Hawks Fans: Game 6 and Teague’s ascension

Tonight’s game in Atlanta should be a good one as the Atlanta Hawks look to stave off a third straight 2nd round playoff elimination. Atlanta will have the fans on their side this time (at least for the most part) and that is never a bad thing.

What’s great about this series is the fact that the Hawks are showing that they can win, that they are good enough. What they have a chance to show tonight is that they will do what they’re capable of. They need another performance like game 4, only better. Every player has to play his role to the hilt to beat this Chicago team. Atlanta is capable, and they know it. They also know what makes them lose games, and Chicago knows it too. That is the part that gives Hawks fans the most hope and the most consternation at the same time – the fact that this team really does have what it takes to win the series. They just have to execute.

The Plans of Attack

- We already know that Joe and Jamal need to have good games for the Hawks to have a chance at winning game 6. The Bulls know this as well, and will look to force the issue by harassing both guys, and settling for one of them having a bad game. It worked in fine fashion for Chicago in game 5, as we saw. The Bulls have a chance at closing out this series if they can keep one of the Hawks’ two dynamic scoring guards from doing what they do best.

What do YOU think? Can the Hawks win on the strength of good performances by Joe and Jamal?  

- Another ploy involves frustrating Al Horford and trying to temper his aggression by staying all over him and making him uncomfortable. Horford has to know this is what’s going on, and he combated that fairly well in game 4. However, game 5 yielded similar results to his other games. Horford did not make as many plays (3 assists) as he did mistakes (4 turnovers) and stayed off balance with 5 personal fouls. Let’s keep this nice and simple. Horford needs to score in the teens to help his team, and keep his rebounds at the level they are at. A handful of assists always helps, but being a scoring promise (as opposed to just being a threat) helps more. What’s the difference between a promise and a threat? A threat is a guy that is defended and stays defended/contained. A promise is a guy who scores and forces the defense to react to him, which gives him a chance to make plays with the ball as well.

What do YOU think? Have a different idea on how Horford can best help the Hawks win?

- The final strategy isn’t an active strategy, it’s a passive one. The Bulls really have no particular answer for Josh Smith, as they saw in game 4. They have trouble defending him in transition, and anybody who draws the assignment of guarding him in the post is either too slow or not strong enough, and nobody can match his athletic ability. Even if he doesn’t always cash in at the free throw line, fouls are fouls and can limit a key player’s minutes at the worst of times. So How does Chicago defend Smith? The only truly effective way is to push him out to the perimeter, or lay off of him when he wanders out there on his own. Josh around the arc isn’t nearly as deadly as Josh near the basket. His athletic ability (translation: quickest and highest leaper on the court) is null and void 18 or 20 feet from the basket where anyone weighing more than 100 pounds will also be able to box him out from rebounds.

The simple fact is this – if Noah can more or less nullify Horford, and the Chicago defense can contain Johnson and Crawford (or just one of them), it just about all falls to Josh Smith. If he plays into Chicago’s hands, it could very well be over.

What do YOU think? Is Josh Smith the key to a Hawks victory in game 6 (or the series overall), or will somebody else step up?

SIDE NOTE: Do not underestimate the importance of the “first strike” concept. Both teams know that they stand a better chance of winning if they strike first, and strike hardest. Chicago learned the hard way that Atlanta has enough scoring firepower to ride a lead and make you work from behind, then blistering you with jumpers in the 4th quarter (provided they are falling). The Bulls know they can’t win that way, as they don’t have enough offensive firepower to make more than one or two strong offensive runs, so they take a different path, one which suits them best. They’ll look to gain a first quarter lead as well, then use their defense to keep their heads above water and ride the game out. In games 1 and 4, the Hawks strategy prevailed. In games 2,  3, and especially 5, the Bulls strategy won out. Game 6 may very well be about which team is able to execute their base strategy the best.

