Atlanta Hawks: Why They Need ‘Zo

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(Note to my blog people: I wrote this back when I got on the beat in January but decided I didn’t have the cred to put it out then. I thought about freshening it up and posting it after Woody blew up at that shootaround in Milwaukee but decided to wait. Now after what happened to the Hawks in Game 5—beforehand the game I was taken aback at how nonchalant the players seemed in the locker room before such an important night—I decided now might be a good time to post this and see if it still holds up. It’s what I wrote back then except for editing a couple spots where I couldn’t think of the right word or hadn’t yet looked up some factual details at the time.)

I’ve been covering the Hawks for only two weeks. That’s not nearly enough time to form definitive opinions about the team, but readers have been asking me what I think the team needs to put it over the top. So with the caveat that I haven’t been around that long, I will draw on my experience covering the 2005-06 Heat and tell you what the Hawks need to be a real contender.

They need Alonzo Mourning.

Well, not the actual ‘Zo, who is comfortably retired after blowing out his knee at Philips Arena on Dec. 19, 2007. But the Hawks need someone like ‘Zo, who in ‘05-06 was a hardened veteran who had been through playoff battles and knew the kind of dedication and focus it took to win at a high level. He was a guy whose forceful personality commanded respect, and whose work ethic shamed players who weren’t 36 years old and fatigued by medication to rise to his level. And, just as importantly, ‘Zo still had something to offer on the floor that the Heat needed—even in the twilight of his career he was the most amazing shotblocker I ever saw in person, and that’s even after seeing Smoove do his thing.

The Hawks don’t have a ‘Zo. The Celtics do (Kevin Garnett). The Cavaliers don’t—LeBron is special but he’s not hardened yet—and couldn’t they have used a guy like that against the Magic in the 2009 East finals? The Magic doesn’t have a ‘Zo, either, and that’s what it means when you hear the complaints about Dwight Howard being too goofy (Stan Van Gundy had ‘Zo, so he knows). The Lakers, of course, have a ‘Zo type in Kobe, who is notorious for having little tolerance for BS from his teammates. The Spurs get that same effect from Gregg Popovich but that’s a unique situation because Tim Duncan is a superstar who accepts a coach riding him like that.

The Hawks don’t have that kind of locker room presence, and there are times when it shows. I’ve been to a few practices now where Woody walks the team through defensive situations. I’ve seen him tell guys what they need to do on pick-and-rolls, backdoor cuts, in transition, etc. And then the Hawks run through the play 10 seconds later and the guy who Woody just personally instructed messes up his assignment. “Where are you going?” is a common refrain from Woody in these situations. The atmosphere during these sessions tends to be loose, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a long season and the Hawks seem to be a group of guys who need to have fun. But there comes a time to be serious and there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the Hawks’ locker room to put it down like that. It’s what you get from a team that relies on so many young players or older guys without big personalities and/or roles.

These would be the times where ‘Zo would tell guys who keep messing up to pay attention. If guys goofed off when they should be focused, ‘Zo would tell them to knock it off. Now the other Heat players gave ‘Zo a lot of grief about being so intense and serious—he could be over-the-top with it at times—and he usually took the clowning good-naturedly. But when he spoke up his teammates paid attention because no one worked harder than ‘Zo. He was hungry for a title and he wasn’t going to let some nonsense get in the way of that. His intensity and toughness rubbed off on his teammates who could use it.

Now Woody critics might say that a coach with a better pedigree would be able to get them to focus better. There could be something to that because the NBA is a players’ league, but it’s not that simple. For one, it’s a long season and players get tired of hearing it from the coach. For another, Pat Riley got a lot of respect from his players because he’d won titles, sure, but also because he was the team president and backed by the owner. Unhappy players knew if they crossed him they could be shipped off to an even more miserable situation. But even that didn’t prevent Shaq from once nearly coming to blows with Riley in practice. ‘Zo, by the way, stepped between them and broke it up, good thing because who else was going to do it?

