Atlanta Hawks: Five training camp questions

Vivlamore with today’s Hawks report.

As the Hawks officially kick off training camp Monday, the AJC takes a look at five things that will be determined with practices and exhibition games prior to the start of the regular season.

1. Who will replace the scoring of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams?

Johnson was traded to the Nets and Williams to the Jazz as the rebuilt Hawks lost two-fifths of their starting lineup. Johnson averaged 18.8 points per game, tied with Josh Smith for the lead lead. Williams averaged 10.2 points per game. The combined 29 points a game represented 30 percent of the offense.

“Both of those guys were very key and big pieces to our puzzle,” coach Larry Drew said. “This opens up opportunities for new guys, guys who have been here, guys who are coming in. It doesn’t happen overnight. We are going to have to lace it up and really go to work and try to, as a team, try to step up. Everybody has to step their game up now. You lose an all-star in Joe and Marvin played a huge role for us because he had the versatility of a starter and he was very productive coming off the bench. We are going to have to roll our sleeves up, bust our behinds and lay it on the line night in and night out.”

2. What will the point guard rotation be with Jeff Teague, Devin Harris and Lou Williams?

Drew said he is undecided just how he will rotate the three guards, all of whom he called “game changers.” Teague started all 66 games for the Hawks last season. Harris is a former all-star. Williams led the 76ers in scoring with 14.9 points a game, all coming off the bench.

“I know that I will be smaller in the backcourt than I have in the past,” Drew said. “I don’t have that versatility that I had by moving Joe to the 2-guard and using his size. What those guys bring, they bring an unbelievable amount of speed and quickness to the game. Speed and quickness, we’ll be in the open-court more, running more pick-and-rolls, just utilizing what their strengths are.”

3. Will Al Horford remain at center?

Horford has primarily played center in his tenure with the Hawks but many want to see the team acquire a big man and move Horford to power forward. Zaza Pachulia is also an option to start at center.

Drew said with Horford healthy after a torn pectoral muscle last season, he is inclined to keep him at center. However, the coach said he likes the versatility of having Pachulia at the center, Horford at power forward and Josh Smith at small forward.

“I’ve been in situations where I’ve used that combination,” Drew said. “I want to allow myself that type of flexibility again.”

4. How much will the team count on its rebuilt bench?

The bench was considered a strength last season but all those players – except for Ivan Johnson and Pachulia – are gone. A new group of bench players have arrived. Drew said he has yet to decide, although he has an idea, who will replace Johnson and Marvin Williams in the starting lineup and who will come off the bench. It’s a good bet that Lou Williams come stay in a reserve role.

“That has been a strength of our and our players have bought into that,” Drew said. “I think you go into any game situation I think you have to look at the matchups and looks at the advantages and disadvantages. Not necessarily always shuffling it around so you adjust to [the opposition], sometimes you want the opponent to adjust to you. I like having the flexibility if I do decide to do that.”

5. Where will this year’s draft picks fit in?

Drew was also non-committal on the exact roles of John Jenkins and Mike Scott. He said he was impressed with their college careers, what they showed during summer league games and offseason workouts.

They will most certainly be used in reserve roles.

“We know what they bring to the table,” Drew said. “I’m excited to see how they do fare in this type of environment.”

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Next phase of the Ferry Project about to get underway

* Drew on rotation at point guard, center

* Initial training camp roster released

* Wanted: Two new starters

* Who is the on-court leader?

* Smith “unlikely” to re-sign during season

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

76 comments Add your comment

Tenacious

September 30th, 2012
8:48 am

Tenacious

September 30th, 2012
8:57 am

Giving props

I like to take me 15 seconds of blog fame to tip my hat to Chris V. You are off to a great start and your vision on the game and where we are as a team is spot on.

Shout Out to Josh Smith Who made his haters his Motivators. I like the collective sounds of the Josh haters last year when Josh put this on his back and carried them to the playoffs…

Crickets.. Crickets… Crickets… Crickets… crickets…crickets….. crickets….

