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

darrell starks

May 15th, 2011
11:45 am

Rick Sund is the reason for this team success, the reason he traded JC2 is because of LD, we had a diamond in the ruff in JC2 but coach LD never gave the guy a chance, so SUND who had no idea on what type of player JC2 was because of LD non development had no choice but to trade him to try get the hawks a point guard in here, and the hole time we had a point guard in the making in JEFF TEAGUE who LD never gave a chance until HINRICH was hurt so in what way do LD GET ANY CREDIT for this team.
IF IT WASN’T FOR LD THE HAWKS WILL HAVE THERE 1ST ROUND PICK AND JC2, FIRE LD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

The Game Has Changed

May 15th, 2011
11:47 am

@MC- Thats a problem right there. He should have been telling Teague to work on his mid range game. We dont need our point guard shooting 3s. Atleast I dont think so. The floater is a great weapon that Teague has but if he cant get to the paint he would be so dangerous if he could stop and pop on a dime from 10-15 ft out.

Michael Cunningham

May 15th, 2011
11:52 am

@superiorblogman: You are okay with me but you are wrong as they come on your numbers. The Hawks have $64.268.493 million in reported salary going into next year.”

J.J. 18.04
Josh 12.5
Kirk 8.1
Marvin 8.05
Al 12
Zaza 4.75
Teague 1.58

That’s 65.02

Pape Sy’s deal is not guaranteed but since they’ve already paid over 600k for him i don’t think he’s getting cut. his 800k makes that makes the payroll 65.82.

Magnum Rolle could be cut but his salary would make about $67 million.

“The Hawks paid out $70.927.923 million this year and did not go into luxury. That means the Hawks have about $6.5 million to spend going into next year before they hit the luxury if all things remained the same in the new CBA or got better. The current mid level exception is less than $6.5 million so the Hawks can be a player for a center such as”

if they did this, then they would have only eight player. that doesn’t meet the (current) minimum.

KevinM

May 15th, 2011
11:53 am

And Rick, since you’re against commenting on the team until your draft workouts are completed, why don’t you take a look at grabbing a 2 or 3 pick in the draft lottery, making it up to Atlanta fans for dumping 2 #1 picks….you might find the one guy who would bring optimism to this team…

Enes Kanter – compared to Al Horford, yet he will be a true big man….his early pre-draft workouts are impressive IMO and he’s already around 261 lbs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNK8siaYI7M&feature=player_embedded

I rebuild immediately with that dude! He fits the cap for years to come. This is coming from the same guy that begged for DeMarcus Cousins last year when Minnesota had zero interest at 3. We will regret not getting a deal done for either Kanter or Cousins.

KevinM

May 15th, 2011
11:59 am

Thought you might like to read Mo Evans and his comments about the players’ stand on a hard cap in the upcoming CBA talks:

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/213390/Union_VP_Evans_Hard_Cap_Out_Of_The_Question

I think the players are going to be willing to sit out for awhile to make their point. Then we’ll see how many owners want to have a product on the floor. But if the ASG is involved, you can be sure we are headed for bad ramifications.

No NBA, no DirecTV package, no guaranteed ticket base…..this one won’t get a benefit whichever way the NFL goes.

Michael Cunningham

May 15th, 2011
12:00 pm

@Write right: “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.”

i use their names for the print newspaper stories. this blog is informal, like a conversation with more serious fans of the team. i think i do pretty good work here but if you don’t care for it, that’s cool.

theight

May 15th, 2011
12:03 pm

I’m not as upset with as most because i still have to give him a chance because he was a rookie coach so hopefully he will learn something from this year. He made some bad decisions but a lot of what he preached worked when the hard head players did what he asked of them (joe and crawford). Drew had to work with what he bad. I think damien should have played more for his defence and crawford less. Horford also had an awful playoff. I don’t think he is cut out for power forward. He was given that chance and he sucked.

Michael Cunningham

May 15th, 2011
12:04 pm

@Slim: “@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 ack 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.”

i’m thinking this was related to the knee. remember he banged it early in the season and then just as he said it started feeling right he hurt it again.