And Riley had his faults. He would arbitrarily enforce inconsistent fitness standards on players whom he was mad at for whatever reason. He once inexplicably suspended James Posey, a true pro, because Posey’s body fat percentage was a fraction above some standard that Posey suggested Riley had made up. He got personal with Antoine Walker, calling him out in the media, and while Walker’s game could be frustrating he wasn’t a bad guy. Riley could make the atmosphere too heavy for players. And if you think Woody doesn’t give enough love to young players, get a load of Riley. You basically had to be Dwyane Wade-good to be a young guy and get run with Riley.

The Hawks would be a different team with someone like ‘Zo. Mike Bibby certainly has the pedigree to be that guy but his role has diminished and he may not have the personality for it. Joe Johnson is the team’s star but he seems to be a quiet type. Smoove, Al, and Marvin are too young still.

From a talent standpoint, the Hawks actually match up fairly well with that ’06 Heat team. Wade obviously is an elite players, and Shaq at that time still changed defensive gameplans by commanding automatic double teams in the post. Those kinds of talents aren’t common. But then again the Heat didn’t have a J.J. type, a long wing who can get his own shot and defend multiple positions. ‘Zo was the closest thing the Heat had to Smoove, but ‘Zo couldn’t play big minutes because of his health—it was common to see him standing at halfcourt sucking wind while his teammates ran the break.

On that Heat team Jason Williams still pushed the pace at times and got to the rim, but usually his job was to bring the ball up and hand it off to Wade to initiate the offense and make the open shots that Wade created—sounds like Bibby, right? J-Will didn’t offer much defensively, either. Physically Marvin is a Posey type, long, athletic and able to guard multiple positions (though Posey was a veteran who had a knack for making just the right play at exactly the time the Heat needed it). Jamal Crawford is even better in his shotmaking role off the bench than Gary Payton was for the Heat.

So, on paper at least, this Hawks team could match up decently in physical talent with that ’06 Heat team. Keep in mind, too, the Heat stumbled into April and didn’t really start clicking until the final couple weeks of the regular season (unless you were there, you wouldn’t believe that this also coincided with ‘Toine replacing Posey in the starting lineup). The Bulls pushed the Heat in the first round, with a big game from Shaq and some big shots from GP turning the tide. Then the Heat got a sweet second-round matchup with the Wizards, whose soft defense allowed Wade to do whatever he wanted in the lane. The Heat swept the Wizards with Shaq sidelined by injury. Wade carried the Heat in the East finals against Detroit. Wade did the same in the Finals vs. the Mavericks (and the Heat doesn’t’ win without ‘Zo, who was possessed by then), but it’s also true the Dirk Nowitzki choked in Game 3.

The point is it’s not easy to win a title. It takes the right matchups. It takes some luck. It takes some time. And, from my experience, it takes someone like ‘Zo. The Hawks just don’t have that guy right now.

MC

196 comments Add your comment

mike

April 29th, 2010
7:33 pm

well MC… who is the theoretical ‘Zo and how do we get him? Don’t put this article out unless you have someone in mind that we should go after.. i mean give us some solutions not just another dead-end article on how much our team sucks.. i think we have taken enough in the past 24 hours from the local and national media (deservedly so)

Matt

April 29th, 2010
7:41 pm

Addition by subtraction — just get rid of Josh Smith. He’ll never win in the league with his attitude.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2010
7:48 pm

Kurt Thomas seems like that type of guy.

FIRE WOODY

walt disney

April 29th, 2010
7:50 pm

MC I too ask who is Zo and where do we get him

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
7:52 pm

@mike: i know you are in a sour mood but don’t take it out on me, dude. solutions? why do you need me for that? i like for readers to think for themselves. if you agree with the premise of the post, then it’s not hard to think of these kind of guys. here is a list of 2010 free agents (or potential FAs): http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-10-11

see any guys on there that fit the premise that the hawks could realistically sign with the mid-level cap exception (deal starting at about $5.85 million)? finley? Big Z? Ben Wallace? Derek Fisher? Haslem? Stackhouse (whom the Hawks could have had this year)? Grant Hill? Nesterovic?

that’s a start. any of those guys fit the bill? if not, then one would have to be acquired through a trade.

