Stand up Hawks!

It's time for the Hawks to stand up and to stand together.

It's time for the Hawks to stand up, stand together and show the world that they belong.

 

WITNESSVILLE - Now is not the time Hawks.

And the postseason is certainly not the appropriate place to come apart at the seams.

The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t need the assist.

So to hear the Hawks talk of not “sharing the ball” and needing to “attack from all over” screams of a team in need of reconstitution (and if you don’t like what you hear coming from the Hawks’ locker room since their Game 1 loss to King James and his crew that’s a good thing, because you shouldn’t).

It’s not something that can be done by a coach or general manager intervening. It’s also not something that can be fixed with one of those trendy players’ only team meetings or any of the other conventional tools used by most NBA teams.

This is a calculated regeneration of a team that can only come from individual catharsis, and the Hawks need it to happen 15 times in 15 different rooms at the tony Ritz-Carlton at Tower Center (where NBA soul searching goes on regularly in this city) before Game 2 of this Eastern Conference semifinal tonight at the Q (the arena better known as King James’ Camelot).

As meticulous AJC wordsmith Mark Bradley points out, the choice to either fight back or get smashed, belongs to the Hawks.

Each loss the Hawks have suffered this postseason has been uglier than the one before it. The average margin of defeat (24.2 points) is preposterous at best, and an affront to the game at it’s core.

No playoff team capable of winning a seven-game series, as the Hawks have already done, should be on the receiving end of tail-whippings of 15, 29, 26 and 27 points, respectively. Those lopsided efforts speak to a team that, despite nearly eight months in the fox hole together, still does not trust each other completely, a team that can’t muster the collective energy and focus to at least make a loss respectable as opposed to making themselves a spectacle.

The first thing you hear in the Hawks’ locker room after a bad loss is, “We didn’t play together. We didn’t help each other out. We’ve got to blah, blah, blah.”

If you think I’m making this stuff up, here’s a sampling (edited ever so slightly to omit the verbal offender’s specific identity) of what’s come out of the mouths of your Hawks after playoff losses the past few weeks:

“We just have to play with a sense of urgency like we did in Game 1. We have to get after them defensively. And as long as we share the ball offensively, I think everything else on the floor clicks.”

“We’re up against it now. And we’ve got look at ourselves in the mirror and realize that we can’t get out of this mess without doing it together.”  

“We’ve just got to pick up our intensity. We’ve got to do a lot of things. But it all stems from our effort. We have to play hard as a unit. That’s the key for us. And we have to bring that [today]. Because our backs are against the wall now, really against the wall. We’re going to see what this team is made of.”

“We came out and talked about hitting them first and not letting things get out of hand early like they did in Game 2. But we let them hit us first again.”

“We lost our composure, no doubt. Things weren’t going our way, calls weren’t going our way and we lost it. We let them build that big lead and it got to us. We were never in sync defensively and we just didn’t handle ourselves well.”

“In the second half we just didn’t get into any offensive sets. We were careless with the ball. We had too many turnovers. Any time we have 17 turnovers it’s never a good night for us.”

“It was very disappointing, knowing that we’ve come this far. Looking back on the first series that we had (with Miami), that was very tough, and I thought we would come into this game a little more enthused and come ready to play. I thought we had a pretty good first half, but the second half wasn’t so great.”  

It never fails.

Whenever things go sideways for the Hawks they all start speaking French (”We, We”). For once, it would be nice to hear someone talk about what “I could have done” or that “I didn’t give my team” what it needed?

Whatever the Hawks do, they'll have to do it without Marvin Williams and Al Horford at full strength.

Whatever the Hawks do, they'll have to do it without Marvin Williams and Al Horford at full strength.

On paper, there’s no way the Hawks should do anything more than annoy the Cavaliers for a few games. Al Horford’s sprained right ankle won’t allow him to play at full strength during these playoffs.

Marvin Williams has a wrist injury that followed his late-season back injury, shredding what was easily his best (and breakout) season as a pro.

