Nemesis no more? Hawks defeat Magic a second time

Maybe they still have the flu. Maybe the trade disrupted their chemistry (whatever chemistry they did have). Maybe they just didn’t play well. Or maybe…the Orlando Magic simply don’t have the Atlanta Hawks’ number anymore.

Whatever the case, the Hawks beat the Magic for a second time this season, this time in a more convincing fashion, erasing the memory of the early season blowout at the hands of their old nemeis. Perhaps now the expected 20+ point blowouts are gone, and a win like this does go a ways in easing the pain of a nasty loss to the New Jersey Nets. So how did it all go down?

No Fear

You have to respect the League’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best shot blockers around. But, you can’t play like you’re scared of him on either side of the ball. When it comes to defending Howard, all that’s needed is a big body (height and weight helps here) with some smarts and a willingness to mix it up and not give him the position he wants every time. Enter Jason Collins, who came into the season much improved from a physical conditioning standpoint, and who has always been a savvy post defender. Collins can take the beating that Howard dishes out, and never stops coming at him, even forcing the officials to actually call 1 or 2 of the 50 offensive fouls Dwight commits every game (and 50 might honestly be an underestimation).

Enter also Josh Smith, who continually challenged Howard’s shots when he was able to peel away from his man in time. Perhaps no single play in the entire game showed the new found moxie of the Hawks more than Josh Smith’s one-handed block of Dwight Howard’s one-handed dunk attempt. At this point, you could hear it in the air: “We aren’t scared of you.”  Howard finished with an impressive 19 points and 20 rebounds, a box score story that would impress most who hadn’t seen the game. But you’d have to watch the game to see the frustration on his face, and you’d have to read the box score closer to see how the Hawks really handled him: Playing him one-on-one with the occasional weak side help from Smith, Atlanta forced Howard into a 6-14 shooting performance that included 5 fouls and a game-high 6 turnovers.

Right Back at You

Equally impressive was a double-double combo from Al Horford and Josh Smith. Atlanta destroyed Orlando on the glass 51-38 as Horford and Smith ripped down 11 and 10 boards, respectively. But it was the bench that made the true difference, led by forward Marvin Williams (normally a starter) with 9, and backup center Zaza Pachulia adding 7 of his own. In fact, every Hawk to get in the game grabbed a rebound, with the exception of point guard Jeff Teague. Total team efforts like this make you wonder what happens on other nights (like against New Jersey!).

Adding to a team leading and game high 24 points from Al Horford were Joe Johnson with 17 (still working the rust off, but playing like a grown man), Mike Bibby with 15 (League’s hottest 3 point shooter, Ladies and Gents), and Marvin with a healthy 12 points. Smith added 12 of his own despite an awful shooting night (3-14), and guess what?

The Hawks still won by 10, which was closer than the game really was.

The thing is, the Hawks kept the Magic off of their rhythm by not letting their shooters get loose and comfortable, and by keeping Dwight Howard frustrated. Now if only they’ll keep it up and do this to other teams as well.

No time for a let-down, the Cavs are next. Can the Hawks retain what they’ve learned against Orlando, or will they lose focus again?

85 comments Add your comment

niremetal

December 23rd, 2010
2:39 pm

I meant both of you. Where do you get the sense that Marvin feels “entitled” to anything. You have to start with a pretty skewed perspective to view his comments (and his play over the past two games) and interpret them as reflecting a sense that he is “entitled” to anything.

lukas

December 23rd, 2010
3:09 pm

I got it from his comments, not his actions. The sense of entitlement is my interpretation of his comments that could be, or not, what’s really going on. I can understand him from a behavioral standpoint, based in the fact that he has been in charge of the SF position for 6 years and maybe that security not only has made him feel entitled to it but also a little bit indispensable. This same security could have taken away from him the desire of getting better, or playing at a higher level. That can happen to any of us.

Again, this hypothesis maybe a reach but is an interesting perspective that is worth looking at.

Ray

December 23rd, 2010
5:09 pm

@ Nire

I understand what ya’ll are saying about me criticizing Marvin, but at this moment I’m just saying I don’t want the guy to feel like he’s entitled to just start anytime he feels like it.

