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

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:12 pm

Can the bench maintain the lead?

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
9:14 pm

Pistons will not go away…

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
9:20 pm

Wow. if bibby could play like this every night…we might be asking teague who…

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:42 pm

Very well played game. Much better discipline and focus tonight. Great performances by Josh and the Whipping Boys.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:47 pm

Also interesting to see how LD played a super-tight rotation. Meanwhile, Teague is stinking up the last few seconds while looking clueless (after watching mostly smat ball for most of the night).

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
9:53 pm

For the second time in four games, Josh is going J-Smash. I would count the Charlotte game as 3 in 4, but I can’t bring myself to call it “Smash” when he only finished with 6 rebs – we’ll call that a Smoove game. Like I’ve said, if Josh sets his mind to it, he could easily average 12 rpg…at a minimum.

Downside is that he shot a ton of jumpers tonight. The upside is he made most of them. Josh’s jumpers watch update:

vs. Phl: 2-8 (0-1 on 3s)
vs. Cha: 5-10 (2-4 on 3s)
vs. Det: 7-12 (1-3 on 3s)

Total: 14-30 (3-8 on 3s)
FG%: .467
eFG%: .517
eFG% vs. season avg: +.078
vs. ’09-’10 avg: +.232

—————————————–
Good games all around tonight. Al was not aggressive enough, which is my only major complaint. I still stand by what I said before:

CFTSOC

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:53 pm

So if 6 players can provide 28+ minutes and maintain shot discipline, we may have a very good road trip. I’m glad he didn’t have Al play 41 minutes like he did the other night in his first game back from a bad back injury.

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
9:55 pm

nire, Josh just said in the post game interview that he is trying to show the Eastern Conference coaches that they should have selected him for the All-Star game.

vava74

February 14th, 2011
9:57 pm

Great 3 quarters by Josh after an horrible 1st.

Bibby has the knack of returning from the dead every single time we intend to dig his grave.

I would still move him to the bench regardless of tonight – the Pistons’ back court is so soft defensively that Bibby managed to venture into the paint and score 4 or 5 times, a post 2002 record for him, I am sure.

The Pistons are also so bad that we managed to come from -15 and win comfortably with Al resting.

Teague is mentally destroyed right now.

When his name was called for the mop up duties he literally dragged himself to the scorers table as if he was carrying 2 tons on each leg and then went on to lose a ball and get rejected at the rim in two lame plays.

To be honest, I would not trust a guy who’s son has been arrested for manslaughter after a gun related incident to educate/motivate/psych up anyone.

Van Exel had trouble managing his own self, how can he help a guy who seems to be the precise opposite character wise?

Astro Joe

February 14th, 2011
10:05 pm

vava, that wasn’t a cool comment regarding NVE’s son and certainly was a lame excuse for Teague looking like a child out there. I was reminded of something that I say to my youngest son very often, “you play too much”. Teague was out there acting like a 7 YO child just playing around instead of earning his coach’s trust. He’s on that Gerald Green career path.

LD talking about Marvin playing better off the bench after he was horrid off the bench 2 days ago. LD takes credit for Marvin tonight while not addressing his poor performance off the bench the other night. Whatever.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
10:05 pm

AJ,

Teague didnt look like he wanted to be out there. its like he was mad for not playing meaningful minutes.

And the main reason why Al didnt play 41 minutes is because of the 2 foul rule, and then he picked up his 4th at the end of the third quarter.

O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
10:08 pm

Good game by Bibby. he was bad defensively early on, but he definitely made up for it later in the game. His best game in over 2 years.

I’m glad hawks came back to win.

Good win. but there are still things we can build on. Like turnovers (we had 17), we gave up lots of offensive rebounds early, and we didnt always get a hand up. in front of shooters

But we showed poise, which is what the Hawks do. They may look horrible for a game or 2, but then they bounce back for a resilient game, making LD and others believe in them again.

