April’s Fools

The Hawks are scrambling to finish the season with a bang.

Mike Woodson, Joe Johnson and the Hawks are scrambling to finish with a bang.

 

 

HAWKSVILLE - If this is some sort of sick belated April Fools’ prank Hawks, it’s not funny.

Three straight losses, now?

I know, it was three straight to playoff bound teams playing at a much higher level than the Hawks could as presently constituted (despite all the chatter to the contrary a healthy Marvin Williams would help).

But not now.

Not with everything (namely the fourth spot and the home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs that come with it) on the line.

It’s one of the more deflating stretches I’ve seen out of these Hawks this season. And there have been others.

Check the standings, though, and you’ll realize that now is hardly the time to start a tailspin.

Not even a glorious late Sunday morning brunch with the fam and neighbors at Highland Bakery could erase the stain of what I’ve seen from these Hawks the past week.

After a big time effort against the Los Angeles Lakers in a home win last Sunday, they’ve basically fallen apart before our eyes.

They couldn’t keep pace with 76ers late Tuesday night in Philadelphia (a team and city the Hawks could see a whole lot more of in the coming weeks). They suffered a similar fate Friday night in Boston in yet another loss to the Celtics.

For a while it appeared that they would use their home court mojo to end their slide Saturday night against Orlando … then they suddenly went cold and suffered the exact same sort of power failure in the second half against the Magic.

It’s a nasty trend that should worry you. Because no playoff team should be suffering these sorts of lapses with the postseason just days away.

Naturally, the Hawks aren’t ready to call this a code red just yet.

“You can’t go into panic mode,” Josh Smith said. “You just have to bounce back and try to get these games on the road and win out the rest of the season.”

Sure, it sounds good in theory.

But panic mode might be exactly the place the Hawks need to go to find refuge or at least some answers.

Josh Smith insists now is not the time to panic!

Josh Smith insists now is not the time to panic!

They haven’t met the physical or mental challenge of their opponents in a week, which is a clear indictment of not only the performance on the floor but also of the preparation that goes into every game.

The Hawks’ history of struggles on the road make this week’s road tests in Toronto and Milwaukee, on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, even more critical.

I’m going to close with a little ditty from one of our regulars (you probably know him as RA) who sends me regular emails throughout every game.

He made some interesting points about what he sees as some alarming developments after the Magic game:

“Tonight was a little easier to deal with,” RA wrote. “Here’s the thing, tonight the Hawks were on the business end of a lesson that EVERY champion has to learn and apply.  The lesson is this, on a night when you’re not doing what you do well, you have got to still find a way to impose your will and win.  That’s a lesson that the Hawks are going to have to take to heart if they’re ever going to reach the next level.”
Wait, he’s not done …
“Which brings me to my next point,” his email continued. “The Hawks have three guards and no production out of their small forward position. That’s not going to get it done. The biggest difference between the Hawks and the upper echelon teams in the league is that if you look at teems like Boston, LA, San Antonio, and yes Orlando, you see that they have specific players for specific things, specialists. Because of a lack of depth, the Hawks have to ask too much from their players. The sad part is that the depth even hurts the defense. I mean, I’m sure that Mike Woodson would love to pick up the defense at three quarter court and press as opposed to letting the opposition calmly walk up the floor and set up their offense or better yet, let the ball just roll up the floor, but if they did press, it would burn up what’s left of what guards we have left!”
Hold on, there’s more …
“The depth on our team is intolerable, but that’s partially due to Woody,” he wrote. “He kept a tight rotation all year round, which was fine when everyone was healthy, but at a time when Solomon Jones, Mario West, and Randolph Morris could be contributing in a more significant way, they’re not ready.  That’s Woody. Ah well, the next few weeks should be interesting at least.  The hardest stretch of the season is over.  What remains to be seen is whether or not the Hawks have learned any lessons.  School has definitely been in [session].”

