Atlanta Hawks: Jumpstarting with jumpshots

The Hawks have to be asking themselves just what happened last night. The answer: a beating in their own arena that probably has the Utah Jazz feeling a bit better about the one they received at the hands of Hawks a short while ago.

There are other teams that have similar roller coaster-type seasons, but does that make Hawks fans feel any better about it? Doubtful.

 

Getting the offense going

The motion offense couldn’t possibly be just for getting open jumpshots. I’m sure that Drew and his staff also intend for the Hawks to get the ball inside. Getting the ball inside isn’t just about posting somebody up. It’s also about getting a player to slash to the basket, and receiving the ball on the way there. The Hawks haven’t done enough of that lately, and they certainly didn’t do nearly enough against the Hornets.

Instead, the Hawks shot jumpers. On most nights, somebody is hitting those jumpers. Last night? Pretty much nobody. I’m sure the neighborhood “jumper” watch could dig up the information on who hit how many outside shots last night, but with the team shooting a dismal 29% from the field, would there really be a point? Try as the Hawks might, they couldn’t buy an outside shot to save their lives. Few attempts were made to score inside. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford were just about the only ones to try and go inside prior to the game being blown out. Unfortunately, Johnson ended up double-teamed and fouled (but no fouls called), and Smith endured similar struggles, what with New Orleans playing some pretty tough defense as well. Crawford found a modicum of success in getting to the basket on one or two trips, but managed to dribble himself into trouble more often than not. So what was the solution? More jump shots, to no avail. That’s the only problem with living and dying by the jumper. But then, could the Hawks have done any better with the personnel they had? By the look of it, it was simply an off night, and teams have those. The Hawks were also bereft of two major rotation players in Al Horford and Marvin Williams. Would things have gone much differently with both guys, or was the team simply in its worst funk of the season?

 

Post Problems

 The Hawks have a good deal of size in Jason Collins (7′0″, 255), Zaza Pachulia (6′11″ 270), and Etan Thomas (6′10″ 260).  None of the three are unwilling to mix it up down low. What this group lacks, however, is athleticism. It’s just one more reason why not having Al Horford hurts. When Jason Collins was unfairly ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul (the call was BS, I don’t care what anyone says), it only exacerbated an issue that the Hawks were already having – rebounding.

The Hornets weren’t shooting very well until the middle of the second quarter. What they were doing well was rebounding. In fact, they blew the Hawks out of the water with a 55-32 advantage on the glass. With Collins gone and others ineffective, Josh Smith looked to be fighting for rebounds all by himself out there. They needed more energy, if nothing else.

Which begs the question, why wasn’t Etan Thomas in the game earlier, and more often, especially with Collins out for the night? Out of the three backup centers, I’d argue that Thomas is the most athletic, which would have helped with rebounds.

Young Guys

It must have been contagious, this “jumperitis”, because Jeff Teague took more outside shots in the game than I can recall seeing from him. Like everybody else, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Jordan Crawford’s attempts were no surprise at all (hey, he hit a 3), and he had the best play all game when he picked off a pass and threw down an alley oop dunk on the other end. It was nice to see him get some burn, but we all know he’ll be on the shelf again until the next blowout.

 

UP NEXT

Atlanta has to get past their worst home loss since who knows when, as the travel up to Charlotte for another chance at padding that road record. The Bobcats aren’t who they used to be, but they’ll play the Hawks tough all the same.

The Usual Suspects

Penetration – The Hawks always have issues with this. Charlotte point guard DJ Augustin is among the quickest in the league, so Atlanta has its work cut out. Also, containing slasher Gerald Wallace is usually an issue for the Hawks.

Rebounding – Charlotte doesn’t have a player that averages 8 or more boards per contest, but they are still outrebounding opponents 41.9 to 39.3 on average. They’ll be without the services of jumping-jack Tyrus Thomas, but Gerald Wallace is capable of snagging upwards of 15 rebounds on any given night. In addition to that, the Hornets have 6 guys who are producing between 4 and 6 rebounds every game, so the Hawks will need a total team effort to win this battle. With Horford and Williams out, the Hawks are missing roughly 15 rebounds a game, production-wise. 

