Hawks fans: When is patience no longer a virtue?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If it’s “here we go again,” then we’re thinking the same thing.

Another fourth quarter collapse. Another quick point guard doing the Hawks in. Another set of typical quotes from two of the team’s captains. Another vein of frustration popping out of the coach’s forehead. Perspectives from AL, Larry, and Joe are becoming the norm these days. But that is not the problem at all. The problem is that those perspectives haven’t changed one bit, because the situation has not changed.

Patience, patience

That’s why management preaches. That’s not what you’re hearing from Head Coach Larry Drew, though. No, what we’re hearing from him is long-suffering. There is a fundamental difference between the two. Patience is realizing that a non-lottery draft pick might need a bit more work than a lottery draft pick. Patience is understanding that a new offensive philosophy or a new rotation player added to the mix takes some time to develop. Patience is doing the best you can as a team while waiting for injured starters to heal.

Patience is not making the same exact mistakes again and again, despite the fact that you should know by now (after 2 or 3 years) what will cause you to lose the lead in a game. Why is shot selection still an issue?

The Usual Suspects, The Usual Results

Joe Johnson is the best player on this team and the guy you want to have the ball in the worst situations. How does he end up taking only two more shots than the team’s sixth man, and seven less shots than the team’s worst perimeter shooting starter? You can criticize Joe for taking too many jumpers if you choose. But the fact is, Joe is a shooter and scorer. You WANT him to shoot.

Jamal Crawford is a streak shooter. Either he’s good, or he’s bad. There is little middle ground with Jamal. Do you want him to shoot? Yes. It’s what he does. But you have to understand that shoot is what he’s going to do, whether he’s on or not. On the other end of the floor, there is nothing to balance things out, plain and simple. The good news is that Jamal does know how to get to the line.

Now for the self-made whipping boy, Josh Smith. Josh has gotten to where he can make shots from the outside. The problem is that in his mind, can is the same as will. Smith’s early season perimeter success has eroded on a near day-to-day basis, and I truly believe that much of this has to do with him trying to establish his offense outside first, instead of inside. The problem with this is that it’s the exact opposite of what his coach has been trying to tell him. And there it is – Josh not listening again. Still. When will this change? Will it change?

Taking Notes

Rick Sund says the Hawks like their core, and that they are going to be patient with the team. But when is patience no longer a virtue? How long can the Hawks afford to stay with the status quo? We’re not talking about making random changes here. We’re talking about fixing actual problems. When do the excuses run out? How long is ownership and management going to take an “Oh, it will be fine” stance?

Maybe Sund should start taking note of the things some of his most valued players are saying. Maybe he should pay attention to the words coming from the mouth of the very man he “hired” to change that which has not changed. Sooner or later this will be simply too much. Sooner or later regression takes hold for good, until something significant is done. The Hawks keep saying it can happen from within, but can it? They say they’re aware of the main problem. A couple of wins go by and all is somewhat good. Then the inevitable happens and it’s back to the same quotes, the same hanging heads, the same shrugging shoulders.

Perhaps Al Horford said it best :

“I guess when it gets to a point where it hurts you and really bothers you, then you do something about it. I don’t know that we’re there as a team yet.”

Does it hurt the team enough yet, or have they passed the point of where they are collectively aware (translation: are there guys who simply don’t care enough)? How about management? Are there enough guys on the floor to fix the situation, or does the fix have to come from higher? More than ever, it seems that this questions leans harder towards the latter, rather than the former.

Flip Side of the Coin

Not all is gloom and doom. At the very least, the Hawks have gotten past the injury bug for the moment. Al Horford looked like he didn’t miss a beat against Milwaukee, hitting 7 of 9 shots and adding another nice double double to his collection. Meanwhile, Marvin looked rather effective coming off the bench. This is certainly good news for a Hawks team that may need to experiment a bit more to find the best possible chemistry that it can, seeing as how the schedule will only get tougher.

273 comments Add your comment

Dooley

January 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

The only reason he would be off the all-star team because its a lifetime achievement award and a popularity contest now-a-days.He was voted the biggest snub last year and if he doesnt make it this year he will be the biggest snub again.Blake Griffin or Kevin Love might not make it but you can’t sit here and tell me there not deserving.Did you watch TNT last night my boy?The truth was told to the whole world why deserving players don’t make the all-star team

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
12:24 pm

“Extremely overstated?” Does that mean that Josh has a tendency to go over-the-top in his blog arguments?

