Hawks move past the break

Just in case you were asleep or otherwise dwelling under a rock (though I’ve heard you still have access to Geico insurance that way), it’s been reported that the Knicks have acquired CarmeloAnthony.  Ok, so the rest of the league can get going with any other trades now, right? That may or may not include the Atlanta Hawks, who are apparently at least seriously considering a move for a point guard. Whatever follows over the next couple of days could prove to be interesting. Maybe even for diehard Hawks fans.

Challenge or empty talk?

Rick Sund’s challenge to the players certainly isn’t of Mark Cuban-like proportions. In fact, it sounds more like a challenge to the fans (or any other non-organizational personnel) than to the players. What does a challenge to the team mean at this point? He gave them the best possible comfort zone by “hiring” a coach that they knew quite well. He kept largely the entire roster intact, which meant there was no one to get used to in the locker room. And he wants them to do what, exactly? Act differently than they have before?  Excuse me, but where exactly is the challenge in this? Play well, or else? Anybody would flinch at the ire and boldness of the Dallas Mavericks owner (Cuban), who is liable to order his GM to orchestrate a trade if he is unhappy enough. The notoriously slow-to-speak, slow-to-move Sund? Far less likely. Perhaps even more so of his boss (es), who are much quicker to…oh, nevermind.

Suffice it to say that we can likely tell the future. Sund isn’t going to be making any big moves. Perhaps this is as well, as there isn’t likely a big move that could catapult the Hawks past the Eastern Conferences best in the last 30 or so games. Moves like that are usually made in the offseason, or at least with the next season in mind. Just ask the Knicks, who are suddenly looking more star-studded on paper, but aren’t liable to go beyond their current position unless the Magic and Hawks collapse down the stretch (stay tuned).

But, as AJC columnist Jeff Schultz has noted, Sund is traveling with the team during the remainder of their road stretch. So, perhaps that means the organization will at least cast some bait, with a willingness to snatch the rod up if anybody bites. Will it amount to anything? Hard to say.

 

How serious is the point guard situation?

Again, you’d have to be ignoring all things Hawks-related to not know and hear about the team’s issues at the point. It isn’t just the local media, it’s everybody who has anything to say about Atlanta’s NBA team. What doesn’t bode well for Hawks youngster Jeff Teague is the fact that while every pundit and expert is at least willing to hint at the fact that Mike Bibby isn’t up to the job, practically no one is mentioning the second year point guard as the answer. Some of us disagree, some of us don’t. It is rather interesting indeed if the Hawks manage to find themselves a point guard through trade. Why? Because it isn’t just an indication that Bibby has faded. It’s also an indication that Teague isn’t ready, if nothing else. Again, stay tuned.

The question is, who can the Hawks get, and are they serious enough to “settle” for someone that isn’t necessarily at the top of their list? While many may prefer Devin Harris or Ray Felton, neither guy may be available for what the Hawks could offer (and who really even knows what THAT is). So, it could be Sessions or somebody even less desired, coming to town. Or, maybe nobody at all. Time will tell just how committed the Hawks are to addressing the point guard position for what seems like the millionth time in the last four to five years.

I know this much – if the advent of another point guard on the roster isn’t enough motivation for Teague to do some very serious work on his game this offseason, and come into training camp with a chip on his shoulder – then nothing ever will be motivation enough.

 Hawks vs. Lakers

As if playing the NBA champions after the all-star break wasn’t daunting enough, they might actually have some motivation. First, they went into the break with a three game losing streak. On top of that, some are questioning  Kobe’s ability to stay on top. Great, as if a League MVP type caliber with a Michael Jordan-esque pride (and capability) needs motivation. The Hawks could be walking into a buzzsaw. Or, they could leave Staples center with the Lakers staring a fourth loss in a row. Want to be against the Champs at home with some things to prove?

The keys to winning this game are few. The Hawks have to get all-star performances from their three team captains. They also need a good performance from their bench. Knowing the Hawks, there really is no way to tell how this may turn out. Fact is, more folks may be paying attention to what the GM does (or doesn’t do) than to what the team does. At least for a couple more days, anyway.

 

 

By Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest

290 comments Add your comment

YoungHawk

February 22nd, 2011
1:45 am

So hope the t.j ford thing is not true cause I don’t think thats a better answer. SMH Hawks need to do something quick. Hope we pull out the W tonight too.