 More rebounds means more possessions, which means more scoring opportunities. Rebound well, and the Hawks have a great shot at winning the game.

Jumpers, Jumpers, Jumpers!

The Bobcats are not big on scoring. With an offense that averages less than 93 points a game, it’s tough to win in this League, even if you have a stellar defense. To put things in perspective, DJ Augustin is shooting better (43.8%) than the two guys ahead of him in the team scoring column (Stephen Jackson 40%, Gerald Wallace 42%).

By contrast, the Hawks have more perimeter oriented talent. However, if last night was any indication, falling in love with the jump shot (especially when it ain’t lovin’ you back) is a good way to lose a game to a team that can’t score. If the Hawks go inside to Smith and post Johnson up here and there, things should go well, as both guys should put up 20+ points apiece. However, if the team fails to do this and the jumpers are once again not falling, then the Hawks could be looking at a low scoring loss of anywhere from 5 to 10 points.

Defensive Matchups

We might cringe at the idea of Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford taking turns trying to keep up with the elusive DJ Augustine, but what about Wallace and Captain Jack? Joe Johnson may end up matched against Jackson, or he could have the task of keeping Wallace from going off. Whichever he draws, Mo Evans will end up guarding the other guy. Evans will give the effort, but how ironic is it that we finally get him in a position to play his more natural spot of shooting guard, only to find him in a situation where he’s got a choice of larger small forwards to guard? Sometimes you just can’t catch a break….

The multi-talented Boris Diaw will likely be matched up against Josh Smith. Smith’s tasks for the evening will be simple:

1) Do not let Diaw outrebound and out-hustle you.

2) Force him to pick up his dribble and cut off his passing lane. He’s third on the team in assists.

3) Take Diaw to the basket every chance you get. Don’t settle for the open jumper unless you’re in rhythm, have established your presence inside, and the defense is giving you NOTHING else.

 

Your Keys to the Game?

Let’s hear ‘em!

 

 

By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

136 comments Add your comment

dap01

January 22nd, 2011
8:29 am

Larry’s instructions:

Hey Bibby, just pass the ball and go over there and stand.
Also, don’t really worry about defense.

If you look at successful NBA teams, you realize that the Hawks do not share many characteristics.

No Penetrating and dishing PG
No dominant defense in the pivot.
Offense that relys on jump shots.
No ability to break down a defense.

Geaux Hornets!

January 22nd, 2011
8:35 am

Hornets owned the Hawks last night…guess, it should be expected that regardless of the “bird”, the Hornetsor Saints rules these pathetic franchise…..I loved being atthe game and watching the sorry bandwagon fans boo their own team – how sorry is that….bottom line, you are NOT AS GOOD as the HORNETS…..100-59…what a disgrace and embarrassment for Atlanta…..

Big Ray

January 22nd, 2011
11:07 am

Oh, look. A Hornets fan. Zzzzz…..

Big Ray

January 22nd, 2011
11:10 am

Dap01 ,

On the one hand, I agree that we have all those holes. On the other hand, it in no way explains why we have a winning record. Winning is success, is it not? But, I’m guessing you’re like the rest of us – we want more than just a team with a winning record, right? :)

NOLA sucks

January 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

I think the Hornets are about to leave New Orleans soon so enjoy the win your trash heap of a city wont even have a basketball team just the sorry Aints

Big Ray

January 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Actually, that may be true. I wouldn’t be out celebrating too much with an owner like George Shinn looming in the background…

nash

January 22nd, 2011
12:31 pm

you all ways hear about it but you never think it can happen. Dwayne Wade broke Al Horford’s ankle

O'Brien

January 22nd, 2011
12:35 pm

I think northcyde made a good point on the other blog. Horford might be the most important player on this team.

