Atlanta Hawks: About their defense

Bradford Doolittle was at Hawks-Bulls and writes a thoughtful piece at Basketball Prospectus about his observations of the Hawks’ (so far) improved defense (ranked third in efficiency before tonight’s games). It’s worth a read.

In the post, Doolittle says the Hawks made “no major personnel additions to explain the defensive improvement.” But I think they have and it (possibly) does.

(All of the following comes with the necessary Small Sample Size Qualifier.)

The Hawks have more defensive talent and depth than last season (and probably more versatility, too). It’s now more Jeff Teague (not new, but new to getting most of the point guard minutes) and Jannero Pargo, no Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. It’s more Tracy McGrady (size, rebounds) and Vladimir Radmonovic (steals, blocks), no Mo Evans and Damien Wilkins. It’s (eventually, I’m assuming) more Zaza Pachulia, no Josh Powell.

Look at Atlanta’s on-court, off-court numbers at basketballvalue.com. Notice that all of the bench guys have better defensive ratings than all of the starters. There are likely factors at play here beyond the Small Sample Size Qualifier–for instance, the Hawks have yet to face a team with much scoring depth–but so far there’s a striking difference in the distribution of those numbers as compared to last season.

Doolitttle also writes: “There was nothing schematically that I saw to explain Atlanta’s defensive success. We’ve seen in the past that Atlanta is capable of putting the screws to teams defensively as they did during last year’s playoffs and perhaps Drew’s insistence on that approach has simply gotten through.”

I think this, in combination with better defensive players playing move minutes, might help to explain the improvement (so far).

Other than the occasional trapping and ball pressure and the zone alignments used at times against Miami and Chicago, the Hawks haven’t noticeably altered their schemes. But, subjectively, they are playing defense with more vigor and they have the long, athletic players to make things happen when they commit to it. With the exception of their game against Heat, whom the Hawks wisely wanted to slow down, I think they so far are meeting Larry Drew’s goal of “being a little more of the aggressor.”

There are some numbers that may support that subjective view.

Before last night’s games, the Hawks ranked eighth in opponent turnover rate. They ranked 29th in that category last season. Atlanta so far has the eighth-best opponent assist rate this season; last season its opponent assist rate was ninth-worst.

With the Small Sample Size Qualifier in mind, perhaps those numbers mean the Hawks are making opponents play faster and sloppier. According to Synergy Sports Technology, the Hawks rank fifth in the league in points per play allowed (0.81). They are No. 1 against post-ups and–surprise!–No. 4 defending in transition. Plus, Atlanta is holding opponents to 60.8 percent shooting at the rim, ninth-best in the league.

Some individual players also are making more box score defensive plays.

Teague has so far maintained his career steals rate while playing more minutes (literally–at this moment his steals per 36 minutes is exactly the same as during his first two seasons). Horford has seen a spike in his blocks and steals rates. Marvin Williams’ steals rate is up.

The other day at shootaround I asked Jerry Stackhouse which team in his career he considered to be the best defensively. He picked his Dallas teams from 2004-05 to 2008-09. Those units’ defensive efficiency ranks, in order: 9th, 11th, 5th, 9th, and 17th. Avery Johnson was the coach for 18 games of Stackhouse’s first season in Dallas and the all of the next three, while Rick Carlisle was coach for the fifth year.

So what were the characteristics of those teams? Stackhouse:

Everybody was just looking to help each other. We assumed that–even though we had good individual defenders–we assumed everybody was a bad defender and all four guys had to help. Like, if a guy was isolated on the wing and even though we knew his guy was guarding him, everybody leaned to help. You had to stick to the principles. We always said, ‘We are not allowing middle.’ If you allowed middle, you knew and everybody knew that you were the breakdown on the play whether they scored or not. They got into the paint and they put us under more stress than they had to because you allowed middle. A good defensive team has got to hold each other accountable. They know when and where they make mistakes. It don’t have to be pointed out to you that you made a mistake. You were the first one to know, ‘Damn, I made a mistake.

