Atlanta Hawks: Redemption and a true milestone

It all seemed to come together at once.

The Hawks played the way they needed to nearly all game long, the guys who needed to step up did, and they even had some calls go their way (the jump ball after Rose was fouled on a long jumper attempt was bizarre). All of this, and the Hawks reached a true milestone. Two wins in the second round of the playoffs, you say? So much more than that, I say. The goal should never be to lose better, or to just take the smallest of baby steps. The goal is to put yourself into position to take leaps and bounds. Winning game 4 did just that for the Hawks. Not only have they done what they needed to do to win games against their favored opponent, the Hawks have put themselves into actual contention for a place that only the elite teams in a conference can go – the Conference Finals. Atlanta has shown that it can beat Chicago, and that this is no fluke. Is the series over? Of course not, and that goes both ways. Which team is headed to the Eastern Conference Finals? Many automatically assumed it would be the Bulls, and the Hawks just made it a question that every expert and pundit has to think about for a few seconds before giving an answer. Both teams look like they believe in themselves, and that was never a question for Chicago. But it was for Atlanta…and now that question is answered. They believe. What’s more, they are giving everybody else something to believe.

The Hawks are now competing for real. Milestone reached.

 

Making all the Right Moves

This really starts with coaching. Larry Drew did quite the job Sunday night, getting his guys to do what they needed to, and keeping their heads in the game. Drew’s decision to start Jason Collins paid dividends as Collins immediately added the physicality that Atlanta needed to start the game. Collins is one of those guys who never could claim the boxscore as his friend, as it can never tell the story of the impact he has on a game. Despite not claiming a single rebound, his presence was felt in his size and body weight down low, as well as his ability to get good positioning. If you don’t believe it, just as Noah how difficult it was to get rebounds with Collins in the way. Ask Rose how good those fouls felt. All that and Collins gave the Hawks a couple of confidence-inspiring inside baskets.

Even better was Drew’s decision to play Zaza Pachulia for 25 minutes or so. Pachulia responded the way he normally has when given good minutes – smart play, toughness, and very much needed rebounding. Fact is, Zaza kept the Hawks all but even in the rebounding category (Bulls 37, Hawks 36), something Atlanta had been struggling with.

Of course, much of this came at the expense of one Marvin Williams. But here’s the thing – Marvin has been largely ineffective, as he was in game 4. Yes, he did look like he got fouled a few times out there with no calls coming his way. On the flip side of the coin, there were times that even Rose didn’t get the call after charging to the hole. As such, it’s hard to argue the foul calls in his favor, and aside from a couple of nice blocks, he wasn’t getting much done (0-5 from the field, no rebounds). Bottom line, it wasn’t about what Marvin failed to do, it was about what the Hawks needed that he doesn’t provide – physicality. Larry Drew knew this, and he played guys accordingly.

Late Bloomer

This wasn’t just Josh Smith’s best game in the playoffs. It was his best game all season. The early jumpshot attempts had the home crowd groaning and cringing, and his insistence on running the fast break after the rebound probably made even his teammates want to pull their hair out. Fortunately for the Hawks, Smith managed to abandon the perimeter game and went work inside, to wondrous results. The post game comments made me think Smith still doesn’t recognize the vastly different results of his inside or outside play, but the majority of his play, particularly in the second half suggested otherwise (uhh….we hope). Smith’s hyperactivity around the glass (16 boards) and his passing (8 assists) were pivotal in this game, as was his scoring at the basket. Again, his decision to run the break seemed like one of folly, but then it became obvious – the Bulls lacked the speed to keep up with him for the most part, and even the fleet-footed Rose seemed unable or unwilling to try and pick Smith’s pocket.

We can only hope to see more such play from Josh Smith. Chicago doesn’t have an answer for him when he plays with passion, yet under control and in the areas where he can excel. Smith was MVP for a night. Now he has to be consistent for the series.

