Thursday, December 13, 2012

Giving Larry Drew Credit.

Twenty games into the season, and I can confidently say the Hawks are a good team. We all know I'm not really a Larry Drew fan, but I have to give him an enormous amount of credit for self correcting and helping the Hawks avoid losing games unnecessarily. When the season started he was playing Anthony Tolliver regularly. Thankfully he realized that doing so was counterproductive.  Is that the biggest reason the Hawks are 14-6? Probably not, but it needed to be said. Go Hawks.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Atlanta Hawks: 2012-2013 Season Preview

Here's the thing, this is exactly what I wanted.  For at least the past two seasons, I've been on the "let Joe go and build around Josh and Al" bandwagon. I'd seen enough of that group to know they had peaked. I appreciated all that Joe had done for the franchise, but it was obvious that he was never going to get them within striking distance of the Larry O'Brien trophy. Rick Sund obviously did not agree with my assessment.  The moment he was able to offer Joe a max contract, he did so without hesitation. I remember the queasiness I felt when I heard about the deal.  I have nothing against Joe, but as a Hawks fan, that was a pretty clear signal that ownership was content with being good, not great. While other teams were making big moves, the Hawks were chilling, acting as if they were a perfectly seasoned steak and a pinch of any extra spice would just ruin it.
They were insistent on staying the course. I can understand not wanting to go back to being a 13 win team if you're the Atlanta Spirit Group. Times are hard, and Atlantans would be hard pressed to spend their disposable income on an atrocious product.  I get it. Seriously. But, since I'm not financially invested in the team, I'm not afraid of the Hawks taking a step back.  If they have to go back to winning 13 games in order to have a legitimate chance to compete for a championship, I'm all for it.  Believe it or not, I'm a big picture kinda gal.
This past summer the ASG made some huge changes.  They replaced Rick Sund with Danny Ferry, and apparently gave him the green light to replace whomever he saw fit. He was able to undo the wrong Sund did a couple of summers before. HE GOT JOE OFF THE BOOKS!!!!!  Joe is scheduled to make a king's ransom over the next 4 years, and Danny Ferry made unloading him look easy. God bless him. Having already gained the adulation of many a Hawks blogger, he then got Marvin Williams off the books. At that point he was jut showing off. He unloaded a marginal superstar with a monstrous contract, and an underachieving player who's paid like an asset.  No matter how this season turns out for Atlanta, he should get some Executive of the Year votes.
After all was said and done, the Hawks brought in some decent players to try to replace Joe Johnson. Lou Williams, Devin Harris Kyle Korver, John Jenkins, Anthony Morrow and DeShawn Stevenson all have an opportunity to endear themselves to Hawks fans. As history has shown us in Atlanta, they don't have to be great, they just need to be good. The players on the Hawks roster who need to be great are, Josh, Al and Jeff.  Quiet as kept, Josh has been the most important player on the team for a number of years. His contract is up, so I fully expect him to have a career year. Al has been consistent, but if there's another level of productivity within him, this would be the perfect year for him to reach it. Jeff needs to show us who he really is. This is a make or break year for him as far as I'm concerned. I was clamoring for him to get the chance to run this team from the moment they drafted him. It's time for him to show us whether or not the point guard position is one that still needs to be addressed.
All things considered, I think this team will enjoy the element of surprise. I expect them to win around 47 games, and finish no lower than 6th in the conference. Go Hawks!

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Joe Johnson: A Quick Look Back

The Joe Johnson era has officially come to an end..... It wasn't as anti-climactic as it appears. Joe helped make the Hawks relevant again. It only took $70 million to convince him to come to Atlanta and gain the title of "the guy who came to Atlanta when no one else wanted to." He definitely deserves that title, but people make it seem like he came for the veterans minimum. He was paid handsomely to come resurrect this franchise, and try to make a name for himself. Congratulations to him for doing so.
I personally will remember the Joe Johnson era fondly. It had its issues, but doesn't everything?  Sure the offense was stagnant at times, but that's not all his fault. He played many years with no point guard, and for a coach who would routinely say, "The offense will take care of itself." You've gotta do the best you can with the resources available. All things considered, he did a decent job.  He came to Atlanta and transformed himself into a 6x All-Star, and he got a group of dudes to pay him damn near $200 million. It would be silly to look at his time here as anything other than a success. There's no need to point out all of his shortcomings. That would just be nitpicking, and I'm not going to do that. I don't have time, and honestly, he doesn't deserve that. Joe handled the role of "very good player, miscast as a superstar" with grace and elegance. For that, he deserves applause.
I'm happy I got to watch some of Joe's best moments, up close and personal. He's no Kobe or LeBron, but dammit, he had his moments.
I wish him well in Brooklyn.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hawkstr8talk and Hoopinion,

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hawks/Celtics Preview

 Here's the thing, I didn't want the Hawks to play the Celtics in the first round. I'm not afraid to admit that. The Celtics are a seasoned bunch and you always have to be concerned when you're playing a team who knows what it takes to win in the playoffs.  Indiana would have been a better opponent for the Hawks. As far as the standings are concerned they're a better team, but they don't have the playoff experience the Celtics have. Whatever, there's no need to dwell on it.

