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

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:46 pm

Ha – funny to see Marvin playing peacemaker and pulling Felton away from Horford after last time.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:46 pm

That’s probably it for Joe. Now Jamal will get to finish the game out, pathetic performance and all.

Al gets his double double, but loses bragging rights tonight. Amare has 23 and 6 as the team’s #1 option. Yeah, so what. Galinari, Chandler, Felton, and Fields is what was killing us. Amare’s 23 points weren’t all that damaging.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:46 pm

Big Ray, we’re in the bottom third in scoring and lately have struggled mightily to produce points. We’re likely looking at another 40 point 2nd half tonight, and this ain’t the Celtics defense either.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:47 pm

Why let Jamal shoot the Tech… He’s been off all night…

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:47 pm

Powell just showed more of a willingness to play physical on one play in garbage time than the rest of the frontcourt showed in the rest of the game.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:48 pm

Good rebound and speed by Teague. That is what he needs to do everytime!

but he tends to play better in blowouts…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:50 pm

Ray ,

I understand what you’re saying. But when you are at the end of the bench, you try hard because one day you might be moving, and you’d like another job. Teague could very easily find himself in the same position Acie Law is now in. Garbage time or not, your only resume is how hard you try when you do get playing time. Teague is guaranteed nothing beyond the third year of his rookie contract (next year). Fail to give anybody a reason to employ you, and you’ll be unemployed rather quickly.

I’m not saying Teague has no future in this league, I’m saying he has yet to secure that future. Nobody is going to take “well, coach wouldn’t play me” as an excuse for looking unmotivated on the floor.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:52 pm

Ok. So whats LD’s excuses going to be in his post game talk?

No energy? No intensity? bad shot selection?

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:53 pm

Good for Teague, nice 3 ball.

Astro Joe

February 16th, 2011
9:54 pm

45 point half, my bad.

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
9:55 pm

Hawks will barely get a mention on Sportscenter and in the media tomorrow.

Why? because the Lakers are down 10 to the Cavaliers, with 2 minutes to go.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
9:55 pm

Again, I hope this was the last game we see this Hawks roster intact…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
9:56 pm

AJ ,

I wish I had the answer. I see a lot of actions that conflict with statements. I hear about playing Josh more on the block, but instead I see a lot more jumpers.

Less noise is made about Al in this category because he shoots a higher percentage and is more efficient. But we don’t use him on the block a lot, either. What are his two go-to moves around the basket?

JJ’s early struggles and Jamal and Bibby’s fall-offs haven’t helped. Even Marvin struggled for a while there.

All I’m saying is that it can’t just be Drew’s non-Princeton offense. But I’m also saying that this offensive scheme hasn’t worked. But then, I’m also not seeing the “true” application of it, maybe? Who the hell knows, but it ain’t working. And it would be less of an issue if we didn’t have such a stock of scoring talent, and played a lot better defense.

Effectively, the lack of defense means the offense has to play off of itself. So often, good defense helps stimulate the offense (as you well know). Instead, our offense has to feed on itself. So when the offense struggles, it typically only gets worse.

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
9:56 pm

BIG RAY-Don’t even try to go there with that approach. LDrew acknowledged as recently as Monday that he felt Teague had the potential and ability to be a very good PG, so why would you try to make it appear as if I’m out on an island with that opinion of Teague? You’re watching this gm, and you see what happens when our shots aren’t falling. We refuse to utilize a PG that can do to the opposition what they do to us, and that’s penetrate and fiinish or dish.

We’re a one dimensional team with a potential option we’re refusing to utilize. And just to put your rediculous assumption that everyone in MGT shares the same negative opinion of Teague, consider this. When Woodson was let go, mgt listed his refusal to play and develop Teague as one of their complaints. Since MGT disagreed with Woodson’s mishanding of Teague during the season, but didn’t interfer or voice their feelings on the matter, why would you ASS-U-ME they’d interfer with the way he’s been screwed so far this yr by LDrew?

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
9:58 pm

BIG RAY-my response to your statement to me got eaten by the blog monster.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
9:59 pm

This team has too many bad habits and they’ve been at them so long that no one is going to convince anyone else to change.

CFTSOC

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:00 pm

Teague looked good. Of course, there was no pressure in garbage time. Hate to add the caveate, but it would be disingenuous not to.

Marvin arguably has the best game for the Hawks.

The League’s worst starting point guard was lights out from the perimeter. 5 of his last 7 games have been decent-to-good.

Joe leaves with a possible injury. Great.

Management needs to make a move. A risky one, probably. Seriously. But will they?

