Summer of Sund begins

I’d be amazed if you haven’t heard the news yet. Whichever direction the Atlanta Hawks go in now, Mike Woodson will not be a part of it. According to NBA.com’s Sekou Smith (first to report it, that I know of), Woodson was told by management that he will not be offered a new contract.

You can join the conversation with Jeff Schultz, ajc.com sports blogger  and AJC columnist, who’s  weighed in with more detailed reporting and opinion on the move.

So Long, So Short

No one can deny that the Hawks improved from year to year under Mike Woodson, and that is often the first thing out of the mouth of anybody who is not looking to cast him in a negative light. It can be and has been argued that his part in such improvement (going from 13 wins in his first year to 53 in this, his last) was not all, or even mostly why the team improved. One would also have to account for the moves made by former GM Billy Knight, and those of current GM Rick Sund. But that argument may be somewhat stale in the minds of many, and he does deserve credit for improvement in a number of ways. A team simply cannot improve from year to year without something going right for the guy in the suit on the sidelines.

The problem for Woodson is in the details, and in the postseason. Improvement as an end result (regular season victory total) is always good, but the result does not end with the regular season if your team is good enough. The Hawks struggled in the playoffs each time they went. Arguably, this team’s best showing under him was it’s first showing (2008), wherein they took eventual champion Boston to 7 games. As many NBA coaches have found out, you can win big in the regular season, but the postseason is where you are judged more closely. Weaknesses are exposed, strengths are exploited, and counter measures have to be taken. Under Woodson, the Hawks struggled with all three. Finally, his full body of work resulted in personal overall losing regular and postseason records.

Was it a matter of talent, experience, and effort on the court? I’d say that it was to an extent, but the other side of the coin asks whether or not use of talent was a problem as well. Either way, the Hawks go forward with a philosophy that will be different than it has been in the last six years. Mike Woodson did a lot for this team, but in the end, his full body of work was not enough for management to think he should be retained.

AJC beat writer Michael Cunningham describes the situation on his Hawks beat blog.

May Woodson L.I.P (Leave in Peace)

Whatever you may think of him, Mike Woodson was honest and had class. He never was one to publicly upbraid his players as some coaches have done. While some have done that (even to a degree of success), that was never his way. Furthermore, he was never that hard on us fans, leaving most (if not all) of his barbs for the media, when he chose to throw any.

Woodson’s resume may or may not be glowing, but it won’t keep him from getting another job. Nor do I believe that players or management will have much negative to say about him as he ships off. My guess is we’ll see him coaching somewhere else before long, maybe sooner than we expect. One place I can’t see him is on tv as some sports network’s analyst or commentator. But hey, you never know.

So long, Mike. Thanks for helping to bring winning seasons to Atlanta Hawks basketball.

The Continued Saga

Now you know this is far from over. Rick Sund is not known for his lightning quick strikes, the matching of Josh Smith’s contract offer from Memphis a couple of years ago notwithstanding. How long will he take to name a new coach? Will the Hawks be more discreet than in times past, and will they hit their mark, rather than strike out the way they used to? The rumors around the league after Billy Knight walked away (or was pushed, depending on what you believe), and that preceeded Sund’s hiring had to have been an embarrassment to the organization. Chances are, discretion will be the word of the day. Yet more questions abound. How long has Sund been planning to let Woodson go? I’ll go out on a limb and guess that few of us are willing to believe that he only came to a decision in the last 48-72 hours. What sort of coach might he be after, and will it be somebody he has worked with before?

Nobody knows, and there aren’t even any juicy false rumors to work with, yet. Sund seems like one who likes to take him time on a lot of things, but a quick strike here might be a good thing. Or will it? You’d almost have to think that the man has been doing his homework just in case Woody and the Hawks didn’t come through and show real improvement in the playoffs (which they didn’t). What do you think? Is moving relatively fast the way to go? Will the Hawks make a “splash” here, or will it be another subtle move that goes largely under the radar?

Also, what effect might this have on whether or not Joe Johnson decides to remain in Atlanta? Would he welcome a different coach, perhaps one who would modify his role? Or is he wanting to bolt no matter who comes in?

The Summer of Sund has begun. Stay tuned….

