Hawks lose, but who let the (inner) dogs out?

The Atlanta Hawks weren’t able to get revenge on the rival Celtics, but at least it wasn’t a bewildering blowout like before. Winning the battle on the glass was not enough to overcome 18 turnovers and the fact that the Celtics had 28 assists, whereas the Hawks only had 16. Suffice it to say that Larry Drew’s offensive sets were hardly executed to any consistent effect.

While the Hawks predictably struggled against another good team without star guard Joe Johnson, there were other factors that affected this game every bit as much, and could continue to do so in upcoming games.

 

Running with the Big Dogs

- Marvin Williams. The much maligned Atlanta forward had arguably his best performance of the year on offense, scoring a team high 26 points and looking good from everywhere on the floor. What was different? Marvin didn’t hesitate and looked to be on the attack nearly every time he got the ball, whether it was slashing to the basket, hitting jumpers with a defender in his face, or spotting up from behind the arc. In short, Marvin looked like he knew the team needed his scoring, and was eager to provide it. With Atlanta’s current top two scoring options all but non-existent, Williams was the difference between a loss and an outright blowout. History says we won’t see a game like this from him again for many moons, but it’s always nice to see when it does happen. Can Marvin give us a few more good games while Joe is out (or whenever needed), or will he go back to being the daily whipping boy?

- Damien Wilkins. The man’s defensive verve cannot be underestimated or underappreciated. But Wilkins doesn’t just bring defense (though we love to see how he does it on the perimeter, and all the way to the basket), he also has some decent offensive moves, and the Hawks would do well to go to him a little more often. There’s no “inner dog” with Damien. He brings it every time, and does so without fail. It would be a pity if the Hawks didn’t find a way to hang onto him, as using him in some way to acquire or make room for another much needed and useable talent, would be the only consolation for losing him.

- Jeff Teague. This might be the best game Jeff Teague has ever played for the Hawks. Maybe his ankle simply feels better now (as was suggested by one or two of the TNT commentators last night), or maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s because Jamal Crawford wasn’t out there. The only other credible caveat would be the absence of Rajon Rondo. But if you don’t want to make excuses for Teague’s dazzling performance, then just settle for this: the second year point guard hasn’t shown this level of aggression and predatory instinct since his days at Wake Forest. Few things beat the sight of Avery Bradley totally getting lost and Paul Pierce leaning back (and out of the way) as Teague dunked it harder than any Hawk not named Josh Smith, has in a while. Whatever the reason for Teague’s level of aggression last night, somebody needs to bottle it and pour it on him for each game. Check that, enough of the external factors and jokes about them. Whatever got Teague going should have (and probably did) come from the inside. It’s up to him to bring that fire, speed, and penetration from night to night. Can he/will he do it?

 

All Dogged Out

- Josh Smith. Some of Josh’s deplorable outing can be attributed to Boston’s defensive scheme, but I’ll give it 30% at best. Most of this was Josh’s mental and emotional state….again. Instead of trying to establish himself inside early on not trying to get his offense going from the perimeter, Josh did the opposite and fell flat on his face. The explosive forward was a fizzling dud from every area of the floor, and while a few calls didn’t go his way, that was no excuse. Where was his newfound ability to find his way to the free throw line? Smith also was very little help on the boards and spent more time succumbing to the one thing that seems to be his self-derived kryptonite these days: despondency. No one can really stop Josh, except Josh. Wants he gets in a funky mood, he has the worst time getting out of it, and his play hurts the team. That’s the trick with Josh, you see. He can’t NOT affect a game. No middle road. The question is whether he’s affecting it negatively or positively.

- Al Horford. The All-star PF/C still shot above 50% from the field, but 4 of 7 shooting with no trips to the free throw line isn’t going to wow anybody. Horford’s 7 rebounds led the team, which is a sad commentary in and of itself. His beautiful midrange jumper looked good, but Al often either hesitated, or passed it off. It seemed like his one attempt to go directly at Kevin Garnett was a deciding moment for him. After not getting what looked like it should have been a sure foul call, Horford failed to respond to much of anything for the remainder of the game, and there were a number of times that Mike Bibby tried to set him up for scores. Whatever happened to the warrior in this guy? Am I off base for calling him out?