Not saying that he does, but it’s like Lukas said above me or at 3:09(cause by the time I post this 85 people may have said something lol). He’s been in charge of the SF position for 6 years now and counting, and the only reason that’s happened is because at 1 position we lack a true starter and we all know which one that is. (No it’s not the PG lol)

I got the sense that he may feel (big emphasis on may) entitled because of the comments he said. Which is why I said what I said earlier.

Still for me the jury is still out on Marvin Williams I will give him credit for his play the past couple of games, but it’s still in the back of my mind as to how long before he becomes invisible yet again. Hopefully he doesn’t.

Melvin

December 23rd, 2010
5:22 pm

Nire,

Change of subject. With recent/past reports in Portland with riffs between Miller/Roy along with their past inquires in Jamal. What you think about a Jamal for Roy trade/package? Hawks could put Roy on the shelf until he’s healthy.

niremetal

December 23rd, 2010
6:23 pm

Melvin,

Portland is a city that’s pretty loyal to it’s players. One of the reasons Pritchard got the boot is that he was seen as having an overly itchy trigger finger when it came to trading players. Roy is just 26, is coming off his 3rd straight All-Star appearance, and is a model citizen after years of Jail Blazers. There would be riots on Burnside Street if Roy were traded this year, before he was even given a full year to recover from his knee issues.

That’s a long way of saying that there is no way Portland would trade Roy without getting a legit good-guy star in return. The only guys I think Portland would even consider trading Roy for on our squad are Horford and JJ. That’s it. Not even Josh would be acceptable. Josh might be a good guy, but his on-court histrionics will be too reminiscent of the rollercoaster days of Sheed and Z-Bo, which no one misses.

A quick primer in Portland marketing: The Blazers went 41-41 in both 2004 and 2008. But the team’s attendance was way better in 2008 than it was in 2004, despite the fact that the ‘04 team was coming off a 50-win season and the ‘08 team was coming off a 50-loss season. It’s a mild-mannered city. They like mild-mannered players. Roy is the perfect star there. They won’t part with him easily.

Relatedly, I find it odd that so many people in the media are already assuming that Roy’s knees are so thoroughly shot that there’s no hope he’ll ever fully recover. There seems to be lots of speculation, but players much older than Roy have had long and productive careers after their joints started to break down – Hornacek comes to mind immediately. Anyway, I haven’t heard any hard stories on the nature of Roy’s injuries, but I have a tough time believing that doctors have told the team they need to write off a 26 year old guard…

Ray

December 23rd, 2010
10:22 pm

I’m going to say if we trade with anyone let it be Dallas, Detroit, or Memphis.

If we could get both Caron Butler and Haywood for someone I’d be fine with that, or as many suggested even the blog writers sometimes we trade with Detroit for TP maybe even Rip.

Thing about Memphis is I’m actually hoping we could get Thabeet(feel like that’d be an answer to the C problem) That’s a maybe though cause he is 7′2 and is young get someone in here that’s about his height that knows the game Thabeet plus Collins could be a force in the league. This is just my opinion though.

O'Brien

December 23rd, 2010
10:47 pm

nire,

This was what I read on hoopsworld.com that made me say Marvin sounds like he feels entitled to starting.

“No. I wasn’t cool with it man,” said Williams to HOOPSWORLD about being benched. “It was something different. I’ve been starting here since my second year here, but it was a choice he (Drew) felt like he had to make and I had to live with it.

I don’t know if he’ll ever make that change again and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. But like I said, I’ve been a starter pretty much since I’ve been here but he chose to make that change and I have to live with it.” .

O'Brien

December 23rd, 2010
10:53 pm

I know its early, but would you guys trade JJ for Roy (this coming offseason maybe)?

I think JJ is a better player, and he has been very healthy compared to Roy. But Roy has 3 years, $49 mil left after this year (a 4th year team option at $20 mil).

JJ, on the other hand, has 5 years, $107 mil left after this year. Roy would be tradeable in 2 years when he is one year away from expiring, and that would give the Hawks a lot of financial flexibility.

O'Brien

December 23rd, 2010
10:55 pm

From hoopshype.com;

Brian T. Smith: Hawks small forward Pape Sy, 53rd overall pick of 2010 NBA Draft, expected to join D-League’s Utah Flash on Monday. Twitter .

