We’ve got (a few) answers

Good afternoon, all-

Thanks for your patience. I kind of ended up taking the long way back from the arena because I had to run an errand, and then lunch, then transcribing and now the blog.

Some Mike Woodson material:
He thinks the Celtics are the best team in the league, better than they were two years ago when they won the title.

The psyche question – “The Lakers, they’re the champs until somebody takes it from them. But I think this team has got a legitimate chance to win. To come in here and try to win a game would be huge for our team. It would give us some huge confidence in terms of the season and going from there. It’s not going to be easy. … We’ve got to play a perfect game to come out of here with a win.”

My thoughts. I wouldn’t go crazy parsing “to come in here and try to win a game would be huge,” as opposed to saying, “to come in here and win a game would be huge.” That was just the way he said it. What I found interesting was that he thinks his team has to play perfect to win.

Zaza Pachulia put it well, calling it “important” to win. “You’ve got to beat this kind of team. I’m not saying every time, but you’ve got to steal a game, especially on the road. The next step, to build on the things we did last year, this is it. This is the kind of game you have to win.”

Woodson on minutes distribution against the Knicks. (In order, Joe Johnson 43:51, Al Horford 41:31, Josh Smith 39:44, Mike Bibby 34:37, Jamal Crawford 26:58, Marvin Williams 21:54, Mo Evans 21:52. As many of you noted, Teague got 1:34) Basically, he said that Johnson and Horford were the ones who were unusually high.

He played Horford long because he got hot in the second half. He didn’t play Joe Smith (1:31) because New York’s small-ball style of play would have created mismatches in the Knicks’ favor. As for Teague, “I elected not to play him. Jeff’s going to play. The most important thing is we won. That’s what you’ve got to look at. Jeff’s minutes will come.”

(I think this is a pretty valid point. Eight games in, they’re 6-2. You could certainly argue that talking this early about minutes is nitpicky.)

I will say this – Woodson likes him and has very high hopes for him.

Said Woodson, “He’s just got to be ready to play when we put him in there, and he will.”

As for coming at Boston with a different strategy, he said, “I don’t think we can get away from too much of what we do.” He made the point that his team played Boston well last year, losing three games by a combined 10 points, and the last by 12. Obviously, how Crawford changes the dynamics of the series will be interesting. (Of course, Kevin Garnett missed the last two games with his knee injury)

On Marvin

As I noted in a post to the last blog, Williams spent maybe 30 minutes after the shootaround shooting. He took mid-range jumpers, free-throws and 3-pointers. He was working pretty hard – he was drenched by the time he was done.

He didn’t sound very worried about his numbers, saying it’s early, but, obviously, he was aware enough to stay after to shoot, which he said he does periodically if he feels he’s getting out of rhythm.

He made mention that he thought part of it was getting fewer shots – 6.9 per game this year compared to 10.2 last season and 11.5 the season before that. (This did not come across as a complaint.)

Mostly, what he kept going back to was that he was just trying to get his rhythm back and work on his mechanics to shoot his shot the same way each time.

He said the contract didn’t have anything to do with it, that the time to feel pressure was last year, when he was playing for his next contract.

Said Williams, “We’ve got enough guys to score. I’m never worried about me scoring personally or whatnot. There’s a lot of guys that can score on this team. If everybody comes in and does their part defensively and rebounds, it’s fine.”

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got. I gotta get cracking on the notebook and get over to the arena. Hope this is of interest to you. Thanks again for all of the questions, and I apologize I couldn’t hit more. I’ll see if I can get to a few more before the tip.

413 comments Add your comment

Tony from Stone Mountain

November 13th, 2009
4:42 pm

Tony from Stone Mountain

November 13th, 2009
4:46 pm

I think that if the Hawks get off to a fast start, they will win tonights game.

Johnny Hazeltine

November 13th, 2009
4:54 pm

Chris Paul, 2012!

Glenn

November 13th, 2009
4:55 pm

The Celtics are over the hill . They are long in the tooth . Novembers flash in the pan . Sheed & Garnett are psychopaths . One day you might see them walking aimlessly naked down the highway . Just staring at the sky swatting at imaginary bugs . They are strange freaks . They will get tired eventually & crumble .

