Tune-ups and Statements

The NBA real season is nearly upon us, finally.

In just over a week, we’ll be able to change our ever-present caveats from “it’s just preseason” to “it’s only been five games”, or something to that effect. Come now, we all know that this is precisely what we like to do, when discussing both positive and negative results and observations of games, where the Hawks are concerned. Until then, there is little to do besides hashing over the final three or so preseason games. Oh yeah, and waiting to see how contract extension negotiations go for center Al Horford. Hawks beat writer currently reports no movement, but there is time yet. There isn’t much else to be heard on the subject, other than opinion. Speaking of which, here is what Hoopopinion.com had to say on the subject.

 

Just Another Preseason game? Hardly

Normally, tonight’s preseason game would be little more than an opportunity for Hawks fans to watch their favorite team play (the other games have hardly been accessible to everyone). After all, preseason games are just tune-ups, right? Head Coach Larry Drew has stated time and again that he is using these games to gauge, critique, and improve the team’s defensive approach to the game. Of course, that hasn’t been going very well so far, and one argument suggests that this is due in part to the starters not playing many minutes, and many of the rotational guys being out with injuries.

But….what if things are really that bad? How much can the Hawks get done to correct their defensive issues? Defense isn’t the only problem. In this new offense, the Hawks have been turning the ball over like it’s a poplular new trend. Are guys making bad reads? Is this just a learning curve, or was the methodical (if stagnant prone) ball control offense of yesteryear better than we gave it credit for? Some of you will scream blasphemy for such a suggestion, and I would not blame you. After all, there is a difference between a “safe” approach to offense, and an “attack” approach to offense.

Tonight’s game will be a tuneup for both teams, but for different reasons. The Magic have been treating the preseason like it’s a tuneup for the playoffs, blowing out anybody they come across. No doubt they are seeking to dissuade the notion that the Southeast Division has a new champion already, among other things (the state of Florida now has what should be a very hot NBA rivalry). They’ll look to crush the Hawks like they have everybody else, and serve a reminder that the debaucle that occurred in the playoffs last season was no fluke.

The Hawks on the other hand, have a lot of work to do. In addition to finding a way to cut down on turnovers, they also need to improve their rebounding. Without solid rebounding, there won’t be much running, which is what Larry Drew wants to do. That leads to another thought: can they make the Magic guard them, something they haven’t come close to doing in the last couple of years? Or will their recent penchant for turnovers and weak rebounding lead to another blowout at the hands of their division nemesis? How will Al Horford’s low post bench “help” fare against SuperMan II? Will we even get to see any of that? Is Al healthy enough/should he be playing big minutes in this game?

The Magic have a statement to make, and they aren’t waiting for the regular season to do it. The Hawks? Well, they may just want to avoid statements, and just concentrate on re-learning how to talk. To each other. Let’s see how this one goes.

165 comments Add your comment

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
8:43 pm

I don’t get how Jamal can be THIS bad defensively. I mean, his lateral quickness is bad, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks in this game. Answer must be effort…

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
9:00 pm

Well, at least they aren’t turning the ball over :roll:

Incidentally, Ray, I don’t agree that all today’s game does or should mean anything. We got our asses handed to us by Orlando late in the preseason last year, and had a very good regular season regardless. I didn’t catch the first half, but the problem in the second half was the same as always against the Magic – their shooters kill us on one end, and we settle for jumpers on the other.

Big Ray

October 18th, 2010
9:19 pm

Niremetal ,

True. Doesn’t take away from the idea that we might want to see something a bit different than the usual (blowouts). Should we get used to them? I agree…never judge a season on a preseason, let alone a single preseason game.

Meanwhile, as you noted, the same symptoms remain:

1. We enter the half down by 10, only to watch them blow it wide open in the third quarter by shooting us to death. Our response? Try to beat them at the jumpshooting game. Result? FG 29%.

