Atlanta Hawks: Drew another entering free-agent year

Vivlamore reporting before the second day of Hawks training camp practice.

Larry Drew is another of the Hawks entering his free-agent year.

The head coach embarks on the final of the three-year deal he signed in 2010 to take over the franchise, which included the option the team picked up this summer for the upcoming season.

Hawks coach Larry Drew gets a fist bump of Josh Smith during the team's media day Monday. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Hawks coach Larry Drew gets a fist bump from Josh Smith during the team's media day Monday. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

New general manager Danny Ferry agreed with the decision to pick up Drew’s option and the two will wait until after the season to discuss the coach’s future.

“My focus is to go out and coach as well as I can,” Drew told the AJC. “I don’t want to concern myself. I had a conversation with my representative back in the early part of the summer and let it be known that I think the last couple of years speak for themselves as far as my ability as a head coach in this league. Things that I can’t control I’ve made my mind up long before that I can’t concern myself with. I enjoy doing what I’m doing. I enjoy the players. I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy the challenges. With the situation being what it is, I’ve already made my mind up. My focus is to go out and coach this team to the best of my ability and we’ll see where things fall.”

Drew took over for  Mike Woodson after serving as an assistant coach with the Hawks since 2004. He has led the team to an 84-64 regular-season record (.568) and two playoff berths, continuing the franchise’s run of five straight postseason appearances.

The Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Celtics last season. The Hawks defeated the Magic and then lost to the Bulls in the second round in 2011. In the two seasons, the team’s playoff record is 8-10.

Ferry and Drew have spent the summer getting acquainted as their NBA paths have not previously crossed.

“We have had a productive and positive relationship so far and I respect his preparation and approach to camp and this season,” Ferry said.

Drew has a revamped roster as he enters his third season. Just five players remain from last season’s squad. While the Hawks will be smaller, they will be a faster team with a depth of perimeter shooters. Drew has said the new roster has necessitated him reworking his offense to fit the current players.

“I’m excited about the opportunities here,” Drew said. “I’m excited about Danny coming here. I think he and I have had a very interesting summer in getting to know one another. We’ve shared ideas. We’ve shared philosophies. Certainly, I can tell that he really wants to put me in a situation that is favorable. But when it is all said and done, my job is to coach this team. I have a year left on my contract and my job is to coach this team and put us in the best position to win as I possibly can, to make sure that every night we step on that floor we are competitive. If I’ve done that, I feel good about my situation.”

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Still defense first with new up-tempo offense

* Pachulia, Harris limited in first practice

* Assorted quotes from media day

* Video: My report from media day

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

* Five questions headed into training camp

* Next phase of the Ferry Project about to get underway

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

53 comments Add your comment

NCBravesFan

October 3rd, 2012
9:37 am

Thanks, CViv! Question: has Drew mentioned anything about his time with David Blatt over the summer?

doc

October 3rd, 2012
9:40 am

important year to say the least for many folks.

Chris Vivlamore

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 am

NCBravesFan: Yes, I wrote about it a little in yesterday’s main story. Spent four days in Israel. I might have some more for another short blog on it.

doc

October 3rd, 2012
9:42 am

doc
October 3rd, 2012
9:25 am

thibs a defensive minded coach and sloan also coming from that perspective didnt bury korver on the bench. he might perform there better than some think though in a team concept rether than individual. he wont be as bad as bibby.

i hope korver has a professional attitude and gives it his best in a contract year. i think he will. he has played for two of the best coaches around and never heard to be a discontent so i expect the same even if he doesnt smile a lot and show the type of emotion we want.

he did like utah and that is my guess he goes back there, like hinrich going back to chicago to play a significant role there. he was a fan favorite. if contracts are the same and he loses nothing by doing it that is where he will land.

though something can be said that these guys are free agents and not going to stay here, it is a bonus. none of these guys are finished like some of the recent off season acquisitions we are used to getting like stack and tmac who leave and are out of the league forever as we fool ourselves by remembering their long lost greatness. these free agents will have to show what they can do in many roles and situations to embellish their potential contracts going forward.

doc
October 3rd, 2012
9:33 am

korver’s demeanor sort of reminds me of chipper in some of his interviews. we are too media conscious reading too much into how folks say things on camera not how they act IN their jobs. we have been hood winked into receiving news about wars from announcers with pleasant smiles on their faces, sort of repulsive with a major disconnect with reality but it becomes part of us if we listen too much and too often. just because he isnt saying something with a smile or voice like a chipper weather broadcaster telling you your weather is going to be the same for the next week to somehow give it more meaning it isnt important. let him talk on the court.

