percentage is every bit as bad as Johnson’s, and he’s getting scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers that are close to Joe’s in this series. He’s also a sixth man who is tasting the playoffs for the first time in his career. Excuses? Hardly. Jamal should be producing more, clearly. I hold the more veteran starters to a little big higher standard though.

Anyhow, sound off as we wait for what can only be the inevitable…right? Do these guys have it in them to take one, or are they done? One question. One answer. Monday.

261 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

May 9th, 2010
12:43 am

Ray,

I hope the hawks can win on Monday, but with the we played, I would be surprised if we win.

Howard said they wanted to not let up, because they did not want to give the hawks any momentum going forward. It sounds like SVG has his guys focused.

Speaking of which, how come you did not say anything about Woody?

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
12:48 am

O’Brien,

I suspect it’s because the AJC would fire him if he said what he wants to say using the words he wants to use ;)

doc

May 9th, 2010
1:01 am

is anyone else here tired of hearing about chipper’s physical ailments, except me?

another question, does anyone here think we could have beaten the bobcats in the playoffs?

doc

May 9th, 2010
1:03 am

o’b, havent you heard enough of what ray has to say about woody? do you think it would be any better?

doc

May 9th, 2010
1:05 am

gee nothing but questions have i and no answers; do i resemble anyone else concerned about hawks basketball like the players and coaches?

nice blog ray.

damien

May 9th, 2010
1:30 am

I am a lifelong hawks fan and now that the team is finally making the playoffs i am ready to totally leave them alone after watching them play lately. blow the team up. Marvin…. gone . Woody….gone. Johnson…..gone. Smith …..maybe (need him for D ) I would rather watch another young team go thru growing pains again than watch this group play again.

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Big Daddy

May 9th, 2010
4:31 am

I too am a life long Hawks fan and disappointed does not begin to describe what I am feeling. Disbelief would be more like it. To me, during the playoffs the people we depend on the most Joe and Jamaal have not lived up to their regular season averages and I don’t know why. They are getting good looks. Jamaal has had a few good games, but I can only remember Joe having one good game and that was against the Bucks.

I have refrained from bashing Woody most of the season but it seems clear that the team needs to hear another voice. He has done a remarkable job getting the team to this point but it seems as though he has lost control of the team now.

So many people have bashed Josh but it seems that he and Al are the only ones who are truly making an effort. His display of frustration may be shown in a way that is not as mature as it should be but this is a kid who did not go to college and is still exhibiting his feelings in a way that is not as adult as Al’s. I give great props to Smoove. Too many people actually forget how old these guys really are. Think about some of the things Kobe went through before he got to this point in his career.

So much was expected out of Marvin and last year I thought was his best year as a pro. How much longer can we wait for him to develop. He is seeming to regress than improve. I think the chemistry of the team is very suspect. That brings us to the coaching staff. It is their job to prepare the team and to come up with game plans that help win. Their job to suggest or come up with adjustments that help the team during the game and to keep them motivated. They have failed miserably during the playoffs and even if Woody does come back and that is highly suspect, he needs to get some other people on his staff that better prepares the players for what they can expect during a game.

vava74

May 9th, 2010
6:03 am

“I thought in Game 2 we really came out ready to play and competed, and lost it at the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. “But tonight was just unacceptable, and I have to take responsibility for that as coach. I’m not happy with our play, it wasn’t called for, and I don’t think anybody saw it coming.”

interestingly enough, do you know what happened at the 4th quarter 9th minute mark on game 2?

AFTER AN ORL TURNOVER (travelling by Pietkus) Woody called a tImeout! AFTER AN OPPONENT’S TURN OVER!

Let us all give him resounding round of applause! There’s our coach everyone!

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:07 am

By the way, here that Truth Serum does no hear us…

We need to: either try and find another center who can contribute off the bench with real physical play or get Zaza to commit to gain 30 pound of muscle in the off season.

Theoretically – could have been that guy if had been forced to be in game shape earlier, got consistent minutes per game (8-12) and got the recognition from the refs as a non scrub.

He was, in the past, a recognized defensive C in the league and unless he suffers from some sort of early aging desease, there is no reason for him not to perform if he lost 40 pound of fat.

Another interesting fact: when we played the Suns, Woody said that Joe Smith and. Collins would play more in the playoffs since he had plans for them.

