Atlanta Hawks: Season’s Over

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– The Magic swept the Hawks. The total losing margin of 101 points is the largest in NBA history for a four-game sweep. The Hawks were booed in their own arena.

– They hope all of that doesn’t define their season.

– “We are disappointed at the series,” Smoove said, “but we can’t let a bad series overturn all the good we did the whole entire season. Coming into the postseason we thought we could do something special but we couldn’t get it done.”

– “I told [teammates] to keep their heads up regardless what they say about us,” J.J. said. “We had a hell of a year. It wasn’t a good series, but the whole season was good.”

– “I’m proud of our basketball team and what we’ve accomplished this season,” Woody said. “We did a lot of good things this season. I’m happy in the direction the team is going. Sure we have to get better. But it’s a big jump from the first round to the second, third and Finals. We’re still learning.”

– Clearly there wouldn’t be so many sour feelings about the Hawks if they had competed in this series. There is no way taking two franchise-worst beatings in a four-game series is going to leave them on good terms with their fans. At this point, the Bobcats can claim to be closer to the Magic’s level than the Hawks.

– Of course it also didn’t help that the Hawks gave lackluster effort in two games. Josh’s antics (he was looking at the Kiss Cam during one timeout) and J.J.’s comments about fans just added to the ill feelings.

– Still, 53 wins isn’t easy and not something the Atlanta Hawks have done very often. When I see some of my blog people talking about how they should have won 60 (shoot, I’ve even seen 65) I start to wonder. The Hawks are a talented team but, as I’ve said, it’s more physical talent than basketball talent, if you know what I mean. Of course you do, because you’ve watched this team play longer than me.

– No matter what you think of him as a coach, it’s indisputable that Woody is speaking the truth when he says: ““Whatever happens, whether I am here or somewhere else, this team is in a better place than before I got here. That means a lot to me and my staff.”

– Also true is if Woody doesn’t come back because of high expectations, they are expectations he helped create . “I would like to think that,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t think we get the credit because the media is so brutal on coaches. It’s awful. But I’m not going to let that send me in a tizzy or send me the other way because I can hold my head high for what I’ve done in six years.”

– He says he still wants the job: “I would love to stay. I started this six years ago and I would like to finish it.”

– Joe was non-committal about his future, saying he hasn’t thought about the factors that will go into his decision or which teams he might consider. But he said he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Hawks. “I will take some time off, clear my head and spend some time with my family. I am sure I will sit down with my agent in the next couple weeks and see what’s out there.”

– Fans booed J.J. during the game and when he left the floor for the final time. “It don’t bother me,” Joe said. “I’ve got thick skin.”

– Why does he think he had such a bad series? “[It's] a number of things I’d rather not talk about,” J.J. said. “Like I said, no excuses.”

– Asked if he was injured, Joe said: “No.”

– Don’t forget that the Hawks played what has looked like the best team in the league for two months. The Magic are deep, talented and committed. “One thing I’m real confident in with our team is our mental preparation,” Stan Van Gundy said. “I know our energy and intensity will be there. When we get beat, it’s not been because we’ve not been ready to play. As a coach, that’s about the best thing you can say.”

– “Just watch and see their level of intensity they play with,” Al said. “That defines their team. They’re a championship-caliber team. Just take that in and play like that for next season. It takes a whole lot of effort. It’s almost to the point where you have to make yourself feel uncomfortable out there. We didn’t have that this year. With some of our guys when fatigue set in, everybody kind of shied away from it.”

– That’s the kind of thing Woody means when he says the Hawks are still learning how to win. Woody never could get the Hawks to that level this season. It’s too simple to say that’s due to his failures as a coach. The Hawks need better depth–more “bonafide pieces” as Woody says. They need more leadership in the locker room and maybe a different mix of personalities. Otherwise, if Woody doesn’t return the next coach could run into some of the same problems.

– Also remember that it’s tough for any NBA coach to succeed when players know his job security is shaky. That’s just the truth in this league. It’s easier for a player to tune out a coach if he knows he can just wait him out and eventually he could be gone.

– Despite their flaws, the Hawks won 53 games and made it to the second round. “We was playing confident all season long, and we thought we could give them a good fight,” Josh said. “But they are playing great basketball. We never did bring our ‘A’ game.”

