Hawks face nemesis again

For the Atlanta Hawks, another week begins with back-to-back games, the first being tonight in Orlando. For this team, it’s been a season of streaks so far, wherein anything they’ve done once, they’ve done at least twice before going the other way. In other words, if they came off a loss and won the next game, they’ve won at least two in a row before losing again. Will that trend continue or break tonight?

 

The Damien Effect

If you didn’t know it before, let me tell you now. Damien Wilkins is no joke on the defensive end. While he played limited minutes and the Hawks couldn’t pull out the victory, it was refreshing to see an Atlanta guard giving an all out effort on the perimeter, and doing so effectively. How about that? Sorry, but I have to say it again – couldn’t the Hawks have used this more than Etan Thomas? Well, you know what they say…better late than never, and at least this move comes around 20 games into the season, rather than halfway through.

Hold the phone, though. If you think Wilkins will be around simply as a 5 to 7 minute defensive specialist, think again. While his career shooting percentages are nothing to write home about, he can still provide some offense here and there. Few things are better coming off the bench than a guy who can play two positions, provide very good defense, and hit a few shots. Watch for Wilkins to demonstrate this as he learns Drew’s offense, and as long as the Hawks keep sharing the ball. It also gives the Hawks a good modified three guard lineup off the bench if Drew finds the matchups to be beneficial (Jamal-PG, Mo-SG, Wilkins-SG/SF being one example). This might even help matters when Marvin Williams is practicing his magic act. Perhaps the Hawks would do well to heed this endorsement:

It’s just one game, but Al is sold: “I love that. I love his intensity. I love his toughness on defense. It’s something we need. I’m saying it now: I hope we keep him and he’s with us for the long run. A guy like that can be helpful.”

The Enigma that is Marvin

After four straight good games, Marvin Williams has fallen by the wayside again, disappearing against the Miami Heat. Is this the new consistency? Nobody can expect a guy to have a good game every game, but sometimes it’s just the worst timing in the world. It’s not like he does it on purpose, but what gives? Part of the issue may be that Marvin simply does not have what it takes to impose his will on the game from any particular aspect, on a night-to-night basis. While his defense is the most consistent and effective part of his game most of the time, the team simply needs more than decent-to-good defense sometimes. In fact, now more than ever (since Joe Johnson is out), the Hawks need for Marvin to be better in at least one area, if not two. Without a good night on the boards or in scoring, the Hawks are forced to go to the not-yet-quite-healthy Mo Evans for points and rebounds, or are otherwise leaning too heavily on Jamal Crawford, who will take on the task whether it’s a good idea or not. If you think that thought is off base, then read between these last lines. Either way, the point remains – the Hawks will need more from Marvin against the better teams, and tonight is no exception. Can he deliver?

HAWKS VS. MAGIC

Last time these two teams met, it wasn’t anywhere near a blowout. In fact, the Hawks nearly pulled the victory off, sans some turnovers and missed shots down the final stretch. Some say Orlando simply didn’t shoot well and had to find other ways to grind out the win. Others say the Hawks competed and made the Magic guard them for once. Regardless of what theory you have, the real story may have been who was missing in that game. The Magic didn’t have starting point guard Jameer Nelson, and the Hawks didn’t small forwards Marvin Williams and Mo Evans. Which guy(s) makes a bigger difference for each team? It will be hard to tell, as the Hawks come into this game as having drawn the short straw, what with leading scorer Joe Johnson unavailable.

What’s bad about this is the fact that Joe had a good game against the Magic last time, shooting over 50% and posting 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Outside of his efforts, Al Horford’s efficient offense, and Jamal’s free throws, the Hawks struggled on offense. What will they do without Joe? Jamal will no doubt have a big hand in things, but the Hawks will need more from other sources. Mike Bibby’s outside shooting has been a real boost for Atlanta on most nights, and Josh Smith will need to be on as well. Can the Hawks get Al Horford going early and run the offense through him, or will it have to be somebody else?

If you ask me, the biggest challenge for the Hawks won’t be Dwight Howard. We probably already know how that is going to unfold. Drew will likely start Twin (Jason Collins) at center, and Dwight will get his. No, the problem will be Jameer Nelson. This guy is driving the Magic bus as much an anyone, and he’s proving himself to be one of the better point guards in a conference that boasts some pretty good younger ones at the position. Averaging 15 points and 7 assists per game is good, but the scary part is Nelson’s shooting. The Magic guard is hitting 49% from the field overall, and nails 40.7% from three point range. If the Hawks can’t clamp down on Jameer Nelson, look for an early blowout, as he’ll feed Dwight and those nasty perimeter shooters on a regular basis once the defense tries collapsing on him. If you don’t believe that it unfolds this way, ask the Chicago Bulls, who endured a 29-point loss at the hands of the Magic several days ago. At the center of it all was none other than Nelson, who shot a blistering 8 of 11 from the field, enroute to a 24 point, 9 assist outing.

So…

YOUR TAKE

1) How do the Hawks stop Jameer Nelson?

2) How do the Hawks make the Magic guard them, and whom do they run the offense through?

3) Can Damien Wilkins make a big impact in this game?

4) Who steps up for the Hawks in this game?

155 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
10:52 am

Big Ray,

This game could be very different from the last one.

The first Orlando game was the second of a back to back for us, so at least we should have a little more energy tonight. Plus we have Mo, Marvin and Damien Wilkins, who we didn’t have last time.

Unfortunately, we are without JJ. Orlando will have Jameer this time, but 4 of their players have been fighting a stomach virus.

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
10:53 am

As for your questions;

1) Not only does Jameer score, but he sets up Dwight really well. I would start Teague and Jamal. Teague won’t score like Bibby, but his job will be to keep up with Jameer as best as he can. And Jamal starting over Mo should help provide some of the offense that we lose with Bibby out.

2) Hawks should run the offense through Al and Josh early. The key is to not play timid, and also knock down the open jumpers.

3) Damien might still not be in game shape, and he hasn’t learned the offense yet. But I think he will play well on defense when he is in the game.

4) Who steps up? I think Al does. He will knock down enough jumpers to open up the lane a little bit (but I would like to see him with 10 or more rebounds).

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tamika Bond-Burnett and james hervey, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Hawks face nemesis again http://bit.ly/hIw3Du [...]

Rufus1

December 6th, 2010
10:59 am

Why is always about Marvin? He makes 7.5mil a year…how many good games in a row is he supposed to have? It has been made clear he should not have been the 2nd pick, so what should we expect from a 7mil dollar player.

How about Josh Smith step-up and earn the 12mil he makes….How about 25pts and 12rbs in a BIG GAME when JJ isn’t playing.

I think MW benefits when JJ isn’t their….I think Josh benefits when JJ plays. I think Josh loses sight of his place when JJ, isn’t playing.

PS. MW is a very good consistant defender, his offense is inconsistant.(ask Iggy and Gay)

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
11:23 am

As MC just stated, the Magic may be missing key players due to a nasty stomach virus that has decimated their team so many of these match-ups may not materialize.

