Coming to you from Boston

What’s up?

Just landed in Boston, quite literally. I’m sitting in baggage claim at Logan. (It’s not that cold here, actually.)

Anyway, nothing to throw at you, other than that I’m pretty fired up for Friday night’s tilt. I don’t know exactly what importance it carries for the Hawks themselves – I gather some of you are framing it as a “stand up to the bullies” sort of game – but hopefully I’ll get a better sense of that tomorrow before the game.

Anyway, I am going to shootaround Friday morning at the Fleet Center and wanted to bring you along, so to speak. If you want to give me some questions that you’d like me to ask, I’ll try to get to the best ones and give you answers hopefully before game time in another post.

It’s something I tried while covering and blogging about Tech last year. I don’t really remember how it worked out. I’ll give you some parameters or advice. A question like “Player X, which would you so your game resembles more – a vacuum cleaner or a black hole?” or “Player X, how do you sleep at night knowing you’re stealing money?” is probably not going to make the cut. I sense that these are questions some of you would really like to ask, but these are people I’m going to have to deal with practically daily for the next few weeks or months. Tough questions are fine, so long as they’re thoughtful and respectful.

Anyway, that’s about it. Sorry to post this so late in the cycle, but your deadline is probably about 8 a.m. (If this goes well, we’ll try it again another time.)

Catch ya later. Off to grab dinner and find my hotel.

P.S. I LOVE the passion you guys bring. Some of you probably want to check around for loose screws (ha ha), but great stuff.

160 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

November 12th, 2009
8:32 pm

I’m not a big fan of this, but I’m going to do it anyway.

First?

Ken,

Maybe you could ask them what would it do for them and their psyche if they can finally win a game in Boston?

creamrisestotop

November 12th, 2009
8:38 pm

I hope we can finally stand up to Boston. Of the Big 3…I think they are the most vulnerable.

2nd??

mountain_jim

November 12th, 2009
8:53 pm

It’s a rare game I can watch on TV! (blacked out NC market and no League Pass.) Wonder how many calls Boston gets this game?

Samuel

November 12th, 2009
8:56 pm

Samuel

November 12th, 2009
8:44 pm

Doc,

What are you talking about? I’m not holding the torch for anybody. I’m not particularly a Zeke fan. I’m just saying that Walsh and Dantoni are just as bad or worse. They are 1-9 after a 32 win season. Nuff said. As far as the personal stuff, I could care less cause I know there are those who have and continue to do worse. Hell, NO just fired Byron and looks like the old retread, Tim Floyd, is learking in the wings. You can get any more “crooked” as Tim Floyd.

They basically tanked the season last year and are doing so again for the sake of the “master prize”, LBJ. I really hope he doesn’t go there for many reasons. The main one being, I just don’t like “Good Ole Boys”. Hopefully, nothing personal.

Abe, you know you’re a “scrubb” from way back. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Where did I mention race. I said “Good OLe Boys”. Any race can belong to the “Right Wing Bubba Crew” , right Truth? If you’re referring to my EURO statement. I’ve never waivered and will continue to call this freud out. Jacking up 3’s and playing “Zero” defense will never get a ring over here.

Ken,

Save the BS, we know you hate Woody with a passion. You’d rather us finish last and Woody get fired than us winning it all. That would make you look like the “scrubb” that you are. All these Bullsh_t As_ stats you post but the main one (W-L) counts for nothing. Get a Clue.

Woody/Spolestra/Gentry/Westphal=COY

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Samuel

November 12th, 2009
8:53 pm

ISO Bron three plays in a row.

Fire Mike Brown

truly1

November 12th, 2009
9:04 pm

My question is for woody. What is your plan for Jeff teagues development?

Samuel

November 12th, 2009
9:26 pm

Why is Michael Jordan at the Miami/Cleveland game. Are you serious, Michael Jordan’s jersey hung in Miami. Are you serious?

Samuel

November 12th, 2009
9:39 pm

The Boston game won’t show me anything. I would love for us to steal one but it still won’t change the fact that they are Top Tier team and we are trying to make it there. I still believe however, that they are our best chance out of the Top 3 (Boston, Cleveland, Orlando) of pulling an upset if we meet in the second round.

