“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 who the Hawks have beaten, and in what fashion.

Let’s not push the panic button. Why? Not because it’s too early in the season. That would be the easiest cliche to latch onto. No, we don’t need to push the panic button because panic is what happens when that what you least expected and least predicted to happen, is exactly what happens. It’s when you have nearly every reasonable expectation of being safe, then finding out you’re in a lot of danger. Panic is when you don’t know what to do. But the Hawks swear up and down that they do know what to do. They just won’t do it…all the time.

 A mere eleven games into the season, Larry Drew sounds like a man who isn’t beaten yet, but you have to wonder just how much he can take. The man has listened to and observed the same issues for the last six years. Now, as head coach of the same crew, he has to find a way to convince a group of guys to do the very things they already seem to know that should be doing.

The Fault Line

Where do you place Larry Drew on the infamous “fault line?” Is he doing his job? Has he given the team a good guideline and gameplan? Despite the turnovers, which some would argue are a natural by product of the situation and obligatory learning curve, Drew’s offense seems to take better advantage of the team’s talents than we’ve ever seen before. With the exception perhaps of Jamal Crawford, guys “get theirs” without having to make a concerted effort to do so. In fact, it’s good enough to where some teams find themselves going to a zone offense just to slow Atlanta down. All during camp and preseason, everything out of the mouths of the players suggested that they were very pleased with the new offensive scheme. Okay, so then why deviate from it?

Defensively, Drew has decided against scheming to hide the abilities or efforts of some players, and simply holding guys accountable for defending. It doesn’t always work (the argument here is usually that it centers on ability), but there have been concerted flashes of effort from previously unlikely sources. So is Drew to blame here? What is he doing wrong?

Two guys need to be paying very close attention right now. Michael Gearon and Rick Sund. If you think the idea of the core of this team comes from Rick Sund, you might want to think again. Two theories abound here. Either Sund has come up with the idea of the core of Hawks players, and has sold Gearon on the concept…or the concept is Gearon’s , and Sund simply complies with his wishes, offering little or no input. Perhaps neither theory matters at the moment. What does matter is how much attention these guys are paying to what their players are saying and doing. Obviously the answer to the fan base during the offseason, was that the team as constructed merely needed a new guide. Now the new guide is saying some of the exact same things the old guide was saying. Again, didn’t the new guy bring a new plan? Didn’t the players say they liked the plan? Has there been any evidence to suggest that the new plan is ineffective or otherwise flawed?

All this time, we as fans screamed for changes, horrified at the efforts and results of last season’s playoffs. Sure, there was a lot of hollering about coaching, and that had plenty of merit on it’s own. But there was also a lot of hollering about the roster. Of course, that was when times got tough, especially at the end of the season. Here we are at the beginning of the season, and already the looks have started, with the finger pointing right around the corner. And the noise…the noise is coming from the players themselves.

Is this overreaction? Analyzing too early? Well, after which of the Hawks seven wins has there not been a caveat of some type attached, by the players themselves? Why all this noise from a group of guys with a winning record so far? And what ever happened to being one of the best home teams in the League? Seven games in, the Hawks are an even 3 and 3 at home, and 4 – 1 on the road. Should we rejoice in this?

 

HAWKS VS PACERS

Every year there seems to be a team that flies under the radar for a while, before coming up strong. Arguably, the Bucks were that team in the East before suffering the loss of starting center Andrew Bogut at the most inopportune of times. This year, the sleeper team is not what some would call a sexy pick. It’s amazing what an offseason will do for some teams, and some players. Everyone watches the wonder that is John Wall up in Washington, D. C. Chicago’s once bright future is in doubt with the loss of newly signed Carlos Boozer, and the fact that they still must lean too heavily on pg Derrick Rose. But what of Indiana?

No one on their squad short of Danny Granger gets any headlines, yet here the Pacers are, chugging along with a .500 record, not quite the one dimensional joke that they were last season. Indiana has only been truly blown out in one game, a 101-75 loss in Philadelphia back in early November. On the other end of the spectrum, they completely crushed Denver 144-113 about a week later.