So no one is expecting these Hawks to shock the world.

But these Hawks have defied paper logic since training camp, including making a return trip to the playoffs whenever publication on the planet predicted they would not.

That they’ve made it this far, even with all the setbacks, is a testament to the resolve of this stubborn but flawed bunch.

Just how stubborn they are and just how flawed they are will come into better focus as this series continues, be it three more games or more.

Whatever happens, the time has come for these Hawks to dispense with all the locker room rhetoric and simply play the game like a team that belongs. Play it for 48 minutes, with the required fire in the belly and without any remorse.

Anything else is an injustice to those who have watched this team evolve from the 13-69 train wreck of a four years ago into the promising bunch that has defied all the odds the last year.

645 comments Add your comment

MyVIew

May 7th, 2009
11:36 pm

With where the Hawks were, the trade for joe was well worth the price. Joe is a big reason we have even come this far. I just feel that what I am seeing means we probably cant get much further with him as our main focus.

King James

May 7th, 2009
11:37 pm

The lead of 20 points was a gift from the Cavs

History has shown that the results dont go Atlanta’s way when the boyz from Ohio come marching through the town.

Cavs in 4 folks. sorry hawks fans

Poor Woody

May 7th, 2009
11:41 pm

Hey Rick, can I have a contract extension? If it wasn’t for injuries, we could have beaten Miami 4 games to 2. If it wasn’t for injuries, things would be better. Can I have an extension? You know I will help this team win more and more games every year. Next year, we will win 57 games.

A Tribe Called Quest

May 7th, 2009
11:43 pm

Joe said he warmed up 3 hours prior to tipoff to “try” see if that would help him. Does he not know hwo to get it going?

WAKE UP

darrell starks

May 7th, 2009
11:44 pm

SERIES IS OVER WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE THIS TEAM NEXT YEAR IF IM GM
1.if we are trying to win a title and not settle for less woody have to go.
2.new coach avery johnson who will coach these team and make better adjustment and take this team to the next level.
3.i would trade marvin and this year 1st and next year 1st for Rudy gay.
4. let bibby go.
5. do what every it take to bring back chill.
6. keep zaza and give flip more money.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2009
11:44 pm

My View,

I agree to the idea that considering where the Hawks were, a good talent was needed. I also agree that we can only get so much out of him. He’s not going to become any more than he is. Fact is, we need to get him some serious help. Paul Pierce knows what the feels like, though I think he forgot in two year’s time what it meant to work so hard and not get but so far.

The question is, how do we get him this help? And for what it’s worth, Mike Bibby is NOT the answer.

MyVIew

May 7th, 2009
11:49 pm

Astro Joe……….good point. Our owner hide their lack of spending, on the bench. I always thought our talent evaluating was sucked. Truth is, when it comes to reserves, we’re cheap. More bench vets would make this a better team. I think woody always feels like he is coaching for his job which is why he is reluctant to use his bench more. Risk vs Reward. If they dont play well, the Hawks might not show enough improvement to keep his job. But it may ultimately cost him, because if ownership is not going to pay for a more seasoned bench, then they are counting on him to develop what he has. Another tough decision.

darrell starks

May 7th, 2009
11:50 pm

COACH AVERY JOHNSON
STARTING FIVE ACIE, JOE, RUDY, JOSH, HORFORD,
BENCH PLAYER FLIP, MOE, CHILL, ZAZA.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

niremetal

May 7th, 2009
11:51 pm

Ray,

JJ was worth the price. Boris Diaw, and two mid-to-late first round picks? Might have been overpaying, but come on. Diaw was scrap metal around here and we would not have picked Rondo with that #21. In any case, like you always say about Marv – JJ didn’t decide what his trade price was.