Doggin’ it the best they can

A shout out goes to Zaza Pachulia, Mike Bibby, and Josh Powell for their efforts last night. Bibby continues to play like  a man renewed, and I truly believe he should have been named a team captain. His team high 8 assists (exactly half the team total) was an example of his effort to get teammates invovled, even as he continues to score decently, including leading the league in 3 point percentage.

Powell and Pachulia were solid off the bench, both providing some points and rebounds in pivotal minutes. You have to hand it to Zaza on that fake he put on Big Baby Davis. And did he sell that flagrant foul or what? For what it’s worth, Davis did hold onto him too long (especially around the head/neck area), I thought….

It was nice to see Jordan Crawford get some minutes, though clearly the rookie was rather jittery. Normally, his passing is more crisp, but there’s no denying his mindset when he gets the ball in his hands. The kid is a shooter/scorer predator type. No doubt about it.

Charles Barkley continues to rant (though shortly) about Mike Woodson’s lack of employment and the TNT commentary crew think Teague must be played more. I say he has to earn it and these guys haven’t been watching him play enough to say that.

What do YOU think?

136 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

December 19th, 2010
10:22 pm

Astro Joe ,

LOL. You must be either bored or separated at birth from Charles Barkley. “Poor Lucifer” indeed…..

Big Ray

December 19th, 2010
10:25 pm

Doc ,

You never know. I would have liked to have seen this team under Drew back in 2008 as well. I do think they’d be far less predictable and stagnant on offense, if nothing else. Amazing how Bibby is playing under Drew nearly 3 years later….or did he find some miracle pill? He never played like this under Woody (sorry, AJ….I know I’m picking on your hellish friend, but it is what it is). Must have been the system.

Am I suggesting the team had the sufficient talent level all along? Surely not, but we’d have know sooner having plied the same talents under two different coaches, no?

Then again, guess what? If we go back in the time machine, our guys get younger and their experience goes away.

So it’s all a moot point, and we’ll never know.

doc

December 19th, 2010
10:44 pm

nire, i think ld is a good coach but not a world beater. these guys need a real big time guy to look up to. ld is what he is, a rookie, so maybe he will blossom only time is short in the nba, windows snap closed quickly. this points back to a very sluggish and inefficient organization. if ld was their man in house he should have been the first and only candidate to interview with the job to be lost by him not as a courtesy. they knew they were jettisoning woody so they should have had a scalpel out to cut the deal within days of the change.

sorry, it is more than just a lack of spending money and not sure i would have either once miami did its thing, only to be competitive you have to. a coach is the best way to spend significant and not outrageous money wisely to bring the horses together. the problem is these guys take forever. it took close to two and a quarter years to follow the suggestion of bk and that has irked me from the day it was announced, pure folly. now the magic make a move, no two moves within days of a downturn that turns out to be more than the flu. so you wonder why i question the organization?

i really want these guys to do it but they wont as a nucleus in the east the way it is stacking up with a rookie coach and without a true, first class superstar without reconstructing this team in some way or spending money for better talent on the bench. it is a haves and players league.

O'Brien

December 19th, 2010
11:01 pm

doc,

Another concern for me is we have 3 captains, but yet leadership on the court is still a concern.

Who (on the court) gets on Josh when he is pouting or taking bad shots? Who gets on JJ and tells him stop taking 3s, and focus on driving the ball? Who gets on Al and tells him to stop being so timid.

This team has issues. There were Chemistry porblems that showed up last year, and Rick thinks changing the coach will cure all the issues?

I look forward to hearing his opinion of the team at the half-way point.

doc

December 19th, 2010
11:48 pm

vava74

December 20th, 2010
3:15 am

Ray,

Ok. I was sleepy and it slipped.

