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

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
10:07 am

Astro,

So I take it that you cannot, in fact, name a single assistant coach on a recent title-winning team that had an assistant coach under the age of 40? Thought so.

I suspect that the difference between this team making or missing the champiosnhip round is not likely based on the last assistant coach hired.

No one said that it would, although you are so used to making strawman arguments that you don’t even care about small details like that anymore. Having good assistants helps. And it will help a hell of a lot more if your head coach isn’t a closed-minded retard like your boy Woody. The biggest improvement the Hawks made was kicking his predictable ass out on the street and replacing him with someone who has a f*cking clue. That’s what could make the difference between making the championship round or not. It certainly means that we won’t see the atrocious and thick-headed coaching that led to the Bucks taking us to 7 games and the Magic beating us in the most 1-sided series in the history of professional basketball.

Dap01,

Everything you just said about Bibby is bull$hit except for your assessment of his athleticism.

- He brings the ball up against pressure routinely without turning it over.
- He penetrates several times per game and quite effectively – not as often as most PGs, I’ll grant, but not as little as his haters say.
- Bibby usually passes the ball off on a pass break. According to MySynergy, he is still one of the most efficient transition PGs in the league in terms of his team’s PPG.
- Bibby was not even the worst defender on the Hawks last year (that title belonged to Jamal Crawford, followed by Jeff Teague), much less in the league. Statistically, it’s not even close. And if you watch the game closely, it’s easy to see that while Bibby does not stay in front of quicker players, he is still very effective at funneling his man towards the help defense – which is what most good perimeter defenders do anyway.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
10:08 am

* a single recent title-winning team that had an assistant coach under the age of 40

dap01

July 29th, 2010
10:40 am

The word Bullsh*T does not add validity. Bibby sucks. He is one of the worst PG’s in the league.

You have an opinion, so do I.

kwooden1

July 29th, 2010
10:49 am

My prayers go out to the Wright family and all his friends. Whatever the situation was, I hate to see anything like that happen.

Nice article on Hoopsworld, seemed informed and not biased in any one direction. Nire from what I saw of games Crawford and Bibby were about the same when it came to defense and Teague just lost his man off-screens to easily. I thought Bibby was good defensively for stretches, but he just couldn’t maintain it for long periods. Personnally I think Bibby is ready to retire but I believe he will give maximum effort for the next two years. If he can split time with Teague, than I think he will be much more effective. The team really needs to build Teague’s confidence because with his physical tools, he can be a C. Paul like PG. Bibby seems like the type of guy to help Teague get there, so I’m really hoping it works out that way.

GO HAWKS!

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
11:21 am

Losing interest in the Shaq idea – been reading too much about his attitude. He’s now a “maybe” for me.

I like Josh Boone alot. One of the best rebounders per minute in the NBA. 33% Foul shooting though? What’s going on?

Kwame Brown really pretty bad – and his foul shooting was under 50% last year also.

They say Rasho would be a great fit for this offense, but really? He defeats Dwight Howard for us? Boone is only 6-10 240, so Howard eats him alive also. Kwame maybe the only guy with a shot, unless ZaZa beefs up.

Bibby ok at PG – Teague not ready yet, but he may be the fastest (quickest) guy in the NBA. Really wish we could trade Bibby, our 3.66m trade exception and a 1st pick to the Cavs for Mo’Williams – salaries work I think.

If you look at our cap numbers next year, no way ASG will pay Jamal more than 3-4m per year I would guess. Gotta re-sign Al. And Jamal will be 31 next yr. – in the NBA, that’s when a guy with his skill set really begins to decline usually.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
11:27 am

nire, I listed several recently retired players who found coaching gigs. We can’t use championship teams as a bench mark in some cases but not in others. What championship caliber team hired a minimum wage coach? If the one and only way to build a coaching staff is to emulate what championship clubs have done, are you saying the ASG has satisfied that standard with Drew and crew? If they deviate at the top, why not deviate at the bottom? Especially when several players and officials have claimed the “team chemistry” was a late season issue.

