Hawks fans: Two week notice

Within a fortnight, some questions will be answered. Others will begin in earnest. Still others can’t be answered until much later. In the spirit of crossing the bridge when you get to it, let’s examine some events involving the near and far future of our Atlanta Hawks.

 

New Additions

We’re a week away from the NBA draft, and to hear some people tell it, this draft isn’t very deep. According to others, there is plenty of draftable talent available, albeit raw in most cases. Which theory do you believe? Will the Hawks be able to add two new recruits to the squad in the draft this year? Will they be able to add guys who can help (whether sooner or later), or guys who are merely useable assets? In the ever changing landscape of NBA mock drafts, here are the current guesses from a few websites that you’re probably familiar with already. This close to the draft, most sites have either made their last mockup, or will do so Monday. In the meantime:

Draftexpress.com has the Hawks taking South Florida’s Dominique Jones in the first round, and Thomas Heurtel of Strasbourg. Jones, an explosive attacker who finishes well at the rim, will probably excel for a team that wants to use him in a fast-paced offensive scheme. Standing 6′5″ in shoes, and with a strong 216 pound frame, the South Florida combo guard can and does defend either backcourt position well. He’ll have to work on his shooting a bit, but there is little question about his ability to get to the rim and the free throw line. Could the Hawks use a player like this (21.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.7 spg), or would they be best served looking at frontcourt players? It’s possible that Dominique Jones could be taken earlier, but one never knows. There is a lot less information readily available on Thomas Heurtel. A youngster on the French national team, Heurtel is said to be a good ballhandler and creator of his own shot, something he will get to prove once he joins the senior national team. In the meantime, he would be a guy that the Hawks kept stashed in Europe, to see if he can pan out later on. Cenk Aykol, anyone?

NBAdraft.net goes into more detail, providing an analysis of each NBA team in a separate piece. Though it’s not a whole lot different from what many have said here already, here’s their take on the Hawks. As far as their mock draft goes, they currently have us taking Nevada guard Armon Johnson in the first round, and New Mexico forward Darington Hobson in the second round. NBAdraft.net describes Johnson as a combo guard with developing point guard skills and a perimeter game that needs some work. Defensively, he is fundamentally sound and has the size to handle opposing point guards. Darington Hobson is described as a less explosive Chris Douglas-Roberts. That almost stopped me cold right there, but I kept reading anyway. Hobson appears to be quite the project despite his energy level and good attitude about rebounding. He may serve better as a shooting guard, but his weaknesses include bad decision making and very inconsistent offense, most often linked to bad shot selection and lack of body control.

Other mentionables include Hoopshype.com, which has us taking Virginia Commonwealth forward Larry Sanders in the first round.

Meanwhile, Yahoosports.com says we’ll opt for Mississippi shooting guard Terrico White.

Want more fun? Take the draft picks from one site, and see what another site has to say about those particular players. Sometimes you end up with similar analysis, sometimes you don’t.

 

The Drew Era

Some people are still convinced that Larry Drew won’t turn out to be much different than Mike Woodson. Others are obsessed with proving that he will be totally different. Is that really the important thing here? There’s no change like effective change, and that is where Larry Drew will make his mark as Hawks head coach. If you haven’t done so already, check out Drew’s response to questions that are probably in the minds of many fans, in AJC beat writer Michael Cunningham’s Q&A interview.

A couple of things in that interview might have the average Hawks fan wondering what we are in store for. The first is where Cunningham asks his offensive scheme will be like anything other teams or coaches run, and Drew says that it will be unique. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Just how “unique” will it be? Is this something no one has ever tried before? What happens if it doesn’t work? Does the scheme leave room for both big and small adjustments? I don’t know whether to think this will be something complex or just creative. This also makes me wonder how long of a learning curve a point guard will need to maximize the efficiency of himself and the team in Drew’s system. Well, as stated above, we will cross that bridge when we get to it. We can only hope that Drew doesn’t go too far off the grid while trying to create something new and different.