Big Ray

November 12th, 2009
9:40 pm

Heh, heh, heh. I see Samuel is “on fire”…..

austin emmet

November 12th, 2009
9:58 pm

my question is for woody. i think it should be asked how he is gonna give everybody the minutes they want and have worked hard for. huge fan of jamal but how does mike bibby fit into our lineup this year? he hasnt been getting many minutes…

RLP

November 12th, 2009
10:04 pm

I think it has been a consensus opinion on this blog that the big three in the East are Boston, Cleveland and Boston. And yet at this point in the season the Hawks have a better record that two of those three. The Hawks have a great starting record at 6-2 but have five tough games coming up facing Boston and then NO the next night, then Portland, Miami and Houston all at home. I think before we get too high on the ream we need to see how they make it through this stretch before getting too excited.The Miami game will be HUGE given the way they have started the season. But even after this stretch the future is waiting for the team. I think it is important to avoid a blowout as several posters have mentioned. But I also think a win is not out of the realm of the possible.

Right now the Cavs and the Heat are on TNT. This game is important to tell us more about both of these teams who are in competion with the Hawks. Current score is Cavs 70 heat 67.

O'Brien

November 12th, 2009
10:06 pm

From the previous blog.

It pains me to see how JJ pounds the ball, before giving it up too late in the shot clock or forcing a difficult shot. I really wish he would pass the ball quickly, and hopefully get it back later in the possession. (I really like the way Crawford gets other guys involved quicker).

I know its only 8 games, but what I’ve seen from Woody is the same Woody I saw last year, and the year before, and the year before. Sure, there are brief moments when things look better, but once adversity sets in, he goes back to the old Woody. I just dont think Woody will change much.

I look for the Hawks to win 50-54 games, and lose in the 2nd round again. I think that will be enough for Sund to give him a new contract. And who can blame Sund if that happens…

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
10:28 pm

Ok Samuel I understand your love for Woody as much as I understand Rod from ColiPark for hate for Marvin, but geez you gotta say Woody has to show us a new play or move for Boston. You have to watch his coaching and see how well he plays his advantages. Like what did he learn from the Phoenix Suns upset win? Come on man give us something more than you are married to his sister?!

Mz. Hawkdafied

November 12th, 2009
10:28 pm

Traceman how the heck are we supposed to know what the rookie can do if he doesn’t get consistent playing time? Last night he came in the game with a minute and a few seconds left in the entire game. What the heezy is he supposed to do in that short amount of time? I think questioning the coach’s rotation is a legitimate concern especially when during the off season we were constantly told the Hawks’ depth had improved. You mean to tell me the ATL Hawks can’t win games on a 10-12 player rotation?

Don’t get me twisted, I am not advocating for Jeff Teague to start instead of Bibby. I am not an advocate for Jamal Crawford to start instead of Marvin. It wouldn’t make sense to keep the starting five together and then break them up during the season. In my opinion the starting lineup is set, I don’t disagree with the starting lineup. I am however against a 6-8 man rotation when you have depth on your bench.

I am concerned with another first round pick being wasted. I was disturbed by what happened to Acie Law IV, who on this blog can be certain Acie deserved to be traded? I can’t cause I barely saw him on the court. And when I did I don’t really remember him being so terrible. And now Jeff Teague is being subjected to sitting between the coaches like some little kid who just got in trouble. I refuse to sit idly back and not speak on something that’s bothering me.

The key word is “starters”. Your players who start the game and are supposed to be your best players. The other word is “reserves”. You know players who are supposed to relieve the starters, may not be as good but can contribute nevertheless while the starters rest up.

Come on Woodson supporters, pay attention. Most on the blog are not discrediting the wins. It’s the way he goes about winning. There has to be a more efficient way to get wins using all of your resources. One being the most glaring one: THE RESERVES!

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HAWKS’ PROGRESS AND NOT HATE!

MannyT

November 12th, 2009
10:30 pm

Teague mentioned that he overpacked for the prior road trip, but he had figured out that he needs to take less. What does he leave behind this trip that he would have taken last time?

BWAF

macaroni tony

November 12th, 2009
10:32 pm

I see that LJ is like JJ they dribble the ball way too much…

macaroni tony

November 12th, 2009
10:44 pm

No ball movement when that happens..

Hawksfanatic

November 12th, 2009
10:49 pm

Ken, you’ve been doing a great job so far. I like your enthusiasm for the job. If I recall correctly, you essentially called yourself the interim beat writer. Its tough to follow Sekou (we were spoiled with his reporting), but you’ve certainly got my vote.

If you run into Woody, would you ask him how he likes his rotations and distribution of minutes so far?