Here’s the deal with Indiana – you can’t just game plan to contain Granger and let the rest of the guys do their thing. For the first time in a while, the Pacers have a fairly solid starting lineup. Guess what that means? They also have a somewhat viable bench, as the guys they were forced to start last year are now reserves. Let’s get into the key players.

Backcourt

The addition of Darren Collison to the Indiana lineup has given the Pacers a solid pg with some decent size and shooting capability. Collison has yet to show exactly where he belongs in the East pecking order of point guards, and doesn’t figure to be too very high in a field that boasts Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, and other credible names (forgive me if I don’t mention them all). But, Collison has proven that last season was no fluke, when he filled in admirably for the injured Chris Paul in New Orleans. Third on the team in scoring and first in assists, Collison is shooting quite well from the field and adds some credible defense as well. Collison’s play allows the Pacers to bring the lightning quick but fragile TJ Ford off the bench, instead of burning him with starter’s minutes.

Point guard play isn’t the only thing that has improved Indiana, though. The return of guard/forward Mike Dunleavy gives them another legit perimeter threat with size. The heady Dunleavy can play the two or the three, and makes it even harder for defenses to key in on Danny Granger. As a result, Granger is shooting 48% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc, scary numbers indeed when you’re talking about a guy with his talent. But that’s not all. Dunleavy also defends a bit, and provides both passing and is a legit rebounder. Better yet, he allows the Pacers to choose between Dahntay Jones and Brandon Rush when deciding who to bring off the bench, rather than having to thrust either one into the starting backcourt.

The Frontcourt

Literally the biggest story for this franchise is the seemingly quite sudden transformation of center Roy Hibbert. Gone is the slow, soft, and largely ineffective first round project that we saw last season. In his place is a guy who is second on his team in scoring, first in rebounding, and someone who looks like he could keep New Jersey’s Brook Lopez from making the all-star team a second year in a row. Whatever Hibbert did in the offseason has paid off, and it’s showing even against the better front lines in the NBA, as his potential looks to be catching up with his size.

Beside Hibbert is the energetic, athletic, and physical specimen known as Josh McRoberts. He’s neither Troy Murphy nor Jeff Foster, but what McRoberts gives up in scoring talent and outright rebounding/toughness, he’ll make up for with hustle and effort. Behind him is Tyler Hansbrough, a smart hustler who shoots a very high percentage from the floor, and provides enough rebounding and effort when McRoberts inevitably gets into foul trouble.

Here’s the Deal

The Hawks are still more talented than the Pacers. I believe they’re still 10 to 12 points better on a given night, in which they play as they should. But the Pacers are on the cusp of proving to be a team that can’t be ignored or run roughshod over anymore. They’re healthier, they’re deeper, they’re experiencing some success, and they would like some more. If the Hawks lose focus in this game, they will lose this game, plain and simple. If they “don’t play hard enough”, I’ll wager that the Pacers will embarrass them. Now is not the time for this foolishness, and this ain’t Minnesota, where the talent pool alone all but guarantees a win for the opposing team.

Matchup to Watch – Al Horford vs. Roy Hibbert

Last season, Al Hoford made Roy Hibbert look like a draft bust, despite giving up a solid 4-5 inches and probably 40 pounds to the 7′2″ 280 lb center. Will the Hawks start Horford at center against Hibbert, and will it have the same results? Hibbert still gives up the quickness and ability to run the floor to Horford, but his improved game could be a load for Al on the other end of the floor. Could Hibbert force the Hawks to adjust the matchups?

For the sake of Afterthoughts – Jeff Teague vs. TJ Ford

Quick meets quick. Undeniably, Ford has the better jumpshot right now, but his quickness is a problem anytime he’s on the court. He’ll shoot past Bibby and make Jamal run through one screen too many, so maybe Teague gets another shot to make his presence felt here by keeping Ford from running the Hawks into the ground while Collison gets some rest. In fact, without such an effort, the Hawks could get into all sorts of trouble on the defensive end.