Jared Glover

February 22nd, 2011
2:01 am

They won’t do anything the front office has no clue what they are doing up there its quite sad actually

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
2:26 am

“if the advent of another point guard on the roster isn’t enough motivation for Teague to do some very serious work on his game this offseason, and come into training camp with a chip on his shoulder – then nothing ever will be motivation enough.”

As often as this team finds new ways to defy logic, it wouldn’t surprise me if these trade rumors were just some elaborate ploy to motivate Teague. I hope they are more than just that.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Georgia Chadwick, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Hawks move past the break http://bit.ly/eiVrZt [...]

Big Ray

February 22nd, 2011
5:48 am

Najeh ,

Always admired what seems like a half-humorous view of things. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that idea, though.

Because to hear some tell it, Drew needs motivation to play Teague, more than Teague needs motivation to play better.

Having said that, I don’t think it’s that type of ploy.

Marcus

February 22nd, 2011
5:51 am

Better do something.

NYK is now starting to close in our rear view mirror. We have a 5.5 game lead for 5th place as of now, but now face a tougher 2nd half schedule (including Bulls and Lakers). NYK is now armed with ‘melo and Amare’ (leading the league in apostrophes) and a fresh wood-shedding of our local team before all the All-Star festivities.

If Teague’s season statline is full of DNP-CD for much of the schedule before the All-Star break ….. trend indicate not much will change for the last 27 games of the season.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
6:25 am

Najeh, Ray,

The problem does not lie with Teague, when given enough minutes he usually produces enough to warrant more time.

The problem lies with LD who ended up being a Woody 2.0 on that subject: he is scared of losing games and being sacked on account of that hence he does not take the gamble on Teague.

Teague is a timid character but if he can get comfortable on the floor he will rock. The Boston game – a big and difficult stage – was enough evidence for me.

Nonetheless, I would accept that Teague was part of a package bringing a proven PG to the Hawks (Sessions barely qualifies, so Felton or Harris would be better), BUT NOT because I don’t think he can’t work but simply because I know that LD would be forced to change the PG situation with either Harris or Felton.

In relation to these two far fetched possibilities, I would prefer Felton who is stronger physically, a better pick and roll player and now is a consistent clutch shooter.

Harris is too frail and too streaky.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
6:40 am

As for the Knicks’ trade for Carmelo, I am actually 0% afraid of the Knicks right now.

Billups is not a good pick and roll player and Stoudamire will suffer. ‘Melo is a black hole and he and Stoudamire will not mesh at all.

Also, Billups is – at this stage of his career – just a better Bibby: his defense is gone, his speed too, hence he is now mostly a jump shooter.

People have been saying that Knicks will certainly improve in light of the fact that their record was barely above .500 but they forget that their record went down the drain IN GREAT MEASURE due to the trade rumors after some players started being mentioned as commodities.

DHD

February 22nd, 2011
6:42 am

Aaron Brooks, please.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
6:47 am

Billups line against the Knicks and Felton in December:

C. Billups G 28:13 1-7 1-4 1-2 -5 1 1 6 2 0 0 0 1 4

Felton’s line against Billups and Ty Lawson:

R. Felton(notes) G 44:53 7-15 1-4 4-5 +7 0 3 17 2 1 0 0 2 19

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
6:49 am

In Denver:

R. Felton G 39:32 5-13 2-4 7-10 +11 4 8 11 1 1 1 0 3 19

C. Billups G 32:47 4-12 0-2 5-7 -2 0 2 8 4 1 0 2 3 13

Willie Coyote

February 22nd, 2011
7:36 am

Whatever is done (or not done) needs to be part of some plan. That means a next move should be in our GM’s mind if we pull the trigger on a point guard. Moving Jamal makes sense and moving him for a point is the best use in my opinion. Devin Harris will make this team better (though you’d expect there to be a little lul while chemistry is developed) but he will not make them a serious threat to come out on top of the East. That is where the plan for the next move (likely next year) will come into play.

Don’t make a trade for the sake of trading. That will not help.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
7:38 am

Big Ray,

I think the talk from Rick Sund getting a PG is also a ploy to the fans. That way, when he doesn’t make a deal, he can say “We made some phone calls, but we couldn’t find a deal that worked for both sides”.