– “It’s disappointing, but I feel like I left it all out there and gave all I had,” Al said. “I wish it could have turned out better.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

255 comments Add your comment

Sawyer

May 11th, 2010
12:38 am

sad end to a pretty good year

STEEL (Formerly VenomSpitter)

May 11th, 2010
12:39 am

Thats right Al u did leave it all out there.

*Claps for Al and Jamal*

Gutz

May 11th, 2010
12:40 am

I still believe with a new coach that can DEMAND respect from his players and install a REAL NBA offense/defensive gameplan other than the ISO and switching D this team will be MUCH better. I say we resign JJ and add some more veteran pieces that can actually contribute.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
12:41 am

“Clearly there wouldn’t be so many sour feelings about the Hawks if they had competed in this series. There is no way taking two franchise-worst beatings in a four-game series is going to leave them on good terms with their fans. At this point, the Bobcats can claim to be closer to the Magic’s level than the Hawks.”

Exactly.

The Jazz are showing how a team that’s much, much less talented than its opponent should play in the playoffs. Lay it all on the line, play your azz off, and walk off the court with your head held high if you lose.

I’ll give the Hawks credit; today wasn’t the debacle Game 3 was. They did try in spurts today, although they still played incredibly low-IQ basketball. Of course, when people see “low basketball IQ” and “Hawks” in the same sentence, their minds tend to go to Josh Smith, when Smoove was the only player (as usual) trying to get his teammates involved and making things happen defensively. Low basketball IQ is dribbling the ball for 23 seconds and shooting a contested jumper — in other words, Woody, Joe, and Jamal.

And f-ck off if anyone tries to blame it on the fans. I just heard the “Lets go Lakers” chant at the end of the 3rd quarter in the Jazz game. That’s not stopping them from playing hard and playing smart.

Reid Adair

May 11th, 2010
12:42 am

It’s time for Rick Sund to step up. He needs his own coach, and this is the perfect time to get it. Mike Woodson was outcoached in both rounds of the playoffs this year. I see no reason to expect that he is capable of getting it done in the playoffs.

Joe Johnson? Not only did he fail to perform close to his regular-season numbers in the playoffs, he ran his mouth after Game 3. He doesn’t care if the fans show up? That’s fine. He tells his teammates not to worry about what the fans think? That’s great advice.

Sund doesn’t need to offer Johnson a new contract. Not a dime. Let him and Woodson go.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
12:45 am

I think there’s no question Woody’s schemes and insistence on playing ineffective players (Bibby in particular) are reason enough not to bring him back, but I wonder how much of the Hawks’ lackadaisical effort in some of these games is a reflection of him. On the one hand, my instinct tells me that professional basketball players should be able to motivate themselves; on the other hand, I see Jerry Sloan-coached teams and Gregg Popovich-coached teams ALWAYS playing hard, ALWAYS playing smart, and ALWAYS giving themselves a chance and I wonder whether or not Woody is at least somewhat responsible.

The Bullhorn

May 11th, 2010
12:46 am

Joe Johnson was 5 for 15, played no defense, and showed no heart.

If Woodson designed a play, it was never executed.

The Hawks failure in this series was the result of lack of structure, discipline, heart, and fundamental play.

Its past time for Woody to go and he take Joe with him.

Unlike most of the team, Horford and Crawford showed a lot of heart tonight.

PMC

May 11th, 2010
12:47 am

I would say I hope they don’t just give up because of this series. Josh Smith got light years better this year because of the work last year. I hope he can do that again this summer. He’s still got HUGE upside if he can keep refining things. His talent is sick he’s just got to put it all toegther become tenacious and not sweat the small stuff.

Big Daddy

May 11th, 2010
12:49 am

For certain there will be some changes made to the team. I don’t see how you can have the worst loss in NBA playoff history and not lose your job. I don’t know who will leave and who will stay. I really like Josh but I don’t know if he can stay with the way Al plays. Josh has a load of talent but just doesn’t seem to hear Woodson. JJ, I would be surprised if he came back. Marvin scored 2 points tonight. I hate the thought of starting all over but I don’t think just bringing in a new coaching staff, and it will be an entire staff will solve the problem. Let’s hope Rick Sund can come up with a plan that will bring in a new staff, some great perimeter shooters and a real bench. Oh by the way, FIRST!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
12:49 am

The thing that concerns me about the upcoming offseason is that Sund is in charge, and aside from the Crawford trade (which was great) he really hasn’t done much to form an opinion about him one way or the other. The problem is, this is the same man who drafted Vladimir Radmanovic and Saer Sene in the lottery and allowed Nate McMillan to go to Portland. I don’t exactly feel confident about his ability to put the right coaches and supporting players on this team to make it better.