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:04 pm

Ken ,

I shall sally forth to do battle with the scurvy knave of a blog monster and free thy post. And then I gotta go. :)

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
10:05 pm

I remember being vaguely impressed by Powell during the first half-dozen or so games of the year. Can’t remember whether it was a lack of minutes or a lack of decent play that made that thought go away.

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
10:07 pm

Nire,

Did you see the link below I posted at 8pm? How in the heck are the smaller market teams are suppose to be competitive when you have a team like the Lakers getting this type of revenue and not have to share it… SMH

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

O'Brien

February 16th, 2011
10:08 pm

nire,

I made the analogy of the Hawks being like a couple who has been married for 10 years. Rather than trying to change their spouse, they just accept each other’s faults, and do their best to work around it.

Jamal has really struggled. I think most of his struggles began when LD started playing him extended minutes at backup PG, because he has a hard time running the offense AND knowing when to take his shot (imo).

I hope he gets better after the AS break, because he is like Bibby…very one dimensional. So if he is not making shots, he is useless.

Props to Bibby and Marvin tonight.

And I wish Josh wouldnt take that many jumpers. While LD continues to talk about settling…

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
10:11 pm

Once again we see how effective a team can be with a PG that:
1-plays DEF
2-penetrates and dishes or finishes
3-does more than shoot 3’s.
4-actually runs the OFF and get’s everyone involved, especially those who are producing
5-changes the tempo of the gm when needed
6-changes the teams approach when needed
7-carries his own on OFF or DEF without the need for gimmicks and compensations, etc, etc, etc.

With Jamal struggling, AND JAMAL IS NOT A PG, we can’t overcome the OFF and DEF liabilities he and Bibby present, expecially when they’re on the floor at the same time. But then again, I must be totally wrong about everything, since management hasn’t fired LDrew or told him what they feel he should do, or in general interferred with the way he’s running the team.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
10:13 pm

Melvin,

Yeah, I saw. I shook my head too. That’s insane. Add to it the fact that they still make huge money of memorabilia sales from their teams in the past and the fact that they play in one of the biggest markets in the world…yeah. It’s crazy.

The NFL model is the one every league should follow. But the big market teams in other sports have too much to lose to accept such a system.

O’B,

Good analogy.

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
10:13 pm

O’Brien, you wrote the post before I could. LD and the rest of the coaches are asking Jamal to be someone he’s not because they want to keep the starters in the game. Jamal is a scoring machine and they should be trying to get him in rhythm and not having him look for open shooters.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:14 pm

Ken ,

It’s called rhetoric and humor. I recall quite clearly everything Drew said about Teague (preseason, during season, etc). I also recall that one of the management criticisms of Woody was the fact that Teague got the “rookie treatment.”

But you talked about logic in that post. Tell me, what logic explains the fact that Teague is being “underutilized” by the very guy that the ASG/Sund promoted in place of Woody, the very same guy they said was underutilizing Teague? Don’t you find this the slightest bit odd?

So if we’re talking about logic, WHY is it that Drew keeps saying Teague has all this potential, but he WON’T play him? Is Drew being told to play Teague? Is he refusing to do so? Why does he still have a job, if he’s doing the exact same things his predecessor was allowed to walk away for? Where’s the logic? Rumors and write ups (including MC’s articles) suggest the Hawks are looking for another pg.

What’s going on here? If Drew is the big bad bully, then somebody is allowing this mistreatment and mishandling. Or, is there a slight smidgen of a possibility that the second year pg is just a teeny, weeny part of the problem? I find it odd that while everybody tiptoes around the subject of Mike Bibby’s well documented issues, NOBODY out there is championing Teague as the obvious solution.

See? Rhetoric. It’s meant to elicit more thought, not make you get all pissy because somebody isn’t openly agreeing with everything you’re saying.

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
10:21 pm

I didn’t see any of this game, but from listening on the radio Marvin was working hard and Bibby’s definitely found his shot again. But we still got beat badly and couldn’t score enough points, so it really didn’t matter! I would take Sessions, even though I never thought he was that good. We need someone that can backup Bibby, because Mike isn’t going to make it to the Playoffs in one piece!

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:23 pm

But then again, I must be totally wrong about everything, since management hasn’t fired LDrew or told him what they feel he should do, or in general interferred with the way he’s running the team.

Ken , it has never been about whether you are wrong or right. Do you make decisions within the Hawks organization?