2. Rebounding = joke. The difference is currently -16.

3. Al Horford in foul trouble.

4. I wondered if Marvin would have a third straight nice game. I wonder why I was wondering.

5. Hard to turn the ball over when you’re too busy shooting jumpers.

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
10:04 pm

Josh Powell and Zaza were a combined 6 for 9. The rest of the team was 18 for 69 (26%). Ouch.

Big Ray

October 18th, 2010
10:27 pm

And Nire …yes, Jamal is just that bad on defense.

Big Ray

October 18th, 2010
10:31 pm

Josh Powell and Zaza were a combined 6 for 9. The rest of the team was 18 for 69 (26%). Ouch.

I wanted to be encouraged by that. I mean, they combined for 19 points. And then I saw this:

Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat combined: 21 points, 16 rebounds.

Josh and Zaza combined for 8 rebounds. Ouch.

Big Ray

October 18th, 2010
10:33 pm

Stat for the night:

Mike Bibby – played 15 minutes, 17 seconds.

Etan Thomas – played 3 minutes, 57 seconds.

Don’t be surprised if this becomes their season averages…

doc

October 18th, 2010
10:58 pm

good comments ray, just not feeling it in these guys at all right now.

super glad we are within budget though, feeling good about our fiscal status. just wish it had included a point guard not costing us 45 mil over his lifetime with us and no bigs to support our efforts to defend or score inside. not so sure about my fiscal status or mental health, as i am re-upping for a ticket this season. who da fool?

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
11:03 pm

Ray,

My point was that if our team shooting percentage of 31% is actually even worse than it looks – take out our two backup big men who rarely touch the ball, and that percentage drops even further.

As for the rebounding stat…well yeah, that just sucked tonight. Although in fairness, if you adjust that to per 48 minutes, it’s not as bad because Zaza and Powell played 28.6 minutes to Bass/Gortat’s 40.8. Adjusted, Zaza/Powell had 13.4 rp48 to 18.8 for Gortat/Bass. Still bad, but not nearly 2:1.

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
11:05 pm

We have the 9th biggest payroll in the NBA, doc. But I’ll bet you $10 on 10:1 odds that our attendance is below 9th in the NBA this year. Oh wait, actually talking about facts displays how idiotic your “ASG is cheap” mantra is? Nevermind. Again.

N.D.T.K.A.

October 18th, 2010
11:06 pm

Well, I understand Teague didn’t play, and I like to be the optimist, but this @#$% is getting ridiculous!! The one team we should be concerned with putting on an all out effort against and we continue to do the same thing, lay an egg!!

I don’t get this team, when we need to play at a high level why do they fold under pressure? This is just embarrassing, you don’t even want to defend this team to Orlando @$$%^&*!! The Hawks don’t even need to think about Miami until they figure out how to play defense, take the ball to the basket with regularity, and learn how to play with Orlando. And yes I did not say beat Orlando I said play with Orlando.

Regardless to what anyone thinks (I know this is preseason) but to start out like this against a team that took you to the wood shed just show’s a lack of pride!! I guess the Hawks are just like a person on a dead end job and you ask them how they are doing? And they say, “Same $@#t, different day!”
No pride, and embarrassing!!!

niremetal

October 18th, 2010
11:09 pm

I already regret bringing that up. Doc made up his mind in 2005, and he’s sticking by his conclusion, all evidence to the contrary be damned. Must be nice to only use your brain long enough to come to an initial conclusion and feel you have the luxury of never having to think hard about it again.

doc

October 19th, 2010
1:27 am

nire, i got to feel good about something tonight. :-)

at least i am putting up my money to support the ASKG. tomorrow it is official,yes, i am a sucker again though maybe not the idiot you choose as a label. i am in good company around here it seems as many have come to the same conclusion. the askg have done nothing to change the lens now have they?

