Flip’s gone, time for camp

 

 

Flip Murray and Mike Woodson had a great year together, but that's history now. Murray has moved on to Charlotte and the Hawks are on the eve of training camp with a different mix of players.

Flip Murray and Mike Woodson had a great year together, but that's history now. Murray has moved on to Charlotte and the Hawks are on the eve of training camp with a different mix of players.

 

HAWKSVILLE – One last time, Flip Murray is gone.

It’s over. And it’s official.

Take one last good look at him in his Hawks uniform (above next to Hawks coach Mike Woodson) and then move on.

Charlotte’s gain is the Hawks’ loss, until you scan the recently released training camp roster and realize that guys that the man replacing Flip as the Hawks’ third guard is a player that by any measure is a far better player. Whether or not he’s a better fit on this team remains to be seen. But anyone making the argument for Flip over Jamal Crawford needs to clean the lenses on their BlueBlockers.

And don’t get me wrong, I think was extremely valuable to the Hawks’ cause last season. He was a great fit at the perfect time for a team that desperately needed a tough guy with a no-nonsense attitude coming off the bench to help energize their second unit. But this idea that Flip won games for the Hawks last season is make believe.

It never happened.

Would I have love to see Flip remain in a Hawks uniform? Sure. That would have been ideal. But him moving on to a one-year deal with the Bobcats doesn’t shift the balance of power in the Southeast Division either.

Now there are plenty of people within the Hawks organization that disagree with me. They’ve been arguing me down all summer about Flip. They contend he was far more valuable than anyone realized, that he was a stabilizing locker room presence and the unsung guts of the team. Could be. But I never witnessed that sort of impact on or off the floor.

In fact, I’d argue that Mo Evans was every bit as crucial to the Hawks’ 47-win season of a year ago. He was actually pressed into service as a starter (for an injured Marvin Williams (and the Hawks won roughly 67 percent of the games in which Evans started). Flip was never called upon to shoulder the load of say a Mike Bibby or Joe Johnson for an extended stretch of the season.

I suspect Flip’s loss will have the same impact the loss of the man he replaced (Josh Childress) had on this team the year before …

TRAINING CAMPERS

The training camp roster stands at 20 players, right at the number expected. Can’t say that there are any surprise names on the list either. You know the regulars, the guys already under guaranteed contracts for this season. What deserves further scrutiny is the eight players on the training camp roster that are looking for work. A brief breakdown of each guy and the initial outlook of his chances of securing that 13th roster spot (and perhaps the 14th if someone makes a definitive case for sticking around):

JUAN DIXON – The internal concerns about the Hawks’ point guard depth is reflected in the number of veteran guards on the camp roster, highlighted by this veteran guard. Dixon has never carved a niche for himself as a starting point guard but he’s been a factor on several teams as a situational combo guard. He’ll need a huge showing in camp to snag a roster spot.

OTHELLO HUNTER — Having already made the team this way a year ago, Hunter knows the odds are stacked against him sticking this year. The Hawks are deeper in the frontcourt and they’re not as likely to keep a developmental player on the roster if they’re only going to keep 13 players. Still, Hunter has improved as much anyone on the roster from this time a year ago. And with a strong camp, he could force the Hawks to consider keeping him.

AARON MILES – Miles made an appearance on the Hawks’ practice court during the workout season before the 2005 draft but has been basically a pro basketball journeyman since then. He’s a competitor and the kind of guy that always raises the meter defensively but he would appear to be an extreme long-shot to be here beyond the end of camp.

FRANK ROBINSON – One of the more intriguing players you’ll see in camp, Robinson continues to impress with his all-around skill (think a more skilled offensive player with Mario West-like energy). If you see him in action on a daily basis you keep asking yourself, “why isn’t this guy on someone’s roster?” Then you remember his problem is like most guys his size that play his position, they’d have to face the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson on a nightly basis in the league. But keep an eye on Mr. Robinson. He’ll turn some heads. 

GARRET SILER – Augusta’s Finest is looking svelte these days, somewhere in the neighborhood of 280 pounds or so, per one of my spies. He’s going to make you take notice because he’s usually going to be the biggest man in the room or on the floor. That doesn’t mean he’s not skilled, because he is. And that doesn’t mean the Hawks aren’t serious about gauging his long-term potential, because they are. Training camp and the preseason schedule will be the true test for Siler. If he proves he can hold up against top-flight competition over the course of the next month it’ll be hard to send him packing.