In any case, it’s beyond laughable that a team would trade for JJ just to clear cap space. Seriously. Barring serious injury, JJ will get max money from somebody next year. To even consider trading him basically for liquidation purposes would be insane, because the teams that strike out on signing LeBron and Wade next summer WILL offer him max money, I guarantee it. He’s in the next tier of NBA players right below LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Duncan, CP3, and Dwight Howard (the only “one-man franchise” players in the league today) alongside players like Brandon Roy, Deron, Yao, Garnett, Nowitzki, Amare, etc – guys who can be the best player on a 45-50 win team or a co-star on a title contender. And he’s in his prime. You don’t give up a player like that unless you get a clear-cut franchise player back and/or a top 3 pick in a good draft. Period.

cdog

May 7th, 2009
11:51 pm

THE PROBLEM FACING THE HAWKS IS SOME OF THEIR HIGH PRICED PLAYERS HAVE QUIT ON THE TEAM. SUCH AS MARVIN WILLIAMS AND AL HORDFORD. THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS. YOU FIND A WAY TO PLAY.JOE JOHNSON IS TRYING TO FIND A HOLE TO HIDE. IF THEY WOULD STOP LISTENING TO THE MEDIA AND OTHERS AND GO OUT AND GET AFTER THE CALVALERS THEY WOULD WIN. BUT THEY HAVE ALREADY CONCEDED THE SERIES SIMPLY BECAUSE PEOPLES ARE TELLING THEM THEY DON’T HAVE A CHANCE. CLEVELAND IS NOT A DOMINATING TEAM. THE NBA IS TRYING TO MAKE JAMES LIKE JORDAN. THE OFFICIATING IS ONE SIDED PLUS THE HAWKS IS PLAYING INTO THEIR GAME. ITS FUSTRATING WHEN I KNOW WRONG IS BEING DONE AND NO ONE IS SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.IF THEY CONCEDE THE SERIES TO THE CALVALIERS SOMEONE SHOULD STEP IN AND DISBAND THE WHOLE FRANCHISE.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2009
11:53 pm

Astro Joe,

That makes sense. Of course, a lot more happens at Phillips than just basketball, and it’s a year-round revenue thing. But as you say, the cap will fall, and thus the luxury tax. The ASG may be looking to weather the storm per se, and try to continue building a true contender when brighter financial days come. That doesn’t give us much to look forward to in the short term, but this is a business, and it’s not OUR money (except when you’re talking tickets, that is). We shall see. I agree about guys like Hunter, Morris, and West.

Again, I think West has some value if played properly. I don’t think the same of Morris. I’d rather pay a couple dollars more and get Mikki Moore. No, he’s not very good, but he’s better than Hunter, who doesn’t even look as good as he did with the Knicks (and that was no great thrill either). He’s not motivated. Hunter, on the other hand, seems to have some solid skills, and has hunger, unlike Morris. Gardner is hungry too, and the kid will/can shoot it from anywhere.

You have to work with what you’ve got, the best you can. I’d develop the youngsters we decide to stick with, and see what they can give us. Of course, a certain amount of trust is involved with that, but that ain’t Woody’s strong point. Of course, I wouldn’t trust much of anything if I were him either. His job isn’t the most stable in the league (unless your name is Poppovich, Sloan, or Jackson). And he’s only on a 2-year contract.

Melvin,

I don’t believe gutting the team is necessary or realistic. If you gut the team, you have to make big trades, which are always expensive. Or, you build through the draft, which means you have to go back to sucking during the regular season and praying hard over the ping pong balls. I agree that we do need some smart trades. We will get to discuss more of this once the season is over, of course. Look for some serious hot and heavy stuff on the Hawks Hacks regarding this, over the summer when we’re all bored.

niremetal

May 7th, 2009
11:54 pm

Joe,

ASG is in a better position than almost any owner/ownership group in the league to weather this economy. Trust me.

MyVIew

May 7th, 2009
11:54 pm

Ray……I never mentioned getting Joe More help because, I have no faith in ownership spending more money. From everything I hear, that is just not likely. That would definitely be the better move keeping our core in tact.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2009
11:55 pm

Niremetal,

Rhetorical question to somebody I’ve never talked to before (that I know of), and was curious about his thoughts on the matter.