Sessions is not the prettiest name out there, and he is definitely not the best PG that might be available. However, I think he is the easiest/cheapest to obtain. I think Mo Evans and Teague will be enough to get it done.

Teague may develop into a decent PG like Sessions (12 pts, 5 assists, not a good shooter), but we don’t know when that will be. And if LD does not think JT0 can handle 20-24 mpg, then bring in somebody who can.

Sessions would allow us to play Jamal at SG almost exclusively, and he doesn’t take many jumpers, so that might get us more FTA, and he is faster than Bibby in the open court. Yes, his defense is bad, but I think there will be enough of a difference on offense to make up for his defense. And it does change the dynamic of the team a little bit.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
7:47 am

Vava,

I am not concerned about the Knicks either…not this year anyway.

But with Amare and Melo on board, look for every big name FA to think about joining the Knicks in the next year or 2 (if Donnie Walsh can make it happen). There have been rumors already about CP3 (when he was at Melo’s wedding) and Deron (this past weekend) both saying they would welcome a move to the Knicks.

In the next year or 2, I think the Knicks will be competing for a top 4 seed, especially since they don’t care about the luxury tax.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
8:42 am

o’b word is donnie is out, deal engineered by isiah and dolan. donnie didnt want to blow it up for one guy. he also has a contract end june first. the russian played his hand to make the knicks weaker, said so this past weekend publicly and knicks fell right into his hands.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
9:09 am

doc,

If I’m donnie, the only thing I would use Isiah for is to recruit players after I had identified them. I would not give him any say in what kind of deal to give out, what kind of trade to make etc.

I think the Nets are still in a good position though. They will have cap space next summer, they will be moving to Brooklyn in 2012, and eventually, Jay-Z will help them get somebody. For example, if CP3 goes to the Knicks, I can see Deron going to the (Brooklyn) Nets as a backup destination.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
9:19 am

As for the Lakers game tonight, I think Kobe will be extra motivated.

JJ was checking him in the all-star game, so I think Kobe will want to send a message. During all-star game weekend, he told Horford “See you Tuesday”, so I think he will be pumped.

I wont be surprised to see Ron-Ron on JJ, and Al and Josh will have their hands full against Gasol, Odom, and Bynum.

I think Jamal will need to go back to being the old Jamal, and Bibby will need to knock down some shots.

That being said, I expect the Hawks to lose by double-digits (although the Hawks are so unpredictable, they might find a way to keep it close going into the 4th).

On the flip-side, if the Hawks win this game, it could be fools gold, because it will be more ammo for Rick not to make a move.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
9:20 am

OB,

‘Melo, Amar’e, Paul and who? A poorer version of the MIA three stooges.

Much better at the PG slot but ‘Melo does not play well off the ball and Amar’e needs his touches too.

Not championship level.

Astro Joe

February 22nd, 2011
9:25 am

Apathy, apathy, apathy.

Hawks will finish with a top 5 record in the East but it is possible that they will not be a top 5 team based on “how they are playing” in the last 2-3 weeks. The key to the Knicks success (IMO) will be D’Antoni and how he adapts his system to allow Melo and Billups to have a short learning curve. I’m not suggesting that he radically and permanently shift his schemes, but it may be asking a little too much to have those guys change 3 tires while traveling the Cross Bronx Express. Miami took a while to gel and they had the benefit of a veteran’s camp and exhibition games. The Knicks also lost some of the perimeter shooting in the trade that makes D’Antoni’s offense so potent. If Troy Murphy is bought out that may be someone the Knicks should consider bringing in to clean the glass and shoot bombs from the weakside.

Only way this is a smart trade for the Knicks (IMO) is if the new CBA includes a version of the NFL Franchise agreement. Otherwise, they should have just waiting until the summer.

Astro Joe

February 22nd, 2011
9:27 am

I think the Lakers lost 3 in a row before the All-Star break. LD will likely go with the big line-up against Bynum and Gasol. That leaves Artest guarding Josh to start the game. Boy, the material on that match-up is endless.

Astro Joe

February 22nd, 2011
9:34 am

From ESPN:

Mo Williams has been battling various injuries this season and now he’s dealing with a sprained ankle. Williams could not make it though the Cavs practice on Monday and was shut down by head coach Byron Scott.

