Moving on

6:26 p.m. My apologies. I thought this had posted this morning.

Wow. Impressive performance last night. As I wrote in my story, I think a lot of things went into it. Toronto is a poor defensive team and was on the end of a back-to-back. The Hawks were agitated after the Detroit loss and rested. And I think someone posted something that Al Horford said, that the Hawks do well against up-tempo teams because they can run but also defend. It was just one of those nights where everything worked. Mike Bibby, for instance, made all four of his 3-point attempts. Every player except Jeff Teague and Jason Collins shot 50 percent or better.

Anyway, onto the next thing. I am planning on writing for Friday about back-to-back games, particularly the Hawks’ difficult set of them this month. After the Knicks Friday, they fly to Dallas for a Saturday game. Dec. 18-19 home against Utah/at Chicago; Dec. 22-23 at Minnesota/at Denver. Dec. 29-30 Cleveland/at Cleveland.

Not that Chicago will be a cakewalk, but Dallas/Denver/Cleveland for back ends of back-to-backs is pretty rough. Mike Woodson said before the game that he wanted to go somewhere between 8-6 and 10-4 for the month, which puts even more of an emphasis on the rest of those games. Not much margin for error.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll leave you with a couple sound bites from the locker room that I didn’t get into the story.

Woodson: It’s fun to watch. The basketball’s moving and I think we had 30-some assists, guys are sacrificing the basketball and that’s how it’s got to be offensively. We’ve got enough guys that can score the ball and make shots. We’ve got to execute our offense and when it calls for you to set a screen, you’ve got to set the screen. It calls for you to make a pass to set up the guy that’s going to receive it, you’ve got to do that. So I thought we did an excellent job in that area tonight.
(my comments: This sounds like Woodson told the team much of the same thing leading up to Toronto. I don’t think he just pulled that out of the air.)

Joe Johnson: I think everybody pretty much knows we’re an explosive team. We’ve shown that throughout this early season but I think our consistency is where we’re lacking. We’ve got to figure it out out on the road instead of just having it pretty good at home. We’ve got to get to where we’re a pretty good team on the road.

105 comments Add your comment

JerkOnAJC

December 3rd, 2009
6:46 pm

Took you 7+ hours to realize that your own post on your section of the site didn’t post? Wow

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2009
6:46 pm

“Mike Woodson said before the game that he wanted to go somewhere between 8-6 and 10-4 for the month”

When the top three seeds in the conference are winning three out of every four games, “between 8-6 and 10-4 for the month” isn’t good enough to keep pace. I think 10-4 is the lower range of both what the Hawks should expect and what they are capable of doing. I think it’s reasonable to expect that they drop games @DAL, @CLE, @DEN, and @CHI at the most, while winning vs TOR (already won), vs NY, vs CHI, @TOR, vs NJ, vs MEM, vs UTA, @MIN, @IND, and vs CLE. All four of those projected losses are road games against decent-to-good teams on the second game of a back-to-back. This would leave them 10-4 for the month, but really it’s not out of the question that they win at least one of those four road games as well.

Steve

December 3rd, 2009
6:47 pm

Ken, can you find out why Ryan Cameron says “boss” every time Horford makes a shot? I’m beyond curious at this point.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
6:59 pm

Ken S. I’ll be glad when they find a Hawks Beat Blog replacement because YOU SUCK!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2009
7:03 pm

Oh yeah, and although back to backs are tough, the Hawks can really minimize the damage if they blow out the Knicks and the Timberwolves, each of whom they play on the first game of a back-to-back in December. Pouncing on those teams early will allow the key players to rest for the games that follow them — @DAL after the Knicks game, and @DEN after the Wolves game.

Benjamin

December 3rd, 2009
7:04 pm

Don’t listen to the haters, Kenny Sug. Can I call you Kenny Sug?

Great game last night. We’ve got a pretty good stretch ahead of us in terms of beatable opponents, as Davenpoop mentioned above. I really wish we could’ve beaten Detroit the other night, though.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
7:07 pm

Steve, for like the upteempth time last season I can’t remember where, when, and who interviewed Al but they asked him what would he like his nickname/like to be called and he said “Boss”. Ever since then Ryan Cameron and those in the know have been referring to him as “Boss”.

Hawk n the Ham

December 3rd, 2009
7:08 pm

“6:26 p.m. My apologies. I thought this had posted this morning.”

