Greetings-

Hope all are well and enjoying another win. A few thoughts.

1) Randolph Morris looked pretty solid again. Mike Woodson always talks about how bench guys have to perform when they’re on the floor and take advantage of their minutes, and he’s done that. I don’t know how he fits into the scheme of things, but it would seem like he’s making a strong case for more time.

2) Same thing with Mo Evans. It seems like he’s trying to prove something out there. He was 4-for-4 from 3-point range Sunday. “Mo’s playing great,” Jamal Crawford said. “I told him, wherever he’s at in his head, mentally, just stay there. He’s locked in right now and he’s doing a heck of a job.”

3) I started looking last night for the last time the Hawks won three games in a row by more than 20 points. I got to the early 90’s and couldn’t find an example. I’ll keep looking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s never happened. Even though the competition isn’t much, this is a pretty remarkable stretch of basketball we’re watching. Crawford: “We don’t care about who scores. We have so many offensive weapons. It just feels good to get a win and everybody be a part of it.”

Josh Smith: “We have a lot of players that can score the ball. I knew (before the season) that if we did it the right way, that we could do special things this season.”

4) Jeff Teague is coming into his own. He said before the game that he’s playing his game, not being deferential, not worrying about mistakes, and that’s exactly what it looks like. He said he’s shooting the floater more, which he hadn’t used since the preseason. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t – it seemed like he was choosing layups instead and was either missing or getting blocked – but it probably again goes back to being comfortable.

5) I read an interesting column on si.com from an interview with David Stern. He acknowledged the possibility down the road of legalized NBA gambling and talked about possible rules changes, such as permitting teams to play whatever defense they want, allowing offensive players to interfere with balls in the cylinder and other things.

I’m curious what rules changes you would make to make the NBA game better. I’ve long thought that going to the international trapezoidal 3-second lane and calling offensive 3 seconds would improve the game. I’ve never been a big fan of post-up basketball. Expanding the lane, I’d think, would increase movement and more face-to-the-basket play.

Some links: game story from the Star-Ledger.

109 comments Add your comment

niremetal

December 14th, 2009
10:53 am

Allowing offensive players to interfere with the ball in the cylinder would be a terrible idea.

Good to see RandMo rising above the epithets thrown at him over the past season. He’s been looking good, even though it’s only been garbage time. Gives me a little hope that he might be able to step up and do more if Zaza, Josh, or Al have to miss a few games.

Rufus1

December 14th, 2009
10:56 am

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 14th, 2009
10:57 am

Don’t mess with the rules. We love the NBA for what it is.

icecold

December 14th, 2009
11:00 am

toronto needs to be in the play offs so we can play them the first round. we need a team like toronto for a easy sweep for the first round. so we can rest our players for the second round… but i pray that the second round, we play boston again….. because they cant beat us with everybody healthy… i trully believe we are better then them.. only team i dont wanna play is orlando!!!! anybody else is fair game….

and by the way… im 3-0, and al horford had a double double in both games, yeah!!!… lol

icecold

December 14th, 2009
11:03 am

its hard for the hawks starting five to get the triple doubles and the 30 point games and all the stats they suppose to be getting because they keep blowing teams out… its not a bad thing… not at all… its great.. i just hope everybody realize that about the hawks, because i do want at least 3 of them to make the all star team!!!! i really wanna see bibby and josh smith and al horford make it!!!and of course jo johnson

icecold

December 14th, 2009
11:09 am

they shouldnt change any rules,.. because they had to deal with them for years,, why change a rule now.. jus like when they tried to change the basketball.. it didnt work out and they went right back to the old one… but i do think they shouldnt be so sensitive on fouls as much… its a mans game

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 14th, 2009
11:36 am

I live in B’ham, for some reason the Nets game wasn’t on my SportSouth channel. It was the Grizzlies and Heat. Needless to say, I was quite the mad little Hawks fan yesterday.

WW

December 14th, 2009
12:24 pm

The hawks are really fun to watch this year!!!
Joe J with 10 assists….wow!……that’s what we need from him more……sometimes he keeps the ball too long when the double team comes, and sometimes he forces a shot when there’s just nothing there….way to go sunday night, Joe!
And Teague, he’s coming in to his own!….with he and Jamal, we’ve now got two guys who can take it to the basket and create!!!!
I’m with the don….Sunday night sport south was supposed to have the hawks and I ended up with Memphis in Chattanooga too!….boo!!

