The great (leadership) debate

Don't let the turtleneck sweater fool you. John Shaft was a bad man!

Don't let the turtleneck sweater fool you. John Shaft is a bad man!

MIAMI - Long after his Miami Heat had finished wiping the AmericanAirlines Arena floor with the Hawks Saturday night, Dwyane Wade said something that crystalized the difference between these two playoff combatants.

Asked about the leadership he provides for his team, the Heat superstar described his evolution as a team leader so perfectly, it almost sounded as if a Hollywood script writer had penned the response for him.

“One thing about being a leader is that it’s 24/7, 365 days a year,” Wade said. “It never stops. I was very disappointed with myself in Game 1. I was quiet, and that is not what my team needs. In Game 2 and Game 3 I took it upon myself to make sure that my voice is heard. To drive the points the coaches made and make sure they hear it again before they get on the court.”

You won’t hear anything resembling that from the Hawks. They don’t have a vocal leader in the mold of Wade (they don’t have a player with game like Wade’s either, but we all knew that going into this series). So their won’t be anyone rescuing the Hawks from themselves between now and the start of Monday night’s epically important Game 4 (a third straight loss by the Hawks spells almost certain doom in this series).

All those cliches about leaders being born and not bred don’t register in this case. Leaders emerge in times like this. Leaders rise to the occasion and impose their will in times like this. Leaders of men and leading men are two distinctly different beings in the NBA landscape and beyond.

Wade’s both a leader of men and a leading man. He’s John Shaft (talk about a leader of men and a leading man) in a pair of funky looking shoes and without the sideburns. There are a handful of Shafts in the NBA these days (Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, DWade, Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce come to mind with others floating in and out of the Shaftosphere). The mettle required of your team leader in the playoffs isn’t hard to spot. And Hawks’ captain and All-Star Joe Johnson has yet to show if he has it in him in this series. 

The contrast between his demeanor Sunday and that of Wade over the past few days was striking. Wade vowed to revive his crew after that humiliating, 26-point loss in Game 1 and has done exactly that with two backbreaking efforts since then. Johnson didn’t sound a similar alarm Sunday when asked if he was ready to do it himself, speaking in terms of “we” and “us” when it’s clear that he has to pick up the mantle and carry his team back to even in this series.

“We’ve just got to grow up, man,” Johnson said, his voice trailing off with every word. “We hit a little adversity and now it’s as if we’re out of it. But we have to think positive the rest of the way. You’ve just got to believe. And we have to put it in the guys who have never been in this situation and we have to make them believe we can do this. We have to keep talking to them and keep putting confidence into them.”

The words are fine, but in the playoffs a man can only be judged by his actions.

Two of these guys will face off in the next round and the third will get to watch it from home.

Two of these guys will face off in the next round and the third will get to watch it from home.

AND NOW, A MOMENT OF SILENCE for the Detroit Pistons.

James and his Cavaliers tossed the last shovel of dirt on a deceased Eastern Conference behemoth Sunday afternoon at the Palace of Auburn Hills, sweeping the Pistons out of the playoffs in four games.

It’s only fitting that the Cavaliers did the honors, seeing as how they were the first team expose the flaws of the once-mighty Pistons (in the Eastern Conference finals a couple years ago). The interesting thing going forward is what direction the Pistons go with their rebuilding project.

They’ll have plenty of cap space now that the Allen Iverson deal/fiasco is finally over. I suspect Pistons boss Joe Dumars has a plan mapped out already, and there’s no doubt it includes some big names (wish I knew which ones).

It’s certainly going to make this summer a bit more intriguing come July 1, when free agency begins. It’s supposed to be a sleepy summer with everyone waiting on the 2010 free agent crop. But why wait when you can make a splash now?

THE MORNING AFTER GOING DOWN 2-1 IN A PLAYOFF SERIES might seem like an odd time to have a players’ only team meeting, but Hawks coach Mike Woodson gave the session his blessing after the Hawks’ Sunday practice.

”They’ll meet today and try to figure out some things amongst them,” Woodson said. “For me, from a coaching standpoint, this is not the time for me to scream and yell and curse guys out. We’re right where we need to be. We just have to figure out [Monday] night’s game.”

Secret meetings? Josh Smith and the Hawks are pulling out all the stops to get back into this series.

Secret meetings? Josh Smith and the Hawks are pulling out all the stops to get back into this series.

