Salt Lake City– After the Hawks’ collapse at Golden State last night, Woody said he needs to diversity the offense late in games because the isolation game has made the Hawks too stagnant.
After watching the video, he backed off from that stance a bit.
“We’re good when we are moving the ball,” he said. “But we’ve won a lot of games. I am not going to take them out of their domain. We’ve won a lot of games early with Joe and Jamal making plays off the dribble, either for themselves or for other people. When it works, it looks good. When it don’t work everybody thinks you are standing around and not getting anything accomplished.”
To Woody, the stagnant offense was kind of besides the point to the Hawks blowing that 18-point lead.
“That didn’t beat us last night,” he said. “We give up 35 points in a quarter when we’ve held this team to (73) points in three quarters. That’s a problem. We had breakdowns defensively on transition defense. Our court balance coming back, it was awful. I bet we gave up eight points from guys getting behind us and not picking up the ball.”
Is that a lack of focus?
“(It’s) that, it’s effort,” he said. “We had two guys that played really significant minutes last night. The bench played well; the bench did adequate last night. It’s mainly the guys that have carried us to this point that’s getting us beat in the last two games. Go back to the Phoenix game (and) we had our best players on floor against their second unit and couldn’t get it done. It’s not a need to panic or anything like that. It’s things that are correctable. As a coach I’ve got to help them get over the hump.”
If the main guys aren’t getting it done, would he look at changing up his rotation?
“My rotations are based on who is giving me what on the floor,” he said. “When they made their run, I had the ‘rook (Teague) and Zaza in the game. And then I came back with our (main) guys, which is the right thing to do. It’s our guys that’s got to carry it home. They can’t have the slippage they had and let games like that get away.”
So Woody thinks it’s on him to get them over the hump, what can he do?
“I don’t like blaming players,” he said. “I don’t single out players. I feel like I’m in charge as the coach, and I’ve been around long enough that I can take the heat. In taking the heat, I’ve just got to help them. I’ve got to get them through those stretches where things are not going well for them. I’ve got to get them to relax and doing the things I know we can do to win games.”
– Question: What plays would you like to see more of from the Hawks? I don’t say that to mean they shouldn’t try something else, just interested in what you think it should be.
The Bibby/Josh pick-and-roll seems to work a high percentage of the time as long as the result is a pass to Smoove rolling to the basket. Because right now Bibby isn’t much of a threat to turn the corner and he’s not making shots, either. So what you see lately is both defenders cheating to prevent Josh from getting the pass and instead taking their chances with Bibby driving or shooting. Bibby sometimes can thread the pass through anyway but so far he’s not making defenders pay for dropping off of him.
J.J. can turn the corner and he can make shots, so he draws a lot of attention from defenders. But he would have to be decisive coming off screens. J.J. is partial to what another hack calls the “slow-drip” game: holding the ball on one side of the floor, methodically sizing up his defender, deliberately working his way to the rim and shooting a pull-up or that runner. He’s dang good at that but if the goal is to create more movement then slow-drip isn’t going to get it done.
Pick-and-pops with Horford are an option. Most fives have to back off of him because he’s quick enough to go around them, so he usually has room to get off his shot. Al is shooting 44 percent on jumpers and a little more than half his attempts come from outside the paint, according to 82games.com.
Many of you are calling for more burn for Teague and that’s a reasonable view. He can defend on the ball and the Hawks need that. But could he run the pick-and-roll effectively? Woody praised Stephen Curry for already knowing how to play the pick-and-roll game coming out of college, something he says isn’t all that common. Teague says he ran a bit of pick-and-roll at Wake Forest but that the Demon Deacons mostly ran dribble drive motion under coach Dino Gaudio.
I know that’s not a full list of OOTI (Options Other Than Iso) but just wanted to get a discussion started.
– My Iso-Joe count in the fourth quarter of eight games: 15 possessions, 16 points, one turnover, three missed shots by teammates, and three offensive rebounds of his misses.
– Suddenly the Hawks not only have to worry about the Magic pulling away from them but they also have to watch the Raptors creeping up from behind. Toronto seems to be playing with the kind of urgency the Hawks lack lately. Jarrett Jack scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter last night to help the Raptors overcome a nine-point deficit and beat the Wizards:
“We know how desperately we need these wins coming down the stretch, making this final push at the end of the season, especially the ones at home,” Jack said. “They’re very crucial, they’re very vital to how things are going to play out in the standings. We can’t let these opportunities slip through our fingers.”
– Will you forgive and forget if the Hawks win at the Jazz tonight for the first time since ‘Nique scored 43 on on Feb. 13, 1993? The Jazz have won 17 of 19, after all, and a W gives the Hawks a split on the four-game trip. Would a big victory cancel out two bad losses?
– After the Jazz traded Ronnie Brewer, All-Star guard Deron Williams complained ownership isn’t really shooting for a title but is interested only in staying good enough to make money. Shoot, he should take a look around the league lately. He’s got it pretty good here.
– Williams was a late scratch with a thigh bruise and Andrei Kirilenko is out with back spasms. I want to say the Hawks caught a break with those guys out, but I was at the game in Oakland last night, so I can’t.
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.