353 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

April 5th, 2009
5:40 pm

I think we should take up a petition and request that we not play in this year’s playoffs. Until such time that we can field a team that can make a title run with a world-class coach, we should just stay away from post-season play. This is akin to the petition that some previously wanted to sign that the Hawks should never get credit for beating a good team that was missing a key player and a variation of the current belief that only games after the All-Star should determine playoff qualification. I’m sure we could get at least 5,000 signatures by the end of the night. Come on guys, stop the injustice and let’s force David Stern to disqualify the Hawks based on their last 6 weeks. Who’s with me?

Davis

April 5th, 2009
5:53 pm

I second the motion…

MAC-TOWN

April 5th, 2009
5:57 pm

When are Marvin Williams and Acie Law coming back? Will they be ready for the playoffs?

Harry Hawk

April 5th, 2009
6:13 pm

If Sund is realistic, he could fire Woody whether this team wins a playoff series or not. I don’t think there would be many Hawks fans bemoaning such a terrible loss, you know?

Ed

April 5th, 2009
7:09 pm

If Atlanta wins the opening round series Woody will be back most unfortunately.

JMar

April 5th, 2009
7:39 pm

You can dream about firing Woodson all day long, but they’ll never do it. He’s one of the cheapest coaches in the NBA, he’s signed for another season, and the record gives them an excuse to keep him. Alas, it would be interesting to see what this team could do with someone who knows how to run a basketball team.

Jay

April 5th, 2009
7:43 pm

No question it is Woody’s fault for our terrible bench. Mario West looks scared with the ball, but surely its not too much to expect a guard to make a wide open jump shot. Solo has athleticism but is foul-prone because he never gets any minutes. Morris looks like a project and a half, but if we’re getting our clocks cleaned on the inside, send him out as an enforcer.

Woody has ran this team into the ground because of how tight of a roation he runs. JJ looks SPENT, he’s got nothing left. Bibby has too many miles on him to handle his minutes. We’ll never make it past the second round of the playoffs (and yet to be seen if we can make it out of the first round) with Woodson as our coach. Book it.

GA Bulldawg

April 5th, 2009
7:45 pm

I posted this in the last blog but it was before I found out about the new blog so i will post it here:

I have read most of the comments and agree with most of them. However, I’m sick and tired of the negative comments about Joe Johnson!! As several have already mentioned he is dead ass TIRED!!! Look, I’ve played a ton of minutes back in my day in high school basketball, AAU ball and intramural ball and it takes its toll on your body…and NO, i’m not going to compare amateur sports to professional sports, just trying to make a point here. If it causes wear and tear on your body in those sports, imagine the brutal beating your body takes when you’re playing against the stronger, bigger athletes of the NBA, while playing 42 MINUTES A NIGHT!!!!!! JJ is playing these minutes 4 out of every 5 games and is LEADING THE NBA IN MINUTES PLAYED and Woodson REFUSES to give him some rest this late in the season. He’s already rundown and worn out and if Woody continues to play him like this, he will be a non-factor come playoff time!

When was the last time Kobe or Lebron had to play 40-42 minutes EVERY GAME this season while having to guard the other team’s best player or shooting guard, handle the ball and create for their teammates on 70% of possessions, defend quick point guards (since Mike Bibby can’t defend) AND create his own shot???? It hurts to see Joe struggle, but the minutes and responsibilities are taking their toll on his body and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. If we can get a playmaker like Speedy (if Woody would let him play) to create for others and Joe, it makes Joe much more efficient and he probably won’t have to play so many minutes.

GA Bulldawg

April 5th, 2009
7:59 pm

Oh yeah and to all the people saying “Trade Joe”, I know we all have our opinions but screw yall! I wanna warn you that if the Hawks trade him in his prime, I guarantee that we will be regretting it like the Phoenix Suns are now. I’m telling you that with a proven coach and a different offense with a Rondo, CP3, D Will or Steve Nash type of point guard he will be much more efficient!! With a rejuvenated offense and new coach, we SHOULD be seeing the Joe of 06-07 who was putting up 25 points per game while shooting an excellent 47%. He is too skilled for his talent to be wasted with Woodson as the coach. Phoenix has no other playmaker on that team besides Steve Nash…when Joe was on that team, he was the only one besides Steve Nash that could get his points without requiring Steve to create for him. I can’t tell you how many Suns fans I’ve spoken to that regret trading him and would rather have him back than Shawn Marion.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 5th, 2009
8:04 pm

This same roster would be approaching 50 wins with an intelligent offensive system.

