Atlanta Hawks: Season Review: Erick Dampier

Season reviews presented in alphabetical order . . .

When I think back to Erick Dampier’s 2012 season with the Hawks, three memories stand out.

The first is from his introduction at Hawks practice on Feb. 9. Somebody asked Dampier if he thought his career might be finished before he got the call because, well, he was 36-years old.

“I didn’t really think that,” he said flatly. “With all of the injuries at some point some team would need my service.”

You won’t hear many 6-5 guys say that. This was the latest example of how cool it must feel to be 7-feet tall, motor coordinated and skilled at basketball.

Dampier also was asked if he’d been working out back home in Jackson, Miss., during his idle time: “I’ve been working out but I wouldn’t say it’s basketball shape.”

You had to be there to really appreciate it. The “working out” needed air quotes.

The second thing I will always remember about Dampier is that he ended up on the injury report in April in spite of not playing a game since March 18. At least the Hawks didn’t count him as missing games like they did with Pape Sy (never forget).

And my final, most relevant memory of Dampier is from Game 3 at Boston. As he headed to the scorer’s table to check in, a wise guy Celtics hack turned to me and asked: “Dampier?” I shrugged, unable to explain it . . . and then Dampier had his best game of the season. “Dang near spry” is how I described him in my blog post.

That was shocking enough, but Dampier validated that skin with another solid outing in Game 4. Yeah it was a blowout loss, but, still.

Here’s what I wrote about Dampier back when the Hawks signed him:

The biggest red flags for Dampier last season were drastic declines in his scoring and rebounding rates. The two are related because Dampier didn’t grab as many offensive boards and so didn’t have as many putbacks. But Dampier still was effective when he managed to collect misses: His 1.1 points scored per possession on offensive rebounds (on 31 possessions) ranked 84th in the league last season, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

And Dampier may still have some value as a defender. His opponent PER of 14.3 last season was solid. Dampier’s Synergy defensive numbers were good: .83 points per possession allowed, 83rd-best in the league. Plus, let’s face it: At this point the Hawks just need a big body to plug in the middle so bigs can’t bull their way to the basket at will and smalls at least have an obstacle to navigate on their way to the basket.

I guess Dampier filled that role effectively, but it’s hard to say for sure because he played just 83 regular-season minutes. Offered with the usual Small Sample Size Disclaimer are Dampier’s target=”new”strong opponent PER and .84 points per possession allowed. His rebounding rate bounced back even as his already-anemic scoring rate plummeted to rank near the bottom of the league.

The Hawks, flush with guards and wings on the roster, needed a big after Al Horford and Jason Collins went down. A center-starved league had snapped up nearly every quality big by then. The Hawks turned to Dampier, whose salary ended up pushing them further over the luxury-tax line.

(Dampier and Jerry Stackhouse are the answers to a future Hawks trivia question: Which players’ contracts contributed to the team paying the luxury tax for the first time in the franchise’s history?)

Dampier eventually worked himself into reasonable shape and showed he can be an effective defender in short stints even as he offers next-to-nothing offensively. Dampier provided some decent minutes in the playoffs in spite of essentially being on the shelf for more than six weeks.

In this league, that might be enough for Dampier to get another call when some team needs his service next season.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

213 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
4:47 pm

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
4:49 pm

Damp was better than I expected and I would have no problems if he returns as our 3rd center.

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
4:50 pm

Actually, 4th center, I want our 3rd center to be a project (like what Benson or Rolle was supposed to be).

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
4:50 pm

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
4:56 pm

Aj – Dude – actually I’d never heard of him – wow – so that’s where Najeh got his handle

cp

June 7th, 2012
4:56 pm

Yea Damp wasnt bad at all when he actually played. I would rather have him back than Collins.

@Astro. Taylor really looked good today at the combine. Dude is a lot better shooter than I thought. I wasnt a big fan of his but if the Hawks drafted him I would not be mad. Looks like he can come in and play from day 1. Im intrested to see what his measurements are though.I think because of his age some teams are low on him but he looks like a player.

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
4:56 pm

“It’s just me, myself and I…”

GT Alum

June 7th, 2012
5:00 pm

So alpabetical order means we’ve gotten 2 of the frountcourt slugs out of the way. We start with Collins and Damp and get to end with Marvin. Frontcourt depth is definitely not one of this team’s strengths. Hopefully we can pick up a rookie to supplant at least one of the three.

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
5:00 pm

So what if we roll into this season with a dangling Smoove, Jeff Taylor as Marvin’s backup, and some filler – Can we do anything next season? Like make the ECF or the Finals.

