The Hawks signed guard Willie Green.
“You are talking about a guy who is a combo guard that’s a scorer, tough defender,”Larry Drew said. “He’s a guy that plays hard when he’s on the floor. He’s kind of had to do it the hard way therefore he has an appreciation for what he’s earned. I think he’s kind of a throwback. Kind of an old-school style player.”
Like Jannero Pargo, Green is more of a scorer than a playmaker. Green is the better shooter but, also like Pargo, most of his attempts are long 2s and he doesn’t draw many fouls or make many 3-pointers.
However, both players are quick, high-energy guys and Drew thinks they will help the Hawks play the new, aggressive defensive style he wants.
“You can’t play a high-energy defensive scheme if you don’t have the personnel to do it,” he said. “Both guys have played that way pretty much their whole careers. Jannero, when he was down in New Orleans and had his best years, he was very effective playing that way. Willie’s style is very similar. We’ve been putting a lot of emphasis in training camp on defense and certainly helps if you have guys who are already programmed to play that way.”
Green’s Synergy defensive numbers are lackluster, especially in isolation. He had slightly positive on-court, off-court defensive numbers for New Orleans last season, according to basketballvalue.com. His opponent PER at last season was about average, according to 82games.com.
Basically it looks as if the Hawks, after watching Jamal Crawford bolt for Portland, will have to try to win another way with their second unit.
“We’ve had to replace Jamal’s minutes and we’ve got to look in some type of way getting some real productivity from that position, whether it be scoring or defensively,” Drew said. “Me personally, I welcome a trade-off a guy who maybe won’t score as much as Jamal but a guy that can score and brings some defense and some toughness to that position.”