Ryder

October 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

I think that Ferry is setting Drew up so he can find a new coach for next year. This is a transition season if I’ve ever seen one. Even if the Hawks finish 8th, which I think they will barring injury, it gives Ferry an out in regards to Drew to build the team in his own image.

falCans

October 3rd, 2012
9:44 am

Trade Al fa a solid wing and back up/young Center. Save a million or so. All we risk losing is Horfords ability to stretch a defense……but were loaded with players of such ooo tradeAl

Astro Joe

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 am

Ryder, LD is in the last year of his contract and it is pretty clear that Ferry has total control over the basketball operations. I don;t think that he needs “an out” to hire hiw own head coach. Only way LD gets extended is if the Hawks make an improbable playoff run or if the 4-5 names on Ferry’s wish list of head coaches all turn him down.

NCBravesFan

October 3rd, 2012
10:01 am

Thanks, CViv – would be curious how LD feels the visit benefited him heading into this year. Thanks for the frequent blogs – great stuff!

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
10:06 am

I’m not worried about what Kyle Korver said in his interview. He’s a fill-in, a stop gap of sorts. He’s here to hit open shots, spread the floor. No real long term big-time plans with him.

The guys I do worry about….

Al Horford says they have to defend…yeah, well they also have to rebound. He needs to step that part of his game up. Nobody with half a brain cell expects him to be a shot-blocking menace, it’s not his game and never has been his game. But he does body-up well against most guys not named Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum (whom he will be facing more now than ever).

But more importantly, he has to return to the rugged, physical, athletic rebounder that he was in his first two years or so in the League. If not, then he won’t be as much help as we need him to be. Josh has to maintain the rebounding pace he set last season when Al was out. If between the two of them, they can rebound similar to what the Suns used to get out of Amare and Shawn Marion in their hey-day, then we will be ok with this “up tempo” offense.

But this hinges more on Al than it does Josh, in some ways. Josh simply has to maintain focus on positioning himself properly and giving up the ball early on the break to any one of three VERY fast guards. If he doesn’t do that, it defeats the purpose of having an uptempo, fastbreak style offense….which is supposed to be run by fleet-footed guards.

“Midrange Shawty”….hope Josh is serious about this. He has to hit way more of these types of buckets to even live up to the idea associated with this self-given nickname. What’s his idea of mid-range? Hope it ain’t 20-21 feet like it was last year. That’s like…his worst shot.

Also, we need plenty of baskets from him that are dunks, hooks, drives, whatever is close to the bucket. And those of you who disagree can disagree all you like….because Al Horford’s offensive game currently is not as good as Josh’s when close to the basket. Al is better from 18 feet. I’d love for his “back to the basket” offensive game to improve, but I don’t know if it will, to be honest. It needs to, but he’ll still never be able to beat out bigger centers who are mildly athletic unless he drives on them, the way he did on Tim Duncan a few times a couple years ago. Otherwise, put Josh down low and let Horford flash to the top of the key or any other spot 15-18 feet from the basket, where his jumper can be deadly.

Teague’s answer to Larry Drew about whether or not he or Devin are going to play defense on those fast break, full court layups – “he’s fast, I’m fast.”

So? You still have to defend. Glad to know Devin still has that speed. Not glad to hear Teague’s reaction to his lack of defensive effort.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
10:12 am

Trade Al fa a solid wing and back up/young Center. Save a million or so. All we risk losing is Horfords ability to stretch a defense……but were loaded with players of such ooo tradeAl

Always love to hear this one. I say, if you can pull it off, then do it. But what are you getting back? A solid wing, yeah that’s doable. But a backup/young Center? Meaning what exactly? Somebody with potential?

I don’t see us saving money in a trade like that, but what do I know? I’d go with a rugged goon who can rebound and defend without fouling out. I’d like somebody with Ronnie Turiaf’s mentality, but without the insane level of foul trouble. Fact is, we have a backup type. His name is Zaza. If we’re going to trade Al, better get a darn good wing player and a backup to Zaza, but needs to be almost Zaza’s equivalent in talent (though not the same type of talent). We could have had a backup center type, but we got rid of Jordan Williams. Who knows if Keith Benson will turn out to be anything like that.

Funny thing is, what kind of wing would we really want? A guy with good offensive capability, or a defender who doens’t do much else? Maybe a guy who defends well and then hits the open shot? Not such an easy answer.

Trade Al Horford…but know that you won’t be getting a true starting quality center in return, because teams just don’t trade those off….especially if they are 6′11″ or bigger.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
10:14 am

Astro Joe ,

Your assessment of the coaching situation is spot-on, bro’….

