Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Knicks 90

  • Willie Green provided what’s been missing lately: Some real scoring punch off the bench. With the Knicks swarming Josh Smith and Joe Johnson someone else had to convert chances. Marvin Williams did it in the first half and Green (15 points, 6/7 FG in fourth quarter) did it late.
  • “Me and Joe have been doing so much, fatigue sets in a little bit,” Josh said. “Whenever you can get the energy off the bench, especially the offensive power like Willie did tonight, it’s definitely needed for this ball club. For us to have the momentum and confidence flowing into the postseason we need our bench to keep consistent like all year long.”
  • Green stretches the floor and his pace and purpose complement Josh and (especially) Joe’s more deliberate styles. Maybe that’s not so great Green is not making shots but it’s just what the Hawks need when he’s hot. “I was trying to stay aggressive,” he said. By me staying aggressive, they started to go down. Then another one goes down and another one goes down and the next thing you know you have got it going.”
  • Green sat with the back and hamstring injuries for so long you might have forgotten he’s having a career year. He can be a real asset for the Hawks in the postseason, especially if he’s on the floor to benefit from the double teams against Josh and Joe. “I’m learning more and more,” he said. “Teams are going to try to double team those guys. We have just got to be ready to knock down a shot or get to the basket, get to the free-throw line or whatever it takes.”
  • Drew: “We’ve certainly been looking for [bench production]. Willie played well before he got hurt, though. He was in a good rhythm, particularly shooting the basketball, and tonight he caught fire. You know teams are going to double team Joe and now they are starting to come on Josh. It’s important that we have good spacing and that we make the right plays out of the double team.”
  • Through three quarters Carmelo Anthony had 31 points on 19 shots. In the fourth quarter he had five points on five shots. The Hawks can live with a night when he gets 14 of his 36 points from the line (with a couple suspect calls) and is quiet at the finish while Iman Shumpert (25 points on 14 shots) was the only other Knick helping out.
  • Drew: “Melo’s a great player. He’s been playing well for them, Once he gets into a groove, a rhythm they are tough to defend. They are going to give him enough touches. You have got to make him work. He’s going to make shots. I told the guys don’t get discouraged. My concern was putting the ball on the deck and getting to the basket and drawing fouls.”
  • Melo did that a few times against Josh and Marvin. When they played the drive, he pulled up for Js. These things happen. “Trying to keep a body on him, stay physical,” Josh said. “He’s definitely an offensive player that likes to create the contact. I was trying to be there throughout game and wear him down. I think me and Marvin did a solid job.”
  • Josh defended Melo solo for the most part. Melo had trouble with Josh, too, and so in the fourth quarter Mike Woodson decided to come with early doubles against Josh, who didn’t handle them well. “They were real aggressive on the catch,” Josh said. “They came down before I could even whip my head around and try to find the other guy. They were real persistent with it and I kind of got careless with the basketball. But Willie came in that fourth quarter and made some big shots and made some big plays to get us over the hump.”
  • Drew: “You could see their focus was to take it out of Josh’s hands. We’ve been posting him more as of late and we will continue. The thing I’ve emphasized with him is to make the easy play out of the two-time. If they don’t two-time then you back him in and go to your move. If they do come on the two-time just make the right play. A couple times he tried to skip the ball across the court and a guy stole it. He came to the huddle, he knew exactly what I was going to say to him. That’s a good sign for us with him in the post. He’s a guy at times he looks a little clumsy. The thing is he is so long and athletic, a bounce or two away from the basket and you almost have to come [double] him.”
  • Josh is 2 for 24 on 3-pointers over his past eight games.
  • Joe (28 points on 20 shots) was too much for Landry Fields to handle and was better than Josh against the double teams (he certainly has more experience with them). He continues to shoot well from the 3-point and free-throw lines. It was also ironic (?) that Woody got burned by some familiar Iso-Joe fadeaways.
  • Zaza Pachulia missed a couple open jumpers and didn’t get to the line but had four of Atlanta’s nine offensive rebounds and helped prevent Tyson Chandler from using his athleticism around the basket.
  • Jeff Teague had a brain freeze late in the third quarter. Chandler was switched on him but he settled for a 3-pointer. He ended up with the ball again but just stood at the top of the key for 14 seconds before passing to Josh posted up 18 feet away from the basket. Josh tried a skip pass and turned it over, and Teague had a touch foul on Shumpert on the break.
  • Drew summoned Kirk Hinrich for Teague after that sequence. To Teague’s credit, he was solid in the fourth quarter and had a key steal and blocked shot. “He knows when he comes out and I put him back in it’s never a situation where I’m losing faith in him or confidence in him,” Drew said.
  • Very nice line for Marvin: 13 points on seven shots, seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks, one assist and no turnovers. And, as Josh noted, he took some reps against Melo and competed hard. The bench thing is working our for Marvin.
  • It wasn’t long ago that it looked like Hinrich was rounding into shape. But he’s looked slow on defensive lately and he’s got to be a factor offensively if he’s going to be on the court with Josh and Joe.
  • This didn’t seem to be a Jason Collins kind of game but Collins made a 1:30 cameo. It did seem to be an Ivan Johnson kind of game but he had little impact in nine minutes.
  • In the end, the Hawks shredded Woody’s D and smothered Iso-Melo. “I think we all wanted to win this one for coach,” Chandler said. “I think we played hard enough but they made shots and we didn’t. We also turned the ball over [18 times]. I didn’t play particularly well, either. They kept us off the glass tonight.”
  • Drew, as you might expect, downplayed the Woody angle. Josh did, too: “We just wanted to get a win. It’s nothing personal.”
  • “It was great to see him again,” Joe said. “I’m glad he’s gotten another opportunity to be a head coach and sure he will do everything in his power to finish up strong and give himself a chance to be the coach next year. I think he’s been doing a good job so far. They’ve got some people out but they are working hard.”
  • Tracy McGrady came out for pregame warmups and then mysteriously headed back to the locker room just before tip. The Hawks said he was ill but he looked fine before the game. He wasn’t in the locker room by the time media were let in.
  • With 12 games to go, the Hawks are a half game behind Indiana for fifth place in the East. “There are some people on our heels trying to catch up and we are trying to do the same to others,” Josh said.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

