Atlanta Hawks: LD doesn’t lack confidence

'Congrats, Larry. Any chance you can call J.J. for me?' (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

'Congrats, Larry. Any chance you can call J.J. for me?' (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Give LD credit. Dude came out strong on his first official day as Hawks head coach. Some highlights:

– LD does not lack confidence. Before he’s even coached a game, he basically has announced himself as an offensive innovator. Asked if there were any teams or coaches that run similar stuff to what he plans to use, LD smiled.

“No,” he said. “This is going to be unique.”

Could he offer some specifics about the system? For example, will it be based on pick-and-rolls?

“It will have some pick-and-roll in it,” he said. “What it does, it forces the ball to move. That is probably the best way to explain it. Yes, teams will try to lock into it, but there are reads to it. There are triggers to it. It forces the ball to move, it forces the body to move. Now we become more effective. We become a five-man attack team. It puts all five guys in position to attack and to score.”

– What about defense, though? There’s two parts to that one. One is Drew’s view on using switches as a base defense, the other is prodding this group to give consistent effort–remember Al’s lament during the playoffs that the Hawks didn’t push themselves “to the point of being uncomfortable” and that’s what kept them from reaching Orlando’s level?

So, is LD cool with the switches?

“I have my philosophies defensively,” he said. “Certainly every coach in the league does. I am going to implement things that I believe in, certain coverages.”

Could he be more specific?

“I will say this: I believe in holding every individual accountable defensively. I think players are too good. If you get caught up in too many gimmick defenses. . . . We weren’t a big gimmick defensive team, but at the same time my philosophy is to hold guys accountable to defend their individual guy.”

In other words, don’t count in switches to bail you out if you can’t stay in front of your man.

– During his news conference LD called out Smoove for his jump-shooting adventures, which I think is one more time than Woody did it in public since I’ve been around.

LD said he wants Josh in situations where he gets the ball moving to the basket and doesn’t have to dribble much to get to the rim. I mentioned Smoove’s effectiveness on pick-and-rolls with Bibby as an underutilized element of the offense, and Drew agreed.

And what does Smoove think about Drew’s “no jump shots” proclamation?

“He’s the head coach,” Smoove said. “Whatever he wants me to do, I am going to do it. I like to be down on the block, anyway. That’s more high-percentage than the outside jump shot. I know that his offensive plays are going to put me right where I need to be at and everybody else.”

Raise your hand if you think it’s going to be that simple for LD with Smoove.

– It’s not like Woody was calling isos from the bench all the time. Yeah, he allowed it to happen with few consequences, but the bottom line is what he wanted often didn’t translate to the court for more than couple possessions at a time before it disintegrated into isos.

What makes LD think he can get better results?

“It will always be a challenge,” he said. “We have run a little variations of it and our players love it. I don’t anticipate it being a problem putting in more.”

Raise your hand if you think it will be that simple for Drew to get J.J. and the gang to break old offensive habits.

– LD hadn’t yet told J.J. that he plans to implement an offense that won’t allow him to dominate the ball. When they last talked, it was still early in Atlanta’s searching process, so LD said the particulars of his approach weren’t yet germane. LD left Joe a message over the weekend but hadn’t heard back.

(”I respect the position he is in,” Drew said. “I know he is [swamped] with a lot of phone calls. When he can get back to me, he will.”)

How J.J. will react to the idea of playing in an offense where he’s not pounding the ball is one of the big offseason questions for Atlanta. The thinking is that if J.J. can change his style, then he’s very valuable to the Hawks, and if he can’t, then not so much.

Drew thinks J.J. will buy in. A preview of his pitch:

Kobe, Dwyane, LeBron. . . I think Joe works harder than the three of those guys do to get baskets. I think the things I’m talking about implementing will make life easier for him. It will make him more effective and the rest of the guys equally effective.”

