Moore, quoting Gearon:
"We’ve got a lot of momentum as a franchise right now, and what’s important to us is that we do not disrupt that.”You know what I can't see? A situation where Woodson wins 40 (regular season) games as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Those even worse teams in the Eastern Conference that the Hawks barely outlasted for the eighth seed in the playoffs? They're hiring Larry Brown or Scott Skiles to coach their teams. They're barring Isiah Thomas from having any contact with their players. They have draft picks. They are actively trying to get better, or, at least, they recognize that they are not good.
Makes sense to me. The same goes for Gearon saying, “I cannot see a situation where Woodson is not here.”
Moore takes this idiocy one step further:
All this Woodson bashing, stretching from the past to the present, is ridiculous. He didn’t put together a bunch of dysfunctional rosters. He just had to coach them, and he did so well, despite having one of those eight owners suing the others, a player’s death before the start of a season, the NBA’s youngest team for most of those years and no decent point guard until Bibby arrived in February.Moore lays all the blame at Billy Knight's door:
Billy Knight was the problem, but he isn’t anymore. Thankfully, he announced Wednesday that he’ll resign when his contract as general manager expires at the end of June. He’s the one who was obsessed with giving Woodson a bunch of “long and athletic” players to the detriment of common sense.I have consistently absolved Woodson of responsibility for not having a lot of options. What's so damning about Woodson's performance as the head coach is that he can't adequately sort through the few options he has had and deploy them sensibly or successfully.
Woodson had zero say in personnel decisions, by the way. He just kept his mouth shut and did the best he could with a starter out of high school (Josh Smith), another just a year out of college (Marvin Williams), a power forward playing center (Al Horford), no point guard worth mentioning before Bibby, no depth on the bench beyond Josh Childress and a dearth of shooters.Smith and (to a far lesser extent) Williams are still raw talents despite playing four and three years respectively under Woodson. He has failed to make good use of their existing talents or aid them in developing new talents. Mike Woodson has allowed Josh Smith to shoot 361 three-pointers over the last three seasons, making 26.8% of those. (379 attempts, making 26.4% if you include his 3-18 shooting in the wildly successful playoff series the Hawks just lost) Mike Woodson calls plays for Marvin Williams to post people up. Smith and Williams aren't (collectively) a bad hand Woodson was dealt; they're examples of why he can't be brought back.*
*Does anyone else wonder that Chris Paul is just as ecstatic he wasn't drafted by the Hawks and forced to play under Mike Woodson as Hawks fans are upset that Billy Knight didn't draft Paul?
There is a center on the roster. He's evidence of one of Billy Knight's few shrewd moves. It's not Woodson's fault that Pachulia was hurt this year. It is partly Woodson's fault that Pachulia has no respect for his head coach. (Furthermore, outside of Dwight Howard, how often was Al Horford physically overmatched playing center. It's not ideal that he play there all the time but it's far from the biggest problem this team dealt with on a nightly basis.)
There may have been a point guard worth mentioning before (the decidedly average) Mike Bibby arrived but Woodson did everything possible not to play Acie Law IV. And, going back a couple of years, not having a good point guard on the roster is not a sufficient excuse for inflicting Royal Ivey on the people of this town.
Finally, a dearth of shooters? Salim Stoudamire and I aren't even going to dignify that with a response.
The last three weeks have taught me that the degree to which someone thinks Mike Woodson is unqualified to coach the Atlanta Hawks is directly proportional to the number of Hawks games he or she watches. So, Terence Moore: how many Hawks games did you watch this year? And how many are going to watch next year to see Joe Johnson pass out of the post when double-teamed with less than five seconds left on the shot clock to a wide-open Josh Smith 20' from the basket while Al Horford is sitting on the bench for an entire quarter because he's four fouls away from fouling out?
Furthermore, should I be surprised that ownership would be willing to alienate their few serious fans to create the illusion for those recently caught up in the excitement of losing a first-round playoff series and who don't know any better that the Hawks as currently constructed are building toward something?
UPDATE: Chad Ford's chatting this afternoon:
Tim (Toledo): Lindsey to Atlanta? Woodson out? Avery in?
SportsNation Chad Ford: (1:21 PM ET ) I think Billy King has the inside track on the Hawks job from what I'm told. If he's the guy, I think he'll keep Woodson. All three are Larry Brown disciples. If it's Dennis Lindsey ... I'd say Avery is a possibility.