i never uttered the c word, unless fiscal responsibility is to be confused with the c word nire. just their fiscal responsibility wont buy us a championship, just wont. sorry, i tend to see it for what it is, a non-champioship caliber team with owners showing tremendous resolve to keep it that way by not upgrading talent and depth to be truly competitive with the financial efforts displayed by others going for the trophy and wonder what we are waiting for. i dont see why that is so narrow minded as you suggest as it is truth. we were close and i wonder what we were waiting for? the chance may be gone unless the new cba changes the landscape for us lesser funded and fan supported teams to begin to make up the difference.

yeah, i know, it is just the preseason and we just dont match up well with the magic. riiiight!

vava74

October 19th, 2010
2:42 am

I should have noticed why there was no one online:

Oficiating still horrible against us (touch fouls, travel offences, charges, …)

Still a lot of work to do psychologically.

It’s impossible to compete with bibby.

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
8:06 pm

You could see on this jump shot how much Howard evolved under Olajuwon’s watch.

Howard is notoriously lazy on technical aspects, concentrating on weight lifting.

Unfortunately the league protects his extremely crude and brutish game.

In Olajuwon’s defense as a teach, I would just like to point out that it’s difficult to teach instinctive stuff. Olajuwon had a gift which simply cannot be conveyed.

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
8:09 pm

Another beautiful hook shot by Howard. He almost missed the backboard.

And he makes fun of Olajuwon’s accent…

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
8:22 pm

With Howard the tactic is simple: one on one D as tough as you can get and let him shoot.

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
8:40 pm

My goodness jamal’s D is almost impossibly bad!

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
8:55 pm

We have zero D on the PG position.

It all starts there with Jameer owning us.

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vava74
October 18th, 2010
9:28 pm

Exactly as programmed

Ed

October 19th, 2010
4:13 am

LD is in a now win situation. He’s trying to bring defensive accountablility while introducing a completely new offense without having the cache of being a “name” coach.

Big Ray

October 19th, 2010
5:44 am

Niremetal ,

Point taken, I was simply down in the dumps about the rebounding. Of course, if I really wanted to pick on some culprits, I’d be better off going after the starters, now wouldn’t I?

Doc ,

Cheap? Absolutely not. Joe Johnson would surely not call them such, Josh Smith likely is happy with his paycheck, and I suspect that soon Al Horford will also be singing praises about the ASG’s financial committments.

Unfortunately, not being cheap is in no way the same as being smart with one’s money. It is far easier to continue to argue about cheap or not, than it is to get into the finer details of how best to spend the cash. Even then, it is much easier to poke holes in the argument of one who questions how these gentlement elect to spend their cash, than it is to handily and validly defend their decisions. Such is life on the blog, eh?

Big Ray

October 19th, 2010
5:50 am

Vava ,

I’d give just about anything to see Dwight Howard up against Alonzo Mourning in his youth, or in his prime (prior to his health issues). Even after he came back to the league. He would have demolished Dwight with both his impressive physical power and his skills. Not to mention the following in their heyday:

Hakeem Olajuwon
Tim Duncan
Patrick Ewing
Brad Daugherty
Jayson Williams
Kevin Willis

….and so on….

Peter

October 19th, 2010
9:15 am

Well good thing we gave JJ all that money so we couldn’t get any Big’s to help out. This team will never learn.

Management not very bright, when it comes to putting a team together. I can’t see the future of Hawk basketball, any different from last year, if we even do as well as last year.

Sorry franchise.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
9:43 am

Ray, I thik Howard is the kind of guy who would work harder to get better if he had to comepet against Zo and Hakeem and those guys. Dude has fire in his belly… something that can’t be taught (with apologies to NVE). He is clearly more of an athlete than he is a basketball player, but he is a fierce competitor.

