Hawks leave home, hope for some positive continuity

Things can’t be all that good for your team when they feel like they might have to leave home to get back on track.  Every team, even the true contenders, go through bad spells. If you don’t believe it, just read NBA.com and every other site that pays any attention to NBA basketball. Why watch soap operas when you can just keep up with what’s going on with the Lakers? It’s just another reality show. But with the Hawks, it just feels different. How do you lose a home game to a team with a worse record by 34 points, then follow it up with another loss at home by losing a 22 point lead? 

Denial is an ugly thing 

Josh Smith talks about a chance to bond. Honestly? How much more bonding can you do before you realize that some parts simply don’t fit the way you need them to? This team doesn’t need to bond. They don’t need to gel. They don’t need to find an identity. They don’t need a shock either, or any other cliche. What they need is an operation. A transplant. Something that wasn’t there before, but is needed. The problem is, you have to first accept that you’re missing something, or that whatever you had has gone bad. Then, you have to act on this knowledge. Does management know that something is flat out wrong? Is the front office willing to accept that idea? Most fans are tired of hearing “we’re keeping an ear out and an eye open for any deals that may come along.”

You know what? That sounds like you’re doing something else, but you’ll try and take notice if an opportunity to improve the team happens to come along. Gee, there must be a lot of people in need of suing, or something…..

 

What’s the worst that could happen?

Maybe management should have asked that question once it was decided that Mike Woodson wouldn’t be the coach of the team anymore, and the “search” for a “new” one was on. Maybe management did ask that question when deciding to promote Larry Drew, instead of trying for someone from outside the organization. Maybe I have the question wrong. Maybe it should have been “what’s the best that can happen?”

Of course, asking such questions would insinuate that Larry Drew is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, right? Well, that depends on your perspective. Drew brought forth the idea of the motion offense, yet the team continues to have inexplicable collapses in the second half of games. Drew preached accountability on defense, yet the Hawks succumb to penetration from the perimeter on a regular basis. Drew said this, Drew said that. Now he is doing things that seem in direct contrast with what he said before the season began, and making phantom tinkerings with the lineup. Yeah, the Hawks could have and maybe should have hired a guy from the outside to coac this team. But how much difference would it have made? Maybe no more than changing a dirty oil filter on a car that really needs a few engine parts replaced.

 

A pointed issue

There is a good deal of unrest about the point guard situation for Atlanta. Sports writers will typically bring up the 2005 draft when broaching the subject, but the past is indeed the past. The Hawks can’t get better defense out of Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford, and they are easy targets when either is not shooting well. The obvious solution to some is 2nd year point guard Jeff Teague. But what has Teague done that makes him a solution to an ongoing problem? Perhaps that question need not be asked, and we find ourselves back with another one – “what’s the worst that could happen?” Maybe Drew sees this sooner rather than later, and decides to play the guy. Why? Because by now, the point is not longer about whether or not Jeff Teague is the solution for the Hawks, in the areas where Bibby and Crawford fail. The point is that the Hawks need to know what they have in Teague, and whether or not he can be developed into something they can use. If not, then he’s trade bait. In addition, the Hawks must get to where they are no longer relying on a super-sub shooting guard to be their savior when their top scorer is off his game, or when their starting point guard can’t get it done. I mean seriously, relying on a streaky scorer who can’t defend, to save you when your back is against the wall? Who’s idea was that?

Up Next

Two games east, five games west. This could get really ugly for the Hawks, or we could be left shaking our heads and wondering how a team this good can be this bad at time, as they roll to a winning total on their road trip.

Well, it all starts in Detroit. Talk about bad memories, when the Hawks last played there (December 14th) they lost by 23 points. Of course, Joe Johnson was out with injury, but that wasn’t all. Atlanta got ripped by Detroit’s bench, beaten like a drum on the glass, and had an epic fourth quarter collapse. Fact is, the Hawks only played one winning quarter out of that whole game. Now, with Joe back in the fold, can they get revenge and start this trip off right?

 

 

By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

343 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

February 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

“The MYTH is that we need a great defensive PG, we don’t….. We need an average defensive PG to give the Hawks better defensive balance.(like Mario Chalmers) He simply stays infront if his man….Is that too much to ask of your starting PG.”

They just need a point guard who is not below average at both offense and defense. This is why I am a big fan of trading for Nash. Nash is at least as bad as Bibby defensively, but at least he contributes on the other end (in his case he contributes far more on the other end than he takes away defensively). If Bibby was still hitting 50% of his 3’s and could run the pick and roll with Horford it would be a different story.

EmirS.