But for tonight there’s another team in town grabbing the spotlight. Go Braves!

Sautee

April 5th, 2009
8:06 pm

The true April Fools are those of us who actually thought Woody was changing his stripes when he played the bench during our 7 game winning streak.

Fool me twice…….

O'brien

April 5th, 2009
8:19 pm

If it wasnt for the win against the Lakers (and the Lakers also lost a couple days later to Charlotte), the Hawks would be on a 6 game losing streak. They’ve lost 6 of 8, and their road record is horrible.

I wonder what Sund thinks of the job that Woody is doing? Is he happy and satisfied that the team will probably wrap up the 4th seed, or does he realize that Woody is not playing the guys he signed (except Flip and Evans), the team is struggling, and they seem very unprepared at the start of a lot of games. Or maybe Sund will blame it on injuries, and say Woody didnt have all his players.

In my opinion, even if the Hawks make it out of the first round, I still think Woody needs to go (although I know that probably wont happen).

Shaunty

April 5th, 2009
8:21 pm

What can you expect from this team?

BIbby plays 44 minutes on the 2nd of a b2b, he’s like 31, he’s fat, and old.

Joe plays a million minutes a season

Smoove sucks and isn’t a true basketball palyer

Horford is undersized

OUr idiot coach and owners won’t use Speedy, even though not playing him doesn’t yield the team money (WTF is this? Fire Woodson and ban ASG from the NBA if this is really true).

I could go on and on.

But Sund needs to clear out the trash from the team this summer (Bibby and Smoove) and bring in players that can work hard and are coachable (Felton).

Hey Joe or Horford, do one of you think the Hawks should have a players-only meeting maybe?

Shaunty

April 5th, 2009
8:22 pm

Woodson is always saying he needs to use the bench more, but refuses to play Speedy, Morris (rebounder), or Mario more minutes.

Good job idiot

Steve

April 5th, 2009
8:54 pm

Marvin Williams, Josh Childress, Acie Law – reason we are swooning – end of story. Next year we need another legit PG and let Bibby come off the bench. And we need a real NBA C so Horford doesn’t get so beat up every night. Do these 2 things, you can keep Woodson and we’ll win.

freshd

April 5th, 2009
9:10 pm

You can”t tell me that Morris or Solo can”t play at least 5 or 10 minutes.They are better than Zaza who can”t dunk. This guy was awful against Orlando. Mario has provided energy everytime he gets in the game,which is few and far between. Woody has not given none of these guys a role. I saw these guys play in the Cleveland blowout last week, and they out played Cleveland”S bench and made the game close. But where was WOODY? He had been ejected, so I guess he didnt see his bench.

GA Bulldawg

April 5th, 2009
9:11 pm

Steve- We will NEVER win with Woodson. PERIOD. Out of the following coaches, who do yall think would be a good candidate?

Flip Saunders
Jeff Van Gundy
Avery Johnson (I personally hate this guy and so did the Mavericks when he coached them, so this is just the worst case scenario in case we can’t get Flip or JVG)

O'brien

April 5th, 2009
9:14 pm

Good news. The 76ers are currently down 14 in the 3rd at the Nets.

ToeKnee

April 5th, 2009
9:55 pm

AstroJoe you suck. Plain and simple the Hawks only show up when they absolutely HAVE to win. The 4game cushion they had over miami and philly is gone and i expect them to show up big this week and get the 4th spot. They slacked off with that lead for 4th and now that its gone theyll take care of business. Wish they brought that intensity every night, but I think like RA in sekou’s article said their lack of depth hurts the starters by asking them to do too much, THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO BE CONCERNED WITH SAVING ENERGY FOR THE DURATION OF THE GAME, especially Joe who has had to base his approach to the game like this for years now. I think the Hawks do tend to ‘take a night off’ when they know a loss that night isn’t going to change anything, (they still had 4th) theyre tired because we basically have a 7man team and the players are asked to do too much at times. That said, the playoffs are the playoffs, win or go home, and i know the hawks will show up to play, it’s what they do. Just watch, when the Hawks need to win they’ll do it(or at least show up trying to, and all of us who watch them all the time can tell the difference). They’ll get the 4th seed, then probably tank it in a game or two at the end of the year(because they dont NEED to win those) and people will be saying the same thing. I’ve seen them do this too many times, but the talent is there to beat anyone, and when they make up their mind to they can.