Hence the disclaimer “…I hate to bring this up…I know it will piss some people off..”

You know where I stand on this issue. ;)

Big Ray

May 7th, 2009
11:57 pm

Niremetal,

That’s also why I said trading Joe was riskier than trading Josh…

Astro Joe

May 7th, 2009
11:59 pm

What has Avery Johnson done in his most recent playoff appearances that has you guys convinced that he is an upgrade? Isn’t he the same coach who made Jason Kidd (Jason Kidd, not Jason Hart but Jason Kidd) run plays as opposed to letting Jason Kidd run the team’s offense? And aren’t the Mavs who are in the second round of the playoffs pretty much the identical team that Avery did nothing with last year (didn’t they miss the playoffs last season)? Do you not remember the Mavs-Warriors series when his playoff strategy resulted in the biggest playoff upset in NBA history?

Talk to me about Doug Collins or Mike Fratello. Heck, Mark Jackson or Bill Laimbeer. I’ll even entertain names like Keith Smart or Brian Shaw. But Avery Johnson? No, thanks.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2009
11:59 pm

Trading Joe is something that is easy to say after watching him average 15ppg in the playoffs. It’s easier than dealing with the larger issues surrounding the team.

What’s more difficult is accepting the fact that Joe was acquired to build a team around. And if you trade him, you better be getting something ELSE to build the team around in exchange. Unless of course, you think you have something to build your team around on this roster, ALREADY. And other than Joe Johnson, what might that be?

Tough question, eh?

Big Ray

May 8th, 2009
12:04 am

MyView,

You never know. I didn’t expect them to keep such a high payroll this year, but they did. As Astro Joe says, don’t look for that NEXT year, but some smart trading could aleviate the issue. Don’t ask me how to go about that, but certain names come to mind from our team. The question is, who to get…Unless of course, we can expect to develop existing players. That hasn’t worked so far, for a variety of reasons. But we’re speculating into the future…however close or far that may be.

MyVIew

May 8th, 2009
12:06 am

niremetal…..sure some team will give joe max money, but I bet that team won’t have to place the same priorities on him as the hawks. Having j0e makes plenty of sense if you have other veteran leaders or a star. THe hawks dont which is why for the money he would be expendible to the hawks. And just because some team gets him as an expiring contract says nothing against joe. That team is ridding themselves of some other contract and simply using joes contract to do so. He would still hit the free agent market where he can get his money.

The hawks need a leader who holds others accountible in crunch time. That leader has to pull the team together during games. Thats what leaders do. They get in peoples faces if needed or rally the team in adversity. Not all people have that in them. Not a bad thing, just reality.

For what its worth, my personality is more like joes than an in your face leader.

Astro Joe

May 8th, 2009
12:07 am

niremetal, I’d love to trust you but I have no evidence. No history of investment when things were good. If they had done something as basic as cut loose Gardner and make a run at Adonal F’ing Foyle, then I would be inclined to trust you. Had they traded Harrington for a basketball player and not salary cap space, that would help. Had I not read several articles about hiring a GM on the cheap, then I may have some inkling of an optimistic notion. If I didn’t watch them gut the Thrashers and fire 2-3 of the top execs in the ASG, then I could possibly feel hopeful. And if I believed that the reason we initially had 8 owners was because these guys just enjoy a partnership (as opposed to none of them having the Cuban-like wealth to go it alone), then I could truly believe. Don’t take it personally, but I ain’t buying what you’re selling. And man, I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

J.J.M.

May 8th, 2009
12:11 am

josh is playing hard. its just the injuries. when joe gets doubled that leads to one person open that can really shoot and thats bibby. mo evans can only shoot threes. if marvin was healthy the double team would hurt the cavs badly because marvin can shoot mid and long range shots.

calico cat

May 8th, 2009
12:12 am

cdog,

You are an idiot . . . Horford and Marvin are injured – how do you equate that to them quitting on the team?

darrell starks

May 8th, 2009
12:12 am

AVERY would be perfect for the hawks if it wasnt for that silly gm who wanted jason kidd for devin harris avery would still be coaching dallas and may be would have won a title that was one of the worst trade for dallas and that franchise.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Tribe Called Quest

May 8th, 2009
12:12 am

CAN SOMEONE ON THIS TEAM PLEASE COMMIT A HARD FOUL? FOUL LEBRON. FOUL MO.

