Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Fantasy Good Riddance

Preamble Ramble

Well, it's a terrible time for the hometown Hawks and yet, a great time for the blog's credibility. Why? Well, credibility is being gained for almost everything we've screamed from the rooftops for 2 years. Finally, comments are starting to come in with their grudging agreement that this blog has been pretty on point about this team for the last year. Our Tweeps are asking our opinion on what we think should happen in the future since we have a way of being ahead of the curve and yet, I'd pay any amount to get the OPPOSITE treatment. How gleeful would I feel to have rbubp, Anonymous, Xavier, and company telling me what an idiot I was regarding my 'Kanye Shrug' toward our offseason moves, angst toward our coaching decisions, our pointing out that the team has trended downward after the new year for the past 2 seasons, our highlighting out that we simply had too many excuses, too little heart, and too little toughness to really be considered a contender regardless of what our record said. As a guy who likes being right, being 10000% percent doesn't equal wanting to be right. I wanted HawkStr8Talk to be truth telling, but about things we can all agree on like 'Welcome to town, D Wade' or can disagree about like 'Jeff Teague should spell Deron Williams for 5 more minutes a game'.

We have plenty of time to point out what we should do in the future, our season recap, and what not and this time - maybe I'll say something crazy and it'll be taken with a little more respect and thought than last year. I think it's important now to say something regarding my stance on player and coach movement - this thing is like fantasy football to me. I've won 4 championships in the league I've played the longest and the main reason is that I have never fallen in love with a player past that player's usefulness on the court or in value. Simply put, I'd trade Michael Jordan if it made my team better. You wanna give me Barkley, Magic, and Hakeem for Jordan. Adios #23! I know that's extreme, but I say that to say - if we flip the entire team, it's not going to bother me a bit as long as we get the appropriate value.

I'm still committed to a dogged pursuit of following a team that is focused on making what I call 'championship moves'. Now, every move you make may not result in a championship, but it would at least be done with the idea that this will propel the team toward a championship. An example of a team focused on making championship moves would be the Oklahoma City Thunder - young nucleus, smart coach, cap space, draft picks, nothing focused on short term success... So, it's why I waited until the postseason to validate what I said this past offseason and that's that I thought Rick Sund did a pretty bad job as GM this season (ASG hamstrings included) and why I'm not comforted that this ownership and management are in charge of making tough decisions to move our team forward.

I could spend this blog talking about things such as my belief that this team's special season quotient went out the window on the management side when we signed Mario West during the season and on the psychology side when Mike Woodson spent the better part of two weeks talking about how we were screwed out of a Cleveland Cavaliers victory instead of what even made that game close and correcting that 4th quarter collapse problem we were having, but I won't (Aside: That was my homage to the Hawks post-game comments where I say I'm not going to talk about something while I'm doing it...see, I learned something this year).

I will point to Hoopinion as the on point blog king regarding the Hawks readiness for the championship glory. He's been on the Joe Johnson must go wagon for a few summers now and he hasn't said it as clearly and boldly, but there's nothing in his blogs that would provide a great argument for Mike Woodson's return. I only give demerits based on his love of Nick Fazekas. Now, that's not meant as a salvo to the abilities of the my blog brethren Peachtree Hoops, Soaring Down South, AJC Hawks' Blog, etc. because it's clear that they aren't dedicated to the championship pursuit angle that I am. They are fan blogs focused on game recaps and trying to find the fun, the good, the bad, the in the moment, favorite players, quotes, etc. That doesn't speak to the fact that The Vent isn't really giving you answers, just pointing out what a fan sees as bluntly as possible. So, it's with that thought that we blog about the last game of 2009-2010.

