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 16th, 2011
9:28 am

To fully comprehend Teague’s minute of play against the Pistons, you have to go back to the 76ers game. A blowout loss and he had the last 14 minutes of the game to play. He was facing bench players from a team that is not on the Hawks level and he looked very, very ordinary. In no way shape or form did he distinguish himself in a situation where he should have been keenly focused on distinguishing himself to coahes and teammates. That earned him yet another DNP-CD against the Bobcats followed by a humiliating effort to finish the Pistons game. He’s like a running back who complains about not getting enough touches and then runs into his own blocker & fumbles the ball when given a chance to play.

Feed him some Similac and hope that he eventually matures into someone capable of playing a grown man’s game.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
10:03 am

AJ,

In the 4th quarter of the Sixers game, part of the reason for Teague blending in is because Jordan dominated the ball and the quarter (good and bad).

In the fourth, Jordan had 4 rebounds, 4 shot attempts (he made one), 2 turnovers, 2 assists and comitted 3 fouls. And whenever Jordan got the rebound, he kept the ball and pushed it. And when another Hawks player got the rebound, they passed it to Jordan.

Teague ended up with 2 shot attempts (he made one), and 2 FT attempts in the quarter. So its hard to dominate when you dont have the ball.

My complaint with Teague for that game is being passive and not demanding the ball. But my eye test suggests LD has no confidence in him to run the point successfully even when Jordan is in the game.

When Jordan is in the game, he plays PG while Teague stands off the by the corner (which is the same thing that happens when Jamal is in the game). Or Teague will push the ball up, and then hand it off to Jordan, and then get out of the way.

So more than anything, his aggressiveness and hunger is not there. And without that, he hasn’t shown enough of anything else.

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
10:11 am

I think Jeff just needs to concentrate on staying in front of his man. If he plays good defense he will get playing time. He turns the ball over when he’s trying to make something out of nothing. If he stays with his man and keeps working hard without fouling he should be fine. He’s probably one of those guys who can’t filter out what everyone is saying to him. (be aggressive, speed the game up, get steals, attack the rim, etc…) He doesn’t appear to be a natural PG or floor leader, but he can learn those things well enough. He needs to just work on one thing at a time, which is playing good defense.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
10:45 am

OB, I wasn’t looking for teague to “dominate” just act like you want a slot in the rotation… which he doesn’t do consistently. Sometimes you have to raise your hand in class in order to get some help or attention from the teacher… I’m not convinced that Teague has enough desire or humility to raise his hand. If he can’t maintain his “ranking” with a rookie guard how the heck is he supposed to run the offense with Joe, Josh and Al in the game?

wordsmithtom

February 16th, 2011
1:05 pm

Listen, if Teague lets a rookie take his ball, he doesn’t have what it takes. Don’t know where finds that dog…maybe at the Westminster Kennel Club. They had a show in Madison Square Garden last night. Maybe that will rub off on him. Until he gets pissed off and shows some passion, LD ain’t going to play him. Hell, I sure wouldn’t.

Grow up and man up or GTF out of my gym.

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
1:11 pm

ASTRO JOE-You made an issue of who Teague played against in the Philly gm, but you failed to factor in who he played with. You also said he looked very, very ordinary in the 14mins he played, but you made no mention of Bibby’s less than ordinary performance during that gm? In fact, couldn’t you have said this embarrassing loss was the result of the sorry performances of our starters in general?

Exactly what is motivating this obsession of singling out specific situations and making excuses to try and show that Teague shouldn’t be given more mins or be allowed to replace Bibby? What’s wrong with reducing the MPG, or outright replacing, a PG who’s so doggone limited, inconsistent, and past his prime he’s been unable to average double figure scoring over the last 2 seasons and has managed to score in double figures only 3times in the last 20+gms?

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
1:45 pm

KWOODEN-Bibby is the veteran player, not Teague. With little support, and with limited mins and opportunities, Teague is expect to come off the bench, without fail, and instanteously change the tempo, become aggressive and penetrate, but make no mistakes, score, and play flawless DEF, which are expectations that’s not required of Bibby. I mean come on, some of you whine, b!tch and come up with all sorts of lame excuses in support of LDrew’s continued punishment of Teague, by giving him his version of the WOODY TREATMENT.

