All the right moves

The Hawks will have Mike Woodson back for the start of another season in the fall.

The Hawks will have Mike Woodson back to start another season in the fall.

HAWKSVILLE - Hawks coach Mike Woodson is not going anywhere.

Hawks general manager Rick Sund made that clear on at least three different occasions Tuesday, on two different sports talk radio shows in the morning and later to me in his office.

Not that it was an issue or anything (laugh track goes here).

Woodson has one year remaining on his contract and Sund, while not confirming or denying any details pertaining to said contract, insisted that the Hawks would indeed “honor Woodson’s contract.”

(Last summer there was a legitimate question about Woodson’s future since his contract had expired. But when a coach signs a two-year deal, wins 47 games, a top four seed, and guides his team to the Eastern Conference semifinals in the first, questions about his job security, no matter what any of us here think of his performance, don’t register with the folks in charge of hiring and firing).  

Read into that what you will. But it should be noted that several times throughout the nearly 60 minutes we spent talking, Sund praised Woodson and his staff numerous times for the job they did this season.

Sund’s making all the right moves leading up to the July 1 free agent frenzy. He hasn’t closed the door on anything (more below) and hasn’t thrown anyone or anything under the bus heading into the draft and what looks like it might be yet another long summer for the Hawks.

Those of you interested in continuing the debate about Woodson’s future are welcome to do so, but anyone else interested in moving off that topic and onto a few others, the rest of this blog is for you:

AFTER ALL, IT IS DRAFT LOTTERY NIGHT around the rest of the NBA.

And after years of being a major player in the lottery, the Hawks are on the outside looking in for the second straight year (which is a good thing if you’ve also made the playoffs for the second straight year).

 

Blake Griffin knows that all the ping pong balls in the lottery are pointing toward him as the No. 1 pick!

Blake Griffin knows that all the ping pong balls in the lottery are pointing toward him as the No. 1 pick!

The Blake Griffin sweepstakes (win at your own peril) are almost over for those lonely teams like Sacramento, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers – the three teams with best statistical odds of snagging the top pick in what doesn’t have the makings of anything other than a mediocre (at best) draft.

There’s no doubt Griffin is the big prize. But outside of the Oklahoma superstar power forward (and Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio and Smyrna native and Arizona star big man Jordan Hill), there’s a consensus that teams will do a whole lot of reaching for impact players in this draft.

“This is basically a two-man draft and Rubio,” a wise Eastern Conference executive told me today. “It’s Griffin and Thabeet and you have to figure out where Rubio fits in there, too.”

So where does that leave a team like the Hawks with the 19th pick (in a draft that is already light on big men and point guards)?

Basically in limbo.

Because if they hold on to their pick and wait and see what shakes out of the lottery and down into their hands, the best they can hope for is the proposition of choosing between the best player available and and someone who strictly fills a need (as opposed to an elite talent at a position that fills a need).

That’s if they hold on to the pick and don’t package it with another asset and move them for something they need more than a rookie swingman (again, you have to figure the best point guards and big men will be gone by 19) or project at another position.

“What they’ve got to do is find a player at 19 that makes the coaching staff play him every night,” that wise Eastern Conference exec told me.

I couldn’t agree more.

The last three players chosen at 19 in the draft: 

Cleveland (and Marietta’s own) J.J. Hickson in 2008, Washington and (Atlanta’s own) Javaris Crittenton in 2007 and Toronto’s Quincy Douby in 2006.

Not one of them started a single game during his rookie season.

So if we go on recent history alone, the chances of the Hawks finding anything more than a rotation player at 19 are pretty slim. And in a weak draft, even that might be a stretch.

THAT’S WHY I CAN’T IMAGINE THE HAWKS ARE BANKING ON THEIR DRAFT PICK MAKING – OR BREAKING – THEIR SUMMER, as has been the case in years past.

You can’t with that sort of empirical data as your guide.

Besides, the Hawks have far more pressing issues in free agency, where they’ll have to deal with what Sund referred to as “moving pieces.”

The Hawks have more of those free agent pieces – Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia, Flip Murray, Solomon Jones and Marvin Williams (the only one of the bunch that’s restricted, as is Josh Childress, whose rights the Hawks still retain while he is living and working in Greece) – than any team likes.

