Hawks fans: The view on Coach Drew

Well, after 41 games played, the Hawks sit with a record of 26 wins and 15 losses at the literal halfway point in the season. Is this where we should expect them to be? Are they further along than last season, or behind it? On pace to win 52 games if they can match the results of the first half, the Hawks would seem to have not lost much ground. However, two major factors could stand in Atlanta’s way of once again winning a top 3 or top 4 seed to the playoffs: a tougher second half schedule, and the Chicago Bulls.

In the meantime, how is Head Coach Larry Drew looking? At the suggestion of Hawks fan and blogger Astro Joe, we’ll review some major topics involving the “new” sideline prowler. I would post Astro Joe’s thoughts on the situation at the time of his excellent suggestion (which was weeks ago), but he may have taken a different view on some subjects by now. At any rate, here is some of what he (and I’m sure many of us) thought we should review on Larry Drew:

1) The offense. Clearly, things are different for the team from this aspect. Well, that is to say that they have the potential to be different. Two things have been constant for  Atlanta the last couple of years. One, they knew they could win by sharing the ball, and often win big. Two, they have relied on the work of two go-to scorers in the backcourt when other things weren’t working, or when things got tough. In other words, the ball movement of Drew’s offense makes this team better when they choose to execute it consistently. Truthfully, the ball and player movement is better. But neither is as consistent as it should be. Is this an issue with the guys wearing the jerseys, as it was last season? Does it fit a team that boasts two of the most talented offensive backcourt players? Has Drew truly improved the offense, or does more credit go to the growth of guys like Al Horford? How has this new offense fared in the tougher, tighter games? Last season, the Hawks scored 101.7 ppg on 46.8% shooting. This season? 98.1 ppg on 46.9% shooting.

2) The defense. Larry Drew said he would hold everybody accountable on defense, and he’s more or less been true to his word. That is to say, Drew has the Hawks playing man-to-man defense, rather than switching all the time. What of the results? The Hawks are allowing 95.3 ppg and 45.3% on field goals for opponents. Last season, the Hawks allowed 97 ppg on 46% shooting. However, it seems more like the Hawks are trying to outscore opponents more than they are trying to stop them. But, as some of you have already noted, this may be the best path for a team that isn’t built for great team defense. Also, the Hawks are rebounding slightly less than last season. Is Drew truly holding the Hawks accountable on defense? The last game (a loss to the Rockets) demonstrated some unfavorable defensive results, as well as more of the same observations. How about what Coach Drew thought about it? Well, it’s a bit interesting. At the same time, we’ve seen better defensive efforts out of Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford than we’ve ever seen out of them in a Hawks uniform. Is it enough? What about team defense overall?

3) Developing the youngsters. Where does second year guard Jeff Teague truly stand? In the beginning, Larry Drew proclaimed that he wanted Jeff Teague to compete for the starting job. Teague didn’t even look the part, to be honest. After probably 30 games, it seemed that the kid finally came out of his shell, showing himself to be more aggressive on both ends of the court in most games where he got any real playing time. However, he still isn’t even a part of the rotation. Is he simply not good enough? I’d argue that the answer is “yes” in the beginning of the season. But now? Well, it seems that Drew is seeing things precisely the way his predecessor saw them: it’s more productive from an offensive standpoint to bring Crawford off the bench as THE backup guard. Is Drew still committed to Teague’s development, or is the young point man simply caught up in a situation where Crawford’s recent offensive output is just too much to ignore?

What about Jordan Crawford? With Joe Johnson back in his groove, and Crawford playing like he’ll get the Sixth Man award a second straight year, the rookie shooting guard doesn’t look to have much of a chance at playing more than 2-3 mpg. Maybe Drew can’t be blamed here, seeing as how the Hawks have trouble finishing a game off early these days. But back to Teague – is it situational, or is the head coach simply not keeping his word?

4) Josh will play more in the paint, Horford more at the 4. This is sort of like the promises a presidential candidate makes during his/her campaign. Drew said he would get Josh off the perimeter, and more into the paint. He also said he would play Al Horford more at the power forward position. The latter? Check. The former? Well, um…..

