Atlanta Hawks at Warriors: The new guys, plus Rick Sund

San Francisco–Caught up with the Hawks here this morning (tip: never, ever drive in this city) before heading to Oaktown. Here are some quick notes, followed by a Rick Sund Q and A,. . .

  • L.D. said Teague will start again tonight along with J.J., Marvin, Josh and Al. Hinrich will play, too. Hinrich and Armstrong met the team here last night. Drew said they put some tape down in the ballroom at the hotel and gave the players a crash course on the team’s concepts.
  • Drew expects Hinrich and Teague to push the Hawks to play faster: “We definitely have got to get the ball in to both guys’ hands. I thought Jeff did a good job in Phoenix of keeping the pressure on the defense and pushing it. Kirk has the same ability. He’s not as fast as Jeff but he still pushes the ball at a pace that forces other guys to keep up.”
  • Based on his initial impressions of Atlanta’s offense, Hinrich likes what he sees: “We have good players. Just put them in the right positions and play together, and we will be all right. I think the stuff we are going to do fits me and fits our team. The ball moves a lot. We’ve got good players who command double teams. It’s a team system and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
  • Drew on Armstrong: “I want a physicality when he’s on the floor. I want defensive rebounding. I want him to be athletic when he’s on the floor.”
  • Armstrong: “I just have to be aggressive. I can definitely help the team out with that. Play solid defense, talk, get up and be aggressive and hit the boards. Try to play my game and don’t do anything out of character.”
  • Both players said they are happy to leave a loser and join a playoff squad.

Now on to the interview with Sund:

Q. Before the deadline, you said you would only make trades that improve the team and wouldn’t make any lateral moves. In your view, how did this trade make the team better?

“Larry wanted to upgrade the point guard position, particularly defensively, and still try to be able to maintain the shooting that we had with Bibby’s presence out there. We looked at this deal and thought it made some sense. It was tough to let Jordan go in particular. I don’t mind so much the draft pick but we really like Jordan. He’s got a huge upside. It was difficult to get him minutes this year. He’s going to have a fine career. But at the end of the day, like with most teams in transition, you have got to give up a draft pick and/or young player to whet their appetite. So that’s what we did.”

Q. By trading Jordan and your first-round pick in 2011, does it signal a win-now approach as opposed to developing players for the future?

“We also have a pretty young team. We’ve got three starters that started opening night at 24. You still have Jeff in a backup capacity, where he should be a senior in college. He’s young. Then you’ve got a couple of players that are in their prime. Joe is in his prime, and so is Jamal and certainly Hinrich is in his prime. You look at the two teams in the championship last year in final game, of the 10 starters nine where in their 30s.”

Q. How much did uncertainty of labor situation affect your approach to making deals?

“Not a lot because nobody knows what the rules are going to be. To be very honest with you I was really surprised there were as many trades as there were. Somebody mentioned that since the season started there have been 24 trades of various sorts that you would consider semi-significant. You have the big trades like Carmelo; Deron was a huge trade. And there there were other semi-significant trades. That seems like a lot compared to other years. And I thought there wasn’t going to be a lot of trades.”

Q. Now that the smoke has cleared, how do you think your team stacks up in the East?

“We have to see it out. All year we have been basically playing for the fifth, fourth and third hole. And of those three teams, everybody goes through their highs and lows. We have had some highs–January in particular was a good month–and now we are in a slump. Miami had some slumps and then they went on a huge streak, and then they went back to a slump. Chicago seems to be like us last year. They are great at home and they are .500 on the road and so they are sort of where we were at this point last year going forward. You’ve got Boston who have an NBA championship and has three players who are headed to the Hall of Fame. Miami has got two players that have been battling for MVP of the league and three players who have made the All-Pro. Orlando has an MVP candidate this year in Dwight. And you have Chicago who has an MVP this year in Derrick Rose. And then you have Atlanta that has two players that made the All-Star team. I thought it was ironic in LA they interviewed Kobe and he said, ‘Well, I feel like I am playing Boston, Miami and Atlanta [because nine East All-Stars are from those teams]. Also the Knicks are going to be no picnic if you have to play them and Philly can surprise you. It’s up to the players now, I think, on all of the teams. March and April are the home stretch and it’s up to the players and how they are going to respond to it and how they are going to respond in the playoffs. It’s a challenge for us, certainly. It’s as challenge and an opportunity at the same time.”