STRETCH

January 28th, 2011
12:24 pm

Losing leads the way they have is on the “CORE” and NOT Woody cause he is not here now. The “CORE” is doing the same things they did last season!

Everyone outside the organization knows what Atlanta needs:

1st – a PG with speed and a Center, they could probably get by without the Center, but come playoff time, Bibby will get roasted again, while Teague sits on the bench whiltering away like AC Law.

2nd – They overpaid for JJ. If you are gonna give a guy that kinda money, he darn well better be giving you 26/11/7 atleast 3 nights a week!

3rd – move JS…the guy is a cancer. Management reminds me of that short fat bald guy with the really good paying job, that drives a 15 year old Taurus, but has a super hot girlfriend who cheats on him and everyones telling him to let her go but he’s to scared to let her go!

Rod from College Park

January 28th, 2011
12:34 pm

vava74,

“There is a reason why Jamal HAS NEVER BEEN involved in winning basketball.”

I agree. He was drafted to the Bulls, when they were in total rebuilding mode after Jordan. Then he went to the Knicks who were in total rebuilding mode after Ewing, then he went to Golden State who might have a couple of winning seasons in their franchise history. So, are you saying is that Jamal Crawford is the reason that none of those teams won (LOL)?

“He is soft, desinterested/unable to play D, poor decision maker, … You name it.”

So these are your thoughts about Jamal, but you attack me when I post things about Marvin? I’m sure it is easy to command a 10 million dollar salary per year in the NBA by having all of those attributes. All those writers and broadcasters that voted him as the 6th man of the year must agree with you also.

“Basically Jamal has never been good structurally for the teams he plays.”

How on earth can somebody like you, who probably never played an organized basketball game in your life, make a statement like that. Did you work in the Bulls front office? What about the Knicks or Golden State? That is strictly an opinion you have formed, with no basis for your conclusion.

The team had more spunk and played more cohesive with Flip.

Again, this is strictly speculation. We won more games with Jamal. You just stated that there is a reason that he HAS NEVER BEEN involved in winning basketball. So did we play winning basketball last year? What is your definition of winning basketball? So by your definition, a team with less spunk and less cohesion plays better? We were better record wise with Jamal.

“These are facts. Even more evident that Marvin’s alleged prejudicial effect on the team.”

Nothing that you stated was a fact, it was all speculation. What I stated was a fact. Marvin returned, and we lost. That is true, and can be verified. Your hatred for Jamal has actually made you so delusional that you can not determine the difference between an opinion, and a fact. Jamal’s team actually won a Rucker Summer League title. Does that count? You did not put any limits on it, you just said winning basketball.

Dooley

January 28th, 2011
12:44 pm

I Agree Wit You Brah.They need to start dogging Joe Johnson cuz he slick sorry

O'Brien

January 28th, 2011
12:51 pm

“Now we don’t have the flexibility to sign any of the trade deadline afterthoughts who get bought out of their contracts in Feb/March…” nire .

Agreed. But when was the last time the Hawks picked up anybody after the trade deadline? And except for the Bibby deal, I can’t remember the last time the Hawks made a trade during the season.

To comment on the Jamal discussion, Jamal is Jamal, and its good to have someone like him on your bench (imo). His role is bench scorer, and he plays his role well.

However, his HC has to monitor his minutes (and the game flow) very very closely, because if Jamal is cold, he will try and shoot his way out of it, which will take the team out of it.

RealSquawk

January 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

superiorblogman

More than a month man? A lesion that is there for more than month and then you decide there is a problem? Your know different from the Hawks mgt!

E43

January 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

I think the hawks biggest problem has been playing not to fail and not playing to learn to succeed. an example would be between Jeff Teague and rondo.

rondo was clearly the weakness along with perkins. but the difference is boston hot potatoes the ball to him no matter what. if they were pressured they would get the ball to a guard but only as a last resourt. you would never see garnet(smith) leading a break or even Perkins (Al).

