Atlanta Hawks: The Chicago Way?

The Hawks need to get better. The Bulls needed to do the same last summer and Al said the Hawks might learn something from the way they went about it.

“That’s the perfect example,” he said. “They got that kid Asik. They got Korver, a shooter. They addressed their needs and got better. That’s a blueprint that I think if I’m the team I would look at.”

So let’s look at what the Bulls did last summer and see if the Hawks can copy the same formula:

  • Al’s theory falls apart from the start: The Bulls had just $34 million in committed salaries for 2010-11 after clearing space to get in on the 2010 free-agent bonanza. The Hawks have about $67 million in committed salaries mostly because of J.J. and Smoove’s contracts and Al’s extension.
  • The Bulls cleared more cap space by trading Hinrich and a first-round pick to the Wizards for a second-round pick. The Wizards coveted Hinrich and were willing to take on his $17 million salary. The Hawks don’t have a first-round draft pick. They also aren’t under the cap and so can’t make such a trade without taking back salary (under the current rules).
  • The Bulls hired a coach with a single-minded obsession with defense (and didn’t break the bank to do it). L.D. talked a lot about defense when he was hired, too, but his personnel decisions usually didn’t match the talk. (The Hawks did end up playing good D in the playoffs and L.D. deserves some credit for that, especially his decision to use the Twin lineup against Orlando. But D was neither a big part of the team’s culture nor was it usually at the forefront of the way L.D. distributed minutes among his backcourt.)
  • The Bulls signed Boozer for five years and $80 million. The Hawks don’t have cap space so they can’t outright sign such a player even if they wanted to pay the tax. But let’s go ahead and say the contract for J.J. last summer was their Boozer move.
  • The Bulls signed Korver for 5 years and $15 million (the final year is partially guaranteed). They could do that because they had cap space. The Hawks can’t because they don’t.
  • After the Magic matched their offer sheet to Redick, the Bulls signed Ronnie Brewer for two years and $9.5 guaranteed. The Hawks can’t do a deal like that because . . . well, you know.
  • The Bulls signed Asik for two years and $3.6 million. They had acquired him in a 2008 draft-night trade with Portland in which they sent away three second-round picks. Maybe Pape Sy or Gladyr can be the next Asik?
  • The Bulls acquired Watson in a sign-and-trade with Golden State. The deal was for two years and $7 million guaranteed. They could do this because of their cap room.
  • The Bulls signed Bogans, Kurt Thomas and Scalabrine to minimum-salaried contracts. The Hawks presumably make similar moves, depending on the details of the new CBA.

Clearly, because of salary commitments already on the books, the Chicago Way can’t be the Hawks’ Way.

What’s next?

I know there are lots of questions about what the Hawks can and should do. Honestly, they are difficult to answer without knowing what the new CBA rules will look like. The players quickly rejected the league’s latest offer, which reportedly proposed a hard salary cap and salary rollbacks.

What will be the amount of the salary cap? What about the luxury tax? Will there be an amnesty provision to allow teams to shed salary? Will there still be cap exceptions and, if not, what about those teams whose payrolls are above the new salary cap?

“As players we are just trying to do the right thing for current players and the players that are going to come behind us and for what the players before us worked so hard for,” Hinrich said. “We’ll see. Right now it probably looks like July 1 we are going to be locked out. For now, it’s up in the air.”

Under the current rules it’s hard to see how the Hawks could even fill out the roster with the minimum 13 players without paying the tax. Right now their options are limited to trades and using exceptions to acquire players whose salaries that don’t put them over the tax level. Assuming the tax threshold is about the same as it was the past three seasons, about $70 million, the Hawks would have roughly $3 million of wiggle room to sign six players.

Again, that’s based on the current rules and some assumptions. With the way things are going with the labor situation, who knows what the new system will look like when the league starts playing basketball again. But clearly the Hawks, like all teams, are counting on new rules more favorable to owners.