..oh yeah, GO HAWKS!

Elijah

April 5th, 2009
10:10 pm

How does the Hawks recent play erase early success? You can’t erase early success.

That’s like saying the Bulls’ 1999 season futility erased their 1998 NBA championship

Secondly, what the heck does this mean: “I know, it was three straight to playoff bound teams playing at a much higher level than the you could.”???

It’s embarrassing that no one proofreads these blogs on one of the country’s largest-market newspapers.

RLP

April 5th, 2009
10:57 pm

So do you thing the 76ers fans are upset that the 76ers lost on the road to a team with a worse record? The Hawks have just had a 1-3 record against the four best teams in the NBA. How many of your realistically thought they would split or have a winning record against those teams? It is not the end of the road. The Hawks magic number is now 4 to clinch the fourth seed after the 76ers loss today and the Hawks have five winnable games remaining with teams with worse records than the Hawks. The 76ers have two games against the Cavs and one against Boston. Our magic number against Miami and they must play Boston and the Hawks in Atlanta. Our chances of finishing with the fourth seed is excellent.

A fourth seed will give us a 3 seed increase over last year and continued improvement over the last 10 years of play. The team barely made it into the playoffs last year. This year they have a winning record. They are definitely not an elite team in comparison to the Lakers, Celts, Cavs and Magic. But they have established themselves at the next level or tier in the league. Given the financial situation of the ownership group we do not know that they will even repeat this year’s success next season. We should all be realistic that this team will have a tough fight to win a first round playoff and then if they succeed there will need another series like they had against the Celts last year to really establish any momentum for next year. Please enjoy the rest of this season and take satisfaction with the improvement they have made since last season. Enjoy whatever run they take us on.

george hild

April 5th, 2009
11:20 pm

joe johnson is a ball hog. the trouble with our offence is that he dribbles way to much.watch other good teams, they pass the ball & get
easy shots. jj puts a cramp in our offence,when hi making shots it is less noticeable. he has been in a shooting slump all season. when he does pass the ball the clock has ran down. he is also a horrible defender.

RA

April 5th, 2009
11:27 pm

Thanks for the love SKS. Okay, this is the situation as I see it. There isn’t a lot that can be done with the roster, and to fire a coach at this juncture of the season would be nothing less than a disaster. What I’m hoping for, maybe the only thing to hope for, right now is that Marvin will be able to come back and that Acie Law IV will be back in uniform too. I honestly hope that people will understand now that Marvin Williams is a HUGE part of this team in terms of all that he brings to the table, but as usual, people (myself included) never truly appreciate talent until it goes missing.

RA

April 5th, 2009
11:30 pm

One more thing, when I look at what Woody’s done over the last few years,I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t know of anyone off the top of my head that could have done better, and few that would have done as well, but as I’ve said before and will say again, he’s made some decisions that have really come back to bite this team in the backside.

MannyT

April 5th, 2009
11:31 pm

RA is relatively accurate. I don’t dispute what was said, but I will make a case for the less defined role. It is easier to run a team when everyone has a defined role, but that does NOT make it better. Mo Evans mentioned the difficulty getting out of the NBA stereotypes Sekou’s Sunday article. If players have multiple skills they can have multiple roles. When bloggers ranted for Marvin to come of the bench, a big part of that idea was for him to be a dominant scorer on the 2nd team, like Flip. That is different from his role as a starter. Depending on the other Hawks on the floor with him, he could play either role. Less defined, bur still quite functional. When Zaza plays with Al, Horford seems to play a bit differently than when he plays with Josh. Joe’s game suffers when he has to defend the SF. It is clearly a different role that makes the team worse UNLESS we are pushing the issue of playing small ball. Woody had a very creative moment about a week ago when he put Zaza, then Solo in with 4 guards. Different roles that make a difference.

