Bulls at Atlanta Hawks: Is it really about the intangibles?

When the Hawks started the season hot, J.J. was the one guy who always said he wasn’t impressed because they were beating up on lesser teams.

Now that they are taking regular beat downs from better teams, does he think the Hawks still believe they can get on a roll?

“Definitely,” he said. “We know we can beat any team in the league. It’s just a matter of us bringing our ‘A’ game every night. We can’t play down to our opponents [and] when we play teams on our level or that people think are above us, we have got to take it up two more notches.”

Soon after Hinrich joined the team, he said: “Since I’ve been here we’ve talked about defending and bringing the energy. And when we do that we can be a tough team because of the talent we have and athletes and the shooters. If we can lock down on the defensive end, it will make the game a lot easier for us.”

Now the Hawks are defending better (for the most part) but things haven’t been at all easy because they struggle to score despite the talent and athleticism and shooting hasn’ that Hinrich talked about.

Does he think the Hawks still believe they can be a “tough” team like he said back then?

“I believe that way and I feel like everyone in this room does,” Hinrich said. “We’ve had some bumps, we haven’t played well at times but I think everyone believes if we put our minds to it [we can do it]. That’s kind of what we are trying to focus on these last 12 games: every game going out there and gearing up for the playoffs and play playoff basketball and hopefully be ready for the playoffs.”

J.J. and Hinrich aren’t talking about intangibles, not talent. Ken S. had a nice story the other day on the leadership void in the locker room. It was an issue last season, too, and it’s an issue again with the same mix of guys (now notably minus Bibby’s silly influence since the deadline).

But I still think it’s too simple to blame Atlanta’s struggles on intangible things like a lack of leadership. There are so many tangible, quantifiable and observable issues with this team that it’s no great mystery why they are struggling now that the competition has gotten tougher at the same time the calendar says it’s time for the real teams get serious.

For instance, do the Hawks take too many jump shots because they lack leadership? Or, is it like J.J. says, do they not work the post and drive to the basket for scores or fouls because they just aren’t built that way? Remember, the Hawks have been a jump-shooting team all season but L.D. didn’t really start harping on that until the jump shots stopped falling (and, in fact, he’s pretty much encouraged them in Smoove’s case).

Similarly, does the lack of leadership prevent the Hawks from getting back to defend in transition? Or is it just that they aren’t good at it because all those missed shots from a jump-shooting team, combined with no consistent rebounding outside of Smoove and Al, leading to easy chances on the break for their opponents?

All of this is not to say the Hawks don’t sometimes give in too easily when things get tough. But I think they give in because they realize they aren’t good enough to do what’s necessary to win when Plan A doesn’t work. The Hawks are a pretty good team. They could try harder, be tougher, show more heart or whatever and I still don’t think they can overcome their shortcomings to become a very good or great team.

But that’s somewhat speculative on my part, and I understand the frustration of fans who believe the Hawks could be much better if they had more leadership, heart, toughness, etc. And it would be a nice change of pace to see the Hawks at least try to consistently minimize their weaknesses, exploit their strengths, use all of their bona fide rotation players in roles suited for them and see what happens.

Time is running our for the Hawks to figure it out but they insist they still can do it.

“I still think there’s a belief in that,” L.D. said. “Everybody is aware we haven’t had a great March but we are still in position with 12 games left. It’s just a matter of getting on a roll. There are some teams that have struggled in the East and some still struggling. Chicago is the one team that has been the most consistent. Everyone else has had ups and downs.

“I still think it’s wide open. I really hope that our guys still believe they can get on a roll and anything can happen.”

The Hawks can start against the Bulls.

“I think we are still a confident group,” Al said. “Tonight is a big game.”

Damien has an interesting perspective on all of this. I asked him if he’s ever played on a team that struggled and then got it together in the final month and made a run. Soon after the question was out of my mouth I realized he hasn’t been on a good team since he was a rookie in Seattle.

Now he’s on a team that’s struggling but that he still thinks has a shot.

“That’s why, to me, it was never really a big panic or as big of a deal as it seemed,” he said. “Because, I’m like, everyone is panicking around here and I know we lost a couple games we should have won and didn’t play as well as we should have but at the end of the day we are still the fifth seed. So to me I am still excited.