Melvin

October 3rd, 2012
10:41 am

CV,

You are publishing these blogs fast and furious. Keep up the good work my man…..

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
10:52 am

MsDee

October 3rd, 2012
10:56 am

NCBravesFan, here is an article about Drew with Davis Blatt

ATLANTA — When the storm had passed, Larry Drew hopped on a plane.

The Atlanta Hawks’ head coach was searching for an answer. He was hoping he could find it in Israel.

David Blatt, an American-born Israeli citizen best known for coaching the Russian national team, represents an odd array of basketball experience — a Princeton graduate earning his basketball doctorate overseas — but Drew knew his experience would be useful. Blatt’s coaching successes span the European continent — leading clubs from Israel to Italy to Greece — culminating in Russia’s 2007 European Championship title. He is known for his atypical behavior, and as a micro-manager. Former Princeton teammate and President Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, once likened him to Phil Jackson.

Atlanta’s roster features eight new additions for the 2012-13 season, therefore coaching changes had to be made. But Drew needed help. He struggled all summer with the the intricacies of coaching smaller lineups. So he made an international call and was invited to be the guest of honor for Israel’s powerhouse franchise, Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“As the summer went on, we got closer and closer into September and I didn’t know if I would be able to make it. But I spoke to [Blatt], and he said, ‘Yeah, come on over,’” Drew said. “And I was able to sit down and talk Xs and Os with Coach Blatt and watch his practices and even watch one exhibition game. So I picked up quite a few things over there.”

In a whirlwind of trades, draft picks and free-agent signings by new general manager Danny Ferry, Drew’s top scorer, Joe Johnson, was traded to the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason. Starting forward Marvin Williams was traded to Utah. In their wake, a group of guards and wings — Devin Harris, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, John Jenkins and DeShawn Stevenson — bring quickness and outside shooting to the team.

With three jet-quick guards, led by starting point guard Jeff Teague, the Hawks will play a more up-and-down style of basketball this season, which did not always suit the isolation-oriented Johnson. Points are expected in bunches, especially with All-Star-caliber players Josh Smith and Al Horford still providing the team’s foundation. But the firestorm of moves also yielded an entirely new team construct: shorter guards and wings that serve as reference points to the term “small ball.”

Drew said quicker lineups fit his style as a player, but that he told Ferry before the moves were made he had zero experience coaching them.

So he spent four days overseas.

“I had to really sit down and look at some of the things that we’ve done in the past, and it kinda had to be the process of elimination with some of the stuff that I ran last year. And I had to add some things that had to fit these guys,” said Drew, who is 84-64 in two seasons as the Hawks’ coach. “It seems I was just never satisfied with certain things, so therefore I kept searching and searching and searching. … I just wanted to see what they were doing.”

Drew specifically wanted to pick Blatt’s brain on ways to prevent the Hawks’ new style of play from affecting its performance on defense.

“I really want to make sure that these guys understand that because I’m talking about us playing more of an open-court basketball game, that’s not going to be an excuse to be a bad defensive team,” he said. “Our focus and our emphasis still, as it has been the last two years with me being the head coach here, our emphasis is defense.

Coaches are not the only ones to share this concern. It is no secret that smaller lineups create mismatches on both ends of the court, and that too much running can leave big men fatigued and out of position.

Players understand this as well.

“Playing uptempo is always fun, you just have to remember the main thing: That’s don’t forget to play defense. You gotta play defense first,” Smith said. “In order for us to be an uptempo team, you gotta get stops.”

For this reason, Atlanta spent the majority of its first training camp session working on that side of the court. The team briefly discussed offense, but Drew’s coaching adjustments — influenced by Blatt — were primarily focused on preventing points. That will likely be his modus operandi all season.

The Hawks lineup does feature some added versatility, which Drew will spend a good portion of training camp figuring out how to utilize. Teague, Williams and Harris should each be able to run the high-octane offense, with more of an emphasis on pick-and-roll plays, rather than one-on-one matchups, in halfcourt sets. The outside threats of Korver, Morrow and Jenkins will also give Horford and Smith more room to operate inside.

But how will all of these pieces fit together in such short time? Atlanta’s first preseason game is against the Miami Heat on Sunday.

“I’ve been on teams with a lot of turnover. I’ve seen it go super successful and I’ve seen it go other ways as well. Only time will tell what will happen,” Harris said. “With the [Dallas Mavericks] we had a lot of turnover every year — six, seven, eight guys coming every year. So it’s something that’s been done before.”

As of right now, defensively sound or not, the entire roster is rejuvenated. Different faces bring new challenges, new expectations. The quick guards speak in excited tones about playing fast. The big men, to a slightly lesser degree, look forward to a high-scoring system. But there’s a lot of work left to be done, a lot of questions left unanswered.