KevinM

May 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

What’s funny in all this review of the Hawks and after all the guys we have brought in to play SF, guess what we need to upgrade? Exactly, and that goes with moving Josh back to the 4 and kissing Al goodbye.

darrell starks

May 15th, 2011
12:14 pm

Yes i agree JOSH need loose atleast 15pound, he is now the hawks starting smallforward, HORFORD need to lift more weight and become stronger and tougher, NOAH AND BOOZER DESTROYED HORFORD IN THE PAINT.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

May 15th, 2011
12:25 pm

JOE need to loose weight in the of season, he look very sluggish and slow JOE, JOSH BOTH NEED GET THERE WEIGHT AT 225 POUNDS.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

RaJaH

May 15th, 2011
12:46 pm

Wouldn’t Horford be considered a BYC player next season since that is the first year of his extension? If this is true, the Hawks can only take back half his salary in a trade.

hmmmm.......

May 15th, 2011
1:00 pm

I’d look at trading everybody execpt al and teague.

Slim

May 15th, 2011
1:09 pm

Well if the Hawks want to extend Smith and Joe’s career they need to lose weight they are probably about 240-250. Smith needs more lift and quickness to get to the rim instead of settling for jump shots in the half court. Point blank he’s too slow.

let Crawford walk and take a flyer on Al Thornton (currently making less than $1mil as a backup SG/SF).
and Greg Oden for $9.5 mil, he gets hurt ship him off and ASG can say at least they tried and await the next move for a center.

$9.5 mil may seem extensive but even while hurt, teams like Detroit and others were inquiring about him last year.
I’ve heard The important thing is to keep his weight down at 260-265 and work on his 8 foot jumpshot.

Teezo

May 15th, 2011
1:10 pm

Do something with this team ASG…This is not a bad group of players, except for Marvin, but like I said before, they just don’t mesh well together…We need to find out what kind of identity this team will have and move on from there…If the means trading certain players or whatever, but we all have come to realize that this team has met its ceiling…They don’t motivate each other, they seem to tune the coach out, and they have no leader because JJ is scared to become that…They have to look at all options and jump on whatever brings back the most value…It really all comes down to what ASG wants to do to help or not help JJ…If ASG is content on JJ being a top option on the team, then they need to find him a sidekick…If ASG feels like JJ is not their man, then my guess is they need to blow the team up and start from scratch because this team will go nowhere with Horford or Smith as their “go to” guys and I really think no players would be estatic about coming here without JJ on this team…Peace…

Slim

May 15th, 2011
1:12 pm

forgot to mention move Marvin to make room for Greg Oden, easier said than done? :(

Rusty

May 15th, 2011
1:14 pm

The game has changed. This team under achieved all year. JJ had a bad year, he can’t come close to playing up to his contract. kH is adequate but thats about all.next year the offense needs to run thru jt not kh or JJ. If ld is still here I don’t expect anything of value. The players did what they did in spite of his stupidness. Every body had a bad year he did nothing for this team.

Marvin will be a 20ppg scorer

May 15th, 2011
1:16 pm

@MC “haha . . . yeah, usually trading a bad contract (unless it’s expiring) means taking another one back.”

Man, I see you have bought into the AJC Hawks blog way of thinking!..Marvin was around 14ppg for 3 years, then came Jamal, and his 1000 shot attempts, that’s why Marvin production went down..You, just like most of the blog blame Al, and Marvin, Al at 6ft 8, has had to play center for the Hawks and has produced. Joe, who was the highest paid player on the court against bulls, but produced 1 good game, and Josh, who after not showing up against Orlando, had a 8-22 shooting night against the Bulls and you guys went crazy…Marvin does not have a bad contract, he is not the “MAN” Joe is the man, and he and Josh have the worst contracts on the team.You never bash neither..Be fair and quit letting personal friendships dictate your posts!..Other than that you cool!

Ken Strickland

May 15th, 2011
1:32 pm

Even though Al Horford’s height is routinely listed as 6′10″, Draft Express lists Al Horford’s OFFICIAL height as:

1-WITHOUT SHOES-6′8.75″
2-WITH SHOES-6′9.75″
3-WINGSPAN-7.75′
4-STANDING REACH-8′11″

And because he hasn’t or can’t dominate every center he encounters, some of you are foolish enough to believe it’s because he’s soft, or needs to get stronger. None of that BS is going to make him taller. And it hasn’t helped his cause that he hasn’t had much help at SF, or benefited from having a PF(JSmith)that understands the concept of BLOCKING OUT.

How many of you would be stupid enough to call DHoward soft, or incompetent just because he has allowed a backup center named Jason Collins to handle and frustrate him? For all of you that are so hungup on us retaining JSmith over AHorford, why haven’t you suggested we play Josh at Center? Are any of you foolish enough to actually think he’d be more effective at center than AHorford?

JTeague, although purely by accident, has solidified his claim as our starting PG of the future. We all know if it hadn’t been for KHinrich’s untimely injury, LDrew would still be making one stupid excuse after another for not giving Teague a legimate chance to unseat any vet PG on our roster.

I bring this up because we have another situation that will challenge LDrew, and that’s Pape Sy. He’s young and inexperienced like Teague, and has shown the speed, quickness, and athleticism that’s not usually associated with a 6′7″ player. He has excellent ball handling skills, he gets to the hoop without hesitation, and he’s lived up to the defensive ability that so impressed LDrew.

The question is, will Drew learn from the gross mistake he made with Teague and give Pape Sy the chance he deserves, or will he give in to his stupid bias and revert back to his excuse making BS? Also, we won’t likely be able to trade Marvin. Therefore, instead of accepting the frequent disappearing act of a player that’s proven capable of averaging 14-15PPG, LDrew should make an effort to include him more in the OFF.

Everyone has to realize that while he’s not a one on one player, and doesn’t do well trying to create his own OFF, he’s very good defensively, as well as versatile, and still has some valuable OFF skills. Unlike JJ, Jamal or Josh, Marvin isn’t going to react to being excluded by disrupting the OFF, dominating the ball and going ISO, or jacking up illadvised jumpers.

What you get out of Marvin offensively is directly proportionate to how much he’s involved in the OFF. If you want more consistency from him, you have to consistently involve him more in the OFF. If you want more production, you have to give him more opportunities to produce. Hell, that holds true for any ball player.

All of this crap about wanting more from Teague and Marvin, but refusing to give either of them more mins and/or opportunities is plain stupid. LDrew has to do more than pay lip service to getting Marvin more touches, and he has to stop making excuses to justify the stupid hangups he seems to share with Woodson regarding developing and utilizing young guards.

The biggest improvement this team has made in the last 2yrs wasn’t based on any trades. It was based on starting and playing Teague major mins. We could have a simular boost in performance if we give Pape Sy the same consideration. Some feel we need to have a post up presence, which would certainly be welcome, but not necessarily needed.

Think about it, the Bulls killed us in the paint, but it wasn’t due to their frontine. Boozer didn’t hurt us in the paint, he killed us shooting short range jumpers. Noah and Deng certainly didn’t hurt us with any post up domination. It was the unstoppable penetration of PG DRose that did the bulk on the damage to us in the paint, period.

You pair JTeague with a quick, fast, but bigger and taller, penetrator like Pape Sy in the starting lineup, and we get the DRose effect. We get to the FT line more often, teams can’t afford to double JJ, or anyone else for that matter, and we get more high percentage scoring opportunities.

JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

I believe the Hawks would improve tremendously if we move JJ to SF, start Pape Sy at SG next to Teague, and leave Horford at C and Josh at PF.

Rusty

May 15th, 2011
1:39 pm

Ken you are doing a hell of an assumption that pape sy can really play. Let’s face it ld definitely has to go before any decisions are made.

loser@hawks.com

May 15th, 2011
1:46 pm

They have been trying to seek help for the last 45 years.

brigadierjerry

May 15th, 2011
2:12 pm

I think Marvin Williams can provide us with some decent underachievers. Something like Jordan Hill & Thabeet from Houston; Randy Foye & Ryan Gomes from LAC; Shannon Brown & GSW 2nd pick from LAL; Johnny Flynn, Martell Webster, & Anthony Randolph from Minny; Marco Belinelli(S&T) & Aaron Gray from NOH; Omri Casspi & Hassan Whiteside from Sacto; Bargnani & Alabi from Toronto. Maybe inlcuding a small filler from us if need be.