Deep thoughts

At last check, the (completely unscientific) blog poll asking whether this trade was good or bad for the Hawks was running about 50-50. I haven’t looked at all of your 1,600 or so comments from the last couple of days (thanks much for reading, blog people) but I think I can take a decent stab at the reasoning of the differing perspectives.

I’m guessing most in the “good” camp like the trade because they think the team is better now. Hinrich is a better player than Bibby. He’s a better defender, comparable shooter and should be able to diversify the offense by running pick-and-rolls. JC2 could become a good player but he’s not part of the plans now so off he goes.

I’m guessing most of those in the “bad” camp don’t like the trade because, even if it makes the team better now, it doesn’t improve the Hawks enough to give them a good chance at beating the elite teams in the playoffs. So why make a deal like this while sending away a young player and a pick, sacrificing the future while doubling down on this “core” group that may not take the Hawks where they want to go?

I think the views in both camps are reasonable. I also know that we can’t see the future. The Hawks should be better with Hinrich instead of Bibby, both from tangible and intangible standpoints. I understand if you don’t believe they will be good enough, but let’s see what happens.

Sund said declined to comment on trade scenarios that didn’t happen, including whether he tried to get in on any of the major deals by dangling any players from Atlanta’s “core” group. From what I’m hearing the Hawks did try to get in on some of those discussions but didn’t get very far.

If you are upset the Hawks couldn’t make a splashier deal then realize it takes assets like expiring contracts, productive players with reasonable contracts, young players with potential and draft picks. The Hawks don’t have much of any of those because of decisions made in the past, so those should be the focus of your ire if you don’t like this trade. I can’t speak accurately on what deals they may or may not have offered (or turned down) for their “core” players so it’s hard to evaluate those hypothetical scenarios.

In any event, the Hawks have 25 games against a tough schedule to figure out what they are about. From my perspective, at least, it should be interesting.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

796 comments Add your comment

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:14 pm

P.S – Of course I don’t think Hinrich is a superstar by any stretch, but we trade 2 bad pieces and 1 piece LD refused to play for 1 pretty good piece, solid if you will.

And who knows, with Al teaching him Armstrong may develop

Melvin

February 25th, 2011
10:15 pm

Knicks lost to the Cavs…LOL and their next three games are against the Heat, Magic and Hornet… Tough schedule for them…

O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
10:16 pm

Does LD ever get any sleep? His eyes always look so tired…

Freshfromatl

February 25th, 2011
10:17 pm

LMAO @ Denver beating the Celtics and the Knicks losing to the Cavs. The irony.

Rick Sund

February 25th, 2011
10:17 pm

I hoped you all like my interview. Did you realized that I made sure to use UPSIDE at least once. Yep this team should go REALLY FAR now. Hinrich is BIG TIME point guard that we needed. I will miss Mike Bibby because he was IN HIS PRIME. Now when Marvin shows his UPSIDE and POTENTIAL we will get out of this slump. Remember fans, all seasons have PEAKS and VALLEYS. By making these trades we have now, we can build upon our MAJOR GOAL which is IMPROVEMENT each year. Hinrich keeps us as an ELITE team because ELITENESS (if that’s a word) is determined in the REGULAR SEASON not the PLAYOFFS.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:19 pm

“Bibby needs to grow up.

He’s just mad he’s not a starter anymore (he shouldn’t have been the last 2 years).”

I don’t think he’d mind being a bench player on a playoff team. Being a bench player on a terrible team would kinda suck for any veteran, particularly one who has as much playoff experience as Bibby.