Then there was the comments on the defensive side of the ball. Or rather, the lack thereof. Larry Drew did say that he would be holding players accountable for defending their individual guy. However, he seemed vague almost to the point of evasive, beyond that. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was Drew trying to avoid saying anything negative about his former boss’s defensive philosophy (though in a way, it seems like he was). Whatever the deal is, I’m interested in more specifics when it comes to the type of defense he wants to run. Aren’t you?

 

Etc, Etc…

So what’s the whole “two week notice” about? Free agency of course. In less than two weeks, we’ll go on the JJ watch and see how long it takes to get resolved (think marathon, not sprint). While this “super free agent summit” thing doesn’t interest me in the slightest, there will be plenty of juicy rumors and speculative comments involving it, all of which may not result in anything truly earth-shattering.

What remains to be seen is which guys get targeted first, and if Joe Johnson’s name comes up in any prospective sign and trade deals. Again, rumors are rumors, but truth can be stranger than fiction. If sign and trade deals start popping up, we may get some indication of what Joe or the Hawks are wanting (which may not be anywhere close to the same thing). In the meantime….the summer of Sund continues…

529 comments Add your comment

mountain_jim

June 17th, 2010
12:57 pm

Cool. I thought you were giving your notice, Big Ray. I don’t post much, but I read regularly. Appreciate your efforts to generate some conversation. I was just thinking about that who will when first poll Jeff is doing, and how The Hawks ownership pretty much seems to rule them out, in my view. Too cheap and disorganized. On Drew, I wait and see.

mountain_jim

June 17th, 2010
1:01 pm

who will win, dagnabbit.

O'Brien

June 17th, 2010
1:11 pm

Ray,

I’m thinking JJ’s free agency will be a marathon, because most of the dominoes will not fall until LeBron signs. Rick Sund likes to take his time anyway, so he may not mind waiting around on JJ.

The bad thing is waiting around on JJ probably means not much movement in Hawksville (except to see if Childress opts out of his contract by July 15). I hope he opts out, and we either sign and keep, or sign and trade.

The interesting thing to me, is how many of these websites have us taking a guard. I wonder if that’s based on who is left on the board, or because they think JJ is gone.

As for Drew, he is saying a lot of good things, but Woody used to say a lot of the right things in the offseason. The problem was, once the games start, some of it went out the window. How will the players react? How will Drew react? Only time will tell.

niremetal

June 17th, 2010
1:25 pm

Astro/O’B/etc,

The triangle is simple. Kobe said it was the simplest offense he ever ran – in fact, early on he said that the system was “boring” because it was so simple. It takes awhile to get used to, just like any system, but it is an easy system to learn. The problem has always been getting buy-in. Lots of coaches don’t think that the triangle can work without a dominant scoring wing, and lots of players think that running any offense that is as “equal opportunity” as the triangle is stupid. When Tim Floyd tried to run it, Ron Artest and Ron Mercer basically torpedoed him by going one-on-one instead of running through the system whenever they got the ball.

The idea that the triangle is some enigmatic behemoth is a media meme that got started early in the Bulls run and hasn’t stopped since. It’s wrong. The offense is simple enough for any high school team to run after just 1 or 2 practices. The problem is buy-in once the system is taught, since the system often requires much more patience than many players have.

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
1:27 pm

Ray, are they shutting you down during the off-season like they did last year? That’s what I thought your title was inferring.

And what, his defensive philosophy of “guard your man or else” didn’t move you? Especially on the heels of what appears to be a well-thought out plan on the other side of the ball? Did it leave you wondering if the defensive side has been an after-thought while he waited for his shot at the big chair? No? Well, that’s how I felt.

I have ZERO interest in a wing player. We have Marvin, Mo and Jamal returning at a minimum with the ability to bring back Chill. Throw in 2 offensive minded PGs and I don’t see the backcourt need is nearly as great as the fact that we only have 3 bigs under contract (Josh, Al and Zaza). And aren’t 4/5 players generally more expensive in free agency than 1/2/3 players? Drafting a guard makes very little sense to me… forward/center or trade it away.

doc

June 17th, 2010
1:36 pm

mountain jim, thanks for noting the good job ray does and commenting on it. i hope the ajc doesnt shut this one down again like it did last year. it is worthy to stand on its own and i hope they reward ray by keeping it up, though his wife might not appreciate it. both blogs serve their purpose well and are independent of each other. it is an effort to restart it, maybe we can give him a few weeks off though, eh ray?

