Ok, there have been few of these status updates (my Facebook or Twitter-style blogs) about the state of the Hawks lately, so here's some evidence of what we have said all of 2009. We will call this Larry's Impress Me Ratio (LIM Ratio for short). People keep saying that you should be happy with the wins no matter what happens in the games - well, I'd agree with that IF the way we played would lend itself to playoff success. So, I have shaved off all the games where a sub-standard effort plus talent beats awful teams. That is not a barometer for playoff wins. Too often, our excitement in this team has been over poor basketball talent being unable to defeat the Hawks in spite of our scheme and effort b/c of superior basketball talent on our side of the ball. As our #1 fan, I have never simply looked at the record to determine how good we are. I've said all 2009 that we are regressing and not improving down the stretch like good teams should do. And now I've come up with a metric to show just that...it's the LIM ratio - the Larry's Impress Me Ratio.
Our Hawks have been a below average to average team throughout the year of 2009. Since I've watched each and every game this season, I was very optimistic about our prospects this year during 2008. The ratio of quality wins to unacceptable performance should be about 5-1 for an elite team, about 2.5 for a 8th seed and about 1-1 for an average to below average team. The determination of a quality win to unacceptable performance is relative to your team's talent, so the Grizzlies winning vs. the Bobcats is a quality win. The Lakers losing to the Bobcats (despite it happening often) is an unacceptable loss.
In 2008, the Hawks had the following:
Quality Wins (a quality win being a win over an averge team on the road or playoff team at home) - 7
New Orleans (Road)
Unacceptable Performances (an unacceptable performance is one where we either don't show up or are losing to a team that has no business even sniffing a win against us) - 2
New Jersey (Home)
So, our ratio of 3.5 to 1 said to me that we were on the verge of being an elite team. Keep up this ratio and you'd easily have the 4th seed, 50 wins and we'd be rest starters right now for the playoffs. The Detroit at home is on the edge, but let's remember that this was pre-Iverson trade, so we'll take this as a good win for now.
Then, 2009 happened....(Which I said repeatedly, I was afraid of what this year would bring) and we had the following:
Quality Wins - 6
Houston (Home) - w/o T-Mc (which might not matter)
Detroit (Road) - this is with Iverson and before their complete collapse
Miami (Home) - almost added Denver on road before this, but came up short in Woodson's finest coaching job of the year
New Orleans (Home)
LA Lakers (Home)
Unacceptable Performances - 6
Orlando (Home) - score was deceptive - we weren't in the game from the start.
Orlando (Road) - it's not unacceptable that we lost both games, but how badly we lost them.
Philly (Home) - Again, it's the way we lost, not the loss itself
LA Clippers (Home) - still the worst showing of the season to me (a 25 pt loss at home!)
Utah (Road) - no shame in losing to the Jazz, but after being embarrassed by the Lakers and gutting out a win over the Kings (gasp!) - we looked AWFUL, down right terrible
So, in 2009, what's the LIM ratio? 1 to 1. This is reminiscent of the past few years when the Hawks would win games they shouldn't and lose games they shouldn't. Those Hawks are back...only the home court is saving us, which is good, but it's bad if it distorts your confidence to the point that you expect to win at home and lose on the road (and in many cases, not even compete) when you won't have home court throughout the season. So, now you know why I'm not positive about the playoffs. It would be nice for us to win vs. Orlando and Miami down the stretch or not lose to the Raptors, Bucks, or Grizzlies (those would be unacceptable losses) to push our ratio back over 1.
Until then, let's just hope that we can at least show some progress in winning the first round and not being swept in the 2nd. That would be reasonable progress for this team, but that also may save Woodson's job. I accepted that last season, but am not sure I can accept that again.
Dennis Schröder and a sudden point guard conundrum - Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schröder has struggled mightily in round one. What now? I am a Dennis Schröder fan. In the interest of full disclosure...
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