The situation with Josh Smith continues to be a bit of a roller coaster. From a positive perspective, Smith has finally developed an actual jump shot, and is shooting respectably from three point range. From a negative perspective, his field goal percentage is down from last season’s 50.5% to 46.6%. What about all the shots in between the paint and the three point arc? This is where much of the trouble is, as Smith doesn’t hit enough of those to justify his shot selection. If you want more details into this one specific aspect of Hawks basketball, read the blog after every game and look for Hawks fan/blogger Niremetal’s “Josh’s jumpers update.” Yes, we do some interesting things around here.

Either way, Josh hasn’t gotten into the paint more than usual. Perhaps the most likely indication is his free throw attempts. Smith is on pace to have fewer of those this season than he did last season. Suffice it to say that he doesn’t get fouled much on jumpshot attempts. Is this typical stubborn Josh, or is it a result of Drew’s offense? Either way, the promise isn’t being delivered on.

5) Lineups and use of the bench. Larry Drew has made his mark with the way he uses this roster, if nothing else. Marvin Williams’ absence due to injury is possibly all that keeps Drew from revealing whether or not he’ll go with a different starting lineup from here on out, than in year’s past. Interstingly enough, it may be Marvin Williams who finds himself a starter no longer, and a super sub (we hope, if that be the case) instead. Drew helped motivate Jason Collins into better physical condition, then rewarded his hard work and savvy with 14 game starts, mostly against teams with bigger centers. The results have largely been favorable, as that Hawks lineup has proven statistically to be the most effective lineup overall in many situations. Oddly enough, most guys are playing the same minutes they played last season, with some notable exceptions. Joe Johnson is down to a more manageable 36 mpg, while Mike Bibby is up to 31 mpg (27.4 last season). The difference? More guys playing double figure minutes when they do get into games. Last season, 9 guys played double figure minutes, with a tenth averaging just under 10 mpg. This season, there are 11 Hawks playing in double figure minutes, with a twelfth averaging just under 10 mpg. The rotation itself is largely the same.

Yet, another major difference is where guys are playing. While Al Horford enjoys more time at his more natural position of power forward (don’t argue with me, he says it and the coach says it), Joe Johnson has played more small forward, and Mo Evans has played more shooting guard.

 

So there you have it. How would you grade Head Coach Larry Drew so far this season? You can grade him according to the above categories, but don’t stop there. Come up with your own categories and grades as well.

HAWKS VS. KINGS

Last Meeting: The Hawks needed a heavy dose of Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford to close out a somewhat tight win over the Kings. The frontcourt struggled all night. But that was in Sacramento. Will the frontcourt guys get their act together and supplement the red hot Johnson and Crawford back home in the Highlight Factory?

195 comments Add your comment

It WAS a BAD PICK

January 17th, 2011
4:36 pm

Six years later, Hawks still searching for their point guard

Posted Jan 14 2011 9:36AM

Most nights, he sits on the bench in big moments, chin resting on palm, waiting and wondering for his time to come. If it ever does.

He is Jeff Teague, backup point guard for the Hawks, and the latest attempt by the Hawks to erase their greatest sin.

You heard the old saying how a bad Draft decision can set you back a number of years? Well, for the Hawks, it’s up to six.

Six years.

That’s how long the Hawks have tried to find a quality point guard, ever since they studied the Draft board in 2005 and determined it wasn’t worth wasting their first-round pick on Chris Paul, Deron Williams or even Raymond Felton.

Six years.

That’s how long the Hawks have tried to make up for that terrible oversight, and unless Teague takes the next step, it will remain a curse.

Let’s be fair: It’s not like the Hawks have been sweeping the basement in the East. They’ve improved record-wise every season since that 2005 Draft and made the playoffs the last three. Once again they’re on pace for 45-50 wins, and another postseason seems like a given. This is a good team.

Just the same, they’re not a great team. They’re not in the class of the Celtics, Heat, Magic and Bulls, and they possibly missed out on greatness because of that Draft. Their haste to turn a wrong into a right has been costly.

Check out the falling dominoes on this trail:

They used the No. 2 pick in 2005 on Marvin Williams, a workout wizard in the weeks leading up to the Draft, because Billy Knight, then the general manager, thought Paul was too small. And evidently, Marvin was a better Williams than Deron.