Hitting the fire water a little early today Ken?

HEAT CHECK!!

niremetal

December 3rd, 2009
7:08 pm

If we go 8-6 or better during the next month, we will be sitting pretty. We have a frontloaded schedule in terms of schedule difficulty. After this month, we have a rough weekend in mid-January where we play Boston twice and Orlando on the road, and a rough last week of January (home against Boston, and then away against Houston, San Antonio, and Orlando). Other than those two patches, the worst of the schedule will be behind us by the end of December. So if we come out of December at 20-11 or better, we’ll be in a great position.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
7:10 pm

How about calling him Ken Sucks, Benjamin? That fits how he’s been so far on the Hawks Beat blog.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
7:20 pm

You couldn’t tell Jeff Teague shot below 50% or better cause he was one of the Hawks players in double figures. Without his below 50% point contribution the Hawks wouldn’t have had nine players in double figures. I was at the game screaming for Mo Evans to get in double figures. And also rooting on Jason Collins to put some points on the scoreboard. It’s all good, Jason Collins did get 2 assists and 2 rebounds.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
7:25 pm

I’m still a little irritated that when we first brought up minutes and rotations. Ken Sucks called it nitpicking. And then later comes back with a blog called Talking about Minutes. LOL! SMH!

noel

December 3rd, 2009
7:35 pm

With those back to back games this month.Woody must use the bench and let them play extended time. We are 1 of the best team in the nba right now, we just need consistency at both ends of the floor.You can’t be consistent if you are tired so Mike Woodson use the beach please like you did last night.

Ken Strickland

December 3rd, 2009
8:10 pm

Did Joe Johnson actually mention the word CONSISTENCY? Now where have I heard or seen that word or concept mentioned before? THAT’S THE FOUNDATION OF WHAT I’VE BEEN PREACHING ALL ALONG. I’d like to offer a word to JJ. ON THE BASKETBALL COURT, ESTABLISHING TEAM CONSISTENCY STARTS WITH YOU. OVERALL, IT STARTS WITH WOODSON.

South ga boy in the atl

December 3rd, 2009
8:12 pm

Ms hawk, calm down on Ken ease back on the starbucks. He’s just temp help and u know that u get what u pay for. While I agree with u most of the time I think Ken has a point on the min minutae. I think some ppl have a stopwatch in their hand as they watch the game and record how many min teague gets and how over used they think joe is on every game. Woody is doing a measured job of playing teague. Is there any game we would have won if teague had played more min. NO. Is their any game we lost because teague played too many min. NO. Ease up on the min complaints. Woody knows what he’s doing. Oh yea and put down the stopwatch and enjoy the game and this fabulocious season

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
8:21 pm

Mz. Hawkdafied I love the passion! Ken started off great on this blog! He was very well complemented also. However, it appears that he has loss his mojo! Don’t know if he wanted the job or put his hat in the basketball but he had most of our support. Something happened over the last five or so games? Maybe a decision has been made on Sekou’s replacement? Hopefully we find something out soon. It can be rough on the interim. Especially when they have no chance at the job. The AJC has to get it together! WE NEED A PERMANENT BEAT WRITER!!!!!!!! Makes no sense with one of the best teams in the league!

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
8:25 pm

South Ga Boy you don’t want to go there as far as Woody and his dividing minutes is concerned. You are about to face the rath of the rest of the bloggers! Most of us hate the way he uses his minutes. So forgetaboutit!

Big Ray

December 3rd, 2009
8:34 pm

Guys and gals,

I don’t understand why y’all are giving Ken Sugiura such a hard time. When Sekou left, the AJC didn’t have a good, permanent replacement handy. So, they took Ken, who is a “general sports” article writer, and put him in this spot for the time being.

Understand that he has a whole other job that he has to do, and deadlines that he has to meet. This blog was an ADDED responsibility, not his main responsibility. Please be courteous enough to cut him some slack. Besides, he said from the get go that he was NOT Sekou, couldn’t fill his shoes right off the bat, and would do his best.

Dude has a blog up for every game. We all get to post on it. Y’all could just be stuck with the fan blog that I host and nothing else other than an occasional (and I mean OCCASIONAL) blog by Schultz or Bradley. Come on now. This is like eating a full meal and complaining through every single bite.

Let’s not be like that.