Game 5 Recap - Magic 98, Hawks 84

Overall Observations:
  • Joe Johnson - Thanks for coming to Atlanta. For everyone who thinks we overpaid for you, I disagree wholeheartedly. You have been a great asset to our team and raising our profile. I appreciate you for proving that a free agent can thrive here. It's with that backdrop that I also say - it's time for us to part ways. For you and for us. You need to be on a team where you acknowledge from day 1 that you are the 2nd or 3rd best player (if you are on a team that claims championship aspirations) and that can't happen here. Forget the fan comments (which were unforgivable), but trust me - if you were LeBron or D-Wade, we'd get over them, but you aren't and I've been saying for years that unless Al and Josh surpass you (and you accept the notion) in talent and importance to this team, then we don't have a shot to be better than a 2nd round flop. Since that's not clear yet, it's time to let you go. EVEN if that means we don't use the cap room to replace you. Again, the point is to get a title and if we can't get D Wade or LeBron or Kobe (and we can't since we didn't prepare last season for the possibility that a lame duck coach and poor leadership could turn toxic - that's not possible) - we aren't going to be a title contender for 2-3 years at best. So, let me go ahead and say this now...Atlanta Spirit - save the money unless you can get a budding or established star. Do not spend the money you were going to pay Joe. Yes, I'm saying that signing Joe for ANY amount is a bad idea. Your highest paid player for a contender is desired to be a vocal leader, but at a MINIMUM has to perform when needed and it'll take the kind of constitution I'm not sure Joe has to defer to a point guard and front court going forward. That's not a knock on Joe's basketball ability (or maybe it is), but it is my way of saying - I'm sorry you had to go out the way you went out, but going out is what has to happen for us to move forward (and that may require us going backward from a record standpoint).
  • Josh Smith - You are now on the clock. I don't want you to leave. I am giving you one more season to not turn into Rasheed Wallace. A top 10 talent who simply lets inner demons keep him from greatness. I've long cast my lot with you. You are the most talented guy on the team and it's not really even close, but you need a coach to help you realize your true potential. There's no other way to say it than you need better people (in a basketball sense) around you. If you are running the break, shooting outside of 10 ft, loafing during the game, trying to overtalk the coach during timeouts, or talking to the refs - you are no longer useful to the team's championship dream. You either can become a Kevin Garnett like talent OR you can be Ricky Davis. Mercurial talents both, but one with a head and another without. I say this with love. Prove the people who doubt you wrong. I watched you play half a season of great ball and another half of season where you regressed AGAIN, just like last year. Mike Woodson shares the blame for allowing you to develop these habits, but it's up to you to make sure I am right about you.
  • Mike Woodson - Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again. You were the right coach for 3 years. The last 3 - you weren't...many tomes have been written about this. I'm not mad at you for taking the money and doing what you were allowed to do, but it is what it is. We need a coach to take us to the next level and you aren't the guy. You've staked your claim as a defensive coach and we aren't a defensive team. I've yet to hear your plea for better defensive talents and when you've had defensive players at your disposal - you haven't used them, so I don't believe in your ability to move us forward. Not only that, I don't believe you at all. Your words and actions rarely match up, so I can say with a clear conscience that I like you as a person and I am happy to call you a fellow Hoosier. I hope you land on your feet, but my desire to win a title usurps love, much less like. It's time to move on. I'm not going to mince words - if you are back as the coach...I won't spend a dime to go to ONE game again until that changes (Note: I don't pay for 95% of the tickets anyway, so that's a partly empty promise, but since I pay for the big games and playoffs - that's pretty heavy since I've only missed one playoff game in the last 15 years). Best wishes on your future endeavors.
  • So, we don't make this blog the longest ever - let's just say that Rick Sund, you have my permission to renounce the rights to or trade Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams, Jason Collins, Joe Smith, Randolph Morris, and Mario West. Whether ANYONE wants them is the only question at this point. This permission also goes with the thought that I didn't want any of them in the first place.
  • Let me go ahead and be on the record about this too - without a strong point guard presence, defensive mindset, and offensive strategy out of our next coach...I also endorse moving Jamal Crawford to another team better suited for his talents. And if you decide that a coach can make use of Josh Childress - I endorse his return to the team or as an addition to the package of players needed to make us better.
  • Here's how bad the last two home games were - the man who has sat through every poor performance over the past 5 years ended up leaving both games by the 4th quarter. I never leave games, but I simply couldn't take it.
  • Further evidenced by how ridiculous I think Peachtree Hoops and Mike Woodson (and even Hoopinion) are about Jeff Teague is the thought that some of these guys are ready to pencil Jeff in as the 2010-11 starting point guard without ANY real experience playing THIS past season. Our biggest playing rotation mistakes were not starting Jeff Teague (when it was obvious that Bibby had nothing left in the tank) and not making some of these players earn their starting spots (i.e. Marvin Williams or Josh Smith when he didn't bring max effort). [Note: these things would not have resulted in a title. They would have resulted in finding out what your players are made of prior to the postseason/offseason. This organization has only ONE player they can count on going into the offseason and that's Al Horford.
  • Final salvo - Stop with the Al Horford is indispensable stuff. He's NOT indispensable by any means. I've come around on how much better he can be offensively, but not that far. Seriously, he's only great to us because of the contrast in his effort and energy to the rest of the team. Get everyone playing at his effort level before we start anointing him as the next great something. He's a team player and we love that, but let's not overrate it. I don't want Al to go, but the fact that we'll always be undersized with Al at center means he's not indispensable. I'd take Brook Lopez for Al in a nanosecond. Again, has to be right move, but we can move Al too if it makes the team better.

