I have to say I’m pretty impressed with you, my fellow Hawks fans.
Despite the fact that things are in slow motion this time of year, y’all have really kept up the discussion (intelligently, I might add) at a pretty high rate, even when it may or may not seem like there is a lot to talk about. Or maybe it’s not that there isn’t a lack of subject matter, as much as there is so many things that have been re-hashed over and over. Yet things have not gone stale, and that is thanks to you. So, let’s keep it going…
I think that the idea of watching this team under Larry Drew really has sparked a great deal of discussion, despite the various supposed or assumed circumstances surrounding his hire. One issue in particular that many are probably anticipating is how he will use his bench. After years of watching a Hawks rotation that was comprised primarily of seven and sometimes guys (I’d say Mo Evans’ status as a rotation player was in a constant state of flux), should we expect a lot of change? Is there a “safety in numbers” line of thinking with Drew and his staff? Even more to the point, does he truly feel that he can go a solid eight, nine, or even ten deep with the current roster he has (plus whomever gets signed between now and the start of the season)?
There are a lot of questions here, and they won’t be answered until that first buzzer sounds, though we should get some pretty good hints of what is to come during the preseason (where we will also get to see that vaunted offense). Okay, so we know Jamal Crawford and Zaza Pachulia are rotation players. What of Mo Evans? Will he get consistent minutes? Maybe we should be asking whether or not he’ll earn them, and where he’ll get most of his playing time. Jeff Teague is expected to see an increase in minutes as well, becoming a part of the rotation. That automatically gives the Hawks a nine man rotation. Will Josh Powell be a regular in the frontcourt as well? He reportedly came here to get more playing time than he was getting with the L.A. Lakers, but he will have to provide something that is missing, for that to happen. What of Jason Collins? Is he another Mike Woodson scapegoat conduit or a useful player?
There is another view we can take on this “safety in numbers” theory, and it applies to Drew’s offense. All five guys on the attack, he says. Well, that is certainly better than one guy on the attack by himself, with the variation of such an offense being that the ball is passed to another guy who goes on the attack by himself. But….might it be too complicated? Will guys who have gotten the lion’s share of the shot attempts get the same number of attempts, or will that change? Will the Hawks learn to “ride the hot hand”, or will Drew call for a strict offense that requires sharing of the ball regardless of what is happening on the court? While the latter is probably unlikely to be the case, you just never really know until the games are played. So much depends on the players buying into and committing to a workable scheme.
To this point, the Hawks have gotten by on talented players, despite the fact that we sometimes undervalue what we have. The front office and ownership seem to think that the current roster has enough talent, but that it could be better utilized. How much better?
What are your thoughts? Is there safety in numbers?
If you wanted another big man….
You got your wish. Well, sort of. With the addition of Kenny Gattison, the Hawks put a tough guy on their bench, but he’ll be wearing a suit full-time. A gritty and effective role player when he was in a jersey, Gattison should be bringing that attitude to practices (we certainly hope). Fortunately, he also brings some experience on the sidelines, having spent a couple years in New Jersey under John Calipari, and more recently several years in New Orleans, including under Byron Scott. One wonders – will he be another “big man” coach, same as Ty Hill, or will his area of concentration be elsewhere? What do you think of this addition to Drew’s staff?
On The Horizon
Regardless of how we think of them, some members of the Hawks front office are wanted by other teams. As Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham reports, director of pro personnel Steve Rosenberry is apparently headed to Portland to become an assistant GM. Meanwhile, current Hawks assistant GM David Pendergraft could be taking Steve Kerr’s old job in Phoenix. So what does that mean for the Hawks? While we probably don’t care too much as fans who the new director of pro personnel and college scouting would be (seriously, did you even know who Rosenberry was before this?), there is perhaps a modicum of interest in who Sund would replace Pendergraft with, should he be moving to the Arizona desert.
Having been in the league well over 30 years, Sund surely has numerous contacts, and for every guy who wants to be a GM some day, there’s a guy who knows that becoming an assistant GM is stepping stone leading up to that in most cases. If I recall correctly, Pendergraft is currently over all scouting. So, whoever would replace him (again, if he goes) would presumably take over that task and responsibility. But what do we think of Pendergraft? Has his scouting experience and expertise shown to be worth something, or would we be anticipating an upgrade? To be totally honest, there is only so much to work with. Under Sund and Pendergraft’s watch, the following guys have been drafted by the Hawks – Jeff Teague, Sergei Gladyr, Pape Sy, and Jordan Crawford (correct me if I’ve missed anybody). Even with Teague, we still don’t quite know what we have. However, we shall hopefully enjoy finding that out.
Thoughts, my fellow Hawks fans?
(UPDATE): One more thing. Did you see this one coming, and does it make Boston a tougher matchup for us?