Big Ray

December 3rd, 2009
8:39 pm

Ken Strickland ,

The criticism is always the harshest for the best players. JJ is right about that word, “consistency.” This team does indeed need to be more consistent, particularly on the road. It’s the next step we have to take, among others.

But as you say, it starts with the leaders. Well, here’s a fact: Joe Johnson consistently shot like crap for five games up until last night. At least he picked up a season high 11 assists in that game, an effort in that area that was missing in the previous five debacles. Now will he consistently pass more when his shot isn’t falling, or when other guys are hot? We shall see. Will Josh Smith consistently play great defense and fight for rebounds all game long? Same answer. Will Marvin Williams consistently do whatever his team needs for them to win night in and night out, whether it’s score, rebound, or defend? To be determined.

Blast

December 3rd, 2009
8:54 pm

Ken,

Please ignore the hate. We love and appreciate what you’ve been doing. Despite the hate, you’ve probably had more blogs up since you’ve been here than Sekou in his last six months. I guess folks life are so boring that they attack an online beat writer. What exactly do they want? For you to comment every ten minutes? Sekou left us to our own devices for so many days, blog grew to 12 pages sometimes! Just shows what kind of ‘fans’ post on this blog.

I guess when you don’t have something to complain about for the night, you root for one!

Celtics/Spurs. 2nd qrt, 9:01 to go. Scores: Boston 27, Spurs 21. What a boring game.

O'Brien

December 3rd, 2009
9:03 pm

Blast, I agree that Ken is doing a good job under the circumstances. However, in Sekou’s defense, one possible reason for his lack of blogs was because it was the offseason. During the season, Sekou usually gave us enough blogs (in my opinion).

Back to BB, With the Hawks having those back to back games in December, it will be interesting to see how Woody utilizes his bench (especially if the games are close). Will Teague get any PT? Will JJ play 40 minutes every game?

That is why it is important for Woody to get his bench players ready, because the Hawks have traditionally struggled on the second night of back to backs. But with our increased depth, we should do much better.

Ray, Coach Woody is also inconsistent at times. Will he allow us to play uptempo? Will we switch everything on defense?

For the record, I dont like the fact that Woody says hopefully the Hawks can go between 8-6 and 10-4 or better. To me, 8-6 is setting the bar too low. Sure, the schedule is tough, but we are a deep team. And 8-6 can easily turn into 7-7.

Maybe I’m just nitpicking again lol. And sorry for the long post…

Blast

December 3rd, 2009
9:09 pm

O’Brien,

Never apologize for a long post especially if it makes sense. I really don’t think Woody will have any choice but to play his bench. His starters can’t play and win the games all alone. And yes, 8-6 is setting the bar WAY TOO LOW!

Ken Strickland

December 3rd, 2009
9:17 pm

BIG RAY-I left a message for you on the ON TO DECEMBER blog before I realize this one was up. Like you said, TO BE DETERMINED. I could easily take the negative route and assume Woodson will revert back to old habits, but I know he’s capable of doing all of the things I’ve been complaining about, which is why I complain so adamantly. He’s successfully done them before, just not consistently. Like when we run and use the bench extensively, we usually win. That’s why I won’t give up and start automatically assuming the worst about him. Maybe it’s time for this team to start showing Woodson the best way to get the job done, by continuing to perform like they did last night, especially if he continues coaching like he did last night.

I simply loved the way Woodson called timeout and got everyone back on track immediately after JJ started disrupting the flow and forcing everything. NOW THAT’S COACHING. Standing on the sidelines with arms folder looking mean, but taking no corrective action, isn’t coaching. WHEN WE TAKE ACTION AND DO GOOD THINGS, GOOD THINGS HAPPEN, WHEN WE DO NOTHING, BAD THINGS HAPPEN. THAT’S OFTEN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING.

RLP

December 3rd, 2009
10:09 pm

KEN STRICKLAND:

I agree with you on the timeout called when JJ started pounding the ball. If my memory is correct the Hawks were up by 30 and in a very short stretch the margin had been reduced to 22. The timeout came and things changed. Actually I was afraid that at that point he would reinsert the starters. I was happy to see that he stuck with the bench players and they actually built on the lead.

And in retrospect maybe the four game stretch of poor play had some positive aspects in that it angered the players who responded like champions last night. Let us see if the good play continues.

niremetal

December 3rd, 2009
10:11 pm

I’m with Blast/Ray. Do your thing, Ken Sug. You’re taking the time to fill in as a team’s beat writer, which is a huge responsibility to take on for someone who was hired (and is being paid) to cover a different beat. I know and appreciate what you’re doing, and so do most of the people around here.