Tony ..Tony ..Tony

November 13th, 2009
5:02 pm

It would be nice. This game has azzwhooping wrote ALL over it though. That GLARING weakness in the middle will rear its ugly head again. But its only a weakness against the top 5 teams in the NBA. So at worse we will be making a 2nd round exit again. I can live with that. Woody is going to Frank Sinatra this season to the max. Who is going to stop him? As long as these guys win enough games to be in the playoffs, can the ASG not resign him??? Ohhh and get and Sund to coach the rest of the way??? Yeah right. Play hard make the playoffs get some respect. Thats about all I want from this season. Thats all we are going to get anyway.

Johnny Hazeltine

November 13th, 2009
5:03 pm

Here’s an answer to this question “will Joe Johnson resign with the Hawks?”: If the Hawks are smart, then no.

Joe Johnson is great. An all-star.

But Chris Paul is a superstar, and with all of the events transpiring in New Orleans, chances are he’ll be an available superstar in the summer of 2012.

Mike Bibby’s contract will be coming off the books, and the Hawks will still have the nucleus of Smith-Horford-Williams on the frontline. Add Chris Paul, and we could be looking at the most legitimate Hawks team ever assembled.

That’s why I’m beginning my campaign to the Hawks management to hold off on spending money on long term deals, and bring Chris Paul to Atlanta in 2012! (…assuming the world doesn’t end.)

for you my friend

November 13th, 2009
5:05 pm

Rod from College Park

November 13th, 2009
5:07 pm

Tell Marvin he needs to go to the Wizard and get some heart. He also needs to ask for some basketball skills. Tell him he needs to personally start worrying about scoring because that is what we gave him 8 million dollars a year for, was to improve not decline. Tell him it is not fine. While he is asking the Wizard, also tell him to ask for some confidence and agressiveness, and ask the wizard to take some clumsiness.

Grandad

November 13th, 2009
5:09 pm

Great info and honest. Much appreciated. Teague’s min., “nitpicky”,
from your viewpoint I can understand. On the other hand…we do have
the “Acie Law” precedent.

RLP

November 13th, 2009
5:17 pm

How ironic that both last year and this year the seventh game of the years pits the Hawks and the Celtics. Last year the Hawks had the game won but for a last second shot by Pierce. I think that lost was extremely hard on a young team that was feeling extremely good about themselves coming out of the gate. The loss took something away from their psyche. If I am not mistaken they immediately lost to a bad Nets team and had about a four game losing skid. Who knows what will happen tonight. But I think the team has matured to the point that they can handle a tough loss better than they did last year. For the regular season it is important to not get too high or too low. Maintaining an even keel is the sign of maturity that this team is growing into. Having said that let’s hope they come out smoking and play at a high level throughout the game.

Celtic Spy

November 13th, 2009
5:21 pm

Enter your comments here

Celtic Spy

November 13th, 2009
5:24 pm

I really hope JJ comes out smoking cause most of the time he sucks!

Celtic Spy

November 13th, 2009
5:27 pm

Marvin needs to stop taking his jump shoot cause he sucks! He needs to learn to do the same thing Josh Smith is doing.

Lou Dobbs news

November 13th, 2009
5:36 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXMYlbKtRjY

What’s the real reason Lou Dobbs left CNN?

Lou Dobbs news

November 13th, 2009
5:37 pm

Lou Dobbs news

November 13th, 2009
5:40 pm

I hope Lou Doobs is not planning to run for president.

Lou Dobbs news

November 13th, 2009
5:45 pm

Hawk Str8Talk

November 13th, 2009
5:48 pm

i’ll just say what I normally say on my blog – in a vacuum, teague not playing is meaningless, but the larger point is that there is a problem if you can’t get Teague minutes against the KNICKS! And it’s much easier to say that a young player will know his role and play well whenever you play him, but conventional wisdom says that jerking a player’s minutes results in uneven production and confusion over his role on the team. That’s been the case for every player that Woodson has been sporadic about minutes for, so I think it bears repeating – doing whatever it takes to get a win is NOT always good. It is sometimes much better to develop a player, so that come playoffs – they are ready for all scenarios. Woodson far too often, plays to win the battle (an individual game) with no foresight on what it’ll take to win the war (the playoffs). The fact that that didn’t happen on a night where we had 4 nights rest and were playing the KNICKS!!!! worries me greatly.