178 comments Add your comment

Adam

March 30th, 2012
11:44 pm

Joe Johnson’s MVP run continued tonight. He owns each and every one of you.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 30th, 2012
11:46 pm

Starters’ plus/minus:
Teague +14
Kirk -6
Zaza +16
Josh +12
Joe +13

Get well soon Pargo.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 30th, 2012
11:47 pm

Half game behind Indiana, 1.5 games behind Orlando, and two games ahead of 7 seed Philly. Tomorrow’s game is huge. Win tomorrow and you can almost ensure that you won’t be playing Miami or Chicago in the first round.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 30th, 2012
11:51 pm

“Half game behind Indiana, 1.5 games behind Orlando, and two games ahead of 7 seed Philly. Tomorrow’s game is huge. Win tomorrow and you can almost ensure that you won’t be playing Miami or Chicago in the first round.”

Not really. We still have to play Dallas, LAC, Boston (twice I believe), the Knicks again. Nothing is a sure bet, especially with this team

Najeh Davenpoop

March 30th, 2012
11:54 pm

Philly has 10 road games left to 6 home games. They still have to play Miami, Orlando twice, Indiana twice, and Boston. The Hawks may very well lose every remaining game against above .500 teams, but I’d be really surprised if Philly can make 3 games up on the Hawks in that time given their schedule.

doc

March 30th, 2012
11:55 pm

dawgnole and others, the atlanta fan is a dying breed, especially in big games like tonight. the fan is almost extinct from where i was standing. there were 4 to 5 knick fans there to the 1 atlanta fan. 2 minutes left a stream of orange and blue was heading to the exit. yes, i was childish enough to ride them and wave them home. the atl fans there at the end were not enough to give these guys credit for a very well played and hard fought game.