Lets hope we can get a win against the Knicks.

vava,

I think that comment about NVE’s son was harsh…

doc

February 14th, 2011
10:16 pm

now who was saying how sorry josh is? the guy has to kee this up if we are to get to the next level. he has to want to be the man and quit crappping out, j smash it is. some of d wade best games and nash’s best games came with a lot of to’s. he is not in their category just saying sometimes those things happen if someone is trying too hard. let the game come to you j smash. please get ths guy a sports psychologist. some of the best pro’s in the world have them to get their games to the top.

i_am_soulstar

February 14th, 2011
10:19 pm

I don’t see how the Hawks don’t make a run at Andre Miller. This teams needs a trade to have any hopes of advancing to the ECF.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
10:20 pm

AJ,

It would have been nice if Josh had decided to show the coaches why should have made the All-Star before the team was selected rather than 50 games into the season. But hey, I’ll definitely take it if he can keep it up from now through the playoffs.

doc

February 14th, 2011
10:35 pm

j smash is an all star, j smoove will never make it in basketball. find the guy a psychologist to make him whole again and the former identity.

so chipper teague had a bad outing? still want to just try him.

kwooden1

February 14th, 2011
10:45 pm

Nice game by the starters, but especially good games by Bibby and Marvin. I’m surprised that Bibby came back strong so quick but I just don’t believe he can play this way the rest of the year and into the Playoffs. I didn’t see the game but from what I heard Marvin was attacking the rim which is something this team really needs. I hope that the HAWKS defense was really good in the 4th and it just wasn’t the PISTONS missing open shots.

I hope that Jeff can get his act together next time he’s called on, I’m really pulling for him to develop.
Still looking for a trade though.

GO HAWKS!!

Najeh Davenpoop

February 14th, 2011
11:21 pm

At least two of Smoove’s turnovers came when he tried to drive the ball and failed. One was a charge and he got stripped on another one.

You know, driving the ball. That thing everyone inexplicably thinks Smoove can do even though his handles are terrible.

Nice game for him though. Great job crashing the boards, solid post play, good D, and nice job for the most part hitting his open shots.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 14th, 2011
11:23 pm

Big props to Bibby and Marvin, too. Wish they would play like that every game, Marvin especially.

niremetal

February 14th, 2011
11:34 pm

The Bobcats just have the Lakers’ number. Crazy. Proof of why head-to-head records are not a good basis for judging the quality of two teams.

2/15/2011 News Update « B-Ball

February 15th, 2011
12:36 am

[...] of Detroit Pistons forward Austin Daye (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in …Hawks leave home, hope for some positive continuityAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 231 news [...]

vava74

February 15th, 2011
6:52 am

Najeh,

Actually THREE of Smoove’s TOs came when he tried to drive.

But there were significant differences between one of them and the two in which he spun into the lane and got swiped (which is a play he manages to do effectively many times).

His typical stupid TO when he thinks he is Magic and got called for a charge and that he should completely avoid.

At least 5 out of 10 fastbreak drives ends up with a TO (charge, bad pass, missed lay up).

vava74

February 15th, 2011
7:00 am

Najeh,

Bibby will not be able to replicate this too many times.

The Pistons were the softest perimeter D I have seen this season. For crying out loud, Bibby drove to the lane at will for lay ups. Several layups.

I think that illustrates Stuckey, Bynum, Gordon and McGrady’s complete defensive inefficiency (and their bigs completely failed to rotate and show up in the lane) more than Bibby’s actual improvement.

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
7:26 am

Good games by Bibby, Marvin and Josh.

Bibby has to play well offensively to even out what he gives up defensively.

I like Marvin coming off the bench because he is more involved (imo). Even in games when the Hawks dont start the big lineup, they can start somebody else at SF and bring Marvin off the bench.

Speaking of the bench, Jamal is struggling. He played 30 minutes, but did not contribute much. In 6 February games, he had 1 great game of 34 points against the Clippers. In the other 5 games this month, he is averaging 6 pts and 4 assists (and his usual bad defense).

I hope he turns it around on this road trip.

Astro Joe

February 15th, 2011
9:26 am

I was a little surprised that Josh specifically called out the Eastern Conference coaches after the game. I’m glad that he has found a cause that motivates him… hopefully he will remember that in November and will avoid cursing out his head coach as well. If he thinks that his “snub” was exclusively about his basketball performance/stats, then he is a misguided vet.

After a very uncomfortable 24 hour ride (not even that) on the “start Teague anyway” band-wagon, I am officially off. That kid ain’t ready for a grown man’s role on this team. Feed him some Similac and let’s hope that he eventually matures. Sund needs to find a 2-for-1 trade so we can get Antonio Daniels on the roster.

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
9:58 am

AJ,

You gotta give the bandwagon more time to pick up steam downhill. And if you jump off now, you might lose your seat.