By the same token, Bibby get’s a total pass, even though he hasn’t done any of the things that’s expected of Teague in almost 2yrs. In fact, he gets rewarded by LDrew(30MPG), and receives unlimited support and receives unlimited excuses for his OFF/DEF limitations, inconsistency, and low production, from his ardent admirers. WHERE’S THE LOGIC?

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
1:46 pm

Strickland, sorry but I live in the real world. In the real world, someone who has 8+ years of proven experience performing at a high level has far less to prove than someone still wet behind their ears. If you think that a proven sales exec at Xerox is the same as a new college hire at Xerox, then you are sadly mistaken. If you think that a rookie QB in the NFL that texts pictures of himself to female NFL employees will receive the same consequence as a 3X MVP, then you are smoking something. And if you think that Bibby has as much to prove as Teague, well you may want to go purchase a clue from the real world store in downtown Atlanta. Bibby is earning the playing time, Teague (maybe) wants it… so who needs to run faster the guy ahead or the guy behind?

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
1:56 pm

Gearon is scheduled to join John Kincade later this afternoon to discuss the Thrashers situation. Kincade is the most vocal Thrashers fan in the local media, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the interview. This sounds more like some fan “CYA” as opposed to looking to spread the word amongst local investors. Hard to believe that they couldn’t communicate urgency within the narrow world of potential invetors.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-thrashers/owner-sense-of-urgency-840692.html

ATLSN

February 16th, 2011
2:40 pm

If you’re an Atlanta/Georgia Sports fan and want to talk with other fans, check out our NEW message board.

http://www.atlsportsnation.com/forum

We have team forums for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Hawks, Braves, Yellow Jackets, Thrashers, etc. Please register and post! Be apart of a huge site in the early days of existence. See ya there! We’re looking for posters, moderators, bloggers/writers. Join up if interested.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
3:18 pm

Astro,

The NFL was retarded to grant Atlanta a NHL franchise in the first place, ASG was retarded to buy the team, and any investor would be retarded to pour money into. Every effort to put a NHL franchise in the southeast has resulted in franchises that hemorrhage money. I’m still laughing at the NHL’s “if you build it, they will come” strategy in putting teams in Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Miami, Raleigh, and Phoenix. All of them have been miserable financial failures. It was the single worst leaguewide marketing decision in the history of pro sports because it has placed the long-term financial viability of the entire league at risk.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

nire, good point. But I still feel for the fans who are likely looking at the beginning of the end for their local hockey team. It was very poorly run, with a GM more heavily criticized than even BK keeping his job indefinitely… until he was actually promoted. One playoff appearance in the life of the team (and swept away in that series). They finally appear to have a solid foundation and management team in place and the ASG place a For Sale sign in the yard. I’m not doubting the challenge of making money on hockey, but the ASG did a piss-poor job of managing those things they did control.

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
5:03 pm

Ken, you can put me on the record for saying Teague should start. (Tonight if possible!) But from what I’ve seen the only way he’s going to get any time, is by playing good defense. Period!

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
6:16 pm

Ken,

I’m a Teague fan, and I think Bibby’s minutes need to be reduced.

But the issue with teague is he does not make enough positive plays to justify his mistakes. If he made 2 bad plays, and then made 2 good plays, LD might leave him out there more often.

But LD feels like he doesnt know what to expect from Teague, and he doesnt want to take the chance to find out. I dont agree with his strategy at times…but I understand it.

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
6:51 pm

ASTRO JOE-What Bibby did in the past only proves how good he WAS IN THE PAST. What he’s done over the last 2 seasons proves he needs to either be replaced as a starter, have his mins reduced, or both, because he sure as hell hasn’t come anywhere close to replicating any of those past accomplishments over the last 2 seasons.

Based on your extremely flawed and biased way of thinking, we might as well bring Magic Johnson out of retirement to resolve our PG issues. After all, in his award winning career didn’t he prove to be one of the very best PG’s ever, which means we can COMPLETELY IGNORE the fact he’s now old, slow, unathletic, can no longer penetrate and break down DEF’s, lead fast breaks, rebound or play DEF.

You claim to live in the real world, yet you somehow see some kind of logic in comparing the requirements of a corporate exec to that of a NBA PG. I agree that Bibby doesn’t have much to prove, because if he did he’d fall flat on his face, which isn’t far from what he’s been doing for almost 2yrs.

