Monday, November 23, 2009

Game Observations - Hawks @ Hornets

Preamble Ramble

They say better late than never and we always go with what THEY say...so, here's our game recap, which really won't be a game recap but more of our first real problem with a component of this season's direction...and after much effusive praise of the Hawks and our coach - yes, the time to call it out is here!!!

Game Recap - Hornets 96, Hawks 88

Overall Observations:
  • You can't win them all. As we noted in our Rockets game recap, this is what you call a trap game. Feeling your oats a little, big break upcoming, and divisional clash for Thanksgiving in the offing on the tail end of a back to back on the road - a perfect setup for a loss!
  • So, we're going to skip trying to delve into our observations and doing our traditional game recap format because you can't win them all and nothing that happened in this game gives us any pause and go straight to a major complaint we've had during the Coach Woodson administration...
Soooooo, Mike Bibby gets injured in the 6th minute of this game. The Hawks only have 4 guards on the roster. The Hawks only have 2 point guards on the roster. Inquiring minds would like to know what else does it take to get Jeff Teague into a basketball game. Let's enumerate the reasons why this bothers us so...

  1. Jeff Teague needs minutes to develop as a NBA point guard. What other time than when the starter goes down should the backup play?
  2. We're playing back to back games with the final game on the road. Even if Bibby wasn't injured, Teague should have been playing to reduce the wear and tear on our starting guards (one who happened to play 40+ minutes the night before).
  3. If Paul was playing, maybe it would make sense to not have Teague get embarrassed, but again - the only way to get 'em ready is to play 'em. I recall one of Acie Law's finest moments being that he did play Paul straight up for a quarter on the defensive end. Why wouldn't be we think that Teague can't produce in the same way?
  4. This last note is even more ironic because we weren't even playing Paul and yet we LOST due to two rookie guards who were drafted AFTER Jeff Teague who got 34 and 26 minutes, respectively.
  5. We still fail to see what happened during the 5 minutes Teague did play other than the team cutting lead by 6 that necessitated him sitting on the bench for the rest of the game.
Bottom line, we think it sends a terrible message (a message that was sent to Acie Law, Salim Stoudamire and damn near every young guard in the Woodson regime) to not trust your backup point guard when all the stars have aligned to say he should play. Starter goes down, other guards playing heavy minutes, team struggling and looking for a spark - uh, check, check, CHECK!!

We have gone through great pains to understand some of the decision making with regards to how minutes are divided by Woodson. He has gone through the motions every offseason and some games in communicating what he needs to change and how he has to 'find' minutes. The reason to play Teague couldn't have been more gift wrapped. We lost anyway - why not lose seeing if Teague can outplay the very players (i.e. Collison and Thornton) you thought he was better than anyway and showing the young point guard that when injury happens (or even just the need for a spark) - he's expected to play and produce. That didn't happen since Teague didn't show up in the game until a quarter later.

It again furthers our belief in the theory that Woodson's lack of a contract and 'win the battle with no vision to win the war' strategies negatively impact the growth of the Atlanta Hawks. You may say that this may be overblown, but we think it bears watching. The Hawks' familiarity with each other has gotten them off to hot starts the past 2 seasons, but there is evidence that last season we plateau'd (or some would say regressed) over the last half of the season. We want to see Woodson employing methods that not only win games, but also provide avenues for the team getting stronger and more cohesive over the course of the year in preparation for winning games in the postseason with whatever personnel is necessary. Last year should have been the perfect example of why it's important to develop players on the roster that you know you're going to need and showing them (not just saying) that you trust and EXPECT them to perform well when given the opportunity. During this game, the message sent to Jeff Teague is not a good one. It wouldn't be good if it was the Lakers, but it's awful since it was a game vs. the Hornets who were getting major production from 2 just as green as Teague is players to defeat your team even though the guy in front of him is injured. Here's to hope that this is the exception and not the rule going forward and that that lack of trust doesn't force Bibby back into the lineup earlier than necessary. Let's remember it's a marathon, not a sprint...