I just wont sit back and buy LDs excuse of Teague not playing as fast as he’d like. Teague can dunk and outrun everyone. u cant have a fast-break with everyone but your true point guard touching the ball and then blame the point guard about him not playing fast enough. i just find it unacceptable and disappointing because this it is the easiest problem to fix.

if you give Teague the touches he would have on any other team even as a third string then i’m sure you’ll learn a few things. just don’t treat him like a rook anymore

ag

January 28th, 2011
1:24 pm

A couple of season’s ago, the Hawks turned the corner with the Mike Bibby trade. The previous year, they improved when Flip Murray joined the team. Last year, we improved with the addition to Jamal Crawford. Every year of improvment, the Hawks added a player who was a major contributor. Etan, Pape Sy, Wilkins, JCII, and Josh…….combined don’t average 10 ppg

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
2:05 pm

ag, they brought in a new head coach… that was the GM’s big move this summer. But I can understand why that may not register as a team-altering move.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
2:20 pm

So on paper, at least, Poppy Seed is doing better in his last few games with the Flash: 12ppg and 4.2 rpg. The most impressive stat is that he’s shot .647 from the floor during that span. The least impressive is that he’s averaging only 0.8apg (so much for having him spend time at PG).

A few good games in the D-League doesn’t make wasting a roster spot and a buyout on him a good decision, though.

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
2:59 pm

nire, well according to the head coach, Pape Sy is a PG and JC2 is not.

Ray

January 28th, 2011
3:08 pm

Big Ray nice article man as always

As for the Jamal Crawford situation and just the team in general I feel like we don’t need someone like Jamal on this team any longer. Yes I understand that he’s helped us to a 50 win plus season last year, but based off this season alone, and even though Woodson is gone he is playing very sub-par.

He’s been wanting a contract I understand, but to me he shouldn’t get it at least from us if I were the hawks I’d cut my ties with him right now before the all-star game. I feel like the hawks are about to make a huge trade soon, but as usual ASG and Sund prove me wrong lol.

In all honesty Mike bibby should go too, but is Steve Nash the right trade guy is 37 years old or something on that line, but he does know how to run an offense.

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
3:09 pm

My distorted dream is to watch the Heat lose to the “boring” old Spurs in 4 games in the Finals this summer. All of those casual basketball fans would be forced to watch the Dreamgirls dominated by team-oriented ball featuring one of my all-time favorites as he gets his 5th ring. But after watching the Heat play last night, they may not get out of the 2nd round unless they act like they are playing something other than a pick-up game.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

Astro,

I would love to see that too. But sadly, I don’t think you’ll get your wish – I don’t see the Heat making it out of the East.

Ray

January 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

I think that’s what we’d all like to see @Nire and Astro Joe

Then again it’d be a bit of Deja vu all over again remember 2007 lol the boring team vs. the high-flying smash mouth b-ball team. Ended with a 4-0 sweep it was funny to watch.

Question for anyone what are the chances that the Spurs could at least match or beat the Bulls 72-10 record? In your opinions.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
3:50 pm

Li’l Ray,

No, for one simple reason: Pop doesn’t care about regular season record. He wants to win a title. Assuming the Spurs keep this up through late March, they’ll lock up home court advantage and he’ll rest his starters for the rest of the year once that happens. And if they dip a bit and don’t lock up home court, then they will fall off the pace to beat the record. Either way, I don’t see them winning more than a pathetic 64 or 65 games.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

“[Ravin] patched the hole in Smith’s psyche with texts containing affirmations such as ‘You don’t need their approval, so stop looking in their direction.’”

Someone please find Mr. Ravin and smack him upside the head. With a baseball bat.

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

I agree withnire. Pop will put those guys on ice in April. I did hear recently that he decided to “open up” the offense this year, and they said that has been one reason for their success. Simply a terrific organization. I recall that the Hawks interviewed an assistant GM from the Spurs many moons ago… oh well, why would you want to hire anyone associated with that franchise?

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
4:15 pm

nire, there you go being mean-spirited again. Simply destroying his cell phone would be equally as effective.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

AJ,

The scuttlebutt is that the guy in question (Dennis Lindsey) will succeed RC Buford as GM when Buford steps down (presumably in 2012, when Duncan and Pop are expected to retire). Teams have been going after Lindsey for years, but the Spurs really want to hang onto him because all of Buford’s other competent assistant GMs (Ferry, Blanks, Pritchard, and Presti) have been poached by other teams during the past decade.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
4:20 pm

Forgot another: Dell Demps in New Orleans.

