The imploding Lakers make the Hawks look relatively stable

Pau Gasol, shown here defending Josh Smith in March. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Pau Gasol, shown here defending Josh Smith in March. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Just when we were thinking the Hawks were the strangest team in the world, along come the Lakers to remind us that there’s no weirdness like Hollywood weirdness.

The Lakers got swept by Dallas, which was odd enough, and now Pau Gasol, L.A.’s second-best player, is responding to rumors that he stunk in the series because he broke up with his girlfriend. And that the wife of Kobe Bryant, L.A.’s best player, somehow precipitated the breakup. And that Gasol and Bryant had stopped speaking to one another.

Gasol has denied the reports, calling them “absolutely false.” But when a team as good as this — the Lakers had won the past NBA championships — collapses so utterly, it’s human nature to suspect there might be something amiss beyond missed jump shots.

Gasol wasn’t the only Laker who lacked luster. Ron Artest was suspended for Game 3 for a hit on J.J. Barea. Andruw Bynum has been suspended for the first five games of next season for a hit on the same Barea. (Who must really have irked the Lakers, huh?) And Phil Jackson, who has won 11 NBA championships, is almost certainly done as the Lakers’ coach.

Oh, but there’s good news. Lamar Odom, who’s married to a Kardashian, still has his reality TV show. In the last episode, Mr. and Mrs. Odom tested fragrances for their new endeavor – a unisex scent. If that makes sense.

By Mark Bradley

52 comments Add your comment

juvenal

May 11th, 2011
10:03 am

Enter your comments here

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
10:10 am

Jamal and Marvin need to go.
Both are one dimensional, and even
that is debatable!

juvenal

May 11th, 2011
10:12 am

after the struggle for success leads to success, the next struggle is to avoid complacency(getting rid of bynum wouldn’t hurt, either)

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
10:12 am

The Hawks need a center.
Ship Jamal and Marvin to the Lakers if they will
bite, and get Bynum. Throw in a reasonable draft
pick if necessary.

Mark Bradley

May 11th, 2011
10:14 am

They’d have to re-sign Jamal Crawford first.

vmguru

May 11th, 2011
10:21 am

Jamal’s play makes one wonder if he is playing poorly because he did not get signed to an extension or if he was due to play poorly and not re-signing him turns out to have been a good move. I still hope he plays like he has shown he can but he has truly been the invisible man for this series.

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
10:24 am

Send Jamal and Marvin to LA, get Bynum as we need a center.
Throw in a reasonable draft pick if necessary.!!!!

Section32

May 11th, 2011
10:26 am

You cant blow up what was never there. Hawks just need to re examine what to do with Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, they have flexibility with both.

baconator

May 11th, 2011
10:31 am

Man, I’m so done with all the crap. Give up on this season and draft a center this year.

Geemack

May 11th, 2011
10:31 am

Double Zero Eight

The Lakers are still a championship caliber team. The Lakers biggest problem this year was fatigue (3 straight NBA finals appearances & 2 titles). Jamal and Marvin won’t help them get better.

PMC

May 11th, 2011
10:31 am

Relatively stable…. and incredibly dull and boring.

No one is paying a dime to see Joe Johnson. He and Jamal were essentially absent last night due in part to some excellent Bulls defense…. but seriously… they can’t sell tickets because for the most part the players they have, are freaking boring.

Josh Smith is frustrating, because he’s about the only one on the team with any charisma and skill that has shown flashes of being unstoppable.

Marvin Williams is terrible. Al is a nice player, but he’s dull. Joe Johnson has generally come up small when they need him to score 30.

Jamal is awesome at times, and he’s been fun to watch but are we going to keep him?

Teague is exciting but he’s slight in the lane.

They’re hard to watch because you never know what to expect from the effort and the talent just isn’t that exciting.

Josh Smith

May 11th, 2011
10:32 am

Hey, Hawks fans, thanks for all the advice about not shooting 55-footers. I have a good feeling about Game 6 now. ‘Peciate it.

Geemack

May 11th, 2011
10:39 am

@Mark Bradley

If getting to the playoff 4 straight years, and not getting past the 2nd round in any of those years. If that’s what we’re calling stable these day. then yes they are more stable than the Lakers.

It’s ok to lose to the James led Cavs in the 2nd round.

It’s ok to lose to the Dwight led Magic in the 2nd round.

It’s ok to lose to the Big 3 Celtic in the 1st round after 7 games the year Boston won it all.

However losing to the Rose led Bulls in the 2nd round should be unacceptable.

Especially when then Hawks have better talent at every position except PG.

