Hawks bits and pieces

Hang in there, Hawks fans. We’ll make it through this summer yet (or so I keep telling myself, anyway).

While things seem fairly quiet in free agency, and that would be for all NBA teams at the moment, a few tidbits are floating around that may prove to be a useful diversion for a minute or two. As we discuss those, I keep thinking about the missing Lorenzen Wright. Missing persons cases more often than not are either a false alarm, or they don’t end very nicely. But some do. And I hope that this is one of those where “all’s well that ends well.”  Peace and blessings on his family, who I’m sure are sick with worry. These kinds of things never seem to matter to people until they hit close to home. Again, I hope this ends well.

 

Tough Times

As much noise as we make about adding size and toughness to the roster, do we bother to consider that adding toughness doesn’t always mean adding a body? When the official announcement of the signing of former Lakers forward/center Josh Powell finally came down, one of the catch phrases was that he “adds toughness.” Well, if the Lakers say he’s a good guy and a good addition, I’ll take their word for it, at least to an extent. After all, Powell hasn’t played many minutes in L.A., so we don’t have a lot of visual evidence to review (other than some youtube clips) for confirmation. But what about the guys who were already on the roster? Can’t you add toughness….by simply becoming tougher?

If you ask me (and you didn’t, but guess what?) toughness is a state of mind. The body can be willing and able, but it’s no good if the spirit is weak. Avid Hawks fan and blogger Northcyde is one of the foremost fans calling for two of our key guys (Al Horford and Josh Smith) to play a lot tougher, as the success of this team depends heavily on that. Realistically, that can be the key difference between competing at the highest levels, or struggling to do so. Look no further than last season’s first round playoff series. The Hawks struggled mightily when Al Horford allowed himself to get out-toughed by Kurt Thomas, and Josh Smith allowed Ersan Ilyasova to out-hustle and outplay him for stretches at a time.

So what can the Hawks do to get tougher? What are Josh Smith and Marvin Williams doing to get tougher. Those are two guys who could really have an impact on the game if they bring it with more force. In fact, that’s the one thing that can really optimize a lineup of long, athletic players. Without it, much is wasted.

How does one change one’s mindset? Different people have different methods. And sometimes the body has to be brought up to speed with the mind. The idea is to be tough all the time, not just when backed into a corner and forced into “fight or flight” mode. Well, it seems one Hawk is going to give it a go in the offseason.  As noted on NBA.com (on the Atlanta Hawks official site), backup center Zaza Pachulia has added to his offseason regimen, and the results might be more than just better conditioning, footwork, and overall stamina. It might just result in a tougher approach to the game. All I can say is watch out Kevin Garnett! I still love that moment in Hawks history…

 

The “other” Star Guard

According to ESPN.com, Hawks super sub Jamal Crawford would like to discuss money matters. He wants to remain a Hawk, and I’m sure any Hawks spokesperson would likely state that they would like to keep him around. And while Jamal has been around the league for a decade (and been with several teams), he may as well get comfortable wherever he is sitting. After all, things don’t tend to happen around the front office at lightning speed. Especially if they don’t really have to. The question is, do the Hawks want him to finish out his career in Atlanta? Might they see him as a two way asset, or has he proven himself to be indispensable? Jamal seemed to fit in pretty darn well, and that is not likely to change under new head coach Larry Drew. But, if the Hawks are very slow or otherwise noncommittal to signing him to an extension, what might it be an indication of? Of course, a number of theories could abound. Understandably, they may be more focused on preparing an extension offer to Al Horford. Or, they may have other moves up their sleeve. You just never know. But, for the sake of the sanity of blogger Steve Brown, I won’t mention one of the most obvious and talked about (by others, not just me) possibilities.

In the meantime, I wish I could be an invisible fly on the wall in training camp. If for no other reason than to watch Jamal Crawford playing against Jordan Crawford. That would have to be a fun matchup, no?

560 comments Add your comment

Rev in Tampa

July 28th, 2010
11:11 am

Thanks for the info

Rev in Tampa

July 28th, 2010
11:20 am

One blogger mentioned how the Hawks play to the excitement of the crowd. I have noticed this as well. Certainly brining in Shaq will bring in more fans which, in turn, will bring more excitement to the home games. The Hawks feasted at home, but they need to grow in their mental toughness on the road; especially in hostile playoff enviornments. This might be too ‘old school’ but the only way I know to build mental toughness is lining up for suicides after practice.