 

A big summer for the Hawks could get even bigger if Josh Childress finds his way home from Greece!

A big summer for the Hawks could get even bigger if Josh Childress finds his way home from Greece! The Hawks still hold his rights while he's living and working overseas.

Tough choices will have to be made. And anyone not invested for the long run (don’t expect this process to be resolved quickly) is probably in for a tough summer.

I don’t suspect that Sund will be rushed into any deals. What with the tightening of belts all around the league, teams won’t be so quick to spend as freely as they have been in the past.

The free agent marketplace is sure to be constipated, just like all the other markets have been since the global recession began (no, the NBA is not immune).

That might actually work out well for the Hawks, if their quest is to keep the core of this season’s roster together as best they can. And from all indications, that’s exactly what their aim is this summer.

IN TODAY’S FINALE ODE TO THE NBA SUMMER, it seemed only fitting that I pass along yet another pertinent link to a home run story from my main man Steve Aschburner of si.com.

For all the bellyaching folks do about coaches and players (and officials, and beat writers and just about everything else), you at least know when you’ve got a good or a bad one.

But as the elder statesman points out, a good GM is really hard to find.

Here’s a taste:

“Hiring an NBA coach is like hiring a tax accountant: By the middle of April each year, you know exactly where you stand. Hiring an NBA general manager is more like hiring a financial advisor: He takes control of your entire portfolio, makes decisions for some distant horizon and assures you during the bumpy times that the plan is sound, that time and patience are your friends and, by the way, that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

And every once in a while, a franchise ends up flipping its keys to the basketball equivalent of Bernie Madoff.”

Make sure you read the rest!

484 comments Add your comment

Badmoon

May 19th, 2009
4:58 pm

Sekou… Thanks for the new blog.

It will be interesting to see what we do this summer. I say we trade the 19th and “an asset” to move into this years lottery or into a prime spot for next year.

Reggie

May 19th, 2009
5:06 pm

Sekou

What point guards in this draft do you think fit the Atlanta Hawks the best? There are alot of point guards in this draft.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
5:09 pm

Sekou, if NBA GMS have proven nothing in the past 5-8 years (as a collective group), they have proven that they do NOT know how to hire an effective head coach. Aren’t Lawrence Frank and Woody among the longest tenured coaches in the Eastern Conference? It seems like hiring a head coach is more of a crap shoot than making a selection in the bottom third of the draft.

Harry Hawk

May 19th, 2009
5:19 pm

Nice job, Sekou. We’ll have plenty to chew on this offseason, no doubt.

Here’s a link to a post I found interesting. When you get to the part about the Sherman Alexie e-mail, see if you can figure out which Hawks player I was thinking of.

And I like that player, but dammit, that e-mail could’ve been written about him.

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
5:24 pm

I’ll ask indulgence from the rest of the blog. Astro Joe and I had a thread going that I didn’t want to leave behind, so here’s the gist of it in our last few posts to one another:

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
4:33 pm

AJ

Meant to ask you about this: “Somewhere, between a 13 win season and a 47 win season, many stopped caring for wins and grew content watching the turnstyle at the scorers table. WTF is that about?”

C’mon now Joe, “many” stopped caring about wins?

I could not name a soul on this blog who cares MORE about playing time than wins. You must be able to or you wouldn’t have made that post. Unless of course it was a straw man argument, designed only to sarcastically make your point.

So Joe, which was it? Are their REALLY folks out there on this blog, who you see as caring more about playing time than wins?

Or was that an over-reaction to the assault on Woody over player development?

Gotta be one or the other.

And then there’s thisquote from you: ” Woody is responsible for the development of the players, for free throw shooting, for turnovers, for defensive rotations, for moving screens, for poor foot work, for fast break opportunities, for points in the paint and a whole lot more. He is both responsible and accountable.”

So, next season, will we see a brand new Astro Joe, holding Woody accountable for all the afore mentioned stuff?

BTW, I agree that Dallas has little to offer.