I'm picking the Hawks to win this series. These are not the Celtics who gave them their "welcome back to the playoffs" ass whippings (all on the road) They're still a good team, but they're not head and shoulders above the Hawks like they used to be. It's high time the Hawks thank them for growing them up back in 2008. They wouldn't be the team they are today without the Celtics.  The best way to repay them is to eliminate them from the playoffs. It would be the ultimate display of respect. The Hawks are a classy organization, so I'm sure they'll do the right thing.

Hawks in 6.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops or Hoopinion,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rick Sund, We're Over You

So Rick Sund has reportedly been offered a new deal to remain Atlanta's GM. This makes me sad. What has he done that leads anyone to believe he's going to make the necessary moves to put this team over the top? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Many people like to point to the belief that he's hamstrung by the owners, well be that as it may, he's sticking around taking all the credit/blame for these decisions so he must be fine with them. When he's filling out his resume, the years with the Hawks are not going to  have an asterisk beside them. All of the moves or lack thereof are going to be attributed to him. So, that's how I choose to evaluate him.  He's not a good GM. There's plenty of evidence to support this theory. We could discuss the Joe Johnson contract, but why beat a dead horse? Let's talk about his inability to turn expiring contracts into assets for this team. What is the point of keeping talented guys on your roster that you know damn well you're not going to re-sign? Why was Jamal Crawford on the roster after the trade deadline last season? Why is Kirk Hinrich still on the roster right now? Speaking of Kirk Hinrich, why did it take so much to get him?  Why is the Hawks bench consistently filled with NBA artifacts as opposed to young talent? These are questions that Rick Sund should have to answer, but he keeps  getting a pass because ownership is so inept. Well, I'm not willing to give him a pass. He's the GM, and no matter what's going on with ownership, he's accountable for these decisions. He cashes those checks bi-weekly, or however often they get paid. It's all on him. He brought Eric Dampier here for crying out loud! They need to go in a different direction, and it sounds like he may not want to GM anymore anyway. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that  he doesn't. It's obviously going to have to be up to him to decide when his tenure with the Hawks is over since ownership is clearly okay with the job he's done. For what it's worth, I'm over the Rick Sund era.  If you're a Hawks fan, you should be too. 

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops or Hoopinion,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Regarding Josh Smith (8 minute free write)

 This post will be all over the place, and it probably will not flow very well. You've been warned.

Josh has wanted to be traded for quite a while. Josh has needed to be traded for even longer.
I am an unabashed Josh Smith supporter.  If you've read this blog then that's not news, so there's no need to dwell on it.
 While I'd prefer to have Josh as a member of the team I root for, I don't think it's in his best interests to stay in Atlanta.  The organization and the city's treatment of him has been baffling at times. Many people regard him as the third best player on the team (a stance I vehemently disagree with)  but for years he's been the player who takes the bulk of the blame for the team's shortcomings.  The Hawks have two All-Stars, and neither of them is named Josh Smith. Yet, it's Josh Smith who's the whipping boy when the team fails.  I think it would do him a world of good to go to another city, and play for a better organization. The Hawks are not trying to win a championship, and we've known that for the last 2 decades.  Anyone who is serious about winning or at least competing for one, definitely need not look to the Atlanta Spirit to provide such an opportunity.  That's a hard pill to swallow as a fan. Imagine how it feels when you're a player.

My only hope is that they can get some decent pieces in return. Do I think Rick Sund is capable of getting equal value for Josh? Nope, but miracles happen everyday. Although truth be told, there's no one of equal talent who's available. Even Josh's loudest haters would be kidding themselves if they said there was someone out there who can do what he does on both ends of the floor, that the Hawks can realistically get to replace him. He has to be traded though. They basically made the decision about Josh's future in Atlanta when they gave Joe that contract.
I doubt Josh will be traded before the deadline because if there's one thing this organization is committed to, it's creating the illusion that they're trying to compete with the other elite teams. He's been carrying the team without the services of his two All Star teammates, so nothing is going to happen before the summer.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, and Hoopinion,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Poor Coaching and Poor Shot Selection