JC

June 17th, 2010
2:13 pm

Astro, LD’s off-season comments about playing style matter about as much as beauty pageant contestants comments on world peace. It doesn’t have to make sense to us, it just has to look good on the court next season and help us win.

If Drew wants to do all his interviews from now on in Pig Latin, that’s fine by me. I’m not discounting his defensive philosophies just because they can’t be neatly wrapped up for media consumption.

Sautee

June 17th, 2010
2:25 pm

JC,

I believe that would be arryLay Ewdray? ;-)

Dom

June 17th, 2010
2:38 pm

I agree with Astro Joe. I don’t post much either, but I’m a long time hawks (anything atlanta) fan and have been following these articles for a while now. This team could go in so many directions in the next month that its a little scary. But I’m trying to be optimistic…

Most of these sites are convinced that Joe is gone, but it depends on what others do as you guys mentioned. If we take the “best player available” approach then it looks like we’d be drafting either a combo guard or a SF in the 1st round of this draft. But I just think whether or not joe comes back, unless we trade a guy (mo, bibby, or maybe chills), a 1/2/3 may not crack the rotation. So I’m starting to think a big might be the safest pick if we’re looking for someone to have an impact. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to choose from unless we traded up to the 15-20 range….Its really confusing but I can only wait and see what happens. I also think an effort should be made to sign Haywood as a backup center, which would I guess make Zaza the backup PF.

As far as Drew goes, I like what I’ve heard so far in the interviews. I don’t expect any kind of brilliant offensive scheme, but I like the fact that he’s stressing ball movement. On offense and defense, I just want him to be willing and able to make adjustments during games since that was one of Woody’s biggest weaknesses.

Sautee

June 17th, 2010
2:39 pm

Ray,

Good stuff.

I’ll have to say that while I’m onboard with getting another point guard, I’d rather get a low-priced vet (Alston?, Earl Watson?) instead of adding a rookie when we already have Teague.

I’d like us to go for an immediate contributor on the front line.

O'Brien

June 17th, 2010
2:46 pm

Nire,

As we saw first Hand with woody, player buy-in can be a huge problem. But if the team leader and best player buys in, I think the other players will.

MC said the hawks are looking for a wing who can shoot. I think they should be looking for frontcourt help.

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
2:47 pm

JC, that’s certainly a reasonable perspective. Others, however, may use a coach’s words to draw conclusions as opposed to watching the product on the court. In the case of Drew, it would be a long, quiet and boring blog-summer if we took the “wait and see” approach. So in an attempt to provide what Fox News calls “fair and balanced reporting”, I’d suggest that the excitement of a pentangle offensive attack may need to be balanced against the simple-mindedness of a defend-your-man-or-else approach to defense.

RMan

June 17th, 2010
2:56 pm

If we’re looking for intelligent players to fill out our team, let’s consider Ryan Wittman, senior SF from Cornell. He could be looked at in training camp as an undrafted free agent. He was POY in the Ivy League and starred on Cornell’s run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. And his father is Randy Wittman, former Hawk and former Big Ten POY under Bobby Knight at Indiana. Ryan could be a good role player and shooter off the bench.

Big Ray

June 17th, 2010
2:58 pm

The title for this blog was a play on words, nothing more. Sorry for any misconceptions it may have caused.

Thanks for the kind words as well, guys.

MannyT

June 17th, 2010
3:01 pm

@niremetal…feel free to shoot me down as I took a glance at the prior blog & this one.