Back in the Game

Limited by foul trouble, it seemed Al Horford wouldn’t be able to get back on track, but he maintained an aggressive stance on offense and also was more decisive with his moves. While his 5 rebounds were nothing to write home about, his efficiency from the field (9 made shots out of 11 attempts) and heady play (4 assists) were absolutely on time. We knew that Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford would not be able to keep up the twin 20+ point per game performances up forever, and somebody would have to step up besides them. Last night, Horford did that, and the Hawks will be needing a similarly efficient offensive threat more often, to take this series.

Rock Steady

If there are two guys in this playoff series that are performing pretty consistently, it’s Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague. Unlikely combo? Perhaps, but you’re not getting many complaints right now.

Johnson was solid against Orlando, but he continues to prove himself to be the team’s best player against Chicago. The best guys step up their game in the playoffs and Johnson is doing just that in the 2nd round with 54% shooting from the field, including a hair under 67% from three point range for 21 points per game. Johnson struggled a bit against Chicago’s League-best defense but poured it on in game 4. Look for him to continue to attack quickly and keep on hurting the defense after seeing how well it’s worked so far.

If there any questions about Jeff Teague at this point, they should only surround his jumpshot. The lightning quick point guard has more than proven himself in the heat of battle in ways that nobody saw coming during the season (if you tell me you KNEW he’d do exactly this well in the playoffs, then I want you doing my financial investments). Shooting 52% from the field, Teague is also doing exceptionally well with the ball in his hands (3.8 assists to 1.2 turnovers per game, a 3-t0-1 ratio!), and finds himself as the team’s second leading scorer in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Missing Kirk Hinrich? With all due respect to the smart and tough veteran point guard (and we do miss him at times), his absence might have actually been the best thing that could have happened to the Hawks, in some ways.

 

Now it’s On!

It’s good that the Hawks know what to do now, they just have to keep doing it. It’s even okay if they think they’ve arrived, because they have. What’s important is that they know where they’ve arrived – at the heart of the battlefield, not the Promised Land. With the series tied at two games apiece and shifting back to Chicago, both teams are under pressure. The Bulls don’t want to fall down in front of their fans at home. Meanwhile, the Hawks have to prove that their Game 1 win was not a “surprise victory” against Chicago. This is when teams have to dig deep and the competition is fierce.

The Hawks travel into enemy territory on Tuesday, where there will be very few friendly faces in the crowd (if any). Can they take the Bull by the horns? Can they continue to play the way they have to see is the only way to win?

 

 

Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

143 comments Add your comment

kwooden

May 11th, 2011
10:34 am

To that point Jamal needs to work harder to get open and attack the weak double teams from Chicago. Jamal needs to force Chicago to fully double team him and then pass the ball out. That way some is actually open. Jamal is giving up the ball before the double team actually comes, which gives the 2nd defender time to recover. Chicago plays very good defensive, so you have to work very quickly against them. JJ needs to do the same thing. If we do that enough, Chicago will get very fustrated with their double teams and begin just fouling a lot.

GO HAWKS!!

doc

May 11th, 2011
10:45 am

aj is gibson a second year or rookie? i thought they said he was drsted last year then after jordan from usc.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
10:47 am

Big Ray, regarding your 12:58 post, that almost sounds like some trees were falling in the forest. :twisted:

Jamal has resorted to a whole lot of complaining inthis series, more than I’ve seen him do in 2 years. He almost expects the refs to “bail him out” as opposed to shooting with the deadly intent that he usually has. Both Jamal and Al have sometimes looked, I hate to say it, scared in the moment.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
10:48 am

doc, second year… same draft as Teague. Just saying that he performed solidly last season too… before they got Boozer. He entered the league with more than a little clue on how to contribute to the game.

vava74

May 11th, 2011
10:58 am

Astro,

Teague was ready to contribute last year from day 1. Maybe not at this level but certainly enough to warrant a steady dose of 15 minutes of day light.