As I mentioned ont he other blog, my concern is with the lack of scoring. We haven’t busted 95 points since the first pre-season game. That, I fear, is problematic. This roster has NEVER been able to produce top 10 defensive results (IMO), so if we can’t bust 95 points when the real lights come on, we’re going to be in deep doo.

niremetal

October 19th, 2010
10:22 am

Whenever any team learns a new strategy, it’s rough during the first few weeks of trying to implement it. Football, basketball, even tennis, it don’t matter. Heck, it’s the same when you start a standardized test prep course. I used to work for Kaplan, and students’ first practice test scores after starting to learn the Kaplan Method were almost invariably worse than their “baseline” practice test from before the lessons started. With team sports, it’s even worse because different players can be on different pages during the learning process, especially if guys are injured like Teague is now.

That’s why there’s a pre-season in team sports. Gives you some time to get used to new teammates and new schemes while the games don’t count. I’ll worry more if our offense looks out of sorts come the second or third week of the regular season.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
10:40 am

nire, I agree. But I would also expect defenses to “kick it up a notch” also in the regular season. When someone is learning something new, it is important for them to have some early success to increase the adoption rate. If they don’t think that Kaplan is helping them improve their scores, then they are less likely to endure the learning pains. In my company, we spend a lot of time ensuring a good “on-boarding” process for customers on new products. This group of players doesn’t seem all that mentally tough to me. I hope they have a few 100+ point games in the first 5-8 games of the regular season.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
10:43 am

I heard that Magic Johnson is selling his stake of the Lakers. How wonderful would it be if he were to purchase Belkin’s stake in the Hawks? He has a few businesses here in Atlanta. Seems strange that he would divest from an NBA team, given his love of the game. Of course, I’m sure that I am just engaging in wishful thinking.

doc

October 19th, 2010
10:50 am

yes nire, that learning curve does get overlooked. i do it in the moment but am acutely aware of it. unfortunately this team has thrived on getting out of the gate fast and putting some distance between itself and others. that is part of the problem and why i dont expect this team to be as good, record wise as last and hope the consolation is they truly assemble into a different type of team that is stronger in the end. their transformation will require patience i know. the alchemical fire of the nba is a hot caldron to go into, some teams dont come back from it.

niremetal

October 19th, 2010
10:58 am

Astro,

Then it was Drew’s job to tell them at the outset “expect there to be growing pains during the first few weeks with the new offense” so that the players know not to give up hope on it. The good news is that they still seemed to be “buying in” yesterday despite the fact that it wasn’t working. They also were turning the ball over less, which was the #1 thing people were harping about. Now, it seems to me, it’s a matter of getting guys to be more aggressive within the confines of the offense. That might take some more time, because players are likely to be a bit more tentative when they aren’t yet comfortable with the system. Regardless, Drew hopefully made it clear to the team at the outset that there might be some growing pains with the offense for awhile.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
11:01 am

Never mind.

Various sources close to Johnson also quickly quelled any connection between selling his share of the Lakers and aggressively pursuing ownership of another NBA team. In the last year, Johnson has been rumored to be interested in buying the Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons. The Warriors were subsequently sold this year for $450 million. Los Angeles Times

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
11:08 am

nire, I hope he told them. And given his attention to details, I’m confident he told them. But that doesn’t mean a whole lot, does it? Telling someone to be patient is never a sure fire way to achieve that goal of them being patient. Never has been, never will be. IMO, most NBA players would rather lose a game 115-105 than lose one 98-88. At least they could sleep wih their stat sheet under their pillow.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
11:55 am

Big Ray

October 19th, 2010
12:33 pm

Can’t say I’d argue with much written in that link…

Big Ray

October 19th, 2010
12:35 pm

AJ ,

Howard is a competitor. But that road would have been a tough one back then. And I don’t think he would have come out on top. But that’s blind hindsight fantasy basketball speculation. We still have to deal with him, and he still eats us up.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
2:02 pm

Ray, I agree… he certainly would NOT be the 2-time reigning DPOY or perennial first team All-NBA center if he were dealing with those guys. The good thing for us, is WE don’t have to deal with those guys either.