Don’t forget that the Hawks, at the time, badly needed a point guard. That’s why this decision, even then, was whack. They suffered through Kenny Anderson, Tyronn Lue, Royal Ivey and Tony Delk in 2004-05. To rationalize the Paul and Deron snub, they spent a high 2005 second-rounder on Salim Stoudamire.

He lasted three years as a bench player and is now out of the league. A bust.

In the summer of 2006, they gave a big free-agent contract to Speedy Claxton. He started 31 games in his entire Hawks’ tenure. A bust, too.

In the 2007 Draft, still looking for a point guard, they used the 11th pick on Acie Law, passing on Nick Young, Jared Dudley and Wilson Chandler, among others. He stayed two years. Also, a bust.

Then the summer of 2008, they traded a handful of players, including 2006 Draft bust Shelden Williams (the No. 5 pick; Rajon Rondo went 21st) for Mike Bibby, who came with 11 years of tread and was beyond his prime, though still productive.

The Hawks figured Bibby would hold the position for only a few years, but were forced to give him a three-year, $18 million extension the next summer because Law didn’t last and there was no heir apparent.

Finally, in 2009, they drafted Teague with the No. 19 pick. And for the second straight year, Teague is backing up Bibby, now the NBA’s fourth-oldest starting point guard.

So here’s the tally: two No. 1 picks and a high No. 2 spent on point guards, plus a pricey free agent in Claxton, plus Bibby, all were brought in to make up for 2005. Also, the Hawks gave Marvin Williams, the guy taken instead of Deron Williams and Paul, a five-year, $40 million contract extension two summers ago. And Marvin Williams, an underachiever, hasn’t nearly approached the All-Star level of those point guards.

All told, the Hawks have burned through roughly $90 million on rookie point guard contracts, Bibby, Marvin Williams (his rookie contract plus the extension) and Claxton, all because they didn’t take Paul or Deron Williams. That’s a steep financial price for a franchise that must keep costs reasonable.

And guess what? They still lack a strong presence at point guard. Their search continues.

There is a small bright side.

In a bit of irony, Hawks GM Rick Sund dumped both Claxton and Law on the Warriors in the summer of 2009 to get Jamal Crawford, last year’s Sixth Man of the Year winner.

But the point guard mistake of 2005 continues to ripple for a team that uses Joe Johnson for much of the ballhandling chores. Too often, Johnson chews up the shot clock trying to isolate, something that wouldn’t be necessary with a playmaking point guard.

Passing on two franchise point guards isn’t exactly the same as Portland skipping Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie in 1984. But when spring arrives and if the Hawks are a No. 5-seed, as expected, it will look like something you could see coming. Six years ago.

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
4:39 pm

Horford looking good early on…

The team defense? Not…

doc

January 17th, 2011
4:45 pm

32 points given up in the first quarter to the kings. man, i am glad to see adjustments have been made.

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2011
5:25 pm

Ray, I will share my thoughts on your blog later. Still tripping out on the Hawks allowing 60+ points to the Sactown Kings after the Houston performance. Let’s see if this will be another game where they win because of a single quarter of stellar defense against a lesser team.

[...] Hawks fans: The view on Coach Drew – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Hawks fans: The view on Coach DrewAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Marvin Williams' absence due to injury is possibly all that keeps Drew from revealing whether or not he'll go with a different starting lineup from here on …and more » Jan 17, 2011 2:44pm [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eva Miranda. Eva Miranda said: Hawks fans: The view on Coach Drew: Interstingly enough, it may be Marvin Williams who finds himself a starter n… http://bit.ly/hRAIqQ [...]

JD

January 17th, 2011
5:41 pm

Familiarity breeds contempt, and its coming home to roost right about now. The Hawks haven’t shown any intent that they’re fundamentally a better team this season despite the fact that there are far fewer ISO-JOE’s now than last year.

If, as a Coach, you can’t get them to respond to a team in your home court that’s only won 9 games this season, there’s a problem. I’m just saying, same ol’ same ol’ from the Atlanta Spirit.