I'm sick of this Hawks team.
There are so many things wrong with them that if I tried to name them all, I'd be here bitching all night long. I don't want to do that, and no one wants to read that anyway. There are a couple of things that bother me more than others.
Let's start with Coach Drew. I was never in favor of this hire. I'm sure you'll find my objections somewhere here on the blog. I would go find them, but I've had like 3 glasses of wine and dammit, I just don't feel like it. Anyway,  I didn't think it was a good idea to hire one of Mike Woodson's minions, because I assumed he learned a lot from his former boss. He did, and a lot of the things that plagued the Hawks in the Woodson era are still there. Drew has done nothing to change my mind about the fact that they could have found someone better.  He annoys the hell out me. He never defends his players. Ever. He doesn't even roll his eyes at the refs. He just stands there chewing gum, looking clueless. If it annoys fans, it's got to piss the players off beyond belief. He seems to coach his game plan as opposed to coaching the actual game far too often. All coaches have rotations that they'd like to stick with, but the game ultimately dictates whether or not those plans have to be scrapped.  Drew doesn't give a damn about the flow of the game. If he planned on taking Player X out at a certain point in the game, then that player is damn  well coming out, no matter what. The only thing that derails his plans is foul trouble. He, like Woody, loves to foul his players out of games in the first half. Two fouls is NOT the end of the world, but I digress. Also, there's very little evidence that he holds any player not named Jeff Teague and sometimes Za Za Pachullia accountable for poor play. He'll scold them and sit them with quickness, but he won't do that to the All Star and All Star snub. I bet if he attached playing time to poor shot selection, then some of those ill advised jumpers wouldn't happen.
Speaking of ill advised jumpers, there's plenty of blame to go around for why they keep happening. Of course it starts with the player, but it's clear that said player views himself differently than the rest of us. That means, others are going to have to be more vigilant about stopping him. Since we've already established the coach isn't going to do it, that brings us to the other players on the court, specifically the guards. They have to stop giving him the ball when he's out of position. How will they know when he's out of position? If he's more than like 8 feet away from the basket, then his ass is out of position and should not be given the ball. No exceptions. If Teague wants to truly cement his role as the leader of this team, then he's got to put his foot down and make better decisions. Joe and Kirk have to be just as vigilant. It makes no sense to keep allowing such high risk, low reward shots to keep happening. It affects the bottom line. Anyway, this vent is getting long. I'm done for now.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops and Hoopinion

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Maybe Next Year, but Probably Not.

The All Star reserves have been announced, and Josh Smith is again not among them.  At this point, I'm not sure Josh will ever make an All Star game. That's not even hyperbole. He's been the the straw that stirs the drink on this Al Horfordless Hawks team, and even that wasn't enough. Truth be told, he was that straw even when Al was available, but I digress.  There will always be snubs and it looks like Josh will always be among them. He still has a chance to make it if someone gets injured, but we'd all hate for that to happen.
It really sucks that guys like Josh Smith, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings haven't had the opportunity to play in a defenseless game. Maybe the coaches should eliminate the two or three lifetime achievement players who make the rosters every year. Will the fans be worse off watching Monta Ellis as opposed to Steve Nash? Lord knows Josh Smith brings more entertainment than old ass Paul Pierce. Not to mention, you know the coaches are going to let the older players rest, so why even bother to put them on the team? Anyway, I'm not going to go on and on about this. I'm sure the snubs will enjoy the days off, especially in this shortened season.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thankless Job

Do you know the worst thing about watching a team and its fan base celebrate winning a championship? Being a Hawks fan and feeling like you're never, ever, ever, ever going to have that opportunity. Why can't the Hawks ever play out of their minds when it matters most? Why do they gladly play the role that everyone expects them to play? The Atlanta Spirit are not creative enough, nor are they committed enough to genuinely make a run at a championship. They just aren't. Year after year we fans hope for a miracle, but deep down we know it's not going to happen. Joe Johnson isn't going to suddenly turn into Kobe Bryant. Al Horford isn't going to magically transform into Tim Duncan. And Larry Drew probably isn't going to turn into Larry Brown. So what are we poor, suffering Hawks fans to do? Well, we're going to continue the thankless job of rooting for this bunch of loveable losers.
We all know there will be no parade on Peachtree Street, because this organization doesn't have what it takes to bring us one. We've made peace with it, I guess. 

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, and Hoopinion,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Just One Quick Thought

So  Jeff Teague isn't having a great game and Larry Drew thinks Janero Pargo is the answer. Please let the record reflect that I vehemently disagree with that assessment. Always. 

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion,