Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honesty Corner's 5 Truths: Vol. 18

No filibustering today. No using Dwight Howard rumors to drive ratings.  Leave your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s get it..

1. Ownership > Rental: PG Edition – There are some thoughts out there that Devin Harris could possibly be the starting point guard and that Lou Williams or Anthony Morrow could be your starting shooting guard next year.  Let me log my vote right now – if the team has any sense, your starting guard duo will be Jeff Teague and John Jenkins.  This season should be about player evaluation and development.  There should be more worry about health and development and less on winning at all cost. Let’s not stunt Jeff Teague’s growth and let’s allow John Jenkins to get used to not being a part of the primary rotation for this team.  That shortsighted vision for the growth of our team is why Jeff Teague is not yet a consistent force (and why we are short the cheap labor of Jordan Crawford and a first round draft pick).

2. Jim Mora, Sr Would Be Proud – PLAYOFFS!?! Folks are screaming about playoffs… Well, STOP IT! There have been rumblings about how good this team can be next year.  My opinion aside (that we probably are a 6 seed in all probability) – there’s one thing we should all be able to agree upon and that’s that this team is not a contender and there’s no way to make it one this upcoming season.  So, I’m not asking for the team to tank, but I’m also saying – we don’t need to play the rotations as if it’s an all out move to get the best seed and attempt something stupid like messing up a chance in the lottery to get a top 3 pick (and a shot at small forward on the cheap like UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad).  This is tough to say, but Operation Hawks Championship is not worth jeopardizing with foolish attempts to meet our 1st round playoff loss fate once again. Play the players who will be here potentially for the new Hawks era (of Paul/Howard/Smith).   Of course, there is one monkey wrench in this plan – Larry Drew’s expiring contract.  No way Larry Drew isn’t playing every player who can win every game in an attempt to make a play for a job in 2013-2014, SOOOO…Danny Ferry make a decision – is he our coach or not? If so, extend him (and throw away a large measure of goodwill you’ve engendered with me) or fire this cat, so we can move forward  with a coach that knows the greater good is to develop the players and let the cards fall where they may.

3. John Jenkins Looks Legit – I said I’d say when I was wrong and while the jury is out on Perry Jones and Tony Wroten as higher upside guys – if the goal was to find a drop dead shooter on the rookie contract who could complement Horford/Smith (or Paul/Howard), then yes this is a savvy move.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how easily we have amassed 3pt shooters (and probably could do so again), but hey – let’s just say that right now, it’s looking like John Jenkins is a rotation player for this team now and would have been one last year with good, competent coaching.

4. Summer 2012 is Danny Ferry’s Masterpiece, Maybe? – This may end up being amended later or it could be a weekly Truth, but for now – we’re so unaccustomed to seeing these things called purposeful moves that it’s hard to know what to do or how to accurate judge what’s happening these days. Is it that Rick Sund was so bad that Danny Ferry looks like a genius in comparison or is this genius we’re watching?  I’ve largely stayed away from trying to evaluate the talent and fit since it’s apparent that no matter what the roster looks like this season – it’s probably not going to look that way the following season, so as the disclaimer says ‘Summer 2013 is all that matters’.  That said, for the hardcore - Summer 2012 may be one to remember for Hawks fans. It may not give us the players that we will fall in love with (sans Lou Williams), but it certainly has restored hope that mid-level exceptions, trade exceptions, and overall cap management will be used for what they were intended to…to swing for the fences.

5. Outscore ‘Em – I know I said I’m not going to pay attention to the roster, but I will say that at this rate – we’re definitely not going to be a defensive juggernaut any longer.  There’s not a roster spot (Deshawn Stevenson doesn’t count or should he?) that inspires confidence that this is team is going to try to stop teams, so welcome Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, and John Jenkins.  Team Bombs Away should be exciting and I’m ready to see what the coaching guru that is Larry Drew can do with our newly acquired spot up shooters (the Vlad Rad experiment notwithstanding).


Valter Duarte said...

I am a regular at AJC's Hawks blog and I had practically "closed for business" as a Hawks' fan last year, wasting my league pass subscription by watching only about 20 out of 88 games.

My main gripe was how could we "roll out" that excuse of an head-coach which LD is?

A back stabbing enabler, institutionalizing a zero accountability culture...

That lead to a complete lack of game plan to close out games. The Hawks played like a bunch of guys who know each other for long and that self managed their play, then, when things got sticky, the lack of preparation and outside guidance stood out.

Last year we had a pretty decent assembly of players but between the injuries and the lack of coaching, we were dead in the water.

So, although I obviously like Ferry's moves, until he fires LD the jury is still out for me.

The harsh reality is that these Hawks deserved a better chance, even if I agree that JJ failed as a leader, the fact is that he was "reprogrammed" by Woody into being something he can't be at the playoff level and LD made no tangible effort to break that.

JJ should have been again reprogrammed into a catch and shoot SG with the ability to - every now and then - use his other skills, which, to be fair, are plenty.

The main problem was predictability. If JJ was back into being primarily a catch and shoot SG as he was
in PHO, defenses would not be prepared as they always were for his ISO ventures.

That is a clear cut truth for me and that is an indictment on coaching more than on JJ himself.

Ditto on Josh, the poor guy never had the benefit of a single day of proper coaching: AAU coaching, Woody and LD... give me a break...

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