Off til Thursday and let's hope we have this game circled and are ready to deliver the message that the Magic have delivered to us three times in the past year (one albeit in preseason) emphatically that we're not close to as good as they are. Let's show them that that's not the case...Happy Thanksgiving!!!

29 comments:

CoCo said...

Sadly, you're right. Woody is content to let the starters and main role players shoot them out of a game. Damn trying to find a spark when your whole game plan unexpectedly gets turned upside down. He doesn't do well with making adjustments on the fly. My biggest problem is that he genuinely feels like Teague should come in and light the world on fire whenever he's called upon. Who does that work for? You can't play in 3 minute intervals every other game and have a major impact, nor should your head coach expect you to. It annoys me to no end when Woody says "guys have to be ready to contribute when called on" In theory that's true, but if you never know when or if you're going to play its hard to be "ready" or have your "readiness" help the team.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

not only that, but even if you play decent to well...you may not know how to play with your teammates. I mean the team has played together with the core for 3-4 years. What makes you think that a rookie knows how to run a team of vets in a system they know better than you. How do you develop that without actually playing with them? This is why I always challenge those people who say - well, Acie just probably wasn't good.

No, he showed just as much as Teague is showing to start his career. he just looked lost when he was inserted because he was learning the NBA and his team and by the time he felt halfway comfortable - he was on the bench for 10 more games. That's what I see happening with Teague. How does it look to have him not play and then all of a sudden expect him to come in and correctly run the team with players he doesn't normally with. It's what I hate most about this. It makes SENSE that he's going to not look good in these games with the starters. Why doesn't our coach get that the only way over that hump is consistent PT? Esp. when there aren't even any other options - I mean it's just not feasible to play 3 guards all season. WHO DOES THAT? Ugh!!!!

NEF77 said...

Great post. I thought I was the only one shaking my head throughout the entire 2nd half. Sure Teague got rejected by Okefor but that's where he learns and improves his game. I feel Joe will play like this in the playoffs because Woodson continues to run him into the ground. I hope Avery Johnson is avail to coach next season if what I say does happen. DON'T WASTE TEAGUE'S TALENT WOODY!!!!

thirdfalcon said...

Well, looks like we're about to have the same argument that we've had before so I'll just say that anything that is said from either side of the fence is purely speculative. Since we don't know how good Teaugue actually is right now. We just know that he's quick, athletic, and can hit a good percentage on what would be a mid-range shot in the NBA.

But I'm guessing that even with Bibby out, there's nothing that Teague does that someone else on the team doesn't do better. So I don't think that he would have given us a better shot to win the game

(full disclosure, this was the first Hawks game that I missed this year since my roommate decided to tivo the 542nd different WWII doc that history channel is showing over it, HOW CAN IT BE IN HD WHEN THEY DIDN"T HAVE HD CAMERAS BACK THEN, HUH!?!?! TELL ME THAT!?!?!).

but I digress. None of the young guards that you are talking about were drafted highly so I don't know why you expect any of them to be good. And the only one that was drafted highly was Childress and he played. Anything we can get from Teague, and anything we could have gotten from Salim or Acie would be gravy.

If the Hornets guards played well in this game despite being drafted lower than Teague, then good for them. But that only means that we should have drafted them, not that Teague is ready to contribute in a similar way.

Xavier said...

It's 1 game folks. What's the big deal? If Teague played 30 minutes vs. the Hornets that wouldn't tell me anything for the rest of the season. We all know under Woody, playing time for rookies are sporadic at times. Do I wish Teague played more? Sure. Do I look at the minutes [played by Collison and Thornton and get envious? No. Because they are 1, filling in for an injured point guard and number 2 they are playing for a team and a coach who have very little to play for and at this point trying to salvage a lost season. So their minutes should be huge. At this point in time my biggest concern for the Hawks is getting Marvin in a good groove and and determine his role on this team. I need a bigger sample size before I can determine Woody is going down the wrong path w/ Teague.

