Atlanta Hawks: Unsolved mystery

I went down to Philips today but, due to unforeseen circumstances out of my control, I couldn’t get access to the team. (I did, however, get lots of time to hang out with the French-speaking Habs beat guys). This unfortunate turn of events (the lack of access, not the time with French Canadian hacks), combined with tight deadlines last night, means I did not get to query L.D. about the Teague situation.

So I’m not sure if Teague’s sporadic minutes lately are due to matchups (which had been L.D.’s previous explanation), some other special circumstance or are related to his performance.

Teague played early against Dallas but didn’t return after blowing a couple defensive assignments, while JC2 played 18 energetic minutes. Teague played just two minutes after halftime vs. Boston–and had a spirited exchange with coaches after L.D. called him out for missing another assignment–while Jordan played 18 minutes.

That could have just been a matter of getting Jordan some minutes in a blowout, though, and that’s how it seemed when when Teague played 16 minutes at Jersey and JC2 got a DNP-CD. But then Teague didn’t get in until garbage time vs. the Wizards while Jordan played 15 minutes.

If these are not special circumstances and JC2 is indeed taking Teague’s minutes going forward it creates some dilemmas for the Hawks.

It would make an unbalanced rotation even more lopsided if Atlanta’s only backup point guard isn’t getting playing time. It would mean less playing time for the guy whom L.D. (who still declares D matters above all else, mind you) has said is the only guard on the team who can consistently keep opponents in front of him. And it would mean more time on the floor together for Bibby and Jamal, which requires no explanation, and more minutes for JC2, who tries hard but (understandably) gets lost himself at times.

Alas, the answers to these questions will have to wait until I catch up with the team tomorrow afternoon in Manhattan. Sadly, I can’t update you on the Habs, either, because my French is rusty, and by that I mean I speak none at all.

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, blog people.

MC

77 comments Add your comment

westurd

November 26th, 2010
3:36 pm

gobble gobble….first turds

ATL FAN

November 26th, 2010
3:49 pm

Good game last night, but still proved nothing about these Hawks.

O'Brien

November 26th, 2010
4:19 pm

Thanks for the blog MC. I’m sure you picked up another 55″ flat screen this morning.

As for LD, I think he has some Woody in him.

But Woody would say one thing, and the players would do another, and Woody would nothing about it, except talk about it some more.

Jamal struggled against Dallas and Boston, and turned the ball over, but still he got his 30 minutes. Where is the accountability?

LD said if the slow starts continue, he is going to have to think about changing the lineup. Shouldnt he have thought about it already?

And if defense is what matters above all else, then how does Jamal keep getting his PT, while Teague isnt?

If LD comes out and says that Teague is not playing well, thats fine. But dont preach defense, when Marvin doesnt get more minutes, or Teague doesnt get more minutes, but Jamal and Jordan does.

ag

November 26th, 2010
4:23 pm

i am losing a lot of respect of ld. How is he blaming Teague but not holding Marvin accountable. Have some basketballs, make some changes! A win over the Wiz means nothing!. I enjoy watching JCII but we need to see changes and I have a heap of blame on Marvin!!!

Clyde

November 26th, 2010
4:31 pm

JEJE FOR BLOGGER OF THE YEAR

Terrance Williams is way better than Teague and he got sent to the Developmental League. I think the Hawks need to think about sending Teague down.

I.MUS WRITE

November 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

Teague = Acie Law…………No Jumper,No confidence, No Dogg.

Grandad

November 26th, 2010
4:41 pm

* reprinted from last blog *

G-dad’s [Joe Johnson] Trade Suggestion O’ the Day:

Houston gets:
Joe, Jeff Teague, & Marv
Hawks get:
Battier, Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, & Jared Jeffries (exp cont)

K.Martin and Marv can be removed from the trade;
the numbers still work.

You gotta’ love this one!

* Melvin didn’t like it.

tbhawksfan

November 26th, 2010
4:59 pm

Teague for Jason Thompson

Jamal for Hinrich

…and the roster is balanced, deep and improved.

northcyde

November 26th, 2010
5:27 pm

No need to be confused. Drew just isn’t a defensive coach.

Don Nelson used to tell his teams to defend better too. But it’s obvious what his strength as a coach was. The same goes for Drew.

That’s why Drew likes Josh Powell. Athough we could use rebounding and defense from Powell, he does come in and at least make a few shots. So Powell has a spot in the rotation.

Drew may preach defense, but does he teach defense? We know he teaches offense.