Welcome Devin Harris, This can be your team too. Click with Smooth and find a shooter how can assassinate from the perimeter, handle the rock and distribute. That’s your role.

Danny Ferry. Good vision man! Al needs to go as we can definitely improve upwards from what he brings.

No room for Mediocrity? GRRRREEEEEATTT! That means Al has got to go. Hes about as good as he gets which is a very very middle of the pack average mediocre type…..Next please.

Teague has been a burst, tired of blaming everybody but Teague.

Larry Drew? You mean Larry Phew! Dude Stop caving in to the few loud bloggers how troll under multiple names to make it seem as if their limited view is a consensus. Show some freakin Backbone.

Mr. Ferry please finish the Job you have started. Clean up the mediocrity. There is nothing so contrary to fan support than knowing before the season begins that your team has practically no chance to make it out of the second round. There is no joy when you know your team is sliding backwards towards the lottery… feeling that a shot at the lottery and starting over is better than what you have today.

Please get us a center… not named Al Horford.

All and All we have hope. The back court looks strong and the shooters will have to prove themselves. I suspect that a 3(sf) will emerge from the shooters. There is enough size to make that happen.

DEFENSE!!!

Go Hawks.

Harris
Williams
Korver
Smith
Zaza

Tenacious

September 30th, 2012
9:02 am

“Horford has primarily played center in his tenure with the Hawks but many want to see the team acquire a big man and move Horford to power forward. Zaza Pachulia is also an option to start at center.

Drew said with Horford healthy after a torn pectoral muscle last season, he is inclined to keep him at center. However, the coach said he likes the versatility of having Pachulia at the center, Horford at power forward and Josh Smith at small forward.

“I’ve been in situations where I’ve used that combination,” Drew said. “I want to allow myself that type of flexibility again.”

TRANSLATION?

Yea, Al is not cutting it at center. Zaza is breathing down his neck for the starting position. I am hoping to get a real starting and impact center.

I’ll find a way to get some work out of Al until we can find a way to trade him.

Tenacious

September 30th, 2012
9:05 am

Further translation. Josh is my starting power forward. I’ll find a way to use Al but his best chance was at center, where he is not cutting it.

Tenacious

September 30th, 2012
9:12 am

*I like the collective sounds of the Josh haters last year when Josh put this team on his back and carried them to the playoffs…

prison mike

September 30th, 2012
9:31 am

CV: with the way Ferry running things now, do you think you’ll have “unprecedented” access to the team as opposed from the last regime.

Ken Strickland

September 30th, 2012
9:31 am

CHRIS VIVLAMORE-There are several errors in your article.
1-MWilliams wasn’t a starter, as he was demoted during the season, which prompted moving JJ to SF and starting Hinrich at SG. The return of AHorford to the starting lineup along with his 2010 15.3PPG, which should increase with the additional shots he’ll receive with JJ and Marvins departure, should replace JJs scoring and add additional rebounding and interior DEF.
2-I believe the PG rotation will be JTeague and DHarris. LWilliams has a lot in common with AIverson, which is why I believe he’ll play mostly SG on OFF and defend the PG position on DEF, much like AIverson didwhen he was in Philly.
3-Unless Drew decides to start the season with JSmith at SF, Horford will definitely be our starting C, backed up by Zaza.
4-Zaza is one of the NBAs best backup Cs, and LWilliams is one of the NBAs best scorers off the bench, as well as a SMOY candidate. IJohnson proved to be very effective and versatile last yr, and when you add the efficient 3pt shooting of Korver, Morrow, Jenkins, there’s no doubt whatsoever that we’ll rely heavily on our bench.
5-I believe Jenkins will be a solid candidate for the starting SG spot, or be a viable contributor off the bench, but I don’t know what to expect from Scott, especially if Tolliver makes the active roster.

