Atlanta Hawks: Holiday fixins

If you want a roundup of the latest lockout news, check out NBA.com Steve Aschburner’s summary of recent negotiations with the goal of starting the season on Christmas Day. (Update: According to Howard Beck of The New York Times, the players’ union and owners are using the the last offer as a starting point with the goal of playing a 66-game season.)

Rather than weigh in on that convoluted mess, I offer you some Hawks holiday tidbits . . .

Caught up with J.J., Teague and Damien at Louis Williams’ charity game at Atlanta Metropolitan College. Smoove was a no-show. Dwight was there to support his hometown guys but he didn’t play: “I don’t like to play five-on-five in the offseason.”

J.J. looked noticeably sleeker and quicker while checking the likes of Teague, Jarret Jack and Anthony Morrow. Remember that time J.J. harassed D-Rose and forced a turnover to beat the Bulls? He pretty much looked like that all game, which really stood out since no one else was really playing D.

OK, it wasn’t a real game, but the point is J.J. looked to be in great shape and he said he’s feeling “great” after extended time off following his injury-riddled season. He said he’s about six pounds less than his normal playing weight.

“That was my plan in camp, but since that was prolonged I am trying to keep my weight down and stay in shape,” he said. “[No formal practice] is not a big deal. I can go to the gym and get shots up. I try to get on the treadmill everyday, lift weights and try to keep my body stronger.”

Joe said he had a deal “locked up” to play for a club in China but that was nixed once the Chinese Basketball Association banned lockout opt-out clauses in contracts. So now he says he’s not looking to play in another league.

“I don’t want to, man, but if a good opportunity comes along I would have to look at it,” he said. “But I’m not looking forward to going anywhere else.”

Teague looked as quick as ever (though A.I. did blow by him with crossovers a couple times). He’s been working on his jumper but I can’t tell you what it looks like since getting to the rim was no problem for him in that kind of game.

Teague said he’s been working out and playing ball every day while shuttling back and forth between Atlanta and Indy (with occasional stops to check in on his little bro, who plays for that other team). If part of my blog people’s disappointment with the lockout is missing out on watching more of Teague’s development, then he feels you.

“I am ready to get back to playing,” he said. “Coming off a run like that, you want to come back with a lot of energy and hype and expectations for yourself. Hopefully we can get back on the court as soon as possible.”

In the mean time, Teague said he plans to return to Wake Forest next semester. The plan is to take four classes. “But I told my agent, I might have to go online,” he said. “I don’t know about staying in Winston that long.”

Etc.

  • When the Hawks were still allowed to talk to Damien, they told him they want to re-sign him for this season and he told them he wants to return. That makes sense. Damien nicely filled his role last season as a defensive-minded wing (when not asked to take on bad matchups) and also provided some leadership.
  • This report says (I think–apparently I left my Spanish skills in Miami) that Spanish club Unicaja has contacted Al’s agent. However Al, asked on Twitter about his interest in playing overseas, responded: “Keeping my options open for now. But, no haven’t heard from [Unicaja].”
  • Marvin tells the Kitsap Sun he’s been getting back in shape after back surgery, going to lots of college football games and even took up tennis. His dad says: “I think he’s more eager to get back on the court and show everybody he’s the old Marvin.”
  • After this report about a Chinese club pursuing Jamal, I asked him if he was playing in China. His response, via text: “Haaa.” He didn’t respond to a follow-up but my guess is there’s no way he’s signing any contract without an opt-out clause as long as there’s a chance of a deal because he can’t miss out on the free-agent frenzy. He confirmed as much in an interview with some dude named Softy at KJR in Seattle.
  • Happy Thanksgiving, blog people.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

60 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster Jeje

November 23rd, 2011
5:59 pm

Grandmaster Jeje

November 23rd, 2011
5:59 pm

Grandmaster Jeje

November 23rd, 2011
6:03 pm

MC,

That article you got the Marvin quotes from (I think) mentioned Marvin got surgery and NO LONGER HAS A BENT-OVER BACK. !!!!!!!!!