O'Brien

November 13th, 2009
5:52 pm

Thanks for the answers Ken.

When was the last time the Hawks played perfect basketball? In my opinion, for the Hawks to win tonight, we need to dictate tempo (we should run more), win the rebounding battle, and win the turnover battle.

I know its only 8 games, and we are 6-2, but I am concerned about Marvin. His ppg down (13.9 to 9.6), apg down (1.3 to 0.4), rpg down (6.3 to 4.9), 3pt% down (.355 to .267), FG% down (.458 to .418),. To be fair, his FT% is up (.81 to .90), and his minutes are down (34.3 to 27.9), but thats partly his fault.

Marvin needs to stop fumbling/stumbling, improve his 3pt% (4-15 will not cut it), be more aggressive, and play better defense.

PD

November 13th, 2009
5:59 pm

Chris Paul by All-Star Break……..how is this for irony? In my dreams, Bibby and Marvin for Chris Paul and Brown.
I would love this trade.

57 types of aliens, not illegal mexicans but real aliens

November 13th, 2009
6:15 pm

57 types of aliens, not illegal mexicans but real aliens

November 13th, 2009
6:27 pm

northcyde

November 13th, 2009
6:35 pm

If you read this blog, you’d think we were an 1 – 8 ballclub, instead of a team with a .750 winning percentage and on pace to win 61.5 games. People can’t even enjoy the start of the season, because they’re so used to complaining about “something” with the Hawks.

God forbid if we lose by more than 8 tonight. A nuclear meltdown may happen here.

Dan

November 13th, 2009
6:38 pm

northclyde, I’m with you. I guess this team is just awful because it won’t go 82 and 0.

We have a good team here, guys. Try and enjoy it.

The Hawksta

November 13th, 2009
6:52 pm

ON The Previous blog:

Thanks Ramone and Traceman for getting back to me with a more solid game plan than Woody ever came up with.

I don’t like it when Woody says”It’s all about the win”. Don’t patranize me with that b.s. This year it’s more than just winning during the regulare season! Time for a PlAN!

How about planning not to overplay your starters!

How about planning to get one of there bigs in early foul trouble by posting your bigs early so everyone can get to the basket!

How about planning to get your rookie minutes so he can take over in case of injury!

How about planning to have a meeting with Marvin so we can renegotiate that fat contract!

How about planning to play Mo Evans more if Marv won’t give any money back!

How about planning to stop that darn iso Joe!

How about planning to buy a new and bigger home if you get a better game plan!

Woody sir… plan to get more blogs by me and the Truth!

Jody

November 13th, 2009
6:58 pm

Hawk Str8Talk,

Excellent post.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 13th, 2009
7:01 pm

Obrien,
I agree with you on The Hornets firing B. Scott so soon. I think the teams failures lay more in how it was constructed and being 13million over the luxury tax threshold more so than bad coaching. There are no ballers on the squad outside of Chris Paul. CP and B. Scott were trying to squeeze molded, cruddy and dry lemons into lemonade and they have been the past few years – the juice just ran out – The GM is next IMO.
I wish we could bring B. Scott in to coach this squad – B. Scott wanted more team depth but the GM failed to provide it. Woody cried for more depth, Sund provided it but coach won’t play his bench.
That being said, let’s upset PP and Celts tonight baby!!!

KevinA

November 13th, 2009
7:01 pm

Ken Sugiura,

You are off to a fast and good start. Love the connection between blog questions and players answers. Inside information is what it is all about.

Blast

November 13th, 2009
7:02 pm

Statement game tonight for the Hawks. A win will be huge, but not holding my breath. Celts have had Hawks number for so long. Hawks have to play near perfect to win. A slow start will be a disaster. They must shoot a high %, rebound and come up with the loose balls.

