Atlanta Hawks at Trail Blazers: No zest for Zaza

Portland–The trading deadline came and went and Zaza is still with the Hawks after the team tried to deal him.

Is he happy about that?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I will say, yeah, I am happy because to moving in the middle of the season, especially [from] a team like Atlanta Hawks, you never know where you are going to go. So, yeah, for now I am happy but in the bigger picture, on different team it might be a better situation where I am getting more playing time and being more involved.

“For now, I am happy. I am not even thinking about next summer [that] I might go somewhere else or something. I definitely want to enjoy this year and do my best for this team.”

Zaza in happier times.

Zaza in happier times.

Zaza said that before he got a DNP-CD against the Warriors last night. He didn’t play against the Suns, either, but that was because he was potentially going to be moved. That’s not the case anymore, yet he still sat while Josh Powell played 18 minutes in Oakland and even Hilton Armstrong made a cameo appearance.

What gives?

“Coach’s decision going forward,” L.D. said. “I’m looking for certain things out of our big guys. I need presence, I need physicality, I need rebounding, I need screens being set to open up our perimeters. Prior to last night’s game we had lost five out of six, and I wanted to make sort of a change to give us a different look and jump start us a little bit.

“Josh Powell came in and did a good job for us. He came in and got eight rebounds in 18 minutes. I am just looking at some different things especially because we had been struggling lately.”

So it seems Zaza is out of the regular rotation for now. And Drew said after looking at the video from Friday, there’s a “strong possibility that more changes could be coming.”

Will they be changes to the starting lineup or the rotation?

“Both,” L.D. said.

No doubt Zaza has had some poor games lately. But here’s the thing with him: Look at his game logs and he had some of his most efficient and productive nights when he played the most minutes. And the on-court, off-court stats show that Zaza has been an effective defender, especially when he plays alongside Al (and isn’t playing alongside Powell.)

It’s not just the numbers. When Zaza gets more minutes he just seems more into it.

“It’s obvious,” he said. “Especially the role I am in, to bring energy. I am role player bringing energy and effort off the bench. Not only just me, but I am talking about any role player to come off the bench and [it's difficult to] make a difference in five, six minutes right away. I have had the games played more than 20 minutes [and] this is where you see the efficiency and my effort and energy.

“Especially I don’t come to the game and [have] any plays–not complaining, just saying that’s my [role]. In my situation to play five or six minutes, you have a defensive slippage or teams make most of their shots and don’t give you a chance to get a defensive rebound. Or offensively you make a mistake. My time is going fast meanwhile and you don’t seem that efficient.”

Zaza said that since the season started he hasn’t really talked to L.D. about his playing time. He said when he met with Drew last summer the coach was aware of the similar frustrations he had under Woody. In the interests of being professional, Zaza said he’s not going to go into L.D.’s office and complain now.

“Bottom line is whenever I get a chance to get on the court I am trying to do my best and help the team,” he said.

L.D. said he knows Zaza tends to go in a funk when he doesn’t get regular minutes but it seems that’s not in the cards for the near future.

“I’ve been in this thing too long, and this is just not a time to be sensitive,” Drew said. “This is a results business. I am willing to give every guy an opportunity but we have got to come up with wins. And everything I do has got to give this ball club an opportunity to win.

“I wish I could play every player. I wish things worked out for every player. If we are struggling in areas I have got to do something about it. I made a decision last night to give Josh Powell a look. Not that I am giving up on Zaza; I am going to need Zaza. But right now this is a decision that I had to make.”

Practice report

The Hawks had a light practice session today at ClubSport, a palace of a gym outside Portland. Weird scene: Kids playing a league game on an 8-foot rim on one court, multimillionaires going through their paces on the next.

Some guys hit the weight room. Josh, Marvin and Jamal played a 3-point shooting game. Drew’s focus was running Hinrich and Armstrong through the offense. He said Hinrich might start against the Blazers because big Andre Miller isn’t a good matchup for Teague.

The expectation still is that Hinrich will eventually become the starter. But after Drew’s comments about lineup changes and his still-fluctuating rotation, I’m not sure what to think anymore. I guess we’ll see.