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

nire, I don’t remember, was that when they hired BK or when they hired Sund that Lindsey was supposedly in the mix? I won’t re-visit the most recent GM hiring, as I recall that we alledgedly were turned down by more than one up-and-comer.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

AJ,

That was in ‘08, for Sund. I don’t remember who was in the mix for BK. At the time, I just remember thinking it was funny that they hired the GM who had taken the Hawks for a ride on the Gasol-for-Shareef deal.

Ray

January 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

Oh yeah btw can the ATL hawks now be sold to someone who cares about spending money to make a team better? I was just reading the article about how the hawks aren’t tied to Phillips anymore.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

Ray,

Hate to break it to you, but you won’t find anyone willing to spend the luxury tax on a team that has yet to break through to the conference finals. No team has. Ever.

O'Brien

January 28th, 2011
4:54 pm

If the Hawks did not hire Rick Sund, would any other team have him on their potential candidate list? I don’t think so.

Sure, he has made some good trades, but leading up to his Hawks hiring, his recent draft history was spotty at best (Robert Swift, Petro, Saer Sene lead the way), and his recent coaching hires (Bob Hill, Weiss) were spotty (at best).

I think Hawks wanted a GM who would not rock the boat, or tilt the boat over. After all, they really love their core.

O'Brien

January 28th, 2011
4:58 pm

Found this interesting note in the ESPN story that talked about Sund and Hill being fired from the SOnics.

Bob Hill had the support of many of his players, most notably Allen, but publicly clashed with Watson and Damien Wilkins. during the season, and pushed Sund for personnel moves that never materialized.”.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2848273/

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
5:42 pm

O’Brien,

I would bet almost anything that Sund would have another GM job by now if the Hawks hadn’t hired him. I think everyone underestimates the esteem in which he held from his prior gigs with Mavs, Pistons, and Sonics. His time with the Mavs in particular was impressive – Harper, Aguirre, Blackman, Donaldson, Perkins, and Schrempf were all All-Star quality players in their day. Lots of ink has been spilt talking about how that team would have a title but for the fact that they had to get through the Lakers at their peak. And memories in the NBA are long because the circle of executives is so small – most of them were around back then. Before his time with the Hawks, his repeated failures to draft or sign a decent center in Seattle was the only real black mark on his record.

I actually don’t think he’s done more than an average job with the Hawks. But his career as a whole has been very impressive.

superiorblogman

January 28th, 2011
6:03 pm

RealSquawk

January 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

superiorblogman

More than a month man? A lesion that is there for more than month and then you decide there is a problem? Your know different from the Hawks mgt!

Well, I once had what a thought were bumps, went to the doctor about 3 weeks after they appeared and didn’t go away, that doctor sent me to another, and another, and another, until the doctor total got to 5 within a span of 10 months and they still misdiagnosed it. Doctors are not reliable and you guys always end up sounding stupid because you never ever get full details before you come with unwarranted and ignorant opinions. The point remains the same and that is Sund and the ASG are doing nothing to fix the problems, but I must admit, looking at my own story, they could do everything in their power and it may still end up a bad situation. Only someone that has never been through anything thinks that action alone will solve every situation, but its sad that Sund holds on to that theory.

O'Brien

January 28th, 2011
6:26 pm

nire,

What do you think of Sund’s recent history though (since 2000). I think teams are looking for young up and comers to be their GM these days, which is why I don’t think teams would have hired him.

Keith

January 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

I say go get CP3, he was upset the Hawks did not draft him, and I think he would be willing to come to the A…..you can give up Teague and Bibby and go ahead add throw Marvin in there to make the deal complete.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
6:51 pm

O’Brien,

You’re just plain wrong about “young up and comers.” Most GMs are suits now, same as they always have been. That goes doubly for the times at the top – Riley (Miami), Walsh (NY), Kupchak (LAL), O’Connor (Utah), and Nelson (Dal) are all guys who’ve been around the league a decade or two. Lon Babby (Pho) has been a superagent for years. Most of the “young guns” were promoted internally (Presti, Grant, Morey, etc). Others were brought in on the suggestion of a head coach (Cho in Portland, Demps in NO). Sports teams hire their executives mainly through networking, just as every corporate profession. Others are former players for the team who maintained a relationship with the team’s front office after retirement, and eventually were tapped as GM. You almost never see “young guns” getting hired as GMs with teams they have no prior relationship. I actually can’t think of a single example.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
6:52 pm

And before you say “the Knicks a team at the top,” I’ll just say that along with BOS and LAL, getting a gig with the Knicks is the most coveted gig in the league.

