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 14th, 2010
1:35 pm

My impression is that Sund has a priority list. He moves quickly on the things at the top of his priority list, especially if they need urgent attention. Things that he considers less important and/or less urgent, he lets slide. Thus, he didn’t move quickly through Chills’ negotiations because he prioritized Smoove higher,* and he didn’t move to sign other teams’ free agents last summer because he prioritized locking up our own free agents. He also didn’t see a particular need to move quickly on Smoove because he was restricted and the Hawks were going to match almost any offer for him (because let’s be real, no one was gonna offer Smoove the max). I don’t agree with that strategy, but it seems to be his M.O. when it comes to RFAs.

From that perspective, I’m not surprised that he announced a decision on Woody quickly. This was at the top of his priority list, something he knew was coming for awhile, and something he needed to take care of quickly so that he could start recruiting a replacement. I also am guessing that JJ will have his first serious offer from the Hawks as soon as the free agency period starts, since that will need urgent attention. I would be (pleasantly) surprised, though, if we saw movement on other fronts (trade, MLE signings, etc) while JJ’s situation is unresolved. And that’s my concern.

* Although as I’ve said before, I would be shocked if Chills’ agents didn’t have at least a general idea from preliminary negotiations about high the Hawks would go – and that it would be well short of what he could make overseas. Again, lunch meetings and phone calls between agents and management have to go on for awhile before a formal written contract offer is drafted.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
1:49 pm

I’d be shocked if we read any credible rumors about potential coaches. He’s old school and I don’t envision him giving Marc Stein or Chad Ford a call to share anything regarding the next coach. I like it that way… there is no good reason to show your cards.

As I said on the previous blog, we should have very little if any competition, because I think that Chicago, NJ and the Clippers will wait until closer to the start of free agency before filling their open coaching jobs. If the Bulls (as an example) want to land Wade, they would seemingly offer him a chance to provide input into their next coach.

I’m sure that Sund’s phone is ringing off the hook as we write and read. But I expect him to be pretty deliberate. Given the low draft pick, there really isn’t a big need to hurry the process.

Mitun

May 14th, 2010
2:17 pm

when does the free agency begins?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Summer of Sund begins http://bit.ly/dlWaNL [...]

Marcus

May 14th, 2010
2:39 pm

@Mitun – FA begins 12:01 am July 1st. NBA draft is 7 pm June 24th.
Hiring a new ATL Hawks coach is …… TBD.

Marcus

May 14th, 2010
2:53 pm

I think Sunds list includes coaches still in the playoffs. I guess this is like the NFL, where those coaches are off-limits until their playoff runs end.

atlienforlife

May 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

Avery Johnson would be a perfect fit for this team. People wanna say his dallas team falled in the finals. But, that was against a Dwayne wade who just went off. Furthermore; look at what has happened to dallas since, with a much better team then that one I must add. He coaches an uptempo style offensive, with a lot of ball movement, that would suite our team greatly. Also, his defensive schemes involve alot of man to man and zone, which would be strengths for us too. Sund, please throw the kitchen sink at Wade and hope he bites, if not there isn’t a better replacement then Johnson out there. Which isn’t bad, because avery would eliminate the iso crap. Plus, do what you have to do to bring J-chill back and please go sign a knock down 3 point shooter to come off the bence (maybe jason kapono)! I just don’t believe this team needs to be dismantled!

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

What will Clyde talk about now? Is the biggest question of the summer. Oh, I forgot. Hawks should sign Sean Williams…

truthspitter

May 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

Sund is nothing special. He made 2 bad moves last summer signing Zaza and Marvin to long term deals. He has really made more bad moves than good moves since he has been here. Now I wanna see people point the finger at him like Knight 3 years from now when the

truthspitter

May 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

Hawks are still not in playoffs

4 Jacks

May 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Now if Gearon and the other so called owners will sell the teams, (Hawks & Thrashers) that is the real problem, and until they do sell you would be better off saving your money unless you just like throwing it away. Until these morons are gone it won’t get any better. Atlanta fans deserve alot better than this pathetic ownership gives this city.

The Real Hawk

May 14th, 2010
3:42 pm

Hire Mike Brown!

Booga

May 14th, 2010
3:50 pm

Bill Laimbeer as next Hawks coach.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aigars Geruckis, joe young and JP54, NBA News. NBA News said: Summer of Sund begins – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) http://bit.ly/cmbPPO [...]

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Truthspitter,

Uh, are you implying that resigning Bibby to 3yr contract was a good move????

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
5:06 pm

Why is everyone so hung up on those contracts? Look at every NBA team and you’ll see far worse. And Marvin/Bibby/Zaza aren’t even getting paid that much considering that they’re rotation players. Geez.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
5:08 pm

I do think Woody is a class guy. I hope he gets a top job this summer (or the TV thing if that is his preference for a year.) In the meantime, let the Sund-dialing begin.

Mr. Phil

May 14th, 2010
5:12 pm

@niremetal

The contracts would be fine if the players (outside of ZaZa who has been exactly as advertised and therefore might have some value) had not played so bad that any other team would have lost interest in most trade scenarios. It is not the contracts, but what kills is the fact that the level of play was so far below what would have been reasonably expected.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
5:16 pm

@Ray–When are you going to start tweeting you blogs instead of letting MC do all of the 140 character lifting?

doc

May 14th, 2010
5:24 pm

looking back to some early pix of woody posted along with drew, the guy ate well during his tenure.

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
5:37 pm

Any of the 4 guys mentioned in the MSNBC blurb (Sam Mitchell, Dan Majerle, Monty Williams, Ty Corbin) would appeal to me, although Majerle less than the others. Monty Williams did an outstanding job filling in for McMillan in Portland this year, Mitchell is a guy who can “rally the troops” and also knows his X’s and O’s, and I like the idea of anyone who has worked under Jerry Sloan (as Corbin has). I certainly would want to know more about their vision for our offense, but that would be true of any new coach.

Then again, the source is Woj, who bats about .350 in general and .200 when it comes to Hawks stuff.

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
6:30 pm

Nire,

Comeon, we can’t have it both ways. If we are going to say those guys (Marvin, Bibby, ZaZa) contracts are good value then we can’t say those guys don’t have (equal) or any trade value…

wordsmithtom

May 14th, 2010
6:52 pm

From the AJC poll: 80 % agree that Woodson’s leaving is a good thing. No surprise here. Even Josh Smith’s comments about being sad it ended this way showed he wasn’t surprised and maybe a little upbeat. Things will change. When players quit, as this team did in the playoffs, it’s usually a chemistry thing, and you just can’t fire the team….

Again, we need a guard oriented coach. Avery Johnson. I’m fine with that. I’ve mentioned Mark Price. Doesn’t matter too much. Someone with a pedigree, someone who’s got cred so the young guys have to pay instant attention to them. That “deer in the headlights” look Woodson so often gave when players quit listening was telling. We need a guy who will throw chairs and pitch a bitch if necessary. We don’t need a wholesale housecleaning.

I’m relieved that Sund didn’t waste time with this necessary decision. Thanks for your efforts Woodson. You’re a good guy; you deserve another shot another place. But, for this team to move to another level, we need a guy who’s NOT A NICE GUY. One what’s a AHOLE…to anyone who doesn’t commit to team play. The real players here will appreciate that kind of coach. Young men want discipline, if it’s equal. From what I’ve read, it has been equivocal under Woodson. Sorry, that don’t get the rabbit.

Looking forward with a sigh of relief that this didn’t drag out for a couple months.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
7:42 pm

@doc – you never hear about a coach hiring a chef to prepare his meals. Maybe a few more fruits & veggies would have put those coaching synapses on a higher level ;-)

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
8:00 pm

Melvin,

Whether a player has trade value is contextual. I agree that each of those three players might have trade value to specific teams (especially Zaza). The problem is that most teams willing to trade away a star are only willing to do it if they get back 1) another star; or 2) expiring contracts. They are almost never willing to take on veterans with long-term contracts unless that player is a bona fide star, because those types of contracts make it harder for a team to rebuild. Thus, even if a player has a reasonable contract, a team whose goal is to rebuild (which is nearly always the case with teams that trade away All-Stars without getting an All-Star back) would not necessarily be interested in acquiring that player.

Now could we trade Marvin to a team like Phoenix in exchange for someone like Channing Frye? Probably, because the Suns need a new SF more than they need another center. Could we trade him to get Amare? Probably not, because if the Suns can’t keep Amare, they probably will decide to start blowing up the team and rebuild, and Marvin’s contract would prevent them from doing that.

For the same reason, if JJ walks and the Hawks decide it’s time to rebuild, they probably will try to trade Marvin and Josh in exchange for unwanted players with expiring contracts because their contracts make it tough for them to rebuild going forward. Right now, though, they probably would only be willing to trade them in exchange for players that actually would improve the team.

Thus, there are lots of factors that go into whether a player has “trade value” beyond simply how much the player is earning.

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
8:21 pm

Nire, can the HAWKS offer Chills more than whats specified in his current Qualifying Offer?

I would definitely like to have him back to replace Marvin in the starting line-up. He looks like the best SF available right now. (outside of a trade)

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
8:24 pm

@nire – yet another reason why I hope the next CBA triggers changes in trade rules. NBA trades are amost always lopsided.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
8:36 pm

@kwooden1 – Hawks can offer Chills up to max b/c they have his Bird rights. Prob won’t offer him much b/c they can match any offer. He’s restricted FA.

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
8:58 pm

MannyT is it better for him to wait until next summer when the CBA is up to come back to the NBA or is it better for him to find a NBA team this summer? In my mind it makes sense for him to stay in Greece one more year and make some more money. I don’t think his value to any NBA team will change because of another year away from the NBA. He might make a few million less after the CBA, but it probably wouldn’t offset the difference he would lose in not going back to Greece this summer.