And please, can we all agree Acie Law is nothing other than a bust. A journeyman. He couldn't cut in ATL, G.S. and now Charlotte.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, Let me simply say that while we've come to agree on many items, this is one that I completely and totally disagree with all parts of your logic on.

My entire point is that you prove whether you are worthy of minutes in the NBA on the court and that is a time worn method in the NBA. Woodson employed it for all young players at every position except guard (think of where we'd be with Josh if he didn't play regular minutes when it was obvious at how bad his b-ball IQ was), so my point is that you have to develop players and esp. at the most difficult position in the game. Any other logic you are applying that doesn't acknowledge that is one I can't and won't subscribe to. Draft position has ZERO to do with the fact that opportunity has as much to do with seeing success in the NBA as anything else.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@Xavier, well, it's not really one game. I actually noted this from game 1, so the Hornets game was really the proving ground to me for what's wrong with the picture in my eyes.

So, I'll continue to say it's hard for me to come to a conclusion that anyone is a bust until the get an opportunity. There are too many examples of players who didn't fit a style or simply sat on a bench with no opportunity to show what they can do to make an assessment, so I won't do that to Law or anyone else who doesn't get the opportunity.

If the game taught you anything, the BIGGEST reason Teague should get minutes is last year's injury plagued debacle and the fact that if Bibby goes down, he's going to have to play. I'd rather his first opportunity to run the team if need be vs. Collison in game 14 than vs. Mo Williams in the Conf. Semifinals.

I wonder why you can't see the irony in you saying that you don't mind the rookie's playing due to injury and yet, Teague didn't play under the same scenario. Anyway, we don't have to agree this, but of the things I feel very strong about - it's taking the time to develop the player for use in the playoffs. Watching Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee, etc doesn't happen when players don't play in the regular season - the excuse then will be 'well, he wasn't ready b/c he didn't play in the regular season.'

thirdfalcon said...

Playing Josh Smith on a 13 win team (where he was still productive btw) is very different than playing Teague on a team trying to be elite. It should be pretty obvious whether a guy can play or not to the players and choaches, and if he can't play then he shouldn't except for emergencies.

You brought draft position into this , so don't act like it's a non-factor. The odds say very simply that players drafted out of the lottery are unlikely to be contributors. There are exceptions, but we haven't seen anything that says Teague is one of them.

c20four said...

Just a thought... what if Bibby isn't ready to go on Thursday or anytime soon?

Seriously, if Bibby is not ready to go, what will happen?
Here's what I think...let Teague get thrown around a bit. Let him feel get a feel for the rotation. Of course we want to win games, but what happens when your starting pt guard goes out and your back up isn't ready. Now obviously if he is just really screwing up, he shouldn't run the court.... Just use it as a learning/teaching experience. They all need to be ready to play, and able to get into a rhythm.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, your argument still makes no sense to me. Period. You're right - Josh on the 13 win team was sometimes productive because he was playing constant minutes, not because he was more NBA ready than Teague. Some nights he was clueless - some nights, not so clueless.

So, your argument still doesn't hold water to me (and for the record, never will). There are so many players who only needed an opportunity in order to show what they had to offer. And even the elite teams have young players being integrated into their rotations - so the reason to not add to ours esp. when (I'll keep saying this) WE ONLY HAVE 4 GUARDS ON THE ROSTER still lacks any sense whatsoever. If one goes down, is your answer - just play Joe and Jamal for 48 minutes or have Marvin and Maurice play guard and play defense against the elite point guards in the league.

Anyway, we won't agree on this, so it's no reason to keep talking about it, but to be clear - I didn't bring up draft position as it relates to whether you should get an opportunity. I just said that as a way of saying that players who were drafted after our players are getting PT and are producing, so it stands to reason that given the opportunity - he would produce. Your argument makes some assumption that any player that isn't playing obviously isn't worthy of ever getting on the court and I simply reject that notion.

thirdfalcon said...