“Who played well”.

OB,

One of the great benefits about watching a game only after knowing the outcome is that without any emotional involvement you can detect “little turning points”, “little crucial moments”.

Many of our outside shots which did not go in where good shots. Yes, there were a few really bad shots but which team never takes bad shots?

Also, read my post, didn’t I point out other issues?

One of the thinks that struck me violently was how poorly bibby played in spitebof his offensive movements. He was horrible most of the game and I am convinced that what we really need is to replace him on the starting line up. Even for Teague, right now.

vava74

December 20th, 2010
7:54 am

“in spite of his offensive numbers”

vava74

December 20th, 2010
8:00 am

Basically the reasoning is very simple, with Bibby any team with a good coach, a decently quick and able PG and a decent big man will pick ‘n roll us to death.

And Bibby’s offense cannot offset that huge comfort that he gives to opposing teams.

Yes, there are games which go better for him and he manages to keep things more or less balanced but yesterday NJ simply felt that they had a money play to resort to whenever they needed so they never panicked when they were down by 7-9 points.

We, on the contrary did not have a bread and butter to resort to when dealing with NJ and IMO that money play would have been to have Teague exploit Harris sub-par D getting fouls on him and on NJ’s bigs.

I am 100% sure that this would work simply because we managed to see Bibby go to the rack 3 times in one game, something that probably did not happen since 2007.

vava74

December 20th, 2010
8:02 am

Yesterday would have been a game in which Jamal would have been productive and very useful IMO.

LionHearted

December 20th, 2010
8:17 am

Damn the attendance numbers are atrocious lol

They’re below the Sixers. They’re 25th. Thats Pathetic lol

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
9:23 am

niremetal, I disagree witht he “bad habits” comment. I have said ad nauseum that I supported getting rid of Woody in the summer. Likewise, I have said ad nauseum that hiring Drew felt like dating the sister of your ex-girlfriend… stupid, stupid move.

But there should also be some venom for LD. IMO, LD has allowed both Al and Josh to become WAYYY too comfortable shooting jumpers. Where’s the accountability we heard about so often during those riveting interviews? Josh Powell? Jump-shooter. In fact, I even thought the motion offense would lead to more baskets at the rim, but seemingly, it has led to more uncontested JUMPERS. While that is a good thing, we are still living/dying by the jump shot. We have a super athletic team that has devolved into a collection of jump-shooters. We were ultra-soft under Woody and yet, somehow, we are softer now than before.

I don’t view any of that as “bad habits” learned under a previous head coach. How do you play Joe an average of 39 minutes in each of his first 2 games after returning (early) from injury… when he is clearly not shooting the ball well. What message does that send to the rest of the team that fought fairly well in his absence? “I’m so happy to have Joe back that I will play him big minutes regardless because I really hated having to play the rest of you guys that much”. Hard to believe that 8-10 of those minutes couldn’t have gone to a combo of Wilkins/JC2.

I think we’re experienced some of LD’s growing pains, which is to be expected for a first year coach. But let’s not look for ways to blame Woody because our first-time coach is making some rookie mistakes.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
10:32 am

Where’s the accountability we heard about so often during those riveting interviews?

You do realize that LD benched Josh down the stretch of a close game last week precisely because he was shooting too many jumpers, right? He was benched again down the stretch of the SA game, though (according to Smoove, at least) that was because he was cramping rather than because he was playing poorly (though he was). I agree that Drew should do more to clamp down on Josh’s jumpers in particular, but it’s tough to strike a balance with it that won’t tick off Smoove so much that he’ll be pouting and useless every game.

I agree that the team is shooting too many jumpers. That was a problem under Woody, it’s still a problem now. You can disagree with me, but I think that’s largely a bad habit that Josh and (to a lesser extent) Al got used to under Woody and that they are having trouble “unlearning.” At least Drew has made some effort to hold Josh accountable for his jumpers

vava74

December 20th, 2010
11:16 am

Astro,

LD’s work is seen when we get back door baskets, which has happened often in the nights (or maybe we should only mention “quarters”) in which we are playing well.