I would definitely like to have Chills back but it doesn’t look like its going to happen.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
9:22 pm

Sam Mitchell? Well, I’m sure that he would be affordable. Here’s what I don’t understand. If Portland runs an iso-based offense that hasn’t proven effective in consecutive playoffs (according to Hollinger), why would we take someone from that staff? Corbin is an interesting name but I’d like to know how Sloan’s disciples have faired in head coaching jobs. My guess is that running Sloan’s offense with precision takes time, a great teacher and attentive students. I like Manny’s suggestion from the other day… Elston Turner from’s Adelman’s staff (going all the way back to Sac-town). Mario Elie has assisted several notable coaches. And of course, my personal campaign for Keith Smart.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
9:28 pm

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
9:34 pm

Nire in terms of your statements several days ago about the HAWKS needing another 20/per scorer (especially in the Playoffs) and Smoove is our trade bait; I agree with getting Amare maybe Bosh but that is it. Boozer doesn’t help us at all against Orlando or Celtics/Cleveland/Chicago and Nowitzki is going nowhere. Amare is the only one that really makes sense because Horford can play PF, with Bosh Horford still has to play C. I really think that getting Amare or Bosh is unrealistic so, we are going to have to get our 20/per scorer from within. I think Horford is that guy. He really only needs to average 4 more attempts a game to score about 20/per right now. He’s made very consistent improvement. 12-15ft jumpshot and solid right hook are quality moves right now. He should add a consistent up and under, along with fade away jumpshot this summer.

I think we really need a PG and SF. I would really like Chills to come back because he would be great at the SF position. I haven’t totally figured out what I would like to see happen in terms of PG, but we need to pickup another guy up in the summer and make Bibby, Teague and ?? battle it out for the starting position. I like Teague a lot but his jumpshot release point is to low for a guy his height in my opinion and he only has a set shot from 3. I would look at Felton, Toney Douglas, Duhon, Steve Blake,Will Bynum, maybe some others. We also need a productive PF come off the bench. Joe Smith might have been that guy but I couldn’t tell in the minutes he played. If we don’t get Chillz the SF position is going to be a problem, because we need an upgrade from Marvin/Evans.

That’s what I’ve got for now.

GO HAWKS

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
10:55 pm

kwooden1,

He really only needs to average 4 more attempts a game to score about 20/per right now.

Things like that sound simple, but they don’t take into account how time consuming and difficult it is to create quality touches for big men. I’ve been reading one of Phil Jackson’s books recently (More Than a Game) and he talks about how difficult it is to get the ball to a center. The ball doesn’t usually get across halfcourt until there’s about ~18 seconds on the clock. The guard doesn’t get to the top of the key ready to initiate the play until ~14. Then, if you want to get it to the big man, who have to swing it to a player who has a good angle for an entry pass. Then, there often is jockeying underneath so that the big man can position himself for the entry pass. Sometimes, that can take so much time that the wing who was trying to make the entry pass has to give up and create something off the dribble in order to make sure a shot goes up before the shot clock expires. The result: Even though it’s a high-percentage shot if you DO get the pass into a big man, running post up plays generally results in 1 wasted possession where a player has to take a hurried shot for every 1 possession where the post-up actually occurs and results in a good shot. Working the ball through the high post isn’t a heck of a lot better, because that far from the basket, your big man generally is no more efficient than your wings.

I thought that was interesting, because you see it all the time if you think about it. You see it all the time, where a wing spends several seconds of the shot clock looking to feed the ball to the big man, and then sees the clock is down to 7 and then forces a shot or makes a not-productive perimeter pass instead.

Big Ray

May 14th, 2010
11:12 pm

MannyT ,

I honestly don’t know how to do the twitter thing, as far as the blog is concerned. That, and twitter annoys me. But that doesn’t mean I won’t find a way to weave it in somehow.

Astro Joe ,

All I want is a smart hire. Cheap is not a priority (of course, it ain’t my money). Keith Smart could be good, or Elston Turner. Possibilities abound.

Dr. Phil ,

Marvin, Zaza, and Bibby all were signed to contracts before the had a rough year. Zaza was actually pretty good throughout the year, but he was overmatched in some situations. Bibby got worse as age has caught up with him. Marvin simply regressed, period. But the contracts came before all that happened. Hindsight is always 20/20. I think part of the issue was that Bibby worked out pretty well for Woody and the team (and Woody wanted him back in the worst way), but his decline was somewhat of an expected by-product. The issue was not having an option at pg. Teague was not brought along with any sense of urgency whatsoever, Law was traded away after frequent injuries and Woody’s doghouse treatment, and Jamal is NOT a pg.

As far as Marvin, who knew he would get worse?

Big Ray

May 14th, 2010
11:15 pm

kwooden1 ,

As tantalizing as Amare has been, there have been conjectural issues with bringing him here (which we won’t be able to do). First, neither he nor Bosh will play center. You can continue to pencil Horford in at the pivot if we got either guy. It’s why the Suns have been through Kurt Thomas, Brian Skinner, Shaq, and now Frye (go figure). Amare doesn’t even want to play center, whereas Horford has no issues with it, and will do what the coach and team asks of him.

Second, Amare has something in common with Josh Smith: both need a point guard, and a good one at that. So I agree when you say we need a pg. Absolutely…

mykhalc

May 14th, 2010
11:17 pm

yep…Marvin needs to see the bench!!!

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
12:15 am

Hot dang!

Mykhalc is back!!

kwooden1

May 15th, 2010
12:44 am

Nire, excellent observation. Looking at Orlando’s statistics, Howard didn’t even average 11 shots a game, but he made up for it by averaging 10 free throws per. Horford will have to become a much more efficient player to average 20/per.

Ray, Nire our pg issue is a real problem, because Bibby is very good at entry passes and getting the team into a solid offensive set, but at this point he’s really just a spot up shooter. Though his game is a mirror of Jason Williams game. If we look at Bibby as taking on the same role as Jason Williams we could be in decent spot next year. (if we can find an adequate starting PG) Teague will really have to make some strides this summer to be what we need. And we will still need more from the SF position.

Ed

May 15th, 2010
2:52 am

Nire, your choices for possible coaches were all good except Sam Mitchell, IMHO. I simply prefer new blood as opposed to any retread. Someone else mentioned concerns about hiring Monty Williams as he comes from Portland with their ISO dominated offense. Being an assistant for a coach doesnt’ necessarily mean you agree with his offense. The more telling sign is how he carried himself and handled the team when he had his chance.

mykhalc

May 15th, 2010
4:48 am

wassup Big Ray!!! my man is kickin’ his blog!!! nice work Ray!!! ok…who’s the next HC???LOL

vava74

May 15th, 2010
6:43 am

Good riddance. It’s a shame that he was not sacked earlier this year when it was obvious that he was not able to manage a better roster.

All players in out team were at least serviceable and the raw, crude fact is that Woody’s ability as a coach is mediocre.

I disagree with anyone who believes he will have a long career as a head coach.

I think he will coach ONCE more and crash and burn since there is no way that any other franchise will be as patient as the Hawks.

The simple fact is that he only lasted this far on account of a bizarre series against BOS where all the issues which make him a poor coach were already evident.

However, back then – with Chills working the baseline and hustling off bench – the roster was more balanced (although weaker) and “auto regulated” itself better on court.

Personally, I gave him a chance for him to evolve along with the team: I hope that he also had some “organic growth” in him.

As the year passed, he proved beyond any doubt that he didn’t and our playoff performance was the culmination of a bad job (with a lending hand from a fractured and unmotivated roster – for which, in the end, he was also responsible).

O'Brien

May 15th, 2010
9:32 am

So according to MC’s sources, there was some resentment in the Locker room because woody played favorites. Imagine that.

I think it goes back to what somebody said a few days ago. veteran guards on one side, bigs on the other, everybody else in the middle.

As for the next HC, I am not a fan of Dwayne Casey. I would like to see thibodeau interviewed, although he is a defensive coach. My question for him would be who would be on his coaching staff to help with the offense.

I think Larry drew deserves an interview too. He should know first hand what our issues are.

PD

May 15th, 2010
10:07 am

Man the Hawks have a lot of things to deal with this summer. 1st and foremost should be finding a coach. If they resign JJ as planned he has to make commitment to truly this team. But, He does not ink the paper until the Hawks find a good coach. They need to work quickly so they can build a roster and bench for the upcoming season.

They also have to figure out how to keep winning through this process. It is imperative!!!!!!! This team cannot be lottery again.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:32 am

FOX SPORTS POLLIs this a good decision for the Hawks?

32%
Yes; they need a change
68%
No; he’s made them relevant again

The above seems to indicate that the normal NBA fan has absolutely no idea on what is going on in the court technically wise.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:36 am

And the commentaries made by the reads are of a frightening lack of knowledge…

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/atlanta-hawks-mike-woodson-coach-051410

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:39 am

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:41 am

I like to “rain on wet”! Here’s Charley Rosen a few days ago on Antawn Jamison (after the 5th game):

“Also business as usual was Antawn Jamison’s inept defense that Boston repeatedly exposed with successful post-ups by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. “

Mitun

May 15th, 2010
12:45 pm

I believe Woody shouldn’t been fired because he was a good coach that help us back into the playoff. I think it’s because that we do not have a good GM, look at TD with the Falcons, he makes some good decision for his roster and he helped the falcons tremendously.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

May 15th, 2010
1:53 pm

ah put a sock in it Mitun. His deficiencies as a coach far outweighed his strengths and like O’brien said – the locker room broke into factions. A divided team is not conducive to taking it to the ‘next level’ which is championship contention. I am grateful for his service to the ball team but I can see the forest from the trees and I won’t let loyalty cloud my judgment. If he was somewhat imaginative we would have swept Da Bucks and at least took the Magic to game six.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
2:00 pm

Another gem from Bill Simmons @ ESPN:

“I once heard a great story about Game 6 of the 2006 Finals, when Miami was trying to clinch the title in Dallas, from someone who has seen the unedited footage of Miami’s huddles in the second-half timeouts. Pat Riley basically stopped coaching. Threw out his X’s and O’s. Quit giving advice. Stopped drawing up plays.

So what did he do? He screamed at his guys like a boxing trainer. You’re tougher than them! YOU’RE TOUGHER THAN THEM! Don’t let up! They are ready to quit! They are ready to fold! Keep attacking them! Keep getting to the rim! Keep knocking their asses down! No layups! No dunks! Stay together! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! That’s what he did for the entire second half. Eventually, his players believed him.”

With Woody we did not have neither the X’s and O’s nor the inspirational speeches that make a good coach.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
2:22 pm

Bill Simmons can go to hell.