Most players that aren't playing shouldn't be playing yes. Just like most players drafted after the first few picks don't last more than a couple of seasons. There are of course exceptions. I just think it's funny that you think that every young guard that Woodson has had is one of those exceptions.

The answer isn't to play Jamal and Joe 48 minutes, it's to play Mo Evans more at the 2, and use less 3 guard lineups. The minutes are still manageable. And it's not like Teague dosen't have time. He could still earn minutes. But he shouldn't play before he does.

But if your so stubborn that you are just going to completely reject any argument, than that's your loss. Have fun never learning anything new.

Xavier said...

ATL As i said before it was one game. Using Collison for example, Scott was fired partially for his reluctance to use his rookies. And I don't blame Scott in that instance, he was playing with a shell of his former playoff team and trying to save his job. Kinda sounds like someone else huh? Now Bower wanted the rookies to play extensive time while Scott was the coach, so when Bower took over guess what? The rookies played and at the same time Paul was out an extended period of time, so of course Collison will get major minutes along w/ Thornton. As a matter of fact, who else will run point for New Orleans. Their minutes are of necessity. And even w/ Brooks(Hou lost T-Mac for the season so the backcourt was weakened for the season) and if Teague starts Thursday night, plays 20 something minutes, then what does that mean? Nothing yet I think. Now 20 more games down the road we can truly tell. Maybe Woody didn't think Teague could contribute the way he wanted to Sat. night. If so that goes more toward preparation from coach to player than his belief in how good he is. Now Woody has time to fully prepare Teague to his liking. I think Bibby's injury is a blessing in disguise this early.
And ATL, a player has to create their own opportunity in the NBA. We can't assume a player will be given that opportunity. And in the case of Law, to this point are you saying Woody, Nelson, and Brown are wrong about Law? A #11 draft pick that rides the bench is a bust. If we start looking at prior drafts we don't look at players in terms of did they or didn't they get the proper opportunities. Right?

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

So we don't end up having a fruitless debate...

Couple of things..
1. TF - I'm simply going to say we just disagree on how a player develops. That's it. I think it is a combination of earning an opportunity and taking advantage of one, but it's hard to earn the opportunity from the bench. After watching ALL the games, there's nothing that Teague has done to NOT get on the court for a certain amount of games.

You seem to believe that there is some practice time where he's going to earn that time. NBA practice isn't like NFL practice. You don't see anyone really taking anyone's job in the NBA.

It's not as if Woodson has a track record refuting what many have recognized in him. He doesn't trust young guards. He's not developing players on his watch and as I've repeatedly said - I don't blame him. It disappoints me, but I understand that he has a new contract to win and therefore, I know WHY he wouldn't play him. I'm just saying that it isn't in the long term interests of the team to do so. There isn't ONE argument you guys are going to give me to convince me that he should play someone else other than Teague as our backup point guard. The idea that Mo or using fewer 3 guard lineups still means 40 minute games for our guards. It means we're going to lit up by any quick player in the league.

So, again - Teague needs to play for our postseason and our future. And that can happen without adversely affecting our record. Anyway, we just disagree on this. Doesn't mean we disagree on everything, but on this - I am completely in disagreement. This doghouse for young guards (and yes, I'd consider what has happened to 4 young guards under Woodson's watch noteworthy) is a problem in my opinion, but it's not the end of the world, but I was calling for more PT for our bench in the event that we had injuries (and to prevent injuries and wear and tear) for the last 3 years. It's why I faulted Woodson for last season's postseason sweep, not injuries.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@Xavier, you make my point for me. First, the GM was RIGHT - their rookies are good enough to make the rotation, so I'd fire the coach too if he wasn't going to play the future when we're playing for the future. Not the same for Brooks - he was playing already before T-Mac (uh, he doesn't play shooting guard) went out for the year and Adelman gave him minutes, so when he was asked to do more - it wasn't going from DNPs to starting and being a major factor..it was rotation player to starter. That's a smaller leap.