Ramon

November 26th, 2010
5:35 pm

Jamal for Hinrich would be a deal that I would be interested in.

ag

November 26th, 2010
5:42 pm

why do people still think our problem is center. If I had a dollar for we will not win a title without a center. The last impact center to win a title is Shaq with Miami, before that was David Robinson. I can go down the list of impact centers who never won a title. I would prefer a point, but the Hawks problem is who is career lows in 3pt%, spg,bpg,rpg ppg and less minutes per game except rookie season? If it walks like a duck, and quaks like a duck, then…..

jo

November 26th, 2010
5:59 pm

and yet, all we need is an impact center to get to the next level. the hawks can beat anyone but orlando (when they play right). however, no center, no elite status and this is NOT based only upon a center, its about a good team corp that need some inside help.

northcyde

November 26th, 2010
6:06 pm

@ ag

- Shaq has 4 titles, and has played in 6 NBA Finals

- Dwight Howard has played in an NBA Finals

- Ben Wallace was the best defensive center in the league when he played when Detroit won their title

- While people don’t call Tim Duncan a center, he’s 7 ft . . 260 lbs ( which is a center basically ) . . he has 4 NBA Titles

- Pau Gasol is listed as a PF, but he plays a lot of center.

*********

So don’t get it twisted man. We either need for Horford to become a complete bad azz who can either dominate the center position offensively, or start defending the position better defensively, or become the best rebounding big man in the league.

Or we need to bring in a center who can at least defend and rebound, so that Horford and/or Smith can do their thing at PF.

1 minute to go in the Auburn vs Alabama game. What a great game this has been. If Bama pulls this out . . lol.

truly1

November 26th, 2010
6:21 pm

Thanks MC Please check because I wonder if Rick sund and Ld are on the same page with teague. We will need him Unless we are keeping Jamal crawford which with the money situation I dont see how.

ag

November 26th, 2010
6:28 pm

Okay Dirk is 7′0″ but is not a center. How can you say Gasol is a impact center? The last impact center to win a championship was Shaq (while he was with the Lakers. He is the only center to win a MVP in the finals and since 1980 only Shaq (3) Olajuwon (2) and Kareem (1) have won a finals MVP. Again, Marvin is our problem!

truly1

November 26th, 2010
6:31 pm

MC, Dont let LD get away with saying it is a matchup problem because bibby, Jordan and Jamal dont match up well with many people as well. Washington played with 3 guards Teague is the only one that can stay with John wall. Jamal Crawford I think needs to let Teague bring the ball up because he is better with the ball in his hand and teague sitting on the perimeter taking a pass from jamal is backwards. It plays to each persons strength if teague brings it up or teague doesnt need to be out there. Thats what point guards Do

Halsey

November 26th, 2010
6:40 pm

You have no cluse about basketball if you don’t think Gasol is an impact front line player.

Whether it’s a center or forward, NBA teams don’t win championships without a high quality front line with at least one player of exceptional length:

Current Lakers:Lakers: Gasol, Odom, Bynum
Celtics from a couple of years ago: Garnett
Heat from a few years ago: Shaq
Pistons from a few years ago: Rasheed Wallace and Mehmet Okur
Spurs: Duncan

The Hawks are never going to win anything trotting out two 6′8 forwards against top NBA teams. Just watch the way guys like Garnett, Shaq, Brooke Lopez, Dwight Howard, etc exploit them.

ag

November 26th, 2010
6:44 pm

Okay more on our problem.. top 5 in scoring, rebs (only Howard is in top 5 both categories), top among centers in assists, fg%, second in ft%, and double doubles. He is 20th in block shots .94 but the leader is Darko at 2.94. He is 11th is steals.

Grandad

November 26th, 2010
6:44 pm

ag

You can call Duncan, Garnett, and Gasol;
power forwards, [4's], centers, Bigs, Tall Guys,
pumpkins, carp, hosers, shorstops, or Templar Knights.
It don’t matter;
’cause they’re the same thing…..”impact centers”…..
—OR—> “impact Bigs”!

Grandad

November 26th, 2010
6:46 pm

* —ADD—> Rasheed Wallace!

ag

November 26th, 2010
6:52 pm

Hortford is 6′10″ Josh is 6′9″. They are a little undersized I will admit, but size does not matter (in basketball!) It is how they produce. These guys are not our archilles heal! Again, outside of a old Garnett, the front line for Boston is???? Hey sit Pierce, Rondo and Allen and replace them with Bibby, Joe and Marvin and see how far Boston would go. Hey do the trades with ANY team and tell me which would be better ( Those three with Odom and Gasol or our three with Howard). It is our first three especially Bibby and Marvin!!!

