Atlanta Hawks at Raptors: No Canada
Long and boring story short: I didn’t make it to Toronto. Neither did Etan, who apparently couldn’t get out of his ‘hood. Marvin’s sore back didn’t allow didn’t make the trip, either.
I plan to watch the game on TV and then post some analysis here. Until then, here is some Hawks-related linkage:
(Via TrueHoop.com): Hoopism put together a cool graphical representation of the NBA teams by average age. Rick Sund always says the Hawks are still a young team in relation to the other top teams in the East, and this chart backs him up on that: The Hawks are the fourth-oldest team among the East’s top five, slightly older than the Bulls. Hoopism also weighted age by minutes played and the Hawks rank fourth among the East’s top five by that measure as well.
You might recall ESPN’s John Hollinger was among the chief critics of the Hawks(Insider) following their surrender against Boston at Philips. Two months later, he’s got the Hawks No. 6 in his power rankings and includes the Hawks among six “good” teams flying under the radar (Insider).
Hollinger cautions: “‘good’ here is relative — none of these teams is going to win the championship, and it’s likely that none will even host a first-round playoff series. Nonetheless, there’s an interesting story brewing with several clubs that have been well off the league’s radar since early in the season, and it’s high time we revisited them” Says Hollinger:
“Especially noticeable is that there’s far better ball movement than in the “iso-Joe” offense under Mike Woodson. But perhaps more important is that the Hawks’ formerly shambolic transition D has significantly improved now that they’re not sending the entire team to the offensive glass. . . . This team remains flawed — it’s basically four good players and a whole lot of filler — but has coped with injuries surprisingly well. . . . As a result, the Hawks are on the upswing.”
Jason Walker at Peachtree Hoops wishes ‘Nique happy b-day. Inspired by Nick Young going off for 45 points, Walker also looks back at the Hawks’ last 40point game and discovers that J.J. has the last six. Writes Walker:
“Makes sense since: A) He was the only capable scorer for many of the past 7 seasons. B) One must gobble up possessions to achieve such heights, usually, and Johnson was/is the alpha dog in terms of possession usage, so it would be difficult for another player to sneak in there unless Joe was injured and that player took his possessions.”
Bret Lagree at Hoopinion scouted Pape Sy’s games at the D-League Showcase and came up with these ugly numbers: “Unofficial on/off numbers, assuming Utah haven’t played much faster or slower with Sy on the court and that he’s played an equal number of offensive and defensive possessions: Utah are -10 points per 100 possessions with Sy on the floor, -0.6 points per 100 possessions with Sy off the floor over the last six games.”
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express has already seen enough of Sy to declare that the Hawks wasted a pick, roster spot and $600 k on him: “If Pape Sy wasn’t drafted by the Hawks and making 500k this year, you’d wonder if he’s good enough to play at the D-League level. . . . . Its moves like this (drafting Pape Sy) that make you wonder about the decisions that get made by certain NBA front offices, like the Hawks.”