Now, if you read my blog, I didn't say this was about one game and I also said that we needed to keep an eye on this (which would be me saying - yes, by midseason we'll have a very clear view on this), but that I didn't like the way it was trending and this game was of particular frustration since all the stars seemed aligned for him to play the young guard.

I, like you, think it is a blessing in disguise. I think giving Teague the experience is important to see the tangible evidence that Teague will, won't, or might be ready to contribute this year. I just disagree that that can be determined without any PT (as TF seems to believe). I don't trust Woodson to know that without putting him on the court.

Final Note on Law - I have said repeatedly, I don't care what happens in Law's career, but there are too many players that did nothing and were journeymen in Europe, NBDL, NBA benches and when given an opportunity found a way to contribute. Will Bynum is one such example. So, this isn't about Law to me - it's about the fact that you can ruin a player who doesn't get a real chance to contribute in a system that suits their talents.

I've seen enough games from Law to believe that he can be backup point guard for many teams in the NBA if given the right opportunity. It's obvious that it was the wrong situation in Atlanta and I'm not trying to figure out if it's right in Golden State or Charlotte. It doesn't really change my point about him and whether or not he didn't get a chance. He didn't get one here and so, I'm not making any assessments on whether he could be a backup point guard. To date, all I know is that Woodson won't play a point guard who can't shoot a 3. He'd prefer to let a shooting guard play point than letting a traditional point guard play significant minutes. So, as an example, what's happening in Minnesota is an example of what should happen...Jonny Flynn has started every game as PG, but if you pay attention - Ramon Sessions' minutes have increased as the season has gone on. They have been increasingly allowing the player who is more NBA ready to play more while STILL allowing Flynn to play significant minutes. I'd be concerned if we had chosen Brandon Jennings b/c he might too be sitting on the bench like Teague, not because he's not talented enough to play, but because Woodson is not going to trust the player enough to give him minutes. I'm not calling Teague Jennings, but I am saying - no one knew Tony Parker was gonna be Tony Parker. No one knew Steve Nash would be Steve Nash - he was bench warming for a few years behind Kevin Johnson. Guys need opportunities to grow into the point guard position. that SHOULD be a focus of this team throughout this season.

thirdfalcon said...

So, what your going back too (and what I knew you would fall back on). Is that you can't determine if a player is good if he doesn't play, so you assume that Woodson is wrong. But it would be a mild surprise if Salim (2nd round), Acie (12th pick), or Teague (16th pick) make it as rotation players on good teams.

There's just no reason to put any of that on Woodson unless your coming from a position that already thinks Woodson is incompetent. If my argument assumes that there is a reason that most guys who don't make it don't make it, than yours hinges on a belief that anyone that is drafted is good enough to make it under the right circumstances.

I don't buy it. For every Will Bynum there are twenty guys that you have never heard of because they aren't good enough to be NBA rotation players. And there is also a reason that the average NBA career is only a few seasons.

CoCo said...

I happen to agree with Luv on this one. I'm sorry, but they only have four guards and playing guys out of position is not a good idea if it can be avoided. He has to find minutes for Teague, especially if Bibby is going to be out for a while which at this point is a real possibility. Even if he plays no one knows how effective he'll be with a bad ankle. I love Jamal, but we've seen the results of teams that he's been the starting/main point guard on. Not one of those teams has made the playoffs. That is not a coincidence. Mo, or Marvin playing the point is not the answer. The Rookie has to get his feet wet somewhere and 3 minute intervals will not tell you how good or bad anyone is.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, you don't have to put words in my mouth. My point isn't to make anyone that isn't playing a superstar. It is to say that on almost every team there isn't this chasm in talent that says only 7-8 guys should play and 4-5 are so vastly inferior that they should never hit the court.

