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 shorter period of time? Since the game against Utah will be the tenth game of the season, we’ll all throw our two cents down on how the Atlanta team captains are performing in their roles. Here’s my first question : Do you think the team captains are getting along in their roles and staying on the same page? And the second: What do you think each guy should be primarily responsible for role-wise, based on their respective strengths and weaknesses? More questions apply, of course, so I encourage any and all fans to ask questions and give answers.

Coach Drew, you’re on tap

As Beat Writer Michael Cunningham reports, the Hawks still have some mental toughness issues. Why? Is it coaching, or is it player personnel? Is it both? Whatever the case, Larry Drew’s comments from that link are eerily familiar :

 “That’s a big concern because I’ve always looked at this team as when it gets a little tough, we have a tendency to hold our head down….. Anybody can go through stretches where they play well and they win and everybody is high-fiving. When it gets tough, that is when your character really gets tested. When it gets a little tough, I don’t want to see guys hanging their heads. I don’t want to see guys giving up.”

And on team captain Josh Smith:

“He wasn’t the only one…..The one thing I don’t want him doing is I don’t want him displaying it. There is a place for it. Certainly we don’t want him doing it out on the floor where the whole world can see he’s upset. We talk about doing it during huddles or at halftime but we don’t want to display it out on the floor. If you get upset, dig your heels in and play a little bit harder.”

From Josh Smith, himself:

We didn’t play with a lot of intensity and we didn’t share the ball offensively. That’s what lost us the game.”

Sounds too much like last year, doesn’t it? Here’s the worst part for Drew – though he is another guy altogether, he was around when former Mike Woodson was around. Though the roster changes (or lack thereof) are most certainly to be the results of decisions made by management and ownership, Drew has mostly the same roster Woodson had. The result? Fans and media alike will be quick to despise, loathe, and tire of such comments, which are only a reflection of that which is the same about this team now, as it was before.

So what does Larry Drew do now? How does he get this team to quit hanging their collective heads and begin bickering the moment things begin to go wrong? Make no mistake about it, this issue rests mostly with the starters, although all rotational players are most certainly involved and affected. Speaking of the bench….

 

Bench must make amends

The very same unit that helped out big time in the early winning streak, even when major starters (like Joe Johnson) were struggling, has now become another liability. Some suggest that the bench unit is not capable of getting the job done against good teams, and that the production witnessed in the first six games was only due to inferior competition. Larry Drew feels that he needs to experiment more for the purpose of establishing a better substituion pattern and lineup combinations. Sounds like a wise move. Perhaps the thing to understand here is that it takes time, more specifically it takes games, to figure these things out.

Then again, if the talent and skill level simply isn’t there, then what can Drew do? What do YOU think? Does the bench have enough talent to hang in there against the good teams in the NBA, or is it a lost cause without more change in personnel?

 

Hawks Vs. Jazz

Everything starts with Deron Williams. Stop him, and you can do something to the Jazz. The problem is, you can’t really stop him, much less if you’re a team like the Hawks, who struggle against the better point guards in the game, much less the absolute best ones. Williams will get his, but can the Hawks keep him from getting his teammates involved? That will be the key, as the Orlando Magic found out Wednesday night when Williams not only ripped them for 30 points, but also dished out a whopping 14 assists. That’s accounting for additional 28 points…assuming that none of the shots he assisted on were three pointers!

The problems don’t stop there, however. Utah made a splash in free agency by acquiring PF/C Al Jefferson, a low post scorer by rote, and he’s off to a solid start in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg). Jefferson is not a consistently potent defensive threat, but he does get a block or so per game, and he’s a heavy, wide body in the lane. The real story however, is Paul Milsap. The extra hard working power forward who was a backup to the departed (and now injured) Carlos Boozer has risen to the forefront, leading the Jazz in points (23.9) and rebounds (10.1) per game, along with field goal percentage (61.4%). To put some emphasis on that, witness the 46 point, 9 rebound effort he put up aginst the over-hyped Miami Heat. Yes, the Heat are weak in the post, but that’s still quite an achievement.