February 14th, 2011
1:20 pm

What’s that? Something we need?

We need a bench. That’s what we need. A damn (can I say damn?) bench! Our starters can’t play 48 minutes a game. Why do you think Horford played 40 minutes versus the Bobcats with a bad back. There is no one that can come in off the bench to be any support. When Jamal is on an off night we dont have a secondary bench person to rely on. We dont have a supporting cast off the bench. You can go down the list after Jamal:

Evans
Teague
Zaza
Collins
Powell
Thomas
Rookie Crawford

If you noticed I left out Damien Wilkins. As someone whose getting paid less then half of these guys and at times gets alot less minutes, his contribution is unsurpassed (my opinion) by any on that list. So now think about it. If Mr. Wilkins is your next best player off the bench then what does that say for your bench overall….?

doc

February 14th, 2011
1:37 pm

nire
understand
thanks

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
1:45 pm

Najeh, some want to focus on Nash’s age but the fact is that he is having a season that compares favorably to his MVP years (at least individually). I can’t imagine that Phoenix trades him for an expiring contract and other stuff. He is shooting 50/40/90, handing out 11 assists and isn’t playing with a single All-Star or near All-Star. I’d bet that in the next 2 years, that he will likely play more total minutes than CP3 (at least based on recent history). Bottom line, I think he is out of our “trade range” as most have no desire to trade one of our captains to improve the team.

Solo

February 14th, 2011
2:20 pm

MC, thank you for spelling out the problem for Rick Sund and ASG, a great article i really respect you for your honesty. I hope ASG is going understand this group of players are not going anywhere, plus if Jamal Crawford is not returning next seasons we should package him with Josh Smith or Mervin/Evans/Zaza/bibby and see what we can get for return, but they need to make a big trade. As long as we have Al and JJ we are a play off team any way so please ASG make a big trade before you lose the remaining funs that you have left.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
2:26 pm

Methinks Solo needs to read bylines more carefully.

CFTSOC

tyger

February 14th, 2011
3:33 pm

Rajon Rondo…

Nick Van Excel spoke during the summer about getting the “dog” out of Teague. Well, if you didn’t know what he meant, then watching Rajon Rondo operate is mandatory.

Teague and Rondo are very similar, on paper. Same size, speed, athleticism, ball-handling, weak shooters, but what’s the difference? Rajon Rondo is a rottweiler, Teague is a poodle. That dog don’t hunt, don’t bite, don’t even bark. He’s in constant retreat, he doesn’t want the ball, on offense or defense, even though he has the raw tools, he doesn’t have the fighting heart.

Now, he’s a nice guy, no doubt about it, but this emphasis on nice guys in ATL has gone too far, we’re becoming a town of beotches. From the Falcoons to the Hawks, every time the money is only the line, we roll-over. Marvin seems to be the only guy in town, who don’t take no $hit and he don’t even get to play no more.

Rondo is a good model. He wasn’t a high pick, didn’t have a John Wall college career and had a shaky start as a pro. Yet, he responded, he elevated his game and whatever weaknesses he had were offset by his strengths. He still isn’t a good shooter, but he uses what he has, speed, hustle, aggressiveness, awareness, quickness, heart.

He’s relentless, fearless, he’s 6′2 and in King James’ pocket? Someone should steal a pair of his sweaty socks and make Teague sleep in them, maybe an ounce of his DNA would rub off.

All this LD talk is non-sense. Bibby, JJ, Crawford make over $31M year combined, have over 40yrs. NBA experience total and can’t hold a 22pt lead or score one basket or FT in the 4th qtr?? Why are we paying them? Between the three of them, they couldn’t figure how to get to the FT line one time? And that’s the coaches fault? GTFOH!!!

Tremaine

February 14th, 2011
3:55 pm

All we are saying is GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!

Rufus1

February 14th, 2011
4:12 pm

Rondo

Rondo non-jump shooting a$$ would be riding the pine in ATL.

Tremaine

February 14th, 2011
4:14 pm

Rondo was fun to watch yesterday.