The Jeff Teague Argument

It seems we just can’t enjoy the emergence of our 2nd year point guard without arguing about how it all happened. But hey, this is a blog, so why not? Here are some thoughts and questions related to the latest jousting match:

1) How much credit does coaching get here? Some of the comments all year long were entirely not in Larry Drew’s favor. He’s been hammered for everything from who he plays, his substitution patterns, and his ability to hold players accountable for their actions. The problem with crediting Drew or anybody else with Teague’s “sudden” emergence is that if coaching is all it took to mold him into the player he is now, then what took so long? If Teague wasn’t ready to shoulder more responsibility, as many said he wasn’t during the season, then wasn’t that a coaching problem? It can’t be had both ways. If coaching is the answer, then coaching was also the problem. It’s either that, or you have to also give credit to Teague himself for receiving the coaching that he was given, and doing the right things with that instruction.

2) Would we get to see this from Jeff Teague if Kirk Hinrich was healthy enough to play against Chicago? Now there is an uncomfortable thought, probably moreso for some than for others. Hinrich was named the starter and Teague barely sniffed the floor against Orlando. Matchups could have something to do with it, but something tells me that Teague would have received similar treatment against Chicago if Hinrich was healthy. In this series, we are seeing two things that were often used as arguing points during the regular season – not only are we winning with Teague, we’re NOT LOSING because of him. I’d need a calculator to add up the number of times that people said we should not sacrifice wins for a single player’s development.

3) What does Teague’s current production prove? I would say that it proves that Teague maybe should have gotten more playing time during the regular season. Not for the sake of “development”, but for the sake of experience. Him playing more in some games may have meant more wins. Then again, maybe not. But at this point, can’t it be a hindsight possibility if nothing else? It may also have meant more confidence for Larry Drew, who has been limited at times when it comes to lineups. If Teague had played more, he would have more experience in dealing with different point guard types (strong vs. fast, physical vs. finesse, etc).

It also proves that Teague can play against arguably the best point guard in the League. Can he consistently beat him one-on-one? No. Rose is the best, and his MVP trophy shows that. But Teague can score on him and bother him on the other end. You can’t hope for more than that. On the other hand, this is also a sobering thought. Who else can Teague play well against? We don’t know. What happens when he is matched up against a different type of player? We don’t know. What we do know now, is that Jeff can truly compete for and earn the job as starting point guard. And knowing this, if he earns it (and there’s little reason to think he can’t or won’t), then there should be no question of his status, regardless of different matchups from night to night. No such thing as a part-time starter. Either you’re a starter, or you’re a bench guy who sometimes starts, as necessary. There should be no limbo next season, the Hawks have suffered through this long enough.

Have a different thought? Feel like it doesn’t matter how Teague got where he is, so long as he’s here now? More worried about some other element of the team’s performance? Sound off!

By the way, if you want to see a truly excellent (and revealing) article on the Larry Drew/Jeff Teague subject, then check this out.  The AJC’s Michael Cunningham is The Man….

Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

140 comments Add your comment

Rusty

May 12th, 2011
1:36 am

JT is on the way up & kh is on the way down. Jt has more speed & natural ability than kh has ever had. Only ld would deny this. Jt a fast penetrating good defensive player is what the hawks have desperitely have needed for a long time, we need to take the ball out of the hands of iso players

Hawk Str8Talk

May 12th, 2011
2:03 am

This whole earning the position thing was bogus from the beginning. There are times when you say – I’m going to start the guy with the highest ceiling in anticipation of what he can do with the experience. This was one of those times..LD should have been smart enough to say – if we REALLY want to win come postseason – I’ve got to get Jeff Teague time and the upside is that he plays defense better than any perimeter player on my team, so if the offense sucks – I have that to fall back on with this kid. Who knows if he’d be BETTER than he’s been this series if he had time running the team? That’s why I repeat – he is the starting point guard now and in the future OR I’m going to go down to the Centennial Tower (ASG’s office building) and shut that mug down. I don’t care what they think about Hinrich – he’s not going to be better, so you might as well prepare to trade Hinrich for an asset that we can use. Hinrich was better than John Wall to start the season, but the Wizards aren’t stupid enough to retard Wall’s growth by starting Hinrich…

