Heard ‘Em Say

Some Hawks talk from around the Web:

Chris Perkins, my boy from back in Miami, is the former Heat beat writer for the Palm Beach Post (we both got whacked from our gigs last year during cutbacks). Writing for Hoopsworld, Perk says the Hawks are a year away from being real championship contenders assuming they bring back Joe Johnson and Woody:

“Atlanta has beaten Boston three times this season. The Hawks (24-13) have the fourth-best record in the East. But does that mean Atlanta beat any of the top three teams – Boston, Cleveland or Orlando – in the East in a best-of-seven series?

Maybe. What it really might mean is the Hawks need to stay together for another year, when they’ll likely be atop the East and have a legitimate shot at the NBA championship.”

– He’s not writing about the Hawks, but Tim Povtak at Fanhouse uses them as a contrast to the old and injured Celtics:

“The Celtics will have trouble getting past the second round this spring. They were lifeless at home when they lost badly to Chicago Thursday night on national television. They already lost three times this season to the much younger and much more athletic Atlanta Hawks, exposing all kinds of holes. The Celtics are more than vulnerable. . . .

“As the season progresses, it’s likely that the Cavs will pull away and both the Magic, who also are struggling now, and the Hawks, will pass the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, which means no home court advantage beyond the first round.”

– Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen places Josh Smith and Al Horford among his “5 Surprising All-Stars.” He’s got some thoughtful quotes from Smoove and good stuff from an unnamed scout:

“‘That kid has grown up immensely, and I’m stunned. I will tell you I hated him — his body language, his physical displays and immaturity on the floor. But this year I’ve seen him sit on the bench and not get playing time in the fourth quarter because the lineup is doing well, and they call him in to get the tip to win the game. And he’s not mad. In fact, he’s up like he’s their best cheerleader. I don’t know what award he should get, but he should get something for making the most emotional growth.’”

– The AJC’s Mark Bradley also weighs in on Smith’s maturation:

“We all kept wondering what Smith would be when/if he ever grew up. We’re getting our answer. Twenty points and 15 rebounds against Phoenix on Friday, when his fourth-quarter work kept the Hawks close enough for Jamal Crawford to win it at the horn. Fifteen points and 11 rebounds against the Celtics a week before that. Twenty-two points, nine rebounds, six blocks and seven assists in the November blowout of Denver.

He has made five turnovers in a game only once this season. He hasn’t fouled out. (OK, so there was one ejection.) He has hoisted only three three-point shots in 39 games. (He tried 87 last season, 152 in 2006-2007.) Put simply, we no longer cringe when Smith gets the ball. He knows what not to do.”

George Kiel III at nicekicks.com notes that J.J. was sporting Air Jordan 12 Retros with a new color scheme vs. Phoenix:

“Last night, Atlanta Hawks star Joe Johnson and Charlotte Bobcats teammates Gerald Wallace and DJ Augustin were seen in a white and navy blue colored Air Jordan 12 Retro. It also features a hint of red in between the white and navy blue sections and in the form of the Jumpman logo on the tongue. There is no word yet on when this shoe will release.”

86 comments Add your comment

jerrywest

January 17th, 2010
1:50 pm

Hawks need to win some games to get 3 guys into the all star teams.

jerrywest

January 17th, 2010
1:52 pm

If we are in 2nd place by the time the back ups are picked and/or the injury replacements are picked, Josh and Al will be invited to the big dance. NBA wants Lee & Rose to represent NY & Chicago. They have been missing the big markets last few years.

Grandad

January 17th, 2010
1:54 pm

Grandad

January 17th, 2010
1:56 pm

Still have never been 1st @ anything that mattered. Like this !

Grandad

January 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

Dad blasted…took me ‘5′ min. to type 1st.

Jody

January 17th, 2010
2:04 pm

Welcome Mr. Cunningham. Good job thus far sir.

Without question, Both Josh Smith and Al Horford deserve to be on this years All-Star team. The dirty work and heavy lifting they’ve done against bigger frontlines night in and night out in addition to their individual numbers has been truly admirable.

