Hawks at Grizzlies, AKA Don’t Worry J.J. To Play

Up and at 'em.

Up and at 'em.

J.J. is in the lineup. In retrospect, was there any chance he was going to miss the closest thing he has to an NBA homecoming? Then again, from what I hear J.J.’s trips back to Memphis can be a bit nerve-wracking for him with the caravan of folks coming in from Arkansas. You know, in that man-I-love-my-family-but-dang kind of way.

– Maybe J.J. won’t be needed for big minutes. The Grizz’s bench is weak. Darrell Arthur is back from injury tonight and should help eventually. From the Commercial Appeal in Memphis:

Griz coach Lionel Hollins is looking forward to adding Arthur’s length, athleticism and scoring ability to his reserves. Arthur originally figured big in the Grizzlies’ plans — so much that owner Michael Heisley passed on bringing back established power forward Hakim Warrick.

However, Arthur’s emergence stalled when he was injured lifting weights in October and required a surgical procedure uncommon to basketball players. His absence left a huge void on the Grizzlies’ bench, which has mostly failed to provide consistent help at point guard, center and power forward.

– The Grizzlies have been wildly inconsistent. They started 1-8, later won 15 of 19 to get back in the playoff picture, and now have slipped again with three straight losses and five in six. They’ve had three days to stew over a home loss to the T-Wolves that had djturtleface at Straight Outta Vancouver breaking it down like this:

“The trade deadline is approaching, and while the Grizzlies 4 starters have gotten them this far, in my opinion they just don’t have what it takes to make the playoffs without making a move. It’s not up to Rudy, O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph, or Marc Gasol any longer — it’s up to (GM) Chris Wallace.”

– The Grizzlies rank 29th of 230 teams in attendance, 28th in terms of percentage of seats filled. Zach Randolph tried giving away tickets yesterday but not even that worked. OK, it was because of bad weather, but still.

– The Hawks got a mention in John Hollinger’s chat today:

Jerry (Atlanta)
Is Al Horford really All Star Calliber? I’m a Hawks fan, but his post moves don’t look smooth.

John Hollinger
(2:59 PM)
His post moves don’t look smooth because they’re not — they’re really mechanical, although he’s become more refined since his rookie year. The reason he made the All-Star team is all the other stuff — his defense, rebounding, ability to push the ball himself and start the break, mid-range J, etc.

– I’m not on the trip. I’m not there in spirit, either.

– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.

MC

155 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

February 9th, 2010
7:46 pm

MC,

Was the blog title written with Woody in mind? Because he would be worried (more than us bloggers) if JJ wasn’t going to play.

Blast

February 9th, 2010
7:49 pm

Iron Man Joe. Always knew he would play.

Michael Cunningham

February 9th, 2010
7:51 pm

@o’brien: haha, funny. i will just go ahead and put you down in the column for “not a big fan of J.J. or Woody.” interesting that i saw your comment right after a Grizz fan on Twitter wrote “uggh” about the news.

O'Brien

February 9th, 2010
7:58 pm

MC,

I’m actually a big fan of JJ. (I really hope he resigns with the Hawks because if not, we will be taking a HUGE (Woody’s word) step back).

But I also would have liked to see how the team would have responded if JJ was not available, and how would Woody have responded.

vava74

February 9th, 2010
7:59 pm

Charley Rosen’s Straight Shooting @ msn.foxsports.com:

“There’s a lot of debate down here in Atlanta about the Hawks’ sputtering offense and whether relying so heavily on ISO-Joe is the right call. Shouldn’t they have progressed further with their offense by now? Joe Johnson is a great player, but his minutes are climbing and the Hawks are using their bench less. Are we going to see a repeat of last year’s playoffs when the Hawks were beat up and out of gas? – Bob Johnson, Atlanta

You’re right on the money. While Johnson is indeed a great player, he’s not especially quick with the ball. As a result, his teammates do a lot of standing around while he’s working his way into a good shot. Not that he’s selfish or is unwilling to pass. It’s just that the defense has plenty of time to make adjustments while he’s beating the ball to death.

Atlanta’s biggest roster deficiency is directly related to this situation: At the tender age of 31, Mike Bibby has lost any suggestion of his youthful speed, can’t penetrate, seldom puts sufficient interior pressure on the defense to force them to jam the middle and is therefore, incapable of routinely executing kick-out assist-passes.

In 49 games, Bibby has been awarded a total of 52 free throws. Even Derek Fisher, who only takes leftover shots in the Lakers’ offense, has shot 78 from the stripe in 52 games.

The point being that Bibby is strictly a perimeter shooter who really can’t run an offense. Since Jamal Crawford is too wild with the ball, Johnson is the only viable option. Instead of seeing JJ as ISO-Joe, think of him as the Hawks’ point-forward.

Unfortunately, JJ will indeed wear down come the playoffs.”

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:03 pm

vava,

Interesting stuff.