Miles D

May 12th, 2011
2:47 am

Right on the head Rusty!!! Hopefully with the emergence of Teague LD will challenge himself to become more creative with our offensive sets and attack different areas on the court via using SOUND personel decisions with size matchup etc! He needs to NEVER let JC play point and let him STRICTLY come in for JJ or if he decides to play them at the same time, move JJ to SF, which I believe he is more now because teams he does better in the post and can rebound! JC does alot better in space than JJ! And we’d do alot better if we started playing inside out thru our bigs and not our guards while using some double back door screens to keep the defense off balance more!

Ed

May 12th, 2011
2:54 am

Ray you’re like a fine winel…you just keep getting better with age. Teague is making LD a better coach and it is a shame he wasn’t given serious minutes during the regular season. If the Hawks do win this series and Hinrich is able to play against the Heat, it is crucial that LD makes Teague aware that he is his man. JT is playing with so much confidence and any missteps by Drew could shatter it.

bjrufino

May 12th, 2011
3:38 am

Buddy Grizzard

May 12th, 2011
7:14 am

“What do YOU think? Can the Hawks win on the strength of good performances by Joe and Jamal?”

Well, it certainly wouldn’t hurt if they showed up. But I think Las Vegas Larry should play Zaza more. He has the highest +/- of any Hawk in the series. He sat the 4th quarter of Game 5 while JC1 played the entire quarter and contributed nothing.

I’d also like to see Damien get some minutes guarding Deng. CHI has limited offensive options and if you slow down their second leading scorer it might change the game.

E43

May 12th, 2011
7:15 am

I’m not going to comment on the Jeff Teague issue… Not now at least. My focus is on game 6. I’m not worried about the regulars. I just think that Powell and Damien can have plays drawn that can get this team a few points while some guys go through coaching sessions on the bench. Now more than ever the hawks just might have to send absolutely everything they’ve got at the bulls. The bulls can put most of our players under the microscope but not all of them. Hopefully LD can draw one or two successful plays for our reserves to get the edge of the game.

Hawks in 7… Go hawks…

Willie Coyote

May 12th, 2011
7:39 am

This is the best PG play we’ve had in two years. When others weren’t hitting shots, Jeff tries to score to make up the difference. When someone is going well, he gets them the ball early. He made an excellent pass to Zaza (who has been huge for us in these playoffs) on a pick & roll where Zaza dove to the basket and Teague left the pass for him & he dunked it, IN TRAFFIC. If he can set Zaza up for a poster opportunity…I’m just sayin’.

I’d like to see a little more pick-n-roll with him and Josh/Al so they can finish at the rim, Too bad both of those guys tend to favor the pick-n-pop (which is still a good shot for Al).

Josh, stay on the block. You’re dunking on these guys at will. Keep it up because that is one of our best scoring opportunities and it will get their bigs in foul trouble & leave Rose with no options for producing points but himself.

We need Rose having to beat us by himself. Dwight couldn’t do it and neither can he.

Big Ray

May 12th, 2011
8:07 am

Rusty ,

I think Hinrich was a ‘tweener guard who was always able to hold his own at two different guard positions. As such, I would not compare his natural ability to Teague’s, especially if both were in their prime. Remember, Hinrich came into the League after leaving college as the nation’s top guard. He was also drafted a good bit higher. I would never ask Teague to play both guard spots, and I can tell you right now that his jumper isn’t what Hinrich’s ever was.

Having said that, you’re absolutely right – Hinrich is on his way down, Teague on his way up. What Hinrich gives us is pretty dang good pinch hitter. He can start if you need him to. At either position. But he’s also just fine and dandy coming off the bench. Best of all, he provides an excellent work ethic example for a young pg. Bibby never was that for us….

Willie Coyote ,

Good points. I hope Josh listens to you. Teague never struck me as selfish, and that’s something when you consider that he played for a college team that needed him to score more than anything else.