* Link

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
4:45 pm

Sautee, he is accountable for all of that stuff. Just like any other leader has to be accountable for all of the stuff that his direct reports care for. The CEO of Coca-Cola is responsible for the display at the QT in my neighborhood. Trust me, I understand that concept completely.

Player development on this blog is like the Braves blog complaining about the hitting order. Who gives a crap? The team won 10 more games. If Acie had played extensively, we still would have lost to Cleveland and we would not have had a better playoff seeding. So who cares?

The details are interesting (sometimes) but ultimately irrelevant.

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
5:10 pm

“If Acie had played extensively, we still would have lost to Cleveland and we would not have had a better playoff seeding. So who cares?”

True dat, BUT if Acie HAD played extensively, we’d now have more data to judge his potential as a possible answer to our point guard quandry.

AND, Joe would have played fewer minutes, since Flip’s minutes would have been at the 2, where they SHOULD have been in my estimation.

So maybe we play Cleveland a little better with a rested Joe, AND a little more defense and penetration at the 1, but you are correct that the result would likely have been the same.

“Player development on this blog is like the Braves blog complaining about the hitting order. Who gives a crap?”

Oh, only those who take a long range view. If player development is so easily ignored, woe be to the 2011 Hawks and beyond. If Woody is “responsible and accountable”, and yet is refusing to BE “responsible and accountable” regarding player development, then THAT ITSELF is a great reason to “give a crap”.

I’ll have to point out that you artfully dodged my questions in my 4:33 post..

C’mon, Joe, I have faith in you,answer up.

Joe's place Joe speaking

May 19th, 2009
5:26 pm

Sekou let’s pretend for a second that you are the GM, what would you do?

newkid

May 19th, 2009
5:34 pm

Clearly some GMs and owners awake each morning with a singular thought: what steps must I take today and tomorrow to position this team to win the Larry O’Brien trophy as quickly and as often as possible. Then there are the others…

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
5:40 pm

Sautee, I’m not sure which question I artfully dodged. Ask it again, maybe I’ll be less artful.

Look, at the end of the day, wins matter. Period. The Coca-Cola CEO is responsible for the display at the QT down the street, but I’m pretty certain that the Wall St. analysts won’t send the stock price downward if the display is not up to par. Nor will the Board of Directors convene a meeting to ouster him before day break.

Here’s my guess (and I can certianly be wrong). I’m guessing that Woody’s boss attends practices every now and then. I’m guessing that if Woody’s boss sees a CP3-imitator or a Marcus Camby wannabe balling out of control on the practice court against the starters, that he isn’t going to sit there and ignore the talented player (assuming of course that the talented player isn’t getting nay playing time). Here’s my guess. If Woody lost his ever-loving mind and suddenly started giving Thomas Gardner Flip’s minutes, that Sund wouldn’t sit on his thumb while chewing bubble gum. I’m guessing that in both cases, Sund would associate the coach’s refusal to put the best players on the floor with his own job security. And I’m guessing that Sund would do what is required to change the situation.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe if Woody loses his ever-loving mind and plays RandMo for 40 minutes while a healthy Horford sits on the bench and twitters, that Sund is powerless to do anything about that.

See I do think Woody is accountable for wins and losses. And Sund measures him mostly on wins and losses. And if Sund feels that Woody is not using his available resources to optimize his wins, then there are consequences. To assume otherwise is to suggest that a GM is powerless. And there is nothing about the revolving door of the NBA coaching position that would lead me to believe that NBA GMs are powerless. So if Sund didn’t affect change last season (with regard to player development) and is bringing Woody back next season, then I suppose wins matter and that other stuff is a display case in the local QT.

Or maybe, dude can’t stay healthy and there is no point in reprimanding Woody for lack of player development if the player can’t stay healthy enough to actually get developed.

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
5:58 pm

AJ,

I’m not looking for a reprimand. Marching orders would be nice, though.

Sund DID say in his first interview here that it should be a priority and would be one judge of the staff. But, as you have pointed out, either he was just giving lip service, or, well I guess there isn’t an or. Lip Service it is.

Scroll back up. Every question I asked you in my “re-posted” 4:33 post was a true question except the very first, which was rhetorical.