– Don’t read too much into J.J. not being at LD’s presser. The Hawks didn’t expect him to be there under the circumstances. Yeah, Jason Collins, RandMo and Mario made it, but then they weren’t going to get mobbed by media asking about their free-agent plans.

–LD offered more evidence that the Hawks are all-in with Rook’ (I’ve decided he’s Rook’ until the league officially changes years on July 1).

“I believe in both guys,” Drew said. “Both have the capabilities of running this offense; both guys will benefit from this offense. Mike is getting closer to my age, but the thing he brings to table is he can still shoot the basketball. [The offense] will create for him instead of him creating for himself. I believe in Teague. I think he has the ability to make team better and have an impact. I think the offense will benefit him with his speed and quickness and ability to break the defense down.”

In other words, the ball is out of J.J.’s hands, in Rook’s hands and Bibby is a spot-up shooter.

– Raise your hand if you think the Hawks are in trouble if this Rook’ experiment doesn’t work out. Because then wouldn’t the temptation be great to turn it back over to J.J. and Bibby again? Good luck going out and finding a legit vet point guard and a center with that mid-level.

MC

242 comments Add your comment

doc

June 15th, 2010
7:03 pm

didnt have enough hands MC.

doc

June 15th, 2010
7:04 pm

WOW, THE F WORD! mc blog no less.

five-man attack team

June 15th, 2010
7:06 pm

i like it. go hawks

i_am_soulstar

June 15th, 2010
7:08 pm

*Hand raised* but I don’t think they’ll put all their eggs in one basket. Hopefully, Sund’s puts some type of contingency plan in place via draft or free agency

Fire Mike What a Con & Ham

June 15th, 2010
7:13 pm

WHO HIRE HIS TABLOID, HATER AISE ANY WAY?

jlewis

June 15th, 2010
7:15 pm

I hope LD is successful, but as far as no jumpshots for Josh. You know every team in the league will lay back off of him and force him to shoot if he ventures 10 feet from the basket. Good in theory, but not in reality. There is nothing he can do if a team zones the Hawks with the same roster, they will lock on JJ, if he comes back, or Crawford.

i_am_soulstar

June 15th, 2010
7:16 pm

I am wary of big talk though, and Drew’s doing a lot of it. It honestly could be Phil Jackson saying all these things and I’d still be just a tad skeptical. I doubt it’ll be so easy, but I think it’ll be easier considering he’s already on the inside with the team.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 15th, 2010
7:17 pm

i will not be the least bit surprised to see felton, jack, etc., brought in via free agency to challenge for the point. bibby as a back-up 1/2. i doubt this will be run TMJ if joe is back, but i sure hope it is close to that than iso-joe. only time will tell.

88Hawks

June 15th, 2010
7:19 pm

Hopefully JD’s plan to make the offense work better is a reason to hope, even if it does not translate to another 53 win season. JJ’s ISO caused a lot of turnovers and took precious seconds off the clock. I hope that if JJ stays, he’s on board to JD’s changes. I am afraid that Smoove will run over people and pick up too many fouls even if given the ball on the way to the hoop. He’ll need to have better body control to get his points and avoid fouls. I would still let him take a few shots from inside the perimeter from time to time, from the positions where he makes most of his shots and when the team is not fighting to get back in a game. M Bibby and Jamal C. missed a lot of shots they should have made. I guess when their game is on, the team looks great, but the team looks really bad when their game is not on. Is it rushing? Is it chocking? Is is what that makes a lot of the Hawks’ players look so bad sometimes? For those who think JD is not the man for the job and that Mark Jackson, Byron Scoot or even Mighty Mouse, er, coach Avery Johnson would have done better, JD has not coached his first game yet. Let’s give him a chance.

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
7:19 pm

@doc: “didnt have enough hands MC” haha . . . well, LD knows these guys, so he has to understand what he’s up against.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 15th, 2010
7:19 pm

free agency/sign-and-trade*

Reggie

June 15th, 2010
7:21 pm

Michael

What do you think about Shaun Livingston? I think he would be a nice get with Jeff Teague. Thoughts?