BirdFan in Chi

May 12th, 2011
8:16 am

If there’s any ATL fans living/visiting Chicago today, you gotta join us at Kelsey’s on Lincoln Avenue. That’s the Falcons bar in Chicago, and it’s a fun group of ATLiens to watch with!

Big Ray

May 12th, 2011
8:18 am

E43 ,

I’ve become very much disenchanged with Powell. Not to mention, he will get outworked and outmuscled easily by the Bulls. Damien is another story. Aside from a missed dunk, I know he can provide a bit of scoring punch (not a go-to guy, though) and some very tough defense and physical play. If I’m putting a bench big in the game, it’s Etan, not Powell.

But that’s just me.

HawksStr8talk ,

You make some solid points about Teague, but let’s consider a few things.

1) I truly think LD fell victim to the fatal attraction thing – he’s a sucker for experience and a good-looking jumper. To this day I’m TOTALLY convinced that if Teague had a more reliable jumper (and a better-looking one), he would have played more. Seriously. And it doesn’t help when your one shot (the floater) gets blocked about half the time you try it.

2) I think the whole Kirk Hinrich issue keeps getting blown out of proportion, and comparing what happened with Hinrich in Chicago or Washington with his situation here is ridiculous. Let me start by saying firs that both aforementioned teams drafted not only the best point guards in the draft, they both drafted the NUMBER ONE GUY in the draft. So OF COURSE you’re not going to start Hinrich over them. Teague was the SEVENTH point guard taken in his draft. I really hate that comparison.

Hinrich gets ridden hard for who he isn’t, and people don’t seem to recognize him for who he is. Just ask John Wall how much he learned from Hinrich. He’ll tell you. At least now LD knows what Teague can do, and so does everybody else. I agree, there are no excuses now, and returning Hinrich to the starting lineup for anything short of an injury or mental breakdown for Teague is madness.

Big Ray

May 12th, 2011
8:19 am

Ed ,

I sure appreciate the kudos, man. Now if only I can convince my wife of this “aging like a fine wine” thing whenever I get into my 40s or 50s. Something tells me I’ll get a sardonic reply…

IceColdATlien

May 12th, 2011
8:20 am

Big Ray, hasn’t the Teague issue already worked itself out? I’m more confused by the contradiction between Drew whining about our slow starts (a timeout 46 seconds into a home playoff game?) but refusing to start Zaza because of the energy he brings off the bench.

Can’t we just about guarantee a spirited, energetic start by the Hawks simply by starting Zaza? We keep the size of the “Big” lineup while also addressing the lethargic starts that have become far too common with this squad.

IceColdATlien

May 12th, 2011
8:21 am

Plus I’d love to see Zaza and Boozer throw down so Carlos is exposed for the wannabe-bully is really is!!!

O'Brien

May 12th, 2011
8:39 am

Teague was inconsistent, and passive at times. But I find it hard to believe that a passive and inconsistent Jeff Teague would have been a whole lot less effective than a struggling, aging, missing shots Mike Bibby (and even Jamal struggled at backup PG).

And didnt most of our double digit losses happen with Bibby? I’m not blaming Mike, but my point is PG play was not the sole reason we won or lost those games. And when the team was struggling coming out of the gate, and LD would talk for days about changing the lineup, it never crossed his mind to try Jeff with the starters?

I just hate the fact that we gave up 2 first round picks, and picked up an additional $2 mil in salary because we didnt know what Teague’s capabilities were.

wordsmithtom

May 12th, 2011
8:43 am

Big Ray,
Echo your 8:07 am post!

So, why no Zaza in Q4 after being leading scorer in 1st and Josh/Al nursing foul trouble? SMH

Teague: I said before the series “Boys to Men” Well, JT manned up! Props to young man. And for the character he’s shown, not publicly complaining about his situation. Good leadership skills.