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
7:53 pm

@ Najeh: yes, K Thomas definitely is that kind of guy. and he can be a FA this summer. see, Mike, that’s Najeh thinking for himself and coming up with someone i didn’t. this is how it works.

Scoop

April 29th, 2010
7:54 pm

Bad comparison.
Horrible.
Zo would not have been the difference in g5 when the Bucks made the 14-0 run with four minutes left to finish the game.
Zo would not have drawn up a play that resulted in HORFORD shooting a 3 out of a timeout in a crucial part of the game!!!!!(Smoove had shot one just before that)
Zo would not have made the decision to put your go-to offensive player on the opponents point guard which resulted in him fouling out in a critical juncture in the game.
Zo would not of been the difference in the Hawks being 1-9 in their last ten playoff road games and losing by 20++!!!!!
Pat Riley would have.
We need a coach.

Paul Hackett

April 29th, 2010
7:55 pm

The huge problem is that Josh Smith is the anti-Zo…Hawks should have let Memphis take him a couple of years go…the guy is just a little kid with no heart…he plays great when things are going well, but as soon as the going gets tough, he is out the door…it was a fun run while it lasted, but it’s over now…

O'Brien

April 29th, 2010
8:00 pm

MC,

A lot of fans have been saying the hawks need a leader on the court for years, but some people are quick to point out how jj leads by example.

I agree with you. Hawks need zo. However, I was hoping that you would have made some suggestions as to who fit that bill.

Joe's place Joe speaking

April 29th, 2010
8:01 pm

Guys have some damn confidence!!!! Every damn one of you are acting like it’s already over!! I certainly can understand the pessimists but how many if you played sports?! If there is one thing I can tell you about sports is that it’s not over till it’s over!! Never give up!!! I have his feeling that we are going to win tomorrow!! I know it sounds crazy seeing as how we played so terrible the last three games but I truly feel that we are coming back strong with our backs against the wall!!! I had a bad feeling after game 2 because of the long layoff and the draft so everybody basicly forgot about us playing!! Including the hawks!!! Now they know it’s win or go home and if you seriously think for one second that the bucks are better than us then you need to be in mental hospital!! There is no way!!! And I mean NO way we lose!!!!! Have some fu***** heart and realize that our talent will prevail tomorrow!! Mark my words!!! Go get your tickets for game 7!!!! P.s. I don’t need any responses about how we have no offense and we have no coach or bibby sucks or joe johnsons not a leader or any other bandwagon nonsense! And it is bandwagon if when were good your all happy and when we lose it’s we suck. Now I’m tired of all this negative attitude!!!! Are you with me!!!

DP

April 29th, 2010
8:02 pm

A legitimate leader has to be one of the best players on the team, ideally the best player on the team like LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, etc. If the star practices hard and plays hard all the time, nobody else on the team has an excuse to do less. A washed up or situational player like Ben Wallace, Fisher, or Stackhouse can’t lead a young team because they lack the credibility and because they’re usually riding the bench at crunch time.

That’s the problem with paying a guy like Joe Johnson to be your franchise player. There are only a handful of legitimate franchise players in the NBA and he isn’t one of them.

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
8:03 pm

@O’Brien: J.J. does lead by example. he’s a hard worker. but he just doesn’t have the strong personality to lead guys who don’t get the message that way.

i’ve listed a few who might fit that bill above. feel free to agree/disagree/add your own guys.