And what is the defensive potential of this Hawks team?

“It’s there, man,” Stackhouse said. “We have just got to harp on it a little bit more. In training camp, that’s all you are focused on. Then when it gets into the crux of the season, you revert back to bad habits. The system is built up, and if you do something against it, there is nothing built in to help. That’s what I see this group has got to get.”

Stackhouse added that the Hawks have the physical tools to be an elite defensive team: “That’s half the battle. It’s one thing if you can’t do it. We can do it.”

If the Hawks can keep up this defensive effort once the The Small Sample Size Qualifier no longer applies, they could be on their way to improving as a team with the same core.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

185 comments Add your comment

JaeEvolution

January 4th, 2012
11:50 pm

If we can’t get Dwight we do the next best thing, that is go for Greg Monroe on the Pistons.

Hawks get: Greg Monroe, Ben Gordon
Pistons get: Al Horford, Hawks 2012 1st round pick

Hawks get a legit Center who is young and becoming quite good, also getting a Jamal Crawford replacement who can absolutely light it up off the bench. Pistons get a proven All star and a guy who is really efficient and young, also they get a 1st round pick to speed up their rebuilding process. Not only do we get a legit Center, several of these guys already have chemistry with one another.

T-Mac – Monroe – Gordon from the Pistons
Gordon – Hinrich from the Bulls

Teague – Johnson – Williams – Smith – Monroe
Hinrich – Gordon – T-Mac – Vlad – Zaza

We are ready to go against ANYBODY with that starting lineup and bench, I don’t care if we have to take on Ben Gordon’s bad contract either.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 4th, 2012
11:52 pm

MC,

Has Stack worked with Smoove at all?

Slimjr

January 4th, 2012
11:53 pm

D12 got 20 more rebounds tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!

C’mon Gearon pull the trigger…………..

Grandmaster JeJe

January 4th, 2012
11:54 pm

“We know we can play with the best of the best,” Hawks forward Josh Smith said after the 76-74 loss at Chicago. “Obviously this was a disappointing loss, but we can’t hang our heads. We have to know we can play anybody. These are the top two teams in the Eastern Conference last year.”

Josh has been saying this for 3 years. Instead of this vague claim, something along the lines of “we want a ring this year” would be more appropriate

Michael Cunningham

January 4th, 2012
11:55 pm

@JeJe: “MC, Has Stack worked with Smoove at all?”

you mean on his shot selection? not that i’ve heard.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 4th, 2012
11:58 pm

Stack should work exclusively with Smoove on every facet of his offensive game. I cannot think of one other role on this team that would be remotely close to as important.

Actually, Stack needs to get in Smoove’s ear about NOT TAKING JUMPSHOTS

Najeh Davenpoop

January 5th, 2012
12:00 am

There is a danger in helping too much on defense, though, which results in leaving shooters wide open. I think this Hawks team (at least the starters) are good enough on defense that they don’t have to help too much. It is always frustrating when someone unnecessarily leaves their man to help on a drive and the man they left on the perimeter ends up making a rhythm 3 (like Deng did in the 4th off a Rose drive last night). The Hawks have an elite help defender inside, and really he’s the only one who needs to be helping consistently.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 5th, 2012
12:00 am

Smoove will listen to Stack. Cannot believe LD has not gotten on him about this. Who on this team or staff is paying attention to Smoove’s development?!?!

SteveW

January 5th, 2012
12:02 am

LeBrons ankle is the same one he sprained last January, the left.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 5th, 2012
12:03 am

I’d rather see a post player working with Josh than a perimeter-oriented swingman with a career 40.9% shooting percentage.