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
10:51 pm

Ooooeweeee!!! Mz Hawkdafied bring it! Let there be NO QUESTION YOU ARE A FAN OF THE GAME!!! I’m sweatin your enthusiasm! We need to ask for more out of Woody. He can’t say we don’t have the players anymore. Besides when he was an assistant in Detroit I don’t remember anyone pounding the ball like JJ. Woody is scared of JJ. Yet he fails to realize JJ cares nothing about him and will make his choice to leave our team regardless of how far we make this postseason. Then where do we go? We still have Woody and no Joe?

macaroni tony

November 12th, 2009
10:52 pm

If you look at Wade tonight its a foul.

Melvin

November 12th, 2009
10:54 pm

i_am_soulstar

November 12th, 2009
10:56 pm

No questions Ken.. just a statement. Josh Smith, All-Star 2010.. we’ll accept nothing less.

Melvin

November 12th, 2009
10:57 pm

Oh yeah link to the article on Teague has some interesting quotes from Woody in reference to his playing time… Makes me wonder, does every PG needs a jumpshot in order to be effective in his eyes/system????

jerrywest

November 12th, 2009
10:59 pm

Ken,

Ask the following question to JJ and frame it like this:

“Josh says his assists are much higher this year because his teammates are much better this year. Why are your assists down?”

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
11:01 pm

I’m 5′11 240lbs. If LB came at me the way he just went through Jermaine Oneal I’d have to swing at him and take the suspension damit!

macaroni tony

November 12th, 2009
11:03 pm

Melvin,

That’s a great article..

Mz. Hawkdafied

November 12th, 2009
11:06 pm

My question to Mike Woodson:
During the preseason we fans were treated to a ten to twelve player rotation, what has happened to make the rotation shorter? Is the bench not as deep as was originally thought?

My question to Joe Johnson:
Do you feel as if you have accomplished what you came to Atlanta for?

My question to Al Horford and Josh Smith:
If Joe Johnson decides to go to another team, do you feel that you can step up and take on that leadership role?

My question to Jeff Teague:
How are you dealing with limited to no playing time? Did it shock you? What are you doing to keep limited playing time from dealing a blow to your confidence?

My question to Mike Bibby:
As the team’s point guard what do you feel is the team’s greatest weakness at this early point of the season?

My question to Othello Hunter:
How does it feel to have earned that final spot on the roster? How hard is it to be the only reserve in a suit?

My question to Zaza Pachulia, Joe Smith, Randolph Morris and Jason Collins:
As the Hawks big men reserves, what do you plan on focusing on bringing to the game when your number is called?

My question to Jamal Crawford:
After being told that your role was to be a scorer, do you still feel the necessity to prove that you can share the ball?

My question to Marvin Williams and Mo Evans:
What’s your main focus this year, offense or defense or a little bit of both?

macaroni tony

November 12th, 2009
11:06 pm

Teague is a rookie so you has to wait his turn to play. Now I do think that Woody is coaching scared, and I hate that. But I look at it this way we’re 6-2 and its a long season.

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
11:12 pm

My question to Woody: What is your basketball philosophy offensively?

Mz. Hawkdafied

November 12th, 2009
11:15 pm

So what Teague’s a rookie! Is there some rule that rookies aren’t supposed to get much playing time?

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
11:17 pm

Defensively when are we going to commit to a no layup rule? I don’t like hearing midway through the forth quarter my starting center is whistled for his first foul. I’d like a few guards on the opposing team to get bless with the hands of Jesus by Horford!

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
11:21 pm

It’s not called a hard foul but a veteran foul.

The Hawksta

November 12th, 2009
11:25 pm

Jay Cutler sucks(lol)!

truly1

November 12th, 2009
11:29 pm

Ask Joe johnson does he think when he plays 40 plus minutes it takes away from his defence and Does he feel he has to play that long to get his rythum. Woody acts like taking minutes from joe is going to lose him games or something. I think playing a fresh bench is better than a tired starter.

Ramon

November 12th, 2009
11:41 pm

Ken, how are you doing? I’m loving the work you’re putting in.

The question I have would be addressed to Assistant Coach Larry Drew. I would love to know what are his feelings about the team and the way the offense and defense is ran. Also does he think Sund would block him from interviewing for another position if it came open? (We do realize that Drew would be the head coach of Minnesota right now if he would’ve left for their top assistant gig a few seasons ago).

RLP

November 12th, 2009
11:42 pm

There are only three teams in the NBA and only one in the East with a better record than the Hawks. To many bloggers are getting upset with the short rotation too soon. The season is long. There have been games when JTO has received his minutes. I fail to understand the negativity on this blog when the record is so good. Even if the team loses to the C’s there will still only be three teams with a better record. This year’s team has shown improvement on the road. Why the obsession with negativity?

