Hawks Fans: Internal improvement suggestions

It’s that time of year again, as if you needed to be told. Offseason doldrums. Well, if you’re a Hawks fan, that is. With the Conference Finals yet to be finished, and therefore the NBA Finals yet to begin, the draft is ordinarily the next topic of conversation. However, there doesn’t seem like much use in talking draft prospects since the Hawks don’t have a first round pick. They do have a second round pick, but unless it’s a very deep draft or Sund and his team are hot on the trail of some talented foreign prospect that nobody else knows about (think Pape Sy, part II), then there’s probably very little that’s noteworthy in the way of change to the team.

What about free agency and trade? With the CBA gumming things up, and constant investment/sale chatter in connection with the team and Phillips Arena, there is no telling what can be expected. Rick Sund’s administration keeps things close to the vest, so there would probably be few rumors to speculate on anyway. And again…the CBA looms large. What does all of this mean? It may not be wise to expect the Hawks to make any major changes to the team. Maybe not even some that would seriously change the core, something that the Hawks don’t seem inclined to do, as it is. There’s nothing left but internal improvement. So, at the suggestion of our very own Astro Joe, I ask YOU -  

Which Hawks players can help this team become more than it was this season, and how should they go about it? Just to get this party started, here are a few thoughts of my own:

Larry Drew

There is no substitute for experience in the big seat (also known as the hot seat). However, Drew is still up against a wall. Many are calling for a championship caliber head coach, and while Drew had the Hawks playing competitively and much better in the playoffs, but he wasn’t able to get the team past a third straight second round playoff exit. Many think that a better head coach could or will solve all the problems with player performance on the court. Drew is likely to be staying employed (much to the chagrin of some), so his best bet is to accomplish some of the things that people say he can’t do. First, he could stand to learn how to let his players play through early foul trouble. Drew’s tendency to snatch a guy like Al Horford out if he gets two fouls in the first half is a momentum robbing move, and often affects the player’s ability to get going. Second, he needs to figure out a firm rotation that works, and redefine some roles. Gee, where have we heard THAT before? Third, if all the guys who are here now, remain here, then Drew needs to find a better way of coaxing the best out of them. That might mean tweaks to his offense, which we still are unable to identify clearly.

Al Horford

Simply put, Horford needs to get back to his roots. Even if he ends up playing more power forward than center for the remainder of his career, there is no reason not to play tough. Horford spent the first three years of his career as an ever present double double threat and a guy who most frontcourts preferred to not have to deal with. Horford had a rough postseason performance and while he did average a double double (a fact that seems to continuously elude some of us), he didn’t look like the guy who had just established a career high in field goal percentage and points per game during the regular season. Al needs to spend some offseason time with somebody who can help him with his back-to-the-basket game. That, and maybe he should start eating boiled leather for breakfast. Tough is where it’s at.

Jeff Teague

The playoff series against Chicago made Jeff Teague look like the legitimate starting point guard prospect that we had hoped he would become. While he may not have the job in the bag for certain, his chances are better than good. The first thing Teague needs to do is maintain a professional work ethic and attitude. One thing bothered me about his reason for playing well, and that’s this snippet from AJC Beat writer Michael Cunningham, which I think a lot of people may have missed, or maybe misunderstood:

To Teague, the difference has not just been playing more; it’s knowing the Hawks need him to play more.

“I would say that’s the difference,” he said. “During the season I didn’t know if I was going to play one game and if I was going to sit the next. Now, knowing that I’m going to get an opportunity to go in every game, I just try to focus and give a good effort.”

Ok, now that seems like an easy “like shooting fish in a barrel” shot at Larry Drew, doesn’t it? And we can go on and on about how much Drew should or shouldn’t have played Teague during the regular season. But the point here is that Teague can’t come into camp with this attitude.  If he does, then he doesn’t need to be the starting point guard. A professional player needs to go at it hard and heavy regardless of how much he can “expect” to play. I understand what the young man is saying and why, but if you’re not always mentally prepared to play….then how are you ever going to be ready to play? Thankfully, Teague was ready to go against Chicago. But now, he needs to bring that verve every night if he wants to run this team. He needs to come to camp READY to play, not EXPECTING to play.

Oh yeah…and he needs to work with a shooting coach. Give that young man a better jumper and we’ll be looking at a very potent player who might be the best point guard this team has seen since Mookie Blaylock.

So there you have a few suggestions of my own. YOUR turn!

 

Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

203 comments Add your comment

joey1

May 24th, 2011
3:28 pm

trading josh would be plain stupid…. we lose almost our whole defense… we need to trade marvin williams and horford for andrew bogut …then sign thad..young(formet gt player) for the small forward posititon..and sign a few hard nosed defenders and shooter to come off the bench…

imagaine.. teague,johnson, young, smith,bogut
bench – kirk,sign player,wilkins,sign player,zaza

Ken Strickland

May 24th, 2011
3:30 pm

So many of you are using any excuse possible to satisfy personal issues towards certain Hawk players, and some of your suggestions are downright rediculous. You seem to have traditis on the brain, as though that’s absolutely the only possible way for this or any other team to improve.