Halsey

November 26th, 2010
6:55 pm

“Size doesn’t matter in Basketball”

bwaaaahahahahaha! Then why is the NBA a league of tall guys? Why don’t teams have more 5′9 guys?

Size matters, bro. The taller a guy is the better chance he has at getting a rebound, shooting over another player, blocking a shot, etc.

ag

November 26th, 2010
6:55 pm

There is ONLY one center in this league that gives Hortford problems. (Okay I id notice Lopez went off, but that was a first!) Howard dominates everyone….Okay for the sake of this arguement, lets say I see it your way, this is not playstation and we cannot make a center! Look at the 7′0″ in the league, most cannot help us. Name five who could (that actually play center). Noah, Howard

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:03 pm

Marvin is 33 in scoring (yes I guess Woody was holding him back) 24th in rebounding, 14 fg%, 18th ft% worse than 40th 3pt% (Josh better than him so stop scolding him for taking that shot) as well as steals.. and etc for all other stats. What if we had a quality SF. Imagine how much better Hortford and Smith would be.

Art Vandelay

November 26th, 2010
7:03 pm

The Hawks are frauds who lack character and heart. Beyond Horford, who plays hard and smart every night, and Smith, who plays hard and smart about 85% of the time, there’s not a single player on this team that I’d trust to give his all when it really matters. I don’t care if the Anti-Spirit Group hires Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and the ghost of John Wooden to coach the team — they still won’t play defense, they still won’t back each other up, and they still won’t provide any leadership.

We’re paying Joe Johnson $20 million a year to be a jump shooter who suddenly can’t shoot jumpers and a slasher who can’t get to the basket; he doesn’t have any passion, and never really seems particularly interested in what’s going on when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.

Teague is looking like a career backup with a questionable attitude; his jump shot doesn’t seem any better than it was last year, and being the quickest guy on the court means nothing if you don’t know your assignments.

Marvin Williams is a victim of what would seem to be a combination of a poor work ethic and questionable coaching through the first several years of his career; he’s not a lost cause, but the light switch ain’t coming on without a change of scenery. Unfortunately, his contract makes him pretty untradeable.

Jamal Crawford was my favorite player on the team last year, mainly because he was just so much fun to watch when he’d create off the dribble. With Drew’s motion offense, Crawford is less effective because he’s not able to use his freakish one-on-one skills; add his contract situation to the mix, and he’s become somewhat toxic to this roster. He’s our best trading chip right now, and it’s probably time to pull the trigger so we don’t lose him for nothing after the season.

Bibby…well, what is there really to say? He’s past his prime, and we knew that last year. He’s still capable of hitting big shots, but he gives up so much on defense that he’s becoming more of a liability with every cheeseburger he eats. I don’t think I’ve seen him move laterally since 2005.

The rest of the guys not named Horford or Smith are either too insignificant to discuss here (like Collins or Powell) or are still works in progress (like Jordan Crawford, who seems to have outstanding offensive potential, but the jury is definitely out on his defensive prowess).
I don’t think the roster needs to be blown up, but some serious changes are the only thing that will turn it around. It starts with a pass-first PG who takes care of himself and at least tries to play defense (meaning bye-bye Bibby), and it ends with a C who thinks of nothing but rebounding, defense and starting fast breaks with smart outlet passes. I’d trade our entire roster minus Horford and Smith if we could get Steve Nash in here for the last 2-3 years of his career and get Joakim Noah to patrol the paint and open up the floor for the rest of the team.

Hey, a guy can dream, right? It’s the holidays!

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:08 pm

Since size matters, let’s trot out our only seven footer Jason Collins. If I think about it I never played in the NBA but if they let me play one game and I managed to score two baskets, and pull away three rebounds and block 1 shot and one steal and one assist, then retire, then I would have BETTER career numbers than him!

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:10 pm

Okay, only type of center to bring in here is a high energy center like Noah. The kid on Washington is getting better also.

northcyde

November 26th, 2010
7:16 pm

ag . . you’re looking real silly man. Horford and Smith are very good basketball players. But in this league, you need someone who can bang on the inside.

We’re not saying that Horford or Smith are the main problem. It’s just that we need a banger on the inside, not another finesse player.

You can add any number of big men who also play inside, and it would not only help the Hawks, it may make Horford and Smith even better.

Shaq would’ve helped this team tremendously, with his size, ability to rebound, and ability to finish around the rim.

Pau Gasol averaged 19.6 ppg and 11.1 rebs in the NBA Finals, while also averaging more than 2 blks and shooting over 50% FG. Meanwhile, the center Bynum averaged 8 pts and 6 rebs . . but he did take up space in the middle.
During crunch time though, Gasol ALWAYS played center for the Lakers. And the Lakers winning percentage with Gasol on the team is above 75%.