General Larry Platt

January 17th, 2010
2:14 pm

Yall looking like fools with your pants on the ground!

rms

January 17th, 2010
2:29 pm

I still cringe when Josh gets the ball. he looks retarded trying to do post his man down low and spin out of control losing the ball out of bounds. He cant shoot worth a lick but his defense if nice

SWAT Native

January 17th, 2010
2:35 pm

I just caught the end of the replay of the Boston game on NBA TV. They used the Boston telecast. It was unbelievable to hear Tommy Heinson cry about how the Celtics couldn’t get a call and how the refs stole the game from them. Hienson also said that Crawford couldn’t guard Buckingham Palace with a rifle. Surreal.

O'Brien

January 17th, 2010
2:37 pm

I think Josh will have a harder time making the All Star team than Al. After Dwight Howard, Al should be the next center. Shaq will probably get a spot, and Brook Lopez and David Lee have great numbers. But the Knicks and Nets are having crappy seasons, while the Hawksare currently top 4 in the East.

Although Josh has only taken 3 three pointers this season, he has taken way too many long twos right inside the line. Its not all his fault, because sometimes JJ gives it to him with the shot clock winding down, but Josh still needs to cut back on his jump shots.

I wonder if Mark Price works with him on his jum shooting too…

Dan

January 17th, 2010
2:40 pm

SWAT Native, Hienson is a total d-bag. He cries from start to finish about the Celtics not gettting calls. Which, in my eyes, takes some nerve. Officials bow down to Boston every night.

God…I hate the Celtics.

mountain_jim

January 17th, 2010
2:41 pm

Cunningham hits the ground running with over 1 blog a day so far!

If Josh gets in the All Star game he will sure create some highlights there!

Dan

January 17th, 2010
2:43 pm

Oh….and, Josh should be an All Star. It will probably take until next season for that to happen, but he should be an All Star this season. He is a one-of-a-kind player. I can’t really think of anyone else like him in the league.

I used to hate him, too. I thought he was a million dollar talent with a 10 cent brain. Now, he is a million dollar talent with a $999,999.00 brain. I think a strong case could be made that he is the team’s MVP.

dap01

January 17th, 2010
2:47 pm

Good article MC. Welcome.

If Woody can develop his bench a little more and the your front court can continue to grow. ATL will be hard to handle in the playoffs!

O'Brien

January 17th, 2010
3:00 pm

According to espn, Stackhouse will be signing with the Bucks for the rest of the season.

RomeDawg

January 17th, 2010
3:11 pm

What a difference a year makes in the maturity and growth of 20 year old men. Keep working hard for improvement.

bigdave

January 17th, 2010
3:18 pm

MC…

Joe’s worn those before… he’s also worn the white and red’s w/ blue stripe…

anyhow… i like your style…

yardie

January 17th, 2010
3:27 pm

Now that Mario West is back Teague just slipped further down the bench. I bet he must have some interesting conversations with Jason Collins.

Grandad

January 17th, 2010
3:28 pm

A belated welcome Mr. Cunningham:

I’ve been away for a bit [helping Coach Richt hire his new DC]
(tongue planted firmly in cheek).

Your blog/column/ style has been refreshing!

richbrave

January 17th, 2010
4:08 pm

Booyah!!!! The ‘BOYS get undressed and punked before a national television audiance. There is justice in this world. Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!! Wait ’till next year COWBOYS fans.

Ken Strickland

January 17th, 2010
4:24 pm

RICHBRAVE-I can’t stand them either. I was once a Cowboy fan, until I found out the real reason HC Tom Landry was fired. It was also the reason he was never offered, or considered for another HC position.

DAP01-Woodson doesn’t need to develop his bench, he just needs to start using it. It’s a skill he simply doesn’t seem to possess.

richbrave

January 17th, 2010
4:31 pm

KEN STRICK:

Can you give me a clue? I never liked DALLAS being a REDSKINS fan, but I always TOM was ‘Clean.” ‘NORTH DALLAS FORTY’ tweaked my curiosity though.