Lee

July 28th, 2010
11:33 am

I still think the addition of Shaq would not have been a horrible move by our team.

Willie Coyote

July 28th, 2010
11:37 am

That toughness thing is part of that “attitude adjustment” I talked about in one of your previous blogs. This is a mentally weak bunch as it is and that is what limits them moreso that their perceived lack of size. Not backing down from a physical challenge is an aspect of mental toughness but so is:

- Playing through bad calls (Josh)
- Staying aggressive and asserting yourself somehow to infulence the outcome of the game (Marvin)
- Taking criticism/instruction from your coach or a teamate without talking back or ignoring it (everyone)
- Resolving yourself to battle when you are down, the home crowd is not behind you, and/or when you seem to be over matched by the opposition (The Hawks need to treat L.A., Orlando, and Miami like they do the Celtics)
- Focusing on defense and not just scoring (Bibby, Crawford)
- Stomping on the lesser teams as opposed to overlooking them
- Someone, anyone, showing some real leadership when things are good as well as bad

If this team can make significant gains in their mental toughness, that will help the more than any of those free agents that were out there.

Astro Joe

July 28th, 2010
11:46 am

Ray, good stuff and thought-provoking questions (the kind I prefer). I’m not sure that you can teach toughness. I suppose that if our frontline practiced during the summer against guys like Magloire, Kurt Thomas, Joel Anthony and Ron Artest, they may learn how to handle toughness when it comes their way, but I doubt that would turn them into bullies when they face off against others. I have long said that the Hawks are “teddy bear with a pink ribbon” soft. I don’t think that organic growth will change that. Ty Hill was on the far side of soft as a player and he hasn’t been able to impart any of his brute-nature on our bigs (and I suspect that he has tried). If the Hawks want to get tough, they need their GM to fix it, not their coaching staff.

niremetal

July 28th, 2010
11:53 am

Good blog, Ray, and GREAT comment by Willie Coyote.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Al Horford Fans, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Hawks bits and pieces http://bit.ly/9tegI5 [...]

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
12:11 pm

*[reposted from previous blog]*

R.I.P. Harry Galbreath:
Passed away @ 48 years young.
I coached him in Little League baseball 38 years ago.
Mrs. Grandad taught his sister in 2nd grade.
He was a great youngster and grew into a fine man.
Played fb @ U of Tn. / went on to a distinguished professional career.
My prayers are with his family.
“And we know that all things are working together for good to those
who love God, and according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28
sincerely,
Grandad

BrittishAnger

July 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

Bring him back, but be cost efficient about it…oh wait, never mind…these are the Hawks I’m talking about….feast or famine, bob spammit….

O'Brien

July 28th, 2010
12:57 pm

Will they get tougher because coach says “get tough”?

I think bringing in a player who is known for toughness, and one who is not afraid to get in his teammates face is needed. Along those lines, I wonder who was Al’s and Josh’s favorite player growing up.

As for Jordan Crawford vs Jamal Crawford, I think Jamal knows too many veteran moves, so I think he will make Jordan Crawford look like a rookie.

And I would be surprised if the Hawks give Jamal an extension for a number of reasons.

1) what is his market value? Hawks dont usually bid against themselves

2) New CBA, probably lower salaries

3) Jordan Crawford has the potential to be Jamal Crawford in a couple years

Sherewshevsky

July 28th, 2010
12:57 pm

Yeah, great stuff Willie. But I’d add that some of your items, and others not listed, are a result of stupidity and ego.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
1:00 pm

Tuff – Stuff!

Mike Bibby is Super-Tuff! He called out the Celtic Fans and backed it up! Causing Zsa-Zsa to stare down the “Green Monster” in Prime-Time National TV on ABC! That’s Super Tuff-Stuff right there!

Joe Johnson is the Tuffest of them ALL! He gets whacked and hacked unbelievably and just man-up to get back on defense. It takes 1000 times more character to get back on defense than to cry about a bad call!
That is the paramount example of Mental Tuffness – it takes a real man to do that!

Al Horford is Super Duper Tuff! He battles the BIGS night in and night out and never complains about getting whacked either!

Problem is outside of Jamal Crawford, the Bench and Marvin are Not so Tuff at all!
Maurice shows more Tuffness than Marvin has in 6 years combined! Marvin is aloof and seems dis-interested at most times!