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
8:06 pm

@ DP: agree to a point. it was important that Zo still had something left but he wasn’t the star or even a starter. that was shaq and, eventually, wade. do you think Stack, Fisher or Wallace would ride the bench at crunch time for the Hawks? maybe, i’m not so sure, especially Fisher.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2010
8:09 pm

“Addition by subtraction — just get rid of Josh Smith. He’ll never win in the league with his attitude.”

Would you consider Rasheed Wallace, Dennis Rodman, and Stephen Jackson to be players with “good attitudes”?

FIRE WOODY

Kitis

April 29th, 2010
8:11 pm

Scoop,

That was far from a horrible comparison. Yes, a new head coach is the most immediate need, but Alonzo would’ve been the difference at the end of the game last night- it would never have come down to that cuz he woulda quashed it 4 months ago in practice. Everyone knows we lack that killer instinct, which is what a player of Zo’s demeanor could instill in a widely acknowledged soft team.

I don’t think Woody drew that up with Al jacking the trey at the top of the key, and that’s clearly another example of the players not listening to him. I honestly feel sorry for the guy at this point. He is trying (I think), but he has zero respect from any of the players. Zo wouldn’t stand for the coach’s input being an afterthought.

I appreciate your sentiments because this has been about as frustrating as it gets for an Atlanta sports fan the last week, but a Zo-like attitude on this team could keep us from ever even being in these situations where we panic and pi$$ the game away in crunch time.

Scoop

April 29th, 2010
8:11 pm

veterans on our team with playoff experience:
Mo Evans
Bibby
Joe Smith

Sadly, Woodson has hardly ever played those guys in crunch time minutes in the playoffs.
Go figure.

@DanWeiner

April 29th, 2010
8:11 pm

This team should have signed Stack. Not only would he toughen this team and give them a valuable body off the bench, Smoove seems to have taken a shine to him this past Summer. Stack pushing him every day would have been a good thing. C’est la vie, the cheapness and ineptitude of the management shines through again.

Kitis

April 29th, 2010
8:12 pm

And even though the team has given us every reason to think otherwise, I still believe we can and should win tomorrow night.

O'Brien

April 29th, 2010
8:13 pm

I like haslem, who the heat might have to renounce to free up more money.

Maybe the hawks thought joe smith could help in that regard.

I also wonder, Can that role be filled by an assistant coach…

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
8:17 pm

@O’Brien: i thought Joe Smith could help, too, but he’s a pretty laidback guy as well. i don’t think an assistant can do it.

VenomSpitter

April 29th, 2010
8:18 pm

The worse scenario for the hawks is if they win this series and win 2 games against the magic. Then Woody would be re-signed. That would be horrible. So I kinda want the hawks to lose if it means no woody.

Willy

April 29th, 2010
8:24 pm

FEAR THE FEATHERS! THE HAWKS WILL WIN THIS SERIES!

Melvin

April 29th, 2010
8:26 pm

Good stuff MC. I think we could use a guy like Ben Wallace in that Zo role. He plays hard and not afraid of anyone. I’m not sure what type of locker room guy he is but he seem to be very vocal on the court and still has some game left in his tank….

Scoop

April 29th, 2010
8:29 pm

If you think about it, the Hawks haven’t progressed at all. Just the expectations have.
2 years ago against the Celtics in the playoffs round 1-7 games 3 wins at home 4 blowouts on the road.
1 year ago Heat-7 games 3 wins at home 2 blowouts outs on the road
same this year.
Woodson can not take this team any further. Before, whatever we did in the playoffs was a bonus, this year we expected to play like an elite team and we are obviously far from that, even if we manage to beat the Bucks. With heightened expectations this team is showing its true colors.

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
8:30 pm

Can ‘Zo coach?

O'Brien

April 29th, 2010
8:33 pm

Delbert D.