On the other side of the ball, Teague simply must improve his attack. The kid knows how to pass the ball, often to the right people and at the right times, but he continues to be no threat to score.

311 comments Add your comment

wordsmithtom

November 15th, 2010
5:01 am

Concerns abound, but no panic button here. Bench didn’t lose that 15 point lead….nor did it create that stinking 10 point opening deficit. 2rd and 3rd quarter Hawks outscored Wolves. It was starting unit that didn’t clamp down.

As I have said several times, I expect the first half of the season to be a journey, with ebbs and flows, as the team adjusts to a different style of play. MW played better before he hurt knee. He was still gimpy last two games. Teague still a concern; can he become more aggressive on the offensive end? I like the idea of throwing him in early against Ford. We NEED TO KNOW if JT is the answer before addressing the JC1 issue. It is my hope we can move him for a more aggressive backup 3 (I really doubt we can obtain a viable 5 for him…few GM’s are stupid) , as our weakest link is at 1 and 3. When they extended Horf, the handwriting was on the wall. He’s our future. JC1 remains a hired gun with limited ammunition.

For the next six weeks, we’ll see sausage being mad. Nothing that will help our fan base grow comfortable, but part of the growing process.

Strong effort by Horf yesterday. 10-10 FT after that Utah flub…still we can’t blame that loss on Horf’s FT misses alone. A lot of blame to pass around.

I predict this team stays together, for the most part, through the season. We do see some kind of adjustment by Feb, however, as we will know about JT by then, and whether MW and Mo can handle the 3 by themselves.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:45 am

Jamal must go. Pronto. Until that happens, we will not make any progress.

We have a problem at the PG spot, something we know since last year.

Bibby’s shot has gone AWOL again worsening the problem and when he comes out, in goes Jamal who stops running the motion offense and has been playing with little if any passion on both ends.

It should be Teague coming in for Bibby to bring defensive effort (if not constant results) and to keep the offense flowing.

His drive and dish game and his good passing (when he is not deferring too much in a state of numbness and making half hearted entry passes) suits the motion D.

If that fails, then we can simply limp into the end of the season.

Hawk n the Ham

November 15th, 2010
6:53 am

Does Larry Drew need to call the player’s mamas in the film room? Maybe that will straighten them out.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:55 am

By the way:

Josh has major concentration issues. My impression is that Josh’s mind wanders off when we are up by 10 or so in the 4th quarter and that is when he starts to make stupid mistakes.

However, I have faith the he will improve as the season progresses.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:56 am

Hawk n the Ham,

Yeah, we always get the feeling that the Hawks is just a bunch of kids… who need some stern “motherly love” (ie. some pulling of the ears)…

wordsmithtom

November 15th, 2010
8:19 am

Vava74, Woodson “ate the seed corn” by not playing Teague and riding his core 8. We’re paying for that now. Yes, we knew there was this problem at point. They can’t pull the lever on JC1 until they know the answer to “is Teague ready”.
We knew this would be a work in progress. We did not know we’d deal with injury at the weakest depth link (3). This complicates the trade decision, but does not put it off for long. You’ll get a trade by Feb….

Willie Coyote

November 15th, 2010
8:20 am

The fact that the effort still isn’t consistent is what is most maddening. That is unacceptable and everyone on the roster is guilty. Their mental makeup is not adequate to be a true contender.

Take notes from Boston’s level of professionalism; they truly commit to defending and play as unselfishly as anyone. That is the team to immulate (not that circus in South Beach).

I wonder what trades are available for this team.