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
5:50 pm

1) Why did Collins start tonight? Horford is better-equipped to handle Cousins.
2) Tonight is a stark reminder that when Jamal isn’t scoring, he’s utterly useless.
3) With Marvin out, I guess Josh decided to take over his role of “player who you forget is on the floor until he screws up.”

doc

January 17th, 2011
5:52 pm

cant wait to hear what bibby and josh blow if they lose this game.

well, i guess we got em right where we want them, the heat that is, thinking we are soft and all, only to come down and rip their throats out.

doc

January 17th, 2011
6:06 pm

Enter your comments doging the proverbial bullet now?

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
6:23 pm

Few things anger me more than how little respect JJ gets from refs. He draws contact virtually every time he gets close to the basket. I’ll grant that he doesn’t do a good job of “selling it,” but refs ignore fouls on him even when they are painfully obvious.

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
6:25 pm

I like the offensive/defensive substitutions that LD pulls out in tight games now. I’ll take Mo/Damien/JJ/Josh/Al as a crunchtime defensive lineup any day.

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
6:29 pm

Speak of the devil…right after they screwed JJ out of an And-1 they allow him to get to the line on a pull-up J (albeit one where Tyreke clearly gave his arm a little push).

doc

January 17th, 2011
6:43 pm

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
6:51 pm

Ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

And that was a win .

Well, I’ll take the win.

Positives – Joe Johnson blowing up on offense, and STILL getting his typical rebounds and assists.

Al Horford, hustling, defending, scoring. 7 blocked shots is incredible for anyone, let alone a guy who doesn’t block a lot of shots.

Negatives –

Team defense.

Jump shot insanity.

Rebounding.

Team hustle.

The bench.

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
6:55 pm

3) With Marvin out, I guess Josh decided to take over his role of “player who you forget is on the floor until he screws up.”

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wait a minute. That ain’t funny!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
6:55 pm

Astro Joe ,

Your prediction skills are gaining in power….you called the 4th quarter ….

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
6:56 pm

I’ll tell you just how bad the defense was. We forced a team that has only won 9 of 39 games into a whopping 7 turnovers.

Big Ray

January 17th, 2011
6:59 pm

We aren’t going to catch Chicago as long as Derrick Rose is healthy and Luol Deng keeps leaving up to his contract.

Ray

January 17th, 2011
8:25 pm

I’m telling ya’ll now we need to drop off Jamal Crawford after this season. Great player he’s someone you need when the offense goes sour, but at the same time.

Teague and JC 2.0 haven’t seen the much at all anymore even against the sorriest teams the NBA has to offer. These would have been great games for them to learn from, but yet they rot on the bench just like Acie Law and others before them.

You know it’s sad it seems like we’ve gotten use to having a 50 win season or a 40 win season, but yet when playoff time comes we don’t know how to compete that’s how useless talking about a 35-50 win season really means.

If you look at the past 2 seasons teams that got to the finals knew how to compete to reach it. Boston was a 4th seed yet the blew right by everyone else Orlando was the same way. Atlanta they look at a 53 winning record like it means something all it means is where you’re placed in the Playoffs that’s it ask the NBA Legends they might tell you the same thing.

That’s it from me I’m just tired of this something has got to give.

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2011
8:32 pm

Big Ray, regarding your blog subject…. I’ll give a big thumbs up on the new offensive sets, which is different than appluding the offense overall. The players are still adjusting to the notion of taking the first good shot in the possession. Too often, that has resulted in long-range shots from our bigs. It must be confusing for Josh to hear that they are supposed to take the first quality shot, only to get reprimanded for taking an open jumper early in the shot clock. Hopefully in time, they will work through the nuances of the offensive scheme. That is why I have a mixed review for the offense.

The defensive effort remains problematic. My sense is that the opponent’s scoring is down because instead of banging the offensive boards, we’re retreating to improve the transition defense. But I don’t think that our half-court defense is any better.
In terms of defensive accountability? Give me a break. We’ve watched players get benched because of poor offensive decision making but I have personally missed any benching related to defense.

Kudos to LD’s willingness to try different combinations. At the same time, injuries have forced his hand in some ways, with Joe, Marvin and Jamal all missing several games. But he clearly has a disposition to tinker and that is fun for fans.