Bill

May 11th, 2011
10:49 am

Mark where would you put the odds of the Hawks resigning Crawford?Would the impending lockout play a role?

jj

May 11th, 2011
10:50 am

really????? hawks fans cant be serious…lets see how many titles lakers have and how many hawks have and i would bet my savings account that lakers win another before hawks even get there…annoying atl fans

Ryno

May 11th, 2011
10:52 am

I don’t understand how in Game 4, Al Horford scored nearly all of his points in the paint and ignited the crowd and his team with dunks over multiple Bulls players.

Yet, in Game 5 – Horford wouldn’t get within 15 feet of the basket, was content to settle for long jumpers and was in no position to get offensive rebounds.

What gives Al? You’re supposed to be a warrior for us on the blocks? If we needed someone to miss mid-range jump shots, we’d put in Marvin Williams.

Hawks fan but cheap

May 11th, 2011
10:55 am

Atlanta does not have enough sports fans for two major winter teams.
Especially since the South is much more of a college sports area than pro.
When the Atlanta Flames failed to make money, the message delivered was not clear then?
The Thrashers have failed like the Flames in spite of ten years of great advertising.
The Thrashers need to be sold to the highest bidder so that the owners can concentrate on the Hawks, the better of the two franchises.
The Hawks have discovered a PG but not from coaching or general manager skill.
Like the blind squirrel finding an acorn, Hinrich’s injury lucked them into it.
If you look at past champions, most have one good center and some like the Detroit Pistons, had two, James Edwards having a good shot off the bench.
So I agree with double Zero Eight on needing to add a center.

truth

May 11th, 2011
10:59 am

JC and Marvin for Bynum?

These trade proposals are funny

if you were the Lakers GM woudl you make that trade???? hmmm no

CobbHawk

May 11th, 2011
11:06 am

We’ve needed a center since Deke left. That’s a long time without a reliable true center, people. We need to get it done. Are there any draft possibilities? Of course, we will have to do some horse-trading to get a decent pick next draft, since our playoff run will put us in a late-round position. Any centers worth a look in the free agent market this offseason? We gotta have it, Mr. Sund. Center is the #1 priority for this team going into next year. It must happen.

Mark

May 11th, 2011
11:12 am

You guys are talking about drafting a center or trading picks to get Bynum. That sounds great, if we hadn’t traded our 1st round pick and others to get Kirk H. Little did our wonderful front office and LD know we had a pretty good point guard sitting 5 FEET AWAY!!!!! Not to mention we GAVE them JC2 who absolutly balled for the Wizards!!! Now we have no 1st round pick!!! WHY ISN’T LD BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MAKING JC2 AND JT RIDE THE BLEEPING BENCH…could he not see the talent that Teague had???? Because most of the blogers sitting at home have been calling for JT to play for 2 years!!!!!! Wouldn’t it be nice to get Trey T(UGA), 1 of the Morris twins(Kansas), Mack(Butler), Isiah Thomas(Washington), any of the 6 players from Texas or Kentucky???? Anyone?? Any of those guys sound better than Marvin Williams, Thomas, Armstrong, Powell. Nope, we GAVE away our pick. Instead we have a guy averging 15 points in the 2nd round that is getting paid the most $ in the NBA. A knucklehead in Smoove(who has balled the last 2 games BTW), and the most over-rated “All-star” in SOFT Horford. Not to mention I’m hot/I’m cold JC1…with that said,a decent center would help and get Horford out of the C position. Maybe that way we won’y have to call Horford an “all-star”, since god knows he won’t make it as a PF

mountain_jim

May 11th, 2011
11:16 am

Agree our coach and Front Office deserve scorn for trading 2 1st rounders for a PG we did not need, and for not playing or realizing what they already had.

Jerry Buss

May 11th, 2011
11:23 am

juvenal

May 11th, 2011
11:33 am

Hawks fan, when us Techies point out how much competion there is in the ATL for $port$ $, they say we are making excuses-meanwhile, in the real world, economy is down, gas up-real fans devote all to live vicariously through their $port$ team……

heartofdarkness

May 11th, 2011
11:45 am

Maybe this soap opera known as the NBA is about to follow the Young and the Restless.

Hawks fan but cheap

May 11th, 2011
11:50 am

@heartofdarkness.
Funny.

Jerry's Buss

May 11th, 2011
11:52 am

In contrast to the Lakers, the Hawks don’t have a dirty-old-man coach sleeping with the owner’s daughter while the team’s star is assaulting teenage girls in hotel rooms.

We’ve at least got that going for us at the moment, which is nice….

