After further review … the Hawks are in really big trouble

Sometimes you get caught up in a moment, and sometimes it’s a bad moment. The Hawks were so awful Monday night as to beggar belief, but in the interest of fairness I’ve spent some of the subsequent hours reflecting on what I saw/wrote. (Other hours were invested in sleeping.) And in my reflection, I have asked myself: “Marky boy, do you think you made too much of one game in November?”

My now-considered answer: No.

My rationale: When you fire the head coach and promote his assistant, you’re not committing to a new five-year plan. You’re betting on continuity with a few tweaks. There’s not going to be a long shakedown cruise. The change is either going to take immediately or not at all.

That the Hawks started 6-0 offered some indication that the players had bought into the Larry Drew Method, but those six games have been revealed for what they were: The softest early schedule the NBA could possibly provide. When better opponents began arriving, the Hawks, as we say in horse racing, spit the bit.

The twin pillars, such as they were, of Drew’s curious case to become head coach were that the Hawks needed to share the ball on offense and stop switching on defense. The result of the former has been a bit more balanced scoring, which is good in theory, but against the Celtics on Monday the Hawks’ idea of sharing seemed to be allowing Al Horford to shoot more 18-footers. When you have Joe Johnson, in whom $120 million has just been re-invested, is that really what you want?

As for the defense: The Hawks didn’t just not switch Monday — they didn’t guard at all. They were so disinterested against the team that always before has piqued their interest that Drew wondered afterward what the Hawks were doing on their nights off. (What is this? High school?)

Drew also said he didn’t like where his team is headed. He said this three days before Thanksgiving. And that’s the chilling part. If the Hawks have already stopped caring, what does that say for this franchise? Does Rick Sund start making trades to try to assemble a roster more to Drew’s liking? What evidence is there that Drew would know what to do even then? If the guys he was supposed to know best won’t play for him, who will?

But enough. I’m depressing myself all over again. After further review, Monday’s non-effort wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was worse.

214 comments Add your comment

T r u t h S e r u m

November 24th, 2010
4:57 pm

Mr. Red – AKA Mr. idiot, every body including the coaches know that Al Horford is among the weakest defending centers in the NBA. Every team walks in and dunks on this clown who got 0-zero vote to be on the nba defensive team. He may be your favorite player but he is a liability to the hawks defensively and the main reason they will never contend for a title. In his most recent game his opponent scored 34 points on him. What a joke. Trade this defensive bum!

Josh Smith is the # 1 defensive pf according to the coaches and the # 1 shot blocker in the NBA.

You are entitled to your opinion, however idiotic, but not your own facts

Fire sund , horford and drew and dont forget to fire mike cunningham.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Brook Lopez

November 24th, 2010
6:58 pm

I dominated your fussy al horford yesterday. He is a vitch…hahaha… that vitch doesnt play defense so i put up 36 points on the ho…hahaha

Why dont you trade Al the hoe and teague the turn over for me and I will make atlanta a winner. Id love to play with JJ and Josh smoove azzzis Smith.

hahahah is that what you guys call a center? LMAO!

http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2010/11/23/after-further-review-the-hawks-are-in-really-big-trouble/?cp=5#comment-349242

November 24th, 2010
7:05 pm

Mantis

November 24th, 2010
7:13 pm

The Atlanta Spirit Group strived for medicority and they got it. That’s the problem with this basketball season. We paid Joe Johnson this stupid contract because ASG didn’t have enough pride in itself to persue Tracy McGrady. We kept Marvin Williams because ASG didn’t have enough pride in itself to pursue Carlos Boozer and move Josh to the #3 spot. We hired Larry Drew because ASG didn’t have enough pride in itself to hire Byron Scott.

Losers lose because they don’t want to win.

June

November 24th, 2010
10:19 pm

Heat lose again….No point Guard no Win….Just like the Hawks,,,,,

Brook Lopez

November 25th, 2010
12:55 am

Hawks lose again, no center.

MitchC

November 25th, 2010
2:24 am

Mark, I cant claim to follow the Hawks the same way I do the Braves, but.. arent you the same Mark Bradley, who predicted the Braves were going to finish third, and who was writing bashing articles about them early in the season? What happened there? The Braves made the wild card, just as I predicted they would.

Granted, the Hawks havent played well, and have gone 2-7 since their 6-0 start, but. it is only November. This team has plenty of time to get things turned around.

Tomorrow night’s game should be interesting, and with the Knicks being so Jekyll-Hyde, Saturday’s game at MSG could be a wild one as well.

I’m going to wait a bit longer into the season, before making a call on the Hawks. Its too early.

Alex Trabek

November 25th, 2010
10:47 am

Jeopardy time:

NBA CENTER. FOR 100pts

ranked 25th among centers for the defensive category for block shots?

Who is Al Horford?

CORRECT!

NBA for 200

What eastern conference starting center received 0 votes for the NBA coaches All Defensive Team?

Who is Al horford?…

CORRECT!

NBA for 300,

This NBA center had one of the highest percentage for allowing points under the basket…and is begging to be moved from the center position?

Who is Al Horford ?…

EXACTLY!

NBA for 500

ech ech ech… DAILY DOUBLE

This NBA center is dunked on and pushed out of the paint frequently. Often referred to as “too frail to man the paint” he has allowed Nate Robinson and Tony Parker to abuse him for over 40 points… Heres your clue: it is often said that the hawks will never win a championship as long as he is the center…..you have 30 seconds….

Who is Al Horford?

YES!!

That’s all we have time for today, tune in tomorrow when our categories will be Stupid GM ’s, Stupid coach firings and Dumb sports writers

Thanks for tuning in to JEOPARDY!

T R U T H S E R U M

November 25th, 2010
10:49 am

CO-SIGN ALEX TRABEK

marquis james

November 25th, 2010
11:44 pm

Seems like certain people have a problem paying 4time allstars…I dont remember anybody saying this about Jon Koncack or calling him lazy or even a thug….checj where your payroll rqanks next to the rest of the NBA and you’ll learn something about yourselves…..damn da players, fire the owners!!!!!EVERY ELITE PLAYER we sought after has taken a paycut to NOT play in Atlanta because of the mentality of our owners and the local media that supports them and NEVER holds them accountable……thugs, lazy, overpaid? check Joe’s number and you’ll learn that Boston and Orlando each have 3 players on their rosters that made millions more apiece and their stats werent even close…………NO one wants to play here because your ignorance of the game and RACIST mentality!!!!!!!!

marquis james

November 25th, 2010
11:45 pm

Joe is the BEST the HAWKS can get to play here……..no one else will!!!!!!

BobbyDawg

November 26th, 2010
8:54 am

The Hawks REALLY demonstrated how a team can completely fall apart when they got STOMPED by the Celtics. They played like they knew they were going to lose and just wanted to go ahead and get it over with. Definily not championship material. I won’t be watching many more Hawks games after that one.

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 27th, 2010
8:55 am

Hell, it’s NBA basketball, who really cares anyway?