Johnson didn’t give up the particulars of the time or place and barely acknowledged that any meeting would be taking place. Sorting out whatever internal issues they need to before Game 4 is an excellent idea. Because if it’s going to take a secret meeting to get the Hawks back to playing like they did in Game 1, so be it (no one wants to see one-sided blowouts in the playoffs, well I don’t).

”We beat them pretty bad in Game 1, and they beat us pretty bad in Game 3,” Josh Smith said Sunday. So we’re even. We just have to look at ourselves as individuals and as teammates and come together with a solution. There has to be a philosophy where we have each other’s back. In Game 2 it was a hostile environment in Atlanta, it was just them and the crowd. They played together and everything clicked. They had fun. We have to do the same thing.

”Our backs are against the wall. What are we made of? Are we going to fold and let them win, or do we step up and show them this is going to be a series and turn it around?

WOODSON WAS IN FULL SPIN MODE Sunday, casting the Heat as the veteran crew with all the playoff seasoning and his bunch (everyone knows the Hawks are youngest team in the Eastern Conference postseason field) as the “underdogs” according to my man Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

When asked about the Heat’s supporting cast Woodson said, “When you have O’Neal, who has been a six or seven-time All-Star, and [Udonis] Haslem who has played championship basketball, they have veteran guys who have been through the battles. My guys haven’t been battle tested. This is something new for our team. When I came into the series I thought we could make it to the next round. I want them to think that too. This series is a long way from being over if we take care of business tomorrow.”

Are you buying what Mike Woodson is selling?

Are you buying what Mike Woodson is selling?

If this was some master media stroke to ease the pressure on his team, consider that mission accomplished. But it didn’t look that way to me. I honestly didn’t hear it that way. Woodson’s comments on how his team would bounce back against the Heat seemed far more interesting to anyway.

”Our team has been committed all year long, so I’m not ready to put them out to pasture so fast,” he said.” They have been committed. We’ve had some tough times and some tough games, stretches where we didn’t play well. And we bounced back. We haven’t played well the past few games. We have to find what we’re made of. Until we’re eliminated I’m going to keep fighting and I’m going to push them to keep fighting.

”Again, when we won the first game, I’m sure they were down after that. They had to be thinking we had to win three more to get to the next round. I’m thinking the same thing. I have to get these guys thinking the right way. The last two games, we’ve been kind of punched out a little bit. We have to rebound.”

1,132 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2009
11:27 pm

Wow Sekou, this is about as direct a shot at Joe Johnson’s status as a true lead dog as I’ve seen anyone from the AJC write. And I couldn’t agree more. Nice blog. To be honest, I hope he reads this and it fires him up, because if this doesn’t I don’t think anything will.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2009
11:28 pm

From the previous blog….

Also, if Josh Smith had half the jumpshot Travis Outlaw does, he would be an incredible player. Outlaw came into the league out of high school a year before Josh, and to my knowledge was never a very good jumpshooter as a rookie. Now he has a very reliable stroke. I don’t think it’s out of the question that Josh can do the same thing, but it’s something he needs to work on.

Does anyone else watch Houston and wonder why the hell Yao doesn’t get the ball on every possession? I know Rick Adelman was up there among the Coach of the Year candidates and all, but really, he can’t make it a point to make sure Yao gets fed the ball at all times? It’s the same argument me and many other people make on this blog about feeding Josh Smith and Al Horford in the post, except multiplied by 100000 since Yao is actually an elite player.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2009
11:31 pm

Wait a minute…

“”We beat them pretty bad in Game 1, and they beat us pretty bad in Game 3,” Josh Smith said Sunday. So we’re even. We just have to look at ourselves as individuals and as teammates and come together with a solution. There has to be a philosophy where we have each other’s back. In Game 2 it was a hostile environment in Atlanta, it was just them and the crowd. They played together and everything clicked. They had fun. We have to do the same thing.”

Am I reading this wrong, or is Josh Smith taking a shot at the Philips Arena crowd? He does know Game 2 was played in Philips, meaning it wasn’t supposed to be a hostile environment, right? Or is he just referring to the people who booed him (rightfully so) when he threw that outlet pass out of bounds at the end of the game?

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2009
11:34 pm

And with that, I rest my case. Good night all.

And Ray, check out my post from the last blog. My “throw them all out” suggestion. And for the record, the Smith comments were NOT a response to the struggles of the offense. They were just an unsolicited opinion regarding his underwhelming road playoff losses (and a reminder of the investment placed on his GROWn shoulders).