Melvin

October 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

At 6-10/11 and 275lbs, Howard is a brute force but I can’t see him remaining at that weight and maintaining his athleticism over the years. Will he be the same dominant force later on in his career (like Shaq) while his athleticism diminishes? I don’t think so…

Melvin

October 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

Astro,

College ball watch. Keep an eye out for Perry Jones. He’s Freshmen at Baylor. He may be the second coming of Kevin Durant. 6-10 with great handles, leaping ability and outside shot. Probably the number two pick in next year draft behind Harrison Barnes (UNC Freshmen), who may be Lebron 2.0….. I haven’t found your tweener yet but I will keep an eye out for him… Which reminds me, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Hawks signed Craig Smith this past summer….UGH

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
3:16 pm

Melvin, Father Time is undefeated.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
3:22 pm

Melvin,I was dancing on the ceiling when we drafted my tweener (Damian James) but then was okay with the trade for JC2 and #31. Of course, that was when I thought we might actually use #31 on Varnado, Jerome Jordan or even Alabi (before I knew about his illness). Heck, I had even decided that Flip Flops at #31 would be okay. I usually don’t get into college ball until around Valentine’s Day… as I try to get ready for March Madness. But I have a bad feeling that we may be picking around 16-19 this summer, so maybe I will start watching a little earlier.

Big D

October 19th, 2010
4:06 pm

Tell me why Atlanta can match up so well with the defending Eastern Conference Champs (Celtics) but not Orlando.
Here is why. Strengths and Weaknesses.
Dwight Howard is bothered by inside length and/or rugged players. The C’s have that element on defense, Atlanta doesnt.
Jameer Nelson is a PG who creates for himself and more so for teammates on offense. The C’s can pressure the ball at the point with their guards. Atlanta minus Teague, can not. That is not to mention that Jameer does not over assert himself on defense because he’s had to guard the stationary Mike Bibby v guarding a Rando.
The Hawks can matchup with anyone else in the East this year, but unless they make a trade for more length inside, they should hope not to see Orlando in a 7-game series. It does not matter the scheme. You can’t teach size at center and you can’t teach athletecism at PG.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
4:42 pm

It sounds like the Thrashers are running a version of Drew’s pentangle offense. Leave it to the ASG to hire one offensive coordinator across two teams. :lol:

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/10/19/dont-faint-thrashers-are-off-to-a-fine-start/

niremetal

October 19th, 2010
8:34 pm

kwooden1

October 19th, 2010
9:15 pm

Nire, nice find from nbaplaybook, I do like the HAWKS movement. Last night they just missed a lot of jump shots, but I think the offensive wasn’t nearly as bad as the MAGIC announcers stated. Hopefully the HAWKS can get their minds right, stop thinking and attack the basket. It will be good to see Teague running around in live action again Thursday, he should help the cause.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2010
9:55 pm

It just so happens that the game against the Heat is the one where we should see the most regular-season like performance from this team. Second to last pre-season game with the last being the back-end of a back-to-back set. So seemingly, that would suggest that Drew would play his main guys on Thursday and allow the bench to get extended minutes the next night. The Playbook info was goode stuff and hopefuly the lack of scoring these past 4 games is related to extended minutes for non-regulars.

I heard a few interviews from the Hawks open practice…. if they are posted on the website tomorrow, I will share. I definitely want to get other folks opinion on the Josh SMith and Mike Bibby interviews specifically. I only heard a little bit of Rick Sund. He was down-playing Drew’s motion offense… said something like it will be used 15% of the time. But I need to hear that again, because it didn’t quite sound right (I figured closer to 50%… but that’s what happens when you’re driving an old Nova… radio sounds funny).

rusty

October 19th, 2010
9:58 pm

jj is pure garbage. he is a choker with no heart. mw & mb need to sit there azzes down

niremetal

October 19th, 2010
10:02 pm

Assuming it’s the last generation of Novas, I hear those are damn good cars, AJ. But yeah, you might want to consider investing in a new radio, if nothing else ;)

Melvin

October 19th, 2010
10:22 pm

For those who are worried about preseason play, Smoove said not too. Smoove posted this on his blog today.