(Update: Teague will start again tonight. “Just as soon as Kirk gets more familiar with what we are doing he will move into the lineup,” Drew said. “Kirk is really picking stuff up faster than I thought he would, which is good.” Marcus Camby will start for the Blazers after missing 16 games following knee surgery.)

No more ‘Rook

One aspect of the trade I’ve overlooked is that Teague no longer has JC2 to lean on. Teague now is back to being the only young guy. It’s not the biggest deal, I know, but he still is just 22-years old.

“The first day it was tough,” Teague said. “I did everything with him, so he was like my best friend on the team. I know there is a business side of basketball and things happen and I’m glad he gets to go down there and play. I am still going to get to see him in the summer, so it’s all good.”

As for Jordan, Teague said: “At first he was a little hurt, I guess you can say. He knew the business of basketball and he knew the decision the team had to make. I think he is probably happy now. He actually got to suit up the other night.”

Crawford played tonight, too, and had a very good line.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

581 comments Add your comment

northcyde

February 26th, 2011
11:12 pm

Zaza will be OK

northcyde

February 26th, 2011
11:13 pm

Just go in the game, and play as hard as you can. But if you’re not affecting the game, lol, you won’t play either.

lewis

February 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

Zaza is TERRIBLE

Sam

February 26th, 2011
11:21 pm

Shoulda moved Marvin and Zaza at the deadline for anything we could get.

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:23 pm

ZAZA=The BIG STIFF

MARVIN=SCARED…………………………..Needs a heart like the tin man…….What a bust…………………

superiorblogman

February 26th, 2011
11:27 pm

Zaza is hogwash and LD is a horrible coach. LD changes his starting lineup too much and has yet to put his stamp on this team. He wavers too much and is a man of few convictions the worse type of guy to have running anything. Lastly, I see Hinrich has not been able to stop the horse play. Josh playing a 3 pt shooting game is always gonna be considered horseplay. Where is MASSA when you need him?

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:28 pm

“What’s a Zaza???

Websters:
Zaza (n): Immobile object attached to a piece of wood.”

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

lewis

February 26th, 2011
11:28 pm

reverse racism

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:30 pm

no ignorant..

lewis

February 26th, 2011
11:30 pm

LD’s lineup changes…

Damien and Teague starting?

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:31 pm

Stick a fork in Marvin..He’s done starting….For good…………………………

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

Marvin=D league…

SteveW

February 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

Northcyde – So every Coach in the history of basketball is equal. I get it. There has never been a Coach who has held a good player down, and when that player was finally given an opportunity, he seized it.

There has never been Coaches who played favorites, and played guys he shouldn’t have, and didn’t play guys he should have.

Northcyde – I’m baffled at your reasoning. Are you related to LD or something?

And why won’t your address Mo’ over Wilkens? Scared it won’t prove your point or something. Face it. LD was addicted to Bibby. Case closed. It’s not that Teague is DRose or something. But he should have been playing, and your not addressing key points made showing you these things:

-Why did LD play Mo’ for weeks on end instead of Wilkens?
-Why did LD play Bibby when Teague was a statistical upgrade in almost every statistical category – see Dec. for example
-Why were the Hawks losing by historic margins?
= Why is Teague suddenly blossoming, when he’s been this player all year long?
-What’s the deal man?

Tons of other stuff, but I’m way tired of this issue. Anyone with half a brain can see it. And you have way more than half a brain. You just want to fight your point I guess.

We know Bibby was the vet LD trusted. And he stunk most nights. Do the defensive stats show how many guys Bibb’s let by, and Josh or Al, or JJ or somebody bailed him out?

Have you been watching the games? Your smart. Guy it’s obvious. Defend LD all you want. Hope he turns into Phil Jackson Jr., but I doubt it.

Hope he wins 10 Championships for the Hawks. But your smarter than this.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 26th, 2011
11:34 pm

Read all those Zaza quotes with Borat’s accent, and they get much funnier.

terrell

February 26th, 2011
11:37 pm

Zaza is awful. Ship his azz, along with Marvin’s big goofy butt outta here.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 26th, 2011
11:38 pm

I can’t wait for the inevitable overreaction to the idea of Smoove taking part in a 3 point shooting game.

terrell

February 26th, 2011
11:41 pm

Earth calling Joe Johnson. You copy????????