If we can get close to 16 PPG from Marvin against players who don’t require his ful-defensive effort, I’ll be satisfied. Clearly, he would be able to do both, score AND defend exceptionally well. But at a middling salary for a starting SF, that’s not a realistic expectation. And given the team’s current dynamics, keeping opposing SFs below their season scoring average is FAR more important than producing points.

i_am_soulstar

December 6th, 2010
11:26 am

This’ll be a good game tonight. If Howard is still out, maybe we can win the rebounding battle for once.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
11:38 am

LD seemed to get the team to play with aggression after half-time against the Heat… stop acting like they were playing immortals and start acting like they were there to compete (of course, having Horford on the court helped in the 3rd quarter). Let’s see if that talk carries over to tonight’s game. The Hawks treated the Magic like mere mortals in the first match-up so we shouldn’t see any timidity tonight. As usual, Smith needs to close-out on the perimeter-shooting PFs and not hang in the paint looking to provide weak-side help. And we should get an Etan sighting tonight (with JC2 in street clothes).

wordsmithtom

December 6th, 2010
12:15 pm

Rufus1, SECOND that thot.

vava74

December 6th, 2010
12:24 pm

OB,

Do you realize that your point 1 (start Jamal) makes it a lot more difficult to implement point 2 (focus offense on Josh and Al)?

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
12:34 pm

vava,

Good point. Once Jamal is in the game, he determines who the offense runs through (and its usually him).

For the game tonight, Hawks can’t afford to slart slow. That has been a problem for them the last few games. And then they spend the whole game fighting back.

And if the Magic have players out, that should help the Hawks to win this game (especially if Howard and Jameer don’t play).

Speaking of Jameer, he was drafted 20th in the 2004 draft, while Josh was drafted 17th. If you had to do it over again, do you still take Josh, or you take Jameer?

Mike Woodson

December 6th, 2010
12:44 pm

Play Jordan Crawford more who cares about his defense we dont play any anyways

RealSquawk

December 6th, 2010
1:08 pm

To answer a previous question. Who is the leader of this team? Al Horford, with his endorsement of Wilkins he is speaking up and out for the teams benefit. Match that with his consistent play and you have who should be the sole captain of this team.

In order to stop Jameer Nelson let Mike Bibby start on him and let Damien Wilkins finish on him. Don’t let him drive give him his shots on the outside when Damien gets put on him his air space will completely change. Attack him on defense putting him in the post and spreading the floor with shooters in prime position. Who plays him in the post? Jamal, Marvin, Wilkins, Mo in that order.

Run the offense through Al Horford and Marvin Williams. Lets see if Al can take advantage of Rashard Lewis in the post. Pull twin out and hope he hits his jumpers so Dwight will have to respect it. Put Smith on the boards cleaning the glass. Marvin at shooting forward for the immediate kick out and then Bibby spot up for the swing.

Damien Wilkins can. Yes he can.

Are young nucleus Williams, SMith, Horford, and Crawford. With Horford leading the way. Look for Teague to provide a spark if he gets the chance.
Horford will set the tone and dominant.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
1:20 pm

I wouldn’t expect every referee crew to allow Damien to defend as aggressively as he did the other night.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
1:30 pm

This just in:

ORLANDO, Fla. — A stomach virus that forced the Orlando Magic to send home four key players during a recent road trip is beginning to subside.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy says the team is “optimistic” that Dwight Howard, J.J. Redick and Mickael Pietrus will play Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks after they participated in the morning shootaround.

Point guard Jameer Nelson was at home recovering from the illness and is not expected to play.

With forward Ryan Anderson also in a walking boot because of a sprained right foot, Orlando had only eight players available in a loss at Milwaukee on Saturday. The Magic also were short-handed at Detroit on Friday.

During a win at Chicago on Wednesday, Pietrus vomited in the hallway at one point in the first half.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
1:49 pm

The Hawks aren’t the only team struggling to beat quality teams in the Eastern Conference.

http://espn.go.com/nba/standings/_/type/expanded/group/2

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
1:58 pm

If the Hawks need a 3rd PG somewhere down the orad (assuming a roster spot is available), they could always call up a familiar name.

In mid-November, there were some clues the Grizzlies may be looking to part ways with backup PG Acie Law.

And according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, that day has now come: Memphis has indeed waived Law.

The veteran was on a non-traditional non-guaranteed contract. Usually, non-guaranteed deals become fully guaranteed in January, but Law’s became fully guaranteed on Dec. 8 — a reason why he was cut this early in the season.

Rookie PG Greivis Vasquez struggled in the summer league and was slowed by an injury to start the season. But he’s worked into the primary backup role behind starter Mike Conley, making Law more expendable.

vava74

December 6th, 2010
2:05 pm

OB,

Well, rather than, who would I chose – given that Nelson has been productive at a higher level longer than Josh, I would probably go with Nelson as an initial hunch but…

How much of Nelson’s production derives from the fact that he plays with Howard? My guess is that plenty and both (Nelson and Howard) are faulty parts which together work well.

On the other hand, my patience levels with Josh are greatly diminished after these past 3 games.

Right now I would trade him for Ibaka without blinking.

vava74

December 6th, 2010
2:09 pm

OB,

Pretty absurd initial sentence. I started with a train of thought and then got distracted.

What I meant was:

Nelson’s career, as a whole, as been more consistent, which means that knowing that, a retrospective change of the draft choice would make sense from that point of view.

On the other hand, I believe that Nelson would not function (as) well without Howard, hence, talent for talent, Josh is probably better.

Nonetheless, Josh makes me mad like hell which means that, regardless of talent, it is tempting to hit an imaginary “trade button”.

JM

December 6th, 2010
3:07 pm

Go blog Big Ray. I need to check it out more often, the MC blog is always full of gloom and doom and idiotic trade suggestions. As far as tonight’s game; if Jameer is out, Smoove plays with his head in the game, Al doesn’t back down to Howard and somebody guards the 3 line – the Hawks will have a shot.

Go Hawks!

JM

December 6th, 2010
3:08 pm

*Good*

Damn, first word!

Big Ray

December 6th, 2010
5:50 pm

Rufus1 ,

Well, linking expectations to salary, and then trying to attach that to stats…the whole thing gets REALLY tricky. If Josh should produce more because he gets around $12 mil a year, then what should JJ be doing (when not injured, that is)?

Marvin gets some heat because he’s a starter for this team, and in order for this somewhat smallish frontcourt to flourish, all three members must be playing well. Unfortunately, all three have their flaws, and when one or more is showing his flaws, it hurts us.

O’brien ,

I wasn’t aware those guys were sick. What did they do, go eat at the same place? It wasn’t Zaza’s restaurant, was it? I smell a conspiracy…. :twisted:

Big Ray

December 6th, 2010
5:52 pm

JM ,

Good to have you around, and hope you come back! By the way, good call on what needs to happen for the Hawks to win. Now can they do all of that for 48 minutes is the question….