So, I think you're mixing time and situations. In those situations prior to Teague, our talent base has never been so great that when we needed a shooter (a shooter like Salim couldn't touch the court - Mike's reason was he was a defensive liability...though there have been several defensive liabilities that Mike has played or Acie - which I can't 100% get mad at when you have two vets in front of him, but can get mad at when we only have 1 other PG on the team and he still isn't getting PT...so the alternative was high turnover rates by players playing out of position and worn out players).

Mike has already shown that he'll wear out a player past his usefulness. Whether that's comfort level or simply lack of trust - it serves little purpose to do so when it loses sight of the big picture. The big picture is - don't wear out my players for the postseason and develop trust in my bench (and future starting players like Teague). That's the big picture. So, the fundamental thing that you and I disagree on is that the way to find out what you have is to play them. You can talk about those 20 players that don't make it to every Will Bynum and I'll cite chapter and verse about whether those 20 got a chance. The ones that do - I'm saying fine they weren't useful. For the ones that don't and we actually have a need - that's on the coach, PERIOD. This team has needed a point guard and a backup point guard for almost 10 years, so to not play them shows a weakness.

So, yes, there are lots of areas I'm going to say I could be wrong about with regard to Mike Woodson and I have acknowledged many of them. You have yet to show me any reason that developing a point guard is something he is good at. Your argument is simply - well, if they didn't play, they didn't deserve to play, which to me can be debunked in so many ways. To see former Hawks get consistent minutes on BETTER teams says to me, opportunity means something. This team has not been so stacked that we didn't have minutes to give to players and it's not now. It doesn't make any sense right now even with a healthy Bibby to only play 3 players at the 2 guard positions. I've already seen enough from Teague to see that he can handle 2 5-7 minute spurts a game for this team and yes, he may not be good some nights and that would mean he's like EVERY OTHER PLAYER in the league.

You aren't going to convince me that that playing that guy every night doesn't have positive benefits for this team in any way, shape, or fashion and if that's stubborn, call me a mule because I'm not going to budge on that position. That said, I already know why Woodson won't do it and I agree with it on a human level, but as a fan looking at our future - I find it to be a problem, one that'll bite us in the ass as it always has.

thirdfalcon said...

I get where your coming from Coco. As a fan, I want to see him play too. But my head tells me that people that know Teague, and see him play every day think that he's not ready yet. Hopefully that changes soon.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, I think the key in all of this is that you trust Woodson to be able to evaluate when a player should get minutes and I don't. I think as long as you read my comments with that in mind - we can save ourselves debates when we know where those comments come from.

I don't think Woodson understands the psychology involved in playing players. He may think like you that a player isn't 'ready' to play certain games, but in my rec league - I'd be upset if I was good enough to play early, play against the Lakers, etc, but then when the team needed me to step up because the starter goes down and I didn't play for a quarter and then only played for 5 minutes (and my team cut the lead by 6 while I'm in the game), then there's a psychological effect that would have on me.

I think that's the part that you trust Woodson with. History doesn't give me a lot of confidence that he knows how to manage that situation very well. And additionally, I will keep saying - he's not going to get ready from the bench. It hasn't happened for any players in the history of the NBA from the point guard position save Magic where they put forth championship level effort and production from day 1 and it ain't gonna happen here from the bench.

So, I would submit that if we're not going to play him b/c of this readiness factor you mention or my thought that Woodson has trust issues with young guards, then we need to get SOMEONE at backup point guard who does get consistent minutes. Forget Teague - I don't want heavy minutes for Bibby or Johnson this season.

Xavier said...

ATL what former Hawks point guards that has played under Woody has gotten minutes AND played well on better teams. I guess the exception is Anthony Johnson but he's played for a million teams also. And every coach has players who didn't play well under them but played well elsewhere. That's the nature of professional sports. A player doesn't work for our club but he may be a better fit on that club. By name we've only listed Salim who couldn't cut in Mil and Law who couldn't cut it in G.S. and we will see in Char.

thirdfalcon said...