jeff teague was almost flawless, marvin working, green playing his best impersonation of flip and jamal but under control and smart, jj dealing and josh pretty much doing his thang and only getting frustrated minimally. but yes, i am fed up with the atlanta sports fan as i dont see them there when they should be.

now about those “loose thumbs” and it relates to my first tirade. man, if my thumbs got loose in there i would have had my phone easily knocked from my hands. those fans were streaming everywhere and not paying attention to me as big as i am. they were in throngs buying and supporting the basg at the concession stands moving in huge masses through the concourse which were thriving tonight as no other night i can remember this year. this is what it used to be like for big games only there were morw atl fans there. now, not so much.

go hawks! 0-45!

smart move by ld to bring in marvin against melo late with josh having 5 fouls. then josh only had to work on chandler also with 5 to even it out. there were several moves by the ld that seemed to work. never really felt the presence of woody and his decisions during the game tonight. heh heh

fortunately jr smith didnt go off, somehow we got a few stops and melo miss fired a few at the end.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 31st, 2012
12:01 am

In honor of Woody, only 7 Hawks got double figure minutes in tonight’s game.

doc

March 31st, 2012
12:01 am

zaza was a man tonight not taking any of that fake new york sh!t, make believe swagger. melo was mocking how he made a block on him without having to jump. melo, with zaza, that is routine; act like you been there before.

LT

March 31st, 2012
12:01 am

That’s it MC??? Where’s the rest of the blog?? I could have wrote that!

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
12:08 am

Woodsanity kinda fizzled out there…

hj

March 31st, 2012
12:08 am

Section 303

March 31st, 2012
12:08 am

Sweet win! Loved watching all the Knick fans (most of whom have probably never set foot in New York) leave sad.

I know Joe, Josh, and Willie are going to get the headlines. They deserve it. But, save some love for Zaza tonight. He was outstanding. Played physical, epecially on defense.

Tomorrow night’s game is a big one. Glad the Hawks have 3 days of rest to look forward to, followed by home games with Charlotte and Detroit. Cannot not drop either of those games after the time off.

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
12:12 am

By the way, nice reporting on the Woody/LD relationship, MC. I felt in the past that you’ve given LD a pass on certain things, but you definitely got the facts out there on this one. Not a good week if you’re LD. First Joe Johnson says guys don’t know their roles, then MC quotes Woody’s inner circle saying what Rod from CP already told us… LD was trying to get Woody’s job while he was still the head coach here.

Big Ray

March 31st, 2012
12:14 am

LD beats MW. Heh….

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
12:16 am

“Save some love for Zaza tonight. He was outstanding. Played physical, epecially on defense.”

I loved when Shumpert shoved Zaza in the back on a clean pick and then Chandler shoved him and he raised his hands and walked away, and then on the inbounds play they call Zaza for an offensive foul for barely touching Chandler. Yes, Zaza has been much better this year about playing under control and not losing as much time to foul trouble.

Big Ray

March 31st, 2012
12:22 am

Ok, so LD was submarining Woody. Woody wasn’t taking the Hawks anywhere. LD has taken them slightly further (but ain’t going any further than that).

Big whoop….I think the whole thing is ironic. Why? Because none of this would be going down if ownership was worth a crap….but it ain’t, and weak-a$$ management was overrun by this ownership, which allowed the whole thing to happen (Sund wanted Dwayne Casey, not Larry Drew).

Simple forumula – Gearon listens to the players over the GM (who rarely spoke up because he’s a yes man anyway) who are campaigning for dear ol’ Uncle Larry (copyright, ASTRO JOE), who knows exactly what to say to Gearon.

Yeah, Woody got done wrong. Doesn’t change the fact that the he’d lost the team long before that happened. Unless of course we want to believe that LD is the sole reason why….