L.D. didn’t want to get into exactly what he thinks the Hawks need because he hadn’t talked to Rick Sund or the owners yet. (Sund, by the way, says he’s not talking until after the team’s scouting combine, which ends a week from Wednesday). But I noted the team’s lack of scoring at the rim and also their low free-throw rate and asked if that’s something that can only change with different personnel.

“Possibly,” L.D. said. “A lot of that is simply making the wrong decision out of ball movement on when to attack or settling for jump shots. You guys heard me say time and time again how we just settled for jump shots. We did not do a good job collectively in attacking the glass and going to the basket. That’s personnel-driven.

“Once we do spread the floor and the ball is moved we have to be mindful of just attacking. You can’t be afraid; you can’t be intimidated. You have to go in there with authority. Players that want to get to the free-throw line, they seek bodies. For them it’s not always about finishing the shot, they seek bodies to draw the and-1. That is something we will have to evaluate.”

J.J. seemed to hit on a similar theme when asked about the team’s needs.

“For us it’s guys like blue-collar guys, guys who do a lot of dirty work and do a lot of things that don’t show up in stat book,” J.J. said. “Those are the kind of guys that can help us out. We will see what happens. We’ve gotten better each year. Our postseason [this year] was probably the best it’s been.”

L.D. never could get his team to completely shed its isolation tendencies. When they got open shots and made them, then the ball and players moved and the Hawks were difficult to defend. That’s what happened in Games 1 and 4 against the Bulls.

When the defensive pressure intensified, or when the wrong guys took the wrong shots, then the Hawks started isolating and were easier to defend. That’s what happened in the fourth quarter of Game 5, which ended up being a lost opportunity for the Hawks to win the series.

Does L.D. still think this group of players us capable of running his offense?

“I’m still hopeful we can do that,” he said. “I think Chicago, their defensive pressure was much more intense than Orlando. Sometimes when you are playing under pressure you get sped up and you start getting away from the game plan. I think a lot of what Chicago did had a lot to do with that. That being said, we did not get to our spots like we did against Orlando. That tells me that it was jut the pressure of their defense.

“It was the same coverage [as Orlando] but once we played out of that double team [the Bulls] weren’t as organized as Orlando. I’m not going to abandon something that has been good to us. We just have to do a better job playing out of pressure, double teams. You still have to make plays and in making plays have to move the basketball. I thought we did a great job against Orlando. The Chicago series we weren’t as good.”

Joe said the offense “was kind of up and down” this season.

“We was all trying to feel each other out as far as him implementing his system and us trying to learn it,” he said. “At the same time there are times we looked great. That’s something we can build on and look forward to next year.”

Notes

  • Teague said he’s scheduled for an MRI on his right wrist on Tuesday to make sure there’s no ligament damage.
  • L.D. on meeting with Sund and owners: “I give them my views and hear their views. You have to slowly and methodically take your time and assess this season and the personnel, talk about things we lack and we need to get better. Do we have those players to make us better in certain areas or do we have to go out and find those kind of players? We have to look at everything and analyze everything and come to a decision about certain things, not necessarily an agreement. I’ve been around for a long time and I know you don’t always agree but important to lay it out on the table and talk about it.”
  • L.D. on the postseason: “The question I asked myself, looking at the postseason, is were we better prepared this season than we were last year? Did we compete at a higher level this year than last year? Did we accomplish more goals than last year? I am my biggest critic when it comes to team getting prepared and going out there and executing game the plan, and I thought the answers to all those questions were, ‘Yes.’”
  • Al on possibly adding a full-time center: “It’s going to be an interesting offseason because I think there are probably going to be some changes. I think having a bigger player like that to help is always a great strength and a great help. We will see what happens. I do like playing power forward. I like playing the center, as well, but if we can have another bigger body that would be great.”
  • Smoove on if he prefers to play the 3: “It is what it is. It’s a controversial question. I’m just here to play.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