ATL4Life

February 14th, 2011
4:24 pm

It is time for Atlanta Spirit to sell the association.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
4:25 pm

Rufus, I disagree… Hawks signed Speedy to be a defensive disrupter not because he had a great jumper. The previous coach gave Mario West some playing time just because of his defensive tenacity. That’s what kills me about last year’s draft, Darren Collison was a defensive terror for seemingly 7 years at UCLA. Toney Douglas was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. But we swung for the fences instead of drafting players who were already exceptional at an area of need. And then guess what happened? Both Collison and Douglas proved they had enough offensive game to be budding 2-way players. Meanwhile, our “PG of the future” is looking more and more like a forgettable late round draft pick.

doc

February 14th, 2011
4:30 pm

tyger, poodles are not docile, they are good hunters and very smart, among the smartest in the canine world. do not compare them to teague that looks more like the heinz 57 mutt from the pound than a true bred dog with papers.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
4:33 pm

AJ,

Have you watched Knicks games this year? TDouglas looks flat-out awful. He seems to have lost a step, which is odd considering his age, but I recall hearing rumblings about his conditioning back before the ‘09 draft. In any case, I don’t think I’ll be shedding any tears over missing out on him.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
4:36 pm

I was gonna compare Teague to my kitten, Chip. He’ll sleep for a long time, then wake up and run around with no apparent purpose for a few minutes. Sounds about right ;)

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
4:55 pm

nire, I haven’t watched any Knicks games lately. I had Douglas on my fantasy team earlier in the season before he was injured. As bad as he’s been, I doubt that he has 10 DNP-CDs. It’s all relative, my guess is that with Bibby’s current issues, Douglas would be getting some run.

In the spirit of your CFTSOC, I am hereby on the “start Teague anyway” band-wagon. I would love to see him get to start one or both of the next 2 games just for the intrigue of watching him play extended minutes with the starters. Somehow, watching Collins doesn’t quite hold high entertainment value for me. He was forgettable against Philly and clearly earned yet another DNP-CD for that sterling effort. Heck, throw the kid out there just for the benefit of bored fans. If not Teague, bring back Pape Sy and start him. I am becoming the worse kind of fan.. the bored and apathetic kind looking for something to spark my fading interests.

doc

February 14th, 2011
4:57 pm

jt0 to chip in 18 months. :-)

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
5:00 pm

I heard that when Jeff Teague was compared to some popular dog breeds, that Mike Vick came out to speak out on behalf of the dogs. Something about comparing dogs to Teague is a form of animal abuse. :lol:

Who cares? Give the dog a bone… or in this case, a start. My team has become a bore…. UGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!

governor404

February 14th, 2011
5:10 pm

Saturday’s loss is the result of poor coaching during crunch time a time when coaches’ decisions (right or wrong) are magnified. For the life of me, why was Marvin’s length (6′9″) not utilized on a perimeter player who everyone in the building knew would get the ball. No way would the elite coaches (Doc, Pop, or Phil) have let that matchup be exploited. Has Marvin fallen that far out of favor where his defense and length cannot be used. Mo Evans is barely 6′4″ and the xtra 5″ probably would have effected that shot that we all new was coming with Josh being isolated far away from the intended target. Its the little coaching indecisions like this that keep me wondering is Larry in over his head.

Ken Strickland

February 14th, 2011
6:55 pm

FUNDAMENTALS-Can you name a single incident where it can be said that Bibby has shown any of this fire and aggressiveness that’s being demanded from Teague? I don’t know about the rest of you, but it makes far more sense to expect and demand more aggressiveness from a veteran starting PG that’s averaging a meager 9.3PPG and 3.6APG in 29.8MPG, which is only 4.4PPG and 1.8APG above what his backup is producing playing 12MPG, or 17.8 fewer, and very inconsistent MPG.

Teague has shot more FT’s(46) in 12MPG in 43gms, than Bibby has shot(45) averaging 29.8MPG over 53gms. And you BIBBY LOVERS still insist on claiming you don’t know what Teague can do. He can:

1-Consistently get to the FT line and score, Bibby can’t.
2-Breakdown DEF’s with his penetration and create easier scoring opportunities for others, Bibby can’t.
3-Be a viable scorer at the FT line(.83FT%), Bibby can’t(.63FT%).
4-Take a rebound and challenge a teams transition DEF by going coast to coast, Bibby can’t.
5-Play perimeter DEF well enough to eliminate any need for gimmick DEF’s, Bibby can’t.
6-Add an entirely different dimension to the OFF when our outside shooting fails, Bibby can’t.
7-Provide good transition DEF and defend the rim against fastbreaks, Bibby can’t.
8-Get better offensivelly and defensively with more mins, support and encouragement, Bibby can’t.
9-Become the long term solution to our poor OFF/DEF PG production, Bibby can’t.

And with all of this staring you right in the face, so many of you still pretend not to know what Teague can do, which is just about everything Bibby can’t do. One thing is certain, all of you sure as hell know what Bibby can’t do, but you don’t seem to care about that., or see it as a problem. AGAIN, IT’S THE CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES SYNDROM.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:15 pm

From LD’s introductory press conference (on ajc.com);

Drew on point guard Jeff Teague, who was seldom used as a rookie by Mike Woodson: “I really believe this kid has the package. Rick [Sund] and I spoke about it. I think he has the ability to make this team better, to have an impact on this team. The offense will really benefit from his speed and his quickness — to break the defense down.”.