Poor McKay = Rich’s little brother who is jealous of his way overrated sibling.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2009
11:44 pm

I stand by the criticism I made above of Rick Adelman’s offensive scheme, but aside from that, it’s amazing to see how he gets positive contributions out of this team full of non-lottery players… Artest and Yao are really the only star-caliber, experienced players on that team, and beyond them everyone’s either a role player (Battier, Scola) or a non-lottery young player (Wafer, Brooks, Landry, Hayes, Lowry).

Amazing, isn’t it, how young players can contribute for your team when you give them playing time through the season and allow them to develop?

Rollins Tree

April 26th, 2009
11:45 pm

Hate to say it but hope we lose this series so Woodson is gone. If we beat Miami, he is back and this team will be just so-so again next season.

doc

April 26th, 2009
11:48 pm

even greater invesment on joe’s shoulders and bibby’s. where are our seasoned vets, bibby, jj, flip and mo? same ole crappy response from woody that only perpetuates the vet against the youth mentality. when will he learn? the vets have let down tis team mightily 10 for 30. yup all josh and al’s fault.

doc

April 26th, 2009
11:50 pm

astro, sund is very close to collins, worked with him in detroit. you might be on to something there.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2009
11:55 pm

“I have a feeling that Baron and Camby are much less likely to shrink in road playoff games. ”

That is, if they even play. You are suggesting trading for two players who miss about thirty games each per season if not more. Bibby and Josh Smith may not be as talented as Davis or Camby, but at least they will play. I wonder how long it will take for the DASG to get tired of paying Davis and Camby a hundred G’s per point scored.

Ed

April 26th, 2009
11:57 pm

If this team loses in the first round I don’t see the ASG making a coaching change from comments they have made. That means nothing will significantly change next year. Woody hasn’t developed one new player this year, has coached from day one as if he was desperate. Next year will be more of the same regardless of who (the players) leaves and who stays.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2009
11:59 pm

Have to agree about JJ, the leadership, etc.

I seem to remember Doc suggesting some change of view in that segment.

Astro Joe,

I saw your last comments on the last blog. I realize that your comments about Smith weren’t in response to the struggles of the offense. And yet, it was the struggles of the offense that I was talking about. It would seem that every time we tangle, it always ends up being the same argument: I have less appreciation for Woodson than you do, and you have less appreciation for Smith than I do. And that always manages to come out, no matter what the subject ORIGINALLY was. Perhaps we should try to concentrate a bit harder on the issues as discussed, eh? Either that, or I can’t drink rum while we’re talking. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

As for your answer “throw them all out”, that sounds more like utter frustration than actual thinking. I can understand utter frustration (I argue with you enough… ;) ), but you know what the problems with that theory are. Well, the Falcons did almost exactly that. So why can’t the Hawks? Well….

We’re missing two very key elements. 1)An Arthur Blank. 2)A Thomas Dimitroff.

Tell the ASG (who is no Arthur Blank) that they need to blow it all up. Then tell them they need to let Sund build it all from the bottom up. No really. Go right up to the office and tell them that. I’ll be your get away driver. I promise we’ll make it out of there, because I am capable of driving high speeds in adverse conditions. That, and I don’t want to get caught either. ;) :)

Still, we may see some big changes this offseason, depending on how this postseason ends.

And we actually DO agree on the energy level of the players. I just happen to think that a lot of our guys play with energy that needs to be redirected. Josh is one of those guys. He wants to lead, but he’s not ready. And part of the reason he wants to lead is because others DON’T lead. And no, I’m not talking about Woodson.

The other thing about our team energy is that our veterans (and starters as a whole, except maybe Marvin and Al) tend to play with less energy when things don’t go right. Joe and Josh are the two biggest offenders of the starting lineup. Josh complains more, but Joe will outright take possessions off. And he sulks and makes faces. The two of them make enough faces to make a hundred halloween masks. And I swear, each mask would look different.

One thing is clear. There are a number of things wrong here, and Sund is the man who must see that they get fixed. Looking forward to game 4, despite all of this.

Najeh,

You have a point. Josh needs a good jumper. He’s developing one, but it’s a slow process. He needs to either stay in town with Mark Price this summer, or go with some other shooting coach. And his post moves need work, but I really don’t know if he’ll ever have reliable post moves.

To quote blog regular Niremetal, Josh needs to get the ball when he’s already in motion. That was why we saw him average 20 points in games 1 and 2. Not giving it to him when he’s in motion forces him to create. And while I like the kid, creating is not his thing….by far. This is why I get so wrapped around the axle about our offensive scheme. We’re NOT PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTHS.