WOODY II

June 15th, 2010
7:24 pm

Calm down T.S. Im not that ignorant as to think that is an viable offensive scheme. If you dont pretend that Mike con ham knows about basket ball hell write bad stories about you like he did my mentor Woody I

Its the same strategy he uses when he block your messages or delete the ones that disagree with his Bubba Crew mentality. Hey, I need a job, so just play along with his ignorant aise.

swatguy

June 15th, 2010
7:26 pm

My question is, what input will LD have in personnel issues. The Hawks have to upgrade at the 3 and the bench. Is LD in contact with Chillz? Is Chillz a priority? Who will draft.
If the guy is gonna cook up us a winner, he needs to be able to select the ingredients.

WOODY II

June 15th, 2010
7:27 pm

yea, I know these guys, you cant get blood from a turnip. We only had 1 3rd string all nba player so it aint like we got a lot to work with. Changing the label dont change the content. Hell, I may not win 53 games with this shette. Its amazing what Woody I did !

ignition

June 15th, 2010
7:27 pm

Not worried yet…
I’m about the wait and see approach..

ignition

June 15th, 2010
7:31 pm

Can we get Chillz Back Please…

JSS

June 15th, 2010
7:31 pm

Well good luck man’ing up with this bunch. I have no problem with switching and showing, especially on on the pick-and-roll. The problem with the Hawks has always been sustaining defense when they get to the 2nd or 3rd options in the opposition sets.

@ Ken Strickland…
I left a question for you the last blog…

jlewis

June 15th, 2010
7:34 pm

Am I wrong or was Chills a role player when he was here and we actually won more games when he left. He is not tearing it up in Europe against lesser talent. Chills can’t shoot or create his own, he is no savior. You can get a Chills for the NBA minimum.

BrittishAnger

June 15th, 2010
7:35 pm

Hand up….though it won’t die easy, watch for a reduction in those jump shots….

Ramon

June 15th, 2010
7:36 pm

Why is everyone acting like Chills was an All Star, or even the FOURTH best swing man taking in his draft? I know they say absence makes the heart grows fonder, but give me a break. I remember Chills being serviceable at best. I remember 3-4 seasons JC missing a lot of times because of foot troubles, ankle troubles and everything else. I remember 2 seasons where Chills couldn’t even jump high enough to dunk, couldn’t shoot, and couldn’t defend. Chills is not worth more than $4 mil at the MOST. If Mike Miller, Brewer, and a few others aren’t going to make more than $5 mil, there’s no way you can really justify paying Chills more than that. So renounce him, and be done with it, or trade the rights for someone else.

Yup!

June 15th, 2010
7:38 pm

“Mike is getting closer to my age, but the thing he brings to table is he can still shoot the basketball.”

Well This guy below can shoot just as good. Oh! and he dribbles and plays defense as well!!! What a world!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGtjWLyE7HU

BrittishAnger

June 15th, 2010
7:40 pm

Oh….and haven’t we already argued about what we should be calling Jeff Teague? Something like Lil’ Big Man? Yup…you can drop rook on the 24th if you gotta keep the albatross around his neck…it’s your popcorned vehicle….

Mystikal

June 15th, 2010
7:44 pm

I wanna know about Chillz also. The situation really hasn’t changed. He’s going to want another deal and ASG is still holding onto their wallets like a dog with a bone. I don’t believe they are going to pay to keep him so can we at least get some draft picks for him (ala David Andersen) rather than just be left with nothing?

WOODY II

June 15th, 2010
7:47 pm

The hawks fans seem to have mediocrity confused with exceptional talent. The truth is this team was ousted from the playoffs because it runs a low post defensive strategy called the cream filled doughnut.

Very soft on the inside!