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
5:01 pm

cp, I forgot that you said the combine would be televised. Shoot, I forgot to set my DVR (being the basketball nerd that I am, I would have nejoyed watching some of the coverage). He’s supposedly 6′7″ with good athleticism to go along with a smooth stroke. But like most seniors, folk fixate an what he isn’t as opposed to what he is. And hard to imagine that a Vandy guy isn’t a little smarter than the average jock.

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
5:01 pm

Cp – They said Taylor shot 100’s of J’s a day last summer, and became a rather adept jumpshooter

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
5:03 pm

AJ – But you know the way Rome said it was some guy named najeh davenport – but maybe he was being facetious.

Sautee

June 7th, 2012
5:07 pm

SteveW,

Google “Najeh Davenport + defacation” and you will become enlightened. I suspect that Jim Rome was making a throwaway joke on the air.

cp

June 7th, 2012
5:09 pm

@Astro they are showing it again at 7pm on ESPNU. I missed the guards so I will be looking at it again.

@SteveW. I can believe it.Chad Ford was saying how scouts didnt like how he couldnt shoot his first few years so he worked on it and became a better shooter but instead of giving him credit for improving they think it might be a fluke…. I just hope the Hawks stay away from Wroten. It was rumored they really like him but that dude cant shoot at all and is turnover prone. They say he really struggled today with his jumper. Im going to look at it tonight and see just how bad it was.

GT Alum

June 7th, 2012
5:10 pm

The Hawks could make the ECF if things break their way – get good matchups, maybe get an opponent that’s hampered in one way or another – but even if the Hawks are able to bring back contributors off the bench like Pargo, Green and Ivan and are able to make marginal upgrades on other bench positions, I don’t think you can expect the ECF. That’s why I think it will be a mistake for them to hold on to Smoove for 1 last run with this core group.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

June 7th, 2012
5:30 pm

For the next blog, can we get a season review of Arthur Triche?

Good God…

Slimjr

June 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

Crickets…………………………………. [eyes roll]

Hugo

June 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

Maybe Atlanta franchises are jinx. Braves sholuld have have at least three championships, 1991, 1993, and 1995. I think 1994 would have been too, if not for the strike. Hawks definetly 1988. And Falcons 1980 and one or two other years. I cant remember right now.

Slimjr

June 7th, 2012
5:40 pm

Tear it down……

Jettison the Warp Core Scottie! Aye Captain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ryan

June 7th, 2012
5:43 pm

Its sounds like the Hawks will waist another pick we just can not ever have a good draft maybe they will surprise us but doubt it probably wont watch the NBA draft i hope the Hawks try and move up if they trade Josh Smith .

Slimjr

June 7th, 2012
5:43 pm

Hugo

June 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

“Maybe Atlanta franchises are jinx”

Yea bring in the Exorcist pronto!

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
5:44 pm

Damp was CLEARLY better than Collins. Not saying much, but what’s with the love affair between Drew and Collins? Can we please let Collins retire so we don’t lose in the playoffs for a third straight season because Drew thinks Collins can play?

Grandad

June 7th, 2012
5:46 pm

The NBA combine today:

Our blog is Erick Dampier ?

Ain`t it Great to be a Hawks Fan !

Dept. Of Unintended Irony

June 7th, 2012
5:51 pm

“Its sounds like the Hawks will waist another pick”

Must be a “middle” of the draft pick.

Slimjr

June 7th, 2012
5:54 pm

Thats right the NBA Draft combine starts in 1 hour [7pm-9pm] on ESPNU Channel 883 tonight!

The Hawks= Y-A-W-N-

BIG DOG

June 7th, 2012
5:55 pm

M J need to call me ASAP, i would turn the Bobcats into Thunders of the East Coast.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Slimjr

June 7th, 2012
5:57 pm

DUI, in the pursuit of perfection! Hehehehehehe

steve brown

June 7th, 2012
5:59 pm

OMG – you are actually going through with this garbage. Why don’t we guess Dampier’s stats at the YMCA next year?

BIG DOG

June 7th, 2012
5:59 pm

Andre Drummond is the building block for the Bobcats.

MJ can’t miss this one.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
6:07 pm

“This Hinrich shut down Rondo fantasy you have in your head is almost laughable.” – Rod from C.P.

Rod, it’s not a fantasy, it’s a fact. Rondo did not score while Hinrich was on the floor in Game 3. MC did a whole blog post about it. He posted the Synergy logs for every defensive posession against Rondo.