The issue is that neither Woody nor LD gave him the chance to learn from his mistakes and get his mojo flowing.

Heck, if it wasn’t for the Hinrich injury is ass would glued to the bench as usual AND YOU would continue to say that he did not play because he was not ready and that “LD knows what is happening during practices”

All the noise that you can make will not change the fact that Teague has proven all doubters wrong.

And you know how I know you are 100% wrong? JJ, who can never be accused of being vocal nor being someone who will lightly endorse anything nor anyone has been saying ALL SEASON long that Teague deserved more time.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
11:05 am

vava, I was in no means shape or form comparing Teague to Gibson. Teague was a SG sophomore trying to learn PG in the NBA. His path was always going to be harder than a senior PF playing PF. I was just remarking about how we seemingly have given up on finding solid players late in the 1st round while others seem to have figured out how to do it (quite successfully). And Teague’s performance in this series does nothing to make me think that my eyes deceived me earlier in the season when I saw a completely different player wearing number 0. I have no issues whatsoever with Teague’s path to success.

And just like all of the bigs got run in the last series against Howard, all of the little guys would have receive time against Rose in this series. I know how much you love a good conspiracy theory, but if nothing else, LD has shown a willingness to use the kitchen sink when defending certain players. Heck, didn’t we see RandMo in one of the games against D-12?

niremetal

May 11th, 2011
11:25 am

Vava,

Where did JJ say that Teague deserved more time?

People can and will draw whatever conclusions they want from Teague’s emergence in this series. I’m just glad he has stepped up when his number was called. I don’t see how it could possibly matter that he did not get more PT in the regular season if he’s doing well now that he is getting PT when it counts. Having him and Hinrich gives us 2 good options at PG with complementary skill sets, a luxury we haven’t enjoyed for a long time.

Rod from College Park

May 11th, 2011
11:27 am

Nire,

“And btw Rod, you are the only – and I mean only – person that thinks Thibs’ was playing a Jedi mind trick on LD through the media.”

Yeah, Im sure that everyone really feels like Marvin is vastly underated. I’m the only one who thinks differently. I guess that’s why Drew has dropped his minutes so much. LOL

Big Ray,

The Josh and Al debate is valid. Please name any team in the playoffs that do not depend on their all-stars. If Pierce, Allen, and Garnett don’t show up for Boston, if D. Rose does not show up for Chicago, Wade and Lebron for Miami, Westbrook and Durant for Ok. City, Nowitski for Dallas, Z-Bo for Memphis, Kobe and Gasol for the Lakers. Gasol played terribly for the Lakers, and he is being dogged in the media. Al plays well under his season averages for the whole playoffs, and we blame Josh. What other team with All Stars depends on a fringe player to determine if we win or lose. This year Josh has been moved from power forward because of Al, going forward we have to determine who is the better fit for this team. Al has performed worse than Josh in the playoffs, and really has been exposed. It’s jumper or nothing. He has rebounded well, but almost no offensive rebounds. I can’t count how many times Rose has converted an easy layup with no effort from Al at all to stop him. Two time All Stars in the NBA should be held to a higher standard, and Al has not stepped up in the playoffs at all. I really do like Al by the way, but no way he bring more to this team than Josh (when his head is screwed on).

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
11:46 am

What other team with All Stars depends on a fringe player to determine if we win or lose.

Rod, who is the “fringe player” who determines our success or failure?

vava74

May 11th, 2011
11:52 am

First impressions of the 1st quarter:

Josh came focused but Deng came in with his lucky pants on. Josh compensated later but got 2 fouls (one of them – the first – horribly dubious to me).

Diaper Al started filling up his diapers with 3 short/off-mark jumpers and a TO in the paint. Compensated with 2 jays but was being non existent on the boards.