By the way, define “straw man” in the context of a basketball blog for me… I never quite understood the relevance of that term in this setting.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
11:28 am

As MC stated several weeks ago, Shaq has burned more than a bridge or 2 from city to city.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/sports/basketball/24shaq.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
11:34 am

First step to competing with Orlando is scoring against them. Do that first and worry about defending Howard second.

JoJo the Godfather

July 29th, 2010
11:36 am

My “flavor of the day” trade is Jamal Crawford & a 1st round draft pick for Joel Pryzbilla, Rudy Fernandez, and a signed Patrick Mills. Portland has too many players under contract and could use Jamal’s scoring off the bench. Jamal is closer to his roots (grew up in Washington state I think).

Pryzbilla & Pachulia as bigs off the bench.

Rudy backs up Joe (and Marvin to a much lesser extent).

Mills seems like he has some talent. Nice looking shot.

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
11:37 am

It looks like the Lakers and Heat have about a 2 year window left to dominate.

After that Kobe will be 34 – Gasol, Odom, Artest, Barnes, Walton, Blake will all be 32 or older – so they have about a two year window at championships at best I would guess.

Heat the same – after 2 years – Miller 33, Haslem 32 – both with 3 more years on their contracts – LeBron and Co. on the books for 50-65m for the next few in that time frame also.

Even D Wade will be 31 – and with his speed skill set – not much of a 3 point shooter (under 33% last year if the memory serves me correctly), he will probably decline rapidly as he ages.

Even Bosh will be 29 in the 3rd year, and as Barkley says – he’s skinny! He probably won’t age as well as Gasol.

That leave OKC, the Bulls, the Magic and the Hawks as the best teams for the future. If Sund plays his cards right, and barring injuries, we’re gonna be good for a long time, with or without Jamal.

In 3 years – Josh 27 – prime
Al 26 – prime (almost)
Marvin 26- ” ” ” ”
Teague 24 – 4th year of experience – may be a top 10 or better PG in the league
Jordan C.24 – Hopefully has developed into a good #3 guard
ZaZa 29 – Will if it took Haywood and Gasol this long to develop…..?
Even JJ will only be 31 – and with his physical tools, he should age better than DWade. Much bigger, doesn’t rely on quickness as much – better jump shooter.

The future looks bright for Hawks basketball! Let’s win it all this year though – no need to wait 3!

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
11:42 am

How is Dwight Howard only the 3rd highest paid player on the Magic? Just a thought – and I wish we could pry Brandon Bass from them as one of the 2 bigs left we need to sign.

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
11:47 am

Niremetal – I agree with almost everything you said about Bibby. If you watch he and Teague, Bibby (unfortunately) is still clearly the better PG. But he is aging, and Teague is progressing. Somewhere in the next several months, or at least in the next 1-2 years, if Teague keeps learning – he’s gonna surpass Bibby. And if Teague keeps learining and progressing, we may have a poor man’s Rondo on our hands. If not, Jason Terry – scorer, never a pure PG.

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
11:54 am

JJ will be much better in the playoffs this year I would assume – he and LeBron both took the 2nd round off it looked like, especially JJ. Could you imagine blowing out a knee going into FA? No contract, so I really think JJ just coasted, deferred to Jamal, so he could be healthy for a Max deal, which several teams were willing to give him.

Big Ray

July 29th, 2010
12:28 pm

Oh no. I knew it. RIP, Lo Wright…

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
12:47 pm

Astro Joe,

My guess is that all of the head coaches of recent title-winning teams were highly paid. But for everyone but Larry Brown and Doc Rivers, my guess is that wasn’t the case when they were first hired as head coaches in the league. Phil Jackson was one of the league’s lowest-paid when he was hired as the Bulls head coach, and he won his first title as a coach one year later. Same with Pat Riley in 1982. Like Drew, both were assistants who got promoted to head coach. Right there, you have 9 of the last 15 Finals winners. 4 of the remaining 6 were taken by Gregg Popovich, who was a GM with no prior coaching experience that essentially appointed himself as head coach. My guess is that at least initially, he was not given a pay bump for appointing himself coach.