“I think in the past, we were all kind of used to each other. Now it’s totally different for us,” Horford said. “For me, it’s like my rookie year again, coming in here not knowing what to expect.”

There is no longer a sense of inactivity within the Hawks’ franchise, of swimming in Eastern Conference quicksand. There is now a sense of motion. Whether that movement is upward or downward remains unknown.

Astro Joe

October 3rd, 2012
11:03 am

Big Ray, stats suggest that Al is the same defensive rebounder that he has always been. His total board work dipped slightly in LD’s first year due to LD’s focus on transition defense. Both Al and Josh saw a reduction in their offensive rebounding numbers… that is a function of coaching philosophy and not “ruggedness” (and Josh took a bigger dip than Al in offensive rebounding). I think the Horford criticism is misdirected… the “LD way” is the driver of the perceived softness of Horford (IMO).

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Good for LD…out there doing some research. Not so good that he actually had to do that, though.

I still see Ferry bringing in a veteran HC or a guy with major potential, such as guys like Thibodeau and Scotty Brooks.

We shall see what happens, and how well LD’s overseas experience translates to his performance on the sidelines. I really am not expecting much, to be honest. And believe it or not, this is not me hating on Drew. I mean, how much could dude learn in 4 days? Not enough to save his job, I’ll wager.

As Astro Joe asserts….LD stays only if Ferry’s top 5 targets all turn him down. Because while this team may be transitioning to “fast and furious” for this season…that doesn’t mean it’s the long term future of the team. Dwight’s out of the picture, but Lord only knows what the FA class looks like next offseason.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
11:09 am

AJ ,

Point well taken. I just didn’t feel at time that Al’s heart was as into it as he was. But you’re right about the LD effect. And I’m absolutely certain this is not lost on Danny Ferry to any extent.

Of course, if you’re the kind of person who is sold on moving Horford, this simply won’t do as an explanation, no matter how logical it may be….

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
11:13 am

I also maintain that Josh can’t slack off on the boards. There is no reason he can’t get the same production or better on the glass than he did last season…unless LD’s influence once again gets in the way.

He did have to go overseas to figure out how coach this team, after all (I’m still chuckling to myself about that one). LOL….my God…..

At any rate, this uptempo offense actually forces the point – good rebounding, or there WILL BE NO uptempo offense….period….And here’s the thing on that….there will be no Joe Johnson to help with the rebounding…or Marvin Williams. So it falls to Josh/Al, and all the perimeter guys we have, as far as the starting lineup goes.

Slimjr

October 3rd, 2012
11:18 am

I wonder how many creative screen names I will post under today to bash Al.

Astro Joe

October 3rd, 2012
11:22 am

The quick guards speak in excited tones about playing fast.

I expect to read quotes from Josh and Al about “ball movement” this year… translation = “these f’ing little guys are running ang gunning too much”

Astro Joe

October 3rd, 2012
11:25 am

Big Ray, I agree. #2 and #24 combined for 9 boards last year, not an insignificant number. I struggle to see how SG TBD and SF TBD match those numbers (oops, I mean nimbers).

Just Joe

October 3rd, 2012
11:33 am

Joe’s rebounding should not be hard to replace. Joe was out-rebounded against his counterparts at both the SG and SF spots. Joe did not play a big part in rebounding or boxing out. Now Marvin Williams out-rebounded opposing SF’s by 2.6 rebounds per 48 minutes.

Based on previous years, Morrow, Korver and Stevenson have shown the ability to be decent rebounding SG’s. Damion James is the only non-starter on the roster with a proven ability to out-rebound most SF’s, but his sample size is hardly relevant.

If James shows any offensive ability at all, he should be considered for the starting SF position.

Shawty

October 3rd, 2012
11:48 am

Super V. Now you know I am excited that you are here. But do a fact check for me. Woodson was not fired. It is more correct that he did not have his contract renewed. Which is not the same as firing. Of course one could extrapolate that as a firing, but the reality is he satisfied the terms his contract but did not receive a new one. Please check that

Here’s a re post from yesterdays blog that posses a question Super V.

steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
10:48 pm

Maybe we need to start a petition or something similar to get this trade or bench Al movment to “Move Forward” Clearly Al is no Dwight Howard, Al is no Andrew Bynum, Al is no Al Jefferson, Al is not even Tyson Chandler!!! Larry “Scrub” Drew and Co. need to “stop urinating down our legs and telling us that its raining.” We did not just fall off the Watermelon Truck!!! Get a real NBA Center NOW PLEASE!!!

