Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bradley: Johnson needs to step back for the Hawks to step forward

I'm not necessarily in agreement with Mark Bradley that the Hawks need to sign Mike Bibby nor that the best use of Marvin Williams is in a sign-and-trade*, but I am amenable to the idea of the Hawks using their first round pick on a point guard** even though I know that, practically, giving Mike Woodson two young point guards to run the team is a recipe for disaster***, and there's no doubt that the following is true:
The Hawks must wean themselves from their reliance on Joe Johnson.

Almost every bit of the Hawks’ offense since 2005 has run through Johnson, and it’s past time for an adjustment. It’s not that he isn’t a fine player; it’s that this team has two younger players who require room to grow.

Come 2011, Josh Smith and Al Horford should be the Hawks’ best players. (And this assumes Johnson re-ups next summer.) Together, Smith and Horford took 1,443 shots this regular season. By himself, Johnson took 1,420. Save the occasional lob, the team doesn’t run many plays for Smith. It runs almost none for Horford.
One who's not so amenable to the idea, Joe Johnson:
"I don’t know if that’s going to be the case. I have a passion and love for the game. Sometimes the coach tries to take me out, and I tell him to leave me in. It’s not that I’m selfish – it’s just my passion for the game."
Passion and selfishness are not mutually exclusive.

*I'm still most curious about Joe Johnson's trade value. I think he'd be exceptionally useful to a better team in a role appropriate for his abilities and it chills me to think that the Hawks will be trading players based on their value in Mike Woodson's system rather than their ability level. Let us not forget Marvin's two games as the first option in Joe Johnson's absence: 52 points on 28 shots and two road wins.

**Be it Eric Maynor, Darren Collison, Patty Mills, or Jrue Holiday depending on who's available. I like Nick Calathes a lot too, but I don't think the Hawks can afford to draft a defensive liability in the first round.

***Not that I'm necessarily convinced that Acie Law IV will be back next year. If Woodson returns, as he surely will, it would probably be best for all if Acie were sent somewhere else. He'd get a chance to play and we could find out if his time in Atlanta was Billy Knight or Mike Woodson's mistake.

More off-season speculation in the days to come.


Anonymous said...

Lets dont let a sour ending to the season make us forget our 47 wins and first round playoff victory!!!

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Unknown said...

Either Maynor or Holliday would fit in well. Patty Mills is offense, but no defense. One of those (or Ty Lawson) will be available.

Also, Gortat from Orlando is a possible free agent and a big man with upside the Hawks need.

I wouldn't trade Williams because they can resign him for cheap thanks to the injuries and he was really starting to become a force before he was hurt. He also fills a defensive and inside-out need the Hawks don't have otherwise.

rbubp said...

Nobody's forgetting it. We just knew it was going to happen that since about February, and now we wonder if that's all there is. (Hope not...don't wanna go backward.)

JMar said...


jrauch said...

I'd say Eric Maynor might be the cure for what ails this team at the PG position, but he looks somewhat like a clone of Acie Law coming out of A&M, and we see how that's turned out with Woodson. Patty Mills would be nice if we got someone who wanted to run and gun and ignore defense (Lord knows we do that already).

Outside of Horford and Pachulia, this team doesn't have any real toughness on the inside. Marvin and Josh don't exactly scream inside toughness (Marvin's ability to play on the wing, and Josh's preference to stand out there as prime examples).

This team, if it hasn't, is pretty close to peaking as currently constructed.

Both a happy and sad day in Hawks land.

Bret LaGree said...


That too.

Unknown said...