Aren’t most basketball offenses somewhat basic? If I recall, the thing that makes most pro sports attacks special is how teams adjust once the basic plan breaks down. If those adjustments are primarily put on the shoulders of the players, the individuals are called great. If the adjustments are the result of coaching recommendations, the coaching is great. I suspect that much of the traingle praise comes from the adjustment recommendations that Phil & Tex have suggested. I’d expect Tex to have a boatload of adjustment ideas because he has run the offense so long. Similarly, Pete Carrill was likely “the man” regarding the Princeton offense because of the quantity of adjustments he could make off the top of his head from years of running that offense.

If you are a newbie runnung it, you have fewer ideas about the adjustments to make aside from get the ball to BEST PLAYER and let him create!

On the financial of sports thing…my suggestion–give up. I am not saying you are wrong, but I am saying expert people (in this case, you) are rarely successful making expert arguments to non experts (most bloggers).

(One easy parallel–most people don’t use lawyers because they care about the law, they just want to stay out of jail or away from the bad end of a financial judgment. The average person doesn’t care or know if your argument is based on stunningly, insightful case law or the fact that your opposition is an idiot.)

That is why so many people buy lottery tickets, play games with horrible odds in Vegas/Atlantic City/etc, get caught making dumb mistakes as criminals, etc. No concern for the expert view. The rare successes draw people into the behavior. The psychology is stronger than the facts. That is why marketing exists.

To the average person, the ASG looks like cheap owners. If they want to change that perception, the ASG needs to put some non-expert looking concepts in the back of the minds of the average person. Every time data comes out that supports that assumption, it gets lots of visibility. When data comes out to the contrary, it usually has a short shelf life.

I could make suggestions, but most folks here wouldn’t be interested. The closest I come to considering sports business financials here is taking on salary cap questions.

Last thing that is a little related…if nothing else, Drew seems to understand the value of perceptions and visuals in making a point. That skill will serve him well as a head coach. It put him ahead of a guy that makes his living on TV and 2 others with head coaching experience.

Back to my search for the dark side of the moon ;-)

MannyT

June 17th, 2010
3:03 pm

Darn @Ray

I thought the title meant that you had a little somethin, sumthin going on with Sandra Bullock & Hugh Grant next :roll:

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
3:09 pm

MannyT, Drew may have also validated the ASG’s opinion that they can achieve greatness with this roster and don’t need to spend much more money. Obviously, i don;t know that for a fact but I’d suggest that his “knowledge of the players” means that they won’t take away that advantage over the next few seasons. I think this roster in large part satsy pretty much the same with the magic hand of Drew to heal the sickness.

This trade makes little sense to me… Hawes and Jason Smith are redundant as are Thad Young and Noccioni. But I’d gladly take either Hawes or Smith as a stretch big (and they’re cheap too).

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5297829

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
3:10 pm

nire, thoughts on the rumored Sixers trade?

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
3:17 pm

Something’s up. Sixers have Hawes, Smith, Brand, Speights, Young,Noccioni and Kapono. Seven bonafide rotational players in their frontcourt. I wonder if they would do a Brand for Arenas deal? This is the first deal of something bigger to come… maybe they’re just acquiring assets for a S&T for one of the mega-stars. Doug Collins may prove to be a valuable recruiting chip and now they have a lot of interesting pieces for a team to choose from.

JC

June 17th, 2010
3:23 pm

Astro – air-fay ough-enay.

MannyT

June 17th, 2010
4:07 pm

@Astro

Could be a part of something bigger, but the link said that the Kings have been after Dalambert for awhile. If you get 2 rotational players, save some cap space, and the center (with more post offense than the guy you gave up) is still on his rookie deal–it could make sense.

Astro Joe

June 17th, 2010
4:33 pm

Manny, I guess. I wouldn’t mind taking some of those young frontcourt players off their hands. Speights, Young, Smith or Hawes would bring tremendous value to our team.

kwooden1

June 17th, 2010
5:47 pm

Astro I would definitely take Hawes or Speights, but Philly’s not giving up Speights and Hawes has to be his backup.

I’m still looking to get a PF/C with the 24th pick. We need an upgrade from Joe Smith or at least a guy that will play in the post. Zaza and Joe Smith were better jump-shooters than post players. Even if JJ leaves I think we should go for a PF/C because there are a lot of back-up SG available. (We just had one last year) But the most important move to me (besides resigning JJ) is picking up a backup/starter SF. My top pick is Chills, but it looks like the best move for him is to make another 10M in Greece and see what happens next season. My next pick is Outlaw and then I would take Barnes.

GO HAWKS

kwooden1

June 17th, 2010
5:48 pm

I think Drew’s offensive will be a combination of existing systems, which is probably what makes it unique. But to me the most important thing Drew said was “this offense”. We ran multiple sets and my biggest problem was what would happen when we didn’t get into the set or we ran the wrong set. When I went through one game play by play, our most effective set was a triple screen for Crawford. There were clearly multiple options out of the set, but it was a complete offensive system. I guess Woody’s offensive was a group of set plays. We really need a good system based on a set that works for our guys.

My problem with Woody is he never accomplished this. I think blame goes on his staff also, which includes Drew. Hopefully what Drew has seen this problem and is attempt to address this with his new offensive. With that being said, our guys have to improve their games so they can take advantage of the shots that this offensive will produce.

O'Brien

June 17th, 2010
6:26 pm

I like the trade for Philly. Dalembert was an expiring contract, and if the Sixers did not trade him, then he could walk away next year. Also, Dalembert has not been happy in Philly. Sure, there is a new coach, but you still dont know what kind of mood Dalembert is in. And as AJ said, getting 2 rotational players gives them plenty of assets.

Just like Philly did with Dalembert, I think the Hawks should trade Jamal IF JJ stays. Jamal is expiring, and we dont need our SMOY to play the same position as our 3rd team all NBA SG.

The interesting thing about the Hawks, is that Pendergraph said they probably wont get a rotational player at #24, and that they would look to free agency to fill their needs. What can we expect the Hawks to do in free agency?

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newkid

June 17th, 2010
7:11 pm

Careful AJ, as I recall for some weeks (months?) after the Crawford deal you thought bringing him in made little sense, am I right? Could’ve resisted, but it was just too damned difficult.

Great job as always initiating and facilitating conversation Ray; doc’s right. Here are a couple ideas for you for the next week or so. First, how far into the ‘10/’11 season will we get before the 1st vuvuzella is belched at a Hawks home game? Have a few friends in Jo-burg for the Cup, and have already put in my request for a few. Second, how far into the season will we get before it becomes apparent that a selection by some other GM – and well beyond #24 – was FAR superior (again) to the Hawks’ selection?

Paul ‘the Beat’ George. Get ‘em Sund.

Sautee

June 17th, 2010
9:43 pm

Grandad,

Go to the previous blog (Drew’s the man, etc.) and find Big Ray’s 8:20 am post on the 12th.

Use that email to email Ray and Ray will give you mine.

Look forward to hearing from you.

niremetal

June 17th, 2010
10:26 pm

Magic Johnson is my favorite player of all time and is, in my opinion, the greatest player in the history of the game.

That being said, he is the worst commentator ever.

doc

June 17th, 2010
11:42 pm

celts on the ropes, legs gone.

doc

June 17th, 2010
11:57 pm

quite a shoot out at the end, congrats to the lakers. i thought artest would be huge for them when he was signed. it took a while but ultimately he showed to be a winner. he shut down pierce like most cant and that was the difference. another for kobe without shaq.

JSS

June 18th, 2010
12:01 am

“I want to thank my psychiatrist!!!” The new age Dennis Rodman strikes again!

Melvin

June 18th, 2010
12:35 am

Celtics were robbed…

doc

June 18th, 2010
1:14 am

manny t i might have failed the nire sports fiduciary course 101; i will tell you that dr buss is not cheap. that is the way to run a championship franchise. get the best and pay them for it. one and one equals nba championships. ;-)

aint it easy to solve the worlds probs with someone else’s money. we are still below the mendoza line and spending at a rate of 22 in the league. yes i realize that the cpa’s and lawyers have also said it is now harder to make more money or lose less as you go up from the number of fans you now have. law of diminishing returns is my guess. in other words to simply spend more is not going to bring in an appreciable number of dollars to make it worthwhile based on the risk involved. i think it is as much that type of thinking as any mentioned before. ok give me an f for the course. even so again, dr buss is not cheap. his cross town counter part is or less rich or willing to part with what he has.