There has been a lot of guys who would like to see Al come off the bench as a back up or be traded for a “real” center. I know, as Al put it in one of your recent pieces that his name was on the “board” during the early trade period.

Is it still possible to trade Al and upgrade the low post? Can we have Al come off the bench when Zaza is in the game? Josh and Zaza (who carried the hawks last year) is considerably better than Zaza and Al

To put it quite frankly. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we are going past the second round with Al.Horford. We actually played much better with out him.
Zaza/Josh >Zaza/Al.

Would you please ask Drew and Danny Ferry. Thank you.

NCBravesFan

October 3rd, 2012
11:52 am

MsDee – thanks for posting that article! Much appreciated!

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
11:55 am

80% of todays post come from me or Astro joe and we have already trolled Slimjr’s handle.

Slimjr

October 3rd, 2012
11:18 am

My purpose here today is to associate Al with Josh to help upgrade Al’s name and to quiet the many guys who are requesting an Al horford trade.

WeBurn

October 3rd, 2012
11:56 am

He’s most likely gone…Ferry is probably gonna wanna bring in his own guy. Plus, we need to move on from the Woodson/Drew coaching school.

Re post

October 3rd, 2012
12:01 pm

Looks like they had a pretty good thread going last night.

steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Ken Strickland “Lord of The Idiots” and his followers. How about this trade scenario? Al Horford and Kyle Korver to Utah for a REAL center, “Al Jefferson!”

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
9:57 pm

D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:00 pm

Harris > Teague

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LOL

October 2nd, 2012
10:10 pm

Ken Strickland “Lord of The Idiots”

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steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
10:20 pm

Co-sign

D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
9:57 pm

Back to reality. This will be a much better team when we get rid of Al Horford.
At least move horford to a Back-up role, 6th man.

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Slimjr

October 2nd, 2012
10:22 pm

” Now, the Hawks will feature the following big men: Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro and/or Keith Benson. Where’s the upgrade? [smh"

How dare you not mention AllNBA, AllStar 2x as the [CFO] of his Fan club cherishes to mention all the time[repeats-sound familiar doc?]

He is back to clog the middle to provide escort service at all cost.. Those opposing point guards cherish his defensive court presence at all times..

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:39 pm

Yeah, Its really frustrating that we havent done anything to improve the center position. We were a much better team with out Al last year.

I really wonder why Super V did not ask our question of having Zaza and Josh start and Al come off the bench. I also do see that when we put zaza into that game that Josh should have to move to let Al stay on the floor.

Al weakens us defensively, has limited offensive tools and needs to be setup because he cant create.

Super V can you ask Drew if Al can come off the bench (or be traded) ? We are more of a fighting team with out Al.

Plus I am tired of having the same conversation at the end of every season. We can not and will not advance with Al in our front court as a starter.

Slimjr and Steven A Smith among many others are right. We need to trade Al for Al Jefferson or find some way to upgrade the center position.

Other than that, we all know we will be back here next year having the same ol conversation about the hawks need a center.

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:45 pm

opposing guards love “escort Al” and they really like dunking over the guy. Even mike Woodson would run switch plays to help Al. Drew does too. Al can not protect our rim whether at the Pf or C position. It would be ok if “mediocre” Al was an offensive weapon then we could cancel out his lack of defense. but his offense aint that good either.

That Al Horford for Al Jefferson trade would be better than the Marvin Williams for Devin Harris trade.

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i_am_soulstar

October 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

The only way we miss the playoffs or finish with a lower record than any of these teams (as currently constructed) is if Josh or Al suffer a major injury (knock on wood).

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Yes, Al could help this team better if he came off the bench and gave Zaza or Josh a breather.

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steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
10:48 pm

Maybe we need to start a petition or something similar to get this trade or bench Al movment to “Move Forward” Clearly Al is no Dwight Howard, Al is no Andrew Bynum, Al is no Al Jefferson, Al is not even Tyson Chandler!!! Larry “Scrub” Drew and Co. need to “stop urinating down our legs and telling us that its raining.” We did not just fall off the Watermelon Truck!!! Get a real NBA Center NOW PLEASE!!!

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:49 pm

“he only way we miss the playoffs or finish with a lower record than any of these teams (as currently constructed) is if Josh or Al suffer a major injury (knock on wood).”

ROTFLMAO

If We lose escort Al it will be a blessing again. This team was much better with out him. Al adds nothing. and is more like Marvin or Koncak.

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:52 pm

CO-SIGNING BIG TIME!!!