239 comments Add your comment

niremetal

May 16th, 2010
10:46 pm

Sautee,

Russ was an incredible player whose two coaching titles were due to his presence as a player and locker room leader, not as a coach. He, by all accounts, had no conception of how to handle substitutions and his assistants drew up plays in timeouts. He was Auerbach’s 4th choice as head coach (one of the higher choices turned it down because he didn’t think Russell would respect him), and ultimately left most of the tasks that we’d consider “coaching” today to his assistant.

His tenure as Seattle’s coach was marked by serious underachievement, and the one account I’ve read of it (in The Breaks of the Game, which focused mainly on the Sonics’ Portland rivals) said that he had a poor eye for what players fit together in a rotation, no clue how to mold a system that fit the talents of his players (which had nothing in common with the Celtics he’d played with before), and was pretty consistently outgeneraled in close games. The year after he left, Lenny Wilkens took over and the team made the Finals. The year after that, they won the Finals.

Decent? Perhaps. But nothing to write home about.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
3:18 am

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/13/geoff-calkins-lionel-hollins-talks-mike-conley-oj-/

Above link was interesting reading. Saw it on MC’s blog. Here are sometidbits from Memphis Grizzlies HC Lionel Hollins. Stuff Jeff Teague should take note of. All I can say is Hollins looks like a pretty good coach, especially for a young pg….

Here, he speaks of Mike Conley-

“It’s just, for him, his whole career has been playing with great players and he’s been the guy who brought the ball up the court, threw the ball to those guys and then played a little defense. In the NBA, you have to be more of an aggressor, you have to be more of an attacker at the point guard. I asked him today when I saw him, “Did you see the game yesterday?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “Did you see what Rajon Rondo did?” He said, “Yeah, that was a super game.” I said, “He was attacking. He’s not waiting on those other guys.” Part of Boston’s issue over the time that Rondo’s been there is when to give him the ball full-time versus the Big Three.”

Teague, take notes. Here’s a little more for ya, kid.

” It’s both. You’ve got to have the mentality that when you get the ball, you’re thinking pass. You’re attacking but you’re looking to see who’s going to be open. When Steve Nash attacks, he’s not attacking to score all the time.”

And now, a tidbit on scorer types:

“All of those guys that can score, LeBron, Kobe, Joe Johnson, they all have their position but ultimately they have the ball in the hands at the end of the game. Most of the time, they’re trying to make plays to score. There’s a time when you can do that, we’ve done that with O.J. But through the whole course of the game, if you gave the ball to Joe Johnson through the whole course of the game, those other guys will never get off. And it happens even with Cleveland. When you give the ball to LeBron James the whole game, those other guys don’t get opportunities.”

A note on current NBA players. This guy doesn’t hold back at all, tells it like it is:

Question: Does it say something about American basketball that the guy who gets it better than anyone else is from Spain?

“We have the same issue with the majority of our team. It’s the new wave of player. It’s not as important to these players anymore. They’re already going to get paid. They’re going to get a second contract before they’re the player that they’re going to be. So what’s the motivation for you to go out there and bust your (butt) extra? We set up times before practice for guys to work and we set up times after practice for guys to work. Why do we have to set times? Because none of them will be in gym once that two-hour block of practice is over. They’re not going to come early unless you make them, they’re not going to stay late. That’s the whole group, that’s around the NBA. There’s very few where you see guys like LeBron is in the gym four hours before a game. That’s the exception, that’s not the rule. We’re dealing with a whole new group of young people who think they’re entitled to stardom and money just because they’ve gone through the process. And it takes a few years to get them to play together and understand it’s not about your numbers or his numbers but about the team’s wins and losses and going out there and playing every night.”

Question: Does it say something about American basketball that the guy who gets it better than anyone else is from Spain?