Ed

June 18th, 2010
4:19 am

Larry Drew has shown glimpses of his offense previously in the summer league. It can and will work, and isn’t gimmicky. Also, we have to understand his responses to some of the questions asked of him were definitely influenced by his past association with Woody. He wanted to say how different things would be on both sides of the ball without offending Woodrow. Anyone that has been as assistant manager in any position knows what I am talking about. Keep up the good work Ray, and as others have said hopefully they don’t shut you down (needlessly) this year.

Big Ray

June 18th, 2010
6:37 am

newkid ,

Thanks, I appreciate the appreciation!

Good questions. My guess is it won’t take too very long on either one to come to fruition. ;)

Kwooden1 ,

What can we expect in the way of a PF/C at #24? A guy who can contribute…immediately? 20 games into the season? Halfway into the season? A year from now? 2-3 years from now? We need that impact now , and unless some teams make some moves that we just don’t see coming…I say we’re not going to get that impact from a guy at that position in the draft.

Of course, I could be dead wrong on that, and believe me I want the same thing you want. At the same time, I worry about reaching for another Shelden Williams or Solomon Jones, while passing on another Marcus Thornton or Sam Young.

Big Ray

June 18th, 2010
6:50 am

Ed ,

Thanks, man.

Also, I agree on Larry Drew. He seems to be blunt/frank, but definitely appeared to be trying hard for diplomatic. I’d say he pulled it off, LOL.

O’brien ,

I really don’t know how to take Pendergraft and what he said. Is the man just being blunt and honest, or is he trying to play games? Like you said, what can we expect to happen in free agency? I was hopeful but underwhelmed by what they did in free agency last year. Seems we got stuffed or snubbed at every turn. We brought Zaza back, we kept RandMo, and we signed Joe Smith. Smith is either past the point of contributing at the level we need him to, or was underused. If it wasn’t the former back then, I’m sure it will be by now .

If Pendergraft (and Sund) truly believe we can’t get a rotational player in the draft, then they better impress us in free agency. Last I looked, there wasn’t a ton of cash to spend, and our front line isn’t all that deep. Time to strap up and get it done. Our starting front line is athletic but undersized. Our backup unit- Joe Smith is old, RandMo is a foul machine, and Zaza, bless his soul…is not the rugged defensive rebound gobbling, shot-changing presence we need.

Big Ray

June 18th, 2010
6:53 am

Astro Joe ,

Absolutely. I mentioned trying to steal either Hawes (who was on the outs in Sacto last season) or Jason Thompson (who I figured they wouldn’t give up) earlier. I’d take Hawes or Smith as well. In a heartbeat.

Big Ray

June 18th, 2010
6:54 am

MannyT

Sandra Bullock? I hear she’s free. Hugh Grant? Keep him out of it…. ;)

O'Brien

June 18th, 2010
7:23 am

I didn’t realize how much of an input Pendergraft had or will have in the draft process. From MC’s blog;

“when i called Rick Sund to talk about draft prospects, he passed me off to Dave Pendergraft because that’s more his area.” MC

Also, Pendergraft talked about the D-League. We’ve seen other teams get decent contributions from a D-League player, or a guy who wasn’t drafted (Will Bynum for the Pistons, Anthony Morrow in Golden State, Joel Anthony in Miami to name a few). Why can’t we find a diamond in the rough?

Ray,

I’m with newkid. I think there will be a player drafted after #24, who will turn into a solid rotational player for another team. I know it’s rare, but if other teams can do it, why can’t we?

doc,

Dr. Buss is not cheap, but with the amount of revenue the Lakers generate, he can afford not to be cheap. As for the Clippers, regardless of how much money they generate, Sterling is cheap.

Now if the Hawks moved up to #10 in attendance, and got extra revenue from making it to the ECF, and the ASG still did not spend more money on the Hawks, that would be the proof that they are cheap (based on my reading from nire’s notes).

