Woodson-Smith feud keeping Hawks from moving forward

Sixty-two games into the season, Mike Woodson and Josh Smith got into another spat the other night. We have watched this for five years. If their relationship were any more dysfunctional, they would be in the ownership group.

Hmmm. What do these three photos have in common?

This is March, not November. The playoffs start in six weeks. This is when NBA coaches are supposed to be finalizing rotations and good teams should be coming together. This generally is not when a head coach spontaneously combusts at halftime and benches one of his best, even if impetuous, players for the next two quarters.

Notwithstanding Saturday’s 87-83 win over Detroit, the Hawks remain too inconsistent for us to assume they’re coming together. More often of late, they look like they’re coming apart. They have several issues, but the biggest is Woodson’s and Smith’s inability to coexist.

They both arrived here in 2004. It hasn’t been a marriage. It’s been a pie fight.

One of two things happened Friday night in Charlotte: Either Smith committed a violation so egregious late in the first half that Woodson felt the player had undercut his authority and was ripping the team apart.

Or Woodson overreacted to something, anything, a noise in the ventilation shaft.

I lean toward the latter.

Regardless, this can’t happen now. The team is 14-18 since a 21-10 start. Even with the win over the Pistons, they’re only 6-6 at home in that span. Bottom line: They can’t assume Philips Arena will solve their problems. Or their wars.

“The past is the past and the future is now, and everything is good,” Smith said.

Thank you, Annie.

It’s not unusual for coaches and athletes to feud. It’s worse when both are stubborn. Woodson too often acts like his mentor, Bobby Knight, except without the resume. Smith too often plays like he’s tired from carrying his resume, and passing out copies.

Five years.

Five . . . years.

Fact is, neither guy has developed that well.

One can’t play for a coach.

The other can’t coach a player.

Pick your poison.

Last Sunday against Cleveland, Woodson benched Smith for the entire fourth quarter. Smith probably had it coming. He had only eight points and three rebounds. The Hawks lost 88-87. Five nights later, Smith was having a strong first half against the Bobcats (13 points, four rebounds, two blocks). Then he missed a three-point shot with two minutes left in the half and a lay-up in the final seconds. Clearly, tempers flared between the two at halftime, because the next time we saw Smith on the court was Saturday.

He bounced back with a strong game: 19 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks. He and Woodson say they’ve cleared the air. They say all is well. Start the clock.

When Woodson was asked  what he has learned after five years with Smith, he said: “I’m a coach and he’s a player. The bottom line is he gets paid to play and I’m paid to coach.”

I’m not sure. But isn’t that old news?

Why still feuding?

“It happens,” Woodson said. “As a coach I think I dealt with it the best way I can and now it’s time to move forward. I’ve never held grudges against my players.”

Not for more than a half, anyway.

87 comments Add your comment


March 7th, 2009
9:43 pm


Give Josh Smith credit for this. After the spat he had with Mike Woodson. He had arguably the best game he’s had in weeks.


March 7th, 2009
9:59 pm

Smith could use some coaching. Sometimes he’s amazing and wows everybody with is talent. Other nights, he plays like he doesn’t care.


March 7th, 2009
10:11 pm

I am a big Smith fan,but he does have a bit of a attitude sometimes, that being said for the last few years it is so obvious that Woodson should not be coaching this team!If we had a real coach running this team to its strengths we would be AOT better, and the players wouldn’t get so frustrated.

Nice win against the pistons tonight, lets keep that 4th spot!


March 7th, 2009
10:35 pm

“I get paid to coach.”

Does that mean Woodson’s not getting paid?

Ryan Trice

March 7th, 2009
10:50 pm

if woody plays acie and mario west a lil more this team could go far FIRE THIS LOOSER WOODSON


March 7th, 2009
10:57 pm

Playing Law and West more is about the only thing Woodson could do to be more of a looser [sic]


March 7th, 2009
11:30 pm

Who isn’t weary of the entire Hawks/Thrashers mess? You’re not going to fire all of the players. So do Woodson now. Entirely too much talent on the team to go through this time after time after time. Does anybody really think they’ll go anywhere in the playoffs? It’s going to be worse because when the season started we expected more. Good teams don’t play as poorly with regularity as it seems Atlanta does. I’m sick of the whole mess.