Once again we see how effective a team can be with a PG that:
1-plays DEF
2-penetrates and dishes or finishes
3-does more than shoot 3’s.
4-actually runs the OFF and get’s everyone involved, especially those who are producing
5-changes the tempo of the gm when needed
6-changes the teams approach when needed
7-carries his own on OFF or DEF without the need for gimmicks and compensations, etc, etc, etc.

Yeah, you’re talking about Raymond Felton. But do those 7 points describe Jeff Teague? Like Astro Joe said, we’d like to see Teague start just for the sake of seeing what he can do. I mean, what the heck, right?

But I don’t see Teague as a solution just yet. He’s an option, but not necessarily a solution. That’s where the biggest disagreement comes from, I think. I want to see Teague on the floor more than Drew puts him there, but I am anything but convinced that he is the answer to our problems. Seems to me that if he was, somebody would know that.

Apparently, nobody knows that. Maybe because there just ain’t any proof?

Melvin

February 16th, 2011
10:23 pm

I would love to see the Hawks addd a player or two that has a mentality to attack the basket first. I’m tired of guys shooting jumper after jumper…. In the words of Bill Walton, “take it to the hole strong big fella”…

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:25 pm

kwooden ,

Good points. I never was a huge fan of using Jamal as a pg, but where I have an issue with LD is how he says Jordan Crawford simply is not a pg , and won’t be used as one. Why the hell not, when he’s using JC1 as a pg all the time, with it glaringly clear that he is NOT a pg?

But…you say we need a backup who can play significant minutes in place of Bibby (limit Bibby to less than 25 mpg, I’m guessing). Ken Strickland thinks Jeff Teague is that guy. What do you think?

doc

February 16th, 2011
10:28 pm

ob after the season ended i suggested either farmar or felto should be our goal this past summer along with al jefferson. only three names, all three available and suggested josh should be bait for one of them.

doc

February 16th, 2011
10:29 pm

would love to have gotten felton somehow.

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:29 pm

Cavs beat Lakers.

Kobe goes “Jamal”, shooting 8 of 24 and ends up with 17 points and 7 turnovers. Pau Gasol scores 30 on 8 of 15 shooting (and hits 14 of 14 from the line).

Ramon Sessions comes off the bench to score 32 points and dish out 8 assists for the Cavs. 9 of 16 shooting, 13 of 14 from the charity stripe. Gee, I think he drove the ball to the hole just a little bit :twisted:

Big Ray

February 16th, 2011
10:32 pm

Stir the pot a bit…Sessions in the month of February….

Date Opponent Result MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Regular
Feb 13 vs. WAS L 100 – 115 25 5 – 8 0 – 0 4 – 5 0 4 4 6 3 1 2 1 14
Feb 11 vs. LAC W 126 – 119 26 3 – 6 0 – 0 6 – 7 1 1 2 5 0 0 2 1 12
Feb 09 vs. DET L 94 – 103 43 7 – 11 0 – 0 6 – 8 0 6 6 12 5 0 3 4 20
Feb 07 @ DAL L 96 – 99 40 6 – 12 0 – 0 7 – 7 1 5 6 13 2 0 2 0 19
Feb 05 vs. POR L 105 – 111 33 7 – 11 0 – 1 1 – 2 1 5 6 7 1 0 2 1 15
Feb 04 @ MEM L 105 – 112 41 8 – 13 0 – 0 4 – 4 2 2 4 11 1 1 3 2 20
Feb 02 vs. IND L 112 – 117 41 6 – 10 0 – 0 13 – 14 0 1 1 9 1 1 3 2 25

doc

February 16th, 2011
10:35 pm

nire too funny man. i made that same analogy last summer and agan lawt week.

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
10:36 pm

Ray,

Sessions has had a few of these good spurts for bad teams during his career. He hasn’t played well consistently, though, and Synergy’s latest release which came out yesterday showed that he was one of the league’s 5 worst defenders. Bibby wasn’t, btw.

I view it as a bad thing that Sessions is having a good Feb. It probably drove up his asking price. Bibby’s also finally strung together consecutive good games. That might make give the front office the excuse it needs to say “we’re ok at PG.” *sigh*

niremetal

February 16th, 2011
10:37 pm

Doc,

I know I heard the analogy before, but couldn’t remember where. Use more punctuation and maybe I’ll remember your cute analogies more clearly ;)

kwooden

February 16th, 2011
10:59 pm

As stated earlier, I believe Teague should start and get 15-20 minutes per game. I actually think you won’t know if he’s the answer either way by the end of the season. Take Eric Maynor for example, Utah drafted him and played him between 15-20 min and then traded him away. OKC has been playing him about the same amount of time and he’s avg about 5pt and 2 assists.
Is Eric a quality starting PG? We don’t know.
Is he a good backup? Probably, at least serviceable.