Vava ,

That imaginary trade button will always be a tempting proposition where Josh Smith is concerned. Trust me, you aren’t the only one who has pushed it in effigy dozens of times!

Big Ray

December 6th, 2010
5:56 pm

RealSquawk ,

I’d love to see all of that. Two major questions are how hard Josh hits the glass, and whether or not Teague will continue to be aggressive against Orlando. It would have been interesting to see him get some floor time against a relatively physical Jameer Nelson. Ah well, I’ll just settle for some pushing of the pace and some great kickouts from penetration (and some very solid defense).

AJ ,

True, Wilkens may not get to play as aggressively on defense all the time, but then…he plays far more under control than someone like Mario West.

Big Ray

December 6th, 2010
5:58 pm

I think MW benefits when JJ isn’t their….I think Josh benefits when JJ plays. I think Josh loses sight of his place when JJ, isn’t playing.

I think this is true. Nice one…

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
6:04 pm

LD needs to throw the 2 foul rule out the window tonight. Al needs a 3 foul first half rule.

As for the starting lineup, does he stick with the same lineup from the last 3 games (Al/Josh/Marvin/Mo/Bibby)? We have started slow each game.

Or does he change it up and go with Collins at Center if Howard is playing? I would start Twin. But if so, then who does he start at Forward? Al and Josh? Al and Marvin? Josh and Marvin?

I would start Collins, Al, and Josh, and bring Marvin off the bench.

mountain_jim

December 6th, 2010
7:02 pm

ESPN said that NBA channel had the game – I am there and its not true. (Hawks are blacked out where I am and I don’t have the pass)

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
7:15 pm

Big starting lineup. Nice adjustment (or try) by LD….

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
7:22 pm

Marvin should not be playing SG. I give LD credit for trying to be creative…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:23 pm

I’ll take it, but that definitely was an offensive foul on Smoove, not a defensive one on Q-Rich.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:23 pm

Collins bullying D-12 so far. Wow…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:27 pm

Crawford-Marvin-Josh-Al-Collins. Definitely the biggest lineup the Hawks have trotted out in the past decade.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:27 pm

Offense bogging down. Post ISOs are still ISOs. Not getting good looks.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:29 pm

Josh beasting so far.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
7:32 pm

Josh is all over the place… Nice to see him this active…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
7:34 pm

Soon as the Magic got 4 team fouls, we started shooting jumpers. Huh?

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
7:41 pm

Nice play by ZaZa. His body got in the way of Bash elbow…

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
7:58 pm

LOL… The Orlando announcer just said that Marvin is having an invisible…

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
8:01 pm

* invisible night…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:04 pm

Etan not looking half bad tonight.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:20 pm

Ugly game so far, but up by 1. I’ll take the offensive struggles if we can keep playing D like we have been. The Magic have had no breathing room on O and that’s good.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
8:25 pm

The lineup of Josh, Al and Collins has played well. Just imagine if it was Josh, Al and Shaq… Thanks ASKG…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:33 pm

Horford pulling a Smoove, trying to dribble around like a guard. And it ain’t working.

lukas

December 6th, 2010
8:35 pm

OMG!! the magic’s commentators refered to Marvin as the invisible man!!

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
8:36 pm

LD may as well play Jamal along with Bibby in the backcourt because Vince is having his way with Marvin anyhow…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:36 pm

Marvin definitely looks like he is still bothered by his knee. On his free throw, he barely bent at all.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:40 pm

Melvin, ladies and gentlemen, proving once again that he doesn’t know jack $hit about defense (not surprising, since he thinks it doesn’t matter). Vince is 3-7 with Marvin guarding him. Two of those were contested jumpers with Marvin’s hand in his face. Only 1) a complete and total idiot or 2) someone who doesn’t actually watch the game closely, would actually say that Vince is “having his way with Marvin.” But we’ve long ago established that Melvin consistently falls into one of those two categories.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:42 pm

Fall away contested jumper by Vince over Smoove. I guess Vince was having his way with Smoove too.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:43 pm

Vince misses a contested jumper over Al. Al is shutting Vince down.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:45 pm

See? Man, it would be so much easier if my analyses just consisted of “Player A has scored X points with Player B as the main person assigned to guard him. Therefore, Player B is doing a [good/bad/neutral] job guarding Player A.” I mean, I wouldn’t even have to watch the game. I could just look at the box score afterward and make my posts.

In other words, I could sound just like Melvin.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:47 pm

Of course, Melvin is such a simpleton that he will think the “point” of this has something to do with Marvin being a good/bad/neutral defender. In reality, that’s not the “point” at all.

The point is simple: Melvin is an idiot.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
8:47 pm

An amusing idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
8:58 pm

Nire,

Vince may be 3-7 but he hit all 3 of his shots in the 3rd qtr. And the point I was making that we would do better with Jamal offense in the game versus Marvin defensive efforts. Hint: Marvin being called the invisible man… Heck the Orlando crew also said that Marvin was struggling on defense as well. Glad to know someone else agree with me..LOL

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

Hawks push their lead to 5 to open up the 4th qtr with Jamal scoring 4 of their 6pts…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:05 pm

JJ Redick makes a contested running layup in transition over Wilkins. What a terrible defensive play by Wilkins. He should be taken out back and shot. With his uncle. Wilkins sucks.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:06 pm

Melvin,

Once again, proving your a liar, an idiot, or both. The Orlando crew called Marvin out for disappearing on offense. They haven’t said anything one way or another about his defense. Once again, Melvin is either lying or talking out of his ass. Surprise, surprise.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:08 pm

Melvin,

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of fellow shortbus riders who agree with you, or other ignorant people whose analyses never go deeper than box score stats who’ll nod their head. Sadly, no honest person who has a functional brain would have agreed that Vince was “having his way” with Marvin.

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
9:11 pm

Marvin plays good defense, but sometimes his defense is not enough to offset his lack of offense. He did have a few good games against scrub teams, but I would like to see him have a good game against some of the good teams.

Maybe his knee is still sore though, so i think getting Damien was a very good move.

This game will be the joke on ESPN tonight. But I dont care, as long as we win.

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
9:13 pm

Refs are letting Orlando get away with a lot more than the Hawks can though.

In yesterday’s football game, the refs let the Bucs get away with some holds, but they called ATL for the penalties.

Maybe its a Florida/Georgia thing…

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:14 pm

Marvin does look terrible out there tonight, though. Frankly, there’s no reason for him to be on the floor guarding Carter – Carter is short enough that Mo or Damien could guard him effectively. If Carter were two inches taller, he probably WOULD be scoring at will. Fortunately, Marvin’s height advantage gives him a margin of error against Vince.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:15 pm

As if on cue, Marvin out and Powell in.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:23 pm

Bibby couldn’t buy a basket earlier tonight. He has hit two big ones in the 4th, though.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
9:25 pm

Nire,

You need to turn the volume up on your tv (maybe it will drown out your own voice if anything) b/c Matt Guokas said that Marvin was struggling on both sides of the ball…

You should go over to MC blog and post your Marvin supported comments…

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
9:26 pm

Win or lose, I like the way we’ve played this game w/o JJ.