On the wings, the Jazz have the persistent defensive threat in Andrei Kirilenko, who not only limits your operating space and gets after shots, but also haunts passing lanes like a demon. Paired with Raja Bell, the two of them are enough to give any team’s wing players fits, while also providing adequate but unintrusive role player-like scoring. If the Jazz have any true weak points, it’s likely their fairly young bench. However, any Jerry Sloan soldiers are going to be pretty well disciplined, so there isn’t much of a break in the intensity level, even if there is a talent drop off (like on most teams). Still, the minutes are well balanced as most of Sloan’s reserves play around roughly 9 or 10 minutes per game, with guard CJ Miles getting the most by far at about 23 minutes per game.

My Hawks keys to this game.

- Intensity all the time. As mentioned before, the Jazz are disciplined and play with a sense of urgency. The Hawks are capable of such intensity themselves. Can they do it for 4 quarters? Can they do it even when they’re down by 10 points or more? This could be the difference in the game.

- Low post effort and production. Gone is Carlos Boozer, and therefore gone is a 20 and 10 threat that never was overly successful against the Hawks frontcourt in recent times. In his place is Jefferson and Milsap, both men on a mission. Al Horford and Josh Smith will need to come into this game and play like true warriors. If they don’t, watch the Hawks get destroyed. If they do, then the Hawks have a much better chance of coming out on top against a team that is not a huge perimeter threat, particularly from long range. The same can be said of Josh Powell, Zaza Pachulia, and Jason Collins, all of whom are likely to see minutes behind Josh and Al. Collins could be a longshot, or he could play more than sparingly if Horford or Pachulia are struggling to produce, or are experiencing foul trouble.

- Turnovers. The Hawks lost to the Magic partially because they turned the ball over a third more times than Orlando did. The same results could be had against the Jazz, who actually average one more turnover per game than the Hawks do. However, the Jazz are only allowing their opponents to shoot under 43% from the field, while shooting 46% themselves.

-Defense. Utah is already going to hand you a well disciplined, well executed offense to deal with. Any lackadaisacal efforts on defense will end with a double digit loss, and maybe a 20 point one at that.

What are YOUR keys to the game?

145 comments Add your comment

niremetal

November 11th, 2010
1:53 pm

I fear we will be roasted by the Jazz. Their perimeter players will be able to shred us without Marvin and Mo around. With Jefferson at center, having Collins on the floor will help more than hurt unless Fesenko is in the game. And whoever Kirilenko guards will have trouble operating, of course.

If our Big Three bring their A-game, we have a shot. If they don’t, it won’t be pretty.

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
1:55 pm

I’m very dissappointed today. No effort, no team, just lackluster selfish effort. They really know how to lose fans and momentum…in a hurry!

niremetal

November 11th, 2010
1:56 pm

*hurt more than help.

Collins is very good against bulky centers who score using their power (thus the need for him against Dwight and Bogut). He’s not as good against guys who are beasts in transition and catching the ball in motion, like Jefferson.

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
1:57 pm

I don’t see the Jazz as a matchup problem. Can we get Sloan to give our guys a speech about how to play the right way? You don’t see Jazz teams getting the rep for quitting, bickering and giving no effort. They die trying…that’s all we ask. I could live easily with PHO or ORL, but the Bucks game just really soured my taste…

It even came after I encouraged others to give us a look, give us a chance to win their respect. Now this? I don’t think I’ll ever hear the end of it. Thanks Hawks, I talked you up and you brought me right back down.

Get back on track, or I won’t be the only one looking like a fool!

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
1:59 pm

Don’t we have a PF/C who’s good at transition to guard him – Al Horford?

Diversity Much Be Overcome

November 11th, 2010
2:01 pm

Nothing good ever comes from Diversity, and the Hawks will just have to DEAL WITH IT each day in their workplace just like the rest of us in each of ours.

You don’t get any sympathy in the NBA whenever a little Diversity gets thrown your way.

Big Ray

November 11th, 2010
2:03 pm

Niremetal ,

Accurate analysis.

Fundamentals ,

Yeah, and you’d think we’d be used to the roller coaster by now, huh? Fact is, we ARE used to it, and we’re tired of it. What remains to be seen is if this team can get back on track before the record gets around that nasty .500 mark, and if they can beat good teams consistently enough. Right now the answer is clearly “no”, but we’re not quite 10 games deep into the season. So many questions.

I agree about the “quit” factor. I don’t know what’s more frustrating…knowing in our own hearts that this is happening, or listening to the coach and the players confirm it, then not get anything done to fix it.

Josh says they’re going to fix that very quickly. Really? Not that I doubt him intentionally, but what makes him confident of this, I wonder?

