Atlanta Hawks: Playbook getting new look without Iso-Joe pages




Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story on the Hawks new offense that will appear in Friday’s print edition of the AJC.

The pages of the Hawks’ playbook changed, one by one, with each addition to the team’s new-look roster this offseason. However, the biggest changes were made after one significant subtraction.

The trade of six-time all-star Joe Johnson to the Nets in July sent Hawks coach Larry Drew and his staff back to the drawing board. Pages and pages were eliminated. The Iso-Joe offense needed to be replaced.

“We’ve been in the past, predominately, a post-up team particularly at the 2-spot or the 3-spot with Joe,” Drew said recently. “We ran a lot of things through him. Now, we’ve got to change that.”

Point guard Jeff Teague said the roster makeover will help him and the team be more creative and fast-paced. No longer will his first option be to find Johnson when bringing the ball up court.

The Hawks added a number of players in the deal for Johnson that changed the persona of the team. Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson came from Brooklyn. Devin Harris and Kyle Korver were obtained in trades. Lou Williams was signed as a free agent. All are outside threats.

You can see Drew smile when he speaks of all the offensive options.

“We’ll be mixing up what we do a lot more than we have in the past because I think from an overall standpoint I can run things through a number of different guys,” Drew said. “I think that should work to our advantage. It takes away the predictability about us. If we play together, if we share the basketball, I think we can be an effective team.”

The offensive change will not happen overnight. With so much to be done, Drew is slowly working in his new system. With only five returners, and currently 14 new players in training camp, there is significant work to be done. Drew said he doesn’t expect to have his offense fully installed until, at least, the season opener Nov. 2 against the Rockets.

With the team still introducing concepts, the offensive is a much simpler version of what it has been and will become.

“Sometimes simple is better,” Josh Smith said. “Sometimes I’d rather have a pizza than a Kobe steak, mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes you want to keep it simple where guys can get the hang of it and understand it.”

Drew promises that the complexities will follow.

For it to succeed, Drew needs his team to buy into the new concepts and share the basketball. Drew and Smith said early in camp the team is quickly building the necessary chemistry. Smith called this his “favorite” training camp compared to his eight previous seasons.

“Guys on this team are not selfish and the offense that we are putting in is going to help everybody to get a chance to score,” Smith said. “It’s going to make us that much more of a threat when you don’t see where the offense is coming from.”

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

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* Harris cleared for full-contact practice

* Q and A with Anthony Tolliver

* Hawks want Teague to be more vocal

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

53 comments Add your comment

Buddy Grizzard

October 11th, 2012
2:41 pm

“That is a fair price for Harden, but he is no better than Joe in my opinion. It would be no different than the 2005 acquisition of Joe as far as what it does for this team’s fortunes. The goal for this team should be to get a legit superstar who can lead them to a title eventually, and Harden is not that guy.”

Najeh, do you think the Hawks should let Josh walk at the end of this season, tank next year and try to land Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft?

O'Brien

October 11th, 2012
2:42 pm

FTPB,

Najeh,

The goal for this team should be to get a legit superstar who can lead them to a title eventually, and Harden is not that guy..

Agreed. But brigadierjerry raises a valid point. If Howard, CP3 and Bynum all resign with their current teams, which other superstar is available that could potentially lead the Hawks to a title?

And what’s your contingency plan?

brigadierjerry

October 11th, 2012
2:44 pm

buddy,

if the hawks do what u stated above, there is no guarantee wiggins turns out to a superstar.
hawks are in a tough spot as far as which direction long term the team gos.

Fact Check

October 11th, 2012
2:44 pm

Jefferson last five years 19.8 ppg,| 10.3 rbs |1.6bks

Al Horford last five years 12.7ppg | 9.1 .rbs ,| 1.1blks

Fact Check

October 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

do you think the Hawks should let Josh walk at the end of this season, tank next year and try to land Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft?

That is really remarkable stupid.

Do you still wear an electronic ankle bracelet?

ag

October 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

Please, since you love Al Jefferson so much.. GO SUPPORT UTAH… he does not play for the Hawks!

I am a Michael Vick fan. Since he plays for the Eagles, I don’t waste my time reading Falcon blogs… that does not make sense to me. I am sure there are sites that you can blog all day for Al Jefferson!!!

Fact Check

October 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

*do you think the Hawks should let Josh walk at the end of this season, tank next year and try to land Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft?

That is really remarkably stupid.

Fact Check

October 11th, 2012
2:52 pm

ag your attitude sucks. I am a hawk fan and hence I want my team to do better. I am not sold to the loyalty of 1 player as I am the franchise as a whole. So in my opinion the most critical next step for the hawks is upgrading the center position and that, by getting rid of Al’s mediocrity.