476 comments Add your comment

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:03 pm

As far as the Chicago model is concerned, I really think that with Chicago the main reasons that they are as good as they are Derrick Rose and Coach Thibodeau. The rest of the decisions they are really moot points as far as I’m concerned. Looking back at what the Bulls had, personnel-wise, back in 2008 when they took the Celtics to 7 games in the first round, I’m actually more impressed with that roster than with their current one. That roster included Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Luol Deng (injured), Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, and Brad Miller. That back court is by far better than what Chicago has now, and while Tyurs Thomas is not as good as Boozer, he’s a guy that impacts the game on both ends and has a lot of upside. The only difference back then was that Derrick Rose wasn’t as good as he is now, and Vinny Del Negro was the head coach. They have a better coach now, and a more developed Derrick Rose and an improved Noah, but if I were a GM, I’d rather have that group of players on the Bulls team today than what they currently have, along with Thibodeau. That roster could use more frontcourt depth, but that’s not a huge issue. So, even though people seem to think that this Bulls team, today, made a great series of moves to improve, I think people are overlooking what they already had and discounting how good they could have been if they would have their old roster with today’s Derrick Rose and Thibodeau.

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:08 pm

By the way, that Bulls roster that I was referring to in my last post was the one that took the KG-less Celtics to 7 games in 2009, not 2008.

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:11 pm

“Joe Johnson in a Bulls uni? That is a solid starting 5. And Joe can be a #3 in that lineup.”

How good would Joe really be in a system like that where he has to play primarily without the ball, though? Keep in mind that Joe is at his best with the ball in his hands. This is not the Joe that played in pheonix, this is the isolation specialist that developed in Atlanta. With Derrick Rose dominating the offense for the Bulls to an unreal extent, I’m not sure how big of an impact Joe would have on that team on the offensive end. He’d be an upgrade over any SG that they currently have, no doubt, but I don’t think he would make them the instant favorite to win the title every year.

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:11 pm

correction: *phoenix*

Bradley

May 14th, 2011
10:19 pm

I’m sorry if I missed this in an obvious place, but where are you guys getting the information about Al saying that he wanted to “extend his range”?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 14th, 2011
10:19 pm

Elton Brand is 6′8″ and he’s been a physical banger his entire career and has gone up against centers on plenty of occasions. Height is just one of many variables. Just sayin’.

Marvin will be a 20ppg scorer

May 14th, 2011
10:25 pm

@Liar Maker Al IS NO WHERE NEAR 6FT10..LOL..
Height w/o Shoes Height w/shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Body Fat No Step Vert Max Vert Bench Press Lane Agility 3/4 Court Sprint Class Rank
6′ 8.75″ 6′ 9.75″ 246 7′ 0.75″ 8′ 11″ 9.1 31.0 35.5 20 12.15 3.37 21
From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Al-Horford-415/#ixzz1MNOyn7Op

@Najeh Davenport
When Brand was with the Clippers they had Kaman at C who is 7ft..with Philly he has had Hawes who is 7ft…No team has won a championship with a 6ft 8 center…

Najeh Davenpoop

May 14th, 2011
10:27 pm

“No team has won a championship with a 6ft 8 center…”

Ben Wallace would like to have a word with you.

Sautee

May 14th, 2011
10:28 pm

Buddy,

That was a funny post, even if it was inaccurate. I laughed hard at superiorblogman as coach.

“Your Stafon argument is a strawman whereby you are equating my assertion with the absurd idea that an athlete “endorses” something that nearly killed him. ”

Perhaps you have a misunderstanding of what a straw man argument is.

Definition of straw man: An argument or opponent set up as to be easily refuted or defeated.

Did I do anything to defeat or refute my own argument, which is how one uses a straw man? Oops.

Sorry, Buddy, but that doesn’t wash. And this:

“Obviously my assertion that Big Ray “endorses” Larry Drew’s continuation as head coach of the Hawks is a (playful) exaggeration. ”

Well, if it was so freakin’ obvious, why didn’t you say so in the first place when I objected? Odd that your admission only comes when your logic was pulled out from under you.