Along with Tuffness, we need a sound game plan on both sides of the ball, one that the players can buy into!
We have yet to see that, hopefully that will change with Coach Drew!

We NEED: Change we can BELIEVE in!

Ramon

July 28th, 2010
1:04 pm

I think Marvin’s contract will put the Hawks at a disadvantage when negotiating for Crawford’s contract. Its no reason Crawford should make over 5-6 million next season. However, when the Hawks were willing to pay Marvin 7-8 mil annually, how could they not be willing to pay Crawford the same.

I wonder will Sund consider adding Stackhouse now. And I hope the Hawks do at least offer Shaq’s camp 3.2 Mil to come and play for the Hawks.

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
1:07 pm

Big Ray;

On the toughness issue, I have always felt that a team takes on the personality of their coach.
Having said that, one must 1st mention Woodson [not to slander] but for comparison. Woodson
had the personna [publicly, @ least] that he was a big bad guy. Thus, one would expect his teams to play “tough”, not so. Ld, then must put his stamp on the team immediately, in that regard.
“A person only gets one chance to make a first impression” Therefore, how LD comes out of the gate will determine the personality of the Hawks for now & in the future of LD’s tenure.

This is somewhat for Rev in Tampa *[but I remain on topic] for all
Teaching toughness:
Having coached, I know for a fact that you can teach toughness to a degree. One cannot take a sissy and turn him into Charles Oakley but if the raw material *[Heart] is there then it can be molded.
I’m certain that J&A can become hard-nosed players. In my last year of coaching, I had a group of fine young men who were terrific athletes & fun to coach in every way. However, they all had soft
upbringings. In order for them to reach their potential, I knew they needed something to harden them up a bit.
“The Hill”
200+ yards uphill grade.
8 sprints
groups of 4 *(competition added)
*ea. team of 4 was timed by the last man on team.
*team had to achieve pre-set minimum times.
*failure to achieve = simple, do over. **(vomitus maximus)
followed by pre-season wgt training regimen.
Oh yeah / August & September
We, and I say we [Team] attributed “the Hill” as being an integral part of our season.
We called it Team building but I suspect a little *Mental toughness* was garnered as well.
Rev – I was a bit ol’ school but I loved my players & protected them. [*hydration*]+

I look for LD to recognize then actuate accordingly.

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
1:17 pm

Agreed. Willie Coyote’s post was excellent.

Astro Joe ,

…And therein lies the crux of the argument. On the one hand, I want to agree that it’s more the GM’s job to change the mindset/attitude/culture like toughness, by swapping bodies in and out. On the other hand, how tough was Milwaukee before Scott Skiles got there? Sure, Kurt Thomas helped out a lot, but there were guys who I have NEVER known to be anywhere near tough, that showed out that way during the season, and in the playoffs. Which leads me to a third source: players. Al Horford has the capacity to bounce back from a beat down. Watched him do it in the first round of the playoffs as Thomas got the better of him in 3 of the first four games. Then in games 5 and 6, Al was getting it done the right way. Of course, the second round was such a debacle, and Al only had one game where he did some true damage. Zaza seems to buck up pretty good when he’s faced with adversity, he just has to be consistent with it.

The rest of the guys? Haven’t seen it. Except for Bibby, who is a competitor that doesn’t run away (though he does fade). Joe can be tough, but sometimes his body language and pouts will tell you otherwise. Sooner or later there has to be more change coming from somewhere, somehow. Signing up a new backup PF is not and has not been the answer from year to year. All the same, I hope Powell brings some of that…

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
1:22 pm

Grandad ,

Very well stated viewpoint, and I see you beat me to it. :)

Rev in tampa ,

Man oh man do I remember suicides in basketball practice.

And “grass drills” in football. I remember doing grass drills at the end of a few tough practices and having the coach tell us that if even a single person was slow to get up off the ground on a single “up-down”, we’d all do 20 more. We were already dead tired. I recall picking up two underclassmen with me every time I scrambled to get up. I had one in each hand, by the back of their shoulder pads. We made it. And though we didn’t know it right at the time (exhaustion robs the ability to think, though certain military methods will help you get past that), we were learning teammwork in the extreme.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
1:23 pm

Tuff-Stuff!

Kellen Winslow is Tuff! He don’t give a damn about nobody but the “U”!

