Now that my Hawks season has prematurely ended, (yes I thought we would beat the Celtics before the series started) it's time to address the issues that this team faces this summer.
1) What are they going to do about Coach Woodson? As my 3 faithful readers know, I'm really not sold on Coach Woodson's coaching abilities. I'm sure he's a nice man and we have to give him some credit for the Hawks pushing the Celtics to the brink of elimination, howeva his flaws were just as magnified during the series as the player's flaws. He's scared to death of one of our players fouling out so he sits them for too long when they pick up a couple of fouls early. Sometimes you just have to trust your guys. The playoffs is a great time to show a little confidence considering every game matters..... Not to mention, his inability to develop players. No one has really gotten better under his watch. The record improved each year, but he never gave Salim a real opportunity and we didn't see near enough of Acie Law to know what we have in him. It should also be noted that he's had issues with several of the players. It seems like they've all damn near come to blows with him at some point over the past few seasons. Clearly there's a respect issue where he's concerned and the issue is the players don't have very much for him. I think we need to go in a different direction.
2) What are they going to do about the Josh's? I think they need to keep both of them. Josh Childress is really good off the bench and if he were on a contender it would be even more obvious! They have to keep him and if that means they have to overpay him a tad bit then I'm fine with that. As far as Josh Smith, there's always a battle between Good Josh and Bad Josh. On most nights it's clear about halfway through the first quarter which one of them is going to win. For all of his faults I truly feel like he's an asset to this team. He averaged 17 points 8 rebounds, 3 assists and he was second in the league in blocked shots. That's nothing to turn your nose up at. Is he worth a max contract? I don't know, but the market says he's worth close to that. While most people do not want the team to give him $70 million dollars, no one is offering any alternatives. It's so easy to say do a sign and trade with Josh and bring in a quality big man and etc., but quality big men don't just grow on trees. Who do the Hawks have a chance to acquire this summer that will replace Josh's production?? What it basically comes down to is whether the organization wants to hitch their wagon to Josh Smith or Marvin Williams? If it's going to be one or the other, I'd go with Josh 10 times out of 10. He's going to have the opportunity to go get a contract from another team this summer and the Spirit will have the opportunity to match it. It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out.
This summer is going to tell us a lot about the organization and what their objective is. Everything they do has to be done via free agency or trades. The draft cannot save them since they have no picks. Earlier this season one of the owners went on the radio (shortly after Sekou Smith wrote an article about how Knight wanted to fire Woody but the organization wouldn't let him) and while addressing a myriad of issues he basically said "money ain't a thang". We'll see how true that is when it's time to talk about these contracts with the Josh's and any free agents. This summer the team could take big steps forward or big steps backwards.