When JJ comes back and we play the Magic again, we should be able to beat them, even if Jameer plays.

Here is an interesting stat. In both games against the hawks this seaosn, Magic are 4-22 in each game from 3.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
9:30 pm

OB,

I will take this win over the Magic any way we can get it…

lukas

December 6th, 2010
9:32 pm

First quality win this season!!! half of the Magic team is sick? doesn’t matter to me, I’ll take it!!

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:33 pm

Melvin,

I heard Guokas say that Marvin was struggling to move at both ends of the floor, not that he was struggling in terms of the quality of his play. But hey, little nuances like that go over your tiny little head.

I post over here precisely because the concentration of idiots like you is much lower here. In fact, over here, you’re the only true simpleton who posts regularly. You’re like the slow kid who should be taking remedial classes but that the school district lets into regular ones because there’s no mechanism for forcing him out. I’m not surprised that you agree with the other people over on the blog with lots of other idiots like yourself. It must be nice having so many other people as clueless as you to talk to. Why don’t you stay over there permanently? Seriously, you singlehandedly bring down the average IQ of this blog by about 10 points.

Have a good night, Melvin. Don’t forget – pants first, THEN shoes.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:35 pm

I’ll take it, but this win gets an asterisk because the Magic were clearly slowed by the stomach bug. Seriously – I’d take 3 cases of the flu in order to avoid 1 stomach bug. Yuck.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
9:40 pm

But asterisk or no, that win should be a HUGE confidence booster for the Hawks.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
10:09 pm

Good win tonight. No one has ever discounted wins against us when we’re missing key players, instead, folk grouse about coaches who don’t develop bench depth. So I won’t discount a win against one of the deepest teams in the league.

Very good and controlled game by Josh Smith. I’m still no big fan of either Josh shooting from the perimeter but they are making more than a fair share of them. Marvin looked like he was running in quicksand all night long… I wonder if he reinjured himself in the first half. Old man Bibby is as clutch as ever.

Good to split the Florida trip. Amazing how well the team looks when they don’t allow the opposition a 17-18 point lead.

lukas

December 6th, 2010
10:14 pm

JJ’s injury is starting to look what the Hawks needed: the players have been forced to play together, stronger, and smarter. LD is being forced to be more creative and stand tough to his players. This is the 3rd straigh solid game for this JJ-less team. If this trend of winning based on effort and shared responsabilities keeps on going, it will create an interesting situation (or dilemma?) when JJ comes back.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
10:19 pm

lukas, Hawks were down by 17 against the 76ers at home a few days ago. Yes, they won, but I think it is a stretch to call that a “solid” game. They won a single quarter against Miami two games ago… after looking like scard girls for most of the first half. I wouldn’t so quickly dig a grave for Joe Johnson. I didn;t like the performance that Joe gave us befofre he left, but my guess is his performance was linked to the reason he left… a bum elbow.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
10:23 pm

You need to grow up, seriously. You are the only person on this blog that name call and try to insult others. You have even stoop to lower levels by talking about people that ride the short bus. How insensitive are those comments. My assumption is that most (if not all) folks ride those buses because they have some type of handicap or disability. But the intelligent person that you are will try to make fun of that.

Funny you refer to me as an idiot but you continue to respond to my post. No matter what light you try to put your response in. If you can’t respect what others are saying and make your arguments in a respectable manner, then don’t blog here anymore. Believe me, you will not be missed.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
10:23 pm

Of course my last post was address to Nire but I’m sure he knows that.

lukas

December 6th, 2010
10:33 pm

Astro,

Last year’s team would have never returned after a 17-point deficit. This Joe-less team has done it twice over a weekend. They “manned up” to come back and win it (76ers) or make it a game they should have won (heat). As more games pass, the more used to sharing they’ll get. I am not bashing Joe, i’m just curious about what could happen in terms of “game-play chemestry” when he comes back.

lukas

December 6th, 2010
10:40 pm

I suspect Marvin will have a good game tomorrow, if he is not injured. The guy’s Copperfield act piss me off, but he’s the best SF we have.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
10:46 pm

lukas, hopefully when he returns, we’re not trying to overcome 17 point deficits. I guess I doubt our ability to win 67% of the games when we score less than 95 points (like the last 3 games). Has our defense really gotten that good suddenly?

OK, let me het back to enjoying the win. There will be room for Joe when he returns.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
10:50 pm

Melvin,

You’re absolutely right that comparing you to kids on the shortbus is insensitive. They can’t help their diminished mental capacity. I can be patient when I talk to people like that. You seem to choose to be a total moron. I have no patience for people like you. In any case, using references to the mentally challenged as an insult is not PC, but it’s far from uncommon. I apologize to them. I do not apologize to you.

And during periods where I haven’t posted, 4 different regular posters on this blog have posted to check in and ask what I’ve been up to and why I haven’t been posting. So I know for a fact that I am missed when I don’t post and would be missed if I did. That’s because, as insulting as I am to people who say idiotic or dishonest things, I actually offer basketball analysis that goes deeper than what you can glean from looking at the simple box score in the morning paper. That’s more than can be said for you.

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
10:52 pm

Good team win. Our offense was inconsistent, but there was effort on defense and rebounding all night.

Glad to see both Al and Josh in double digit rebounding. If they can each get 10 rebounds every night, that will keep us in a lot of ball games.

Props to LD for trying the different lineup, and giving Collins and Etan some PT (although I think he should have started Mo at SG instead of Marvin).

Let’s keep it going with a win against NJ at home tomorrow. We must defend our house.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
10:53 pm

And I’ll note that there are other regular posters on THIS blog who I’ve seen use terms like “retarded,” “shortbus,” and other terms insensitive to the mentally challenged (although I won’t embarrass them by calling them out). You never got in a tizzy over it before. It was only when you were the target that you were offended. You are upset not because the mentally challenged were marginalized, but because you didn’t like being made fun of. So you can drop the false indignation.

Astro Joe

December 6th, 2010
11:02 pm

Damn, the Pats are spanking the Jets like a $2, oops, let’s not go there.

OB, I think we’re learning that neither Marvin nor Mo are fully healthy. Before I got home, Holman said that Marvin was limping badly in the first half. As soon as Damien learns the offense, he may start getting close to 24-28 minutes of PT if those other guys continue to have health issues. I suggested earlier that the Damien signing was related to more than just the need for a wing defender. I think Mo and/or Marvin are fragile… I think that may be the issue.

niremetal

December 6th, 2010
11:13 pm

Alright Melvin, I’m calling a unilateral truce on my insults to you. I assume you’ll continue to post inane comments displaying only a superficial analysis of the game, but I’ll refrain from personally insulting you in reply.

Melvin

December 6th, 2010
11:19 pm

Nire,

That’s where you are wrong. I am not upset. Nothing said on this blog can change my mood. This is pure fun for me. I respect others opinion on here even when they are indifference from mine. What’s the point in calling someone out on a blog? We are all fans enjoying a blog for our favorite team. It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong at the liar’s table (as doc would say) to me.