And to answer your last question about who needs to run faster, the guy ahead or the guy behind.
1-If the guy behind wants to catchup and pass the one ahead, he’s the one that needs to run faster.
2-If the guy behind starts running faster and catching up, then the guy ahead needs to run faster if he whats to maintain his lead and prevent the one behind from over taking him.
You see, it’s all about perspective, the situation, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
7:10 pm

KWOODEN-I owe you an apology, because I obviously misunderstood what you were saying.
OBRIEN-I’m fully aware of youR stance on the Teague/Bibby issue. What I don’t understand is LDrew’s logic towards Bibby and Teague, nor the logic of those defending and making excuses for Bibby and against Teague. Am I suppose to see some kind of logic in someone saying they can’t take a chance on giving Teague a chance of show what he can do, thus giving themselves an opportunity to find out what Teague can do, because they don’t yet know what he can do?

Yet, they have no trouble whatsoever relying on an over the hill PG who’s managed to prove for almost 2yrs that he sure as hell can’t do any of the things they claim they’re not sure Teague can do, as well as none of the things they know Teague can do. WHERE’S THE DAMNED LOGIC?

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
7:30 pm

And the Teague saga continues. I have to admit, some of the arguments are…humorous…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
7:38 pm

Ken ,

Clearly you know something the entire organization does not know. The coach has no brains, his boss has no brains, and the boss above that has no brains. Now all we need is some feedback from the team, showing that Teague is an abused and misunderstood creature.

…crickets…crickets…crickets….

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
7:38 pm

I wouldn’t mind Session…

“The Hawks are looking for guard help, and sources say they may be interested in the Cavs’ Ramon Sessions. The feeling among rival execs is that the Hawks may be willing to spend up to or perhaps even a bit beyond the luxury-tax threshold if there’s a deal that would significantly improve their chances in a playoff series with Boston, Orlando or Miami. CBSSports.com”

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
7:46 pm

Melvin ,

Good to see you, fellow “Marvin Hater” :twisted:

Sorry, couldn’t resist…

Thanks for the link. At least we know they’re “looking around.”

I wouldn’t mind Sessions either, but he’s not Option A, and I also don’t see how he gets us over the hump. Maybe against Orlando, who we know how to beat. Maybe even against Miami. Maybe . But Boston? Hmmm.

If I had it my way, we’d be getting Kirk Hinrich somehow.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
7:53 pm

Asusual, Hawks come out shooting jumpshots. The Knicks are giving them the angles to drive the ball to the rim but the Hawks rather settle for the jumpers..

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
7:55 pm

Whatever happened to LD’s comment about Josh establishing himself inside first? That has not happened this game. he already has 3 jumpers (all misses).

Josh is playing well on defense, but he needs to realize his jumper isnt falling, so he should go inside. Plus he is playing PF, so he should spend less time on the perimeter…

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
7:56 pm

Big Ray, Melvin,

I doubt if this rumor came from the Hawks. 1) Rick Sund is not the type of GM to put his business out there and 2) Hawks have no intention of adding another PG or adding salary next year (imo).

However, if they were serious about adding another PG, then trading Mo ($2.5 mil) and Teague ($1.5 mil) for Sessions ($3.9 mil) still keeps them under the luxury tax for this season.

Next season, Sessions makes $4.25 mil, so they would have to figure out a way to work him in. But after next year, his contract is a team option. And if they have Sessions next year, they can consider trading Bibby and his $6.2 mil salary for next season.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:00 pm

That looked like a bad call on Al.

Meanwhile, Marvin knocks down the open 3. And thats what we need from him. Its not about ppg, its about making the open shot, especially when its a shot to stop the other team’s run…

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:00 pm

Oh my, The Rich (Lakers) gets Richer…

“While exact numbers aren’t generally disclosed, the Lakers were bringing in $30 million a year from Fox Sports and an additional amount from KCAL. That number would jump to $150 million a year, perhaps a $100 million boost in annual revenue.

Worried about the team’s current $110 million player budget (including luxury tax)? That’d be covered without a single fan buying a ticket.”

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18787

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:03 pm

I’m still here Big Ray. And Hinrich is my first pick as well…

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:05 pm

I’m glad the Hawks were motivated by Amare’s comments. Otherwise, I dont know what the score would have been (althoug we are down by 7).