Is Jeff a quality starting PG or a serviceable backup? We don’t know!.

What we are looking for is a starting PG to replace Bibby now and the only way to get one of those is by drafting high(can’t happen!) or FA/trades. Collison, for example, got an opportunity to prove he’s a starting PG because of injury. Teague hasn’t had that opportunity. The only way to know if he’s a starting PG in this league is to start him! The only way to know if he’s a backup PG is to give him backup PG minutes (15-20)! That seems painfully obvious to me, I just don’t understand why paid basketball professionals do see it.

I believe Jeff is a serviceable backup PG, but baring a real mental shift he will never be a quality starting PG like Felton. My opinion comes from the few games I watched him in college against Maryland, he and the rest of his team weren’t finishers. They wasted their superior athletic talent. Especially James Johnson, I think he’s spent most of this season on the bench or the D-League.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 16th, 2011
11:12 pm

Orlando wins, Miami wins, Boston wins, New York wins, Chicago won yesterday, and the Hawks lose. Hawks are alone in 5th heading into the break.

I don’t know what’s more frustrating — a head coach who doesn’t have a plan (Woody) or a head coach with a good plan who does nothing to ensure that the plan gets executed on a consistent basis (LD).

Najeh Davenpoop

February 16th, 2011
11:17 pm

Aside from not holding the Hawks accountable when they predictably started getting jumper-happy (Smoove and Jamal being the worst offenders), LD made a key tactical error in the first quarter. The Hawks started the game with two successful post-ups by Al. Instead of continuing to feed him and attack Amare, they started running post ups for Joe instead. I understand the logic of wanting to post up Joe on Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari, but in a game where Al was extra motivated to take it to Amare and was successful early, it was a major mistake to go away from him.

doc

February 16th, 2011
11:35 pm

ok, then, see if this, can, help you, out, a bit, there, nire. :-)

fyi good interview on 680 today with mike, jr. listen to the underlying anger over steve b and the lawyers tjat wrote up the vontract that broight th to their knees. i ssid way back then we were going to watch an ugly divorce and the proceedongs were hoing to hamstring the franchise for years. not that was so smart just a pragmatic long view of what tp expect. fans got caught in the middle like
children do. it seems to boil down to if they dont get onvestors soon something lie a sale is going yo happen most likely to the thrahers. hpnestly i havent kept up with the gibberish the last two years tiring of it and realizing it was a waste of time.

again gearon laid the ills of the franchise at belkins and the lawyers feet and essentially took no responsibility. not sure it is true just check it out.. would be interested in your views.

doc

February 16th, 2011
11:46 pm

Ken Strickland

February 16th, 2011
11:51 pm

BIG RAY-We’re of simular opinion when it comes to the under utilization of JTeague and the over utilization of MBibby. And I have no explaination for LDrew’s unwillingness to give Teague a chance to develop and show what he’s capable of. It certainly hasn’t been Bibby’s production over the last month and a half that’s kept him on the bench.

This team is starting to collapse, and asLDrew starts exhibiting some of Woodson’s ill advised habits, and making some of the same stupid decisions, the players seem to be starting a simular trend and tuning him out. I’ve come to the conclusion that we need someone from the outside to coach this team. We need someone who’s not afraid to make everyone earn there positions. When we need OFF, we keep utilizing the same OFF players that aren’t producing. When we need DEF, we keep utilizing the same OFF players that aren’t producing.

I guess LDrew identifies with Bibby because they both seem to be fading as the season progresses.

niremetal

February 17th, 2011
12:08 am

Doc,

I’m too tired to listen to that tonight and really just have burned out on discussing the ASG’s legal position. I really don’t buy into the idea that the lawsuits affected the Hawks on-court product. I don’t think the lawsuits led the Hawks to make bad draft picks and overinvest in this “core,” nor do I think that bringing in new investors will result in a different result (unless a different GM with a different outlook comes in).

The Hawks’ issues are just not the type of thing that an outside legal dispute could really affect without the Hawks risking the team being put under the conservatorship of the NBA (as was done with the Nats in baseball, the Coyotes in hockey, etc). The franchise agreements that NBA teams have keep the owners on a short leash with stuff like that, because the ability of the NBA to market the league both to sponsors and prospective owners is based on stability and continuity in the league’s front offices.

Anyway, I’m fed up with the front office, but it still has nothing to do with the lawsuits. Those interest me as a lawyer, but not as a fan.