PMC

May 11th, 2010
12:49 am

They did bring thier A game for 3 quarters in game 2.

Clyde

May 11th, 2010
12:50 am

Another game another azz whippin

Moxie

May 11th, 2010
12:52 am

You know, I really wish that Al would work this offseason a little more at his game and become a real consistent scorer. He could have grew upon that this season but he really didnt get the touches to grow that significantly. But his heart is kinda the only shining spot at this point in time. He gave all he could every game. I really wish that his growth could be even greater next season so he could be the unquestioned leader. He has the heart and brains. Now all he needs is the stats. Good season Hawks. It was an extremely sour ending but it is what it is. Hope next season is a good one too.

Woodys No Goody

May 11th, 2010
12:55 am

I would love to stay. I started this six years ago and I would like to finish it. – Woodson

You just finished it. Thanks now move along. Look at the Jazz going down with a fight tonight. Hawks never once in this series put up a fight. That’s not the coaches fault why? You’re done in Atlanta Woody so let it go.

Explicit

May 11th, 2010
12:57 am

Hate to rain on Woodys parade but when you draft where we have drafted in most seasons you should get better. It’s not as if we had to really dig to find talent in the draft. We still managed to mess it up a few times (see Shelden Williams) but the Hawks haven’t done anything so great…we just got better by drafting early in drafts for the most part.

Also for the last few days I have been trying to think of a coach to replace Woody with and unfortunately I can’t think of one. Nobody really gets me excited the way that Lenny Wilkins did way back in the 90’s but Woody still must go. The best that I can come up with is a coach that wants to run but believes in playing defense. We need to use our athleticism more and develop a real offensive gameplan.

A few changes that I think need to happen is Marvin and Josh need to go. Josh although I have always been a huge supporter has proven himself to be more problem than professional. The Marvin era is over. I accept finally that he will never be the superstar that I thought he would be and we need to move Al from the five to the four and both of those guys are just clogging up the front court.

We have some pieces like Marvin, Josh and Childress that will enable us to make some moves but we have to actually use them.

My understanding is that since the playoffs got started the team and Smoove haven’t seen eye to eye and I am sure that started before the playoffs but that’s just when I noticed it. I do believe that at atleast one point in the playoffs Joe turned to Woody and said, “get Josh out of there.”

Bring back Terry Stotts? Partially joking. Although after seeing the 1st round….when is Scott Skiles contract up?

dacheesecakeman

May 11th, 2010
12:58 am

hey clyde, i think you forgot to say FIRE WOODY

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
1:01 am

Damn, Clyde forgetting to say “FIRE WOODY” is like Lil’ Jon forgetting to say “OKAAAAY”…

dacheesecakeman

May 11th, 2010
1:05 am

So after two embarrassing losses, can we finally please let Woody go. He’s survived long enough. If you can’t find a replacement for Johnson, then keep him and get rid of the coach. That way he will have a SYSTEM that wont rely on him dribbling down the shotclock, wearing him out (40+ min a game), and running ISO plays.

lewis

May 11th, 2010
1:06 am

Hawks were fatigued all year long.
The best conditioned teams give themselves a chance to outplay anyone in the playoffs.
The Hawks have a lot of talent and athleticism, but they play street ball, don’t condition hard, and nothing from practice ever seems to be implemented in a real game (Assuming they do actually run plays in practice, i have my doubts).

Jonathan Dupree

May 11th, 2010
1:06 am

You know my prediction this year was Nuggets vs Hawks in the finals. I went out on a limb. I dont’ want everyone to hate on the Hawks cause it’s a team sport. As everyone points out we know who the sour grapes are and the people who believe that the word team contains the letter I.