O'Brien

December 6th, 2010
11:38 pm

AJ,

I do think Mo and Marvin are not fully healthy.

A couple seasons ago when Marvin got hurt, it took him awhile to get going again. Could it be deja vu?

I havent seen enough of Damien yet, but if he can give us half of what Marvin gives us (for one seventh of the price), Hawks will have found a bargain.

doc

December 6th, 2010
11:41 pm

missed the game only followed loosely on gametracker but enjoyed coming back to it to find a nine point lead. good stuff from these guys. guess the magic had to put a double asterisk themselves since they lost to a team without their 124 mil man. look forward to catching up but too busy right now.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
7:13 am

That was one of the best wins this team has gotten in a while, and I’d vote it as best win of the season.

Stomach bug or not, the Magic looked no different to me than they did when we last played them. Does Jameer mean more to the Magic than Joe does to us? That’s an argument some might care to make, but the fact and bottom line remains: we beat the Magic fair and square in their own arena, and a win it is. Congrats to the team and coaching staff.

Clearly Marvin and Mo aren’t fully healthy yet. As AJ noted, they aren’t recovering quickly. On the flip side, I’m not all that versed on their injuries and what may or may not affect recovery time, or how quickly they should expect to recover. I’ve seen guys come back and not be themselves for a while, the most glaring case being that of Josh Smith and Al Horford when they had those high ankle sprains a couple years ago. So, I agree that the acquisition of Damien Wilkens was a good one. Again, as AJ noted, allowing Wilkens more playing time should help both guys recover better, as they would get more rest. Better to let them rest and get this out of the way early on, rather than struggle down the stretch with lingering issues.

Having said that, I’d keep Wilkens for the remainder of the season, regardless. Let’s call this a second chance at foresight, if you will…

Somebody send the refs a fruit basket for calling Dwight Howard for nearly one fourth of the fouls he normally commits. That has to be an all time high. Kudos to Jason Collins for his play against Howard. If you can’t appreciate what Collins does for us in a game like this, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
7:24 am

Game observations:

1) Horford and Smith really stepped up in this one, both recording double doubles. Finally, they play like they are grown men against D12 and his crew, and the results are obvious. A key stat that might go unnoticed: 7 blocks between the two of them.

2) Josh Powell is a bench gem. He provides offense, and can pinch hit a bit on the defensive end when we don’t have a big center in the game. He also was a factor on the boards.

3)One more thought on rebounding: we lost that battle 45-42, but it was a tight one, not a domination by the Magic. No asterisk on this game, as the Magic had all of their frontcourt guys (all looking quite healthy, too), except Ryan Anderson (gee whiz).

4) Marvin played good defense when he was in the game. His offense is mostly non-existent, and it could be attributed to injury. Why? Because Marvin usually plays better on offense when Joe isn’t playing, although injury doesn’t explain his disappearing acts earlier in the season. It is what it is. Nice to have Wilkens around. Nice to have offensive contribution from Powell.

5) If you haven’t been giving Bibby credit for what he’s done for this team this season, now is a good time to start. 13 points and 7 assists might not seem like world beating numbers, but if you watched the game, you know what I’m talking about. Either somebody has turned back the clock for Mike, or Larry Drew’s offensive schemes also deserve more credit (I’d put my money on the latter). Either way, Bibby is playing arguably his best ball for us since the first season he was with us.

6) Solid contributions by the bench. Atlanta’s overall committment to rebounding really helped this win. So did the overall committment to defense. The bench helped this happen.

7) Good work by Drew and the coaching staff. These guys came ready to play and stayed focused for the greater bulk of this game, even when the Magic tried to go on their runs. Orlando is a bunch of hot-aired whiners when things aren’t going their way. It was entertaining and refreshing to see. :twisted:

Great win. Now let’s avenge ourselves on New Jersey tonight (hope nobody is too tired).

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
7:27 am

I’m going to attempt a neutral and arbitrary stance on the Niremetal vs. Melvin thing, despite the way it obviously looks. There is very little in the way of intellectual discussion, and I feel that it has run its course as far as the nature of the “conversation.”

I hope the last set of comments of that nature is just that…the last set.

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
8:46 am

No asterisk on this game, as the Magic had all of their frontcourt guys (all looking quite healthy, too), except Ryan Anderson (gee whiz).

I thought you always had been pretty high on Anderson, Ray. Are you saying now that his presence wouldn’t have altered the outcome? :twisted:

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
10:13 am

Ray,

I will try my best to keep it b-ball related from this point…

vava74

December 7th, 2010
10:42 am

Ummm… no commentaries on Teague being glued to bench for the whole game…

… nothing beats a win to erase any of the typical gripes around here!!!

So I will be the dissenting voice:

Jamal was plain horrible for most of the game… but that first shift? My goodness, a guy with two wooden legs and two wooden arms would have manned the offense better.

Due to this, we progressively let the Magic back into the game instead of pounding them when they were down. My guess is that Teague with a blind fold couldn’t have made any worse.

vava74

December 7th, 2010
10:49 am

Also,

Josh had 2 very good quarters and 2 not so good, very much in line with what he has been doing lately.

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
12:13 pm

If Teague can’t earn a permanent spot in the rotation (including against elite competition), then the Hawks may not have the luxury of keeping this current collection of 6′4″-6′7″ players.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

Niremetal ,

Heh! Anderson can shoot, I like his offensive game. And I’ll say this – a stretch 4 is usually a problem for us. But on a night when the starting stretch 4 can’t get the job done, chances are his backup won’t either.

Funny thing….Anderson is struggling this year. His shooting percentage is down, but so are his minutes. Last season, it was Bass who seemed to be getting the short end of the stick. Now it’s Anderson…

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:40 pm

Melvin ,

No sweat.

AJ ,

Very much agreed. The obvious question is this – who gets voted off the island?

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

Vava ,

It’s what you get with Jamal. On the one hand, I absolutely agree that ISO-Jamal killed us on a number of possessions. On the other hand, it saved our butts a few times when we couldn’t seem to get the right combinations of ball and personnel movement. The issue centers on Jamal’s ability to tell when it’s needed, and when it isn’t.

As far as Teague goes, here’s the rub: In those situations where a scorer is needed (i.e., a guy who can create for himself anywhere on the court, even if all he manages is to get to the free throw line), can you count on Teague? I don’t think you’ll need multiple choice to answer that one.

I agree, a win does eliminate many of the usual gripes. Except of course, your gripes about Josh Smith. Those are more consistent than Marvin’s defense or Jamal’s hot sauce dribbling. :lol:

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

Ray, Evans has an expiring contract and Wilkins contract isn’t guranteed until after 1/15. My guess is that Jamal will likely stay for the remainder of the year.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:48 pm

I think we needed the 15 points Jamal scored last night, even if we didn’t need the 17 shots he took (11 of which were misses). And while the ISO thing was more miss than hit, it kept the pressure up. One other thing? Only a single turnover. Lose by 10 or 20, and I’d complain.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

Which do you take, AJ ? I say Wilkins. Size advantage, if nothing else. The issue of course, is that Mo knows the offense better.

