Hawks on a one-game losing streak – where’s the panic button?

Greetings, all-

I apologize in advance. I don’t have a ton of material today (”do you ever?” some of you are asking yourselves). I am not with the team – I am back in Atlanta, and the team went from Chicago to Minneapolis – and have been otherwise occupied with shopping for nephews (Clone Wars action figures) (that is to say, I was shopping for action figures, not that my nephews are four inches tall and made of plastic ) and spending time with my parents, who are here for Christmas.

Commander Cody. This guy was not easy to find.

Commander Cody. This guy was not easy to find.

Anyway, a couple select thoughts on conversation from the last blog. I don’t think Jeff Teague, at this point, would be a good option to play defense at the end of a game. If this were one-on-one, then, yes, Teague is a better option than Mike Bibby and perhaps Jamal Crawford. But he loses his man off the ball often. I didn’t get to ask Mike Woodson abut putting in Marvin Williams over Crawford, but I’d assume that the opinions being posited – defense over offense – make sense. (An aside – for reasons I don’t entirely understand, in the last few days, when Woodson has been asked about the team’s defense, two or three times he’s almost gone out of his way to mention that Teague and Crawford need to play better weakside defense.)

I don’t know, you can make a case for either lineup and, obviously, in hindsight, it looks like a good decision to stick with Crawford. But given that they were up four with two minutes left, I can certainly see why you’d want to go with defense. Williams, for his faults offensively against Chicago, was having a pretty good defensive game. And, obviously, you all know Woodson is a defense-first guy.

As for the iso-Joe stuff, as someone who likes watching team basketball, I’m not a huge fan of it like many of you. But, as I pointed out in a story I wrote today, I don’t think you can make the argument that it hasn’t worked this season. At least by the numbers, in the Hawks’ two other biggest iso-Joe games, Portland (home) and Dallas, they won. If Johnson had made one more basket at the end, it would have worked again. Granted, you could make the case that the Hawks would have won, and by more, if they hadn’t done it.

As for Minnesota, I’d think the Hawks take out their frustations of Chicago on them, but I have been known to be wrong.

A few links:

Derrick Rose wouldn’t mind Joe Johnson as a teammate.

ESPNChicago rated Jamal Crawford one of its top 10 Bulls of the decade. (It states Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said Crawford would never start for a winning team. It was interesting to me that Crawford was booed when he came into the game. Perhaps this is related? I looked for awhile online, but didn’t find a story about what the Reinsdorf quote was about. Does anyone know what the backstory? This doesn’t answer it, but is an interesting look at the post-Jordan Bulls.)

I want you to look at this page and, hopefully, you’ll see the same ad I did. Look at the bottom of the right-hand column. In my ad, it had jerseys of Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, LeBron James and … Al Horford.

No disrespect to Horford – he brings it every night, has All-Star potential and is cooperative to a fault with me and other reporters – but it caught my eye, as you might imagine. I’m wondering if maybe the ad leaves that space blank and fills in the spot according to whatever city it recognizes the computer being from. Or maybe Al Horford is a jersey-selling titan and I’m just not aware of it. Maybe some of you from outside Georgia can click on it and shed some light?

Here’s a question – name your top five Hawks of the 90’s.

148 comments Add your comment

Melvin

December 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

Top 5 Hawks of the 90’s.
Dominique Wilkinson, Steve Smith, Mookie Blaylock, Dikembe Mutombo

(Shareef/Lattener/Willis) are tie for the 5th spot…

Melvin

December 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

Was I first??????

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
2:13 pm

No harm if Al Horford gets a little jersey love.

Lemme see, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford need to play better defense. Ok, what’s new about that? Teague is a rook, and Jamal has never been known for his “D”. It’ll get better. Perhaps not demonstrably so anytime soon, but if they’re listening to Woody at all, it will get better.

Can’t remember the last time I saw a rookie guard that came into the league playing good defense right away….

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
2:14 pm

Yes, Melvin. And second as well…. ;)

Mike

December 21st, 2009
2:30 pm

It’s Horford here in Florida. Maybe he is a jersey-selling machine. I was a bit surprised when I came up for a Hawks game to see that his jersey was as common as all the others combined there at the game. Hey, what’s not to like?