The biggest question marks in this yrs camp will be the progress and performance of James and Anderson. It will also be very interesting to see if LD decides to go with DEF over OFF and experience over youth when he decides on DStevenson and ATolliver making the active roster. The question for him is, will he allow his BIBBY SYNDROME to kick in and influence his decision, or will he be influenced by Ferry’s committment to developing younger less experienced players?

kwooden1

September 30th, 2012
9:41 am

I think 1st thing is the HAWKS need to trade one or more of these guards,
Harris, Morrow, Stephenson or Korver and get a bigger SG! We should build on the future which is Teague, Jenkins and Lou.

But for this roster my lineup is:
Teague
Morrow
James
Josh
Horford

Lou
Harris/Jenkins
Korver
Johnson/Benson
Zaza

We’re still too guard heavy to be really competitive! The playoffs would be a great year with this lineup!

I think this season is really about see what you’ve got between Teague, Jenkins, James/Anderson, Benson and Scott. I think Teague is a quality PG is this league, but he’s still got a lot to prove has to develop a more consistent jump-shot. I would hope you can find another starter out of the other guys or a least a consistent bench player. After that, next summer is all about resigning Josh and hopefully trading/acquiring another quality SF or SG.

GO HAWKS!

steven a smith

September 30th, 2012
10:55 am

We must get “MORE” production out of our center position. If Larry Drew starts with the same type of line-up(small line-up), this will more than likely expedite him out of Atlanta for good!!! We need better coaching for our head coach. You will not win in this league without “Type A players”. Josh Smith, Lou Williams, and Ivan, are the only type A players that we have right now.

Ken Strickland

September 30th, 2012
11:03 am

KWOODEN1-PGs Harris and Teague are 6′3″, SGs Jenkins( 6′4″), Morrow and Stevenson(6′5″), and Korver(6′7″). Exactly how much additional height at PG and SG do you think we need? In JJohnson, we traded a way a very talented, big, tall, strong and versatile SG/SF.

We also traded away a SG/SF that’s
1-slow,
2-halfcourt and ISO oriented,
3-unable to take his man off the dribble without the need for clearouts and excessive dribbling,
4-unable to finish at the rim,
5-unable to be consistently effective without the ball in his hands,
6-unable to be consistently effective within the confines of a structured OFF,
7-either unable or unwilling to play an uptempo fastbreaking OFF,
8-forced his teammates to play a style of OFF that best suited him rather than his teammates,
9-forced his teammates to retreat to the perimeter on clearouts when he decided to go ISO, which forced them into taking a lot of forced last second jumpshots when he passed out of double/triple teams.

What we replaced him with is a SG tandem(Morrow, Jenkins, Williams) that can
1-break down a DEF with just 1 step, and without the need for clearouts or over dribbling,
2-finish at the rim, dish inside, and/or draw fouls, which JJ seldom did,
3-create more assist opportunities,
4-consistently play an uptempo fast breaking style of OFF,
5-consistently function and still be productive within a structured OFF,
6-make their teammates better by being willing and able to play the uptempo fastbreaking style of OFF that best suits them,
7-increase our overall ability to breakdown DEFs by consistently penetrating and dishing in the lane, finishing at the rim, and consistently getting to the FT line.
8-Increase our overall outside and long range shooting efficiency and ability,
9-increase our depth, versatility, and ability to create mismatches, but in a different way than we did with JJ.

JJ usually gave us a matchup advantage because of his size, height and strength. The addition of LWilliams and DHarris gives us more depth, as well as the ability to create matchup advantages by using their exceptional speed, quickness, athleticism, and PG abilities. While losing JJ will rob us of a lot of his attributes, his loss will also relieve us of a lot of the liabilities listed above.

What we’ve given up individually by the loss of JJ and Marvin will be more than compensated for by the overall upgrade we’ll see from a team perspective.

Some of you are so focused on the loss of JJs DEF, that you can’t seem to grasp that DStevenson is an even better defender than JJ, and just as versatile as far as the ability to defend multiple positions. Morrow, Korver, Jenkins and LWilliams are better 3pt shooters than JJ. Williams and Harris are better distributors, penetrators, finishers, facilitators, and just as good at handling the ball and the OFF with far less disruption to the OFF, or ball and player movement.