JSS

June 15th, 2010
7:51 pm

Childress has evolved a fairly good amount since he left here. No, he is never going to be confused with LeBron or someone who can carry a team. Still, it depends on if you consider him to be an upgrade to what Marvin gives us… And more importantly can we afford him?

Dukester9

June 15th, 2010
7:54 pm

Joe Johnson sign and trade with Marvin/Bibby (prefer Marvin go). Send them to the 76ers for Iguodala and Sam Dalembert. We would have a real good defensive team . Find a good 3ptr shooter to come off the bench. MAKE THE DEAL SUND. We dont need a superstar look at what the celtics are doing with the 2nd tier “4″. Good defense will always overcome good offense. Pick your sport it doesnt matter.

Yup!

June 15th, 2010
7:57 pm

Chills is an upgrade on what Mo Evans gives us…..not necesarily Marvin.

doc

June 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

mc, good info and questions regarding the new hire.

any word about chills being part of the mix or if drew would even like to see his fro around the phil if his gm delivered him such a package? any comments from chills forth coming about drew and if he would like to play for the man?

yes, i think we need a few more bodies. since chills is our property i would like to see this asset put in play sooner rather than later.

High Hawk

June 15th, 2010
8:39 pm

@doc

Ive been on the Childress band wagon since the season ended. So I totally agree that we need to get him back in Atlanta. Maybe LD will really open up the competition for some playing time.

Another thing is, I really believe in the Rook. He played well at times and the summer ball is really going to help develop him. The idea of JJ off the ball is the best idea. I believe that will elevate his game to a new level. And if we can use that mid-level to get any kind of center well have a pretty solid team and bench.

Drew wasn’t my first pick for coach, but as this settles in I’m beginning to think they made the right choice. There is definitely a positive Vibe coming from Atlanta.

O'Brien

June 15th, 2010
8:57 pm

@ Ramon,

Check your numbers. In Chill’s 4 seasons, he played 80, 74, 55 and 76. So he had one season ruined by injuries, but in the other 3, he played an average of 77 games each season.

And although I am okay with a cheaper option (like Ronnie Brewer, or Matt Barnes), lets not sell Chills short. All Mike Miller does is shoot. What happens when his shot isn’t falling? Chills can bring the ball up (Marvin can’t), he can defend 3 positions decently, and he scores 10-12 pts a game without plays run for him.

And for somebody who can’t shoot, his career FG% is .52%.

Tony from Stone Mountain

June 15th, 2010
9:00 pm

They should send the whole team to summer league to work on the new offense!

O'Brien

June 15th, 2010
9:12 pm

@ MC,

Any word on Drew’s staff?

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
9:12 pm

@ Reggie: “What do you think about Shaun Livingston? I think he would be a nice get with Jeff Teague. Thoughts?”

he hasn’t really been an effective, full-time player since 2006-07. but his 24-game stint with Washington wasn’t too bad. if Hawks can get him in on a partial guarantee he might be worth a look.

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
9:15 pm

@swatguy: “My question is, what input will LD have in personnel issues. The Hawks have to upgrade at the 3 and the bench. Is LD in contact with Chillz? Is Chillz a priority? Who will draft. If the guy is gonna cook up us a winner, he needs to be able to select the ingredients.”

LD will have some input, of course, but Rick Sund is the GM and ASG signs the checks. as far as Childress, the feeling i get is both he and the Hawks think the most likely scenario is for Childress to sign an offer sheet elsewhere or be used in a sign-and-trade.

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
9:17 pm

@BrittishAnger: “Oh….and haven’t we already argued about what we should be calling Jeff Teague? Something like Lil’ Big Man? Yup…you can drop rook on the 24th if you gotta keep the albatross around his neck…it’s your popcorned vehicle….”

haha

Astro Joe

June 15th, 2010
9:20 pm

Interesting how Drew has everythingalready figured out. Almost makes you wonder what kind of input he’ll use from his assistants. Also, I wonder how he may react if the defenses adjust to this innovative offense he plans to run? I hope he isn’t like the musician who has a phenomenal first albu because it is comprised of the best songs they composed if the years prior to landing a record deal. And then when it is time to “adjust” and produce that next record, they disappear in a cloud of D’Angelo dust.