COURTNEY SIMS – I’m giving Sims the early nod as the favorite for the MOST SURPRISING CAMPER award. And it has nothing to do with the fact that he spent undergrad in Ann Arbor toiling for the Michigan basketball program. Sims was the D-League MVP last season and has matured tremendously since college. His frame (6-11 and 240 pounds) is much sturdier now and he has a face-up game that stretches beyond the 3-point line (if needed). I want to see how he deals with Al Horford and Josh Smith on a daily basis in camp. 

MARIO WEST – If folks thought West was fighting for his life to make the roster the last two years, you’d be wise to pop some popcorn for the show I expect him to put on this time around. No one outworks the maniacal former Georgia Tech standout. While he’s been nursing some nagging injuries in recent weeks, there’s no doubt he’ll crank up the energy next week. The sticking point for West, however, is his salary number. As a rookie and second year player, with a salary under $1 million, West was a fantastic investment. Three years in, though, and his roughly $1 million price tag seems a bit high (to some) for a player that you know probably won’t play much unless there are injury catastrophes in the backcourt.

MIKE WILKS – Like Dixon, Wilks looks more like veteran point guard insurance. And he’s had stints with several teams that proved he could be a legitimate NBA contributor. But the idea of another 6-foot (or thereabouts) point guard on a team that already boasts Bibby and promising rookie Jeff Teague just doesn’t add up. Barring an absolutely stunning performance in camp, I have a hard time justifying a spot for Wilks or any other undersized point guard.

287 comments Add your comment

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

Speaking of Mike Bibby lol:

Mike Bibby, where winning doesn’t solve anything:

http://www.peachtreehoops.com/2009/9/28/1058603/mike-bibby-where-winning-doesnt

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

Guys there is no actual “playing” today. It’s Media day for the Hawks… and it starts a 4:00pm I beleive…

no name

September 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

I work for Phillips Arena do you guys want free tickets?

Let me know.

?

September 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Who is better Mike Bibby or Mo Williams?

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

72 reasons to be excited about the Atlanta Hawks: #34 The optimism of training camp

http://www.peachtreehoops.com/2009/9/28/1058573/72-reasons-to-be-excited-about-the

Sautee

September 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

Mac-town,

The most important stat for PGs is assist to turnover ratio. You call Bibby an average passer. Maybe so, but his A / TO ratio was 5.0-1.6 which was 8th in the league among qualifiers. The absolute best thing Bibby brought was his ball control.

Flip didn’t have enough assists to qualify, but among all players he was 220th with a 2.0 – 1.6 ratio. THAT’s why Bibby was re-signed. He takes care of the ball.

I do agree that Flip gave us aggressiveness on offense. All last year I repeatedly said that he was our most confident shooter.

I’m quite sure that Crawford will fill that role nicely.

But here’s an overlooked stat for Bibby. When he joined the team we immediately dropped our turnovers by about 2 per game! That can make ALL the difference in a tight game. Two extra possessions for the opposition can easily spell doom.

Flip by contrast was fairly loosey-goosey with the ball. WAY too many TO’s for him to be a starting pg. Yes, he gave good value, but he struggled when he played the 1, in my view, because it robbed him of his aggressiveness on offense.

But the worst thing was his propensity to turn it over at inopportune moments.

Adieu, Flip. Have a good year except when we play you.

jerrywest

September 28th, 2009
3:01 pm

Flip is one of the best 5th guards in the roster ever.

Bibby is one of the best shooting point guards ever.

Daniel

September 28th, 2009
3:44 pm

uh… No Name sure, who doesn’t want free tickets!

Daniel

September 28th, 2009
3:53 pm

Ramon- I don’t see what the Hawks could offer to get Bell. Even if we gave them MO and RandMo, I think we would be taking on too much salary. Bell is slated to make 6 mil this year. Nice thought I just don’t see it happening.

Daniel

September 28th, 2009
3:55 pm

Of the five guys on Sekou’s list. Pre-camp: I go with Hunter and West. Although Robinson or Dixon may get a good shot if they perform, because I know Sund wants another pg.

Daniel

September 28th, 2009
3:55 pm

?: Mike Bibby

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:00 pm

Bibby and Marvin tal W/790 the zone

http://twitpic.com/jimvn

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:05 pm

Micah Heart:

“I asked Jamal Crawford what his best game was, and he said the 52 he hung on Miami as a Knick. He made 16 straight shots that game. 16!”