South ga boy in the atl

December 3rd, 2009
10:12 pm

Dear hawksta, duh on the criticism of woody and his rotation and min played. I read and enjoy the comments on this blog. What I’m speaking to is the majoring on the minor that goes on in regards to minutes and rotation. Ppl need to take abreath and gain some perspective. The criticism, in my humble view, (not really) on that particular subject goes so far over the top it could be a member of the mile high club. I will see 5 post about min/rotation for every one post about something important like Josh’s staggering maturation of his game or JJ’s increased leadership. Those along with the best 6th man in the league right now are the reason the Hawks ha e caught the big 3 in just 1 offseason. And of course the leadership of a fine head coach that takes way too much abuse on this blog about min/rotation from arm chair coaches who need to stick to the x box. Uh oh Hawksta I went there.

Alien in ATL

December 3rd, 2009
10:18 pm

The Hawksta: most of you don’t like anything Woody is doing. If he wins, he plays his key players too much and doesn’t give enough time to a rookie. If he rests a starter, all hell breaks loose because we will loose the game. Not talking about all he does wrong when they loose a game (do you expect him to make the lay-ups or give the assists?). A coach can only do so much during a game: it’s up to the players to play the game. I would like to see all of you standing in his shoes for a week: you wouldn’t last the week! You’d resign of get fired! The Hawks are standing tight with Cleveland, only 1.5 game behind Orlando. Give him and the Hawks some credit, will you!

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
10:19 pm

“So he put his hat in the basketball”? Damn, I can do better than that! Might as well insert “KNOW WHADIMEAN” after every post!!! Maybe inretrospect(lol)! I should just PROOFREAD!

GO HAWKS! Love to meet Mz. Hawkdafied. I don’t care what ya’ll say(lol)!

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
10:30 pm

It’s not that I don’t understand what “South Ga” and “Alien” are saying. You can go a month or so without watching certain teams(must I mention names) play yet remain familiar with the coach, game plan and player rotation… Just sayin… In your words’ What’s Woody’s?

Alien in ATL

December 3rd, 2009
10:32 pm

Ken Sugiura – keep up your work, dude! Some people can’t anything else then complain. If they don’t find anything on Woody, they’ll go for the writer!
Big Ray – I don’t always agree with your views, but you have my full support on your 8:34 PM comment!

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
10:38 pm

I don’t appreciate the job that you are doing because it sucks. You know it, that’s why we are forced to read you apologize so often, Ken S. “Oh sorry it took so long, Oh I apologize I thought I posted this blog this morning. Oh the Hawks are not important and are an after thought to my other duties they are much more important even though I have been given the task of being responsible for this blog too.”

Ken S., I apologize if you did indeed volunteer to take on this blog and are not being paid to give us Hawks fans a quality blog. I however am not one to give you credit for a job well done when in my opinion it isn’t so. You’ve been bogged down with other duties which others commenters on this blog say is much more important than the Hawks blog. And that is the reason why we should not say anything.

So I’m guessing the blog for tomorrow will be titled Hawks-Knicks. LOL! SMH!

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
10:47 pm

“Ray you have my full support.” “I’m with Blast/Ray.”

Oh come on you guys say the Hawks need to grow some when they are on the court. You need to speak up and ask for more quality. So what we get to post comments on this blog. There are other Hawks blogs to post comments on if that’s what it was all about. Some of us read the AJC for information or things not already seen on Hawks Live. I mean I could have sworn I’ve heard these quotes from Woody already.

I don’t give a hoot. I’ve posted it once and I’ll post it again, I’ll be glad when they finally find a regular Hawks Beat blog writer and I stand by that.

Alien in ATL

December 3rd, 2009
10:53 pm

Hawksta,
Woody’s plan is to win as many games as possible with the resources he has. He knows his players, he sees them day in and out. Some players need a lot of minutes to be productive, others can come off the bench and be explosive. Some players need to mature, but they won’t mature if you throw them under the train night after night. Give them time to build confidence in easy stretches before you put them in at crunch times.
And he gets all my credit for accepting that (starting) players can go through a slump. It’s not by pulling them out of the game you will rebuild their confidence. They can hit 95% on the practice floor, but are in a slump during game time. At least he shows them he keeps believing in them, so they can regain their confidence on the floor.
That is all part of the job of a coach. Time-outs are not usually the moments to change the game. Most time-outs are taken to give your players a breather or to try to cool down the other team’s groove. They can be beneficial for one set play in crunch time, not for a complete game plan. The game plan should be set before the game starts, and the best moment to make impacting adjustments comes at half-time. Remember last year’s loss against New Jersey where he had to burn all of his time-outs early in the game, coming short of time-outs at the end? Remember the comments on his address? If your players on the floor don’t execute, not much you can do during the game!