His development of young players doesn’t seem better than the previous coach. As previously stated, guys have missed time and yet, Teague doesn;t seem much better than last year and JC2 is an after-thought. There was a time when Jamal was hurting, Evans was rehabbing and JC2 was still buried on the bench. Also, after JC2 showed flashes of having some PG instincts in the pre-season, LD came out and pretty much declared that he would not be getting PG minutes.

Overall, I’d probably give him a B- for the first=half. I still give the hiring of LD a big ‘ole D, but for what LD can control, I’ll give him a B-. The ongoing defensive lapses coupled with an absence of the defensive accountability that he discussed gives him room for improvement.

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2011
8:58 pm

Joe has to be the leading candidate for Eastern Conference player of the month. Check out what he has done in January.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/gamelog?playerId=1007

Harrison

January 17th, 2011
8:59 pm

It feels like we’re a team that is preparing to slip back into 9 win seasons. All our guys are decent but not great, and most of them are old, past their prime. We need a serious franchise changing event to have a chance in the playoffs.The Hawks right now just look tired and done.

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
9:19 pm

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
9:30 pm

After tonight, JJ’s averages stand at 19.7ppg (.433 FG%), 5.4apg (to just 1.8 TO/g), and 4.1 rpg. The prediction from Hollinger (if memory serves) that the cuts in ISO plays would drive up JJ’s turnover rate hasn’t exactly been proven true. And, as AJ points out, his January stats are even better – 28.9ppg (.524 FG%), .421 3P%, .850 FT%, 4.1apg, 3.9rpg. That’s monster.

Josh’s jumpers watch update:

vs. Tor: 1-6 (0-3 on 3s)
vs. Hou: 1-8 (0-2 on 3s)
vs. Sac: 3-7 (2-3 on 3s)

Total: 5-21 (2-8 on 3s)
FG%: .238
eFG%: .286
eFG% vs. season avg: -.163
vs. ’09-’10 avg: +.001

niremetal

January 17th, 2011
9:33 pm

Other notes for tonight:

1) Josh musta heard me when I made that crack about him and Marvin in the 3rd quarter.
2) Remember when I said I’d trade the whole roster for Blake Griffin? Yeah, I still would.

O'Brien

January 17th, 2011
10:20 pm

I’m happy for the win, but I did not like the minutes distribution, especially on the first night of a back to back with Miami tomorrow night.

4 starters played over 40 minutes. That reminded me of Woody.

And we gave up 17 offensive rebounds? That will contribute to our undoing in the playoffs.

And I’m with AJ. I havent seen much accountability when it comes to defense. Jamal and Bibby consistently get major minutes regardless of their defensive performance.

O'Brien

January 17th, 2011
10:22 pm

O'Brien

January 17th, 2011
10:22 pm

LD calls his players soft, and talks about the Hawks reputation around the league. havent we been hearing this the previous 2 years as well?

We changed coaches, but we havent changed players, and players havent changed their mindset.

O'Brien

January 17th, 2011
10:24 pm

Hawks have been called soft under Woody as well. So clearly, a new coach isnt enough to change the culture.

AJ,

I didnt know you were psychic too? Let’s see if this will be another game where they win because of a single quarter of stellar defense against a lesser team..

JSS

January 17th, 2011
11:55 pm

@ Niremetal…
niremetal
January 17th, 2011
10:39 pm
‘Sportswriter’ Schultz looking to make it seem like he watches more than 3 Hawks games per year”

Jeff Schultz
January 17th, 2011
11:10 pm
Niremetal — Four, actually. (Seriously?)

You wear those two out!

Ed

January 18th, 2011
1:50 am

Good work Ray. LD has handled the bench very haphazardly by not having a regular rotation of minutes for a group of 8-9 players. From game to game you never know who’s going to play off the bench exceprt for JC. He also hasn’t diligently attemtped to develop Teague and doesn’t reward him when he plays well. But for all the players there’s been no regularity to the overall minutes played.Tonight’s game is a good example Against the Sacramento Kings we play four of our starters 40+ minutes with JC getting the only meaningfurl minutes off the bench. This is coaching scared just as Woody so often did. You’ve got to have confidence in your entire team…playing bascially a six-man rotation (especially against one of the worst teams in the league) is not going to get it done.