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
9:20 pm

@doc: “any word about chills being part of the mix or if drew would even like to see his fro around the phil if his gm delivered him such a package? any comments from chills forth coming about drew and if he would like to play for the man?”

no official word from Chills camp yet. i still think it’s more likely he’d sign elsewhere or be dealt than play for the Hawks.

Michael Cunningham

June 15th, 2010
9:21 pm

@O’Brien: no word on the staff yet. LD has been overwhelmed by calls from coaches looking for a gig, as you might imagine.

JSS

June 15th, 2010
9:34 pm

@ British Anger and Mr. Cunningham…
What BA was referring to was the banter last summer during Rookie/UFA camp (which predated your hire) where the moniker “JT0″ was placed on Teague by a number of bloggers on Sekou’s old blog.

Ken Strickland

June 15th, 2010
9:35 pm

J$$-thanks for your concern and encouragement. I also agree with you and DOC about Chills. His passing, ball handling and penetrating skills, even if he hasn’t improved, would be ideal for the type of motion and penetrating OFF LDrew is talking about implementing. Based on what LDrew said about his proposed OFF and DEF philosophy, everything he plans to implement will be the complete opposite of what Woodson did. WORKS FOR ME.

I have to disagree with you on RMorris’ ability. While he’s certainly not a complete player by any means, his OFF skills are developed enough to make him a valuable weapon in certain situations and match ups, especially at PF.

I’m certain that your sentiments about Morris were at one time echoed about Ben Wallace as well, before Pistons GM Joe Dumars rescued him from the end of a bench. A similar thing can actually be said about PG Chauncey Billups, before Dumars did the same for him. I look at it this way.

I’ve studied ancient African history for over 25yrs, and I’ve always been fascinated by a group of Africans called the DOGON, or CLIFF DWELLERS, who live in East Africa. These unbelievable people are in possession of advanced knowledge that in some ways exceed our own. They specialize in astronomy and astrology, and their knowledge extends into the realm of quantum physics and mechanics. They know about the Big Bang theory, the Sirius B or White Dwarf Star, which is supposed to be invisible to the naked eye, its elliptical orbit, composition, and its powerful gravitational effect on the Sirius star.

Yet, so called experts are confounded to explain how a group of people, who live what has been described as a STONE AGE existence, can be in possession of such advanced scientific knowledge. Therefore, these so called experts have resorted to making up stupid and unsubstantiated excuses and explanations to try and explain away how the DOGON acquired this knowledge.

Why is this a problem for them? Well, these so called experts can’t seem to bring themselves to get beyond the DOGON’s Blackness and living conditions. I used this analogy to make a point. Far too often we judge players by what we don’t know, see, or can’t comprehend. Just because a player hasn’t done something before doesn’t mean he’s not capable of doing it at all.

Throughout NBA history we’ve seen players come out of the CBA and obscurity to become very productive players, even All Stars, when suddenly placed in certain situations and given an opportunity, adequate mins and support. I watched RMorris throughout training camp after seeing how much weight he’d lost, and he was one of our most improved players during camp.

Can we find someone better, YES. But can we afford someone better who can do the things he does best?

♥Mz. Hawkdafied♥

June 15th, 2010
9:39 pm

The term ”rook” in reference to Jeff Teague is so played out right now. That’s so last season which for the team ended in May way before July 1st. And the Hawks will be picking new rookies on June 24th. What’s that like a week before July 1st.

MC you are contradicting yourself by calling it a rook’ experiment. Remember the experiment takes place after July 1st and according to your standards Jeff Teague will officially be free of the term “rook”.