“I think our effort against Miami, it was almost as if we packed in the season it looked like. Looking back, I can understand why the panic has set in for everybody, or it seemed like it. They know we are a better team than this. But at the end of day I am still excited because I have a chance to get in the playoffs and once you get there the seeds and the records go out the window. It’s about execution and adjustments. We will see what happens when we get there.”

Game notes

  • L.D. is using the Hinrich, J.J., Marvin, Smoove, Al lineup tonight: “I like the size that it gives us. It gives us another shooter in Marvin at the three spot, particularly when teams are double-teaming us. It’s our regular lineup with an upgrade at the point position. It gives us a little more flexibility to go with our regular rotations.”
  • L.D on the tough closing slate: “The schedule is what it is. We take them one at a time. We are in a position where we can control our own destiny. We are playing at home against good teams. We should feel good about that.”
  • Hinrich on the same topic: “Since I’ve been here our schedule has been brutal. It is what it is. It’s the NBA; there are no nights off. We just need to focus on ourselves and bring a tough mindset every night and hang together as a group and we will be all right.”
  • After the Hawks held down Rose in the first meeting, he went off in the second half in Chicago (aided by Hinrich’s foul trouble). Rose was 8 of 8 on free throws after halftime, 14 of 15 for the game. “We have to keep Rose off the free-throw line as much as we can,” Drew said.
  • The Bulls are a middling offensive team but they crushed Sacto last night. Deng was the only starter to play more than 28 minutes. The Bulls are 13-5 in the second night of back-to-back.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

845 comments Add your comment

Nelson

March 22nd, 2011
4:35 pm

First… Got to win tonight…

Najeh Davenpoop

March 22nd, 2011
4:43 pm

From the previous blog…

“Our best looking games this past month came when temper tantrum throwing Josh Smith was out.

I don’t have the numbers, but know most of you would love to look them up. Someone prove me wrong cause I really think I am right on this one…”

In my opinion, the three best Hawks victories over the last month — taking into account margin of victory and quality of opponent — were the two wins over Portland and the win over Chicago. Smoove was out against Chicago, and Al was out in the second win against Portland. I don’t think either of their absences in either of those wins proves much.

Lacsho

March 22nd, 2011
4:44 pm

Somebody find Teague, he’s lost again, “lost on that damn bench…” Hands down LD is not ready to coach this NBA team. Perhaps he would be a good fit for a different team.

Mr. Phil

March 22nd, 2011
4:45 pm

I for one think the Hawks could develop an inside game (at least a passable one) if their were inclined to do so. We had one once upon a time. I seem to remember a season when Smoove didn’t shoot ANY jumpers. What happened to that? Seems we won more games back then.

Mr. Phil

March 22nd, 2011
4:46 pm

I for one think the Hawks could develop an inside game (at least a passable one) if they were inclined to do so. We had one once upon a time. I seem to remember a season when Smoove didn’t shoot ANY jumpers. What happened to that? Seems we won more games back then.

ag

March 22nd, 2011
4:46 pm

ag

March 22nd, 2011
4:46 pm

ag

March 22nd, 2011
4:52 pm

Again, with this lineup the Hawks are 2-4. Marvin is the odd man out. he should be on the bench. I am a Hawks fan, but I really hope they lose out until LD decides to play Teague at point.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 22nd, 2011
4:53 pm

“After the Hawks held down Rose in the first meeting, he went off in the second half in Chicago (aided by Hinrich’s foul trouble). Rose was 8 of 8 on free throws after halftime, 14 of 15 for the game. “We have to keep Rose off the free-throw line as much as we can,” Drew said.”

So now he says they should keep Rose off the foul line. Funny, because in the aftermath of that second-half debacle, LD said the main problem was that they didn’t foul Rose hard when he got in the lane.

I wonder if LD realizes that fouling inevitably sends players to the free throw line.

I hope LD realizes that playing Jamal on Rose — the singular move that caused the previous loss to the Bulls — is a disaster waiting to happen, but something tells me we’re going to see more of the same in this game. And I guess hoping to see relevant playing time for Teague is out of the question.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 22nd, 2011
4:55 pm

Since the Bibby trade, when Teague plays 20+ minutes, the Hawks are 3-2. When he doesn’t, the Hawks are 3-6.

mykhalc

March 22nd, 2011
4:57 pm

@MC…tasty blog bro!!! well done!!!