Did I miss anything?

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:08 am

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:11 am

The reason Collins did not get more minutes is actually simple: you can’t play the switching D with him on the floor and god forbid that we would try anything foolish and completely adventurous like playing stand up man to man D…

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:14 am

Instead, Woody’s plan was:

let’s sign a super fat C, let him rot in the bench, never allow him to gain any game speed and disappear well below the refs radars for 89 games and then hope that he gets any calls jn his favour against one of the most touted NBA stars…

Ummm… Genious… Pure genious…

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:15 am

Dang, “genius”

vava74

May 9th, 2010
7:17 am

In case you are wondering, I stayed up until 4.45am.

I could not sleep and I am now posting on my iPhone from “the throne”.

The hawks only make me have “sh!tty thoughts” right now.

Souper

May 9th, 2010
7:20 am

I played two years of college ball at a small school in Fla; I am 6′ 0″ and weighed 160 at that time; I played small forward because I wasn’t very quick; I was the sixth man of the bench; I regularly played against guys 6′ 2″ – 6′ 7″; the reason(s) I got to play at all was using fundamentals like ” boxing out” and shear hustle; it really is sickening to watch the standing around, no hustle, whining crap from these guys; I can accept losing to a superior team like the Magic; I cannot accept losing with lack of effort, lack of coaching (pull a guy out like Josh Smith when he is walking down the court and not showing hustle), and no enthusiasm; I really wish I had not paid my deposit on my season tickets next year; the Milwaukee Bucks were an example of how you play as an inferior talented team; they were fun to watch and energized their crowd; huh, a novel though Joe Johnson; he just sealed his reputation for the rest of his career; finally, I hope magt has the nads to make the changes needed to get this team to the top echelon!

luckyB

May 9th, 2010
7:27 am

I went to the game last night it was boring from both ends of the court. it seem like everybody was drain or just no into it. It seem more like a preseason game then a playoff game. yes the crowd boooed J Johnson, damn right he deserve it, he is a poor excuse for a leader. Crawford and Horford were the only two that actuallly played the game. Josh seems to think he is a guard, throwning up jumpers and three pointers like he is on a playground. Bibby he is just OLD! Marvin useless! We need a string powerful center, and let Horford play forward like he is suppose to. Old Joe he is DONE, lets put a fork in him and calll it a day! I read this morning article about the comments he stated about caring less if Hawks fan show up! well we can care less if he pack his $#&! and GO! HIT THE ROAD JACK AND DONT YOU COME BACK!

The Real Hawk

May 9th, 2010
7:40 am

Let Joe go and use the money to attract a center. Find a coach who knows how to develop a point guard (which we already have). Move Marvin, out or to the bench. Sign a real small forward who scores 20 each night. That will replace Joe’s 20 (except in the playoffs). Sign Crawford to an extension and start him in Joe’s place.

doc

May 9th, 2010
8:31 am

well vava it seems you are echoing some of my thoughts about the collins “experiment”

plain and simple this team was not ready to play in the playoffs again. last year we barely got by an injured miami team, the same this year in the bucks. then we have been slain in round two by better teams no doubt but not 30 point s better teams. last year the inferior effort was blamed on our injury status, this year it is because we are ill prepared and just down right inferior.

good article posted by najeh regarding jj and his max. sobering thoughts and waring about two guards performances after the age of 30 which jj is one year shy of. i hope someone in asg is reading. max him and it will look like the sixers taking on brand. i also think jj’s legs will be a problem, a lot of milage placed on them the last five years.

Peter

May 9th, 2010
9:39 am

How can any team win, if they do not share………that is the ball, the responsibilities, and the help ?

JJ expressed that he doesn’t care about the Fans……..I guess only going to the BANK matters to him.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
10:10 am

Doc,

That aspect of Sheridan’s article is old news. And it’s something you tried to harp on a few months back, if memory serves. There’s no doubt that JJ will not be “worth” $20m in 6 years. But as long as he doesn’t become totally useless by the age of 35, it won’t kill his team to pay him that much, just like the Jazz/Celts/Nugs aren’t being killed by paying Kirilenko/Allen/Martin way more than they are worth. And as I’ve said before – the fact that JJ relies virtually not at all on his athleticism means that he is likely to age more gracefully than the average shooting guard.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
10:22 am

JJ is worth the max because contrary to popular belief, there are about 20 guys in the league who are worth the max since the max is an artificial ceiling on salaries. Take away the player salary restrictions, and JJ would still earn about $18-20M/yr this summer while LeBron would be getting $35-40M/yr and Wade $25-30M. The fact that LeBron can’t earn more than $20M/yr does not automatically mean that everyone deserves less.