I insist: 3 of the last 4 games were officiated very poorly leading to either Al or Josh being benched in foul trouble for long stretches in 2 of them.

Also, the absence of Jamal, who acts like a can opener sometimes is difficult to replace given the fact that team relies on him.

This does not mean that we should not trade him, quite the contrary:

The major problem with the Hawks is that they RELY on two very inconsistent players: Josh and Jamal, one for defense and the other for offense.

You cannot achieve consistent success with so much inconsistency playing such a big role in the way we play.

Hence, I would be very very willing to trade at least one of the inconsistency factors and I would do it for whatever “hustling big” we could get in return.

And by “hustling big” I mean anyone who like to hurt little guys driving to the rim and throw elbows.

Reggie Evans would be paradise.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
11:28 am

niremetal, 82games shows that Al and Josh are shooting over 20% more jumpers this year than last year. Over 20%… that is not an insignificant increase.

Josh was benched in the ‘08-09 season.

The latest butting of heads happened last Friday in Charlotte. After watching Smith fire up a few too many perimeter bombs in the first half, Woodson reportedly teed off on him, calling his shot selection selfish. When Smith said something back, the two got into a heated exchange that was serious enough to warrant Woodson benching Smith for the entire second half.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/chris_mannix/03/11/smith.woodson/index.html#ixzz18faADO24

We know that he minimally gave up 3-pointers last season but has become a Charlie V. impersonator this year. I don’t recall any mention of him being benched in the Spurs game, but I do remember him hobbling around. If he was benched for play, I hope he knows that… although I suspect that he was truly cramping up.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
12:28 pm

Well, benching a player for talking back to the coach is quite a different matter than benching him for shooting too many jumpers. We all remember that game against Charlotte. Everyone, including Smoove, said that it was because of his blatant insubordination. Frankly, I can’t think of a coach who wouldn’t bench a player in that situation. This time, LD benched him based on his play alone. If you don’t see that as an important distinction, fine. I do.

As for the increase in jumpers, I never once have absolved LD of responsibility for that. I agree that he needs to do more to cut down on it. It’s a problem that has gotten much worse, especially with Josh. To a certain extent, that’s explainable by the fact that both have been hitting them more, but I’ve always suspected that won’t last. But Josh shooting too many jumpers is the textbook definition of old news. He got used to being able to shoot them with impunity under Woody. It seems likeafter working hard on them this summer, he came back thinking that he would have a green light to shoot them even more this year. It’s LD’s fault for not quickly disabusing him of that notion. But that doesn’t mean I absolve Woody for allowing Josh to develop that mentality in the first place.

yodaddy

December 20th, 2010
1:17 pm

Too many jumpers…we don’t have Kobe or MJ or even Karl Malone or Arvydas Sabonis….

so that means please take the ball to the basket, get fouled. You have to make the refs use that whistle.

And I don’t mean take it to the rim with some weak floater nor whatever that is ZaZa Pachulia throws up that gets blocked everytime and expect a foul called. I mean take it to the rim with the intent to score and create contact.

After much pondering, I believe we have a weak and soft mentality. We are not aggressive. The Coach isn’t, our “star” isn’t, and our bench nor big men are. I need one of these Hawks to get a flagrant foul…I need these little guards to be sent to the floor hard every time trying to come in the lane with finger rolls. Far too many times at the end of games the Hawks give up dunks and layups. It’s unacceptable. I don’t care if you foul out the game or get suspended…make them earn the points at the free throw line at least rather than giving up a layup that a 7th grader can make. Let ETAN play…he will get physical and hustle, if nothing else.

If teams want to continue that pick and roll, then Bibby needs to pull a Derek Fisher/Vince Carter move and just barrel through it every now and then. I’ll take the foul and if it’s hard enough I’ll take the technical foul and/or ejection.