“It says a lot about our society and how there’s no growth, there’s no starting here and working your way up. As soon as one of these kids shows that he can score a little bit or can dunk on somebody or is faster than everybody, he’s elevated to another level. And from that point on, he’s allowed to do things or not do things that everybody else doesn’t get. Look at the mid-majors. Why do they have such success against those high-powered schools? They have a higher skill level, they play together as a team, they stay around. Why would John Wall ever think about making a sacrifice for Kentucky? Why would (Eric) Bledsoe, why would (Demarcus) Cousins? There’s no reason. “I’m only here for one reason, I’m going to be here for one year, I’m going to try to score as many points as I can so I can be drafted as high as I can.” What does that say? Now he comes to the NBA and he wants to be a star, he gets drafted 1, 2, 3, 4, whatever it is. And now he goes to a team, and they’ve already got a lot of pieces, and they just want you to come and fit in. He wants to come in and be the man. Whoever it is, I’m not talking about John Wall personally, whoever it is. And now they’re struggling and they’re fighting the game and the media is saying, “Well, you should be doing this, you did this in college, and how come you’re not doing this here?” So now he’s going out and he wants to show everybody that he can. But he doesn’t help the team win. And that’s why you have to give Oklahoma City credit, they have great chemistry. But they also have a pecking order. Durant is the man, there’s no question in anybody’s mind that he’s the man.”

Yep. Especially the part about great chemistry. Without that, a 30 point scorer does not deliver 50 wins, especially not in the West.

Read the whole thing. It’s good. And he apparently doesn’t play favorites…. ;)

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
3:20 am

Okay, one more. Something I want to see in a head coach that we hire, and something I don’t know that Woody had:

“You have to be honest. They’ll hate your guts for what you tell ‘em but they’ll hate your guts because you’re honest. And that’s all you can do. That’s what I try to do with all the guys. Rudy Gay and I go at it. O.J. Mayo and I go at it. Mike Conley doesn’t ever talk back to me, but I get on him pretty good. And I get on Marc pretty good. I get on Zach. Zach doesn’t usually talk back either. Or Marc. But, in the end, all those guys will come back and say, “You were right.” They don’t want to admit it in front of their peers and I’m a firm believer that you can’t always say something in private. At some point, the other guys have to know that you’re going to hold people accountable. And that’s just the way it is and they don’t like it. They don’t like to be called out, they don’t like to be yelled at. My job as a coach is to make them go further than they think they can go and give more than they think they can give.”

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
3:44 am

One particular part sticks out a lot:

“I’m a firm believer that you can’t always say something in private. At some point, the other guys have to know that you’re going to hold people accountable.”

Yes, I want that out of my coach. And the players will either be men and take it, or fall by the wayside. But there would be no talk of favorites, because an approach like that won’t leave room for that sort of interpretation or possibility. Encourage them all, and give them all hell, each as the situation dictates.

O'Brien

May 17th, 2010
8:07 am

Ray,

And now its coming out from sources that was one of the issues with Woody. Players felt he had favorites. I like a HC who is not afraid to say something in public (especially if what he says in private is not working).

I dont know if Thibodeau will make a good HC, but one thing I do know, is his teams will defend. With JVG and the Knicks, and now 3 seasons with Doc, those teams buy into his defense.

We know Casey is on Sund’s list, but I wonder who else is on there…

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:07 am

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:10 am

Whichever player said that Woody plays favorites needs to be immediately traded, because that player does not know or like to compete. And we don’t need that type of player on our team. I’m not saying that the player was lying, just that he needs to be kicked off the team for being a , well, what’s the name of a famous female dog…. a Lassie… there you go, a Lassie.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:12 am

Rick Sund interview from this morning. As expected, he will keep his cards pinned to his chest.

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

niremetal

May 17th, 2010
9:41 am

Astro,

1) Check out the comments on that NYT story. Surprisingly pro-Marvin.
2) Get real. My first suspicion is that player was Horford. It might have been a guy who didn’t think he was being treated unfairly but thought his friends were. In either case, it’s not a tradeable offense to criticize your ex-coach and vent about what you didn’t like about him.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
10:17 am

AJ,

Thanks for the link. Sund is very savvy when it comes to the interveiws. What I found interesting was the Childress question. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but from the tone of his voice, I would be very surprise if Chills wears a Hawks uniform again….

vava74

May 17th, 2010
10:29 am

I think that the choice of the HC must fulfill three main criteria:

1. His knowledge in X’s and O’s must be at least reasonably good;

2. Must want and agree to hire people which are better than him in particular areas of the game (an offense X’s and O’s guy and a defense X’s and O’s guy) and let them do their work.

