Atlanta Hawks: Larry Drew to Josh Smith: About those jump shots . . .

Ken S. reports that L.D. isn’t happy about Josh’s shot selection in Game 2. More from Drew on his meeting with Josh:

“I thought he was trying to do too much. He admitted it, that that was the case. He didn’t feel good about how he was playing. I was going to take him out early in the third quarter. Something told me to leave him in there, kind of let him see if he could play through it, and he did exactly that. I thought for about a five-minute stretch, he got us back in the ballgame on his energy and his effort and just hustling. I think he came up with four blocked shots in that stretch, got out on a break and got a dunk, got a three-point play in that stretch. . . . He is a very unique player. He can impact the game on both ends of the floor. I know since I’ve been here, we haven’t had a player like him that can do that. He has to be flying around and blocking shots and running the floor and making passes. That’s when he’s at his best for us. We can’t have him just sitting out there and launching 3s, because that plays into the opposition’s hands. He realized that.”

Three factors in Smoove’s defense:

1. He finished the season shooting 39 percent on long 2s, which is just below the league average of 40. Smoove also was more accurate than J.J. on 3-pointers and comparable to Marvin and Jamal.

2. All season L.D. never came out and said explicitly that he wants Josh to stop taking long 2s. In fact he repeatedly said Josh had worked on his shot last summer and “has a nice stroke.” Drew only added the stipulations that Josh’s Js should be within the flow of the offense and not early in the shot clock or when Josh is matched against a defender he should take in the post.

3. For the Hawks, sometimes “flow of the offense” means lots of dribbling by the guards who, under duress, pass to a wide-open Smoove standing on the perimeter.

Some caveats to those defenses of Smoove:

1. The real problem this season wasn’t that Josh couldn’t make Js. Instead, it was that he a) took more of them at the expense of shots near the basket and b) kept taking the Js whether they were falling or not. The a) development was a double-whammy because Josh has been so effective near the basket in his career and also because it added to Atlanta’s team dynamic of the offense moving away from the basket. As for b), consider that Josh attempted 3.5 long 2s per game in January and made 29 percent; took 6 per game in February and made 50 percent; and then attempted 5.2 per game in March and made 27 percent.

Josh is still missing long 2s during the playoffs though he’s taking slightly fewer of them. In eight playoff games Josh is shooting 4 for 27 (15 percent) on long 2s but is taking about one less attempt per game than during the regular season. Meanwhile Josh has attempted 6.9 shots per game from 9 feet or closer and has made 3.9 in the playoffs as compared to 6.5 attempts and 3.8 makes during the regular season.

2. Josh had Turkoglu, a poor defender, checking him in the first round. Now it’s Boozer, who is playing on a bum toe. In both cases there hasn’t been a sustained effort by Smoove to take advantage of those matchups. The “flow of the offense” stipulation is more difficult to judge because . . .

3. Someone asked L.D. during the Orlando series if he ran plays for Smoove in the post. He smiled and said: “Yeah, but somehow he always ends up floating back out there.” So when Josh gets the ball on the perimeter late in the clock, is that because the “flow of the offense” dictated it or is it because he’s not where he’s supposed to be?

It’s easy to say L.D. should just bench Josh when he keeps taking bad shots. But, as L.D. noted from Game 2, the Hawks need the many positives that Josh can uniquely provide them.

Also, as the coach, L.D. has to worry about managing his people. Smoove is one of Drew’s best employees so it’s to his advantage to keep him happy and productive while at the same time trying to limit the damage his negative impulses can have on the overall performance of the company.

And so L.D. had the manager-employee meeting with Josh on Thursday. We’ll see if it pays immediate dividends tonight in Game 3.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

187 comments Add your comment

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2011
10:18 am

Kind of hard to get him to change now. Hope Josh listened. Oh yeah, First!!!

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2011
10:20 am

MC,

Ask LD when his meeting with Marvin will be. He needs to ask him if he plans on becoming a professional basketball player anytime soon.

