Is Marvin done for the season?

Will a back injury sideline Marvin Williams for the rest of the season?

HAWKSVILLE - No one came out and said it.

They didn’t have to for everyone start talking about it. But everyone wants to know, is Marvin Williams done for the season? Is the lower back injury that the cost him Monday’s game against New Orleans going to cost him the rest of his season?

We were told he will be out “indefinitely,” with more opinions from specialists being sought.

Yet Hawks coach Mike Woodson’s entire demeanor changed when speaking about Williams in the postgame session after the Hawks’ 89-79 defeat of the Hornets.

“He’s going to seek a few more opinions about his back and then I’m sure he’ll make a decision after that and then we’ll know,” Woodson said when asked about his starting small forward’s status.

Make a decision about what?

Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson kicked the door wide open a few minutes later when he was asked about Williams.

“If he’s out for the rest of the season we can’t worry about that,” Johnson said. “We have to move forward with what we’ve got. Injuries are a part of the game, they happen. And unfortunately it’s a tough loss for us, but we have to be strong and be strong for Marvin as well.  And everybody will have to step their play up.”

When pressed about it after his initial comments, Johnson admitted that he didn’t know if Williams was done or not. 

“I’m just saying worst case scenario,” Johnson said. “You have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

That doesn’t sound terribly hopeful.

So in the meantime, the tough question remains, is Marvin done for the season?

And if so, what can the Hawks do to replace him?

It’s obvious the Hawks can ill afford to lose Williams, or any of their starters, for the remainder of this season.

Not only is Williams their fourth leading scorer (14.0) one of their top rebounders (6.4), he’s also been their best defender of wing forwards all season, with Johnson concentrating on opposing point guards most of the time.

The Hawks also lack a backup small forward with the size and range of Williams (6-9, 240), who also shoots 35 percent from beyond the 3-point line (where’s Josh Childress when you need him? Oh yeah, dude’s in Greece). 

JChil is in Greece!

Facing the likes of LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony and others this season, Williams has more than held his own. In this, his fourth season, he finally started to shed some of the grief (most all of it unwarranted) he’s taken over the years for not being Chris Paul or Deron Williams. 

So how wacky is that Paul was in the house Monday (24 points, 10 assists and dazzling the entire night) and Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz will be here Wednesday?

 

Billy Knight

Remember me?

The Billy Knight bashers out there couldn’t have asked for a better scenario (and I imagine they were going to be out in full force whether Marvin was injured or not).

If he is done for the remainder of the season, which at least appears to be a possibility at this point, things change dramatically not only for the Hawks but for the entire Eastern Conference.

Hanging on to that fourth spot becomes an even taller order for the Hawks. And teams eye-balling the Hawks in a potential first round matchup know that they’ll face a much different crew than the one they’ve seen all year with Williams playing a huge role.

However you twist it, things are going to take a major turn if we get the “worst-case” answer to our question.

121 comments Add your comment

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
12:39 am

Losing Marvin sucks, but not the end of the world.
Dude averages 14 ppg in his 4th season, down .8 from last year. His FG % and FT % are both down.
I think Flip can carry the load as a starter, and if we can beat NOH with as much energy as we did Monday night, we will be fine. Thank God this injury is not to Horford or Bibby–that would be 6x worse. Do I like Marvin? Yes. Can we win a series without him? Yes

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
12:41 am

Sekou, do you know on what play Marv got this injury? I saw him on the bench with that back brace on Saturday, noticed he was sitting out most of the 2nd half, and assumed Woody was going with his best lineup at the moment and maybe Marv had a bad back, since his posture is awful.

gypsyjoe

March 10th, 2009
12:42 am

Man the Marvin news is a real jolt to this young team. We just have to hope that the rest of the team can pick it up. Looks like Acie,Solo,Mario and even Morris might have to pick up the slack. lets just hope Marvin is not lost for long. He has realy played well this season. GO HAWKS!!! GET BETTER MARVIN.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 10th, 2009
12:50 am

Losing Marvin is pretty serious. The Hawks can win without him, but it means that Woody is probably going to ride his starters for big minutes more than ever, especially in close games. The Hawks don’t have the kind of depth to make up for something like this over a long period of time. At the very least, Mo Evans is going to have to shoot 3’s and defend the way he did in November.