That being said, JJ can’t be our top dog anymore. Of that much, I’m convinced. I used to think that keeping the core but bringing in a new coach would solve everything. But after tonight…unless we can somehow coax Phil Jackson or a resurrected Red Auerbach to come here, it’s tough to see how a new coach could make a difference here – unless ALL that tonight was about was quitting on Woody a la the Pistons with Flip Saunders. But too many things have to go right for the Hawks to win a title with JJ as their best player. If I’m Sund, I look into seeing if I can re-sign him and coax one of LeBron/Bosh/Stoudemire/Boozer here in a S&T. If not, then I let JJ walk, trade Marvin (if possible) and Josh, and start basically from scratch.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
10:24 am

I really do wish that we had not re-signed Woody in ‘08 or fired him after the playoffs last year. I would like to see what this team could have done with a better coach and would also like for JJ to see that playing under a coach besides Woody wouldn’t be a bad thing for him. Alas, too late now…

doc

May 9th, 2010
10:24 am

the moments in the sun are fleet for some organizations. look only to the clips and the warriors for examples of such. has this organization reached its ceiling?

we are not any of those organizations you mention nire, we dont come close to having what they have had or achieved over the years. a contract like that to out jj as he approaches 33 will be like the contract the braves are paying chipper. ill timed and ill conceived. no way to justify it in the terms you just expressed.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
10:29 am

You’ll have to explain to me what the Nuggets achieved that we have not, Doc…

doc

May 9th, 2010
11:08 am

nire, look at the breadth of their basketball health going even back to the days of the aba for one, a much hungrier fan base due due to this and see how they have done in the years under george karl recently.

as an aside, it is sad karl didnt get a chance to show what his team can do in the playoffs, very sad. he has done more with less during his tenure there than most can imagine. since it isnt a top market it may have a ceiling like we do or compared to utah that is unless we get an ownership base that can afford to spend in the tax range. the nuggets somehow have put together a pretty good run lately nire is what i am referring to.

anyone wonder who BK had in mind when he wanted to fire woody?

oh nire, to help your memory:

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/denver/nuggets.html

they have achieved so much more than we have nire it is funny you should ask.

Woody

May 9th, 2010
11:14 am

niremetal, is that you JJ ? No one else would be stupid enough to make an argument to pay him 20 million a year after his atrocious play and lack of leadership; not to mention his disregard for the Hawks fan base.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
11:19 am

Doc,

Bear in mind that the Nuggets signed K-Mart to his contract in 2004, doc, not last year. At that time, they’d had 2 winning seasons in the past 14 years, and had only made it out of the first round once (the upset against the Sonics). They hadn’t made it past the conference semifinals since 1985, when they lost 4-1 to the Lakers in the Finals. They have never made the NBA Finals. Ever. They made the ABA Finals once and lost. And even that was in the last year of the ABA’s existence – the league only had 7 times by the end of the season.

“They have achieved so much more than we have?” In the past 2 years, yes. Before that, not so much. Unless you count 2 conference finals appearances in 30 years and a worse overall record as a big step up.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
11:21 am

“Woody,”

Re-read what I said. Not that I much care for the opinion of anyone using your handle.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
11:26 am

And doc – not incidentally, I fail to see what the team’s achievements 20 years ago has to do with what they should do now. Should the Hawks simply give up simply because they’ve never won before? Great attitude.

doc

May 9th, 2010
11:27 am

ok, what would i do in a perfect scenario.

let jj walk, trade josh for al jefferson, coax salmans here and bring in farmar and chills along with a coach that truly has a system on both sides of the ball that is not restricted to one thing only.

starting line up jefferson at center, al at pf, marvin at three, salmans at two and farmar at point.

bench: bibby/teague, jamal, chills, zaza.

bring in two wide bodies that get play time during the season not on either end of the season. preferably one that is a vet one that can learn and compete.