“This reassurance from Big Ray rings so hollow to me, and is so unambitious, that I have decided to shoehorn Big Ray in with other media who have said Drew should remain in his position.”

Do what you feel you must, by all means. But if you think for a second that Ray was TRYING to reassure us, then you missed the point of that segment of the blog. Look man, this is really between you and him. I thought you were being unfair, and still do, so I stepped in. It seems to me that you are being pissy because he didn’t say what YOU would have said. So start your own blog if THAT’S what you need. And figure out what a straw man is before you accuse somebody else of using one.

Buddy, I’m not attacking you, or “looking for an argument” though you seem to be reacting as if I am. I think you have a lot of good things to say when you aren’t being what my Grandmother would call “Tacky” ;-)

So I;m out of this one unless you just HAVE to keep it up. Take your beef up with Ray on his blog. Have a good evening, and I mean that.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 14th, 2011
10:30 pm

And anyway, Al is listed at 6′10″. Even that draftexpress link you posted lists him at 6′10″. Dwight Howard is 6′9″ without shoes — a quarter inch taller than Al, in other words — according to that site.

Terrence

May 14th, 2011
10:32 pm

Sautee on Horford: ” I like him a lot, but he is a solid player, not a superstar.”

Don’t take this the wrong way (and this is not just directed at you, I’m just using you as an example), but there are a lot of coaches out there who obviously feel like Horford is much more than a solid player (no one with any suitable level of basketball expertise ever called him a superstar), and they know more about the game of basketball than you probably ever will (no offense). All of of us on this blog can pretend like we are experts and know exactly how to evaluate players and coaches, but in reality, it’s nothing but speculation, unless there is strong statistical analysis to back things up. No one on here really knows how good Al, Josh, Joe, Marvin, etc. are but the players and coaches who work with them and coach against them on a daily-basis.

It might seem like I am just pointing out the obvious here, but I get annoyed reading biased assessments of players on a daily basis coming from mostly couch critics who really don’t know much at all about what they are talking about. Everyone is welcome to be a fan and say whatever they like, I can’t stop that, but I think it’s important to keep things in perspective.

J from the A

May 14th, 2011
10:34 pm

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:34 pm

“And anyway, Al is listed at 6′10″. Even that draftexpress link you posted lists him at 6′10″. Dwight Howard is 6′9″ without shoes — a quarter inch taller than Al, in other words — according to that site.”

I think the measurements on that site actually are pretty accurate. Seeing them in person, there is pretty small height difference between Dwight and Al. The difference between Dwight and Al from a physical standpoint is weight and muscle more than anything. Dwight, himself, would probably tell you that he even considers himself to be an “undersized” center. In fact, when he first came into the league, people even thought that we was going to be play power forward, not center.

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:37 pm

Correction: “People that that *he* was going to play power forward…”

Brandon

May 14th, 2011
10:43 pm

LOL, I think I need some sleep. Even my correction was incorrect. Anyway, I think you guys know what I was trying to say.

Sautee

May 14th, 2011
10:48 pm

Hatter,

This older gentleman is headed for bed (short night last night) but a couple of things:

First, I have no doubt that Woodson would have voted for his own players, but alas, that’s not allowed. Still, you are saying that NBA coaches are puppets, so he must have been one as well, according to your wisdom. It cuts both ways, my friend.

Second, you seem to have faith that Josh will improve in his 8th year, but somehow think Al will not in his 5th. Last year you told the blog he had peaked, but lo, and behold, his stats went up this year, at least enough that the evil media noticed and voted him All-NBA. So how had he peaked last year?