Big Ray

June 18th, 2010
7:46 am

A few things I noticed from last night’s game

1) Rebounding, defense, hustle. Both teams got after it something fierce, and there wasn’t a player on the court who loafed it for one minute.

The Hawks don’t display that as a team. In fact, only three out of five starters tend to, and sometimes only two. Joe plays hard, but he’s not precisely a hustler all the time. Al is the most consistent. Josh is the most impactful. When he hustles, it sparks the team (why do they need sparking?), when he doesn’t…it deflates the team.

2) On court leadership and communication. The team captains and point guards on both teams were very vocal, and everybody talked, especially on defense. Guys got to where they were supposed to be on the floor, and didn’t give up on plays.

The Hawks? Our veterans, lead guards, and team captains are a totally different story. Bibby is the most vocal, but he and Jamal Crawford share the same ineffectual play on defense. Neither is going to be a rallying point on that end of the floor, let alone in a playoff game. Unfortunately, neither can provide adequate leadership on the offensive end, either.

Joe Johnson couldn’t hold a candle to half the guys on the floor in that game when it comes to leadership/communication/poise. He doesn’t rally, inspire, or motivate anybody unless he’s scoring and defending his arse off, and we never got to see the scoring part this postseason (and his defense was adequate, not impressive).

If we aren’t getting the leadership factor from Joe or Mike, then who? Horford is the closest thing but even he didn’t have a great playoffs outing (but better than most on the team) the entire time, and the real problem is that the other guys are treating him like a young’un still (that seniority/veteranship attitude that has permeated the Hawks locker room and was supported on the sideline). Imagine if Rajon Rondo had to deal with that crap from the Big Three, as well as his coach. Think the Celtics would be as good as they are?

Meanwhile, Josh could be a leader on defense, but he has to put in the consistent diehard effort every night. And, he has to keep his head screwed on straight, instead of pouting and whining when calls don’t go his way, and getting lazy or out of control on either end of the floor. Leaders don’t do that.

Again, where are we going to get this oncourt leadership from? Joe is team captain as long as he’s here, but we have to get more than “well, that’s not really his style” out of this “we must sign him at all costs”, max contract wanting guy or somebody .

3) Players locked into the huddle. In the case of both teams, the coach had everybody’s attention in the huddle. Those guys were focused on their head coach and each other. Meanwhile, there was no mystical/magical stuff coming from the coaches. They kept it simple, calm, and to the point. I heard “move the ball around more” in both huddles. Guys were looking and listening, and chiming in.

The Hawks watch kiss cam, that hot chick in the 2nd row, and the mascot shooting souvenirs into the stands…anything but the coach. I think sometimes they ask each other where they plan to go for dinner after the game. Nobody was listening to the coach, and most weren’t talking to each other, either. They’re not locked in, they’re not focused. So timeouts are nothing but an opportunity to stop running for a few seconds. Other than that, they are the same thing that happens when the ball is in play: not communicating with each other, and nobody leading consistently. And not paying attention.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 18th, 2010
8:26 am

NY Post reporting this morning that ASG has Hawks, Thrashers and Phillips officially on the block. The report says Hawks/Phillips trip clause that would make it difficult to move Hawks out of ATL. No such verbiage with Thrashers.

newkid

June 18th, 2010
8:51 am

Here’s the link to the Post article:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/atlanta_sports_woes_nFWtCfbmsxk5uXjNim4q1O

Looks like the ‘Two Weeks Notice’ by-line was insightful Ray.

MannyT

June 18th, 2010
9:19 am

@chuckw & @newkid et al
If you put in $1000 bucks, and tell 2 friends, and they put in $1000 each…etc,etc
Philips Arena could be the biggest public timeshare/sports boondoggle in the history of sports ;-)

I suspect part of this is the difficulty in getting the Belkin share worked out. Who wants the largest, non controlling share of an asset that has been declining in value? Step up, now is your time to be the first guy on your block to own part of a sports team!