What this team needs more is for HC LDrew to step up and be more proactive and involved in the development and growth of our young players. He needs to do more than make excuses for preferring under performing vet players who are definite liabilities in certain areas, rather than making a committment to playing and developing talented younger players with more potential for long term success.

Rather than taking a passive approach to getting players to get with the program and not be disruptive, he should take a more active approach and bench anyone that deviates from what’s expected. With this approach, which worked wonders in Chicago, it wouldn’t take long to get his message across.

Some of you are dead set on blaming a player(s) for everything that’s wrong with the Hawks. Some of you believe AHorford is too soft, or too short to play the center position, or has regressed. How in the hell can anyone with a clue believe he’s regressed when this yr he was selected to his 2nd consecutive All Star gm and selected 3rd string All NBA, which makes him the NBA’s #3 top rated center.

Hell, I’ll take that kind of softness and regression any damned day of the week. Also, why does AHorford have to develop this unstoppable postup gm when he’s one of the NBA’s most effecient midrange jumpshooters. This is the kind of crap I’m talking about. We need to take advantage of what a player does best. It’s fine for a player to develop ways to supplement his gm, but to say he has to develop an inside gm to be effective is totally rediculous.

The only player we have that needs to play inside more is JSmith. After all, he did spend a lot of time working on his inside moves with Hakeem. He stands a lot better chance of becoming a solid and consistent interior scorer than jump shooter. If we want more scoring and consistency from players like Marvin, Josh and Horford, LDrew has to do a better job of placing them in position to take advantage of their OFF strengths.

This team has far too much talent to just suggest we trade it away because of some biased fans who put personal issues before common sense. For 6yrs JJ has been forced to fight double teams, and both Woodson and Drew burdened him with MBibby and all of his issues and limitations. Bottomline, they did absolutely nothing to offer him any help.

Mr. Gearon, Jr.

May 24th, 2011
3:33 pm

‘Tough changes need to be made’

You guys think adding Jason Kapono is a tough change? A guy who can hit 2 3s but gives up 12 points on the other end?
::::::
A market exists for Marvin who has shown he can play the big 2 and has a quick trigger. He has potential to add pick and roll decision making on a team with a big 3.
For example, Milwaukee who have either Mbah a Moute and Ilyasova on the wings.
Had we let Joe Johnson go Marvin would have been our two guard.

But that’s in the past. Moving forward we have to get Teague role players so the role of point guard is more natural. Currently it is not possible in an undersized lineup which promotes equal opportunity amongst other things such as lack of rebounding and zone defense.

Teague: elbow pick and rolls with Smith (finisher)
Johnson: 3pt corner shooter who punishes doubles and smaller defenders ie Dwyane Wade
Smith/Granger: plays close to the basket like Shawn Marion, makes the other 3 defend him freeing up Joe Johnson to punish smaller 2s
Sanders: rebounds the ball, crashes boards. 7′6 wingspan with good form on the elbow jump shot.
Bogut: a legit 7′footer in the league, can single cover Howard, Bynum and makes Noah look like a 7′0 limited offense energy power forward, which he is. clogs lane and blocks shots.
::::Together per 36 minutes the frontcourt averages 6 blocks. Sanders must gain about 5-10 pounds and Teague must work on his 2man elbow pick and roll pull ups.

Larry Drew must design an offense that has only Teague and a screener (3,4,5) and the rest of the frontcourt crashing with Joe on the wing instead of trying to put Josh Smith on the wing.
A 236 lb Josh is best crashing the boards or setting screens for the roll.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5EHiqFtrLY

Mr. Gearon, Jr.

May 24th, 2011
3:51 pm

@joey1
that’s not how it works. Horford and Marvin Williams is about $20 million in salary. We must take back $20 million from Milwaukee assuming the CBA cap remains the same. It likely won’t but that’s how it currently works as it has not expired yet.

I love Kirk Hinrich to death but going forward we cannot pay $8 million to bring a point guard off the bench. That is why Teague was brought off the bench. If Hinrich is on the roster we are committed to him as a starter which I’m sure he doesn’t mind but for this team to go forward we need to capitalize on Teague’s potential and maximize our ability to get to the free throw line, single coverage defend, and offensive rebound from several positions.

Thaddeus Young is a piece with tremendous mismatch potential at either forward spot but like Smith he gives up rebounding and we are still headed towards a more defensive team that runs off of blocks, turnovers and using its length to affect shots similar to the Mavericks, the 08 Celtics and the 09 Lakers.
We can’t afford Smith to be a bulky guy who plays stretch four another season, he needs to slim down a bit and get back to outmuscling and outquicking people to the basket.

Few people remember he added muscle to combat bigger bodies but Smith was very quick a few years ago. He is young enough to believe he will get that speed back.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01sGzTPhiAA
Even if he recovers some of it it will increase his trade value tremendously and if the fans want it could net us a more traditional small forward like Rudy Gay or Danny Granger although Granger is closer to 30.