I know I’m going out on a limb here but what if “IF” the Hawks did some kind of trade with Dallas for Nowitzki and what “IF” Allen Iverson was to come back to the NBA.

Of course someone will reply with some smart remarks but I’m just asking you to humor me for a moment how would those two pieces help the Hawks ‘if’ it did happen?

lewis

May 11th, 2010
1:07 am

and woodson never went to the bench, contributing even more to their fatigue

Loserville USA

May 11th, 2010
1:07 am

When you’re in the NBA and you try to play like you’re at Rucker Park, you lose.

The milk has gone bad. Spill it out.

Clyde

May 11th, 2010
1:08 am

It might be time to give the FIRE WOODY chant up fellas. I think Sund has seen enough to not offer Woody a new contract. I tried to get people to see the light 5 years ago but sometimes it takes longer for people see. I just hate we wasted all this time.

On to the next one.

Simpdawg

May 11th, 2010
1:16 am

One of the good things that could come from this very disappointing playoff series run is, the Hawks could and should hire a new head coach, one who knows how to make adjustments in a playoff series. Secondly the Hawks need to sign some players with heart, desire and will to win. This team needs some serious reconstruction, but I wouldn’t break up this team completely.

josh

May 11th, 2010
1:22 am

great year, tough playoff series, but hope they can make adjustments.

Grandad

May 11th, 2010
1:24 am

Michael:

I know the blog doesn’t stop just because the season ended
but I would like to express my appreciation for your candid
reporting to us [your blog people]. Thanks!

About Wdsn (having coached-I can say this)’everything’
about his team’s performance is his responsibility.
Thus, his refusal to open up starting positions for
competition and or allow competition for playing time
hurt the teams moral. I’m sure of it.
One last item, regardless of Wdsn’s situation, the players
recieve paychecks. Therefore he has a right to demand certain
performance standards & he is accountable if he did not require
the players earn those checks whether it be practice, or in games.
If players tune out the coach then fine them or find some way
to cost them their money for lack of professionalism.

MsDee

May 11th, 2010
1:26 am

I really like to hear Charles b/c he does make SOME sense..(not about resigning Woody though), but about the fact that this team needs to break-up and add some different pieces. I love Josh and wish he had a better basketball IQ but he doesnt and as long as he is with us, I just dont see us ever going all the way with him cause no matter how he improves on his decision making, when the game is on the line, he WILL go back to the jump-shot attempts, or forced turnovers…I say all that to say, we need to move Josh to The Nets for Devin Harris and their center Lopez..if we need to throw Marvin and our 1st round draft pick in, than so be it!! Bring Chills back since Marvin would be gone so he could start. Also, if Joe leaves, we could go after Salmons with Jamal as back-up but if we cant get him, maybe Chills could start at SG. Move Bibby for a back-up SF. And with the money that would have gone to JJ, plus with some players coming off the books and a 2nd round draft pick for cash, try and get Bosh. Our new team would be: Harris/Teague(PG), Salmons or Chills/Jamal(SG), Bosh/bk-up from Bibby(SF), Horford/Morris(PF),& Lopez/Zaza(C)…What do u guys think…is this possible? If not, explain…

CrazyDiamond

May 11th, 2010
1:33 am

Gotta agree with josh (above). Bold moves needed to improve on the 50 plus wins and the tough playoff loss. I hope Mr Sund has it in him to make it so.

Yup!

May 11th, 2010
1:36 am

Exit: Woodson, Bibby, Mo Evans

Enter: Avery Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Brendan Heywood, and A.J Price

GET ER’ DONE SUND!

rusty

May 11th, 2010
1:36 am

if sund resigns woody it will show us that he is dumber than woody. would joe or woody please take
that idiot northcyde with them when they leave.please dont resign jj as he isnt worth 10m a year.would rose lebron or wade put up with jj ponding the ball for 20 secs or taking bad shots,please.
what the hell is wrong with woody besides having no brains,does he really hate teague that much that he would put mo evans in instead of teague. you cant run an offense without a point guard. it has been proven time & time again that jj & jc can not play together. jj will never change the only way he knows how to play is to go iso joe. he kills all ball movement.i am ashamed of js, what the hell has happened to him.