Again, it’s ironic. Because that sounds like something the ASG would do/has done.

Nothing changes until somebody else buys this dang team. Maybe no more pizza guys…can somebody put in a call to the guy who owns Taco Bell?

doc

March 31st, 2012
12:30 am

big ray, it is so cry baby grade school to complain over something like this if woody has. this is the big leagues and woody says he has grown? well not if he still has his buds and confidants saying this sh!t. woody was crying and campaigning knowing his ass was on the line, all frigging season, saying he deserved a contract now not at the end of the season. he knew he was toast so if his ego needs to concoct it as larry, then again, i am sorry for woody and new york and melo is going to eat him up.

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
12:38 am

“Yeah, Woody got done wrong. Doesn’t change the fact that the he’d lost the team long before that happened.”

Big Ray, I’m not crying big crocodile tears for Woodson. I’m more interested in what this says about LD and the quality of coach the Hawks organization was able to bring in after Woody was gone. LD told Hawks ownership that Woody wasn’t taking his suggestions and he would do things differently. Some things that haven’t changed since Woody was here.

1. Head coach plays favorites and has unequal accountability.

2. Abject failure to recognize, utilize or develop the talent that is already present within the organization.

3. Over-reliance on iso-Joe.

How exactly has LD distinguished himself again?

Section 303

March 31st, 2012
12:45 am

Woodson got done wrong? Whatever. I like the guy, but he had to leave after that Orlando debacle. Hawks had to make a change.

doc

March 31st, 2012
12:51 am

buddy i have seen none of the ld over reliance of iso joe that woody had on every trip down the court. tonight jj was balling at the end the way he should but it was not all about him. yes, ld does occasionally go to jj as his go to guy, it is less and less and it defintely is not of the magnitude of his predecessor. woody, used the iso jj on every play like woody hayes used his fullback dives for three yards every time. i didnt see much offense tonight from the knick,s either.

kwooden1

March 31st, 2012
12:54 am

Great Win tonight! Really nice job of taking advantage of matchups and Willie knocking down shots.

In terms of Woody and LD, I really think Woody pissed off all the coaches during his last two years by not taking their suggestions during games. It was always clear to me that Woody and the coaches had reasonable plans before games, but Woody just didn’t having any creativity during games. Basically, his big move was to put his starters back in the game and tell them to play better defensive. Most games I could see the other coaches wanted to do something else, but knowing that Woody was just going to do what he wanted. I think LD and Woody are very similar as coaches but LD had the opportunity to watch Woody do nothing during games for 6 years and he’s at least willing to try things. Woody looked like he had learned something sitting out for a year also and tried a few things tonight also, but it just didn’t work out for him. Woody and LD are going to have to workout their issues on their own, once they are both out of coaching.

GO HAWKS!!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 31st, 2012
12:54 am

The starting point guard for Beijing is from NYC and the starting point guard for the Knicks is Asian.

doc

March 31st, 2012
1:00 am

buddy, we knew from the start that ld chopped on his predecessor from the very first interview in the press. you and everyone else trying to make that a story? also ld was saying whta two thirds of the folks on this blog said regularly, so that wasnt even new. yes, from the start we knew what kind of a guy ld was. if you missed it then glad you are catching up.

i am surprised you would then bring it up that it might reflect bad on the organization like anything short of hiring phil jackson could possibly fix it. that was what the sounds of abject horror from the blog was about when ld was hired and a joke that this was the new voice? get ou ta here buddy, you knew it all along, didnt you?

ntrigue

March 31st, 2012
1:05 am

Hope we get Horford back for playoffs and let him come off the bench and play a taj Gibson type role!