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:05 pm

OB,

Although the Hawks may be tight lip about trade talks doesnt mean the other party has to be…

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:08 pm

Mo Evans looks goo, with 5 points already. Time to trade him while his value is at its highest :smile:

And we didnt even get to 20 points, and we had no FTs. Down 7.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:08 pm

What do you know, the Hawks fail to score 20pts in a qtr again….

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:13 pm

Knicks bench outperforming us. Great.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:16 pm

What is ZaZa doing out there lol. Man, he sucks.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:16 pm

O’brien ,

Haven’t you seen LD’s more recent comments? He says he and Josh will continue to battle over what shots to take when. That comment alone made me want to call him a quitter. I mean, the man basically said that it’s in the script. But JJ says they will go out and play however LD wants them to play. Man….this is where I have a major, major issue with Larry Drew. Because that’s BS. He’s conceded that Josh will do as he wants, but they’ll “continue to argue about it.”

Unacceptable. Is it too late to get Dwayne Casey?

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:17 pm

nire,

Are you sure you wouldnt take Toney Douglas as a backup PG? I think his defense is better than Bibby and Teague combined…

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:17 pm

Tonite’s game need to be ZaZa last in a Hawks uniform….

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:18 pm

Big Ray,

Exactly. Who is the coach, and who is the player?

And in 8 minutes, 30 seconds of PT, Jamal is -17.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:19 pm

Tell me again how Zaza is one of the better backup centers in the game? No wait…. don’t tell me. I can’t figure out how he keeps getting into these ruts he gets into. I mean, dude has some of the worst cases of butter fingers I’ve seen.

Seriously, we function better when we can get him involved on the offensive end. But we can’t do that when he’s fumbling passes and getting blocked!

Meanwhile, the Knicks bench (yes, all bench players in the game) is clowning us. They’ve extended the lead.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:20 pm

So we come out of a timeout, and the play was to get JJ an open 3 pointer?

Is that really the shot we want?

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:23 pm

Bibby is smoking from 3pt line.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:24 pm

Mo/ZaZa for Session/Ryan Hollins…

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:25 pm

I’m glad Bibby is making his shots.

The Knicks will let the Hawks back into the game. Hawks just need to stay patient on offense, and turn up the defense…

Melvin,

I would do that trade in a minute. I would even throw in Teague

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:29 pm

O’brien ,

Yep. Amazing that the League’s worst starting point guard is the main reason why we aren’t down by 20 points….

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:31 pm

Hawks are down 7, and Nique said thats right where the Hawks want to be?

Wouldnt the Hawks want to be ahead Nique?

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
8:35 pm

OB,

Cavs already have 3 PGs (Mo,Gibson,Harris), I doubt if they want another in return.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
8:42 pm

Zaza needs to go back to those “acne-producing” vitamins. Maybe he should give Mayo a call after the game.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
8:43 pm

O’B,

How do we get Douglas? If he were a free agent, I could see the sense, but he’s not, and I’m not willing to give up more than Mo for him. And the Knicks don’t make that deal.

Didn’t catch the first quarter, but the bench did it’s thing in the second quarter. *sigh*

Zaza used to be one of the 2-3 best backups in the league. He’s still just 27, but now he can’t make an open layup many nights. What the hell happened?

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
8:45 pm

If Zaza is 27 then I am really Warren Buffet.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:46 pm

Played ‘em even in the second quarter. Marvin has shown up, Josh is struggling, and we’re not going through Al enough.

Too many jumpers (Hawks cliche?)

Felton playing well against us, of course.

It must be nice to have a rookie come off the bench and give you 7 rebounds. We don’t draft guys like that.

The good news is we trimmed it down to 7. But if the second half doesn’t start well, I see another loss coming.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
8:58 pm

Meanwhile, halftime locker room looks like this:

LD : “Guys, we need to take it to the hole. Stop with the jumpers!”

Josh Smith: “I disagree, Coach.”

LD : “We’ll argue about this later.”

Josh Smith: “Okay, I can roll with that.”

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
8:59 pm

nire,

I dont think we can trade for him either. but you made a comment a few days ago that you weren;t really a fan of his (or that he hasnt played well for the Knicks).

The Knicks will let the Hawks back into it. Can we take advantage?

One missed 3 by Marvin, One made 3 by the Knicks. A 6 point swing.