Unfortunately, sports teams are not quite the model of financial growth that they used to be. Selling is a little tricky these days even when the buyer is somewhat locked in. See the challenges in moving the Wiards from the Pollin estate to Ted Leonsis.
http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/136596

@kwooden1–If Josh Smith & Al best offense comes from the post, it makes sense that Joe Smith & Zaza bring something else to the offense. Jumpers are fine as long as you have a good FG%.

@doc–I don’t think you failed any course on the blog. However, I’d ask the question, how many folks were actually interested in figuring out why the ASG seems to have money issues? When you take that question and look for an answer, it needs more than one post on a blog. It’s not a multiple choice ACT/CRCT/SAT answer.

All that said, I suspect Buss makes much more $$ off his local TV deal, his ticket prices are higher and he doesn’t compete with the NFL in a market where the local demographic probably has more disposable income even in a bad economy than most other places. He’s had a perfect storm of opportunity since the NFL left LA. The Lakers are the big pro sports dog in a huge market.

@Ray–I’d imagine two guys, one with an American accent & the other with a British accent could cause widespread havoc with the ladies. Nothing wrong with having a wing man. Just steer him away for the “paid” options. 8-O

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 18th, 2010
9:20 am

If the sale report is true, I think this increases the likelihood that JJ is out the door. A long-term, max deal wouldn’t be appealing to new ownership. With Crawford’s contract expiring this year, the team isn’t in horrible shape from a salary perspective. Yes, Horford would have to be resign but not until after – presumably – a new owner would be in place.

I wish all the luck to Larry Drew as I think he could do a good job, but his hiring and contract would also be appealing to new ownership. Low cost, low term.

vava74

June 18th, 2010
9:47 am

nire,

Charley Rosen from msn.foxsports.com a great friend of Phil Jackson and his former assistant in the CBA and huge fan of Tex Winter and of the Triangle Offense has mentioned several times in his pieces that the Triangle Offense is simple in concept but difficult to master in all its in-game variations and adjustments.

He also said that “less mentally gifted” players have great difficulty grasping and executing it and less experienced coaches can only implement the basic stuff (like for instance Rambis).

Astro Joe

June 18th, 2010
10:00 am

newkid, I fell on my sword regarding the Crawford trade so long ago that the wound is fully healed and there is no scar left. You’re right, the trade worked out perfectly, didn’t it (he said sarcastically)?

Ray, in all fairness, a team playing in game 7 is likely to have a different level of focus than any other team at any other time. You’re right in general, but it is tough to compare the Lakers in game 7 to the Lakers on a Thursday evening in Charlotte. It’s a long season. More than leadership, our players don’t have chemistry. Every indication suggests they don’t really “dig” each other. Now what that has to do with performing at your job is another story (imagine if we allowed personality conflicts to interfere with our day-to-day work). That’s why i am still stunned that someone who was ingrained in the culture is the new head coach. Sorry, but if players were coming to Drew pleading their case about this and that, then he was a integral part of the culture. Even the guy who was listening to the dissenting views needed to leave (IMO) because he was ineffective in his role to affect change on behalf of his “paritioners”. Not only was he promoted but it is reasonable to assume that one or more of the coaching staff from the failed regime will stay with the team.

vava74

June 18th, 2010
10:07 am

Astro,

We can actually use the completely opposite reasoning to explain why it was a good choice to keep Drew:

MAYBE we won 53 games with a fractured ball club BECAUSE DREW kept all moving parts together with “duct tape” and managed to absorb and soften part of the disagreements between players and mainly between Woody and the players who felt betrayed with Woody’s preferential treatment to some sacred cows.

Add up to this ability to listen – which will certainly diminish with the new HC position, but NOT disappear – a more diverse and balanced offense and we may be looking at a pretty successful 2010-11 season, even without JJ.

Melvin

June 18th, 2010
10:08 am

Bye, bye, ASG…..

Melvin

June 18th, 2010
10:11 am

OB,

I saw that same line on MC blog about Pendergraft and cringe…. I hope he was blowing smoke about not finding a rotational player. Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of the draft. You know, draft a guy who can contribute to the team….