We’ll save that argument for another time. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Slimjr

May 14th, 2011
10:53 pm

“Al really doesnt care what type of performance he does defensively. He just wants the ball.on offense to produce a career 12.8 points. I agree with what you said and almost every body knows. Al is soft defensively and that is the main reason we a) need a center and b) will never get past the second round as long as Al is your power forward or center.,…”

Al=Alice, Kick rocks Alice….You got bit-h slap up and down the court on defense cause your a dollar short and a step late all the freaking time…….Your defense and especially help defense was and is ATROCIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Valet parking Al, “He’ll escort you to the rim every time”
We trade you and get a real CENTER..AYE BUSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr Softie…………….

Hey Larry we aint buying the Shi%t your selling.. Your team played .500 ball and you call that improvement.. Are you nuts ?Half the time your players tuned you out!!!!!!!!!!

Your team broke an NBA Record on the losing end of massive blowouts with a winning record.
13-26 against teams above .500..

Only won 44 regular season games!!!!!!!!!!!
If your team played in the Western conference, you’d be a 10th seed and eliminated from playoff contention early!!!

Gave away 2 #1 picks because you refused to start Teague and let him run your crappy motion offense all season long…

And you state “We made Great Strides”?
Great Strides your AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buster………………………………..

Kick rocks Larry and Sund too!

Lionel Hollins defeats the Bulls in 6 with the Hawks lineup LARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go fishing dude…….Maybe you’ll catch a worm????

Sautee

May 14th, 2011
10:58 pm

Terrence,

I think you have a good point. Understand this about me: I tend to underplay my praise and overdo my criticisms. Drives my wife batty sometimes, though I try to NEVER underplay my praise for her. She thinks I’m too demanding in what I expect on the court from these players.

So therefore I think that “solid” is a high compliment. There aren’t nearly enough truly solid players in the league. So it’s much less of a slam than you might think.

I also have a high appreciation of Al’s intangibles and unmeasurables, which is what I think coaches see about him. Sorry if it annoyed you and I didn’t mind you making an example of my posts.

Slimjr

May 14th, 2011
11:10 pm

ALLSTAR- Al= Fake power forward
Boozer= Real power forward

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:30 pm

Interesting stat about Marvin for CNN Sports article:

“…in the Chicago series, when the Hawks scored almost 20 fewer points per 100 possessions with Williams on the floor.”

Kind of sums it up right there doesn’t it?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 14th, 2011
11:37 pm

“He was often put in a situation in pubic where he protected Al’s image but demanded a center for his team.”

I guess the Department of Unintended Irony must have scheduled a holiday for today.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:38 pm

On ESPN LD was talking about Teague having to earn the starting job at PG, nobody’s going to give it to him, he’s going to have to come in and take it, blah, blah, blah.

From an article on the website from yesterday.

Larry, I have a question: When did Hinrich come in and earn the starting job?

As far as I know, when we traded Bibby, Hinrich was a little dinged up, and it would take him a while to learn our O.

So Teague was the starter, and doing very well.

You gave Hinrich the starting job.

Teague is not a “kid” anymore. He’s about to be a 3rd year player. He just saved your job singlehandidly, Just played great for 6 games against the League MVP.

LD maybe if you would have told Mike Bibby “Look, we drafted this guy to be the PG of the future for this team. It’s obvious to everyone he’s athletic and has improved his game in every facet this season. Unless you earn your job, Teague is going to take it from you.”

Maybe the Bibby time here wouldn’t have been such a disaster this season.

Maybe if you said we’ll open up the PG position this off season and we’ll do what’s best for the team, you’d have two PG’s working like crazy in the off season.

Face it LD, you don’t like Teague, and you know it. You couldn’t even give the guy rotational minutes when Bibby or Hinrich was starting.

I just get so frustrated by the stupidity.

Harpie

May 14th, 2011
11:41 pm

Larry Drew is an idiot!

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:44 pm

All Star Al – 3rd Team All NBA at C

Boozer – Often injured, makes a ton more money that All Star Al for the next 4 years, so he should be better I would assume.

Al’s a very solid player, not a superstar, end of story.