The team was starting to get into a groove when IMO LD made a huge mistake by taking Teague off the game:

2 quick lay ups by Rose with JJ checking him and a 3 pointer by Bogans with Jamal (not) checking him… lead up to 10…

vava74

May 11th, 2011
11:54 am

With back on for JJ, good ball rotation by CHI, defense scrambling very out of control. Another 3 by Bogans, CHI by 13, followed by a stupid offensive foul by Jamal, followed by a back door cut by Bogans in which Jamal was caught sleeping…

vava74

May 11th, 2011
12:02 pm

nire,

JJ in is very bizarre and inarticulate way was very supportive of Teague saying repeatedly that when he is on the floor we were a completely different ball club.

He was not being merely nice when he said that.

vava74

May 11th, 2011
12:10 pm

Astro,

Give me a break. I don’t f*cking care what you saw when Teague player earlier in the season. I saw the same, I saw him lacking confidence and looking lost, however, I also saw clearly the frustration in his eyes and what was holding him back: lack of backing by your HC. Looking over your shoulder is too much pressure and Teague was not given the chance that he deserved to learn with his mistakes and shake off his jitters just for the sake of us having a dead mule playing PG.

The relevance for all this is that we could/should have addressed the PG needs differently and maybe we could have worked out a different trade if we were certain of Teague’s ability.

Teague did not simply woke up before Game 1 of this series a much better player.

He was this player already day 1 of the season or at least just a slightly less ready for prime version of what we are seeing now.

AND there is no doubt that DAY 1 Teague was a much better option to play backup PG than Jamal and should have been, at least, slowly eating on Bibby’s minutes.

vava74

May 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

Teague back on:

After the 2 plays mentioned above, Teague goes into the paint and scores on a teardrop.

Then, he manages to force a tough lay up by Rose, who misses.

Teague collects the rebound and pushes the tempo and runs deep in to the defense, makes a nifty outlet pass to Zaza (a bit low) who passes to Jamal at the elbow who scores on a jumper.

Teague at the PG: better D and better O
Jamal at the SG: better O

Rod from College Park

May 11th, 2011
12:17 pm

“Rod, who is the “fringe player” who determines our success or failure?”

Make an educated guess. The fringe player who gets all the blame when we lose.

vava74

May 11th, 2011
12:22 pm

Another Teague effect:

CHI is supposed to be the cream of the crop defensively.

Zaza and Teague on a deep pick ‘n roll play: Zaza dunks easily and with authority.

How many times have we seen Zaza dunk on an half court play?

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
12:38 pm

Rod, Joshis not a fringe player. Neither is Andrew Bynum or the 3rd wheel of any playoff team.

vava, folk asked for Teague’s development. He got it. What else is there to debate? You wanted him to be developed during the course of the year and I’ll be darned if he doesn’t look significantly better in games 89+ vs. game 40-50. What is there to debate?

vava74

May 11th, 2011
12:54 pm

Astro,

It’s no use discussing with you.

Teague’s level of play now, after game 89 was there earlier and it would have been beneficial for us to have exploited that (better seeding, better record, probably better chance to go deep in the playoffs).

No one wakes up after 89 games of little to no playing time much better than he was at games 40-50.

He would be at this level already early in the season if he had played more.

O'Brien

May 11th, 2011
1:38 pm

AJ,

I think the debate is if Teague had gotten more consistent PT in the first 40 games (especially when Bibby was struggling, and Jamal was struggling playing backup PG), maybe he would have looked better in game 59 instead of game 89.

That being said, I am just glad that Teague has accepted the challenge and has responded better than any of us thought he would. Hopefully, he carries it over to next year, and will earn the starting spot when Hinrich comes back.

Rod,

Josh is a borderline All-Star whose talent is highly respected by coaches, media and other players. He just needs to get it together mentally. Rasheed Wallace had some of the same issues. Despite Rasheed’s post ability, he would hang out and shoot 3’s, whine to the refs, lose focus etc. Eventually, Rasheed won a ring playing on the right team for the right coach. Hopefully, that will happen for Josh too.

wordsmithtom

May 11th, 2011
1:58 pm

Zaza keeps us in game first half, then sits down the stretch. JC1 goes 1-5….but plays the entire 4th. Make sense to anyone???!!!