“trade or bench Al movment to “Move Forward” Clearly Al is no Dwight Howard, Al is no Andrew Bynum, Al is no Al Jefferson, Al is not even Tyson Chandler!!! Larry “Scrub” Drew and Co. need to “stop urinating down our legs and telling us that its raining.” We did not just fall off the Watermelon Truck!!! Get a real NBA Center NOW PLEASE!!!” – Steven A Smith!!! :)

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D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:56 pm

“stop pissing down our legs and telling us that it’s raining.”

Al horford runs an escort service not a defense. We aren’t going no further than Josh can carry us as long as Al is starting at center or power forward. We can do better than Al.

Ra'mon

October 3rd, 2012
12:04 pm

Big Ray, nothing is wrong with LD going overseas for that. Do you realize that Eric Spoelstra went and visited Chip Kelly last off season to get ideas on a fast break attack? Coaches network with other coaches all the time when trying to find something new or to take their team to another level. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, that is something that is admired.

Re post

October 3rd, 2012
12:08 pm

steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Ken Strickland “Lord of The Idiots” and his followers. How about this trade scenario? Al Horford and Kyle Korver to Utah for a REAL center, “Al Jefferson!”

Back to reality. This will be a much better team when we get rid of Al Horford.
At least move horford to a Back-up role, 6th man.

Slimjr

October 2nd, 2012
10:22 pm

” Now, the Hawks will feature the following big men: Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro and/or Keith Benson. Where’s the upgrade? [smh"

How dare you not mention AllNBA, AllStar 2x as the [CFO] of his Fan club cherishes to mention all the time[repeats-sound familiar doc?]

He is back to clog the middle to provide escort service at all cost.. Those opposing point guards cherish his defensive court presence at all times.
D Mann
October 2nd, 2012
10:39 pm

Yeah, Its really frustrating that we havent done anything to improve the center position. We were a much better team with out Al last year.

I really wonder why Super V did not ask our question of having Zaza and Josh start and Al come off the bench. I also do see that when we put zaza into that game that Josh should have to move to let Al stay on the floor.

Al weakens us defensively, has limited offensive tools and needs to be setup because he cant create.

Super V can you ask Drew if Al can come off the bench (or be traded) ? We are more of a fighting team with out Al.

Plus I am tired of having the same conversation at the end of every season. We can not and will not advance with Al in our front court as a starter.

Slimjr and Steven A Smith among many others are right. We need to trade Al for Al Jefferson or find some way to upgrade the center position.

Other than that, we all know we will be back here next year having the same ol conversation about the hawks need a center.

D Mann
October 2nd, 2012
10:45 pm

opposing guards love “escort Al” and they really like dunking over the guy. Even mike Woodson would run switch plays to help Al. Drew does too. Al can not protect our rim whether at the Pf or C position. It would be ok if “mediocre” Al was an offensive weapon then we could cancel out his lack of defense. but his offense aint that good either.

That Al Horford for Al Jefferson trade would be better than the Marvin Williams for Devin Harris trade.

My bad. Here it is in a more compressed form.

i_am_soulstar

October 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

The only way we miss the playoffs or finish with a lower record than any of these teams (as currently constructed) is if Josh or Al suffer a major injury (knock on wood).

D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Yes, Al could help this team better if he came off the bench and gave Zaza or Josh a breather.

steven a smith

October 2nd, 2012
10:48 pm

Maybe we need to start a petition or something similar to get this trade or bench Al movment to “Move Forward” Clearly Al is no Dwight Howard, Al is no Andrew Bynum, Al is no Al Jefferson, Al is not even Tyson Chandler!!! Larry “Scrub” Drew and Co. need to “stop urinating down our legs and telling us that its raining.” We did not just fall off the Watermelon Truck!!! Get a real NBA Center NOW PLEASE!!!

D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:49 pm

“he only way we miss the playoffs or finish with a lower record than any of these teams (as currently constructed) is if Josh or Al suffer a major injury (knock on wood).”

ROTFLMAO

If We lose escort Al it will be a blessing again. This team was much better with out him. Al adds nothing. and is more like Marvin or Koncak.
D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:52 pm

CO-SIGNING BIG TIME!!!
“trade or bench Al movment to “Move Forward” Clearly Al is no Dwight Howard, Al is no Andrew Bynum, Al is no Al Jefferson, Al is not even Tyson Chandler!!! Larry “Scrub” Drew and Co. need to “stop urinating down our legs and telling us that its raining.” We did not just fall off the Watermelon Truck!!! Get a real NBA Center NOW PLEASE!!!” – Steven A Smith!!! :)
D Mann

October 2nd, 2012
10:56 pm
“stop pissing down our legs and telling us that it’s raining.”
Al horford runs an escort service not a defense. We aren’t going no further than Josh can carry us as long as Al is starting at center or power forward. We can do better than Al.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Ra’mon ,

Maybe I’d have felt better about it if LD hadn’t basically said he had “no clue” how to run a team built like this. Again, I said “good for him doing research”….but there’s a difference between Spoelstra looking to learn a bit more about a particular facet of the game….and LD going to find out how to simply coach this type of team.