If Smove is out, Al can play some PF. If Marvin is out, Josh and JJ can play some SF. If JJ is out, Jamal and Mo can play some SG, and if Bibby is out, Jamal can play some PG. Plus given how Bibby plays, we don’t need a traditional PG as much.

But if Al is out, we are stuck with ZaZa, Twin and Etan at Center. Does anybody really trust them for 48 minutes?

As for the game, it still looks like this team is soft. Where is the leadership on the court to get everybody fired up? This loss is embarrassing, especially after what happened in the playoffs to Orlando.

But typical Hawks, they will find all kind of excuses, and then go out and beat Charlotte, and pretend like everything is fine.

It WAS a BAD pick

January 22nd, 2011
1:03 pm

“But if Al is out, we are stuck with ZaZa, Twin and Etan at Center. Does anybody really trust them for 48 minutes?”

No. That is why larry drew was wanting Shaquille o’Neal. I kept hearing back in the offseason/preseason that the center position was fine. I guess we didn’t account for injuries to Al Horford. And whatever happened to the folks who keep saying that Pachulia is one of the best backup centers in the NBA. I still do not see how anybody in their right mind can say that.

E43

January 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

I will never buy a hawks ticket again if jeff teague and josh powell dont play a combined five minutes against the bobcats.

O'Brien

January 22nd, 2011
1:25 pm

Last season, Hawks lost both games in Charlotte. One by 20, and one by 9. but this season, we have been very good on the second night of a back to back. And given the embarassment last night, I think our guys will be ready to play.

it was a BAD pick,

ZaZa used to play better, especially when he got extended minutes. But his level of play has fallen off dramatically over the last 2 months.

ATL FAN

January 22nd, 2011
2:42 pm

dap01, those are some pretty specific instructions telling Bibby what to do… I don’t get people that constantly blame the coach… there are only a little elite coaches in the league, the rest are just there. These are elite players, they play and practice the way they have been their whole life. The only thing a coach can change is the style of offense, as with Coach Drew, and the type of defense (2-3 zone, etc). He can not, however, control Bibby’s age and why he’s poor on defense. He can not control the fact that we have no true PG. He can not control the fact that our players stand around and wait for someone else to get the rebound, because all he can do is TELL THEM, they are the ones that PLAY. BLAME THE PLAYERS NOT THE COACH FOR A GAME LIKE YESTERDAY

Big Ray

January 22nd, 2011
4:11 pm

E43 ,

I’d say that’s a safe bet. Then again, we may not see Powell at all against the ‘Cats. Teague, I’d expect to see. Augustin is going to give Bibby/Crawford fits.

niremetal

January 22nd, 2011
6:28 pm

Ray,

Since Powell just got suspended by the team, I’d say it’s a safe bet we don’t see him play 5 minutes tonight.

http://twitter.com/#!/HawksPRGuy/status/28952271186300928

Don’t know what happened. But so much for any delusion that he could provide locker room leadership.

Ray

January 22nd, 2011
6:30 pm

@ Big Ray

haha if we even get to see Teague at all LD puts him and Jordan Crawford up on the shelf way to often if we expect them to become the answers to CP3/Deron Williams/Rajon Rondo/Nelson/ or whoever in this league. Then they got to get some burn in the legs.

I’ll be one of the people that won’t blame last nights loss on Teague or JC2 what did you honestly expect them to do? lol seriously it’s like throwing someone into a cage with lions did you really expect them to survive and be able to save us like superman just saying.

O'Brien

January 22nd, 2011
6:40 pm

The problem with this team, is we are built on jumpshots. And if they are not falling, we are like a fish out of water.

Our PG cannot breakdown a defense, or penetrate to get easy shots or get fouled, we dont have someone who is capable of playing with their back to the baskets, and we dont have a dominant post player.

