Atlanta Hawks: An assortment of quotes from media day

Vivlamore with your Hawks report.

Before I head to the Hawks first practice of the new season, I wanted to give folks something more from media day.  Sometimes it’s hard when you have a digital recorder full of interviews to figure out the best way to share an abundance of information (and I spent a lot of time transcribing it all!). I thought I would select some quotes from a few of the players I spoke with Monday (in no particular order).

Devin Harris: “This is the first time I’ve been traded but been able to get a full summer to get settled, working out, getting a good feel for the coaches and how they want me to play. I’ve been picking their brains a little bit. It’s been a fairly easy transition for me. … We’ve had talks about me playing some 1, playing some 2. I think training camp we’ll find out a lot more of that and where we all fit in.”

Keith Benson: “I’ve been a lot more aggressive. I’ve worked on my overall game, my shooting, my defense. I think I’m stronger and am an improved player from last year. I came in for some workouts and they were impressed with my workouts. They liked what I did in summer league. I’m just trying to build on that.”

Anthony Morrow: “There were a lot of mixed feelings, mixed emotions, especially coming from Brooklyn at that time knowing they were about to go to a new place, a new arena. As soon as I heard Atlanta was the team it was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m familiar with their coaching staff. I know a lot of guys on the team, a lot of guys who signed. I was excited to be back home, really. It’s like a fresh start. We have a great chance to go to the playoffs. We have great leadership. I’m just ready to bring what I bring to the team and contribute in any way I can.”

Lou Williams: “No, I don’t have a preference [to start or come off bench]. I just want to be in the rotation. That’s my main things. As long as I’m on the court, I just try to maximize the minutes I get and make everything happen that I can.”

Isma’il Muhammad: “They expect me to do what I have been doing the last few years – defend my butt off, play hard, play with energy, attack the glass and rebound and when I get the opportunity finish above the rim.”

Jeff Teague: “They told me I’m still going to play my role, I’m still going to be the starting point guard. It’s going to be an exciting team, get up and down and play a lot faster. In college, I moved to the 2 [guard] and played off the ball. I’m a team guy. Bring in Lou and Devin, I’m excited. It’s going to bring a lot of pressure off me. They can bring up the ball. I can slide to the wing. They are fast. I’m fast. We are going to score a lot of fast-break points.”

Kyle Korver: “Shooters should be able to swing the ball and pass the ball too. It’s not just the person driving and finding the one open guy. Ball movement is going to be really important for us. We are not going to play isolation basketball very much, I don’t think. That’s not going to be our strength. We need ball movement. We need to get out and run. If we can do that, I think it will be fun to play, fun to watch. We are going to have to defend on the other end for sure.”

Ivan Johnson: “[The summer] was a good time to think some things through about what I did last year, what I could do to make things better. It was a thinking offseason on how I could make my second year a better year. [Conclusiong?] Keep my hands to my side and just play.”

Al Horford: “You know what happened to me? I was playing with my national team in the Dominican Republic and I was in South America and I didn’t have any internet for three weeks. What was happening was my dad would call and be like ‘This and that happened.’ I was ‘What? Joe got traded? All this stuff kept happening. Then my name was up on the board. For me it was a good time to be away from everything. The changes they felt needed to be made and this is the end result of it. We are actually pretty excited the guys who still remain here.”

Josh Smith: “Playing up-tempo is always fun but you have to remember the main thing and that’s don’t forgot to play defense first. In order for us to be an up-tempo team we have to get stops.”

Carldell Johnson: “There is a window. Whether it is a big window or a small window you still have to perform. As long as there is an opportunity, that’s good enough for me.”

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Video: My report from media day

* Josh Smith calls himself a “Mid-range Shawty”

* Isma’il Muhammad added to training camp roster

* Five questions headed into training camp

* Next phase of the Ferry Project about to get underway

* Drew on rotation at point guard, center

* Initial training camp roster released

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

41 comments Add your comment

jc5

October 2nd, 2012
9:52 am

ohhh yeah! im excited about this YEAR!!

Section 303

October 2nd, 2012
9:52 am

Chris, thanks for all of this. You’re doing a great job. I appreciate the way you are attacking your new beat.

I am really looking forward to this season. I think this is a playoff team, just not sure what seed I think they will fall in. If nothing else, this is different. It’s not the “core” group with an already known ceiling. It’s new. And, we have some cap flexibility that will allow us to add more guys via trade or free agency. Lot’s to be excited about.

I like Muhammad and Tolliver to make the team. Tolliver because I think he is a good player. Muhammad becasue he will bring some Mario West back to this team. Won’t play much, but when he does, it’s b@lls out.

vava74

October 2nd, 2012
9:54 am

C-Viv,

Please close comments on the previous blog prior to posting the new one please.