@LD…you are an idiot…PERIOD!!! Marvin gets another unearned start!!! SMDH

CHI by 17!!! team has no heart and no smarts!!! KA BOOM PLEASE!!!

cdog

March 22nd, 2011
4:59 pm

mr. cunningham, i agree that intangibles are involved but the most glaring negatives with the hawks now are the fact that rick sund is the GM, larry drew is the head coach which are very negatives that will cost the hawks this season. as i predicted, the hawks will suffer and not win 50 games or morer because of the stupid wrong firing of mike woodson. common sense will tell me that if a franchise started out at the bottom and became a contender as the hawks did under woodson, the head coach had to be responsible and was doing the right things.look at the franchise now, thanks to the pistons, bobcats, bucks and the lowly teams on the schedule, the hawks may win a few more games but when they play the good teams, they get blown out on their home floor which rarely happens to the good teams in the NBA.everyone was criticizing woodson but he had discipline and made the players play hard each night.everyone thought pretty offensive plays was going to guarantee the hawks get to the next level. instead, they went backwards.riding themselves of sund and drew might change the direction of the team next season but this year is all but over with for the hawks.in the playoffs, don’t be surprise if orlando or boston sweeps them in the first round.they brought it on themselves with rick sund hiring.

mykhalc

March 22nd, 2011
5:00 pm

chants of MVP chorus thru Philips…addin’ to the insult and loss.

Westurd

March 22nd, 2011
5:02 pm

we can go ahead and put a ribbon on this season….

mountain_jim

March 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

Rare national TV game for me to see that is not an NBA channel telecast with the other team’s crappy announcers. The last time the Hawks were on an away NBA network game, Chicago maybe?, I could not believe how bad the announcers were – made me appreciate Hawks SportsSouth crew even though I don’t get to hear them that often.

The Chicago crew rarely called the game, named the players, etc. just shot the BS and joked around with past players in the stands and such.

lp

March 22nd, 2011
5:07 pm

Get Joe more shots, the last 5 years he was in the top 10 in fga now he’s dropped out of the top 15.

Rod from College Park

March 22nd, 2011
5:11 pm

“It gives us another shooter in Marvin at the three spot, particularly when teams are double-teaming us.”

I had no idea that a guy who continuosly misses wide open jump shot after wide open jump shot would be considered a shooter. This team also thinks Josh is a shooter, so it figures.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 22nd, 2011
5:14 pm

“The last time the Hawks were on an away NBA network game, Chicago maybe?, I could not believe how bad the announcers were – made me appreciate Hawks SportsSouth crew even though I don’t get to hear them that often.”

I don’t get NBA TV, but I do get WGN, and every now and then they have Bulls games on. I know exactly how you feel. Those announcers are horrendous.

clancy

March 22nd, 2011
5:28 pm

Nobody likes to hear the tough schedule excuse, but sometimes it’s reality. Since Kirk joined the team, they are 5-3 against teams playing .600 ball or worse (including 2 losses to Denver, which is much better than .600 since the Melo trade), 1-4 against teams playing better than .600 ball. Considering how good we look against the lower group of teams and how bad against the upper – we pretty much know where we fit. A .600 club is around 49-50 wins.

That’s also why the JT starting or JT 20+ minute arguments are misleading. That said, I still think he should get all the backup PG minutes and Jamal be limited to SG. I cringe thinking about Jamal defending Derrick Rose.

joey

March 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm

Grandad

March 22nd, 2011
5:37 pm

Mr Cunningham,
Very nice in depth article.
I see that you are a philosopher.
Your niche is analysis.

“But I still think it’s too simple to blame Atlanta’s struggles on intangible things like a lack
of leadership. There are so many tangible, quantifiable and observable issues with this team”

I believe a lack of intangible qualities;
team attitude, competitive greatness, winning culture, inherent toughness, & character
lead to a breakdown of quantifiable and observable issues with any team.
* This Starts at the Top, With the Leader, With the Coach.
** A team almost always takes on the * identity [personality] of it’s coach.
*** Coach = schizophrenic, therefore, TJS = schizophrenic.

Dukester

March 22nd, 2011
5:41 pm

I think ASG just signed LD and rick sund to get them through the new union contract and the pending sale of the team. I am sure the new owners make the necessary changes. Love ya hawks see ya in a year or 2.