Hawks > Al Horford. Duh?

Go Vick! but also Go Falcons.

Falcons > Vick

( I am a very big Vick Fan.and he was robbed)

ag

October 11th, 2012
2:52 pm

Based on what Josh is saying, he sounds very happy that Joe is gone. Over the years it appeared that each player pointed at one another if the other missed. At the end of the day, it is going to take a tremendous coaching effort for LD to pull this off. I understand he has already set the expectations for the team.

grimey

October 11th, 2012
2:53 pm

More ball movement. Consistentcy. Then the home grown big 3 can do work.

brigadierjerry

October 11th, 2012
2:54 pm

that is the hawks dilema right now. assuming u dont think harden worth max and i agree with that. if howard,cp3, bynum doesnt come here, do the hawks resign smith zaza,teague or blow team up?

hawks are in a very tough spot after this season. if they tank the followng season no guarantee wiggins will be a star. to land star in draft u have to be very lucky. it might be 3-5 years before hawks are decent again. is the fanbase willing to wait for that. on the other hand, outside of the 3 major free agents who else is out there that is a star? tough spot for hawks

Astro Joe

October 11th, 2012
2:59 pm

OB, you could always keep the cap space for the following summer (and maybe there is a legit star available then).

This whole notion that everything ran through Joe is crap. The Hawks generally have 5-6 guys who averaged 10+ points and most of Joe’s era, he had at least one other player who was a “designated chucker”, rather that was Flip or Jamal. Acting like the playbook was full of various “Joe plays” is laughable… because if it were true, JC1 wouldnot have been SMOY as few seasons ago and guys like Josh and Al would not have watched their FGAs steadily increase over the past 4-5 seasons. Joe was the “default” option but he never was the same high volume shooter as guys like Melo, Kobe, Lebron, Wade or even a Monta Ellis.

Lastly, when Teague wanted to exercise his natural scoring abilities, I don’t recall Joe being the captain that suggested that he get back in line and focus on his teammates.

ag

October 11th, 2012
2:59 pm

Well – my point is you keep blogging about a player that is not on our roster. If DF wanted him, I am very sure he would have traded for him – think about it we traded for Harris and he was in Utah.

Rod from College Park

October 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

“We’ve been in the past, predominately, a post-up team particularly at the 2-spot or the 3-spot with Joe,” Drew said recently. “We ran a lot of things through him. Now, we’ve got to change that.”

Is LD talking about the same team that we have been watching. Rarely did we ever see Joe post up anybody at the 2 or the 3. We saw the guard give the ball to Joe up top, and he commenced to dribble the clock away without going anywhere, and then take the shot or pass to Josh with under 5 seconds on the clock.

Fact Check

October 11th, 2012
3:08 pm

“Well – my point is you keep blogging about a player that is not on our roster. If DF wanted him, I am very sure he….”

Then say that and try to contain all your hate.

I am glad you know that guys like Super V and others who monitor this site review our thoughts and share them in some from. Its not about Jefferson as an Idol, like you and others on Al horford.
I dont know much about Jefferson personally except his father died while he was a kid and he worked hard to get where he’s at .

For me, I wont buy another season ticket til we upgrade the center position. There were loud vocals to have Woodson removed, and Marvin Removed. I just shouting to finish the job and remove Al Horford.

ctrim

October 11th, 2012
3:11 pm

Blog is getting creepy

The Truth

October 11th, 2012
3:13 pm

“Is LD talking about the same team that we have been watching.” – Rod

Lol, I had those same thoughts

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
3:37 pm

Big Ray calling me a [ Horford Hater] is a typical response for a long time apologist! 45

I expect more from the legendary sports blogger in his own mind….. LOL

Not…………………

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
3:40 pm

I saw AllStar Al get blown up in the paint last night..

He became the [invisible] man layup after layup. Dunk after Dunk…

28-47 for a reason.. Long way to go with these bigs….

Sneaker Pimp

October 11th, 2012
3:41 pm

Al Jefferson is a black hole on offense and his teams never do anything. Modern day Antoine Walker without the shimmy.

Horford needs to start taking it to the rim more.

Don’t trust Josh, he’s friends with Dwight and we saw how that turned out for Orlando.

Wiggins is the truth, but not an alpha dog. More of a great #2 talent like Pippen.

Falcons need Corey Peters to stop the bleeding vs the run.

Larry Drew still sucks.

The End.

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

The slow defensive rotations were a marvel to behold..