March 7th, 2009
11:33 pm

Woodson, Has reached his plateau as a coach. J. smoove Has yet to reach his. True smith shouldn’t be taking three point shots. However to bench your most athletic player and best defender in a close game against Cleveland. Is just stupid. Then to bench him again and lose again. That ought to be an indicator to Woodson that he needs smith as much as joe johnson. Woodson has cost us at least 7 games this season in which he pulls players out at the wrong time or leave them on the bench too long. However, he would be a great college coach (georgia is hiring) He has already peaked at this level (game 7 first round) We now need a coach to get us to the next level. Sometimes J. Smith isn’t into the game and it’s one or two reasons this is happening. 1. He won’t run through a brick wall for woodson because 2. woodson don’t run plays for josh smith. He is like the no. 4 option and prob. 5 most nights. Another thing Josh Smith came straight out of High school as a friggin shooting guard. He is playing power foward in the nba better than some guys that played that position their whole life. Woodson you got to go. it’s time for change and Smoove ain’t going nowhere.


March 8th, 2009
12:09 am

“One can’t play for a coach.”

Uh, Jeff…just how many coaches have had issues with Josh Smith? I’m sorry, but which other NBA coaches has he played for?

Josh has played for one guy. Woodson has coached several guys. Case closed. Look at Diaw. Blossomed the minute…I’ll say it again…the MINUTE he left here.

And how did the night end against Detroit? Woodson walking out on the floor to offer public lovey dovey to Josh. Why? Because of his immature reaction to Josh the night before. How many times have we seen Woody do that with Josh, or others?



March 8th, 2009
12:10 am

Yes, Josh has some issues. Yes, he needs to learn more, and faster. But he’s not a bad guy. I doubt that he’s causing the team problems.

You want to talk about causing problems, how about Joe Johnson going from someone who might be able to take over a game singlehandedly to someone who is as likely as not to bog the offense down singlehandedly. Just how stellar has HE been, eh?


March 8th, 2009
12:19 am

i cant believe people still take up for josh smith. he is not a chemistry player on offense, cant dribble to his right, i mean, im tired of it. he represents the dysfunction that is atlanta sports.


March 8th, 2009
12:34 am

Woodson might be a nice guy ( I don’t know ), but he’s an ass as a coach.


March 8th, 2009
1:35 am

How many coaches has Smith played for? Enough to know that he’s been a petulant pissant his whole life. I don’t know if it’s him or his parents but somewhere along the way he decided that a lousy attitude went with outstanding talent, and he hasn’t changed much – if at all. All you have to do is talk to anybody that witnessed the high-school all-star gathering in Knoxville following Smith’s senior season. He spent the entire time acting like a punk…of course it probably had something to do with another attendee that was showing everybody that Josh Smith wasn’t the best in the land, shoot he wasn’t even the best from Atlanta. That young man, who came away with their version of the MVP of the camp, is playing a little ball down in Orlando these days, is probably the best big man in the game, and has ten-times the class that Josh Smith has… Dwight Howard.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

March 8th, 2009
3:11 am

They would never admit it but its apparent that their beef is having a negative effect on the team. Woodson seems to make emotional and compulsive in-game decisions that lead to negative outcomes. J Smoove on the other hand sometimes does the exact same thing as a playef. Unfortunately, we may never see his full potential until a coach plays to his and the teams strength-Woodson is too stubborn to be that one.

Ted Striker

March 8th, 2009
3:57 am

Jeff: “Their relationship hasn’t been a marriage.” You ain’t usin’ the Al Bundy, Paul McCartney, or Donald Trump scale.

jt in dallas

March 8th, 2009
5:32 am

“The other can’t coach a player.”
Great statement, Jeff. It’s very apparent that Woody can’t coach. Let’s get the bum outta here.

Thomas didit

March 8th, 2009
6:21 am

I am not shocked by all the dislike of coaches these days. We are downing a coach, who to a nothing team in the 2004-05 season of washed up finished players and a batch of unproven rookies and played his hand. (check the rooster from those years to now). Good players on a team has nothing to do with the coach, it is all up to the owner and his hired team of gogetters. How high you jump and dunk, does not mean you are a quality NBA players. Some guys should only be in AND1 videos and not on a NBA court. The Hawks made the playoffs last year, not Josh Smith. He might have helped, but it took the whole team to make it. I remember all those layups he missed and unwanted 3 pt shoots that he missed. When you miss 10 shoots, 1 ESPN high flying dunk does not make up for it. Maybe Josh should let himself find a mentor to relize that this game takes more people to win a championship than himself and some whining reports and critiques.