W.R.Terrell

March 22nd, 2011
5:50 pm

The HAWKS are no more then a decent team. They could have possibly been a great team if Josh Smith had evolved into the player we all thought he was. No one had any idea that he was basketball dumb, so his talent and leaping ability is more or less useless against superior teams. Marvin Williams has deferred so long to ISO Joe and Josh Smith until his game is lost and may never return. The so-called “CORE” has become a woeful “BORE”. The young talent we do have, Jeff Teague and Hilton Armstrong will be ruined if LD is around next year. Look at what happened to Jordon Crawford when he was traded, he got a chance to begin to blossom. This thing about jump shooting team is just silliness. LD was never a great jump shooter when he played. Encouraging Josh Smith to shoot jumpers is paramount to playing to lose. We play Chicago tonight, if we win that means Chicago was not into the game, we really are not that good of a team with the mindset and soft players we have. A purging is needed, starting with Josh Smith, get something now while we can because he is the best he will ever be and he’s aleady headed downhill. ISO Joe is going to be around and with a new coach possibly a 20 point a game producer. Heinrich must stay because of his grittiness and solid play, that goes for Damian Wilkens also. Zsa Zsa will be more formidable under a good coach’s tutelage. Al Horford needs a lil muscle and bigman school because he will be a perennial allstar. Jamal Crawford, who I endorsed heavily is not going to help us, live by the jumpshot and you die by the jumpshot. It will be time to retool at the end of the season. Our so-called “CORE” is really a woeful “BORE”. I will be waiting for next year because this one is over and hopefully Rick Sund can depart with Josh and Jamal and the HAWKS may live again. I liked them better when they fought like hell to win 13 games.

Maliq Barron

March 22nd, 2011
5:53 pm

“The Hawks are a pretty good team. They could try harder, be tougher, show more heart or whatever and I still don’t think they can overcome their shortcomings to become a very good or great team.”

I don’t buy this. The Hawks are a team filled with potential, and although the roster is lacking in some areas, this is still one of the most talented teams in the league. No roster is perfect and that’s why it all comes down to maximizing the the strengths of your players and teams, and developing a system that utilizing the abilities of your players to the greatest extent, while minimizing their deficiencies. Coaching plays a huge role in the NBA, even though many say that it’s a “players league”, and it is.

The problem for the Hawks has always been an inability to play toward their strengths and to stick to what works. Woodson was a flawed coach, but the Hawks were already a “very good team” last season. You don’t win 53 games without being very good. The Hawks biggest problem has always been on the sidelines. Woodson, while he was a competent coach in many areas, had one fatal flaw: the inability to adjust. As I’ve said before, Woodson’s coaching was very easy to assess. Essentially, he’d develop an initial gameplan, and the team would attempt to execute it. If the gameplan worked, we’d typically win easily (as long as the players stuck to the plan), but when the plan didn’t work, or the opposing coach/team made adjustments, we’d typically fail miserably and get blown out.

That’s the reason why we struggled so much in last season’s playoffs. Woodson’s initial game plan against Orlando simply did not work, and he failed to make the proper adjustments. However, the team itself, was still pretty good. Yes, they had their issues with inconsistent play and occasionally a tendency to pack it in when the plan wasn’t working, but those issues are small in comparison to the grand scheme of things.

I truly believe that the right coach could do wonders for this team. A coach who could find distinct roles and actually let our players play to their strengths, while enforcing equal accountability, and preaching the team aspects of the game, rather than the selfish aspects that we often see with the Hawks, this team could really flourish. Now, I’m not saying they would win a championship as is, but I think even with the current roster and the right coach, this team could be a contender if they played in the right system, under the right coach.

What we have now is a coach who is completely incapable of establishing roles and incompetent in terms of even understanding player strengths. Woodson, at the very least, did an adequate job of allowing players to play to their strengths, and even though he had an extremely one-dimensional offensive philosophy and underutilized players like Al Horford, Woodson did get players to play to their strengths. He had Jamal focusing on scoring through isolation (his largest talent), he had Joe focusing on scoring (maybe focusing a little bit too much on scoring), he had Josh playing around the basket and not taking foolish jump shots the way he does this season. Of course, on the opposite end of things, he had Al playing a limited garbage man role and Teague never really saw the court. There were flaws in his philosophy, but in retrospect, his ability to establish roles and maximize player strengths was still better than Drew’s.