I think zo is working in Miami’s front office

Troy

April 29th, 2010
8:34 pm

MC, I do not appreciate your tone with mike. While I have no idea what his history on this blog is, I don’t feel that he was being rude or taking out his frustration on you by recommending a solution in your article. Your sly remarks about readers needing to think for themselves were a bit out of line, and your follow-up response to Najeh’s post saying “this is how it works” was borderline disrespectful. Keep in mind that your livelihood depends on your readers and you would do well to treat them with the same respect that you would expect or like to receive. There is no need to flex your arrogance or personal distaste for criticism when someone offers some constructive criticism for your articles. Just because you are officially covering the Hawks does not mean you are immune to criticism, and I expect you to reconsider your response before making making rude comments to readers in attempts to make up for your shortcomings, in the future.

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2010
8:40 pm

@ Troy: no rudeness intended. if you’ve been around here before you know i welcome criticism and this is just normal banter. mike offered a little attitude with his comment, which is fine, so i gave a bit of it back. nothing personal, at least not with me.

the purpose of this blog post was not to make a list of guys who are like Zo, but to revisit a topic i originally wrote about back then to see how it holds up. my point is that i like for readers to get the discussion going and so actually i am showing readers the most respect that way. you don’t need me to “talk down to you” and tell you what to think.

obxdawg

April 29th, 2010
8:49 pm

Mr Cunningham–Fantastic and insightful blog!

Section 303

April 29th, 2010
9:00 pm

I really don’t even know what to say about this, Michael. I guess, maybe, the ownership was trying to get a “Zo” by signing Jason Collins? Who knows?

What strikes me most about your piece, Michael, is that you wrote this two weeks into the gig. It didn’t take you long to see that the Hawks would have trouble down the road because the carefree attitude. Good call.

I wish tomorrow night’s game was tonight. I just want to get it over with. Any of you watching Dallas/San Antonio? I think the Hawks will be playing the role of Dallas tomorrow. I see a complete meltdown coming.

Mystikal

April 29th, 2010
9:02 pm

FOOLS GOLD

The hawks are fools gold. They look like something they really aren’t, a contender. They
are argueably the most athletic team in the league but have no dynamic player.

Mike Bibby is old and slow. He cannot keep up with the new class of athletic point guards,
and has become a defensive liability. He can hit big shots occasionally but with him being
small and slower they are far and few between. He would be bet served coming off the bench
like Santonio has done with Tony Parker and George Hill.

Joe Johnson is an above average basketball player and a guy you want on your team, but he
cannot lead a team anywhere. Most of the time he is a great shooter but too often disappears
in the clutch. To be one of the bigger 2-guards in the league he rarely takes his man in
the post and doesn’t drive to the basket or get to the free throw line nearly enough. And
to be on such an athletic team he slows the ball down way too much.

Marvin Williams is a well rounded player, but is forever cursed by the Chris Paul curse. Bad
enough to be judged as a #2 pick, but to be known as the guy taken a head of Chris Paul is
more pressure. He could still be a good player if he could just show up consistently. He
often flashes moments of what he can be, but just as often disappears. And what happened
to that 3pt shot he developed last year?

Josh Smith is the closest thing this team has to a dynamic player with his athleticism,
probably top 5 in the league. But that is negated to an extent because he’s an undersized
power forward. Beyond that he has no goto move in the post, will make you cringe if he tries
to put the ball on the floor, and make you throw things if he attempts a jump shot. Most of
his points come on putbacks and in transition, where the entire team accels. He his the
backbone defensively and makes big impact; just often isn’t enough against good teams.

Al Horford is the throw back bring your hard hat and lunch pail to work every day. He put
this team on another level when he began anchoring the post. He to is undersized as a center
having to battle the likes of Dwight Howard and Shaq, who sadly are both in the east. This
sucks cause he’d be better to center the offense around with his good passing and high
basketball IQ. With this only being his 3rd year he going to get a lot better too!

Jamal Crawford is a great scorer and a pure scorer. The role he provides for the hawks suits
him perfectly, give him the ball and get out of the way. He masks the bench problem though.
When he comes in with that second unit instead of iso-Joe it turns to iso-Jamal (even though
he goes to the whole more). But just like when Joe has the ball too many other ppl are just
standing around watching. No offense is being run, things quickly become stagnant and can
easily be contained.