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2010
4:38 pm

I had my doubts about Smith making the ASG at the beginning of the season because I made the mistake of thinking that either Caron, Jamison or Granger would get the nod to go along with LeBron, KG, Bosh and Pierce (those 4 are locks unless health is an issue). But with DC sucking wind and Granger missing a slew of games, Josh has a really good shot. Horford should get in by default. What would be really fun to see is Josh play an ASG with either Nash or CP3 at the point. But he should have Rondo joining him on the 2nd unit, so that may also be worth checking out.

(I can’t f’ing believe that AI is the likely starting PG. Shameful.)

O'Brien

January 17th, 2010
4:50 pm

AJ,

There is also a possibility that TMac could be starting…

MannyT

January 17th, 2010
5:01 pm

For your boy CP in Miami…One year away is an old school model. Current model is why not us, why not now! I cannot promise that JJ & Woody are here next year. Sports is an odd business sometimes.

Regarding Fanhouse aging topic…When the bottom fell out of the Hawks in the mid 1990s, it was in large part that the Knicks made Steve Smith’s Hawks look really old in a 2nd round playoff series. I recall reading that they were just tired from the effort they had put into the 1st round, but that team got blown up quickly because they looked like they had lost their legs. If that happens to the Celtics, they will have even bigger problems due to the money invested in salaries…so far over cap that it looks like a decimal point between the dollars and cents.

On Josh…I suspect that all the NBA insiders knew he had talent, it was a question of maturity. Will it be sooner, later, or never. He’s not perfect, but the maturity is good enough to make his contract look reasonable. Good for him and the Hawks.

Does it have to be the shoes?…I know Joe isn’t the type of personality to get his own shoe, but what about some socks that say quiet assassin?

BWAF

jiggy

January 17th, 2010
5:02 pm

The Celtics have the 2nd best record in the east and the third best overall . Glen Davis missed 30 games , Tony Allen 22 , M Daniels 20
and Garnett 9 . But they will be healthy soon , when they are they
will be much better . The Celtics when healthy will win the champioship

MannyT

January 17th, 2010
5:12 pm

@yardie…on Friday I think Collins & West said “Rook, we got more time than you did tonight.”

@astro et al…the fans should not vote for all of the players in the starting line up of an all star game. Give them 2 or 3 spots and let the players have some, & the media, & the coaches. Now you get everyone a little invested. We know the truth is that there are no fears about selling out the NBA All Star game. Let it reflect the better players of the CURRENT season.

@grandad…I’d suggest that you create a Word file called FIRST on your computer. Pull it out as needed and copy the word ;-)

@richbrave…Hope your boy moneybags Snyder can keep his hands off the inner working of the Redskins long enough for Shanahan to do his thing. I recall he ditched Marty Schottenheimer after one season to get the ol ball coach. He also ditched Greg Williams when he was to take over for Gibbs.

BWAF

Sautee

January 17th, 2010
5:12 pm

O’Brien,

LOL, which uniform will he wear?

KevinA

January 17th, 2010
6:24 pm

Speaking of Marty Schottenheimer the Chiefs dumped him because he could not win the big one. Like with Woody there was much fan unrest because of the style of offense. They have pretty much done nothing since but replaced coach after coach. Change does not always work.

I MUS WRITE

January 17th, 2010
6:25 pm

Ken -whats the real reason Landry was fired?

Eric

January 17th, 2010
6:33 pm

Josh should make the All-Star game for his defense alone. He’s my favorite player, but I’ve almost given up on him being a consistent offensive player. They say he worked with Hakeem in the off season, I just can’t see it. If he could get one pet move down, maybe the “Dream Shake”.

Ken Strickland

January 17th, 2010
7:28 pm

I was able to get the real reason because I was in the Air Force and stationed in Little Rock at the time. The cause of the eventual firing of both coaches was the biggest news in the state at the time.