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:42 pm

““Question for the knowlegable Bloggers. Why did Marvin play 30+ min against a team with awful defense and score 4 points. I am confused I thought he was good. Can someone please help me?”

Because Marvin is a busted #2 Lottery pick..Why did the Hawks take so long to find that out????????? 6 plus yrs?????? Are You kidding me???????????

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:44 pm

Iso Joe avg about 17k per pt..Nice……..Not…..

Najeh Davenpoop

February 26th, 2011
11:47 pm

“Talking about Blair, and Jamal, and Bowen.

They didn’t need a coach to define their game for them. ”

And you know this how? Jamal joined an isolation offense that catered perfectly to his skills and was the only guy that got extensive burn off the bench under Woody. Popovich is probably better than any coach in the league at defining roles for his players. How do you know that someone like Blair wouldn’t have also been buried by Woody/LD for, I don’t know, being too short or not having ACLs or something?

slimjr

February 26th, 2011
11:48 pm

“OMG HAWKS COULD BE MOVING OUT OF ATLANTA!!!!!!ACCORDING TO ESPN!!!!NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

I’d move too..Can’t win the big one here after 43 year………….Playoffs???? Really???

Najeh Davenpoop

February 26th, 2011
11:52 pm

The thing is, I wouldn’t be saying jack sh-t if Teague had started the last two games and not played well. But the fact that he has played well, with the starters, against players who are pretty well reputed at the point guard position, tells me that he could have been doing more of this earlier if he had been given the opportunity.

As for his summer league performance, who really gives a sh-t. Derrick Caracter decisively outplayed DeMarcus Cousins in summer league, how’s that working out for him? I would hope that decisions on playing time are made based on more meaningful criteria.

rusty

February 26th, 2011
11:55 pm

If jj is going to take a lot of shots he will need to produce if he don’t start to play better our season
will not be good

Rufus1

February 27th, 2011
1:04 am

JC2

10pts in 16min…..its is called playing time= player development

7years

NOT ONE YOUNG GUARD HAS BEEN DEVELOPED IN 7 YEARS, NO STAT CAN EXPLAIN THAT.
If you were trying LUCK would have given you one…..

The problem with the arguments defending Woody/LD, the excuses are EXACTLY the same and THEY HAVE NO TRACK RECORD OF DEVELOPING GUARDS….In 7 years they have not developed ONE.

We are not talking about Jerry Sloan, we are talking about Woody/LD….SHOW ME HOW MANY GUARDS THEY HAVE DEVELOPED…..

Maybe they just don’t know how to develop a young guard?

dcfrombham

February 27th, 2011
2:06 am

drew definitely has some issues,errily similar to his former boss.teague could have stopped some of that guard penetration the hawks have allowed. crawford had a god game in dc 2nite. didnt see much time in atl.go figure.zaza not playing in weird.when he plays he contributes. i have always thought starters play too much. i agree, can marvin. he cant consistently hit shots and i have never seen him shut down anyone.joe still holds the ball too long. drew is alot like woody was..

Mac-Town, Georgia (urban-macon.blogspot.com)

February 27th, 2011
3:21 am

lol@caring about Zaza’s feelings

real deal holyfield

February 27th, 2011
3:43 am

Teague shoulda played sooner, hinrich will help Teague and Hawks, Marvin should not B starting(could be a good role player), J. Smith should take lessons from Blake Griffin on Attacking Rim and running fast break(he needs to be more aggressive in paint), Horford brings it every night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that’s DA TRUTH

bigdave

February 27th, 2011
3:51 am

ZaZa shouldnt get any minutes.

TheAntiMe

February 27th, 2011
4:13 am

Because Marvin is a busted #2 Lottery pick..Why did the Hawks take so long to find that out????????? 6 plus yrs?????? Are You kidding me???????????