Clyde

May 11th, 2010
1:44 am

Rusty last year Sund was dumb enough to resign Bibby and Marvin. What makes you think this year is any different.

We needed a center and a point guard after we got swept last year by the Cavs and what did we get. Bibby, Marvin, Jamal, and Joe Smith

SMGDH

lmao

May 11th, 2010
1:49 am

OK heres the trade…. sign and trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams to the Spurs for Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson (hes better in the East.) Go get your coach who’s not afraid to use the bench bring back Chills and lets go!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
1:51 am

Someone earlier (maybe on the previous blog) called out Charles Barkley for absolving Woody from any blame (which he just did again). From my observation, ex-players in all sports generally have a tendency to downplay the impact of coaches. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to give up credit for their own accomplishments to a coach standing on the sideline; maybe it’s because being closer to these people than we are, they are not comfortable calling for a guy to get fired. Either way, Chuck’s support for Woody doesn’t surprise me.

you blue, greg

May 11th, 2010
1:51 am

as easy as it is to blame jj it’s not. woody has been a terrible coach. at first i thought he was terrible, but these two past seasons made me believe other wise. thank godness howard has proved me wrong. i know a lot of people are pissed at jj for his words. it’s an easy mistake, i think heat of the moment he was right we have terrible fans and i mostly blame the fact that we don’t have a credible transit system.i know a lot of people who are die hards but when it comes to rides home . i blame woody for his faults.he is right to critique are fans, we have some of the worst…but i blame this on the lack there of public transit and the fact that this town likes to drink.

I say fire woody, find a good young college coach who knows what a team is about/slash knows how to coach and deal with adults, not a petriono clone (i would love butlers coach if he could handle adults) but one who could run a defense and recognize when an iso isn’t working.

what do you guys think about a suffering for a couple years and doing a reboot with horford as pf, teague as pg ( when i hear cp3 says he’s one of the best scorers he has ever seen i’ll take his word.) and then a properly coached j smooth find a true center and keep crawford as shooting guard…and then do some believable lottery picks…i know this is a 2 year min and we can’t hold onto some of these contracts

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
1:56 am

“OK heres the trade…. sign and trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams to the Spurs for Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson (hes better in the East.) Go get your coach who’s not afraid to use the bench bring back Chills and lets go!”

This is actually a somewhat interesting idea. Parker and Jefferson both expire at the end of next season, Teague could learn a lot from being Parker’s understudy for one year (he’s a lot more similar to Parker in style than he is to Bibby), and the Hawks would have a TON of cap space in the summer of 2011 to retool the team around Teague, Smoove, and Horford while having the option to keep or part ways with Parker depending on how he plays.

The deal-breaker is probably that the Spurs won’t want to take Marvin’s contract (who would?) unless the Hawks throw in a draft pick.

Mel

May 11th, 2010
1:56 am

Hey JJ stunk, we all saw that, but I appreciate the work he put in the past 5 seasons. Rarely hurt. Complained once (bad timing). Over-dribbled but hey..when your coach has a coloring book for playbook.

He came here when no one else would. Had he stayed in Phx, we would be hoping for John Wall probably. I think with an OFFENSE SYSTEM, the Hawks can flourish.
The Defensive switching also gave the Bucks and Magic about 120 open looks. Did you see all those 3 pointers were wide open.

you blue, greg

May 11th, 2010
2:05 am

thank you mel, i do love the fact until this past week we haven’t had any media drama with our players and until this past week if it hadn’t been for woodys coaching we would still not have had any b.c there would not be any iso joe to put pressure on him

Byron

May 11th, 2010
2:09 am

I also am somewhat intrigued by the trade idea of sending Joe and Marvin to San Antonio for Parker and Jefferson. This idea looks even better if we could also get Childress back, that would seriously strengthen our offense and defense at the SF position. I don’t think the Spurs management would be all that giddy about giving up Parker though, he’s a key piece of that team. Obviously the coach has a newly-found love affair with George Hill, but he doesn’t make all of the decisions…

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
2:10 am

Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri going fishin’ with the Hawks while Woody is drowning in the water.