“I didn’t like what I was seeing,” Scott told The News-Herald.

Williams is questionable for the Cavs game against the Rockets on Wednesday.

Ramon Sessions will start at point guard if Williams has to miss any games. Sessions is drawing interest from many teams, however the Cavs probably won’t trade him due to uncertain health of Williams.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

i cant wait to see what karl does with his new acquisitions. shame his cancer surfaced as he was a legit shot to do some damage to the lakers chances last year. suns got in instead. a really good coach is the only way you can defend the three amigos concept. sorry, LD doenst have a chance to be that good i think and why the askg needed to do something more than cftsoc with the coach last year, all they did was save money.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
10:20 am

o’b donnie had nothing to do with it as it was done over his head by dolan. i posted an article about it earlier within the past week.

Glenn

February 22nd, 2011
10:28 am

I like Devin Harris . I think we should trade for that British dude that took him to to town in that school yard pick up game . A Great You Tube . Anyhow do the Cavs really care if they don’t have a healthy pg ? They would probably be more entertaining without one . Lousy is lousy . I would love to see us address our pg situation but not at the expense of Crawford . Yes he has been cold lately but we need his scoring .

JeJe

February 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

LOL NO ONE READS THIS BLOG AND THERE ARE NO PLAYER/COACHES QUOTES

CHLOROPHYLL? MORE LIKE BOROPHYLL

FIRE SUND

doc

February 22nd, 2011
10:47 am

Melvin

February 22nd, 2011
11:28 am

OB,

I think Paul may end up in a Knicks uniform when he becomes a FA but I wouldn’t be surprise if Deron and Dwight team up and go to LA. Either the Clips or Lakers.

Melvin

February 22nd, 2011
11:30 am

If the Hawks acquire Felton or Harris, I would rather they get rid of Bibby than Jamal. Matter of fact, I can’t see them committing to pay Bibby and another PG big money with Al due for a raise starting next season. That’s alot of money invested into the PG position.

niremetal

February 22nd, 2011
12:17 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
12:22 pm

“If the Hawks acquire Felton or Harris, I would rather they get rid of Bibby than Jamal. ”

Me too, but Bibby doesn’t have much trade value thanks to the guaranteed year he has next year. Jamal is expiring, so he does.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
12:57 pm

vava,

I agree that the Knicks will not be championship level. But if they add a PG like CP3 or Deron in the next year or 2, (as we see with Miami), a big 3 will probably be enough to compete for a top 3 seed, which means the Hawks might drop down one spot to 6th.

This does put pressure on D’Antoni though (maybe not this year, but definitely next year).

AJ,

The Knicks couldnt afford to take the chance on waiting, because Melo might have changed his mind and gone to NJ. He didnt want to take the chance of losing $30 mil+ if he didnt sign an extension before the new CBA.

Najeh,

Co-sign. Thanks Rick.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
12:57 pm

Melvin, Najeh,

This infatuation with Jamal is what is keeping us from making any progress, not Bibby.

Bibby is far more efficient and productive than Jamal if used properly.

Jamal is a liability and there are many examples.

Start following the Hawks on http://www.popcornmachine.net and you will understand what I mean.

Jamal is behind many spurts but he IS ALWAYS on the floor when we collapse defensively. ALWAYS.

The game in NY is a good example: when Bibby left the floor we were up, enter Jamal and our small lead turned into a huge lead by the Knicks.

This happens dozens of times. Dozens.

Bibby would be an excellent back up PG / third stringer for us for at least a couple of years more.

Jamal is useless. Was never involved in anything remotely qualified as “winning basketball” until last year and for that it took him being used off the bench.

The problem last year as we have this year is that Jamal has been vastly over used.

Jamal should average around 18 minutes per game MAXIMUM. This way he would still average around 10/11 ppg as a “he’s hot, keep him in” “he’s cold, keep him out” bench player.

In many games he would should play only 6/8 minutes and in others he could play 25, always depending on match ups and him being cold or hot.

However, since Woody and LD did not / don’t have the smarts/balls to use him like this, he is detrimental to our success and our evolution (and in particular to Teague’s progress).