Willie Coyote

November 15th, 2010
8:23 am

Has anyone else noticed that Josh’s perimeter shot is all of a sudden better than Marvin’s? That was supposed to be one of Marvin’s strong points but he can’t seem to make an open shot anymore either.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
8:37 am

wordsmithtom,

Teague will never be ready with Jamal subbing Bibby before him

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
8:53 am

“expect the first half of the season to be a journey, with ebbs and flows, as the team adjusts to a different style of play.” wordsmithtom .

Fair enough. But adjusting to a different style of play does not explain or excuse their lack of effort at critical points during the games.

vava74,

One of the issues I have with Josh, is in his mind, he believes he can get away with some of the bad plays/bad shots because of the amount of good plays he makes.

I think his mindset needs to change. He was improved his game just about every offseason, but he should not focus on the good plays as much. Instead, focus on the bad plays during the course of the game, and improve on it going forward.

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
9:09 am

Doc, from the previous blog.

The reason why Utah got Jefferson for nothing, is because when Boozer left for Chicago, the Jazz got a player exception (I think it was for $10 mil), which they traded to Minny for Jefferson.

Ironically, the Hawks have a $3.6 mil TPE from the Childress deal, and I would not be surprised if they let it expire.

I’m not sure Horford and Jefferson would be a good combination though. Jefferson might be a better front court scorer than Josh, but Josh is a better help defender, and has the higher ceiling with his versatility, and health.

And on this team, given our lack of perimeter defense and inconsistent PG play, I think Josh is a better fit.

There would be some flexibility because both Horford and Jefferson can play PF or center, but I would not have traded Josh for Jefferson.

dstdeelite

November 15th, 2010
9:32 am

I love my Hawks but until they decide to defend for 48 minutes (or 42 according to Zach Randolph), we will continue to get trounced in the playoffs.

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
9:43 am

It is disappointing that 11 games in, we are already talking about a 4 game losing streak, and facing adversity. However, something like this could make us better in the long run.

So far, the Hawks have won on the road (and competed well in Orlando), so maybe not having homecourt may not be as big an issue as it was under Woody.

If it costs a few wins to get the bench ready for the playoffs, I’m okay with that. However, that does not change my expectation of this team.

Regular season wins are important, but I expect this team to get to the second round of the playoffs, and win a couple games. Anything less, will be a disappointment imo.

And after winning 53 games last year and getting blown out in the playoffs, I think LFD will be judged on how he does in the playoffs.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
10:45 am

Didn’t we win like 18-19 road games last year? It wasn’t great but it wasn’t as if we won 12 either.

The Hawks are proving me right… it’s the players. Both individually AND as a collective unit. Lack of leadership, lack of fire and the lack of toughness will limit this squad’s altitude far more than coaching strategies. The players seem far too comfortable sneaking by on their considerable personal talents, only to realize that most other teams can compete on pure talent and those that can’t (see Bucks) have the discipline to execute the schemes designed by their coach. Maybe it is less about playing harder and more about playing smarter. But whichever it is, the problem sits at the feet of the players, individually and collectively.

MannyT

November 15th, 2010
10:47 am

Too early to judge LD. I remember a NFL coach that started 0-5 and turned out ok. I beleive Joe Gibbs won 3 Super Bowls. Give LD time to learn & adapt in his new role. He’s got enough NBA expereince, but he needs time in the big coach seat prior to judgment.

That said, the Hawks schedule is easier in the earlier season. More tough games are in 2011.

Looking toward the Pacer game, this game is exactly the type that makes me nervous (and should also make the Heat uncomfortable.) The Pacers have a real post up center and a quick PG that can score & assist and enough size to defend on the wings. I’m a bit nervous about this one.