And we dont have the right mentality.

niremetal

January 22nd, 2011
7:32 pm

The Bobcats’ announcers keep talking about how Crawford is only averaging 1 assist per game. Kind of odd that no one has corrected them since he actually is averaging 3.5.

Astro Joe

January 22nd, 2011
8:38 pm

Zaza has played well tonight. I hope Powell’s teammates know what he did that led to the suspension. I don’t need to know, but they need to know.

Astro Joe

January 22nd, 2011
8:40 pm

OB, did you hear Rathburn say something like we’ve scored the 4th lowest points in the paint this season? It was something like that… something that quantified how much of a jump-shooting team we’ve become.

Astro Joe

January 22nd, 2011
9:01 pm

Teague Time!

Astro Joe

January 22nd, 2011
9:09 pm

Well, I guess after last night, LD wasn’t going to take any chances.

O'Brien

January 22nd, 2011
9:21 pm

AJ,

And a big part of it is mindset. When the Hawks make a conscious effort, they have some success at times in the paint. But they give up easily.

A 16 point game, and no Teague. It’s like LD has already decided that Teague is just not good enough to play this season.

Astro Joe

January 22nd, 2011
9:28 pm

OB, sometimes, a coach will play a guy in his hometown or near the city he played college ball. I truly expected Teague to get time tonight, especially once it was a 19 point game with around 3:00 left. Oh well. I’m just glad that Joe wasn’t badly hurt, let’s hope nothing tightens up over the next few days.

niremetal

January 22nd, 2011
9:46 pm

Josh’s jumpers watch update:

vs. Mia: 2-10 (0-3 on 3s)
vs. NO: 3-7 (1-1 on 3s)
vs. Cha: 2-5 (0-0 on 3s)

Total: 7-22 (1-4 on 3s)
FG%: .318
eFG%: .341
eFG% vs. season avg: -.098
vs. ’09-’10 avg: +.056

O'Brien

January 22nd, 2011
10:49 pm

Good win for the Hawks. But I’m not surprised, because for whatever reason, they play well on the second of back to backs. I think they are 11-3 in those games.

nire,

Earlier in the season, Josh developed a reputation of shooting a much higher percentage on his jumpers. Although he is tailing off recently, I think it will be overlooked based on his success early in the season.

AJ,

Maybe Teague really sucks in practice. but whatever the reason, Rick and LD need to address the backup PG position this offseason, especially if they let Jamal walk.

Big Ray

January 23rd, 2011
6:13 am

E43 ,

No more Hawks games for you….

Big Ray

January 23rd, 2011
6:25 am

I like how the Hawks ground that one out. Like anybody else, I hope Joe Johnson suffers no lingering effects from that fall. MC said he’s not one to complain about being hurt, so you know how that goes.

Johnson was brilliant last night, gotta say that. Great to see him back in all-star form.

Nice to see Zaza have a decent game in the pivot. I’ll take 9 points, 8 boards, and 2 steals from the backup center in 28 minutes.

How about Mike Bibby coming up big with 8 boards as well? Sometimes you need your guards to get in there and grab some of those loose rebounds. Mike was sweet from deep again, too.

Quality minutes from Damien Wilkins as he provided defense and rebounding.

I’ll be glad to have Horford back Wednesday, if it’s not too early.

Am I missing something, or is the development of young players (more specifically Jeff Teague) something Woodson got knocked for on his way out, by even the owner(s)? I wonder how Gearon and Sund see this situation? Are they even paying attention? Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Big Ray

January 23rd, 2011
6:30 am

Doesn’t make me feel any better about the bad loss the other night, but the Hornets are clearly on a mission.

They pounded the freakin’ Spurs by 24 points last night. Say whaaaaat? Get this: nobody on the team scores as high as 20 points. Hell, CP3 only had 11 points/6 assists. But the New Orleans bench tore the Spurs a new one. I mean, it was nasty.