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
1:08 am

I’ve been on this Dennis Lindsey for GM campaign but, realistically, who in the NBA wants to work for the Hawks organization? You’ve got an ownership group that sues itself, sells off draft picks, creates non-existent bidding wars for its own players, and promotes a guy who stabbed the guy in the back who gave him an opportunity. I read today that Tom Thibodeau is unhappy that he hasn’t been offered a contract extension by CHI. I would say, “lets go get that guy” but A. No way the Hawks would pay the kind of money it would take to steal the best coach in the NBA away from CHI, and B. Nobody wants to work for the ASG.

Melvin

March 31st, 2012
1:10 am

Uh oh, Jamal just hit a shot giving the Blazers a 1pt lead with 13.9 left…LOL

Melvin

March 31st, 2012
1:25 am

I’m so glad the Hawks whip the Knicks and Woody azz tonight. On to Philly….

Man in Black

March 31st, 2012
1:25 am

IF we get Horford back for playoffs and they keep Marvin as a 6th man and start a big line up with
Zaza
Horford
Smith
Johnson
Teague

That is a team that could win it all – we beat Chicago & Miami at their house once this year already

tyger

March 31st, 2012
1:43 am

Huge win at home vs. .500+…

As the playoff race heats up…
And teams jockey for position…
The Hawks were reeling from a Bull horn up the …

Fresh off a two game losing streak vs. .500+ teams…
Being embarrassed at home yet again…
The Hawks found themselves in a foxhole…
And guess what? They responded…hallelujah!

Philly, gives a chance to prove this is no fluke…
Then a scheduling miracle – 3 days off and 3 chumps…
Charlotte, Detroit, Charlotte…

By the time they see Boston, Orlando…
They should be on at least a 3 game roll, possibly 5…
With only two more back-backs left, fresher legs on horizon…

doc

March 31st, 2012
1:53 am

buddy there are some good ones out there but for now we got ld and rick and owners that could quickly put this team up on the block. if paul allen swings it, then why shouldnt they want to do the same thing to bury the past.

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 31st, 2012
1:54 am

Detroit matches up well with the hawks, we always struggle and they always beat us. Last time we were at The Palace, we lost handedly. We owe them a butt whipping next week @ Phillips.

I’ll be there! I didn’t see the game tonight, so keep the comments coming. Najeh LOL! He so happy! LMBO @ Najeh hilarious post.

Grandad

March 31st, 2012
1:58 am

My opinion only:
It will be in the long term best interest interest
of both the Hawks and Al Horford,
if he does not suit up again until next season.

Having said;
I`m certain the Hawks decision makers will try to play Al
in order to eke out [maybe] one additional win.
*[with an out of shape and with only partially rehabilitated Al Horford]

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 31st, 2012
2:09 am

The reason Horford tore his chest muscle is because he showed up in camp out of shape and, to play himself into shape. Tragic! (Mr. Omar’s voice) Just Tragic!

Grandad

March 31st, 2012
2:10 am

Sautee

Another thought;
we`ve been missing Willie Green.

-sometimes-

‘` You never know what you got till it’s gone ?
They paved paradise, they put up a parking lot.`’

- Bob Dylan -

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 31st, 2012
2:22 am

* and, TRIED to play himself into shape.

soullrenaissance

March 31st, 2012
3:46 am

Where are all the Knickabocker fans such as Slimjr? Had to shout you out brah! Ryan Steward needs to get a radio gig in NYC because his gushing over the Knicks before the game was sickening for any true Hawks fan – however many fan they have left….
LD is lame and a coward for not even giving a head nod to Woody after the game? He has no class and no style whatsoever. Nonetheless, this was a great win for us because it has seen the reemergence of Willie Green.

Eric

March 31st, 2012
3:48 am

“The reason Horford tore his chest muscle is because he showed up in camp out of shape and, to play himself into shape. Tragic! (Mr. Omar’s voice) Just Tragic!”

It seemed like a huge number of players had the same issue. Tons of guys had conditioning issues due to the lengthy lockout and then the lack of a true training camp combined with the abrupt start to the season. I think that caught many players by surprise. There have been way too many games missed due to injuries from players not quite being in game shape. I hate to see injuries and I hope that this type of thing doesn’t repeat itself in the future.