[...] . posted a noteworthy aricle today onHere’s a small snippetSixty-two games into the season, Mike Woodson and Josh Smith got into another spat the other night. We have watched this for five years. If their relationship were any more dysfunctional, they would be in the ownership group. … Why still feuding? “It happens,” Woodson said. “As a coach I think I dealt with it the best way I can and now it’s time to move forward. I’ve never held grudges against my players.” Right. Not for more than a half, anyway. … [...]


March 8th, 2009
7:39 am





March 8th, 2009
8:38 am

Josh Smith is lucky hes blessed athletically because in the Real World…. someone as inmature as him would bounce around from job to job….flipping burgers.


March 8th, 2009
8:51 am

Smith is immature. But that’s not saying much. Over half NBA player are. Woodson however, is blessed with a roster full of talent and almost all of the pieces necessary to make a run. Flat out this team should be miles better than where they are now.

In other words .. WOODSON SUCKS! Get rid of his butt now before we waste another season of mediocrity. There’s too many coaches out there who could do heads better with this talent.

Saint Richt

March 8th, 2009
9:08 am

PLEASE fire Mike Woodson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This team is SO much better without him at the helm.

And Joe Johnson is making next year’s decision about his future real easy with his play.


March 8th, 2009
9:18 am

Why do these things continue to happen…because Sund and ASG can’t make a very clear and concise decision…make a coaching change. You can’t blame Coach Woodson for every problem this team has, but he certainly is not contributing the progression of this club. When I mean progression, I am talking about the direction this team is headed (chemistry, desire, hustle, BENCH DEVELOPMENT) not record. We can all see that this team has talent, but the lack of the above stated is glaring. They have tuned Woodson out (hence the lack of effort in games they should clearly win) and are only TOLERATING him because they have no choice. It’s childish to bench a guy when he is performing on the court and you as a coach can’t handle the off court objections (at halftime). I can’t remember the last time a coach put himself above the team…I guess he got his point across, oh and a loss. GO WOODY!


March 8th, 2009
10:04 am

Jeff, I have a hard time agreeing with everything you say but in this case you make a great point about Woodson’s demeanor. He acts as though he not only has the resume of Bobby Knight but also the credentials of Larry Brown. Who cares about Mike Woodson’s dog house and why should Josh. Woodson’s like a drill sergeant who has never been in combat, yes he has player experience, and obviously he’s a disciplinarian, great assistant work there buddy, but we need someone to design actual plays, develop players, and give the team some sort of identity. I understand that coaches shouldn’t always bear the blame because players have to execute and want to execute the game plan, but I ask anyone reading this blog including you JS, when is the last time you actually saw designed plays by the hawks, even a play as simple as a pick and roll, a give and go, something, this team just appears to run up and down the floor. On the nights there hitting their unorganized shots they win, when there not or a team gets in their face they lose, this has been the case all season long. Josh Smith could be awesome down on the block although he apparently has no desire to play down there, as athletic as this team is, they could back door, pick and roll, and shoot wide open jumpers all day if there was some form of real coaching going on.


March 8th, 2009
10:12 am

Mike Woodson’s resume
X’s and O’s —-nope
Player development—-not so much
Bench development—–yeah right
Coaching credentials–stop playing
Championship quality–Hell nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


March 8th, 2009
10:21 am

Smith’s actions are typical of these young punks that think they are above coaching. They have been taught to resist authority. They believe bucking authority is a means of gaining respect, when in fact that mindset is what destroys their reputations. Smith is a great talent, but a spoiled brat mentally. His thug mindset will hinder him until he finally grows up. Check out Allen Iverson. Great talent with no maturity. This is a reflection of young males growing up without fathers in the home. If you want to improve society, demand males to be more than sperm donors. In terms of basketball, I believe I would trade this kid. The Hawks have a nucleus of great players, but a kid with an attitude will destroy the chemistry of the team. Move him to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odum.