So let’s go on the record here. Do you think playing Pargo (-11) in the 4th quarter and sitting Hinrich (0) was the right move? Hinrich had the best +/- of any starter in Game 3. He sat all of the 4th quarter and overtime. Do you think that was the right move? Rondo didn’t score with Hinrich in the game, but he scored 3 baskets (2 layups) in the 4th quarter with Hinrich on the bench. Was playing Pargo in the 4th quarter the correct call by Larry Drew?

doc

June 7th, 2012
6:17 pm

aj, it kept the blog talking if nothing else. ;-) i was a lot more serious about taking stuckey over acie though. i really wasnt upset with the al move but i was furious with the acie pick. i also said the leg length discrepancy of three inches or something like that once pointed out, was something the blazers better pay attention to in odum. it was fun as i think you might have even chimed in on how the hawks could be the team of china and it would be a good business move. heh heh

atlnative

June 7th, 2012
6:32 pm

I want to know what kind of weed is the Atlanta Hawks’ General Manager is smoking? Erick Dampier wasn’t worth a damn when he was a young player! What kind of productivity are you gonna get from a 36 year old unproven player?

Jay

June 7th, 2012
6:34 pm

So…does that mean you thinks he’s goe?

BIG DOG

June 7th, 2012
6:50 pm

Buddy Grizzard – Pargo have won atleast 4 games for the Hawks coming of the bench, Hinrich showed me nothing, yes bringing Pargo was the right move, Pargo played like boo boo during playoffs but it’ was just one of them thing that Green also played bad during playoffs.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
6:50 pm

“Tough to picture the Hawks shipping Josh or Joe up I-85, as tempting as it may sound depending on how much you like Beal or MKG.”

Like MKG a whole lot. If Charlotte wants Josh, we dump a player who doesn’t want to be here and isn’t going to extend and get our small forward of the future, a guy with great competitive fire. Al gets to play PF and we look for a center (Zaza starts in the meantime).

“I thought a move or trade [such as the one above] that would allow the Hawks to rid itself of Marvin Williams would be welcomed on the blog.” – High-Sider

It would certainly be welcomed on the blog. It would not be welcomed in New Orleans where they are trying to dump salary, not take on more bad salary in the form of Marvin Williams.

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
6:55 pm

BIG DOG, you do realize that Game 3 went into overtime, right? That means at the end of the 4th quarter, the score was tied. I’m not saying that Hinrich would have kept Rondo from scoring in the 4th quarter if he had played Pargo’s minutes. But what if Rondo only scored two baskets in the 4th instead of 3? Hawks win.

Do you understand the +/- statistic? Pargo was -11, which means the Celtics outscored the Hawks by 11 points while Pargo was on the floor. Hinrich’s +/- for that game was (0), meaning the Hawks scored the same number of points while Hinrich was on the floor that the Celtics scored. So the Hawks were 11 points better with Hinrich on the floor in Game 3 than they were with Pargo. The Hawks ONLY NEEDED TO BE ONE POINT BETTER THAN THE CELTICS TO WIN THAT GAME IN REGULATION.

Paddy

June 7th, 2012
6:57 pm

The ASG is not spending one waking minute trying to improve this team.. Their sole purpose is to find some bozo to buy this team. They are tired of losing their fortunes and being the most hated folks ever in ATL.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

June 7th, 2012
7:02 pm

Writing a freaking blog about Jason Collins, who no one on here has thought of for 4 weeks, then follow that up with Erick WaHo Dampier who could be an NFL lineman for all I know. WTF is this BS? Can we get blogs on players who actually are crucial to this team?

Sautee

June 7th, 2012
7:55 pm

“Can we get blogs on players who actually are crucial to this team?” – Jeje

Michael said in the heading that he’s going by alphabetical order. Reading is fundamental. :-)

Just kidding, GG.

High-sider

June 7th, 2012
8:29 pm

@BIG DOG [and Buddy Grizzard]

“…Do you understand the +/- statistic? Pargo was -11, which means the Celtics outscored the Hawks by 11 points while Pargo was on the floor. Hinrich’s +/- for that game was (0), meaning the Hawks scored the same number of points while Hinrich was on the floor that the Celtics scored. So the Hawks were 11 points better with Hinrich on the floor in Game 3 than they were with Pargo. The Hawks ONLY NEEDED TO BE ONE POINT BETTER THAN THE CELTICS TO WIN THAT GAME IN REGULATION.” – Buddy Grizzard

