Atlanta Hawks: Season Review: Willie Green

Season reviews presented in alphabetical order. Previously: Jason Collins and Erick Dampier.

The fact that Willie Green was an offseason afterthought, signed-and-traded to the Clippers in what amounted to a housekeeping transaction for the Hawks, shouldn’t overshadow the fact that Green probably ranks second to Ivan Johnson among the team’s unexpected surprises in 2011-12.

The Hawks were keen on Green as soon as the free agency period opened but figured he’d be out of their price range. Green thought the same. But then the post-lockout market was harsh for an undersized, 30-year old shooting guard who had put up middling numbers for his career.

“It was a crazy free agency,” Green said at the time of his signing. “There was a lot of scenarios with players going different places and no one knew where they were going to go. It’s a blessing to be here. I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Green made the most of it by turning in a career year with the Hawks. For the first time, Green was a low-usage, high-efficiency scorer. His 1.04 points scored per possession (on 395 possessions used) ranked 24th in the league, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

That was in large part because Green shot 3-pointers at career-high rate and made them a career-high percentage (excluding 2005-06, when he played just 10 games for the Sixers). Green still didn’t draw many fouls but he had a great year at the free-throw line, too, missing just eight of 56 attempts.

Green proved to be a good fit playing off the ball and spotting up for shots in the half court and in transition, or catching and shooting off screens. That role also allowed him to continue to cut his turnover rate and percentage.

Defensively, Green was too slow-footed to handle particularly athletic opponents and too small to fend off stronger players. That’s reflected in his individual numbers: .91 points per possession allowed (276th in the league, according to Synergy) and 15.9 opponent PER at shooting guard. However, Green proved to be a decent team defender when properly deployed as reflected by the efficiency of the top four lineups in which he played.

Green couldn’t carry over his play into the postseason, which made him like pretty much every Hawks reserve. He struggled to create shots, didn’t attempt a free throw in 63 minutes and was a defensive liability.

Overall, Atlanta’s acquisition of Green turned out to be a good, cost-efficient move. In what may be a sign of the new NBA world of fiscal restraint when it comes to role players, Green’s good year apparently didn’t translate into the kind of lucrative contract regularly offered to scorers. According to Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus Green’s first-year salary with the Clippers is $1.375 million, just a bit more than the league minimum, and the final two years are not guaranteed.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
Follow @ajchawks on Twitter.

191 comments Add your comment

politiconpe

August 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

He served his purpose. The Hawks got everything out of him they could have expected. However, Lou Williams should be a vast improvement.

dirk

August 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

SteveW

August 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

Willie did great for what was expected, as did Pargo.

But of course Lou and Devin, and even Morrow are light years ahead of Green, Pargo, and Hinrich.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

August 24th, 2012
2:31 pm

When you look back Sund was bragging about how deep his bench was last year.

Willie Green
T-mac
Stackhouse
Vlad-Rad
Pargo
Hinrich
Zaza
Big Ivan

SteveW

August 24th, 2012
2:35 pm

About Lou – What I got reading that article about him is; he loves to play basketball. There are quite a few guys, NBA players, who are skilled, who just play for a paycheck. There are other guys who love the game, and it shows.

I think Lou likes what he’s doing, and that’s why he keeps improving

O'Brien

August 24th, 2012
3:09 pm

Green proved to be a good fit playing off the ball and spotting up for shots in the half court and in transition, or catching and shooting off screens..

Is this what John Jenkins’ role will be?

The Truth

August 24th, 2012
3:17 pm

“I can hear the gym getting noisier in the background. I have to ask you about the contract. Some Atlanta fans were almost celebrating the trade, given how much money you make and the salary cap. You dealt with that for years. How do you do it? Just tune it out? Use it as fuel? Just play? Do you care?” – SI.com

“Johnson: You just have to tune it out. We had a great squad there. Unfortunately, we got hit by the injury bug last season, with Al [Horford] getting hurt early in the season. It happens. I can take the criticism, as long as I know I’m giving it everything I have.” – JJ

And that was precisely the problem. Everything JJ had wasn’t good enough for the money he was paid. But in hindsight, Joe took the Hawks places they hadn’t in awhile and for that, he should get credit.