Alien in ATL

December 3rd, 2009
10:57 pm

Mz. Hawkdafied – why don’t you apply for the job? You seem to be so well informed – let’s see how you will do combining different jobs. At least he apologizes and doesn’t seek easy excuses or acts as if nothing happened.

Alien in ATL

December 3rd, 2009
10:59 pm

And I would think this blog is intended to comment on the Hawks, not on the writer!??

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 3rd, 2009
11:09 pm

Alien in ATL, I would think that I could comment on whatever the heck I want. Screw you and everyone else on this blog trying to tell me what I can and can’t speak on. I WILL BE GLAD WHEN THE AJC FINDS A REGULAR HAWKS BEAT BLOG WRITER!

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
11:12 pm

We have this “southern gentlemen” thing down here that sometimes is confused with the “good ole boys”. It happens with all our teams. Be it pro or college. A better statement might be “We have a way of doing things down here”. Which is why there are no quick decisions, no demanding accountibility, no speaking to the media and last but sure not least “no outspokenness from the negroes” or your outta here! Southern protocol at it’s best! Sometimes you need a Yankee to kick some azz! No one should ever be scrutinized for the AJC’s complacency! There are stories to be had by a regular beatwriting for this team. Don’t short change yourselves because you enjoy being the center of attention. We as fans should speak out when we have no return on our investment. How can you bash someone who presumably spent their money to watch a the Hawks game? Was happy with the return and expects more from the only newspaper in town! Don’t know about you but I want a championship team and a championship article to read when they WIN! Now don’t cosign that if want!!!!

Grandad

December 3rd, 2009
11:21 pm

Alien – I’m so glad you gave us a dissertation on the proper use of a timeout. Not altogether accurate but a waste of time nonetheless. Then how dare you sensor another for what he or she writes.

cp

December 3rd, 2009
11:28 pm

The quality of this blog has slowly gone down the drain. I have no problem with the job Ken is doing. He explained with his first blog that this is only a temp job and not his main job. He said it wont be anything like Sekou did so I’m baffled as to why people are complaining about things he mentioned from the beginning… This used to be the best blog on the AJC but now I don’t know. Guys only come on here to complain about one player, make multiple names to co-sign their point and to call others out, calling other posters silly names because they have different opinions and to say I told you so. I really wish we could get back to the quality we once had on here.

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
11:30 pm

Don’t know about ya’ll but I just seen a first on a football jersey. Jackson III. Seen Jr. never the third(lol)!

Melvin

December 3rd, 2009
11:35 pm

My goodness. They may as call this Greg Oden top 10 dunks of the month… Too badd he’s on the wrong end of all the dunks….

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/top_plays/2009/12/02/20091130_dotm_nov.nba/

The Hawksta

December 3rd, 2009
11:46 pm

In my so humble opinion. All thoughts pertaining to sports and it’s writers should be welcomed. I just can’t understand the wrong in questioning why we don’t have a permanent beat writer yet? If you don’t question the AJC authority we might go the whole season with a sub. I’d say speak now or forever hold your peace(he! he!)

Ken Strickland

December 3rd, 2009
11:46 pm

I have to cosign with everyone that’s taken a stance in favor of the job KenS is doing under the circumstances. We should be adults about this situation and not expect to be spoon fed info every other day, regardless of who the beat writer is. I can understand the reasoning behind complaining if you’re not getting what you feel you’ve paid for, but we’re not paying anything to be participants on these blogs, so what’s the problem?

MZ. HAWKDAFIED-calm down, take a deep breath and show that classy demeanor we’ve come to expect from you, OK. And don’t allow someone leveling criticism at you to get you upset. If I can take it, and I certainly get more than my share, so can you.