Also, this doesn’t project to be a 52 win seasib if you check how many teams the Hawks have played with losing records. In the second half they will have to step it up if they want to equal their 26-15 first half record as they will see far more quality teams.

vava74

January 18th, 2011
3:21 am

Howard -Shaq (head to head):

  D. Howard C min43:08 fg10-19 ft13-18 (+-) -6 oreb5 13reb ass3 to3 stl1 blk0 ba4 pf1 33 pts

  S. O’Neal C 25:39 fg5-7 ft2-2 (+-) +4 oreb0 2reb ass0 to2 stl1 blk2 ba0 pf5 12 pts

Big Ray

January 18th, 2011
6:39 am

“We can’t come out every night and expect Joe or even hope that Joe can bail us out when we’re not playing well,” Drew said. “I don’t want to be that kind of team.”

Which is why we still have Jamal Crawford, and won’t likely trade him. Sorry, Larry. But after 6 years on the sideline, you should know – you ARE that team.

Big Ray

January 18th, 2011
6:44 am

This isn’t a knock on Larry Drew.

But let me tell ya….with every quote he reminds me more and more of a girl looking to date a guy known for breaking girls’ hearts. She sees the guy do his thing to one girl after another, always the same. Acts like he’s going to do well, says all the right things, but in the end, he ends up breaking the chick’s heart. And what does this new girl think, after seeing all of this? She thinks, “Yes, he’s bad, but I’ll be the one to change him. I really think I can change him and make him something better.”

Sorry, Larry. It ain’t your fault, but in this story, you’re the new girl.

Ray

January 18th, 2011
7:09 am

@ Big Ray

Yeah quotes like those make me cringe cause it really does look like LD is playing scared.

For me this part of the season is make or break time. This is when we see if the Atlanta Hawks have any heart or grit. If they want anymore of my respect I say the rest of the way play with a chip on your shoulder.

Astro Joe

January 18th, 2011
7:11 am

Big Ray gets the 2011 Analogy of the Year Award. At least as of 1/18. :lol:

doc

January 18th, 2011
8:54 am

i think what is frustrating is knowing two years ago this was a pretty good defensive team not afraid to win a game scoring only 90 points if they exerted their will on the other team. that is gone from this team. it has to come back along with a lot more respect of the clock and finding open shots at the right time in the clock to win games not open shots. it takes work on both ends of the floor and i dont see that desire to do so for extended periods of time.

just the same i cant get frustrated now because i knew this was coming as well as many here that enough was not done during the off season to have an impact to change the culture. i am not saying it cant come but it will be slow and maybe slower than organic growth, which means we miss a window of opportunity. the last thought is what irks me the most and what i continue to hold the management to do, sund and above.

the time is always now in the nba. it is a misnomer and false expectation that you build for the future. take risk but do something when it is very plain to see there are holes in the fabric. these guys are like the emperor with no clothes; they surround themselves with sycophants who follow their orders not show the way since they dont really know it. this isnt a business of building communications towers, restaurants or law which is what they built their names on. when they get people that are the best at what they do in the nba then things will change. the best example is what TT is doing in chicago building on defense first. we may not even have had the perspicacity to examine him closely with an interview, unless he refused to be heard.

anyway, go down and upset the heat who has the three toads hurting a bit now and all will be forgiven.

doc

January 18th, 2011
8:56 am

big ray blog monster just bit hard.

vava74

January 18th, 2011
9:07 am

This team is soft because we have Jamal on the floor for 30 minutes a game and that guy is incapable of playing D consistently.

Remove Jamal from the equation and the team will play differently.

If I am not wrong, 2 years ago we were gritty on D with just about the same guys we have now MINUS Jamal.

Astro Joe

January 18th, 2011
9:50 am

vava, Flip Murray embodies the term “gritty player” and he costs less than $2M/year. Anyone remember that summer article about Powell and Etan bringing “physicality” to the Hawks? Well, how’s that working out?

vava74

January 18th, 2011
9:56 am

Powell was nurturing a bad knee since the beginning of the season so my take is that he was playing softer than he really is due to that.