I wish him well, but not at the expense of the Hawks.

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
3:19 pm

Lou,Devin, and John after game 1 of the preseason will quickly help us forget about Willie…Yes?

No Miami/Hawk comparisons today? Wow…

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

Joe was the most talented Hawk in years…Regardless of what Sund paid him…

Thanks for the good memories Joe! Wish you and your family the best..What a class act!

Can this other so called AllStar step up and fill shoes? Hmmmmmmm

Rod from College Park

August 24th, 2012
3:27 pm

“Well, think about this. Lou Williams has never played with an offensive player as good as Josh Smith OR Al Horford. There was a lot of pressure on Williams to score baskets because the 76ers were so offensively challenged.”

Every day I come on this blog I read something thats more funny than the day before. Between Northlied, Ken Strickland, Vava, or Buddy Grizzard, I don’t know who’s funnier. So I guess Allen Iverson is not a better offensive player than Josh Smith or Al Horford? Buddy Grizzard being a writer or journalist or whatever you call yourself, you should do your research before you post things that are so obviously incorrect.

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
3:52 pm

Is it safe to say pound for pound inch for inch, NBA guards are by far more skilled and talented than the Bigs?

See Hawks…[Jamal and Joe] almost single handily beat Orlando in that 1st round series in 2011.
Without those two..Orlando in 4…Wish them both well..

Lets hope these new guards can keep it up cause the Hawks will only go as far as their guard play takes them..

Just Joe

August 24th, 2012
3:54 pm

Al Horford, Deshawn Stevenson, and Jordan Williams to Orlando for Hedo Turkoglu, Andrew Nicholson, Nikola Vucevic, 2013 2nd rd pick, and the right to swap 1st rd picks in 2013. Turkoglu only guaranteed for $6M next year. Any takers?

Teague / LouWill
Harris / Morrow / Jenkins
Turkoglu / Korver
Smith / Nicholson / Ivan
Pachulia / Vucevic

Astro Joe

August 24th, 2012
3:58 pm

So I guess the trade exception acquired in the Willie trade is for less than $1.3M.

Yeah, Willie was better than I expected, especially at shooting the 3 ball.

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
4:07 pm

Awesome Just Joe!

We acquire [Andrew Nicholson] a very skilled post up Big who will quickly make us forget about All NBA the second he makes his first post move down on the block! His skills meshing with our guards will be just awesome to watch…He is already more advance in every way offensively compared to All NBA already. In fact it is no contest…For real!

Sam

August 24th, 2012
4:09 pm

I’m a taker if I’m the Hawks, Just Joe. No way the Magic would be interested in that deal.

Grandad

August 24th, 2012
4:15 pm

Why in tarnation are we doin` a season in review;
especially on Willie Green [ who ain`t comin` back];
on the brink 0` September, after all the summer
FA season, monumental trades, Summer Leagues,
are over with and we are eagerly awaiting
Mr Ferry`s next stroke of brilliance;
yet; MC; you ascertain that a seasonal revue, regarding:
Willie Green (of all people) is readable material.

At least it`s a new blog !

BravesFan79

August 24th, 2012
4:47 pm

Your really getting back to these season reviews? lol Who’s next… John Koncack?

O'Brien

August 24th, 2012
4:51 pm

AJ,

Yeah, Willie was better than I expected, especially at shooting the 3 ball..

Willie was better than Willie expected.

MsDee

August 24th, 2012
4:54 pm

from previous blog:

I totally agree, Buddy Grizzard when it comes to Horford getting buckets. Mann oh Mann, folks on here are gonna be truly surprised how well Horford will score the ball this season with JJohnson gone. Horford WILL be the #2 option on the team cause with great passers like Josh AND Harris on this team, Horford WILL finish around the basket, unlike Zaza, tho I like Zaza but mann, he just cant finish. But my boi, Horford can and he WILL avg close to 18-20ppg a game..MARK MY WORDS!! He DOESN’T have to have a post game with excellent passers in Josh and Harris. He’s our CENTER, in case ya didnt know, he doesn’t HAVE to have a post game, just DEFEND and REBOUND!! Yall Horford bashers will be kissing his feet come playoffs time!!