And Horford actually DOES have some decent post moves. But we don’t use him for that on a regular basis, either.

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:03 am

“That is, if they even play. You are suggesting trading for two players who miss about thirty games each per season if not more. Bibby and Josh Smith may not be as talented as Davis or Camby, but at least they will play.”

Co-sign that.

“Amazing, isn’t it, how young players can contribute for your team when you give them playing time through the season and allow them to develop?”

Co-sign again.

Gilley

April 27th, 2009
12:04 am

Shots fired @ Joe Johnson. I hope he responds! But the thing is we been knew he wasn’t that player since he disappeared earlier in the season and played bad. We just hoped he would raise his game since it is the playoffs and we are on a national stage. Nevertheless, I still feel we have the better team and should win the next two games and win the series in Game 7 ultimately. I wouldn’t be so upset if we simply lost but we got blowed out and ran off the court and that’s embarrassing and the reason TNT and the national media laugh at us and don’t take us seriously. We have to do better. GO HAWKS!!!!

WHO DIED......?

April 27th, 2009
12:07 am

SEKOU, man you got big balls. I like that, i wish more writers would call out supposed star’s to step up their level of play.I love the fact you are straight to the point and not bias.I got the scoop joe johnson ttrying to get you fired! j/k!!!! but if he is luckyo in his atteme npt,show this article to our lochal papers and im sure they will hire you, k eep up good work.o’yea JOE said “he’s not your friend”,like a b*tch

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:11 am

Najeh,

Maybe Josh Smith meant that it was just the Heat and the Phillips crowd that night. Lord knows players/coach didn’t show up for the most part. That, and there were some Heat supporters there. Maybe he meant game 3 in Miami. I don’t think he was taking a jab at the ATL hometown fans. Doesn’t sound like Josh at all. But you’re right about that play where he threw that ball completely away. But maybe I’m wrong. After all, I’m a Smith apologist. ;)

As for Adelman’s offense, you got me there…but I know this: they lead their series 2-1. Perhaps Adelman wants to keep the offense versatile and unpredictable, never giving the defense any one thing to clamp down on. I don’t know. It’s a concept that could probably work here, if we could just implement it…

bradsmitty

April 27th, 2009
12:13 am

Big Ray,

My question in regards to the coaching situation and Woodson not being able to develop appropriate game plans and adjustments is this:

He has a coaching STAFF. Surely the whole staff is not incapable of coming up with some of the adjustments that are being discussed on a newpaper blog, right? So what’s the deal? Assuming Woodson is incapable of doing these things, why are they not getting done anyway?

I mean, if these things are as blatantly obvious to all of us, aren’t they also to the players and assistant coaches? Aren’t they helping him out with the gameplans and getting in his ear with ideas during the game if Wade has made 5 straight open threes or Joe has missed 5 straight contested shots? Is he just stubborn because it seems to me that there has to be someone, at least ONE person on that staff, that can make the necessary adjustments….

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:13 am

Philly lost game 4 to Orlando, series tied.

How did they lose? Easy. Failed to contain C.Lee, Turkoglu, and Lewis. It ain’t about stopping Howard, anymore than beating Miami is about stopping Wade…

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
12:22 am

big ray i listen to you talk and now you trying to compare howard to wade, get real. there is only 3 players worth the price of admission,kobe,wade,and lebron. howard is just like joe johnson right now at this stage of his young nba career,hopefully develop a mean streak because he smile entirely to much

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
12:32 am

see y’all missing what SEKOU trying to hip you to. wade is the type of player he can motivate men to follow his lead or he can lead by SHOW the confience that i trust you as a teammate i.e.(jordan-like). now you name the one play that shows you that from hawks team,thought so. it’s funny how a supposed weaker team has exposed so many hole in this team player-wise, its not the coach!!! i suggest trading josh smith and moving everybody back to their normal spots on court and shore up the bench and just maybe things will turn around

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
12:35 am

damn even in the fan poll the heat is winning

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:41 am

“even greater invesment on joe’s shoulders and bibby’s. where are our seasoned vets, bibby, jj, flip and mo? same ole crappy response from woody that only perpetuates the vet against the youth mentality. when will he learn? the vets have let down tis team mightily 10 for 30. yup all josh and al’s fault.”