JeJe

June 15th, 2010
9:46 pm

Can we please try to get some assistants like Sam Mitchell or Paul Silas in here? Let’s not let scrubs like Bob Bender (who?), Jim Todd (who?) and others in our locker room

Ramon

June 15th, 2010
9:50 pm

O’Brien, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to have Chills. I’m saying I don’t think he’s worth as much as his camp has been holding out for. And apparently the other teams in the NBA haven’t felt that way yet either. If Ariza and Artest are signing for mid-level type money, Chills has to be step below them.

Ramon

June 15th, 2010
9:54 pm

The worst mistake Sund could do is overpay for Chills simply because he overpaid for Marvin. True enough Marvin isn’t worth his contract at this stage, and neither is Chills. And personally I would rather use majority of the mid level to find a adequate big and go cheap on the swing.

Grandad

June 15th, 2010
10:02 pm

When a Coach says:
“this is what I expect”
or
“these are my expectations”
now
it becomes real simple.

It’s as simple as raising children;
say what you mean
&
mean what you say.

No ifs, ands or buts.

The 1st one to challenge you [authority]
you must drop the Nuclear Bomb.
I don’t care if it’s Joe or Josh & you pray it’s not Al.
You set your precedent.
You only get one chance to make a 1st impression!

As for your article [MC] & the responses about raising hands.
We are only going to have to raise our hands once.
He wins or loses the 1st battle.
After that none of your other queries matter.

Upon listening to the man & reading your column,
I agree,
I ‘feel’ [not know] that LD has the chops to
back up his words.

O'Brien

June 15th, 2010
10:06 pm

Ramon,

I think Chills is valuable, but I agree with you. Sund should not overpay. But I dont think we should remounce Chills (although if he decides to stay in Greece, I would consider it).

Chills 1 year QO is ~$4.8 mil, which isn’t bad. But we could probably have Matt Barnes or Ronnie Brewer for less than that. If Chills wants more money, then maybe Sund can SNT Chills for a bench player and a pick.

JSS

June 15th, 2010
10:09 pm

@Mr. Strickland…
You are a blogging legend, and more important a person “fighting the good fight,” just keep doing what you do!

Nope, I saw Ben at Virginia Union, big difference, he’d wondered around Europe (Italy I think) before for a year signing in DC. The trade to Detroit just gave him a chance to play D. Rasheed’s arrival finally gave him a chance to really freelance and just block, rebound, and muscle folks. Ben was always dedicated, I just don’t see that in Randolph…

Mike is back

June 15th, 2010
10:25 pm

MC, great timing on this blog…I guess I got to raise my hand…because I tried to make a comment about LD confidence in the previous blog…but it got ate up.

Yeah, you right…you got to give LD some credit…dude got some swagger. Maybe it’s the luxury of observing these guys as a assistance…but LD expression…looks like a guy that knows what he is up against…he looks like a mad scientist…with some mad plans…I like it. I was looking at some clips of his interview…Dude definitely come off as a HC with confidence. I was checking out his response to some questions…his body language and mannerism says he the man in charge. LD looks like he got a plan…and it isn’t the same as Woody.

However, we all know talk is cheap…no it want be that easy…but give him some credit…he is calling out the right guys. I think the difference with LD is he believes in the players…Woody always believed in his system. The 64 hundred dollar question is…can he command the respect of the guys during the game.

It not enough to get Josh to stop shooting 3s…the real key is to get Josh to understand that he is vital to the success of the team. If he can do that…then he earned his stripes.

Again, you gotta to give LD credit…he seems undaunted by the task of being a HC in the NBA. YOU CAN’T ASK FOR MORE THAN THAT!!!

HEY, GO LD…make us proooooooooooooud!!!

JSS

June 15th, 2010
10:34 pm

Man, what is more scary, that Shelden got to play in the Finals or that Doc is actually talking strategy with Tyrone Lue?