Friday, February 26, 2010

The NEW Starting Lineup Should Be...

I know this will probably be ridiculed, but since I've been sick and unable to blog about the T-Wolves game that I just started watching on the DVR. Let me just say this about the Hawks and this game...

START JEFF TEAGUE (...and Mo Evans)! His push and defense are better than anything that our guards can do and it's an element that you can't overstate with the playoffs coming. Yes, we've advocated more time for Teague all season. Despite some of his struggles, we've eschewed all attempts to explain why he should sit. Watching almost all of the rookie point guards get better this season with playing time, we allowed Bibby's experience to be the litmus test. Well at this stage, Bibby is not providing enough to convince me that he can't be that veteran presence that stabilizes the bench in ways that he is supposed to stabilize our starting 5. So, this is as much about giving the bench punch as it is hastening the move to the future.

Not only that, it's an attempt to give Joe Johnson a glimpse of his future with the Hawks vs. a last ditch attempt at what is likely a 2nd round exit. Why not give that exit some upside vs. the look of a future of similar outcomes. I've advocated Marvin being the super sub for 2 years now and still think that's the best move for this team, but now I'm taking it further...this is about performing championship moves. I've always said - my biggest problem with the Hawks is the lack of CHAMPIONSHIP moves - making a bold move to get Teague in the starting lineup would say to me - we are trying to do something to WIN A TITLE. Maybe not this year, but eventually - Teague will be the PG that wins it for us before Bibby will. Or maybe the starting slot would be important enough to Bibby (and Marvin) to step your game up.

In either case, the Hawks win...so, here's the lineups...

starting 5 - teague, johnson, smith, evans, and horford (still 2 3 pt shooters along with a dimension of a push and dribble drive and transition)
second 5 - bibby, crawford, williams, zaza, and joe smith (lots more bench punch)

Personally, I see only one downside - maybe some turnovers in the transition, but teague has shown himself to be one of the best rookies in turnover rate. No downside based on what bibby and williams have provided unless one of them starts some locker room discord, but that's really all I see that could go wrong here. And finally, you actually make our coach - COACH! He'd have to actually not roll the ball out and do some coaching and prove whether he's worth extending...Seriously, wins all the way around.

Can someone not married to the 'don't rock the boat' theorems the Hawks have been wedded to provide a different counter argument...

11 comments:

The Casey said...

That second unit is hideous defensively. The only way you get away with playing Bibby and Crawford at the same time is with shotblockers. Other than that, I've been mulling the same thing in my head. Just imagine how effective Bibby's going to be able to be the next couple of years.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

I'm not going to agree with you that it's hideous at all. Joe Smith shows on a pick and roll better than anyone on the team. Marvin is a good wing defender and Zaza is decent. Sure, the guards are woeful but they are woeful now and playing major minutes, so I don't know how that's different. The main thing is that I don't see why we'd be playing all 5 of these guys together for one and two, I don't see how these guys are worse than the 2nd stringers that they'd be playing against.

If they are, then that's even more proof that they need to be on the bench. That's the point of the change - we need to give Jeff Teague a cast of players who actually make his game blossom vs. playing with scrubs who don't. We need to let Mo hit open shots b/c I know he'll take 'em. So, I'm saying that solves some of that in my mind and let's Woody feel comfortable with playing the hot hand.

The Casey said...

I'm not really disagreeing with you. I'm more playing devil's advocate. Bibby has been blah this year, and I don't see any good reason Teague isn't getting more minutes, unless he's just f'ing awful at practice. Mo/Marvin isn't as big a deal for me, but I'd like to see both of them get more minutes, too, instead of the Bibby/Crawford/Johnson offense (unless they're all hitting shots, of course).

Honestly, it's like Woody is playing NBA Live in Season mode, and everyone else is playing Franchise mode.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

LMAO - NBA LIVE!!! I hear you...I don't buy any argument for why Jeff Teague isn't playing more. Not even the practice argument - NBA teams don't have full practices much once the season starts, so that one doesn't fly. All I know is that when I watched that T-Wolves game - he looked infinitely better than Bibby as a point guard - drives, dishes, on the ball defense where one step doesn't leave him in the dust. He would have had 6-7 assists if Zaza or Joe Smith could have finished bunnies.