LD may not be an idiot, but his substitution patterns baffle the ‘ell out of me.

Melvin

May 11th, 2011
2:03 pm

Maybe one of the reasons why Teague wasn’t getting a lot of playing time during the season is b/c he wasn’t saying the right things during film sessions. After reading LD post game comments, doesn’t sound like he was too impress with Teague quote.

Teague thought Rose fouled him on a layup and again when Teague was headed down court with a steal.
“You cannot go on the road in the fourth quarter down by one point and feel like the officials made bad calls or even the calls that were made in the fourth quarter affect you,” L.D. said. “A call probably didn’t go our way but at that point you cannot allow that to take you out of the game. That is just not being mentally strong. We have to play through it.”

Ray Washington

May 11th, 2011
4:49 pm

Is it just me or is the Hawks getting the short end of the stick when it comes to fouls in this series. I mean no one is talking about that at all, there has been some tough fouls giving to the hawks and the bulls are getting real cheap ones when it comes to the Hawks. Like that foul on JT last night from DR. Whats with that Ref?

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
8:20 pm

I understand that y’all think that Teague could have done this earlier, I just think you’re DEAD wrong. You’re assuming that his development would have been enhanced by playing in real games but that may not have been the case. And after seeing his uneven stretch immediately after the trade, I really don’t think that he was ready in February. Again, he received the development that he needed to reach this level of succes, I don’t understand why that isn’t sufficient.

O'Brien

May 11th, 2011
8:30 pm

I hope the Celtics can pull this game out. I would love to see it go 7 games.

AJ,

We’ll agree to disagree. Question for you. Given his play this series, do you think he has earned the starting spot for next season, or do you think he should compete with Kirk in the preseason?

IMO, I think he has earned it. And that would allow Hinrich to be our 6th man off the bench at either guard spot (because I dont think we can resign Jamal).

O'Brien

May 11th, 2011
9:30 pm

Once again, Boston does not execute down the stretch. Heat up 6 with less than a minute to go. So no Spurs, no Lakers, and no Celtics.

Congrats to Mike Bibby, on his way to the ECF. Hopefully, the Hawks can join him there.

Melvin

May 11th, 2011
9:45 pm

News that fans will be given white T-shirts for the whiteout pleased Smith. “It’s about time,” Smith said, smiling. “We’ve got to give away those T-shirts. Stop being stingy.” …

Ha,ha… Who is Josh referring to as being stingy….LOL

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
9:54 pm

OB, I think it should be an open competition between Hinrich and Teague and let the coaching staff decide. I had no issues with the way Hinroch played against the Magic. nire was correct earlier when he said that they have complementary skills. I think Teague is a better match-up against Rose, Jennings or Rondo but Hinrich is a better match-up against guys like Jameer, Billups, Deron or other bigger guards who try to bully their way to various spots on the floor. He has earned a ticket to compete for a starting job… but so did Hinrich in the first series. I generally like the idea of making guys compete for the privilege of time and starting. Teague may be more inclined to mimic Rose’s 1,000 shots/day regime from last summer if he feels like he needs to do that to continue to start for the team.

According to Hoopdata, Teague shot around 55% at the rim during the regular season. (And I know it was closer to 50% around the All-Star break). Sorry, I would not have wanted him to work on his floater for 18-20 minutes/game when he could have worked on that in practice. I also suspect that he needed an attitude adjustment that may not have happened had he been handed guaranteed playing time.

Whatever they have done that led Teague to this point, I say keep it up.

Melvin

May 11th, 2011
9:56 pm

A friend of mine who is a big Spurs fan sent the following question and observation below. I thought him I haven’t noticed it but I will look closely for it next game. Do any of you agree with his observation?