And of course, the Hornets also beat the devil out of the Spurs on the boards, 57 – 32. Wow. Okafor/West/Ariza combined for 30 rebounds by themselves.

Can you imagine having Okafor at the 5, with Horford at the 4?

Big Ray

January 23rd, 2011
9:14 am

Meanwhile, we can’t catch Chicago. Rose is on another planet altogether, and now he has help (Deng,Boozer).

Cutty

January 23rd, 2011
9:41 am

We need to trade Josh Smith. Golden State wants a shotblocker and they are willing to trade Stephen Curry. The guy is killing us.

E43

January 23rd, 2011
2:52 pm

Big Ray- Yup but then again i could always come up with a pre arranged deal that involves someone else buying the ticket and inexplicably finding that money in their pocket after the game. Take that Peja Stojakovic.

That being said can someone tell me why Jason Collins starts ahead of Zaza aside from the fact that hes a 7fter? Ive just been wondering coz Zaza has produced more but that’s just my opinion.

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2011
4:56 pm

From the latest notes from the beat writers, After Saturday night’s game, Teague said he and Drew hadn’t talked “in awhile” and wasn’t sure what was limiting his minutes.

I find it hard to believe that after 2 head coaches and 2 position coaches, no one has explicitly said what he needs to do to earn more court time. I believe that one about as much as I believe that LD’s hire wasn’t influenced by his salary.

Cutty

January 23rd, 2011
7:25 pm

“Can you imagine having Okafor at the 5, with Horford at the 4″?

No, but I can imagine Okafor at the 5, Josh at the 4 and Horford out the door.

What do you think we can get for horford in trade?

O'Brien

January 23rd, 2011
8:41 pm

AJ,

So you’re calling Teague a liar?

Either way, even if nobody has told him what he needs to do, he should be smart enough to figure it out.

O'Brien

January 23rd, 2011
8:49 pm

More from ajc.com;

“Jeff has to continue to try to get better when he gets opportunities, when he’s by himself [and] when we practice,” Jamal Crawford said. “He has a bright future. His time will come.”.

I’m not sure how to interpret Jamal’s comments. Is teague not playing well in practice and when he is by himself?

I do find it interesting that Jamal and Teague are the ones to comment in the article. Where was LD’s comments?

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2011
10:22 pm

OB, I think Teague has been told what to do but maybe he doesn’t know how to do it (or is in serious denial). Maybe he’s been told to bring a consistent work ethic to practice but doesn’t know how to make that happen or has convinced himself that he has met the standard. But I seriously doubt that all of these coaches are ignoring the first draft pick of the GM. It didn’t make sense for emplyee Woodson to diss his boss’ draft pick last year and it doesn’t make sense for LD to do the same this year (given Gearon’s comments last summer and LD’s use of Teague during his interview). So I put this on the player and his inability to satisfy his boss.

E43

January 23rd, 2011
11:42 pm

Enter your comments here

E43

January 23rd, 2011
11:56 pm

Astro Joe-I think Teague just fell into an unfavorable rotation. Someone just had or has to be the odd man out and its highly unlikely that it would be anyone over the age of 30. Unfortunately, teague plays ok as a young player but nothing really pushes his game towards great D or great O. At least not yet.

Big Ray

January 24th, 2011
6:30 am

E43 ,

I heard that (about the tickets).

As for Collins vs. Zaza….

Zaza has better offense and tends to be a better rebounder. Collins is a more savvy and capable defender in the post. So, the strategy against some teams is to start Collins and let him frustrate and contend with the opposing team’s starting center. It works against Orlando and some other ballclubs with big centers. Meanwhile, Zaza can come off the bench and provide rebounds (particularly on the offensive end) and offense (when he’s not having those butter fingered moments).

If you notice, though, Collins is playing fewer minutes per game.

Big Ray

January 24th, 2011
6:40 am

Astro Joe ,

I think something you said in the preseason still rings true: Larry Drew’s offense doesn’t require a pure pg.