Somebody on the team needs to say that enough is enough.

yodaddy

December 20th, 2010
1:25 pm

@vava

I agree..we need to start hurting these little point guards coming through slicing up the lane on the pick and roll. It’s not hard to do…CP3, Tony Parker, Rondo, Jennings, Devin Harris etc…..these are small players with history of injury so we need to see how durable they are. Collins, Zaza, Al & Josh…use up all your fouls I don’t care…Bibby having trouble getting through the pick then throw a forearm/elbow into that chest

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
2:04 pm

Good, because there is no way to absolve LD, especially considering his 6-year tenure with the team. And especially when he went out of his way during his introductory press conference to inform the public on how he planned to use Josh in the offense.

Regarding the Charlotte game, Woody yanked Josh from the court after the bad shots… would he have kept him on the bench the entire half had he not acted like an angry girl? We don’t know. But the fact remains that the previous coach did in fact attempt to correct the behavior. His jumpers went down over 20% from ‘08-09 to ‘09-10.

Of course, the “bad habits” issue comes back to the basic question… who is more likely to fix bad habits, someone who was an integral part of the environment where the bad habits were bred (2nd in command to be exact) or someone with a completely fresh perspective and the likelihood of more turnover across the entire coaching staff? If I were the Chairman of the Board and felt like I needed a new CEO to change the culture of the company, I think I’d roll the dice on an outsider rather than promote the existing COO who helped shape the culture.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
2:34 pm

But the fact remains that the previous coach did in fact attempt to correct the behavior. His jumpers went down over 20% from ‘08-09 to ‘09-10.

And you’re giving Woody credit for that…on what basis? Simply because it happened while Woody was coach? Careful. Because if you’re giving Woody credit for the improvements players showed under his watch, then don’t you have to give Woody the blame where players failed to improve something or took a step backward.

If I were the Chairman of the Board and felt like I needed a new CEO to change the culture of the company, I think I’d roll the dice on an outsider rather than promote the existing COO who helped shape the culture.

A fair point, and one I’m starting to agree with more and more. Unfortunately, I doubt simply a coaching change – any coaching change – would fix the problem at this point. I think our starting 5 has grown to used to playing with one another. They are capable of incremental adjustments, but nothing more. That’s why I suggested making a trade that would bring in a new starter. I think this starting 5 has grown too used to one another. They need someone who will force the others to adjust to his style of play, who doesn’t have the same bad habits and thus will make the other starters have to think about what to do while he’s on the floor. I think it’s safe to assume that JJ and Horford are staying. We could get a new PG, and the difference that could make should be obvious. Or we could have an SF who is not so used to deferring to his teammates on offense that his teammates only look for him in bailout pass situations. Or we could have a PF who doesn’t fade to the perimeter on every other possession. Or a combo forward who makes backdoor cuts like there’s no tomorrow. Etc, etc, etc.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2010
2:46 pm

I know that Josh is making his jumpers at a higher % than most of us thought he could, but IMO, LD has softened his “less jumpers for Josh” stance.

At his press conference, he said he wants Josh to establish himself in the post first and foremost. But how many games do we see where Josh’s first 3 attempts are jumpers?

And now, LD has softened his stance to “he doesnt want Josh taking jump shots if the play calls for him to be in the post.”

As improved as Josh’s jumpers are, I think he is very inconsistent with his shot selection, and when we play a good defensive team, he will struggle (like he did both games against Boston).

There has been a change in Josh’s mentality. There have been games where with the shot clock winding down, Josh is camped out by the 3 point line to take the shot. And LD has helped Al to blossom into a very good PF, but that has taken away Al’s aggressiveness and his post mentality that he had earlier in his career.