Sleepy

December 21st, 2009
2:59 pm

Jamals defense was no worse than Marvins in this game in case everyone forgot it Hinrich and Rose scored and tied up the game after we subbed out Crawford. Our play the other night with Crawford in the game offensively and defensively was much better than it was with Marv . Now that is not the case all the time but in these matchups Crawford gave us an edge because he has burned the Bulls in the past and they respect his game. Crawford had 29 the first time they met and has big games against them in the past at some point the coach has to do a little research on his personnel.

theZaZaguy

December 21st, 2009
3:10 pm

When they were giving out free t-shirts at the game a few weeks back, there were two choices. Joe Johnson’s number and Al Horford’s number. Seems to be pretty popular.

Clyde

December 21st, 2009
3:11 pm

Top five Hawks of the 90’s

Ken “The Snake” Norman, Rumeal Robinson, Glenn Robinson, John Battle, Ed Gray

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

December 21st, 2009
3:14 pm

Replace Glenn Robinson wit Tree Rollins

Hawk Str8Talk

December 21st, 2009
3:23 pm

The interesting thing about the comment about Crawford and Teague playing better defense. Fine, Woody – you can call that out, but I just worry that that’s going to be his reason for taking minutes away from Teague, yet it won’t be his reason for sitting Bibby or Crawford. I’d rather have Teague learning on the job for something he can get better at than telling one player – hey, that’s why you don’t play and never doing the same for Crawford or Bibby. In fact, Crawford has been getting starter minutes all season and I don’t see the consistency. And that lack of consistency is what I think ultimately can lose players. Not to draw us into an Acie Law debate, but young players need to see the words and deeds match and as we saw with Law – there were a few days where Law did well and they weren’t followed up with positive reinforcement (aka minutes, more responsibility), but whenever he made a mistake – it was a week or two of DNPs. You can ruin a player that way. So, if Crawford or Bibby are being judged by weakside defense, then there needs to be negative repercussions that Teague sees in order to understand that that REALLY matters – otherwise, it’s just a thing that’s said (or an excuse used to justify sitting the rookie that isn’t applied to other players). Since Woodson has gotten here, a few young players (particularly, Salim and Acie) have been treated in a fashion that others were not and I think that’s dangerous. Not sounding the alarm yet, but it’s certainly something to watch and be concerned about with regard to Teague.

SWAT Native

December 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

I got Horford, too, but I don’t think its a regional thing. I think that Horford gets more around the league love than any other Hawk. I love the car commercial where they show him dancing in the Hawks huddle.

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
3:28 pm

Horford has earned his respect around the league and the media. And he’s only going to get better.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 21st, 2009
3:51 pm

Happy Holidays Ken Sugiura and fellow Hawks fans!

I won’t be so quick to hit the panic button right now because so far this season, knock on wood, the Hawks have been resilient and bounced back from losing games and haven’t been on a long losing streak. They still have a shot at a 50-60 wins season as long as they continue to get back on the winning track as they have done thus far.

The Al Horford jersey as well as the Joe Johnson jersey is seen on a lot of fans at the games. Based on what I’ve seen at the games Horford’s jersey is selling a lot. I’ve seen groups of fans wearing it quite a few times. The Horford’s jersey is about to take over the Joe Johnson jersey before long, if it hasn’t already.

My Top Hawks from the 90’s:

1. Dominique Wilkins
2. Spud Webb
3. Dikembe Mutombo
4.Kevin Willis
5. Mookie Blaylock

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
3:54 pm

Top 5 of the 90’s? Aren’t we about to end the first decade of the 21st century in about 10 days?

From 2000-2009, top 5 Hawks include:

Este Batista
John Edwards
Dion Glover
Cedric Bozeman
Antoine Walker

Now top THAT! :twisted:

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
3:56 pm

My bad, replace Antoine Walker with Donta Smith.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

Oh, another thing concerning the Hawks jersey. I’ve seen more Josh Smith jerseys in the red at the games. I think it’s because of the great start to the season that Josh has had. But yep the Horford and Johnson jerseys are the biggest sellers based on what I’ve seen at the games this season.

theZaZaguy yeah they forced us to choose which free t shirt. Imagine the horror of trying to decide between which player’s shirt to get. I was wondering why the chosen players were JJ and Horford, well of JJ but Horford. But after going to quite a few games and observing. It could be concluded that JJ and Horford’s jerseys are the biggest sellers.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
4:20 pm

I’m now thinking that John Edwards vs. “Bacon” Jason Collins may be a photo-finish for the starting center position. Dang it, and I almost forgot about “Popcorn Love” Lorenzen Wright. Geez, and y’all thought that we never had a legit center in the last decade… just shows you how backward thinking most are on this blog. :twisted:

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 21st, 2009
4:37 pm

Astro Joe are you serious? LOL!