March 8th, 2009
11:52 am

Dawgtime, why is it that the first time some people, such as your self, observes a person that may have qualities of immaturity, first reaction is that the person is a thug and lacks a father figure. Man get out of the media and the rap videos and try to actually understand what a person actually needs or is looking for. I actually went to school with Josh, believe it or not he actually has a father that is in his life and he comes from a good family. Let’s try your theory though, Larry Bird grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcohol abusing father who eventually committed suicide, now how did he turn out. I won’t pull the card because I don’t know you, I will state that in a world where an 18 year old can come out of high school have millions of dollars threw in his face and expectations that you nor anyone else can imagine who’s not in his position, sometimes you need guidance. Family guidance can only go so far, they can’t hold his hands and they to have trouble understanding the complexities of what goes through the mind of a youth in this situation. Yes Josh does have some issues, but just like the problems we deal with everyday in society, you are yet another person who thinks lets get rid of the problem instead of trying to understand or gain some sense of what truly is the problem. Hope you don’t have kids, or at least I hope if you do your kids don’t show any form of behavior that fails to appease the public, they might be considered thugs and you could just be considered a sperm donor and whats the best option after that, ” Lets get rid of it”


March 8th, 2009
12:16 pm

Smith is a basketball player that want to play at both ends of the court, play team ball Joe, we know you can dribble, but please pass the ball man.


March 8th, 2009
12:24 pm

I am so confused!!!…Woody is a terrific coach and a better person (world class person…ask the many, many people who he has helped and befriended…quietly I might add!)!!!…look, the team has gotten better and better every year…When he came from Detroit, where they had just won a NBA title, with coach and his mentor Larry Brown, Woody knew how to handle players like Rasheed Wallace and that entire crew to get the most out of them. That is why when he plays Detroit all of the guys hug him when they come by to say-hello even Rasheed!). They had a plan and worked it. they had a great owner and a ok GM (he took Darko over Melo, Wade and Bosh…c’mon).

Amongst the chaos in the Atlanta front office he has bought this team along wonderfully. they did not win their 35th game last year until April 10th or so. They are in the 4th spot which last year they were in the 8th. I am in DC where Eddie Jordan was fired after leading the Wizards to 4 straight playoffs…prior to Eddie they have not sniffed the playoffs!!!, So like the young people say to me all the time…how’s that working out for the Wizards? (smile)

Jeff, I just don’t see why you “Hate” so much (and your followers on this site)…I thought after that fabulous series against the Celtics last year you would calm the heck down but apparently you haven’t. I also thought there would be more defenders writing on the blog…(where are you people?…smile)…

Coach has learned at the lap of Sir Robert Montgomery Knight (who would make a very good UGA basketball choice by the way) and Larry Brown (two Hall of Famers I might add)…and I can’t think of two better mentors. Woody loves Josh however he needs Josh to play the way Woody wants him to play, to better the team. You never, ever, ever see or hear Joe, Al, Mike or Marvin say nothing but great things about coach and support him 200% and they really, really play hard for him!!!…Which in the ego crazy world of the NBA that is re-marketable (by the way, Childress took an occasional shot at coach, how’s that working out for him in Greece currently…c’mon!!!)…The Hawks will win the 1st round of the playoffs this year and probably the 2nd (and by the way, they could win the East…Boston is ailing and Cleveland, though very, very good…is not overloaded with allot of talent that scares anyone…ok, ok I have drank the Kool Aide…smile…but I do believe it). With the talent Woody has and has bought along, given the front office situations over the years, I think it is re-marketable what he has done…I love the Hawks and coach and in him I trust (I remember the bad times before him as you all must have forgotten)…BACK OFF JEFF or find something else or someone else to kick around. Go Hawks, Go Woody and Go Josh!!!…Oh, and one last thing, you like to mention Acie Law and Boris Diaw all the time…however I never hear you mention Sheldon Williams…who based on playing time, I guess coach did not seem to think allot of…I think he just recently got traded for Calvin Booth (see…even you had to laugh at that!!!…smile)…Let’s defend Woody and our Hawks more against all these haters who write on these sites (smile)!!!…Jeff, if you need something to do…go see if we can get Chill back for the stretch run…we could use a tad more productivity off the bench…


March 8th, 2009
12:35 pm

Josh Smith is one the most talented player in the N.B.A, his talents to put it simply far exceed the
abilities of Woodson as a Coach. Why have all these
talented low post player and Joe Johnson and Bibby shooting the ball all the time. How can you develope as a player in a system like that coach. look man in your set offense play inside outside ball, other than that run all the time man, if you have horse’s run them man.