Why did it take so long for the Hawks to send him to the D-League, I dont understand.

O'Brien

December 23rd, 2010
11:13 pm

The struggling Magic blow out the red hot Spurs.

richbrave

December 23rd, 2010
11:16 pm

BIG RAY:

Keep the peace baby. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Third time’s a charm evidently. The MAGIC finally won with ARENAS on the team.

Took RASHARD LEWIS four days to get onto the floor in D.C. That guy doesn’t want to be in WASHINGTON although the WIZ brass sure have been hoping he does. They should trade him for a decent back-up center and a second point guard to run behind WALL. HILTON ARMSTRONG and LESTER HUDSON are overmatched in the NBA, and KIRK HINRICH wasn’t brought into D.C. for that job..

vava74

December 24th, 2010
4:30 am

my to grains of salt on MW coming off the bench:

Unfortunately my leaguepass allows me to watch games either live or within the 24h following its occurrence and due to professional issues I did not have the time to watch past the 1st quarter.

Nonetheless, MW’s numbers (and when they came) seemed really solid, which would indicate that a dose of pine may have been beneficial.

In the meantime against CLE he confirmed that his mojo seems to be back.

His outside shot is finally leaving his hands at the right moment (going up and not coming down) and even the misses were good ones.

His words are normal and a guy who has started for most of his life will always say what he said.

I am sure that LD spoke with him afterwards telling him on his face that he should do whatever is called for in order for the Hawks to win, including coming off the bench whenever that is required.

I also think that the MW experiment is a good indication that we would be better off with him as our sixth man rather than Jamal since albeit less talented he would bring a defensive presence off the bench which could make him the first two-way sixth man in a long time in this league (I don’t remember any sixth men bringing anything beyond offense).

Also, coming off the bench we could use him against the best offensive match up from SG (posting up) to PF (out quicking).

vava74

December 24th, 2010
4:33 am

OB,

No, I would not trade JJ for Roy.

JJ is a better defender, a better passer, a better outside shooter and much more durable.

Roy may be quicker getting his ISO-shots up but he is still an ISO-ball-in-my-hands type of player.

JJ is also ISO oriented but he has the ability to revert back to what he was in PHO, a deadly shooter from the wings which does not need the rock on his hands.

Also, Roy either doesn’t have a meniscus or is close to that so his career should run short quite quickly. He has been nurturing knee issues since his college days and that is the recipe for a shortened career.

vava74

December 24th, 2010
4:38 am

nire, on Roy:

Facts:

Games per season: 57, 74, 78, 65

Add to the above record that he played limited in many of them, including games in the playoffs not shown above.

Not a good recipe.

doc

December 24th, 2010
10:25 am

nire, i have read that roy has NO cartilage in either knee. gayle sayers had a similar affliction. consequently, the greatest running back ever ended up retiring very much before his time. it is bone on bone and there is no definite way to revive cartilage if it is true. what they are trying to do is come up with some kind of formula to allow him time on the court, which may mean no practice or back to backs and exact times allowed on the court per game. from the sound of it, it didnt sound promising and it is a condition another gm would not take on, as the hazards of holding a big contract with long periods of inactivity are great.

i hope what i read was only a facsimile of his problem. not even sure micro fracture would work as it is for both knees or if it has been considered. as you know there is a lot of shelf time for such an operation and oden has gone through at least one if not two of them. i like roy and portland so it hurt to see that in print. it is like seeing your best friend come down with an incurable condition and you know time is limited. right now he has no lateral movement.

Ken Strickland

December 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

WHAT’S UP DOC-I remember when the Clippers were considered a cursed team, because every top player they acquired ended up suffering a major injury. Now it appears Portland has become that cursed team. If I’m not mistaken, I believe you were a big proponent of us drafting Roy. I have an uncle who had his cartiledge removed when in high school.

Doctors marvel at how he’s been able to even walk at this point, which he does with great difficulty and pain. Like you, I hope he fairs better than expected or predicted.

