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

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:00 pm

Bi Ray,

First 3 shots of the quarter from the Hawks are 3 jumpers outside the paint…

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:00 pm

Come on Al, start making shots.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:04 pm

Wow. Just terrible defense by Josh on Amare, but he’s more concerned with b!tching about the (admittedly terrible) foul call.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:04 pm

Smith is heating up, Marvin’s going strong.

Not getting a lot out of our two all-stars, however. Not good. Wrong time to crap out on your team.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:04 pm

Landry Field was drafted 9th. in the second round.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:06 pm

What is Josh complaining about? That was a foul right infront of the ref…

I wonder what the Hawks percentage of made technical FTs is. I feel like we miss too many of them.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:06 pm

O’brien ,

Yeah. A “different voice” my arse. Team is doing the same stuff.

Meanwhile, the Knicks’ #1 scoring option is delivering.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:07 pm

Josh is being Josh.

“We’ll argue about it later.”

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:10 pm

If the hawks lose this game, the Knicks will only be 5 games behind them in the loss column. And with a 5 game road trip after the AS break, anything can happen…

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:11 pm

Ray,

You’ll have to enlighten me. JJ put in 8-4-4 (on 4-9 shooting) going into halftime after having to chase Felton around for 20 minutes. Adjusted for a full game, that’s below average scoring but above average boards and assists. He seemed to be doing his level best at both ends. How is he crapping out?

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:11 pm

Bibby gave us all he had in the 2nd qtr…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:12 pm

O’brien ,

I hate to be a “grass is greener” type of guy, but…

It’s like this, though: would Landry Fields have a chance at doing anything on our team? No, probably not. He would have the same issues Jordan Crawford faces. In the case of JJ, I have no complaints. But by now we know the benefits of Jamal Crawford, as well as the drawbacks. He can help you to a 50 win season. But he can’t do anymore than that (last year’s playoffs are mucho proof of that), and as long as he’s here, I don’t think any young backcourt player short of a lottery pick or otherwise breakout star will have much of a chance at impacting the game on any sort of consistent level.

And that is NOT me making excuses for Teague. I wonder how Jordan Crawford would fare in Fields’ place, in NY? Just curious.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:13 pm

In 9 minutes, Jamal has no points, no rebounds, no assists, 1 foul.

He has not played well since LD started playing him extended minutes at the backup PG spot…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:15 pm

Nire ,

You forgot Horford.

Are you happy with our two all-star players putting up a whopping 6-16 shooting, 14 total points, and 10 rebounds (with 6 assists) by halftime? I’m not. Maybe I wouldn’t complain so much if we weren’t getting manhandled by the Knicks.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:15 pm

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:15 pm

Hawks are falling in love with the jumper again…

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:17 pm

Ray,

I agree. But Josh, Jamal, and (oh, I don’t know) our bench seemed to me to be as big or bigger culprits.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:17 pm

Hawks are falling in love with the jumper again…

Maybe thats why LD called the timeout. i wonder what his play call will be out of the timeout?

I bet its another jumper

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:18 pm

I know that the Hawks aren;t looking great tonight, but you have to know that the Knicks will give them another run (or two) before this game is over. I wouldn’t assume that the Knicks won’t open the door for the Hawks.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:19 pm

Another thing: 7 of JJ’s 8 first half shots were in the paint. I guess I just have a tough time faulting the only guy who seemed to be at least trying not to settle for jumpers.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:20 pm

I hope this is the last game we see this Hawks roster intact…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:20 pm

And it’s not like the bench did it all to us. They came in with the starters already being down in the scoring column. The bench just didn’t make it any better.

We’re in a self-made funk. Knicks up by 14. Horford has added 3 rebounds since halftime. JJ has added 3 points and a board. We could use more from those two guys.

Certain a little less “J-Smoove” on the offensive end. Either J-Smash or cut it out. The problem is, we have no bench options. Powell has turned into a dog, and not the kind that you would wish to associate Teague with.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:20 pm

Hawks seem to at least be hustling more coming out of the timeout.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:21 pm

Jamal is 1-7 tonight in 14 minutes, with no points, no assists, no rebounds.

Why not give Jordan a few minutes of PT?

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:21 pm

Looks like another game our backup center wll get 2nd half DNP…

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:22 pm

Horrible shot by Jamal.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:23 pm

Dear Jamal,

Going 2-for-1 at the end of a quarter is nice. But if the shot you take in the effort is a fadeaway baseline jumper taken slightly behind the basket and contested by 2 guys, it’s probably not worth it.

kthxbai

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:23 pm

Jamal has 2 points. My bad

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:24 pm

Nire ,

I agree, JJ has been trying harder to get to the hole. I wish he’d get more foul calls, but that’s a foolish wish.