Did Sam teach you to play dodgeball? ;-)

Wink from Lithonia

May 19th, 2009
6:01 pm

Re: Steve Aschburner of si.com column

If Sund is the Screen Writer & Woody is the Director. Then Sund cast all the chracters and should know the direction of this team. Sund is the one who would set the style of play and acquire the players. Then I have to believe Sund wrote no parts for Solomon, AC Law, Hunter, etc & thus Woody was under obligation to play them.

I also see that the GM has more job security. The longer he let’s Woody keep his job, he can delay making a coaching change, thus provide longivity for himself. He always pull the trigger on Woody at a later date, to show he is attempting to change the script.

Job security for all except us suffering fans…you got to love free enterprise.

kirkinga

May 19th, 2009
6:13 pm

Look, at the end of the day, wins matter. Period.

AMEN!

Go Hawks!!

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
6:18 pm

Hey newk, which do you think Sund is? ;-)

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
6:19 pm

kirkinga,

Can you tell me who DOESN’T think that wins matter?

O'brien

May 19th, 2009
6:44 pm

Sekou, since Woody is coming back, do you know if all his assistants will be coming back as well? I think Woody needs an offensive assistant (although it sounds like Sund is thrilled with the jobs they all did this year).

niremetal

May 19th, 2009
6:52 pm

Well, wins matter of course. The question, though, is not whether the team is winning, but rather whether the team is winning as many games as it is capable of winning. The Hawks won 47 games last year and won 4 playoff games by blowout margins. But they also lost 35 games, many of which were very winnable, and got blown out in 7 playoff games. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to argue that it would make sense to fire Woodson if we could get a head coach who would get more out of the roster.

Many other coaches have been fired for that very reason. In 1988, Doug Collins led the Bulls to a 47-35 record but nonetheless got fired at the end of the season because Jerry Krause didn’t think he was getting the most out of his team. Jeff Van Gundy got booted from Houston just 2 years ago for the same reason. Del Harris, Byron Scott, Flip Saunders…I could go on.

I’ll admit that none of the above-mentioned coaches were running a team that had seen 4 straight years of significant improvement. But I don’t think that should be the yardstick, just as I don’t think a winning record or exceeding some talking heads’ expectations during the regular reason should be the yardstick. The yardstick should be whether a coach is getting the most out of his team. I would argue that Woodson does not, and that one of the main reasons he does not is that he has no trust in nearly half of the players on the Hawks’ roster. Another key reason is that our offensive schemes are way too predictable, which allows us to be picked apart by decent teams when Plan A doesn’t work. Woody might have won us a couple more games during the regular season by running his backcourt and ISO-Joe heavy offense and by running his front 8 into the ground, but he did that only at the cost of wearing down the front 8 and making the Hawks absurdly easy to scout (and, as Sautee pointed out, at the cost of making it hard for us to judge the value and utility of the 6-7 players on the roster that Woody doesn’t use).

So yeah…I think it’s perfectly fair to call for Woodson’s head, wins notwithstanding, if we think his coaching is keeping the team from reaching its full potential.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
7:00 pm

niremetal, like you said, it’s all relevant. Woody has a trend lne that any corporate leader would love to see. Oh and when discussng last season, please don’t forget that our starting frontcourt missed a combined 50 games (that’s a guess on my part) with each player missing at least 10 games.

But really guys, the point is moot, He’s comng back. The time has come to stop evaluating Woody, the ultimate decision-maker has weighed n, case closed. We may be better served to start looking at SUnd’s draft record, past free agent signings and trades. Woody is tucked away in bubble wrap at this point, safe from the darts of the blogosphere. Sund steps into the fishbowl now.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
7:02 pm

Sorry, relative not relevant.

niremetal

May 19th, 2009
7:07 pm

Astro Joe,

Scott Skiles got fired from Chicago after they got off to a slow start in ‘07, even though they won 49 games and made the 2nd round the year before. So Woody might be “coming back,” but that doesn’t mean the discussion is moot.

Blast

May 19th, 2009
7:26 pm

Thought the Woody story was dead. Forgotten. We all knew he was coming back. Knew this waaaaaayyyyy back.