JSS

December 24th, 2010
9:51 pm

I wanted to drop by to say “Happy Holidays” to my favorite group of AJC bloggers. May your holidays be safe and filled with kindness…

doc

December 24th, 2010
11:05 pm

yup ken s, i was a big fan of roy more so than shelhead that year. who knows what he and jj migh have come up with. roy was more he penetrator and jj the outside floater type. maybe playing here he wouldn have had knee issues, never know. sad if it is as bad as i read.

Ken Strickland

December 25th, 2010
2:50 am

DOC-there was no way we would draft Roy, and there were 2 reasons.

1-We already had JJ at SG, and we weren’t going to use our top pick on a backup.

2-If idea of drafting him was as a PG, then there was no way Woodson was going to go for having a draft pick run his limited, ISO dominated OFF. After all, the man was totally against us drafting DWilliams or CPaul, because he felt they wouldn’t be successful NBA PG’s due to size issues. He felt Paul was too small, and Williams was too big.

That was pure BS on his part, and nothing more than a convient excuse to coverup his bias towards rookie PG’s. He certainly didn’t have a problem playing VETERAN PG’S TLue and a broken down SClaxton, who were simular to CPaul in size.

Ray

December 25th, 2010
7:12 am

Merry Christmas to all on the blog

When ya’ll talk about Roy and Oden ya’ll make me realize how much we could have had those two and been worse off nothing against Portland, but man you just never know sometimes. It’s also the same with CP3 didn’t he have some of this knee removed if I remember correctly, but still we may have gotten Marvin, but we could have had Oden that would have been way worse.

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
7:44 am

Merry Christmas, everybody. Hope you’re all at home (or another preferred destination), enjoying the Holidays with your families.

I’m at work, my family is a thousand miles away with more family. I’ll be working all weekend (which for me, includes Monday). Yay.

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
7:52 am

Now to blog business….

wordsmithtom ,

You can assign me to the Marvin Williams Hater Club if you like, but the truth is that I don’t hate the guy. Never have.

But after seeing him be the very soul of consistency a couple years back, I’m not satisfied with what I saw last season, or what I’ve seen this season. He has been playing very well lately. I hope to see that trend continue, and I’m not talking about mere stats. Marvin’s most consistent effect on the game is on defense. But as I’ve stated before, he needs to be more consistent elsewhere as well. One more category of consistent play would do it. Some games he rebounds well, and in others, it’s like he can’t get to the glass to save his life.

Again, I’m not talking about mere stats. I’m talking about affecting the game, and doing so in more than just one way. If that one way is all you can really do in that particular game, then fine. That happens. But this guy is a starter. When he disappears, he really disappears. He isn’t the only guy.

I criticize Josh Smith for letting his attitude affect his play (something Marvin never has an issue with). When Josh gets down in the dumps or pouty about something, he doesn’t disappear, he does something even worse: He affects the game negatively .

I guess I’ll have to sign up for the Josh Smith Hater Club as well….

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
8:09 am

Niremetal ,

I don’t feel that I was particularly harsh on Marvin’s comments. In fact, I don’t feel that it was harsh at all. I liked the way he played off the bench, and I like the way he has played overall pretty good in his last 8 games. The only gripes I had were his performances against Indiana (How do you play 28 minutes in a frontcourt position and end up with 0 rebounds? But…what makes up for that for the most part was how he locked Granger’s butt down, as the scorer hit only 3 of 14 shots), Detroit (everybody played badly), and New Jersey (ditto).

Yes, a criticism of him is disappearing. And that IS what I don’t like about him. Because, there is a difference between disappearing and deferring.

Deferring is fine when teammates are playing well. It helps with the chemistry.

Disappearing is when you’re needed, and you just ain’t there.

And, I read the same article that O’brien read. Am I taking issue with these comments?

“No. I wasn’t cool with it man,” said Williams to HOOPSWORLD about being benched. “It was something different. I’ve been starting here since my second year here, but it was a choice he (Drew) felt like he had to make and I had to live with it.

I don’t know if he’ll ever make that change again and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. But like I said, I’ve been a starter pretty much since I’ve been here but he chose to make that change and I have to live with it.”