Another thought on that….Spoelstra had Pat Riley’s highly respected vote of confidence. Who has sponsored LD? Michael Gearon? Just sayin’….

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
12:39 pm

Well, I see the troll is awake and loose.

I don’t know who spoofed Slimjr , and don’t care.

The same people make the same arguments about the same things, so that’s easy for any troll to replicate. Beats thinking for one’s self, I guess. Then again, when your only thought is “get rid of Al Horford” then I guess boredom sets in pretty quickly.

All I have to say on that front is two things:

1) I associate Horford with Smith because that is the tandem we have in our frontcourt….period. Zaza is a backup/sometime starter based on matchup and coaching decision. Same goes for Ivan Johnson.

2) Danny Ferry is unpredictable at this point. Trading Al might be a part of a current plan A, B, or C. Or it might not be. Or, it could turn into such a thing if the right opportunity presents itself.

3) The idea that Al Jefferson is a better option at center is interesting. He’s a better scorer, no doubt. But his rebounding numbers are pretty much even with Horford’s and he is NOT…I repeat….NOT a better defender. Unless of course, you think that .4 bpg is the difference between an elite defender at the rim and a guy who some on this board think is “horrible” at it. Love to see how that logic would be defended…

So if you want Jefferson over Horford, it has to be for scoring….and nothing else. Keep in mind that he brings a half-court element. Wouldn’t be able to run with our stallions.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
12:51 pm

Just Joe ,

Well, we will see. You kinda have to consider who those guys were playing next to, as well. Chicago was/is a good rebounding team. Wasn’t hard for Korver to come down with boards when he had Noah/Deng/Boozer/Gibson fighting guys for position and what not.

Morrow can get them at a decent clip at times…I do like the fact that he’s in a contract year of sorts, and feels motivated to get a long term contract in the ATL (or wherever, let’s not be naive about this after all). I think Morrow can have a good season for us.

But none of these guys have the size/weight of Joe and Marv, and there were times where Joe came up with 6-8 boards due to size and strength. Same for Marvin, though with him it was size and athleticism/length. These other guys will have to make up for it with quickness and positioning, because we are smaller.

I hope to see Ivan out there more this season. It will help. Especially if he can keep a lid on his temper.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2012
12:52 pm

AJ ,

Exactly. Hard to predict who takes up what slack when we don’t know who will be starting at…well, at least two of our positions. Devin in the lineup gives us plenty of speed in the backcourt, but that doesn’t give us a rebounding advantage at all.

vava74

October 3rd, 2012
12:57 pm

LD:

“…and let it be known that I think the last couple of years speak for themselves as far as my ability as a head coach in this league.”

Exactly, you have NONE.

steven a smith

October 3rd, 2012
12:58 pm

Playoffs usually come down to half-court basketball.

WeBurn

October 3rd, 2012
12:59 pm

“The idea that Al Jefferson is a better option at center is interesting. He’s a better scorer, no doubt. But his rebounding numbers are pretty much even with Horford’s and he is NOT…I repeat….NOT a better defender. ”

I have to jump in Ray. I hope you arent going to troll my name too or insult me because I also think we should get rid of Al

Now, you are right. Jefferson and Al have the same numbers as far as blocks and rebounds but lets get real. Jefferson denies the lanes, Alter shots and puts people on their asses at 280lbs 6′10″ some thing Al wont do. Further the scoring is far superior which means the opposing center cant lag on defense, and that surely will take away from his offense.

Al Horford brings to mind a Jon Koncak type with a little more offense. Jefferson is much better than Al. Lets just see if Danny can make the trade.

Finally you arent very bright. You run and gun when you dont have the “create your own shot” element of the half court set. Its the half court set that is a MUST to get to the latter rounds of the playoffs. You can run and gun to get to the playoffs but you have to play and strong half court game to stay.

Al has no half court game, can not create his own shot, is mediocre on offense. and is mild on defense. In fact Al’s playoff average 11 ppg is lower than his 12pts per game career average. Teams run plays just to get him 1 on 1 under the basket as a defender.

How long do you wish to keep the hawks in mediocrity land?

Jefferson gives us the ability to run legitimate half court sets, which we cant do with Al. Not unless we stop the normal flow of the half court sets and run offense stagnant plays to get Al involved.

