Archive for October, 2009

Woody’s words of wisdom

Jamal Crawford and Hawks coach Mike Woodson are on the same page now after a brief meeting of the minds after Crawford played just 12 minutes in the season opener.

Jamal Crawford and Hawks coach Mike Woodson are on the same page now after a brief meeting of the minds after Crawford played just 12 minutes in the season opener.

HAWKSVILLE – Jamal Crawford was understandably a bit confused about his role as the Hawks’ sixth man after playing just 12 minutes in the season opener.

A prolific scorer sitting on the bench for most of a track meet that ended in a 120-109 win for the Hawks didn’t make much sense to anyone else either, including Hawks coach Mike Woodson.

So he did what any reasonable people manager would do, he called Crawford into his office Thursday (well before tonight’s game against Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards of Washington at Philips Arena) and dispensed a few words of wisdom.

“I had to let him know that he is a big part of what we’re doing here,” Woodson said. “I can’t sit here and say, ‘Jamal I’m going to give you 35 minutes a game.’ But I have to make him more a part of what we’re doing, without a doubt. Because he …

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Depth revealed (sort of)?

Did you see enough of Hawks rookie point guard Jeff Teague in the season opener? Hawks coach Mike Woodson's rotation was 10-deep but as expected, the minutes were lopsided in favor of the starters.

Did you see enough of Hawks rookie point guard Jeff Teague in the season opener? Hawks coach Mike Woodson's rotation was 10-deep but as expected, the minutes were lopsided in favor of the starters.

HAWKSVILLE – Did you see enough of Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith Wednesday night?

How about Jeff Teague and Mo Evans?

Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins?

I didn’t think so.

Sure, the Hawks did what they had to do in dispatching the Indiana Pacers in their season opener. But I expected more, namely in minutes for the reserves.

We’ve heard for weeks about all this improved depth and how much deeper this team is going to be this season. We saw it in the preseason.

But it wasn’t on display against the Pacers.

Sure, everyone played a minimum of 10 minutes and no one played more than 40 (though Joe Johnson was knocking on the door at 39:23). And they did win the game doing it this way.

But 13 minutes and 36 seconds for Crawford and 10:48 for Smith seems a bit light to me, particularly in …

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Are you ready for opening night?

Al Horford and the Hawks insist they are ready to get things cracking in the Eastern Conference this season. We'll all find out soon enough. Horford and the Hawks face the Pacers Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

Al Horford and the Hawks insist they are ready to get things cracking in the Eastern Conference this season. We'll all find out soon enough. Horford and the Hawks face the Pacers Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE – Answer the question.

Are you ready?

Are you ready for more of the craziness that is the NBA season and the Hawks’ role in it?

Are you ready for the season you love to hate, the team you love to hate and the game you just love to love?

Of course, you are.

You’ve been waiting what seems like forever, just like me and everyone else around here.

You couldn’t wait until the Hawks’ opener against the Pacers tonight at Philips Arena, could you? 

We understand. Cleveland and Boston was a fine way to open the season, what with Rasheed Wallace posing a most frightening sight out there stroking shots from deep with the for flowing and sporting that classic Celtics uniform (and yes, that was Shelden Williams logging quality minutes for the Celtics early on, so …

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Injury concerns for Hawks?


 

Smile Joe, you're rocking the new red jersey man.

Smile Joe, you're rocking the new red jersey my man. And for once, an alternate uniform actually looks good.

 

HAWKSVILLE – After a reasonably injury-free preseason the Hawks came crashing back to reality Sunday.

Al Horford sat on a corner table with wires hanging from his ankle (courtesy of a twisting in Friday’s loss in Orlando) and Mike Bibby joined him later on wire duty (on his non-shooting wrist) after jamming it during a drill in practice.

That scowl on Hawks coach Mike Woodson’s face, also a product of Friday’s dismal showing against Magic, immediately turned into a look of worry.

Woodson hadn’t planned on either his starting center or point guard being questionable for Wednesday’s regular season opener against Indiana at Philips Arena.

But as of this morning there’s some concern that one or both of them will be forced to play at less than 100 percent against the Pacers.

“Al tweaked his ankle and he tried to go a little bit [Sunday], but he said it wasn’t …

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The space between?

The Hawks saw far too much of Dwight Howard and friends Friday night in Orlando. And that's the way it's going to be all season for these (so-called) Southeast Division rivals.

The Hawks saw far too much of Dwight Howard and friends Friday night in Orlando. And that's the way it's going to be all season for these (so-called) Southeast Division rivals.

HAWKSVILLE – Stay low any of you unlucky Hawks fans in or around Orlando this weekend.

After your team’s performance against the Magic Friday night (yeah, I know it was a preseason game and doesn’t actually count for anything) might get you run out of town.

For those of you like me that watched the game from afar, you’re probably still trying to get the tag of that 18-wheeler that steamrolled the Hawks (the carnage was all over Amway Arena at the end of the Magic’s 123-86 demolition).