Which brings us to the coach, good ol’ Woody. There’s nothing wrong with being known as a
defensive coach, but somewhere down the line as assistant coach or someone has to know some
offense. The hawks do not have an offense. They go out and try to turn you over on defense
to get their transition game going. This is good but when that’s not working and things slow
down (ala playoff basketball) you have to be able to execute. Last year they would try to
keep the ball in Bibby or Joe’s hands(play makers) and teams would just key on them. This
year they added Crawford to the mix but still no offense is being run. You can’t win that
way in playoff basketball. When talent gets neutralized the team with the best execution
has the advantage. Think Woody has taken this team as far as he can.

Section 303

April 29th, 2010
9:04 pm

Got it! After looking at the upcoming free agent list, I want Chuck Hayes and Joel Prizbilla. Sign ‘em up! Two physical and tough players.

Hayes would be a great add. I’m a Michigan State grad and huge fan. Tom Izzo loves Chuck Hayes. I think that is endorsement enough.

Stu

April 29th, 2010
9:04 pm

I’m assuming “needing a ‘Zo” is needing a leader, and that’s what we lack. Bibby should be (with all of his playoff experience), but since there isn’t and we supposedly have more talent than Milwaukee (especially without their two best players), then you can only blame the coach. That lackadaisical attitude you saw before the big game in the locker room should have been eliminated by the coach.. I’ve never been sold on Coach Smith, but we kept improving each year so I kinda kept quiet. We’ll see tomorrow night to see what ‘this’ particular Hawks team has in them. Right now, we’re back to being a joke. If we don’t pull it out, things are gonna change this summer with all of the blockbuster free agents. By the way, Marvin, he’s GONE

Stuey Rock

April 29th, 2010
9:09 pm

The Hawks are not as talented as made out to be.

Joe is closer to being John Salmons than he is Kobe, Durant, Carmelo, etc.

Josh Smith is VASTLY overrated.

Josh Smith is also dumb as rocks. Why is a player that cant shoot or dribble ONE LICK, always trying to cross people up and taking jumpers???

Well maybe that’s what happens when your coach has no offensive set plays.

The whole team is in shambles.

Woodson isnt smart enough to actually coach, and the players dont have enough leadership or smarts to realize that since their coach just throws them the ball and says “play” maybe they need to work out some plays amungst themselves.

JD

April 29th, 2010
9:12 pm

Come on dude. Zo? Hell, since we’re talking crap and old men bring back Gervin, the Mailman, and Jordon.

Section 303

April 29th, 2010
9:13 pm

JD, it would be nice if we could get the refs that Miami had during that title run, too. The least deserving championship team of all time, the ‘06 Heat.

IDIOT POST OF THE DAY

April 29th, 2010
9:14 pm

JD

April 29th, 2010
9:12 pm

Come on dude. Zo? Hell, since we’re talking crap and old men bring back Gervin, the Mailman, and Jordon.

. . . . . . . .

Too bad you didn’t actually read the article, and you took “needing ‘Zo” literally.

EPIC FAIL

Hawk Str8Talk

April 29th, 2010
9:15 pm

@MC, your article holds up tremendously.. I wrote a blog last year about making a play for Paul Milsap well before the Boozer blow up (to see if we could trade for him or sign him in the offseason). Having someone from the Jerry Sloan way of doing things as well as a lunch pail player to pair up with Al Horford was the implication. But your point is valid now as it was then…the Hawks lack true hardened leadership from the ranks of the players. I’ve sat behind the bench twice and I’ve yet to see someone say what needs to be said in a way that’s respected. I saw bickering and yelling, but not – ok, I get it…here’s what we need to do to get things on track. Certainly haven’t seen that in any press conference and doubt it’s being said at practice. Everything you’ve observed doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Allofus

April 29th, 2010
9:18 pm

Hey! If Joe Johnson leaves, Marvin will be an All Star . Trust me.