A move I would love to see the Hawks do, would be O.J Mayo & Hamed Haddadi for Zaza and a future first pick. Allows us to let Crawford walk for sure and keep the bench scoring he provided at a cheaper rate and actually upgrade on the defensive end.

Joel Pryzbilla & T Mac are 2 FA’s I would like the Hawks to pursue.

If we do nothing entertaining in the off-season, then we might as well look forward to what we got this year.

The Game Has Changed

May 15th, 2011
2:20 pm

@Rusty- Who lied to you and told you this was a championship team. Wishful thinking playboy. At the end of the day there will only be one team that didnt underachieve. The Lakers payrole was 90 million. Now that is what I call underachieving. He had a bad year because of injuries. He didnt complain eventhough he was playing with a bad thumb and elbow. Forget about the contract crap. Micheal Redd made 18 million the past two seasons and only played in 36 games. Rudy Gay isnt even there to help his team and he is making 18 million. The list goes on and on. Lets see how Drew does once we add Ne Ne with the same top 8 players. Now What. Go Hawks.

Grandad

May 15th, 2011
2:33 pm

Ken Strickland = ad rem as usual.

*[ad rem is a good thang]

Marvin will be a 20ppg scorer

May 15th, 2011
3:10 pm

@Ken Strickland you said this “Even though Al Horford’s height is routinely listed as 6′10″, Draft Express lists Al Horford’s OFFICIAL height as:

1-WITHOUT SHOES-6′8.75″
2-WITH SHOES-6′9.75″
3-WINGSPAN-7.75′
4-STANDING REACH-8′11″”

you also said this”Unlike JJ, Jamal or Josh, Marvin isn’t going to react to being excluded by disrupting the OFF, dominating the ball and going ISO, or jacking up illadvised jumpers.

Best post i read on here in a while!..i have said the same things over and over, glad to see a guy in ATL who knows about BASKETBALL!

Marvin will be a 20ppg scorer

May 15th, 2011
3:15 pm

@Ken Strickland
Yes!..why not give Pape Sy a chance?..the kid looked very quick and athletic..he could serve as a defensive stopper..I am so sick of young guys never getting a chance..Salim,Acie,Solo,Morris,jordan crawford,..etc…etc…

Ben

May 15th, 2011
3:16 pm

The players the hawks have would have been much better if they had a strong coach. Strong = not still making excuses of not knowing system after a month. The Hawks had the lamest coach search last year. Solid coaches had been available last 2 years. A Fratello or Doug Collins(there are others) would probably have these Hawks in the East Finals now.
It is time to quit worrying a coach might hurt these players feelings and get one who knows how to win.

Worldwide Clyde

May 15th, 2011
3:20 pm

I say sign Sean Williams for the league minimum.

Tarik

May 15th, 2011
3:46 pm

Obviously we need a center. Period. But, in my opinion, we have a solid team. What we are lacking is effort & toughness. Against the Bulls, Rose never hit the floor on any of his drives to the lane. Also, we need some type of motion offense. Its just isolation which is very easy to defend. I know evryone is on Josh about the jumpshots (So am I) but a lot of times its because when he gets the ball there is only 8sec or less on the shot clock. Which is also due to the lack of off-ball movement. With the talent we have & the emergence of Teague, these little things could be a huge difference.

Tarik

May 15th, 2011
3:50 pm

I agree with Ben. I think that you don’t fire a coach who has improved the team every year he was here only to promote his asst. As far as the ‘effort’ comment I made above, I think Mike Woodson made them play harder. I think Coach Drew is too laid back. If he’s gonna be the coach, he can’t be afraid to bench players when they aren’t playing smart.

Tarik

May 15th, 2011
3:52 pm

I also agree that Marvin should be featured in the offense more. When he touches the ball, usually good things happen. Also we should’ve used the bench a little more against the Bulls. Especially the young players. In the end we were out hustled & thats partly fatigue. Game 5 showed that

Sautee

May 15th, 2011
3:53 pm

Clyde,

Sean wouldn’t sign for a dime bag? ;-)

Actually, at this point he night be worth a chance IF we had some stronger presence in the locker room. But alas, we don’t. And this ownership group seems to lean almost exclusively toward choirboys.