O'Brien

May 12th, 2011
8:43 am

As for tonight’s game, Josh’s shot selection is key. Why? There have been numerous occasions when a bad shot by Josh leads to a fast break by the Bulls, which leads to easy points for them, or one of our guys picking up fouls. And if Josh is in the post, that gives our guards another pass option.

However, Al needs to show up too. This would be a good time for Al to have a 15 pts, 15 rebs game, because the Bulls will put a lot of defensive pressure on Jamal and JJ.

wordsmithtom

May 12th, 2011
8:44 am

Big Ray,
Is that champaign or Champipple? Red Foxx!

Rusty

May 12th, 2011
9:11 am

I have no mind to ever really forgive ld for his stubborn dumb decisions on jt & jc2. My real problem is how to get the job he lied & stuck a knife in woody’s back & really did nothing to change things. He doesn’t really control the players,make horrible decisions & the team without jt shows the same iso offense that they ran under woody.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
9:15 am

It would be nice if someone other than the usual finishers in this series (Al, Josh, Joe, Jamal and Jeff) steps up and gives us 18-20 minutes of very good production. I’d really like to see that come from #24, but I’ll take it from whomever. While I do believe that the fans can provide some energy to the team at the end, I would really like for the bench to play well enough that LD doesn’t have to play all of his finishers for the entire 4th quarter. Too bad we don’t have a 3rd PG to give these guys a blow… but I’m sure Pape Sy will be well worth the roster spot.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
9:26 am

HawksStr8talk, and the Wizards’ record this season was? Hard to compare the development plan of the #1 pick in the draft to someone chosen outside of the top 15. I mean seriously, should the team with the #18 pick in the June draft “guarantee” that player time despite of who is playing in front of him (or inspite of how ready he is to actually contribute)? I don’t think non-lottery picks get that kind of guarantee… heck, Evan Turner didn’t get that and he was a top 3 pick.

mutumbo

May 12th, 2011
9:33 am

We should have played Teague more last year. If we had, we might still have our first rounder and JC2. I love to think of next year with Teague running the show and Hinrich backing him up, should be fun, love Hinrich as a bench player. It sucks about Marvin, to have regressed as much as he has since that contract year. I know we could use the Marvin of old, 2 years ago, where the hell did he go? Joe, time to step it up, get the damn ball out of your hands sometimes. I LOVE your floater in the lane, but man, sometimes you and Jamal stagnate everything with the ISO. Please have Al be more agressive against Noah, drive the ball and get him into foul trouble.

NagoyaHawk

May 12th, 2011
9:39 am

“Jeff Teague argument: How much credit does coaching get here?”

Give me a break. I watched enough games this year with Teague to see him get pulled cause of a lousy mistake. Even saw him get benched after many great games. DNPs. The interviews with LD etc etc. LD was clueless when it came to Teague. Why else trade for another point guard, or whatever Kirk is. LD should man up and admit he should’ve played Teague sooner. If it weren’t for the injury, the guy would be riding the bench watching Marvin slip, JC turnover the ball, etc.

NagoyaHawk

May 12th, 2011
9:49 am

“What do YOU think? Is Josh Smith the key to a Hawks victory in game 6 (or the series overall), or will somebody else step up?”

Yes, the Atlanta Hawks have always been Josh’s team. The Hawks go as #5 goes. Too bad the guy is clueless, just like LD but in a different way. Don’t get me wrong, I love Josh Smith. He is the reason I wanted to watch the Hawks when they were winning only 13 games a year. I also wondered back then, as I still do now, why the Hawks aren’t a better team. With their lackadaisical play, the Hawks are considered weak on talent by much of the league and most of the fans. Yes, energy is talent if you ask me.