March 8th, 2009
1:21 pm

It takes more than talent alone, you have to have brains. Josh played a great game last nights, most notably zero three point attempts. There is more to basketball than dunking. When Josh plays his role, the Hawks are successful more often than not. When Josh only cares about making highlights and threes, the Hawks lose more often than not. Josh is not our go-to guy, and he will not be the go-to guy on any other team. Josh is a great shot blocker, plays well in transition and can rebound. He is not the guy to break a defense down with the dribble. Just check his turn over numbers. Josh needs to play in the paint, not around the three-point line. Woody was right to bench him. If the player will not listen to the coach, how are we to know if the coach is right or wrong. The successful teams in the NBA do not play street ball.


March 8th, 2009
1:29 pm

You guys who want to fire Woodson are the same guys that wanted him out at the end of last year. The coaches you wanted who got hired elsewhere (like Terry Porter) have done nothing or been fired. Woody has out coached all of them. But you guys won’t let facts get in your way…not when you can make another comment about firing Woodson. As our infamous leader refers to cable talk shows as “cable chatter”, I refer to your silly little asinine coments as “Blog BullSh*t”.

Darrin "The Vent King"

March 8th, 2009
1:43 pm

This relationship between Josh and Woody is getting borderline ridiculous. Look, Josh is only reacting the way the rest of the team feels about Woody- he has lost them. Josh isn’t the only guy on that team that despises Woody, he is just the only one unable to hide it. I know Josh has that money now and an attitude and believe me that is annoying sometimes too, but he is young and their is still hope for him. With the right coaching and leadership he can be transformed into a great player, but Woody is not that coach. Woody is too set in his ways, too hard and pissy on the young fellas and needs to take his act to college or something. He does not possess the pedigree to demand the type of respect he is demanding the WAY he is demanding it. He’s no Larry Brown or Chuck Daly, but he constantly brow beats these guys from the sideline like he thinks he is and I for one am tired of seeing his twisted up-look like he has to take a dump-all the time grill on the sideline. This team’s inconsistency is attributed to one thing and that is coaching- it is PAST obvious Woody has lost these guys, they are not motivated by him and this will continue until a new coach is hired. As long as he is the coach this roller coaster ride will continue and no progress forward will be made. Josh is just saying what the other guys are too professional to say…


March 8th, 2009
1:44 pm

Shultz is repulsive in his desperation to get his column read. I only had to read the title to realize that he is one of the forces that wants Woodson gone. Woodson has done and WILL do a great job. These young boys are growing to manhood and are wrestling with things like ego’s and ambitions. Woodson deals with this as would any father or coach. The bottom line is to harness Josh’s energy into positive directions which was clearly demonstrate in last nights pistons game….Gold star to Woodson for handling an inciteful situation and putting the team back on point. Hey Shultz… you are negative, devisive and spiritually blind, definitely lacking wisdom. Woodson-Smith feud keeping Hawks from moving forward? Naw, that would be the lack of a center keeping the Hawks from moving forward. I certainly hope no one asks you for advise..I like to see a winner not another Bubba based loser!

Darrin "The Vent King"

March 8th, 2009
1:48 pm

ET – is all that necessary? Just cause your opinion is different than others doesn’t make it right or no less “cable chatter” or blog b.s. than anyone else. Who died and made you God? Facts? I tell you a fact- I wanted Woody gone and it had nothing to do with wanting Terry Porter. Outcoached? Please- no one could do anything with that roster Phoenix has so comparing that to what is going on here is b.s. itself and shows you are just another over opinionated blogger yourself. That “fact” you refer to has nothing to do with anything so please stop trying to sound as if you’ve proved something cause you didn’t.