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
12:55 pm

Yeah, I figure Jamal is here to stay as well. Getting good, useable value for him may or may not prove difficult, and with Joe struggling prior to injury, it could be hard to justify the offloading of one of your most explosive scorers.

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
1:14 pm

While we don’t know for sure that Joe was hurt before leaving, it seems unlikely (at least to me) that he went from perfectly healthy to having a “loose body” floating in his elbow overnight. More likely, the elbow was barking on/off for a while. But if Joe returns around 1/20 (6 weeks) will Sund feel so comfortable that all is well that he would trade Jamal about 4 weeks later? I don’t think so. Cutting Wilkins is easier than trading a player (Evans). The Pape Sy signing was a huge waste of a roster spot… dude was highly unlikely to go from lower-level Euro league to effective defender in a single leap. The fact that he is too hurt to even practice only makes things that much worse.

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
3:38 pm

That Hoopinion guy can’t even post a positive story without a negative spin.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=EastStorylines-101207

Rufus1

December 7th, 2010
4:01 pm

@AJ

I feel the same way about the Hoopinion guy….I have had to call him out more than once about his negative spin.

JM

December 7th, 2010
4:24 pm

Good win last night. If the front court plays well again tonight, we’ll be good. I’m starting to like Josh Powell’s pick up. Twin did what he was brought back to do. Would like to see a little be more of JC2 and Teague at the end of quarters to give them some burn.

Go Hawks!

Big Ray

December 7th, 2010
5:08 pm

Will fatigue be an issue tonight? If we lose, will it be a topic of conversation (transation: excuses)

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
5:38 pm

Fatigue? Not with this wickedly tremendous bench we have.

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
7:22 pm

I’m tired of this Lopez guy already…

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
7:34 pm

I’ll make my first truly bold prediction in awhile tonight – Jamal will go for 50 tonight.

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
7:47 pm

Ok, maybe not :roll:

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
7:50 pm

Heh…didn’t hear Marvin call glass on that one…

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
8:07 pm

Etan’s looking good out there.

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
8:07 pm

Nice 1st half by the Hawks. Not much to complain about. Even Ethan look good in his brief playing time…

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
8:37 pm

I’m late to the party… why did Teague only get 3 first hakf minutes in what appeared (from the box score) to be an easy half for the home team?

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
8:43 pm

Astro,

I’m not sure but it looks as if Teague has falling out of the rotation with the addition of Damien. LD is playing Jamal at backup PG with Mo and Damien on the wings…

O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
8:52 pm

vava,

I think if Jameer played last night, Teague might have gotten minutes. he will have to stay ready though, because his time will come.

AJ, Big Ray,

I would prefer to trade Mo Evans, but I dont think he has any trade value, expecially coming off an injury. I do think Hawks need to keep Wilkins.

I like the fact that they were willing to bring Pape over, but if he wasn’t going to play or be sent to the D-League, then I’m not sure why they helped pay his buyout to come over, because we might need his roster space.

Wow. All that was one sentence…

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
9:00 pm

Melvin, thanks. I seem to recall another head coach choosing Jamal as the back-up PG over Teague.

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
9:07 pm

That was the first time in 3 years that ‘Nique offered up some quality analysis, when he just said that Josh needs to run on fast breaks more often and allow the guards to feed him the ball… instead of bringing up the ball himself. He actually mentioned it in the context of that pass from Jamal to Josh. WOw, insightful and timely analysis from ‘Nique. What’s next, a Pape Sy sighting?

O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
9:08 pm

AJ,

It looks like Teague will have to be more aggressive, and find more ways score in order to get more minutes.

NJ cuts the lead to 8. Hawks need to put this one away.

If we win, we will be 4-1 w/o JJ. It will be interesting to see how we do when we go on the road w/o him (at Spurs, at Hornets, at Bucks etc).

O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
9:09 pm

AJ,

Nique said the same thing last night about Josh late in the Orlando game.

Astro Joe

December 7th, 2010
9:11 pm

Dan Gilbert is about to have a garage sale… the Cavs are beginning to lose in epic fashion.

I Believe In This Team

December 7th, 2010
9:15 pm

Big Ray,

Any info on JORDAN Crawford. Where’d he go?

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
9:15 pm

If the Hawks keep Damien for the reminder of the year, LD will have to make a choice between Mo and Damien as the backup SF when Joe comes back. Now that I think about it, who will get to dress out when we play teams with big centers? Would LD continue to go big and have Ethan active or will he go with an extra wing player and have Mo and Damien active.

O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
9:28 pm

Melvin,

Mo Evans does not look healthy either, and he is too small to play SF, and so far, Damien has shown more defensive intensity.

I would rotate the inactives between Etan and Mo.

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
9:30 pm

Nice win by the Hawks…

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
9:32 pm

OB, agreed. Mo or Ethan…

Melvin

December 7th, 2010
9:34 pm

OB,

Do you think LB will stay with big lineup when Joe comes back against the teams with big centers?

doc

December 7th, 2010
9:35 pm

hmm 12 players found some time even if limited on the court tonight by the summary. nice job to ld to get guys in games. another win without the big dog.

really like the addition of wilkens. that could be huge as he is a pro that can go of on occasion and very willing to do the dirty work. perfect situation for him and the hawks. keep d wilkins, send sy to d league and cough up the money for making the stupid mistake of buying sy. no brainer but havent we said that before and seen something else transpire?

niremetal

December 7th, 2010
10:01 pm

Doc,

Wilkins, not Wilkens. Give the man’s family some respect ;)

O'Brien

December 7th, 2010
10:20 pm

melvin,

I would stay with the big lineup even after Joe comes back. Bibby/JJ/Josh/Al and Twin would be my big lineup (depending on the opponent of course).

doc,

Sy might be another example of the ASG not spending the money wisely. Why contribute to a buyout, and have him take up a valuable roster spot, if he was not going to play this year?

Because although he will get to practice with the NBA guys, I still dont expect muc from him next season.

doc

December 7th, 2010
11:07 pm

yeah nire, in a bit of a hurry to get er done. oot. my bad.

o’b exactly. too frigging much planning for the future, wasted a pick on him as i doubt anyone else knew of him.

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
7:08 am

I Believe In This Team ,

Jordan Crawford is around, but he was listed as inactive last night. I don’t know why…

Astro Joe ,

Different coaches, different reasons, but a common thread. Not that I need to tell you this, but Woody relied on Jamal as the second man on the team for putting the ball in the basket. He chose him over not just Teague, but also Marvin and others.