On another note…Sactown wanted Teague 4 Thompson
http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/page/dime-101112-14/testing-early-trade-winds

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
10:49 am

Ray, you make a great point. We shouldn’t be thinking “well, it’s just 11 games”, because this is essentially a 3-4 year problem going back to the first playoff-bound Hawks squad. Samec core, many of the same coaches, same problems. The frustration voiced by Drew sounds like that of a guy who is sick and tired of the same ole problems. The same ole whining. But he asked for this mess and knew exactly the challenges when he lobbied for the job… unless, of course, he thought that Woody had something to do with the continued lack of focus and effort.

steve brown

November 15th, 2010
10:52 am

Give me Josh Childress (comes to play) over Marvin Williams (plays now and then), Teague is no better than our previous draft busts at point guard(maybe worse), and we have no real center. Josh Smith will forever win some and lose some with his lunacy in the clutch. We should win 50 again but I would feel better if Jamal was resigned-as he is one of our four best players (Smith, Horford, Josh and Jamal).

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
10:53 am

Thompson is averaging just 15.4 minutes per game off the bench and has been shopped by the Kings, who according to one source with knowledge of the talks offered the 6- 11, 250-pounder to Atlanta in a deal featuring young point guard Jeff Teague. The Hawks declined. ESPN.com

Please, say it ain’t so. Thompson and Horford would be AMAZING next to each other. Please, say it ain’t so.

yodaddy

November 15th, 2010
11:21 am

Only trade to entertain is that of a Steve Nash to Atlanta type thing that sends away Crawford and hopefully Bibby (nothing wrong with Bibby but can’t have Bibby & Nash on the same team…we’d have to zone it up all game). Nash is a leader and always plays hard so that is what we need. the Suns might throw in a Jared Dudley or something and we’d be good to go.

Defense will remain the same but there will be a lot less mental breakdowns during games because Nash will run the offense and tutor Teague.

doc

November 15th, 2010
11:41 am

big ray from previous blog;

no, jefferson is not a great defender or known for it but it seems you might have overlooked he played against the two all stars from the east roster of 2010 on back to back games last week and “held his own”. he held them below their avg as his team won against two teams playing at home. didnt we all get glassy eyed about the great job twin did on dwight to hold him to 18 points in 22 minutes while adding, was it no points or rebounds or was that the next game he didnt put anything on the board? guffaw. in direct competition, al j did better than both al h or DH outscoring the latter 23 to 14 and being equal on the boards. i watched him closely against the hawks and he was a presence in the middle and made some good defensive plays down the stretch. if he didnt get the bound he punched it out to someone else. he was solid ray on both ends of the court. he is not as athletic as josh and may not have the upside but he still runs the court well. since we give up so much in josh is why i suggested a guard passing off teague like telfair, corey or luke, all players we have coveted over the years of desiring wings and points. salaries might have fit as well. even the johnson? kid might look better than teague. seems like a nice young player. i also think it would have been good for them to balance josh’s athleticism and bounce with love ponderous way.

for aj, i was reading up on the jazz and sloan gave your guy, tyrone corbin, cred for talking him into the zone they went into to shut down the hawks. where has that been done before?

since i was the one who suggested the mcgee and henrich for teagie and josh i will tell you we wouldnt need a lot of scoring from mcgee but if he can play 35 minutes he might have similar numbers of rpg and ppg as al, allow al to blossom at pf while giving us the post presence eraser if his blocks went up as well in bpg. i dont feel he needs to be a scorer. the starters would be henrich, jj, marvin, al and mcgee with bibby, zaza, mo, powell and jamal coming off the bench. i could live with that, i think.

.keep up the usual good work BR. after reading your thorough assessment, i am concerned that this team is up and coming and you didnt even get solo off the bench to help out either. i might be more concerned these guys in the long run could be tougher than the bucks. we know foster and granger eat us up every time they set foot on the court against us. do they salivate too? throw in collison, ford and hibbert it does not seem like a blow out is in the makings here. i am not sure if you can say confidently we are 10 to 12 better than they are. might want to take that bet. ;-) not a betting man either.