Big Ray

December 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

Good to see RandMo rising above the awful physical condition and resulting court performance of last season.

theZaZaguy

December 14th, 2009
12:46 pm

Hey Don,
It’s aonly a two hour drive. You could have bought a ticket for like 5 bucks. Now you know.

theZaZaguy

December 14th, 2009
12:48 pm

Good thing we have Collins this year. It’s always nice to have a fat 7 footer to ridicule and RandMo doesn’t fit the bill any more.

ILL-logical

December 14th, 2009
12:51 pm

Stern is desperately trying to find a way to get the NBA out of the bad financial futre that is looming without cutting franchises. Sad.

The good news about Randolph Morris is that he is playing and doing fairly well when he gets the call. The not so good news is that he is not the banger that the team needs to compete in the playoffs with the big boys. He is what he is: a nice low post scorer who lacks the upper body strength and aggressiveness that would make him a more valuable member of the Hawks.

A note to Woodson regarding his coaching style: Sit down! Neither the team nor the fans want you standing and glaring at every play , especially if we are 20 points ahead.Makes you look insecure.

theZaZaguy

December 14th, 2009
12:58 pm

Have you noticed that when the players are introduced and they cut to Woodson, he’s always writing on his clipboard? I guess he’s trying to look cerebral, but he just looks like a D-bag. That being said. I like him.

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 14th, 2009
1:57 pm

Hey ZaZa guy. I’ve already made that drive a handful of times this season (committed). Can’t pay my way for everygame. Especially for the Nets.

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 14th, 2009
1:59 pm

Ooops….Now YOU Know.

Heat Check!!!

Lacsho

December 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

Ray, Randmo is looking real good. I just don’t understand why he’s not getting any PT, especially since Joe Smith is out.

The Hawks are really looking good!!!!

theZaZaguy

December 14th, 2009
2:29 pm

Don,
Even the Nets game can be entertaining. Not that I blame you for not making it out here. Although I try to make all the games in case I get another run-in with Nique.
Funny story at the game. These two fine ladies walked up to Seydel (one of the owners) and flashed their tickets like he was in their seats. His first look was “Are you kidding me?”. His second look was a glance to his right. I think the older gentleman who was ushering ran about a 4.5 40 to get there and show the ladies where their seats actually were. Quite entertaining.

Dap01

December 14th, 2009
2:47 pm

What does Nique mean with “heat check”. I am almost embarrashed for him.

Dom 'the Don' Wilkins

December 14th, 2009
2:49 pm

And I’m embarrased for you spelling embarrased wrong :(

Daniel

December 14th, 2009
2:49 pm

nire- Randmo has deserved every epithets thrown at him. Yes, I have to say I have admired his work so far this year. Going into the stands after a ball in a blow out, has he finally(?) after 5 years in the league, learned what it takes to become a player? Maybe.
But, I have zero sympathy for the guy; he has done more damage to his career with his laziness than any words a fan might use.
It also helps to have Jason Collins to make you look better.

Daniel

December 14th, 2009
3:07 pm

Ken- are you aware that your blog is not appearing on the sports main page?

Hoops

December 14th, 2009
3:37 pm

As I predicted before the season started, the Hawks will be the # 2 seed in the East come play off time! You gotta luv this team! GO HAWKS!!!

Rule Changes – 1. Allow teams to play whatever defense they want to play. 2. Do not change any other rules.

Sautee

December 14th, 2009
3:45 pm

I was out of town for the last two games, but Mrs. Sautee taped them for me. When I came back Sunday night, she had watched the NJ game, and she made an interesting comment. We were talking about the All-Star ballot and she said that for the guards, she would vote for Bibby and Jamal. I asked her about Joe Johnson and she said the following:

“Joe Johnson is good, but he’s not nearly as good as Woody THINKS he is.”

An interesting and fairly astute comment from a casual fan. I’m delighted that she keeps up enough to have this degree of awareness. I tend to agree with her, but I’d still put JJ on MY All-Star ballot.

Sautee

December 14th, 2009
3:50 pm

Nire,

About the rule changes….

