Oakland– So on Friday before the Hawks played the Suns, Woody said this about Jason Collins and Joe Smith, two of his postseason-toughened veterans:
“When the playoffs come, they can be a big, significant part of it. I haven’t told them that, but I hope they can sense it. In the playoffs, your rotation thins and you tend to play the guys that have done it. They become more valuable in the playoffs.”
I wondered about both parts of that statement: the thinning of the postseason rotation and using those guys more. But then Woody played both Smith and Collins in the first half against the Suns and Smith played great and Collins wasn’t bad and I’m thinking, “Hey, maybe this is the start of something.”
But then of course Woody didn’t play either of those guys in the second half and in fact used no reserves other than Jamal Crawford. And while owning up to that mistake, Woody said this:
“I had to see something for myself. I condensed things last night almost like it was a playoff game, when your backs are against the wall and you have to have one. I blew out six guys trying to do it. I can tell you it won’t happen again.”
It was all very confusing for me. So I’m looking for some clarity from this game.
– Very interesting development in the Hawks’ Ilgauskas watch. Mark Heisler of the LA Times on Twitter: “Source says NBA has told other teams it won’t let Z go back to Cavs. May be woofing with no rule against it, maybe not.”
And this: NBA stopped just one now-common trade-buyout-re-sign scam-when Stackhouse admitted it–may be working on way to make it two.”
The Washington Post reported Z’s buyout from the Wizards will come sometime this week and that his “heart is in Cleveland.” If the league breaks his heart and won’t allow a reunion (a move the players association would fight) it obviously increases the chances the Hawks can land Big Z.
– Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News had this note today:
Of the top free agents for 2010, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson is the one considered the most likely to find a new team. The Hawks have heard the rumblings and already made it known that Johnson will get a first-year salary of around $17 million in a new multi-year “maximum” salary deal. He’s making $15 million now.
But a league source said the Hawks haven’t let that be known to J.J.: They haven’t negotiated with him since he turned down their extension offer before the season. And so far there have been no indications from J.J.’s camp about his intentions for free agency. At All-Star weekend, J.J. said he’d “love to” stay with the Hawks but was noncommittal about his plans.
– Former Warrior Jamal on if he tries to stick it to his old teams: “It depends on how I’m feeling.”
Well, how is he feeling tonight?
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.