Sautee

February 25th, 2011
10:19 pm

O’Brien,

Got an over/under for Joe’s FTAs?

Rick Sund

February 25th, 2011
10:19 pm

Well Najeh Bibby is in HIS PRIME.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:20 pm

Hilton did have a 13 rebound game versus San Antonio and a 10 rebound game versus the Bulls earlier in the season.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:20 pm

I’m glad to see Bibby go — his contract and his play were holding this team back — but I don’t envy him having to be a Wizard the rest of the season. He did a lot for this team, and I wish the Wizards would have found a way to flip him to a contender (in the West obviously).

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:22 pm

Sautee – I’m not O’Brien, but how about 3?

O’Brien – That’s because he stays up late watching of Twilight Zone reruns

dude wtf

February 25th, 2011
10:22 pm

Najeh, when you fake as Rick Sund can you at least stop capitalizing stuff its so annoying…….

JeJe

February 25th, 2011
10:23 pm

Must-win tonight

I have no doubt we win this game

JOE JOHNSON WHERE U AT

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:24 pm

One knock on Hinrich is his lack of getting to the line. But he still gets there almost 3x more often than Bibby currently.

And the guys played like 350 less games than Bibby. He’s got to be fresher.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:25 pm

“the all white player Hawk team of all time. I want to have a little fun with it, but starting from 00″ C- Collier F- Bowdler Gugliotta G- Sura PG Dickau bench Crawford, Maloney… that is all I can come up with.”

How could you possibly forget the immortal Hall of Famer John Edwards?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:26 pm

“Najeh, when you fake as Rick Sund can you at least stop capitalizing stuff its so annoying…….”

I only do the fake Rick Sund Twitter (along with the Rick Sund from this blog). I don’t post as Rick Sund on this blog.

And anyway, life imitates art.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:26 pm

Or art imitates life, or something like that.

superiorblogman

February 25th, 2011
10:28 pm

Kirk “Lateral Move” Hinrich makes his debut. The guy has the same per as Marvin “the bust” Williams and makes more money fits right in. Let’s see what Mr. “Lateral Move” can do.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:29 pm

In other news, I was hoping the Thunder would beat the Magic tonight, but it looks like it won’t happen. Maybe Jeff Green was more important to them than everyone thought. Ibaka Flocka Flame fouled out in 18 minutes.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:29 pm

You know about the Wiz. You give them Wall, McGee, and Young next season, that’s a pretty solid core. And if they hit it good with the lottery again, there not that far away from being a decent team.

Booo!

February 25th, 2011
10:29 pm

Was Pete Maravitch Born in America?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:30 pm

And I didn’t see the Knicks-Cavs game, but just looking at the box score, it looks like Toney Douglas is now Chauncey Billups’ backup point guard, and it looks like he kinda sucks in that role. Chauncey is not going to play 40 minutes a game like Amare and Melo will have to for the rest of the season. That’s going to come back to haunt them unless they can get some bought out player to fill that role.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:31 pm

On the all white team – I’m assuming just ATL. How could you forget Bob Petit if not

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:32 pm

Forgot about Pete M,, Steve Hawes, and Tom McMillen Mr. Rhodes scholar congressman himself

O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
10:32 pm

Teague will have his hands full with Curry tonight. Hopefully he will know when to force it, when to pass etc. And he needs to try his best to stay with his man, and not get called for reach-in fouls.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:33 pm

That’s right Spoelestra – Keep playing the big 3 40+ a night. Maybe up it to 45

bigdave

February 25th, 2011
10:33 pm

Nique further showing his lack of knowledge of current players..

of Kirk.. “he’s a prototypical pg”

of Elllis.. “he’s (strong)..”

Tremaine

February 25th, 2011
10:34 pm

Let’s go Teague.

Sautee

February 25th, 2011
10:34 pm

‘Nique on Hinrich:

“He’s a prototypical point guard”

Seriously? Prototypical?