One more thing about defined roles–it drives me mad when we have 1 or 2 seconds on the shot clock and one of our best catch and shoot players is taking the ball out of bounds. If there is not enough time to get the ball back, why eliminate one of your offensive threats? Maybe with less defined roles, we have 2 or 3 players that are good at inbounding the ball. Chills was great for that role because he wasn’t a shooter. I cringe when Marvin is taking the ball out instead of being in the floor as an offensive threat.

BWAF

MannyT

April 5th, 2009
11:36 pm

Shifting gears, there is potentially room under the bus for Sund as well as Woody. Sure he came to the game late last year, so it was easy to do little over the summer to change the team. He had to fill roster spots given the lack of draft choices. Flip/Mo were good pick ups. I cannot fairly evaluate RandMo, but it does not surprise me that he was near the end of the bench.

Now if Sund has been in Woody’s ear about the lack of development, that’s good. If not, shame on him. He needs to do 2 critical things this offseason. One–establish his style of team, so that the roster can reflect his goals. Two-make sure he has a coach that will implement the style of team he will create.

For all of the complaining about BK in the past, he seemed to have an idea that he wanted a lot of similar, interchangeable players that were long, lean, athletic and capable of playing/defending multiple positions. Woody seemed to not like that method and went his own way. I suspect that was a big part of the falling out between them. Woody’s two mottos seem to be all D, no O–and–32 A all the way (i.e. underdeveloped is good–why get more out of those bench guys)

Sund’s motto to this point, is wait and see. Well he has waited and seen. What will he do to make an impact?

Is he the classic Sundial. Just sitting and waiting for another’s actions to make you effective, or is he the 21st century NBA Sund-dial? Is he proactive? Does he work the phones to make something happen?

BWAF

freshd

April 5th, 2009
11:42 pm

I know that the hawks have improved from last year, but the playoffs are about MOMENTUM. Its about how you finish, and you want to finish strong going into the playoffs. The hawks were happy to be in the playoffs last year, but just getting there this year will not cut it. Anything less than getting to the second round would be seen as a letdown, especially if they finish with the 4th seed.

RA

April 5th, 2009
11:54 pm

Oh, I never claimed to be accurate Manny T, just expressing a point of view. And I would never go so far as to say that everyone on the team needs to be specialized, but it does help when you have a few guys who know and understand the fact that their role on the team is to do one or two things (i.e. Dennis Rodman with the Bulls, JJ Redick with the Magic, PJ Brown with last year’s Celtic team.) There’s no substitute for having role players on your team that know and understand what they’re there to do. Otherwise, you’ve got 6′9 forwards TRYING to bring the ball up the floor and 6′11 backup centers TRYING to create off the dribble. In other words, ugly!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 6th, 2009
12:59 am

Couldn’t possibly agree more with RA’s 11:54 PM post. I’ve posted along those lines before but probably never expressed myself that clearly. Failing to give Josh, Al, and Marvin defined roles on both ends of the floor is one of Woody’s biggest flaws, and in Josh’s case in particular has really held back his development as a player.

Even on great teams with versatile players, the system usually limits the players to the aspects of their games at which they are strongest. Manu Ginobili can play point guard, but doesn’t because he’s better at scoring. Tony Parker can score 20-25 ppg, but doesn’t because the team works better when he is penetrating and dishing. These are not role players — they are star-caliber players who are given defined roles to make the performance of the team as a whole better.

RA

April 6th, 2009
2:03 am

Props to Najeh Davenpoop! Exactly what I’m talking about!

