Atlanta Hawks: What about Marvin?

Hawks want Marvin to do this and increase his offensive production.

Hawks want Marvin to do this and produce on offense.

So I was contemplating the five questions for training camp I have to come up with for Tuesday’s newspaper, going down the usual list of suspects, when it occurred to me I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about one key question:

What about Marvin?

I know my blog people haven’t forgotten him since you’ve included his name in every possible dream trade scenario all summer. I’ve seen him criticized for seemingly not spending enough time developing his game over the summer (the dude is a gym rat by all accounts) and too much time developing as a human (he can’t spend every minute in the gym, can he?)

That’s not to say I don’t understand the frustration. Fans are selfish by nature, and what you want to know is now what did Marvin do to become a better person but how can he help the Hawks be better. Does it provide any solace to hear that Marvin knows he needs to be better, too?

The Hawks are pinning much of their hopes for Marvin’s improvement on L.D.’s new offense. Marvin is, too.

“That always sounds good to a player,” Marvin said. “You always want to be involved. Last year my production went down. Hopefully with this new offense guys will get looks on a more consistent basis and they will be better looks.

“Some nights, for me I could have 20 [points] or I could have 4. For our team to be a good team, I personally can’t have nights like that. So hopefully with this new offense, I will know where the shots are coming from each night and be able to knock them down.”

Actually, Marvin only had four nights of at least 20 points during the regular season and one in 11 playoff games. Even considering how Williams often got lost in the iso-shuffle, that’s not good enough for a player with his physical attributes and talent.

It’s true that perhaps no Hawks player has to put in more double-duty than Marvin. Checking NBA small forwards night after night isn’t easy. Doing so and then also being expected to make consistent offensive contributions, even as a guy who plays off teammates, is even harder.

But Marvin is entering his sixth season, he’s set to make more than $22 million over the next three years, the Hawks need him to produce and so here we are.

“You spend so much energy on the defensive end [but] at the same time you’ve got to make your opponent guard,” he said. “It’s hard enough to guard them but you can’t let them come down and catch a blow on defense. With this new offense and everybody moving hopefully [defenders] will have some more to think about.”

Marvin took some time to think this summer. He went back to Chapel Hill and continued work on his African-American Studies degree (”Probably three more summers to go,” he said). He recently played host to a local bowling event for Special Olympics, an organization he’s volunteered with since he was a sophomore in high school.

Before that, Marvin went to Dakar, Senegal, with the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program.

“The people were great,” he said. “The people were so nice. They made something out of literally nothing. Those guys are out there playing on dirt courts. It was 120 degrees, it felt like. Super humid. They are out there exercising, working on their game.”

The NBA contingent helped with the effort to put up bed netting in villages in the region with the hope of eradicating malaria.

“I think that was the most special thing for me was to be able to help out,” he said. “Just a little bit.”

So it’s not exactly back to reality for Marvin. More like back from that harsh reality to his job, which figures to be tougher as expectations for his performance rise (again).

“Coach just wanted me to come back ready,” he said. “I just continue to do the things I’ve been doing: shooting the ball, try to get quicker guarding the ball, trying to handle the ball. Just try to stay consistent. I’ve got to work on being consistent this year. I think that is my biggest thing.”

MC

168 comments Add your comment

roderic

September 26th, 2010
7:30 pm

lewis

September 26th, 2010
7:30 pm

nothing to say about marvin

roderic

September 26th, 2010
7:32 pm

2 1ST IN ONE DAY? IM ON A ROLE BABY!!!!!!!!! MARVIN DOESNT SUCK HE IS JUST OVERRATED HE IS A ABOVE AVERAGE PLAYER DATS IT! LAST TIME I CHECKED TEAMS PICKS PLAYERS NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

Tmac

September 26th, 2010
7:44 pm

Marvin SUCKS!
he’s stealing money and killing the HAWK.

rob

September 26th, 2010
7:46 pm

i love carolina & marvin, but each time i hear of him, i think of how easily we could have chris paul….

roderic

September 26th, 2010
7:47 pm

TMAC IS DAT TYLER MCCOWAN?