Ron Artest is TESTY and TUFF! He ran into the stands and was willing to fight 15 thousand fanatics – All by himself! Or, is that the quintessential example of CRAZY? OK, then, he was just Crazy & Tuff!

Dennis Rodman was Tuff and extremely Intelligent! His every step was a calculated move – including and especially where to go to get that rebound! He knew where the ball would be, before the ball knew where it was at!

Tuff-Guys are the Role-Players! They enter the game for one reason! To make a statement:

1. You will NOT dribble past me! (Artest)
2. You will NOT dunk it or lay it up past me! (Howard)
3. You will NOT stop me! (Kobe)
4. You will NOT rebound over my back! (Howard)
5. You will NOT embarrass me! (Wade)
6. You will NOT impose your will upon me! (Kobe)
7. You will NOT talk about my Mamma! (Artest)
8. You will NOT bang my Mamma! (DeLonte). smh
9. Without ME? There is NO You! (LeBron)

Bad Boys Pistons, come to mind?

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
1:25 pm

drmaryb ,

The toughness needs to spread. I say name Horford and Bibby new team captains. Shake it up a little.

Ramon ,

I’m not sure that’s how the team would look at it. For instance, Crawford was SMOY last year. Will he have that level of a year this year? How about the next year? Meanwhile age, if nothing else, is on Marvin’s side. Believe it or not, he STILL has a chance to improve and solidify himself as more than just a passing NBA player. Crawford will only get worse, not better. So the salary comparison is hard to nail on just stats. Now, don’t take that to mean that I think Marvin is more effective (or ever will be) than Crawford. Clearly that is not the case.

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

Lee ,

It may yet happen. At first the idea of adding Shaq was called dead. Now it’s being called…oh, I don’t know….”undead?” :)

Rev in Tampa

July 28th, 2010
1:32 pm

Grandad, I played and started both ways for Palmetto High School (southwest of Atlanta) during our run of state championships (Palmetto has since been enfolded into Creekside High School). Our coach used to make us run ‘catepillars’ at the end of practice (to describe them would be difficult). Coach Taylor had a way of pushing us beyond what we thought capable, but they were rarely punishments, but obstacles to overcome. And by overcoming, he was able subtly to communicate to us that we could overcome anything. He wouldn’t let us hit full speed during practice because we would hurt each other (since no team could out hit us). We went into other team’s stadiums knowing that we owned them and would destroy them. We looked to Thurston Taylor as a father figure in many respects.

All that to ask, how can a coach teach toughness to a professional? High schoolers and college players are easy to motivate. When the Hawks are playing emotionally they can beat anybody, but when they are flat they are really flat.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
1:46 pm

Roley-Poley!

We tend to think a role player is a bench player. I beg to differ, a role player is a leader who sets the standard, sets the tables, makes a statement – and is the Back-Bone of a team and the reason they WIN!

The role of a Super-Star is to Provide the team an IDENTITY for all others to recognize.

Blu-Ray
(Clear Image)

I disagree! Joe Johnson is a Super Tuff Guy! He just does it without Grand-Standing! I hear that it was JOE
and NOT Woodson:

1. Who called out Josh (NOT so TUFF at ALL! IMHO) for Parroting Joakim Noah and saying, “Everybody knows there is nothing to do in Milwaukee!”.

Joe retorted, in so many words …. How about winning a damned basketball game?
And, why stir up the fan base and their opponent?

It was Joe, who called out Josh for ordering a Limousine Motor-Cade to dilly-dally in Chi-Town!
That’s where all the chemistry issues arose from, it was that Milwaukee Series for real!
Josh was THE problem! Josh is NOT TUFF! He is quite immature and always has been!

Having said that, I love what Josh brings to the team, he just need to Pipe-Down and Grow-Up!

But, Blu-Ray, Joe is Tuff! He got the Fattest Contract this off-season (NOT LeBron), Joe is a TUFF negotiator!
He is the Millionaire Next-Door – who lives in a 3BR – 1BA Ranch o a quiet street, who drives a Buick LeSabre!

He is Japanese Tuff! Quiet but Deadly! Sneaky-Strong and Invisible!

JoJo the Godfather

July 28th, 2010
1:53 pm

I like the Powell signing, and would like to see a similar signing in Jawad Williams to back up Marvin…As a 6′9″ SF that has worked hard to become a good defender because everyone told him he couldn’t, I think he could be a solid addition to the bench…Similar career path to Powell, in that he played D-League, overseas, and finally in NBA…Teammates and coaches love him (just like Powell & Lakers)…Lebron even tried to recruit him to Miami this summer…But he’s a restricted free agent, and Cleveland could match, and that is his hometown team.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

Blu-Ray
(Mega-Pixels)

Hey Ray, the ASG sold Jamal on being the SMOY when he was traded for. And, he bought into it. And, it worked. However, the HC played to that promise and set him up with playing time to accomplish the accolade. Had Woodson, sat him or buried his azz on the bench, he would have been as invisible as Teague.

But, to the contrary, Jamal was set up to be the SMOY and, Jamal answered the Bell! So, give him credit for buying in and performing.

“He who rocks the cradle – Rules the World!”.

Will Drew, rock the cradle? Or will the Inmates run the assylum?

Do you feel me?

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
2:08 pm

Blu-Ray
(Mega-Pixels)

Come On! Let’s fight clean! What’s your 10-20? Come Back …..

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
2:10 pm

Blu-Ray
(50″ Plasma Sony)

I’m on FIRE!
Is JOE TUFF?

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
2:12 pm

Rev

You cannot teach toughness to professionals *[necessarily] but one of my points was that a team,
any team will take on the personality / mind-set of their Coach. A Coach who is worth his salt will grab hold of his team no matter how old they are and make them his own. I do agree that a couple of good soldiers in the ranks makes his job easier. Al is one & from everything I’ve read Josh Powell
is another. JP is a hard-nosed practice player that will knock your sox off durin’ practice. That’s why players of that ilk [Rodman,per M.E.] are so important. Both starters & role players. I suspect JP may have found his niche in ATL. As with LD, the Jack-ASG may have gotten lucky with the frugal [ahem] signing of young Mr. Powell.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

Blu-Ray
(50″ Plasma Sony)

LeBron ran like a gurl!
JOE walked away from: Nash, Amare, The Matrix (their BIG THREE!). To see IF HE could carry a team?
And, he did, He carried the Hawks on his Quiet Back for 5 Years! Why should he play for less?

He Came.
We Saw.
Hw was Measured.

And, He was NOT lacking!
He came Nowhere …. Won 13 games and Won 53 games …. And. ……

He Got Paid! (Stop Crying Broke Jiggas!)

Now What?

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
2:31 pm

Mary Ellen:

Joe is physically tough but he is also an introvert. Therefore, he does not necessarily transfer that
toughness to his teammates. Joe leads by example, whereby, a true leader [Kobe, KG, Billups]
have unique, unto themselves, methods to transfer their message.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
2:40 pm

Grand-Daddy!

So, JOE, doesn’t scream and yell and get in your face. But, neither does Tony Dungy.

O'Brien

July 28th, 2010
2:45 pm

I wonder how JJ and Bibby was affected by woody’s favoritism.

With drew’s pledge of accountability, that should open up communication lines between the players too.

O'Brien

July 28th, 2010
2:49 pm

Drmaryb,

Although Tony dungy was not a screamer, he did more than ‘lead by example’.

He was always talking and communicating instructions to his players. How often did u see Joe gather the troops on the court? Or during a timeout?

The problem is not that Joe isn’t a screamer. The problem is the impression I get is that he does not talk at all. All he does is go about his business.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 28th, 2010
2:52 pm

O’Brien

Wow! Wow! What an astute observation? I never thought about how it affects a player to be favored amongst his team-mates?

That makes the favored player – hated! Player-Hated by Default!!
Players just want to be treated fairly … That’s All.

Great Point of View! How did it make JJ & Bibby feel?

O’Brien, You are a Man on Fire!

Astro Joe

July 28th, 2010
2:58 pm

it’s my experience that people who use words like “favoritism” are victims and losers. At least everyone in a corporate setting who ever cried that the cboss was playing favorites was essentially saying “I’m a loser and can;t figure out how to play the game so i am going to whine and play the blame game”.

Ray, the Bucks were resilient and played as a team, but I’m not sure that they were TOUGH. Thomas and Mbah a Moute, certainly. Let’s face it, the Bucks (and Skiles) were loose going into the series as they had ZERO expectations on them. They were there for the learning experience due in large part to Bogut’s late season injury. When they were faced with the burden of an arena full of expectations (Game 6 in Milwaukee), they didn’t appear too tough… they folded in the bright lights. Again, a great learning experience. I honestly think they were the benfactors of playing without expectations AND the unraveling of the Hawks locker-room.