That might be why Rick did not get a backup PG.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:16 pm

So LD talks about the team settling for jump shots, but he makes it sound like we havent been doing it all year…

We have been doing it all year LD. And we did it last year under Woody.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
7:38 pm

Semi-off-topic:

Anyone of you older but not so old geezers had a Commodore Amiga and played TV SPORTS Basketball?

The guys from FoxSports Michigan look like the older version of the presenters on that game.

Real old skool stuff. The posture, the gestures, the way they hold the mic, the phrases…

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
7:52 pm

Josh starts off 1-3 on jumpers, including airball from 3. But its a good sign that Bibby made his first shot (a 3 pointer).

vava74

February 14th, 2011
7:55 pm

Josh is again fading when he launches his jump shots.

Hence his misses.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
7:58 pm

Collins out: 0-7 run for the pistons

vava74

February 14th, 2011
7:59 pm

and a ton on o.reb

by the way, Josh is playing like crap on both ends and he is the last to go out.

way to go LD.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:02 pm

doc,

Stuckey looking good.

TMac is balling (JJ couldnt slow him down). Hawks could have signed TMac for cheap in the offseason. That would have helped marketing, and allowed them to trade Jamal (because Mo/TMac/JC2 can all play SG).

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:03 pm

BTW,

Hawks had a 6 point lead in this quarter, and now they trail by 7.

Meanwhile, the 3rd turnover for Josh this quarter.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
8:07 pm

It’s offical:

LD has completely lost it.

There isn’t a resemblance of a rotation anymore (we had when we started the season).

The starter who is playing WORSE is the guy that stays in for the whole period.

F*ck, get his *ss out of there immediately. I am pulling the plug on him.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
8:08 pm

OB,

TMac is balling because we play passive D.

In the only play JJ really made an effort TMac hit the rim from below with his lay up.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:14 pm

I’m glad LD decided to wait until after the AS break to make any changes….if he didnt like what he sees in these 2 games.

I wonder if he likes what he is seeing tonight…

Nique said the Pistons are rolling because of the breakdowns their PG is creating.

I wonder who is being broken down?

Typical Nique tipt oes around the issue, and wont say BIBBY by name.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:17 pm

vava,

TMac is averaging 8 pts, 3 rebs and 3 assists on the season. not bad numbers…

Meanwhile, 4 turnovers for Josh

vava74

February 14th, 2011
8:20 pm

OB,

He is playing with the Pistons. Just about anyone can get those numbers if given the minutes on a bad team.

painandgain

February 14th, 2011
8:24 pm

no mojo, no cojo, no nothing, real bad

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:25 pm

If the Hawks are able to get back in the game shooting 3s, will they have the discipline to stop shooting them and run their basic offense?

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:27 pm

Bibby is ballin’ in the last few minutes, defense, shooting, passing…

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:27 pm

Bibby came to play offensively tonight. Hawks cut the lead from 15 down to 3.

AJ,

The same can be said of the Pistons too.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:30 pm

If Charlie V makes 30 fooeters all night, then so be it. But I doubt that he (or the Pistons) can sustain that 3 ball.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:33 pm

Sweet pass by whipping boy.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:33 pm

Nice recovery.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
8:34 pm

Astro,

The Pistons have been on fire from the 3 but we have rarely put a hand on the face of the shooter.

Rotations have been horrible until the last 4 or 5 minutes when we improved on all fronts.

If the rotations become lax again, the 3 pointers will continue to fall.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:37 pm

I think I’ve read previously that LD prefers not to run on the road but these guys only tend to defend when they get to run. This teams needs to energize themselves and they are able to do that on the run when they run, not my executing half-court sets. Again, nice recovery in the 2nd quarter.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:42 pm

vava, the Pistons are shooting close to 35% from 2 and 80% from 3. That won’t last.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
8:50 pm

Astro,

And we are shooting .677 from the floor overall and also .800 from 3.

That won’t last either for us.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:55 pm

Leave that 3 ball alone now.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
8:57 pm

vava, thus my 8:25 post.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
9:00 pm

Bibby had an excellent second quarter.

A quarter he could reproduce – more or less – every time if his role was to be a scorer / stable guy off the bench.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:05 pm

Get in that lane, get in that lane. Leave the 3-ball pipe alone.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:08 pm

Bibby’s 3rd shot in the paint (at least).