Sorry, in a bad mood today. And any mention of Bill Simmons is only liable to make it worse. For every 1 useful thing he says, he says 5 things that reveal just how little time he actually spends thinking about and analyzing the game. BAH!

doc

May 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

so nire, what does a good mood look to you? ;-)

okay kidding.

not wanting to push any buttons but i just read the article and this is too funny to not put out there for people to feast on:

(Important note: If you don’t want to leave out the 2010 Atlanta Hawks, “complete apathy” is the fourth type of urgency. By the way, I have no idea whether Orlando has real urgency or faux urgency. I’m leaning toward the latter. Stay tuned.)

whatever respect gearon thinks the organization has was lost in the last two weeks.

and sydell coming on 790 the other night and saying he was in tears about dumping woody …. what had he been drinking and when did he start?

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
2:59 pm

That’s why they trot Gearon out instead of Sydell, Doc…

doc

May 15th, 2010
3:08 pm

to nire ….heh heh heh heh. talk about a loose cannon? guess the boy means well.

Astro Joe

May 15th, 2010
5:34 pm

This is now officially Sund’s team. The key piece that he didn’t have a hand in will be Horford. He brought back Josh, Marvin, Bibby and Zaza… drafted Teague, traded for Jamal and signed Mo. And soon, the coaching staff will belong to him too.

O'Brien

May 15th, 2010
8:28 pm

AJ,

The thing is we don’t know what role Woody played in the resigning of those guys last off-season.

Because sund might have resigned them based on woody’s strong recommendations (atleast now We know how much woody loved bibby).

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
8:52 pm

Ed ,

You’re right about assistant coaches and who they used to work for. To this day, I’m not sure what Mike Woodson learned under Larry Brown. Whatever it was, it had nothing to do with offense at all.

Kwooden1 ,

True. Bibby is now a backup pg, and probably really was for the bulk of this past season. The issue with Teague is he wasn’t thrown out there enough for anybody to know just how much he could do, or where he needed to progress. Instead, people are largely left thinking “can he do ANYTHING?” It would have been fine two years ago when Bibby was still getting it done. But as your starter ages and declines, you have to start throwing the young guy out there and let him make his mistakes, then evaluate how he learns from them.

In that way, it’s almost like another rookie year for Teague, only this time he actually has to learn to be much more responsible for what happens on the floor. He’ll get to run, and run with the starting squad, instead of just being a token player on the floor, or running the reserve squad for a few minutes. Nothing beats experience. Teague will get some real experience next season. How should we expect him to perform? I don’t know, because all he has to work on is the somewhat spare playing time he had this season. I don’t even know why summer league is even being mentioned when people are always quick to shout that it means nothing compared to playing real NBA ball…

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
8:57 pm

Of course, the issue continues at pg. Even Gearon spoke out about the kid playing more, which is not proof that he should have been, just proof that people involved in the organization felt that way.

Vava74 ,

Actually, I think it was totally fair to let Woodson coach on through the postseason. How could you sack a guy whose team was on pace to win more games this regular season than in the last, or those before it? How could you really know what he and this team were made of until the playoffs rolled around? If you fire him in the midst of a winning season, wherein the team was about to retain it’s highest playoff seeding ever, what’s your explanation to the owners and to the public? I know what you’re saying, but I think Sund’s decision to let the whole thing play out was both fair and diplomatically efficient. Just my opinion, though. I don’t think firing him and having an interim coach would have helped much at all, unless it was at the very beginning of the season, and even that is only a very slim possibility.

The problems with this team are not limited to the position of head coach.

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
9:07 pm

Astro Joe ,

This is now officially Sund’s team. The key piece that he didn’t have a hand in will be Horford. He brought back Josh, Marvin, Bibby and Zaza… drafted Teague, traded for Jamal and signed Mo. And soon, the coaching staff will belong to him too.

This is something I think some of us anticipated from the very beginning. I have maintained for years that GMs always come in with the intention of making things in their own image or mold. It was going to happen sooner or later. On the one hand, trading away key players is only something you do if creating your own legacy is your biggest goal. It’s also foolhardy. On the other hand, just because you signed somebody doesn’t mean you won’t trade them later.

I think Sund is an old hand at this and is less about the glory than he is about valuing the birds in hand, rather than the multitude in the bush. Maybe that explains the re-signings, maybe it doesn’t. Bibby was slowing down, but Teague was available, but he never was part of the rotation. We could have signed someone other than Zaza, but who, and for how much? Joe Smith was not a first pick, and he didn’t get to play much, not even in the playoffs. Did anybody think Marvin would get worse? Will his contract look good if somehow he returns to form or even exceeds it next season? Is that even a realistic expectation?

Hard to say. Teague was Sund’s first 1st round draft pick. Jamal was his first trade acquisition. Whoever the head coach is will be his first head coach hiring. He’s creating his legacy here, and that’s fine (all GMs do it), as long as that doesn’t become the top priority. Legacy should define a person. A person should not define their legacy while they are trying to create it.

In my business, we call that tunnel vision.

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
9:11 pm

Mitun ,

Comparing NFL GMs to NBA GMs is kinda….skewed. NFL GMs have a draft that goes for 7 rounds. NBA GMs have 2 rounds, and the whole thing is usually “over” in the first round, if not in the first two-thirds of the first round.

Also, Thomas Dimitroff brought in his own coach. Now Rick Sund is doing the same. Difference? Dimitroff brought one with him. Sund allowed the current one another two years to show what he could do.

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
10:00 pm

Bill Simmons is an interesting person, at least from a distance. His background is political science and journalism. He has a pretty dang good sense of humor. Is he arrogant or fearless? Sometimes the second adjective involves the first, especially in journalism. His sense of humor masks a lot of it, however, or he would not be able to sell himself so well. It’s why nobody cites Jim Rome when they refer to the opinions of sports pundits. It’s why Stephen A. Smith has had a rough time of it staying in the television limelight.

He has not coached in or played basketball at the NBA level, maybe not even at the college level. For that reason, I don’t take everything he says as basketball law. In fact, I take none of it that way. The man is a fan, just like the rest of us. I have seen some on these blogs that have shown the ability to spin things one way or the other, be edgy and provocative, even downright controversial, and yet knowledgeable all at the same time (I don’t necessarily count myself as part of that group). Perhaps they never had nor were interested in the opportunity to do it the way Simmons has.

I won’t begrudge the man his talents, but I won’t confuse them, either. He is an expert journalist who has made a career of observing sports and reporting/commentating on them in a unique way. Like most master journalists, he has hindsight down pat. Everyone can tell “how” something happened. some can even put a particular twist on it, or add insight. Speaking of which, he also deftly maneuvers between “insightful” comments and “incitefull” comments.

An expert on basketball?

Let’s say there are two books on a table, both titled “The Book of Basketball”, one authored by Hubie Brown, the other by Bill Simmons.

If you wanted to learn more about basketball, pick up the book written by Brown.

If you wanted colorful commentary and outside observations, pick up the one by Simmons.

‘Nuff said…

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
10:28 pm

Ray,

That’s all well and good. And if he just ran a fan blog, I’d have less issue. But he doesn’t. He writes for the #1 sports website in the world. And it’s painfully clear that his beliefs about players, teams, etc are formed from first impressions.

Kevin Love is a perfect example – from Day 1, he was drooling over Kevin Love and continues to do so to this day despite the fact that Love has fallen head over heels for his own mediocre jump shot (52% of his shots this year were perimeter jumpers!), which isn’t a good sign for a guy whose main selling point was “he’s NBA ready and has a sky-high basketball IQ.” He said Kevin Love’s trade value was higher than Stephen Curry’s (???).

Melvin

May 15th, 2010
10:37 pm

I think if the Hawks decide to go the no experience coaching route, than it wouldn’t surprise me to see either Larry Drew or Mark Price to be name the next Hawks coach. Both guys are familiar with the players and should be inexpensive hires. However, whomever we hire I would like to see a guy like Sam Cassell as an assistant. He seem to be a guy who can relate to the players, doesn’t mind getting in players face and always teaching. I think he would do a good job in mentoring Teague. Also, maybe we can use a guy like Hakeem on the staff to work with the big men.

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
10:44 pm

Melvin,

Hakeem’s record of working with big men is GODAWFUL. The ONLY player he has worked with whose post moves have amounted to anything are Yao’s, and considering that Yao has worked with multiple coaches, it’s tough to credit Hakeem for that. The low post repertoire of his most famous students (Diop, Okafor, Smoove, etc) are far from impressive.

Just because you could do doesn’t mean you can teach. The best big man coach in the business is Clifford Ray, and he was, shall we say, mediocre as a player.

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
11:04 pm

I would be incredibly, incredibly skeptical of any decision to hire Drew. That would not signal a serious commitment to the ‘change in culture’ that Sund seems to be going for. Also, Drew’s pedigree is less than stellar. Who you’ve worked for isn’t necessarily a good indication of who would be a good coach (if it was, Mike Brown wouldn’t be as bad and Phil wouldn’t be as good), but I don’t like the idea of someone whose pedigree is Randy Pfund, Alvin Gentry (the long bright spot), George Irvine, Leonard Hamilton, Doug Collins, Byron Scott, and Lawrence Frank. He certainly has plenty of examples of what NOT to do, but few of what to do.

The only way that would have any appeal to me is if 1) he expresses clear, serious ideas on how to develop the offense; 2) the players who thought Woody played favorites approve; and 3) it helps us retain JJ. But I doubt that’s the case, and I would be disappointed-to-pissed if Drew were hired.

niremetal

May 15th, 2010
11:18 pm

Other thoughts on coaches:

1) Monty Williams impresses me as an X’s and O’s guy and he works under one of the league’s best at rallying the troops in McMillan. But I don’t know whether he has clear ideas on how to run an offense, which is the weak spot for McMillan as a coach. McMillan runs Roy off the ball quite a bit more than Woody does, but the Blazers’ spacing still leaves a lot to be desired. I’d need to know that Williams recognized that and had a plan to address it.

2) I know nothing about Majerle as a coach.