Size matters ( as drmaryb would say ).

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:22 pm

Although he is a bit off his rocker, when the Heat were having their yard sale, it would have been nice to pick of Beasley.

northcyde

November 26th, 2010
7:22 pm

And we’re talking about dudes with size who can play . . . not scrub big men, which are plentiful in this league.

northcyde

November 26th, 2010
7:26 pm

Those were Bynum’s and Gasol’s playoff averages . . . not NBA Finals averages.

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:28 pm

Again, I said no more than 5 guys could help…and I mean real 7′0″ The obvious is Dirk, who would help anyone, but looking around 3/4 of the league, they are trotting out pure garbage at C. Okay give me another quality scoring or high energy big 6′10″ + to REPLACE MARVIN!!! I don’t want just a Etan Thomas just to say we have another big out there.

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:28 pm

Again, Beasly is 6′10″ and would really helped us.

ag

November 26th, 2010
7:32 pm

Shaq would have been a bad fit. He is injured a lot and he would have slowed us up. Plus he is a temporary solution. I would rather gamble on a guy like Oden or Thabeet in the off season. (Okay, I am at work passing time. Never post this much!)

Michael Cunningham

November 26th, 2010
7:47 pm

@O’Brien: “Thanks for the blog MC. I’m sure you picked up another 55″ flat screen this morning.”

my 50″ is still going strong.

Michael Cunningham

November 26th, 2010
7:52 pm

@truly1: “MC, Dont let LD get away with saying it is a matchup problem because bibby, Jordan and Jamal dont match up well with many people as well.”

well, he can say what he wants. and then i can point out what you say and let him explain. that’s what happened last time i asked why he likes the Jamal-Bibby-Joe alignment. he said he likes having two shotmakers out there and he thinks he can get enough D because Joe is a good defender at the 3 and Jamal can be a good rebounder. when it doesn’t work, everyone can see it, i write it, and so it is what it is.

terrell

November 26th, 2010
7:55 pm

Oden? That’s one helluva gamble.

Atlgent

November 26th, 2010
8:07 pm

It has been pleasurable to read the back and forth between northcyde and ag. I actually happen to agree with you both! I often read the blogs and become totally disgusted and often bewildered by some of the comments made. The trade proposals made from thin air without regard for the other teams desire to win as well. WOW is often all I can say after reading!

Actually, Horford is an undersized center and it would be just a blessing to obtain a 7 footer around these parts. And there are plenty around here, I believe I saw one earlier in McDonalds while I was eating lunch! But the true question is and dilemma is “The Hawks need a 7 footer that can play “basketball” and the last time I looked, there were only @ 10 in the NBA and they were established stars on other teams.

So, since the other teams are not willing to just “hand” a 7 footer to the Hawks, how about Horford just man up and BEAST himself into a center. As a 6′10 and undersized center, e is doing a magnificent job. He is top 7 in ALL measurable stats amongst centers, regardless of height. He physically has trouble with only 1, maybe 2 centers in the NBA. WOW, to me, that is just outstanding.

Could the Hawks use a 7 footer? Yes, they sure could. And if they were to , say, mysteriously obtain a “decent***” 7 footer, how would that affect Horford? Would his stats improve? Would the team be significantly better? I say “no” to better team ( coaching?) and “slightly” to better stats. By the way, if a “decent***” center is brought in, a knowledgeable coach can still defensively put a “good” center on Horford, correct?

Hey, that leads me to COACHING. I believe that if you coach J Smoove and Horford up, they would be in the top 3 as a tandem frontcourt, regardless of size. At this time, I can only think of Bynum and Gasol as significantly better. Even though I think Odom and Gasol is better as a tandem than those two. Plays need to be designed specifically for J Smoove and Horford to dominate the plundering centers of other teams with their quickness, relative to the center and power forward position. Is that being done? I don’t see it ,

I’ll save the Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby vent for another day. I’d start by expeditiously removing those 2 from the squad for a couple of those Big Macs I had at Mickey D’s earlier!

ag

November 26th, 2010
8:22 pm

I watch Smove and he has improved his game every year. He actually has a great game with his back to the basket, but he just does not do it enough. I watched the other day when the Hawks posted him about three straight times over Posey and he scored. Then they decided to involve the other players. Again, like Atlgent said, there is only a handful of impact 7′0″ and nobody is going to give them up. Go get a quality SF and watch how our undersized players will do.