MistaGamer

May 6th, 2011
10:20 am

Good deal for both…

The Truth 76

May 6th, 2011
10:21 am

For the love of God Josh, please listen to you coach!!! You team & city need the Josh Smith that showed up about midway through the 3rd in Game 2.
P.S. – They cant guard you in the paint…… Take advantage!!

Jesse Evans

May 6th, 2011
10:22 am

Everyone sees this…. Everyone…. except Josh. He could score 20 a game if he got on the block. He also needs to get in the paint and help Al rebound. Having your PF by the 3 pt line doesn’t help you in the rebounding column. You have 4 Bulls against Al Horford. I don’t know why the players don’t get on Josh more often either.

TC

May 6th, 2011
10:22 am

Josh is still winding up to take that long 3 from wednesday night….

Westurd

May 6th, 2011
10:29 am

Tonight could be something special. You’re a smart dude Josh, just kill it on the court tonight, be one with the team and swat the ish out of the Bulls weak a$$ shots.

You asked us to go out and get our butts in the seats and we have done so. In return we has you to just start balling again and stop hanging around the arc. Bust some heads!

ZZZbbboooooyeee! GO HAWKS

MistaGamer

May 6th, 2011
10:29 am

Also MC,

LD is kind of talking in circles here. Because you can clearly see from ALOT of the plays that he calls, he does not tend to put Josh on the blocks in the scheme of the play. So I think LD, as the play designer, needs to specifically make Josh’s spacing on the blocks and near the paint.

The reason I say this is because Josh is hardly ever improperly spaced during a play, or not “where he supposed to be”. I just think LD has got the wrong people in the wrong positions alot of the time, allowing Josh to be the one with those open perimeter looks. Why not have Joe, Marvin, Jamal, or any other shooters spaced where Josh is standing?

You hardly ever see Chicago with Boozer and Noah spaced on the perimeter within the design of their plays. You do see it with Al and Josh too often for my tastes.

JeJe

May 6th, 2011
10:30 am

Great idea starting the game at 7pm!

Now we’ll have an empty crowd for the first half of the game.

I saw that Hinrich has been talking to Teague in timeouts – not what he said he’d do, but I’m glad he’s doing that. Why would we NOT bring Hinrich on the trip to Chicago? Shouldn’t even be a question

Josh said he’d change how he plays Friday. I wonder if when LD confronted him yesterday he got mad LOL
Grow up already

JeJe

May 6th, 2011
10:30 am

“Something told me to leave him in there, kind of let him see if he could play through it, and he did exactly that”

Yeah that sure was LD’s mentality with Bibby, when Bibby put up sh*tty nights and played no defense

NO accountability

St. Bernard

May 6th, 2011
10:32 am

I’ve heard about Smith’s potential and energy for about seven years now. If we could use him to get a big guy that would allow Horford to play PF, then we should do it this summer. Smith is not a three or a four, he’s energy. I’ll take a little less energy and athletic ability for some reliability and the chance to see Horford play the four.

bigdwarf

May 6th, 2011
10:33 am

hi you guys,i live in england,watched 2 games in the play offs up to now ,yep we lost em both.game 2 vs orlando and game 2 vs the bulls.now the problem is ,game 3 is live on espn in englasnd tonight ,do i watch it or jinx the team or do i go to bed seein they r on tv in early hours of the morning over here

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:34 am

Josh start thinking on the court please????? For a change????

hawkville

May 6th, 2011
10:35 am

I hope Marvin Williams is not starting tonight…..

JeJe

May 6th, 2011
10:35 am

“Ask LD when his meeting with Marvin will be. He needs to ask him if he plans on becoming a professional basketball player anytime soon.”

LOL!!!!!

Pretty much: LD holds Teague to a perfect standard of basketball. One mistake and he’s out of there (during regular season)

He doesn’t even talk to Marvin because he knows he sucks. LOL @ Thibodeau saying Duck is one of the most underrated players in the league. Duck probably believes him

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:36 am

““Something told me to leave him in there, kind of let him see if he could play through it, and he did exactly that”

Yea and lose the ball game..LD now I see why you were an assistant coach for almost 20 yrs….sigh….