3) Sam Mitchell…well, he’s another good “rallying the troops” guy. He also might be a good carrot for attracting Bosh to push for a S&T to Atlanta. But he also apparently had a pretty hot temper, which might be good or bad for temperamental guys like Smoove and young impressionable guys like JT0. He also didn’t seem to have a very movement-oriented offense in Toronto, although I honestly don’t have the clearest recollection. His teams’ defenses were nonexistent, although I’m willing to blame that in large part in the roster he had (Ford, Jose, Bosh, Bargnani, Delfino, Moon…yeesh). I’d be heartened by the change of culture I’m sure he’d bring (and the high price he’d command) but I’d be skeptical of the on-court changes we’d see.

4) Ty Corbin is the most interesting to me. You can’t ask for a better mentor than Jerry Sloan, if you ask me. And he was one of the smartest guys in the league as a player. I’d certainly want to know what his plans for the offense are, but you know a Sloan scion knows the importance of defense and would push to run more Horford pick-and-rolls. He’d be the first guy I’d call out of the names that have been mentioned.

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
12:50 am

Niremetal ,

I can certainly see your point on Bill Simmons.

As for the coaching thing, I wonder just how different Larry Drew might be than Mike Woodson, or any of the guys he worked under. I don’t know enough about him to judge him either way, I’ve just heard good things about him from some people, including Sekou Smith. Of course, to be fair and objective, Sekou is media, and media opinion should never be judged as more educated than somebody who works directly with the nuts and bolts of the business. So Drew is a bit of a mystery to me.

On the other hand, should we be surprised if Mark Price got the job instead? He was brought in when Sund came in, and supposedly as a consultant. Heh….the conspiracy theorist in me is whispering in a very small voice that there could be something there. Or there could not. I won’t go so far as to say that Price was brought in with the thought that he might one day grab the reins, or even that he has shown enough as an assistant to get Sund’s attention. But stranger things have happened. Bryan Colangelo and Jay Triano…you just never know. Eh, I’m probably making things up because I’m already bored…

As for the rest of your head-coaching thoughts, they were very well-laid out. If Corbin could be enticed, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

mykhalc

May 16th, 2010
4:15 am

as much as i wanted Drew top replace Woodson 3 yrs ago, i’m not for seein’ him do it now. this team does NOT need anyone that is/looks familiar. this team needs a shakeup and the best way to get that now IMHO is fresh faces ONLY…knowledgeable, experienced fresh faces!!!

vava74

May 16th, 2010
5:39 am

nire, Ray,

Professional sports are mainly entertainment, a business.

Simmons’ knows how to entertain and writes willfully from a fans perspective bringing always very interesting and amusing commentaries to what is going on.

Also, I think that even when entertaining, he brings interesting thoughts about collateral, underlying things in sports (like for instance the losing dynamics of certain towns and franchises which, although immaterial, seem almost palpable).

His analysis on Lebron may be entertainment driven, but I think it hits the spot in marking Lebron as a guy who’s mind set is to amaze people and get people to admire him rather than being completely set on winning like MJ and Magic were.

Also, his “Book of Basketball” is not only entertainment, in spite of the fact that it is not – obviously – a technical book. It’s an entertainment driven almanac, if you want, but informative anyhow.

I noticed that his opinions about many players match Charley Rosen’s, who is kind of a mirrored (as an opposite) version of Simmons: a technical guy (former player and head coach) who, due to his college formation in literature, has great writing skills.

Charley Rosen is also wrong sometimes and a flip flopper of sorts since his views are in occasion frozen in time after A particular game.

I think that if you want to pick on analysts, these are the two few which you can rely on being consistent and not driven by alien interests beyond their publicly known preferences: Simmons is a Bostonian and an entertainer and Rosen a pro-Triangle/pro-Phil Jackson/pro-defense guy.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
5:43 am

Ray,

If you know that a train is going to wreck due to the machinist being inept, do you let him wreck the train because you like him as person and you feel sorry for him if you dismiss him?

Or do you get a new machinist on board and try to salvage the trip at all cost, specially bearing in mind that if you wreck the train you will probably lose your best passenger (JJ)?

doc

May 16th, 2010
8:47 am

i wonder what kind of a coach matt harpring will or would be?

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
10:25 am

Sund deosn;t seem the type to hire someone without coaching experience (like Steve Smith or Eric Snow)

nire, I’m struggling to think of a Sloan disciple who became a head coach. I think that Phil Johnson has been his lead assistant for about 87 years… has anyone become a head coach from Sloan’s bench?

I assume that ,much like in the NFL, part of the interview process for hiring an NBA head coach is discussing his desired staff of assistants. A head coach that can deliver a high qulaity big man coach (as an example) would potentially look better than a comparable coach who is contemplating bringing in Priest Lauderdale as their big man coach.

O'Brien

May 16th, 2010
11:52 am

I will add 2 more assistants who could be candidates:

1)Tom Thibodeau – he was an advance scout, and spent a bunch of years under JVG in NY and Houston (his teams are consistently known for defense), and this is his third season with Boston. My concern would be who would he bring in to help with our offense?

2)Elston Turner – 6 years with Sacramento, 4 years with the Blazers, and back with Adelman in Houston. Has interviewed for the Phoenix and Minnesota jobs in the past, and interviewed for the current Sixers job.

But to AJ’s point if Sund hires an assistant HC to be the Hawks coach, who would his assistants be?

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
2:33 pm

kirkinga

May 16th, 2010
4:54 pm

As always, nice column Ray. I think you have once again captured the essence of the situation. think the comments have been excellent as well.

As such, at this point, I would only add one thing. While I agree that the devil is indeed in the details, not all details are created equally. Count me among those who subscribe to the Herm Edwards Principle, the point of the game is to win. Winning is the metric,,or detail if you prefer, that should be foremost on the minds of ASG, Rick Sund, and fans as well.

I will not defend Coach Woodson, I will not condemn his firing. I will simply say that I expect no less than 53 wins and/or for the team to advance out of the Semi Finals.

Hawks fans have been here more than once before with a coach who supposedly was the reason the team could not make it out of a 2nd Round rut. Let us hope things turn out differently this time.

Go Hawks!

vava74

May 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

Astro,

My take on Smart:

Cons:

1. Another product of Indiana (for no reason in particular but the fact that Woody also was one).

2. Failed miserably as an interim coach in CLE (although conditions might have been very difficult with a tanking ball club).

3. Is an assistant to an IDIOT.

4. Had a poor playing career and has not been involved as an assistant in anything remotely successful, hence, will not command respect.

Pros:

5. Seems to have had some success in the CBA and with the Dominican Republic.

6. Apparently had an impact developing players who subsequently received call ups.

Unknowns:

7. X’s and 0’s (what is his offense and his defense?)

Conclusion:

Seems a guy suitable for Woody’s FIRST JOB (cheap option to take a bottom dweller with no pressure), not to take over from him.

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
5:25 pm

vava, chances are, we will either hire a coach who failed previously or one who has no head coahing experience, right?

Nellie has zero ability to relate to players but he isn’t incompetent when it comes to offensive game-planning. He has mostly had to play with a group of under-sized, young players. Additionally, it seems like they have been “top heavy”, a few guys making a lot of money and a lot of guys making little money. Does any of that sound familiar?

Lastly, this city needs a gimmick and Nellie ball featuring players like Teague, Smith and Jamal may get a few more folk in the seats.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
6:28 pm

After reading the summary of possibilities at Peachtreehoops, I am inclined to think that McHale could be an interesting option.

He has coached a few stretches successfully (emphasis on stretches) and has a past which would be a strong point to work young players from an advantage point.

Furthermore, I think he could do wonders with Smoove and Al.

niremetal

May 16th, 2010
6:31 pm

Vava,

See my above comment about Hakeem. McHale’s record of working with big men is, well, nonexistent. No reason to think that he has any ability to teach.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
6:39 pm

And the Celtics just proved that the “mighty” ORL are just a perfectly beatable team if you playing sound, well coached BBall…

AND if you have some fair treatment from the refs (allowing defenders to be as physical as he is – or calling the contacts).

Note that Doc Rivers is saying in the press conference that he was very angry that Bos let Orl SHOOT (not make) 6 or 7 three pointers in the second quarter and that he talked about it during the half time to stop that.

He also said that ORL made a run in the 4th because BOS stopped making the extra pass and went ISO.

Bos managed that ORL only got 10 assists for 32 fgs.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
6:43 pm

nire,

I read that Jefferson’s game improved with “some” tutorship from McHale.

I did notice that he had a few stretches in which Minny responded well to him and had good periods.

Never a consistent work though, however, I simply can’t seen another assistant coming him and being able to get things done at a high level.

For me, we need someone with a degree of pedigree which allows him to be authoritary.

Monty Williams does’t cut it on that front. Corbin maybe because he was an undersized husler which always overachived (I liked him a lot as a player), but his career may not be sufficiently impactful to command authority.

McHale and Laimbeer would.

niremetal

May 16th, 2010
6:45 pm

The truth is that most great players have made bad coaches. Baylor, Cousy, Russell, Unseld, Magic, Thomas…most of the greats seem to get frustrated when they realize that the players they coach are neither as talented nor as dedicated as they were. The only obvious exception is Larry Bird. Seriously, just because a guy was great executing as a player doesn’t mean that they have the foggiest idea of how to 1) explain what they did to player who never have done it before; 2) get players to “buy in;” and 3) have the ability to recognize when what they did well won’t necessarily work with other players, and be flexible enough to modify accordingly.

Coaching and teaching are skill sets that are almost totally detached from playing and executing. That’s why I’m always skeptical of bringing in a big name former player as coach and ESPECIALLY as GM. That being said, there are certain former players that strike me as having the qualities you’d expect in a good coach – Steve Smith comes to mind. Kevin McHale does not.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
6:50 pm

SVG’s press conference should be resumed to the following:

Playing the Hawks is the worst preparation possible to play the ECF.

I can’t think of any worse to do. I would prefer to take my whole roster in a cruise for 7 seven days will hard liquor, women and drugs and arrive noon on the ECF’s game 1 day than to play the Hawks.

But well, last year they did it to CLE and that allowed us to be in the Finals against the Lakers so we cannot feel that unlucky.

I wish BOS well and I hope that the Finals against the Lakers end up being exciting.

kwooden1

May 16th, 2010
6:51 pm

Orlando matches up well against us but not against Boston. Nice win by Boston. They’re definitely playing well.

vava74

May 16th, 2010
6:54 pm

What about Laimbeer?