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2009
4:40 pm

Doc Rivers, Kevin Willis, Nique, Spud, Steve Smith – I’d also consider Mookie & Al Harrington. Too bad Tree had already retired.

Lithonia Lion

December 21st, 2009
4:42 pm

i’m under 20 yrs.old, so my credibility may not not there.(but i have listened to some 70’s and 80’s guys and seen some old film on youtube). HAWKS ALL 90’s TEAM!!!:

1.) HIGHLIGHT DOMONIQUE!!!

2.)Mookie Blaylock

3.)Dikimbe Mutombo

4.)Steve Smith

5.)Spud Webb/Jason Terry/Kevin Willis

Grandad

December 21st, 2009
4:43 pm

AJ – How about:
Dan Dickau
Tony Delk
Travis Hanson
Hanno Mottola- (I actually liked him as a role player)
*Cal Bowdler*- (almost trumps Batista but not quite)

Lithonia Lion

December 21st, 2009
4:47 pm

OOPS!, I forgot Doc Rivers(even though he know coaches our arch-rivals(BOSTON)) and one of the best Hawks centers ever in Jason Collier(R.I.P.)

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2009
4:54 pm

2000-2004
Motumbo, Shareef, Chris Crawford, Jason Terry, Jason Collier

d.carter

December 21st, 2009
4:56 pm

Hawks players of the decade:

14# Charlie Criss

Priest Lauderdale

Dallas Comegys

Chris washburn

tom mcmillian

Honorable mention: Sam pellom, Rudy Macklin, Roy marble

d.carter

December 21st, 2009
4:57 pm

almost forgot: RIP terry furlow

O'Brien

December 21st, 2009
5:06 pm

Thanks for the blog Ken.

In the game against the Bulls, towards the end of the 4th quarter, Marvin made a huge defensive mistake. If I’m not mistaken, he left Salmons wide open for a corner 3. That shot was huge, as the Bulls were making their run towards the finish line.

And Marvin does play solid defense at times, but when the game is on the line, its JJ who guards the premier SF/SG. And when was the last time Marvin made a key defensive stop/play?

And I agree that Teague and Crawford need to work on their defense. But there are times when Bibby is stinking up the joint, and Woody leaves him in. That being said, I can understand leaving Teague out, because he is a rookie. But I think Crawford should have been in the game.

I think another reason Woody didnt put Crawford in the game is because he did not need his offense. Woody knew the play was going to be iso JJ anyway(tongue-in-cheek).

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
5:07 pm

Ouch, y’all are bringing up some horrific nightmares. Who started this ugly trend anyway?

So I was just thinking, assuming that the best five players on the current team are (in no particular order): Bibby, Crawford, Joe, Josh & Horford… name someone from the “Woody Era” who you would rather have over any of those 5 players. For example, does Diaw trump any of those guys? Harrington? Speedy? Could it be argued that this team has the best 5 players of the Woody Era… with little to no debate?

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
5:13 pm

OB, Marvin is often guilty of leaving a potential threat at the 3-point line. I have yelled many times over the past 2-3 years “Marvin, don’t leave him out there” only to watch the nets splash 2 seonds later. I like his defense insode the 3-point line (in fact, I like it a lot), but he too often makes poor decisions when guarding guys out deep.

On the other hand, he did make a nice block on one of Rose’s drives late in the game. Rathburn and ‘Nique didn’t acknowledge who made the block, but I am fairly certain it was Marvin. Still, Crawford should have been in that game at the end.

Lithonia Lion

December 21st, 2009
5:14 pm

To add to your point Astro Joe, how about the top sixth men(bench) in the so called “Woody Era”?

Lithonia Lion

December 21st, 2009
5:20 pm

Yea, I think it was Marvin Williams with that key block againts Chicago.