i hereby open canniblog season and make it official as the great bird in the sky is over baked and dead.

doc

May 9th, 2010
11:37 am

please reread what i said:

“nire, look at the breadth of their basketball health going even back to the days of the aba for one, a much hungrier fan base due to this and see how they have done in the years under george karl recently.”

i thought you would go for a what have they done lately for me. dont you see it as odd they reversed their trend so quickly? worst to first almost, wasnt it? just from 2003. hmm where were we? oh yeah, in the same boat bringing in BK and the BASG debacle. i will ask anyone here would you rather be a nugget fan over the past 6 to 7 years or a hawks fan? yup, even their recent history is much better nire.

your contrarian view is interesting nire. it is a beautiful day here, blue skies and all but i feel if i said so you would point out something just the opposite though all can see it for what it is.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
11:47 am

Doc,

Again, K-Mart was signed in 2004, not a year ago. At that time, they had just come off a 43-win season and had gotten crushed in the first round by the Wolves. Before that, they’d had 1 winning seasons in the previous 13 years.

I did read what you said. Again, I ask: If that’s your attitude, should we simply give up on the Hawks completely? The Hawks will need to take risks in order to contend. Overpaying for JJ is admittedly a risk. But I don’t get why you’re bringing up the Hawks’ history of futility as a reason not to do it. Because that same logic could conceivably be used to argue that the Hawks shouldn’t take any risks at all. Does the fact that they’ve had a losing history means that they should give up? If not, then what’s your argument? Why does “the Hawks have a losing history and a less excited fan base than other teams” equal “we shouldn’t re-sign JJ?”

doc

May 9th, 2010
11:52 am

who said anything about giving up nire? say what?

you asked:

“You’ll have to explain to me what the Nuggets achieved that we have not, Doc…”.

and i answered. had nothing to do with giving up. where did you get that?

seems you couldnt see the relevance of the nuggets to basketball historically. there is tradition in utah and the celts which you recognized readily is what i was commenting to first. you didnt take issue with that in my response to you but did to the nuggets is what i was seeing and responding to. we have no tradition here nire except brief pauses between mediocrity and the laughable in the hawks. that is what i am saying. there is almost as much tradition in denver basketball as there is in their football; that we dont have either. 21 playoff appearances is nothing to sneeze at nire, for any organization.

is it sorry franchises or sorry fans? that is also a theme we could go for here as well.

opps, shouldnt have said that.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
12:04 pm

Lol…Doc, I’d argue that the Nuggets’ history could just as easily be characterized as brief pauses between mediocrity and the laughable. Seriously. 21 playoff appearances – do you mean the number the Hawks have had or the Nuggets? Oh wait – they both have had 21 playoff appearances! :) Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The Hawks and Nugs have both made the playoffs the exact same number of times since the Nuggets joined the NBA. You’re putting way too much stock in a couple hapless conference Finals appearances 20-30 years ago and a couple good seasons when the ABA was collapsing. Their fan base? You’re right, that’s a different story and I won’t go there. The Nuggets had a comparable record of futility, but they put together a contender. That’s all I’m saying.

My question wasn’t out of the blue, doc. I said that it’s possible to contend even if we pay the max to a guy who doesn’t really seem to deserve it. I provided K-Mart as an example. Your retort to that was that the Nuggets have a better history than we do. I’m trying to understand how that is relevant to my point that re-signing JJ to a max wouldn’t be the end of the world even if it means he is overpaid (especially late in his contract).

doc

May 9th, 2010
12:13 pm

nire for some reason i see tradition places fans in the stands to afford to overpay a guy like that is my point. we dont have that because of our inferior teams and inconsistency of ownership and delivery on product. fans wont stay here and pay up if they dont deliver nire, you know that. though folks think of the braves attendance as paltry at 2.8 mil thinking only of the golden years at 4 mil i remember years where they didnt get 700000 a year before turner. a huge contact to jj who doesnt deliver will hamstring this organization for a long time nire. i would be cautious before offering it, is my point.

before any contract is signed i want to know who the coach is and how jj would fit. i for one am not sure jj should go, just very alarmed at a contact to him for max at 6 years unless it is a s and t.