Smoove was up North with Rondo when Rondo got confronted in that club. Can’t believe he missed this event.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 23rd, 2011
6:05 pm

““I think he’s more eager to get back on the court and show everybody he’s the old Marvin.””

Waiting on Rod from College Park’s response…

Here is AI crossing Teague by the way.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 23rd, 2011
6:06 pm

Someone on Twitter the other day said Josh Smith looks bloated and fat. I got scared for a second, then I realized there is a 6′10″ 350 pound center named Josh Smith who plays for UCLA. Get more creative with the names, people.

Michael Cunningham

November 23rd, 2011
6:19 pm

@Najeh: thanks for link. added. i tried to shoot video of the game with my phone but it did not go well at all. i need to ask the AJC for a real video cam.

the Hawks’ Josh Smith looked to be in good shape last time i saw him. the UCLA Josh Smith looks to have some real skills but obviously is a potential GM-killer with his weight issues.

Sam

November 23rd, 2011
7:07 pm

Amazing video of a high school senior from Columbia TN who kicks the ball dead straight 75-80 yards in the air. He was successful on 54 of 54 attempts this season….100%. Now he needs a college team.

Watch for yourself…it is unreal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JKwgwFY3g

realsquawk

November 23rd, 2011
8:10 pm

Thank you for the updates! Happy Thanksgiving!

JSS

November 23rd, 2011
8:17 pm

Happy Thanksgiving Michael Cunningham and the Hawks Blog people!

I had to go to Mexico and the Pan Am Games to actually see something not as boring as college basketball… Went to the blowout of the US by home standing Mexico… The bronze medal game the next day was a better game… Enjoy the holiday!

bigdave

November 23rd, 2011
10:46 pm

Joe looked noticeably slimmer in that workout video with Durant..

lighter usually means quicker.. hopefully he gets comfortable with the weight and gains confidence in going/attacking quicker.. b/c he feels quicker..

Buddy Grizzard

November 24th, 2011
1:12 am

MC, I give you a hard time but I wanted to say thank you for putting up a new blog so soon. Have really enjoyed hanging with my blog homies in recent weeks.

Worldwide Clyde

November 24th, 2011
2:01 am

*Yawn*

Roll Tide

vava74

November 24th, 2011
3:48 am

JJ is the ultimate professional and an underrated player.

People in ATL don’t know what they would be missing if he had gone away last season.

Yes, his contract is huge, but if we have a season soon he will be coming back better than last year when most of the guys will come looking older.

Also, a short season is bound to benefit JJ who’s typical minutes logged – PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE COURT – are bound to take its toll late in the season.

BTW:

AI was looking good with ATL across his chest.

If only he could behave and accept to be a bench player, he could give us 15-20 minutes per game and replace part of Jamal’s scoring.

That would allow us to move JJ to the SF position for more minutes with Wilkins/Smoove starting/backing him (situationally) and to have Marvin shipped away for a bag of cheetos.

DHD

November 24th, 2011
6:11 am

Wasted space talking about the NBA. There’s nothing to see here…move along!

Buddy Grizzard

November 24th, 2011
6:59 am

http://tinyurl.com/7behnz6

Johnson at small forward answer for Hawks?

Zach Lowe, SI.com

It stands to reason that as J.J. ages, he will lose foot speed before he loses strength or skill. Thus a more permanent move to small forward would seem to make sense. According to Zach Lowe’s article linked above, the Hawks score 6 more points per 100 possessions with Joe at small forward vs. their average, which is a huge difference.

The problem with this is that Zach Lowe is suggesting that the Hawks should go ahead and amnesty Marvin, just as so many of you have done on this blog. Reading the article about Marvin’s back surgery, and back problems having ended my own competitive basketball playing days, I don’t understand why people can’t see that this is a make or break year for Marvin. I agree that Damien is a better NBA small forward than Marvin, but MARVIN STILL HAS VALUE.