Big Ray

November 11th, 2010
2:03 pm

Diversity Much Be Overcome ,

So true, so true.

doc

November 11th, 2010
2:16 pm

nire did you mean hurt more than help in reference to collins guarding jefferson? see,s that way in reading the follow up comment.

ray good comments.

good test for al and josh.

really looking forward to the game. the jazz brought nithing last year and after building it up to my daughter, they bombed and we were awesome. doubt lightening strikes twice.

Sautee

November 11th, 2010
2:21 pm

I think that Milsap will be a matchup problem for Horford if we play big.

And where did Al’s rebounding go? He had a few 12 rebound games but it seems forever since then.

Rodney

November 11th, 2010
2:29 pm

Without decent CENTER play the Hawks can’t hope to go far. This off season was AGAIN a let down because several teams in the EAST got better and all we did was pay Joe Johnson. We could have signed Shaq or Dampier. We need a CENTER that will board and block shots….not Horford who is a power forward. Can we PLEASE trade Marvin for something? He is a 6th or 7th man at best.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Utah Jazz Fan Zone, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Hawks Fans: Adversity is here, now what? http://bit.ly/aDj5MM [...]

niremetal

November 11th, 2010
3:03 pm

Hey, it’s a new guy with intelligent new things to say that no one has ever said before. What a thoughtful, original post.

wordsmithtom

November 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

Here’s one guy who hopes Mo is ready to play Friday. Bring him in with Teague first substitution.

JC1 should be the veteran leadership on second unit…but he plays like you’d expect JC2 to play, out of control. I don’t dislike him as a person….I just think we have better options than a shoot first, ask questions later ISO guy.

MannyT

November 11th, 2010
3:32 pm

Las night’s game was ugly. Enough said.

The current streak is unfortunate. However, I hope this sheds a little light on the contributions that Marvin & Mo bring to this team. They don’t whine for more shots. They try hard on D. Marvin allows us a size flexibility that worked with switching D and works with just guarding SFs.

Moving on to Utah. They beat the Heat & the Magic. I think we need Josh to guard Milsap, so I’d advocate a smaller line up on Friday. To shake things up, I’d start the rookie. Why? Still want Jamal coming in off the bench. Jordan might occupy Bell just enough that AK has to guard Joe. If it falls on its face, pull the rookie. It is shaking things up in a way that Woodson wouldn’t.

If that is too risky for LD, then start Powell at PF to guard Milsap.

Just trying to keep an open mind & fresh ideas on a team that looks somewhat similar to last year’s.

O'Brien

November 11th, 2010
3:36 pm

Ray,

I will address the leadership issue first. I didnt like the 3 captain designation then, and I still dont like it now.

I dont even know if the 3 of them know their roles as captain, because I havent seen anything on the court to suggest they do.

Obviously, they might be taking care of business during practice, or in the locker room, but I dont see it on the court during the game.

I hope they get it together leadership wise.

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
3:39 pm

Losing 3 games is not a big deal to me, nor is dropping back to .500, but it’s how you lost and essentially your excuses confirming our fears.

Face it people, if the real Hawks show up with our without Mo & Marvin the rest of the season we can win 50+ games and not worry about anyone except the Magic & Lakers, but if they don’t we’ll be lucky to beat anyone.

Stop beating yourselves. Play Team Basketball! Somehow I just get the feeling Milsap and AK47 are going to have some “career” night against our lackluster D.

Step up Hawks! Too early to be cashing in chips and going home.

Jamaaliver

November 11th, 2010
3:40 pm

Mike Bibby shoulkd have been named as a Captain when he was handed the reigns to the offense and the starting job. captains need to provides steady, VETERAN leadership. No one on this team has had more experience and success than M Bibby.

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
3:40 pm

Captains wouldn’t have laid down last night O’Brien. We have nothing but lip service it seems.

Fundamentals

November 11th, 2010
3:44 pm

I’ll admit, Bibby has done well this year thus far. He looks fresh, motivated and making contributions. He’s playing like the Bibby I called out all last year. I just hope this ripple in our cohesion isn’t something we can’t overcome. The team needs to gel and move forward, not fall apart and point fingers.

Leave it on the court, regardless of is the ball was moving or not. Captain!