Hawks have a lot of assets to play around with in the off season, including that 19 pick. I’m really interested to see what Sund will do. Tonight we find out who picks first.

Just saw a re-run of a Jan 08 match up in Staples, Lakers/Cleveland. The Cavs won by 3. LeBron scored 41, including the game winning free throws. On LA’s last play and down by 1, Cavs played such ferocious defence that LA could not get a shot off, and the clock expired.

That game was all LeBron, people. He was leaner then, now he’s packed with muscle, and fast, and STRONG. Once he sees a seam in the defence, he’s off like an express train, and NO ONE can catch or stop him. Back then, his jumper was still shaky, now it’s all net. Even the long, looong bombs. Dude makes long three’s like he’s shooting free throws, which he has also improved on. LeBron has improved his game in every facet every year. I see the same improvement in Josh, but not on the same level.

I bring this up to say, Hawks fans, don’t feel too bad about the sweep. Hawks went up against the best in the league, against the Second Coming Of Jordan.LeBron James is on a mission, people. Said it once, saying it again. Cleveland wins the NBA Title this year.

Heh, heh, heh. Always said I was rooting for the Cavs when the Hawks got knocked off!

ESPN might have been a bit presumptious showing that game. I know the world is expecting Lakers/Cleveland in the NBA Finals, but I think Denver might just have something to say about that!

darrell starks

May 19th, 2009
7:29 pm

Sekou all i can say is DAM DAM DAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as long as woody is the coach this team will never succeed its just waste of time.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ayanna

May 19th, 2009
7:47 pm

Mr. Potato Head will be back for the 2009-2010 season. Big whoop. Not surprising. Moving on. To draft or not to draft. To trade or not to trade. Who knows the answer? It’s all a gamble. Glad I’m not Rick Sund. Whew. Tough.

Ayanna

May 19th, 2009
7:54 pm

Blast you are polluting our Hawks blog with your Cavs/Lebron views. Yeah Lebron is great, we were all witnesses not too long ago. Please stop it I say.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
7:58 pm

niremetal, Sund says that he is coming back. I don’t quite understand how it gets more moot than that. But hey, have at it.

Clyde

May 19th, 2009
8:05 pm

Oh Well. Another year making money off t-shirts.

FIRE WOODY

Blast

May 19th, 2009
8:09 pm

Hey, Ayanna,

Don’t feel bad. Hawks done for the year. Gotta talk about the teams still playing. We’ve got all off season to talk Hawks, trades and stuff. There is still a championship to be won.

Ayanna

May 19th, 2009
8:19 pm

I hear ya Blast. Okay my bad. I’m excited to watch the Nuggets vs Lakers tonight and I’ll be watching the Cavs vs Magics tomorrow. So let me stop fronting. Honestly I just like to watch basketball and am an NBA fan too. Sorry, sometimes I be trippin’!

Joe

May 19th, 2009
8:21 pm

Look, good GM’s can find a very good player at 19. Last year, Courtney Lee, Nicolas Batum and George Hill were taken in the 20’s. Rudy Fernandez was 24th in ‘07 and Carl Landry, Big Baby and Ramon Sessions were taken in the 2nd round.

Look, just because we had an invalid running the draft for the last 15 years or so does not mean it has to always be like that. Look at the two best players for the Celtics in the playoff-Big Baby was a 2nd rounder and Rondo was the 21st pick in the draft.

Paul Milsap was mid-way through the 2nd round.

Sund should focus on getting Josh Childress to come back. Then he can let Grannie-ass Marvin go. I would keep Flip and Zaza for cheap and try to get Bibby for $6 mill or so. If he wants more than that, let him walk.

Keep praying that Ty Lawson will fall to us. It just might happen.

Blast

May 19th, 2009
8:26 pm

Ayanna,

It’s all good. Hawks fan first. Fan of the game second.

Tyger

May 19th, 2009
8:26 pm

Hawks Maxims 1.0

Mike Woodson – turned the Hawks around in 5 seasons; made playoffs 2 yrs consecutive; including first 2nd rd playoff appearance in 10 years. Starting 5 consists of 3 players with 4yrs or less of professional experience and have a combined 4 yrs of college experience between them.