Str8 Butter Award - Child please!

Here's my final thought...ok, I get why most people want to hold on to a 53 win season and the 3rd seed. I don't care for any part of that feel good story. Again, I'm focused on championships and even more, championship EFFORT. So, you aren't going to convince me that a season where you thought you had a CORE of at least 3-5 players who you could build upon for the next 5 years is now whittled down to 1 player you can be sure about (and that's at a position where he's doomed to be dominated by a player at his position in his DIVISION) without any feel good regarding ownership, management, coaching, and all but 1 player. If I was playing fantasy basketball and a guy turned that team over to me, is there anything I can say good about the owner who turned that team over to me? I don't know, but with all this reality - I had to shift to a fantasy world to keep me sane and full of perspective, which is just my way of saying that this was going to be an expletive-filled rant about how a team could lose in playoff record fashion and simply not try hard enough for their own pride's sake. Even if you wanted to get the coach fired or wanted to go on vacation - there's just NO could lose that bad unless the milk had gone completely and totally BAD. So, just let me have this blog reside in a bizarro world of fantasy because the reality stinks to high heaven. Stinks so bad that it's going to take a serious effort to convince me to be a full-fledged card carrying #1 fan of this team in 2010-2011. I didn't sign up for spending time, money, and good natured wit on a team that doesn't feel the need to play its hardest. That's why you oughta care, Joe b/c otherwise - I'll just spend my time telling every team imaginable why they are wasting anything over $10M for your services. Who wants that on their curriculum vitae? Fantasy or otherwise...


CoCo said...

I really hope this team gets sold to a majority owner this summer. I'd feel a lot better about this team if I knew there was one person making the final decision. I honestly think ish can't get done because 8 groups (or however many of them there are) can't agree on anything. I'd like to know who in particular to blame for being frugal. Right now, it's a group and we barely have enough fingers to point at all of them. That has to change. Having said all that, should be an interesting summer.

Bret LaGree said...

Nick Fazekas curiosity. Other than that, I saw nothing I couldn't agree with and do I love to disagree...

Brad said...

HawkSt8Talk, serious question: you said that you want to cheer for a team that has the "big picture" goal of winning a championship, and (I believe) you have said many times that the Atlanta owners, GM, etc do not have that mindset. Rather, they are comfortable getting to playoffs, winning a round or two, and going home. The payroll and personnel both support that this is the mindset.

So, why are you not a fan of say OKC, who clearly has those goals in mind? Why continue cheering for the Hawks if they will don't have that mindset of winning a championship that you hold as so important (and so do I, by the way)?

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

Bret, I know I know...I just have to have something on you akin to my belief in Acie Law IV's rotation worthiness (which is not going so well based on his time sitting on various benches since being jettisoned from the Hawks).

Brad, That's easy...I really would LOVE to cheer for the Oklahoma City Thunder except for one thing - they aren't my hometown, cheered for for the past 25 years Atlanta Hawks. I love this team - I'm hard, I have high expectations, and yet - I have a soft spot for this team. I don't want to cheer for another team. I don't want to be fairweather because we're dealing with tough times. The great thing about having a blog is being able to say loudly what I think we should be doing. Trust me, I would love to be wrong, but it's kinda what Bret said in one of his blogs - how are us bloggers with little inside knowledge of what happens with basketball teams able to see things that the insiders can't?

I can see that Joe isn't a superstar, Josh is a head case, Marvin is not worth $39M, Bibby isn't worth $18M, and that we needed to stop spending money after signing Josh Smith on ANYONE until this offseason when we could pick a star and coach and make a run. How did that not get considered? Anyway, I'm preaching, so I'll shut up now...but CoCo's right - we need new owners. If I could buy the team, I'd hire Bret and we'd either be the Lakers or the Clippers, no in between.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

oh, and I sincerely apologize for all of the grammar errors - I hope you got the points I was making. Just read it all and I'm horrified. Had to make about 15 edits to make this readable.

See what happens when you're writing from work and looking over your shoulder all day :)

Ron E. said...