Both TLandry and former Arkansas HC Lou Holtz were political supporters of racist Jessie Helms, and did political commercials for him, and in both cases Black players rebelled. Black players refused to sign with Arkansas, and stated Holtz’s support of JHelms was their reason for refusing to sign. Arkansas knew it couldn’t compete in the SWC without Black players, so they fired Holtz, but of course Notre Dame jumped at the chance to sign him.

Dallas started having trouble signing and/or resigning Black players because of Landry, and losing them started a losing trend. When Jerry Jones bought the team, he immediately went about the task of trying to get rid of Landry without ruffling the feathers of loyal Cowboy fans who didn’t know or care about his reasons. Once fired, Landry was never considered for another HC vacancy because of the attitude Black players had towards him.

It’s not just a coincidence that former Black Cowboy players who held out for bigger contracts, like RB’s Dwayne Thomas and TDorsett, WR’s Bob Hayes and Butch Johnson, DE’s Harvey Martin and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, OLB Hollywood Henderson, and I believe CB Cornell Green, and maybe Herb Adderly, encounted trouble. Except for Too Tall Jones, who was the only one that was resigned to a new contract, but only after sitting out a yr, all of the others were either traded or cut. Dwayne Thomas, Bob Hayes and Hollywood Henderson were all charged with drug possession, or use, shortly after starting their holdouts.

NORTH DALLAS FORTY was a movie that touched on the PLANTATION style mentality that existed within the Dallas Cowboy organization toward Black players under HC Tom Landry, and I believe former owner Tex Stramm.

KevinA

January 17th, 2010
7:32 pm

This guy Josh Childress does not score like Jamal but is legendary with his FG%. Also a better fit with the switching defense. The chart does not like cut and paste so here is the link. He scores 16 pt’s a game at a approx .630 FG%. What it would or could be like with rich owners.
http://www.eurobasket.com/player.asp?Cntry=GRE&PlayerID=31080

Big Ray

January 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

I guess I’m being banned from this board, eh?

Big Ray

January 17th, 2010
7:35 pm

Blog monster just told me I’m posting too quickly. Holy crap…..

Big Ray

January 17th, 2010
7:36 pm

All-star game:

Josh and Al – snubbed, in all likelihood.

McGrady and Iverson – most undeserving, by far.

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2010
7:42 pm

OB, I read recently that Nash is closing ground on T-MAC. I voted (again) this morning and made sure that I chose Nash at one of the guard positions. But AI (supposedly) won’t be caught.

MannyT, I hate taking away the power from the fans. Can’t there be a rule that a player must play at least 30% of the games by the time the voting period ends? And if the fans still vote for a player who fails to meet that threshold, then the Commish could simply add another roster spot to those that will be added by the players/coaches.

Jim

January 17th, 2010
8:04 pm

How Ironic it is that Mr. Heinsohn is even discussing how the Celtics don’t get the calls-it just seemed like yesterday how we had to watch people like Larry Bird “get the calls” and draw fouls when the nearest defender seemed like five feet away in the paint. Like they say-what goes around, comes around!!

jerrywest

January 17th, 2010
8:14 pm

Nick at Hawksquawk.net forum wrote this:

I considered trading him for about 2.7 seconds

i thought about what sf i’d want in return (NEVER EVER EVER move smoove to sf…that’s just horrible)

and because we have lots of guys who need touches, i was thinking we need the following things from the sf:
defense
rebounding
doesn’t need many touches (low ego)
when does get the ball, scores efficiently, gets to the line

and i realized those are what marvin does…why would we replace him with a sf that plays worse defense and needs lots of touches with low-efficiency scoring to be happy?

unless you know of a sf that plays better defense/rebounding than marvin and doesn’t need many touches and the team is willing to trade that player for marvin

jerrywest

January 17th, 2010
8:20 pm

Shelden Willims banged into Pierce’s hurt knee – at the exact same spot. Pierce is in severe pain. Celtics will drop further.