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
11:14 am

Im dominican so im a horford fan, i keep seen people talking BS about horford the same way they use to talk about josh. you just have to accept he is a two time all star and an all nba and that is him playing out of position. have you see him play for the dominican republic he is a beast at PF. check the games.

leon

September 30th, 2012
11:15 am

Well if what was said by Drew is correct, Jenkins will come off the bench. However, I feel he should start at two. I am only a fan and not a coach or GM so oh well.

Go Hawks!

September 30th, 2012
11:19 am

Teague/Harris
Morrow/LouWill/Jenkins
Stevenson/Korver/James Anderson(?)
Smoove/Ivan/Tolliver/Mike Smith
Boss/Zaza/Petro

Decent Starting line up, deepest bench and best second unit in the league.

Harris>Cole
LouWill>Allen
Korver>Rashard Lewis
Ivan=Haslem
Zaza>????

vava74

September 30th, 2012
12:17 pm

Lir,

I am afraid that playing PF for the DR and in the NBA are two completely different things.

Horford is a two time allstar and all nba 3rd team as a center due to several factors:

lack of overall talent in the NBA at the C slot.
Horford is very effective as an undersized C, using superior speed and agility (in comparison with other centers in the league).

when Horford played PF against the Magic in 2010/11, he shot poorly and his offensive production dropped dramatically simply because his opponents, Bass and Anderson, were as quick or quicker than him and closed in on his shots, forcing him out of his normal slow but effective rhythm.

most PF close out on shooters whilst most C stay in the paint giving Horford the time and space he needs.

Horford at the PF is pre-diagnosed failure.

kwooden1

September 30th, 2012
12:21 pm

Ken Again your assuming that Stevenson is the same guy he was 5 yrs ago, but the fact is he barely played for a bad Nets team last year, that sorely needed a good defender. Korver is an abysmal defender that gets singled out when he immediately hits the floor. Jenkins has the potential to be an OK defender, but has never played an NBA game! The only player we acquired that scares anyone is Lou. Harris doesn’t! Think about it, Utah traded him for Marvin! Straightup! I’m glad your taking a positive look at this team, but I’m definitely not looking forward to a team that scores 100 a game, but gives up 110!

steven a smith

September 30th, 2012
12:33 pm

Al Horford would make a pretty good NFL Tight End. With his height, 6 “8 3/4″ 250lbs. This guy would be great in the redzone! As for his NBA Skillset????? Incomplete.

i_am_soulstar

September 30th, 2012
12:33 pm

I’m really interested to see what the starting line-up’s gonna be

i_am_soulstar

September 30th, 2012
12:38 pm

Gotta agree that Harris, Lou Williams, Korver, Ivan, and Zaza would be the best and most complete 2nd unit in the league.

steven a smith

September 30th, 2012
1:58 pm

hoopshype.com-There is an article suggesting that Joe Johnson has stolen some jewelry. First, Dominique steals suits and now this! What’s going on with ex-Hawks?

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
2:07 pm

Im a troll Just like leon. I do recognized that if the hawks are going to get better we will have to change the center position. I am one of the few Al fans remaining you can just call me Ken Stickland or Troll + Leon, what ever works for you.

D Mann

September 30th, 2012
2:23 pm

Ken Strickland Super V did not make any mistakes. As is par the course for him that is spot on commentary work.

Al doesnt have the skill set of offensive tools to be a major player on offense. Get past your blind worship.

What shots Marvin and JJ took will necessarily be put back in the 2 and 3 roles. Thats why we are bringing in Shooters who can open the lanes up for Smoove. Who is the best Power Forward on the team. I also agree that Josh put this team on his back and carried it to the playoffs last year.

Outside of former Hawk JJ Josh is the only one to elevate his game. More over, Josh’s playoff average is higher than his regulars season average, and thats the way its suppose to be.