What it does require is an offensive threat. Teague doesn’t hit the jumper worth a squat, and sometimes his ability to penetrate just isn’t enough. Let’s also look at how our offense tends to go – they shoot a lot of jumpers. I don’t like that we’re living and dying by the jumper way too much, but it is what it is.

Without a significantly improved perimeter game, there’s no way Teague breaks into a rotation of shooters like Bibby, Johnson, and Crawford…all of whom are capable of putting up at least 28 minutes per game. Basically, Teague doesn’t fit. Sure, he can come off the bench and push the ball, but unless he is consistently generating offense in some way (either hitting jumpers or scoring at the rim, or being a bonafide assist guy), he just won’t get the burn.

I think it’s also why JC2 will sometimes get the garbage time minutes, while Teague won’t. Same issue with Acie Law.

Now who is to blame? Easy to blame the player (and rightfully so), but also consider that our backcourt style of play under two coaches now has emphasized guys who can shoot. Who keeps picking the guys who can’t shoot effectively from the perimeter in the NBA?

Bottom line in my opinion – this organization has no idea how to pick point guards in the draft, and the point guards we pick have no idea how to improve their perimeter game.

Big Ray

January 24th, 2011
6:47 am

It’s also why I say “watch Jordan Crawford.” If this guy learns to handle the ball better and makes good decisions with it, you could conceivably see him in the backcourt with Joe Johnson if/when Jamal Crawford goes elsewhere and Bibby slows down enough to where he can’t provide starter’s minutes on a consistent basis.

I know Drew said “he’s a SG, not a PG”, but is anybody calling Jamal a pg? Is Drew calling him a pg? Actions always speak louder than words (do you hear that REX RYAN?), and if Jamal can consistently play lead guard in this offense, I don’t see why Jordan can’t. Again, he has to improve his handle and decision making. Personally, I hope for a summer of hard work from him, and some real attention given to him next season in training camp. I think it’s too much to hope for him to get any serious looks in the second half of this season.

I also will say this, and I’m sure that some (maybe many) will disagree:

Jordan Crawford is the most talented guard the Hawks have picked in the draft since Jason Terry (Jamaal Tinsely got traded on draft night)

vava74

January 24th, 2011
7:25 am

Hi Ray,

Nice blog. Been silent for a while. A weekend fully committed to cooking, eating and family time.

I have no doubt that Jordan Crawford will be a solid rotational player and have a long career in the league. Stardom is not out of the question IMO.

He is a pure scorer but does not look to have any bad character quirks which will prevent him from learning what is right to do and what is wrong.

On what happened against NO:

I think our guys, as childish and unprepared mentally as they are, felt that they were soooo good after the win against MIA that they spent the following days partying and as usual completely lost track of the fact that in order to win you gotta work for it.

I didn’t see the game but I am under the impression that Bibby and Josh are probably the main guys at this type of behavior and their stats and game flow stats seem to prove that a bit.

About Powell, my guess is that he griped with LD about not getting more minutes with Al out.

If he did, I am actually with him. I am not saying, at all, that his ability is comparable to Al BUT my view on patching a team when someone is missing is to replace the missing player with the guy which most resembles the game of the guy who is out.

IMO, Powell should have gotten the start against NO and should have gotten more or less the same role and shots that Al usually gets.

Powell’s jump shot is pretty decent and he is also a PF/C, so he practices exactly the same plays as Al, in the same position.

A line up with Mo @ SG, JJ @ SF, Josh @ PF and Collins @ C is simply too much of an adaptation IMO.

We have been playing with Al shooting from outside and spreading the floor – drawing the C or the PF out of the paint, and we go and face NO with Collins and Josh paired up “down low”?

Collins has no offense and Josh’s jump shooting is suspect so he cannot replace Al’s game when he is out.

We should have played with JJ at the SG slot and Josh at the SF slot overpowering Belinelli down low with Powell drawing West or Okafor out of the paint with a combo of Collins and Zaza helping out.