Ashley

December 21st, 2009
5:20 pm

I don’t see any need to hit the panic button, bc the Hawks just aren’t “there” yet. You know? They still have some growing and working things out to do. I would really like to hear someone talk about Joe Johnson’s horrific last quarter against the Bulls though. I know he was super hot in the first half, but he was a BALL HOG in the second, and I think he cost us the game (well him and Woodson). When Joe is hot, he’s hot. But when he cools down, Mike Woodson doesn’t know when to put Jamal Crawford in to score for us and sit Joe down. Am I right?? Was anyone else as mad as I was watching the last part of that game? EVERY play Woody sent them out there with was designed for Joe even when Bibby got a really clear shot, he passed it to Joe to mess it up! Joe kept coming from the same side of the court trying to drive it to the basket four, five, or six times late in the 4th and IT DIDN’T WORK!!! But they kept trying! The same move! It was horrible and I hope Mike Woodson and Joe Johnson realized that after the game. I think the next article needs to be entitled, “Blinded by Joe?” Haha.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
5:26 pm

I liked Mottola too and was sad to see him leave. Travis Hanson, though, he was straight bad… decent athlete but bad.

Lithonia Lion, I’m a BIG Josh Childress fan. I suspect that if Joe walks next summer, that he will put Jamal in the starting spot and bring Chill back over as our 6th man. And hopefully bring back Flip as well.

Christopher

December 21st, 2009
5:27 pm

I totally agree with Ashley. Joe Johnson’s effort in the second half of the Bull’s game was very reminicent of 2008. When you cool off, you must know when to give up the rock. The reason the Hawks have been so successful this year is because they’re playing team ball. Merry Christmas to all you Hawks fans…I hope Santa brings us all more playoffs! Ho! Ho! Ho!

d.carter

December 21st, 2009
5:30 pm

I could not agree more… Joe took several bad shots in the 4th quarter and doesnt know when to go to something else… To much damn dribbling

Lithonia Lion

December 21st, 2009
5:35 pm

I like chill and flip as well too, Astro. they, along with crawford, bibby and teague, would make for an ultimate backcourt.

FeudFinder

December 21st, 2009
5:36 pm

I will take 5 or 6 wins to every loss at any given day.

400hawkfan

December 21st, 2009
5:44 pm

Is it possible that no one has Jon Koncack on their list of the 90’s?

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 21st, 2009
6:19 pm

It’s becuase of the Portland win I raised concerns then and again now: 32 attampts for 40 points equals disaster and less than good bench management.

As you can tell I went well out of my way not to say poor coaching.

Must be this holiday spirit.

O'Brien

December 21st, 2009
6:36 pm

AJ,

Good point. Marvin’s height inside the rim helps. But to use a Paul Johnson analogy, PJ prefers when his offense needs to make a play to win the game, because offense is the Yellow Jackets strength.

Similarly, I think Woody should rely more on his offense to win the game, because except for Josh and JJ (when he puts his mind to it), defense is not our strength. I would like it to be, but I dont think we’re there yet. And its not like Marvin is Bruce Bowen or Ron Artest (version 2.0).

As far as JJ is concerned, my prediction is he will sign with Cleveland (if LeBron resigns with the Cavs). I dont see DWade leaving Miami, and if he does, I think he goes to his hometown of Chicago. Shaq and Big Z will be off the books, Delonte West has issues and is not close to JJ’s level, and Cleveland will spend whatever it takes to make King James happy.

Although the Hawks can offer more years, I dont see them offering the same money Cleveland does, especially since we have Crawford. And JJ next to LeBron would be sick.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
7:03 pm

OB, I agree 100% with your prediction. LeBron and Joe in Cleveland together (and likely Wade and Bosh/Boozer in Miami). The funny thing is that Joe will get more media attention as LeBron’s side-kick than he does as the Hawks “main guy”.

Jody

December 21st, 2009
7:20 pm

O’Brien,

So if it comes to pass that JJ signs with Cleveland in the off season, what should the Hawks contigency plan be in your opinion? I think Rick Sund did a good job of having a contingency plan when he traded for Jamal Crawford when Mike Bibby was a free agent.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
7:33 pm

Interesting to read Jamal discuss the philosophy of making simple passes and valuing the ball. When you take a look at his performance this season, you see that he has reduced his TOs per game by about 50% from last year. In some places, that would be considered “coaching up” a player. Around here, I’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with coaching. Probably just the water in metro Atlanta.