No Woody for Me

May 6th, 2011
10:36 am

LD should just point at Boozer and tell Josh – “Do what he does”.

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:38 am

word on the street Sund tried to shop Marvin before the trade deadline, but there were no takers for this buster……………………

MistaGamer

May 6th, 2011
10:39 am

No Woody for Me,

Tell LD to start designing plays that do what Boozer does. That’s how you fix that!

JeJe

May 6th, 2011
10:41 am

Slimjr,

NJN wanted Marvin in a Devin Harris deal, but we refused.

LOL!!!!!

CAN WE PLEASE SEND ZAZA IN TO COMMIT SOME HARD FOULS? STOP BEING SOFT

FOUL BOOZER HARD. THE GUY IS HURT. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PHYSICAL. JOSH DOESN’T EVEN BODY HIM UP. HE JUST JUMPS FOR THE REBOUND. NO BOXING OUT

CAN THE STAFF NOT SEE THIS

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:42 am

Hawks need to sweep games 3 and 4 to win this series..Does not look good if they split and even worse if they loose tonight…

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:44 am

Oh okay JeJe,did not hear one…wow..LOL..

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:46 am

Allstar Al and Josh are going to have to accept the punishment in the paint of they really want to advance!! this is the NBA! A Grown mans game…

bigdave

May 6th, 2011
10:47 am

way to respond Josh.. you could clearly see the change of mentality which had an immediate impact on the game. come out the gate w/ that focus.. we need that!

The Truth

May 6th, 2011
10:49 am

LD – ‘We can’t have him just sitting out there and launching 3s, because that plays into the opposition’s hands”

After 82 regular season games and 8 playoff games, the light has finally come on – LD is definitely a genius – shaking my head while LOL (at the same time)

It was not a bad pick

May 6th, 2011
10:50 am

@Slimjr
The Hawks have never shopped Marvin, if they did teams would be breaking down the wall to get him out of ATL…
@JeJe
Who should i listen too? This is very hard, lets see, a coach with a ring, who just won COY, or a guy who calls his self “JeJe”?..everyone knows that Marvin has never played in a real NBA “Offense”..and everyone seen how the guy produced when given more shots while the 120 mill man was hurt..go right ahead and trade him to play Josh “Jumpshot” Smith at the 3..It will make the Hawks look worse than trading away future star jordan Crawford away for Kirk Hinrich..

It was not a bad pick

May 6th, 2011
10:53 am

lol@Rod from College Park
He thinks Al is 6ft10 and played center at Florida..Man, where are the real guys who know basketball at?

tom

May 6th, 2011
10:53 am

biggest hawks game ever right here today!!! going to try and get there early today. LET’S GO HAWKS!

drmaryb (*_-)

May 6th, 2011
10:53 am

By The Nimbers!

By the nimbers under the old NBA 5 games play offs format, the team that wins games 1 and 3 historically goes on to win the series.
That is under the premise that, by general consensus that the first games is stolen and home court is shifted back to the underdog team.

Since we have been under the 7 games format, you basically have two series within one. The first two games are crucial because they are played on the road for the underdog. If you steal one game there, when you return home it’s 0 – 0 and you now have a 5 games series, only now the underdog team has home court advantage.

So, theoretically it’s a 5 game series with the Hawks having home court advantage. To apply the old nimbers, the Hawks must win the next two and one on the road to avoid a game 7.

If we win games 3 and 4? It’s a wrap, because we can close it out in games 5, 6 or 7. Ok, win the next two and we can see the light at the end of round 2 tunnel and it will not be a train.
__________________

The difference in winning and losing game 2 was effort not superior talent. The Hawks are clearly the more talented team. If Josh can bridle his talent and his brains, that should be enough.

Go Teague Go! Go ahead Drew – Draw it up!