LMAO

Byron

May 11th, 2010
2:11 am

They also threw a broom into that fishing scene…it’s depressing but kind of funny in a twisted way.

mykhalc

May 11th, 2010
2:15 am

gone fishin’…good one!!!LOL

northcyde

May 11th, 2010
2:23 am

The Bullhorn

May 11th, 2010
12:46 am

Joe Johnson was 5 for 15, played no defense, and showed no heart.

If Woodson designed a play, it was never executed.

The Hawks failure in this series was the result of lack of structure, discipline, heart, and fundamental play.

Its past time for Woody to go and he take Joe with him.

Unlike most of the team, Horford and Crawford showed a lot of heart tonight.

************************

Yep . . . all that heart Crawford showed. He was 5 – 15 FG too . . . and shot 33% FG for the series.

LOL . . Like I said . . while the fan base is villifying JJ and Smoove, you better look at this dude too. He played point the vast majority of the series, but only averaged 2.5 assists in the series.

33% shooting . . . 2.5 assists . . . no defense . . . yep . . let’s build around that.

Bryce IV

May 11th, 2010
2:25 am

I know that this is far from possible, but I’ve been daydreaming about who would be great to have on the team…and I think the absolute best player we could land for the money would be Danny Granger. He can do everything Marvin can do better and more efficiently, plus he can score better than Joe. He’s also a complete player, he’s a great offensive and defensive player for his position. The problem is that the Pacers would never give him up, he’s their one “untouchable” player.

ATOMIC DAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:39 am

You guys said you had a good year,did you guys go into training camp thinking,we will go 7 games with the Bucks and get swept by the Magic would be a good year?If so those who said it and those who think that you got a team that can compete next year should be fired.That’s the problem they will settle for a good season and not a great season,LOSER and remeber the BUCKS and everyone in the East owe you guys RIP.

Grandad

May 11th, 2010
2:41 am

nc:

I’ve never said build aroud Crawford.
However, your point lacks credence in another way.
Let me explain.
As a teacher or parent when trying to arrive at the cause
of a problem, the student/child would always when discovered
as the source of the problem would always say:
“but Johnny did the same thing………………………..”
As the teacher/parent I would always say:
“Were not talking about Johnny………………………..”
Now my point is:
Please don’t use Jamal’s shortcomings to bolster Joe.
Once again I don’t think we can build around Jamal.
Now, defend Joe to the hilt.
By the way – after hearing Joe tonight;
I felt much better about him and the possibility
of him staying.
Which in reality, for all concerned, is the best scenario.
See, we disagreed slightly.
No name calling – I not talking to you right now – nc!
Even tempered discourse with no hurt feelings, hopefully.
Have a good eve, nc.

ATOMIC DAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:43 am

J -SMOOVE is a poor man,poor man he should have never been resign he’s stuck in AAU ball.The only think is smoovvvvvvvvvve about him is NADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ATOMIC DAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:45 am

Avery,Byran,or Joe the Plummer can coach the Hawks.

ATOMIC DAWG

May 11th, 2010
2:47 am

Dear Spirit Group,
You guys sux, Billy was right Woodson SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandad

May 11th, 2010
2:51 am

Some of you fellas need to take a refresher course
in the CBA [collective bargaining agreement]
and try to get a grip on the relative trade value
of both our players and players on other teams.
We tend to overvalue our players which we don’t want
and fail to realize that some teams regard their
players as highly as we do Al.
Heck, I’m guilty of the very same thing but I always try
to have a rationale when I’m offering up trade suggestions.
I’m also guilty of wishful dreaming and I tend to overvalue
players from other teams which I like, even if they are
better in spirit & hustle than talent.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 11th, 2010
2:59 am

“LOL . . Like I said . . while the fan base is villifying JJ and Smoove, you better look at this dude too. He played point the vast majority of the series, but only averaged 2.5 assists in the series.”

I agree with almost everything you’re saying on this topic, and you’ll never hear me say Crawford is as good as Joe or a piece to build around, but one thing you never mention is how consistently Crawford gets to the free throw line. This is, more than anything, the one overriding reason why Joe Johnson is not a superstar in the NBA; if a player can’t get to the free throw line when his shot is not falling, you can never give him the ball with 100% confidence that he’s going to get you something positive. Crawford is the only Hawk who can and does consistently get to the line and knock his free throws down. That’s a dimension the Hawks desperately need going forward, whether or not they keep Joe.