SWAT Native

November 11th, 2010
3:54 pm

Hawks issues aside, I have a real problem wtih the comment that nothing good comes from diversity. I hope that you meant to say that nothing good comes from adversity, and I’m not sure I even agree with that statement.

O'Brien

November 11th, 2010
4:21 pm

To follow up with the captains, when Jamal goes off script 2 or 3 possessions in a row, does anybody tell him to get back on the team page?

When Al is playing well, and they go away from him, does he speak up and tell them to “get him the ball”?

When Teague is being passive out there, is JJ getting on him and telling him to take the shot?

When the offense bogs down, is Josh telling them to pass the ball, or does he just hang his head and sulk?

A lot of questions, it will be interesting to know the answer. imo, I dont think they communicate enough out there. This team has folded and hung their heads before, even with a healthy Marvin, so there is no guarantee that the game would have gone differently (although I think his absence has affected us negatively).

When Marvin hurt his back, he was very inconsistent when he came back, so it will be interesting to see how he plays after coming back from injury this time.

As for the Jazz, we saw the Hawks bounce back in games last year (like winning in Dallas after being beaten by the Knicks at home), so I think they bounce back tomorrow against the Jazz.

But I still think they should trade Jamal, and change the dynamics of the team. The coaching change can only do so much.

Jamaaliver

November 11th, 2010
4:22 pm

I don’t think Captains of teams have be the top players. Their job is to serve as an example to players, keep morale high and provide leadership during trying times. Not just in games. Derek Fisher is a Team Captain, but he’s probably the 6th best player on that CHAMPIONSHIP team.

Captaincy is about Leadership. Accountablilty. Stability.
Not exactly things that J-Smith exhibits.

Greg

November 11th, 2010
4:31 pm

The Hawks have no heart. They have no leadership. They are a collection of rich, young men collecting very big paychecks with little or no emotion or sportsmanship being display. They need a good swift kick in the CONTRACTS!

Astro Joe

November 11th, 2010
5:16 pm

The Summer of Sameness bears very similar fruit. If LD is concerned that the team responded poorly to adversity yesterday and Horford suggested that teammates quit during the playoffs, then where does that leave the team? Hoping for one of those personality lobotomies? Waiting for a motivating speech from one of the 3 captains? Child please. And why do I struggle to believe that Josh Powell is bringing championship leadership to the locker-room? The good news is the talent is sufficient to get us another 48+ wins and a mostly enjoyable regular season (last night’s game excluded).

Big Ray

November 11th, 2010
5:48 pm

Jamaaliver ,

Excellent description of what a team captain should be. Here’s the question on Smith – while he does not embody those descriptions right now, can he grow into them?

Greg ,

We see plenty of emotion from some of these guys. Especially guys like Josh Smith. Some of the others, not so much. I’d certainly say that having emotion and having heart are two different things, however.

Big Ray

November 11th, 2010
5:52 pm

O’brien ,

I knew you’d rise to the occasion! Great points, great questions. In answer to a couple of your questions, what I see is team players complaining to or about each other. That includes the team captains. That’s what I see on the court. I do see guys trying to communicate between plays and sometimes during plays. Jamal does it at times. Bibby does it quite a bit, and Josh is doing it more and more. The question I have, is are they having effective communication, or is is just arguing and barking? Early results suggest the latter, rather than the former.

By the way, which captain would you vote off (or on) to the list, which I assume you would keep down to two people? Or would you just stick with one?

Big Ray

November 11th, 2010
6:00 pm

Fundamentals ,

I tend to agree that if the team shows up ready for war in each game, they can go far without Marvin or Mo, but I am also equally sure that they will struggle without realistic and more efficient options at the swing forward spot, regardless of who that might be. Platooning Joe there is fine for a few minutes, using Josh there is fine for a few minutes as well. But the teams who have a mismatch advantage and know how to exploit it would do so, and win, no matter how hard we play. I really think that’s the main difference between our loss to Phoenix, and our loss to Orlando. At Phoenix, we stopped executing early, and then when we got back to playing the way we should, the exploited mismatches that we couldn’t counter down the stretch, and squeaked away with the win. Against Orlando, the mismatches weren’t apparent (though I would also say Jameer wasn’t there and so made things somewhat easier because he’s a mismatch for us), but our execution failed down the stretch, and we lost.