His game had very little to do with actual talent. Would he make your cut?

kwooden1

May 16th, 2010
7:38 pm

I’ve been watching game 2 and 4 of the Orlando series again, possession by possession. Looking at it this way our offensive sets themselves aren’t bad and Woody’s calls aren’t to bad also. The problem comes with execution and Woody clearly favoring JJ and Bibby. The best set we had throughout both 2 and 4, was the double high screen for Crawford. This play brought Howard away from the basket and also got JJ on the move. After that play our best option was to push to get shots in the secondary break. Woody kept getting away from the Crawford play and going to ISO plays, which speaks to his favoritism.

Our defense was more of the same. Orlando’s best play was putting Howard and Nelson in the pick and roll, trying to get Howard to roll to the post or Nelson drawing a double team. We clearly needed to try a zone or trap the pick and roll. If I check other games I’m sure I will see that they tried a zone and a trap at some point, but the issue comes when to actually implement them.

For this team to really be a contender for the Championship they need a change in culture first and more production/talent at the SF second. The next coach will have to get the respect of the veterans, so the team buys into the new system. I think that means the next coach will have to have previous Playoff success on his resume or any new system may fail. We also need to upgrade the SF position to make-up for bad match-ups with certain teams. Getting another PG is important, but we really need a guy that isn’t passive like Marvin. We need someone that can drive to the hole (and finish) and get offensive rebounds. We also need a guy that can help block shots and rebound on the defensive end. Chillz looks like a guy that can really help this team get to the next level because of his versatile and activity.

I hope that Sund really takes his time with the coaching decision because this team could go either way depending on his decision. I thought Eddie Jordan would do great in Philly, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I think Sund should hire Byron Scott because of his Playoff experience and his work with great PGs. I think the guys would instantly respect him and he gets his teams to play hard.

GO HAWKS!!

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
7:57 pm

Vava ,

Come now, that answer is simple. You jump off the train and then claim plausible deniability. ;)

Kirkinga ,

Thanks! Also, I agree that the details are not created equal. For instance, there are so many people who believe that merely changing head coaches improves this team. That is no guarantee to put it mildly, though I think it is a start. There are other issues within the roster, and it may be that no coach can solve those. We have chemistry issues. We have production issues. Sund has a lot of work to do and will define much of his legacy this summer.

Thanks for your comments, and don’t be a stranger.

Astro Joe ,

Valid questions on the guys who have worked under Sloan. I hadn’t thought of that.

On another note, Samuel brought up a point in a discussion about Hubie Brown. He remarked that Brown had a losing record and no championship rings, but Woody had a championship ring. He’s right. Did Woody get it as a head coach? No. I then remarked that all assistant coaches who worked on championship winning teams have championship rings. Are we to be equally impressed with all of them? Does that make them all better than those who don’t have rings?

By the same vein, it is a tad difficult to assume with no doubts whatsoever that a guy working for a successful guy will automatically have a great chance of success on his own. Not to cast doubt, just saying you never know.

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
8:15 pm

Vava ,

Laimbeer actually gets my attention as former players turning to coaching. He’s smart, tough-minded, and was a master of the pick and pop as a player. Does that translate into coaching in the NBA? I don’t know. Not that it helps, but he was pretty successful coaching in the WNBA. At least he didn’t suck at it. He also finally decided to get his assistant coaching chops, so he’s on the right path.

I think the guy has as good a shot as anybody at doing the job, and doing it well, when we’re talking about unknown commodities. I don’t that Sund will go that route, but I wouldn’t scream in frustration if he did. Unless of course, I thought of a reason to, which is not out of the realm of possibility. :)

Niremetal ,

Steve Smith was a guy I was hoping might get a shot at the job when Woody’s future was in doubt 2 years ago. Like Laimbeer, I think he’s got as good a shot as any “unknown.”

Kwooden1 ,

Good analysis on how we played against the Magic. Our problem has been finding what works and then sticking with it. Then, finding something else that works when the first plan of attack finally gets stymied. We never got over that hump.

Favoring Bibby was a big mistake, but it was also based off how resources have been used. I’m a little weary of talking about what Woody did or didn’t do, now that he’s gone. So I won’t go much further with it.

I think Chills could help this team, but I don’t know if he’ll come back. The possibility exists that he might, knowing that Woodson is gone (but I’m not trying to suggest anything too deep here), but doesn’t money talk loudest?

Meanwhile, I get to watch the team that we swept in 4 games during the regular season, beat the team that annihilated us during the playoffs. Sigh ….it is what it is…

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
8:19 pm

Ray, I just would think that a guy who has coached as long as Sloan and as successfully as Sloan would have a few guys from his coaching tree. And maybe he does, but I can’t think of any. If that is true (no one has left his bench to coach their own NBA team), then one has to wonder why. Is it because his offensive system takes a long time to successfully install? Is it because it takes a certain type of teacher? Is it because it takes students with high IQs? I mean, this guy has been coaching since Oscar Robertson was a rookie (OK, maybe I’m exagerrating by a month or so)… what’s up with all of these GMs for all of these years opting for other coaching trees?

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
8:21 pm

QUICK UPDATE

Sund might be moving faster than we think. Hawks have gained permission to interview Dwayne Casey. Links below:

http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2010/05/16/update-hawks-are-given-permission-to-interview-casey/?cxntfid=blogs_mark_bradley_blog

http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2010/05/16/hawks-to-talk-to-casey/?cxntfid=blogs_hawks

Some of you have already stated your feelings on Dwayne Casey. OH what the heck….why not let some more fly? :)

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
8:26 pm

I don’t think that the role of the head coach is to work with individual players… that’s an assistant coaches job. I wouldn’t project McHale’s competence as a head coach based on how Al Jefferson developed. If that were the best way to hire a coach, why isn’t Clifford Ray interviewing for jobs? I don’t want my head coach spending an hour at every practice in the corner wit a player or 2. I’d much rather see him managing all 13-15 players.

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

Astro Joe ,

Yeah…besides, that’s favoritism, isn’t it? :twisted:

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
8:42 pm

Astro Joe ,

Again, good question. I have no answers there, and I’m kinda hoping Nire will do the research on it, because I’m feeling lazy.

Melvin

May 16th, 2010
8:59 pm

Uh, wasn’t McHale credited for KG development??? If he was, he didnt do a bad job with him. KG had no post or go to move coming out of high school. He relied on his athleticism early in his career.

Melvin

May 16th, 2010
9:02 pm

Speaking of KG, did you all realize that the Celtics haven’t lost a playoff series when KG plays. Be aware of those old guys from the beantown, they still have some game left. I still believe had KG been healthy last year, they would have been competing for a three peat…

Astro Joe

May 16th, 2010
9:21 pm

Ray, favoritism. Yeah, let me think… when was the last time I heard that expression… oh yeah, from my 12 YO niece when she was talking about her cheerleading coach.

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

Sautee

May 16th, 2010
10:15 pm

nire,

about this: “The truth is that most great players have made bad coaches. Baylor, Cousy, Russell, Unseld, Magic, Thomas…most of the greats seem to get frustrated when they realize that the players they coach are neither as talented nor as dedicated as they were.”

nire, you DO realize that Russell won TWO rings (player / coach) coaching the Celtics don’t you? And had a winning pct. of .540% over 7+ seasons as a coach?

The rest of your list I agree with, but Russ was at LEAST a decent coach.

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
10:34 pm

LOL @ Astro Joe

Big Ray

May 16th, 2010
10:35 pm

I hear hiring Laimbeer is hiring Mahorn, they come as a package deal.

Fine by me, we’ll even let Mahorn play….

No, I didn’t really hear that, but the sentiment remains.

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?

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
9:43 pm

Heh, heh, heh…

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.

And I think that once you made your point clear, it was also made clear to you that others saw this as Hollins NOT COMPLAINING, but acknowledging and addressing a situation. I don’t see this as him offering insult or injury to his players. I think he defended them more than anything else.

I also see him saying that to win matchups and get better, you go out and get guys who can help you in areas that you are weak. That’s all I saw.

Now, you’ll likely continue to disagree. I’m cool with that. We’re disagreeing. Nothing new there…

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:44 pm

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.

And this is why I like execs like Sund, who would NEVER give such an interview. There is NO good reason to discuss a roster’s short-comings with a writer. NONE. It can’t do a single thing to help the team, only hurt the team. If he can’t convince his boss, the GM to add the right assets in private, chances are slim to none that he will be successful in the press.

IMO, a coach should NEVER complain about holes in his roster to the media. Ultimately, he is admitting that he has failed to win with something less than perfection. Or, he is admitting that his ability to influence his GM or owner is flawed.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
9:44 pm

AJ,

C’mon, man. Admonishing his players?

Isn’t that something you would do face to face?

You saw the honesty in Hollins answers. He didn’t attempt to be PC, he just told it like it is. Why would someone that direct need to “admonish” a player in the media?

From what I read, he doesn’t have a problem with them being who they are, but acknowledges that where there are areas that are lacking, the team needs to shore those up. Couldn’t that be said of ANY team?

And what happened to wanting tough old Bill Laimbeer to come bust some heads and make us tougher? Were you worried about the players being admonished then?

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
9:51 pm

Astro,

You mention 1 or 2 of Hollins statements and trying to change the undertone of the interview. Funny how you ignore the fact that he defended his players as well. What do you want him to say about a team that won 40 games and failed to make the playoffs? Everyone knows that his team is flawed. The lack of bench depth is the scouting consensus around the league about the Grizzy. That’s why he mentions that they need to balance the roster ala what the Pistons did in the 80s. That Pistons team already had a good nucleus (Isiah, Laimbeer, etc) then added Rodman and Salley to become a Championship team. The Grizzly has a nice starting 5 but need to upgrade their bench. That’s why Z-Bo have to play 36+ mins but if they had quality reserves then you wouldn’t have to play him heavy mins on the nights that he’s being overmatched by the opposing player. I found the guy to be very honest and accurate about his team.
Heck, I recalled Woody saying that his team has no answer to slow down Howard. Was that a shot at his All-star center Horford? Was he calling out ZaZa abilities as well? Maybe he thinks RandMo and Collins are worthless too.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
9:56 pm

Melvin,

Maybe that was Woody’s way of “admonishing” them. ;-)

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
9:56 pm

Sautee, AGAIN, I’d love for Laimbeer to put a foot up someone’s butt for not hustling, setting a bad screen, not blocking out, making a careless pass, stalling ball movement, holding the ball for 8 seconds while the double comes over to trap the ball and numerous other MENTAL mistakes. Have at it. Pull out his belt and give them an old fashioned daddy whopping. All of that. And after he is done, do it again in case they forget.