Mr. Phil

May 6th, 2011
10:54 am

@No Woody for Me

So you want Josh to miss shots from point blank range and try to intimidate the refs into giving him the call by screaming bloody murder? How is that an improvment?

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
10:54 am

Can Marvin give you 15-25 per night if he played 40 mins????

Ans..Heck to the NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONNO………….

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
11:00 am

Enter your comments here

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
11:00 am

Allstar Al need to have a breakout game 20 pts and 22 rebounds!!! Come on Al!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ET

May 6th, 2011
11:09 am

Josh doesn’t have the form to ever be a great shooter. That is why he was so bad at free throws early on in his career. He has always taken the ball too far back over his head. The great shooters never lose sight of the ball when shooting. The ball always stays in front of them. Not Josh, he cranks the rock back over his head and loses that connection of ball & basket. He only relies on feeling where the ball is. That is why he breaks down when the stress goes up. Problem is he is too stubborn to listen to anybody for help…at least that is how it appears to me. Hey I could be wrong, I’m just a fan…

BBIB

May 6th, 2011
11:10 am

The time to get rid of these bad habits was earlier in Josh’s career when we had Mike Woodson

Only if we had LD back then as the head coach

steve brown

May 6th, 2011
11:15 am

Give me a break, his shooting percentage is inflated due to shooting a decent percentage early in the season (no pressure) and the fact that other teams want him to shoot so they play softer defense on him outside. He has absolutely no head for the game, I don’t understand why it is said he is such a great athlete (takes more plays off than any one else so perhaps he looks fresher). The only plus I see is really good timing on blocking shots when he is in the mood. His game is garbage and sadly the rest of the league can see this lessening any trade value. The only hope is that some coach and GM with an inflated ego’s will believe a change of scenery will cause the real player in him to emerge. As for me I can hardly even watch the game when he is on the floor not hustling, taking the worst shot or making the worst turnover at the most crucial time, and blaming ever one of his errors on the refs. The team would be far better without him, he is a loser.

vava74

May 6th, 2011
11:15 am

I don’t expect a great improvement.

I do expect that he, as usual, has a good shooting night prompting him to continue to jack up shots.

A rough mental estimate tells me that he has on or around 2 to 3 good shooting nights per 10 games.

So, when does have a good shooting night he will continue to shoot from far on the next one, regardless of on that particular night he couldn’t hit a lagoon with a pebble stone.

vava74

May 6th, 2011
11:17 am

Hey Rod,

Nothing like a Josh related article to bring Marvin to the table!!!

Marcus

May 6th, 2011
11:17 am

Like I said over there —> (Peachtree Hoops) .. we need the ‘09 Eastern Conf. semis Josh to show up. That dude was ballin’ vs. CLE when everyone else was hobbling/injured, even though we got unceremoniously swept.

Josh-X (factor) – come through in the clutch.

JoJo the Godfather

May 6th, 2011
11:17 am

First, I think we’ll win tonight with big games from Al, Josh & Pachulia. Boozer, Noah, Thomas & Gibson have thrown down the guantlet with their rebounding performance in game 2. Our bigs will answer in game 3.

Question for the Blog: Did the Knicks pick up Billups’s option for next year? I was thinking the deadline just passed. I’ve still got my hopes up for a Joe Johnson/Chauncey Billups swap this summer.

Veteran Fan

May 6th, 2011
11:26 am

JJ lost the game the other night, Josh just added to it! When JJ shows up the team wins when he takes the night off we lose, real simple! We need them to come together tonight and beat a team that is not as talented and WORK HARD!!!! Hard work would have won game 2, now the margin for error is much tighter. If they lose this series, what have they accomplished other than winning some games in round two? If they lose please break up the CORE!!!!