If Al is a superstar, he just had the worst performance for a superstar in NBA history.

But if you say he was the 2nd best C in the East this season – better than Noah (hurt), Bogut, Bargnani, Lopez, Hibbert – Yep that’s Al. And it qualifies him for 3rd team All NBA at C. Nobody else was even close in the voting.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:45 pm

We gotta remember that the 10th best PF may be better than the 3rd best C, but the 3rd best C would still be 3rd team All NBA.

That confuses some folks on this blog sometimes I think

tjhook

May 14th, 2011
11:48 pm

Recommended trade: al horford, Marvin Williams, and Jeff Teague to San Antonio for Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson and Dejuan Blair/Matt bonner. Parker is the on floor leader the Hawks need.
He can score inside and out, is similar in age to Johnson and Smith and is not Popovich’s favorite player. The Spurs are looking for a sidekick to Duncan; Horford is perfect and Teague is talented enough to draw Pop’s interest.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:48 pm

One possibility to dump Marvin’s contract is Brendan Haywood.

He has a worse contract than Marvin, and he would be our other big we need.

Worth a try.

Mike

May 14th, 2011
11:49 pm

But you know what, I am starting to think that Atlanta needs to go after a true leader, I dont see no leadership from none of those guys period. JJ, Josh, Al(he tried), and others isnt going to be leaders out there and they need to trade for one. I dont care if it is Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, if we dont have a leader then we still be the same team.

I say, do anything possible to get a package together to get one of those two. You might have to eat JJ contract but if he isnt going to be the solution then he is the problem.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:49 pm

LD’s hatred of Teague leads me to believe that the trade that is coming, and has been rumored for several months is Smith/Teague for Curry/Beidrins, with maybe some picks thrown in somewhere. Like a GSW lottery pick or two.

I would hate that trade, and I like Curry.

I say hire Casey, Adelman, Brown, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson or somebody and see what happens. I think they could help Teague and Josh.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:52 pm

And the rumor is Smith for Curry – but I assume if we get Curry, Teague would be expendable.

SteveW

May 14th, 2011
11:59 pm

Al needs to hit the weight room harder and shut up

Noah has, and now he’s pounding Al. He’s aggressive and a good defender- still has no Post moves. But he’s probably going to take Al’s spot as the 2nd best C in the East – Amare is no C in my opinion.

Al isn’t fast enough to be a PF – When you are punked by Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson, you are no PF.

But Al is quicker than most C’s and fundamentally sound.

And D is not all about blocked shots and steals. There is denial, floor direction etc.

Al got 3 first team All Defensive team votes. From Coach’s

Josh received 1 this season. 2nd team last season however – at PF.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:00 am

The Cavs seem to like Marvin – if our cap guru’s could get Manny Harris and Dan Gibson for Marvin, we could then let Jamal walk.

Hinrich and Gibson could take Jamal’s spot off the bench.

Mike

May 15th, 2011
12:01 am

That trade with GSW would be a good idea but right now, we need a true leader, someone who is going to come in and straight this team out, to get on players when they are not playing their best. I dont see Curry/Beidrins being that type of players that is going to step into that role. To me, I think that we need a good floor general as well, I think Hawks needs that type of player.

But who I am kidding, ASG doesnt care about the fans or winning a champiship, they just want our money and complain when we booed them for all the mistakes. We will be struck again.

We need Chris Paul or D12 not Gasol.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:03 am

The ideal realistic off season:

Sign Barea
Sign Chucky Hayes
Sign Kwame or Wilcox

If you want to trade – see if the Mavs, and aging team, will take the 24 year old Marvin for bad contract Haywood.

Maybe slide JJ to SF to compensate.

And I will say this – Sy looks like a player – another good job by Pendegraft!

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:06 am

Defense – Huh? What trash – google it man. Even MC says we shopped Josh at the deadline.

We’ve shopped Josh alot over the years as a matter of fact.

I said I didn’t like the trade – read that part?