Sara

September 26th, 2010
7:48 pm

Marvin’s not a bad player. I think the frustration with Marvin is he doesn’t play to his potential. Hopefully with LD’s new system he’ll get more looks.

Mike is back

September 26th, 2010
7:50 pm

MC, Great Stuff…and great timing…I guess I’m first. I will admit to being one of the bloggers that has been very frustrated with Marvin’s performance. However…I’m looking forward to seeing how Marvin performs in LD’s new offense…the previous season before the new contract…Marvin seemed like he was starting to put some things together… it would be nice to see him have a break out season…he is long over due.

I am wishing him the best…as well as the rest of the team.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike is back

September 26th, 2010
7:52 pm

Wow, I guess I wasn’t first…my bad.

UGA

September 26th, 2010
7:53 pm

Marvin may win most improved this year. Seriously. If he touches it more and drives, he is good….

tjhook

September 26th, 2010
7:59 pm

Mr. Cunningham, stop trying to make Marvin feel good. He’s got 22 million reasons and friends back in Washington state for that. Marvin seriously needs to get stronger, because much more comfortable with playing in the post on offense. His height and size gives him natural advantages against other swing players – develop your back to the basket game, why don’t you?! Tolerance for Marvin should be over – he needs to know that the organization has sold a bill of goods on him as a difference maker by drafting him early and resigning him to a big contract. He’s not making Mo Evans’ money!! MARVIN! – toughen up and work on your low post game so you can become an inside AND outside threat. That shouldn’t take all season if you are consistently trying to improve.

Ethan

September 26th, 2010
8:28 pm

When Marvin does something worth commending, then that will happen. You seem like an ass kiss with all the Marvin love. He hasn’t done squat. If anything, he has flopped like a guppy during crunch time. I personally could care less if he is an improved person. Go score and win and play hard every second and get payed…period. Looking forward to your next disasterpiece.

KevinM

September 26th, 2010
8:29 pm

I think what can be said about Marvin has been said. He states his focus on defense impacts his offense. Doesn’t sound like a guy who wants it all.

Personally, I think he is very comfortable where he stands today as he has zero competition for minutes. Sund has not even considered threatening his minutes. He must be satisfied with the consistent numbers we have seen from him, except for an uptick that contract year.

He has to be the defensive stopper for this team, and if he continues to be the 4th-5th option in the offense this year, I truly don’t think it bothers him.

Well, on the bright side, his contract could have been a lot worse couldn’t it?

Najeh Davenpoop

September 26th, 2010
8:37 pm

That is one weird-azz picture.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 26th, 2010
8:44 pm

“It’s true that perhaps no Hawks player has to put in more double-duty than Marvin. Checking NBA small forwards night after night isn’t easy. Doing so and then also being expected to make consistent offensive contributions, even as a guy who plays off teammates, is even harder.”

Checking NBA 2-guards while putting up good offensive numbers isn’t easy either, yet Joe Johnson seems to find a way. Checking NBA PFs despite being undersized and still putting up offensive numbers while being the focal point of your team’s defense isn’t easy, yet Josh Smith seems to find a way. Checking NBA Cs despite being undersized and still putting up All-Star quality production isn’t easy, yet Horford finds a way. I submit that those three players pull a hell of a lot more “double duty” than Marvin. Josh and Al have much more of a right to use their situation as an excuse than Marvin does.

Sure, it’s no small task to check opposing small forwards — especially in this division — but Marvin is not and has never been asked to be a key offensive contributor. All he has to do is knock down open shots, preferably from 3-point land. If he can’t do that — and if in fact he continues to do that worse than he did before he signed his contract extension — there is no excuse for it. Plain and simple.

And also, I don’t think anyone would be questioning his commitment to getting better over the summer if, in fact, he was getting better. The fact is, he has gotten worse since signing his deal, so there isn’t a lot of sympathy among us for him “knowing that he needs to get better”. Clearly that knowledge hasn’t translated into results.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 26th, 2010
8:46 pm

“Personally, I think he is very comfortable where he stands today as he has zero competition for minutes. Sund has not even considered threatening his minutes. He must be satisfied with the consistent numbers we have seen from him, except for an uptick that contract year.”

This is a very good point. You would think that the Hawks would have brought in a veteran SF by now to challenge him for minutes. The least you can do at your position of weakness is to have depth, but the Hawks don’t have that either (unless you count Pape Sy, which you shouldn’t).

Najeh Davenpoop

September 26th, 2010
8:51 pm

And like Rod likes to point out (and as he surely will at some point in these comments), even when Marvin does get a chance to score, he is indecisive, clumsy, and finishes very poorly for someone of his athletic ability. His clumsiness and penchant for falling down and getting blocked when driving to the hoop doesn’t strike me as something that’s going to completely reverse itself just because the Hawks are running a new system. I guess it would benefit him to design plays that have him moving towards the hoop a la Josh Childress, but his timidity when finishing around the hoop leads me to believe that the effect of even that is going to be limited. Ultimately his areas of weakness are things that he has to address.

Jesse

September 26th, 2010
8:53 pm

Marvin has athletic ability? Have you seen him walk? He is the most uncoordinated player in the NBA. It’s amazing he’s out best defender…. but just watch him walk out of the locker room… it’s awkward.

Grandad

September 26th, 2010
9:12 pm

Mr. Cunningham,

At the risk of offending you I’m gonna speak my piece.
It seems to me that you do not enjoy your job [profession].
It also appears that you lack enthusiasm both for the beginning
of the season, as well as the Hawks in general.
You show a lack of passion for the game, that’s undeniable.
At least on this blog. I understand, your wish is not to be a
“homer”, but you must remember your audience is virtually all
Hawks fans. you’re not writing for a national publication,
therefore a little passion for the home team would go un-noticed.
In the past I have spoken up for you, however, in this instance
I am saying what’s on my mind. As I’m accustomed.
Sincerely, G-dad.

doc

September 26th, 2010
9:28 pm

gdad, my two cents worth and a modified reprise from the other blog:

GD, actually though i like sekou very much, kind of feel i had a bit of a personal relationship with him, chatted after games briefly because of his deadlines and was there the first day he opened shop, i feel MC has been a lot more active in putting up new info and especially in interacting with the folks. what MC puts up is quality and maybe more opinionated than sekou. you may not realize it or remember but sekou rarely came to the party, he posted and said have at it folks, over and out.

ryan

September 26th, 2010
9:51 pm

If we would have drafted CP3 we would not have to wait . wait . wait . On Williams and i know Chris Paul is not same player he was but he took a bad NO team and turned them into contenders .

Roland

September 26th, 2010
9:58 pm

Grandad,

I have followed your posts for quite some time and they are typically insightful and courteous. However, I’m not sure where you are going with this most recent post in regards to Mr. Cunningham. It doesn’t appear that your comments in this case are contributing to the discussion of our beloved Hawks, but rather taking a bit of a shot at our beat writer. Again, I’m not sure where you are going with this. If you are unhappy with some of MC’s writing, I’m sure some constructive criticism would be welcomed, but why ridicule him on his lack of enthusiasm? Or should I say, your perceived notion of his lack of enthusiasm?

At any rate, beat writers take enough heat for not pleasing every reader in each and ever article, a feat which all us know is impossible even in the greatest of circumstances. Additionally, I see no benefit in making rash judgments in regards to how Mr. Cunningham views his profession. I feel that those comments should be kept private. Perhaps, that is just my opinion.

I will now leave you to continue to post whatever you like, but just keep in mind that these types of posts do little to help the blog community. There are euphemistic ways to share harsh criticisms. Needless to say, your above post is not one of them. Also, keep in mind that if you do not enjoy what you are reading on this blog, there are always other articles to read elsewhere. I’m sure there may be others who feel the same way, but to ridicule all authors who don’t include the qualities in their writing which you consider to be desirable, is often inevitably just a waste of time.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
10:16 pm

My initial theory was that Marvin hurt his back pretty severely, so he took it easy last year and stopped progressing, and actually went backwards. This theory was shot down by drmaryb who knows the type injury and says it wasn’t that big of a deal.

My next theory on Marvin’s lack of progress is that he only played 1 year in college, and that as a back -up, so he really is uncomfortable on the court. Not enough passion for the game etc. That gets shot down by MC telling us he’s a gym rat.

My next theory is that with the addition of Jamal, Jamal got his points from Bibby and Marvin, and a little from JJ. But that doesn’t explain Marvin’s hesitancy with the basketball. Maybe his role wasn’t defined?

Now all I know is if by some miracle or something, Marvin becomes a 17 – 8 guy, the Hawks are going to be very difficult to beat, especially if Teague begins to become the player I think he will be. Oozing with talent is Teague, just not very refined as yet.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
10:17 pm

MC – Any updates on Al or Jamal’s contract status?

sam'l

September 26th, 2010
10:20 pm

C’mon…..use your brain.

If Marvin Williams truly wanted to earn his millions from the Hawks, he would be out on the practice court day after day, watching tapes, coordinating with Drew and working with instructors to put his talent to use. That’s what a professional who cared would do. Williams doesn’t want to do that, yet he enjoys his life style based on the assumption that he would pay back an organization that made his life a virtual Heaven. .

I think the criticism of Mr. Cunningham is…..if he were a Hawk fan, he might have called Marvin on not giving a damn about the Hawks.

So Roland, rather than taking a rather vague approach, watch next season….and if it seems the Hawks might have caught the Celtics one night or Orlando or NEW ORLEANS and Williams has 6 points 3 rebounds, no steals, no assists, no blocks in 30 minutes and we lose by 2………..then maybe you’ll get the picture.

Michael Cunningham has done good work….but he let this opportunity go by……the questions should be….where did you disappear last year, Marvin.? What specifically are you doing to make sure that doesn’t happen again?

“I will now leave you to continue to post whatever you like, but just keep in mind that these types of posts do little to help the blog community” from the above.

Roland, try to understand the situation before you censor others.

.

Grandad

September 26th, 2010
10:24 pm

Roland:
I attempted to be very courteous to Mr Cunningham.
Plus I’m not going anywhere with it.
It was on my mind and I said it. [Period].

To Michael – If you felt as if I took a shot @ you
then that was not my intention, nor my nature.

doc:
Before I retired, I read the blog often.
I only began posting about a year ago.
I really don’t have much to compare MC with
as I’m a relative novice as a blogger/poster.
I’m certain Michael has thick skin.
I mean’t no harm nor was it personal.
He is “the beat writer” and “blog moderator”.
My statement was only an observation. [period].

ant banks

September 26th, 2010
10:32 pm

can someone please remind me why we took marvin in the first place? he wasn’t even a starter on his own north carolina team that yr. what was it about him or his game that made him stand out? if i am not mistaken, he was high on other teams draft boards too.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
10:34 pm

MC – Any interest for the Hawks in Dampier? Hope he doesn’t go the Bucks way. Glad he didn’t go with the Heat.

I do beg to differ with the wisdom that the inside wasn’t a problem with the Hawks last year. I’m the first to admit that we had 2 of the top 18 rebounders in the league last season in Al and Smoove. But the fast break requires good defensive rebounding, and if we had a Dennis Rodman type getting boards and throwing outlet passes, I would hate to see the Hawks – with their athleticism they would be sick.

Also a few of the bigger centers in the League seemed to bother us. So I’m not against some inside size. Now I know Rodman was only 6-8 235, but size and rebounding may take care of both of our weaknesses in 1 person – Rebounding and Interior D.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 26th, 2010
10:36 pm

“Now all I know is if by some miracle or something, Marvin becomes a 17 – 8 guy, the Hawks are going to be very difficult to beat, especially if Teague begins to become the player I think he will be. ”

I’d rather Marvin be an 8-8 guy who shoots 40% from 3 and make first team All-Defense.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
10:38 pm

Ant banks – Incredible potential is why we took Marvin. An athletic 6-9 wing with a 7-2 wingspan who had a very good jumper. I do remember watching NC that year and thinking why is everybody so high on him? Didn’t look that good to me either. But the physical measurables were off the chart as they say.

24,25,24 Age of our frontline after Dec. 8th – that’s alot of reason to hope for the future.

And 26, 22, 22 – The age of ZaZa, JC2, and Teague – another reason to hope.

Grandad

September 26th, 2010
10:44 pm

sam’l:

“the questions should be….where did you disappear last year?
What specifically are you doing to make sure that doesn’t
happen again?”

Thank you, and although I’m basically a Marv supporter,
I am in total agreement with the above statement.

darrell starks

September 26th, 2010
10:47 pm

MC your joking right? im call rod from college park and see what he have 2 say about marvin, what a joke.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rev in Tampa

September 26th, 2010
10:51 pm

This article left me a little flat, but it seems more due to Marvin than anything else. Kind of like a superior team playing down to the level of a poor team. Marvin didn’t give MC a lot to work with. Marvin seems not to get it. Maybe he does get it but doesn’t want to face it. KevinM and Najeh are spot on in their comments.

I disagree with the comments, however, that Marvin is uncoordinated. He is very athletic and gangly. He only looks ungraceful. He is able to guard NBA small forwards, for crying out loud. He only looks clumsy.

I agree with the comments (whoever said it) that Marvin should be working on his post up game and his driving to the basket with authority. But, again, this seems more a matter of mindset/heart than ability. He takes what’s given to him, rather than asserting himself as the baddest SOB on the court.

darrell starks

September 26th, 2010
10:51 pm

I always compared michael jenkins 2 marvin, both are stealing money from atlanta.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
10:57 pm

Co-sign – “I agree with the comments (whoever said it) that Marvin should be working on his post up game and his driving to the basket with authority.” I’ve seen him attack the basket before – looks great. Can’t figure out why he doesn’t do it more often.

Co-sign again – “I disagree with the comments, however, that Marvin is uncoordinated. He is very athletic and gangly. He only looks ungraceful. He is able to guard NBA small forwards, for crying out loud. He only looks clumsy.”

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
11:00 pm

Najeh – I’ll take the same – what we don’t want is 30% from 3, 10 and 5 and maybe slightly above average on defense at best – even though I think somebody posted some stats on here a while back showing Marvin was 18th on D in the League for the 3, so he may currently be average to slightly below average on D.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
11:01 pm

Najeh – BTW – looks like your looking for Shane Battier – thought I don’t think he shoots that well from 3pt range.

SteveW

September 26th, 2010
11:03 pm

Battier does shoot close to 40% from 3 land – but only about 5rpg – just looked it up.

Grandad

September 26th, 2010
11:08 pm

SteveW

Shane Battier – 38.5 3pt% career, 36.2% last season.

darrell starks

September 26th, 2010
11:09 pm

Marvin and jamal and a first for carmelo, case close make that trade in a heart beat, jamal love atlanta but he is still a west coast player with his style of play, and marvin stays in washington and still love the west coast, i say sen both players and a first for melo.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Grandad

September 26th, 2010
11:10 pm

SteveW

You beat me to it.

Rev in Tampa

September 26th, 2010
11:12 pm

I am looking for Marvin to improve markedly this season. I believe Marvin needs accountability. I think Drew/Connor personalities will do more for Marvin than Drew’s motion offense.

truthspitter

September 26th, 2010
11:35 pm

I can not find a good thing to say about Marvin as a basketball player. When you pick in the top 3 of a draft you should be looking for a franchise player and Marvin has never shown the ability to be a franchise player in Atlanta. So, to me, he is a bust. Al Horford on the other hand, could end up being the Hawks franchise guy in a lot of ways, he is good with the media, has leadership qualities, has already made the All-Star team. Al is a couple 20 pt 10 reb seasons away from being a nationally marketed player for some big companies and so is Josh and that is proof of Josh being marketed by NBA 2K11 which is the best basketball simulation video game on the market. Marvin does not bring anything consistently on the court or off the court to help promote the Hawks as a business or growing franchise. Nice to hear he does things for his community back in Seattle, maybe we can trade him back out West like some have mentioned, but the truth is noone wants Marvin because of his contract. Marvin basically sucks as a basketball player and investment for this franchise and I wish he would just quit.