Slimjr

May 6th, 2011
11:28 am

I wrote in another blog,

Josh has two major flaws in his shooting form as the blogger above has stated he places the ball outta line of sight!!!! The brain must see the ball at all times in relationship to the rim since it is making constant calculations and storing that info for instant recall when he decides to launch the shot..
His other major flaw is the release of the shot, his middle finger on the shooting hand must be pointing straight at the basket on the follow through…Think of the face of a clock, the rim is at the 12 0′clock position…His finger is pointing at the 10 o’clock position…This stuff should have been corrected in middle school..Its kind of too late now to teach the correct way because hes already pre-wired at 25-26 year old…It explains why he has so much difficulty getting his shots to fall from distance and around the basket…He also rushes to put it up and is not set in his foot work…But his teammates throw fuel on the fire by handing the ball to him with the clock running down so he has to launch it quickly…

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2011
11:38 am

vav74,

“Hey Rod,

Nothing like a Josh related article to bring Marvin to the table!!!”

Yeah, if Drew needs to have a meeting with Josh, he needs to have a bunch of month long 12hr a day seminars with Marvin. He can teach him how to run without falling, how to catch a pass and make an offensive move, instead of passing the ball like a hot potato, how to hold your post position against guys 6 inches smaller, how to not bring the ball down, so you will not be stripped by smaller players, how to play some sort of aggressive defense using your length, how to hit wide open jumpshots, how to run a fast break, how to finish a 3 point play, how to play 30 minutes and score more than 8 points when no one guards you, how to take someone off the dribble, how to live up to your draft status, how to develop some sort of post moves (since you are 6′9 with a seven foot wingspan), how to stop letting other playing come to the team, and move you down in the pecking order on the team………………………………………………

Wink

May 6th, 2011
11:41 am

What a bunch of crap from LD & Josh. You will see the same coach & player tonight in game 3. Leopards do not change their spots.

Josh has not just started taking bad shots. He has been doing it all season. Coach Drew has not addressed it all season, so what makes it different now. Oh yeah the FAN BASE is noticing it too!

Both of these guys specialize at post game comments . Their basketball IQ is off the charts after the game is over.. They will say what you want to hear…show me you have this knowledge base during the game. Make the adjustments in stride, LD needs to coach & manage the game & Josh needs to understand…good shot/bad shot, shot clock management, time & situation….What does my team NEED now!!!! If we are up 9 points we may not need you to shoot that Open by Design 3 pointer. Get a mismatch go to the paint! Get rebound give it to a GUARD and RUN the Floor! You get Fouled, don’t stay & talk to the 65 year old ref, get BACK on DEFENSE, even if you were fouled!
If you are not back we LOSE our defensive ANCHOR.

BASICALLY JOSH, WE NEED YOUR AZZ IN THE PAINT on OFFENSE & DEFENSE!!!!

IF YOU NEED A FORMULA OR FLASH CARDS TO UNDERSTAND YOUR ROLE HERE IT IS:

IF you are on the PERIMETER = J-Stupid and IF you are in the PAINT = J-Smart

DISREGARD EVERYTHING ELSE including J-Smoove….just be JOSH!!

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2011
11:45 am

vava74,

The difference with me and you is I criticize people who deserve to be critisized. How you could still be finding fault with Jamal in this years playoffs is beyond me. That’s what hating is. Hate on hater. LOL

Trojan

May 6th, 2011
11:53 am

Why should we expect Josh to change when the coach is not strong enough to say, “do what you should or else….”?

SteveW

May 6th, 2011
11:56 am

JoJo – Yes, unfortunately the Knicks did pick up Billups 14.2m option for next season. I was going to joke with Grandad about it a couple of days ago when they did, but never got around to it.

JeJe

May 6th, 2011
11:56 am

it was not a bad pick

GTFOH already. I can’t tell if you are just some joke meant to bring humor or are actually serious.

MARVIN HAS BEEN IN THIS LEAGUE 6 YEARS. HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING

You are a serious idiot with no intellectual capacity. Saying Marvin will be a shining star in this league is a manifestation of your ignorant state of mind.

Just leave this place already

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SteveW

May 6th, 2011
11:59 am

I hope LD will at least try some Etan to throw on Boozer and Noah. He’s 6 hard fouls and usually some energy at least.