Michael Cunningham

March 31st, 2012
4:05 am

@Buddy: “By the way, nice reporting on the Woody/LD relationship, MC. I felt in the past that you’ve given LD a pass on certain things, but you definitely got the facts out there on this one.”

be specific here. what “certain things” have i “given LD a pass” on? on what basis do you make this claim? it’s not enough to make this claim just because my info doesn’t always conform to your preferred narrative about LD. tell me specifically where you believe i’ve given LD a pass. what info am i suppressing? what truth am i not telling? what info do you believe i’m withholding? to say i’ve given LD a “pass” is a serious allegation that requires more than just a tossed-off statement like this. back up what you are alleging.

vava74

March 31st, 2012
4:26 am

Najeh,

Tooooo funny reading your posts.

Tells us who is(are) your Knicks’loving friend(s) who have been grilling your patience??

You rarely lose your composure like that, even on posts where you swear there seems to be a “rev limitator”… :-D but not tonight! :-D

soullrenaissance

March 31st, 2012
4:27 am

Buddy G….CHALLENGE—-be specific here. what “certain things” have i “given LD a pass” on? on what basis d9o you make this claim? it’s not enough to make this claim just because my info
doesn’t always conform to your preferred narrative about LD. tell me specifically where you believe i’ve given LD a pass. what info am i suppressing? what truth am i not telling? what info do you believe i’m withholding? to say i’ve given LD a “pass” is a serious allegation that requires more than just a tossed-off statement like this. back up what you are alleging.

vava74

March 31st, 2012
4:30 am

On Woody and LD:

Woody is, no doubt, a class act character wise.

His press conferences and interviews were always the mark of man who looked straight into people’s faces.

However, as an HC, he was severely limited, including the fact that his stubbornness made him ignore his assistants.

Not HC material.

LD seems a lot less straightforward character wise and also very deficient as an HC.

This was basically the battle of the “perennial assistant coaches who were given HC jobs by the perennial loser Hawks”.

vava74

March 31st, 2012
4:35 am

Shorthanded as we are on the front court it is incredible how these nincompoops called ASG did not made the investment on JJ Hickson.

A guy with ATL ties who is 24 and could be our Taj Gibson and a solution going forward for us to trade Al for a high pick or other pieces and still keep some front court quality.

Sure, Hickson is still a work in progress but last night, as a starter for POR:

J.J. Hickson F min36:26 FG13-19 FT3-7 ± -5 oReb5 Treb13 Ast2 TO3 Stl0 Blk0 BA2 FL2 Pts29

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
4:35 am

Naturally, MC, I’m talking about how you glossed over the fact that a former Hawks player called LD’s preparation a joke.

soullrenaissance

March 31st, 2012
4:37 am

Great assessment vava!
ASG settled for less because it costed less. I can admire the good qualities in Woody as a man but his flaws as a coach pushed the ASG in a corner they did not know how to get out of. LD seems like a slickster, weasel, using Woody as a sandbag. So willing to stab his partner in the back to move up. That crabs in a barrel motive probably reared its ugly head before Woody’s contract was up. something tells me he had an agenda long before Woody was let go.

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
4:57 am

“The reason Horford tore his chest muscle is because he showed up in camp out of shape and, to play himself into shape.”

Imagine what the Hawks will look like next year if Marvin and Horford hit the weights with the same level of dedication in the offseason as Josh and Joe.

Grandad

March 31st, 2012
5:22 am

Mary Ellen

From last eve;

I do not believe Al was inj due to being out of shape.
His inj was an unusual basketball inj in any case;
sometimes accidents happen;
that`s why they call `em accidents;
not, *’`on purposes`’*.

You know I`m not trying to be a smart aleck with you;
-but-
my point is – it was a freakish type inj.