Mel, is it me or does it seem like Joe Johnson is not on board with Teague running the show?

I know what you mean, but I keyed in on him a few times and it seems like he’s a little uncomfortable with Teague’s success.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
9:59 pm

Melvin, Josh is probably mad that he has to wash-out his headband every night. Actually, I thought that some company sponsored the Dwight-Out in the previous series… surely not everyone showed up in their own white shirt.

I wonder if Westbrook is going to freeze out Durant (again) tonight. Haha.

niremetal

May 11th, 2011
10:08 pm

Melvin,

A couple of people have been saying that on the main blog and on Hawksquawk as well. As usual, the only people saying it are people who dislike JJ (whether they want to come out and say it or not). The same people who said JJ was jealous of Jamal and wasn’t passing him the ball last year, statistical evidence that JJ had more assists to Jamal last year than any other player.

No, JJ does not strike me as being the least bit uncomfortable with Teague. He passed to Teague in the fourth and throughout the game, both under pressure and not, both coming up the floor and in the half court. Unless you think that JJ going ISO is automatically a reflection that he doesn’t trust Teague (in which case you’d have to say the same about pretty much all All-Star swingmen with respect to their team’s PGs) – something which I’ll note JJ only did 3 times in the fourth last night – then I don’t know what to tell you.

niremetal

May 11th, 2011
10:09 pm

statistical evidence that JJ had more assists to Jamal last year than any other player notwithstanding.

Melvin

May 11th, 2011
10:14 pm

Nire,

In my previous post, the last two quotes were from my friend and not me. Just wanted to point that out. Again, I haven’t notice such behavior from Joe but I will look for it in the next game.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
10:16 pm

Melvin, I can’t say if Joe was mad at Teague the other night, but after scoring a very, very efficient 24 points in Game 4, he only had 10 FGAs in the first 3 quarters of Game 5. So he may have been ticked off that he wasn’t getting more touches after such a solid game two days prior. I recall another game during the regular season when Joe went off on someone and then the very next night, his teammates couldn’t find him. So I think he gets frustrated when he can’t get his touches after a very good game.

Joe seems fine with Jamal, and Teague isn’t even in the same universe as Jamal when it comes to being a chucker, oops, I mean high-volume scorer.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
10:28 pm

March 15th, Joe goes for 36 against the Bucks and only misses 6 shots on the night (13-19). The next game against Denver, he gets 2 FGAs in the 1st quarter. The very next night. 2. And yeah, the Hawks lost that game by 15. So yeah, I think Joe sometimes gets ticked off when he doesn’t get his touches, especially if he just had a really, really good game.

Astro Joe

May 11th, 2011
10:32 pm

Dang, that Scott Linebrink just brought a gas jug to the mound. Oops, wrong blog.

BirdFan in Chi

May 11th, 2011
11:17 pm

If any of you Hawks fans are in Chicago during Game 6, we’re all gathering at Kelsey’s on Lincoln Ave. Kelsey’s is the only Falcons bar in Chicago (probably the Midwest) and it’s a fun group to watch a game with. Plus, it’s better than watching solo in a bar full of Bulls fans.

kwooden

May 12th, 2011
12:49 am

Tonight is Jamal’s time to shine. He’s got to attack the double-teams and get to the free throw-line. He needs to use the screens, but not always shoot jump-shots, but attack the basket.

GO HAWKS!!

Big Ray

May 12th, 2011
1:09 am

Rod ,

The debate is valid if we’re talking about who should be playing which position for the team. If we’re talking about who should be doing what in the playoffs, my point stands – BOTH guys are having problems for completely different reasons and BOTH guys need to step it up.

Maybe you’re reading a different blog than I am. I’ve seen PLENTY of criticism for Al Horford, and have offered up quite a bit of it myself.