This year, for the millionth time, Marvin will get back the shot attempts he lost to JC1 during his time here. He will again average close to 15 PPG. We can then trade him at the deadline for an ASSET, such as a protected first round pick. Don’t get me wrong, I want Marvin gone. I wish him success if he ever gets a fresh start somewhere else but as far as I’m concerned he’s damaged goods and not that good of an NBA player to begin with. Damien plays with heart and fire, something I’ve never seen from Marvin.

But I don’t want the Hawks giving Marvin away for nothing when they will still have to pay his salary. I would much rather see them run plays for him this year and try to get him in the groove while Sund shops for the best deal for him. Once he’s gone, J.J. can shift to full time starting small forward for the remainder of his NBA career.

crazy pizza lady

November 24th, 2011
7:07 am

looks like AI went behind the back. not a classic cross over but effective enough in a street game.

doc

November 24th, 2011
8:20 am

best outcome on marvin is he is physically unable to perform and we get the insurance dollars and he goes away quietly and we move on without the salary and cap hit he would represent through amnesty or continued service. i dont think we can afford to move marvin through amnesty nor trade. so hopefully, the straight marvin will be better than the bent one.

jj at point forward or sf is the way to go for him and been saying it a long time. going back three years or so it has been justified by what stats were available on 82 games which showed how five players would do together. jj’s numbers a sf and the team’s numbers when he was alongside players that were typical sg and pf were always credible and it was eye opening. it also suggested way back when that marvin might be a anchor that held us back from going anywhere.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO MY BLOG FAMLY!

doc

November 24th, 2011
8:22 am

meant “alongside sg and pg”

Astro Joe

November 24th, 2011
10:03 am

I’m grateful for the entertainment value that I find from this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Brick

November 24th, 2011
10:22 am

Maybe the players will realize all that they have lost over the holidays. It not we will survive with out them. LOL

Dawg

November 24th, 2011
11:19 am

Thanks MC, that update is more fun that updates on Unions and Owners. Come on NBA, lets start playing again.

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 24th, 2011
11:30 am

The Quiet Storm!

I personally am thankful that Mr. Johnson works hard and appreciates his job. While the money is good for Joe, clearly he has love for the game, his craft and just wants to be a better player.

I guess you can say, his game does the talking.
_____________

Conversely, I have yet to hear any comments re: Marvin working on his game. Surgery? Traveling to college football games? Taking classes? TakINg up tennis? Anything basketball related going on here? What a thief Marvin is – I hope he takes his back, his butt, his ball and just go home!

I am also thankful that both sides are talking to each other about reaching an agreement on The New Deal. I’m also thankful that MC posted a new blog for us. Thank You MC. (smile)

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 24th, 2011
11:40 am

Turkey & Giblets!

Happy Thanksgiving Day to my blog family. I bought a log of rib eye steaks from Publix to throw on the grill. No turkey going on here. LOL

Enjoy yourselves.

Grandmaster JeJe

November 24th, 2011
2:13 pm

So happy about Damien. He is the most underrated player on the team, assuming Teague gets more minutes this season. Damien understands the game. Happy Thanksgiving.

Grandad

November 24th, 2011
7:55 pm

I am thankful for all my friends on this here blog.

I’m also real thankful to Michael Cunningham,
for maintaining our blog.

I’m especially thankful for my young’uns
and my grandchildrin.

And most of all; I’m thankful for Mrs Grandad;
even though she says I can’t have that ………
little live-in Japanese lady masseuse – for my Christmas present.

vava74

November 24th, 2011
11:16 pm

today it was a sad day for turkeys…

Not So Casual Observer

November 25th, 2011
3:35 am

The players should consider the economic mess in the US now and that if our government does not balance the budget and reduce the debt – there may not be an NBA to come back to for the 2012-2013 season.

If I were in a negotiating position I would rather the issue be settled now than take a chance on the economy next summer.

vava74

November 25th, 2011
4:11 am

Not So Casual Observer,

The debt is marked in dollars and the Government can hit the “print” button whenever they need to.