But if he says “he need more athletcism at the 4/5″, I’m going to be ticked off. In my mind, there is a difference.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:00 pm

Melvin, I already said that I didn’t read the entire interview… my point of reference was your 11:21 excerpt.

Did Hollins mention who they were “over-matched against”? I didn’t read the whole interview, did he mention the game’s top center or did he leave it up for interpretation?

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:01 pm

As far as how the Memphis GM feels about this interview…

Hollins made it clear that he gets a chance to voice his opinion on everything. So anything he said in this interview? Probably been said in far more detail to the GM well before this.

I have a hard time seeing a coach calling out his players for their athleticism, then turning around and nearly rabidly defending a lottery pick that had to be sent to the D-League, and another whom even the fans haven’t been all that pleased with.

I’m just not seeing it.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:02 pm

Ray… I did not read the whole interview… I only read the 11:21 excerpt. Maybe I should write that another 50 times.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:03 pm

11:21 excerpt.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:03 pm

Melvin’s 11:21 excerpt.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:04 pm

The short version enetered by Melvin at 11:21.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:04 pm

One that I could read quickly while in the office… at 11:21… from Melvin… excerpt.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:05 pm

46 more to go.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
10:05 pm

Astro,

“Melvin, I already said that I didn’t read the entire interview… my point of reference was your 11:21 excerpt.”

I overlooked the above statement previously. So now, I rest my case. You may want to read the entire article before passing judgement or at least see why Ray, Sautee and I defending Hollins.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
10:06 pm

AJ,

OK, I get it.

So when the sports analysts say that the Hawks are more athletic than other teams, they are actually throwing all those less athletic teams under the bus, right?

WTF????

Is it a sin to be less athletic than other players in the league? (Nash wants to know)

You act like Hollins has called these guys out for their less athletic ways. I think he was just calling it like it is. Just like when Woody said we didn’t have an answer for Howard. Did THAT tick you off?

doc

May 17th, 2010
10:06 pm

aj,no woody might say we need more bulk at the five and maybe a 4 than can shoot from the outside on occasion to stretch the defense ala the magic power forward. woody spoke with his hands, they remained on his chest and he never waved some of his guys into the game. i guess a rotation of seven p;ayers is a bit of an admonition, too. sometimes woody would admonish by saying a guy was a rookie. look rook dont take it personal but if you are playing the first year you need to watch what is going on or if you make a veteran mistake then we will call it a rookie mistake and end your night, too.

man who flipped you over? now you are singing feelings and worried bout who might have them hurt first, when last week complaing that somone needs to do a number on josh.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:06 pm

AJ ,

Good Lord. You didn’t even read the whole interview. No wonder everything is out of context. Here I was thinking we were arguing over the bulk of things, and you don’t even know the whole story. Geezzz…

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:07 pm

Melvin, Isee it based on what you all have said. And could you see why I responding like I did to the 11:21 post… by you… at 11:21? Short version… In office… exceprt?

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:09 pm

So when the sports analysts say that the Hawks are more athletic than other teams, they are actually throwing all those less athletic teams under the bus, right?

Sautee, so would that be the very definition of putting words in my mouth? Come on Mr. I Don’t Engage in Hyperbole…. fess up… it is cleansing to the soul. Leaping from a view of what a coach said about his players has NOTHING to do with what analysts say, now does it? Fess up…. HYPERBOLE!!!!!

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:12 pm

Man, who mentioned the old hadicapped match a few weeks ago? I’m taking on 4 blog legnds… it don;t get much better than this.

doc, welcome to the fray. If Teague took “Rook” the same way a player could take “over-matched” then Woody deserves to be fired. Oops, too late.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:12 pm

Sorry, AJ . I didn’t realize that I was supposed to read every post you made to Melvin about his excerpt.

I guess I shouldn’t have assumed that posting the link might have actually led to somebody reading the article it contained.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
10:13 pm

Astro,

The statement below was the first sentence of my post @11:21.. heh,heh

“I particular like the this part of the interview below with Hollins”

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:14 pm

And Ray, I didn’t realize that I couldn’t respond to an excerpt but had to read the entirety of an interview. Lessons learned, huh?

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
10:14 pm

AJ,

OF COURSE it was hyperbole. But it FINALLY got your attention.

Now answer my question please. When Woody said we had no answer for Howard, did it tick you off?

And if not, please explain why THAT was ok, but what Hollins said was wrong.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:15 pm

Man, who mentioned the old hadicapped match a few weeks ago? I’m taking on 4 blog legnds… it don;t get much better than this.

:lol: Ah, but you LIKE it that way, or you wouldn’t keep coming back for more. Don’t be coy, it’s girlish…

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:17 pm

“And Ray, I didn’t realize that I couldn’t respond to an excerpt but had to read the entirety of an interview.”

Hah. You’ll do it again next week, you didn’t learn a damn thing. :lol:

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:17 pm

Melvin, I knew it was an excerpt… thus the often used word… excerpt. I just focused on that specific excerpt.

Isn’t a quote an excerpt? Haven;t we waxed poetic on quotes around here before?

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:18 pm

Melvin ,

The statement below was the first sentence of my post @11:21.. heh,heh

“I particular like the this part of the interview below with Hollins”

Yes, that would be the key phrase, would it not?

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:19 pm

Ray, girlish would be to go to bed, which is what I want to do because I am dead tired… but I’d be fearful of appearing to be girlish. And girlish would be to make a personal attack (which fortunately has not happened here tonight).

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
10:21 pm

AJ,

I’ll beat you to it (sleep).

But remember to come back tomorrow to answer me.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:22 pm

Sautee, Woody was wrong for substituting Horford after 1 foul in Game 1 and I said so immeidately.

Saying that the Hawks have no answer for the game’s best center is different than saying that your 4/5 are over-matched against nameless opponents.

If someone told you that you suck relative to the best, isn’t that different than saying that you suck in general? I think so.

Melvin

May 17th, 2010
10:23 pm

Astro,

I would be interested in your perspective after you read the entire article. Maybe the 4 horsemen can allow you time to read it before we jump you again backstage while the cameras are rolling. Hopefully this time, Mean Gean can tell the fans to tuned in tomorrow while we are beating you down as the show goes off….

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:23 pm

And someone, please tell me when I said that I didn’t understand that it was an excerpt.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:26 pm

“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.”

Still not clear on why you trade a player that says something like that, even if it’s true. Has said player failed to put forth the effort and work into their game? I can see trading them for that. Has said player contributed to a locker room problem? Again, I can see the need to mull trading such a person.

I recall Amare Stoudamire seemingly at the root of every Phoenix Suns issue for the last few years, complaining (publicly, even) about everything from playing with Shaq to who knows what. Suns never traded him. Now they are in the West Finals.

We have a few players who “reportedly” made some complaints about something (and may not have been lying) and we should trade them? Can you imagine if all teams did that…

Hey…didn’t Lassie rescue or help rescue somebody in nearly every episode? Wasn’t it that little idiot kid Timmy who was always getting into trouble?

Man, AJ….you gotta get your suspects right, bro’.

Sautee

May 17th, 2010
10:27 pm

AJ,

“If someone told you that you suck relative to the best, isn’t that different than saying that you suck in general? I think so.”

And this means WHAT relative to what Hollins actually said?

OK, that’s all for me tonight. See y’all manana.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:32 pm

Yes, I am trying to keep Astro Joe up, because I wouldn’t want him to go to bed and be girlish (by his own definition). :)

I wonder how many times we’re going to hear EXCERPT before he finally reads the dang article… :lol:

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
10:33 pm

Melvin ,

I already jumped him for something else he said. Trying to keep his juices flowing. He’s running out of steam. ;)

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:35 pm

Ray, changing subjects, huh? OK, I’ll play.

Why not compete to become one of Woody’s favorite. Heck, let’s take Woody out of it. Next head coach comes in. Shouldn’t each and every player compete to be on his “preferred list”?

Sautee, I thought you were bringing the Howard discussion in as a comparison to the Hollins debate. Maybe not. If it’s a stand-alone comment with no relevence to the previous discussion, then the answer is “saying that your center is fallling short against someone with Howard’s credentials is mostly stating the obvious. It is a specific statement using a specific player as the baseline.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:40 pm

I’ve got Nate the Gnat buzzing in my ear tonight. Shoo, bug, shoo!

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:41 pm

Melvin, heck, too late to read it now. I’ll try to read it tomorrow.

Astro Joe

May 17th, 2010
10:47 pm

Ok, 5 minute count-out.

I declare myself the… yawn… the… yawn… oh,… good night all.

O'Brien

May 17th, 2010
10:52 pm

AJ,

did it bother you when woody said to the media that he uses the switching defense to hide some deficiencies of some players?

Because he might have well have said bibby and Crawford play horrible defense.

Did it bother you when woody said last week that bibby is old now, and not the player that he was, and has probably taken us as far as he can?

Either way, I look forward to your posts after reading the entire article.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
11:08 pm

Astro Joe

Why not? Until you read the entire article, I see no point in hashing over a narrow viewpoint that is only an EXCERPT of the entire body of work, which was what was originally being discussed. You made your point, I made mine. You know the result.

And we only changed to another subject brought up by YOU.

Speaking of changing subjects, you didn’t answer any of my questions. You did offer another viewpoint.

Here’s my answer: I don’t care about playing to be a coach’s favorite. Let me expound.

1)I’d rather have guys that act grown are more interested in playing to be the best they can be. Playing to help the team in the best way they can.

2)What’s worse than complaining about the teacher’s pet? Trying to become the teacher’s pet. Who is on the court with you, the teacher, or the other pets? Are you going to engender any trust in the others by trying to be top pet, or on the “preferred pet” list?

3)What if you play to be his favorite, and it doesn’t work? Are you going to pout now? Are you going to be a malcontent because life is not fair?

That’s what I liked so much about what Hollins said. He made it clear that he got onto all of his players. Then there was this:

GC: What’s your pecking order?