DO SOMETHING

STOP BEING TIMID LITTLE LOSERS. SOLOMON JONES WAS ABOUT TO PISS HIS PANTS OUT THERE

harry the hawk

May 8th, 2009
12:16 am

Ray:

One other trend point….all of the teams that have ascended to the elite level now generally have three legitimate scoring/cover options (Cavs,Bos,Lak,Den,Hou,Orl,etc….Phil,Dal and Mia are questionable…but so is their status as elite teams.

With that in mind, the Hawks have 1 1/2 sure-fire candidates (Joe and whoever shows up)…two on a good night (Joe/Josh, Joe/Mike)….soemtimes, three when they’re firing on all cylinders.

If we keep Joe, can Josh become a CONSISTENT scoring threat bringing us up to two bodies we can count on every for scoring/legit cover every night? Assuming Mike B is not the answer, does that option exist on the bench now? If not, who might it be?

Know I’m looking ahead a bit but the Hawks current holes are being magnified as they play better teams every night in the playoffs. As we assess moves, let’s also keep in mind that our competition is assessing this same issue: I.e. Chris Bosh potentially going to Miami to help DWade

Thoughts?

hawkman

May 8th, 2009
12:16 am

when did they let the Clippers in the playoffs. Who was that team in Cleveland tonight?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2009
12:17 am

Y’all are funny… the Hawks get their asses beat in a couple of playoff games against a far superior team and y’all are talking about gutting the roster. We all knew at the start of this season that this was not an elite team, and we’ve known throughout the season even as the Hawks fought their way to home court advantage in the first round that the Hawks are not an elite team. Is it really surprising, then, that the best team in the league is kicking their asses at home when the Hawks are missing two starters and have a third in (highly questionable) foul trouble throughout the game?

I think we all know at this point that Joe Johnson is not the same caliber player as the best player on any of the other remaining teams in the playoff field. That was apparent even before tonight’s game. Joe is a very good #2, not a legit #1. Would I trade him? Not unless I was getting a legit #1 in return. If the cash-strapped Hornets offered CP3 for a package including Joe on the condition that the Hawks take one of their other hideous contracts like Peja or Chandler, hell yeah I’d do it. But if not, the Hawks could do a lot worse than Joe Johnson as their best player.

There’s usually not much you can learn from a thorough beatdown like tonight’s game. But if there is one thing we can learn it’s that the bench players Woody has neglected throughout the season are capable of contributing here and there, and it’s in the Hawks’ best interest to give them spot minutes. Yeah, they were playing mostly against Cleveland’s scrubs, but that doesn’t mean Thomas Gardner, Othello Hunter, and most importantly Acie Law can’t play some quality possessions in closer games either. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Woody’s overuse of the starters has led to this injury quagmire in which the Hawks currently are, but you gotta think there is some relationship between the two.

Astro Joe

May 8th, 2009
12:18 am

Marvin’s injuries are literally costing him millions in free agency and yet people are calling him soft. I’m sure that his agent would have him on the court in a wheelchair if he could. All of the good things he did this year have been essentially forgotten as his team has been forced to play without him. Dude is obviously injured. No one should question if he is truly incapable of getting on the court.

EAST ATLANTA HAWKS FAN

May 8th, 2009
12:18 am

YOU GUYS ARE MAD AT WOODSON? YOU WANT HIM FIRED?

YOU ARE RACISTS

JOSH SMITH PICKS UP A TECHNICAL AND EVERYONE GETS MAD?

RACISTS

JOE GETS INJURED AND YOU ALL ARE UPSET/

RACISTS

ALL OF YOU ARE WHITE SUPREMACIST RACISTS. I HATE YOU RACISTS

Astro Joe

May 8th, 2009
12:26 am

Two Joe Johnson trades to leave you with for the night.