Yes, I am. But I’m not taking serious issue with them. It stood out to me because Marvin rarely has much to say that’s negative. How did you describe his game a little while back….as “blah.” Well, when your game is “blah”, and you get to start anyway, and then one day you come off the bench, and you actually play well, this is what you have to say? Like I said, I’m not taking serious issue with it, and I would expect to hear something along these lines from the mercurial Smith (and believe me, I would be quite critical of him if he said the same thing), but I didn’t expect to hear it from Marvin.

For the sake of going another direction, here’s a snippet from another article on HoopsWorld, involving a former Hawk:

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2010/12/17/20101217phoenix-suns-josh-childress-benching.html

Josh Childress does not regret one bit signing this summer with the Suns, who are overloaded with wing players, even though he has been removed from the rotation.

As for his decision to play through a right index finger fracture with a splint, that is different.

“Maybe I should’ve just sat out,” Childress said. “At the time, I wanted to play and didn’t worry about the rest of it.”

(Suns coach Alvin) Gentry sat Childress out of an entire half in two games this month before not playing him for the first time this season in Wednesday’s win against Minnesota.

“Honestly, I’m fine,” said Childress, who signed a five-year, $33 million contract in July. “Coach is tinkering with lineups and trying to figure out what’s best for the team.

“The biggest thing I want to happen is what works out best. I’m not saying it trying to be PC. I truly feel that way.”

Again, it’s not a huge deal. But what if Drew makes a lineup change like this more often (not saying that he will)?

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
8:22 am

Ken Strickland ,

Actually, not drafting Brandon Roy made no sense whatsoever, particularly with the GM we had at the time. Billy Knight was famous for saying that he laughed at the idea of a team having to have a point guard. This is the same guy who came up with the idea of experimenting with JJ as our starting point guard.

The only reason why that stupid experiment didn’t stick was because JJ was also our only credible scorer, and making him a pg full time with a SG who couldn’t shoot at all made even less sense. Drafting Roy would have allowed either him or JJ to bring the ball up and facilitate the offense, and the two could have played off of each other. Now, eventually a more conventional pg would have been needed, or the team could have traded either guy off if they didn’t move JJ to the SF position.

But either way, we’re talking asset management here. How many teams would have swooned over the idea of acquiring Roy? What might they have given up to get him?

Conversely, Sheldon was far less valued by a long stretch, and we had no business snagging him that high. What was worse was the fact that it was publicly known he was going that high, and to us. Man, that was plain awful all the way around.

In the end, what asset value was Shelden Williams? It took him and 3 other useless pieces to bring Mike Bibby over, who was no longer wanted in Sacramento. Yep, that was Sheldon’s value to us. Worst draft pick in the last who knows how many years.

Asset management. Never made any sense to me, as isn’t even a poor man’s DeJuan Blair. Ugh. I’d pick Marvin Williams over CP3 and Deron Williams all over again before I’d pick Sheldon over half the guys in that draft.

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
8:31 am

With Marvin, I understood the desire based on potential (that, and Billy Knight’s unholy infatuation with swing forwards) and “expert” projecting.

But with Shelden? Dude was a senior. There was no potential. There was only ceiling, and he just wasn’t that good .

I don’t know. Maybe being separated from my family and being on duty for 12 hour shifts for the next three days (on THIS Holiday, no less) makes me extra bitter or something.

Bah Humbug. :lol:

Ken Strickland

December 25th, 2010
1:16 pm

BIG RAY-I wasn’t against drafting Roy, but I recognized why we didn’t draft him. Next to trying to correct his biggest mistake by trying to fire MWoodson, drafting SWilliams was definitely BK’s biggest mistake.

Let’s face it, unless the ASG decided to made a committment to spending the type of money it would take to sign or trade for a quality PG, we were doomed to have PG problems as long as Woodson was our HC.

newkid

December 25th, 2010
2:00 pm

Merry Christmas Big Ray (and others). It’s a bummer that duty calls you away from family on what for many is a very special time of year. Thanks for what you do all year both here of the blog and in your professional life.