As far as head coaches go, the Finals winners have been dominated by just a few coaches, and my guess is that none of them have a particular interest in coming to Atlanta with the possible exception of 1-time champ Doc Rivers. The other highly-paid and ballyhooed coaches like Avery Johnson, Mike D’Antoni, Don Nelson, Flip Saunders, Doug Collins, etc do not have a single title under their belts. That’s why I said I always preferred going out and hiring a sharp assistant rather than a proven playoff loser, which is what those guys are. The key is to find the next Riley, Jackson, or Pop. Because taking a highly-paid coach who hasn’t won a title and putting him at the helm is pretty much never a recipe for a title.

To quote Wikipedia:
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet weaker proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

You are the master of that. You do it all the time, and everyone calls you out on it, but you go blissfully on doing it anyway. You deflect, confuse, or ignore when people bring up things that weaken your argument. Straw man falls under the heading of “confuse” – you confuse the issues in order to hide when someone points out how full of sh*t you are.

Fresh

July 29th, 2010
1:02 pm

Glad the Hawks didn’t overpay for Shaq.

O'Brien

July 29th, 2010
1:14 pm

SteveW,

One thing I would like to add about teams of the future. All it takes is one good draft pick, and a couple shrewd signings, and a team can be top 4. And NJ is still fairly young, while Kings have a couple building blocks in Tyreke Evans and Cousins, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Hawks definitely have a bright future though…

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
1:29 pm

nire, so let me know if the following qualifies as a straw man argument (so that I can avoid such behavior in the future):

I said, Drew is short an assistant coach (initially refuted and then later confirmed) and I suggested hiring a younger guy who can relate to the Hawks players. You said something to the affect, “championship squads don’t have younger (<40) assistants on their bench (I hope that is a fair summation). It seems like that statement avoids all of the other factors that go into a championship squad and places the spotlight on the age of the assistant coaches, or is that not a fair interpretation? If not, then what does the age of the assistant coaches of championship teams (an issue that you introduced) have to do with my suggestion to hire a recently retired player? Based on the universally accepted Wiki source of a straw man argument, it seems like you have used s straw man argument to refute my opinion that a younger coach would benefit the Hawks.

I mean, you didn't disqualify the notion based on the merits of any of the stated candidates, you didn't dispute the notion that we have seen recently retired players land an assistant's job shortly after their retirement, nor did you argue that a guy who can relate to our players may benefit the team. No, you went to the age demographic of the assistant coaches on championship teams. Right? Wouldn't a more direct argument to my opinion about the benefits of a younger assistant for this specific team rest in why it may not work for this specific team? To offer up a "if it won't get them to a championship argument then it isn't worth pursuing" strategy kind of opens up all decisions to that standard of working toward a championship. If creating that link is the essence of the "straw man" issue, then guess what, call me the Scarecrow and I will wear that moniker proudly.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

nire, I still don’t know how the definition of straw man applies here. (Also, the notion of the straw man definition assumes a universally accepted interpretation of an opinion, which seems to be a fundamentally flawed assumption in the world of a blog).