MyView

December 3rd, 2009
11:49 pm

Ken Sugiura…My wife says I should say what I really feel, so I’ll start with you. I ain’t buying the whole “I thought this got posted this morning” story. No way it would be 6:30pm before you figure that out. Either you were to busy, or you just put us off. When it was time to write, you felt guilty and posted the fabrication beside your title. Either way, I’m glad you made it, and I will read it now. lol!!!

The Hawksta

December 4th, 2009
12:01 am

@Ken Strickland

If you were Ken Sug would you are would you not take these post to your boss and explain to him/her that this might have been a good idea but it’s not working and I don’t have enough time to make a full commit as my other responsibilities are just as if not more important. How many beat writers do you think the Knicks and Nets have? Wow you sure are easy! I got some real nice property for sale if you buy right now! Prime real estate. I’ll sell it to you and you only Ken cause I like ya(he! he)!

RLP

December 4th, 2009
1:55 am

To change the subject just a little:

I have been thinking of the ongoing debate on this blog as to the Hawks status in the NBA. Are they on the cusp of becoming part of the elite? Or have they already become a part of the elite? Or is it the case that the talent is there but will never become what they are capable of becoming because of the lack of coaching? Or are they just pretenders who will be exposed for what they really are come playoff time?

This blog has certainly been a repository of differing opinions on this subject. I think I have a new point to make on this subject that I have not seen as a comment made by any of the other bloggers since the season started. It may have been made during the off season but I choose to not come here when no games are being played except for draft time.

The point that I would make is that the Big Three that existed last year does not exist in its present stage yet this season. All three members of that group made changes to their personnel during the off season. I think Orlando took the biggest shot at making changes. During the playoffs Turkoglu was more of a leader of the team than Dwight. Coming into this season after their exhibition game blowout of the Hawks I thought that they were destined to be top team in the East even as I thought they had made a mistake with Turk.I think the team will take time to jell with all of the new parts but if everything goes well then it was my prediction that they would be the team to win the East.

I did not like the Celtics signing of Sheed. I thought he would become a detriment to the team. I also thought that other than Rondo all of the stars on the team would begin to slow down. Age would begin to catch up to the team and they would be going downhill this year.

I also did not think the changes made by the Cavs would assist them in their growth toward a dynasty like the Bulls that having LBJ could lead them to becoming.

We are coming near the first quarter of the year. What have we learned? It is my belief that none of the big three has played as well this year as they did last year. Remember the Celtics start last year? They won something close to 20 games at the start of the season. The Cavs could not lose at home. The Magic lost early but emerged by the end of the year. (Remember the Hawks beat them in Orlando at the start or the year. Of the Big three I am actually most impressed with the Celtics even thought we did defeat them in Boston. They beat San Antonio tonight and have a six game winning streak going on. They also are leaders in one of the best indicators of team strength that has true meaning – point differential. They lead the NBA at 9.0. The next best team is only at 8.2.

So from the standpoint of the elite teams I think the Hawks have gained some but the elite 3 have also lost something they had last year. As the season progresses won’t it be fun to watch how all of this plays out? Will the Hawks be able to maintain the new respect they seem to have earned? Which of the other 3 teams will improve and which will deteriorate? Ken Sugiura’s status is much less important to me than the developments that will be unfolding in the East. But I did like his write up of the against Toronto.

Oh and by the way in my opinion there is really only one true elite in the NBA this year and it dwells in the West.

Also by the way I doubt if many experts or anyone else much doubts the Hawks inclusion in the top four. The Heat seems to be the closest competition and they are nearer 500 than they are to the Hawks in the standings.

RLP

December 4th, 2009
2:10 am

I think the most amazing statistic I have seen this season in the NBA is Houston’s won/lost record on the road. They are only 4-4 at home but they are 7-4 on the road after beating the Warriors tonight. Remember the Hawks could have easily lost to them. The final score was 105-103. And they also beat the Lakers at the Forum.

tbhawksfan

December 4th, 2009
4:17 am

The interim beat writer has already made huge mistakes. Ken Seg. is not the issue. The AJC doing a professional job is. So far Ken Sug. has not covered the Hawks in a professional manner.

The Jameer Nelson reference was blatant hypocrisy.

The real problem is the corporate climate of the whole situation. You want to cover the team, gotta be a homer, can’t say anything negative and gotta be first in line in the rah rah section.

I say, ask the hard questions, if or when, you’re punished and denied necessary interviews, raise cain. The corporations use collusion, intimidation and any other tactic they deem necessary to promote their vision of their commodity.