About Teague:

I am disappointed with LD on this one since he is following the same path that Woody did: let’s save my first coaching gig at all cost and see if with minimum risk I can swerve the boat in the right direction.

It’s not that we can censor him completely for that (as it was not 100% fair to do it for Woody – although he should have known that his job was already condemned): he has waited long, too long IMO, for a HC gig so it is only natural that he will be conservative.

I am 100% convinced that Teague only needs minutes and that the benefits in the long run would be higher than the risks.

I still consider Jamal to be a 100% viable candidate to be shipped off and that with him gone our DNA would automatically change.

Nothing against the guy but his game is 100% incompatible with an evolution towards defensive respectability which, as we all know, is the key to playoff success (unless you have a Nash-Stoudamire combo on its prime).

O'Brien

January 24th, 2011
7:34 am

Big Ray,

Based on who was available in the draft at the time, do you think JT0 was the right pick? Did the Hawks draft best available player, or they drafted for need?

Hawks will have to address the bench this offseason, because if Jamal and Mo leaves, our backups will be JC2 and Jeff. I dont think Rick and LD will be willing to go into next season with those 2 as our backup guards.

AJ,

To add on to Ray’s comments, one of the things LD has probably told Teague is he needs to knock down his jumpers more consistently, because that is what is needed in the motion offense.

imo, Teague seems unsure of himself when he is out there. And as a PG, you need to be a leader. I havent seen enough leadership from Jeff. He defers to the guys on the court, and it seems like he is playing scared of making a mistake, so I dont see the confidence and swagger he displayed in college.

O'Brien

January 24th, 2011
7:39 am

vava,

One thing with Powell though, is he turns the ball over, his defense is bad, and his rebounding is inconsistent.

But maybe the issue is the way he complained to LD about his minutes, because there is a wrong way, and a right way.

Astro Joe

January 24th, 2011
9:21 am

Big Ray, good points. While LD’s offense is clearly better, it is mostly better for jump shooters. I assumed that a motion offense would result in more FGAs in the lane and more FTAs for the team. I figured we’d be “attacking the rim” more often (or at least Josh would be in that mode). While the GM should clearly choose skills desired by his head coach, don’t we also expect the head coach to figure out ways to utilize the strengths of his players? I find it hard to imagine that someone with Teague’s quickness can’t find a consistent 18-20 minute role in a motion offense. That is why I typically default to blaming the player, because it is hard for me to accept that LD can’t build a scheme within the structure of this offense to use Teague’s unique (for this roster) gifts.

For all of the adept playoff prognostigators, the thought of relying almost exclusively on jump shooting in the playoffs can’t be much more comforting than relying almost exclusively on isolation plays. Last year, the offense evolved throughout the season, so hopefully, we’ll see additional sets added that feature more back door cuts, post-ups and plays designed to get a quality shot off within 8-10 feet of the basket. I’d be concerned if we continue to need at least 3 players making their jump-shots to compete in a game.

Astro Joe

January 24th, 2011
9:24 am

I know that MC is relatively new to the AJC, so maybe I shouldn’t be quick to lump him in with others, but the AJC does NOT have a great history of “cracking the lockerroom stories”. I think the odds are pretty high that if the Powell story emerges, it won’t come from the AJC.

niremetal

January 24th, 2011
10:14 am

I’m actually not too concerned about the fact that our offense is jumpshot-heavy. In and of itself, that’s not a problem. In terms of percentages, an open perimeter jumper (especially an open 3) are more efficient (ie result in more point per attempt) than contested shots in the paint (and most shots in the paint are contested). If you are relying on contested jumpers, sure that’s bad. But the offense we’re running now seems to be generating a lot of open jumpers, and we have the personnel (namely JJ, Jamal, Josh, and Al) to score in the paint when teams cut those jumpers off.