LH: We don’t have one.

GC: Can you win without a pecking order?

LH: Yeah, if everybody is willing to make sacrifices. I think Zach is probably our pecking order. And then Rudy and O.J. are 2 and 2a, depending on the night. But all those guys made sacrifices. Rudy made great sacrifices, O.J. made great sacrifices, to allow the guy who helped us make the biggest improvement get established. Once he was established, they just felt in line. They knew he was the man who was going to butter the bread. So we do have a slight pecking order. But when you have a group of nothing but young players, that’s a fight every day.

And I think here is where we might be able to draw some comparisons to the Hawks, and what I believe some of their problems entail. Guys made sacrifices on that Memphis squad. Are guys doing that on the Hawks squad?

This is more on the players than it is on the coach, though the coach can suggest, persuade, and encourage things to some degree. But it’s on the players.

All the same, the point is that this “favorites” thing has to be nonexistant.

Now, if a player is confusing favoritism with delegation due to what the coach judges as far as talent and capability, then said player has an issue of his own. I mean, if a coach decides that player X is the best scorer and will get the most shots, then player Y should not be complaining about that. If player X never or rarely receives criticism for doing the same things that player Y does wrong, then yes there is an issue.

However, to me it’s on the coach to communicate to the player what is going to happen and why.

It’s on the player to accept what the coach is going to do, giving input where the coach allows it (and there are varying degrees of this, which I won’t get into, it’s up to the coach/player situation/relationship).

If a player can’t understand the difference between “playing favorites” and “doing what works best for the team”, then yeah, they’ve got a problem. But problems can be worked out, sometimes.

Big Ray

May 17th, 2010
11:10 pm

O’brien ,

I thought it was a great article. Tis why when I saw the link posted (and somebody brought up one of those sneaky little EXCERPTS), I went and read the whole thing.

Good stuff, I thought.

vava74

May 18th, 2010
6:38 am

Ray,

I admit that I only read the excerpt. Nonetheless, I still think that the reference to Grant and Pippen was out of line with regard to the interview’s thread.

On the subject: I think that Hollins’ intention was good but he may have not been clear enough.

He should have been clearer in saying that he is very happy with the group of players he has now but there is a glaring need to complement the current technical and physical talent with players which fill in the gaps where there are deficiencies.

The Hawks are a good example, as mentioned already above: given the fact that Al is frequently over matched at the 5 position, we need a backup center which complements his characteristics: namely we need a guy which brings size and physicality off the bench.

Unfortunately, Zaza is not that guy. He is also over matched since offensively he is a “finesse” finisher and defensively, although aggressive, he is neither athletic, nor strong enough to fill this gap effective, ending up playing a lot smaller than his listed 6′11” size and 275 lbs weight.

Finally, again on the coaching front:

If we really want to re-sign JJ, our best hope lies with signing a top tier HC (Scott or Avery).

I think that that move would pay off: a higher cost with a coach which would allow a higher degree of success in re-signing him.

wordsmithtom

May 18th, 2010
7:04 am

I read the “can we call Marvin a bust now” piece, and the comments. Not much has been added to that discussion, but I must add my two cents. I know those who say he’s NOT CP will continue to complain. Trading a guy who’s sub-25 that’s NEVER been a troublemaker, always deferring to his teammates, because he’s NOT CP would be a huge mistake. A new coach with the insight to use his athleticism, yes athleticism….he runs, he passes, he is a lights out foul shooter….by including him in a high post offence. Not all the time, but enough to give teams another look. A point forward who will hit those free throws. Can you see him dishing to Al or JS? Yes, this takes the ball out of our iso/guard offence. New coach, new ideas.

Don’t blame the players for Woody’s poor use. Marvin is an excellent example.

Oh, I like Lambeer; I like AJ; I like Patrick Ewing even. Mark Price I’m ok with. Anybody with a different way to use the talent we have. Forgetabout the talent we don’t have. Forgetabout CP3 and everybody else. Look for ways to use what we have. Example, when we went to Horford in the post, we tended to prosper. When we went ISO guard, we lived and died by the heat of the hand holding the ball. That’s not team ball. Bring in a coach who understands team ball. Ewing, AJ, Lambeer all fit that model.

Big Ray

May 18th, 2010
8:34 am

Wordsmithtom ,

I don’t think that you should trade a guy because of who/what he isn’t .

I think you trade him because you’ve found a way to somehow get better. It doesn’t always mean an upgrade in talent or a particular skill. It could mean finding a better fit.

In the case of Marvin, the fact that he isn’t CP3, or Deron Williams, or Rajon Rondo, or a host of other guys who were picked lower, but are having far more impactful careers….really has nothing to do with Marvin. I’ve yet to see a single player pick himself in a draft. But let’s get past all of that.

Marvin has skills and abilities, but we’ve yet to see them be consistent. I take that back. I thought he was fairly consistent (if unspectacular) in ‘07-’08, and in ‘08-’09. In ‘09-’10, that changed. I do fault Woody on some of this (cue the rant from Astro Joe right about now….), but I also have watched Marvin play brilliantly and with good body control in one game, only to completely disappear altogether after several flops and flails. I don’t get it.

Should we see what he can be under another coach? Well, that’s up to Sund. But if a good opportunity to upgrade in an area where it’s needed comes along, then I say go for it. One other thing, I don’t see Marvin as a point forward. He seriously lacks the aggressiveness needed. You can’t do anything like that if you’re deferring. It’s why Josh was able to do it. He has a problem NOT deferring at times, if anything.

I see a guy who is also tentative when he dribbles, whether it is in the open court (which he all but refuses to do), or trying to take an opponent in the half court. How much of THAT is Woody?

I’m not saying throw the baby out with the bathwater. But I’m just not seeing in Marvin what I thought I used to. I’d be content to settle for a good steady, role player. Beyond that, I expect nothing.

Vava ,

I find your points of view excerpt-tionally interesting. :lol:

wordsmithtom

May 18th, 2010
9:16 am

Ray, I have no problem with a trade of Marvin if we improve the team. Can we maximize his worth at a time when the market thinks he’s a “bust”? I don’t think so; many are like me…. No, I don’t see him bringing up the ball. That’s a guard’s job. I do, however, see him a benefit of placing him on the high post, instead of standing around on the rim. That improves overall ball movement: it centers movement around a guy who CAN hit foul shots, unlike Josh; it opens up the court for guard movement…..unlike what we see in ISO/Joe-Crawford.

Again, this as a supplement to what we’re doing. Sometimes, ISO/guard is a good thing. Don’t do away with it. All’s I’m saying we’re getting red beans and rice at every meal and I’m tired of it.

I’m tired of seeing a 6-9 guy sitting on the wings where he can’t be fouled. When he’s crashing the boards, he gets fouled, and he HITS foul shots. That didn’t happen in the playoffs.

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
10:17 am

Ray, I agree that playing favorites is not the way to lead a group. That much is obvious. But I also feel strongly that employees MUST be able to adopt to any style offered by their bosses. It’s pretty simple to me, you don’t typically get to choose your boss. A high performer must have the attitude that they will find a way to succeed in any climate. or at least compete. If you’re not willing to compete even in a bad environment, I don’t want you around. I hope that our next coach is equally demanding on all players. And if he isn’t, I hope each and every one of our players work extra hard to compete for the preferred list despite the obstacles. Life isn’t always alley-oop dunks, free throws and easy rebounds, sometimes you have to face adversity and 5 guys trying to stop you. And yes, I absolutely apply the same value to my personal work life. If you can’t figure out the rules, then don’t play the game. Complaining about the rules should not be an option… just leave the field of play.

OB, I know some will view it as a nuance but I don’t. If a coach says that he has a problem with the physical limitations at his X and Y position, that is different than saying I need to hide 1 of my 5 players on defense. To me, explicitly pin-pointing the problem to the media is different than leaving it up for others to figure it out. If my work group is under-performing, I’d rather have my boss say to the broader organization that we have some weak links that we need to support rather than say the guy sitting in office 4A34 is sucking wind. One leaves it up for others to interpret, the other pin-points the location of the problem… to me that id different. But it’s a moot point because I have been told repeeatedly that he wasn’t calling any player out… I’m just responding to your specific post from 10:52 last night.

Actually, there was no value in Woody disclosing his conversation with Bibby. None. And had I thought that he was going to return, I would have had a problem with it. While it is obviously true, it didn’t need to be shared with the public… it’s none of our business. Woody should have either reported all of the player evaluations or none of them. Isolating one or a few players is bad leadership. Clearly, my preference would have been that he tell Bibby and Teague his thoughts privately.

newkid

May 18th, 2010
10:21 am

Hope we continue to see the number ‘24′ on the rear of a Hawks player’s jersey during the 2010/2011 campaign and playing the 3-spot, but the name above the number will hopefully be “George” (as in Paul) as opposed to “Williams”. He’s smooth like Gervin, Rudy Gay-electric in space, a shooter with deep range, and has the potential to be special.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
10:38 am

newkid,

I mention that the Hawks should draft Paul George several weeks ago. I think he has alot of potential. I agree with the Rudy Gay comparison. I think he would be a very nice backup SF playing behind Marvin/Chills whichever one Sund decide to keep next season.

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
10:39 am

newkid, and he’ll be available that late in the draft?

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
10:55 am

I’d like to see both Wall and Evan Turner land in the Western Conference.

newkid

May 18th, 2010
10:58 am

AJ, I doubt ‘the Beat’ is around @ 24. Too much talent and potential for Pritchard to bypass @ 22, but will likely go even sooner. We’ll need to make a move if he’ll wear Hawks’ blue.

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
10:59 am

Melvin, I remember you mentioning George before. I think you alos mentioned Brackins… I just read that he tested very high in several atheletic categories. That will likely push him up the draft board. I guess folk thought he was strictly a jump shooter but evidently, he has close to a 40-inch vertical jump to boot. Nice combination and he isn’t a 19 YO kid. So he should be ready to produce in some capacity from the first day.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
11:21 am

newkid,

There’s report that several teams are willing to trade down like the Bucks. I wonder if Sund/Hawks will be agressive on draft day.