MsDee

October 2nd, 2012
9:54 am

Good stuff, C-Viv, Good stuff!

vava74

October 2nd, 2012
9:58 am

Great quote by Smoove. The words of a leader and of a guy who knows our frailty with the current roster is the tendency to play up and down the court bball and forget to play D which is what wins games.

Interesting quote by Horford. You can read between the lines that the guys that stayed are happy to see JJ’s back. Not necessarily JJ the guy, but JJ the ISO-player.
Unfortunately, although I sympathize with the feeling, it’s miss guided. Any “complaints” should be directed to the man with the Wal-Mart suits, Mr. LD himself.

vava74

October 2nd, 2012
9:59 am

Two unrelated matters:

I would like to see a (Ivan) Johnson Family photo immediately after the second birth… will all 4 wear a grill? The newborn, the eldest child, the mother and Big Ivan?

I have a gut feeling that JJ2 will be a great player in the NBA. Will reach All-Star level.

There is something intangible in him that makes me think that. I think it’s an amalgamation between his shooting mechanics (flawless), his confidence and his apparent excellent work ethic.

It’s bound to work IMO.

JSS

October 2nd, 2012
10:02 am

As mature group of comments that’s come from the Hawks in long time… They must get off to a good start, it is imperative!

MsDee

October 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

Also, I keep hearing that we are basically the new, “Golden State of the East” but I beg to differ. Golden State didnt have ANY defenders on their squad nor did they want any. That organization wanted to just out shoot there opponent not try and play defense at all but we arent close to them at all. We have defenders in Josh, Horford, Teague, Devin, Ivan and Zaza. Just because we added some KNOCK DOWN PREMIER SHOOTERS (basically added 5 Ray Allens’) on our team doesnt make us soft on defense, it just we makes it HARDER on our opponents to be able to guard us.

MsDee

October 2nd, 2012
10:14 am

David Blatt confirms Malcolm Thomas will join Maccabi Tel Aviv. BasketActu.com

Now with Danny sending Drew to visit with David Blatt and with us also early in the summer looking at Malcolm Thomas, is the above quote in connection with the Hawks looking to develop Malcolm for us in the future at SF??

Hawks fan

October 2nd, 2012
10:28 am

Very excited about this team! No one expects much so these guys can play without pressure! Its ging to be a fun year!

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
10:31 am

Josh Smith: “Playing up-tempo is always fun but you have to remember the main thing and that’s don’t forgot to play defense first. In order for us to be an up-tempo team we have to get stops.”

Amen, Josh… I hope that bloggers remember that when they are complaining about LD while we get out-rebounded and out-muscled. Hard to be an elite running team when you’re taking the ball out after more than half of the opposing team’s possessions.

Section 303

October 2nd, 2012
10:51 am

Astro, I agree, they also have to rebound better. There are times when the Hawks seem to refuse to box out, especially on the defensive glass. Get it and go! If they’re planning on running, they have to hit secure rebounds, limit second chances.

glw

October 2nd, 2012
11:05 am

MOst fascinating quote I saw was from Teague. he was told he was still going to be the starting pg. I guess that puts to bed any thoughts that Devin was going to be the starting point.

Chris Vivlamore

October 2nd, 2012
11:06 am

vava74: I have been closing comments on new blog. Just let them open on the video because I only posted it early this morning (plus it gives you all a chance to comment on how sharp I looked!).

Big Ray

October 2nd, 2012
11:08 am

I think my comment got blocked or otherwise eaten….

Big Ray

October 2nd, 2012
11:13 am

Long story short –

Josh has it right, and so does Kyle Korver – they’ll need ball movement and defense.

On the subject of rebounding…we saw Josh step up last season. The guy who is gonna have to step it up, however, is Al Horford. Either he gets back to being the rugged rebounder he came into the League as, or it will hurt us.

Is LD gonna go with three team captains again?

I say the starting lineup is Teague, Harris, Korver, Smith, and Horford. But I fully expect LD to play around with that from game to game until he figures out what he wants to do for most matchups. He’ll go big with Pachulia/Horford/Smith against some teams.

The Lakers will be impossible to deal with. Just puttin’ that out there…

We may get into a lot of shootouts. The difference between us and teams like the Warriors and Suns of the past decade is THIS team has the tools to defend all but the biggest and most physical teams.

Thank God Ivan Johnson is back because besides him and Zaza, physical does not describe this team.

Yes, Al Horford, that last comment implicates YOU….