3. Be a good leader and motivator with sufficient spunk not to be challenged by cry babies but soft enough not to loose sight that dealing with NBA players is dealing with privileged “kids” that must be carefully handled.

For instance, it is obvious that Boston’s D is the work of an assistant, Thibbodeau, and not from Doc himself.

With Woody, on the contrary, we know we had a guy that surrounded himself with guys which, either ability was “suspect” or that he did not allow to have any input (at least publicly).

So, we need someone which is diametrically different from him.

I re-posted something a couple of days ago from Mark Bradley’s blog which someone had placed there which – according to a die hard Minny fan – identified Casey as a guy which X’s and O’s knowledge was “suspect”.

Maybe that is not the most important issue provided that he is a good leader and is sufficiently confident to bring aboard 2 high quality assistants to help him out, as Doc obviously has done with Thib.

kwooden1

May 17th, 2010
10:59 am

Melvin I hope what your seeing in terms of Chills isn’t true. More and more I’m becoming convinced that our biggest need, next to getting a very good HC is the SF position. If we can’t get Chills, I wouldn’t mind getting either Grant Hill, Travis Outlaw, or a healthy Josh Howard.

GO HAWKS!!

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
11:21 am

Big Ray,

I particular like the this part of the interview below with Hollins. I like the perspective of finding guys that will balance the roster at this point instead of trying to find starters. I perfer to keep AL and Josh a find guys that could play along side of them. Jermaine O’Neal/Haywood comes to mind.

LH: We were talking about Mike Conley first of all, but now you’re expanding it. So let’s expand it even further. Are we overmatched at the 4 position athletically? Are we overmatched at the 5 position? Yeah.

GC: So what do you do?

LH: We’ve got to go get better. If you go back to the Detroit Pistons before they became the Bad Boys, I happened to have played with them. (Bill) Laimbeer, Kent Benson, Kelly Tripucka, every night, were overmatched. What did they do?

GC: They got Isiah?

LH: Nope. They had Isiah already. They went and got John Salley and Dennis Rodman and those guys blended in and became the athleticism that helped balance their team. That’s what it’s about, you don’t have to get a guy to replace a guy, you’ve just got to get guys that can help. You go back and look at the Lakers when they beat Philadelphia and Allen Iverson. The guy that was a big part of them winning that championship was Tyronn Lue. All he did was chase Allen Iverson all over the court for 48 minutes and made the guy shoot 38 percent.

GC: But you just said that you’re overmatched at the 1, the 2, the 4 and the 5. At the 3, there may be other issues. Don’t you need guys who don’t just come off the bench to play that role of chasing people, but people in the starting lineup? Dennis Rodman was on the court all the time. John Salley was on the court much of the time.

LH: Neither one of them were starters.

GC: A lot of minutes. Dennis Rodman played a lot of minutes.

LH: Whether they played a lot of minutes or not, they balanced the team out. Dennis Rodman eventually became a starter and then he goes to Chicago and he is the starter. The Chicago Bulls didn’t do anything until they got Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant

vava74

May 17th, 2010
11:43 am

Lionel Hollins does not sound that well Melvin.

He starts out by talking about bring in complementary talent and finishes talking about Pippen and Grant.

He makes very little sense and his “train of thought” leaves the station late, misses scheduled stops and derails at the end…

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
12:16 pm

I wonder how Hollins’ GM feels about his interview. I wonder how Z-Bo and Gasol feel about their head coach saying that they were being over-matched athletically? I wonder if Memphis fans feel like had Hollins given Thabeet more playing time, if they would have still been over-matched athletically?

I know this, the next head coach of the Hawks need not discuss having a smallish front-court, a non-defender at the PG position nor a non-defender as the 6th man. Because if Coach Idiot was able to win 53 games overcoming those obstacles, than surely any guy name Mo should not have any of those concerns.

O'Brien

May 17th, 2010
12:39 pm

from ajc.com, talking about Rick Sund.

“Biggest Hits: In Detroit, acquired Ben Wallace for oft-injured Grant Hill in 2000; in Seattle, acquired Ray Allen for an aging Gary Payton in 2003; in Atlanta, acquired Jamal Crawford for Speedy Claxton and Acie Law.