I'm not so sure Josh is a better player than Al especially if you consider Al to be a PF rather than a C. The Hawks would be a better team if they traded Josh and got a center to move Al to PF than if they traded Al and got a replacement center and kept Josh at PF.

The new love for Teague starting next year is largely due to the unmistakable decline in Mike Bibby which was especially clear in the playoffs. I could see teams that don't play defense like the Knicks or Warriors being interested in Bibby. Sund should trade him if the opportunity presents itself.

I don't know if you have been reading the comments at Peachtree Hoops lately, but most of the commenters are on board with making changes especially hiring a new coach. There isn't a lot of contentedness with just reaching the playoffs and losing in the second round anymore.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@ron e., well, I'm pretty sure that Josh is a better passer, help defender (blocks and steals), ball handler, and scorer (not shooter) than Al. Al is a better rebounder, on the ball defender and he has a better feel for the game as well as leader. So, unless you are counting basketball IQ as a skill and talent, then I don't think there's any question that Josh is a better player.

Josh has had much more of a game changing impact than Al over their career together. It's actually not even close.

I'll check out what's happening at PH, but those commentors have traditionally been reactive. So, yes - today it's very apparent that Bibby is not that good, but we've been saying that since last year. I still fail to see why people were of the thought that defense and lack of play making ability wasn't an essential skill for a point guard. Forget what the coach wants...

Brad said...

But I guess my point is that we aren't "having tough times." In fact we may be doing as well right now as we'll ever do because the goals from the top down are NOT set at winning a title.

I'm not saying that you would be fair weather in switching teams, but rather that you would be making a long term commitment to a team that has the long term goal of winning a championship. Obviously, this type of team would not win one every year, and a few years they may even get bounced in the first/second round or maybe even not make the playoffs if they are rebuilding or something. You would still root for them even during and after these years, feeling comfortable that their goals of winning championships are aligned with your goals as a fan.

It almost seems like the ceiling for the Hawks is and always will be short of a championship because of the payroll and personnel decisions. While this may be good for some fans who don't understand that this is the case or don't really need their teams to position for a championship, you have clearly stated that this is NOT ok for you.

I certainly do understand your hometown loyalties, however. I am asking myself these same questions and will likely continue to be a Hawks fan because they are also my hometown team. Just wanted to get your thoughts on that.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

You raise a compelling point, Brad. My impression of 'tough times' are absolutely relative. For everyone who brings up the last time we were here with Steve Smith and Mookie, I was a huge advocate of blowing it up. The problem wasn't the idea - it was in the execution. When Alan Henderson and Chris Crawford are your best draft picks, it's gonna be a tough road to hoe.

So, the same thing applies now. We tend to focus on Paul/Williams, but this team would thrive if it simply had any number of players - George Hill, Brandon Roy, Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews, etc who would contribute to this team who we had a shot to draft.

The only great draft pick this organization has made over the past 10 years is Josh Smith. Al was a no brainer, but we missed in the same draft on players who could help us like Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry, and Marc Gasol (not that we would have given them the PT to develop, but they've shown themselves worthy of being rotation players for our team - Brooks is just another Law or Teague to Woodson). So, you're right...our commitment to a title has never been apparent in this town. I just don't know how to answer your question - giving up on the team after 20 years or so would just be incredibly tough, but another postseason like this one could do it. Shoot, resigning Woodson and Johnson could do it too.

Jesse said...

Woodson is gone. That's a championship move if there ever was one.

rbubp said...

Most of my issues with your analysis have historically been more about the multitude of positions you take and your inability to admit ever being wrong.

Yes, I know, if you're wrong you admit it and say so, and if I had read this blog for the last xxx years I'd see that...Well, what I have seen is that you make so many predictions all the time that you can always point to one that is at least partially accurate. The others that weren't so accurate are always unimportant for one reason or another.

The only thing I have ever substantially disagreed with you about was this idea of starting Teague at the end of the season when it didn't appear to make a whole lot of sense to mess with the rotations, and assuming right out of the gate that the Hawks were going to be worse this year than last when they had no substantial personnel losses. (Yes, I know you made ten other predictions that were increasingly closer to what actually happened, and you admitted you were wrong about predicting the Wizards passing the Hawks in the standings. Yes, I know that.)

Even blind squirrels find nuts now and then, is how I look at it. I don't see making tons of statements and then selecting the closest one as being a chance to trumpet my genius. But I will admit that you said earlier on than I would have that this team wasn't really any better than last year, and in the end that was absolutely true.