Lebron

May 24th, 2011
4:10 pm

“Simply put, Horford needs to get back to his roots. Even if he ends up playing more power forward than center for the remainder of his career, there is no reason not to play tough.”

“Horford spent the first three years of his career as an ever present double double threat”
first three years, 12 pts 9.6 rebounds
this year, 15 pts 9.3 rebounds
“and a guy who most frontcourts preferred to not have to deal with.”
most regular season frontcourts ie the Golden State Warriors.
going forward the top teams will have a guy with length to throw on him and make him try to be Dirk a power forward. Too bad Horford is barely 6′10 without the wingspan to compensate.
He has been consistently dominant center in a weak field against most teams. When the stars come out Horford fails.
“Horford had a rough postseason performance and while he did average a double double (a fact that seems to continuously elude some of us)”

“he didn’t look like the guy who had just established a career high in field goal percentage and points per game during the regular season.”
15 ppg, not exactly post season material ie Zach Randolph.
“Al needs to spend some offseason time with somebody who can help him with his back-to-the-basket game.”
He spent 3 years in college. He has peaked. a speed center who isn’t good on defense or a power forward who’s power gets mitigated by his lack of reach, mediocre height and corresponding lack of ability to shoot over opponents.
Al Horford has peaked. Show me some video of Al Horford being “tough” ie dominating somebody bigger than him.

I’ve seen him block shots on guards in the playoffs never Garnett, Dwight, Bosh etc.

Check Horford’s draft measurements. He’s a more robotic version of fellow former All-Star David Lee. Due to the slim field of centers Horford is a regular season borderline/2nd team “All-Star” and a postseason dud.
All you need is a 6′10 guy with smarts and lateral quickness to make him mediocre.

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
5:21 pm

AJ,

LD goes back and forth with Josh, so I can only imagine him and Artest going at it. If we trade for Artest, I think Artest might force LD to resign midseason.

And I agree that we are stuck with Marvin unless he is a throw in to a Josh or Al trade, or unless we take back another team’s unwanted bad contract.

Would you trade Marvin to Phoenix for Childress and the #13 pick?

Why would Phoenix do it? Childress has 4 years left on his deal, whereas Marvin only has 3, and Chills is coming off a terrible year (he shot 49% from the FT line).

Why would ATL do it? (imo) Chills is a better fit for the motion offense (he actually slashes/cuts), and gets points on offensive rebounds, and is a better ball handler than Marvin. But because of the extra year on Chills deal, I would require a pick or Robin Lopez.

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
5:32 pm

My improvement for LD is to definte the roles of the players, and be more flexible during the game. Before the game, I think he has a good game plan. However, he is either unable to adjust during the game, or unable to get the players to execute his adjustment.

Too often we would fall behind in the first half, and make little to no adjustments for the second half, only to fall behind even more. And this happened in the playoffs as well.

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
5:33 pm

* should be “define” the roles

Lebron

May 24th, 2011
5:46 pm

O’Brien
:::::
Sincere question why does anyone think that any variation of small ball will win going forward?

Teague will never be a point guard if we get Joe Johnson + chills + 6′8 smith + Horford

If you are playing small the focal point becomes the small forward. Can the small forward, help cover the rebounding scoring and defense differential that having Smith and Horford together brings?
I say not if its “Chills”. If you have Lebron with his man to man and help defense or a Stojacovic for 3s from the SF or even a younger version Josh Smith to block shots and erase mistakes would suffice.

“Chills” does not erase the mistakes inherent to playing small forward. You need a 2 way impact player to play there if you are going small. Chills is a low usage role player who does nothing spectacular and has started all of 70 games in his career. No thanks.

Hinrich, Horford and Williams will tender nice returns from Milwaukee.

Lebron

May 24th, 2011
5:53 pm

in a small lineup the roles are less defined. That’s the purpose! Equal opportunity and every one shoots and hits there jumpers and everyones happy.
Only that’s not how it works. No double teams occur no points in the paint, defense and rebounding suffers and shooters miss.
:::
trade Horford along with Marvin Williams who is an Albatross and Hinrich. Bogut/Sanders/Salmons/Gooden. Might even get a pick for insurance of Bogut.
Then use the pick for Semih Erden and a lower pick. Keep maneuvring and stop finagling the fans.

Only chance of internal improvement is Teague and Josh Smith losing weight and gaining speed.
Teague will not maximize his potential unless traditional rebounding, defense, fast break and shooting roles are defined.

Josh Smith cannot be the stretch 4 or the 6′8 guy with 7′0 wingspan trying to post up Pau Gasol.
Sanders has more potential with his shooting form frame and wingspan but he can help this team make the ECF heading into a lockout season.

retaining Horford, Williams and Hinrich will be an even bigger mistake if Miami and New York ever gets a center.