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
11:15 am

glw, I don’t think there was ever a doubt that Teague would start… the only doubt rested with the ultra-paranoid bloggers who complain when Teague doesn’t play 48 minutes/game.

Section 303, I am hoping that James gets the nod at SF, simply because he is the best rebounding option at SF (assuing Josh is not considered a permanent option at SF). IMO, this will be an exciting and p-tempo team when they do get rebonds, I’m just not yet convinced that they will rebound and defend effectively enough to do more than a 7-8 playoff seeding. It feels like the team will rely on 2 positions to defend/rebound (PF & C)… I don’t think that will work.

vava74

October 2nd, 2012
11:20 am

C-Viv,

OK, noted! Good job there. A little shaky on the speech but I think you’ll get the hang of it as you do more (not sure if you did it already for the Thrashers or not).

Maybe a shot of bourbon before shooting would loosen you up a bit ;-)

Big Ray

October 2nd, 2012
11:23 am

glw ,

Hmmm….yeah perhaps. I can’t help thinking that is a Danny Ferry initiative…just because we heard it from him first…well he didn’t exactly say that, but he did say this would be Teague’s team now.

Big Ray

October 2nd, 2012
11:27 am

If Teague struggles badly however, LD has options. He can trot Devin Harris right out there and let Morrow play the 2.

One thing I wasn’t thrilled to hear from Teague and that was the bit about Lou or Devin bringing the ball up while he went to the wing.

Uhhh…why? He’s quick, true. But aren’t Lou and Devin more deadly from the outside? Both are more natural scorers when it comes to creating their own shots (Lou, particularly), so why would Teague play that sort of role? Bring the ball up and initiate the offense. Use your speed to do it.

I know Teague played off the ball in college. But that was just it – college. Didn’t see him doing that to any good effect in the NBA. At least not that I recall.

glw

October 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

@Astro Joe

Yeah I know that a few of our fellow bloggers saw Harris as starting. And in my heart, I know Teague is the starter, but having Teague quote that the “powers that be” have told him that considering Harris was around, definitely has to be a big vote of confidence to him. Teague defintiely has the keys now and will be free to run with it.

I MUS WRITE

October 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

Im really excited to see how this team responds w/o JJ and Marvin. Teagues comments spoke volumes. U have to get Joe the ball when and where he wants it??? I see better ball movement and a team that plays a better brand of basketball with those two gone.

I say we can grab the 6th seed. Ivan is more effective than Marvin and the shooters we have should more that make up for JJ. We will miss his perimeter defense though, but we’ll have better overall play. I’ll be in the building NOV.2…….. Letz Go Hawkz

Pd

October 2nd, 2012
11:34 am

The Hawks Blog is off to a good start

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
11:35 am

Big Ray, I disagree with the whole “rugged rebounder” comments. Horford was asked NOT to attack the offensive glass and his defesive rebounding is the same as his previous years. (In fact, Josh’s offensive rebound ing numbers took a bigger hit during the LD era than Horford). LD has also shown that he will sit Horford the moement he is in anything resembling foul trouble. So it is natural for any player to “protect their playing time” by adjusting to appease their head coach. But again, from a rebounding perspective, the numbers suggest that Al hasn’t regressed because of anything other than following the boss’ direction (sacrifice offensive rebounding to improve transition defense). IMO, the way to measure rebounding is to look at averages across the team… not a single player’s numbers (especially when injury takes place). If the opposing team misses 48%+ of their shots, someone is going to get those misses, the question isn’t which player gets those misses, it is which team gets them. #2 & #24 combined for 9 boards/game last year… I’m worried about the new SF/SG delivering 9 in the coming season.

vava74

October 2nd, 2012
11:36 am

Big Ray,

I think Teague is passing the hot potato… ie. he does not feel confident enough on his playmaking skills (probably because he is not a “natural PG”) and is looking for the PG position to be maned by a three headed monster (with two on the floor all the time).

Actually, I believe Teague would LOVE to play the role Lou played for the Sixers as the designated bench scorer (provided that he played 25-30 minutes of no conscience offense).

And… probably, that is his true calling, as I clearly remember him against CHI getting to the rim and scoring virtually at will but not necessarily having initiated the offense (no scouting on him certainly contributed for his success during that series).

Ra'mon

October 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

Big Ray, its what others and myself have been saying for years. Teague cares more about being in the Barbosa role where he only has to score. Last season when Josh was telling Teague he has to look for others more on fast breaks, Josh was right for a POINT GUARD. However, Teague is more of a scoring first point guard, and always will be. So that doesn’t come naturally for him.