I said, Drew is short an assistant coach and I suggested hiring a younger guy who can relate to the Hawks players. You said something to the affect, “championship squads don’t have younger (<40) assistants on their bench (I hope that is a fair summation). It seems like that statement avoids all of the other factors that go into a championship squad and places the spotlight on the age of the assistant coaches. You didn't disqualify the notion based on the merits of any of the stated candidates, you didn't dispute the notion that we have seen recently retired players land an assistant's job shortly after their retirement, nor did you argue that a guy who can relate to our players may benefit the team. No, you went to the age demographic of the assistant coaches on championship teams. Right? Wouldn't a more direct argument to my opinion about the benefits of a younger assistant for this specific team rest in why it may not work for this specific team? To offer up a "if it won't get them to a championship then it isn't worth pursuing" argument kind of opens up all decisions to that standard of working toward a championship. If creating that link is the essence of the "straw man" issue, then guess what, call me the Scarecrow and I will wear that moniker proudly. If you use a measuring stick to evaluate one decision, why not apply that same standard to all decisions? That just seems like a smart and bright thing to do.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
1:41 pm

nire, I still don’t know how the definition of straw man applies here. Also, the notion of the straw man definition assumes a universally accepted interpretation of an opinion, which seems to be a fundamentally flawed assumption in the world of a blog.
I said, Drew is short an assistant coach and I suggested hiring a younger guy who can relate to the Hawks players. You said something to the affect, “championship squads don’t have younger assistants on their bench (I hope that is a fair summation). It seems like that statement avoids all of the other factors that go into a championship squad and places the spotlight on the age of the assistant coaches. You didn’t disqualify the notion based on the merits of any of the stated candidates, you didn’t dispute the notion that we have seen recently retired players land an assistant’s job shortly after their retirement, nor did you argue that a guy who can relate to our players may benefit the team. No, you went to the age demographic of the assistant coaches on championship teams. Right? Wouldn’t a more direct argument to my opinion about the benefits of a younger assistant for this specific team rest in why it may not work for this specific team? To offer up a “if it won’t get them to a championship then it isn’t worth pursuing” argument kind of opens up all decisions to that standard of working toward a championship. If creating that link is the essence of the “straw man” issue, then guess what, call me the Scarecrow and I will wear that moniker proudly. If you use a measuring stick to evaluate one decision, why not apply that same standard to all decisions? That just seems like a smart and bright thing to do.

northcyde

July 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

R.I.P. Lorenzen Wright and Harry Galbreath. Grandad, as you know, Harry was one of the first born and raised Clarksville, TN athletes to excel on the professional level. Outside of the great Wilma Rudolph, he was the best athlete this city has produced. So it was a bummer to hear that he passed away.

Two hours later, I see that they find Lorenzen dead. This capped a real bad day for me. Like drmaryb said .. the more I look into this story, the more I believe that this was a set-up. When you get shot that many times, it’s as if he was executed, not just killed. Keep an eye on that story folks. It’s either going to go down that Lorenzen was involved with some shady people, and either owed them money . . . was trying to buy drugs to sell . . or was set up to be killed by someone close to him. Lorenzen was pretty much a Memphis legend. For him to go out like that is straight B.S. My prayers definitely go out to his family and the Galbreath family for their losses.

***********************

As for the toughness issue, it’s one of the biggest issues that the Hawks face. As Big Ray pointed out to start the blog, I believe the two guys that MUST play tougher, are Horford and Smoove. They have to be willing to go to battle on a nightly basis and not get pushed around by bigger guys. They have no choice, if we want to see this team improve.

Physically, I don’t think this team as a whole is tough at all. And that’s from JJ on down. At times, JJ needs to be looking to draw a foul to stop a run by getting to the FT line, but he doesn’t do that. Horford doesn’t do it either. Josh tries to finesse too many lay-ups around the rim, instead of attacking it. On defense, it’s been well documented how our guards almost refuse to fight through screens ( which brought about the dawn of the switching defense being used a lot ).

******************

As for the Shaq issue, all I’m going to tell people, is to look at the Cincinnati Bengals. They just brought in possibly the worst locker room guy in the world in Terrell Owens. This, after they passed on him earlier in the year, and nobody else wanted him.

But the Bengals are a playoff team, looking to make a run NOW. Adding an experienced player in a position they were weak at ( wide receiver ), hopefully will help the team. Add a name like Terrell Owens to the mix, despite all of his past troubles with former teams, and you see the effect of it. The media is interested. The fans are DEFINITELY interested. And the team’s expectations have rose considerably.