Where is Sean these days? Where did he play this year?

Worldwide Clyde

May 15th, 2011
3:59 pm

We have needed a center for 6 years now and the Hawks keep ignoring this problem. Didn’t ownership say they were happy with Horford at center at the beginning of the season? This shows how clueless they are.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

May 15th, 2011
4:19 pm

“Actually, at this point he night be worth a chance IF we had some stronger presence in the locker room.”

Which “night”? Billy?

Michael Cunningham

May 15th, 2011
4:27 pm

Stupid is as Stupid does

Get real guys.

Yes Al is 6′ 10 1/2 ” but he plays 6′ 5″ maybe 6′4″ with a wing spam of 7 or 8 inches

Some of you have notice that Al doesnt like to block shots or get physical under the basket. As Slimjr pointed out Al seems to be an escort or a valet for players going to the rim. Choosing to get a up close view of the dunk rather than try to stop it with a block or a hard foul. The consensus is that Al is a very weak defender. So here are 2 questions that you should ask yourself:

Is AL soft?

Does a wild bear chit in the woods?

For the intellectually challenged let me help you, the answer is the same for both questions.

KevinM in my opinion has come up with a realistic base in which to build.

Its quite clear that this bunch will never get past the second round. Alot of you whined about ISO Joe ISO Crawford, not understanding the game. Outside of JJ JC and JSmoove nobody can create much offense. Al Horford needs to be set up to get a shot off which stagnates things further.In fact most of Al’s career 12 ppg average comes from garbage plays, like josh blocks a shot and finds that Al, who wasnt down on the defensive end (cherry picking) is standing by his self under the basket. Or 3 guys attack JJ or Josh and nobody is playing horford and josh finds him out of a triple team. Those type of garbage plays can be done by almost any body. Heck Sautee can do that. The hawks need defensive play makers first and offensive play makers second. Thats Chicago’s model with 5 players in the top 40 for block shots during this playoff run. Blocking shots and getting it done should be a team effort not a Josh Smith Jeff Teague effort. Where the puck was AL?

Hawks need the right attitude. Guys like Al Horford who refuses to gain weight get stronger and more physical for the sake of the team is not only wasting his 6′10 1/2″ frame (his 7ft daddy should be ashamed of him), but breeding a Me Me Me attitude.

All this whining about being given responsibility to take over the center position is sick. Real leaders rise up to the challenge and lead by example which encourages everyone. Thats leadership. Boston players except the challenges with out whining and thats why they are always serious contenders. This Al whining is affecting the team and moral. The attitude is “if Al is looking out for Al why shouldnt I look out for me?” Hes not giving it up for the team so why should I? This cancer has attached itself to the Hawks and only the youthfulness of Jeff Teague and Josh Smith has kept hope Alive.

So as I was saying earlier. KevinM is absolutely right. This team is not going anywhere. They changed directions alright. Now they are going down Build around youth with Josh and Teague, the only 2 guys that showed up in the playoffs, and the two youngest. Josh has an attitude of “no matter where you put me Im going to give it my best” He and Teague have have tremendous upsides and are hungry. Everybody else have been over come with selfishness, particularly Horford who, when not begging for the ball on offense is doing his prima dona act before the press running his mouth and begging for brownie points. JJ doesnt go to the rack anymore and is bitter about not being featured in Drew’s Princeton offense what ever the hell that gimmick is.Crawford is playing like his already on another team and just trying not to get hurt. He felt that its was either Him or Al for the contract extension. I did not see him going to the rack either but choose a lot of lazy jump shots. Like I said before The only two that showed up was Josh and Jeff.

Cut fire trade or demote everybody else and lets build about Josh and Jeff. Go after D Howard who would love to play at home and with his buddy Josh. One thing you can count on, is Josh Teague and Howard would show up! Teague will drive the ball Josh will pass,dunk,block and slash with intensity. Howard would also block and dominate the paint. Between Josh and Howard every opposing team would become Jump shooters.