So, I'm just of the mindset that Woody doesn't trust young players unless forced to. So, he played Josh Smith and company b/c he had to, not because he wanted to and that's the problem. I don't see why he doesn't realize that Jeff Teague is the one guy on this team that can get him that contract extension. If he plays and sucks, it was the rook's fault. If he plays and does well, it was Woody coaching him up. As for as I am concerned, it's a no lose proposition. Watching him trot out Bibby just seems to be the only way I could fire Woody if I'm Sund. I'd say - you didn't do ONE thing to change the fortune of this team when you saw Bibby's dip in production.

Ron E. said...

I'm not convinced Mo is better than Marvin. Swapping them seems pretty much a wash to me perhaps even makes the team a bit worse. I could see the case for starting Crawford over Bibby but not Teague. Until Jeff starts making shots better than Josh shoots 3s, it won't make sense for him to get big minutes in Mike Woodson's offense where the PG's main job is to pass to Joe and get out of the way or drain long jumpers. Maybe next year with a new head coach and offensive philosophy (cross fingers) starting Teague would work.

The Casey said...

And if I'm Woody, I say to Sund that he's the one that signed Bibby to a 3-year deal.

Again, though, I agree with you. I'm afraid Woodson has kinda reached his ceiling. I hope not, but I'm afraid so.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

Well, Ron E., you make some compelling points, but I am not of the mindset that just because a player is better than another that they play ahead of another. So, as an example - sure, Jamal is better than Bibby, but he shouldn't start. I think all of Jamal's negatives would come out if you give him more minutes. He needs to come in and gun and that's it. You ask him for more than that (defense, running an offense, etc) and I think all of the things that got him shipped out of other places rear their ugly heads.

So, I say the same for Marvin. Marvin as the 4th option with the starters vs. Marvin as the 2nd option with the reserves has a better flow to me and hopefully hides Marvin's weakness better, which is not being assertive. Well, when you're being asked to score and be assertive b/c you don't have to defer to anyone but Jamal - maybe that unlocks his game a little bit. Mo fits as a 4th or 5th option much better.

Same for Jeff...you make the assertion that we need another system to make that work and I'm saying - Bibby's giving us NOTHING now. I'd rather see Jeff as a 4th or 5th option who isn't worrying about scoring anyway, so his shot isn't as important. I'd like him pushing the pace and passing to our scoring options and playing defense vs. Bibby NOT playing D and missing shots and not making players around him better. Basically, I see Jeff as a more useful player when he's not scoring than Bibby when he's not scoring and that's TODAY. Jeff doesn't have to get any better today to assume that role. So, to me, all he does is get better and more comfortable vs. Bibby who can do little more than regress at this stage.

So, I'm not sure I agree Ron E. I say respectfully though...

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

And as an example of what I mean by this - Manu is the 3rd best player for the Spurs and he comes off the bench. Jason Terry was probably the 2nd best player for the Mavs (bench), etc. That's what I'm proposing - I'm not saying throw out our best 5 (though I think Teague might be better than Bibby right now). I'm saying our starting 5 would be with those 2 and then we ask the Coach to manage the mix based on what's working from there.

That's what I'd like, now whether Coach Woodson could handle that - that's another story.

The Casey said...

On ESPN they just said that Woody would start Ilgauskas if the Hawks signed him. He would move Horford to the 4 and Josh to the 3. What do you guys think? I don't like Josh at the 3. He should be down low. Your thoughts?

Ron E. said...

My thought is that proves Marvin has done something to get into Woody's doghouse, although it makes me wonder why Woody doesn't just start Joe Smith or Pachulia at center if he thinks Horford at 4 and Josh at 3 would work. I hope Z goes back to Cleveland and we don't have the misfortune at putting that lineup to the test.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

I hear you, but I'm hoping that that is simply coachspeak to convince Big Z to come here and that in actuality - he'd then let his play dictate where and when he's useful. I only see Big Z as an upgrade to RandyMo and Jason Collins, which is fine by me. But if he's actually of the mindset that Big Z is a starter for this team SIGHT UNSEEN, then it goes to show you how Mario West can get minutes before Teague and Joe Smith or even that Jerry Stackhouse can be sitting on the streets and Mario West is brought back to the team instead.

the thought that Marvin would be in the doghouse hasn't crossed my mind. The doghouse is what Acie Law and Salim Stoudamire and Boris Diaw were in town - I don't think we've seen a doghouse since those guys left town.