March 8th, 2009
2:13 pm

First Josh Smith is one of the best if not the best Samll Forwards/Power Forwards i’ve seen in Atlanta in a while. Yes he may have an attitude but i think thats because he never had a vet Forward to learn from, but you have to give it to Smith, if it wan’t for him have of the games we won would be in the L postion. Now Woodson has done a ok job but honesty if we wanna get a Championship in Atlanta we need a real coach, not some jerk who thinks he all that. Matter of fact the Hawks could be at the top 5 i the NBA but some coach name Woodson don’t ueses his bench. West, Law, Jones, Hunter, and Garnder are all great players, so use them. Mo, Za-Za, and Filp are great too, but if you wanna winning team you have to use all of your players. So next season the Hawks say bye bye to Woodson and Speedy because there not doing anything and bring in a center so Al can play PF. Thank and Josh if you read this am one of your biggest fans and your my favortie Forward in the NBA.


March 8th, 2009
2:16 pm

The Hawks have improved every season under Woodson, haven’t they? Surely the man is doing something right.

I have no idea what the issue is with Josh Smith. Does he refuse to play within a team concept, a concept that’s presumably designed to maximize his strengths? If so, is a coach within his rights to determine that playing Smith hurts the team more than it helps it, not only on a given night but also into the future? I’d say so.

If the point of this column is to say that this isn’t the time of year to be having internecine fights, of course we all agree. But don’t we also all agree that if there’s a problem on the team, then it needs to be addressed now, rather than in the playoffs? You know, like Coach Karl benching Carmelo Anthony the other night.

[...] “Woodson-Smith feud keeping Hawks from moving forward,” by Jeff Schultz [...]

Dr. Warren

March 8th, 2009
2:47 pm

I went to the NBA STORE in Shanghai, China today. There was Lakers stuff. Celtics stuff. Cavs, Hornets, Suns, and Rockets stuff, of course. Pistons stuff. Magic stuff. And lots of Heat stuff. Warriors. Blazers. Bulls. Wizards. Nets. Bucks. Mavs. Almost everyone’s stuff. But when I asked for my hometown NBA team, Yatalanta, there was nothing but blank stares. Finally, a little man came out and led me to a glass-enclosed case with 30 silver lighters, including one with a little red bird logo. His shrug told the whole story.


March 8th, 2009
3:29 pm

Why exactly is Woodson still the coach of this team?????

Jeff Schultz

March 8th, 2009
4:34 pm

The clock says 4:20 already.
Why does it feel like 3:20?
## Peter: I have no idea what’s going to happen after the season, and I’m sure that decision hasn’t been made yet. I think it’s safe to say both Woodson and Smith are being analyzed. But if the Hawks do flop in the playoffs and Woodson is let go, it’s hard to imagine management wouldn’t want to at least see how Smith looks under a different coach.
## Ray: You’re right about Joe. Something’s off, and people in the organization have recognized that.
## WR: Yes, there are problems with the half-court offense. And for that matter, how often are plays run through Josh? Probably not often enough. I’d love to see somebody work with him to develop a low-post-game.
## Snowman: Don’t take this to mean that I hate Mike Woodson (I don’t). But the fact somebody is popular and even loved as an assistant doesn’t mean he’s popular and loved as a head coach. They are two completely different situations. The sport world is littered with tremendous assistant coaches who weren’t cut out to be head coaches, particularly in football. How often have you see great offensive and defensive coordinators who could not win as a head coach? It’s a different job. The fact that Woody worked for Bob Knight doesn’t automatically make him a great HC.


March 8th, 2009
4:47 pm

Jeff, please at least try to add some optimism to your articles.


March 8th, 2009
4:53 pm

We know that Josh can be immature sometimes, and he does make mistakes, but he doesnt get in trouble off the court, and I think he is very coachable. I just wonder about Woody’s approach. The problem might be that it takes a real coach to get the most out of Josh. And I dont think Woody is the guy.

Obviously, you wouldnt change coaches because of one player, but Woody has been here for 5 years, and we have no offensive system, an under utilized bench, and no consistency. Plus he consistenly gets outcoached. And he always talks about “I have to find a way to run some plays for JJ”, “I have to do a better job of helping Acie develop”, “I have to find a way to get the bench some more minutes”.

And then what does he do? He makes the same mistakes again. Regardless of the Hawks win-loss record, I dont think Woody is a good fit for this team. I look forward to the offseason to see what Sund does after analyzing this season.


March 8th, 2009
6:40 pm


So what do people have to say now that Josh has led the team to victory (in tandem with Al Horford) in a critical game against Detroit?