If you want to get the fans back (how can you not sell out a pivotal playoff game at home?) make these moves.

Otherwise you are just pissing in the wind.

T. S.

Rod from College Park

May 15th, 2011
4:31 pm

“And because he hasn’t or can’t dominate every center he encounters, some of you are foolish enough to believe it’s because he’s soft, or needs to get stronger. None of that BS is going to make him taller. And it hasn’t helped his cause that he hasn’t had much help at SF, or benefited from having a PF(JSmith)that understands the concept of BLOCKING OUT.”

All these excuses for Al Horford are very funny. So now Al Horford played terrible in the playoffs because Marvin is terrible as usual, and Josh Smith did not box out (LOL). The same draft express that listed Al as 6′8 without shoes, listed Dwight Horward as 6′9 without shoes, and Josh as 6′7 without shoes. Al is still only an inch or two shorter than Dwight Howard, no matter how you look at it. The problem is, for most of the playoffs, he played the power forward position that he has been asking to play all year, and played below average against the likes of David Andersen, Brandon Bass, and Carlos Boozer. He could not even score in the post against a small forward (Deng), with numerous opportunities. He never provided any resistance at the rim in either series, while are 6′7 small forward did numerous times while guarding guys much taller than him. PF stands for Power Forward ,and Al played like anything but a Power Forward.

Ken Strickland

May 15th, 2011
4:39 pm

RUSTY-A lot of fans said I was making A HELL OF AN ASSUMPTION when I said JTeague could get the job done if given an honest chance to replace Bibby. Why are so many fans apprehensive and willing to make excuses when it comes to giving a young unproven player a chance to prove himself?

It amazes me how Hawk fans can look around the league and see rookie guards producing after being given significant mins and opportunities to start and produce. Yet, when it comes to our rookies, we hear one lame excuse after another for not playing them. Explain how we can accept and defend a vet PG who lacks aggressiveness, speed, quickness, DEF, and an inability to penetrate or doing anything beyond launch 3’s?

Yet, we’re perfectly willing to make, and accept, a myrid of lame excuses from Hawk HC’s who insist on holding young, quick, speedy PG’s hostage, despite the fact they play excellent DEF and penetrate. And all we hear are the same lame A$$ excuses of they alledgedly aren’t aggressive, enough, mature enough, or don’t shoot jumpers well enough?

The same jumpshot, or the lack thereof, that some of our fans made such an issue of before the playoffs, didn’t stop Teague from being our most productive, mature, efficient and consistent player, as well as the Hawks MVP of the 2nd rd. I’m sick and tired of all the EXCUSES, EXCUSES, AND MORE LAME A$$ EXCUSES.

Play Teague and Pape Sy and let their performances determine if they are good enough to get it done. Stop making excuses to justify personal issues, hangups, likes and dislikes that are counter productive and have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a players actual abilities.

GRANDAD-THANKS!!! LDrew is not perfect, far from it, but he’s head and shoulders better than what we had. He needs to take stock of what took place with Teague in the playoffs and grow from the experience. I have my doubts it will happen, since he’s still telling lies and making excuses for not making it happen much much sooner. And for the last 2 gms in the series, he actually got through to JSmith.

KHinrich will make $8M this yr, and he has an expiring contract. That, plus the fact he’s still very productive, makes him a very valuable trade chip. With PG JKidd almost eligible for SSI, he might be very attractive to Dallas. They’ll certainly have to offer starting Center TChandler a new contract, which might make them willing to part with BHeywood.

A KHinrich for BHeywood trade would be a solid move for both franchises.

Grandad

May 15th, 2011
4:39 pm

If we really wanted to do things the “Chicago Way” ?

Hire Leonard Hamilton [Fla St] as HC.
Leonard is as single minded a defensive coach as ‘`Thibs’`.
*He coached one year [..Wash Wiz..] in the NBA;
*record 19-63 unimpressive (until you look at the roster)

Two factors:
(1) watch his FSU teams defend
(2) Chris Singleton

* I know LH personnally / Josh would be def. POY or — gone –
Leonard would hold everyone accountable including himself.
Joe would become a hustle player or — gone –
Josh would do absolutely what the coach wanted him to do.
(no questions asked)
Jamal could not function in his society.
He would require [finding] some [Big] shot-blockers.
They would play deefense as if the ball belonged to them…..
and they wanted it back !