AJ also raises a good point. JJ comes back in 2 weeks (instead of 4-6 weeks), and LD plays him 39 mpg. I know Jamal is hurt, but if it was Woody, he would be criticized a lot more for playing JJ so many minutes.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
2:58 pm

nire, I’ve been screaming about the ridiculous “sacred core” for a while. But I concede that breaking apart a team is much more challenging than hiring the right coach. It takes 1 (or more) willing GMs to change the roster… hiring the right head coach doesn’t require much (if any) cooperation from teams looking to kick your teeth in. You wanted a new starter, I would have settled for a top 7 player… we got neither. We got sameness.

Careful. Because if you’re giving Woody credit for the improvements players showed under his watch, then don’t you have to give Woody the blame where players failed to improve something or took a step backward.

Huh? Woody does take heat for Teague’s non-development, right? Isn’t he the scapegoat for Teague, Acie, Solo, and every other young player who didn’t develop? Isn’t he the lone reason why Salim is out of the NBA? The reason Childress didn’t stay (because Woody refused to start him over Marvin), the reason Diaw was a bust as a Hawk, the reason Zaza struggled mightily last year, the reason for 4th quarter collapses in the past, epic playoff losses, Joe being tired in the postseason, Josh being positioned away from the basket, too many isolation plays, quick PGs scoring on us and a major contributor to every awful draft pick in the past 6 years? The only mistake that he hasn’t been blamed for is Speedy Claxton. Come on nire, you’ve read all of that before… it’s the reason he isn’t coaching because he was Lucifer (or the Boogeyman, as vava and Teague call him). Because he took a wrecking ball to this otherwise promising team. The man behind the “bad habits”. And from this evil, we chose our new head coach. BRILLIANT!

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
3:08 pm

Careful. Because if you’re giving Woody credit for the improvements players showed under his watch, then don’t you have to give Woody the blame where players failed to improve something or took a step backward.

niremetal, are you kidding me? Woody has been blamed for everything (with the exception of Speedy Claxton’s knee). He is the lone reason why Teague, Salim, Acie, Solo and every other young player failed. He is the exclsuive cause for Diaw being an awful Hawk, for Josh being “positioned” away from the basket and forced to shoot long jumpers as the shot clock wore down. For quick PGs abusing us, for losing 4th quarter leads (when was the last time we had a huge 3rd quater lead to blow, BTW). He is the reason Childress left, because Woody refused to start him over Marvin. He is the evil that kept Zaza from excelling last year, the demon behind Marvin not knowing where his shots would come from. Woody was a contributor to every awful draft pick and for every bad thing associated with this team. He was Lucifer. He was the man behind the “bad habits”. It’s always been Woody’s fault, right down to the hire of the ugly fat Hawks cheerleader. Act like you know man, act like you know.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2010
4:21 pm

Woody was also the man behind playing JJ too many minutes, so he was tired down the stretch :smile:

I wonder if Woody is the reason why Steve Smith left, leaving us with ‘Nique? :smile:

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
4:31 pm

I’m not sure what you responding to with that, Astro, but it sure wasn’t to what I said. Your response was one long straw man (surprise!). The “lone reason?” The “exclusive cause?” For “every bad thing?” Yeah, no one here ever criticized anyone other than Woody. No one at all.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_GkzIp67B66s/S77ictU682I/AAAAAAAAAas/vGNJUjhtzGE/s1600/Strawman-motivational.jpg

I simply pointed out that you provided no explanation for your statement that Josh’s reduction in jumpers last year was due to Woody’s “attempt to correct the behavior.” It seems your only reasoning was that it happened under Woody’s watch. If that’s the case, then isn’t it, in fact, fair to blame Woody for every single bad thing that happened under his watch (an argument that neither I nor anyone else has made)?

Straw, straw, straw. Looks like you’re slipping back to your old tricks, AJ. You apparently are unwilling to address my arguments on the merits. So instead, you set up a straw man and knock it down. You say that Woody is blamed for EVERY problem, nevermind that there are many problems – for example the overpaying for JJ/Marvin, the drafting of Shelden, the new 3-headed captaincy, etc that neither I nor anyone else have blamed on Woody, far as I know. You say that Woody is named the “sole/exclusive/lone” cause for problems, nevermind that no one here has even come close to saying that the shortcomings of Josh/Al/Marvin/Jamal/JJ/Bibby are due solely to Woody and not to the players themselves (or, now, LD).