Raw talent though is just potential energy. It’s energy not in motion. It needs to be kick-started & once it is you call it kinetic energy. Most of the league and nearly all of the fans look at talent as kinetic energy. If it isn’t in motion, it isn’t there. That explains about half of the Hawks games and that also explains about half the play of #5. The one hope, and it is my one and only hope when it comes to Josh Smith, is that he is just too young to know better. And now that he’s turning 26 this year, life begins to count. Have you guys every heard that whatever happens before you’re 25 doesn’t matter? That’s kind of how we think till we’re 25. Then strange things start to happen and life does start to matter. Our talents begin to wane and #5 is gonna be 26 in December. I look for him to start using his head more to control his heart & then look out. The one hope I have is that game 4 did it. Maybe kinetic energy kicked in and we’ll win this game tonight, go to Chicago and kick red bull, and silence everybody. My hope, my dream.

niremetal

May 12th, 2011
9:50 am

Wow Rusty, tell us how you really feel.

NagoyaHawk

May 12th, 2011
9:52 am

Anyway, I love your write-ups. I wish we had more articles covering the Hawks, cause when I google us I keep getting Chicago articles. Thanks for your hard work BigRay.

clancy

May 12th, 2011
10:00 am

Big Ray, thanks for separating support for JT from criticism of Kirk. I’ve always thought JT at a minimum should get the backup PG minutes (for the team, but also deserved), and would have liked to see some more minutes of the two on the court together. But what Kirk has and can contribute to the team too often gets totally lost in the whole JT thing. I seriously detest that this has been turned into a PG vs. PG issue when both of them have been major contributors in the playoffs. They are different players with different strengths who can fill different roles on the team.

I think a lot of people here were so busy being angry that JT wasn’t getting PT (something Kirk does not control – nor did he have any say about being here in the first place) that they haven’t been objective about Kirk – he’s just the guy in the way to them. It’s possible – or it should be – to love JT and still appreciate what Kirk has contributed.

O'Brien

May 12th, 2011
10:16 am

AJ,

It would be awesome if Marvin can knock down a couple early shots, or even grab a couple key rebounds. But after 5 games, I have given up on him (although on the flip side, maybe he is due for a breakout).

And I agree about fatigue. In the last game, 4 of the 5 starters played 39 minutes and up, and with games being every other day, they must be tired.

From the previous blog;

JJ has 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).

Rusty

May 12th, 2011
10:23 am

I have nothing against kh. I just feel that in this league you need a fast dynamic pg who is capable of breaking down defenses, I don’t believe at this time in his career kh is capable of doing this.I also feel that his defensive play is on the same level as jt. His jumpshot might be a little better but this is not what this team really needs.

Rusty

May 12th, 2011
10:23 am

Defense is not on the level of jt’s

Rusty

May 12th, 2011
10:32 am

I might notnbe crazy at jj’s iso style of play because I don’t think we can win anything with that style. Nothing against Joe ,he just not that great, but he has to justify that huge salery which puts more pressure on him than he can handle.

Melvin

May 12th, 2011
10:43 am

Great stuff again Big Ray.

I think in order for the Hawks to win this series, they are going to need high scoring from Jamal/Joe (40-45pts) with Josh/Al doing some dirty work (rebs/box outs) in the paint and Teague/ZaZa adding timely baskets and Collins clogging the paint for 10-15 mins.

As for Teague, I think MC written a great blog covering his surge. However, one thing I didn’t see in MC article as a possible contributing factor was coaching. This was one of the things mention in our own debates as a factor to Teague current play. I think LD is just as stubborn when it comes to the Teague playing time subject as Josh is when it comes to taking jumpers. Neither guy wants to admit that they could be wrong with their approach to those areas.

vava74

May 12th, 2011
11:21 am

IMO, I think Thibs already made the adjustment which will win the series for CHI, maybe even tonight:

Limit Korver’s minutes and use Brewer’s hustle instead.

Hustle has been the #1 factor ON ALL WINS in this series and CHI was not getting hustle nor made shots out of Korver (minus 1 game), so Thibs is going with the hustle which Brewer brings.

Conversely, LD failed to understand that same concept and kept on the floor Jamal for far too long in game 5 when he was neither producing on offense, nor bringing any hustle (which I hardly does even on his good nights).

SO:

If Jamal is struggling, IMO it is vital that LD brings “our Brewer” into play and gives some minutes to Damien.