Whether it works or not, you can’t say that the Bengals didn’t at least try and go for it. Adding T.O. and Pac Man Jones in the same season? Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen . . . or a team gambling that their talents as football players will enable the team to get to the next level.

Time is running out for the ASG on trying to secure Shaq, and reaping all it can from him being here. The new NBA schedule comes out on August 3rd ( next Tuesday ). If Shaq were signed right now, I would guarantee you that we would have a TON of national TV games on that schedule. But when that schedule comes out, immediately look to see how many Thursday night games we have. If we don’t have any, that’s an indication that the Hawks will NOT be on TNT.

With the way our attendance ebbs and flows, more weeknight national TV games would help these guys at the box office, you would think. Would more Hawk fans attend a Thursday night game at Philips between the Hawks and Bobcats, if they knew that it would be on TNT that Thursday? How about an Atlanta vs Utah game on ESPN on a Wednesday?

I would love to sit in on a meeting with the ASG, when it comes to the marketing of this team. I would love to hear what they would do, and what they don’t do. To me, this lack of vision all around, is the reason why ATL fans have so much apathy toward that ownership group.

LOL. . in two weeks, all people are going to be talking about, is a meaningless Hall of Fame game between “America’s Tea” ( the Cowboys ), and the new Hollywood Team ( the Bengals ).

And the Hawks still won’t have Shaq, and will miss part of the benefits of having him here.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
2:04 pm

Astro,

Sorry, but you’re not worth my time. As your post was hilariously selective in deciding what parts of my prior posts you wanted to address and which to ignore. You apparently still don’t have the capacity to address the things I say directly, and it’s just amusing that you ignored large swaths of my responses to you in order to make it seem like I had made straw man arguments. Whatever, dude. Go make a recording of your own voice and then argue with it. That’s what you’re best-suited for.

northcyde

July 29th, 2010
2:05 pm

“America’s Team”

northcyde

July 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

LOL . . I still say that Marvin Williams CAN’T be the reason why we don’t acquire Shaq. He is not essential to our core. I’m not a Marvin hater, but damn . . his production can definitely be replaced . . quickly and probably cheaply.

O'Brien

July 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

nire,

That’s why I said I always preferred going out and hiring a sharp assistant rather than a proven playoff loser, which is what those guys are. .

I know the GM situation can be muddy, because sometimes a GM takes the fall (along with the coach) if the coach is not getting the team to produce, but what’s your position on hiring a GM?

Would you prefer a GM who has been fired from previous jobs, or would you prefer an assistant GM from one of the successful clubs?

northcyde,

Although I’m a big Falcons fan, I lived in Dayton OH for a while, so I root for the Bengals too. I’m a little concerned about that team (off the field). Dont they have T.O., Pac-Man, Tank Johnson, and Matt Jones? I hope they keep it together.

As for marketing, I dont think the ASG do a good job of marketing their players.

Although I am on board with the signing of Shaq, he needs to lower his price. No way would I give him more than the MLE. But I would definitely go into luxury tax to sign him, because I think he will generate enough revenue to offset the tax.

Marvin does have a lot of potential, but I do think he is overpaid. Maybe Drew will help him realize his potential. If he can give us 14 and 6, with good to great defense, his value will skyrocket.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
2:24 pm

nire, that’s fine. I understand when someone prefers to take their marbles and go home. Get back safely.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
2:38 pm