Biggest Misses: In Seattle, squandered three consecutive first round draft choices (2004, ‘05, ‘06) on unsuccessful project centers Robert Swift, Johan Petro and Saer Sene. In Seattle, promoted Bob Weiss to head coach in 2006, only to fire him 30 games into the season.”

3 big misses, 3 years in a row. Ouch. I just hope that his moves this offseason will be hits (especially his coach hire).

I am glad Sund does these interviews though, because BK had an arrogance about him when it came to the fans and media (which wouldnt have been so bad if he had winning teams).

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
1:42 pm

OB, Sund provides the same information that BK provided, but in a more pleasant way.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
2:31 pm

Astro

“Bunch of f’ing babies. I sometimes wish we would hire Laimbeer, he would break someone in two for not manning up.”

You want a Laimbeer type coach that would be able to stand up to the players and hold them accountable but you are going to criticize a coach who’s giving an honest assessment about his players/team? Is that the pot calling the kettle black?

doc

May 17th, 2010
2:44 pm

headline …. orlando coach is mum on the defense of the hawks. i guess so as i would think it is hard to say something about something that doesnt exist. i mean lockness monster, abominable snowman. what can be said about them?

O'Brien

May 17th, 2010
2:45 pm

It is being reported that the Hawks will interview Avery Johnson.

He has a regular season winning percentage that is above .70%. But his playoff record is only 23-24. Two first round exits (including one as the #1 seed), and losing in the NBA finals after being up 2-0.

As a result, I do have some concerns about his playoff record. I am also concerned about his title of “little general”.

That being said, I have a hard time seeing the ASG pony up the money it would take to hire Avery (if that was the guy Sund really wants). If I’m not mistaken, we had a chance to hire Doc some years ago, but his price tag was too high, so we went with Woody.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
5:54 pm

Melvin, I have no problems with holding players accountable for mental issues. And my comments about Hollins were in no way related to that. But if I were a player, I wouldn’t be too thrilled with my coach pointing out my physical limitations to the media. For example, it’s one thing to ask Bibby to put forth more defensive effort, it’s another to say that he needs to improve his athleticism. One seems imminently doable, the other, not so much for a guy of his age and body type. IMO, Hollins was close to saying that his 4/5 are physical liabilities. I can’t get with that.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
5:58 pm

OB, Sund is likely doing his “due diligence”. Avery went to college in Louisiana and supposedly wants the Hornets job desperately. If you’re the Hornets owner and can get a brand-name coach with local ties for the right price, that is an absolute no-brainer. If he lands there, it will be interesting to see if he has changed his stripes, because supposedly, he used to bark out plays to J-Kidd as opposed to letting him create. I wonder if he would look to reign-in CP3?

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
7:40 pm

Astro Joe ,

Do you want somebody who is tough-minded and breeds toughness? You might have to take the rough edges and quirks with it. I can think of a lot worse things that Pat Riley used to say and do publicly and privately with his players. Pat Riley has two hands worth of NBA championship rings, however. If Hollins is getting results and the respect of his players, what’s the problem?

Do you want your girlies and lassies to get tougher, or are you now worried about their feelings? Can’t have it both ways, I’m afraid.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:05 pm

Vava ,

The interview is a battle. Look where the reporter goes, and you’ll understand why it seems that Hollins is going all over the place. The reporter is digging and prying as hard as he can to get the coach to give up personal and internal opinion on a great number of subjects. Hollins is brutally blunt, but he also dodges a number of “opportunities” presented to say things that he should not put on public record.

All interviews are battles or chess matches to a point, but this one was moreso than usual. What’s the point of the interview anyway? For the reporter, to get the juice. For the coach, to give something, but not give too much. The subject matter involved determines where the conversation goes. They even discussed that very issue at one point. And answers to questions sometimes determine what the next questions will be. Never take an interview at face value.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:06 pm

I’m glad to see Sund doing his due dilligence. Is that a thing worthy of praise? No. But it at least tells you the man appears to be doing what he is supposed to be doing.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
8:22 pm

nire,

you said this about Bill Russell’s coaching: “Decent? Perhaps. But nothing to write home about.”