Chris Singleton – young fellow is a local lad.
(I coached against him)
*scouting report = talented but:
lazy, no defense, athletic, scorer, wants to play on perimeter,
soft, doesn’t rebound according to size, and on and on…..
now go to any site and read draft report on young Mr Singleton.
I’m not makin’ this stuff up.

If we still had our 1st round pick;
we could have C.S. who’s probably the best defender
in the draft. (able to guard all five pos, according to some)

Back to LH :
sound like someone in which yawl would be interested ?

KevinM

May 15th, 2011
4:43 pm

1 reason to move Josh back to the 4……..less jump shot situations.

Since Al is determined to move himself out of his ‘all-star’ position, then he needs to go to a team who will allow Al to do what he wants, instead of what the team truly needs. Al loses his all-star position once he slots himself in the 3 role.

LD had ideas he wanted to try out; I truly believe he still doesn’t know which buttons to push to get his team playing consistently. Can a team with so much inconsistency continue to grow? We have already heard these guys have been through so much that its time for them to take a step forward.
Well, 2nd round exit again as a 5 seed this time and Sund can no longer boast about this team improving each and every year. We are quickly turning into the Magic of 2 years ago.
We have peaked, we still don’t have a sound plan, and we need a makeover.

I am pining for getting back into the draft to excite this fan base. We’re watching OKC, Memphis, Chicago, and Miami pass us by because of our ‘cautious’ approach. Sund made his first in season move here as the GM. Man, that’s not cautious; that’s riding the previous GMs vision.

I can’t imagine the deals Sund has either suggested or been turned down for…..

I will admit right here I thought Shaq would have been a good marketing move and a potential help in the playoffs. Too much off the court antics has crumbled Shaq into a no-factor. Who would have thought Kwame would have a better year than Shaq…and I wanted no part of Kwame.

Nate ArchiBALL

May 15th, 2011
5:10 pm

I’m not sure about Haywood…….Didn’t work out in Dallas which is the reason the went after Tyson Chandler.
The Dallas Way – sign a 7ft stiff each season until one works out for you. .

Grandad

May 15th, 2011
5:20 pm

KevinM

For those who cannot afford to pay attention…..

–this is on the house–

Al @ the [4] and Josh @ the [3]
Josh @ the [5] and Al @ the [2]
who really cares !
In motion offense, they move from pos to pos anyway.
when a team runs a play – they put players in position to score.

The run a play for Joe, they don’t run a play for the [2] guard.
(same all ’round)

Defensively they match up according to match-ups.
Al -vs- Boozer or Al -vs- Noah, not # -vs- #.

+ PLUS +…..We neede size and had Collins or Zaza in
much of the time.

Would you prefer Al @ the [5]…Josh @ the [4]…
with…Collins / Zaza @ the [3]…would that satisfy all you folks ?

Once upon a time, Al Downing was broadcasting a Braves game;
he was explaining how teams needed power hitters at the
corner outfield positions.
One team (..Braves perhaps..) had a light hitting right fielder,
but a power hitting center fielder.
His solution was;
to solve the lack of a power hitter at the corner outfield (RF) position,
the team should move the center fielder to right
and the right fielder to center.
Problem solved.

Whomever was Al Downing’s broadcast partner
was rendered speechless.

Big Ray

May 15th, 2011
5:28 pm

It’s only been a day and a half and this blog is already in offseason form. Nothing new in the Hawks universe, T-S is back, and people are sniping at each other about topics that have been rehashed a billion times.

LOL. Najeh , you’ve never been more right….

JoJo the Godfather

May 15th, 2011
5:38 pm

The thing that puzzles me is that our current and previous head coach looked at our roster, and decided the best way for this group to play is to grind it out in the half court. I just don’t see it. I see a group that is tall and athletic at the 1 through 4, and small at the 5. I see a team that needs to get out and run and bring some highlights and excitement back to Atlanta. Get a new GM. Get a new coach. Trade Kirk Hinrich & Marvin Williams for more athleticism.