Hopefully it’s something that he can return from in a week or two if not sooner.

Sekou K. Smith

March 10th, 2009
12:59 am

I don’t remember the play. I’m going to watch the Detroit game again in tomorrow to see if I can spot it. He said Saturday night that he was going up for a rebound and felt the pain. I’m not even sure it was a contact play. Crazy.
And maybe this is something he can come back from sooner than anyone thinks. But the way everyone was talking tonight, it didn’t sound positive.

Ed

March 10th, 2009
1:03 am

We all know why we don’t have depth…Woody’s absolute refusal to develop his young players. Acie’s up to the challenge anyway I do believe with just a modicum of encouragent from the Woodster.

rms

March 10th, 2009
1:06 am

hope it aint a disc. That will definitely be a season ender right there. I hope he has the mental toughness to bounce back strong.

bj

March 10th, 2009
1:20 am

Let’s hope Marvin is ok. My guess is that the Hawks may mine the DLeague for another former Tar Heel who plays small forward and has range. He is also a Williams. I’m talking about Jawad Williams who was recently named the top prospect in the Dleague.

Clyde

March 10th, 2009
1:28 am

I’m a Billy Knight basher but I ain’t going right now. The win last night was a good step in the right direction for the Hawks. As much as I don’t like Woody’s coaching style, he seems to coach better when the Hawks have injuries. This was the case last night.

BA

March 10th, 2009
1:33 am

Scary. Can Pachulia be a legitimate starting 5 in the NBA? Can Smith hit enough jumpers to be an effective 3?

Can we get Marvin some kind of Rip Hamilton mask for his back?

Too bad Atlanta didn’t aqquire, you know, ANY help for the frontcourt the last couple of weeks. Can’t sell as much beer and popcorn if the Hawks don’t make it to the second round.

BA

March 10th, 2009
1:46 am

Clyde the glide with a rare valid point- Woodson does seem to do better when the chips are down. I think he handled the Josh Smith situation pretty well, too- judging from the early returns.

I can’t see Smith being effective at the 3, though. If Williams is gone, start Flip Murray at the 2 and shift Joe to the 3.

Ariose

March 10th, 2009
1:53 am

This really hurts us, but I still don’t see the Hawks loosing too many more home games regardless if he’s here or not…..but yes if’s he’s not back by the playoffs we’re done…..seriously. We might not even make it out of the first round, homecourt advantage or not.

~Sir Links A Lot~

mykhalc

March 10th, 2009
2:55 am

WOODSON doesn’t coach any better with a short bench. he just has to coach less…less choices. hate that MARVIN is hurt tho. but the more the chances of WOODSON’s brainless moves are removed from the equation the better the HAWKS chances are for a W IMHO. like i said before…he is the prefect coach for HORSE…one player, one play!!! can you say iso for JOE??? sounds like a match to me!!!

Jed

March 10th, 2009
3:07 am

Let’s see. We’ve won without Marvin. We’ve won without Joe. We’ve won without Al and without Josh. We’ve won without Bibby.

Who else is there? Who’s the constant? Surely not that old fart sitting on the bench. What does HE do? Stupid fossil sits Acie, playing those boring vets Flip & Mo. When our offense bogs down, he keeps harping about getting it started with defense.

Only constant is whether they do what he says. Maybe he could say it better. Maybe he could use a psychological trick or two. Dadgum it…..why won’t this team LOSE, for heaven sake, so we can finally get rid of him?