Props for that. No one in my zip code thinks you lack knowledge...just a little wary of how you present it.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@rbubp, here's my only quibble with your statement. I'm not going to go backwards - I'm going to just stay in the present. I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS written by blog with the intent of sharing my thoughts relative to the Hawks winning a title and that pursuit. Everything else you see is just filler around that. So, there is simply no evidence you can point to that speaks to me saying a bunch of different things that something will always be right. Sorry, but you're 100% wrong on that particular item.

I can highlight them pretty quickly and easily, so you don't have to think I cherry picked anything or am making you do research...
1. That we lacked veteran leadership
2. That we lacked heart
3. That we lacked good schemes that are successful in the playoffs
4. That we didn't develop players and gave them roles that would be helpful come the playoffs
5. That Woodson was always trying to win the battle, not the war.
6. That our offseason pickups weren't so Exec of the Year worthy
7. That it will be disastrous to leave Mike Woodson in a lame duck state.
8. That I wasn't going to judge our players too harshly ever until we got a better coach.
9. That we weren't going to make it past the 2nd round.
10. That signing Williams and Bibby (and even Zaza and taking on Jamal's contract) was gonna bite us in the ass when that money could make us relevant in the LeBron/DWade summer of '10.

Now, all the other stuff I said - like, what happened to those other teams was all speculation. I said the same about who I wanted us to pick up (like Jack or Sessions or Blair or trying to sign Millsap or Horry as a player/coach), but I don't put those things out there as a - hey, out of 16 players who I think could help, the best 4 are worth patting myself on the back over. So, I'm not touting things like records so boastfully like I'm Nostradamus - it's just fun. I am rarely right on those things, but about CHAMPIONSHIP moves...i've been way more right than most anyone I read (note: I said MOST..not all, just most).

So, I think I was right about Teague vs. Bibby (like 1000% right). Same for Bibby and Williams being re-signed. Same for all the things we lacked that I mention LAST season when folks were giving us a pass for being injured (to which I said - injuries don't have anything to do with fight, heart, leadership). Our team and coach have been excuse making machines for 2 years and that's why I said I thought we shouldn't be afraid of change. Now, i was wrong about re-signing Woodson (but wrong ONLY if ownership can't afford to fire a coach and eat the remaining $ on the contract. If we had Cuban, then I'd say I was right to say what I said b/c he'd have security to do what he needed to do and actually develop players and roles without fear of losing a few games, which impact his ability to get a new contract.

I was also wrong about me judging players harshly. I did do that - I said it's not fair to judge a player when he's not being coached well, but I did it anyway. So, that's what happened...this isn't prediction and prognostication central. I don't say any of this to be argumentative (though it may seem like it), but really to say - I think you're lumping everything ever said into one bucket. Some of what I say is tongue in cheek and some is serious biz. It's hard for a writer to keep a list on a wall to say what you do and don't believe. In fact, some of that stuff does actually change. You can actually feel like we suck one day and feel like we can be champs the next. You couldn't tell me that the Bucks could take us to 7 games, even knowing what I already knew about them.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

That was a bigger outrage to me because I didn't think they would quit knowing what happened vs. the Heat last year. Losing like we did to the Magic was just icing on the, I say that to say - I can be right about the team and be wrong at the same time. Anyway, I appreciate your readership and know that I write from the heart...there's no technical precision to vet this against what I said yesterday.

If you want to know what I'm really feeling about something, just ask - take me to task on the specific things you disagree with. I'm not right about everything. I'm only claiming rightness about what's inside the chest and heads of our team - I've been consistently saying that we aren't an elite team. No matter what the record said...that's all and I believe it to be for the reasons I stated. Nothing more, nothing less...

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

And to make sure you're factually correct about what I said (which is why I think we clash so much)...I said I thought the other teams in the offseason may have PASSED us based on their acquisitions, not that we would do substantially worse all by itself. So, I didn't assume we'd do worse - I assumed we might flatline while other teams actually got better than they were.

So, I'd say this offseason as an example - if we had the exact same team, the Bucks may surpass us just by virtue of having Redd and Bogut. Might not, but I wouldn't assume that they can't win 55 games and us win another 50. So, that's all - you look at it like throwing a bunch of stuff on the wall and pointing at the ones that stick. Well, I look at it like - yeah, I throw stuff at the wall, but I tell you when there's some cheap paint that I'm throwing up there and when the expensive stuff that I can't waste is going up. The expensive stuff is what I'm claiming to be right about...

rbubp said...