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
11:22 am

Short excerpt from a piece Chad Ford wrote about UCONN’s Stanley Robinson. Really good to read an article that expresses how a player was able to benefit from his college experience. Calhoun has a pretty remarkable track record when it comes to producing NBA talent. Maybe, the best track record of current college coaches.

Robinson, if you remember, lost his confidence at the end of his sophomore season at UConn. He left the team for a little bit and worked in a steel yard. Finally, coach Jim Calhoun rescued him, and Robinson went on to turn his career around during his junior season. Robinson said, “Coach Calhoun taught me how to be a man. I’ll forever be grateful for that.”

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
11:38 am

Astro,

I like Brackins too. I’m curious to know whether the Hawks are interested in using the draft to acquire some young talent and coach them up similiar to what the Blazers are doing. I think it would be a smart move to stock pile young talent and bring them along slow or you can throw them into the fire if they proven that can contribute immediately.

Side note: Not like how Woody use Teague…

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
11:40 am

newkid and Melvin… an excerpt from a Ford evaluation of George…

In the workout we saw, George was terrific. He showed deep range on his jump shot, exploded to the rim and had terrific quickness. Scouts have had questions about his consistency and toughness. They’ve also worried about his love affair with the 3-pointer. But it was also clear that he was rarely pushed at Fresno State.

In this environment, playing alongside other NBA prospects, he looked much sharper and more focused. He needs to get stronger and improve his motor (something he admitted to me when we chatted) but MacLean told me George has been a sponge since coming into the gym. George believes he may be more of a 2-guard than a 3. Some NBA teams agree. In fact his first workout is in San Antonio on Thursday. His workout partner: Kansas shooting guard Xavier Henry.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
11:41 am

Astro,

That was a nice excerpt on Robinson. However, he’s a very atheletic but his skills need a lot of polish…

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
11:45 am

Melvin, as you know, 1st round picks cost more than minimum-wage veterans. So “stock-piling” likely means at least $500k more per player than going with a 1-year deal for a vet. And as i recall, Portland “bought” a few of their extra 1st round picks in the past few years.

I’m not judging here… I don’t have a view of the Hawks balance sheet. Just saying why one option may be chosen vs. another.

newkid

May 18th, 2010
11:46 am

The Bucks are in a really sweet spot @ 15 Melvin. That may be too sweet a spot for ‘the Beat’. What with players like Whiteside and Motiejunas possibly sitting there at 15, I’d probably allow someone else to scarf up George’s talent if I could slide into that hole. But what could Sund have (Chilz’ rights?) that would entice the Bucks to give up that pick OR move down to 24 from 15? They wouldn’t accept Marvin, would they? I know he pulled an incredible sleight-of-hand in the JCross deal, but Sund couldn’t be that clever two years running, could he?

newkid

May 18th, 2010
11:53 am

Thanks AJ. Someone’s going to get quite a talent in ‘the Beat’. A couple summers in the weight room coupled with a year or so of ball handling training with someone like Bobby Lewis or Sonny Hill (both of Philadelphia), he could really be special.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
11:59 am

Astro,
I understand your point.

Newkid,
I read the Bucks have falling in love with Dominique Jones from South Florida and feel they could move down to draft him. So maybe they are looking to save a few dollars on a player that is expect to be available later in the first round (what BK should have done with Shelden). I do remember they were trying to workout a S&T with Chills last year so maybe would could grab their pick at 15 for Chills. I’m sure the 15th pick would be cheaper than Chills caphold/contract.

newkid

May 18th, 2010
12:07 pm

Sund wouldn’t give up both the rights to Chilz AND #24 for #15 would he Melvin? Would you?

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

Melvin, I don’t think that you can trade a RFA (or UFA) on draft day. You have to sign him first and then trade him and that can’t be done until after 7/1. I’m sure that someone will correct me if I have that wrong. I think that teams can only use players under contract, draft picks and cash on draft day… free agents aren’t in play.

niremetal

May 18th, 2010
12:46 pm

Astro/Melvin,

Yup, that’s correct. Chills is a free agent, and no free agent can be signed until July.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
1:50 pm

Newkid,

I wouldn’t trade Chills and 24th for 15th pick? but i mention him b/c I knew the Bucks had some interest in him last summer….

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
3:48 pm

Ray,

Looks like this blog has become a little stale. Even Astro threw in the white flag after the 4 Horsemen/Legends took him to school last nite. You may have to whip up some new material to rekindle the canniblogging…

Big Ray

May 18th, 2010
3:57 pm

Okey dokey. It will be today or tomorrow, if all goes according to plan (which, I really didn’t have one).

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
3:59 pm

Melvin, threw in the towel? Who? Me? I pinned the 4 Horsemen to a 5-minute count and limped to the lockerroom for a big bowl of popcorn and some red Kool-Aid. :lol:

BrittishAnger

May 18th, 2010
5:40 pm

I still think we resigned Bibby on the assumption that he will retire with us and maybe come back as a shooting coach or even a PG specialist to maintain a good teacher/trainer around Jeff Teague…

O'Brien

May 18th, 2010
6:41 pm

Draft lottery tonight. If new Jersey gets the #1 pick (john wall), Devin harris might be available.

Minnesota has the second best chance at the #1 pick. If they get it, do they take john wall (their third PG, along with Rubio and Johnny Flynn)? Oh by the way, they also have Ramon sessions

O'Brien

May 18th, 2010
8:24 pm

Philly guaranteed a top 3 pick. If they get the #1 pick (John Wall), they should hire Woody so he could bring him along slowly and not throw him to the wolves…

Sautee

May 18th, 2010
8:31 pm

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
8:50 pm

So that means that John Wall is in our division. That’s okay, we have Jeff teague.

I’m more concerned with Evan Turner… I think he is oing to be a Mega-Star. I wonder if Derrick Favors lands in NJ?

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
8:58 pm

I wonder if Iggy will be made available. Lou Williams should be able to play off the ball with the offense running through Turner. And Thad Young is a natural SF. Could they flip Iggy into a PF? Like Iggy for Troy Murphy?

And what happens to Arenas? Agent 0 to the Knicks for David Lee?

O'Brien

May 18th, 2010
9:00 pm

AJ,

Does Washington really want their #1 pick (probably John Wall) being associated with Arenas? What is Arenas going to do? Show him how to play cards? Take him to the gun range?

To be fair, maybe Arenas has changed his ways and has learned from his mistakes (at least I hope he has).

As for Derrick Favors, I’m concerned about his game going forward (and I am a GT fan). He will be drafted based mostly on potential, and he is a very low key guy. If I’m not mistaken, he does not watch a lot of basketball either. And I’m just not sure if I see that drive to be great in him.

Astro Joe

May 18th, 2010
9:11 pm

OB, wouldn’t you agree that the VAST majority of top 5 draft selections are chosen strictly on potential (as opposed to production)? I don’t like it either, but that’s the way it is.

I’d be shocked if the Wizards keep Gilbert. They now have the opportunity to build their team around a different backcourt star, I don’t see anyway they choose to keep a high-salaried risk over a low-salaried risk. I suspect that Grunfeld will start making calls to move Gilbert in the morning. Assuming the Knicks don’t land LeBron nor Wade (and I don’t think that they will), trading for Arwnas makes a ton of sense. His personality and game would be huge in NYC. And they would still have room to add someone like Bosh or Amare.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
9:15 pm

Crittenton or Foye, who do yall want to sign??? Agent 0 and John Wall in the backcourt together oh my and Josh Howard…. Can you say, limited touches for the frontcourt….

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
9:25 pm

If I’m Nets I would consider picking Monroe over Favors. Maybe they should swap picks with someone who wants Cousins b/c I can’t see them picking him to play alongside Lopez.

O'Brien

May 18th, 2010
9:26 pm

AJ,

Yeah, its always about potential with these guys. Thats why we are stuck with Marvin.

Speaking of Marvin, I look around the league, and I see all these young PGs (CP3, Deron, Rose, Evans, Curry, Jennings, and now John Wall), while the Hawks best bet is to see if Teague can be part of the solution. I like Teague, but I hope he is working on his game (especially his shooting) this offseason.

I like the Gilbert trade to the Knicks, because I think they will miss out on the big name FAs, and the Wizards should build around John Wall.

Watching the Celtics-Magic, the Hawks need a shooter in the worst way. Korver, Mike Miller, JJ Redick etc. We need somebdy who can knock down 3s consistently and help spread the floor. The cheapest option is Redick, because with the magic having such a high payroll already, they may not want to keeo him.

Melvin,

I think Josh Howard has a team option, so I dont think they will keep him. Foye is restricted, and so is Redick. Crittenton is available to anybody for cheap I’m sure. I wouldnt mind bringing him in during training camp to see what he can do.

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
9:37 pm

OB,

I think the Wiz already decline Howard’s team opt. I think the Magic will resign Reddick and dump Bass salary. Hmmm, I wonder if they would take Bibby for him…LOL…. Just looking at the FA list, I think there’s alot of guys that could help this team. Hopefully the Hawks will be aggressive during this FA period…

[...] -Big Ray on the Summer of Rick Sund [...]

Melvin

May 18th, 2010
9:41 pm

New Blog up. I’m getting the hell out of here….

Big Ray

May 18th, 2010
10:06 pm

Okay guys (and gals), new blog is up, such that it is….

Big Ray

May 18th, 2010
10:08 pm

Melvin, Youuuuuuu…if the blog was STALE Mr. Smarty pants, then you should have waited until the next one for all of those comments! Ahhhhhhh! Now it looks like I made up the new blog of comments from THIS one!

rylestyle

May 22nd, 2010
5:49 pm

I’ve heard that the nets are interested in aquiring a superstar player (lebron or wade) and then possibly getting either johnson or bosh after that. Is there no possibility of the hawks doing a sign and trade for brooke lopez? Or what about marc gasol? those seem like two player that the hawks should be very interested in.

If the hawks were to acquire one of those centers, they would have a center, a pfoward (horford), a sford (marvin). At that point they could use josh smith as trade bait, and i’m sure many teams would be interested. (what about josh smith and jeff teague for chris paul) imagine this starting 5…

chris paul (josh smith/jeff teague)
jamal crawford
marvin williams
al horford
brooke lopez/marc gasol (sign and trade for joe johnson)

then we would have to focus on the bench with the loss of crawford, but we would have a decent nucleus with evans and pachulia.

any comments?