Atlanta Hawks: Do six teams have two better point guards?

Can Hawks turn the corner if Bibby is still the main point guard?

Can Hawks turn the corner if Bibby is still the main point guard?

Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie is ranking positions 1 to 30, starting with point guards. According to Dwyer, every team in the league has a point guard better than Bibby and Teague. Dwyer believes six teams have two better points: the Rockets (Kyle Lowry and Aaron Brooks), Raptors (Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack), 76ers (Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams), Cavs (Ramon Sessions and Mo Williams), Nuggets (Ty Lawson and Chauncey Billups) and Spurs (Tony Parker and George Hill).

Dwyer’s list should bring one of Atlanta’s main dilemmas into focus. The Hawks’ so-far fruitless quest for an impact big man has crowded out most other conversation surrounding the team, though I’ve tried to sound the bell at times about point guard/perimeter D being larger concerns. If Teague can’t take control the way the Hawks hope and play major minutes as an offensive spark/defensive deterrent, then center could be the least of Atlanta’s problems.

Perhaps L.D.’s “interchangeable parts” offense will mitigate the need for a playmaking point guard who can help the Hawks fight the temptation to fall back into Iso-Joe. But I don’t have to tell my blog people that the other half of the equation, perimeter D, isn’t easily solved by scheming around Bibby and JC.

– Miami’s point guards also didn’t make Dwyer’s list, and neither did those for the Lakers, Bobcats and Kings. I’m guessing the Heat’s concern with the position is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they have the East’s three best offensive players and two of them, LeBron and D. Wade, are pick-and-roll demons and defensive dynamos.

Caron Butler certainly isn’t concerned about Miami’s potential holes (which also include center, by the way, unless that Big Z/Joel Anthony/Jamaal Magliore rotation gets you going). Butler joined Jeff Van Gundy in predicting the Heat will challenge the NBA record of 72 victories. If you think Van Gundy is a blowhard and Butler is just repping the franchise that drafted him, The Sporting News polled seven former NBA coaches and all but one predicted at least 60 Ws for Miami.

– Magic Basketball took a look at Orlando’s 4-out/1-in offense and figured the best way to show its effectiveness is to play a few clips of the Hawks haplessly trying to defend it in the playoffs. Worth checking out the comments on that post to see what Magic fans think is the best approach to slowing their squad.

– The Cavs are among the teams who have announced they will wear new uniforms for 2010-11. The Hawks won’t change their unis as far as color scheme or design but the league is tweaking some of the trimmings and materials as seen in Jordan Crawford’s rookie portrait. (H/T to Super Commenter I Heart Atlanta)

MC

205 comments Add your comment

True Hawks Fan

August 18th, 2010
3:45 pm

I hope Teague is the savior.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
3:50 pm

Tee

August 18th, 2010
3:51 pm

Maybe Joe will have less on his plate on offense and he can be that defensive stopper we so desperately need. Or we could re-sign Mario West, Woody loved him!

Fresh

August 18th, 2010
3:53 pm

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
3:57 pm

I agree MC the key is the perimeter.

Michael Cunningham

August 18th, 2010
3:58 pm

@ True Hawks: so do the Hawks.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
3:59 pm

Sign Damien Wilkens and move JJ to point and have Teague and Bibby as reserves.

KevinM

August 18th, 2010
4:01 pm

E#2 isn’t playing more defense….he is here to score the ball and recruit….

MC, for as long as you cover the Hawks, you can have a job for life if you write articles about the upcoming potential of a PG and C on this team. We rarely have incumbents at those positions as we have been burying Bibby for 2 summers now. As long as we have Bibby, he will get plenty of minutes. It is the core way.

Teague has to play for this team to have potential to improve. Bibby takes us nowhere….and we aren’t matching up to Orlando and Miami any time soon.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
4:02 pm

Hey MC how long is L.D.’s chain on Teague learning the new offense and on taking Bibbys spot.

KevinM

August 18th, 2010
4:03 pm

Rondo, did you see Jennings run circles around E#2?…I am sure the other PGs in the league are licking their chops with that matchup.

Other perimeter defenders….perhaps JC2 gets time on that need alone.

Michael Cunningham

August 18th, 2010
4:04 pm

@ KevinM: “MC, for as long as you cover the Hawks, you can have a job for life if you write articles about the upcoming potential of a PG and C on this team. We rarely have incumbents at those positions as we have been burying Bibby for 2 summers now. As long as we have Bibby, he will get plenty of minutes. It is the core way.”

haha, good one.