I know there’s not much to be gleamed from a preseason game, especially one where you get beaten senseless (did the Magic miss from deep in the first half?). But this game had special circumstances. It’s the Magic and Hawks, the two teams that finished 1-2 in the Southeast Division last year.

You had to know the …

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Cut Day!

 

The Mario West era came to an abrupt end before practice Wednesday. He was one of three players the Hawks cut to trim the roster to 13 players.

The Mario West era came to an abrupt end before practice Wednesday. He was one of three players the Hawks cut to trim the roster to 13 players.

HAWKSVILLE – A group that numbered 20 just a few weeks ago is now down to just 13.

It was cut day at the Hawks’ practice facility Wednesday, and the scene was grim.

Mario West and Courtney Sims got the word that their time was up before practice, so there was already a feeling that something (or more accurately someone) was missing.

But the gut-punch came later when rookie center Garret “Big Glacier” Siler got his pink slip afterwards.

As his teammates filed into the locker room each one glanced at the big fella with one eyebrow raised. He returned fire with a hollow look in his eyes and the peace sign. Even though they all knew this was not only a possibility but most likely a probability, it didn’t make the event any easier to swallow. Othello Hunter is the only free agent camper that remains from the army of eight that showed …

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Contagious is the new word!

 

The Hawks opened up a can on the Wizards Monday night at Philips Arena, including this nasty dunk from Josh Smith.

The Hawks opened up a can on the Wizards Monday night at Philips Arena, including this nasty dunk from Josh Smith.

HAWKSVILLE – Mike Woodson is retiring his favorite word, for one night at least.

Huge is history. He’s caught the bug from Jamal Crawford, whose passing exploits in the Hawks’ blowout win over Washington Monday night at Philips Arena prompted Woodson to utter this bit of prose:

“It can become contagious,” he said of Crawford’s nine assists off the bench, a total that would have been well into the double digits if not for the greasy fingers and a couple of risky attempts. “We have guys that can, our perimeter guys can all pass the ball. It’s just a matter of guys sacrificing the ball for the sake of the team. There will be times when Jamal will have big scoring nights, and [Jeff] Teague’s going to have big scoring nights. And there will be nights when Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams and Josh Smith have big scoring nights. So I think there are …

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Hawks ready for business?

Joe Johnson and the Hawks are ready to battle DeShawn Stevenson and Washington the top spot in the Southeast Division this season.

Joe Johnson and the Hawks are ready to battle DeShawn Stevenson and Washington the top spot in the Southeast Division this season.

HAWKSVILLE – It’s a fair question to ask at this stage of the (pre)season.

And one the Hawks are more than ready to answer, Monday night, when the Washington Wizards come to town for the home preseason finale (the next time you see the Hawks on the floor at Philips Arena after this game will be for the regular season opener Oct. 28 against Indiana).

“I think everybody’s getting anxious for the real thing to start,” Josh Smith said. “It’s not just us. You sense it around the league, at least wherever we’ve been so far.”

The Hawks need the test that will be this game against the Wizards. Hawks coach Mike Woodson has already made it clear that the starter’s minutes will rise in these last three preseason games (all three against Southeast Division foes). 

“It’s time to buckle down a little bit and get really serious about what we’re doing,” he told …

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What’s in your profile?

 

 

There's no identity crisis for Hawks swingman Marvin Williams. He knows exactly who he is.

There's no identity crisis for Hawks swingman Marvin Williams. He knows exactly who he is. But what do other think of the starting small forward? Find out inside.

HAWKSVILLE – The questions rolled off the tongue much easier than the answer.

I asked Marvin Williams the other day, “Who are you as a player, what’s your profile around the league?”

After rubbing his head for a second and smiling, Williams looked me dead in the eye and said, “I don’t worry about stuff like that. You’d have to ask someone else about that.”

Good idea Marv.

A quick phone call to a friend (a NBA All-Star turned pundit these days) offered up an interesting answer.

“Marvin Williams is their x-factor,” he said. “He’s the key to their season if you ask me. I think Marvin has to be the guy because he’s a 6-9, 240-pound guy that plays what I think is the most crucial position in the league these days. Whatever position the best player in the league plays, every guy on every other team that plays …

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Hawks starters good for 20 hot minutes

HAWKSVILLE – So this is what the preseason looks like when your team is good enough to know that it means nothing.

The starters play sparingly. You don’t really care if your team wins or loses. And you get to know the free agent campers and rookies a little more than you probably want to in some cases. But until we get closer to the “real” games, this is it.

With a group of reporters in his office 90 minutes before the opening tip of Monday’s game against Charlotte at Philips Arena, Hawks coach Mike Woodson admitted as much, when asked when he was going to unleash his starters for more than 20 hot minutes (by time you finish here they should be done for the night).

“When we get to Washington (Oct. 19), Miami (Oct. 22 in Jacksonville) and Orlando (Oct. 23 in Dwightlando on ESPN),” Woodson said. “Those last three [preseason games], that’s when we’ll really start to burn these guys, because those a three teams we’re going to see.”

The Hawks are going to see all three of those …

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