As for the team captains, you’re right. It’s just lip service until somebody steps up and rallies the troops. We’ll wait and see what happens. Ten games at a time, we’ll see how these “leaders” perform.

MannyT ,

Nice to see somebody who understands the dynamic of having the two players we are currently missing. I for one will be glad to see Mo Evans back. I think he and Teague can form a pesky defensive backcourt off the bench, especially when Jamal is not delivering on offense, and Teague needs to be out there with somebody who needs the ball passed to him, not somebody who just takes the ball and keeps it. I like to see Teague assisting, not deferring. Of course, that is also up to Teague in the end, no matter who he’s in the game with.

anphill2

November 11th, 2010
6:27 pm

JSmoove –
Whoever believes that he is the pre-season 2nd best Defensive Player of the Year, is moronic (picture Kitna in the run and gun). JSmoove is the worst man-to-man defender in the past 15 years. He is phenomenol with help side, but his man will ALWAYS eat him alive. Trade Smooth while we can. Smooth has a LOSER’s MENTALITY.
Loving you blog Ray — Keep up the good work.

Ray

November 11th, 2010
6:54 pm

@anphill2 You trade J-Smoove you might as well trade away the hawks franchise here in ATL.

We need to upgrade our bench though on a serious note. I thought that it was JJ having problems sharing the ball, but now it seems that’s gone to Jamal Crawford.

Those Jc1 rumors starting to sound okay right about now. Cause I don’t think Jamal will benefit from this kind of offense seriously. Plus we need another legit small forward cause we really only have 1.

Already know we need a center, but who’s a good candidate if we could get dude from Washington that’d be nice. Then again they’d probably make us take Agent Zero.

Melvin

November 11th, 2010
9:20 pm

This Celtics/Heat game is very intense. These teams are developing a dislike for each other that will set the stage for a playoff showdown…

O'Brien

November 11th, 2010
10:41 pm

Big Ray,

I would have one team captain. Horford. I think he is the closest thing we have to a natural leader, because JJ and Josh have to work at it.

And with one captain, LD can work on him exclusively to expand his leadership skill, and to use Horford as a bridge to get his message across to the team.

Plus Bibby and JJ are still veterans, so they can be the old wise men who can speak up whenever they want to, even if they are not team captains.

AJ,

Agreed about the summer of sameness. I know its still early, so hopefully LD can get these guys to change their mentality. Time and adversity will tell.

I love watching Boston play defense, especially when they want to. Even with Thibodeau gone, they still buy into defense.

And I hope Miami loses tonight, making them 5-4 if they do.

O'Brien

November 11th, 2010
10:44 pm

And of course, a FT disparity.

Boston: 15-23.
Miami: 27-34 (LeBron is 14-17).

Lets go Celtics, lets go.

doc

November 12th, 2010
8:23 am

can you say scathing?

read on and enjoy:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AudK7Fa__wTCblqAJXGPTes5nYcB?slug=aw-celticsheat111210

the under belly of laqueen is being exposed. stern better send in someone soon to shore up the pr mess the little queen is creating before it is too late.

if i were LD i would be showing celtic film every day on how to defend, how to move in an offensive scheme and how to pass the ball until they could see it in their sleep. i admire what they do on the court as they play the game the way it is supposed to be played. sad, you almost have to go to a women’s game to see such skill and execution these days. fundamentally, they play much better than the guys.

Kwa

November 12th, 2010
8:28 am

drew DEFINITELY has to adjust the bench lineup.
first of all, collins minutes need to be kept to a minimum
powell, has done a decent job, as a bench player
teague, im disgusted with offensively, and not impressed much with his defensive skill HE IS A OFFENSIVE LIABILITY
zaza started season strong, and has gone quiet past couple of games (except milw. where he got garbage points)
the whole team needs a dose of INTENSITY if they want to become legitimate contenders.

wordsmithtom

November 12th, 2010
8:48 am

LD better show his guys that film for another reason….to let them know these Celtics may be old, but they are still TOUGH and will push the Hawks around in the same manner if we let them.

James complaining already…not a good sign for Miami. Maybe he’ll like the GM taking over as coach. Could really have to earn his money then.