Heat Fan

January 5th, 2012
12:03 am

@Rufus from other blog,

I wasn’t trying to talk down to ATL, sports is just entertainment to me, it doesn’t get to me emotionally because truth of the matter is their are only 4 true contenders every yr for the championship. Plus, the reason i said the Hawks remind of the Heat from the 90s to early 2000s, the truth is since Pat Riley has been with the Heat since 95, we have only missed the playoffs 3 seasons, (01-02), (02-03), and (07-08). I’m just saying the Heat has been decent for a while, and the Hawks fans need to set realistic goals for their team. It’s a process and the Hawks have gotten further each year.

Grandad

January 5th, 2012
12:04 am

Please Read – (long & tedious) – Thanks in Advance:
[re-posted from last blog / actually has some merit applicable here]

Dissecting a play:
Near the end of the Chicago game, the outcome was decided in large part by one play. On that play, Rose had given up the ball, it was in Noah’s hands as the 24 second clock was running down with near two seconds remaining. Freeze that picture in your mind.
Joe Johnson makes about $820,000,000 million dollars. Joe Johnson is the face of the franchise, the best defender on the team, an appointed capt. and team leader. Joe was guarding Luol Deng.
Back to the game; Luol Deng cuts baseline just as Noah was about to panic, Noah sees Deng and fires a pass right beside Joe Johnson’s ear, Deng catches and lays it in. Ballgame ! (for all practical purposes).
Now for the dissection:
Joe had turned his back to the ball. Again freeze that thought.
Every team in America [and Europe] teaches “ball, man, you”. HS teams teach it, I know for a fact. Many Jr High teams teach the concept. At least one
12 and under AAU team taught it, plus at least one 13 and under team did as well, because my son played on said team for his dad. (that being me)
Bob Knight taught the concept for a hundred years at Indiana, not to mention Dick Vitale has screamed about ball, man, you, on 1,000,000,000 telecasts
over the last 40 years.
The [ball–man-you] concept is as follows: *(off the ball defense)
The defender with back to the basket sees the ball with one eye and sees the man he is defending with the other eye. I always taught my guys to point at the ball with one hand and their man with the other. This gets their hands up. If you draw a line from one eye across their pointing hand to the ball;
Then another line from the ball to the defender’s man, then a line from the other eye across the other pointing hand to the defender’s man….. it forms a
triangle. Thusly called the ball-man-you triangle.
Now back to Joe; with his back to the ball – he was grossly out of position. Had he simply been in a b-m-y triangle with his hands up, he would at the very least have deflected the ball. At the very best, he would have stolen the pass and it would have been; Ballgame Hawks !
Now – am I saying Joe lost the game ? No ! Absolutely not. One play does not lose a game. However, * “one play can win a game” –Grandad-.
One point I am making is … the Hawks lack playmakers. Not necessarily SuperStars, but playmakers. Another point – Joe is paid to make plays. On that particular play, he did not have to do anything extraordinary, all he had to do was be in fundamental position. Chicago on that play did nothing exceptional, only a simple back cut by Deng and Noah threw him the ball which was finished with an elementary lay up.
Once again, to the Joe Johnson apologists, please do not defend him – no need. That play is cut and dried and I’ve already said one play does not lose a game. Each game is filled with simple plays. I used to teach my teams to try and play [within] every game each 30 seconds as if it were the last 30 seconds of the game in an effort to increase my player’s concentration and mental toughness during the doldrums which set in during the mid-game.
My greater point is, let’s quit blaming Al or LD for some esoteric reasoning, or Josh for his low basketball IQ [which it is] or whatever else we can conjur.
The fact remains, we have a good team, with few or no playmakers.
There is more I would like to say but I’m all typed out.
G-dad

26belly

January 5th, 2012
12:05 am

@JaeEvolution. How about taking your water-fountain GM experience/opinion and shoving it down the porta-potty in Litl Tijuana! We’ve been through sour-grapes before with Danny Manning you idiot! If a guy doesn’t want to be in Atlanta long-term leave his funky jock-strap on the sidelines. Forget Dwight Howard, period. There’s no way the Hawks are giving up any draft picks or even MID-TIER talent for half of a strike-season. You bumbling panty-waste, shut-up!