O'Brien

August 24th, 2012
4:54 pm

Slim,

So an NBA rookie who played at St Bonaventure would make us forget about Al, just because his post game “may” be better than Al? Plus just because someone plays a certain way in college does not mean it will automatically translate in the pros.

I think you are getting ahead of yourself.

tony

August 24th, 2012
5:08 pm

Lou William is the kind of player I will pay my money to see. He plays the game the right way. I’m very excited about the upcoming season. Thank you Danny Ferry.

Grandad

August 24th, 2012
5:09 pm

Michael Cunningham:

As you continue your season in revue;
please do not forget *’`Donald Sloan`’*
realizing he only spent a few days with the Hawks.

That was an important five game stretch;
in which young Mr Sloan contributed:
6 pts; 3 fouls; 2 turnovers; 1 steal; 5 assts; &; 5 rebounds
in his 20 min of action.

” Lest we Forget ” …

At the current rate young Donald will be out of the League
before you get around to him.
____________________________________________

Grandad

August 24th, 2012
5:13 pm

MC

I apologize … I did not go to synergy sports tech
and break down D.Sloan`s stat`s even further.

I figured you could bore us with those mind-numbing stats.

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
5:13 pm

Yea lets hope Al does not initiate contact against Bynum down on the block to create space to get his set shot off..We do not want him injuring the other shoulder….Yawn..

Ohmagawdyes Ohmagawd

August 24th, 2012
5:15 pm

Cannot WAIT for Vladimir Radmanovic’s… CAN NOT WAIT!

Slimjr

August 24th, 2012
5:17 pm

Here ya go. Don’t ya wish we had him on the block?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L66QmiB0xj4

doc

August 24th, 2012
5:40 pm

slimj,

“See Hawks…[Jamal and Joe] almost single handily beat Orlando in that 1st round series in 2011.
Without those two..Orlando in 4…Wish them both well..”

i just went back and looked over the box scores for that series. lets do a little reality check. would you please tell us exactly what you are basing that on? for starters we averaged less than 90 points a game for the series and only went over the century mark in one game and that was also the only time we went over 90 and were only able to score 75 in a loss. you would expect guards to carry us a little further than that.

also, usually guards are about scoring and assists. care to tell me who shot the ball the best in the series and who had the most assists for the hawks? also this was a series that was up to the bigs to stop superman and his posse. that was pretty much done as well not by the two you mentioned. so anyway ill sit back a wait for your reasons to declare them as the reason we beat the magic. this was as good a team effort by the hawks for playing defense, it wasnt a guard series at all so i will wait to see how you came up with your comment.

slimj, maybe you were just getting a bit over sentimental on us and it affected your reasoning. cant wait for your reaction to who had the most assists for the series. heh heh, surpriiise!

Just Joe

August 24th, 2012
6:00 pm

Nicholson in his first summer league game dominated single coverage. 24 & 12 on 50% shooting. He was doubled in every game after. 39 & 22 total the next 4 games with 9 turnovers and 1 assist. He’s got to work on his decision making, but the post skills are there.

steven a smith

August 24th, 2012
6:11 pm

What about Tracy McGrady’s season review? Bart Scott said he “Can’t Wait!”

Astro Joe

August 24th, 2012
6:18 pm

Dodgers are about to trade for every good member of the Red Sox. AMAZING.

steven a smith

August 24th, 2012
6:25 pm

This is a “Basketball Blog” Season Review Willie Green. No football, Baseball, Tennis, cycling, Bowling,,,etc “Get the message”

steven a smith

August 24th, 2012
6:28 pm

“Unless Willie Green is about to do a Deion Sanders and play dual sports, then i think we should stick to “Basketball!”

Sautee

August 24th, 2012
6:33 pm

Just Joe,

I’d do that trade. T-s and slimjr try their best to paint me as a Horford fan, but I’m a Hawks fan, and that trade would help the Hawks.