doc

May 9th, 2010
12:21 pm

nire, conference championships nor appearances in finals dont make a difference? it does to me nire since i havent experienced any of that as a fifty year hawk fan. 21 playoff appearances with none past the second round for our side; no victories in the second round since early 90’s.

it is a very different terrain as a nugget fan vs. a hawks fan; 13 dry year nuggets run aside. yes, we have had nba tams in both cities is about all i can say about the two experiences, as a fan in comparison.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
12:38 pm

Doc,

The Nuggets never made the NBA Finals. They lost the ABA Finals in the last year of the ABA’s existence, when attendance was in the gutter and only 7 teams remained in the league. Come on. No one in their right mind talks about the ABA’s last year as a serious accomplishment. Two teams folded mid-season. Don’t pretend that the teams are that far apart in their history. And ask a Denver native what they think. I can tell you that the ones I’ve talked to do not think any more highly of their team’s history than you do of the Hawks’. They do not view their two conference finals appearances as being some glory days any more than Hawks fans view the age of Nique as glory days.

Big Ray

May 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

Interesting comments, guys.

Personally, I have a very hard time paying “max”, whatever that is supposed to be, for a guy who has just proven what he’ll do in the playoffs. Pardon me if I wasn’t impressed, and this can’t all be put on Woody.

Funny that JJ’s impending departure means that two more of our “core” must also go. What, they don’t deserve a shot at performing under a different coach (assuming we get a different coach, that is)? Just asking…no really, I’m asking…

Doc ,

Interesting thoughts. At least you provide a trade whom for whom scenario. Don’t know that Minnesota would give up Jefferson for Smith and what not, but it would be nice to see a wide butt at center while Al mans the 4 spot. Salmons is a good guy, but didn’t know you were interested in Farmar. Hmmmm. Interesting indeed, though I’m sure the canniblogging begins as you said, and we’ll see how long before your suggestion gets torpedoed in fine canniblogging fashion.

Niremetal ,

Trade Josh and Marvin for whom? Curious what your thoughts are.

Big Daddy ,

Joe and Jamal were definitely disappointments during the playoffs. Jamal is a first-timer and we saw how that has gone for many players (remember how Cleveland’s Mo Williams was last year, though technically it was his second playoffs appearance ever?). Still, Jamal is a veteran. He did have some decent games for us, but shot badly overall. Experience does count for something, however.

Joe on the other hand, is a playoff veteran and this team’s captain. He has performed merely marginally better this year in the playoffs than he did last year when he played more minutes during the regular season, and came into the playoffs injured. His shooting is in fact worse. If this is aging gracefully, then I’d hate to see the graceless version.

northcyde

May 9th, 2010
1:18 pm

I gotta say Ray . . . your write-up on the state of the Hawks is more level-headed than what I’m seeing from Schultz or the national media writers.

But this is the absolute worse case scenario for us that is happening.

- We’re getting trounced as a team by Orlando, exposing everything that is wrong about this team, from the coach to the players.

- JJ has completely sold us out by not being able to produce even at his season averages, and has now labeled him “heartless” and not being able to be “the guy”.

- JJ’s comments have started the bridge to burn, and may prevent the ASG from bringing him back . . and worse, he may not even agree to a sign and trade

- Josh Smith has been painted as a guy who takes plays off ( and the TV cameras now look for that ish, trying to paint him as “lazy” ).

- and if about 9,000 fans show up on Monday night for a playoff game, it’s going to make the situation even worse and make the whole franchise look bad.

I thought we’d take them 6 games. I would’ve been shocked at a sweep. But what’s happening here is on a different level. If we played like Utah, but lost, we could just say “if we’d made a play here or there, we could’ve won”.

LOL . . but we can’t say ish about this series now. While I’m not against blowing up the core, we’re going to be under tremendous pressure to do just that. And that means that things will get MUCH WORSE before they get better.

Sund better turn into David Copperfield, and become a master illusionist. Because the work he may have to do this offseason may be incredible. LOL . . I could see him overpaying for someone like T-Mac, just so the Hawks can sell a big ( but far from his prime ) name to the franchise.

doc

May 9th, 2010
1:20 pm

sorry nire, you are right, meant conference finals. like last year. prob again this year, if karl healthy, maybe?

doc

May 9th, 2010
1:22 pm

nothcyde, what about a new coach, too? is he exposed enough now for you to consider a change?