Question for ya. What thoughts have you regarding the prospect of trading Jamal for a 2013 1st round pick (say top 5 protected) as a tactic in preparation for a potential Superman sweepstakes in the summer of ‘12? Might Orlando be more inclined to move a disgruntled Howard to a division rival if that rival has a couple of ‘13 first round picks and unnamed current talent to offer? If Howard decides to depart, wouldn’t you think Orlando goes the rebuilding route? Three 1st rounders in ‘13 – plus an unnamed talent from the Hawks roster – gives them quite a collection of chips with which to play. Sorta beginning to sound somewhat like the Joe Johnson Phoenix-to-Atlanta sign and trade discussion from a few years back, isn’t it?

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
4:23 pm

Ken ,

You have a point. I would have disagreed in the past based on lack of proof, but unless somebody found some bottled “magic juice” for Mike Bibby….how else can we explain what I consider to be an undeniable change for the positive in his play under Larry Drew?

We were all sure he was on his absolute last legs. Then the guy comes in and plays better on both offense and… gasp defense (though not like he suddenly became a rock solid defender, still has issues with speedy pgs) a year later. Bibby liked Woody, so it has to be coaching, and how he was used.

Newkid ,

Interesting thought. Does the front office have that kind of creative forethought, though? It’s a gamble/risk, and I’m sure Orlando is going to spend whatever it thinks it must to keep Dwight around. They’ve already shown a willingness to listen to anything he says. Here’s a recent article on that very subject which may or may not dash your hopes:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=nba_com-race-to-mvp-week-9-20101224&bcmt=7010553#mwpphu-comment-7010553

As to the nature of this deal, yes indeed….sounds like the move to get JJ. Thing is, I’d be more inclined to do such a deal for a franchise center than I would for a guy I wasn’t entirely sure was a franchise shooting guard. That’s not to spark another flame war about what kind of player JJ is, or what he’s truly worth, etc…but admitting that though it’s all in the past, it’s all debatable.

One thing is for sure: there is a long-term chain reaction to consider. If you overpay to acquire a guy that you are trying to make the cornerstone of your franchise, chances are that you will end up overpaying to retain him. The only way out is to acquire and/or develop other assets for the purpose of protecting yourself and making a better team. An integral part of that is the draft. Depending on your draft position, do you try picking players that will compliment your franchise guy, or when faced with the availability of a particularly talented prospect, do you draft best available talent?

Depends on what your needs are, and what the complimentary positions would be. In my mind, the franchise positions are the 1 and 5, while the complimentary positions are the 2, 3, and 4. Occasionally, a brilliant prospect can be had at the 2, 3, and 4 spots, but no matter what, you must be solid (at the least) and the 1 and 5. I also think there is a big difference between a true franchise player at the 2 or 3, and a big time scorer. Glenn Robinson was thought to be a franchise player, but he was in truth, a big scorer. So is Kevin Martin. Conversely, Kevin Durant is clearly a true franchise player.

But, you have very good complimentary pieces that fit in guys like Jeff Green, and a more than solid player in their pg, Russel Westbrook.

If the Magic fail in their bid to keep Howard satisfied, I’d do what I could to get him, if I were the Hawks. But I don’t know just how realistic that is, or if the Hawks were even willing to try it. I have doubts about their creativity and committment to things like that. They’ve only gone out hard and fast after Joe Johnson.

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
4:24 pm

Newkid ,

And Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. Hope y’all are safe, sound, and happy.

Big Ray

December 25th, 2010
4:31 pm

If Howard decides to depart, wouldn’t you think Orlando goes the rebuilding route?

Absolutely. They built around the right guy, but if they lose him, rebuilding is the only route to go. It’s not because they don’t have other decent pieces, it’s because they’d be losing a true franchise player. Howard still isn’t a guy I’d have taken over Tim Duncan in his prime, but he’s a franchise cornerstone, no two ways about it.

Orlando would have so many positions to address by then. Nelson would probably be a decent bet as a keeper at the pg spot, and Duhon continues to be a capable backup. However, looking at another prospect wouldn’t be a bad idea. At the 2, they would have questions. Pietrus is traded off and wasn’t quite starter material anyway. Arenas would be a high-priced option that they can’t get rid of until his contract is done or about to expire (even then…depends on how he does this and next season). Bass is a player at the 4, and Anderson gives them a change of pace as a backup at that position. But, questions remain at the 3, and of course, the 5 spot would be under major repairs. They don’t even have a credible backup center now, having traded off Gortat.