Astro Joe

November 12th, 2010
9:43 am

doc, interesting article and interesting to cast James as the villain after Wade stinks up the arena. From what I can tell, James and Bosh have deferred to Wade in the early season. No doubt, they are a mentally soft team… adding more mentally soft players does not form a mentally strong team, it just expands the problem. But I think the timing of this opinion was off… when James was the guy who showed up to battle the Celtics, it doesn’t seem to be ideal to discuss his preference not to play 44 minutes/game. I hope Coach Spo understands that his countdown clock started last night. And I hope the Dreamgirls understand that Riley will crush them in practices.

doc

November 12th, 2010
10:30 am

aj, word, balloon popped early down there.

i have criticized jj for not taking self responsibility for what happens on the court. he seems to have made an adjustment there early in the season and i commend him for it. to his graces he has never thrown the coach under the bus nor complained of being tired. laqueen is just as we have depicted him, a soft front runner.

big ray, i kind of agree with ob on the captain bit and go with horford. i will add the caveat that i like every thing out of jj’s mouth this season. cant say the same for josh. that is hind sight. horford didnt even have a long term contract when the captains were selected. maybe, we should have had 3 alternate captains instead of three captains and made the honor more worthy. that is what they do in hockey and it is a code of major respect when a guy wears the C rather than an A. this year the thrashers started out with three A’s. that was one of the issues a two years back when a minor league coach, anderson came in where he didnt appoint one and had kovy on the team. it wasnt until february he gave in and gave him the A apparently wanting to make a point on his own importance. different culture in hockey, i know, only it would have sent a message to the guys, no one has really played up to that role or earned it yet. i also understand drew’s motives even though it diluted the importance of the C.

as far as roles to play? i dont know if there are enough on a fourteen man team. 3/5ths of the starters are captain. geez. i guess it would be horford to talk to the refs cant have josh doing that, heh heh, josh to deliver the energy and jj to deliver the example.

Astro Joe

November 12th, 2010
11:44 am

Once Sund is finished with this experiment, he needs to do whatever it takes to make sure that this team belongs to Al Horford. Hiring the lead assistant was never going to make significant change in the culture. So eventually, it will require some different players, with Al serving as the clear & primary leader of the team (with apologies to the Kobe-disciple, Josh Powell).

chuckw/deadjournalist

November 12th, 2010
12:53 pm

A few thoughts (none of which are new):

- Who is the cancer? Because there is at least one. Skill sets notwithstanding, it has been obvious for the last couple of years that something – someone(s) – isn’t cohesive. As was discussed last year, it ends up coming down to the relationship between Al, Josh and Joe. Naming all three captains doesn’t solve the issue, it exasperates it.

Yes, in my opinion, Josh needed someone to tell him, “grow-up, be a man, and be responsible” and bestowing the “C” on his chest is that ultimate statement. Al, is a leader. And Joe is the highest paid player.

Don’t we all see the conflict? Because, a three-headed monster can’t lead effectively unless all three players understand their roles to a detail. Who is the ultimate leader? Who is the guy who says, “F&#k this, get on my back ’cause I’m not letting us loose this game!”?

From afar, it seems like Joe doesn’t want that role, although he is best equipped to do so. Al wants to be that guy and can be that guy, but he has to depend on someone else getting him the rock. And Josh, I think, would LOVE to be that guy but he can’t take over offensively because he can’t shoot jumpers or free throws consistently. Throw in his bi-polar nature and he is still self-destructing too often.

Yet these three men are the franchise cornerstones. Until one of them becomes the Alpha, and the other two cede, this problem isn’t going away barring a personnel move.

- On another note, anyone who looked closely in the off-season could see the depth issues at the 3. That’s why I was so shocked by the Etan Thomas signing.

- Dampier. I am still at an utter loss about why the Hawks haven’t aggressively gone after him. And I don’t want to hear about the cap because they could find a way to make it work. With Marvin being out, Josh has shown he can play the 3 about 1/2 the time from a match-up standpoint. Which would provide the option to at least start the game with Marvin as the first wing sub off the bench. We all know it isn’t about who starts the game anyway.

Dampier would balance this team. When teams go small or don’t have a true center, then Marvin is the quick sub with Al and Josh rolling up. If a team has match-up problem with a small forward, you shuffle accordingly. But the Hawks don’t have an effect answer at the 5 against the bigs. Yes, Twin is playing better but that makes him an effective reserve, not an match-up starter/key reserve.

- Finally, Teague. Did Woody mess with his head that much last year? Because most nights it looks like he’s playing while looking over his shoulder, unsure what to do in order to not get yanked. Most nights, he just doesn’t look confident. And as a point, you have to be confident if nothing else.