Joe for Vince Carter?

Joe for Baron Davis and Ricky Davis (need Ricky to make the salaries match).

hawkman

May 8th, 2009
12:27 am

Coach Larry Brown got the Bobcats up and coming.Chris Bosh maybe going to Miami.Orlando Magic is at their strongest.And the Wizards will have agent zero coming back. Is Mike Woodson the man to get through this division next year. I know his record improve, but to improve next from 47 wins up he would have to win more road games,and beat elite teams who is also going for 50 wins.Also the Hawks have to beat bad teams on their off nights. Coach Woodson has prove he can do any of these things.

MyVIew

May 8th, 2009
12:29 am

Did anyone hear the reporter say Mo says the other team having fun is demoarlizing. I was disappointed to hear he said that, and I hope he was misinterpreted. That is probably true, and that in and of itself is why we have looked so bad on the road. Playing basketball demoarlized while the other team is riding high is a sure recepie for an L. That mentality may be impossible to change.

Astro Joe

May 8th, 2009
12:29 am

Darrell, the same Avery that was up 2-0 and headed back to Dallas in The Finals against Wade & Shaq and then lost 4 consecutive games? That Avery? Who returned the next season and lost in epic fashon to the Warriors in a 1-8 match-up? That Avery? And then refused to give the offense to Jason Kidd? That Avery? Or is there another one that you’re thinking about?

Astro Joe

May 8th, 2009
12:34 am

MyView, Hawks learned ntensity last season from the Celtics. Maybe, they will learn the importance of chemistry this season from the Cavs. Of course, that assumes that some off-season bonding would do the trick.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2009
12:37 am

Despite my somewhat weak defense of Joe Johnson above though, I will say this: in the long term, I don’t think Joe Johnson is any more valuable to this team than Josh Smith. As much criticism as Josh takes on this blog and from other sources, Joe takes just as many bad shots and attempts just as many ill-advised passes, especially in road games like tonight. If you are going to criticize Josh for having a low basketball IQ (which is bullsh*t) then that should apply to Joe as well. And between the two, in the long run I’d rather have the guy who does the occasional dumb sh*t mixed in with several great plays and actually showing that he’s emotionally invested in the outcome of the game (Smith), than the guy who does the occasional dumb sh*t without any apparent indication that he cares about the play of his team or the outcome of the game in general (Johnson). J-Smoove may not be anywhere close to being a leader at this point in time, but you need that fire in order to be a leader at any point in your career, which leads me to believe he can become that. I doubt Joe will ever be that guy.

I would definitely not trade Joe for Vince or Baron though… Joe is nowhere near as injury-prone or as hot and cold as those two, and both of them have proven that they can’t get their team any further than the second round as their team’s centerpiece.

darrell starks

May 8th, 2009
12:39 am

astro what are you talking about marc silly ass cuban made that dumb trade kidd for harris avery did not want kidd he even said it that trade destroyed the hole chemistry who avery had coach that team to a 63-19 and had the best record in the nba.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MyVIew

May 8th, 2009
12:42 am

Astro Joe… Yeah I still remember when KG said the Hawks only get up for the Celtics, but the Celtics get up for all 82. And the Cavs chemistry is very fairytale-ish. You always hear football coaches saying that the championship teams all love each other, and you can literally see that on the cavs. Mike Brown must be a very nice guy when nobody is watching. I don’t want to diminish his accomplishments, but LeBron is the reason for the chemistry and the W’s. He is unstoppable one on one, but at the same time, he makes all of the role players feel important. That is why they play the way they do. Lucky Mike Brown.

darrell starks

May 8th, 2009
12:43 am

OKAY ASTRO WHAT COACH YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE INSTEAD OF AVERY?
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

niremetal

May 8th, 2009
12:44 am

Astro Joe,

I hope you don’t take this personally either, but none of the things you just said has any substance. Of course they didn’t invest in signing new players when the Belkin litigation looked like it might deprive them of the team and leave them with only 8 cents on the dollar of what it was worth. But as soon as it got reversed on appeal, they overpaid to get Mike Bibby. How is that not investing when things were good?