Kirk Hinrich to Boston for Sheed’s contract -OR- Jermain O’Neal’s (who then retires or opts out) & Avery Bradley (Teague clone). Saves us $6.5M in salary.

Marvin Williams, 2011 2nd rdr & PHO’s future 2nd rdr to Phoenix for Josh Childress. Saves us $1M.

Jeff Teague – very quick, improving ability to finish at the rim
Avery Bradley – very quick, long arms, solid defender
Joe Johnson – PG handle, 6′7″, and you can’t stop him in the lane
Pape Sy – 6′7″ former PG, quick & athletic
Josh Smith – can handle the ball, pass & finish
Josh Childress – 6′8″ SG/SF, hustle player, good passer & finisher
Al Horford – good outlet passer, good finisher
Magnum Rolle – long and athletic, only been playing ball 6 years, upside
ZaZa Pachulia – hustle player, backup 5

Use the salary savings to grab a free agent center. Bring back Damien, Collins & veteran combo guard. 13-man roster set.

Big Ray

May 15th, 2011
5:44 pm

Hate it or like it, the ASG will keep Larry Drew. Now if they surprised us and hire a proven veteran coach who will demand more man minimal salary, then anything is possible. But, they won’t. Now what LD needs to realize is that they are going to do him just like they did Woodson. When he’s up for a contract renewal, he’ll get 2 years, maybe 3. The only way to break that trend is to win it all, which he’s not going to do with THIS roster.

We can’t prove he can’t win it all anymore than we can prove that he can , at least with this roster anyway, so both arguments are really irrelevant at this point (I’m sure somebody will protest that point, but hey, it’s just an opinion).

Grandad

May 15th, 2011
5:49 pm

A little food for thought.

Evan Turner, 2nd overall pick 2010 NBA draft.

Is generally considered a major bust !

His efficiency rating was 8.8 in 2010

Now for the Jordan Crawford crowd – PER = 8.4

*(..Sasha Vujacic..) was an 8.9 and he’s a sissy.

My point;
if Evan Turner is a bust,
could we render through logic & reasoning that Jordan Crawford
is, in fact, a bust as well.

Grandad

May 15th, 2011
5:58 pm

JoJo the Godfather

We have to grind it out. [not defending LD]

To run you must have the ball !

We either can’t or don’t REBOUND.
*actually* (we are too small)

Defensively we don’t have the players with the “gumption”
to play hard enough every time out to take the ball away.
(force turnovers)

Rebounding & forcing TO’s are two ways to acquire the ball.

Another is to let them score THEN toss it in and RUN !

Is that what you would have us do ?

I’m not trying to be a smart ass, it just comes natural.

jason

May 15th, 2011
5:58 pm

Josh for Rudy Gay?

Ken Strickland

May 15th, 2011
6:02 pm

ROD FROM CP-Except for the unnatural man cruch you had for MWoodson, all you’ve done is point fingers and belittle one player after another. You don’t have a clue what being a fan is all about. All you seem to do is form a love hate relationship with certain players and/or HC’s.

Ken Strickland

May 15th, 2011
6:18 pm

GRANDAD-Mentally, it’s kind of hard for our players to go all out on DEF for 48 mins when the HC insists on burdening them by insisting on giving major mins to 2 DEF liabilities. I can imagine how it feels to keep being told they need to play harder defensively, yet the HC has absolutely nothing to say about the total lack of DEF effort, or the swinging door DEF of Bibby or JCrawford.

How do you think our players feel when Jamal or Bibby weren’t scoring, were playing no DEF, yet is allowed to stay on the floor for extended mins? Under both LDrew and MWoodson, our players kept hearing one thing about the need for better DEF, but their actions and substitution patterns contradicted everything they heard.

Sautee

May 15th, 2011
6:22 pm

Ken, I just don’t see the Rod loves Woodson thing at all. I had lots of discussions with Rod, mostly about his hyperbole, but in all of my time discussing things with him, I never thought he was a Woodson fan. Where did you get that idea? I’ve seen you post it before, and I believe that Rod tried to set you straight then.

We ALL have our biases, and are guilty of being propagandists. All of us.