Live from Cleveland: Chatting about Woody and his Hawks

Cleveland – The Hawks filed back into Quicken Loans Arena this morning for practice, and Mike Woodson admitted he had some fences to mend. “I kind of lashed out at them last night,” the coach said, and when Woodson says “kind of” he means “absolutely, positively.”

Woodson was angry about the second half, in which his team managed 28 points in 24 minutes and, according to Joe Johnson, “gave up.” I’ll address this at greater length in a column, but Woodson’s point — and it’s a good one — is that the team can’t be satisfied with just getting here. Because if it is, it won’t be here long.

Questions linger about Johnson, who took only 10 shots against five turnovers, and whether the Cavs’ defense rendered him ineffective or whether Johnson simply wasn’t forceful enough. And the big question now, same as it was last week: Will Al Horford play?

He didn’t practice this morning, getting treatment on his tender right ankle. Asked Horford’s status for Game 2 on Thursday, Woodson said: “Don’t know. It’s day-to-day. I think fatigue set in [in the second half Tuesday]. It’ll be a game-time decision.”

And with that, we’ll open up the digital lines and take questions and comments and song requests. To borrow from Dr. Frasier Crane, I’m listening …

238 comments Add your comment

Reggie

May 6th, 2009
1:05 pm

Mark

What do you think the hawks will need to do in the offseason to get to that next level?

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:08 pm

Three things, Reggie: Re-sign Mike Bibby, persuade Josh Childress to return and work a sign-and-trade with Marvin Williams. For who? A more forceful small forward. (Shawn Marion, maybe?)

Oh, and have a good draft. Remember, Rick Sund hasn’t yet had a pick to make as the GM here. But I saw him huddling with his aides at Quicken Loans Arena this morning.

HawkKingBibby

May 6th, 2009
1:12 pm

How can Lebron knock ZAZA, MO, BIBBY AND SMOOVE to the ground and not have 1 single foul called on him the whole game?

A Tribe Called Quest

May 6th, 2009
1:12 pm

This is one of the reasons Atlanta is considered a terrible sports town. If Joe Johnson played the way has been playing in New York, LA … they would be killing him in the media. We make excuses. If Marvin Williams (The #2 pick in the draft) played this way in New York, LA …

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:12 pm

Why are we trading Marvin?

Dawg4life

May 6th, 2009
1:12 pm

Agree with re-signing Bibby. But why a sign-and-trade for another forward? I think Marvin showed that he can continue to work on his game in the offseason and be another weapon for this team. If he can continue to work on his 3 point shot and commit to getting more rebounds, Marvin can be a better player than Shawn Marion. Plus, I think Marion is about to be over the hill.

As for Childress, what is it about him that you think makes him so valuable? I say good riddance.

Chris B

May 6th, 2009
1:14 pm

I think you’re wrong on MArvin… heck… he’s still so young… and you need patience… just like you did with woodson… yes the hawks need more force down low… I say trade Acie, Speedy (wated cause of cap space), and Childress rights for the bigger presence we need (Ben Wallace?)… keep Marvin, Bibby, ZaZa… thoughts?

A Tribe Called Quest

May 6th, 2009
1:14 pm

Mark, what you think about the boy Jarvis Hayes? I guess there’s no place for him on this team. Mo Evans’ offensive game is just awful man. We’re finding out that having a star PG is not the most important thing (Heat in 2006 and Rockets right now). I would love to get an Aaron Brooks on this team. We don’t need to overspend for PG’s anymore. Centers are what we need to overspend for. Which is why we need to trade Marvin for Kaman. I swear Marvin falls 5 times every game and manages to get hurt. Dude is frail or something

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:14 pm

Shouldn’t we also re-sign Flip Murray?

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:15 pm

I like Childress’ energy and his value in open-court settings. He gives the Hawks another runner besides Josh Smith.

As for Marvin: I think he’s going to want big money to stay, and I just don’t think he’s that valuable to this team. I think he’d benefit from another setting, somewhere he isn’t always mentioned as “the guy we drafted instead of Chris Paul/Deron Williams.”

A Tribe Called Quest

May 6th, 2009
1:15 pm

ZaZa and Flip are the two players we need to keep in Free Agency. And why is Joe Johnson so useless in these playoffs except for 2 games? Does he not want to win? Freaking step up–you’re not playing like an All Star, idiot

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:16 pm

It’s going to be tough to keep everybody, Chris. The Hawks aren’t known for spending big. They only went 1-for-2 on retaining the Joshes.

james

May 6th, 2009
1:17 pm

Will we see a different Hawks team tomorrow night. The Hawks do not play aggressive, with lack of help defense and the lack of the star player (Joe Johnson) being aggressive in the paint and driving to the basket. Will we see this? If not the Hawks will be swept in the second round.