OK, that’s what I wanted to hear. But at first, you said he was a “bad” coach.

I certainly don’t think of him in the GREAT COACHING PANTHEON, but his record shows he was better than “bad”.

Thanks for the admission.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
8:25 pm

Astro Joe,

about this: “I know this, the next head coach of the Hawks need not discuss having a smallish front-court, a non-defender at the PG position nor a non-defender as the 6th man. Because if Coach Idiot was able to win 53 games overcoming those obstacles, than surely any guy name Mo should not have any of those concerns.”

Geez Joe, he can’t even DISCUSS it? Didn’t Woody get to discuss it?

Methinks you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:36 pm

“I wonder how Z-Bo and Gasol feel about their head coach saying that they were being over-matched athletically?”

I don’t know. Depends on whether they are girlies, f’in babies, or lassies. You are liable to get a different reaction from all three types of players…

:twisted:

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
8:37 pm

Ray, explain to me what Gasol or Z-Bo can do to stop themselves from being over-matched athletically.

Sautee, I honestly don’t recall an article where Woody discussed the physical limitations of his starting bigs like Hollins did. Not even when Zaza was his starter.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
8:43 pm

AJ,

That wasn’t what YOU said. I never referenced the Hollins article. I was asking about what YOU said. Do you actually think the next coach shouldn’t even DISCUSS those things you referenced?

Because THAT is what you said.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:44 pm

AJ ,

Explain to me where Hollins said that they were responsible for that.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
8:51 pm

Astro,

Like Ray said, Hollins is being truthful. He’s not saying those guys (Z-Bo/Gasol) need to play with more athleticism, he’s saying that they need to acquire other players that have that athletic ability to balance the roster. He even mentions that his guys are not overmatched every night. Heck, the NBA is all about matchups. Some teams you are going to match up well against (Hawks/Celtics) and some teams you are not going to match up well against (Hawks/Magic). Also he did defend his guys like the questions about his PG Conley or the complaints about Rudy not playing up to superstar status every night…..

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:54 pm

Let’s go over this part of the interview again:

LH: We were talking about Mike Conley first of all, but now you’re expanding it. So let’s expand it even further. Are we overmatched at the 4 position athletically? Are we overmatched at the 5 position? Yeah.

GC: So what do you do?

LH: We’ve got to go get better. If you go back to the Detroit Pistons before they became the Bad Boys, I happened to have played with them. (Bill) Laimbeer, Kent Benson, Kelly Tripucka, every night, were overmatched. What did they do?

GC: They got Isiah?

LH: Nope. They had Isiah already. They went and got John Salley and Dennis Rodman and those guys blended in and became the athleticism that helped balance their team. That’s what it’s about, you don’t have to get a guy to replace a guy, you’ve just got to get guys that can help. You go back and look at the Lakers when they beat Philadelphia and Allen Iverson. The guy that was a big part of them winning that championship was Tyronn Lue. All he did was chase Allen Iverson all over the court for 48 minutes and made the guy shoot 38 percent.

GC: But you just said that you’re overmatched at the 1, the 2, the 4 and the 5. At the 3, there may be other issues. Don’t you need guys who don’t just come off the bench to play that role of chasing people, but people in the starting lineup? Dennis Rodman was on the court all the time. John Salley was on the court much of the time.

LH: Neither one of them were starters.

GC: A lot of minutes. Dennis Rodman played a lot of minutes.

LH: Whether they played a lot of minutes or not, they balanced the team out. Dennis Rodman eventually became a starter and then he goes to Chicago and he is the starter. The Chicago Bulls didn’t do anything until they got Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant.

GC: OK, so what’s the Dennis Rodman you need on this team? What’s that role? What’s that player do?

LH: We need a guy that can stretch the floor. But going back to that overmatched, it’s not every night that it’s overmatched. Sometimes, it’s pretty equal. What we need is to just draft a good player that we like at any of those spots and if they come in and they’re better than the guy we have then they’ll be the starter. Eventually, they’ll be the starter. That’s just the way it is in this league. But to go out and say, “We’ve got to change this and get this,” if you change, take away this and put something else in there, and it turns out to not be as good, then you’re screwed. You just try to keep building.