Co-sign that too…

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
12:44 am

i got heat winning by 6 monday nite

Harry Hawk

April 27th, 2009
12:48 am

Judging from the pic, I’d say that the key to playing like LeBron is eating two plates’ worth of food. Oliver Miller tried that, so I guess it doesn’t work for everybody.

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:50 am

Who died,

You don’t understand what I’m saying. I’m not comparing Wade to Howard, much as you’d like me to. I’m saying that beating a team that has a superstar or prolific all-star is not about beating that star. You can’t beat the star. That’s why he’s a star.

What you CAN do is beat his teammates. And that’s what we have to do to win against the Heat. Nobody stops Wade for an entire series. Maybe for a night. Maybe even two nights. Similarly, who in the East compares to Howard at the center spot? And who can stop him night after night? Nobody. But if you stop Lee, Lewis, and Turkoglu, you win.

You can diss Howard if you wish. But uh…he’s performing above the competition easily. He’s the centerpiece of that team, just like Wade is the centerpiece of the Heat. And he’s averaging 26 points and over 12 rebounds a game in the playoffs.

I’m not saying he’s a superstar of Wade, Kobe, and Lebron level. I’m saying he’s the best player on his team, a consistent all-star, and he’s headed for superstar level…quickly. And you may as well call him a superstar at his position. Name somebody at center who’s clearly better?

Again, my point wasn’t to lump Howard in with the “top three.”

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
12:51 am

you know a series is on shakey gounds when you have players only meeting. what they were iron out details to got to the booty club tonite. im sports junkie and that first time i ever heard of players only meeting in basketball

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:53 am

bradsmitty,

I hear you. And Woodson’s staff SHOULD be assisting him on these things. It could be that his staff is falling down on the job.

Then again, recall that this is the same staff that Woody was once again QUOTED (after the season) as having said that he fought them all year long on certain issues (how many guys he played, shortening the rotation, etc).

Also recall that at least two of that staff have moved on. In fact, Fizdale is working for Spoelstra right now. How about that, eh? Others have tried to go, before Billy Knight blocked them.

I’m not saying Woody is running people off. But something is not right here. Either he’s misusing his staff, or his staff isn’t much good. Good luck on figuring that one out, and there’s nothing to say that it’s not a bit of both…

Najeh Davenpoop

April 27th, 2009
12:55 am

“that first time i ever heard of players only meeting in basketball”

A very lazy Google search came up with this in like 2 seconds…

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:56 am

Who died,

If that’s the first time you’ve ever heard of a players only meeting, then you haven’t been around long, or you miss most of what’s going on. This happens on the regular, and throughout the NBA. It’s just that it usually makes local news, not national.

But yes, it does indicate that something is wrong. We’ll see if it does any good or not. If you’re lucky, it won’t. If you’re not lucky, then hold onto your little Heat panties…

mykhalc

April 27th, 2009
12:56 am

see here is my problem…47 wins…10 up from last season. but we STILL ask and are posed with the same f’n questions as last year and the year before (pretty much). this team is fragile because they have NOT been shown how to win when things are not flowin’ or shots are not fallin’!! WOODSON BRINGS NOTHIN’…PERIOD!!! his game plans suck!!! his substitutions suck!!! his plays suck. his speeches (last year, game 7 in BOS) suck!!!! there is nothin’ about him as a HC that instills confidence…NOTHIN’!!! and it’ll be that way even if they advance…which again, i doubt!!!

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
12:58 am

LOL@Najeh….

Happens in other sports, and at other levels…

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:01 am

the difference in wade lebron and kobe is they do everything well’not saying howard isnt great but at the same time when you speak offense about howard their are maybe 4 or 5 with better offense skill set,defensively he’s a beast and the reason magic is struggling has nothing to do with howard, its the same thing hawks are facing, playoffs are a different game. if you watch magic alot of 3’s come from transition basketball, but when you shooting 3’s with a hand in your face the % goes down,and it’s hard to play good ball when the whole year 1 way worked for you. THAT THE PROBLEM O’yea it doesnt hurt when you have physical bigs to match-up vs. howard

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
1:02 am

Why hello there, Myk…

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:03 am

big ray i been took the panties off, im STREAKING NOW

mykhalc

April 27th, 2009
1:05 am

my man Big Ray!!! i used to know how to put stuff in bold!! outta touch bro!!

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:06 am

AND NAJEH THATS WHY MAGIC WANT WIN. THEY NEED PLAYERS MEETING FOR TORONTO

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
1:07 am

What does it say about Howard when he can average 26 ppg in the playoffs, but his offensive game isn’t as good as some others?