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:19 pm

Yes, Joe wants to win. Everybody wants to win. But he seems uncertain in a way he didn’t during the regular season — indeed, during any of his seasons with the Hawks. I don’t know just how tired he is, but the hesitance is strange indeed.

As for the local media not killing Joe: We’ve pointed out that he hasn’t been very good. What would you like us to say: That he really, really hasn’t been very good?

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:19 pm

I’m sure the Hawks will win at least one of their home games. No Sweep!

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:20 pm

Game 3 is always the key to a non-sweep. Assuming the team coming home is trailing 0-2, of course.

Dawg4life

May 6th, 2009
1:20 pm

Good point about Childress, but I still think Marvin’s a better option UNLESS he wants mega money to stay here. That’s the only way I’d say he needs to go. What we REALLY need to invest in is a big man who will allow Al Horford to play his natural position. He’s not gonna make it banging against bona fide centers every night.

In the same vein, maybe finding a real center will encourage Horford to finally take that 10- to 15-foot jumper in the lane that we all know he can make…he seems to have lost confidence in that shot…and I saw him take it and make it once last night.

A Tribe Called Quest

May 6th, 2009
1:22 pm

Mark,

Yes I would like for them to say that. It’s unacceptable for our highest-paid player, who has been a 3 time All Star, to be so useless in 3/4 of the games we play. The guy had such a mediocre 2nd half of the year that it’s disappointing. And Joe played like this in the first 10 games or so last year (07-08) when Woodson said “He expected more” of Joe or something

Dr. Dialtone

May 6th, 2009
1:22 pm

I had read in one of your previous articles your comments about having to live in Cleveland and to be glad you don’t have to.. I had lived their for about 5 years and loved every minute. Sorry to say my job took be down south were I cuss the heat & humidity. Did you really find it that bad?

Reggie

May 6th, 2009
1:22 pm

How about going after a guy like Antonio McDyess or trading for a guy like Marcus Camby? I think we could use a veteran big man & move Al Horford to Power Forward. Thoughts?

Cuz

May 6th, 2009
1:22 pm

Mark do you plan on visiting the Cleveland style Polka Hall of Fame and can you bring me back a t-shirt when you do?

Marcus

May 6th, 2009
1:23 pm

MB,
Does Josh at the ‘3′ give us the same mid-range jumper capability as Marvin?
I think we lose more than we gain, plus there is no guarantee that Josh will come back to ATL. Heck, his rights may be more valuable, esp. if we dangle them to one of the NBA teams bidding for his services prior to his decision to go over to Europe.
We do face some salary decisions over the next couple of years, based on when Marvin and Horford become FA and whatever decision we make regarding Bibby.
My pie in the sky thing would be to package Josh Childresses rights, Acie Law and maybe some cash to swap draft slots with a lottery team to snag Thabeet. Still have salary issues and what to do with the 3, 4, 5 positions on the floor, but having him in the mix would put us on another level.

Cameron

May 6th, 2009
1:23 pm

Mark, remember some of the last few games of the regular season when we ran the offense thru Josh and Al, why are we not doing that now? I think it was when we beat the Hornets and Trailblazers during the last few weeks. I know it’s not Horford’s injury because we weren’t doing it before. Plus, it would take off so much pressure from Joe.

Chris B

May 6th, 2009
1:23 pm

Heck Mark, I agree we have to keep Flip, too, in addition to keeping Marvin, Bibby, ZaZa… you’re right, you probably lose at least 1… another scenario is to let Bibby loose, keep flip for less, keep ZaZa, match for MArvin, and throw big bucks at Ben Gordon… Joe would be showing up if they had another explosive presence in the backcourt… how can you score when you’re playing 1 on 3…

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:24 pm

OK, here it is: Joe has really, really been bad in the playoffs, except for Game 7 against the Heat.

No, Dr. Dialtone, Cleveland isn’t so bad. It’s a lovely city with charming citizens and a thriving downtown.

Cher

May 6th, 2009
1:24 pm

LeBron James, is the greatest! Go Cavs!!!!

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:25 pm

I thought Bibby made more money than Joe? Bibby needs to take a pay cut to come back.

Vladimir

May 6th, 2009
1:25 pm

Does Bibby do anything besides shoot 3’s and not play defense?

GA Bulldawg *Class of 09!*

May 6th, 2009
1:25 pm

“But he seems uncertain in a way he didn’t during the regular season — indeed, during any of his seasons with the Hawks. I don’t know just how tired he is, but the hesitance is strange indeed.”

exactly. he’s not himself…that’s what happens when the coach rides you for an entire first quarter and most of the 2nd quarter almost every game in the regular season. I watch the Cavs and Lakers on a regular basis…Phil Jackson and Mike Brown give Kobe and Lebron rest in the first quarter and just enough in the 2nd so they have fresh legs.