Good tough combo guard yes. Prototypical?

I don’t think so, ‘Nique.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:34 pm

I was under the impression we were only doing the last 10 years. If you go back farther than that there’s a treasure chest of white players — Jon Koncak, Christian Laettner, Blair Rasmussen, etc.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:36 pm

blogman – Same as Marvin, but way better than Bibby. 13.6 PER to 11.7 PER.

Face it. You hate whites and your post is racially motivated based on your posts from last night. Let’s talk Bball. Forget the other stuff.

O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
10:36 pm

Najeh,

The game might have been closer if OKC had Perkins. Howard had 34 and 14.

Sautee, Steve W,

My over/under for Joe’s FTA is 4.5 (four and a half).

Booo!

February 25th, 2011
10:37 pm

WTF?!! Why is the game blacked out im my area? WTF At&T!! Dammit!

O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
10:37 pm

Armstrong must be wondering…”what am I? Chopped liver?”

superiorblogman

February 25th, 2011
10:38 pm

Come on Teague nail ole “Lateral Move” Hinrich to the bench. I know it will not happen even if you have 10 pts 5 assists in the 1st quarter because LD hates you and wants to keep making those peanuts for a couple of more years but we can hope. Show ole “Lateral Move” what he really is Teague, we love you Jeff.

ATL FAN

February 25th, 2011
10:39 pm

Boo watch it online

Whats Wrong

February 25th, 2011
10:39 pm

I have AT&T as well and the game is blacked out in my area too….WTH going on!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:39 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

February 25th, 2011
10:40 pm

Let’s go Teague. Prove the haters wrong.

prison mike

February 25th, 2011
10:41 pm

THESE TWO TEAMS ARE WORST AT GETTING TO THE FOUL LINE. LET’S HOPE BIBBY WAS PART OF THE PROBLEM AND HINRICH IS PART OF THE SOLUTION.

SteveW

February 25th, 2011
10:41 pm

Najeh – Sorry, didn’t know.

Sautee – The scouting reports I’ve read almost all say Hinrich is a natural PG with an ability to play the 2. He played PG his 1st 3 years in College at Kansas, then the 2 his final year. He was drafted as a PG, played PG until Chris Duhon and thenDRose came along in Chitown etc. But they all say he is a natural PG who can play SG, not the other way around.

He averaged 6 + assists per game his first 5 seasons in the League.

slimjr

February 25th, 2011
10:42 pm

Here we go..Come on Hawks! Get it done tonight!!! Marvin take it to the rim! Josh forget it…Joe 14 pts at 200k per night is not good enough…Kirk, dont get hurt dude…..Rebound the FREAKING BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE…………….

Sund go fishing………………………….Yawn……………………

Booo!

February 25th, 2011
10:42 pm

Yeah I have the streams to the game up but they’re not showing anything…..yet

atdhe not working but channelsurfing is:

http://www.channelsurf.eu/watch-nba-10.html

slimjr

February 25th, 2011
10:42 pm

Golden st has won 7 of 10!! Not bad…

bigdave

February 25th, 2011
10:43 pm

the ball just isnt in the hands of the pg enough. yuck.

northcyde

February 25th, 2011
10:43 pm

LMAO @ SteveW

Sorry man . . but the Hinrich/Bibby trade is like giving someone 15 cents, and them giving you a quarter back, so that you’ll have a dollar in change.

Majore upgrade? Come on man. We didn’t acquire Steve Nash. This is Kirk Hinrich.

prison mike

February 25th, 2011
10:43 pm

god marvin sucks how many times will i type that this season.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

February 25th, 2011
10:44 pm

Leave it to Marvin Gay Williams to get blocked on the first possession of the game.

ATL FAN

February 25th, 2011
10:44 pm

nice move by josh

slimjr

February 25th, 2011
10:44 pm

We could of had DWILL Twice!!!

Sund go sit down……