David Smith

April 6th, 2009
5:23 am

This team really baffles me with their inconsistency of play. I’ve been a fan of this team since the glory days of John Drew, Dan Roundfield, and Tree Rollins to Dominique Wilkins, Doc Rivers, and Kevin Willis. I have never seen a team with such a Jekyll/Hyde personality as this one and if we don’t wake up these last few games we will be one and done in the playoffs.

ant banks

April 6th, 2009
7:22 am

as good as the hawks’ record indicate that they are, they are the exact same team as last year!! last year we won 12 road games, and this year, with 5 games left, we have won 14 road games.

i am imaginin’ that the same thing will happen in the playoffs this year, we will win the home games and get decimated on the road. however, if the opposin’ team wins one game hear at phillip’s we are doomed!!

smartguy

April 6th, 2009
7:57 am

Jfreak

April 6th, 2009
8:23 am

As I have said all year the Hawks will lose in the first round because they can’t shoot “free” throws and they don’t have a championship coach. Sorry Woody you’ve done ok I suppose but the talent of your team is far more than lets say Philly or Miami and yet they are all over you right now. Three points to ponder! Josh Smith has all the physical talent but is a complete basketball idiot!It’s like he needs basketball PHONICS! Woody is really a bench coan on a really good team. Finally, teams that can’t shoot free throws don’t win in the playoffs. Add all three together and you have a team that is out after the first round. AGAIN! Fire Woodson and trade smith for some inside scoring and defense! Blocking shots as your man is going by you is not playing defense Josh! Good luck Hawks???

Jfreak

April 6th, 2009
8:35 am

RA, stop carrying Woody’s water bottle. To suggest NO ONE could have done better is silly! Does Woody have compromising pictures of you or are you just not watching the same team I am? He is an average coach at best and at worst he is what’s wrong with this team. The Hawks seem to have no identity and that is on the COACH.

O'brien

April 6th, 2009
8:39 am

5 years in, we know the kind of coach Woody is, and we know the kind of offensive system (or lack thereof) he runs. If he comes back next year, I think it will be more of the same (unless Sund signs some established veterans). Imagine what happens to the Hawks’ 2 draft picks. Will they be developed? See any PT? I doubt it.

Again, all things considered, I think Woody has done a good job of bringing the Hawks to where they are. I just think we need another coach to take them to the next level.

ILL-logical

April 6th, 2009
8:40 am

Before we committ to a decision regarding the fate of Woodson, a decision that would delight most but affect all, let’s examine the context.

Who could the organization get to come here given the financial and organizational challenges? Remember ,Sund is the THIRD choice of the GM cndidates(the guy from San Antonio who was thought to be first removed himself for consideration almost before he was interviewed)Do you want Sund making the decision ; based on his (in) actions this year ,he may not return out of frustration.

No doubt things gotta be done differently but the question is by whom? sometimes you have to consider that you better be careful what you pray for. This may be one of those times.

Big Ray

April 6th, 2009
8:43 am

Great comments about defined roles, and who should be doing what.

There is very little evidence to suggest that Woodson knows how to put that together. As always, there is the idea that hardly anybody could do a better job than Woody has done. I don’t particularly agree with that, but then we have not had anybody different with this collection of players to either prove or disprove that theory. So, my opinion really doesn’t have a lot supporting it. Call it a hunch.

I recognize what he has done, however. Again, is this more about what he has done with these players, or about who got the collection of players together? Well, since the consensus tends to suggestion that Woodson isn’t going anywhere, the best one can do is hope that he improves in the aforementioned areas. I hope he does. If he doesn’t, then we can expect to see what we’ve seen this season at maximum….every year, assuming we have enough talent to get it done (and don’t suffer too many injuries in the process).

All I can say about that is while we all should enjoy a more successful season right NOW, struggling to keep the 4th seed year after year will become tiresome quickly. But hey, we’ve not gotten to that draw bridge yet, nor are we guaranteed to get to it.

doc

April 6th, 2009
8:55 am

ROLES, YOU TALK ABOUT ROLES?

HOW CAN SEVEN OR EIGHT GUYS TAKE CARE OF ALL THE ROLES THAT ARE NECESSARY ON A TEAM?

ROLES DEFINED ROLES, THIS TEAM WITH THIS COACH? GIVE ME A BREAK!

jg

April 6th, 2009
9:28 am

How do Woody get this long to have the chance????????? We fired Kruger and Stotts before they completed a season–Heck Woody’s been here what five now–I give him credit for getting this team to where they are now–someone else will have to get them over their next hump.