Ed Gray & Chris Crawford's love child

May 6th, 2009
1:25 pm

“The Hawks aren’t known for spending big.” AKA the Hawks owners are losing their as$ on the Hawks and Tharshers and will never spend big money on either one in the foreseeable future. Not to mention they are in a never ending legal battle for the team.

Cuz

May 6th, 2009
1:26 pm

Cher go get another tatoo.

Q-Tip

May 6th, 2009
1:26 pm

Real mature Mark. Let’s just say Joe has been bad and do nothing about it. Is Woodson that scaerd to tell Joe to step it up?

OMG HES OUR SUPERSTAR!

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:27 pm

The Hawks’ offense is set to run through Joe. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. I wish they’d run more plays for Horford, too, but in all candor Horfy — whom I like a lot — hasn’t been very good in the postseason, either. Even before he hurt his ankle.

Josh doesn’t give you the jump-shot capability at small forward Marvin would. Indeed, it might just give him license to shoot more jumpers. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Dr. Dialtone

May 6th, 2009
1:27 pm

james

May 6th, 2009
1:27 pm

Talking about getting guys to help the Hawks, to me it does not matter who we get as long as they are proven to score at least 20 – 30 points on a consistently, fact is we need two, and then get the supporting cast. This can be the center, power forward, whatever, we need consistency.

Volman

May 6th, 2009
1:28 pm

Smoove looked like a superstar last night. Can we please get him in a good position in the post to score more often?

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:28 pm

I’m pretty sure Mike Woodson isn’t afraid of anybody.

honest_abe

May 6th, 2009
1:29 pm

is there any chance the hawks can get a new coach? the hawks are putrid when it comes to offense. they sit around and wait for joe to do something. how many times is he going to have to turn it over when a double comes? even i know that you need to make a quick, decisive move when a double comes. the hawks are just too sloppy and careless they are not a well coached basketball team. period. some were saying that woody was validated with the win over miami, i disagree this team should’ve won that series in 5.

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:29 pm

“And we wouldn’t want that, would we?”
No, we wouldn’t!

Marcus

May 6th, 2009
1:29 pm

Read this Marvin Williams player profile as a preview of the 2008-2009 season, by ESPN John Hollinger, esp. the mid-range jumper portion. Nothing to sneeze at: Keep Marvin Williams

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/players/hollinger?playerId=2797&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fplayers%2fhollinger%3fplayerId%3d2797

james

May 6th, 2009
1:29 pm

Talking about getting guys to help the Hawks, to me it does not matter who we get as long as they are proven to score at least 20 – 30 points consistently, fact is we need two, and then get the supporting cast. This can be the center, power forward, whatever, we need consistency.

smartguy

May 6th, 2009
1:30 pm

NO SHOW JOE
NO SHOW JOE

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:30 pm

Woodson will coach the Hawks next season unless some other team hires him away. And don’t laugh: He’s respected around the NBA.

Volman

May 6th, 2009
1:30 pm

If Woodson isn’t afraid of anybody, why doesn’t he yell at Joe/Flip for taking and missing jumpshots like Josh does?

Tony from Stone Mountain

May 6th, 2009
1:31 pm

I would like for Marvin to stay as long as he asking for a contact like Joe or Josh’s.

Volman

May 6th, 2009
1:31 pm

We need to package Marvin and trash for Jamison, a UNC VETERAN who knows how to put the basketball in the hoop

Shane

May 6th, 2009
1:31 pm

1) Mark, you see Rio miss those FTs last night and Lorenzen laughing at him with LeBron?

2) Why can Mario not make a jumpshot or shoot a free throw?

Mark Bradley

May 6th, 2009
1:32 pm

Sorry, Marcus. I’m just not a Marvin fan. I didn’t like it when Billy Knight drafted him — though I preferred Deron Williams, not Chris Paul — and I really haven’t seen him make the strides he should have by now. He’s the most unassuming double-figures scorer I’ve ever watched.

Shane

May 6th, 2009
1:32 pm

I don’t understand how bench players (MARIO) can not make free throws. Any player considered one of the 500 (or however many in the NBA) best in the world should BE ABLE TO MAKE AN OPEN SHOT FROM 15 FEET AWay

chad

May 6th, 2009
1:32 pm

No show Joe Johnson is a plain joke when it is time to play in a big game. Don’t give “he scored 27 in game 7 against Miami” there should have never even been a game 7. He is not a star unfortunately can’t carry a team. Where was the defense last night? How many more times are going to see a pick at the top of the circle and the STAR of the other team come off of it and drive the lane for a dunk or some sort of easy shot? Yes they have come a long way since Woodson has arrived, but they are still weak as pond water. The TEAM concept still has not caught on in the Atl. If Josh Smith shoot one more jump shot I will throw a brick through my tv.