And at the same time Jordan Crawford was sitting there rotting away on L.D.’s stinking bench. Someone not named Woody or Woody lite decides to give him some PT and in a little over a quarter’s worth of minutes Crawford winds up scoring almost as many points as Joe Johnson has been averaging in 2011.

The same story with Jeff Teague. From at least the second half of last season Teague should have been out there. I remember from the first time that I saw him play that I was impressed with his hard-nosed defense. While it’s true that he was raw offensively, the fact that he played defense as well as anyone else out there on the floor should have bought him the minutes to allow him to start finding his game on the offensive side of the court.

There is no excuse for the current nor the former Hawks regimes to be so unconcerned, to the point of extreme neglect, for developing the young talent that the Hawks have had. With Woody, I got the distinct impression that he felt that he was coaching for his job security (which, as it turned out, he was) and was not going to take any chances with an untested rookie sinking his coaching ship. I’m not sure if that same reasoning comes into play with Larry Drew since he should be given at least a couple of seasons to prove himself. Whatever these coaches reasons for not developing these talented young guys, the Hawks as an organization are much worse off for it.

The Real Hawk

February 27th, 2011
7:25 am

Jordan Crawford: 17 mins, 10 pts, 2ast, 2stl, 0to. 5-9 shooting.
I suppose someone CAN coach him!

slimjr

February 27th, 2011
7:56 am

up next in Portland tonight @10:30pm on ESPN…………………OH no…………..Marvin will you please sit the f- down next to your Boy ZAZA??………………………………….Yawn……………..Twin Stiff’s………

prison mike

February 27th, 2011
8:09 am

MC, I among others have been trying to convey the message that zp is thrash. Maybe not euro thrash but thrash none the less. The only other team interested in him when he was a free agent was the spurs. I’m betting his agent was telling RC Buford what Sund and co. were offering, he couldn’t call them a cab fast enough.

Buddy Grizzard

February 27th, 2011
8:12 am

I got the distinct impression that he felt that he was coaching for his job security (which, as it turned out, he was) and was not going to take any chances with an untested rookie sinking his coaching ship. I’m not sure if that same reasoning comes into play with Larry Drew since he should be given at least a couple of seasons to prove himself.

LD may not get that because he is not getting through to smolts. What’s interesting is that Hinrich was calling out the Wizards for lack of effort. He may end up doing the same for the Hawks and they may respond. If that happens watch for LD to jump in and take credit.

Buddy Grizzard

February 27th, 2011
8:14 am

Lol stupid spelling correction on iPhone… Meant smoove not smolts

MJ49

February 27th, 2011
8:37 am

I wish Marvin would step up, Everyone on this blog should realize Marvin should step up & Not rot on the bench, & Marvin should realize that he should step up as well because Unfortunately people The Atlanta Hawks need Marvin, just think about it Almost EVERY Single Time Marvin Williams has a Strong game they win, but Unfortunately for Marvin his shot is broke & he looks outta shape(like his offseason preparation with his Dad needs to stop starting Last summer) I personally think he needs a ballet instructor to help him with his balance, but he and Josh should just drive like Blake, sounds simple anyway… And Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford need to be more consistant because right now they looking like Ed Gray and Eldrige Recaisner! And Hilton Armstrong should be the first Big off the bench

Trojan

February 27th, 2011
8:52 am

ZaZa needs to be in better condition, his conditioning has dropped as he has become Mr. Metro in Atl. His game needs to improve. He is still young but has shown zero growth as a player in years. He needs to learn how to not fumble the ball at the slightest hint of contact.

ICECOLD

February 27th, 2011
9:21 am

why even comment on this blog.. he should have been cut.. not traded..we should trade him and Marvin for Jordan Crawford… he had more points then both of them put together!!!! ,… lol

Double Zero Eight

February 27th, 2011
9:26 am

ZaZa needs to take ballet lessons to improve his footwork!

O'Brien

February 27th, 2011
9:52 am

ZaZa has taken boxing lessons to improve his “footwork”. He needs to take some kind of class to improve his “handswork”

Some players are better at certain roles, and it looks like ZaZa is better on a team where he can play 18-24 mpg consistently. This is not that team.

