Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hawks/Pistons (or what should call Insanity Has A Foothold)

Preamble Ramble

This blog is dedicated to my complete distaste for the way our team is coached. Before anyone says, tell us something we don't already know - I would like to simply say that I have refrained from spending all season railing against Coach Woodson. We've discussed his changes in foul management, timeout use, management of Jamal Crawford, and an occasional motivation tactic (by occasional - we mean 1). Now, 10-20 games ago, I said that Jeff Teague's rookie season was a complete and utter waste. I still maintain that position. I'd make the same claim regarding Marvin Williams and whether we've learned anything about his ability to make the quantum leap necessary to make the Hawks a very dangerous team. So, without further ado, here's my ode to why the Hawks, who CoCo has so adeptly reminded us, might not make it out of the FIRST round.

Game Recap - Pistons 90, Hawks 88

  • No Joe Johnson excuses when 4 of the best players on the Pistons team are not playing. And to think that the same story was written in the first Hawks/Pistons game. Hobbled Pistons beat are you not up for this game to get some 'get back' for the first time they beat you in the Palace?
  • Did I mention how much I hate the Pistons?
  • I simply can't understate just badly mismanaged Jeff Teague's year has been by Mike Woodson. By every discernible measure, this is just something I really can't ever ignore on a game by game basis. It's kinda like Hoopionion and his love of Nick Fazekas (except we want Teague to be our point guard of the future, not the 14th man on our roster).
  • I also will say that, despite a below average game, Maurice Evans looks like another beneficiary of increased minutes. He's proven that if you give him minutes he looks better than if you don't. A complete no brainer option off the bench for this team over Mario West under any game situation that isn't...garbage time or fouling time.
  • Finally, these last few games have highlighted exactly why Mike Woodson is correct in not starting Jamal Crawford. There isn't a shot that Jamal thinks he can't make. I actually believe that Osh Smith is following Jamal's example of not knowing how to play to your strengths.
  • So, let me get to the thing that made my blood boil...yes, as a blogger, who reads and watches all quotes that pertain to my fair Hawks - I should be very accustomed to the quotes that aren't supported by fact or just plain politically vague to deflect any true criticism, but in game 78 - the height of illogicity (i'm submitting this word to Scrabble) would be to hear your COACH saying - "we've got to figure it out" to a problem that has been staring you in the face for much of the season. That's just not possible that that was said. Worse, is not hearing a media person say - well, what do you plan to do to figure it out? (but I digress). You can't tell me that at game 78! After Game 78 (or 68 or 58 or 48 or how about preseason), you have to outline a strategy for actually CHANGING that issue. Now, as a blogger, I've taken heat for making suggestions that change our mix - who to go to, what players to play more or less, even playing style, but the 'we have to figure it out' falls to YOU TO FIGURE IT OUT!!!!! The players have already shown themselves incapable of FIGURING IT OUT. So, I need the coach to do something to show that he is not going to keep rolling out the same ball, players, and strategy and expecting different results. That's insanity personified. Yes, we have reached insanity levels here.
  • Thank you Marvin for doing something to shut me up about how terribly bad I want you to go to the bench.
  • And so much for thinking that simply running would work - last night we ran more than i recall us ever running and yet, we still lost. Not really a ringing endorsement...when you're playing the Pistons.
  • Last Note: For all that's good and holy, I promise that if I see unhealthy Bibby, Zaza, or Joe Johnson playing the rest of the regular season and it shows itself in the postseason. Trust me - every good thing I've ever said about this organization will come to quick halt. I have never said an outright FIRE WOODSON, but you can rest assured that despite every reasonable measure that says he's coming back (remember: I said that we should sign him to an extension in the offseason despite my belief that he's the wrong coach to take us to a championship) will be replaced with every tool in my utility belt aimed at firing the coach. Y'all thought Tiger's skeletons came out the closet fast...just test me on this one. I'm checking domain name availability on RIGHT NOW...
Anyway, I'm not sure if there's anything to be said other than the fact that they are just mocking my prediction of 52-30 and the 3rd seed at this stage, but I won't change it. They can win 3 of 4. It can happen and it should happen. Not at the expense of the team's health, but otherwise - I still believe it should. I know that's insane to think, but I think we realize that insanity rules in Hawk land - why shouldn't I sample a bit?


CoCo said...

Again, tell em why you're mad Luv! I couldn't believe the "we've gotta figure it out". I started recapping the game then looked at the computer and there was nothing but profanity. I decided against posting it. At this point in the season you are who you are. They aren't going to magically stop taking jump shots, he's clearly not going to play Teague anymore, he's going to continue to pretend Mario West is a defensive juggernaut and on and on. It's time everyone look at this team for who they really are. Their ceiling is the second round, but in real life they'll be lucky to get there.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

I mean we're playing our worst ball of the season now. We pick NOW to play our worst, shoot our worst, do our worst. That's what we're doing right now...just like last season. I can't wait to hear these guys spin why they are in a Game 7 vs. say...the Bucks. No team not named Celtics, Cavs, or Magic should reach Game 5, but we'll figure out how to make that some monumental hurdle and accomplishment.

I really just can't wait to crack up NBA TV during the postseason to hear the level of excuse making that we're about to engage in. I mean we are losing down the stretch to the MFin' PISTONS!!!! Really...I thought I had purged all this worry about the Hawks, but I guess not. I'm squarely back in the - I won't blame anyone who plays for our team about what our team can do until we change the coach. Period. So, Josh shoot all the jumpers you want - if the coach is cool, then why should I bother you about it? Done and done.

Bret LaGree said...

Fazekas would be the tenth man on this roster.

CoCo said...

This is a lot like last year. I think the players are tired. People, especially some of the fans are jaded by the age of some of our core players. I've got news for those people, 24 year olds get tired too. Are they playing an obscene amount of minutes, no but there are many many games where some of those guys could have gotten more rest. How about giving Josh a day off, just because. Al too. He wouldn't do that because he needs as many wins a possible when he goes in to Sund's office to ask for a contract this summer. The reality of the situation is this team is 2 games better than they were last season (as I type this) I'm not really ready to throw them a party for accomplishing that. I'm going to go ahead and start looking forward to the summer of 2010 like pretty much everyone else. Should they make the second round (where they will almost certainly be eliminated) there will be no justification for giving Joe a max contract. If the second round is the best we're going to do with him, then let him leave. If we get to the ECF, then we can talk about over-paying him.

Ron E. said...

Woody is the Marvin of coaches. He is what he is and expecting something different the rest of the season or next year would be silly. If Rick Sund wants the Hawks to take the next step to become a championship contending team, then he won't bring Woody back. If he does re-sign Woody and Joe, that will be a signal to Hawks nation that the organization is content with having the 2nd round of the playoffs be the team's ceiling.