The truth is that many of the most successful teams in the league get most of their points outside the paint. Last year, the Hawks were 9th in the NBA in points in the paint per game. Pretty good. But teams ahead of them included Memphis, Sacramento, Houston, and Minnesota. Teams behind included LAL (albeit barely), SAS (same), Boston, OKC, Orlando, Dallas, and Portland. This year, we’re 25th. But Miami and Dallas are 29th and 30th. Memphis, LAC, and Toronto are in the top 5.

It’s something that the stat-crunchers have talked about for awhile. Scoring points in the paint versus scoring on perimeter shots is not a reliable indicator of offensive efficiency in either the regular season or the playoffs. People often say “well, open jumpers disappear in the playoffs,” which is true to an extent. The problem is that the number of fouls called in the paint per game goes down in the playoffs, which makes contested shots in the paint even less efficient than they are during the regular season. The idea that jumpers are the greatest casualty of increased defensive pressure in the playoffs is a myth – and when you think about it, common sense should tell you that without even having to look at the statistics.

You do, of course, need to have a mix of players that allows you to score both from the outside and in the paint (which we have). But as long as you have that, there’s no evidence at all that it matters which you look for first. Orlando is actually proof positive of that. They are among the most jumper-heavy teams in the NBA, and have been for awhile. But that’s ok because they are mostly open jumpers, created because they have a player (and really, it is just one player) who is great at scoring in the paint.

Rufus1

January 24th, 2011
11:03 am

It can’t be the PG’s.. it’s the coaches

It can’t be the PG’s, it has to be the coaches. 7 years of the Woodson / LD era and some of you are still blaming the players we drafted…That is ridiculous!!!!
Jerry Sloan could turn a BABY TURTLE into a NBA quality PG, but is 7 years the Hawks can’t make one…PLEASE!!!
Ronnie Price, Sundiata Gaines, Eric Maynor, Darren (To fat for the Hawks to draft) Willams and John Stockton…
LD wants a Derrick Fisher kind of PG and that means JC2 would be his preffered choice…. BUT HOW DO YOU TELL YOUR GM THAT I WANT TO TRADE YOUR FUTURE PG, THAT I PROMISED TO DEVELOP.

This isn’t about Teague, it is about LD….AFTER THE BOSTON GAME, THAT HE SHOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED HIM IN THE REGULAR ROTATION. This is exact same thing that happened to AC LAW, and the same people are giving the same excuses.
This isn’t about the players because we see the talent, it is about the coaches. This is the exact same way it happened to LAW(Good game, no real playing time, the next 4 games)….WE ALL WATCHED IT HAPPEN.

So please stop making excuses, for coaches that want Vet PG’s only or one more shooter on the floor.

Astro Joe

January 24th, 2011
11:09 am

nire, without checking the stats and using strictly my memory, I think the Hawks have struggled to score against likely Eastern Conference playoff teams so far. To your point, contested jumpers are a problem and given that we will likely be playing one of the 5 best teams in the conference in the first round, I wouldn’t expect too many open jumpers. As teams begin scheming for Al’s amazingly effective mid-range game, I fully expect LD to counter that with some cut to the rim. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t create counter-moves for what opposing teams find on film. And if they don’t execute (or he doesn’t scheme), then I have very little faith in our ability to see the 2nd round.

niremetal

January 24th, 2011
11:48 am

To your point, contested jumpers are a problem and given that we will likely be playing one of the 5 best teams in the conference in the first round, I wouldn’t expect too many open jumpers.

Every type of shot becomes harder in the playoffs. Teams and players that rely on getting in the paint and drawing fouls find that much harder to do in the playoffs as well. My point was that jumpers aren’t the only thing clamped down on in the playoffs. All shots become more difficult, and foul calls are harder to come by. There’s zero evidence that being a team that relies more on jumpers than on scoring in the paint fare worse in the playoffs. It’s something that the APBRmetrics folks write about all the time.