Nothing. See? It’s all just hate. I suppose it was pure, blind luck that it happened that way. Sure. Haters.

And oh yeah, I recognize that he didn’t shoot well from the field (6-17). But how many times does Joe Johnson do that, eh? (Speaking of which, what was the Golden Boy’s line from last night?)


March 8th, 2009
7:01 pm

Mr Shultz must have some lobbyist trying to get Woody’s Job….. How many of you father’s had disobedient son’s and had to ground them though high school and college? Should you have been fired for being a poor dad because your son did not like your instuctions or discipline? Let Woody coach his team. Theyve done nothing but get better. The two limitations the Hawks have is at the 5 position(no center in Zaza) and in having a unwise divisive sports writer named Shultz, either Shultz isnt very learned or he is trying to control the hawks brain trust…
Maybe he should be fired for antagonistic sports writing!


March 8th, 2009
7:04 pm

Josh makes up for bad shooting by going 7-9 from the line. Eat that.


I think part of JJ’s problem is the way he’s approaching games. Another part is the way the offense is run. A couple things to think about here:

1)Bibby is not a pure pg, and with him having lost a step, the situation is magnified. He does better just shooting the ball, whether it’s taking a step or two inside the arc, firing from the arc, or coming off of screens. It’s all about the jumper for him (mostly), and that means someone else has to facilitate. Guess who? Yep, the same guy Billy tried to run at pg a few years back. Why did it not work? Simple. Joe was the only reliable scorer at the time, all the guys he would be passing to were very young/immature, and Woody couldn’t teach offensive tricks to save his life. Oh, and Joe’s not a pg…

2)Joe doesn’t know what to do in the position he’s in. He’s trying to take over games, trying to shoot his way into contributing. It’s not working. He’s got a pg who MUST shoot, and three very athletic forwards who can/need to score in a variety of ways. And yet, the offense is still run through him. So what does he do, pass or shoot? Well, from the way he’s playing, you’d think he was trying to figure that out while he dribbles 15-20 seconds off of the shot clock.

3)Teams are doubling up on him all the time. Which means few, if any, good looks at the basket. Which means more of those 4-12 shooting nights. They’re keeping him from driving to the basket and either converting or drawing fouls.

So, it’s not like it’s ALL Joe’s fault. The decision-making? Yes. The design of the offense? No.

Joe can, however, solve the problem independently of Woodson. He has to get his teammates the ball early and often, making credible, consistent threats out of them. Then, and only then will the double teams stop.

Then he can work his magic one-on-one where few, if any, can guard him.


March 8th, 2009
7:07 pm


It’s called organic growth. Or perhaps you’d prefer “experience is the mother of all teachers.”

I wouldn’t say that Woody has NOTHING to do with this team getting better each year, but I’d certainly not give him full or even half credit for it. So Woody says “rebound and play defense.”

Last I looked, rec league coaches say that too. What’s special about it? The players do it, and it works most of the time. What has made these guys better from year to year is mostly their own growth, through experience.


March 8th, 2009
9:54 pm


March 8th, 2009
7:07 pm
I appreciate your need to dismiss Woodson’s leadership with the Hawks by denying he has demonstated the skills needed to guide young men. Fact is your comment is irrevelant Organically (as you put it), growth is measured in terms of the physical. Experience being the mother of all teachers (as you put it), only applies to learning the routines of how to play the game….


HB Ando

March 9th, 2009
12:14 am

Jeff, I had a perplexing sense of deja vu reading this article in today’s Sunday paper. Then I realized that it was essentially a recap of the Hawks’ Hacks blog I posted late Friday night, on the AJC.com, sans the clever ‘Bachelor’/Joe Johnson analogy I rolled into the back end, and the insider quotes.

I guess great minds think alike (or you don’t frequent our humble fan blog)……..

Chris Broe

March 9th, 2009
12:44 am

Jeff Schultz is trying to get a story going so the Hawks sell some tickets. Let’s hope The Woodson/Smith feud erupts over and over and gets more and more entertaining. Basketball stinks without drama. Hawks need a great story like what Jeff Schultz just wrote about. some drama. I’d go to see a feud. I’d watch to see the hate. Give me some reason to go. or watch.

By the way, I like the way the photos and text blend to become some cool performance art in this blog. Something a little different. Good job.