Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hawks @ Kings - 2/18/09

A few more observations today since tonight's game was just as frustrating as last night's. The only difference is that we were playing a SIGNIFICANTLY worse team and therefore, we were able to win, but let's not fool ourselves. I'm puzzled at almost everything that the Hawks do these days.

1. Al Horford - Yes, you wanted to make a mockery of my lack of belief in you, so of course you put in his second best effort of the year. Unfortunately, color me unconvinced when you're playing a shorthanded frontcourt that includes Shelden Williams, Spencer Hawes, and a rookie named Thompson. Yep, not convinced at all...
2. Acie Law IV - if you want to come to my house and say every cuss word possible - you have an open ear here. No worries - I got you. Flip doesn't play, you don't get in in the 1st half, you get in in the 2nd half and the team extends the lead - you come out, you don't see the court again. Well, so much for thinking he was going to at least be showcased for a trade OR that we have any clue on how to create ROLES and build TRUST and increase CONFIDENCE in our players. Woody, why not say a big collective F you to Acie and get it over with?
3. Josh Smith - He gets two fouls and doesn't play the rest of the half when you're already shorthanded and (wait for it!) he ends up with 3 fouls for the game. This is supposed to make sense to me...(HOW AGAIN?). Though after watching him commit a lane violation down the stretch, maybe Woody was benching him in advance of making a boneheaded play in the 2nd half. If it's that kind of clairvoyance that we're dealing with, I'm in full agreement.
4. Mike Bibby - That's how you play when you visit your old team. Joe, please heed this for all future trips to Phoenix.
5. Here's another example of the Hawks lack of leadership and mental fortitude. We've played several teams who were unexpectedly shorthanded - in each, we either lost or went down to the wire for the victory. When the reverse has occurred, we've been blown out. Tonight, no Miller or Salmons - yet, we almost lost to a vastly inferior fill in the excuse.
6. Yes, I realize we won (on the road even). I also believe that winning against bad teams and getting creamed against good teams is a recipe for a 1st round loss. It's also a recipe for not having home court advantage in the playoffs. Dammit - I think I've turned into Bret Legree on the pessimistic meter!
7. For all of my Billy Knight apologies (and I have many since I truly don't believe on the whole that he was nearly as bad as he's been made out to be), I'll NEVER forgive him for selecting Sheldon Williams. Marvin - OK, but Sheldon with Roy available is just unbelievably awful. Considering what had occurred with Paul/Williams losing out to Marvin Williams, I'm still wondering why fans aren't MORE upset with selecting Sheldon instead of Brandon Roy. That was WAYYY worse than not selecting CP3 or D-Will.

Finally, did Josh Smith have 4 rebounds against a front line of Thompson, Hawes, and Williams?...Really, did that just happen?

Season Prediction...

46-36 reluctantly...let's see how we respond in Portland! Cheerio!


CoCo said...

Hahahah You and Brett are going to battle it out for the most pessimistic Hawks Blogger! Good times. I am convinced the offense would run a lot smoother if they didn't ignore Al for large stretches of the game. He has the capabilities to be a very good post player, but we don't even bother and that's funny if you consider the fact that they seem to want to run a half court offense. (if we are to assume they are actually running an offense) They have to learn to play inside out instead of outside out. I don't even know what that means, but they shoot way too many jumpshots and that's the best way I can describe it. I'm convinced Al is underutilized, but that's what Woody does. Something else that irritates me is the team's willingness to defer to Joe even when he's struggling. I mean its a little bit more understandable when he has it going (which he hasn't had it going since sometime in December) but when he is clearly struggling they have to acknowledge that. I was glad to see them exploit mismatches a couple of times. If only they'd learn to do that with some consistency. And they could have played better, but the only reason Sacto was still in that game is because for some reason they wanted to treat Kevin Martin like he was the second coming of MJ. I mean is he really a player who is untouchable? Does he deserve to shoot that many free throws? I mean really, you can't brush up against Kevin Martin? It was ridiculous.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

Here's what I'm convinced of - the post is underutilized. I'm not sure if that means that Al, Zaza, or Josh (from my perspective - Josh has shown the most ability in the post), but I know that you have to run some plays inside to loosen up the outside, but I'm not sure if we're so in the moment, but you'd think a scout or assistant coach would pull Mike aside and say...uh, they have figured out that all we do is get buckets off outside shots.

No one is even concerned with the post - hence, lockdown defense on Joe and uh...that's why Joe is struggling. Brother can't get an open look. When we locked down Kobe (and we did lock him down for about 2 quarters), he basically said - cool, don't let me score - I'll let Pau and Lamar and everyone score. Not in Hawks land...we just say Joe score or Bibby shoot some 3s and that's about it. Al is basically an offensive screener. That's all I see him do - screen and roll - only we don't pass him the ball on the roll enough to make that effective. ok, I'm about to explode again...

CoCo said...

Breathe Larry! I would agree that our entire post is underutilized. Josh has to first be willing to stay in the post before we can utilize him there. Za Za has to learn to not make a layup look as difficult as a half court shot. Marvin has to demand the damn ball sometime. He has such a blah attitude and it infuriates me. He clearly has very good skills, but he doesn't mind taking a back seat to everyone on the team. It can't be like that. Al, even at this stage has more fluid post moves than Josh. Make of that what you will. All of this goes back to the fact that the Hawks have no identity. WE never know what kind of team is going to show up and that's just unacceptable considering they've had the same head coach for what feels like forever.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

Sounds like we may have the second resident of the Make Marvin our Super Sub/6th Man club. I'm still of the thought that Evans as a starter and Marvin as the super sub along with Flip makes our 2nd team much, that assumes that we even have a second team. :)

And I'm going to respectfully disagree on Josh and Al. I have seen enough of Josh in the post (maybe it's not moves, but he puts it in the basket down there) to know that he's more productive right now than Al in the post. Now, that can be a myriad of reasons, but since I figure these guys do whatever they want on any given day anyway - I just go with what I see and I see Al not doing much of anything aside from screening and I see Josh doing everything under the sun on a day to day basis. I will give him credit for one thing - he hasn't taken many 3pters lately. Still shooting those 2 pters, but we have to take what we can get.