OB, the Hawks don’t really have guys with the (to use a term I saw in one of the Lorenzen Wright stories) gregarious personality that would allow for easy promotions for the team. Take away the Hawks marketing staff for a minute and when have we ever seen one of the Hawks players endorsing a local car dealer or a local airlines or restaurant or any local business? Josh Smith is likely the “fan favorite” but he doesn’t make frequent media appearances. Neither does Joe. Jamal appeared on 790 last season about once every 10 days and was probably the best interview I’ve heard from a Hawks player since Jason Terry’s brief stay here. Marvin and Al are good on radio interviews, Zaza is REALLY good and funny (as can be expected) but I always get the sense that they are prodded to do those interviews. So yeah, the team is poorly marketed but I blame some of that on the persoanlity types and what appears to be a lack of comfort. I’m ticked off that Joe hasn’t done any interviews since signing the richest contract in franchise history (after the misunderstanding during the playoffs with his anti-fan comments). All involved are wrong on that one, Joe, his agent and the Hawks PR people.

Funny, I was dead-set against Shaq initially, but now, I’m hoping that we sign him. With my belief that our ceiling is the 2nd round, he won’t likely do much to keep us from that level nor do much to get us past that level, but he will deliver more cash to the ASG and a little more “hype” to the arena.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

O’Brien,

I would have preferred an assistant GM from a successful club. That’s why I was pushing for Dennis Lindsey (AGM of the Spurs) back in ‘08. I think a retread is better than a former player with no prior experience worth mentioning – ie a suit is better than street clothes when it comes to GM. It’s a bit different, though.

Ironically, I would feel better about the former coach of a bad or mediocre team than I would about a guy like Don Nelson or Mike Brown. As a coach, you can’t mold just any crew into a championship squad, so I don’t hold it against Dwayne Casey (for instance) that the Wolves failed to make the playoffs. Once you coach a playoff team, it’s a different story. In the playoffs, good/bad coaching makes a much bigger difference. That’s why the Bucks managed to extend the Hawks to 7 games despite being completely overmatched in talent. I would never hire Mike Brown or Mike Woodson, both of whom took teams that were (in my view) championship-caliber in talent and got outcoached. But someone like Terry Porter I would consider, though I’d still have preferred a Thibodeaux type.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

Going into this offseason, my top choices for a new head coach were Monty Williams and Dean Demopoulos from Portland, Ty Corbin from Utah, or Tom Thibodeaux from Boston. Among retreads, the only one I liked was Byron Scott, who I think got hosed in New Orleans and New Jersey; in my view, neither of those teams should have been as good as he made them. I would have preferred one of the assistants, though.

For Drew, I like the way his offense sounds. Assuming he can get buy-in to that, he has half of I wanted out of a good coach. But the other half is getting said buy-in, and I have my doubts that he will be able to get that after being Woody’s assistant for so long.

And seriously, I can’t imagine that Drew’s went into the decision to hire him. There’s no luxury tax on coaching salaries. Hiring a good coach is the cheapest way to improve a team. If you’re cheap, you skimp on players, not on the coach. Considering the number of people who bitch about the price the Hawks paid for Speedy, Marvin, Zaza, Bibby, and now Joe (not to mention the substantial salary increases the team took with the Bibby and Crawford trades), I really think the “cheap” meme needs to be retired. Of course, some people choose to see only what they want to see, and nothing will change that. If you start with your conclusion and work backwards, the evidence is bound to look one-sided.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

*Drew’s price tag

O'Brien

July 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

AJ,

Agreed on Joe. All we got from him was a Q and A with MC. I think there should Have been a press conference, where he could have tried to help the casual fans get hype for the season. But alas, that is not his style.

With so many transplants in ATL, ASG should find a way to market the players better (even the ones who may not seem that marketable).

Nire,

How can you be so convinced that money did not play a factor in drew’s signing?

You reasoned that the $ 3mil from selling the pick could go towards paying JJ, or it could be used to fund another area of operation.

Couldn’t the same be said for the ~$1 mil or so saved from hiring drew?

Melvin

July 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

The Heat signed Eddie Jones today. Where in the heck did they dig him up from? My goodness, how many guys are they going to sign…

drmaryb (*_*)

July 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

NorthCyde

Bringing the heat and passion as always. Yeah and don’t forget too that the Bulls brought in Rodman
to rebound the basketball and WN a Championship, not give back rubs in the locker room.
Didn’t the Lakers do the same, by bringing in Rodman then and Artest now.