Hawk n the Ham

May 9th, 2010
1:33 pm

As far as Crawford’s stats have been these playoffs, I don’t think I have seen anyone with as many in-n-outs on the basket. Crawdaddy has put so many in the hole, to have just ‘rimmed out’. Go back and watch them again. Jamal could have doubled his shooting % if those were to fall.

JJ on the other hand, has just been terrible. He has killed the Hawks with his 20 second ISO plays that keep the ball on the same side of the floor, in the same hands, and has the worse scoring % to show for it. It’s been real hard to watch.

Good job Big Ray on Horford. With his developed mid range, he could easily be the offensive focus for a lot of teams (in the 4 spot), A la Garnett & Bosh. Horford is the future of the Hawks. It doesn’t matter if JJ is gone, we make some crazy blog thought up trades, Horford is the superstar for the next 5 years. He has shown the competitive nature and maturity to be the LEADER on and off the floor for this team. And that role will only grow, if JJ does leave.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
2:17 pm

Ray,

Trade them for expiring contracts. With Al up for an extension next year and the CBA likely to create a lower cap, having either of their contracts will likely hamstring our rebuilding efforts. And a half-assed rebuilding is worse than no rebuilding at all.

And if JJ “proved” what he can do in the playoffs with the past two games, can’t the same be said of Smoove and Marvin? Hell, even of Horford when combined with his performance in the Milwaukee losses? Just sayin. Right now, I feel like trading everyone.

Hawk n the Ham

May 9th, 2010
2:21 pm

niremetal,

And that’s why I’m glad you’re a blogger. And not Sund.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
2:41 pm

Hawk/Ham,

Trust me, I’m glad I’m not Sund too.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
2:50 pm

I’m sure I’ll feel more sober about this in a couple days. But after a few games of watching Joe suck, Marvin disappear, Horford surrender, and Josh not even try, I honestly don’t really have much positive to say about the players on this team. I would never actually trade Horford, because he think he’s still young and new enough to the league that Woody hasn’t ruined him yet. But everyone else…

MannyT

May 9th, 2010
2:57 pm

I was at the game on Saturday. It was sad. I am not the boo the home team type, but I understand that some folks do it. I did leave in the 4th quarter.

I’ll still hold my tongue on Woody until the season is officially over.

However, I will say Sund needs to consider the following ASAP.

Look at the roster and its skills. Identify the style of play that allows you to get the most out of the guys you have. Make sure you have a coach that works well with that style. Make roster moves to move the guys that don’t fit that style. There are several assets that allow you to make moves without destroying the ability to win regular season games.

On the Joe question, sure people are mad about his comments and playoff performance that is worse than the regular season. Keep in mind that you have to get to through the regular season to play in May. If Joe goes, you have to replace him with someone. For all the folks that say Jamal, just remember that Joe, Mo and Marvin are almost all of our consistently useful perimeter defense. (Free agent Mario’s 6 seconds of pressure doesn’t matter enough over 48 minutes.) Marvin is the only one that is definitely under contract for next season. Unless you’re playing NellieBall or D’Antoni’s Disappearing D, this will have to be addressed.

And there is still the question of how the team’s budget is impacted by the Belkin mess.

I’ll probably show up on Monday and root for them to win. Much more likley to get a good effort down 3-0 in Utah, but I don’t have a ticket or airfare.

This will be an interesting summer.

BWAF

MannyT

May 9th, 2010
3:05 pm

@northcyde, players are generally in favor of sign & trades. It allows teams without cap room to get into the bidding. If you were Joe, wouldn’t you want to have ALL teams as potential options versus only those with cap room?

This is a question for the Hawks more than Joe. If they offer, it gives his agent much more leverage to get his guy paid.

BWAF

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
3:10 pm

MannyT,

That all sounds well and good. But as I said on the last blog – by that logic, aren’t the Hawks a potential suitor for LeBron/Bosh/Amare/etc? I mean, we could conceivably lure them here in a S&T deal by packaging some combination of players and picks.

The reality of the situation is that JJ can’t afford to wait around while the Hawks haggle over the terms of potential S&T deals. If he waits on that, all the teams with cap room might look elsewhere and he’ll be stuck. That’s why you rarely see UFAs go to teams without the cap space to sign them outright.