Even if Hawks lose, I’ll be fine so long as they sweep all 4 home games coming up.

Watch out for the referee effect also. Refs shaft Hawks everytime they play the elite teams. Wade and LeBron both shot 20 plus free throws last night!

Ken S. Thanks for addressing some of our concerns. Nice to hear Woody explaining how he gave our minutes at the Garden.

balla4life

November 13th, 2009
7:03 pm

Tonight Marvin goes the f**k off

Ramon

November 13th, 2009
7:10 pm

Wait, so there’s a way to get a rookie PG ready to play without giving him consistent playing time? I’m confused.

Bailout Coaching!

November 13th, 2009
7:22 pm

Woodson for President, because he can double-talk speak!

KevinA

November 13th, 2009
7:45 pm

Pumped pumped pumped. Cai’t wait to see how the Hawks play. Mercy next 5 games tough. All play off teams.None as tough as this though. We can’t get to high or low. Thats the fans job. lol

Melvin

November 13th, 2009
7:47 pm

I hope Joe left the 3-D-S syndrome in the hotel room tonight… Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, Shoot…

bigdave

November 13th, 2009
8:01 pm

LETS GET IT…!!!

BONE

November 13th, 2009
8:03 pm

Lets do this hawks

Ken Strickland

November 13th, 2009
8:03 pm

Woodson stated that the team had to play perfect in order to defeat Boston. Well, why didn’t he assess the way he needs to coach, use his bench or play his starters? But then again, if he thinks the team has to play perfect basketball to win, that means he’s definitely not going to play Teague, and all 5 starters, plus Crawford, will be forced to play some heavy mins. After all, if he panicks, shortens his rotation and overplays his starters against the worst team in the league, what else can you expect from him when going against what he considers to be the best team in the league.

Didn’t we go through this same situation last season, when we got off to a fast and encouraging start? Didn’t we start out playing uptempo basketball and had good ball movement? As soon as we lost a couple of gms, didn’t we start to see Woodson slowly place his mark on the team by slow everything down and shorten his rotation? In the end, didn’t we once again become a stagnant, ISO, one on one, jumpshooting, guard dominated OFF? After that, didn’t the flareups, fatigue, injuries, finger pointing and passing the blame start to surface?

littile dave

November 13th, 2009
8:04 pm

ready and waiting GO HAWKS

Blast

November 13th, 2009
8:06 pm

We got Hubie Brown!

BONE

November 13th, 2009
8:07 pm

Marvin already missing

Melvin

November 13th, 2009
8:08 pm

Ken,

If the players play a perfect game then how good of a job do you need…lol

Melvin

November 13th, 2009
8:10 pm

Dumb foul Al…. we need ya…

Najeh Davenpoop

November 13th, 2009
8:10 pm

I love the energy early, but the Hawks are pressing a little on offense. They need to be careful to not get in foul trouble early.

BONE

November 13th, 2009
8:11 pm

Josh needs to wake up

Najeh Davenpoop

November 13th, 2009
8:13 pm

Nice move by Josh in the low post… once again reinforcing that if the Hawks actually MAKE AN EFFORT TO GET HIM THE BALL THERE, it does good things for the offense — even if he’s matched up against a former Defensive Player of the Year.

Rondo penetrating might be a problem…

BONE

November 13th, 2009
8:14 pm

good start so far

Najeh Davenpoop

November 13th, 2009
8:15 pm

The Celtics are getting much easier shots than the Hawks, but so far they have been missing. That’s probably not going to continue all game. The Hawks need to be more efficient offensively so they can get easy looks of their own. Iso Joe is not going to cut it in this game.

northcyde

November 13th, 2009
8:15 pm

Just as a reminder . . JJ went 9 – 23 FG in Boston last year. It was a lot of ISO-Joe in that game. But he also made 7 of 7 FTs and had 7 assists, for a total of 28 pts.

Also, we were knocking down 3s from everywhere.

Keep that in mind, if we win tonight

bigdave

November 13th, 2009
8:15 pm

Joe is letting the game come to him tonight…

BONE

November 13th, 2009
8:16 pm

Here comes woody ruining the flow with a timeout