Drew sees what anybody else does, however. Jamal will make a play and cause the opposing team problems. Teague can play better man-to-man defense, but is all too often either the odd man out on offense, or can’t make plays for himself that don’t involve floaters or dump-off passes. That ain’t gonna get it. It’s perhaps an unfairly early prognosis on Teague, but my guess is we’ll see little to no change in his offensive game this season. He’ll have bursts where he gets to the basket successfully in some games, and might even hit a jumper or two (open, of course). Beyond that…

I’d say he improved his defense quite a bit over this past offseason. The next offseason needs to be a very intense focus on developing his jump shot, and his overall scoring attack. He already knows how to pass the ball and get assists. Now he must become a threat himself. It may be that he takes as long as Mike Conley did to come around. But I don’t know that he will go as far as Conley has gone. In the meantime, we have to hope that either A)Bibby plays like he is now for another season and a half, at least, or B) We make a move of some sort to get another solid pg.

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
7:16 am

The whole Pape Sy thing is probably misunderstood to a point, by all of us. Lacking inside information will do that to you.

Are we really to assume that the front office and coaching staff knew Sy would not be able to practice and play this season? I don’t think anyone foresaw the back injuries/problems.

Did we not know that Sy, like most 2nd rounders and European players, was a project?

The buyout is a mystery of sorts, and it certainly can be argued that this was an unwise expenditure, but what explanation is there for this? Why would the front office make such a move? Is this a product of their foreign scouting results, or are they buying into something Larry Drew saw/said?

Perhaps more pressing is the matter of not signing a guy like Wilkins in the offseason, while signing Etan Thomas, who has yet to prove his worth. Yes, he did well in spot minutes last night. Got anything else to offer or show us?

Fact is, Sy is a total unknown to us, even those who watched him play in the summer league. The Hawks aren’t known for making use of the D-League. All we have to go on is what Drew says, and right now he has other matters to occupy his mind. Wait and see is all we can do, and that begins with next season’s summer league…

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
7:43 am

As for last night’s game:

1) Al Horford gets a nice double double, and that was good to see.

2) Brook Lopez is overrated. Yeah, he had 24 points and shot 50%. Don’t care. Still overrated.

3) Josh Smith was magnificent, most notably on offense. If you want to say something bad about him (hardly unexpected), you can focus on the fact that he had just 3 rebounds. I’d harp on that if it weren’t for the fact that the man added a team high 7 assists, just 1 turnover, and shot 14 of 16 from the field.

4) Al had 6 assists himself. Stupendous!

5)Etan Thomas looked good in his token 3 minutes. Hurrah.

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
7:45 am

6) Jamal Crawford was also magnificent, and his assists have picked up noticeably in Joe’s absence (when he’s not hot-dogging it too much).

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
7:47 am

Oddly enough, Jamal’s defensive effect, which used to be totally non-existant, has also begun to make a tad bit of an impact very recently. His career average is 1 steal per game. He’s had 5 in his last two games.

Astro Joe

December 8th, 2010
9:33 am

I don’t mind the Etan signing.. Collins had to be a question mark headed into this season. He has been able to maintain his conditioning but no way Sund should have banked on that… so Etan was good insurance policy if Collins re-discovered Hardee’s. Also, LD was determined to defeat the Orlando dragon and obviously felt that having expendable bigs was needed to protect Al from foul trouble. Collins/Etan are the Hawks version of what Shaq brought to the Cavs last season, the Dwight Defense.

But if Sy was supposed to provide that wing defense that was a glaring skill gap, that (IMO) is inexcusable. The chances that you go from a decent Euro player in an average league to someone who can defend elite scoring SGs and SFs is a crazy bet. Wilkins or Antoine Wright or any number of known defenders should have been a priority over Sy.

Lastly, Ray, whatever you call it, Teague is sitting behind Jamal just like last year. And just like last year, he hasn’t earned the playing time. I hope that he spent last night studying Jordan Farmar… because that seems to be the better model for Teague. (And just like last year, our current 1st round pick is doing a lot of bench sitting).

niremetal

December 8th, 2010
9:52 am

The buyout of Sy made zero sense to me as well. We are letting Akyol and Gladyr develop a bit more on the dime of European teams before we make a decision on whether to bring them over. Why the hell did we go out and immediately sign Sy?

Speaking of our prior former second round picks, Akyol is back with Efes Pilsen this year (where he’s in a deep bench role) after spending a year in Italy (where he was a starter). To make matters worse, Italy offers a slightly higher level of competition than does Turkey – Efes Pilsen is probably better than all the Italian teams, but the rest of the Turkish league is bleh – which means that Gladyr is getting fewer minutes against worse competition. Not sure why he made the move. He seemed to develop more last year than in all his previous years combined.

Gladyr is playing with Manresa in Spain again this year, where he’s alternated between starting and being the 6th man. Manresa is a terrible team, but they are playing in the first-tier Spanish league, which is one of the strongest pro leagues outside the United States (Madrid, Barcelona, and Baskonia are three of the best non-US teams in the world). So he’s getting large doses of playing time against great competition. He’s struggling with his shot this year, but I think that’ll iron out by the end of the season. My guess is that he will have a breakout season next year (2011-2012) and that he’ll come over to the NBA the year after that (2012-2013).

niremetal

December 8th, 2010
9:53 am

*which means that Akyol is getting fewer minutes against worse competition

Astro Joe

December 8th, 2010
10:21 am

I honestly forgot about Akyol. At least Gladyr participated in the summer league this past year.

niremetal

December 8th, 2010
10:33 am

Akyol actually has some game. He had a great season last year in Italy. His move back to Turkey baffles me.

Astro Joe

December 8th, 2010
10:52 am

nire, maybe he isn’t as ambitious as others… he may enjoy playing in familiar surroundings more than playing in a better league. Non-athletes often have to make those tough decisions, a better job a thousand miles from family vs. staying close to home.

niremetal

December 8th, 2010
11:01 am

Fair enough, AJ. Easy to forget that bball players legitimately can care about things other than preparing themselves for an NBA career…

Big Ray

December 8th, 2010
12:03 pm

Astro Joe ,

What do you want me to say? Oddly enough, most of the noise was made about a big man in the off season, and few harped on the subject of a wing defender and a solid backup pg. I still have to credit Niremetal for being one of the foremost harbingers of doom on that front. Yet, I also recall some battles on that conversation that are certainly not what I’m hearing now

:lol: ……

Teague is what he is: not ready. Like I said, different motivations, but common themes (and results). Woody wanted to bring Teague along slowly. Drew wanted to give him a shot at earning the starting job. You can’t get anymore different than that.

As for the 1st round pick sitting on the bench, you can’t tell me that it’s for the same reasons. We needed a backup pg last season, just as we need one this season. We don’t need our 4th shooting guard, who happens to be a rookie, to play for us, unless we’re dead set on trading our 2nd one (Jamal), a suggestion that you very recently shot down (justifiably, I might add). Am I defending Drew’s decision to bottle JC2 up? Nope. And clearly, the kid is more ready to play his position than Teague has ever been. But playing him either takes minutes from Joe or Jamal, and he isn’t the pinch-hitter on defense that Mo is. Like I said before, you know all this.