Defensively, Woodson would consistently have Joe Johnson defending the other team’s best perimeter scorer, while having Al defend the other teams’ best interior scorers. This was a smart move, consideirng Joe and Al are the team’s best individual defenders on the perimeter and interior, respectively. Drew, on the other hand, routinely put guys like Bibby on the other teams’ best perimeter players, and he continues to put guys like Jamal on players like Rose (which he’ll probably do at some point tonight), meanwhile, he has caused mismatches for Josh on numerous occasions by asking him to guard guys like Scola and Amare in the post, who he’s had little success against, meanwhile Al’s defensive talents have been wasted on the likes of the great Erick Dampier, Joakim Noah, and Ben Wallace (one of the greatest scorers of our time).

The current philosophy is just filled with flaws and Drew’s insistence on having players play to their weaknesses is hurting the team much more than players “not showing enough heart”. Asking Jamal to play point guard, encouraging Josh Smith to take long jump shots, playing Kirk Hinrich at the SG position, etc. These are all examples of players being used in the wrong ways, and all examples of taking away a player’s greatest strength to make him fit into a role that isn’t correct for him. Drew has done this things all season long, and quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

Woodson was flawed, but Drew is not even head coach material. It was the right move to choose a new head coach and let Woodson go, but it was a terrible move to hire Drew. The biggest issue for this team right now is coaching, and I really do not expect them to improve significantly until Larry Drew is replaced. I can understand the team having an inferior record this season (when compared to last season) due to injuries and due to the adjustment made to a new system, but the monumental collapse and regression that we have seen lately is just not acceptable from a team that won 53 games last season, and 47 the season prior (with injuries and without Jamal Crawford). Change needs to be made, and it starts on the sidelines.

a1andonly

March 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

DUNK JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rev in Tampa

March 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

“ag” thinking he is first to post on the blog when in reality he is sixth is akin to JJ thinking that they will overcome their coach’s deficiencies with more effort. Wishful thinking cannot overcome reality.

Rev in Tampa

March 22nd, 2011
6:08 pm

Najeh,

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious co-sign on your 4:53pm post!

cp

March 22nd, 2011
6:14 pm

Great post Barron

If LD has Jamal defending Rose tonight I think I might be done with this season. Its baffling that LD doesn’t recognize mismatches at times. Its like northcyde said in the last blog, he makes adjustments by going to offense instead of defense…Asik was abusing Zaza last game and LD left Zaza in as if he was playing well. He cant continue to watch guys get abused defensively without making an adjustment. After allowing Detroit to shoot 50% in the last game I cant say I’m feeling too good about this one. Hopefully guys attack the rim and stop settling for jumpshots but this team doesn’t know what attacking the rim means.

Rev in Tampa

March 22nd, 2011
6:21 pm

When the Hawks beat the Bulls earlier in the season I got the distinct impression that Al had decided to punk his former teammate. Al was an absolute beast that game. Hopefully Al will take that same mindset into tonight’s game.

O'Brien

March 22nd, 2011
6:33 pm

After blowing a 30+ point lead against Sac Town 2 seasons ago, D Rose said he never forgot that loss, and he was looking forward to beating Sac Town by 30+. Last night, Bulls beat Kings by 40.

Rose said he has not forgotten them blowing the 19 point lead against the Hawks.

So I expect Rose to try and take the game over even more than usual. We need a big defensive game from Hinrich, and he needs to stay out of foul trouble.

O'Brien

March 22nd, 2011
6:35 pm

Rod,

Marvin is many things, but a shooter? I think that’s stretching it….

tremaine

March 22nd, 2011
6:42 pm

niremetal

March 22nd, 2011
6:43 pm

Or is it just that they aren’t good at it because all those missed shots from a jump-shooting team, combined with no consistent rebounding outside of Smoove and Al, leading to easy chances on the break for their opponents?

This implies that we get consistent rebounding from Smoove and Al. We don’t. It’s absurd that Smoove averages just 8.7 rebounds a game with his athleticism and strength. And that’s his career high. He could average 12 per game if he stopped trying to be a guard and made his living within 10 feet from the basket. After 7 years of waiting for that to happen, I’m not holding my breath.

And it would be a nice change of pace to see the Hawks at least try to consistently minimize their weaknesses, exploit their strengths, use all of their bona fide rotation players in roles suited for them and see what happens.