I`m not gonna debate whether or not Al was in tip top shape.
However;
I`ve seen many injuries in basketball that are almost unexplainable.
Regardless of the finest physical conditioning,
knees pop, achilles burst, one player dives for a loose ball;
a half sec sooner than another, one landing on top of the other`s shoulder,
snap, crackle, pop, goes the rotator cuff or the labrum in the shoulder
of player on bottom, even though he spent the last 7 yrs in the wgt room ?
All you do is say, praise the lord, work harder, thank God for today,
accept what life throws at you, pray for tomorrow … Amen

Buddy Grizzard

March 31st, 2012
5:32 am

Seriously… Marvin looked great on defense last night. Horford was trying to post up at the start of the season. Let those two guys come into camp in Josh Smith shape and this team can go to the NBA Finals. Bring back Ivan and this is the deepest front court in the NBA.

Joe B.

March 31st, 2012
5:45 am

“Imagine what the Hawks will look like next year if Marvin and Horford hit the weights with the same level of dedication in the offseason as Josh and Joe.”

Horford looks like he already hits the weights pretty hard. I think it was his cardio that was lacking at the start of the season, not his strength training. A lot of guys in the NBA work out regularly with weights even during the off-season. It’s the cardio that is difficult to prepare for the regular season, because nothing really gets you into NBA-ready condition other than game time, but I think a lot less players work on keeping up their cardio up during the offseason as opposed to their strength. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how it appears to me.

Joe B.

March 31st, 2012
6:07 am

By the way, when Al is healthy again and proves he is ready to have his starting role back, I would like to see the Hawks use a big lineup where Hinrich is replaced by Horford. The lineup would be:

PG – Teague
SG – Joe
SF – Josh
PF – Al
C – Zaza

I only see a couple of issues with that lineup. For one, I think it may be difficult for Josh to check some of the quicker SFs, so at times, we may have to put Marvin into the lineup for defensive purposes on the wing. You saw what happened tonight when he Josh was defending Carmelo at the start of the game. There wouldn’t be a lot of scenarios like that, but against quicker SFs and guys who like to run off of a lot of screens, I think we need to match up Josh with a PF instead. Also, I think Joe may be more effective at the 3, defensively, than at the 2, since he will have to do less chasing of players off of screens, giving him more energy on the offensive end. However, that can be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Now, as far as the offensive end goes. I feel like this lineup may hurt our floor spacing a bit, since three out of our five starters are basically big men who would want to operate in the paint. The only knockdown 3 point shooter in the lineup is really Joe. Teague is streaky, Josh is not a good 3 point shooter, and I would prefer for him to stay away from the 3 point line, Zaza doesn’t shoot 3s, and while Al may be able to knock down corner 3s, I really don’t want our big men falling in love with playing beyond the arc. Still, we may be able to still get away with some decent floor spacing, since Al is capable of knocking down the mid-range shot and his range is almost out to the 3 point line with that shot already. Josh is also capable of knocking down midrange shots, although at a less effective percentage. If team’s packed the paint against us, we’d still have enough shooting on the floor to counter it, and we would likely be a much better rebounding team with Josh, Al, and Zaza together.

Also, since Al can play both the 4 and the 5, and Josh can play both the 3 and the 4, we would have a nice 3-man rotation at the PF-C positions with Josh, Al, and Zaza at all times, meanwhile still being able to rest one of them while the other two are in. Plus, we still have Ivan and Marvin as quality backup frontcourt players so that we can give the starting frontcourt players more rest when necessary. T-Mac is a wildcard, but he’s also a capable backup at the 3 (possibly even at the 4 depending on the opponent) when healthy.

As far as the bench goes in the backcourt, we would have the luxury of being able to bring Kirk off the bench again to run the offense for the second unit, and we’d still have wing scorers with Willie Green and Pargo.

I like the looks of that starting lineup and bench.

Geemack

March 31st, 2012
6:19 am

MC…. What’s the status on Al? Any updates?