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:08 am

Defense – Al has improved his ppg by 4.2 points per game since his rookie season – the stat you quoted was bogus reasoning.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:13 am

What about this season? Josh averaged the fewest shot blocks of his career

Just the facts ma’am!

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:13 am

Josh averaged the fewest steals per game since his 2nd year in the League – Just the facts ma’am!

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:14 am

Talk about regressing…

Now we could be rational and talk about Josh playing 3 more etc, but if you want to be stupid, we can roll around in that awhile.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:15 am

Tjhook – I would rather trade for greg popovich if we could

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:18 am

Defense, could you please tell me when i said shot blocking was not an impacting part of the game.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:22 am

The Lakers have 2 of the top 17 shotblockers during the playoffs – didn’t seem to help them much

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:24 am

Hmmm – The Mavs don’t have anyone in the top 20 in blocked shots in the postseason, doesn’t seem to have hurt them any.

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:25 am

Indianapolis had two of the top 8 shotblockers – are they going to the championship round?

Your reasoning is not holding up

superiorblogman

May 15th, 2011
12:27 am

Write right

May 14th, 2011
9:26 pm

This is probably a good piece Mr Cunningham wrote. However, I will not read any of his work until he addresses players and coaches by their names. What’s up with this Smoove, LD, JJ crap?
If he would focus more on his work, and less on trying to be hip, I would take him seriously as a writer.

Go suck a pair of aids infested lips

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:33 am

Defense – I would run also when your arguments don’t hold up.

Miami had none of the top 20 shotblockers in the regular season. When you quoted your stat about Miami, I assumed you were talking about the playoffs, and began quoting stats about the playoffs.

I posted this earlier about Al “Al needs to hit the weight room harder and shut up”

I criticize Al constantly for his many weaknesses.

Some on here think you either a Josh fan or an Al fan.

I’m both

I’m a Hawks fan

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:35 am

Kool – I did

Haywood #21

Marion #36

D said top 20 – No Mavs in the top 20

That’s the truth

SteveW

May 15th, 2011
12:39 am

Kool – Your point?

There’s still no Mavs in the top 20

Top 40 yes, but not top 20

Check the discussion

RMikel58

May 15th, 2011
12:41 am

Playoffs- I think Larry Drews lack of coaching experience hurt the hawks because he didnt know how to mix and match players and he didnt seem to get the players to buy in to what he had to say…..i guess he’s not much of a motivational speaker.
Eventhough JJ talked about how poorly the team played i find it ironic that he infact didnt come thru during the playoffs just as he did before in the past. He was one of the biggest reasons the Hawks couldnt move to the next level.
What really saved the Hawks was Teague, not Crawford not Josh Smith and not Al Horford. The Hawks are not athletic and cant get infront of a player to prevent easy layups or wide open shots. Quit calling plays for JJ and start running plays for Teague instead and he’ll keep you in close games.
Find us guys who can rebound and are more athletic and maybe next year you can advance alittle further in the playoffs.
This is how Chicago did it, with rebounds and defense and alot of their big guys were more athletic than the Hawks.

Slim

May 15th, 2011
12:48 am

@MC

How does Josh Smith feel about losing weight? Has it ever been brought up? Iirc it was 2 seasons ago where Josh lost 15 pounds in the offseason but put it back on for the season.

Can he go back to being an energy player? He has clearly lost speed and cannot get closer to the rim as well or as much lift on his jump shot as he used to.
If the Hawks are committed to going big then Josh needs to gain some speed. As is he’s a low energy half-court player as opposed to the full court end to end player he used to be.

“Smith was 245 pounds of solid muscle early in the summer but has shed weight since then, mostly by accident, but his summer work was as much philosophical as it was physical.

“I wasn’t trying to lose it. I didn’t do it on purpose. But earlier in the summer I started working out twice a day and the weight just came off. I’m down to 230 now, and I really need to put five more pounds of muscle back on.