The numbers speak for themselves. Again, name somebody at that position that is performing better right now…How about 7′5″ Yao Ming? He’s got great moves. Averaging 24 and 9, and he’s taller than everybody else.

Tim Duncan? 17 and 8.

Howard does need to grow on offense. But the fact that he’s beating guys without that great offense says something. Wait until he develops some serious go-to moves. Then we’ll all be crying…

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
1:08 am

Who died,

Hey! No streaking allowed! Aw what the hell, nobody can see you HERE…

Big Ray

April 27th, 2009
1:09 am

Myk, you’re not nearly as out of touch as a mutual “friend” of ours… ;)

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:10 am

ESPN LOVE LEBRON SO MUCH THEY HAD HIM #1 PICK IN THIS YEARS NFL DRAFT.LMAO

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:13 am

IM STILL WAITING ON SHAQ, THEY ARE ALMOST CLONE OF EACH OTHER OFFENSIVELY SO WE MIGHT BE WAITING AWHILE

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:15 am

Enter your comments here

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:19 am

I MISS LEN BIAS WOULD LUV TO SEE HIM BATTLE JORDAN B/C TRUE BE TOLD HE WAS BETTER

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:24 am

MY LAST THOUGHT ON JOE JOHNSON IS THIS! HE LACK WILL AND DETERMINATION. THE WILL TO GET IT DONE AND THE DETERMINATION TO SEE THAT IT’S DONE

Trav

April 27th, 2009
1:26 am

If Adelman ordered his team to constantly feed the ball to Yao it would slow their movement on offense and hurt the enthusiasm on defense, which is the team’s main identity with Artest and Battier. It’s not as bad as ignoring JSmoove and Horford on the inside because those two are quick enough to play post roles in a movement-heavy offense; in fact, feeding them the ball more would increase our offensive movement. Yao’s got a completely different game. Adelman was telling Yao to demand the ball earlier this year, instead of badgering his team to do it themselves, because he wants Yao to be an aggressor and not a plodder to the detriment of the offense. If Yao doesn’t want to take control and demand the ball after muscling his way to sweet spots down low, giving him the ball constantly is not a recipe to win games.

I believe that dominant players have to carry themselves with an inspiring confidence. Yao’s gotta learn that; then we can lay the blame elsewhere.

Trav

April 27th, 2009
1:27 am

But there’s no blame to lay because it looks like T-Mac is going to the second round in a suit.

scottbravesfan

April 27th, 2009
1:39 am

Did anyone else see all of those empty seats at the Sixers playoff game? They only had 16,000 fans there for an afternoon game on a Sunday when the Phillies were out of town and no Flyers game. And yet people rip on Atlanta and we sell our games out?

Of course no one will mention it in the media either but if it was Atlanta it would be everywhere.

WHO DIED ......?

April 27th, 2009
1:43 am

WHEN Y’ALL SELL OUT GAMES

David Smith

April 27th, 2009
1:45 am

Joe has never been comfortable as the focal point of this team. He must realize that the player with the most visibility on offense is responsible for setting the tone for his team. The heat are doubling him effectively but at times when he beats it and has an open shot he defers to someone else instead of taking the shot. This is a crucial game for us and we need EVERYONE to step up (It wouldn’t hurt woody to play more than three people off the bench either). GO HAWKS!!!

Jones (atl born and raised)

April 27th, 2009
1:54 am

Name me one player that lets another come to there house and destroy them on there own court?????? JOE JOHNSON game 2 d-wade spit on JOE JOHNSON in our house thats when the series change you have a whole city a team looking at there all-star getting stepped on. The suppose to be leader,savior,team captain,all-star team,usa olympic reserve,multi-million dollar role player JOE JOHNSON if the rest of the team see JOE get punished like that how can the not hang there heads. He was scared to take a shot in the game. Go ahead blame it on mo,flip,josh whoever but JOE JOHNSON doesn’t take the spotlight well he basically ran away from it. I would really like to see his combine scouting report he probably runs a 4.2 40. I love my hawks but somebody even if its not JOE someone else has to fight for us like JOSH did the last game push them all knock them to the floor no easy lay-ups , hard fouls play ball this is Atlanta we might not be that good in anything else but we can fight show us something !!!!!! LET’S GO !!!!

Dr. Warren

April 27th, 2009
2:09 am

WHO IS BIG RAY????!!! Where is Sekou on this blog?