“What’s going on? I know alot of you have been checking out the pre-season games getting a little nervous but trust me its no need to worry. We will be fine. For the most part we haven’t had the whole team play together yet and the times that we did the rotation is not what it would be in the regular season so don’t read alot into it. It seems that everybody had these little nagging injuries thats getting worked out. This Thursday we will be playing on TNT against another division opponent, the Miami Heat. I know everybody is waiting to see what they look like up close. Also, if anybody is free today we have an open practice at 6pm at Milton High School. I’m about to get into the gym early and work with my trainer. I’ll talk to you’ll later…….SMOOVE “

Astro Joe

October 20th, 2010
9:38 am

nire, i was ALWAYS a big fan of the Nova from back in the 70s (yeah, I’m old). Preferably the 2-door coupe.

So the Hawks have switched to a new flagship radio station. The good news is that they will now be broadcast on FM radio (the previous AM station had a signal about as weak as Speedy’s knees). The bad news is that the new station doesn’t seem to post their interviews on their website within minutes (or even hours) like the previous station. So I’m not sure if there will be many opportunities to allow the blog family here to listen and interpret for themselves.

As you’ve read, the Hawks held an open practice at a local high school yesterday and one of the drive-home radio shows was on site. Bibby came over first… he’s always a little more personable then I expect. But when asked about the differences between a Drew and Woody camp, he seemed genuinely flustered. He sternly said something like “I don’t want to get into that”. Now the guy wasn’t trying to stir the pot… he said he just wanted to know how their styles differed. My takeaway is that Bibby is sensitive not to bad mouth Woody in favor of Drew. For someone who appears a little aloof, it was a surprising aproach (at least to me).

Then Josh came over. When asked about Drew, he can of stumbled while talking about Drew’s offense and the new wrinkles. My takeaway is that he likes the idea but seems a little frustrated trying to learn it (which is understandable considering he has only learned one system is his NBA career). It was like he was trying to put a positive spin on things… maybe he (and the team) are catching heck from Drew days before show time.

I later heard a very short snippet of Sund’s interview, where I swear he tried to make the motion offense seem like a secondary set in the overall scheme of things. It was completely contrary to everything we’ve heard and read…. here I am thinking that the motion offense will be the first play called and the GM makes it sound like it is just another thing on the menu.

I will keep checking to see if any of the interviews pop up on the website. I would like to get others opinion on those specific interviews. They mentioned that others would be joining the radio show, including Drew, but those were the only ones I personally heard.

vava74

October 20th, 2010
10:02 am

Astro,

When the lights are on, LD will CERTAINLY look to introduce the motion D INITIALLY as just ONE of the ELEMENTS in the menu.

Some of the old stuff will still be featured (ISO Joe and eventually ISO Jamal) simply because it worked to some extent and because we are bound to be too wet behind the ears with regard to being very effective with the new offense.

It was clear from the ORL game that they are still learning and that:

a) sometimes they are still very slow in rotating the ball to the right spots without letting the D read their intentions;
b) they are still very slow moving on the court to the right spots; AND
c) they are not taking easy shots when they present themselves trying too much to make the extra pass.

It’s a learning curve.

They are still learning the basics and LD has mentioned that he has not yet entered into the tricky variations which are probably his personal touch.

We need to give these guys a break:

They have been playing a monotonous, non-interactive type of bball during the past few years and its pretty normal that it will take them time to adjust.

I particularly feel that Smoove is the one which will take longer to adapt since he had no college experience and his only top level basketball was under Woody.

O'Brien

October 20th, 2010
10:09 am

nire,

Although the Hawks payroll has jumped from close to 20 all the way to #10, there wasn’t any significant changes to the team. So I dont anticipate a big jump in attendance either.

As for the game tonight, even if we dont win, Hawks need to compete better. I dont want to see anyone dropping their heads or sulking in the face of adversity.