ATL is just seeing things with a prejudice that Woodson is incompetent. And he thinks that it's a leap in logic to say that the players that are getting minutes are better than the players that aren't, for some reason.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

I'll say again - there isn't ANY presumption of incompetence at all. What I am saying is that there are things that coaches do well and things that they don't. Developing players is NOT Woodson's strong suit.

So, I've praised things Woodson has done this season. Xavier, I didn't say in that note that only guards have gone on and done better, but over the offseason i did note all of the players who have gone on (i'm not making do well the litmus test) to be parts of rotations for other teams. And that's all I'm asking - I'm not asking Woodson to play Teague more minutes than the other 3 guards. I'm asking him not to play 2 guards for a full half against an inferior team like the Hornets. I fail to see why this is complicated for you guys, but I'm not trying to. If you have your reasons for believing that he's doing right by Teague and his development, I'm fine with that.

I happen to think that this is something that has plagued us in the past and based on the fact that we don't have any other guards to lean on - could again. And if you're fine with hinging our entire season on the hope that no one gets injured, has a slump, or gets fatigued at any point, but I'm not. All offseason - Woodson has spoken about keeping guys fresh, trusting the bench, and liking Teague's game. All I'm saying is to prove it in deed, not just words. I'm accustomed to the words, not accustomed to the deeds.

thirdfalcon said...

I'd like to hear the answer to Xavier's question, or what player at any position played better on better teams for that matter.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, I'm loathe to do this because it's just gonna cause us to debate one's opinion in an area where the larger point doesn't have anything to do with whether or not a player does better elsewhere. Law could be a bust and my point regarding playing him to rest players and to develop confidence in a young player to get the best out of him still remains.

I certainly know that getting the best out of a young player is not jerking his minutes in hopes that every time you play them they are going to produce.

I think Boris Diaw would be the best example of a player who looked clueless under Woodson's watch and only had to be put in a new system to become very productive. That said, many factors go into why a player doesn't take off. I'm simply noting that there have been 5 (year 1), 2 (year 2), 2 (year 3), 4 (year 4), 1 (year 5), and 1 (year 6) rookies that have come through the Woodson system. Only Josh Smith, Josh Childress, Marvin Williams, and Al Horford of those rookies have been productive rotation players. Boris was, but only after he left town - you could say that Shelden is on the borderline on that one. None of the guards have been productive and the only constant is that Woodson has played his bigs and hasn't played his guards to allow them to develop.

And I really don't think that can be disputed..if Woodson has a choice - he's not playing a young guard and that wasn't the case when we had 13 wins and it isn't the case now.

So, I don't buy the argument that all of the bigs had talent, but none of the guards had talent and that's why they sucked. I won't argue that they weren't world beaters, just saying that being rotation players does require being playing as a part of the rotation.

thirdfalcon said...

Well, first of all I would consider Childress a guard (though not a point guard). But setting that aside, how can you not at least admit that it's possible that the other guards weren't good, aren't good, and were never going to be good? I mean, it's at least in the realm of possibilities when you consider that none of them have caught on anywhere else right?

Even if you think that Woodson still should have given them more of a chance than he did, isn't there the slightest doubt in your mind that you should really be blaming the gm for drafting the wrong player? Would you say that Woodson ruined what could have been several promising careers?

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@TF, I think we're at a point where the debate is pointless. You keep trying to inject questions that don't address my point. If you don't believe that my point is valid, then so be it, but I have repeatedly said - the players could all SUCK. I am simply saying - I want to see them suck enough to prove that they actually suck.