Karibo Oruwari

August 18th, 2010
4:05 pm

Bibby is definitely underrated. Even at this stage of his career, I will pick him over the 2 guards in Philadelphia for sure.

i_am_soulstar

August 18th, 2010
4:05 pm

Hopefully Teague’ll be on that list next year.

HawkStr8Talk

August 18th, 2010
4:07 pm

Can we dispense now with the ‘Teague needs to earn the point guard position’ mess? If Teague isn’t starting from game 1, I would say that all chances of being a top 4 Eastern Conference team are a pipe dream.

Michael Cunningham

August 18th, 2010
4:07 pm

@ Rondo: “Hey MC how long is L.D.’s chain on Teague learning the new offense and on taking Bibbys spot.”

he has said he will be patient and has gone out of his way to express confidence Teague can do it. it seems to me there is an effort to build up Teague’s confidence at the same time they tell him he needs to do more.

KevinM

August 18th, 2010
4:15 pm

MC, i watched those videos guarding the 4-1 offense of the Magic. I wouldn’t suspect they would do much different, but it sure was repetitive to see us playing behind Dwight and letting him face up and put the ball on the ground. That is a fair assessment of our biggest weakness on this team…our length.

Astro Joe

August 18th, 2010
4:20 pm

It’s hard to imagine that a 3rd PG couldn’t be acquired when they were trading Childress, pick #31 or even by moving Evans and his expiring deal. One roster slot to go (assuming they do not use the funds acquired in the pick #31 deal to even go slightly over the luxury line), and 3 legit needs to fill… a center in the event Collins re-discovers Moon Pies and/or Horford/Zaza get hurt, a nice-sized perimeter defender (Trenton Hassell like) or a 3rd PG who can minimally “guard your own man” (like ATL native Anthony Carter who returned to Denver a few weeks ago). But it sounds like Drew really wants Pape Sy to fill that last roster spot. Give him what he wants… bring over the Frenchman.

Hoops

August 18th, 2010
4:21 pm

Teague will be fine if given a chance. LD must be patient with him early in the season if he wants to see him grow. I would always have JJ on the floor with Teague. He will be fine!

terrell

August 18th, 2010
4:25 pm

Braves in talks to aquire Derrek Lee? Great news.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
4:32 pm

L.D. should have never been teagues comforter when Woody cursed and cut him down. It just does something to a guys confidence when that is done. He should have took Teague to the side and told him what Woody is saying about you is true man-up and get it done. Teague has to realize that Drews career is hanging over his head. Your coach used you in an interview to show his new offense, letting the world know or think he was an inside guy against his former coach. Thats the pressure that L.D. put on his point guard of the future. L.D. is more of a enabler for Teague than a motivator. L.D. you have put a lot of pressure on a guy that probably doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to handle it. Pressure burst pipes and they also make diamonds. And thats what this Hawks fanbase want in Teague….a diamond at point.

jarvis

August 18th, 2010
4:38 pm

I tend to agree with you Sekou. This is the biggest weakness on the squad. Until we get a solid One, this team has maxed its potential.

Michael Cunningham

August 18th, 2010
4:40 pm

@KevinM: “it sure was repetitive to see us playing behind Dwight and letting him face up and put the ball on the ground. That is a fair assessment of our biggest weakness on this team…our length.”

i’d say the scheme was an issue, too. it was striking to see Atlanta’s indecisiveness and confusion on some of those plays. it was like the Hawks weren’t fully committed to defending Orlando in any particular way. also, the Hawks just didn’t defend with the kind of commitment and vigor it takes to slow a good offensive team. that has less to do with deficiencies in personnel and schemes and more to do with the kind of stuff Al was talking about, lack of desire.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
4:41 pm

Jarvis must have went Back To The Future. Sekou is at NBA.com. Lay off that ciga-weed Dude.

tjhook

August 18th, 2010
4:44 pm

Bibby is still important to the Hawks because we have the players to still be potent offensively with his jump shooting. Currently, the focus with Teague is to bring him in versus teams where his speed and leaping ability can be useful. Otherwise, ride Bibby one more year because he knows how to maximize his teammates’ talents. Besides, this year is about kicking Marvin Williams’ ARSE into gear. He’s the guy who needs to upgrade!

Astro Joe

August 18th, 2010
4:44 pm

While Teague will be well-served by receiving confidence from the head coach, he also must realize that his day-to-day development will not likely come from Drew (like last year) but rather from a different position coach (Lester Connor I assume). Said differently, dude looks like he still needs some development that won’t likely come during games and likely won’t come from Drew (who now must focus on 13 players, 4-5 coaches, reviewing the next opponent’s scouting reports and a bunch of other things). He needs to focus on getting better every time he touches the court, rather that be in practice or a game.

Whopper Dawg

August 18th, 2010
4:47 pm

As Teague hasn’t proven anything nor has be been given the chance, I think the analysis is correct. As most of the other teams in the east have made significant moves to get better and the Hawks have not. And given that the one claim to fame this group has is taking Boston to 7 two years ago, this could be the year things start to unravel.

The worst things that have happen to this current team is beating an injured Bucks team. It has continued the view that this team is on the rise and a few pieces away from being a champion, when actually the gap between the Hawks and true contenders was wider last year than the year before, and it is even wider now.

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
4:50 pm

Bibby = An old Rex Chapman

JeJe

August 18th, 2010
4:52 pm

Idiot Sund wants to compete for a title (IDK if he even does), yet has the WORST starting PG in the league. LOL!

truthspitter

August 18th, 2010
4:57 pm

I think they are underrating Bibby. He will have a really good B.J. Armstrong type year this year. Bibby is what he is its up to Teague to come along and use his physical gifts to make the team better by pushing the ball, getting in the lane when he chooses to, and playing good on ball defense. I would not mind signing a guy like Javaris Critteton the former Georgia Tech guy who has great size and is a athlete.

mountain_jim

August 18th, 2010
4:59 pm

I never did understand why the Hawks did not get Jarrett Jack when they had the (several times) chance, and I agree he is better than either Bibby or Teague (so far).

Rondo

August 18th, 2010
5:05 pm

PUBLIX

August 18th, 2010
5:44 pm

we should have freaking grabbed either Collison, or Heinrich. Dude was given away to the Wizards. Now we just need to go with JT and hope that he works out, which he can with the right coaching.

We still need a true C. McGhee is still alive people. This kid will be an All Star in a few years, what the hell are the Hawks waiting for. Give away Marvin and Zaza to aquire him pleaseeeee.

truthspitter

August 18th, 2010
5:56 pm

Publix what makes you think they are interested in moving McGhee, he has had a really good summer with the summer league and U.S. team. Why would they trade him when he is getting confidence and looking like he might be a great fit with Wall throwing him lobs? The Hawks should have got him if it was any truth to getting him back for J Chillz instead of giving J Chillz away. The Hawks have had a horrible offseason and we need to stop dreaming otherwise

PUBLIX

August 18th, 2010
6:02 pm

dude you are right, but not many C left, and just like you said he is only going to get better. I have been saying since last year to go get him since he was a nobody. Hell I would at this point give them any piece of our team except Horford. Even though I know we can’t get him, why can’t the Hawks go for someone like Hibbert. I think we could get him for Zaza and Maybe JC. I would give those two up for a Hibbert and second round draft pick.

truthspitter

August 18th, 2010
6:09 pm

The Hawks front office sucks, this has been the worse offseason ever, they gave away a lottery pick. That is the most ignorant thing I have ever seen. Everyone wants to talk about Joe’s contract but that was the best thing they have done all offseason. Giving away Chillz, hiring Drew, lying about raising the ceiling and doing absolutely nothing makes them seem like the trashy organization they are

Hawk n the Ham

August 18th, 2010
6:12 pm

Teague as we know did not get a lot of minutes last year. But in the last regular season game, it took him one half to get in a groove. Once in that groove, the boy played lights out and took over the game against the Cavs. LBJ & Shaq were on the bench, but Teague still out hustled and out played Mo & West of the Cavs.

I’m putting my faith in Teague to do his thing. He’s not going to drain the 3’s like Bibby, but he is going to be better in the other facets of the game. He is lightning fast, makes good passes, and is a huge upgrade on D at the 1 spot. Oh, and don’t forget the boy has hops for his size. Unlike Bibby, JT0 can burn to the basket and get up and throw down.

niremetal

August 18th, 2010
6:17 pm

Dwyer loathes Bibby. Always has, even when Bibby was in his prime. He’s an arrogant fool who forms opinions about players and never changes his mind, no matter what happens later.

Grandad

August 18th, 2010
6:18 pm

I disagree that point guard is our biggest deficiency.
In a different offense, maybe. But if you read MC’s
article you may have noticed LA was on that list.
Derek Fisher is closer to Bibby in *talent than any of
the elite pt guards. *[plus intangibles]
LD has selected an offense similar to the “Triangle”,
in that it’s more ‘team’ oriented than geared toward
any one player/position. Defensively will be the key
for JT.
[also less pressure developing as a player on defense]
*(less public scrutiny)

I still say a long, stretch [4,5] is our biggest need.