Ken Strickland

July 28th, 2010
3:34 pm

I don’t see where so many people get the false idea that Shaq brings toughness. The biggest knock on him when he was with the Magic, Lakers and Heat was his unwillingness to play hurt. Toughness is AIverson, who’s known for playing through serious injuries and pain throughout his career. Shaq, on the other hand, has allowed injuries like sprained thumbs, fingers and wrists to sideline him numerous times throughout his career.

Whatever Shaq might bring to the Hawks if we sign him, it certainly won’t be toughness. Also, while some people think JJohnson isn’t tough, he certainly demonstrated his toughness by refusing to run from the team he failed in the playoffs, or the fans who tried to crucify him for making that ill advised statement in a moment of frustration.

On the other hand, we’ve seen LJames, who’s considered by many as tough, run off the floor and hide after a playoff elimination. We just witnessed him run from the Cavaliers to the Heat to seek the help of DWade and CBosh, as well as the cushion they can provide if he fails to deliver again.

There’s inner toughness, and there’s outer toughness. JJ has a lot of inner toughness, but he’s also tough on the outside. He chooses to remain calm and concentrate on the gm, rather than make an issue of a bad call. LeBron, on the other hand, has a lot of outer toughness, but obviously lacks inner toughness. To me, the player that exhibited equal combinations of both was Alonzo Mourning. He wasn’t the biggest, strongest, tallest, meanest, maddest or most talented, just the toughest.

We have fans who complain about JSmith always arguing calls, and getting distracted. Then we have these same fans complaining about JJohnson not arguing calls, and not becoming distracted. WHERE’S THE LOGIC?

daniel stryzinski

July 28th, 2010
3:55 pm

the hawks need to get shaq for the 4 million mid level exception, shaq wil immediatley make our starting lineup the forth best team in the east and a real contender once the playoffs come around. Our starting lineup should be jamal at point joe at two josh at 3 al 4 and shaq 5, that lineup can play with any team in the east. marvin as the 6th man and bibby, jeff, mo off the bench. I hope the hawks get shaq he will bring some more excitement around the hawks and atlanta

atlhawk4

July 28th, 2010
3:56 pm

Enter your comments here

O'Brien

July 28th, 2010
4:07 pm

AJ,

Nevertheless, accountability should bring the team closer.

Ken S,

I would not rely on shaq for toughness either. But he is a legit big who commands a double team sometimes, still gets Respect from the refs, and is a good passer.

Plus he would allow al to spend some time at PF depending on matchups.

And if we did sign him, we would have to keep him out of some back to back games to preserve him (like Phoenix did, like spurs do with Duncan).

Ken Strickland

July 28th, 2010
4:08 pm

REV IN TAMPA AND WILLIE COYOTE-you’re comments were excellent. Some teams have a player, or players, that are talented and skilled enough to defeat teams that offer little resistance(no DEF). But when they encounter teams that do offer resistance(good DEF), they usually need something else to help that individual talent and skill(an effective OFF system).

When the Hawks encountered a team that didn’t allow them to out run, jump or shoot them, the players were forced to rely on ISO’s, because they simply didn’t have a structured OFF to rely on. When you look at teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs and Pistons, who’ve dominated the NBA championships over the last 10-15yrs, you’ll see they have structured OFF systems their players can rely on when individual talent and skill aren’t enough.

This season will be the 1st in the last 6yrs that Hawk players will actually have a structured half court OFF to rely on. No more total reliance on ISO’s when DEF’s prevent our individual players from doing what they do best. I see that as a major improvement. Also, I see the addition of PF JPowell as another improvement, because this means we won’t have a major dropoff if JSmith is lost or has to sit for a prolonged period, like in the past. He should be able to provide more of the consistent rebounding AHorford said was needed on the front line.

Ken Strickland

July 28th, 2010
4:16 pm

DRMARYB-some of our fans are ruled by wishful thinking and fantasy, when it comes to who they want on the Hawks. Your very insightful medical report on CPaul’s medical issues should put a lot of those fans dreams and fantasies to rest, though I doubt it will stop some of them from continuing to dream out loud.