Halsey

November 26th, 2010
8:44 pm

You’re completely right that quality ‘7 footers’ don’t grow on trees. The point, however, is that is what’s separating the Hawks from elite teams. Not bad coaching or Marvin Williams. The Hawks can change coaches until they’re blue in the face, but no team wins anything in the NBA without someone like Garnett, Gasol, Duncan, etc. Horford and Smith are good players, but they are simply at a height/length advantage vs those sorts of guys.

truly1

November 26th, 2010
9:27 pm

Thanks MC you are a good host

Najeh Davenpoop

November 26th, 2010
9:42 pm

“You can call Duncan, Garnett, and Gasol;
power forwards, [4's], centers, Bigs, Tall Guys,
pumpkins, carp, hosers, shorstops, or Templar Knights.
It don’t matter;
’cause they’re the same thing…..”impact centers”…..
—OR—> “impact Bigs”!”

This is true. Terms like “center” don’t have as much meaning in the modern NBA. In today’s NBA, there are three kinds of players — bigs, guards, and wings. You can call them SGs, SFs, PFs, whatever you want, but those are the three basic kinds of players. Is there a huge difference between Gerald Wallace (SF) and Josh Smith (PF)? Or Tim Duncan (PF) and Al Horford (C)? Or Derrick Rose (PG) and Dwyane Wade (SG)? Not really.

You don’t have to have 25-10 big guys to win, but you DO need to have toughness and defense at that position. Look at what Kendrick Perkins does for Boston — his numbers are pretty pedestrian, but his defensive presence, toughness, and presence on the glass has been invaluable to Boston. Horford isn’t that kind of dominating defensive presence. He plays fundamentally solid D more often than not, and Smoove is a fantastic help defender, but neither one of them is going to prevent people from coming down the lane consistently.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 26th, 2010
9:45 pm

And before someone twists around the above post and calls me an idiot for comparing Tim Duncan to Al Horford, I’m talking about their roles on the floor, not how good they are at it.

cp

November 26th, 2010
10:24 pm

Teague is starting to look like the pg version of Duck Williams. Talented guys who just don’t have it in them.. Teague just wasn’t doing much with the minutes he was getting. All he did was pass the ball and stand in a corner. It was a few games where you could hear LD screaming at him to get the ball from Jamal and he wouldn’t. I was thinking the other day they just might need to send him to the D League and let him work out his problems…. Duck on the other hand just needs to be traded. He doesn’t rebound well for a guy his size, cant finish in traffic, weak handles, cant take advantage of his size when he is posted on smaller players, cant seem to hit open jumpers, and is just clumsy. He needs a change of scenery because its clear that a new coach and offense is not working.

MannyT

November 26th, 2010
11:00 pm

@MC

The next time you find yourself with the worldly Quebecois, try this.
http://translate.google.com

…and I’d bet that most of them have decent English skills if they are coving the NHL. ;-)

YoDaddy

November 26th, 2010
11:12 pm

Marvin is just terrible period. 2nd round pick. lol @ NBA2k11 rated him a 65. LMAO but we wholeheartedly agree. A bench player masquerading as a starter. And he has to start because he’s getting paid 8 mill per year.

Teague is looking scared out there. He needs to just blackout every once in a while. It doesn’t seem like he has the dog in him. However in the NBA you usually have until the end of your rookie contract to make your worth. Teague has this year and next year to prove.

Jordan Crawford does though…he’s not afraid of anything. He will shoot the ball if he’s open and he will jack up shots if he’s not…that’s the aggressiveness I need. ON defense he’s no slouch and will chase his man around those picks and try.

MannyT

November 26th, 2010
11:12 pm

Kudos @Najeh

What many folks skim over these days is that your true position is a function of where you defend. The more legitimate your flexibility in defending, the more positions you actually play.

I can have anyone initiate offense if they can handle the ball and make good decisions when passing (Scottie Pippen, Paul Pressey.) My shooters don’t have to be wings (Mehmet Okur, Dirk Nowitzki).

The more you mess with the system, the trickier it is for people to deal with it. If your coach can wrap his mind around it, you get innovation. If he cannot, you get a mess. (Example, Boris Diaw here vs not here–the wing vs post role.)

Melvin

November 26th, 2010
11:28 pm

Watching the 4th qtr of the Lakers/Jazz game. My goodness, Deron Williams is a beast…

doc

November 26th, 2010
11:42 pm

melvin, this guy went 20 and 8 against the lakers. the day after our season ended i suggested we trade josh for him as he is a true center with bulk at 280. he has been steady as she goes this season for utah:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3832

doc

November 26th, 2010
11:49 pm

DRIBBLE TIDE!!!!!!