GeeMack

April 6th, 2009
10:08 am

People keep talkin about Woody is the problem, and he’s not. Give Woody KG, Paul, and Ray and I bet we win a championship. Clevland has 5 current or former All-star on there roseter. The hawks have 1 JJ. The Lakers have Pau Kobe Lamar, and Bynum. There is know one on our roster even close. JJ is the 3rd best player on a championship level team. Woody has developed young talented player into a good team now its time to trade those assets to get championship level talent. JJ and Al should be the only 2 untouchable players on this team.

MAC-TOWN

April 6th, 2009
10:09 am

Hawks’ next coach = former UGA mastermind “Dennis Felton”

MAC-TOWN

April 6th, 2009
10:10 am

If Bob Rathbun were the captain of this ship called “The Hawks”…we’d be a 60 win team easily.

MAC-TOWN

April 6th, 2009
10:11 am

Bob Rathbun for Hawks coach!!!

doc

April 6th, 2009
10:33 am

mac-town for gm!

Astro Joe

April 6th, 2009
10:41 am

I agree that young players need defined roles. And I agree that at times, Woody has failed to do that for his younger players. I recall when Smith was a rookie, he literally didn;t play a posiiton. We had Al Harrington and Antoine Walker as our starting forwards. Smith became a “rover” type player… kind of like Mario is now. He just used his energy, athleticiam and shot-blocking skills to run around the floor. I remember thinking “this guy will never learn how to play a position if his job is to play free safety”. Solo could have a role. Acie could have a role. But Woody didn’t make that happen earlier in the season.

We may very well end up being Scott Skiles’ Bulls team. You may recall that they had a cute little 2-3 year run in the playoffs. They were usually lucky to get a favorable first round match-up before exiting the playoffs. But they were a flawed team, with too many guards and a coach who wore on his players. They never quite graduated from a playoff team to a contender.

I still think that this current “down side” is a result of Marvin’s absence, fatigued players and superior competition. Woody gets most of the blame for the fatigued players, but Sund needs to get some heat as well. I still don’t understand why we couldn’t cut Gardner and go after a big (like Adonal Foyle after he was cut) to help us in the home stretch. I’m pretty sure that it would have been close to cost-neutral. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to settle for a second consecutive playoff appearance after none in the previous 8-9 seasons. Life is tough.

JM

April 6th, 2009
12:05 pm

My only hope is that with the extended breaks between games in the playoffs Joe may be able to get some rest. And lets hope Marvin is back well enough to play some D as his shot ryhthm will probably be off due to the amount of time he’s been out.

Speaking of the Scott Skiles type, I think Woody really gets in the young bench player’s heads to their detriment. Acie looks like a deer in headlights afraid to make a mistake, Solo play has gone down as the season progressed and Mario acts like Woody is going to shoot him in the back if he takes a jump shoot. And although I would like to see Woody go, Avery Johnson would be more of the same. I wouldn’t mind Boston’s assistant that runs the D or Flip for that matter.

O'brien

April 6th, 2009
12:11 pm

GeeMack, If Phil Jackson or Greg Poppovich were coaching this team, do you think we would be struggling like we are?

I agree that Woody does not have the caliber of bench players that some other teams do. As a result, he needs to make the most of the players he does have. Give them minutes, instill confidence, teach and develop. But he doesnt do that. Instead, he plays his 7 or 8 guys into the ground, and so be it.

Fortunately, in the playoffs its not such a big issue because you get days off in between games.

Ironically, Chills had a defined role, but I dont think he was happy with it.

hawkfan

April 6th, 2009
12:11 pm

for some reason, i felt very offended when mike woodson’s name was not listed as one the coach of the year candidates on the poll for who you think is coach of the year on nba.com, even larry brown was listed and the bobcats are clearly way under us statistics wise

Tyrone

April 6th, 2009
12:27 pm

So long as you tell your readers about the brunch at Highland Bakery, I think it will help.