If one were allowed to interfere in the cylinder, then look for George Muresan to make a comeback. He’d just stand with his head inside the net and NO one could score! ;-)

bfred

December 14th, 2009
4:16 pm

More nice press – Hawks #4 and 3 (ahead of Orlando!) in the ESPN and SI power rankings, respectively.

doc

December 14th, 2009
4:36 pm

our guys are going to have to earn the distinction of being better than the magic on the court, not in ratings. only shows how meaningless it is as we have been waxed consistently by the magic when we sort of owned them the way charlotte owns us. one of the ratings was by computer on someone’s own rating system as if to add cred to his system. said the hawks would end up with 57 wins only one behind the lakers and ahead of the magic at the end of the season trailing only the lakers and celts. i have said they can challenge for the 3 spot if all goes to plan youth stays healthy while age declines.

RLP

December 14th, 2009
4:43 pm

One of the things that stands out if you look at the NBA standings is the fact that the Lakers record looks so good but the won lost figures are a bit deceiving because while teams like the Hawks have played 11 road games and the Celtics have played 12 the Lakers have only played 5 road games. Also while the Celtics are 11-1 on the road the Lakers are only 3-2. As the season progress it will be interesting to see how that team does on the road. In two of those road games they won, against Houston and Oklahoma City the games went inot overtime before they prevailed. Is it possible that they can be exposed a little during their current road trip. I would not expect it because on this eastern swing they are playing teams with losing records – the Bulls tonight and then the Bucks, Nets and Pistons. But it will be interesting to watch.

Ken Sugiura

December 14th, 2009
5:00 pm

Daniel – didn’t know that, will look into it.
About Morris – he basically said today that last year he didn’t have the right attitude coming off the bench, of being ready to play each time. Al Horford called it as he saw it, which is why I appreciate him. he said Morris has the talent, but it’s a matter of effort about him, and that he’s playing with effort this year. it’s in a notebook that should be posted soon if it hasn’t already.

Sautee – way to bring up Gheorge Muresan. For what it’s worth, only offensive players would be allowed to interfere.

RLP – Good points. I think these things can only be sorted out over the long haul. We’ll know a lot more about the league and certainly the Hawks after they get through a tough schedule in January. That said, hard to believe Miami is at .500.

gwite

December 14th, 2009
5:14 pm

Daniel,

Just to help you get your “facts” straight, this is RandMo’s third season. So he’s been pro for a little over 2 seasons at this time. There are rookies in the league older than he is.

I imagine, up until now, his girth has helped him get as far as he has, so far. Which is not too bad for being the “lazy old slob” you have ascribed him to be. After all, that m.o. has worked for Jason Collins for going on 8 years or so.

That weight helped him hold his own against Dwight Howard during his high school years and helped him into a respectable college career. However “fat, lazy, unmotivated” he was, that’s what he knew, and it worked. In his relatively short pro career, he has learned that is not working any more, and he is apparently working extremely hard now, to do what it will take to remain a pro.

Keep trashing him all you want for his “1 year” history with the Hawks, but get the facts straight, and don’t embellish.

Astro Joe

December 14th, 2009
5:15 pm

I assume that interfering with the cylinder onluy applies to the offense, otherwise, that is a straight-stupid idea. The thought of someone flying in to cathc a ball hanging on the rim and slamming it back home, that would bring some incremental entertainment value.

Sautee, if Mrs. Sautee watched Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Danny Granger and several other 1-3 time All-Stars every game over 4+ seasons, she may also conclude that those guys are overrated. Familiarity breeds dog-house residents… or something like that.

I MUS WRITE

December 14th, 2009
5:35 pm

Dap01- HEAT CHECK{{{{{{ LOL….. Like I said a while ago, being articulate and speaking well must not have been in the job description.

Ditto Daniel,That man deserved every “Randolph Morris is a wet diaper” epithet throw his way. 30 pounds overweight and stinking up the gym during garbage time gets no love from me. I will aplaud Randolph for getting in shape and making the most of his limited minutes. He should have taken this approach the summer of 08.

I would like to see him get more minutes,he has nice low post offense,but his defense needs work.

Whass up Hoops,I remember you saying that,I said 3rd right in front of the Celtics, Looks like Rasheed Wallace was’nt the biggest free agent signing in the EC after all.

David Stern is sippn that sauce with Grandad lol…. Interfering with the ball in the cylinder is a horrible idea – its going to cut the scoring big time just like hand checking did. I could see Smoove,Lebron,and Birdman with 10 blocks a game easy. What they should do is cut down on the number of panzzee azz flagrant fouls called. O put and end to the flopping calls as well.