There are similarities to what happened last season, and under a different coach. But that’s mostly on the surface. I hoped better for Teague, but it ain’t happening, and I take back what I said about him being closer to ready halfway through the season. I’m all but convinced at this point that he won’t be what we need from him THIS SEASON. I actually alluded to this possibility a couple months ago, but I don’t think anybody was paying attention.

As for Sy, I’m as much in the dark about this as you are.

Niremetal ,

Yeah, I remember you hollering when the first sprinkles of what we thought were aimless speculation about Pape Sy started coming out. Turns out we were talking out of our butts as we scoffed at the idea of Sy coming over this season, let alone in connection with a buyout. We even suggested that it was his agent trying to drum up a better deal for him. Wow, how wrong we were about that one, eh?

You’re right, it made no sense. Which is why I’ve said that “stupid” always worries me more than “cheap” ever did….

Hudson Hawk

December 8th, 2010
12:29 pm

Keep winning. Then we’ll see how smart or stupid it was to make Joe a billionaire.

Astro Joe

December 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

Ray, there are better options in front of JC2 this year and there were better options in front of Teague last year (and evidently, again this year). I also recall posting names like Devean George, Trenton Hassell and Antoine Wright a few times during the summer. Of course, I assumed that Teague would be a rotational player. I can understand him not playing on the road against Orlando, but getting a cameo appearance at home against the Nets? Teague came into the season a half-step away from being our starting PG (based on someof LD’s comments) and is now a 3rd stringer (again). I wonder if the Hawks should send Teague to the D-League now… while he is still eligible. That league seems better for guards/wings than bigs.

Astro Joe

December 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

Maybe we should trade Joe for Kenyon Martin, that way we get an expiring contract and we clearly no longer need Joe on the team. Denver, meanwhile, needs a scorer when Melo leaves (along with JR).

Sautee

December 8th, 2010
8:40 pm

Between nire’s snarls at Melvin and AJ’s smarm, this blog is not as fun as it used to be.

Oh well, c’est la vie, I guess.

O'Brien

December 8th, 2010
8:55 pm

Big Ray,

I think more fans (than you remember) talked about a wing defender over the summer. Some of us threw Matt Barnes’ name out there, along with Rodney Carney. Even MC looked at some wing players the Hawks could go after.

But for whatever reason, Rick decided that we didnt need any help on the wing. I know injuries have forced his hand, but it could be a blessing in disguise for 2 reasons.

1) We keep Damien Wilkins for the whole season. And if he plays well enough, maybe he is an option as a backup next season when Mo’s contract expires. If JJ was healthy, maybe we dont sign Damien.

2) There is better ball movement. Hopefully when JJ comes back, guys will continue to share the ball, and not feel obligated to defer to JJ.

Against the Spurs, I think LD should go with the big lineup, with Twin/Al/Josh.

kwooden1

December 8th, 2010
11:23 pm

I like what LD is doing with the line-up and the guys minutes. I think Jeff is in a tough spot in terms of getting a lot of minutes because Jamal is playing so well. Bibby is also playing adequate defense and his shooting has been great. I’m really hoping that Wilkins can push Marvin and Mo. Right now it’s clear that Wilkins fits and can contribute now. Hopefully Marvin sees that he really needs to get more consistent or he could be reading the bench even longer.

wordsmithtom

December 9th, 2010
7:36 am

kwooden1,
I too like the big lineup, especially against teams with tall, mobile bigs like Orlando and NJ.

Still think Marvin at 2 creates problems for other teams. His knee is still not 100%. He also will never be a LeBron or Kobe. Still, a lot of 2’s won’t like having him dog them. Wilkins gives a more than adequate backup there as well, along with JC1. Actually, this is the sort of team Bibby led when Sacramento went all the way. If Collins can clog the middle, we don’t need him to score.

niremetal

December 9th, 2010
8:44 am

Ray,

Yup. I’m certainly not going to argue that the decision to buyout and sign Sy right after the draft was the most harmful decision the Hawks have made in the past decade, I honestly think it is the most baffling. I really cannot think of a single logical reason as to why it would be better to bring him over this year instead of him letting him develop more in Europe on another team’s dime. As DraftExpress tweeted right after we signed him:

Is Atlanta’s Pape Sy possibly the least qualified (or most unlikely) basketball player to ever be signed by an NBA team?

Ray

December 9th, 2010
8:59 am

Haven’t been on for some time, but good job by the hawks these past two nights. Now they’ve beaten that elite team that’s been dogging them the whole season(Orlando), and then we finally have a game where they come back home to take care of business(Nets).

As for Orlando we could make up the excuse that Jameer Nelson was out, but Joe was as well so you never know. Josh better be an all-star this year if he isn’t that is some BS, and we all know that.

One thing I am disappointed about so far this season is both JC2 and Teague. It seems they don’t get a real chance to prove themselves it’s starting to remind me of Woody and the way he did Acie Law and Teague last year. Like someone else stated I understand not giving minutes for Orlando(tough game), but for the Nets come on man. Both of them should have gotten a ton of minutes at least maybe 21 a piece.

I mean if Teague’s not going to play send him over to the D-league or something I thought Bibby and Nick were going to help him develop, or quote on quote “Bring the dog out of him”. Seems like none of that has happened.

vava74

December 9th, 2010
9:03 am

Astro,

I think you would like to know that I’ve been consistently falling asleep and only watching the Hawks’ games on league pass after they end.

The exception was the Heat game (when I posted a +- of +2).

So, at first glance I would say that the Hawks are around 8-2 with me asleep.

Astro Joe

December 9th, 2010
9:23 am

vava, I’m hoping that doc can get us a prescription of Ambien to send you during the playoffs. Take 3 pills about an hour before game-time. Hawks win in 4!

It appears that the Heat are beginning to figure out how to play together. And I think Mike Miller is only a few weeks away from joining them. The Bulls are adjusting to Boozer in the line-up while we adjust to life without Joe. And the Knicks are surprisingly playing well of late (surprising to me at least). My guess is that the Knicks falter and it will be the Hawks and Bulls chasing the 4th best record in the East (and ultimately playing each other in the first round).

vava74

December 9th, 2010
10:21 am

Astro,

NY’s schedule has been mostly easy. Wins are wins though.

As for Lebrat and his mistresses, I still not sold the same way that I was not sold on last year’s Cavs.

When the going gets tough Lebrat folds.

This period in which the seem to be “on the same page” will end as soon as they face Boston or for instance SA and LA and get spanked.

Then the blame game will restart.

The fact is that Bosh is powder puff soft and it’s not a career underachiever like Dampier which will turn things around in the middle.

As for CHI… Ha! Boozer has never lead any team into respectability and his defense is bound only to deteriorate. So… my guess is that indeed we may end up battling them for the #4 seed but I’ll take my chances on a 7 game series against them even coming from the #5 seed.

Melvin

December 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

Look who made the most underpaid list of NBA players. I guess T.S. will be turning over in his sleep tonight.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/07/lebron-james-rondo-durant-business-sports-nba-best-players-buck_slide_12.html