JaeEvolution

January 5th, 2012
12:07 am

“I’d rather see a post player working with Josh than a perimeter-oriented swingman with a career 40.9% shooting percentage.”

A guy like Greg Monroe who can both play and pass from the post?

Grandad

January 5th, 2012
12:07 am

JaeEvolution

I’m with you on Monroe;
the particulars – not so much.

JaeEvolution

January 5th, 2012
12:10 am

@Grandad Who then? I doubt they give him up for much, he is in his sophmore year and continues to improve, not sure who else we could offer.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 5th, 2012
12:12 am

Najeh,

Who on this team do you suggest?

Tyrone Hill has done nothing. Stack will teach Smoove how to shoot lr dribble or something.

Otherwise, I have not heard one mention of how Stack has helped this team with his leadership.

TMac could teach Smoove some post moves too

Grandad

January 5th, 2012
12:14 am

Najeh

I beg to differ.
All players must be willing to help.
Also constantly in position to help.
Rotations are in place if recovery is impossible.
Recovery is when [and why] LD has preached closing out.

Perhaps if the Hawks had a rim defender along the lines of Mutombo
then one guy could patrol the lane in such a way as you suggest;
as Deke could not cover on the perimeter anyway.

All man defenses have “zone” principles predicated on Help + Recovery.

Sorry to disagree.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 5th, 2012
12:15 am

I would rather face Miami with its whole roster. If Wade or LBJ are out, Norris Cole will drop 28 on us. That is how soft we are mentally. We will go to sleep and let some unknown player own us (Barea, Augustin, Ryan Anderson on NJN)

Grandad

January 5th, 2012
12:20 am

JaeEvolution

I cannot answer that question. I have looked at scenarios myself.

My biggest problem with one of your ideas was Ben Gordon in return.

I have been looking at a way to possibly acquire Monroe
and swap 1st round picks with Detroit.
We would give up the better player [Josh or Al].
In return we would acquire the higher 1st round pick;
allowing us to draft Thomas Robinson of Kansas.
Who I believe is the best Rebounder in the country.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 5th, 2012
12:23 am

Trust me, we do not want Wade and LBJ not to play.

Heat Fan

January 5th, 2012
12:25 am

@JeJe

I agree, after the price i paid for my tickets lol

Grandad

January 5th, 2012
12:39 am

Lang Greene / Hoopsworld says;
D.Howard ain’t coming here !

He suggested Spencer Hawes
(who has started out pretty good)
as a post player who would fit in ATL very well.
Most of you know that LG is a Hawks guy.

___________________________________________

JaeEvolution`s idea about Greg Monroe was excellent.
Similar to what Lang Greene said:
Monroe would really fit the system here.

Both Hawes & Monroe are top flight passers.
*Monroe the better scorer from the low post area.
*(remembering from his collegiate days)

Rufus1

January 5th, 2012
12:46 am

Bad habits take time to correct…

This is the 1st year a coach is trying to make the Hawks a defensive team. With all these athletes, I assumed that was the initial plan.

With each game the Hawks “core” will begin to understand how to win a defensive game. The Bulls defense kept them in the game, until their offensive got going.

The Hawks have room to GROW as a team and I think LD is going to get us there. I don’t care how much he(LD) make$, he is making this team BETTER and that is enough for NOW….

Rufus1

January 5th, 2012
12:52 am

I wouldn’t trade AL for either guy, they are not as good as AL.

GDAD

BJ Mullins is a jump shooting BIG MAN, just like rest of them(He does have game though)…..I would prefer to have Benson, because he is a shot blocker…..We need another rim protector in the rotation.

Hmmmm

January 5th, 2012
12:53 am

MC TELLS IT LIKE IT IS. BETTER EFFORT AND DROPPED THE DEAD WEIGHT HOLDING THEM BACK FROM BEING A GREAT DEFENSIVE UNIT. NOTHING CHANGED WITH THE SCHEMES, SO CAN’T CREDIT DREW. THEY ARE JUST FINALLY GIVING A DAMN. THAT’S THE ONLY WAY ANY TEAM CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THE EASTERN PLAYOFFS.