Maybe I read it wrong, but it sounds to me like Hollins is saying that the players are what they are, you just add players to the roster that help. He’s not asking them to get more athletic.

Isn’t this the same thing you’ve called for Sund to do? Wasn’t that your major gripe with the acquisition of Crawford, saying that it didn’t fit what our problems entailed?

Now you’re on the other side of the fence? I’m confused.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:54 pm

Melvin beat me to it.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
8:55 pm

Sautee, my bad. No, I don’t. The next coach shouldn’t complain about the team’s current nucleus, if he doesn;t feel he can succeed with the nucleus, he shouldn’t take the job.

Ray, what was the point of saying that they were over-matched?

LH: We were talking about Mike Conley first of all, but now you’re expanding it. So let’s expand it even further. Are we overmatched at the 4 position athletically? Are we overmatched at the 5 position? Yeah.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
8:56 pm

Isn’t this the same thing you’ve called for Sund to do? Wasn’t that your major gripe with the acquisition of Crawford, saying that it didn’t fit what our problems entailed?

By the way, Astro Joe, it turns out that you were right about Crawford not addressing a defensive need. But it did tremendously help us win 53 games. So who gets the credit there, Woody or Sund? Both. We don’t win 53 without Crawford. No way, no how.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:03 pm

Astro Joe ,

Your lateral movement is as good as always.

If you can’t figure out what the point of that was, you might want to read the article again or give Hollins a call and he can explain it to you.

I thought the point was two-fold. He was defending his players, their approach to the game, and asserting that you add players to your roster to help in areas where you are weak.

In that same context:

What was the point in Woody saying that they ran the switch defense for the purpose of “hiding a couple of guys?”

Discussing the physical limitations of his bigs did what, exactly? Since when are you worried about how players feel? You’ve never one taken that tack with the Hawks players. Not once. You going to answer any of these challenges with anything besides sarcasm and more sideways questions?

;)

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:04 pm

Melvin, I think we have criticized players and Woody for not getting the quotes “quite right”. I’d suggest that Hollins may have wanted to say that they bench bigs need to be upgraded. If Z-Boplayed around 36 minutes/game, then “over-matched” seems like a strong term if he’s discussing a whoppoing 12 minutes/game.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
9:07 pm

AJ

Which part of ” But going back to that overmatched, it’s not every night that it’s overmatched. Sometimes, it’s pretty equal.” did you not understand?

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:09 pm

The next coach shouldn’t complain about the team’s current nucleus, if he doesn;t feel he can succeed with the nucleus, he shouldn’t take the job.

1) The next coach won’t even know how this roster will look, so how could he complain?

2) If that’s the case, then Woody shouldn’t have signed that two year extension. He had a few things to say about the roster before and after that extension. I guess the sauce only applies to certain ganders, though…go figure.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:13 pm

Ray, when have I asked for the coach to call out the players? I have no problems with bloggers or the media doing so… but I don’t ever recall asking for Woody to do that. Do you?

Now let’s pick a side… if Hollins is NOT calling out his starters, then I say that he should have been more specific. If he IS calling out his starters (including an All-Star), then I think he is straight wrong.

What I don’t understand is how both Melvin and Ray suggested that I should not react to Hollins admonishing his players, yet you come back and say that he was not.

Now I’m confused.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:13 pm

I’d suggest that Hollins may have wanted to say that they bench bigs need to be upgraded.

Thanks for the translation, LOL…

“But going back to that overmatched, it’s not every night that it’s overmatched. Sometimes, it’s pretty equal.”

I think somebody missed that small portion of the quote….

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:13 pm

Ray, when have I asked for the coach to call out the players? I have no problems with bloggers or the media doing so… but I don’t ever recall asking for Woody to do that. Do you?

Did I say that you did ? Nope.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:16 pm

Ray, again, I don;t recall Woody complaining about his starters when he signed that 2-year contract.

Pretty simple for me… if a person accepts a job selling Toyota in May, 2010, he shouldn’t complain that the company has a bad image for car quality and that is impeding his success. It’s one thing if dude accepted that job 9 months ago, it;s quite another to accept the position with one eye closed and one eye looking elsewhere. If you don’t accept a position with both eyes wide open, whose fault is that?