JoBjoe

February 9th, 2010
8:03 pm

Dominique said nimbers 3 times in the first segment. woo hoo

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:07 pm

Lets do this

vava74

February 9th, 2010
8:09 pm

Sautee,

I think Rosen is right on the money: JJ is not selfish, but is a bit slow making up his mind and/or finding the play he wants.

Bibby’s lack of penetration and overall speed is damaging to the fluidity of our game (which does not mean that he would not make a 5 star sub), allowing opposing teams to tighten their defense on JJ and is in the origin of JJ handling the rock too long.

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

I would agree with that estimation of Joe.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:17 pm

The duck got up

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:19 pm

Duck seems more aggresive

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:20 pm

Horford holding that injured thumb. Hope he didn’t re-injure it.

Blast

February 9th, 2010
8:21 pm

Last few games Joe has been making his moves more quicker.

niremetal

February 9th, 2010
8:23 pm

29th of 20? Damn, MC, it can’t get much worse than that.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:25 pm

Josh needs to make his free throws

Michael Cunningham

February 9th, 2010
8:26 pm

@ o’brien: got ya, my bad.

@niremetal: mistake. but, looking at that arena, maybe not. fixed

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:28 pm

Wow the refs let them elbow Joe

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:33 pm

uh oh sam young

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:35 pm

so the ref wont call a tech on the grizzlies coach

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:37 pm

Now we’re shooting jumpers

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:38 pm

Our bench ain’t doin sh.it

Michael Cunningham

February 9th, 2010
8:39 pm

@vava, sautee: bibby obviously is a weak link. believe me, hawks would love to get a veteran, playmaking point guard but they just don’t have many tradeable pieces and aren’t inclined to take on much future money. i’m still waiting to see how Iso-Joe works out (update on my fourth-quarter count postgame). Woody has said managing J.J.’s minutes is a goal, and they are down overall from last season even as they’ve increased lately, so we’ll see.

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:39 pm

We need either Joe or Marvin on Gay. Mo’s getting schooled.

Disciple of Sund

February 9th, 2010
8:40 pm

I’m not anticipating winning the east this year. I’m content with being 2nd tier.

Disciple of Sund

February 9th, 2010
8:41 pm

Mario West = new and improved version of Bruce Bowen
SHUT DOWN defender.

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:43 pm

MC,

With no other options, should Teague be playing more? I’m NOT trying to start the whole “Teague doesn’t play enough” thing, BUT, I think we have to address Bibby’s rate of attrition one way or another.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:44 pm

Good job teague

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:45 pm

I have had enough with these refs

O'Brien

February 9th, 2010
8:45 pm

Sautee,

Mo is a backup SG who is trying his best to be a backup SF. He just doesnt have the size. I suggested approaching NJ Nets about CDR (who was a second round pick for them and has fallen out of favor). He has more size, and I think he would do a better job on defense than Mo.

Or if a veteran SF got bought out, it would be nice to know that Sund was open to the idea of bringing someone in. Unfortunately, he plans on only keeping 13 players on the roster.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:46 pm

Are we relly having trouble with the grizzles after all the rest we’ve had.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:47 pm

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

Teague just needs more PT and confidence and I believe he’ll be more productive than Bibby. I think confidence would come along with added mins, he doesnt seem too bashful.

I think he’s gonna be a problem for opposing teams if he gets into the steady flow of things.

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

JoBjoe

February 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

irepATL

February 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

nice move by marvin

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

time 2 sit teague

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

I bet Woody is gonna scream at Teague

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:51 pm

I hope josh dunks on randolph

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:51 pm

Bone,

LOL, what are the odds?

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 9th, 2010
8:52 pm

BONE

February 9th, 2010
8:53 pm

Josh pass the damn ball

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 9th, 2010
8:53 pm

lmao@them playing the Hustle and Flow song in the Arena…Memphis would do that.

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

Josh throws it to Woody on the bench.

Well to be fair, Woody WAS open. ;-)

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:55 pm

lost bout 2 come on

MannyT

February 9th, 2010
8:56 pm

There was talk on the prior blog about dropping ticket prices to get more people in the door to see the Hawks. They have to be careful with the way that is done. As a season ticket holder if I can benefit from that why would I get season tickets? There are often bargains for weekday games via StubHub.

I would question if the attendance problem is actually due to price or other issues. If you don’t want to drive downtown, would a cheap ticket change your impression of traffic? Does it need to be a chance to win a bigger prize like a free trip.

Looking at the attendance numbers, I see two major messages. At home we struggle to fill the seats–which isn’t news to us. However, on the road, we are 9th in %. We are starting to make an impact outside of Atlanta. Maybe part of the buzz has to come from developing a strong road following like the teams that pack Philips.

@O’Brien–I doubt Sund makes the budget. He does manage it. In this economy, 13 is the new 15.

BWAF

Sautee

February 9th, 2010
8:56 pm

Horford’s gonna have to play 45+

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 9th, 2010
8:57 pm

Caveman Horford

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:58 pm

can we get some D

J.J.M.

February 9th, 2010
8:58 pm

lmao@bibby gettin push down