So Marvin had the squirtz huh…O well Mo played great in his place,Im not sure he shouldnt be starting anyway.

Iz it me or does Marvin get his shots blocked alot,seems like he every other drive and shot within 10 feet of the rim is getting air mailed.

Here we go again, Dam Tiger….. Seems as tho the state of Florida is getting into the situation. Apparently beating your husband with a golf club in front of the kids is reason for investigation. I hope he doesnt get his yungnz snatched up for adultry.Thats would be the saddest part of this whole fiasco

Jason Collins needs to start getting in shape right now maybe by spring he’ll be ready to contribute as of now not so much…Seriously could Siler have been any worse?

NIMBERS!!! “Josh Smith has great nimbers across the board tonite” This aient right yall……..

Samuel

December 14th, 2009
5:39 pm

I would love to see the rule where teams advance the ball past half court after a time out done away with. I would also be in favor of allowing the zone defense and any other defense. That’s basketball.

I hate tampering with the goal tending rules and please don’t go to that funky trapaziod. What are we trying to do here. OH, I know.

Overall, the NBA game is just fine. Why else would grown men be up talking about it a 2 and 3 in the morning?

Woody=COY

Astro Joe

December 14th, 2009
5:45 pm

Ken, please ask Woody if he can still smell the triple bacon cheeseburger on Collins’ breath when he shows up for games and practices. Or the 2 doezen Krispy Kreme donuts that he devours in the Philips Arena parking lot. Thanks.

bigdave

December 14th, 2009
5:47 pm

Daniel…

rumor has it Bud Foster is UGA’s target…

doc

December 14th, 2009
5:47 pm

ken … For what it’s worth, only offensive players would be allowed to interfere.

seems like it would almost be impossible to defend. not sure that this type of rule would work if the o guy can rattle it on the rim and the d guy couldnt move inside the cylinder to defend. sounds stupid to me and reminds me of nerf ball in a way played at home by yourself.

I MUS WRITE

December 14th, 2009
5:52 pm

GWITE- Regardless of how long he’s been in the league, theres no excuse for being out of shape and lazy. Its his own fault that he didnt put in the work for last season or in his time with the Knicks.

The Ft.Wayne Red Antz will bring you back to reality real quick

Come on man, High school….Howz about he was 6′11 in high school and bigger than everybody else,with that size and low post skill you should be dominant at the AAU level- I dont think him beind a lard ass had anything to do with it.

I MUS WRITE

December 14th, 2009
5:57 pm

6′11 and being more skilled

nunna yo biznezz

December 14th, 2009
6:10 pm

when u get a chance ken,i got a few questions for u to ask the players..

bibby: how far are u from being 100percent?
jj:how does it feel that you now have a player on the 2nd team(crawford)to fill in for you and we still get points from the 2 guard positition?
js:what is the difference of josh smith last year and josh smith this year?
mw:what part of marvin williams game,that you have,that the fans have not seen yet??
horford:will we ever see you playing the power forward again,here,in atlanta?/and,do u miss out playing and over shawdowing other power forwards like u did in college?

woody:out of all the close family,friends,and others that you’re associated with,whom would you say feels that they know coaching better than you,and tries to tell u who to play,who to sit,what plays to run for a certain player,etc…

CRAWFORD:
i hope this is not a dumb question,but some might agree that it is,lol..
atlanta is a playoff team..and u never been to the playoffs but u are of playoff star caliber..
would u say that this team needed u more or that u needed this team more with the success that the hawks have had this season..

i’ll hang up and listen..

HEAT CHECK!!!!!!

December 14th, 2009
6:20 pm

YO,NUNNA- KEN WOULD GET FIRED AND FOR ASKING THE LAST QUESTION TO CRAW,AND CRAW WOULD BE TRADED,BUT I THINK HE WOULD ANSWER THAT IN PRIVACY AND I DONT THINK ITS A SELFISH ONE TO ASK.THATS ONLY A QUESTION HE MIGHT GET AN ANSWER AMONG HIS BUDDIES THO.

gwite

December 14th, 2009
6:24 pm

I Mus Write,

So now, that RandMO has lost all that excess weight, hustles, performs well when given time, we yell “lardass”. Where’s the sense in that?