Just Win Baby!

drmaryb (*_*)

July 29th, 2010
3:44 pm

Melvin

15.

Eddie Jones? What is he like 38?

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

O’Brien,

I am saying that if a team is trying to keep costs low in terms of spending, they would skimp on the players side rather than the coaches’ for two reasons: 1) Players’ contracts are fully guaranteed, while coaches’ are not; and 2) players’ contracts count toward the luxury tax, while coaches’ do not. A team keeps the luxury tax element in mind even when they set their payroll below the luxury tax, since (as so many teams discovered this year) an unexpected fall in NBA revenues can lead to teams paying the luxury tax that thought they’d end up below the luxury tax.

To put it in perspective, the highest paid head coach in the NBA (Phil Jackson) has a salary of “just” $12 million, which is roughly double what the next highest-paid coach makes, if memory serves. In other words, there were nearly 50 individual players who made more than the highest-paid head coach in the league. For every other coach in the league, the average league salary (ie the MLE) is higher than their annual salary. Since the difference in terms of wins and losses between having a good and a bad coach is a lot more substantial than the difference between an MLE and a minimum salary player, a team looking to skimp would almost certainly skimp on the players and not on the coach. That, in my view, is how you end up with odd dichotomies like the Blazers and Spurs (my two model franchises) – compared to other teams, they rank higher in how much they pay their coach as compared to how much they pay their players.

And not for nothing, but when he was first hired, Woody made more than fellow newly-hired coach D’Antoni.

In any case, feel free to keep having a selective memory on what the Hawks spend money on. But you’re the one who always brings up Marvin, Bibby, and Zaza’s contracts. If you think they’re so overpaid, how can you square the ASG being cheap with overpaying for the team’s 5th, 6th, and 7th/8th options? Or for Speedy? Or for Joe?

It seems to me that if you examine it carefully, the complaint about the Hawks’ management isn’t that their cheap. It’s that they are stupid. I’m NOT saying that stupid is better than cheap. I’m saying that it’s different. And to the extent that Hawks folks read this blog, I don’t want them to get the idea that the fans think the main thing that has kept this team from contention is the fact that they haven’t spent MORE money, rather than that they haven’t spent the money they have wisely.

If ASG made a business decision to spend less on the coach and use the savings on an extra player or two, then they are just plain stupid. I know a lot of you believe that they are, but I don’t.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
3:57 pm

Personally, btw, I did not like the hiring of Drew. But it wasn’t because I think that we could have gotten a better coach by paying substantially more (I don’t think Dean Demopolous, Monty Williams, or Ty Corbin would have cost that much more). It’s that I don’t think that, for this team, hiring an old assistant is the best way to usher in an era of change. I hope Drew proves me wrong. Because I have a feeling that New Orleans will be turning some heads this year with Monty Williams at the helm…

Melvin

July 29th, 2010
4:02 pm

drmaryb,

They are even considering signing TMAC. Heck, they could have sign Penny Hardaway instead of Eddie Jones…

Agreed with OB and drmaryb, this team chemistry/lockerroom concerns mess is overrated. Some Hawks fans at like the Hawks just won the championship and scaried to tinker with the roster. After going winless for 2 yrs in a row in the 2nd round of the playoffs, it’s time to add some players that will crack our top 8 rotation…

SteveW

July 29th, 2010
4:05 pm

O’Brien – agree with some other young teams out there – maybe even Washington if they get their act together – but we have a very bright future 3-4 years out – and the only reason Orlando does is Mr. Dwight Howard.

O'Brien

July 29th, 2010
4:08 pm

Nire,

I don’t think the ASG hired drew because he was cheap. I think they hired him because they believe woody was the main reason (directly and indirectly) for the team’s shortcomings. But I wanted to hear your opinion.