Josh….I don’t even want to talk about it. Larry Drew probably would like to grow some hair just so he can pull it out. But he keeps conceding the game of tug of war with Josh. Team captain my arse…

Meanwhile,

13 shots for Josh, only 9 for Al. I don’t even want to see Jamal on the court.

And the League’s worst starting pg has hit 4 treys.

Knicks keep right on rolling.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:24 pm

Iso Marvin against a center and he gets strip of the ball…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:25 pm

O’brien ,

JC2 is listed as inactive (don’t know why). Your best bet for a backcourt change is the superhero in waiting….the mild-mannered Jeff Teague.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:25 pm

O’brien ,

JC2 is listed as inactive (don’t know why). Your best bet for a backcourt change is the superhero in waiting….the mild-mannered Jeff Teague.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:25 pm

How much more time do you give Jamal to get it together tonight? Hawks obviously need an offensive spark in the 4th quarter. I say give him 2-3 minutes and then send him to the bench if he isn’t shooting well.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:29 pm

Jamal –

Went on a nice 5 game streak in early January. Slowed right down for two games, and then went on a less prolific, but effective streak for 4 more games. Since then, only 1 good game in his last 8.

The really bad news? He continues to average 30 mpg regardless…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:30 pm

Astro Joe ,

So very true. Because you only have him in there to score. If he’s not doing that, he’s really not doing anything for you. It sure ain’t defense or getting the offense to run right and getting the ball to the right guys at the right times.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:34 pm

Big Ray, but he will never score from the bench. i think that is a tough call for a head coach, especially when the “instant scoring” options are limited. While the new offense creates more movement, I struggle to say that it is unstoppable, explosive or outstanding. So without a “hot” player, this team struggles to produce 90 points in many games. We’re not likely going to hit 90 against a bad defensive team tonight. Somehow being less predictable hasn;t translated into producing more points.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:35 pm

Jamal has 5 points, so maybe he is heating up. And he may have gotten fouled right there…

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:35 pm

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:35 pm

Josh is 6-16, but he continues to take jumpers…SMH

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:36 pm

I’m not sure that Josh’s 16 FGAs and 4 boards will result in a D’Antoni All-Star vote next year.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:38 pm

Yeesh. I’m just gonna go ahead and call this one:

1. Barring a monster effort for the remainder of the 4th quarter, Hawks lose this one by no less than 12 points, unless of course the Knicks empty the bench in the last 3-5 minutes. They won’t. They want this win.

2. Teague plays in the last minute and a half. Maybe the last two minutes. He won’t do much in this amount of time.

3. Al will get a double double.

4. Joe finishes with less than 20 points for the fourth straight game. Maybe less than 15 points, even.

5. Pathetic quotes after the game.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:40 pm

AJ ,

Unfortunately, this has proven to be true. I’m not sure I blame the offensive scheme, though. Or rather, I can’t give the scheme all or even majority of the blame.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:40 pm

Big Ray,

Maybe Josh will lead the hawks comeback, by going 4-6 down the strecth (from 3)…

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:42 pm

Take that Amare….LOL

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:42 pm

I hope they lose ugly. Maybe that’ll convince the front office to do something. Now.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:43 pm

Ok Al. You’re down 14. I dont think you should be telling the crowd to hush lol. And you only have 10 points.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:43 pm

JJ goes off the floor hurt, and that’ll do it.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

No matter who Bibby guards, they will find him on defense and attack…

Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

You know LD is seriously just beginning to remind me of Woody except he has the offense part of what Woody missed.

In all honesty who plays on this team I know there is the starting 5 of bibby, joe, williams, smith, and horford(not now) then there is Jamal, Collins, and Evans. That makes 8 out of 15 we know Sy is in D-league so now it’s like 8 out of 14.

Why I’m saying that cause that’s how deep the rotation seems to go just like Mike Woodson. We always say things about Teague, JC2(sometimes he’s just a rook), Zaza, Powell, and Thomas, but you know thinking about don’t ever get to see much of them to pass a really good judgement.

Why doesn’t LD play the end of the bench against the sorriest teams(Cavs, Kings, T-wolves, and Wizards). Maybe if he did they might have something to look forward too.

I understand you got to play tough even in garbage time, but come on man it’s garbage time if I were out there I wouldn’t be to happy about it either. Put it this way have you been happy taking out the trash any day? With Teague I feel like he doesn’t play hard because he knows “this is garbage time it doesn’t mean nothing”. Fans are leaving and everything the heat of the moments are gone all that stuff. So why try hard.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

Horford finally scores on a strong move and then gets T’d up for b!tching about not getting a foul call.

*sigh*

CFTSOC