Anyway, I’m just saying what gets said most of the time. I just haven’t had a chance to say it myself.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

November 12th, 2010
1:17 pm

- On another note, anyone who looked closely in the off-season could see the depth issues at the 3. That’s why I was so shocked by the Etan Thomas signing.

- Dampier. I am still at an utter loss about why the Hawks haven’t aggressively gone after him.

Hmmmmm

doc

November 12th, 2010
1:26 pm

all good points about leadership.

okay, it isnt the roles that they play but they speak from the same voice is the problem i hear. that is the problem and drew is the only one who’s voice needs to be spread now. that is the voice they have to mimic over and over until this team gets it. more than that they have to be the ones who do it every day in practice and games over and over again, just like drew wants it. they have to speak it but more so deliver with their actions. after that, if they are doing it, then they have the credibility and authority to get in another player’s face and not until then because hypocrisy rings.

chuckw/deadjournalist

November 12th, 2010
1:28 pm

D.O.U.I. –

To clarify, Etan Thomas is a 12-14th roster spot filled by an undersized 5. If a non-rotational signing were to have been made, a wing would have provided more roster balance as there were three listed centers on the roster prior to his signing. There were only two small forwards.

Dampier is a starter/rotational player. While both Thomas and Dampier list as the same position on paper, they are not a redundant player when it comes to actual rotational personnel.

Marcus

November 12th, 2010
3:04 pm

Nice comments …….
Hawks have to do something. Tough times are supposed to bring out tough guys.

OK whats up with the AJC blogs………..they are reading backwards (latest post 1st, older posts at bottom)

Big Ray

November 12th, 2010
4:15 pm

Great comments on the leadership/team captain stuff, Guys. Keep it up.

I can’t disagree with anyone who picks Horford as the lone alpha dog. Great pick in my opinion.

wordsmithtom with the probably the hardest-hitting post today. Bravo!

Big Ray

November 12th, 2010
4:23 pm

Watched part of the Celtics/Heat game last night, in between watching my Falcons do what my Hawks can’t seem to.

Celtics have more true warriors than the Heat. Lebron is not a true warrior. He’s a talented warrior.

Now….having read MC’s blog and the comments from Larry Drew and some of the players….are we going to see the principal members of this squad come together to form the kind of “team first, team second, team only” attitude that the Celtics have? No, we won’t be on the same level, but we need to be on the same track or in the same book, if nothing else.

They’ve said they realize their issue is going separate ways when things get tough. Ok, we knew that a long time ago. Now, can they take that walk after yapping that talk? Tonight’s game will be a telling tale. Once more, I question the core. Can it be stabilized, or will it continue to be a barely contained nuclear reactor?

Also, I see mention by Bret Lagree about Jamal looking less and less like he fits the new schemes by Larry Drew. Heh…called that one a while back. I liked what the SMOY brought us when we needed it, but his role couldn’t possibly be the same in a more wide open and ball/person flowing offense that actually has the weapons for it. And now his defense becomes more suspect as his ISO moments also retard the game.

Make no mistake, his scoring still means a good deal when needed. But efficiency can never be overlooked in favor of explosion, flash, and style.

niremetal

November 12th, 2010
4:40 pm

Jamal, Mo, and a protected first for Billups. Alternatively, Jamal for Prince. That’s my plan.

niremetal

November 12th, 2010
4:42 pm

And PS – I only even mention Prince because Sekou heard it, and I believe that he (unlike the chumps at ESPN) actually knows something about what gets discussed involving the Hawks. Frankly, I don’t see why the Pistons would make that trade, though.

vava74

November 12th, 2010
6:48 pm

Phil Jackson said on PTI about the Eastern Conference: “I still think the Celtics are the cream of the crop but there is also Atlanta, Miami and Orlando, there are very good teams in the East”

niremetal

November 12th, 2010
6:56 pm

Chuck,

Frankly, I don’t think Dampier is an upgrade over Zaza at all, and only barely an upgrade over Collins. His role after Haywood came aboard last year in Dallas was essentially that of Zaza here, and from the looks of him during that team he doesn’t have much to offer in 10-12 minutes a game. He sure as hell isn’t starter materials anymore.

Nope, not missing him at all. Give me Pavlovic or Udoka.