I mean, you’re not fooling anyone AJ. No one has portrayed Woody as Lucifer, saying that he was the sole and exclusive cause of the Hawks’ ills. People have just said that he caused or contributed to many of the Hawks’ ills, including some of the most detrimental ones. Why is it so hard for you to respond to those specific arguments head-on? Why are you only willing to respond to caricatures of what people said instead of responding to what they actually said?

Hmmm?

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

I guess Astro missed all these portions of my previous points. They are, after all, quite inconvenient to his tirades about how Woody is blamed for EVERYTHING.


I don’t know what you expect me to say different. I basically was saying in my post that it’s starting to look like simply changing the coach wasn’t sufficient to get the team over the hump. I still think it’s necessary, but it’s starting to look as if it wasn’t sufficient. Isn’t that the same thing you were saying over summer? How was I blaming Woody “for everything that goes wrong with the team?” Seems like I criticized Marvin, Josh, Al, Sund, and ASG too…

I don’t blame it all on Woody…

As for the increase in jumpers, I never once have absolved LD of responsibility for that. I agree that he needs to do more to cut down on it. It’s a problem that has gotten much worse, especially with Josh…It’s LD’s fault for not quickly disabusing him of that notion…

A fair point, and one I’m starting to agree with more and more. Unfortunately, I doubt simply a coaching change – any coaching change – would fix the problem at this point. I think our starting 5 has grown to used to playing with one another. They are capable of incremental adjustments, but nothing more. That’s why I suggested making a trade that would bring in a new starter.

And that’s just since your first “Lucifer” strawman post in this thread. Hell, even this:

You can disagree with me, but I think that’s largely a bad habit that Josh and (to a lesser extent) Al got used to under Woody and that they are having trouble “unlearning.”

Note that largely does not mean “solely,” “exclusively,” etc.

Come on, AJ. Act like you know ;)

ATL in DA HOUSE

December 20th, 2010
4:55 pm

The same Woody that “limited” Josh’s jumpers also limited Al’s touches. Al is too comfortable with jumpers? Should we also be uncomfortable with his career high 57% from the field. Josh’s jumpers are the perfect darkhorse whipping boy. He shoots too many, yet is hitting them at a better rate than ever, a more acceptable one than ever, at that. Larry Drew is making mistakes. Are we directing the hate at him, or at the people who decided he should be the next head coach? I find it so funny that a guy’s years as an assistant coach with a team seem to count as years as the head coach with some people. No such thing as being a rookie around here. I guess that also means that working under a guy for six years means there is no way possible that you could have a different opinion, outlook, or approach to how things are or should be done. Yet, you should know how to solve all the problems within a few months. Something tells me no matter what the coaching change would or could have been, the results would have been similar.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
5:09 pm

nire, I thought that you were talking about bad habits. I thought that you gave credit to LD for attempting to correct Josh’s penchant for taking jumpers by benching him recently. If at this point in this post, I have misrepresented your earlier posts, it is not intentional… I thought that was the pattern of the discussion. When I suggested that Woody did the same (benched Josh for shooting jumpers) AND suggested that Josh actually improved his shot selection shortly after the benching, you responded to be careful about giving Woody credit. Is that a fair summarization? It isn’t an attempt at any bloggong violation, just my interpretation of the discussion.

My rant back to you was that there is no need to “be careful” for fear that it could lead to a slippery slope of Woody’s faults.

niremetal, I am completely and utterly guilty of not being able to remember all of your opinions against those of other bloggers here. So my rant was by NO means an attempt to say that you personally blame Woody for that laundry list of alleged offenses. I would never presume to know where your specific list begins or ends of Woody’s past failings. I was just pointing out that the blog-at-large has found a few faults with our previous head coach. What is there to “be careful” about? That you would fine some fault about Woody? That is what I am responding to… the “be careful” quote (which is certainly not misquoting).