Ask him [Buddy Grizzard], if the Hawks needed only one point to win Game 3 in regulation, then why didn’t Hinrich score that one point since he played [approximately] 26 minutes in Game 3? Ask him [BG], why was Hinrich held scoreless in Game 3? Ask him [Buddy Grizzard], how many points did Kirk Hinrich score in Game 3 and Game 4 for that matter vs. the Celtics in the [2012] playoffs? Then, wait and see how he [Buddy Grizzard] will respond. FYI, Hinrich scored a total of two points combined in Games 3 and 4 vs. Boston. Furthermore, Hinrich only scored a combined total of two points from the beginning of the 3rd quarter of Game 2 to the end of the 4th quarter of Game 4; that’s a total of 10+ quarters [125 minutes] of playoff basketball. Remember, Game 3 vs. the Celtics was an overtime game. Tell him [Buddy Grizzard] that Kirk Hinrich logged [approximately] 85 minutes and 17 seconds of playing time from the beginning of Game 2 to the end of Game 4 but yet only scored a combined total of two points. What good are +/- statistics for a player like Kirk Hinrich if he’s not giving you anything on the offensive end? Plus/minus statistics are not “statistics in a vacuum.” Tell him to research Hinrich’s 2010-2011 regular season [individual aggregate] +/- statistics which was the [regular] season the Hawks made that trade for him [Hinrich].

2010-2011 NBA Regular Season [Individual Aggregate] Plus/Minus Statistics:

Kirk Hinrich w/ Hawks: -125
Mike Bibby w/ Hawks: +137
Kirk Hinrich w/ Wizards: -260
Mike Bibby w/ Wizards: -12

http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=1&season=22010&split=9&team=Hawks

Ask him [BG], where was that Hinrich stellar defensive prowess during the regular season of 2010-2011?

High-sider

June 7th, 2012
8:34 pm

^Correction: “…Tell him [Buddy Grizzard] that Kirk Hinrich logged [approximately] 85 minutes and 17 seconds of playing time from the beginning of Game 2 to the end of Game 4 but yet only scored a combined total of ten* [10*] points…”

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
8:35 pm

I’m watching a replay of the combine on ESPN3. Chad ford on Tony Wrote:

“His jump shot is beyond broken… can’t shoot AT ALL.”

Eye test confirms this… he’s #11 and he’s building a house with these bricks.

RaJaH

June 7th, 2012
8:37 pm

Was Sund was making his decision last Monday? Does it really matter?

Buddy Grizzard

June 7th, 2012
8:40 pm

High-sider, so was playing Pargo in the 4th quarter in Game 3 the correct call?

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
8:43 pm

So if you did flip Josh for the #2 pick – would you keep it, or try and trade down to Portland for the #6 and #11?

Or to Houston for for picks #14 and #16 and maybe Kyle Lowry (if they’d do that)

Or Trade the #2 to the Hornets, along with Marvin Williams for #10, Ariza, and Jarrett Jack?

Or keep the pick, and take the best available player.

Since Josh only has 1 year left, and has the 15% kicker, you may have to throw in our 1st pick (#23) and maybe even the 2nd rounder (43) to get that deal done.

Your trading a known commodity for an unknown, yes. But your also obtaining a player that should play 10-12 years to a team who may only keep him for 1.

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
8:48 pm

Wroten should fit right in then not being able to shoot J’s. It’s his athleticism and court vision we need – he has elite skills, who cares about a jumper?

The above is facetious BTW

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
8:51 pm

Wll, OKC beat last years Champ in Round 1
The 2 season before that Champs in Round 2 (back to back champs)
4x Champs the Spurs after that in Round 3.

I think the kids are pretty mentally tough wouldn’t you say?

I wonder if the Celts could get in their heads? If anybody can, they can. But OKC just has so much talent, I don’t think the Celts can compete.

Who knows, maybe Miami comes back and wins it all. Hope not.

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
8:54 pm

I’ve been sold on Jeff Taylor at #23 for awhile. I think he can be at least a 10 and 5 guy with very good D for 8-10 years in the League.

And coming from Vandy, you’d think he’d be smart also.

I’m not against Moultrie either. I think he can play C in the NBA – maybe not right away, but in a couple of years.

Jae Crowder at #43 is my type of player also – tough – defended all 5 spots in college – a real grunt guy. Good bench, role player.

SteveW

June 7th, 2012
8:58 pm

Collins and Dampier, with a little training, actually could probably help the Falcons on the Line.

Astro Joe

June 7th, 2012
9:01 pm

Interesting to see Ainge sitting next to McHale and Bird sitting next to Carlisle during the combine. I didn’t see LD sitting next to Woody, though.