Haven’t we seen this B4? Hmmmmmmm

doc

October 11th, 2012
3:48 pm

brig that was his point. there is nothing to suggest we can get a coup superstar to fall in our laps by the draft. there is also zilch chance to make it by obtaining a superstar though free agency especially from franchises like the clips and lakers for example, that have money to burn ad tv contracts the are not found here in the atl. for anyone to make that as an argument is about as short sighted as those that still expect to have al horford become a 7′2″ 320 pounder over night with the game that comes with that size. we are going to have to become the utah or denver of the south and grow our own superstar or play a different kind of ball. if we wait for a superstar we are going to wait another millenium. only superstar this town truly had was henry aaron. it doesnt come easy here.

keep on with the aj vs ah stuff but by contracts ah is better and he scores more efficiently. those are important. keep blowing guys but it aint happenin. after awhile i begin to become a sadistic and because of your monotony, i enjoy your pain and laughable.

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
3:49 pm

He said what?

Blame the layup lines not on Mr escort service but on those three rotating guards..

And what’s outstanding is he wasn’t even watching the darn game?

Legendary stuff dude……Waiting with baited breath for his [new] blog… Yawn

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
3:54 pm

And BTW [LEGEND], it was [CURRY] who looked like the [Allstar] last night since you did not feel motivated to stream Genius..

Lol @ the troll

October 11th, 2012
4:07 pm

“Well – my point is you keep blogging about a player that is not on our roster. If DF wanted him, I am very sure he would have traded for him – think about it we traded for Harris and he was in Utah.” – ag

ag

This makes too much sense for this troll. He’s crying for a trade that even Mr. Ferry don’t want. Why is he tormenting himself like this 24×7. Is he suic idal? What stunt will he pull next? Stand in front of a moving car with a sign or jumpoff a building head first. This guy is WHACK!!!!!

SOMEBODY PLEASE CALL 911

Heisenberg

October 11th, 2012
4:08 pm

Sometimes I’d rather have a pizza than a Kobe steak

Freudian slip Josh?

ctrim

October 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

MsDee

October 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

I’ll say, ctrim

Grandad

October 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

“a post-up team particularly at the 2-spot or the 3-spot ” [Joe]
*we did post up Joe … (25 ft from the hoop) !

“with Joe,” Drew said recently. “We ran a lot of things through him”
*incorrect – LD ran alot of things *’`to`’* him not *’`through`’* him !

” Drew needs his team to buy into the new concepts
and share the basketball ”
*How many years have we heard [this] – ” share ” the basketball !
The singular tenet of Team Play and being a good Teammate;
and all these years later we continue to hear:
” we must learn to -share- the basketball ” ?
____________________________________________

Concerning – Al Jefferson;
I would not under any circumstances trade Josh nor Al
for Big Al Jeff, but, signing him as an Unrestricted FA
is an option with which I would consider.
No – he is not the long rangy shot-blkr we need,
but, he is an effective low-post scorer and a solid teammate.
_____________________________________________

Let me be clear;
I wish for Keith Benson to be good.
I still foresee him `missing’ the cut.
1. no contract
2. Mike Scott partially guaranteed contract [DF draft pick]
3. Summer League – 5 game sample;
unimpressed with ardor and toughness.
____________________________________________

Concerning James Harden:
1. he is a very good player
2. not only is he -not- a SuperDuperStar; he is -not- even a SuperStar
3. already a position of strength + future possible star = [JJenkins]
4. as previously stated … this would be … JJohnson redux

O'Brien

October 11th, 2012
4:23 pm

Fact Check,

Two questions for you.

1) If Al Jefferson replaced Al Horford as the starting center for this season, do you think he would come close to averaging 20 ppg?

2) Given that LD and Ferry have talked about making us an up tempo team, do you think Al Jefferson would be a good fit on this team (for the upcoming season)?

brigadierjerry

October 11th, 2012
4:25 pm

doc,

i see what ur saying but how do we go about growing our own superstar?i can see change style of play but the utahs minus malone and stockton and the denvers of the world or detroit team of 2004 type teams dont win much less get to the finals without a go to guy down the stretch.
what would be ur plan?i agree with what u said but how do u go about doing what u are describing for the hawks?

Buddy Grizzard

October 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

“That is really remarkably stupid.”

Actually I think it’s a genius plan… maybe trade Josh for Houston’s pick from Toronto and hope the Raptors make the playoffs this year so the pick rolls over into 2014. Only one problem. Wiggins will go to Orlando as payment for them taking on bad contracts and giving Dwight to the Lakers for nothing. Stern pays his debts.

Hiendinburg

October 11th, 2012
4:29 pm

ISO Joe> Harden 24/7….