You think Boston is regretting not having a true center? We don’t even have a 7′0 PF ala Kevin Garnett so why aren’t we? U will never be able to overload the team with offense unless Marvin Williams is traded for Carmelo Anthony or Lebron

joey1

May 24th, 2011
5:55 pm

1 trading josh would be plain stupid…. we lose almost our whole defense… we need to trade marvin williams and horford for andrew bogut …then sign thad..young(formet gt player) for the small forward posititon..and sign a few hard nosed defenders and shooter to come off the bench…

imagaine.. teague,johnson, young, smith,bogut
bench – kirk,sign player,wilkins,sign player,zaza

Lebron

May 24th, 2011
6:15 pm

@joey1
Marvin Williams and Al Horford for Andrew Bogut does not work money wise. Horford makes as much as Bogut by himself and you must match salary because Milwaukee is near the cap.
Because of what they gave Marvin Williams, Thaddeus Young is a pipe dream. And “sign player” is not a clear strategy to “win” in the NBA.
::::::
starting teague,johnson, smith, sanders, bogut
bench – price, salmons, thornton, gooden, pachulia

traded kirk, williams, horford
outlook veteran team with youth and speed in the lineup.

Caveats: Smith (works hard with Hakeem and returns at 236 or less,speed, Carmelo’s weight), Teague (works hard offseason, is given the keys), Sanders gains about 5 lbs of pure muscle to slash under the bucket more and finish pick and rolls more.

::::There that’s three things and a defend, run, and score off pick and rolls and post up contender.
A traditional lineup with traditional defined roles.

Matches up length wise with Boston/Chicago/Miami. can defend Orlando/Dwight. Contracts and talent render more Depth than New York.
^^^^^
Smith if his less weight and added elevation and playing the 3 does not help him get easy jumpers in the paint and more boards etc. Then his blocks alone will give the team a valuable trade piece for a small forward

joey1

May 24th, 2011
6:32 pm

i meant m williams and horford for andrew bogut and john salmons sorry

o-k_look

May 24th, 2011
6:54 pm

If anyone has seen Bibby lately, you’ll know that trading him was one good decision up to this point. Bibby’s bascially hiding behind the big three. Yea, did you see when they needed him? He can’t always be dependant on hitting that three. His body has no defense for Rose. All he does is set picks and sets up on the paremeter for a trey. Watch tonight’s game and focus on Bibby. Yea, he’ll make a few, but that’s it. You notice that when he misses the trey-give him the ball and he won’t shoot it; he’ll shy away from it.

joey1

May 24th, 2011
7:00 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

May 24th, 2011
7:38 pm

Teague — make that floater perfect and learn how to use your body to draw fouls when you get in the lane

Smoove — get that right hand up to near the same level as the left hand, and improve those handles to the point where you can’t help but drive inside rather than shooting

Al — develop a go-to low post move, go see a sports psychologist who can help improve your confidence so we don’t have to see Timid Al anymore

LD — quit leaning on your “shot making” crutches, hold everybody equally accountable instead of being a bully, and play Teague more

Marvin — take a page out of George Costanza’s book and do the opposite of whatever your instincts tell you to do

Pape Sy — improve your defense and jumper, force LD’s hand to put you in the rotation

Magnum Rolle — go take some steroids

Rick Sund — retire

It’s unrealistic to expect improvement from anyone else on the team in my opinion.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 24th, 2011
7:44 pm

“I would call Pheonix, and see if we could swap Chills for Marvin.”

Chills is a significant risk at this point, since it’s been four years since he did anything worthwhile in the NBA, but the 2007-08 version of Chills would be ideal for the Hawks’ bench and a much better complement to the rest of this team than Marvin.

Of course Chills left because he didn’t want to be here, so it would be on LD and Sund to convince him to come back.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 24th, 2011
7:47 pm

“And another thing, if Marvin is the 7th or 8th best player on the team, why focus on trading him? He’s not going to likely bring back anything better, you’re not likely going to free up cash”

Getting someone better or freeing up cash in return for him may each be unlikely outcomes, but neither one is impossible. If the Hawks can do either one, trading him is worth it. Even if they can only get a similarly paid, similarly producing player, it would probably be worth it simply for the sake of changing scenery.

Ken Strickland

May 24th, 2011
7:49 pm

Current NBA rules won’t allow the Hawks to reacquire JChildress in a trade. The rules will only allow the Hawks to reacquired him if he’s waved by the Suns. I just don’t understand this insane obsession some of you have with us trading for ABogut and half the Bucks starting lineup. Why would anyone be dumb enough to think he and his teammates could do more for the Hawks than they’ve managed to do with the Bucks?

And why would anyone be stupid enough to suggest the Hawks be dumb enough to trade AHorford, our 2 time All Star center who’s also 3rd string All NBA, for ABogut, an injury prone center that hasn’t measured up to Horford or done enough to push the Bucks past the Hawks, let alone make them a factor in their own division?