With Jamal and JJ out we played a good game in Boston (who I concede were without Rondo) when LD HAD to play Teague and HE RESPONDED.

Just think about it: when was the last time you saw a Hawks’ PG push the tempo, poach the passing lanes, steal balls in the perimeter and dunk on a break?

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
12:58 pm

doc,

Karl is overrated as a coach. Way overrated.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
1:37 pm

“This infatuation with Jamal is what is keeping us from making any progress, not Bibby.”

Jamal shouldn’t be starting by any means, but he fits the role of a scorer off the bench much better than Bibby. Jamal may not create offense for others, but he surely does create offense for himself. Bibby at this point is barely capable of doing that; he usually requires Joe or whoever is posting up to set him up with shots.

I don’t dispute that the Hawks have been giving up leads when Jamal comes in the game, but a big reason for that is that Jamal plays a lot of minutes with the bench scrubs (specifically when Zaza comes in to sub for Smoove or Horford) and alongside Bibby in the back court. At least from my recollection, Jamal is rarely on the floor with a good defensive lineup around him that can cover for him (i.e. Smoove and Horford in, Bibby out). It is possible to cover for one perimeter defensive liability, but when LD insists on playing both of them at the same time, it is not possible. And when LD insists on playing Jamal with other players who can’t cover for him defensively, it is not possible. By contrast, at least one of Smoove and Horford is almost always on the floor with Bibby; in fact I can’t recall the last time Bibby was on the floor without either one of them.

Anyway, it is a major stretch to go from “major defensive liability” (which Jamal certainly is) to “useless” (which he is not).

I will give Bibby this, though — he understands his limitations better than Jamal. Bibby rarely puts himself in a position to do things he can’t do, whereas Jamal routinely continues taking shots when it’s clear that his shots are not falling.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
1:44 pm

I can’t access popcornmachine at work (it blocks it for being a gambling site… WTF?) but I’ll check it out further once I get home. As far as I can remember, over the last 10-15 games or so (and possibly longer), LD has followed a pattern of bringing Jamal in about halfway through the first quarter and then bringing in three more subs with about 3 minutes left in the first, with Smoove being the only starter on the floor for as long as LD can run with that lineup without causing disaster. The result has been a serious dent in the plus-minus values of Jamal and Smoove, for having to play with Mo, Zaza, and Marvin/Damien/Powell. On offense, Smoove is not a go-to scorer, and this puts too big of a load on Jamal to carry the offense by himself (which he is not capable of doing efficiently). On defense, everyone other than Smoove during this time is horrible defensively, and as good as Smoove is on that end he’s not good enough to compensate for four poor defenders. The end result is a lineup that isn’t good on either end of the floor.

jlewis

February 22nd, 2011
1:51 pm

Ray:

I usually agree with you, on the Kobe point I can’t. When he was stuck on a team without a big man and not much talent, he cried like a baby and was just a gunner with a low fg%. Kobe has played with exceptional talent, which has allowed him not to guard the opposing players best player, and to rest until the 4th quarter to finish games. The Lakers without Kobe would still win, not the case in Cleveland, where I thought Lebron won with very average or below average talent.

Go Hawks

lukas

February 22nd, 2011
2:03 pm

There’s not going to be any trade made by the Hawks. Sund is blowing smoke in an attemp to cover his hand, but everybody is seeing through it: no cap space, role players with minimal trade value (except Jamal), reluctant to go over the luxury cap, reluctant to break the only thing that bring fans to the game: the core. Hawks management real strategy is to take whatever they can (entrance, revenues, TV) from this season without breaking a sweat, hoping for a long 1st round exit (6-7 game), and wait for the new CBA rules.

Stop wasting your energy proposing trades because Hawk’s deep-run-into-the-playoffs hopes are realistically close to zero. ASG know it, Sund knows it, LD knows it, the players know it, and we (deep down) know it. And the sad thing is, none of the mentioned above can help it.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
2:07 pm

vava not sure where that comes from. he has probably gotten more out of his team with what he has than any other coach has since he took over there. there was an abrupt turn around that has been maintained. the year he did they were on pace for about 60 losses having had a horrendous losing streak only to make the playoffs. he was what hubie was to the griz only he has been able to maintain it. there was one year where they had injury after injury including melo and they still vied for the top in their division. he has also seemed to handle the star of melo pretty well without turning it into an ego struggle that sometimes is seen between coach and star, especially one like melo. guys have gotten better, he develops depth, young bigs get playing time and somehow improve, etc. what do you look for? geez, besides adelman, he is the guy without a crown i would take in a flash who can take individuals and somehow mold it into a winner.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
2:33 pm

