Alright fellow Hawks fans, sorry for not checking in for a little while. Lots of around the house stuff (and work stuff) going on, as I’m sure many of you can relate to. Nice to see the diehard guys still chopping it up (and each other) around here. Late summer slumming stinks, and you can really tell when some of the latest topics include suspicious asthma diagnosis and steroid treatment thereof. Not to mention, it can be tough hanging on when our Atlanta Falcons are getting heated up. Speaking of which, if you really dig Falcons football, the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter keeps you up to date on those “other birds.” Meanwhile the super slammin’, most happenin’ Falcons fan blog ever is hosted by the awesome Dawson Devitt (also known as D3). Trust me, this guy keeps it going 24/7.
Anyhow, back to basketball…
The two Crawfords
Two different guys with two different situations, but both could be key points of interest by the all-star break.
Jamal Crawford wants to stick around Atlanta, and probably wouldn’t mind retiring a Hawk. Will he get the extension he wants from Atlanta, and at what price? While this “story” has gone somewhat cold and quiet, it hasn’t gone away completely. Will this become an item of interest and discussion as the season wears on? Hard to tell. My guess is that Jamal is not in a very real hurry, but then again, the CBA is coming up soon, so maybe he is. What could he expect to get paid, and what might his services be worth? After signing Mike Bibby to a 3-year deal worth about $6 million per year (and then watching his game go south quickly), the Hawks are liable to not be in a big hurry to re-sign another guard wh could be on the cusp of the decline of his game. Still, it’s hard to even think of that when Jamal just got Sixth Man of the Year just last season. What do you think? Keep Jamal, and at what price (and for how long)? Will the Hawks look at this hard at any point in time during this season, or let things play out next summer?
Then there is Jordan Crawford. The rookie guard seemed to mesh well with 2nd year point guard Jeff Teague in the summer league. He also seemed more at ease on the floor than Teague did. Training camp with the real pros will be a different story, however. There is no doubt that Crawford can score and shoot, although his court vision and passing was a pleasant surprise. So what happens when he has to face the original Crawford, or a minutes-hungry Mo Evans, who is liable to show up to camp with a chip on his shoulder about playing time? It’s hard to see Jordan getting many minutes this season in a backcourt that features Joe, Jamal, Bibby, Teague, and Evans. Well, barring injury to backcourt members, that is. This, after a college career that ended with him having to do nearly everything on offense by himself, in order for his team to have a chance at winning. Will Crawford be able to take the mental rigors of denied playing time? Or, will he have attitude issues, as the much-maligned former Hawks Salim Stoudamire seemed to? The fact is, Jordan is in a good position to learn, what with that talented and experienced bunch of veteran backcourt teammates. The question is, what will he learn, and how quickly. Is it possible for Crawford to earn some serious minutes here and there? How would he best accomplish this?
The Man with the Master Plan
Not that we haven’t hashed this one to death already, but what of Larry Drew’s offense? Motion, motion, motion is what I keep hearing, and if nothing else, these guys will be in some kind of shape when camp is over. If I were Jason Collins, I’d get on the treadmill now. Fortunately for the Hawks, there is enough versatility and talent for “the plan.” Of course, among the list of changes, one does have to scratch one’s head about this whole business of Josh Smith occasionally moving over to the small forward spot. So, uh…are we going to see more or less of those ill-fated 20-foot jumpers from Smoove? C’mon Larry, what’s the real plan? Don’t scare us like that! Or did we pick up somebody who can “fix” Josh’s jumper? Evidently, Mark Price wasn’t up to the job…
I know this much – everything’s cool as long as Larry Drew doesn’t bust out with “Come on guys, this [expletive] works…you just have to buy into it!” If he does, hang it all up….
Crazy Trade Nonsense
If you haven’t heard already, it seems that Denver will lose Carmelo to….who knows where. Could there be another “big 3″ theme brewing here, as Chris Paul likely still wants out of New Orleans, and Amare Stoudamire will likely soon find out how un-fun it is to be a Knick these days? Oh, who cares. Let’s talk about REAL possibilities. You know, like how the Hawks can lure/acquire the Denver star small forward. Oh come on, I’m sure somebody can come up with a completely unrealistic trade idea, right? Why not, we still have way too long before training camp!