OH LOOK, THE KNICKS LOST TO…. THE BOBCATS?! 118 POINT SCORED BY CHARLOTTE?! TOLD YOU GUYS, I KNOW A FRAUD WHEN I SEE ONE. NEW YORK IS ALL HYPE AND NO D. ;)

northcyde

January 5th, 2012
12:56 am

When I look at those on court/ off court numbers MC, here’ s what I see.

I see Jeff Teague posting the best overall ( on court – off court ) number on the team. On the flip side, Mr. Jannero Pargo is posting the 2nd worst overall ( on court – off court ) number.

And when you look back on the games in which we’ve lost, the game got blown open ( or in the case of last night, let a team back in the game ) as soon as Teague went out of the game.

And the popcornmachine.net Game Flows of the Houston and Chicago game backs this up.

In the Houston game I want everyone to focus on the 3rd quarter.

The game flows are kind of hard to follow, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Look at Teague’s bar in the 3rd quarter, and point your mouse arrow over the bar. He didn’t do much of anything in the 4 minutes he played in that quarter. But the Hawks didn’t lose any ground from the 7 point deficit they had at halftime. I forgot why Drew took him out so early, but look at what happened as SOON as he went out of the game.

The Rockets go on a 14 – 4 run in about a 4 minute span, and completely bust the game wide open. Drew had inserted Pargo for Teague, and then subbed Green for Williams. Both of those moves backfired and put the team in a further hole. And both of these moves were out of routine for how Drew was substituting that game.

Why Drew kept Teague out of the game for 10 minutes in that 2nd half is beyond me. But as soon as he put him back in the game in the 4th, the Hawks go on a 7 – 0 run and cut the lead to 7.

This is why on that night, all of our starters had a +/- rating of ( – 14 ) or more . . . except Jeff Teague, who was ( – 3 ) that game.

Fast foward to the Chicago game, and once again, focus on the 3rd quarter.

Hawks are cruising, up 15 late in the 3rd. Teague goes out, and we see the Bulls shave 10 points off the Hawks lead in roughly a 4 minute span. Teague and the starters don’t come back in until the lead is trimmed to 5. Hawks win the game if they make their FTs, but oh well.

See, the TRUE numbers to look at on the Basketballvalue.com website link that you provided are these

1 year adjusted overall rating

Jeff Teague:

- ON: 14.30
- OFF: 2.37
- NET: ( + 11.73 )

Jannero Pargo

- ON: 2.70
- OFF: 14.05
- NET: ( – 11.35 )

Now I’m not saying that Pargo is the sole problem. It’s just that when he comes into the game, the team seems to play like pure doo-doo when he’s on the floor, specifically on offense. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his numbers are almost COMPLETELY OPPOSITE that of Jeff Teague.

Right now, the way it looks is that if the 2nd team isn’t defending well, those guys don’t have nearly enough offensive firepower out on the floor to function.

I may be looking at the wrong thing, but that stood out to me immediately.

Hmmmm

January 5th, 2012
12:57 am

ALSO, WASN’T DWANE CASEY AN ASSISTANT ON THAT DALLAS STAFF THAT STACKHOUSE IS TALKING ABOUT? HE’S SLOWLY TURNING TORONTO INTO A SOLID DEFENSIVE TEAM. EVEN GOT MR SOFTEE BARGNANI DEFENDING THE POST LOL.

GoTMac

January 5th, 2012
12:57 am

TMac is rubbing off on Marvin? Some of thse moves may be because his back problems are over or because he has a mentor in TMac showing how the professionals do it? I always wanted to see Tracy McGrady as a Hawk and for those who said he’s just an old fat man collecting a check, eat crow.

GoTMac

January 5th, 2012
1:01 am

Yes. The coach blew it and Joe Johnson makes a great shot here and there, but those who get paid that kind of money makes many, many more and miss less. Joe gets no fouls; is he that great a defender or is he just not defending all the time?