Mystikal

April 29th, 2010
9:28 pm

After looking thru list of free agents, aside from Kurt Thomas and maybe Kenyon Martin or Matt Barnes there aren’t too many of those vested respected hard nosed players left. It is a different NBA now from when we grew up. With changes in officiating players are a lot softer than a decade ago becaused they are policed so heavily. Plus the overall skill level has diminished as a result of so many players defecting to the league early during late 90’s to now. That is why there are such a small handful of true stars because “potential” players never got to fully develop. I think Al Horford has it in him to be that tough guy everyone respects, but how lond will it take him to get to that point, who knows?

Mystikal

April 29th, 2010
9:33 pm

Hate to admit it, Stuey Rock has a point! Hope we win still, but years and years of dashed dreams will do that to you.

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 29th, 2010
9:40 pm

Interesting Observation

Which of these names look better on paper???..but which ones would you rather have in this series right now???

Delfino and Ilyasova or Josh Smith and Marvin Williams

mike

April 29th, 2010
9:41 pm

MC- didn’t mean to give you “attitude”, i really just couldn’t think of a ‘Zo like player that was available, however thanks for the list you provided..(Troy- thanks for backing me up on the blog though, appreciate it although i am totally ok with MC’s jab right back at me and i don’t feel he crossed the line) I attribute my frustration to lot of ppl talking about the hawks’ flaws (woody, joe’s leadership, josh’s attitude, etc) but with no real solutions to these problems

Mystikal

April 29th, 2010
9:49 pm

If Jeff Teague is going to be our point of the future, now would not be a bad time to see what he can do. Jennings is just torching us, who is the rookie again? Going forward we have to figure out how to use Josh Smith. Defensively he fills it up across the board, but offensively he can’t dribble, can’t shoot, and has no post moves so…. Anyway, we’ll see what happens?

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 29th, 2010
9:57 pm

Nice post@Mystikal

To be a guy that cant dribble or shoot, Josh Smith seems to have his hands on the ball TOO many times TOO far away from the basket.

Josh Smith needs plays that involve him cutting to the basket or deep in the post.

Josh Smith is a pretty good passer though, and this is where LOW BASKETBALL IQ comes into play.

He’s a much better passer than he is a scorer (especially when involving shooting jumpers and trying to take guys off the dribble), but he plays the opposite way.

Stevet

April 29th, 2010
9:59 pm

I think Joe Smith, Jason Collins and to a lesser extent Bibby were supposed to fill that role. Hasn’t worked yet. I wouldn’t mind putting Collins and Smith rotating at Center, and see if we can get stability. Put Teague and Mario on Jennings, and see if he can take the heat also

Hawksfanatic

April 29th, 2010
10:01 pm

Go back to Miami if you want to talk about Zo. We don’t need a beat writer who is going to keep “living his glory days” with other teams. Atlanta is a great enough city to have a beat writer write about this team, not how “back when the team I covered won a championship…” How about you cover the Hawks? This article is just you talking about your bromance with Zo and how you long to be able to still be around someone like him.

Section 303

April 29th, 2010
10:23 pm

Hawksfanatic, I tend to agree with you. I hate the Heat. And, I really hate that title team of ‘06.

BirdDawg

April 29th, 2010
10:39 pm

MC,
Do you think it would have the same effect if the Hawks brought the real ‘Zo in as an assistant? Also, he could help teach the big men how to operate in the post (since apparently the head coach has no clue…about anything). Also, in Josh Smith’s defense, any young kid that’s had a knucklehead coach for six years whose only instruction to make him better is to “play harder” would have a bad attitude. We’re only fans and we have a bad attitude when it comes to Woody, why shouldn’t he?

FIRE WOODY

mark

April 29th, 2010
10:52 pm

i agree with mike, give some suggestions, your article is dead, almost like mike woodson coaching style. fire woody.