"If you want to know what I'm really feeling about something, just ask - take me to task on the specific things you disagree with."

--I think you know I and many others have done that. If you didn't know it you wouldn't mentioned me in your "eat crow, ya'll" post.


ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

eat crow post...HILARIOUS! You think too highly of how much time I spend thinking about what you say...

rbubp said...

No, I have absolutely no doubt that you don't think about anything anyone else says at all, actually.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@rbubp, I am not trying to have a comment war with you. It's pretty apparent that you read this blog and my comments as some attempt to be right and to rub something into people who disagree. I just call it like I see it. So, let's just keep it chill. We can disagree on things and still have fun. I happen to disagree with your assessment on some things, so what? You happen to think I want credit for things I completely wish were 100% wrong.

I wish I was writing a series of blogs talking about just how much of a fool I am regarding the offseason, the coach, the GM, and some of the players. So, maybe if you took the bias out of your reading lens...this could be more fun for both of us. Yes, you are going to have to provide a compelling argument to make me change my mind about things. I would say that that's probably the case for you as well. And that's fine. I know that the other bloggers are very much the same due to the time and energy that they put into our hometown team.

There is some level of knowledge I think I bring to the table based on that, but no one blogs for a pat on the back - there aren't enough pats that could make that valuable, so if you want to say that I say too many things to give me any credit - no problem. That won't stop me from giving you credit for the things you bring of value to the comments section. I'm always happy that someone can enlighten me as to things I haven't thought about regarding my team. Best wishes rbubp.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@rbubp, And let me be super clear about one thing - you have brought great value to our comments section over the last offseason. I actually went back and read them and we had ups and downs in understanding each other, but I don't consider your comments bad for the blog. There are a lot of things I got from your message - brevity in commentary (which I might not have learned yet), listening, not assuming...etc

So, let's make up, rbubp...we got what I think we wanted - no more Woodson. And let's move forward.

rbubp said...

Ok, Atl. In all seriousness--big statement there, and I appreciate it.
As I said before, I don't doubt your knowledge and I keep coming back because you do have insightful things to say.

Jesse said...

Awww, this is cute guys, it really is. Maybe you two can hook up later. Haha, i keed, i keed.

We could all recap our comments, but I think we all know that the first half of this past season fooled us into thinking too many happy thoughts about this team.

ATL_Hawk_Luv said...

@Jesse, you're right - I read all this and I was like...damn, maybe this sounds like my first gay cyber affair. I thought about suggesting this to Catholic priests as their 'outlet'. :)

As for the comments, you're right and I think this is part of what I say when I say you have to read the blog and comments pretty consistently. If you take them one at a time, I'm probably saying different things at different times. I know there are times when I've praised Coach Woodson - some of them at the beginning of each of the last 2 years. But overall, I certainly believe what I said about him and the team in general. Even I was surprised at how many of the 2009 playoff and offseason issues reared their heads again in 2010.

Doesn't mean I'm light years ahead of things, but I do believe strongly that much of what ails us is masked by the fact that we have a lot of talent to beat bad to average teams during the season, hence a 50 win season. I even did a blog in 2009 about how easy it is to win 50 games if you have talent and that true contenders don't worry about seeding as much as they worry about health and cohesiveness for the postseason. I think the Celtics are showing that to be more prudent. Same as the lack of reliance on 'home court' all season.

Jesse said...

a/s/l? Pedobear likes... And what an awesome concept, not to mention response, regarding the priests.

You want to know why you were surprised? It's the same reason why most of us were surprised. We are fans - hardcore fans - and it's in our blood to always expect the best, even if there are signs stating otherwise. '09-'10 was essentially the same season as '08-'09 and we all should have seen how it would end. You don't have to watch Avatar to know it's the same story as Dances with Wolves or Fern Gulley, but people do anyways.

Ex: Hawks start the season off hot; lots of scoring, ball movement, transition ball. By Jan, the Hawks have an outstanding home record, are pushing the Magic for the division lead, and are playing all around solid ball. Feb arrives and the Hawks start to struggle with middling to horribad teams, the defense is completely gone, and the offense has devolved into pure isolation. The Hawks hold on to home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs, where they struggle to win in seven. The Hawks get swept in the second round while setting records for point differential.

Which season was that? Both, so in late Jan and Feb we should have seen what was coming. Yet, as fans, we do what we always do and hope that our team can find whatever it was that had them going early on.

Regardless, let's simply hope that with the new changes comes new and better results.