And this is one of Rick’s mistakes. He is not the HC, but as a GM you must be think about PT going forward. Did Rick think ZaZa wuld continue to get 18-22 mpg when he offered him $18 mil for 4 years?

Sautee

February 27th, 2011
9:56 am

Buddy Grizzard,

Got a source for saying that LD “Conselled his son to quit” in the last blog?

If that was just your opinion, you should say that it is. Otherwise let us in on your information, or stop making accusations.

Freshmaker

February 27th, 2011
10:29 am

Sautee, LD’s son did leave the NC team, that’s a fact. I highly doubt that was because of his dad’s recommendation though. That’s just some BS that Grizzard’s making up.

Ramon

February 27th, 2011
10:30 am

O’Brien, the funny part about Zaza’s production in comparison to his minutes, is that doesn’t state how the team is doing when he’s in the game. Zaza could be going for 10 and 7, yet have a -12 in a game. Also, to me it seems the longer he’s out there the more passes he’s fumbling under the baskets. He’s averaging 3.7 rebounds in 14 minutes. That means he’s only getting one rebound out of ever 3-4 minutes he’s on the court. The NBA shot clock is 24 seconds long. So factoring in turnovers, Its safe to say a shot goes up every 20-30 seconds of game play. So our back up center, only gets one rebound out of the 12-15 possible rebounds per 4 minutes. That isn’t a good average for someone who isn’t asked to be a scorer, but just rebound and defend. And he’s asking for more playing time.

Ramon

February 27th, 2011
10:31 am

I think Wilkins probably will be starting now for Marvin.

lukas

February 27th, 2011
10:37 am

JC2 in his 2nd game with the Wizards got nice stats. He even was on the floor at the end of the game when they were tied. Trading him could turn out a huge mistake.

Justin Smith

February 27th, 2011
10:41 am

Man u guys on these blogs just spit out some of the dumbest things there are to many things to comment on but the most annoying one is Josh Smith, lets address Josh Smith, Josh is the best player on the team and L.D is finally starting to notice it. Yes he jacks up a lot of perimeter shots but if u actually look at the stats when he is hitting that shot they win the majority of the time and when he doesnt …. well he stops shooting …. he isnt a Carmelo type guy that is going to keep shooting if his shot isnt going down … and yes he does drive to the cup alot but the reason you dont notice it is because he passes the ball out to an open perimeter player. The only really bad move the hawks have made was the signing of Joe Johnson who isn’t even the 2nd best player on the team. The trade for Hinrick was unnessary because JT0 is the perfect point guard for a team jumps hooting starting line up …. L.D should have noticed that but he might have just feel in love with Bibby’s personality and 3point shot…. i honestly hope that they let Hinrich come off the bench just to give Teague a chance to show how he could be another Josh Smith just at the Point

Buck

February 27th, 2011
10:49 am

@superiorblogman …Guess you haven’t heard. “Massa” is dead and gone….besides…he NEVER knew anything about sports anyway. He just likes to watch.

J from the A

February 27th, 2011
10:50 am

Shake ups in the starting line up? What might that mean?

The expected starting line up: Hinrich Johnson Williams Smith Horford
A small but athletic lineup: Hinrich Teague Johnson Smith Horford
Or some version of the big lineup: Hinrich (or Teague?) Johnson Smith Horford Armstrong (or Collins?)

With a PG that can actually push the ball and control the tempo, I see no advantage in going with the big line up … unless Armstrong is better than we all expect (but I seriously doubt that).

J from the A

February 27th, 2011
10:51 am

Oh yeah, the expected lineup -WIlliams +Wilkens is a possibility … maybe???

rusty

February 27th, 2011
10:56 am

I am so sad & so pissed off at ld for not giving jc2 a chance. This man has inner dog & can score from inside or outside. I can see him having a good career. If jj had his heart we would be so much better off. What a dumb move?

rusty

February 27th, 2011
11:01 am

I just can’t believe all the dumb moves that ld has made in his rookie year & he didn’t want to play jt because he was afraid he would make mistakes. Hahahahahahahahahahal