Where does Earl Clark fit into all of this? He had/has some potential, but could either get lost in the shuffle and become a journeyman at best, or he could blossom and cause somebody else to be traded off. One never knows…but getting traded this early in your career spells either doom or a bright future…seldom anything in between.

doc

December 25th, 2010
10:04 pm

merry christmas to all.

newkid

December 25th, 2010
10:32 pm

Big Ray,
There probably aren’t many GMs willing to give up a worthwhile big in exchange for Jamal in today’s market; certainly not a big who’ll adequately complement Horford and anchor the paint for the Hawks for some years to come. At the trade deadline the Knicks may realize that they’re in the thick of things in the East, and Jamal may be the sort of firepower needed off New York’s bench to give the Knicks a real chance to compete down the stretch and into the playoffs. The fact that JCross comes off the books at the end of June, ‘11 is an added benefit if Carmelo is likely to find himself parked in midtown Manhattan either this spring or later in the summer. Can’t imagine the Knicks relishing their ‘13 first rounder so much that they’d turn away the opportunity for a major playoff run this spring if they could pick up Melo, then add Jamal to Amare’, Felton, and Chandler (the big Italian kid is a goner if a deal is made for Melo by the trade deadline).

If Superman decades to continue changing his clothes in phone booths (do those things still exist?) in Orlando rather than Atlanta, then the Hawks will simply have more draft chips with which to play in ‘13. Not such a gamble, is it? Hawks wouldn’t have lost anything of real significance by trading Jamal for a future pick in anticipation of a Superman sweepstakes. If the sweepstakes doesn’t materialize, then the pick either gets used or traded for value.

Can Sund see that far ahead? Well if a guy like me, whose light only flashes on about once per month at this juncture, can see the value of at least considering such a tactic, a man who’s paid hundreds of thousands per annum to develop and execute far, far more complex team building strategies will have already worked over this and many similar approaches a couple years back before he even brought JCross to town. If he hasn’t, he’s stealing money.

Big Ray

December 26th, 2010
6:05 am

Newkid ,

True, it’s not so much of a gamble if they know how to work those picks. People still doubt what the end result was of this past draft, and the machinations therein.

Can Sund see that far ahead? Sund sees what Gearon wants. And that is what he’s paid to do, or so the word is on that particular subject. Billy Knight left the franchise because creativity and control don’t go together in this franchise, particularly if they aren’t characteristics of the same person. Read between the lines on that one…

Big Ray

December 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

New blog up, for those who are bored silly…

Ken Strickland

December 26th, 2010
1:00 pm

BIG RAY-LDrew made it perfectly clear that Bibby would no longer be given preferencial treatment. Bibby knew he wouldn’t automatically be given the starting PG position, no matter how poorly he performed, just because he was a veteran.

Unlike under Woodson, LDrew made it cleaR JTeague would be given every chance to unseat Bibby, and Bibby knew last yrs totally unproductive performance wouldn’t be enough to retain his starting slot. Unfortunately, JTeague was caught between a rock and a hard place.

In only one season, Teague has had to learn and adjust to 2 completely different HC’s, with opposing OFF/DEF systems, philosophies, approaches and demeanors. We’ve all seen enough to know he has the skills to get the job done. We just have to hope he gains the prerequisite confidence needed to get it done consistently.

Teague stepping it up and getting it done consistently could be the Hawks single biggest improvement. One of the reasons we have to come from behind so often early in the gm, is due to having Bibby as our starting PG. Teams with quick, fast, and/or big PG’s, know they can immediately take advantage of Bibby, our biggest DEF weakness.

Teague is still trying to get over the negative, uneven and unreasonable treatment he received as a rookie. He seems to be going through a simular psychological adjustment to what MEvans is going through after having knee surgery. Although he no longer look to the bench for instructions every time he touches the ball, he still shows apprehension and openly reacts when he make a mistake.

I hope he doesn’t fall into the same bad habit of thinking his primary responsibility is to be a DEF stopper, like Marvin seems to think at times. He needs to understand that his immediate goal is to elevate this team by becoming our PG of the future, and achieving that goal should be an immediate concern.