I think I've finally found my lane as it relates to how to stay regular with the Hawks blogs without going back to Game Recaps. My friends over at Peachtree Hoops and Hoopinion do such a good job with that and honestly, I don't look at games for their individual outcomes. I look at games as a predictor for future success, championship success, so we'll discuss what's happening toward that goal each week. So, with that backdrop, let's go...
First, let's revisit a few things from last week's post along with a thought based on this season's prediction of record and seed.
- Joe Johnson should take as MUCH time as possible to get healthy. We still believe that comment to be true. Honestly, not much has happened on the court that made me say - wow, if we had Joe Johnson, this outcome would be quite different. This would include the Spurs game where the introduction of Joe Johnson would likely only have meant that the Spurs TWO best players would have reentered the game to ensure that a Spurs victory was completed. There is one amendment that I'll add for this week - Joe Johnson AND Josh Smith should take as much time as possible to get healthy. After seeing Josh injured, all I could think was - don't you dare come back into the game. Get better. Don't compromise the long term health of the team for the sake of a few meaningless victories or losses.
- Jeff Teague's time in Atlanta should come to an end. And nothing has changed my mind about this. I feel pretty comfortable with the fact that this issue will not improve. One of Coach Drew's stated benefits (similar to Coach Woodson's stated benefits of defensive guruism) was his ability to groom point guards (despite the fact that Acie Law IV, Pape Sy (understandably) and Jeff Teague have done nothing to bolster that claim). That said, Jeff Teague has fallen out of the rotation. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when you watch the player you begged the Hawks to select (DeJuan Blair) puts the finishing blows to a loss in which your point guard of the future records a DNP-CD. For everyone who was concerned about the signing of Ramon Sessions, all I can say is - at least he's a rotation player on an NBA team. Teague isn't playing for a team that only has 3 other viable guard options (one of which is injured). Put another way - Teague isn't playing for a team that just signed the greatest player in its frachise's history's nephew and ends up getting time within..oh 1 game. As I said last week, Teague's time is done in Atlanta.
- Al & Josh should use this time to seize complete control of this team. Nothing has really changed here. I will use this space to say again - Josh get healthy first, then return healthy enough to continue the experiment of Josh Smith as our starting small forward and lights out jump shooter (ok, that's an exaggeration, but he has made enough to make Joe Johnson envious). Yes, it has problems associated with it, but none that are any worse than having no perimeter defense. Plus, anything that makes Horford feel more comfortable (i.e. playing the 4) is something I think we should contemplate.
- GM Rick Sund, it's time to make your money. I asked for him to make his money and he makes a signing of Damien Wilkins. So far, that signing has had some positive benefits. Now, we want to see the next evolution of that money being made. Starting with Jeff Teague, Pape Sy, and/or Jordan Crawford's demotion to the D-League. If they can't play when Joe Johnson is gone, then they aren't ever going to play, so develop them elsewhere. Then, Sund's work should end around trade deadline time with a trade of Jamal Crawford. Simply put, the team needs an infusion of defensive talent and the only way that's happening is if he leaves.