:|

joey1

May 11th, 2011
12:10 pm

1st the officiating was horrible in the 4th q in favor of the bulls, it didnt help the hawks offense got stagnant they need to let teague handle every possession and not every now and then, teague has showed us he will be a very good point guard that is being unleashed now. dont ever let jamal bring the ball up the court he slows down our offense to iso plays. if we run him and joe off screens and let teague drive and kick and pick and roll the hawks offense would not have crumbled,,,but i really do believe and how belived it for years that the nba wants to see the prime matchups with all the star player and they will do anything to make it happen. im a diehard hawks fan but could you imagine hawks and grizzles in the finals,,,, the nba would have a cow

Ted M

May 11th, 2011
12:15 pm

The Hawks don’t sell tickets because the question is never “whether or not they win” but rather “whether or not they ‘try to’ win”.

hmmmm......

May 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

Trade for Bynum? This is the first postseason he hasn’t been hurt but he did miss the first 20 games of the season. Plus his attitude screw Bynum. Our best bet is to sign or trade for a big man. Tyson Chandler is gonna be a free agent

DC Hawk

May 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

Putting the pending CBA aside for a minute, this team has virtually 0 flexibility next year. It already has $64 million committed, and that’s without Jamal. In fact, that’s only 7 players (JJ,Josh,Al,Marvin,JT, Zaza, Kirk). The entire payroll this year was $70 mil. Joe and Al are getting paid $8 mil more next year, so there is your big acquisition already. I love Jamal, and would like to see him long term, but I don’t see any conceivable way this teams ponies up $8mil + (and that’s reduced a bit based on lesser production this year) when they still have to fill out the rest of the roster. So things are going to have to be very drastic or very conservative……

The only trade options that I can see where both sides would even pick up the phone involve Josh, Kirk, Zaza. We wouldn’t pick up the phone for Al or JT, and no one else would pick up the phone for JJ or Marvin.

Kirk is obviously the new preferred option now that he seems more expendable, and maybe someone would bite because he is only on the books for next year anyway (more likely a mid-season thing though for someone trying to make a deep playoff run). So the only viable option I can really see is going through Josh. That’s the more drastic route, but a possibility if they are willing to part with him.

The more conservative route, and I agree with everyone above about a center, is to sift through the free agent market and find a serviceable center and shooting guard relatively cheap. Man, wouldn’t JC2 have fit in nicely here!! The options at center are not great (for cheap), but Kwame Brown would be my call. His recent contract paid him a shade over $1 mil, and he was averaging 13 points and 30 minutes during the last month of the season with Charlotte. Still a bit of a flyer of course, but that HAS to be the best bang for the buck of the centers we could actually afford to pick up. I don’t see them spending $5 mil + for Jeff Foster or Samuel Dalembert. Brown is still fairly young too. Shooting guard is just as difficult to find off the scrap heap. But if you pick up a Delonte West or Rasual Butler for around $1 mil (current salaries), and Pape gets some minutes, it could look good. Either that or find a way to pony up about $4-5 mil for Sasha Vujecic (highly doubtful).

Then fill out the rest of the roster as needed. Bring Mario back for defensive depth at the 1 or 2, he’s super cheap. Keep Damien, Collins…..

This is the only way I see them filling out a team for cheap, given the already committed money, that still offers some decent depth (that will actually see the floor). That is, unless there are some really good pieces offered for Josh.

Always fun to play GM!! Go Hawks! Take care of business tomorrow night!!

moorman

May 11th, 2011
12:42 pm

the problem with the hawks is really joe johnson. when you are the marquee player, you SUPPOSE to get 20-25 points a night. if he just got HIS

hmmmm......

May 11th, 2011
12:45 pm

To everyone saying we should trade Jamal, first off we can’t because he’s gonna be a free agent and secondly the hawks wouldn’t have got out of the first round or won game 1 of this series without him

BravesFan79

May 11th, 2011
12:46 pm

It wasnt the Lakers being bad as much as the Mavs being good. Jason Terry and Peja were unreal from 3 point land, and the new Larry Bird (Dirk) has a unstopable shot and is the best player left in these playoffs. Now that the Mavs finally got rid of Josh (i refuse to salute the flag) Howard, they are finally a team worth cheering for again! The Mavs will beat the Queens Heat in the finals. Mark it down!

Geemack

May 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

Enter your comments here

hmmmm......

May 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

i think yao ming may also be free agent

BravesFan79

May 11th, 2011
12:54 pm

KEEP Jamal Crawford! How many players in the NBA can come off the bench and go for 30? I actually like Crawford more than i like Johnson.
Oyea.. and Beraha (pt guard for the Mavs) is the best unknown guard in the nation! I loved seeing him use and abuse the overrated Bynum.

