Archive for November, 2010

Hawks Fans: Captains review

As we know, the Hawks have three team captains. So who is leading this circus, and are they getting along? Given the play of late, one would think that the Hawks have gotten past the chemistry issues they have been having, at least when faced with inferior competition. The question still remains as to whether or not the Hawks can beat good teams. So far, they haven’t. The first win against a winning team will inevitably be faced with another question: Can the Hawks beat good teams consistently?

For now, we just can’t answer that question, and neither can the Hawks. So, let’s review how our team captains are doing. First, let me point out an article containing some of the team’s latest comments on their struggles, courtesy of Hawks beat writer Michael Cunningham. The team seems to know everything that is wrong. They say they know they haven’t been mentally tough enough. They say they’ve gone the other way when other teams made a run. They say a lot, really. You know that …

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Is Atlanta doing anymore than avoiding the 500 club?

Forget the panic button, I was all about pushing the one that says “despair and depression” after witnessing the recent losing streak of the Atlanta Hawks. A blowout against Washington at home in front of a fairly sparse crowd probably felt better than it should have. This was something the Hawks were known for doing to bad teams all last season (for the most part), so why get excited now? Well, it did show some determination and focus on the part of the Hawks players, which had been missing in the two or three previous games.

Now, after dispatching a fairly talented Knicks squad on its own home floor, the Hawks are back on the upswing again. Or are they? You see, the trouble is this – the Hawks aren’t having much trouble at all with the non-winning teams. They can beat Toronto tomorrow, and do so by double figures. What will it prove? It proves the Atlanta is not on the bottom of the pile. It proves that they can actually beat teams that they are clearly superior to. What it …

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Hawks pointing fingers again

As if you haven’t heard enough about the Atlanta Hawks and their chemistry issues, here is just a bit more. The mean mugging has turned into finger pointing, with some heated exchanges here and there. What is wrong with this group of guys? Do they just not like each other, or is it only a problem when things aren’t going well?

 

QUESTIONS ABOUND

1) Should the Hawks have hired a different coach? Already we are hearing so many of the same things coming out of Larry Drew’s mouth, that came out of Mike Woodson’s mouth. It’s uncanny, really. If that alone is not enough to convince management that the problems involve the guys wearing the jerseys, then I don’t know what else can be said. Drew seems to have a good plan on both sides of the floor. But even now, the way these guys are playing (or not playing), some people are beginning to question his abilities. Some called for the hiring of Dwayne Casey, Avery Johnson, or some of the top assistants who were coming up the coaching …

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Hawks look for that first credible win

The Indiana Pacers are no longer a pushover, but until they become a playoff team, the Hawks are going to have to settle for having another game with an asterisk beside it. On Friday night, they get another chance to prove that they can beat the good teams, too. The good news is that the Hawks will be at home, and the Dallas Mavericks will be coming off of what will likely be a hard fought game against the Chicago Bulls. Well, that should be good news. If the Hawks win, would this one come with another asterisk?

 

Offense Switches Gears

The offensive game plan that Larry Drew instituted has coincided with the growth of some of the Hawks’ younger players, while changing the game of others. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford finds himself in a different position from last year. Oh sure, he’s still the top offensive sub off the bench, but no longer is he second on the team in scoring and shot attempts. Fact is, Jamal is now fourth in both categories, giving way to …

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“We’re not playing hard enough”, say the Hawks

Is that all it has really come down to? Every time you turn around, some guy wearing a Hawks jersey is saying, “we’re not playing hard enough.” Oh, wait just a second. I forgot the rest of what has become a sickening cliche. They’re not playing hard enough “…all the time.”

Really. Is that your final answer?

It’s amazing. A fan base that is constantly accused of not caring enough is now being told by the team’s players that apparently, they don’t care enough. For all the criticisms of the moves that the Atlanta front office made or didn’t make (for whatever reasons), nothing is as ominous as that which just keeps coming up in print after every game, win or loss. The assertion being made at the moment is that it’s not about what the Hawks can’t do, it’s about what they won’t do.  Now of course, your first indication might be to point to the Hawks’ record, which at 7-4, would not indicate that things are nearly as bad as we make them sound. That is, until you examine precisely …

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Hawks Fans: Adversity is here, now what?

The only thing worse than suggesting the possibility of something bad happening, is watching that very same thing actually happen. Since my mentioning in the last blog that Atlanta could conceivably go on a four game losing streak, we’ve seen the Hawks lose their third in a row to a tough Milwuakee Bucks squad. On tap is a somewhat new, somewhat same look Utah Jazz team that is playing some very good basketball. Do the Hawks have the moxie to get past their usual issues (and some new ones) and come back to their winning ways? Friday night’s contest will tell the tale.

 

Three Captains Review

Since this is a somewhat popular and valid subject, I figure we should evaluate it as fans. Besides being a rather unconventional approach, Coach Drew’s selection of team captains (most notably of selecting Josh Smith) has also come under question right from the start. Why don’t we evaluate it in 10 game blocks, unless there is a significant enough vote to evaluate this for a longer or …

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Hawks Fans – Broken wings and other things

Well, we knew the Hawks couldn’t stay undefeated forever. Losing to the Phoenix Suns in a shootout at home in front of a somewhat sparse crowd probably doesn’t make the team feel any better about it, though.

It’s unfortunate that Atlanta, missing two regular rotation players, was not able to secure a victory despite exemplary efforts from Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Josh Smith, all of whom played 40+ minutes. Meanwhile, there can be no head-hanging, as they travel to the home of the team that has beaten and broken them so many times in the last couple of years, otherwise known as the Orlando Magic.

Wing-less Birds

As some of you foretold during the preseason, the Hawks’ lack of depth at the small forward position is beginning to bite us. While the team displayed a heck of an effort in coming back from a nasty deficit against the Suns, the difference was defense. Perimeter defense, that is. The Suns continually abused the Hawks by getting mismatches on Mike Bibby and Jamal …

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Josh Smith steps up…and leads

Head coach Larry Drew kept saying that the Hawks would have to win by playing defense, rather than endeavoring to simply outscore opponents. The man couldn’t be more correct, and it looks like the Hawks listened to him when it counted, pulling another victory from the jaws of a potential defeat for their fifth straight victory. A win is a win, but there is always more to take from it than that. How a team wins is important, too. Being tired in a back-to-back game when you’ve just come off the road, your leading scorer struggling from the field, not having the services of two of your main rotation guys – all of these things are obstacles. Figuring ways to get over those obstacles and winning the game serves as a confidence builder, but this is also one of those moments when a team truly gains some positive chemistry.

The Hawks experienced both against Detroit.  

 

The First Signs

No doubt many of us raised our eyebrows at the idea of Josh Smith being a team captain. Why …

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Hawks lose their heads, but Cavs lose the game

Is it possible to not feel that great about your team having the best record in the Eastern Conference?

Raise your hand if last night’s win left you feeling like the Hawks deserve the distinction of being the only unbeaten team in the east. To be both fair and realistic, the season is barely four games old for many teams, and the Hawks have yet to come up against a truly tough matchup. But you have to wonder just how it is that they managed to escape their own Jekyll and Hyde act this time. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be grateful if that’s the ugliest third quarter we play all year. Utterly ridiculous. The Cavs are a hot mess. There is no other way to say it. How they ever beat Boston to begin the year is beyond me. They looked like a D-League team until the Hawks began giving them one gift after another, before finally deciding to remind them (and their fans) that those fun days of clowning the opposition from the bench are over. They’re so bad, you almost feel sorry …

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