Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hawks @ Bobcats - 3/6/09

Let's see if we can find some way to express our disappointment in our Hawks right now. Starting with the fact that we don't even feel right about doing our 2008-style (aka old school) game recaps vs. just talking about the things that need to be talked let's do it The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (super cliche kinda like the 4th Quarter JJ ISO). We can give a shout out to Billy Knight - sure, looked like he had something to crow about as Boris Diaw showed the talent that he saw in him. Little did he know that his coach couldn't develop and nurture those talents. And without doing what others will surely do - Larry Brown's Bobcats sure looked like a budding team - Wallace, Diaw, Felton all seemed to be bringing that team together - I thought I was watching a cheap version of the Utah Jazz last night, but then again - maybe that's how we make teams look.

Game Recap - Bobcats 98, Hawks 91

The Good
1. Let's cut to the chase. Everyone who has ever read this blog knows that we do not believe Mike Woodson is the coach who can take this team to a championship. Mike Woodson needs to have a veteran team with vocal leadership and championship talent to win a title (of course, there are probably 20 other coaches who would fall under that description). So, I won't be so bold as to say he can't win with any team, but not with the Hawks. Not with a young, stubborn team that needs as much tough love as they need player development and superior game by game strategic design and in-game adjustments. That said, I have no problem with a coach not putting up with insubordination. Period. No one should allowed themselves to be punked by their team. So, we say it's very good that Josh sat during the game. Not only that - our comeback of sorts happened with him on the bench. Another good thing in the long run to me - to show the team that we can compete without all of our teammates on the court.

2. Al Horford has played well of late and has started to show some results with what seems to be an almost universal opinion that he will be a special player. I won't argue his potential, but have been very critical of the fact that his production on the court has not shown how special that opinion indicates he is/will be.

3. It was brief, but to see us start the game and having success with Al Horford and Josh Smith on the block and Marvin going to the rack in our offensive sets. That was positive and actually supports Hoopinion's thought that running the offense through Horford and Smith in the post. Not a big enough sample size to agree, but it sure looked better than what we did throughout the rest of the game.

The Bad
1. Well, we'll start with the obvious - Acie puts up energy and effort in New York. Acie gets only another 4 minutes of PT particularly when we are one JSmoove down and getting less than effective play from Zaza in Charlotte.

2. We also didn't let Flip and Maurice play as often as they should when they were providing some MUCH needed energy off the bench where Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby were not.

3. Speaking of which, what happened to the time honored tradition of the leader of your team calling out players. Maybe he didn't need to do it last night, but someone needs to call Josh Smith. I love Smoove, but enough is enough - the Rasheed Who Me? scowl, the shooting jump shots (though I must admit - guys need to stop passing him the ball in positions to shoot the jump shots), the lost focus...All I can say is - Mike Woodson can't deliver that message anymore.

4. More importantly, what happened to the time honored tradition of your superstar takes over the game. Joe, where has the 30-40 pt effort to just take over a game. Oh, right - you're not a superstar, you're an All Star. What happened to screens, what happened to putting your players in positions to be successful. Going back to one of our Good items - sure, sucked to see us attack the post with a purpose early and with success, then see us go back to shooting jump shots and not running on the break.

The Ugly
1. Well, besides the fact that this blog's fear that we would not be as good in 2009 as 2008 continuing, we have to say that we are at a crossroads. When the players start fighting the coach at halftime, that can be a great or terrible thing. If it was Phil Jackson coaching our team, I'd call it great. But since you know I'm not confident in our coach's ability to lead this team, well - it's about 75% in the terrible side of the ledger. Maybe this home stretch will reveal something in these Hawks - we'll be there to see it after tonight's game vs. the Pistons, but I said it weeks ago - the Hawks are missing the heart they showed early in the season. And as a result - the promise this season showed is RAPIDLY going down the drain.

So, our season prediction at this stage is that we will go .500 down the stretch to end up 44-38 and well, hello 6th seed and first round date (and loss) to the Orlando Magic. Hate to say it and feel it, but...if and only if it results in a new coach - I think this can only be a good thing for the entire organization.

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