I MUS WRITE

October 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

C Vivlamore…..Good work your updates /articles are greatly appreciated……Cunningham could learn alot from a beat writer..

Hindenburg

October 11th, 2012
4:31 pm

Enter your comments here

I MUS WRITE

October 11th, 2012
4:31 pm

Al “Mambo King” Horford…………SIGH!!!!

Ray

October 11th, 2012
4:34 pm

Do people realize it’s preseason by any chance I’m wondering are you hoping Horford or any of our stars go all out like it’s a NCG?

brigadierjerry

October 11th, 2012
4:38 pm

grandad,

if u sign jefferson as a free agent is that assuming u letting go of smith and teague and zaza?

Just Joe

October 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

Demarcus Cousins.

Would Sactown prefer to try to build around the more “professional” images of Thomas Robinson & Al Horford up front?

Teague & Horford to Sactown for Cousins, Salmons & The Jimmer???

Rudy Gay.

Something has to give in Memphis.

Harris, Korver, Morrow, and Houston’s pick for Rudy Gay & Tony Wroten???

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

University of Kentucky 5′7″ guard!

Sweet Christmas!

“http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lydcrqPNwX1r97er8o3_1280.jpg”

Grandad

October 11th, 2012
4:56 pm

Slimjr

Neither did I watch the game.
-you did- … case closed on that !

Now;
having researched the box score – I made some obsrvations
to which I would like to [logically] discuss some of your
hyperbolic statements … please.

1. ” I saw AllStar Al get blown up in the paint last night..”
*Al played [only] 16 min =ing, 1 blk, and 7 reb.

2. ” He became the [invisible] man layup after layup Dunk after Dunk ”
*Perhaps Al was on the bench, since he only played 16 min.

3. ” Blame the layup lines not on Mr escort service
but on those three rotating guards..”
*Or … Josh:
who incidently played [only] 13 min.; had [only] 1 blk; [only] 3 reb;
yet, had the exact same (+/-) as did Al with a ( -1 ).

-note-
Curry had 13 pts and Splitter had 2 pts.
Al played only 16 min.
Realizing ‘ you ‘ watched the game;
are you telling me that all 15 of those points came against Al ?
Really ?

Slimmer, what`s the matter ?
Why are you acting this way ?
If you wish to tear down Al … then debate / not sling mud.
There is intelligent discourse, then there is what you have become.
Use basketball credence to make your case.
You are among the blog intelligentsia – stay put.

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
4:57 pm

“Teague & Horford to Sactown for Cousins, Salmons & The Jimmer???”

Bingo Just Joe. Teague and Horford are trade bait to get better… Make it so Captain!

Atl Fan

October 11th, 2012
4:57 pm

Did anyone notice that play they ran for mike scott last night exactly looked like the play they ran for joe when they played the cavaliers?

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
5:03 pm

Grandad, ‘nimbers’ only tell part of a story. As eyeballs fill in the rest..There was a stretch in the 2nd quarter where the Spurs made their [run][layup line][dunks] with AllStar Al clogging the paint and getting blown up..

Thank you..

falCans

October 11th, 2012
5:07 pm

Lol I agree trade Horford his ONLY strength was floor spacing but with tge influx of shooters weve aquired Al is dispensible. I would NOT trade him for Jefferson and his 12 mill contract. Zaza is a legitimate starter and a warrior. We need a real SF and back up shotblocker. Donr be fooled by this Horford is an all star talk. He was a beneficiary if a Eastern Conference WITH NO CENTERS!!!!

Grandad

October 11th, 2012
5:08 pm

brigadierjerry

* r e; AlJeff

No; keep Josh, keep Al, keep Zaza
now Teague = wait and see.

Also; sort of the same with Josh,
but only to the extent of sign-ability.
* If for whatever reason we cannot sign then trade (talent for =talent)

It is my supposition that we have some $ to spend.
If so spend wisely. (and do not over-spend on anyone)

ctrim

October 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

I like James Harden but think it would be deja vous all over again. Harden = Joe which isn’t bad, it’s just not worth a max contract

Slimjr

October 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

Another set of eyes: FTPPB

glw

October 10th, 2012
9:24 pm

“Al is looking bad on defense. Eddy Curry beating him off the dribble. San Antonio shooting 55&, getting layups and dunks all night long so far.”

Al was not sitting down yet…He was standing….

falCans

October 11th, 2012
5:12 pm

Name 5centers from the EC when Horford was an all star o.O I couldnt get past that guy from Orlando. Now if Horford cost 4 mill less id be mum on tradin him

Grandad

October 11th, 2012
5:16 pm

Slimjr

I acknowledged you watched the game.

Tell me about Josh`s defensive performance.