doc

February 22nd, 2011
2:38 pm

still amazed at the comment,

http://www.nba.com/coachfile/george_karl/

ten votes for coach of the year in 2004-2005 season where he took over in january to lead them to the playoffs. 6 straight playoff appearances in a small market in the west. had three 60 win seasons i think with the sonics it was. okay, over rated.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
2:53 pm

Vava,

I wouldn’t say George Karl is a great coach, but I think he is a very good coach, and I would gladly take him over woody and LD combined.

Najeh,

I think you and Vava both have some good points concerning Jamal. LD needs to do a better job limiting his minutes and not playing him at backup PG

doc

February 22nd, 2011
3:04 pm

o’b better go back a read what he has accomplished. if not great, then maybe very very good coach. winning percentage and winning seasons among the best ever. he never had the teams riles and phil did to be among them in stature and accomplishments. greatest comeback in the history of the game 32 and 7 2004-2005. geez. again, i look forward to seeing what he does with the talent he has coming in. he also manages games while they occur masterfully to the point you go wtf, until it works.

niremetal

February 22nd, 2011
3:22 pm

My opinion of Karl seems to wax and wane. I do think that he got lucky by coming to Seattle right as Kemp and Payton were emerging as stars, and while guys like Pierce, Cage, Perkins, Eddie Johnson, and (after a year) Schrempf had plenty left in the tank. It would have been pretty tough not to win 55-60 games with that crew.

That being said, it’s hard to argue with such a sustained record of regular season excellence…well, except for the fact that they always underachieved in the playoffs (with the notable exception of ‘96).

Would I take him over LD? Of course. Do I think he can squeeze that much more out of this team than the average NBA head course would? I’m not sure. I would rather have seen the Hawks lure a coveted assistant from another team like Monty Williams, Ty Corbin, or Dean Demopoulos. Like I said at the time, I was uneasy about the selection of an assistant from Woody’s failed regime. I felt a bit better once I heard him promise to change the offense and scrapping the always-switch D. In retrospect, though, this team needed a culture change that stretched beyond the sideline; changing the coach wouldn’t have made a difference as long as the players remained the same. To engage in what we old history majors like to call counterfactual history, I think this move would have been a good one to make in 2008 (when Knight tried to axe Woody only to have ASG go Anakin-on-Windu on him). It also would have been a good move to make if it were coupled with personnel changes that took the players out of their on-court comfort zone. It’s obviously 3 years too late for the former, but maybe it’s not too late for the latter. Thus…

CFTSOC

Astro Joe

February 22nd, 2011
3:39 pm

changing the coach wouldn’t have made a difference as long as the players remained the same

nire, if they had hired someone outside of the org, then maybe (we’ll never know) CFTSOC wouldn’t be needed as the players wouldn’t be quite so comfortable. If some of us feel like the ASG is content with maintaining the status quo, it seems plausible that the sacred core also feels safe and secure that they are insulated from significant change. And based on the past 6 years, there is truly no reason why they should feel like significant change is around the corner. But if someone with a “prove to me why you should play” perspective had come on the scene (with clear support from the GM), well… again, we will never know. They (the ASG) chose sameness.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
3:40 pm

never was i arguing to have karl here, nor do i think he is the best ever. i do respect what he does and merely mentioned that it could be fun to see if he can work his magic on them. again, it is like the question, is bobby cox a great manager? well maybe not, but among the best and very very good at the worst? similar argument for karl, blind luck has not gotten him where he is. this isnt the lottery pick we got horford, pure luck, but a guy able to create sometimes out of nothing but dust it seems and on the run. i think karl is pretty creative; he wasnt a one trick pony nor a one year wonder.

yes, i think culture change was necessary and too late now. i hope whatever is done is done more to make it better than merely introduce change. tt would have been my choice and honestly didnt know much about monty williams until nire suggested him. neither appeared here for interviews on our shallow uninspiring list of candidates after woody was allowed to expire. the list should have been better thought out, not sure if it was or whose fault it could be for being so thin. some of the others would have been an interesting piece. LD should have gotten it when BK wanted him too not now to make a difference, now not so much as we have seen. again, the hawks have performed better than i imagined but i also felt they were looking at 44 to 48 wins. i might hit it within the spread unless these guys show up for all the remaining games and the bench gets new life within it.