Yes, the debt is too high and can be an hindrance, but for the USA it’s a bit like playing with Monopoly money (the table game for youngsters who don’t know about it).

(I am from Europe, by the way, before you confuse me with a “american liberal”)

The main cause for the recent ballooning of USA’s debt was the fact that you went to war at the same time that you lowered taxes. A bad bad mix tailor made to satisfy a few but, even so, you are always in the driver’s seat.

The Euro crisis is a good example: the Euro has been under attack by the USA, who are behind all the turmoil surrounding the Euro.

The Euro is a weak currency by default since its a currency resulting from an imperfect monetary union (too complicated to explain here).

The fact is that, notwithstanding its structural deficiencies, the Euro was starting to replace the Dollar in some situations and the USA simply could not afford that to happen since they could loose control over the printing of the Monopoly bills which in the end we all use, even the ones who have their own currency.

Things are bit more complex than this, but the bottom line follows this reasoning.

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 25th, 2011
8:26 am

The Euro!

While I don’t know the intricacies of the Euro, this makes a whole lot of sense. A very interesting read from vava74. Thanks!!!

vava74

November 25th, 2011
8:50 am

But hey! I am not victimising the Euro! the EU and the Euro are flawed by default!

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
9:14 am

END THE LOCKOUT. SMDH

JSS

November 25th, 2011
9:36 am

Well, here’s a strange twist… With Jamal being as good as gone after the lockout, does a team like the Hawks take a flyer on a player like Iverson on a one year deal? I’m no AI fan, but this team is 2nd unit energy and scoring challenged… His big problem however, he did not play well with others the last 5 years… I’m interested in what others think?

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 25th, 2011
9:51 am

Drink Up!

AI has a serious problem with alcohol. Apparently, AI feels the same way treatment as he does “practice?”

Astro Joe

November 25th, 2011
12:38 pm

JSS, I wouldn’t touch AI. If his skills have diminished, I doubt that LD has the gravitas (or the stones) to change AI’s role. The chances that AI can be a good producer and teammate seems unlikely (IMO).

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
12:45 pm

I’d sign A.I. Chances are we lose Crawford and A.I. Is better than Biibby. Also can you people please say A.I. instead of AI. AI looks like Al [Horford]. thanks.

Sam

November 25th, 2011
12:53 pm

Amazing video of a high school senior from Columbia TN who kicks the ball dead straight 75-80 yards in the air. He was successful on 54 of 54 attempts this season….100%. Now he needs a college team.

Watch for yourself…it is unreal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JKwgwFY3g

Grandad

November 25th, 2011
1:11 pm

vava

Your comments;

“The main cause for the recent ballooning of USA’s debt
was the fact that you went to war at the same time
that you lowered taxes”

are accurate and partially correct.

However, you are not taking into consideration,
that we [US of A] owe our ass in peanuts to China.

And; no; printing more green paper is not a solution.

Green re-newable energy -is- the solution.
“Wind” ask ol’ T. Boone Pickens -is- !
Nevermind I Di-gress.

Grandad’s a Socialist / Libertarian but not a liberal.
There I go speakin’ in the 3rd person agin.

You know my boy Clinton had the budget balanced,
then my other boy Bush;
(he’d be fun to hang out with,
but you’d never want him to be in charge of nuthin’)
let [Lucifer] Cheney get us into two wars & a google-plex O’ debt.

______________________________________________________

Mary Ellen

After much heartfelt thought and consideration;
I believe I would sign Iverson.
Reasons:
*he would sell a beaucoup of tix
*drunk or no – he plays his ass off
Clause in Contract:
*every time he has an eff-you moment toward the coach;
fine him $350,000 dollars. i e *practice.

He would be more productive than Marv.
-&-
He would play 100 X harder than Joe.