FreshFromATL

October 2nd, 2012
11:45 am

C-Viv,

I haven’t posted on the blog much during the off-season but I must say you have been doing a great job so far. Keep up the good work man.

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
11:52 am

I remember when Teague played a shot-first PG (it may have been John Wall or B. Jennings) and he made the comment about that opposing PG having the “green light” to shoot at anytime. I interpreted that as a statement of envy…. that he would like to be more Russell Westbrook and less Jose Calderon.

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
12:02 pm

Wall’s dribble penetration caused problems for the Hawks as Washington used a 27-14 run to cut the Hawks’ 19-4 lead to 33-31.

“It’s tough to guard somebody that has freedom like that,” Teague said. “At any time he can take off and do what he wants to do.

brigadierjerry

October 2nd, 2012
12:20 pm

i thought it was a misprint when it said caldwell jones but the spelling bis a little different

brigadierjerry

October 2nd, 2012
12:23 pm

i thought it said caldwell jones for a minute on the roster!!he hasnt played in about 20 years

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
12:24 pm

The other thing we can expect… more turnovers. With ball movement and uptempo offense comes more turnovers. More passes between teammates creates more opportunity for the defense to steal the ball. That will put more pressure on the transition defense.

Gray Mule

October 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

Just think: Our opponent shoots 50% on 100 shots = 100 points
Hawks shoot 35% on 100 shots = 105 points! Hawks win.
No, it’s not happening that way. All our opponents shots are for 2.
All Hawk shots are for 3!!
We may make less shots and score more this season. Let all our
competition worry about this.

GO DREAM!!

The Truth

October 2nd, 2012
12:47 pm

Too much speculation about what has happened with this team, how players have played, what they did or didn’t do in the past. Bloggers who cried for years about making a change (any change) have gotten their wish. They now need to move on; it’s a brand new day. Leave your dirty laundry in the closet, check your “altered-egos” at the door and bury the hatchet. With this “new” assortment of players, it’s difficult to gauge (certainly at this point) how these players will play in the new construction. Lou Williams said it best:

“We have a lot of new pieces and that’s what training camp is for. Once we put the pieces in the right place, I think we’ll be able to compete immediately.” – hoopsworld.com

northcyde

October 2nd, 2012
12:50 pm

Nah MsDee . . it makes us Golden State East, which is what I’ve been calling us ever since we acquired Devin Harris and Lou Williams.

We were out of balance last year, but we’re more out of balance this year than ever before.

Josh Smith is going to have to bail just about everyone out on this team. He can’t be everywhere. When we play small, teams are going to post up Harris or Williams. When Korver is on the court, they’re going to go right at him and see if he can defend.

The problem with your list of defenders is that one of them ( Harris ) is a poor defender, and Smith, Horford, Ivan, and Zaza all literally play the same position in the frontcourt.

The NBA is a league in which superstar 2’s and 3’s pretty much rule the world. If we can’t defend that spot on the court, we’re going to be in trouble.

Josh said it right.

“Playing up-tempo is always fun but you have to remember the main thing and that’s don’t forgot to play defense first. In order for us to be an up-tempo team we have to get stops.”

The other thing about running, is getting the ball in the hands of the people who can run the break. This does NOT mean Josh bringing the ball up “slow motion style”, then making a Steve Nash pass.

alex

October 2nd, 2012
12:57 pm

ferry, please tell your bosses to spend little more to bring at least one good rebounder, otherwise i don’t
like hawks chances. need to shoot above 60% to win. this not happen in real life.

northcyde

October 2nd, 2012
1:02 pm

And it was Mike Woodson who always stressed “run when you get stops, don’t just run just to be running”.

Hawks Fan 4 life

October 2nd, 2012
1:04 pm

Ferry I noticed that Chris Paul & Dwight Howard are not on the roster, what happened?

The Truth

October 2nd, 2012
1:18 pm

Jeff Teague prospective on his new teammate John Jenkins:

“And I know a lot of people haven’t talked about it but Jenkins, man, that guy can really shoot the basketball. He’s an unbelievable shooter.” – Hoopsworld.com

Astro Joe

October 2nd, 2012
1:19 pm

The Truth, IMO, this is a transition year. There is no need to get too emotionally engaged in this specific roster as it won’t likely stand the test of time. My guess, only 4-5 players from the ‘12-13 roster will be around for ‘13-14. I wouldn’t run out and purchase a Korver or Harris Hawks jersey.

swatguy

October 2nd, 2012
1:33 pm

I’d like to hear from Zaza 4 bionaand Deshawn. Also Johan, Scott and James. We have bonafide bigs and one slides to the 3. We have to have One More Bonafide big to play with the “C’s”, Indy, Phily and New York.