Astro Joe

February 22nd, 2011
3:47 pm

If there were a linear representation of change, with “Woody Back as Head Coach” on one far end and, I don’t know, “Luring Phil Jackson from the Lakers” on the opposite far end… hiring LD (along with Ty Hill, Bender & Ballard staying on staff) MUST be in the position adjacent to keeping Woody. Next door neighbors. Sharing the same driveway. A single degree of separation.

doc

February 22nd, 2011
4:19 pm

sometimes there is nothing but hysteria over at the other blog. glad i learned how to scroll the trolls. interesting day there after MC threw them a bone, early april fools day? who knows.

vava74

February 22nd, 2011
4:54 pm

Najeh,

“I will give Bibby this, though — he understands his limitations better than Jamal. Bibby rarely puts himself in a position to do things he can’t do, whereas Jamal routinely continues taking shots when it’s clear that his shots are not falling.”

You said enough.

Winning and losing is mostly on the details.

Jamal has consistently played with the starters in the 4th quarter with dismal results in offense and the results we know on D.

niremetal

February 22nd, 2011
5:27 pm

AJ,

As to your “if there were a linear representation of change” bit, that’s true with respect to public perception. It’s not true with respect to philosophy/strategy/tactics/etc. Again, the world of NBA coaching is not like working at an accounting firm or a dream job or whatever other “real world” analogy you try to make. You won’t read up, so you’ll never know that yourself, but anyone who has read up on the NBA knows that hiring X’s assistant to replace X as head coach can mean significant changes in culture, philosophy, etc. It just didn’t work out that way with LD and the current crop of players.

I really don’t think that any head coach except a true legend with a strong personality – by which I mean Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, or Rudy T – could have broken these guys out of their comfort zone. I don’t think Dwayne Casey or Mark Jackson could. I don’t even think a Larry Brown or Hubie Brown or Mike Fratello could have. I think that Josh’s teammates have come to accept that Josh will take jumpers and have decided to live with that. I think that Marvin’s teammates have accepted that Marvin will disappear and have decided to live with that. I think that they’ve also accepted that JJ and Jamal will try to go Kobe and have decided to live with that. And so on.

The problem is that no NBA coach takes a “we’re starting from scratch” approach. The starters are incumbents. Rick Carlisle, Flip Saunders, and even Phil Jackson all kept the same starting 5 when they came on the scene with their respective teams. No one benches All-Star caliber players or tells the team they have to prove themselves starting from scratch, except in bad movies. I do not think that there is a coach in the NBA save for Phil/Pop/Sloan that would have benched Josh, JJ, or Al. And I really think that that would have been the only way to jolt the starters out of their on-court comfort zone.

O'Brien

February 22nd, 2011
5:31 pm

One benefit of having a coach from the outside (even with the same players) is that they would not have been sold on the core the way I think LD is/was when he interviewed.

IMO, when LD interviewed for the job, he probably told Rick that he could get more out of the existing players (including Teague).

He probably told Rick that being around the team for 6 years he knows exactly what the problems are, and he knows exactly how to fix it. He probably told Rick that he made suggestions to Woody that Woody didnt use (which is what he implied at his press conference), and that these suggestions would make the team that much better.

A coach coming from the outside would not be able to give that kind of commitment to Rick at the start, so it would have been easier for them to talk to Rick and ask for change now.

A new coach would not be as tight with the players, so I doubt if they would be having an on-going battle with Josh about his shot selection, or feel obligated to play Jamal extended minutes, or Bibby extended minutes etc.

Again, its just my opinion, but if LD said what I think he said (at his interview), how is he supposed to go back to Rick now and say “I was wrong. I can’t get them to change their ways so you need to make a trade.”

I think LD made his bed during his interviews, and now he is being forced to lie in it. That’s my speculation…

His best action is to shake up the lineup, even if it costs them a game short term, I think they will be better off in the long term.