Drock

January 17th, 2010
8:24 pm

Alot of NBA players aggree that Josh Smith is incredible. The only thing is that he plays for a coach who does not know how to develop young players. Josh Smith could be a great player and even better with shooting the ball, dribbling, moving without the ball to create open shots the whole nine yards! He could be an incredible all around player. I still think that in as a 3 man and AL as a 4, that with a true center the Hawks would be very hard to deal with! Josh Smith can develop into an even better player if he is first shown where he can open his game up, allowed to open his game up and have his bar raised to compare to a Lebron James type player rather than a good player! Josh has all the tools! Question is? Will he listen and who will show him the way?

doc

January 17th, 2010
8:30 pm

gee ken, i thought you were going to say he was gay.

that was sadly just part of the times in texas during those years ken. i encountered it when i went to houston to do my vascular fellowship under some of the best vascular surgeons. these were guys that invented it but about 15 years after the times you were reflecting on. it was still prevalent in their minds. sadly, the stuff i heard was gut wrenching and sordid. i had to frame it for what they grew up believing. man belief is so strong it can overcome what the heart knows is untrue.

doc

January 17th, 2010
8:33 pm

jerry, i always knew somehow, someway, sheldon would come through and justify bk’s draft pick and make an impact for our team. finally!

newkid

January 17th, 2010
8:33 pm

Something smells fishy. Why would Stackhouse sign with Milwaukee, a team with no real playoff prospects? Yeah the Bucks need help @ SG due to loss of MRedd, but why would Stack be interested in going to bitterly cold Milwaukee for 3 miserable months? Could this be the first step in a trade (e.g., Stack plus an expiring plus a draft choice for someone Milwaukee sees as a future puzzle piece)? What says the new kid MC? Just thinking aloud.

LATIMORE

January 17th, 2010
8:37 pm

THE ATLANTA HAWKS ARE THE REAL DEAL THIS YEAR KEEP WATCHING.

Blast

January 17th, 2010
8:46 pm

Yawn…. I’m glad we at least got off the Teague issue. If that’s all Hawks fans are concerned about, then Hawks must be doing something right! Shows you what a 3 game break will do to ya!

Astro Joe

January 17th, 2010
8:47 pm

newkid, doesn’t Stack need to go to a team who will give him enough time and tocuhes so that he can obtain a contract next season? At least that was my thinking… he is guaranteed time and touches to audition for a contract next season. And if Joe steps this summer and we have to throw Jamal into the starting position, I’d have no problem with Stack in the Vinnie Johnson role.

newkid

January 17th, 2010
9:03 pm

Since Stack’s not coming off an injury, his age would seem to be the principal concern to a team thinking of signing him next year. Nothing he’ll do in the next 3 months is likely to be indicative of what he’ll be capable of doing NEXT year. Besides, not sure he would/should look that far ahead given the amount of wear his time in the league has put on his knees.

No, I smell something else; something like Stack, Joe Alexander (expiring), Franciso Elson (expiring), and perhaps a pick for a small expiring and a future puzzle piece.

northcyde

January 17th, 2010
9:21 pm

newkid . . . Stack will get more of an opportunity to play in Milwaukee, which he can parlay into a contract possibly next season. If he came here, he may or may not play.

People are kind of remembering the Stackhouse of a few years ago. But if the guy was still a viable player, some other team that could use his services ( i.e.- Cleveland or Miami ) would’ve picked that dude up. If Mo Evans is a better defender than Stack, he’d definitely play over him. The 2nd unit needs to play better defense, not add another offensive player.

richbrave

January 17th, 2010
9:41 pm

For MANNY T:

You da’ man. Here’s a post I made this morning.

All of this “road to the Super Bowl” hype depends upon whether SNYDER has finally learned to keep his hands off his now rusty, bent toy, and on SHANAHAN’s willingness to turn over responsibility for the defensive personnel decisions to someone who knows what the hell they are doing.