Hmmmm

January 5th, 2012
1:01 am

NORTHCYDE IS RIGHT. TEAGUE CHANGES THE TEMPO ON OFFENSE AND CAN KEEP MOST ATHLETIC PGS IN FRONT OF HIM ON DEFENSE.

ONLY A FEW PEOPLE ON EARTH STILL BELIEVE HINRICH CAN BE A STARTING PG, PUSH THE PAC, AND KEEP QUICK PGS IN FRONT OF HIM AT THIS POINT OF HIS CAREER, AND SADLY DREW IS ONE OF THEM.

FreshFromATL

January 5th, 2012
1:02 am

You dudes and these trade request, SMH. I mean y’all already know there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of them happening so why keep wasting your time and blogspace posting them? Dwight, Bogut and the other million-and-one people y’all keep posting are not coming here, so MOVE ON.

FreshFromATL

January 5th, 2012
1:05 am

My 1:02am post is directed at those first couple of dudes that posted on the blog.

drmaryb.[*_*].

January 5th, 2012
1:17 am

Lawn Chairs!

Sup?

LBJ & Wade faking injuries now, to avoid another beat down from my T®ademark Hawks? LOL

Don’t be skurred … Heey nooow.

northcyde

January 5th, 2012
1:18 am

The other thing that sticks out from the Basketballvalue website . . . is this.

The Teague – Johnson – McGrady – Smith – Horford lineup is our WORST lineup out of the top 10 lineups we’ve put on the floor so far this year.

Drew needs to keep close eye on this lineup, and truly judge if it is effective or not. This may be a “fools gold” type lineup, much like the Jamal – Johnson – Williams – Smith – Horford lineup last year.

JaeEvolution

January 5th, 2012
1:44 am

FreshFromATL What’s wrong with posting trades if the suggested trade is acquiring a piece a franchise desperately needs? There isn’t a blog site, forum, or conversation held between fans where trades aren’t being discussed for each and every franchise, chill out.

Buddy Grizzard

January 5th, 2012
2:17 am

“It’s not like Drew wasn’t trying to force the ball out of Rose’s hands, the Hawks just weren’t able to do it. When they got overaggressive with trying to trap, Rose found the open guy, usually Deng. It’s not like they weren’t helping once Rose flashed into the lane.” – Bradford Doolittle, Basketball Prospectus

Anybody have the game on DVR? I didn’t see the Hawks trap or try to get the ball out of Rose’s hands in the fourth, I just saw them iso Rose at the top of the key play after play and let him take Teague 1-on-1, with the help from Josh coming at the rim where it was too late.

I’ve looked at several different analysis with accompanying highlight reels and I can’t find a single trap on Rose. Anybody help me out?

ntrigue

January 5th, 2012
2:55 am

MC, I got three questions for Coach Drew if you can ask would be great. 1. Why did we stop doubling Rose when he got hot? 2. What was the logic behind letting Joe Johnson bring the ball up instead of Teague? 3. Why was Josh checking D-Rose off the inbound pass we understand Josh is our best defender but his on the ball defense is not great and he would’ve been more value to us as a rim defender in that situation? Just wanna understand his logic but im pretty sure he would giveyou some dumb answers to try and justify his unexcusable decisions that were made.

Buddy Grizzard

January 5th, 2012
3:30 am

“We always said, ‘We are not allowing middle.’ If you allowed middle, you knew and everybody knew that you were the breakdown on the play whether they scored or not. They got into the paint and they put us under more stress than they had to because you allowed middle.” – Stack

This is exactly what happened over and over. Nobody trapped Rose and he was allowed to get into the lane play after play and break down the Hawks. We knew from the first quarter that Teague was not going to stay in front of Rose. There was no effort to give him any help before the breakdown occurred.