Oh, yeah–I forgot: because what would we do without our precious scapegoat?

doc

March 10th, 2009
7:07 am

you do what we saw last night. insert joe johnson at the three and put acie in the game for extended play to shut down and run the other guys point guards down. then you have a coach to manage situations by playing the whole bench including solo.

woody will need to use a nine man rotation. acie, flip and joe as 1, 2 and 3 handled things pretty well last night during the stretch we shut them down in the second quarter. solo actually has more offensive potential than al or smash when it comes to offensive touch if anyone has missed it in his brief sightings off the bench.

anyone find out how chills is dong after his hernia surgery? he should be ready for a comeback about now. his salary is already being carried as part of the cap space anyway. as ba says sell some more goods for the playoffs. get him back and realize acie is going to be the point guard next year because we cant spend money we dot have on a point guard the likes of bibby. with the economy the way it is i imagine the russians owning the greek team wont put up much of a fuss to lose chills. desperate times means desperate measures. pretend we got a greek farm team and bring him up.

rod couldnt be happier, got his wish. no more slip and slide marvin.

Willie Coyote

March 10th, 2009
7:53 am

Woody seems to coach better with injuries because he is forced to use some of those guys usually chained to the bench. Acie, this is your shot!!!

O'brien

March 10th, 2009
8:00 am

Here we are talking about Marvin, but yet we are 9-1 in games started by Mo Evans. Interesting. Plus I think if Woody had done a better job of developing the bench, we would be in better shape.

In the meantime, I wonder how Josh would handle playing the 3, if you slide Al to PF, and start Solo (Zaza is more effective coming off the bench).

Big Ray

March 10th, 2009
8:36 am

Had a previous appointment that I had to attend last night, so I watched the recorded game this morning.

Man, was it good to see Joe get untracked tonight. He was seriously due for a game like this. Hell, a few games like this. And I think the main reason was the fact that he was not saddled with distribution duties.

While I won’t swallow the nonsense about Woodson “saving Acie Law for the stretch run”, I’ll say that Law showed us his value when given good minutes. Not only was he able to make things difficult for Law (freeing up JJ to guard his actual counterpart), but he was able to penetrate and dish when given the green light. The guy was great at penetrating, and didn’t turn over the ball once.

Let’s be honest (for those who are willing). Injuries are why Solo and Acie got into the game. Solo looks rusty, but willing to help. Acie looked ready. More than ready. But it doesn’t matter. Woodson did a good job by not only letting Acie into the game early, but bringing him back when it was clear that Mike Bibby once again did not have it.

Josh Smith did what he needed to do, namely provide some great defense, good rebounding, and hitting a few shots here and there. Hate him or love him, nobody takes more charges on the team than he does. And only Horford can match him with the long outlet pass. He had a couple of beautiful assists (including a no-look..yes, I said no-look pass to JJ for a 3). There were times that he tapped the ball back out on offense when he knew he couldn’t secure the rebound. And he made some very good plays down the stretch, at the end. Hate him or love him, he was and is a difference-maker. Sure, he had some butter-finger turnovers and shot 5-13 from the floor. But ask his teammates what they thought he did out there. Ask his opponents.

When it comes to bad shooting, Bibby was worst, going 4-13 from the field, including a relentless 1-7 from 3 point range. Ugly. Clearly he is not all the way back on track, though he hit one heck of a dagger towards the end. He’ll come back on track, eventually. We’ll need it too, without the perimeter threat services of Marvin Williams.

Zaza proves his worth once again. I will miss him when he’s gone (assuming he’s let go at season’s end).

Flip should be in the running for 6th man of the year. Period.

smartguy

March 10th, 2009
8:37 am

FIRE MIKE WOODSON! NOW!!

Ben M

March 10th, 2009
8:47 am

Sekou,

If Marv is indeed out for the year, I’d really like to see Sund go after a guy like Ronald Dupree or Mickael Gelabale (both previously with Sund in Seattle). Both are athletic and can help defensively for a Playoff run. Both are currently without a team and I think Sund’s familiarity with them could only help. Relying on Solo to guard wing players is not an idea we should be comfortable with.