He rebounds, steals, runs, shows his hands and tries his best all the time and in the playoffs that is very important, in particular against a Thibs team and when we are not getting it done with our finesse game.

Whoever brings more hustle tonight, wins the game.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
11:25 am

Melvin, I thought that MC’s article said pretty clearly that LD was holding him to a high standard before granting him a starting role. I think that is part of coaching, saying that in order to get A you have to give me B. Surely you saw him struggle to finish around the rim earlier this season…. how did he get beter with his floaters and shots in the paint? You all watched this kid play, are y’all saying that you can;t see a difference between now and then?

jlewis

May 12th, 2011
11:37 am

Big Ray:

Question for you. I will begin by saying I think LD is not that great an offensive coach. Question is, do you think LD’s offensive philosophy is not right for the team? It seems he gave Josh more offensive freedom and JJ and Jamal less. Everyone thinks ball movement is the key to winning games, it can be if you have 3 great offensive players, which the Hawks do not. Teams know all the plays, heart and hustle and getting your best offensive player open is what wins, I just think LD’s offensive is terrible for this team. I hate to agree with Barkley, but this team should have an offense like the suns or knicks.

doc

May 12th, 2011
11:40 am

aging as a fine wine or not is not what it is made out to be big ray.

good stuff guy.

i said enough about this on the other blog and didnt see this until late this am but i hope LD can come out and say he missed a few things as a rookie coach and handling teague was one of them. there are two ways to beat out a guy, i practice which is fine but unrealistic on a team like the “good guy” hawks or by giving a guy enough rope so all can see the promise and then letting him have the keys to the car.

clancy

May 12th, 2011
11:45 am

I agree, Astro Joe. JT doing what he is now does not mean he could have done the same earlier in the season. I have no issue with LD not handing him the starting job, and it’s impossible to know if his development would have been the same. Could have been better, could have been worse, we just can’t know. I don’t mind coaches making a young kid earn a prominent role on the team, especially a team that is contending now vs. rebuilding.

I still would have played JT all the backup minutes at PG – to my mind he had clearly earned that role over Jamal. But at this point, I’m ready to put it behind me. JT has a long career in front of him, and the Hawks have been successful in the playoffs with how the PG stuff played out. Fans are too quick to hold a grudge over the past.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
11:54 am

doc, the key to your last post… “so all can see”. I think that remains the primary objection,… that all did not see. I honestly believe that if Pape Sy could be developed to contribute by game 40 next season and Rolle the same (by gmae 25), but would were developed in full view while the others behind the scene, bloggers would object to the behind the scenes method.

No one wants to acknowledge the glaring weaknesses from earlier this season…. we just want to act like with more playing time, his offensive ineffectiveness would have magically disappeared, that having his shots swatted at the rim would not have further hurt his confidence nor demoralized the team. We seem to want to believe that a player is faultless in his duties to prepare and execute (despite examples on this very team to the contrary). I honestly believe that some feel robbed of watching his development, of enjoying a compelling storyline develop over the course of an otherwise disappointing regular season. No one wants to acknowledge that maybe, this was the right path.

vava74

May 12th, 2011
12:02 pm

jlewis,

This team won in the playoffs playing smart and stingy D, copped with some substantial shooting from Jamal and JJ.

Free wheeling offense like the Knicks and the Suns past offense won’t take you far.

The Suns’ success was only possible because they had an MVP point guard playing lights out and a roster which had JJ (our first option) as the 4th or 5th option on offense.

It’s a shame that they ran into a very very good Spurs team who benefited from a very very dirty, but effective, player like Bowen.

Rufus1

May 12th, 2011
12:05 pm

LD IS EMBARRASSED AND HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

BIBBY WAS STARTING OVER TEAGUE, YOU CAN’T JUSTIFY THAT AND THE TRADE FOR JC2.

He promisewd to develop Teague in order to get the job and turned into a “PUMPKIN LIAR” at midnight.