I actually think this team has the talent to contend if they do this. If Al went back to being the blue collar Boss he used to be, Smoove focused on dominating at the things he does well (help defense, crashing the glass, owning the paint in transition on both ends) instead of trying to prove he can do things he doesn’t do well (like SHOOTING JUMPERS), Marvin started looking for his shot consistently instead of one game per month, etc.

I talk about this a lot on other blogs, so Ray/AJ/doc/etc feel free to tune out (probably already did). But frankly, we just can’t afford to have our big men out on the perimeter as much as they are. We just can’t. We rate of getting to the line and grabbing ORebs has plummeted since last year. The proportion of our shots that are jumpers has spiked. Most of all of those changes is due to Al and (especially) Josh, who together are getting 25% fewer ORebs and are shooting nearly double* the number of jumpers from outside 10 feet compared to a year ago.

(* Specifically, Josh is shooting 7.02 jumpers from >10ft per game this year, compared to 3.35 per game last year, and Al is shooting 6.44 compared to 3.69. The math comes from their respective Hoopdata pages.)

Even if they both were hitting those jumpers at a high rate, as Al is doing, that’s bad for the team. We have gone from 6th in the NBA in ORebs last year to 27th this year (per ESPN team stats). We went from 9th in the league last year in points in the paint per game to 27th this year (per teamrankings). We went from 22nd in FTAs/gm to 29th (per ESPN team stats).

IMHO, the number one problem on our team is that our bigs hang out around the perimeter way too much on offense. Unless that’s resolved, nothing else will matter. No team contends when 65% of their starting PF and C’s shots are mid-to-long range jumpers.

I blame Drew for a large part of it, but I don’t think simply changing coaches will get Josh to stop trying to be a guard. In any case, I can’t fathom how the team doesn’t see how tough it is to win with big men who play like that.

O'Brien

March 22nd, 2011
6:49 pm

I am looking forward to hearing national commentators talk about our players, becuase Nique and Bob are homers.

What I am not looking forward to, is hearing national commentators gush constantly over Rose.

O'Brien

March 22nd, 2011
6:50 pm

nire,

I blame Drew for a large part of it, but I don’t think simply changing coaches will get Josh to stop trying to be a guard. .

So do you think Josh should be traded? Or is it that he has the wrong people in his ear? If you were his coach, what would you do?

sleepy

March 22nd, 2011
6:51 pm

Our issues stem from the the fact that everyone harped on us last year being too perimeter orientated with JJ and Jamal and the jumpshots so this year they shoot less and it opens up more shots for Al and Smoove however all both of them proceed to do is SHOOT JUMPSHOTS.

The extra shots Smoove and Al are getting are meaningless if they are simply gonna always be long jumpshots

Less isos for JJ so Josh and Al can shoot more jumpshots ?….Im just saying……..

As for the Bulls when we attack them we are successful when we go into our passive mode especially in the frontcourt is where we get into trouble because the Bulls frontline never stops hustling

tremaine

March 22nd, 2011
7:00 pm

“GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!”

vava74

March 22nd, 2011
7:03 pm

Barron and nire,

Very good posts.

ag

March 22nd, 2011
7:05 pm

This will be a blowout tonight. The game will be over in the third. We have this pattern. Again, LD is so stubborn and continue to play these rotations, the same results!

Sautee

March 22nd, 2011
7:09 pm

northcyde,

In the last blog you said this:

“The Hinrich – JJ – Marvin – Smith – Horford lineup has produced an offensive rating of 88 and a defensive rating of 96.”

“So strictly by the numbers, while that lineup is good defensively, something is amiss offensively with that unit so far.”

I don’t have time before my dinner to look it up, but it seems to me that Joe has only had one really good game and two more average games since the trade.

As bad as he’s struggled, it’s no wonder that the nimbers you showed, reflected some offensive deficiencies.

vava74

March 22nd, 2011
7:11 pm

From the previous blog:

northcyde,

Some valid points, but you are way off downgrading Hinrich.

His value is superior to his stats – just like Battier, for instance. It was not a fluke that he was called toream USA.

Jamal on the other hard is worse than his numbers – which are not out of his world.

You will notice that Rod conception of the game is so skewed that he miss understood you: as you say, most of the times when you are down etting stopsyou need to make a move to upgrade the DEFENSE and not try to go with a more offensive line up.

Good teams make runs by getting stops and then getting easy baskets in transition. Just like we did in Portland. In the rare occasions that Jamal plays D we become very good. The problem is that this rarely happens.

Rod thinks just like LD.