I saw an argument being made that the best judgment of a team’s strength, even more that the won lost record, is the point differential. In the entire NBA there are only five teams in the league higher than the Hawks +5.8. The Hawks have a higher + than either the Cavs or the Magic right now. It is going to be an exciting season barring injuries.

It seems that some bloggers are setting the predicate to being able to say “I told you so” later in the season. I can understand getting that in but why is it necessary to continue making the argument? You are on record as having expressed that belief. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the momentum being created.

Of course I understand no one will follow that advice. But if the team exceeds expectations please remember that the predicate has also been set for “I told you so’s” coming back at you.

Ramon

November 12th, 2009
11:42 pm

Ken, I’m sorry one more question…

I would love to know if Josh has considered joining the contest this season?

Big Ray

November 12th, 2009
11:54 pm

The constant thing with Woody is this: “We won, so you may not like how I did it, but I got it done.”

He’s right. Can’t argue. He’s right….for now.

Same thing worked for Byron Scott for a few years. Things were looking good. Had a brand new “franchise player”, turned the team’s fortunes around. Had a couple legit seasons with winning records. Made the playoffs both years. Pushed hard in the playoffs one good time.

Then one day, the one trick/same trick pony wasn’t getting it done. Suddenly, the way he was doing it wasn’t getting it done anymore.

Moral of the story: eventually, the ends stop justifying the means, if the means never change.

This ain’t no bash on Woody. Just a cautionary tale.

Big Ray

November 13th, 2009
12:01 am

RLP ,

Of course I understand no one will follow that advice. But if the team exceeds expectations please remember that the predicate has also been set for “I told you so’s” coming back at you.

You’re right. “No one” here is likely to state their opinion once and leave it alone, at your behest no less. By the way, be careful not to state your own opinion more than once, or you may accidentally join this group of “no one” and become a nobody yourself. ;)

Big Ray

November 13th, 2009
12:02 am

P.S.- The game of “I told you so” is half of sports blogging all by itself! :lol: Ever been to a sports bar?

Justin

November 13th, 2009
12:13 am

The concern over Teague’s playing time is legitimate because of what happened with Acie Law. Contrary to popular belief, win-loss is not the only responsibility of the coach. Player development is also important. The Hawks are very fortunate that Sund was able to get Crawford for Acie and Speedy. However, the Hawks are off to a good start and it’s too early to panic over the Teague situation. We’ll know by Christmas I think.
Boston game is really big for team psychology. A win would be huge because we played them tough in Boston last year but couldn’t get over the hump. A win would show a big step in maturity by beating an elite team on the road.

The Hawksta

November 13th, 2009
12:15 am

Big Ray I’m cosigning! Woody always seems to coach as if he is trying to save his job. Forget the game plan. I got to win the game. That’s ludicrous! Which is why the end justifying the means equals we are in the playoffs now what do I do? Overplaying starters kills your team at the end of the season. Sometimes you sacrifice a win to send a message! But not Woody! Lesson one to Joe: I got to sit cha, we gonna need you at the end of the year and I got get my second team ready understand. It’s not all about your nextt contract JJ. Don’t go to the media please!?!

The Hawksta

November 13th, 2009
12:18 am

Somebody give me a good game plan for Boston? All I hear is we gotta beat Boston and we played a great series TWO years ago. They have whipped are tails every since! Get that through your heads!

Traceman

November 13th, 2009
12:44 am

Mz. Hawkdafied,

I love your enthusiasm and I agree with much of what you say but I think you (and others) are dreaming if you think Woody is going to find consistent minutes for Teague as long as everyone is healthy and playing well. He is not playing behind a bunch of scrubs, all THREE guards ahead of him in the rotation are on the the All Star ballot for a reason.

There are only 96 mpg available at the guard positions. JJ is going to play 36 mpg MINIMUM and probably closer to the 37 mpg he is playing right now. Anything less for him would likely be detrimental to the team. As of today, the team’s mpg are as follows:

JJ – 37.3 mpg
Al – 34.6 mpg
Smoove – 32.3 mpg
Crawford – 29.5 mpg
Bibby – 28.8 mpg
Marv – 27.9 mpg
Mo – 16.1 mpg
Zaza – 12.6 mpg
Teague – 11.7 mpg
Joe S. – 8.8 mpg

Looking at those numbers, who needs to play less to get Teague consistent minutes? Crawford and Bibby are going to play around 30 mpg each if healthy and some of Crawford’s minutes are going to come at PG. The fact that Crawford is versatile enough to play PG KILLS Teague. If Crawford were a SG only he would be fine but that is not the case.