Some of the same Hawk fans who are so fond of calling Sund and the ASG dumb and stupid, have shown by some of their trade suggestions to be far dumber and more stupid than anyone in Hawks management. The best move the Hawks could make is to make adjustments, by making Teague and Hinrich our starting back court, moving JJ to SF, and retaining Horford and JSmith as our starting C and PF respectively.

I would, however, make moves to upgrade our bench by adding another shooter and a more athletic Big. Otherwise, all of this trade JJ, Josh, Horford, Marvin, Teague etc is just a bunch of fantasy league BS and a total waste of time and effort.

The biggest improvement we can make is for LDrew to be more proactive and make a committment to developing younger players rather than relying so heavily on under performing veteran guards with various liabilities that’s hurt the team in the longrun. He needs to follow the Bulls HC’s approach to getting his players in line.

If he decides to bench players, and I mean any player, who doesn’t follow the script, it won’t take long for them to get the message and fall into line. The Atlanta Hawks have far too much talent to just trade away because some dilusional fans are obsessed with making trades. We simply need HC LDrew to do a better job of putting Josh, Marvin, Horford and JJ in position to take better advantage of their strengths.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 24th, 2011
7:52 pm

“Current NBA rules won’t allow the Hawks to reacquire JChildress in a trade.”

That’s only true until July 1. After that the Hawks can reacquire Childress. Unfortunately this means that the trade O’Brien suggested earlier (which I really like) of Marvin for Childress and the #13 pick cannot happen unless the Suns happen to draft someone the Hawks like and then trade him after the new CBA is negotiated. I don’t think the Hawks can pre-negotiate a trade like that with the Suns, where they pick someone for the express purpose of being traded after the new CBA comes into effect, without getting in trouble with David Stern.

honest_abe

May 24th, 2011
8:34 pm

this team becomes legit if josh patterns his game to become a rodman/b.wallace clone. energetic, focused on defense while scoring off trash and transition.

al needs to go on dancing with the stars. his footwork could use some serious work. might not hurt to learn to back people half his size down either.

teague needs to learn how to pass. his scoring, speed and driving ability is fine but his passing leaves much to be desired.

jj needs to find the fountain of youth or a set of balls. he’s the only “superstar” that is scared to take the responsibility of his teams performance on his shoulders. dump the chump… if only

god bibby blows.

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
8:34 pm

Najeh,

From the Braves blog;

Charlie Morton went 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA last year, the worst record and ERA among qualified starters last season. This season, he is 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA. What happened?

1) He is using his sinker more
2) Morton has also done some work with a sports psychologist

John Smoltz also visited a sports psychologist. And Phil Jackson has brought one in to talk to his team. I think the Hawks could use one on staff (imo).

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
8:43 pm

Ken Strickland,

And why would anyone be stupid enough to suggest the Hawks be dumb enough to trade AHorford, our 2 time All Star center who’s also 3rd string All NBA, for ABogut, an injury prone center that hasn’t measured up to Horford or done enough to push the Bucks past the Hawks, let alone make them a factor in their own division?.

Did you watch Al Horford against the Bulls? MC’s covers the Hawks, and this is from his new blog;

“Al sounds more and more like he wants nothing to do with banging in the post. he looked like it, too, vs. Noah.” MC.

Al Horford would like to play more minutes at PF. What we need is the Al who played center almost exclusively his first 2 years. This year, he seems to be shying away from the Center position.

And to be fair to Bogut, his team is not as talented as the hawks (regardless of what some people thought going into the season). So its hard to blame him for not lifting the Bucks pass the Hawks. The hawks have 4 all-star caliber players (JJ, Al, Josh and Jamal). Who do the Bucks have?

And check the numbers. They are very similar.

Bogut’s career average? 12.7 pts, 9.4 rebs, 1.6 blocks.
Al’s career average? 12.8 pts, 9.6 rebs, 1.1 blocks.

If Al was the starter for the Bucks, and Bogut was the starter for the hawks, do you think Al would have made the All-Star game this year?

And did you know that Bogut was named to the 2009–10 All-NBA Third Team? Bogut also earned 32 total points in the 2010-11 Defensive Player of the Year Award voting to finish 6th overall.

I agree that Bogut is injury prone, but dont sell him short when it comes to his game. His numbers compare very favorably to Al.

Big Ray

May 24th, 2011
9:08 pm

Tramarci ,

I wish it was as easy as “get those guys in the weight room and get some work in on the practice court, and we have our frontcourt.”

If that was the case, we’d have been fine with Randolph Morris…

Big Ray

May 24th, 2011
9:13 pm

Ken ,

I will say this about Al Horford – if he doesn’t happily resign himself to playing center, then he must become a heck of a power forward for us. Either way, he really does not seem interested in being the player he started out as. I hope that changes. In some ways, that’s besides the point in my opinion. We need an enforcer in the post, a banger.

Outside of Zaza Pachulia, we’re screwed. Al has the fundamentals and seemed to lack the will in the playoffs. Josh seemed to have the will, but lacks the fundamentals and the discipline. So what do we do?