Just my 2…

Astro Joe

March 10th, 2009
8:55 am

If we lose Marvin, that is a HUGE set-back. Sund can’t sit on his hands and do nothing. He needs to cut loose Thomas Gardner and go sign a vet. Where’s Robert Horry? Ruben Patterson? Bonzi Wells? No, not to start and play 30 minutes but to give us 12-15 minutes of smart play. Mo Evans is not a starting SF on a playoff-bound team. I agree with doc, Joe is a better SF than Smith but Sund can’t roll the dice and expect to win a playoff series with Woody playing a 3-guard set for extended minutes in the post-season.

KevinA

March 10th, 2009
9:15 am

Lets just start Gardner and see what happens. Lets see if he can play defense and pass to the front court. How good is he on the fast break? He dosen’t need to score much. We need Flip and ZaZa coming off the bench. Could we see a Speedy sighting?

KevinA

March 10th, 2009
9:23 am

Don’t forget Hunter. These guys are pro’s and maybe just need a little playing time.

newkid

March 10th, 2009
9:25 am

Wow, really good insight at 7:07 doc. Only had radio access to the game last night, so the picture you painted with JJ spending significant time at SF was really helpful. Thanks.

Lloyd Dotson

March 10th, 2009
9:35 am

Marvin produces at a second teamer level and thus far has not met the expectations that go along with being the second overall pick. Now, was it his fault that he was chosen that high? No. However, he doesn’t bring it and seemingly hasn’t worked hard enough on his game to improve it.

Jesse

March 10th, 2009
9:53 am

Marvin’s had back issues since the day he was drafted. If you just watch him walk you can tell something is off. He has a sway back, which is going to lead to more problems. He needs to be raulfed or go to a chiropractor. But it’s not going to get better if he doesn’t. It looks like when he walks he’s in pain. That’s a problem. The older he gets the worse the pain will be. He has stepped up his D though and the Hawks will miss him a lot. I think this issue means they don’t resign him to be honest.

Big Ray

March 10th, 2009
9:57 am

Shameless plug alert!

New Hawks Hacks blog up…

JM

March 10th, 2009
10:00 am

Was at the game last night. Way too many N.O. fans. At one point in the fourth, Josh gestured to the crowd to make some noise. These guys feed of the home crowd – so lets give’m some energy.

If Marvin is out, I would start Zaza at 5, Al at 4 and Josh at 3 and increase Acie’s minutes with Bibby/Flip at 2 and JJ at 3.

And to those yelling “Marvin’s better” when CP3 had the ball – let’s give that a rest when Deron in the building. Just boo the guy, it’ll sound more legit.

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
10:23 am

The thing that sucks the most about Duck being out is that we have no backup wing over 6″5 unless you want to put 6″7 Joe at the 3.

Our bench, outside of Flip, ZaZa, and Mo (who doesn’t put up numbers), just **stinks** . How can a playoff team have Solomon Jones, Randy, Mario, Gardner, and Othello on its active roster? These guys should not be getting minutes on any roster. Mario is an awful basketball player, as much as we love him, Randy does everything in slow motion, like if you hit that button on TiVo, he does everything at half-speed.
Solomon is our **team cheerleader** and nothing else

cjizzle

March 10th, 2009
10:23 am

I predict if Marv is out for any significant amount of time we could slip to 6th or 7th place in the east. He has been huge this season for us!!! His defense has been sparkling on a lot of superstar players!! He has provided some much needed protection for Joe and Bibby as the third go to player. His shots are much more selective than Josh Smith’s. He gives us a legitimate scorer if Bibby or Joe is shut down on any given night. He is actually showing us his potential as the number two pick only to suffer this blow!

Gary

March 10th, 2009
10:25 am

Doc, have you ever considered using punctuation or capitals? No one can understand what you write.

Do we not still have money left from the MLE to sign someone right now? Mo and Flip cost about 3.5 a year right now, so we should have some money maybe?