THANKS FOR THE MUCH NEEDED MEDICAL INFO!

Astro Joe

July 28th, 2010
4:32 pm

OB, for the players who want equal accountability, then yes, Drew’s management of accountability will fix that issue. But if guys are just looking for an excuse to justify their lack of playing time, their inability to connect with the coach or to give voice to some other beef, they will find yet another issue to b-tch about. IMO, the word “favoritism” should not be used by anyone older than 12 years old. When you become a teenager, that word should be removed from your vocabulary. Seriously, if your best friend said “my boss is playing favorites at work” wouldn’t you think that you just stepped back into middle school?

Rev in Tampa

July 28th, 2010
4:40 pm

daniel stabcdefgski (soory dude, had to do it), your suggestion that Jamal run the point is a fascinating thought. If he could run the offense, penetrate the paint, pass the ball, and bring his shooting threat… WOW! But the point is a very specialized position – probably the most specialized position. If he could run the point effectively, he would be running the point.

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
4:42 pm

ds

The Hawks are already the 4th best team in the East.
With Cleveland’s attrition = the fact that we match up well
with the Celts [exit Thibodeau] why are we not # two.
Obviously we must show we can defeat Orl. to surpass
them but until then we are 2nd & no worse than 3rd.
Others must prove they have passed us. Names on
paper have not played a game.
What’s funny to me is folks will say LD has not proven
anything yet. Well, what has young fella in Myame proven?
People say what if Josh or Al suffer an injury, we have no depth.
No one has crossed that bridge in south beach either. What if ?
D.Wade has been injured before. So has Bosh.
Goodness gracious sakes alive…all those people predicting;
not 1, not 2, but 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 championships. Wow, all those
guys are indesructable plus they don’t even need a coach.
Never mind, I’m sorry, I went on an uncontrolled rant.
G’day.

Grandad

July 28th, 2010
4:47 pm

Rev – checkmate:

A point guard is more than a skill set;
dribbling & passing.
A point guard is in the head and in the heart.

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
4:52 pm

drmaryb ,

Tony Dungy and Joe Johnson aren’t cut from the same cloth by a long stretch. I give Joe props for going about his business and being a pro. Dungy however, is a leader of men. And no, I don’t think leaders need to scream in order to lead. What they do need, however, is to be a polarizing force. Joe is great at keeping his ish together. Does he help others keep their ish to gether? I’m not selling him short on anything, and I don’t really care to get into the whole contract conversation. Joe is not a tough negotiator. His agent Arn Tellem is. And if you don’t believe me, go to NBA.com, where there is an article stating that Tellem is once again the top agent in the NBA….

Having said that, Joe’s demeanor and personality are not a mark against him at all. In my opinion though, you don’t make a man like that captain of the ship. His teammates have to believe in him and be inspired by him (to a point, anyway). Joe’s teammates believe he can score the rock and make the play. But do they believe in him when it’s time to rally? Rhetorical question…

niremetal

July 28th, 2010
4:52 pm

You were right, Astro, apparently the Hawks Drew didn’t have the same number of full-time assistants as Woody did. But now he does:
http://twitter.com/langwhitaker/status/19768379453

niremetal

July 28th, 2010
4:56 pm

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
4:57 pm

AJ ,

Is it the concept or just the attitude that you’re combating? I’d like to live in the world where favoritism stops after middle school….but that’s not the world I live in. On the flip side, if what you’re getting at is that people shouldn’t use the concept of favoritism as an alibi for either failing on their own, or as an excuse to stop trying to be good/best at what they do, then I agree.

However, not everyone complaining of favoritism is guaranteed to fall into either of the two aforementioned categories. What if it’s somebody who is doing a bang-up job, but complains of what they feel is favoritsm? What if it was a guy like Josh Childress? Would you change your mind about the position? Just curious.

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
4:58 pm

Nire

Thanks for the link. Kenny Gattison, eh? Wonder if we can get him to play a few minutes as well…

Big Ray

July 28th, 2010
5:01 pm

AJ

Just re-read your post. We see eye-to-eye on the issue, and I would be quick to say that I think ratio of guys who are actually working hard at their craft and want equal accountability to the guys who merely want a built in alibi is….uh….probably like Vegas odds.

steve brown

July 28th, 2010
5:05 pm

Thanks, next drink is on me!