Grandad

November 25th, 2011
1:19 pm

Grandmaster JeJe

Agreed – which is why I said Iverson.
I rarely use last name only;
But AIALAIaialAI is hard on the eyes ?

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
2:48 pm

Haha Grandad. How’s your Thanksgiving break going? You are one of my favorite posters here – no homo

Astro Joe

November 25th, 2011
4:55 pm

JeJe, what does Bibby have to do with Iverson? I don’t ant either of them

Najeh Davenpoop

November 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

We really need the lockout to get over soon if we are talking about the global economic crisis on this blog now.

I would sign Iverson too. Jamal is gone, Iverson can do most of what Jamal did at a fraction of the cost, and since he won’t require a long term commitment, if he screws up the Hawks can just cut him. More important, though, is a quality defensive-minded player at center who can allow Al to move to PF against bigger teams.

On another note Iverson seems to be hanging out a lot in ATL for a guy who doesn’t really have any preexisting ties to our fine city. I saw him at a bar near Lenox during Game 6 of the ECF, all by himself, no entourage or anything. I told him we could use him on the Hawks and he kinda laughed. Maybe that is a good sign, I don’t know.

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
9:23 pm

Astro Joe,

A.I. is better than Bibby. We have Hinrich and Teague now and I have a feeling we’ll use the small lineup of Teague/Hinrich/Joe a lot, so Iverson would get a ton of minutes off the bench. I just mentioned Bibby because he was on our roster for way too long and Iverson is better.

Kthxgg

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
9:25 pm

Great post, Najeh.

Here are some unpopular players who I think would fit nicely on our team:

Iverson
T-Mac
Larry Hughes

Each of these guys won’t demand much money and can score. Larry Hughes was out of the league for a year. He is a career 14ppg player. Sign him.

On another note, if Miami lands Dalembert or Nene(!!!), this season is a wrap.

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
9:28 pm

The Hawks just refuse to sign players with any character issues (”Ron Artest” sure hurt LA when they won that ring…smh). I was shocked we didn’t immediately release Powell after his traffic arrest (or whatever the heck it was).

Sprewell inquired about coming here maybe 5 years ago, but we told him agent it was a No.

SMH

Grandmaster JeJe

November 25th, 2011
9:32 pm

If we could somehow dump Smoove for a Danny Granger and then obtain a Dalembert to play at Center, this will be a damn good and nearly complete core. I have a feeling Horford will show up to camp at 6″10 (with shoes) and 220 pounds as usual, so we really do need a true center.

END THE LOCKOUT

rob h

November 25th, 2011
11:16 pm

End the lockout? Let’s face it- this is most pub hawks can get in November with football in the forefront..

I’d be lean and quicker too for $100M + contract and the ability to disappear in the clutch

Worldwide Clyde

November 26th, 2011
12:39 am

Sean Williams > Benson

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 26th, 2011
5:06 am

Breaking News! (Ta Dah)

The Lockout Appears to have ended and we will have our bAllyhooed NBA games just in time for Christmas!

I guess Black Friday wasn’t so black after all! LOL!

Well my cohorts, looks like there is going to be another “white christmas”! Yeah!!! I woke up and thought I was dreaming, but all the characters were lined up on ESPN and there to be seen, saying, “The players and owners have reached a tentative agreement.”
__________________

In other news, what will the Hawks do about our roster for the upcoming season? If yawl like “AI” then, I’m all for it. Sign him up and Let’s Go!!! I’m ready for some pro basketball – already!

richbrave

November 26th, 2011
5:09 am

I’ve been away much too long NBA fans. I offer my apologies. How is KEN STRICKLAND doing?

drmaryb .[*_*].

November 26th, 2011
5:30 am

Around Town!

No doubt Iverson has been seen around town, hks been living in Atlanta for what, about 8 years now? Didn’t his wife just file a petition for divorce in Fulton County after last season? I think that was after his Lambourghini got towed for “no tags”. I guess the paper plates were expired and like 5 years old – I think.

The problem is not in signing Iverson, the question is will he even show up?