Josh’s biggest issues (imo) are still maturity and consistency. Why can’t he play more games like he did last night? And he probably has a bad reputation (fair or not) around the league (in terms of being a whiner, and hard to coach (Woody clashes, LD discussions). So doing things like grabbing your crotch on national TV is not going to help his cause, especially when he says other people are doing it, so he didnt know better.

I think he has to change the perception that people have of him, and he has to play more consistently.

As for trades, I dont like the fact we have a full roster of 15 already. What good is Etan? Sy is a big question mark, but maybe he will be ready to compete for bench minutes next season.

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
10:02 am

doc,

This was from the game writeup.

“Zaza is out of sorts. His worst moment was catching the ball in the paint alone near the rim and fading away from it to miss a bank shot. It’s getting to the point where sometimes it almost seems as if he would rather be fouled than have to finish at the basket.”MC.

Good stuff. He’ll have 1 good game once in a while, but for the second year in a row, he is struggling. I dont think he is one of the better backups in the league anymore…

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
10:05 am

And the worst part is after this year, ZaZa is still owed 2 years and $10 mil.

Astro Joe

February 15th, 2011
10:23 am

OB, the sad thing is that as bad as Zaza has been, we can’t afford to lose him. If nothing else, he has shown a willingness to bang and bang hard against any and everyone. Etan seems to have the lift of a piano these days and can’t be trusted to do as much as Zaza.

How hard must it have been for Sund to find bigs as ineffective as RandMo and Joe Smith? But he did it with Etan and Powell. Maybe next year he can bring in Stromile Swift and Patrick O’Braynt.

doc

February 15th, 2011
10:56 am

ob, he is a head case now. it was disgusting to see holiday do a rejection on him as he “led the break” against philly. sorry, he has as much chance of finishing as bibby does which is really sad. remember when bibby started choking on the layups?

i would like and prefer sund to get bob petit a true hall of famer AJ. probably still property of the hawks to boot instead of what he gives these coaches to work with.

Astro Joe

February 15th, 2011
11:33 am

doc, good idea. I’m pretty sure that Alligator Arms still lives in the area, Kevin Willis would be as productive as Etan.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 15th, 2011
1:06 pm

“Bibby will not be able to replicate this too many times.”

You’re right, and I wouldn’t continue to expect that out of him. I do hope Marvin can continue playing like he did in this game though. He has played better recently, with the exception of the stinker against Charlotte. The Hawks don’t need him to be a superstar or a go to scorer. All the Hawks need him to do is what he did yesterday — hit open shots, play hard nosed defense, cut to the basket and get fouled. He played that role to perfection last night. And if he can hit those open shots with regularity, it may allow LD to say goodbye to the Bibby/Jamal backcourt in crunch time.

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
1:15 pm

AJ,

I was glad when the Hawks resigned ZaZa. He was coming off a good season, and he was still young, In fact, I liked his deal more than I liked Bibby (3rd year should have been a team option, not guaranteed) and Marvin’s (5th year should have been team option, not player option). But I did not see this regression coming.

If nothing else, he has shown a willingness to bang and bang hard against any and everyone. .

True. But Mario West also showed a willingness to play D on any and everyone. But for $4.5 mil, we need more out of ZaZa.

But its like he anticipates the foul, so he hardly goes up strong.

doc

February 15th, 2011
1:40 pm

ob, you know the problem with zaza anticipating the foul is he has become a very poor free throw shooter as well. his whole game has deteriorated from the guy we saw when he arrived and ultimately played jaw to jaw with KG. he is a cartoon of himself now. sad to see it as i like him a lot and thought he could be a mainstay here for years as a back up. now he is a third stringer at best on a team that has no real center or bulk and requires him to play and act like a starter.

i didnt mind the marvin contract as he was looking fairly reasonable, shoot i was even arguing with rod’s hyperbole. i finally caved in.

Astro Joe

February 15th, 2011
3:03 pm

Rufus1

February 15th, 2011
3:16 pm

Pape Sy

If nothing else, he is an efficient scorer…8pts on 2-4 shots and 8rebs in 20min….I will Take it.

Astro Joe

February 15th, 2011
4:39 pm

Rufus, not sure that he is playing like a PG (which is what LD projected as his position) but good to see that he is improving and contributing to his team.