I am not saying that he can now bring the “physicality” you talk about, but I think that 4 rebounds in 4.44 of play indicate that his bounce is back and that he could be able to contribute more.

Specially in light of the aversion to rebounding we were seeing last night.

Does the ball cause some sort of rash to these guys when it’s coming off the rim?

O'Brien

January 18th, 2011
10:05 am

@ Big Ray,

The new girl’s daddy (Rick) gave her his blessing.

@ Ed,

It’s bad enough playing 4 starters over 40 minutes, but it’s also the first game of a back to back. Hopefully guys will have the energy tonight.

@ Vava,

Jamal might be the biggest part of the problem on D, but all the other guys are part of the problem too. Bibby we know about, but sometimes the other players appear to be more concerned with scoring, than they are playing defense.

We need our starters to play with Mario and Damien’s effort on D more consistently, but they are very inconsistent from game to game, play to play.

steve brown

January 18th, 2011
10:33 am

Very tired of the knock on Jamal’s D. The Hawks have only 2 players that are good defensively, Joe Johnson and Al Horford. When Wilkins (our D specialist) was inserted late last night for defensive purposes and his man faked him out of his jock strap for a game tying layup I had a good belly laugh. At least Jamal can score in clutch situations-there is a very short list of Hawks capable of that. Like Big Ray this team is boring me and for the right pieces trade whoever you want.

As for the coach I must say he has been able to keep pace with last years team while inserting his own philosophy and dealing with the problems Josh potentially brings nightly and Jamal’s lack of a contract extension. At the halfway mark I give Coach high grades, I would love to grade the GM but no one has seen him or heard him in ages so for now he gets a failure to show up.

doc

January 18th, 2011
10:34 am

i see marvin is still showing up for something, speeches at mid-court. wish he would steal the spotlight a little more for what he is getting paid for and what fans really want to see or talk about. maybe he has a future in politics or front office work when his playing days are done.

Astro Joe

January 18th, 2011
11:00 am

steve brown, our GM seemingly works on a part-time basis. He tends to do his work from about mid-June until about mid-August, then he is mostly on retainer to consult as needed (like the Damien signing this year and the team-changing Mario signing last year). The funny thing is that BK took a lot of criticism with his handling of the media and while Sund is better when he talks, he probably spends less time with the media than BK. From a strictly marketing perspective, this team is AWFUL… there aren’t any personalities amongst the players or management that engage the local market.

Astro Joe

January 18th, 2011
11:17 am

In the Atlanta area, we routinely hear from Dmitroff (Falcons GM) and Frank Wren (Braves GM) during their respective seasons. Heck, I may have heard more Wren interviews during the basketball season than I’ve heard Sund interviews. Guys like Chipper, McCain, Tim Hudson and Smoltz/Glavine (now and before they retired) are constantly featured in local media 12 months a year. The Hawks act like they don’t have a responsibility to “sell their product” off the court. As a huge Hawks fan, I would love to see more Hawks gear worn around the city and more Hawks talk in the local media. It is very, very frustrating to see such disregard for growing the fan base.

doc

January 18th, 2011
11:21 am

steve thank you for bringing perspective rather than personal bias. not too many players show up to play defense on this team every trip up and down the court which is what defense is. it is not in their mentality to do so. the blog monster grabbed a post earlier today where i suggested they were a better defensive team two years ago. they should have only gotten better instead of worse playing together as a core as defense is more team really than offense. it is sad and folks continue to only see the tree instead of the forrest in this case.

doc

January 18th, 2011
11:28 am

marketing? hawks? fan interaction? ROFL

ENTITLEMENT TO HAVING FANS = NBA ATLANTA FRANCHISE

niremetal

January 18th, 2011
11:48 am

Astro Joe,

Fans didn’t give a $h!t when we had a championship-caliber team and one of the game’s most exciting players (Nique). Despite anecdotes about how rockin the Omni was then, the Hawks never cracked the top third of in the NBA in attendance and have consistently ranked far lower in attendance than they have in the standings. I don’t blame the fans for that. I blame the fact that most Atlantans were born elsewhere. But it’s hard to grow a fan base when the city doesn’t care about the local NBA team. And no matter how people try to sugarcoat it, that’s the case in Atlanta.