Like LD said, a big part of our problem is mental, so he has to figure out a way to help the team get over that.

And I hope Teague will be able to play. He needs the practice, and LD needs to be able to evaluate him some more.

doc

October 20th, 2010
11:02 am

o brien, though nire points out we have moved up it is more a position of other teams backing up to us. how can you give credit to being 10 when you arent spending anything more than the previous season. thought the statement is true there is no relativity to the remark. what he fails to point out, you can throw a blanket over the next ten or maybe 15 teams. whether we want to admit it, we now have parity and a cap that a lot of teams are holding too except the teams that really want to get the gold. other teams will move up is my guess as the season progresses if they can and it means they become more competitive, tax be damned.

it is a sham to think we have done so much to be a larger spenders when the miami team is behind us, i believe, yet grabbed up the two major players on the open market last year and kept one like we did. if the knicks get melo, like it is rumored again, i suspect they will make a move to go higher, nets too. it is only a brief moment in time, is what i am going to suggest or predict, that we remain in the top ten. we got there by salary attrition not progressive, aggressive talent grabs.

niremetal

October 20th, 2010
11:29 am

O’Brien,

We’re actually #9 right now and likely will be #8 after training camp ends and Philly cuts their roster down:
http://www.storytellerscontracts.info/resources/10-11salaries.htm

Doc,

We’re spending $3M more than we did last season, when our payroll was $66.7M. And trades can’t bring a team’s payroll up, Doc. Remember the whole rule that salaries have to match in a trade? Oh wait, probably not, because you don’t actually know anything about NBA finances. You just talk as if you do.

Nice how the argument has shifted with the “ASG is cheap” crowd. For years the argument was “the team is cheap because payroll lags behind other playoff teams’” (nevermind the fact that since attendance lagged behind other playoff teams’, that makes perfect sense). Now that the Hawks are top 10 in payroll, doc and co. are pretending that the bottom line doesn’t matter anymore. Nope, it’s that the Hawks aren’t spending more than they used to (nevermind that they ARE) and that the roster hasn’t been upgraded significantly (which goes back to the point I’ve been making all along – the issue isn’t how much the Hawks spend, it’s how wisely they spend it).

niremetal

October 20th, 2010
11:35 am

thought the statement is true there is no relativity to the remark. what he fails to point out, you can throw a blanket over the next ten or maybe 15 teams.

This is particularly hilarious, doc. Because the Hawks were right in that “next 10 or 15 teams” bunched right below the luxury tax line for 3 years running. But before, the fact that the Hawks were #20 in payroll instead of top 10 was proof that ASG was cheap. Now that we’ve moved up to #10, whaddya know! All of a sudden that gap doesn’t matter anymore. Laughable.

Doc – I will bet you $10 on 10:1 odds that the Hawks finish no lower than 10th in payroll by the end of the year. If you’re so sure that other teams will leapfrog the Hawks, luxury tax line be damned, then you should have no problem taking that bet. Oh, but before you answer, you should know that there is not a single example of a team that started the season below the luxury tax line and finished the season above it since the current luxury tax system was implemented in 2005. So your prediction has zero precedent. Which again is further proof that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about when it comes to NBA finances.1

Big Ray

October 20th, 2010
12:04 pm

AJ ,

Interesting yet disturbing observations. Hmmm….

Big Ray

October 20th, 2010
12:07 pm

Big D ,

While what you say is true, that is only half the battle. The Celtics also made Howard work on the defensive end. Howard likes to block shots, not body up to big guys and actually guard them positionally. The Celtics made him do that, and come out from under the basket from time to time. We don’t do either of those. To our defense, we don’t really have someone who currently can make him work hard on defense in the post, but we do have some advantages that I believe we may exploit. If only we will try them.

However, it matters not if we continue to play like we’re intimidated. Lose the battle in your mind, and you will lose the battle on the field (or court).