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
10:25 am

Do we not still have money left from the MLE to sign someone right now? Mo and Flip cost about 3.5 a year right now, so we should have some money maybe?

otisfirefly

March 10th, 2009
10:26 am

Last night’s rotation of starters and bench help worked out very well. I would keep Mo in place of Marvin while he is injured. I really enjoyed watching the hustle when Acie, Zaza, and Flip were on the floor together. Even though the Hawks are not deep, these guys are relentless with defense and offensive rebounds when they are in the game.

Dylan

March 10th, 2009
10:33 am

Is there anybody out there sitting around on the free agent market that the Hawks could consider signing??????????????

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
10:44 am

I don’t understand why we can’t play Speedy Claxton. These owners are multi-millionaires. Is paying a solid point guard 5.5 million this year that much of a hassle? Speedy will win us at least 2 or 3 more additional games to what we’d already win.

Cheap idiots

Mike

March 10th, 2009
10:45 am

Marvin hits the floor entirely too hard when he falls. I swear he hits that hard wood at least 3 times a game with maximum force. He needs to work on being aggressive without being so clumsy.

Melvin

March 10th, 2009
10:50 am

Is Gary really Tsk0o0o?????????

If Marvin is out for the year and we can’t bring JChill back. Then I say we bring in the hire gunner himself, Antoine Walker. Watch him Shimmy all the way down Peachtree…

Ryder

March 10th, 2009
11:06 am

Maybe it’s because Speedy is so injured he just is unable to play anymore TskOoO. Moron.

Anyway, to quote Bill Simmons I smell Ewing Theory in regards to Marvin’s injury. Now we’ll get to see what kind of coach Woodson really is, as he has to now use more of the bench players like Acie and Mario West. Also, Atlanta can play Josh Smith can play the 3 as well as having Horford at his rightful PF spot.

The offense also gets to become more of a half-court style which is needed come playoff time.

SlimG

March 10th, 2009
11:07 am

All you Marvin bashers now understand the play of our up and coming star. This kid will be productive in this league for years. He’s only like how old? Yeah, still learning. Point guards are hard to find in this league, I’ll agree, but a guy like Marv doesn’t come along very often. Defense, rebounds, and unselfish play in the NBA, stop hating Marv. Get well soon buddy, we need you or we’re out in the first round again. AAAARGGGGG!

MAC-TOWN

March 10th, 2009
11:15 am

Hawks = 9-1 when Mo Evans starts……….just saying

Daniel

March 10th, 2009
11:18 am

Oh, boy we really need Marvin to do anything in the playoffs. When can we expect to hear something?

MAC-TOWN

March 10th, 2009
11:22 am

I agree with Mike

MAC-TOWN

March 10th, 2009
11:25 am

I bashed Marvin last year but I really like his improvement this year. I like the improvement alot. I believe it is definitely a lost.

I think this year a realistic goal was the 2nd round, which I think we can do even without marvin, though.

If we stay in 4th or 5th…we’re gonna play the heat, pistons or Sixers.
We can beat them w/o Marvin.

Now we NEED marvin if we expected to beat the BIG BOYS

Wink from Lithonia

March 10th, 2009
11:25 am

If Marvin is done for the season, which I doubt, we might be okay. What I have come to understand about these Hawks is that they beat anybody & lose to anybody.

Said another way they can lose to inferior teams & beat good teams. I have also noticed of late, when a starter is out they play much better. They look more like a basketball team. We won the two games when Joe was out, we beat Hornets & Detroit without Marvin (well Marvin had 4 pts in Detroit win & 28 pts in Wizards win, point being they play better of late when a starter is out. It forces Woody to use the bench.

They may surprise us on this home stand, we have only quality teams coming in, we have won 2 of 7 so far. A starter goes down, another starter steps up. Base on the above regarding Marvin’s output, quality team he defer to others, lesser opponent he scores big numbers. Did you see Joe step his game up last night, before that it was Josh, before that it was Al with the big night, Bibby is struggling and AC gets a few shining moments this week.