NCBravesFan

March 22nd, 2011
7:11 pm

Barron: that might be the best post on the situation the Hawks are in that I’ve seen. What’s interesting to me is that apparently the players are going along with the Drew storyline, “It’s about them, not me,” – it’s a bit surprising there hasn’t been anything I can recall the players have said about their roles and assignments.

rusty

March 22nd, 2011
7:15 pm

People say jt,jc2 ,Hilton & others on our bench can’t play tell me why are we paying them money if lt refuses to play anyone. We don’t know if sy or Etan can play at all because he never gives anyone a chance. Everybody should be playing , I certainly know how they can do any worse than our so called starters whom he is playing too many minutes. Of course he would have to be careful how he rotates them in. From.what we seen he’s not too good at that either. I seen Etan play one game where he looked good expanding a lot of energy. It seemed that was the only time I seen him all season& I watch all the games.

ag

March 22nd, 2011
7:16 pm

Since Hinrich joined the team 6-6 (not including loss to Denver he has not played.
Hinrich starting PG 2-5
Hinrich starting with Marvin 2-4

The “core” lineup starting Hinrich will continue to lose. I hope when they get blown out tonight he will make the switch. I am sure they are going to play tough the first quarter though.

niremetal

March 22nd, 2011
7:16 pm

O’B,

I don’t know the locker room dynamic or what type of personality Smoove has, so I can’t say what I’d do in that situation. Maybe bench him if he takes consecutive jumpers or if he takes a long jumper in the 4th quarter with 6+ seconds left on the clock. Maybe write the offense so that he has to go to the low block on most possessions, and bench him if he doesn’t follow it. Maybe have a heart-to-heart with him and explain that he needs to focus on what he does best and instead of becoming less-bad at the things he doesn’t do best. Whatever approach would work best. But since I don’t know Smoove or how he interacts with the team/coaches, I don’t know what that would be.

JSS

March 22nd, 2011
7:18 pm

“They could try harder, be tougher, show more heart or whatever and I still don’t think they can overcome their shortcomings to become a very good or great team.”

You pretty much summed up the delusion which a lot of Hawks fans have been under since Hubie Brown got those late 70’s teams to over achieve for 6 years. You’ve got to really look at a team in its totality. This team just has a boat load of flaws… The 87-88 team had the attributes you described, but they were as fragile mentally as this team. The last team that was actually better than their opponents sans a very few teams was the 1993-1994 team. However, we all remember how they screwed the pooch on that one!

Blast

March 22nd, 2011
7:21 pm

Teague has to get some serious minutes tonight against the Bulls, or Drew would be a very foolish man indeed. And yeah, Kirk has to stay out of foul trouble.

I think what Drew meant by fouling hard is, if you are gonna send Rose to the line, then give a hard foul, not some tick tack rubbish. That’s why Hawks are soft. When they played Miami, every layup attempt Hawks made was met with a hard foul, and not the kind of soft fouls that end in and 1 attemps. But Hawks, they only swat at the ball, or try to block the shot, thereby letting Wade or Rose run circles around them.

Tonight will be very telling. Hawks needs to stop the talking and get to working, because so far this season, they have not been earning their paychecks. They have been on vacation, in fact. The way Bulls kicked their butt last game should still leave sour tastes on every Hawks mouth. If they are MEN with HEARTS, then they need to show it tonight by getting revenge. A loss, and Hawks would be on a gigantic downward spiral.

tremaine

March 22nd, 2011
7:24 pm

A+ Barron you should be working for AJC.

ag

March 22nd, 2011
7:25 pm

Numbers don’t lie. START JEFF TEAGUE!!!

kaminari

March 22nd, 2011
7:26 pm

Isn’t it sad they we have to be having articles written about our team not have much “heart” or not trying hard enough. That’s unbelievable. These Hawks sure know how to bring their “A” talking game. That’s about all they do. It’s long overdue that they put their freaking money where there mouth is.

Just saying as a longtime Hawks fan, I care deeply about our team. If I’m being paid millions of dollar a year to represent my city, I’m going to use some of that money to invest in psychotherapy, new age healing techniques, the best dietitians and personal chefs, health gurus, top fitness trainers, you name it to be a winner. These guys get drafted or traded to the Hawks, and they eventually start bringing that Losersville attitude. What’s wrong with these people? Why can’t they just shut up and hustle and play ball?