I’m going to refrain from talking about how the Hawks can make some kind of statement about being an elite team against the Mavs. I do this mostly because I usually don’t like building up regular-season NBA games too much but also because I’m written out and need to hand off to the Hawks blogosphere. There’s good stuff out there on lineups, perspective, J.J.’s future and my delusions about Big Z.
– Both Hawk Str8talk (get well soon) and Peachtree Hoops are trying to figure out the best personnel combinations for the Hawks.
atl_hawk_luv says put Teague in the starting lineup not just because of the rookie’s speed and defense but because Bibby would help the bench and J.J. could see a “glimpse of his future with the Hawks” alongside Teague. He wants Mo instead of Marvin, too. Whichever lineup you favor, he’s clearly hit on the two weak spots among the starters.
hawksdawgs is “no longer clamoring for bench usage like (he) once was” after seeing the reserves out there as a unit and realizing the Hawks “just don’t have great depth.” But he thinks they have some “decent pieces” on the bench and so asks: “The bigger question going forward is not whether Mike Woodson should use at least an eight man bench. He should. . . . No, the bigger question is how to combine the bench pieces with the starters. What are the best lineups to maximize the skills and minimize the weaknesses?”
Well said. Woody’s struggling with that issue right now.
– Hawks superfan, ATLien and Slam Mag hack Lang Whitaker answers reader email and calls for some perspective. Responding to a reader upset about that mess in Golden State, Lang says he understands the emotional swings: “Perspective and patience aren’t exactly the hallmarks of rabid fans, who are, after all, fanatics. I know that this is a frequent theme I keep hitting on here over and over, but it can’t be stressed enough: The NBA season is a marathon. You lose a game, you have to put it behind you and start fresh.”
Lang also touches on J.J.’s future plans and says something that I need to remember as I keep seeing all these various reports about J.J. favoring this city or that city while I hear nothing like that from people who would know: “The truth is, I don’t think anyone, including Joe, knows what’s going to happen this summer. And anyone who tells you they do know what’s going to happen is lying to you.”
– Over at Hoopinion, Bret Lagree skewers one of my Ilgauskas posts. Lagree dismisses Ilgauskas’ size and experience as irrelevant because he thinks he’s just not very good or useful to the Hawks and also says he’s no longer much of a shooter. (In my defense, I did write way back when: “He once was an offensive threat in the post but has become more of a jumpshooter late in his career. Ilgauskas has slipped to 38 percent shooting on jumpers this season, according to 82games.com.)
Lagree concludes: “I think it’s even more delusional to believe that Ilgauskas would help the Hawks than that he would sign with the Hawks.” Well, then call me delusional because I disagree with him on the former (but have never believed the latter). Even so, I like Lagree’s style (and substance). Keep on skewering.
– After talking to Jamal, I don’t think the shoulder is much of an issue. I think he’s just slumping. He says not to worry, he’ll be fine.
– The Mavericks are quite pleased with that trade. Well, Tim Cowlishaw is at least.
– Remember, the game is at 7 tonight after ESPN moved it up.
– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.