Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Championship Basketball Is and Isn't

Normally, I'd do my normal opus, epic-like tomes of bullets and commentary about this topic. You can see probably 150 or so blogs on this site that convey why the Hawks are not going to win a title without a first class coach OR much better players at certain positions (or BOTH), but today's example of why the Hawks won't win a title this season is encapsulated in three quotes. See below:

(Note: I am going to completely ignore this article where Mike Woodson and Josh Smith insult my (and anyone who watched the 2nd half of Game 2) intelligence by telling me because I'm not a coach or player that I can't call out a player for not playing hard for 48 minutes or simply visibly see that you are not playing hard. This is ironic because Josh Smith has often been quoted as saying that all the Hawks need to do to win is to play a FULL 48 minutes - see a quote below. Kinda how Joe Johnson talks like a leader in post-game press conferences, but yet his name is never in the what I did wrong discussion since despite the fact that I'M worried about Joe Johnson's disappearance - our coach says he never worries about Joe. If Phil Jackson can worry about Kobe, you fill in the blanks. It's as if all these guys will do anything to avoid being criticized personally.)

Oops, that was an aside..ok, here's the quotes from today's article in the AJC about the Hawks being at home.
  • This is the response to Orlando being an elite team for the past few months: “They have,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said Friday. “But it’s good to be home.' There is comfort at home for the Hawks. They posted a 34-7 record there during the regular season and are 9-4 in postseason games on their court over the past three years. “[The Magic] took care of home,” Hawks forward Josh Smith said. “We’ve got to be able to play a full 48 minutes and get our crowd into like they got their crowd into it.”
  • “It ain’t so much what they are doing,” Woodson said. “It’s what we are not doing. All you can do is keep showing [his players] on tape, and normally we pick it up and learn from it.”
  • “I don’t think our guys get too worried about where the game is,” Van Gundy said.
These quotes are why, from a psychological perspective, the Hawks are not prepared to win a title and the Magic are. When you are consistently worried about the venue you play in (and no, we aren't dismissing any team's increased familiarity and energy level at home - it's a fact that you get a boost at home no matter the quality of the team), you are not ready to win a title. The Lakers, Celtics, Cavs, Suns, etc are not openly discussing the home/road discrepancy. We continue to harp on home and road and that's just an indicator of the fact that we aren't mentally ready to take the next step. Not only that, we are still under some assumption that tape is going to fix our problems...tape is not going to make players play harder, tape is not going to make perimeter defense occur, tape isn't going to make players stop relying on their isolations, tape isn't going to make us share the ball, tape doesn't make an adjustment or change a tactic or play a rotation. And why are we waiting until they see the tape to make these points in game 92...If you still are having to show the tape in HOPES that we will pick it up and learn it - the war is lost.

As I've always said, the Hawks will never win a title as long as they are trying to win battles without executing a plan that wins the war. The Hawks are battle warriors, not an army prepared to win a war. We'll win a battle, but the war...not so much. Unfortunate, but true...that said, it's time to get ready to head to Philips Arena, so they can prove me wrong.


CoCo said...

Oh, this was pre-game?????? Dammmmmmmmmmmn! Hahahaha Well, um I'm going to go Monday, if for no other reason than because this is the end of this team as currently constructed (Lord willing) There's no way, these owners or the new ones can justify bringing back Mike Woodson or Joe Johnson at a ridiculous sum if they're serious about winning championships. I've said it for years, but it bears repeating, not every organization is trying to win a championship. We'll see which side the Hawks fall on this summer.

Ron E. said...

The Hawks owners are clowns and Sund is an unimaginative GM who responded to the Hawks being swept by Cleveland in the second round last year by bringing every Hawks' free agent back. I am not optimistic that anything other than a Woodson and Johnson extension will happen.