The only reason Teague is playing because he had NO CHOICE!!!… That is great coaching to have your best playoff performer has been riding the bench all season.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
12:30 pm

Rufus1, why is he playing well now? Are you saying that he played this well in short stints earlier this year?

Rufus1

May 12th, 2011
12:40 pm

Astro-

Yes, I am. If you put together a montage of the Games he played 20min a night, I would say 80% were played this well.

Even if he wasn’t, Bibby was terrible 80% of the time and Jamal could’t guard anyone.

doc

May 12th, 2011
1:03 pm

astro the problem with you rpath idea? it took devine intervention to get him the play time he needed and maybe deserved, didnt it? hinrich injury is what has maybe changed the course of the series and maybe the franchise. otherwise the powers that be would have sat there and not changed the critique is my guess the last week. it is certainly as good a guess as to the theory of yours he wasnt ready. no one will know as he really never got a role and that is the issue. why not?

O'Brien

May 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

AJ,

If Teague played like this earlier in the season, he would have earned the starting spot a long time ago.

Based on MC’s blog and Teague’s comments, he played better when he knew he was getting steady minutes, although that doesnt make it right.

His biggest issues (imo) was playng well off the bench, in 5-7 minute stints. ZaZa has the same issue too..playing much better when he gets extended minutes. And in those 5 minute stints, LD would pull Teague very quickly after making a mistake. I think that affected his confidence too.

When he started games for us, although he didnt look this good, he still looked decent enough (imo) to deserve steady PT.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
1:23 pm

He never had this level of offensive consistency. And I don;t know how a guy gains confidence when he conmstantly gets his shot blokcked. When you dissect where he was weak before and where he has improved, I simply can’t see how PT would have been enough.

doc, it may have taken to next season to see this. That’s true. But I also think LD would have thrown the kitchen sink at Rose and that would have meant time for Teague.

Rufus1, all I remember was less than 40% shooting in the 4-5 games after the Bibby trade… and a ton of swatted lay-up attempts. An sporadic levels of aggression. That’s what I recalled from his short stints.

Astro Joe

May 12th, 2011
1:32 pm

I’ll add this as well (for all of you with short memories). Haven’t the Hawks looked much better in the post-season? Other than Game 3, haven’t they mostly played with a goodly amount of energy and effort? Haven’t we thought during these series “wow, they look much better than I expected”. Not individually but as a collective unit? Any chance whatsoever that the same waning effort that plagued this team in the regular season also plagued young Teague? Is it possible that the same “wake-up call” that has propelled this team to unprecedented success has also aided young Teague and his focus? Use you poor memeories and think about the Magic series that mostly didn’t include Teague… the Hawks appear to be a “different creature” in the playoffs.

IceColdATlien

May 12th, 2011
2:01 pm

Who cares about the “who-said-what-when-about-Teague” when it’s settled? The dude is straight baller and he’ll challenge Kirk for the starting position next year like he should have Bibby this year. On to more important conundrums:

Why wouldn’t Drew start Zaza tonight? He’s always complaining (rightfully so… i mean, a timeout 46 seconds into a home playoff game?) that the team starts out slow and lethargic too often. However, Drew says he likes the energy Za brings off the bench. How about we bring that energy into the game immediately by starting Zaza? Especially in a do-or-die game, it’s time for Larry to make one more series-winning adjustment…

START ZAZA TONIGHT!!!!

doc

May 12th, 2011
2:31 pm

aj it is fortuitous we dont have to wait and the gods of basketball maybe shined down on us in this case, or not. heh heh debate will continue.

i think he will be a better player with this exposure and would have been sooner. can you imagine another summer of doubt about him for him and the fans as well as the askg? puhlease.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

May 12th, 2011
2:42 pm

“I’ve become very much disenchanged with Powell.”

Disenchange you can believe in?

Dang, that g is just too close to that t, eh Big Ray? Maybe you need smaller fingers.

IceColdATlien

May 12th, 2011
2:49 pm

@Dept…

Typical of bureaucratic humor… dry, boring, and plain unfunny