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
5:15 pm

ATL in DA HOUSE, that may be true, which is why you shake up the roster. If you’re not willing to shake up the roster, then you go for a for definitive change in coaching voices. Sure, LD can clearly be “his own man” and no one is suggesting otherwise. But if you need to make a grand change and can’t afford (or choose not to ) change out the core of the team, then you need to do more than promote someone who has served as “Uncle Larry” for 6 years. Not to mention his decision to retain 2-3 assistant coaches. If you want a change, then why are the players seeing 3-4 coaches that they have worked with for 5-6 years? That feels like an incremental change which at best will provide incremental results. And in this case, incremental results likely means 1-2 2nd round victories (at best). Excuse me if that doesn’t have me cheering from my office. Hard to get excited by an off-season plan to “lose better”.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2010
5:20 pm

You say that Woody is blamed for EVERY problem, nevermind that there are many problems – for example the overpaying for JJ/Marvin, the drafting of Shelden, the new 3-headed captaincy, etc that neither I nor anyone else have blamed on Woody, far as I know. You say that Woody is named the “sole/exclusive/lone” cause for problems, nevermind that no one here has even come close to saying that the shortcomings of Josh/Al/Marvin/Jamal/JJ/Bibby are due solely to Woody and not to the players themselves (or, now, LD).

You’re getting literal on me again, nire. There is a writing style that is not always found in reference books. It employs nuance, satire, humor, hyperbole… it is a little more fun than writing well-researched, Harvard Review-type editorials. And for a basketball blog, I personally find it more exciting than reading posts with footnotes and bibliographies. No, Woody is not literally to be blamed for each and everything that is foul with the Hawks. Feel better now?

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
6:11 pm

Ah, so you respond to caricatures of what people said because you find it more exciting than responding to what they actually said? Is that the lesson I should glean from all this?

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
6:15 pm

As for the “be careful” bit, that was tongue-in-cheek. It was me noting the, shall we say, dissonance of your willingness to give Woody credit for an improvement that Josh made, seemingly based solely on the fact Woody was coach when said improvement occurred, in light of your criticism of others for blaming Woody for the ills that did accumulate under his watch. Good for the goose and all that.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
7:46 pm

I didn’t think the refs have been as bad to the Hawks during the past couple weeks as Vava thinks, but tonight…wow. A bunch of no calls with clear contact so far.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
9:07 pm

Anyone who looks at Dwight’s stats might think that Collins hasn’t been effective against him. But anyone who has actually watched the game wouldn’t say that. Dwight has 17 boards, but the Hawks are outrebounding the Magic 39-31 and Dwight has clearly been frustrated at the difficulty he’s had getting off decent shots.

niremetal

December 20th, 2010
9:15 pm

8:15 left in the 4th: Now THAT is what I call ball movement!

vava74

December 21st, 2010
2:15 am

I was asleep, my broadband connection was down.

We won.

Maybe the Hawks organisation should pay me to sleep over every match.

O'Brien

December 21st, 2010
7:44 am

Regardless of Orlando’s situation, I am happy for the win. I just wish we could play with this type of effort more often.

Collins played well against Dwight. And even ZaZa gave us 7 rebounds. Marvin also played well in the 4th.

I think Marvin needs to come off the bench. When he is on the court with the starters, he gets lost out there. Maybe coming off the bench (like he did in college) will make him more aggressive, and produce better results. Plus we wouldnt be so dependent on Jamal.

I did not like the way JJ played however. And from MC’s blog;

“It’s clear that Joe is going to play the same way whether he’s rusty or not. He forced a few shots and had five turnovers.” MC .

JJ needs to not force the issue. Let the game come to him. He took some bad shots last night, and he struggled from 3 again.

But it was a good night for the Hawks. They win, Orlando and Miami both lose.