doc

November 15th, 2010
11:48 am

o’b yeah, i remember that about al j. doesnt seem fair does it? ;-)

doc

November 15th, 2010
12:05 pm

aj, i think it was a job interview rather than “lobbying”. it demeans LD to suggest that. you sound just short of samuelesque saying that.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
12:12 pm

doc, I guess I was referencing the rumors that Sund preferred Casey. Unlike Samuel, I recognize that it was time for Woody to go. I just would have opted for a compete culture change and not for an incremental one. The status quo was broken last year and it looks incremntally better this year. For a team that hasn’t made it to Game 5 of the 2nd round, Ithink you need more than a plan that moves forward in small increments.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
12:13 pm

Oh, and doc, witht he ASG, thereis A job interview, but a series of interviews. Kind of like “lobbying”, as it takes time, iterations and negotiating.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
12:15 pm

doc, one more thing, who is playing center for the Wizards when we acquire McGee?

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
12:24 pm

AJ,

If that deal was offered to the Hawks, this is where Rick’s roster decisions limit the Hawks flexibility. Teague is the only backup PG, so trading him would mean more minutes at PG for Jamal.

If Rick had signed a 3rd PG this offseason, then maybe he would have been more open to moving Teague.

I remember reading that over the offseason, Rick had trade offers for Jamal, but declined.

I think Rick is sold on this team and its players, despite their mental makeup, and despite their history.

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
12:27 pm

“doc, one more thing, who is playing center for the Wizards when we acquire McGee?” AJ .

Ray had a good point on the previous blog. Although Washinton has a bunch of no name centers behind McGee, how come he is only playing
24 mpg.

Rufus1

November 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

Trade

I would love to have Jason Thompson, but we can’t give up Teague to do it.

joBjo

November 15th, 2010
12:37 pm

Joe is making the big bucks and has to lead by example. Why should the others hustle and dive on the floor if the big bucks guy won’t?

doc

November 15th, 2010
1:09 pm

aj i think of it as going through the process. ;-)

aj, you also know that i preferred a bit of a change in culture if we werent going to shake up the roster. honestly, i cant say anything has changed from my assessment of this team last january except there is more ball movement. even my daughter sees that. unfortunately, there is no significant change in player movement on offense at critical times nor intensity on defense. still a work in progress where they have to learn every possession is important.

o’b and aj, as far as mcgee, i put a big if there when i said “if he is capable of playing 35 minutes”. that is my criteria. i guess if they have 3 guys behind him it would come from one of those three but that would be their worry not mine. ;-) if he isnt able to play 35 minutes then i would not do the trade.

niremetal

November 15th, 2010
1:17 pm

I think Horford has the mental make-up to do what needs to be done. The problem is that, for whatever reason, he hasn’t gotten his teammates to buy into him yet. Probably has something to do with the fact that there are two other captains. The three-headed captaincy is the worst decision Larry Drew has made. Joe should never have been named captain in the first place (and I truly don’t think he would have been offended if Drew had asked him to step aside), and Josh sure as hell has never been captain material.

niremetal

November 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

Oh, and Jason Thompson is a POS. No thanks. Especially if the price is the only PG option who has a prayer of staying in front of quick PGs.

Rufus1

November 15th, 2010
1:35 pm

Bibby and Jamal the Problem…..

I understand they are defensive liabilities and I am willing to accept that if the can hit WIDE OPEN SHOTS…..They have been missing OPEN 3 and 2, those missed shots are the difference between a lose and a victory. They hit those shots early in the season.

We have stated many times before, that if Bibby and Jamal aren’t hitting shots, they have little to no VALUE. They will hit those shots more often then not in the future…WE WILL BE FINE.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
1:40 pm

You make that Thompson trade and then shore things up by dumping Jamal or Zaza. What is not likely to happen is finding one team that can meet all of our needfs, so at least 2 deals would be required anyway. Any chance you could trade a small for a big, I think you do it in a nano-second. If Sund is afraid to pull the trigger on deal 1 then deal 2 won’t ever happen. The personality make-up of this team suggests that the status quo won’t lead to a satisfying conclusion.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
1:44 pm

The Summer of Sameness continues to bear eerily similar fruit. This from ESPN:

Bizarre coincidence or something more telling? The Hawks are the only team in league history to win their first six games and then lose the next four … and now they’ve done it twice in the past three seasons.

niremetal

November 15th, 2010
2:20 pm

You’d rather have Thompson than Zaza??? Have you seen Thompson play? He has the strength and defensive instincts of a teacup poodle. No way. He is a tall leaper with a terrible basketball IQ, no toughness, and absolutely no defensive ability. He wouldn’t get minutes ahead of Jason Collins here, much less Zaza.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
2:39 pm

nire, yep, I would most definitely prefer Thompson to Zaza. I have no idea what Thompson could do in a better culture but I like his skill set far better than what Zaza offers. I liked the path he was on in his first 2 seasons and would love to have a versatile big with upside, size and a skill set that could help this team.

niremetal

November 15th, 2010
2:48 pm

I don’t think Thompson has much upside. He is tall, has a jump shot, and can jump high. That does not equal upside. If it does, then bring me Solomon Jones. He doesn’t even have Javale McGee’s nose for blocking shots, which some have misinterpreted as a sign that McGee is not, in fact, a scrub.

Thompson just doesn’t have the body type, defensive skills, or basketball IQ you need to be a rotation big man on a decent team. He scored some points in his first couple teams, but Urkel could have averaged 10 points a game on the Kings the past couple years. He’s at best the 4th big man in the rotation of one of the league’s worst teams (behind Cousins, Landry, and Samuel freaking Dalembert). He’s battling Darnell Jackson for the honor of being the 4th big man in that esteemed group. He sucks.

Astro Joe

November 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

nire, in a nanosecond, I would make that deal. Teague for Thompson. And then I’d ship off Zaza or Jamal for some PG/win defense help. I hear you, I just disagree. And the good thing, he is cheap and only has a 1.5 years left on his contract (if he sucks like you suggest).

Here’s the thing, if we’re talking about moving a member of the core, then we’re obviously asking for better in return. But if we’re trading someone from position 8-n off the bench, then I’m not expecting to get back Troy Murphy. Heck, it would be nice to see a trade made where we actually get back a player and not an exemption or 17th round draft pick.

O'Brien

November 15th, 2010
4:31 pm

If I’m trading with Sacramento, I want Dalembert in the deal. I would do Jamal and ZaZa for Dalembert, Jason Thomspon and Antoine Wright.

But of course, it takes 2 teams to agree on a trade, and I I’m not sure either of them will like it enough.

niremetal

November 15th, 2010
4:41 pm

I don’t think the trade was ever discussed. I frankly don’t see why either side would be interested.

WALL MAN

November 15th, 2010
4:53 pm

HEY EVERYONE,DONT YOU THINK ISTIME TO HOLD JOSH SMITH SCCOUNTABLE??TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL ,QUESTIONABLE MENTAL MATURITY,NO HES NOT THE MAIN ISSUE ON THIS TEAM ,BUT HE REALLY NEED SOMEONE TO MENTOR HIM NOT ONLY AS A ATHLETE,BUT ALSO AS A YOUNG ADULT

ATL FAN

November 15th, 2010
5:22 pm

Wow, many problems with the Hawks.

No true PG, Jamal stops our offense anytime he’s in the game, lack of defensive effort, Marvin’s jumpshot is completely gone, and Teague has been struggling as well. The only bright spots we’ve seen this year is Al Horford’s mid range game and the new production Zaza brings off the bench. Even if we do make the playoffs, there is no way we can advance even past the first round with this core of guys. The season was over before it even started.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:13 pm

A lottery pick who has failed to make it Sacramento after 3 years in the league…

Is it because he is so good that he did not adapt to his lesser teammates?? :-)

You constantly complain about bad moves and think that Thompson is worth giving up in Teague?

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:19 pm

We just have to dump Jamal and wait 8 to 12 games until the team breaks off the habit and stop being addicted to his scoring spurts in the second quarter and buy in completely into team play.