Let it go.

gwite

December 14th, 2009
6:55 pm

Enter your comments here

Ken Sugiura

December 14th, 2009
9:13 pm

nunna – some good questions. i will definitely try to get answers for you. for what it’s worth, i’m sure crawford would answer his question in a diplomatic way, and i suspect he would not be lying. as best i can tell, he really, really likes being on the hawks.

for what it’s worth, gwite, Morris is actually in his fourth season. i wish i’d asked him how much weight he’d lost.

and this is funny – when i googled “Randolph Morris” the first link was an ad that said, “Shop for Randolph Morris at Vintage Tub.”

MannyT

December 14th, 2009
11:15 pm

So Hollinger’s stats guarantee that the Hawks will be in the playoffs. Where was this when Lon Kruger needed it ;-)

As for the rules, I could go for the international lane. The way many of the Hawks get moved off the blocks when they post, it would not matter for the locals. Keep those hands away from the rim. A sot that hang and bounces around the rim is more exciting. If the offense gets to dunk it while it is on the rim, the defense should get to swat it away. Just leave the balls in the cylinder alone (that sounds a bit inappropriate…hmmm.)

KenS, post up play is good for basketball and big men. If you eliminate all the big man play, you will end up with fancy HS ball. Also blog doesn’t show up on main page. If we read it backwards will some real Hawks secrets be revealed? ;-)

RandMo’s improvement makes Jason Collins look waaay out of shape for a pro hoopster. Maybe Collins slot would have been better used by Garret Siler, China Baller!

BWAF

I MUS WRITE

December 15th, 2009
1:22 am

GWite read my comment again……I said his sucess at the AAU level had nothing to do with him being over weight.

drewscrilla

December 15th, 2009
2:30 am

How about Randmo gets some PT since joe smith is out instead of overplaying our starters. Last game woody should have let someone step up instead of playing 4 guards at one time i mean thats why we have backups right. LETS GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

December 15th, 2009
3:18 am

Start Mo Evans!!!!….Bring Marvin Gay Squilliams off the pine!!

Daniel

December 15th, 2009
8:25 am

gwite- I apologize for getting Randolph professional time mixed up. In my mind I had his on again/off again Kentucky career added in.

But, let’s be clear. It is great that Randolph is hustling and “looking like a player”. The Hawks can use him and ultimately that’s all I care about. But, the guy is a professional athlete who has been pampered his whole life from AAU ball through college and into the pro’s. His only JOB is to be in shape and be ready to play, and including his college career where he massively underachieved he is just now figuring this out?!? Some guys don’t have the talent, sometimes the breaks don’t fall your way, but there is NEVER an excuse for laziness, for lack of effort. And for me as a Hawks fan, up until this year he has been an embarrasment to the name on the front of his jersey. And, for this Hawks fan it is unacceptable.

Yes, Collins looks bad so far this year. He has definitely taken over for Randolph as the slob on the pine role. But, his career thus far (as limited as it is) is twice that of Randolph’s. Call me heartless or whatever, but I have no sympathy for laziness and you get no bonus points for finally doing your job.

ps. gwite- I always respect you and your basketball opinions. I don’t want this response to come across in any other way. Respect.

Fundamentals

December 15th, 2009
8:44 am

Amen Daniel. No excuse for not giving 100%! I grew up killing myself for 1st place at anything I tried. Nowdays kids are just happy to participate. I can’t stand that. Where along the way did we lose the passion and fire to be the best that we can be? Anything less is unacceptable in pro sports or life for that matter.

I’ll praise his good effort. No one has an argument defending the four years prior to this.

Daniel

December 15th, 2009
8:52 am

Fundamentals- The only true win is when you are pushed/push yourself to achieve more than you thought was possible. Not to get too sunday school here, but that is the message behind Jesus’ parable about the servants and the talents. And, if we are talking about some kid or even college player who works hard to lose weight and rededicate himself to his game, then yeah, he gets props. But, a pro? C’mon, I’m sorry but 800,000 buys a pretty good gym membership. Oh wait that’s right you have access to the best equipment, personal trainers and chef’s around. Maybe it has just been too easy for him.

But, keep diving after balls Randolph, even in blow out games. That is the way to regain some respect.

Daniel

December 15th, 2009
8:55 am

btw- my last statement was not meant to be sarcastic.