We still haven't had enough games locked in to make a true assessment, but certainly the trend lately is following the path of last year's hot start...and that's one where we started by sharing the ball, having hot Joe Johnson, and good bench contributions, only to follow that up with inconsistent effort and execution that ended up with a slightly above average record.
So, we throw that question out and then provide comments about the Hawks/Pistons game...
- An undermanned squad devoid of its top 3 players and its 4th best player gets hurt in the 2nd half dominates the boards by a clip of 2 to 1. This should cause panic (or at very least a questioning of whether our eyes deceived us in thinking that rebounding was not still a major concern for the Hawks).
- How you gonna waste a Josh Smith jump shooting clinic? (Note: Josh, don't ever try to put on a jump shooting clinic again! Your J will be removed JUST LIKE THAT.)
- Ben Wallace sure would look good on the Hawks team coming off the bench like some blogger said he would last year.
- If I'm Rick Sund, I'm asking myself - what does it take to get Joe Johnson off the floor and Jeff Teague on it? We'll keep repeating this point - HE DOESN'T HAVE TO START, but damn - just 10 minutes to see if he can provide the spark that obviously was lacking. We're playing the Pistons for goodness sake.
- If I'm a Mike Woodson supporter, I'm ready to hear your explanation for why Teague isn't playing at ALL and why you believe Joe Johnson deserves the 9th most minutes in the NBA or what happened to the belief that Jamal would assuredly provide rest for Joe...if you are providing quality production in 43 minutes, then at least we have something to show for it, but 43 minutes, forced shots, and poor production means we not only lose NOW, but we'll lose when he's tired and worn out this postseason from playing so much throughout the season.
- If I'm Jeff Teague, Zaza, Maurice, or Joe Smith, welcome to life on the Atlanta Hawks bench. Just remember that you are supposed to just be ready for the minutes that Woodson can't find for you EVEN when as an example - I come in and provide great defensive support and ..wait for it, head for the bench immediately (sorry Mo!)
- If I'm Marvin or Joe Johnson, I'm thrilled that I play for a coach who no matter what will stick by my side and give me minutes, even when I don't deserve them.
- If I'm Al or Josh, well - I'm happy with the minutes, but wondering what the heck else I have to do in order to get the opportunities that Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford are afforded on this team..
You're right Mike - no one is saying anything ...uh, as long as you don't read almost every Hawks blogger and every NBA pundit who has criticized the Hawks offensive philosophy for the last 3 years. So, let's be crystal clear once again - a forced shot by Joe whether he makes it or not is still a BAD shot, it's a bad design, it's bad basketball. Dribbling for 10 seconds only to shoot a jump shot or contested runner is a bad offensive option - we hate it (you certainly have expressed displeasure when anyone other than Joe Johnson or Flip Murray 1.0 and 2.0 has done it) and we hate you for not calling it out as a bad option. So, we know you wanna be ride or die with Joe and we even agreed with it circa 2005-2007, but now - it's just bad offense, it's bad leadership and it's bad coaching. Stop enabling bad basketball. We have enough talent to possibly play for a conference title if you (and Joe) stop getting in the way.
Did I say the word bad enough times in that paragraph?
Yeah, I said it...and I'm going to keep saying it. If we play the way we have, we'll keep beating most of the bad basketball teams on talent and we'll find ways to lose to the ones who are our equal and we'll lose to the ones better than us. All which means a 48-52 win season and a setup for a fall in the postseason.
Anyway, games like the Pistons/Hawks games happen, but the continued ignoring of our bench save Crawford, continued lack of development for Teague, continued reliance on Joe Johnson isolation plays, continued reliance on 3pt shooting, and lack of recognition that our future lies in Josh Smith and Al Horford's capable hands will continue to vex us and this team. And with that, the rant's over - time for Hawks/Raptors where they can attempt to debunk everything said in this blog. I dare you to do so...