Though SS seemed to have genuine interest in the Hawks and was at least as knowledeable as the average blogger, he was also the worlds biggest homie. Glad to see him gone; can’t stand the homie mentality. Where are the bullocks?

When you take responsibility, you have responsibility. If the AJC wants to run a blog, they should do it professionally with respect for basic journalitic integrity.

Those of you that attack the people who only expect professionalisme are just in the homie line, defaming anyone that goes against the main-stream view. Ah, conformity, oh intolerance, narrow-mindedness.

It’s so easy to dictate when most have been taught to gladly join the homie line.

Get it in gear Ken and the AJC, we are watching and we do have expectations. Journalism is an essential element of cultural with far reaching consequences…….

Big Head

December 4th, 2009
5:21 am

My comments are not about Ken. He’s probably being asked to do an additional job as we all are and not get paid for it. What’s so new about that?? It’s called right-sizing ladies and gentlemen. I’m sure many of you have been affected in the same manner. Are you given any slack in those situations.

Nonetheless, it is up to the readers to demand more from the ajc. Smaller markets have more pro basketball coverage than we do. One article a week or so about the Hawks is pathetic given the tear that this team is on. The blogs shouldn’t be misconstrued to be the information that the ajc should be digging out. If things aren’t working, then complain to Julia Wallace. But here is the real deal….Sekou probably took a package and jetted over to nba.com. Sorry I don’t know how to italicize or bold on the blog any more.

**The complete memo from AJC.com editor Julia Wallace to AJC staff follows:

To all,

As you know, these are difficult times. The AJC is losing money and needs to turn that around by 2010. To make that happen, we have to make some very difficult decisions.

In the past several weeks, [AJC Publisher] Doug [Franklin] has called together the organization’s leadership to look at how this will happen. It will require significant changes and sacrifices across the organization. In the next three months, there will be re-organizations and changes throughout the company.

In the newsroom, we must reduce our staffing substantially. We are making cuts in all non-payroll items.

Here are the highlights of what to expect:

• To achieve the new staffing target, we will offer a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) to all full-time employees with more than five years of Cox pension vesting service.

• The program and the application approval criteria for this year’s VSP program will be similar to last year. While we hope to be able to approve all of the VSP applications, we must make sure we are maintaining staffing balance. Therefore, if we have too many VSP applications within a job category, it may be necessary to decline some applications. In those cases, people with the least company seniority will be declined.

• We will be involuntarily separating all [sic] most part-time staffers. Managers talked to those folks last night.

• While we hope to approve enough VSP applications to reach a newsroom staff target of 230 full-time employees, we may need to enact an Involuntary Separation Program (ISP) of full-time staff if we do not receive about 90 approved applications to do so.

• Involuntary separation program selections will take into consideration newsroom needs, and will be based on the work that needs to be done, past performance and the skills to do the work needed for the future.

The leadership team and I have worked hard to figure out how to continue to do the important work we do with this large of a reduction. Some things will go away. We have already reduced newshole in print. In digital, we are evaluating channels and other content and will be removing those that are not bringing in significant audience and revenue. We are exploring outsourcing of some functions and will be relying more heavily on freelancers in some areas. We will be combining jobs, creating less of an assembly line – with jobs requiring more speed, adaptability and accountability. We will be reducing the number of managers significantly.

In the summer, we will install a new content management system, that which will make this much easier on the digital side. It will no longer require extensive training and coding to post online.

Our mission and goals remain the same. We need to continue to grow digital. We need to produce a very high-quality Sunday newspaper, filled with unique local content. And we must produce a daily newspaper that quickly and efficiently tells our readers the news of the day of and the news coming up.**

tbhawksfan

December 4th, 2009
6:45 am

Is news a business or a responsibility? Is news just telling people what you hear, or is there a responsibility to ensure that what you relay is the “truth”. It’s called investigative news.

Is business compatible with the ideas of sports and/or journalism? I say no. Sports is about competing to win, business in sports is usally a reason to not win. A hard cap should eliminate this little reality. Journalism is about truth and integrity. You can make anything true by manipulating the context, but integrity stems from the absolute reality of a thing and only through integrity can you discern truth.

Is a newpaper journalism or a medium for blog info? There is a difference. Everything the ajc does should represent the integrity of journalism. Ken Sug is a consequence of business at the expense of journalism.