Time

May 11th, 2011
1:08 pm

Umm, the Lakers turned down Carmelo for Bynum. They’re not going to take Marvin and Crawford for him.

Daniel

May 11th, 2011
1:09 pm

Gee: Unacceptable to lose to the Bulls? They did have the best record in the East. That sounded a little extra harsh to me, and you KNOW I can be harsh on the Hawks. Dang, man you on it.

moorman

May 11th, 2011
1:11 pm

i agree with bravesfan. i like jamal over johnson because he KNOWS you SHOOT the ball when you are the SCORING guard, not all that dribbling and disappearing that johnson does. the REASON jamal has been struggling is they are running two men at him constantly and trapping him and nobody is cutting to the rim to make the bulls stop this…..

Daniel

May 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

moorman- I am not giving Joe a pass here, but you are obviously watching a different game if you think they are trapping Jamaal. Joe is the one that is getting doubled/tripled. Jamaal had several good shots that just weren’t falling. He is a streaky player, always has been always will be, which is fine for your scoring option off the bench. We can’t win this series with nothing from him though.

DC Hawk

May 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

I agree with you guys….I love Jamal, and even moreso than Johnson. But how do we keep him? Who do you subtract, and how do you subtract them, in order to make room for Jamal? And then how do you sign the other 5-6 guys that will be needed just to fill out a roster? And let’s assume that we can pull all of this off, then we throw any chance of getting a center out of the window. He just doesn’t fit in the rotation, especially if Kirk and Teague take all the PG minutes. JC is less valuable because then he strictly becomes JJ’s backup, and there aren’t enough minutes there to justify the salary (considering you only get him on one end of the floor). IF they could somehow move Kirk, then this is a whole different conversation of course.

BjohnDawg

May 11th, 2011
1:24 pm

They need to resign Jamal Crawford. Period.
Oh wait some already said that.
Okay they need to forbid Josh Smith to shoot threes.
Give him a paint brush and tell him to operate around and in the paint on offense.
And they need to tell Joe Johnson to stop the dribbling exhibitions. No one came to see him dribble the ball. Head up and if the shot is not there, pass. Dont dribble out the 24 second clock and then throw up a prayer with you team standing around asking for the ball.

BjohnDawg

May 11th, 2011
1:24 pm

tmc

May 11th, 2011
1:41 pm

BS!
One year of a little craziness for the Lakers doesn’t dethrone a 30 year raining champion.

The Hawks have earned the title “The most frustrating team in professional sports” well.
They could beat the best, lose to the worst and anything in between on any given night for no rhyme or reason.

I’d take anything to do with the Lakers any day over this bunch. PERIOD.

GT Alum

May 11th, 2011
2:18 pm

The Hollyweird Lakers’ own version of Basketball Wives, with Mrs. Bryant playing the role of Yoko Ono?

GT

May 11th, 2011
2:35 pm

What a freak show. That last game in Dallas looked more like cage fighting than basketball. All we needed was Tina Turner viewing from somewhere above. Something has gone horribly wrong with NBA basketball. All the perfume in the world can’t cover this up, five years from now three or four LA players will be out of basketball sitting in a prison somewhere. The justice of all this is 80% of all NBA players are broke within 10 years of leaving the league. Some of these guys will get their’s early and beyond. Don’t be throwing that jersey away you going to be losing it soon enough and to get fined 700,000 dollars,nothing is worth 700,000.

ROZEMAN13

May 11th, 2011
3:02 pm

agree about 700,000 dollars he lost in fines.The idiot could have given it to A j Green and he could have sold it for him to cover most of the fine

KILJOY

May 11th, 2011
3:22 pm

The Hawk were and are a team with no heart. They spent top dollar on a second or third tier player. There is no way to move Joe Johnson because nobody wants him at the price they’d have to pay. I recommed trading Josh Smith for the best deal they could make because he does have trade value. Sign and trade Jamal Crawford for the best deal you can get. Start Jeff Teague and bring Kirk off the bench. Marvin has no trade value be he could become a good bench option.

No Woody for Me

May 11th, 2011
3:31 pm

I prefer Jamal over JJ too, because JJ is one of the worst ball handling guards in the league, yet still tries to make plays for himself off the dribble. But, if you start Jamal and Teague, you are going to be too vulnerable to large guards. Plus you can’t get rid of JJ with his salary anyway.

Bubba

May 11th, 2011
3:32 pm

we let him have fat A Kloe.