Another point we agree on, is rick talked about change, but yet we have basically the same top 9 players and mostly the same coaching staff.

That being said, I think the hawks will be a better team under Larry drew, even if they have less wins.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 29th, 2010
4:08 pm

Melvin

Hey that is Eddie House you’re speaking of: he is married to Mike Bibby’s sister.

I do recall that Eddie Jones did once play for the Heat though, back when Zo played.
Oops! Typo. (Smiles)

Yeah, the Heat are bringing in some quality veterans and it will be interesting to see how it all comes together, chemistry-wise. Very, very interesting.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 29th, 2010
4:12 pm

NorthCyde

“Americas Tea” I like that typo.
I was thinking “The Beverly Hillbilly’s and that “Texas Tea”. You know … Black Gold? ROF

Melvin

July 29th, 2010
4:12 pm

drmaryb,

You are right. The Heat signed Eddie House. My badd. I was looking at it on my blackberry and thought I saw Eddie Jones…

drmaryb (*_*)

July 29th, 2010
4:22 pm

Last I checked, Coaches contracts are guaranteed. They can be bought out just like a player’s can.
If, you let the coach go? His salary is still due and payable. That goes for college coaches as well.

Avery Johnson, came out of retirement after receiving his final pay year from Dallas.
He was such a detriment to the Dallas team, Cuban paid him almost three years to stay away from it.

The Truth

July 29th, 2010
4:24 pm

Dam girlfriend, it’s a big difference between Eddie Jones and Eddie House Thx for the update :)

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
4:30 pm

Per Lang Whitaker and Peachtree Hoops, we’ve re-signed Collins. Drew in the press release:

C”We’re excited to welcome Jason back to the team,” said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. “He’s a veteran presence in the locker room, and adds experienced depth to the frontcourt. Jason has worked hard in the offseason, and with his knowledge of the system we’re implementing, he’ll continue to be a valuable contributor to our club.”

That reminded me of something I’d forgotten – Collins played for NJ back when Drew was an assistant (under Byron Scott) there. If we got Collins c.2002, I’m great with this. But something tells me we didn’t.

This almost certainly means no Shaq. Ah well. I still say we need another big SF or combo forward. Hopefully Collins gets into good enough shape that my fat jokes can start targeting DScott again instead of him…

Melvin

July 29th, 2010
4:35 pm

Just read Hawks resign Collins. I wonder if this closed the door on signing Shaq.

Astro Joe

July 29th, 2010
4:37 pm

Whatever weight Collins lost can be gained between nowand November, I hope he stays in condition. It’s not a given.

Melvin, I figured that you meant Money and not Jones.

OB, they fired Woody because they blamed him for the team’s short-comings, that should not have weighed in on his replacement. Those are 2 separate activities, analyzing the source of the problem and identifying the best person to fix the problem. I understand the first, the second seems to be rooted in a culture of sameness. including the most recent player transaction. Sameness.

niremetal

July 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

If I were the Hawks’ staff, I might make his contract conditional upon him remaining below a certain weight. I’m not a nutritionist, so I have no clue what that weight would be for a guy his size. But seriously…

kwooden1

July 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

Now that we got Collins back, it looks like the only thing to wait for is a possible trade.

Starters
Teague/Bibby
JJ
Marvin
Smoove
Horford

2nd
Bibby/Teague
Jamal C
Evans
Powell
Zaza

3rd
Jordan C
Collins

Not a bad line-up, but Conf. Finals material, we can only hope. My guess is the last spot will be taken up by a guy they find in training camp.

GO HAWKS!

The Truth

July 29th, 2010
4:49 pm

Wow, Sund is on fire!!

1. Signed JJ to the richest salary in club history and highest in the entire league
2. Signed Josh Powell to a 1-year vet min
3. Resigned Jason Collins to probably a 1-year vet min

Note: Randmo will probably be next