Had the Hawks better represented themselves in the Cleveland series, Woody would be the toast of the town, yet, instead, many of us are still scratching our heads. Upper mgt. has publicly given Woody the verbal green light, but the real vote of confidence is a contract extension. I havent seen that yet. Why?

Well, its complicated…

The Hawks drafted Marvin #2, Horford #3, Shelden#5, Childress#6, AC Law#11, Josh Smith#17 of which 2 are no longer with the team; with 2 more exiting this summer. Most likely leaving the team with 1 of 5 top picks over 4 years. (Josh Smith was a gift from BK and Rick Bruener.)

The development, or lack thereof, of the draft picks is troublesome. Injuries are a factor, but he’s been blessed with more than his fair share of talent during this rebuild. Now, however, the economics of player development are catching up with him and the franchise.

When you draft high 4 years in a row, those players’ contracts expire consecutively and tough decisions have to be made. This is one of those years. Last year, Childress, this year AC and Marvin. JJ’s contract is expiring. Horford is due next year. Flip deserves a raise, but not too much – see Cleveland. And we still dont have a true center or point guard. Bibby expires but Jsmoove has already gobbled that up. ZaZa deserves a new deal, who’s a better backup center in the league?

Speedy, Marvin, Childress are nice “chips” but considering Woody plays his starters 40 min a game and doesn’t trust young players, who fits?

Veterans with warts on the downside of their careers.

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
8:28 pm

AJ,

about this: “The time has come to stop evaluating Woody, the ultimate decision-maker has weighed n, case closed.”

So you think I should just forget those questions I asked you?

I won’t.

O'brien

May 19th, 2009
8:50 pm

I agree that good players can be picked at 19. The Hawks need to do a good job evaluating, and we also need to get lucky.

I think the Hawks need to make some changes, whether thats in the coaching staff (assistants) or on the floor. If the same team comes back, I think we will get the same inconsistencies.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
8:51 pm

Sautee, what queston, who cares more about player development than winning? I’d say those who want to use that as a reason for dismissing Woody after the very tangible results of the 08-09 campaign. Anything else you’d like for me to answer?

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
8:52 pm

O’brien, I agree, good scouting and a little luck.

MannyT

May 19th, 2009
8:54 pm

I think the Clippers front court just got a little more crowded.

Blast

May 19th, 2009
8:56 pm

Bad luck Webber. Can’t even get the No. 1 pick for his team.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
8:56 pm

So would trading Horford for Zach Randolph be comparable to the Steve Smith for Rider fiasco?

Melvin

May 19th, 2009
8:56 pm

Ok Sund, its time for you to get on the phone with the Clippers and get Kaman in a Hawks uniform next season….

Blast

May 19th, 2009
9:01 pm

Dunno Astro. Zach is a prolific scorer, but can be a bonehead, while we still haven’t seen half of what Horford can do yet.

doc

May 19th, 2009
9:15 pm

wink, exactly a point many made earlier; the longer he evaluates and does that dance the longer he gets to ride it out. exactly opposite from the trend the falcons have had in BOTH of their rebuilding seasons. they have now over hauled the defense and are ready to accept the consequences from having a much more difficult schedule and younger team to boot. i guess they will have to coach em up on the football field. guess both could work.

really sund will have to do more than evaluate the next few months as he is in the hot seat now as the owners now now what woody can do with a fairly good team. all sund has to do is put it together and if it fails somehow say it is woody’s fault and get in line to buy a t-shirt from clyde before he has a “fire my boy rick and woody” one for sale.

gonna be a fun off season, wont be long before the masses are at each other rather than railing pros and cons of a specific player.

doc

May 19th, 2009
9:17 pm

zach who? maybe see if curry is available as well? just say nope.

artest is available now, unrestricted.

Melvin

May 19th, 2009
9:25 pm

Watching the Nuggets, I couldn’t help but noticed how identical their starting frontcourt is to the Hawks. Nene may have Horford by a 1/2 inch but the forwards are a wash. Know only if we could get Marvin to score like Melo…..