On another brilliant point Chris V touched on (from here own the man will be referred to as Super V) was the common goal of management to get out of the mediocre performance level, pointing out the the mission is to go higher after the second round not be satisfied with the ol college try….

Speaking of the “ol college try” Al horford’s college average and is playoff average is identical. 11 pts and 7rbs. I understand why they call Al’s performances Houdini. His playoff averages is less than his regular season averages. That’s the sad state of horford’s performances.

So no Ken, Super V did not make a mistake. We are trying to raise the level of performances not pacify mediocrity.

Harris/teague
Morrow/LouWill
Korver/Jenkins
Smoove/Ivan
Zaza/Horford

That is our best foot forward to competitiveness.

Rubuen

September 30th, 2012
2:30 pm

Al Horford’s resume

1-slow,
2-unable to take his man off the dribble without the need for clearouts and picks
3- awful defender in the post
4-unable to be consistently effective without the ball in his hands,
5-unable to be consistently effective within the confines of a structured OFF,
6-either unable or unwilling to play Defense
7-forced his teammates to play a style of OFF that best suited him rather than his teammates,
8-forced his teammates to retreat to the perimeter on clearouts when he decided to go ISO, which forced them into taking a lot of forced last second jumpshots when he passed out of double/triple teams.

Rubuen

September 30th, 2012
2:33 pm

**This last one does not apply to mediocre Al He was rarely doubled or tripled.

8-forced his teammates to retreat to the perimeter on clearouts when he decided to go ISO, which forced them into taking a lot of forced last second jumpshots when he passed out of double/triple teams.

Rubuen

September 30th, 2012
2:49 pm

“Horford at the PF is pre-diagnosed failure.” Well Yeeaah? Im surprised that you have to mention that. Its a forgone conclusion.

This sick psycho thinking here is that because we need to upgrade to center when should move one of the NBA’s best power forwards(Smoove) out of his position to help Al have a position. The logic is fallacious. This is not charity or tolerance for mediocrity. If Al cant handle raising the play at center he is Gone. Right now he is not better than Zaza. Al is marginally better offensively and Zaza is superior in intestinal fortitude and defense.

Moving Al to the 4 and Josh to the 3 is about as stupid is as stupid does as many of Ken Strickland’s posts. Just Flat out stupid

manny pacquiao

September 30th, 2012
2:56 pm

Pedro ay isang awitin na nilikha ng Grandad.Parehong Bakla ina fcker.

Horford sa pf ay pre-diagnose pagkabigo – Sumasang-ayon ako

Harris / teague
Morrow / LouWill
Korver / Jenkins
Smoove / Ivan
Zaza / Horford

D Mann

September 30th, 2012
3:18 pm

*…pointing out the mission is to go higher after the second round not be satisfied with the ol college try….

D Mann

September 30th, 2012
3:22 pm

Co-sign- steven a smith

“We need better coaching for our head coach. You will not win in this league without “Type A players”. Josh Smith, Lou Williams, and Ivan, are the only type A players that we have right now.” -

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
3:22 pm

Lir(Dominican)
September 30th, 2012
2:07 pm
Thats not my post obviously, i said horford fan, he is in hawks. so that makes me hawks fan, also i understand KenS when he talks about mediocre thinking fans who dont know anything about basketball. and know becouse smoove have a great season find another one to direct their BS. Just see the DR games and who he play againest before talking.

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
3:26 pm

Ivan is great but please Start using your heads. if coaches think horford id great i want to know who you are to say the opposite. i know some one without brains to thinks.

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
3:30 pm

Also horford have been practicing 3 pts shots, you will see it this Season. watch the DR games.

I'm Just Saying

September 30th, 2012
3:36 pm

Ken Strickland

September 30th, 2012
9:31 am

CHRIS VIVLAMORE-There are several errors in your article

Ken the only error is in your twisted thinking and worship of Mediocre Al. Super V did another excellent Job. Perhaps its time for you to change your neanderthal thinking and become a part of the change thats taking place. – Im just saying…

Ctrim

September 30th, 2012
4:03 pm

Amazing how much time and effort the same trolls say the same things over and over again. More time spent on making up new names than new points about Al. Excited about the new season with Josh and Al, in no particular order.