The idea that Josh Smith is a fringe player is downright nuts. Weren’t you one of the guys saying Josh should have made the all-star team last year or this year? Fringe players are never considered for such honors.

Hell, I thought you were talking about Marvin…

O'Brien

May 12th, 2011
7:44 am

JJ has also been very complimentary to Teague, and was even in his ear over the offseason, so I dont think he has a problem with Teague and his success. Like AJ said, I think JJ gets frustrated at the team (and maybe even the coach and his offense at times).

AJ,

In that case, one option then is to have a Teague lineup when we play certain guys (Tony Parker, Rondo etc), and let Hinrich start the other games (similar to how Twin starts some games for us).

I guess the 2 big unknowns are 1) Will Jamal be here and 2) can Teague duplicate his performance coming off the bench, because he tends to play much better playing with the starters.

vava74

May 12th, 2011
8:53 am

How does it look now the past prospect of signing Shaq for the mid-level exception or for the 8 million he reportedly wanted from us that so many advocated so strongly???

Not even for the Celtics this guy felt motivated enough to get into shape (or simply stop eating junk) and lower his weight below the 280lbs mark which probably is the weight level that his aging body would still be able to cope with.

vava74

May 12th, 2011
9:01 am

Hinrich is the perfect 3rd guard for us allowing us to playing behind Teague and JJ if and when necessary.

Also, given Marvin’s crappy game and JJ’s fairly slow game, I think Teague – Hinrich – JJ would be a very good combo on the floor.

Hinrich is proving to be a very good spot up shooter with enough handles, ability to drive enough to keep defenses honest, poise and play making skills to complement Teague’s game under development.

By the way, due to having too much to do, I only watched the first half of game 5 but in general I think that possessions initiated by Teague as a playmaker had a much higher conversion percentage than the ones started by Jamal and JJ who, against tight defenses, should be working off the ball to get free.

Also from the first half, I think JJ can only blame himself: he showed very little spunk and willingness to run away from Bogans and get free to catch and shoot.

doc

May 12th, 2011
9:29 am

vava, to go along with that, jj really has to dedicate himself to better conditioning so he can run more around screens. with the ball, he really doesnt have to work as hard and with woody ball got lazy. he has been tremendously effective moving without the ball to get to spots and receive and shoot this year when he has done it. look how effective he was two games ago. he is a lot like josh in that he sometimes doesnt really want to do what might be best for the team and continues to hide in his own denial of what and who he is and how best to get it done. for example, wade and allen and pierce are fierce in the way they approach this part of the game. he is not. uncle larry’s offense required movement of bodies and not just the ball. we have all seen how effective it is when the bodies move at the same rate as the ball does. the lead dog needs to set the example if he wants to kead by example. then josh has no excuses when it is asked of him to crash the boards with a moving body as it should be designed. some of this is ld not being emphatic enough to make this suggestion over and over again as he has done with the notion we are effective when we move the ball. he needs to add and bodies, too.

with both hinrich and now teague around it might be harder for these guts to stand. hinrich brought that hustle with him. the bibby/woody offense mandated a mentality of waiting for the iso to work, hence no movement of bodies, it also induced spot up shooters. it is what it is and it will have to continue to transition until they ALL get it.

i really thought that was going to be the downfall of this team this year in not being able to get them to move after the woody years; the bad habits would take a long time to overcome. so with that idea this team has really exceeded my expectations and i am proud of them. however, there is more to learn and do and maybe the cast will have to change. first, finish the season either in this round, probably, or the next, then to a new cba and finally then a new season to find out. in between time a lot of time for canniblogging.

Sautee

May 12th, 2011
2:12 pm

doc,

Good call on JJ not moving enough. You and I have talked about this before. Even in LD’s offense, when Joe makes a cut, he seems to just float, and not cut HARD. I think if he made his cuts as hard as Kirk, he’d have two or three more layups per game. He might even (gasp) have a dunk or two.