O'Brien

February 15th, 2011
7:48 pm

I am concerned about Sy’s 3pt shooting percentage though. On the season, he is 3-19 from 3 (16%). And although LD projects him as a PG, he has only 26 assists in 434 minutes of PT. I know its hard to put too much in the numbers without watching the game, but his numbers in the D-League are not reassuring.

I know this is a learning season, so I hope he will be able to compete for bench minutes next year.

I also think they should send Teague to the D-League and see if he can find his inner dog down there.

Wink

February 15th, 2011
8:54 pm

The Hawks are continuity.

By definition: Unchanging quality: the fact of staying the same, of being consistent throughout, or of not stopping or being interrupted.

Why get all hot & bothered about the fate of this team. They give us exactly what they always give us. That missing element in the team is the same missing element in this team and management has not done anything to address the problem. They are satisfied with status quo.

We saw in the summer that most of the Eastern Conference team made moves to improve their roster. Boston, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, and New York. We expect to get better by keeping our CORE together…maintain continuity. Josh states they need to BOND after 4-5 years together and 50 games this season…BOND! Sounds like Iverson’s PRACTICE!

Player Attitudes & Development remain the same…only Horford has the serious Basketball IQ in the entire organization, including management.

Look, No way we enter the playoff a 3rd seed this year. We are certainly going to finish 4th or 5th, probably 5th, but it does not really matter. Our 1st round exit will be at the hands of the Orlando Magic (4 – 1)

That what continuity will get us…so just relax and watch the roller coaster that is the Atlanta Hawks. Current road trip should be telling but I suspect most of us already know the results!!!!

Rise Up Spirit Group!!

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
9:19 pm

Ray ,

Don’t say that. An NFL lockout would kill me. I gave up on baseball (I used to follow the Braves like a devoted dog and been to Turner field numerous times, now I can’t name a Brave not named Chipper), and I don’t pay much attention to soccer.

The NBA? Maybe they need one. I don’t know…

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
9:46 pm

I’ll admit giving Joe(Big Money contract) Johnson all that money was the worse move ever in the history of all sports. You’re paying someone who is actually a 2nd-3rd option on the celtics, lakers, or spurs 1st option money. We all see that.

Actually, I would have voted Rashard Lewis or Gilbert Arenas as worst contract, long before Joe. In the case of the Atlanta Hawks, it wasn’t about Joe and the contract. It was about the Hawks painting themselves into such a corner that it was either pay Joe max money or watch him leave for less. Had the Hawks done some things differently between the time they got him in a S&T and this past offseason, we probably wouldn’t have been in that position.

But…that’s also hindsight talk…

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
9:55 pm

Big Daddy ,

Thanks! We can hope for a trade, but I don’t know if we’ll get one, much less one that we need to have. I’m not an NBA executive and I won’t pretend to be. But I am aware of the fact that sometimes you have to make a trade that doesn’t seem all that great at first….in order to make way for another move (or two) down the road.

Kwooden ,

Thanks. It’s kinda crazy that we don’t know for sure what Teague is capable of just yet. And while I’m not going to make excuses for him, I have a hard time seeing how we’re going to find that out unless either

A) Jamal is traded away and isn’t replaced by a prominent backcourt player.

B)Larry Drew decides to just start playing him 18-20 mpg.

C) Jamal or Mike Bibby (or both) incur injuries that take them out of the lineup for a significant amount of time.

or

D) Suddenly, Teague develops a reliable perimeter shot.

Other than that, I couldn’t tell you why he’s all but forgotten. Beyond that lack of an effective offensive game, I don’t know precisely what he’s missing…unless it’s that floor leadership intangible.

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
10:03 pm

Rufus1 ,

Good post.

Chris E ,

Fan support isn’t great. We can blame it on a variety of factors, but it’s true that the fans haven’t been what they were when we played Boston in the playoffs back in 2008.

Then again, the team hasn’t shown that much fire and continuity since then, either. In fact, I think that was their best playoff series in the last few years. Crazy, huh? The problem here is growth. There hasn’t been enough internal growth, at least not the kind that is cohesive. So, the team needed to change some parts out. That hasn’t happened, at least not to any truly satisfying end. I realize it’s trial and error sometimes (maybe a lot of times). But there sure has been a lot of the same errors the last couple of years…

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
10:20 pm

AJ ,

I am becoming the worse kind of fan.. the bored and apathetic kind looking for something to spark my fading interests.

This is precisely what management/ownership should be worried about. Because you BY FAR are not the only one.