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:22 pm

I’m confused (again). Ray says If that’s the case, then Woody shouldn’t have signed that two year extension. He had a few things to say about the roster before and after that extension. I guess the sauce only applies to certain ganders, though…go figure.

Then there’s:
but I don’t ever recall asking for Woody to do that. Do you?

Did I say that you did ? Nope.

And I am guilty, I only read Melvin;s 11:21 excerpt, which does NOT include that last sentence where he “makes things right” about the over-matched comment. I was only reacting to Melvin’s excerot.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
9:23 pm

AJ,

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see Hollins “complaining about his players”.

I saw him being honest when asked a direct question. If the players know him, then they know his honesty, whether they like to hear it or not.

But maybe, like Truth-serum, you think head coaches should blow smoke about players in order to not embarrass them. ;-)

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:27 pm

Now let’s pick a side… if Hollins is NOT calling out his starters, then I say that he should have been more specific. If he IS calling out his starters (including an All-Star), then I think he is straight wrong.

No. Sides are already picked. You’re saying he’s calling out his players. I’m saying he’s NOT.

The man clearly said that they are not overmatched every night. He clearly said (and even used an analogy) that adding players who can do what others cannot is how you overcome deficiencies, thereby balancing out the roster.

What I don’t understand is how both Melvin and Ray suggested that I should not react to Hollins admonishing his players, yet you come back and say that he was not.

Melvin and Ray presented the comments Hollins made about getting on ALL of his players, and sometimes not doing so in a one-on-one setting, but doing so in front of other players, so that they all knew that each would be held accountable, not just some over others.

All I said to you initially is that a tough-minded coach may or may not come with some rough edges. You then asserted that Hollins was calling his guys out for not being athletic enough.

I pointed out to you where it seems to me that Hollins was suggesting that weak areas (when they occured, which was not all the time) were best addressed by adding people who helped in those areas.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:30 pm

Man, how many times do I keep being compared to T-S, whom many of you seem to completely disrepsect.

Sautee, if he wasn’t admonishing his players and there is no possible way to interpret his comments that way, then why are you even addressing rather or not a coach should say something bad about his players?

I think I attempted to differentiate complaining about mental issues from physical ones. What do you think, should a coach complain about a player’s physical limitations? I don’t.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
9:35 pm

AJ,

I’m not getting your argument AT ALL. Hollins was espousing EXACTLY what you and I have talked about for more than two years. Horford AT TIMES is overmatched, so a shot blocking big that we could get to play 20 or so minutes would balance things out, AND allow Al to slide to the 4 for some minutes.

Al certainly is NOT outmatched MOST nights. But that would improve this team.

How can you have wanted that for two years, and yet not recognize it in what Hollins said?

Plain as day to me.

Are you now SO contrarian that you’ll even disagree with yourself? ;-)

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:39 pm

Astro Joe

Do you really want clear answers, or are you having fun with the “confusion?”

I honestly don’t recall an article where Woody discussed the physical limitations of his starting bigs like Hollins did. Not even when Zaza was his starter.

So? Did Hollins say that Randolph was too fat, or Gasol was too slow? Did he say that they couldn’t win because of either guy’s lack of athleticism? He didn’t even say that this was the case ALL THE TIME. All he said was you deal with it by adding guys who shore up those weaknesses.

I wish I could find the link to the article where Woody suggested that they get better help off the bench, and why they needed it.

The next coach shouldn’t complain about the team’s current nucleus, if he doesn;t feel he can succeed with the nucleus, he shouldn’t take the job.

Who said anything about complaining? I recall the word “discussion”, but “complain” came from you.

Again, what’s the current team’s nucleus? Do we even know if Joe will be here? I’m not suggesting that a coach should complain, but shouldn’t it be part of the discussion?

As I recall, Woody knew the team had holes on it when he signed up for the extension. He knew the team had major holes when he first took the job. He was vocal about some of those holes over the last six years. I saw no problem with that.

So is he twice the fool for having signed two contracts, or an idiot for speaking out about what the team needed?