So stop tolling Ray. Say something that will make the hawks better, not the same ol Al horford project.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

October 3rd, 2012
1:03 pm

HAWKS GOING TO THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS THIS YEAR

Zoo Keeper

October 3rd, 2012
1:07 pm

Please do NOT feed the troll. Ignoring the troll is the only logical approach. When you feed the troll, only bad things happen.

Shawty

October 3rd, 2012
1:08 pm

steven a smith Some how I get the picture that this guy ray talks a lot but isnt that smart. You dont get far in the playoffs if you cant run the half court sets. Run and gun will help you win better than 50% of your game’s because you will be faster than half of the teams you play.

But to go far in the playoffs you have to play the half court set on both ends. Offensively and Defensively.

Keeping Al around is a concession that we don’t plan on seriously contending and are satisfied with mediocrity. You know he limits what we can do…. kind of like Marvin. Well exactly like Marvin.

Zoo Keeper

October 3rd, 2012
1:09 pm

“HAWKS GOING TO THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS THIS YEAR” – LOL

kwooden1

October 3rd, 2012
1:44 pm

What is all this talk about trading for Al Jefferson, if he is so much better than Al, why would the Jazz trade him? If we want to make fantasy basketball trades, then why don’t you ask Miami for Lebron and we can give them AL and Josh!

If we’re going to play uptempo I will take Horford over Jefferson. If your building a team for a deep playoff run I would probably like Jefferson and Smoove, versus Horford and Smoove, but I don’t think either combination gets you to the Finals.

Right now I’m just waiting for a subpar season which hopefully ends with a first round exit in the Playoffs. Then when the summer comes around I will be very interested to see what Ferry does, but I don’t expect any miracles. Our opportunity to get to the Finals went with Dwight to LA!

More over

October 3rd, 2012
1:52 pm

What is all this talk about trading for Al Jefferson, if he is so much better than Al, why would the Jazz trade him?

Why would anybody trade Marvin for Devin Harris?

Because Dan Ferry is the man that can pull a rabbit out of his hat. We are young enough to spend a draft pick to package with Al or even Teague.

kwooden1

October 3rd, 2012
1:53 pm

Devin isn’t very good anymore, that’s why!

Chris Vivlamore

October 3rd, 2012
1:59 pm

Shawty: You are 100 percent correct. Thanks for the catch. It – and I – stand corrected. Thanks for keeping my on my toes.

Mike C

October 3rd, 2012
2:00 pm

I think everybody needs to remember that Al Jefferson is a FA this year. So we will trade a guy that have a very workable contract for a guy that probably get more as FA. Just think about it for min.

Chris Vivlamore

October 3rd, 2012
2:01 pm

All: Working on a post-practice blog now. Had to drive home first. Got kicked out of the arena and media room by the T.D. Jakes event.

Chris Vivlamore

October 3rd, 2012
2:04 pm

All: All: Working on a post-practice blog now. Had to drive home first. Got kicked out of the arena and media room by the T.D. Jakes event.

More over

October 3rd, 2012
2:07 pm

Trading Al for Jefferson does not stop Harris, Williams, Josh and teague from running. We would still be very fast. It would me that we could get to the later rounds of the playoffs. Something we cant do with Al as a starter.

I also disagree. I think this team can compete favorably with any team in our conference…

Harris/teague/williams
Williams/Morrow/Jenkins
Ivan Johnson/Korver/Jenkins
Josh Smith/Ivan Johnson/Benson
A Jefferson/Zaza/Petro

O'Brien

October 3rd, 2012
2:12 pm

Big Ray,

I would have traded Al ($12 mil) for Dalembert ($8 mil) and another solid bench player ($4 mil), because I think Zaza and Dalembert could effectively hold down the center position. The problem though is both Zaza and Dalembert are free agents at the end of the season.

As for those wanting to trade Horford for Al Jefferson, Jefferson’s career average is 16 ppg, 9 rebs, and 50% from the field. Al’s is 13 ppg, 10 rebs, and 50% from the field. So numbers wise, Jefferson may be slightly better than Al, better low post game, and he is a bigger body.

But does he run the court like Al does? And who is a better fit for LD’s new up tempo offense?

Also, Al is signed to a multi year deal at $12 mil per year. Jefferson will make $14 mil in the last year of his deal, and I assume he will be looking for $15 – $16 mil on his next contract (especially if he has a good year). So you also have to consider Al at $12 mil vs Jefferson at $15- $16mil (imo).

O'Brien

October 3rd, 2012
2:15 pm

Correction. Horford’s career average is 54% from the field.