Milicic, Kwame Brown, Olawokandi - these guys got a lot of time to show that they sucked. How bad was Chauncey Billups before it clicked - it took 4 years! Joe Johnson even sat on the bench before he was given a shot. All I'm saying is that let's give the guys a shot. I don't think any of our guards got that shot (and yes, add Childress as a guard to the list of things we don't agree on - a 6'8" guy who can't shoot from outside, backs up Marvin, and guards small forwards is what I'd consider a small forward no matter what the Hawks list him as).

So, my point again is yes - I won't dismiss Billy Knight from the equation, but if you look at the make up of the team - his finger prints are over 80% of the roster, so maybe that's why he wanted to fire him b/c the final pieces (at point guard) weren't being developed to his liking. I don't know if that's true and I don't really think it matters.

The point I'm making is I don't believe Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio...any PG we could have gotten would be sitting on the bench just like Teague. That's the point I'm making...you don't know what you have until they PLAY!!! I've watched Flynn struggle, watched Lawson have a bad game, watched Evans look awful against us and then BLOW UP the next night. The point is - you let them play through it. Woodson will not do that. In fact, what's worse - I've watched him let Acie score 20, play good defense, and the next night get a DNP. He did it to Teague after the Lakers game where Teague was the only guy that played well. I didn't complain then, I watched and said - hey, just roll with it, but the Hornets game was the final reminder that Woodson is who I thought he was with relation to this item.

So, let's just move on...b/c you just keep talking about something I've acknowledged - you are right...they could all SUCK majorly, but I want to see it happen on the court. That's it. Trust me, I watch ALL Hawks games - Acie Law didn't lose the Hawks ONE game in his entire career and you know why b/c he wasn't allowed to. He didn't win us one either - why? he wasn't allowed to. Guess who on the team has been allowed to lose us games - Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Flip Murray..need I go on - that's my point. Show me on the court that these guys are playing losing basketball and I'll shut up about this forever more.

So, let me be clear - TEAGUE COULD SUCK!!!! And all I want to see is him prove it on the court - so far, he hasn't gotten enough time to even determine if it's being rusty or lost or what that would keep him from being successful.

Peace...

Ron E. said...

This is pretty simple. What Mike Woodson most wants out of his PG is to make jump shots. Teague meanwhile is shooting 31.8%. Until he starts making shots, he isn't going to get big minutes from Woody. Obviously you can argue Teague's shooting % would go up if he got more opportunities. Clearly Woodson doesn't see it that way. Since he gets to see Teague in practice and we don't, he probably has more insight into Teague's true shooting ability than us fans. Also I imagine Woody considers the Hawks to have 3 not 2 PGs with the 3rd being Crawford.

Jesse said...

If Woodson believe that JC is a PG and should play considerable minutes as the back-up PG, then we are doomed. It's been shown in the past and this year that playing the point is clearly not JC's strong suit.

If the main question here is if Teague should play significant minutes when Bibby is injured, then the answer is without a doubt yes. There is no reason why Teague should not get a bump in minutes with Bibby injured.

Personally, all of these other arguments are irrelevent because they are too subjective. In fact, even if Bibby can go in our next game, Teague should still get more minutes overall and more with the first team specifically.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@Ron E, Not so simple. Here's why you can't look at raw numbers to make an argument. If you watched the games, you'd know that Teague has only really played real minutes in 5 games all year. 3 of those games were blow outs (Lakers, 1st Hornets, and Denver)...in one game, he shot well - next game DNP. In the others, he shot terribly, but he wasn't even playing in a competitive situation - the games were over. Those 3 games comprise over 50% of all the shots he's taken. Every other game - he's basically taking 1 or 2 shots.

Hard to say - it's shooting that's the problem when he's not in the game long enough to know if he's shoot well or not. So, it's not that simple and I don't think shooting is the barometer for his not playing. If it is, I would be even more worried about Coach Woodson's coaching ability b/c it's an unreasonable barometer to use with such a small sample size.

As for Crawford as a PG, he may believe that and while I don't like that answer for chemistry reasons - it still leaves open the question of 'how do you rest Bibby and Johnson if you only have a 3 guard rotation'