Buddy Grizzard

January 5th, 2012
4:24 am

northcyde

January 5th, 2012
12:56 am

Really nice break down.

real talk

January 5th, 2012
4:32 am

I believe the starter that should be on the floor when the second unit comes should be Marvin. Why? Because he’s a jump shooter, makes the lineup bigger, plays decent defensive, and has showed he doesn’t need the ball in his hand to be effective. I believe Marvin would work better than Joe.

real talk

January 5th, 2012
4:32 am

I believe the starter that should be on the floor when the second unit comes should be Marvin. Why? Because he’s a jump shooter, makes the lineup bigger, plays decent defensive, and has showed he doesn’t need the ball in his hand to be effective. I believe Marvin would work better than Joe. Anybody disagree?

Ken Strickland

January 5th, 2012
5:23 am

If anyone watched us the last 3-4yrs, they know we used a SWITCHING DEF and switched everything to cover for Bibby and Jamal. Anyone that’s paid attention to what we’re doing DEF so far this yr should have noticed that we no longer switch everything. When we encounter a pick, our back defender steps out while the other defender fights over the pick, but they both scrammble back to their original man.

We no longer see our frontline players routinely stuck out on the perimeter trying to guard backcourt players, or our backcourt players stuck under the basket trying to guard frontline players. We’re no longer as vulnerable to the pick and roll as we’ve been in the past. Last yrs bench had only one OFF threat, and one 3pt shooter(JCrawford), and only one competent defender(DWilkins). This yrs bench has multiple OF threats, at least five 3pt shooters(Pargo, Green, TMac, Stackhouse, and Radmanovic), and at least 3 competent defenders(TMac, Pargo, Green).

joBjo

January 5th, 2012
7:32 am

another play that was costly was when Dollar Joe dribbled the ball off somebodies foot with two seconds left in the quarter and then fouled the one who picked up the ball. If Joe had known the time remaining he should have let the guy go cause he didn’t have time to get a good shot in 2 seconds from 3/4 court. that cost us 2 points. don’t get me started on the free throws.

Senator Blutarski

January 5th, 2012
7:34 am

–the guy we really should try to swing a deal for is Kevin Love, F/C of Minnesota–strong scorer, can hit the 3-pointer, top-notch rebounder, good passer, young…

Josh Smith blew it

January 5th, 2012
7:55 am

On the deciding play of the Chicago game, it was Josh Smith, not Joe Johnson who blew that possession. Coming out of the timeout, Joe was guarding Rose, Teague on Korver, and Josh Smith on Deng. Once Smith saw Deng throwing the ball in, he went to try and help Joe deny the inbounds pass to Rose. Smith then never went to find Deng. Joe realized this as soon as the ball left Rose’s hands and tried to make a last ditch effort at finding Deng, but was to late. That was Smith’s fault, not Joe’s.

Wabe

January 5th, 2012
8:01 am

Big game tonight…

Sucks that we’ve had to sit on that loss from a couple nights ago…

Hopefully we redeem ourselves tonight.

O'Brien

January 5th, 2012
8:34 am

FTPB,

JeJe,

Smoove will listen to Stack. Cannot believe LD has not gotten on him about this..

Don’t you think Dominique has spoken to Josh about his shot selection? Woody and LD both did. So What makes you think Stack is going to be the guy to get Smith to change his mindset and shot selection?

rollow lawson

January 5th, 2012
8:46 am

O’Brien, you would think so. If I ever get the chance to meet Dominique, I would tell him how he was my favorite player of alltime. I would then ask him why Josh Smith takes so many jumpers.

O'Brien

January 5th, 2012
8:48 am

I think the key for LD is to find the right mix of starters and veterans to be on the court, and don’t be set in his substitution pattern.

I know he is only in his second year, but with the hectic schedule we will have, players will be tired (mentally and physically), so I think coaching moves will be magnified even more. When do you rest guys, who do you rest, when do you bring them in, what plays are you calling etc.

I know players have to execute, but I think coaching will be even more important this season. And as a result, I have my doubts.