THEY didn’t trade Al for a draft pick, Billy did. AND that was in the midst of the Belkin litigation. AND not to put too fine a point on it, but what player could we have gotten for Al that would have been worth it at that point?

And the articles you read saying they were looking to hire a GM on the cheap were obviously written by guys talking out of their a$$ since they hired Sund, who I promise did not come cheap as NBA GMs go.

They downsized because there were people around there getting paid $2M/year and working only part-time. Most of their downsizing has been at the Thrashers which, I’m quite convinced, they would not have purchased in the first place if Turner weren’t intent on selling the Thrashers off along with the Hawks and Phillips Arena. And Turner was trying to unload the Thrashers for good reason – that team has been hemorrhaging money almost continuously since it was established. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Atlanta’s not a hockey town. It actually speaks volumes about their willingness to invest in the Hawks that they increased the Hawks’ payroll significantly in each of the past two seasons despite the fact that they were posting massive loss margins with the Thrashers.

And how on earth can you think that having Cuban-like wealth is somehow more stable than having 7 different owners with holdings in several different industries and in several different geographical markets? Not sure if you noticed, but a bunch of billionaires have been pantsed by this economy, which is why you see stories popping up in the Wall Street Journal about professional sports franchise owners quietly looking for minority partners to spread the risks associated with owning a franchise. In this economy, you want to spread ownership, not consolidate it. The last thing I’d want in this economy is for us to put all our eggs in the basket of a single owner.

Anyway, that’s a portion of my take ;-) .

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2009
12:44 am

“Marvin’s injuries are literally costing him millions in free agency and yet people are calling him soft. I’m sure that his agent would have him on the court in a wheelchair if he could. All of the good things he did this year have been essentially forgotten as his team has been forced to play without him. Dude is obviously injured. No one should question if he is truly incapable of getting on the court.”

At least for the purposes of this response, I’m not questioning whether or not he can play. I am questioning, however, whether he really is worried by the prospects of losing millions in free agency. We are talking about a guy whose entire basketball career has been based on potential. If being a 6th man in college was good enough for him to be drafted #2 overall, why wouldn’t he once again be inclined to assume that he will get paid in free agency based on his potential as opposed to actual production?

Some players have a higher pain tolerance than others and it’s completely believable that he doesn’t think he can play with the pain he’s currently experiencing. But the fact is that players with lower pain tolerances come to be labeled as soft in sports. Maybe it’s not fair, but that’s how it is. And when Marvin’s front court teammate can come back from a very severe-looking ankle injury to gut out a deciding Game 7 while he rides the bench in street clothes, it does create an impression in the minds of people watching, fair or not.

tiger woo

May 8th, 2009
12:56 am

Stop the nonsense !! Did anyone really expect anything different?

The Hawks – still worn down and fatigued after a 7 game series with Miami, go up against a Cleveland squad – well rested after an easy 4 game sweep of Detroit – led by the league MVP – and his deep and talented supporting cast – in an arena they have only lost 2 times this year – one was the final game when Lebron and other starters didn’t play – not to mention that the Hawks are missing 2 starters – forcing then to start 2 bench players. Then to add insult to injury, JJ gets hurt.

One can only hope that some home cookin’ will somehow motivate the Hawks to get a win or two at home !! No matter what happens, it has been a good run. Go Hawks !!

mykhalc

May 8th, 2009
12:57 am

get a real HC and we’ll get a real ‘team’ outta this same group. book it!!

darrell starks

May 8th, 2009
12:58 am

NO WAY TRADE JOE OR JOSH WE NEED A STAR POTENTIAL PLAYER AT THE 3 WHO IS YOUNG AND UP IN COMING SOME ONE LIKE A RUDY GAY WHO WOULD BE GREAT TO COMPLIMENT JOE AND JOSH.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mykhalc

May 8th, 2009
12:59 am

i don’t think many really thought we’d a have a chance in this series but playin’ without pride and urgency is inexcusable even on the road!!

kirkinga

May 8th, 2009
12:59 am

Lesson #2 In the books and it was still a very hard lesson. The Cavs are the superior team though we need to wait and see how the Hawks respond to the challenge at home. How quickly we forget they took a superior team(and eventual champions) to seven games despite horrendous blow outs on the road.