Melvin

May 19th, 2009
9:26 pm

That should have read “Now only if we could get Marvin to score like Melo…..

Keith

May 19th, 2009
9:27 pm

Well if they fired him, it would be racist because he is black right? Also, there is big concern there there are not enough black players in baseball. Why not a study/outcry about there not being enough white players in the NBA that is full of thugs? Hmmmmmmm.

Blast

May 19th, 2009
9:28 pm

Denver. That’s how you play basketball. Play great defence, secure the rebound, and RUN!

I know it’s early, but I think the Nuggets have a great shot to get to the finals. They are deeper than LA, they look hungrier; LA playing like they expect stuff to get handed to them on a golden platter. Lakers better watch out! Would prefer the Nuggets coming out West anyway. We’ve seen too much Lakers.

Donte Jones. So many bad decisions. You think you gonna get calls against Kobe? In Staples?

Sautee

May 19th, 2009
9:30 pm

Astro Joe,

How about those who think he should do what he SAYS he will do? Is credibility not a must for a head Coach?

Does winning conveniently wash away those sins? Don’t you think the players are smart enough to see through BS when they hear it year after year?

Are you so certain that it was Woody’s coaching prowess that led to those wins?

I’ll say this: If player development was the SOLE reason that one wanted Woody gone, then I’d have to agree with you, THAT would be placing development over wins. Otherwise, I’ll side with nire, that failure to play up to potential, and a lack of coherent offensive scheme after 5 years, is reason enough.

As far as other questions, here you go:

Didn’t you say this: ” Woody is responsible for the development of the players, for free throw shooting, for turnovers, for defensive rotations, for moving screens, for poor foot work, for fast break opportunities, for points in the paint and a whole lot more. He is both responsible and accountable.”

Yes, you did and you ALSO said this: “I guess this notion of Woody as the poor developer of talent comes from Acie’s lack of development. Which I agree has been poor.”

So, I ask again, since you think Woody has done a poor job at developing Acie, AND since you say he’s both responsible and accountable…….

Will we see you holding Woody accountable for his responsibilities next year?

Particularly those that he has given lip service to, and failed to do two years running?

Melvin

May 19th, 2009
9:30 pm

Nuggets offense is a thing of beauty tonite. I like how they push the ball up the court after missed or made baskets…. Hope Woody is taking notes because the Nuggets are similar to the Hawks skill set wise…

Blast

May 19th, 2009
9:40 pm

if Denver doesn’t make free throws, they ain’t gonna win this game.

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
9:42 pm

Sautee, sure I wish he would have done better by Acie (for those times when he was healthy). And yes, I will complain if he fails to give love to Acie or someone like Acie int he future. But it will be real light criticism. Like criticizing Cox for abusing relievers or criticizing Mike Smith for rushing Mike Turner too much. I may say a word, but it will be a footnote to likely applause, especially if the trend line continues in the rght direction. Sorry, I’m persoanlly far too imperfect in my personal and professional life to get too bent out of shape about other’s imperfections. When I’ve been rewarded for professional success, it wasn’t because I was perfect, nailed every target or met every deadline. It was because I exceeded the primary targets in challenging circumstances. Perfection is a process not an end result (at least that’s what my favorite minister used to teach). So I promise to take the time in the future to discuss the thorns on the rose.

O'brien

May 19th, 2009
9:47 pm

They say the NFL is a copycat league. I wonder if Woody watches other teams and tries to learn/copy something that works.

The Clippers will have Kaman, Camby, DeAndre Jordan (6′ 11″, 250 lbs)Randolph and the #1 pick (I assume Griffin). Who would they be willing to trade? And who would we be interested in?

Astro Joe

May 19th, 2009
9:55 pm

O’brien, and what do the Clippers need, is the other factor to consider. Kaman and Camby are the two best options for us. Sure, Camby is injury-prone but he has one year left and does everything that we need… good passer, perimeter oriented offense, great shot-blocker and rebounder and he isn’t interested in leading his team in scoring. One ownders if he would stay healthy if we were rotating with Horford and wasn’t required to play more than 24-28 minutes a game. But I think we can assume that they will attempt to trade Randolph before they consider moving anyone else.