This dream scenario that many of you have of a 10-man rotation is a fantasy. The starters plus Crawford, Mo and Zaza are going to play consistent minutes. Teague and Joe Smith are going to play some nights and some nights they won’t. Collins and Morris will play only in special situations. Some teams play a 9 man rotation but most really only go 8 deep. The ones who go 9 deep usually don’t have as many guys as we do who can play multiple positions. Unfortunately for Teague, our BEST bench guy plays a lot at his position.

The primary difference in this year versus last year with regard to the bench is that if someone gets injured, the person coming in will be MUCH more capable of picking up the slack (i.e Teague over Acie and Joe S. over Solo). That is a great thing because it is a long season.

It amazes me how people still want to blame Woody for Acie’s failure. Acie was our STARTING PG on opening night his rookie year. Al came off the bench behind Zaza. Acie got hurt shortly thereafter and he was never able to stay healthy for long. When he was healthy, he didn’t do anything of significance. Acie couldn’t even shine against the likes of AJ and T Lue. Teague would have EASILY been our starter in that situation. Acie is nowhere near the player that Teague is. Never was and never will be.

Ramon

November 13th, 2009
12:46 am

Hawksta, the game plan for the Celtics has to be feeding Horford and Smoove on the block, early and regularly. The more that Horford and Smoove are involved in the offense, the more active they both are on the boards. Rebounding has been the main thing that has kept the Celtics above the Hawks. And theres a chance that Wallace plays better for Atlanta than Powe did. I say that because Powe camped out around the basket waiting for offensive rebounds. But with Wallace, he’s more likely to be out of position for high rebound games, because he’s constantly on the perimeter. I

Also, I don’t think KG can dominate Smoove. For the past two seasons, Josh’s defense on KG has been better than anyone else has guarded KG in the league. I do think with Ray Allen, you’ll be able to get away more with the lineup of Bibby, Crawford, Joe, Smoove, and Horford. Because Allen mainly only run behind backdoor screens, and I think Crawford will give him problems on the other end. If Joe was too quick for Ray, I know JC will be.

Another thing is Zaza must outplay the bigs off the bench for Boston. We can’t have any turnovers by not expecting the pass, that Zaza gets sometimes.

I’m actually looking forward to this game to see what can and will be done. I think the biggest factor in the game though, will be the referees. A few times the referees have stopped any minor run the Hawks have made in Boston. If the referees stay fair, or let them play everything out. I look for the Hawks to be able to attack early and often. Boston’s record and stat of only allowing 84 ppg is misleading because they’ve only played 2 winning teams (Cleveland and Phoenix), each other team from their record have a losing record (including New Jersey, Minnesota, New Orleans, Chicago and Charlotte).

Traceman

November 13th, 2009
1:13 am

My game plan against the Celtics would be to try to get them to play uptempo and to post up Ray Allen with JJ (or Marvin if they put Pierce on JJ) in the halfcourt. When the double came (as it would have to as there is no way Allen can guard JJ in the post), JJ needs to pass the ball and force the Celtics D to rotate. We must then knock down the open shot. Shooting will be the key. If we make shots, we have a shot to win.

On D, I’m doubling Pierce on the catch and forcing someone else to beat me. KG does not look like his old self yet coming off that knee surgery. I’d go with JJ on Rondo and I’d send all 5 guys to the glass because they are so much bigger up front. I’d try to run on missed shots and force KG to run on that knee.

Their bench has been playing well but it’s easier to play when you are ahead. Hopefully, we can keep it close and see if they can respond in a tough game.

cp

November 13th, 2009
1:34 am

Mz. Hawkdafied great post at 10:26….. O’Brien you’re right, Woodson will not change.. ray another great points once again…I know people keep saying oh its early in the season he has time to change it up, well his past gives me a different impression. He is doing exactly what he has done many times before. As someone said before, if Denver in a tough western conference can find minutes for Lawson then its no reason Woodson cant find consistent minutes for Teague.

honest_abe

November 13th, 2009
1:40 am

samuel: what part of that trash did you feel was worth reposting? it made you look stupid enough the first time so what made you feel the urge to make everyone else see it as well?

you sound like a bitter old man… and you always bring race into every argument. nothing’s changed. everything ain’t black and white.

Ben Cayadi

November 13th, 2009
1:43 am

Ramon

November 13th, 2009
1:48 am

Samuel, you do realize it was that Euro Gasol who got Kobe his first ring since Shaq right? And also you do realize its that Euro Parker who has an NBA Finals MVP trophy right?

Ramon

November 13th, 2009
2:05 am

Oh yea, Samuel, you also realize its that Euro Wilkins who is known as the Hawks greatest player ever right?