I love all the easy talk of max contracts going on. Seems people have forgotten that many teams are broke! We saw a “slow market” for free agents last year and the economy has gotten worse.Even it things do turn around sometime next year there are only going to be so many owners that recovered sufficiently enough to go throw max contracts at the true superstars. The second-tier players like JJ are not going to get max contracts there just isn’t enough money for excess.

Remember how many were shocked at what Josh eventually signed for after overestimating the market.

Rick Sund will have to earn his money the next two offseasons. I don’t envy his task as whatever he does, or does not do will no doubt catch the ire of some contingent of Hawks fans.

I predict another intensely fun Summer here on the Hawks blog!

But the season is not over. The Hawks are who they have been all season long including in Round 1. There really shouldn’t be anyone surprised at how the Hawks played in the first two games.

No time to be jumping ship folks!

Go Hawks!!

Big Ray

May 8th, 2009
1:00 am

Harry the Hawk,

Good thoughts. I’ve thought the same thing a few times myself. In order for Josh to become that second option, he has to 1) Grow up quickly, and become a steady veteran, if not a leader. 2) Get better on that jumper. 3) Play to your strengths as a slasher/dunker/low post scorer.

And it’s not all up to him. His teammates and coaches have to trust him and encourage him to be this type of player. And that means getting him the ball in the right spots as much as possible.

Bottom line though: Josh has to play like a legit all-star (voted in or not), for this to work.

But he has to do all of this NEXT YEAR. Otherwise, what are our options? I think we can expand what Marvin does for us. He has the skills to score more. But he’s not a second option right now. In fact, I’m not looking for him to be. I think he’s a good third option, properly used. But we would need him AND Josh to step up their games significantly, chemistry-wise if nothing else. If they play together better, they’ll both score more. But we have to run that system the right way, instead of trying to run every stinking play through JJ, or Mike Bibby. I think both guys can reliably give you 17ppg. JJ can still give you 22 a game. Isn’t that about how Orlando gets by? One guy who gives you 20-something a game, and two guys who give you 17-19 a game? But I digress…

Mike Bibby is past that point, period. He does fit, however, on a team that features a 2-guard who gives you 20+ a game, two forwards that give you 17 or more per, and all he has to do is give you double figures in scoring and half a dozen assists or so.

But again, do we have that team? And if not, then why not? Then you have to figure out who to get, to solve that issue.

This is why I wasn’t totally willing to throw away the idea of getting a guy like Amare Stoudamire.

Here’s an idea: try to figure out a way get Bosh to not go quite as far south as Dade County…

tiger woo

May 8th, 2009
1:05 am

mykhalc,

Don’t blame Woody for this one – gotta go back home and somehow get that first win. Not optimistic though – no Marvin, no Al, and probably no JJ or a hobbled JJ in game 3.

Big Ray

May 8th, 2009
1:05 am

Kirk,

I see you got my note. Squishiness at all time level. MUST…STOP…THE…SQUISH…

tiger woo

May 8th, 2009
1:08 am

Chris Bosh is Josh Smith with a jump shot. Now way those 2 could co-exist on the floor.

mykhalc

May 8th, 2009
1:11 am

tiger woo, i wish i could excuse the cat. but to see the same $hita$$ effort on the road, all year, is directly tied to not bein’ ‘prepared’ to play. coaching has got to be able to get the team thru some games, right?!!? NEVER have i seen coachin’ be the positive difference for this team!!! NEVER…EVER…PERIOD!!!