Rod from College Park

December 21st, 2009
7:44 pm

O’Brien,

“In the game against the Bulls, towards the end of the 4th quarter, Marvin made a huge defensive mistake. If I’m not mistaken, he left Salmons wide open for a corner 3. That shot was huge, as the Bulls were making their run towards the finish line and Marvin does play solid defense at times, but when the game is on the line, its JJ who guards the premier SF/SG. And when was the last time Marvin made a key defensive stop/play?”

Your statement is correct. I am glad to see you coming around. I remember an argument last year concerning Marvin being our best perimeter defender. He never guards any good 2’s or 3’s in crunch time and is totally lost guarding 4’s in the post. He did make a block on Rose at the end of the game, but considering the fact that he did nothing else, should he be praised for that at 8 mil per?

Ken

December 21st, 2009
8:28 pm

Not expecting the Hawks to win every game but there are a few trends that are contributing to losing games they should win. Joe seems to become self-centered at times to the detriment of the team. That last 5 minutes against the Bulls is a case in point where he seemed to be playing one against five . What’s troubling is that coach Woodson allows it to continue. Joe might be the teams best player but no one player is above the team. Winning the game should be the goal, not making sure one player takes every big shot. If we can see this, what about the other team. Also, coach Woody is still not trusting is bench players enough even when they are playing well. I’m still not convinced he is the right guy long term because he seems to be slow on making in game adjustments and still has not developed a definite offensve identity with this team. These are the things that will be exposed in the playoffs when team weaknesses are magnified because more strategy is needed because of the nature of playoff basketball. This team has the potential to go to the Eastern finals if these things are rectified, if not, they will lose in the second round. Just my opinion.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
8:45 pm

Why is it that Josh Smith fans can acknowledge his faults but still find him redeeming, but Marvin and Joe need to be flawless? If Marvin poorly defends the 3-ball it cancels his total worth as a defender? If Joe eneters a game red hot while his peers are struggling, he is selfish. WTF?. I guess none of y’all believe in the expression “put his team on his shoulders”… or maybe that only applies when you convert that game-winning shot… but if you miss that one field goal attempt, it is selfish. So the difference between being a hero and being selfish is rather or not the last shot goes in? WOW!

bigdave

December 21st, 2009
8:46 pm

Hands Down:

Mookie…

Plastic Man…

Andrew Lang (with that lil hook)

Hendu…

Ty Corbin…

bigdave

December 21st, 2009
8:49 pm

Astro its just a lot of hardcore Joe critics out there….

as it relates to Joe for them its damn if you do, damn if you dont…

foolish really.

Undisputed Champ!

December 21st, 2009
8:53 pm

Big Ray, I think Horford is a very popular person and would be a starting power forward on most teams. If he we had a real center Horford would be a back up to Josh. Horford is not as good as Josh. Also, Horford has peaked he is no better this year than last. Same game, get the rebound and put it back ala Dennis Rodman. He cant create his own shot off the dribble nor does he possess a skill shot.

He is a hard working person who is young and athletic. He is playing out of place so his game is not reaching the level that it could. Hes not a great player nor is he an allstar. He is a hard working player who is unselfish and part of this team.

We would be better if we could have a center. No Doubt. He will not get any better than he already is.If it werent for our guards his point totals would be down. He can play well against other power forwards playing center but he is not able to enforce when he is facing a real center.

STFU

December 21st, 2009
8:57 pm

Ken,,,, you dont want to use your last name any more hahahahhahajhajhahahhhhahahahahahah thahahahjah trying haha aa ha hhhhahahahah trying to get away from yourself? hahaha ha hha

Cant say I blame you hahjahahah, Good luck with thatl hahahaoiaoaohhiabhhhahahah

doc

December 21st, 2009
8:58 pm

truth, be wary of the backlash dude from yesterday’s post. you singled out the two lightening rods that have folks pretty well lined up as to who they are for and you go and place woody and josh on the same platter for serious accolades. some of the negative folks from either side might have at you. heh heh

wasted jj’s performance.