Big Ray

May 24th, 2011
9:16 pm

O’brien ,

There’s a second side to every coin. What if Al’s disposition about banging has to do with the help he has? When he’s on the floor, he’s been the only banger. Kinda like when Bibby was here and Joe was the only backcourt defender among the threesome of him, Bibby, and Jamal. How often did Joe seem disconnected on defense? Too often.

We may be seeing the same thing with Al, who tires of “going to war” by himself. Let’s be honest. Collins bangs but doesn’t rebound so well. Josh doesn’t bang. Marvin doesn’t. Etan doesn’t get to play. Unless he’s on the floor with Pachulia, Al has next to no help in the paint.

And for those who keep wanting to point out Josh’s shot-blocking skills, that has NOTHING to do with rebounding, boxing out, or banging of any kind.

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
9:20 pm

Big Ray,

How do you feel about a starting lineup of Teague (or Hinrich), JJ, Marvin, Al and ZaZa?

ZaZa is willing to bang, and he tends to play better with more consistent minutes (although his defense isnt very good). Josh can be our super sub (and SMOY candidate) off the bench like the Lakers and Lamar Odom, and still get 35 minutes PT. Depending on the matchup and game flow, Josh can either come in for Al or for Marvin, or if ZaZa goes to the bench, Al slides over to Center, and Josh comes in at PF.

Or is it too risky?

O'Brien

May 24th, 2011
10:07 pm

Bulls hanging tough. I hope they are able to close this game out, and not wilt like they did down the stretch in game 2 and 3.

And watching Deng play, it would be nice if marvin could develop into a poor man’s Deng and help fill Jamal’s role off the bench.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 25th, 2011
12:08 am

Deng is what Marvin would be if he worked on his game and had any balance whatsoever.

bjrufino

May 25th, 2011
12:31 am

let’s sign nick young, not resign jamal crawford, sign oden, trade smith for beasley and elington

vava74

May 25th, 2011
8:17 am

well… it will be “poetic injustice” but the Heat will get their second title against the Mavs… and the three stooges will get what they wanted.

let us all hope that Stern swallows the elephant and decides to punish Lebrat a bit giving the blind mice instructions to correct the past injustice…

doc

May 25th, 2011
8:45 am

vava, not sure what is more palatable to some, the three amigos raising the trophy or cuban. my preference is the latter. riles is establishment enough for stern and he seems to have gotten some of the preening out of them to get them to play good defense which they do and will do against the mavs. dirk will have to be a superhero again to get by the heat. it could look like pictures from gulliver’s travels.

Tramarci

May 25th, 2011
8:49 am

@ Big Ray, Lol

I agree somewhat, but we can’t go trading away our 4 years of making the playoffs. There hasn’t been this much excitement in Atlanta about basketball since Doc Rivers, Domonique Wilkins, and Spud Webb all wore the uniform.

We should have gotten another coach. Since we didn’t it’s too risky to fire LD now. It would slow the growing process for the team yet again.

The only trade I would advocate, would be a Marvin Williams for Childress trade. They thought they could underpay Chill in hopes that a younger Marvin would eventually out perform him. That didn’t happen. So I say bing Childress back and go from there.

Mike is Back

May 25th, 2011
9:08 am

Big Ray, I don’t know if better coaching will guarantee that all of these guys will play better…but it certainly can’t hurt their cause.

I’m not crazy about JJ at the 3…JJ is a Big guy that doesn’t play Big…we will still have to scramble on defense when he moves to the SF position…so that kind of offset our defensive gain at the 1 and 2…Despite his contract…we need t o see if we can move JJ…in the off season…or after the locked out season…either way.

I want to go Big more…Zaza has shown me all I need to see…for ME TO plead his case for increased minutes…I WOULD KEEP ARMSTRONG.

I’m not implying Armstrong is going to solve our problems at the center position…we gave up a lot in that trade…with no first round pick…and having pass on an opportunity to draft a Big…even if we brought in Rolle…I would still hold on to Armstrong…FIRST OFF…because we haven’t seen him play…when you look at what we gave up in that trade…I just think it would behoove us…to see if he can help the team.

There is always that throw in guy…that often gets overlooked…in major trades…I just want to see Armstrong with a training camp under his belt.

Damien and Armstrong…are the two guys…I hope we don’t let get away…I think they can help the team improve.

E43

May 25th, 2011
9:13 am

O’BRIEN- There is absolutely no way that josh is going to come off the bench. This is a guy that almost transformed into Hitler when he got pulled out of games once or twice. Bench the guy permanently and Al Qaeda might have a new leader.

Ken Strickland

May 25th, 2011
9:13 am

OBRIEN-So you think I might be selling Bogut short. Horford is quicker, faster, more athletic and versatile than Bogut. So when you consider how evenly matched their stats are, and you suggest trading a reliable player like Horford for an injury prone player like Bogut, maybe it’s you that’s selling Horford short. And if Bogut could make the All Star gm, and 3rd string All NBA with the Bucs, there’s nothing to suggest AHorford could duplicate those feats with them, since he tends to remain relatively healthy.