Astro Joe

February 17th, 2011
12:26 am

nire, you don;t think that free agents were scared off after Speedy signed and Belkin filed an injunction to stop players from signing multi-year deals with the Hawks? Sure, it was overturned relatively quickly, but I would imagine that it “left a stain” with some players and agents. The remarkable thing is that we have yet to sign someone else’s free agent for more than 3 years & $3M per since that 2006 debacle. For a while, the Hawks operated as a team almost exclusively dependent on draft picks and trades to imrpove the team… we were essentially out of free agency from after Joe’s signing (and the initial divorce proceedings) and 2008 when Mo Evans signed. It certainly felt like a competitive disadvantage at the time.

Big Ray

February 17th, 2011
12:52 am

Ken ,

I agree. I thought having Larry Drew as the coach would be okay. I thought it would be better than it has been, but I also thought management would see that changing coaches wouldn’t and shouldn’t be their only significat “change.”

I was wrong about Drew being more effective (he isn’t), and I was wrong about management seeing the need to change up the core of this team.

It’s a sad day. And that has nothing to do with how wrong or right I was. It has everything to do with the reality of the situation.

Big Ray

February 17th, 2011
12:54 am

Nire ,

Session isn’t my champion by an means. But acquiring him qualifies as CFTSOC, right? Problem is, that isn’t significant enough change. The change must come within the starting six, I think (had to say that since Jamal plays as much as one or two of the starters).

Big Ray

February 17th, 2011
12:59 am

Meanwhile, to stir the Teague pot even harder, this from MC :

Nah….I’ll just wait for the next blog…

E43

February 17th, 2011
1:07 am

I think it’s very unfair to blame LD, Woody R.Sund and B.knight for this team’s short coming. ASTRO JOE made a very good point about free agency. You can’t attack this team about not going after free agents when truth be told it’s the free agents that have to want to come here. When have you ever heard the Kobe’s and LeBron’s talk about coming to Atlanta? Melo is out there thinking about playing for the Knicks and Nets…. THE KNICKS AND NETS!!!
Every few blogs, I always hear about people complaining about spending money on the hawks and they won’t get to the championship. I mean are you serious? Do you like basketball or not? That’s the real question. Just because your team doesn’t have a chance to win a championship SHOULDNT be the reason you watch hawk ball or not. What exactly do you want the hawks to do about Mike Bibby or the center position? Do you think teams are just going to hand you Christmas gifts of roster upgrades? Or would you like the hawks to dig deep and channel speedy Claxton again?
I’m a hawks fan. No excuses. I will come out and support my team whether or not I have 12 chairs to myself or have to squeeze in just to watch. That “not a championship team” garbage is just inexcusable. If you don’t like them so much then either move or stop following the hawks completely. The nets fan base would love to have your services.

niremetal

February 17th, 2011
1:21 am

AJ,

Sorry, but the legal dispute didn’t affect the Hawks’ ability to sign free agents except for a brief period in 2006 where an idiot elected judge (really, “idiot” is implied from “elected”) issued an idiot injunction that was, as you yourself noted, overturned quickly. There was never any risk that the injunction would actually stop a free agent signing from happening because from the moment the injunction issued, everyone with a brain and a basic knowledge of equitable remedies knew that the injunction wouldn’t stand. So no, player agents were not scared off by that. I know this because I am friends with several player agents. They were negotiating with the Hawks same as they would any other team, and the Hawks signed players to contracts that summer just like any other team. Under the collective bargaining agreement, a contract is a contract is a contract. The league is obligated to pay a player’s salary if for some reason the team cannot – and there was never any risk that the Hawks could not.

The Hawks failure to spend more in free agency before 2007 was explainable by the fact that they were rebuilding. Their failure to spend more from 2007 onward was based on the fact that the team was both over the cap (thus keeping them from signing impact free agents) and losing money (which made signings at more than the minimum not worth it).

To be blunt, the fans have always blown the significance of the lawsuits way out of proportion. The people who matter in terms of player personnel moves don’t care about it and they never did. It was and is a non-issue. Fans who don’t understand the way major pro sports leagues work in a “behind-the-scenes” find that hard to believe, I know, but that’s frankly because…well, they don’t understand the way major pro sports league work. I’ve come to accept that ignorance as incurable, which is fine. But the idea that a different ownership group would have spent more or that the team would have been a more attractive free agent destination because they were owned by a different rich white man is, frankly, laughable.

niremetal

February 17th, 2011
1:22 am

*over the cap, losing money, and not just a player away from immediate contention (…)