I’m afraid that Orlando wouldn’t bite, though.

Sautee

August 24th, 2012
6:40 pm

Just Joe,

To be clear, the most important point in that trade is the right to swap picks. Without that, I’d back off.

sam'l

August 24th, 2012
7:24 pm

Something big this way comes. I feel it. Within a week. (trade)

Just Joe

August 24th, 2012
7:50 pm

Quote from Joe Johnson’s interview about Brooklyn’s roster: “I think we have the perfect pieces……I don’t think any of our positions are the same or overlap at all.”

Is this Joe taking a shot at some of the “versatile” rosters he’s been a part of in Atlanta? Do players like that the Hawks have a “regular” and a “big” lineup? Did Joe hate playing along with a couple of guards one minute, and then bringing the ball up the court the next? I guess what I’m asking is, do players prefer defined roles?

Astro Joe

August 24th, 2012
7:57 pm

Just Joe, first, I doubt that he is taking a shot at the Hawks. But my guess is that some players probably prefer the consistency of playing one position. And certainly, having your talent diversified over more than 1-2 “natural” positions, which has been a long problem for our Hawks.

ntrigue

August 24th, 2012
9:26 pm

Can we get a review of at least the Summer League roster and performance of players. No one cares about a review of players last year especially someone no longer on the team! Or at least interview players on the team and find out what they think about the trades we’ve made and our new additions from the draft.

Come on MC!

Ole'

August 24th, 2012
9:28 pm

I really think M. Cunningham is trying to drive down sales of the AJC, This has to be his most boring blog feature to date. Im going over to Bradley’s Damn How did this guy end up with the Hawks? Why didn’t they give him the falcons or braves or something?

Hoops

August 24th, 2012
10:12 pm

September 11 is reight around the corner. Trades are a comin’!

Jimmy Mack

August 24th, 2012
10:21 pm

I am a huge Hawks fan, a former season ticket holder(20 years ago). The blog is the best thing to ever happen for me, I get to read the beat writer views about the Hawks beyond what’s in the paper.
But since Micheal Cunningham replaced Sekou Smith it’s been all down hill. The blogs are useless,
the bloggers attacks each other like school kids, and the bloggers analyze issues like their life depends on it. Cunningham your heart is not in it please move on. And you bloggers with the expert analysis put that effort in job or family life. AFTER ALL IT IS JUST A GAME. PEACE!

Sameba

August 24th, 2012
10:48 pm

Today I watched EuroBasket qualifier game Georgia vs Latvia, and Pachulia was playing for his national team. He got 18 points and 9 rebounds, but played with a caution, at the end got tired (Georgian team played only with 7-8 guys). In the last 2 minutes he got his shot blocked twice and allowed one steal. Thanks to J. Pullen who made a winning shot at the last second…

UGA

August 24th, 2012
11:29 pm

Word is we just signed James Anderson…..

That is what Danny Green posted on his Twitter account.

UGA

August 24th, 2012
11:39 pm

Anderson actually started some for the Spurs early on……….6′6, 215. Probably a good addition. But I would think Pietrus would be a better fit

Sameba

August 24th, 2012
11:45 pm

One more guard… How many guards one can have on the team?

UGA

August 24th, 2012
11:57 pm

Sameba

August 25th, 2012
12:15 am

He cannot be signed, probably he will get into “development” program with newly acquired coach…

ntrigue

August 25th, 2012
12:35 am

He got hurt the yr he was drafted if not for that he would’ve never slid down the spurs depth chart. He a good defender that has a good jumper and can drive and finish at the basket. Good pickup he’s definitly better than Marvin and last but not least he’s a smart player has good basketball iq!

dap01

August 25th, 2012
1:36 am

NUNNA!!

August 25th, 2012
2:58 am

Hey!! Don’t forget dat we have LD as a coach..I like LD but how he works with this years team is whats gonna keep him here next year or get his behind fired. I got a feeling that DF is already thinking about Laimbeer as our next coach..
Good Luck LD