People may overlook and say that it was worthless but with Teagud loose to work free, ignoring Jamal and balling with Zaza and Jordan, we forced Skiles to bring back the starters.

Teague is just a fed games with consistent minutes sans Jamal to take over.

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:21 pm

vava74

November 15th, 2010
6:22 pm

Big Ray

November 15th, 2010
6:54 pm

wordsmithtom ,

I must agree with the idea that there would be an adjustment period. As others note, it’s the lack of effort (or the consistency thereof) that is so maddening.

dtsdeelite ,

I wonder how much of that is truly personnel? Can you get guys like Jamal to play defense every minute that he is on the floor? How about some of the others? Everybody is guilty of slacking off at some point, but some are much more horrendously guilty than others.

Big Ray

November 15th, 2010
7:52 pm

Vava ,

I think we have gotten to the point where the entire team is having consistency issues. Josh Smith is an easy target, and part of that is certainly his own fault. When he makes a bad play, it’s a glaringly bad play. Part of it has to do with who he is, and how he makes his mistakes.

But I see other issues. Some of our less likely “whipping boy” targets are having issues. You’ve correctly noted that Jamal seems like a bad fit half the time. Well, he is exactly the same player he was last season, doing the exact same things. Last season was a SMOY campaign and he was second leading scorer on the team. Now, in an offense that doesn’t feature his individual talents on their own account, he is less of a solution, and more of a problem than before.

Here’s where the consistency issue rears it’s head. Love him to death, but Al Horford is not doing the job on the glass. How many times have we seen him get less than three rebounds for the entire first half, leaving the job to guys like Smith or Pachulia? Out of the first 11 games, Horford has recorded double digit rebounds 5 times. He’s been getting quite a few minutes a PF, so what’s the problem?

By contrast, Smith (who as we know is a far less fundamental player in this category) is leading the team in rebounding and has one more double digit rebounding game than Horford does. Here’s the kicker: Smith has spent more time further away from the basket, having seen significant minutes at the SF position.

The inconsistency is all around, I’m afraid. Not just with the “usual suspects.”

Big Ray

November 15th, 2010
8:06 pm

Wall Man ,

Definitely. Smith has to be held accountable for his actions, and I think Drew is doing that. More than ever, Smith has become a major cog for this team. He’s been playing some really good games, and hasn’t had a string of stinkers yet.

Here’s the deal, once again – it’s a collective issue. Nobody is exempt at this point. All must be accountable, even as they are to be held so individually.

Astro Joe ,

True. It is most definitely a player issue.

Which….makes all the arguments about the selection of a coach mean what, exactly?

I still believe that management made a good decision in changing the coaching approach. I think Drew (as perhaps would any other viable selection) has given these guys a reason and a setup that will allow them to be more successful. I also think he has given management and ownership a potentially more exciting product (and it works, when the players do what they are supposed to). I think THAT was part of the sell when it came to giving him the job.

And, though he knew the issues before he took the job, why would that deter a guy from going after a raise, a promotion , and adding to his resume? Drew knew precisely what he was doing. He’s not there to sell the product that ownership and managment put on the floor. He’s there to show he can do different things with that product, than have been done before.

At the same time, issues with players fall right into the lap of front office management. It doesn’t surprise me, as I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you. Where did this “core” concept truly come from? Who likes these players so very much? Why would they not explore the cheapest, least difficult “solution” or change option, before delving into the more difficult ones?

As you well know, much easier (and cheaper) to change the coaching philosophy first, then try moving players around. It’s far less of a gamble, less likely to upset an already fickle fan base, etc. Clearly the thought process has been “let’s see if we can fit a system to the personnel we’ve got, before blowing this thing up again, or changing any major parts.”

I’d say the proof is in, just as you are saying so. The problems exist moreso on the roster than anywhere else. Then again, 25 games later, maybe the solution to such problems will present itself. For now, it’s only too easy to say “ha, I knew it was the players.” Got any solutions?