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
4:47 pm

Hey doc, they dogged a bullet and beat another loser…. whew……

Fal-cons win! hahahaha

6-10

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
4:53 pm

Al would struggle at the 4. No handles…He is a 1 as far as handles go..Terrible…Let him play the 5 and continue to fool a couple of bloggers…

Probe that directive Genius…

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
4:58 pm

It will be interesting to see with Joe gone and Allstar AL back to clog the middle will the Hawks improve overall defense from being 6th in the league or will they slide backwards?

Money is on sliding back if he continues to play escort service..Yes?

A couple of you [Fan club] members already know the answer.

Grandad

September 30th, 2012
5:10 pm

Slimjr

Matty Ice gets up from seven sacks
-&-
from the ‘one’ yard line “leads” his team to victory !

Matty Ice baby !

Grandad

September 30th, 2012
5:17 pm

Slimjr

Al … “continues to play escort service”

Where do you get this from ?

Are you so contemptuous toward Al (for whatever reason)
that you dismiss realism ?

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
5:47 pm

Barn burner next week.. On the road against the Redskins..

Coach Smith will make it tough again.

I take the Fal-cons in this one.. 5-0! Yahoooooooooo!

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
5:48 pm

Mr Blank how much did this 2012 schedule cost you? Nice…….

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
5:54 pm

Hey Lir, you know he’s experimenting with a turn-around-fade-away setshot..

I saw it catch air[ air ball] several times already..It falls about 5 feet from the rim..Maybe if he could make adjustments so it falls two feet away for AllStar Josh to convert it to a catch and dunk? Hmmm

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
6:03 pm

Hey Slim josh is a perinal all star, AL is an actual two times all star. just saying. one is luck but two mmm.. think about it.

Jae Evolution

September 30th, 2012
6:04 pm

Grandad

September 30th, 2012
6:18 pm

JoeJohnson was our perineal all-star.

-IUPUI …your turn-

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
6:22 pm

Horford is our all star
-IUPUI …your turn-

Lir(Dominican)

September 30th, 2012
6:34 pm

im saving my breath to talk with someone who knows about Bball. ps. no disrespect for josh. he and horford are great bball players.

Runner-

September 30th, 2012
6:57 pm

Al does not have the post game to play PF. I;m sorry, but if Al hasn’t improved his post game this offseason it would be pointless to have him play PF and Zaza at C, we would gain nothing on the defensive end and nothing on the offensive end. I still think we need a true center, as Josh is getting older and his shotblocking isn’t quite what it used to be. I would like to see us add a shotblocking type Center before the season starts, along with another Wingman.

Chris Vivlamore

September 30th, 2012
7:29 pm

prison mike: Not sure I will get “unprecedented” access to the team any more than MC got.

All of have asked, I will try to get the preseason TV schedule on Monday.

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
7:57 pm

“Drew said with Horford healthy after a torn pectoral muscle last season, he is inclined to keep him at center. However, the coach said he likes the versatility of having Pachulia at the center, Horford at power forward and Josh Smith at small forward.”

With this starting line up of Bigs, Knicks in 5…Oh the Humanity….

Slimjr

September 30th, 2012
8:01 pm

I would hope that Al plays great this season. It will increase his trade value..

Danny needs to up grade big time to compete for a Finals..

Ken Strickland

September 30th, 2012
8:18 pm

“JOHNSON WAS TRADED TO THE NETS AND WILLIAMS TO THE JAZZ, AS THE REBUILT HAWKS LOST TWO-FIFTHS OF THEIR STARTING LINEUP”. The fact is, Marvin was benched and replaced by JJ at SF midway through the season. Therefore, we didn’t lose two-fifths of our starting lineup.

GRANDAD-His assessment of Horford proves he’s either contemptuous or a complete moron, or both.