Ken Strickland

January 28th, 2011
7:11 pm

BIG RAY-I have to take him hat off to you on this article. I’ve advocated trading JaCrawford for PG DHarris, but unless the Nets/Denver trade goes through, and CBillups is included, I doubt if they’ll trade DHarris. I have a very strong feeling the Hawks are going to stand pat and wait until the season ends and the CBA is resolved before making a move.

After all, that strategy will free up $15.1M(Jamal-$10.8, MEvans-$2.5M, JCollins & EThomas $.9M each=$15.1M). Bibby’s $5.56M contract then becomes a very tradeable expiring contract. We could certainly do a sign and trade with Jamal, and there’s no guarantee we won’t trade Smoove as well, if we get what we want and need in return. I would love to see us go after C TChandler and PG DHarris, or PG JCalderon.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
7:49 pm

Who in the NBA has a stat sheet like Josh Smith?No one.Steals,Rebounds,Points,Assists,and Blocks.The best Overall Player on the Hawks.You know why he complains and gives up so much?Because people do stupid stuff to put them out the game and he plays hard until that point

Really? How about when he’s missing jumpers with 16 seconds left on the shot clock?

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
7:51 pm

Ken Strickland ,

I think you’re right. Freeing up money and seeing what the CBA brings sounds like Hawks managment thinking. Not that I know what they think…..

Meanwhile…..

LOL at Amare Stoudamire pulling a Rick Mahorn on Al Horford early in the game. Two thoughts on that:

1) Amare doesn’t have the beef to guard Al in the post.

2) Al won’t go for that again.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:04 pm

HOLY CRAPPOLA….

New York is getting a single-handed Crawford beating!

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:05 pm

The great thing about this first quarter flurry is that the Hawks are doing nearly all of it in the paint.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:20 pm

That never gets old – a mad dash down the court ending in an alley oop for Josh Smith.

niremetal

January 28th, 2011
8:22 pm

Big Ray,

You said it @ 8:05. Man, I hope LD is drilling them that THIS is the way to play.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:31 pm

Pretty fun game to watch. Only two things could stop the Hawks – an attack of laziness (on defense) and a case of jumperitis (on offense).

Otherwise, it should continue to be a blowout of sorts, and maybe we get to see Jordan Crawford.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:33 pm

Nire ,

You know, I was thinking that the one time my tired carcass finally blogs live, nobody is around, LOL.

Agreed, I hope LD is drilling this into their heads as well. Especially #5’s formidable cranium…

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:34 pm

Almost didn’t recognize Mo Evans with the head band on.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
8:35 pm

Now…..how many Hawks would laugh if LD, referring to the whole scoring in the paint thing, says this:

“Keep doing this! This $hit works!”

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
9:13 pm

At the risk of pouring cold water, much like the Knicks aren’t following up a good win last night with a competitive effort tonight, let’s hope that the good feelings of tonight’s game aren’t short lived. Hawks have played well on back-to-back games and Dallas is no joke, but I would hate to be on the wrong end of a blowout tonmorrow.

Toney Douglas may not be a “PG of the future” but he is a “strong defender of the now”. A former ACC defensive player of the year with the ability to knock down set-shots. And drafted AFTER Teague.

Astro Joe

January 28th, 2011
9:14 pm

Knicks are chipping away and LD will have to go to the bench soon.

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
9:14 pm

Al Horford destroying the Knicks on the boards.

Joe destroying them in the scoring column.

Josh just had to shoot one bad jumper in the game. Just one ….

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
9:19 pm

AJ you called it.

Bet we don’t see Teague or Crawford tonight, either. Just thought I’d say that…

Big Ray

January 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

Good move by Horford. Now the Hawks have to remember that the Knicks can’t stop them in the painted area without fouling hard.