KevinM

September 27th, 2010
12:01 am

“darrell starks
September 26th, 2010
11:09 pm

Marvin and jamal and a first for carmelo, case close make that trade in a heart beat, jamal love atlanta but he is still a west coast player with his style of play, and marvin stays in washington and still love the west coast, i say sen both players and a first for melo.”

Sund has moved on past that thought process. He tells us himself he likes this core and he isn’t bringing in any elite players. We will live and die with Joe as our leader.

Another point in the Marvin disappearing act……in his contract year, Marvin shot 155 3’s in 61 games. Last year, 132 in 81 games, a fairly good drop off. The percentage dropped as well.

What Marvin does do well is shoot FTs and he should have the ball in his hands in 4th quarter possessions. Whether he defers alot is another process.
I would like to see Marvin playing more towards the basket as opposed to the 3 pt line. I am not sure if we are going to see much change in that area.

The Truth

September 27th, 2010
12:20 am

Given Marvin recent struggles, I think what would have delighted the fans if he had spent time in a basketball clinic environment with any one of the all time great NBA small forwards of the game; (Dominique Wilkins, Doctor J, etc.) expanding and improving his game. Marvin’s problem doesn’t appear to be his work ethics (as you pointed out, he’s a game rat). The question to ask; is he working smarter. Maybe he needs to consult with an all time great about the errors of his ways. If he is just playing pickup games and doing the same thing over and over (though he is working harder) and getting the same results, then perhaps the problem is his strategy.

I say this not to sound sarcastic, but Marvin made a big jump as a 19-year old kid with limited NCAA PT to the NBA. His only NBA coach has been Woody who hasn’t shown much interest in developing players by his own admission. So, Marvin has been left basically to self-teach himself. If a player hasn’t previously developed his game (unlike Jamal Crawford) and was traded or drafted to the Hawks under Woody’s tenure, he would no doubt struggle. While Acie Law was a prime prototypical example of this, Josh Smith was the exception. Though Josh is an exceptional athlete, he still struggles with some of his basic fundamentals. Any improvement Josh has made over the years is to his own credit and not Woody. It will be no different for Marvin; he has to make the initiative to make his game more effective. I’m sure with all those millions; he should have no problems in finding himself a personal trainer beyond just camping out with his college buddies at UNC playing pickup games.

Michael Cunningham

September 27th, 2010
12:30 am

@tjhook: “Mr. Cunningham, stop trying to make Marvin feel good. He’s got 22 million reasons and friends back in Washington state for that.”

don’t know what you mean. i have no interest in trying to make him feel good. i think i mentioned that the Hawks are counting on him and he’s making a lot of money, just like you?

Clyde

September 27th, 2010
12:31 am

Michael Cunningham

September 27th, 2010
12:31 am

@Ethan: “When Marvin does something worth commending, then that will happen. You seem like an ass kiss with all the Marvin love.”

what “Marvin love” are you talking about? the part where i say he needs to produce more because it’s his sixth season, he makes a lot of money and the Hawks are counting on him?

Michael Cunningham

September 27th, 2010
12:34 am

@Granddad: “At the risk of offending you I’m gonna speak my piece.
It seems to me that you do not enjoy your job [profession].
It also appears that you lack enthusiasm both for the beginning
of the season, as well as the Hawks in general.
You show a lack of passion for the game, that’s undeniable.
At least on this blog. I understand, your wish is not to be a
“homer”, but you must remember your audience is virtually all
Hawks fans. you’re not writing for a national publication,
therefore a little passion for the home team would go un-noticed.
In the past I have spoken up for you, however, in this instance
I am saying what’s on my mind. As I’m accustomed.
Sincerely, G-dad.”

always free to speak your mind even if it is in criticism of me (or especially so). but you have to be more specific in what you mean?

Michael Cunningham

September 27th, 2010
12:37 am

@sam’l: “I think the criticism of Mr. Cunningham is…..if he were a Hawk fan, he might have called Marvin on not giving a damn about the Hawks.”

i see what you are saying. like i say all the time, i have no emotional connection to the Hawks. but on the other hand i do hold professional basketball players accountable for doiung their jobs. i honestly don’t see where i let Marvin off the hook here. he needs to be better, he knows it, and i wrote it. i just don’t get upset about it.