As for Larry Drew, I think he needs to have a more open mind. Sy as a pg is an option, not the rule. Same for JC2 being a SG and not a PG.

Again, I cannot reconcile this way of thinking with how he uses Jamal.

O’brien ,

Very few things LD said in the offseason are coming to fruition during the season. Just sayin’….and I gather that was YOUR point as well. :)

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
10:31 pm

The Detroit Game

Smith plays hero again, this time the team wins. Now that was stepping up and leading. It’s also why we can’t bring him off the bench for this team. Our team defense feeds off of him. Now if we had a much better defender at pg, that would be a different story, I think. Collins doesn’t have the type of impact at the 5 from night to night, to do this…

There were some moments where the total team defense was just so good to see. There were times where the typical defensive problems were ugly.

Very good games by Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams. They played their roles quite well.

Zaza looks out of joint again. Teague…ehhh, there’s no point in even talking about it. I’m at the point where it’s either play him or trade him.

Damien Wilkins is somebody I’d be hanging onto next year. Etan Thomas isn’t.

Looking forward to the game against New York, where I don’t expect energy to be a problem. Especially with what Amare had to say.

kwooden

February 15th, 2011
11:31 pm

Sy, really never plays PG on his team. They have at least 4 guys that can bring the ball up and some other combo guards that can also. From what I’ve seen he needs to spend this year and the summer in the development leagues before he’s even close to being ready. He looks like a SF and plays like one to me. We don’t really need another SF with Wilkins around and besides I don’t think Sy is even the best SF on his current team. The positives I see with Sy are his speed and ability to get to the line. He’s a good defender, but I’ve only seen him cover D-Leaguers. If LD wants him to be a PG, then he better get him out of the D-League and play him at PG. I think Sy is already a better player from being in the D-League, but he definitely not tracking to be a PG.

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
12:03 am

I just realized that maybe I’m giving Bibby to much of a pass. Kidd will be 38 next month and Nash is 37 now. Those guys have their problems on defensive but they still dictate the pace of the game. I’m not say that Bibby’s a Hall-of-Fame player like both of those guys, but I am saying we should expect something closer to the old Bibby. I think Bibby’s going to retire after next year, because he’s done with basketball. That’s why we’re getting the Bibby we’re getting. Its seems from last night he can be more consistent with his drives to the basket. If he can we have a completely different team. Every team has weaknesses, but a better Bibby can potentially make-up for ours.

E43

February 16th, 2011
12:48 am

Ken Strickland- i think Jeff teague just needs to understand that advice will always be there.. right now hes just playing like a puppet and not developing his game. if LD tells him to play fast hell lose the ball. if hes told to play slow hell end up passing 3pointers with 2 seconds left. I dont think the mistakes he makes are because he doesnt get playing time because there was one game where he was supposed to have called a timeout and he got mugged the other way for 2 like someone was supposed to tell him to protect the ball up. He deserves minutes but not extended minutes and if he can go 2 minutes without committing a turnover or poor play then be my guest give him even more minutes. he literally played seconds before he turned the ball over and a few more seconds before he went down and got blocked. Next thing you know his 1:27 seconds are already up.

UGASlobberknocker

February 16th, 2011
8:31 am

Big Ray, you are right on about Coach Drew. He has done nothing to motivate this team and seemingly is unable to affect the game play. He is awful out of timeouts and the players seem indifferent. The Hawks take off about every other game and do not show any killer instinct or any passion out there. Take away Horford and the rest of the team seems on autopilot most of the time In my opinion as a longtime Hawk fan, this team needs to be blown up, starting with the head coach.Joe Johnson is not a man to hang your teams fortunes on..he disappears too many quarters. Bibby is past his prime. Marvin is a wasted talent. This team as constituted cannot get out of the first round. I am afraid we are falling into the old Lenny Wilkins mode of being OK with 48 win seasons and first round exits. That isnt good enough for me.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Tonight should provide a “toughness litmus test” for the Hawks. The crowd will surely be hostile and the opposing team may be hostile (sorry but Amar’e doesn’t come across as a descendant of Maurice Lucas, Charles Oakley & Anthony Mason). The focus will be squarely on Al “The Boss” Horford. This would also be the right time to activate Etan Thomas, in case LD truly wants to “man-up” at some point in the game. Lastly, this is the kind of game where Zaza has been able to earn his keep in the past… let’s see what happens tonight.