BIG RAY-We all know it would be better for the Hawks to have a bigger more physical presence in the middle, but that’s not likely to happen. Teams aren’t going to readily get rid of that type of player, although some of our fantasy league minded fans seem to think they will just to accomodate the fact we need and want one.

With the unlikelihood of us getting this type of center, we need to hold onto what we have and do a much better job of utilizing our available talent. Having Hinrich-SG, Teague-PG and JJ-SF making up our perimeter DEF, with their speed, quickness, recovery and overall DEF ability, will take a lot of pressure off Josh and Horford.

As a 1st time HC, LDrew had a lot on his plate, especially with this team and its overall situation. So, with a lot of what he was trying to establish already in place, maybe we will get more of what is needed from him, hopefully. Having both Teague and Hinrich definitely changes the overall dynamics of this team. Their presence, and the absence of DEF liabilities like Bibby and Jamal, will force LDrew to give more attention to DEF, rather than relying almost exclusively on OFF, like both he and Woodson did to address most needs.

It would also be a big mistake to take the big loss, that would surely happen, just to get rid of Marvin. Why be satisfied with Damien when Marvin has proven to be more productive in almost every category throughout their careers. Bring both off the bench, make Marvin the #1 scoring option, and you’ll resolve the MWilliam problem. LDrew can’t keep underutilizing players the way he underutilized JTeague.

Astro Joe

May 25th, 2011
9:27 am

Strange to see the line-up that Riley envisioned finally come together in the ECF… Wade, Miller, LeBron, Bosh and Haslem. That is a very potent group of players to close out a game. And you have to give it up for LeBron, he has been an excellent facilitator, scorer, defender and rebounder at various times throughout this series. Whatever his team needed, he has been able to deliver it.

Meanwhile, the media darling may get closed out soon. In the classic blog spirit of “I told you so”, I knew that the Thunder were not ready. Good team with a lot of promise but not quite ready against grizzled vets like Dirk, Jet Terry and the amazing Jason Kidd. Their path to the WCF was against a star-less Denver team and a #8 seeded Memphis squad that took them to 7 games.

doc

May 25th, 2011
9:43 am

sadly, the bulls are also in the not ready for prime time category, too. korver has been relegated to being as ineffective as jamal.

well can we add to the number of teams to win an nba championship over the last three decades?

Dan

May 25th, 2011
9:45 am

Trade Marvin, Teague and Horford for Dwight Howard. The salaries match up and the Magic should get something instead of nothing. Yes Horford is good but have to give to get and Teague well when the stock is high you sell sell sell.

I would resign Crawford and have a lineup of

Howard Center
Josh Power Forward
Joe Johnson Small Forward
Crawford Shooting guard
Henrich Point Guard

O'Brien

May 25th, 2011
9:47 am

Tramarci,

There hasn’t been this much excitement in Atlanta about basketball since Doc Rivers, Domonique Wilkins, and Spud Webb all wore the uniform.

That excitement has not been reflected in the Hawks attendance. Hawks were 7th in payroll, but 22nd in attendance. Last year, we ranked 18th in attendance. In 2009, we were 20th.

AJ,

Last year. the Thunder lost in the first round. This year, they made it to the conference finals. A couple more tweaks, and they might finally get to the NBA finals. I like their chances alot more than I like the Hawks chances.

That being said, regardless of how young and unready the Thunder are, there is no excuse for letting Dallas close out the game on a 15-2 run to push it to OT, in OKC’s building no less. I was very disappointed in KD’s play . And he owned up to it. He said he let the fans and the city down.

O'Brien

May 25th, 2011
9:50 am

doc,

Miami has 2 established superstars and one established all-star. Chicago has one up and coming superstar, and that’s it. And with the way Miami plays defense, Rose cant do it all by himself. Bulls just need another star to help Rose carry the load.

OKC just needs more playoff seasoning (imo).

O'Brien

May 25th, 2011
9:55 am

Raise your hand if you thought Mike Brown would be the next coach of the LA Lakers (which is the rumor that’s out there). His best asset is he is a defensive minded coach.

Not concidentally, Kobe’s comments during exit interviews…“If you’re building a championship team, your DNA always has to start with the defensive end of the floor,” Bryant said on May 11. “Always. I’m a firm believer in that. I don’t believe in building a championship team on offense. It has to be built on defense and rebounding. Period.”.

Astro Joe

May 25th, 2011
10:29 am

OB, yeah, the Thunder are closer to the Hawks but that doesn’t mean that they are close. The may end up being like the old Kings, a really good team for 5+ years.

doc, I think Miami beats the Mavs, so this won’t add to the number of teams that have won in the last 2-3 decades (since they won with Wade, Shaq and Riley a few years ago).

doc

May 25th, 2011
11:24 am

yup aj, aware that it is only 50-50 chance and as i alluded to, i think miami stuffs dirk and frustrates the hell out of them. the queen might pull it off or stern bring out his merry striper clowns if in doubt. ;-(

to date NO team has rebuilt the way the hawks and blazers wanted to from the bottom up through the draft with a core after blowing it up and gotten to the championship. the bulls tried it first and failed, now okc, sans seattle, is in the hot seat.