He did b/c Dwayne Wade deserved it….

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:09 pm

IDK what Lamar Odum was thinking!!! No prenup and She ain’t even the hot one. He married least attractive one!!! o_0 And what does she actuall DO for a living other than live her life out on TV???

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_liehttp://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:11 pm

& The ONLY dated for 4 weeks!!!!

Maaan she’s going straight to the bank when they divorce in six months…

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:12 pm

Nire, you may want to get in touch with Lamar so you can get a lil peice of that dough when it all goes shouth hehehe!!!

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:14 pm

….I bet she’s pregnant…..that’s gotta be it…You can’t be that rich and make quick decisions on women like that. His Divorce proceedings are gonna cost the lakers a Title lol…..well, they weren’t going to win it all this year anyway….

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
5:16 pm

JerryWest

September 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

Bibby and Sekou look big.

Smoove & Zaza look trim.

JJ looks as emotionless as ever.

The Truth

September 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

Ariose

Sekou said that Mo Evans had bulked-up over the summer and looked bigger. From the photo of him, I didn’t notice any difference. I need a second set of eyes, what do you think?

JerryWest

September 28th, 2009
5:54 pm

Bibby looks like he did some bench pressing this summer. Hopefully he can guard some shooting guards with his stronger body. That way he can play next to Crawford and the skinny Crawford can guard the point guard. Hopefully the extra muscles will also keep Bibby injury free.

Othelo and Mo got some biceps.

A Thinking Fan

September 28th, 2009
5:55 pm

Has the season started yet? When’s Game Time?

moni j

September 28th, 2009
5:57 pm

I’m devastated to hear the news of Flip leaving! I thought he stepped in and stepped up when everyone else was losing team spirit???

bigdave

September 28th, 2009
5:58 pm

Bibby looks like he just got that check… boy been eating good…

bigdave

September 28th, 2009
6:00 pm

dont look like muscle to me… unless he is on that Sherman Clump weight program… with the candy bar curls…

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

Truth, Nah For his size, how much bigger can he get lol…Mo said, he didn’t gain weight, he just made his mass more solid so that he won’t lose it duing the season. Whatever that means :roll: lol

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
6:21 pm

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
6:31 pm

The Truth

September 28th, 2009
6:49 pm

Al Horford is a beast!! He looks bigger; must been hitting the weight room.

?

September 28th, 2009
6:52 pm

Crawford has to get more minutes an Bibby less.

?

September 28th, 2009
7:01 pm

and Bibby less.

The Truth

September 28th, 2009
7:01 pm

Ariose

The way Sekou described Mo; I was expecting to see a mini incredible hulk. I hope his new mass works out for him; It better because Wade will be gunning and looking for a new poster child to make a fashion statement.

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
8:03 pm

New Blog up…

Ariose

September 28th, 2009
8:05 pm

Truth, lol That’s for sure.

JoeH

September 29th, 2009
1:10 pm

We are going to MISS Flip….His “grit” forced others to raise there toughness bar…

However, we have a much improved club.

But, why haven’t we heard any more about the Stackhouse possibility…one way or the other?

Grip

October 11th, 2009
2:05 am

Seku you missed the point on FLIP, for his salary we got a closer in games at the end, let’s not kid ourselves, Bibby can not check a soul, Flip was brought in many times last year for this reason, Joe is a reluctant superstar at times, Flip ain’t perfect but he is never scared. Josh Childress was never asked to win games for the hawks or handle the ball down the stretch, I wanted Chills back too, but we all know he never did or was asked to those types of things, you commented that Flip never one any games for the hawks, dude I have not a clue what you were watching, When it was not Joe or Bibby who was it? Marvin can not handle the rock and Al plays PF in a guard orientated offense, and the iceing on the cake is flip only cost a couple of million, Would you have another center for Jamal Crawford salary and keep Flip or go with what we have? Any discussion of Flip must include his small salary, and i promise you he will haunt the hell out of us in Charlotte.

Grip

October 11th, 2009
2:08 am

I forgot about mo evans, he was a good player last year, but dude is useless on the offensive end, He is strickly a jump shooter, he gives us nothing off the dribble, almost the same as Marvin,This is the NBA, a player that can get his own shot is nothing to sneeze at.