Grandad

August 18th, 2010
6:20 pm

Wasington is not going to trade McGee.
That ship sailed over a year ago.
Perhaps ‘Yi’?

truthspitter

August 18th, 2010
6:22 pm

We don’t need a stretch 4 or 5. How is that going to help us defensively? Offense is not this teams problem they were 3rd in offense last year. That’s why I could care less about all this new offense foolishness you people are buying into. That is not our problem. You are silly if you can’t see things are being fixed that don’t need fixed or are not high priorities. This organization and team has no focus or direction

steve brown

August 18th, 2010
6:25 pm

This is what’s wrong with pro sports, Teague has done absolutely nothing which makes this type of discussion nothing but mental masturbation. There are an infinite number of better things to discuss and think about.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 18th, 2010
7:07 pm

Teague will be top 20 on that list by the end of this season, but right now with Teague being an unknown and Bibby being legally dead it is perfectly appropriate to rank both of them outside of the top 30.

vava74

August 18th, 2010
7:07 pm

Any PG ranking 1-30 which ignores Derek Fisher can only be seen as rubbish “journalism”.

I will not even bother defending Bibby who, in spite of all of his deficiencies is one of the smartest NBA players around and still a very serviceable player.

vava74

August 18th, 2010
7:08 pm

Off-topic:

The league is heading towards a very dangerous trend: player taking complete command over the league’s balance in pursuit of easy titles.

The guilty party: Stern with his star-protecting policies have undermined the value of team ball in order extract as much profit as possible of certain marquee players’ brands.

The way out?

Stern has to shift balance again to team ball and remove the referee protection which Lebron, Wade, Howard, … receive.

Start whistling them for their travelling, palming, charging, goal tending, 3 seconds in the lane offenses and reinstate the hand checking no foul rule.

Make Miami struggle this season, reward team ball and that will prevent other star players doing what they did and what ‘Melo and Paul seem to want to do as well.

vava74

August 18th, 2010
7:10 pm

If Stern does not adopt this new policy pronto, many franchises will fold within the next 3/5 years.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 18th, 2010
7:10 pm

Having said that, though, Kelly Dwyer is far from an authoritative voice on the NBA, and if he said something stupid in that article it wouldn’t be the first time.

O'Brien

August 18th, 2010
7:11 pm

MC,

this just reiterates the mistake sund made (with woody’s backing) to give bibby a 3 year deal, which makes him almost untradeable until the trade deadline or next season.

That same offseason, sessions and Jack were available for less money (although nobody expected bibby to decline so soon).

Rondo,

ask any teacher, and they will tell u that different students learn differently, and require different teaching approaches.

O'Brien

August 18th, 2010
7:16 pm

Truthspitter,

How did our top 3 offense look in the 4th quarter? We had at least 16 games where we scored 19 points or less in the fourth quarter.

We also had games in which we scored 10 points in the quarter. Our offensive numbers are skewed because we scored a bunch of points against bad teams.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 18th, 2010
7:23 pm

“Any PG ranking 1-30 which ignores Derek Fisher can only be seen as rubbish “journalism”. ”

I agree, and upon further review, after Ramon Sessions’ irrelevant season last year he shouldn’t be anywhere near the top 30 point guards in the league either.

There is one similarity between the Hawks and the Lakers, though; on both teams, there are above-average passers at other positions, which lessens the burden shouldered by the point guard to set up the offense. Even last year, the Hawks’ half court offense flowed best when Smoove, not Bibby, was responsible for finding open teammates in scoring position. And in the Lakers’ case, their scheme further distributes the responsibility of setting up teammates evenly. Fisher doesn’t have to be an 8-assist guy in order to be effective in that system, and assuming that Drew’s new offense similarly distributes the point guard’s traditional responsibility, neither will Teague.

Najeh Davenpoop

August 18th, 2010
7:32 pm

The general consensus among the Magic fans about their offense seems to be the same thing many of us say here — if you can contain Dwight one-on-one and get a hand in the face of the perimeter shooters, you have a realistic chance to beat them. Obviously the Hawks don’t have a guy who can consistently stop Dwight one-on-one — Shaq would have helped — but I still think their best bet is to let Dwight get his 25 points and 25 rebounds and hold every shooter to under 40% like they did when they won in March.