So guys they are inconsistent, you don’t know who will step up to fill Marvin’s shoes, I just know somebody will, they will dig a hole for themselves early, it will be close in the end, we may win or we may lose…so strap on your seat belt and enjoy the ride!

TskOoOo

March 10th, 2009
11:27 am

Ryder, maybe you didn’t read Sekou’s piece on Speedy last week. Moron.

Smoove at the 3? Nice. That move will definitely help utilize Smoove’s elite shooting, dribbling skills, and moving without the ball.

Wink from Lithonia

March 10th, 2009
11:32 am

Let’s just be thankful, we are not the #1 in East, we would surly lose to #8. Being 4th or 5th would give us our best chance to advance to 2nd round, because we should be playing a team just like us.

Rod from College Park

March 10th, 2009
11:35 am

Mike,

Don’t make that comment about Marvin falling without facts. According to some people on the blog, Marvin is the next great thing in the NBA (LOL). You might get a blog ticket from Sautee. I do not believe in kicking a man when he is down, but most people on the blog know that I do not care for Marvin’s game. I actually think that his injury will force Woodson to play Law more, which will be better in the long run for the Hawks. If he does have a serious back problem, it will hopefully keep the Hawks from investing a lot of money in him after this year, which will be in the Hawks best interest. As stated earlier, the Hawks are 9-1 when Moe Evans starts, so obviously that is the way we should go. Should have been that way all year. Evans shoots the three ball at a higher percentage than Marvin, and is a better defender at his position than Marvin. Evans cannot guard small forwards, he is to small, but he can defend the 2. Joe will have to move over to the 3, which he can do. Just one question I have for most of you, what games did you watch this year that have convinced you of Marvin’s great defensive ability. I can think of two games that you will throw out there. The Cleveland game and the Denver game. Is it possible that maybe Lebron and Carmelo had bad games? Lebron still had 26 that game. He sure did not shut down Gerald Wallace. My point with Marvin has always been that he is not a difference maker. Last night’s game is why I will defend Josh over Marvin any day of the week. When Josh is good, he is a difference maker.

TskOoOo – Glad you used those stats. The stats don’t tell me that Marvin is better than he was last year.

Daniel

March 10th, 2009
11:45 am

Rod-
you are not watching the same team that I am. Mo Evans is a nice player, but he is not a better defender or scorer than Marvin. Also, when Josh plays within himself he can help this team a lot, but on the same token his terrible plays have cost this team a lot. I would say this season his bad and good are about even. Which essentially means the team would be better off without him. The hope is that Josh can play more consistently, but we have been hoping for years now…
As for the games you mentioned, it was Marvin’s ability to keep two of the leagues elite players from getting to wherever they wanted on the floor and making them take more difficult shots are what lead the to their “bad” games. It also really says something to me; about you as a person if you are wishing for career altering injuries on anyone. Dude, you don’t have to like Marvin’s game, but seriously you are talking about a human being here. Get your head on straight.

Rod from College Park

March 10th, 2009
12:31 pm

Daniel,

Can you read? Where is my post did you see me wish a career ending injury on Marvin? I would never do that, as much as I don’t like his game. But when it relates, to the Hawks, and us investing millions of dollars in a player who has back issues, I think that is a very relevant point. Trust me, I know because my back is messed up, it is not something that you just get over. A lot of back issues linger and will cause problems for the rest of your life. I herniated a disk when I was 19, and still have problems to his day. See Tracy McGrady. I actually watch the exact same games you watch, and don’t see where he is a great defensive player. That is my opinion, and I an entitled to that.

Show me state

March 10th, 2009
12:39 pm

I wanted to say good game by the Hawks last night. I just wish they wouldn’t start so slow. If they can do that then they can blow by people. Back to the Marvin subject, i think they should run the starting lineup like this C- Zaza Pachulia PF Al Horford SF Josh Smith SG Joe Johnson and PG Mike Bibby and Woody can finish the bench part. This is in regard to “worst case scenario”.