Rod from College Park

May 25th, 2011
11:30 am

Ken Strickland

“OBRIEN-So you think I might be selling Bogut short. Horford is quicker, faster, more athletic and versatile than Bogut. So when you consider how evenly matched their stats are, and you suggest trading a reliable player like Horford for an injury prone player like Bogut, maybe it’s you that’s selling Horford short. And if Bogut could make the All Star gm, and 3rd string All NBA with the Bucs, there’s nothing to suggest AHorford could duplicate those feats with them, since he tends to remain relatively healthy.”

Stop it with the Bogut is injury prone nonsense. Bogut got seriously injured because someone undercut him, that has nothing to do with being injury prone. Compare Al’s first 4 years and Bogut’s first 4 years in terms of minutes played, and Al has played 8,328 minutes, and Bogut after 4 years had played 8,449 minutes. The obvious reason that people are suggesting going after Bogut is because he is a center, knows that he is a center and wants to be a center. We don’t need versatility, and jump shooting at the center position, we need a center. I like Horford, but if a Bogut for Al deal was possible for this team, I would do it in a heartbeat.

doc

May 25th, 2011
11:30 am

john edwards indicted by the feds. wow,the john edwards? less than 5% chance of beating the rap on those guys. how the mighty have fallen. knew he was bad all along.

Ken Strickland

May 25th, 2011
11:32 am

OBRIEN

I’ve been thinking about Chicago’s OFF limitations and their heavy reliance on PG DRose. This was Thibideau’s 1st yr as a HC, and he was hired because of his philosophy and ability to develop solid DEF teams. As a result of having to spend so much time developing that DEF, maybe he didn’t have enough time to devote to developing an equally solid OFF.

Maybe that will be forthcoming next season, now that his DEF is in place. I believe the same situation existed with 1st time HC LDrew, except he focused his efforts on OFF. Throughout the season he relied on OFF, over DEF, in the form MBibby and JCrawford, to get the job done.

With Bibby gone and Jamal leaving, maybe Drew will be forced to focus more on developing team DEF for the upcoming season. There are a number of things, other than resorting to trading away the bank, that can be done internally to improve this team. The emergence of JTeague, and the acquisition of KHinrich, are the 2 single most important attributes that will contribute to the improvement of this team.

I just don’t understand the rebounding concerns related to moving JJ to SF. These same concerns certainly didn’t cause any concerns when LDrew startedJCollins, a 7′ center with definite rebounding issues. Some of you have suggested benching Marvin and starting DWilkins, who’s scoring and rebounding has never measured up to MWilliams.

The biggest and most realistic improvements this team can make in order to improve is to make certain adjustments, and fine tune the talent we have to maximize production. Even without making a single trade, this can be a much better team than the one that didn’t seize the opportunity to close out the Bulls.

doc

May 25th, 2011
11:33 am

bogut played with an 85% elbow this year at the start and is going back for more surgery before next season to get it back to 100%. so he performed as well as al did with half a wing at 100%? ken, better check your data as the guy is very tough.

Rod from College Park

May 25th, 2011
11:34 am

doc,

Dallas will beat Miami. To much depth, and to many big guys down low. They will destroy Miami on the glass. I see Miami maybe getting 2 games. D Wade, and Lebron will have to play great every game for them to even have a chance.

Ken Strickland

May 25th, 2011
11:50 am

ROD FROM CP, AND ALL OTHER BOGUT FANS

If Bogut is a true center, and all that you think he is, and Horford is soft, regressing, and not a true center like you think he is,

1-WHY IN THE DEVIL WOULD THE BUCKS CONSIDER MAKING THIS TRADE?
2-WHAT WOULD BE THE ADVANTAGE TO THEM?
3-IS THERE ACTUALLY ANYONE OUT THERE THAT’S DUMB ENOUGH TO BELIEVE HORFORD WOULD BE FAR MORE WILLING TO EMBRACE PLAYING CENTER FOR THE BUCS THAN THE HAWKS?
4-IF IT’S TRUE THAT HORFORD’S DESIRE TO PLAY PF RATHER THAN CENTER IS CREATING A PROBLEM FOR THE HAWKS, WHY WOULD THE BUCS BE WILLING TO TAKE ON THAT PROBLEM?
5-IF HORFORD IS TOO SOFT, TOO SHORT OR TOO WEAK TO BE EFFECTIVE TO PLAY CENTER FOR THE HAWKS, WOULDN’T THE BUCS HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS IF THEY TRADED FOR HIM?

Stop with this FANTASY LEAGUE CRAP. And stop suggesting these totally stupid, unrealistic and totally unlikely FANTASY LEAGUE trade suggetions.