Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Have They Learned Anything?

As reported by Michael Cunningham...

Mike Woodson:
You could have never told me we would struggle to score points.
It's not an encouraging sign that I, in my semi-professional capacity here, might have had a better grasp on the central issue of the Hawks/Magic matchup than the head coach.

Was he unable to be told or did he choose not to listen?

May 3rd

May 3rd, again

May 4th

Media-friendly owner Michael Gearon, Jr. again reveals himself more fan than serious analyst. On Jeff Teague:
"He has extraordinary talent and is capable of producing now."
Teague's 2009-10 stats and a study of rookie point guards drafted outside the lottery. I think you'll find both the amount of Teague's playing time (on a good team) and production to be right in line with reasonable expectations.

On Joe Smith and Jason Collins:
"Guys like that are capable of contributing a lot."
They're not. They're just not. Joe Smith took 193 shots this season. 103 of those were at least 16 feet from the basket. He made 30 of those. He was also terrible defensively. Jason Collins played 4 minutes and 49 seconds of good basketball this season, and even then, only when matched up against a larger (and possibly slower) human being. His total combined points and rebounds barely eclipsed his total combined fouls and turnovers.

I don't know how much influence* Gearon has in personnel decisions but it's disconcerting to hear him sound like a below-average message board denizen in expressing absolute belief in the ability of once-useful players with recognizable names** who are clearly on the downside of their career. I bet he really likes the energy Mario West brings and thinks Garret Siler has an NBA future, too. Meanwhile, the D-League is ignored and the best player the organization's found in the second-round of the draft in the last 20 years is probably Chris Crawford.

*He presumably has some influence on spending.

**Maybe he really did want to sign Ilgauskas.


Bronnt said...

That quote from Woodson shouldn't be complete without this link:

Jason did nothing except warn Woodson (in question format) that the Hawks would struggle to score against the Magic. So yes, he was definitely told, whether he acknowledges it or not.

I suppose it's normal for a coach that's looking for a job to attempt to absolve himself of his failures as much as possible, but it seems like if he was doing his job even marginally well, he would have known it would be an issue. Maybe he just never reviews tape.

Unknown said...

I do have one quibble (and I won't go all Peachtree Hoops vs. HawkStr8Talk on this), but I would bet most of my lunch money (save enough to get a Snickers) that the rookie point guards for good teams had a better point guard option than Mike Bibby to make sense of the decision to let Jeff Teague sit. Yes, he's going too far with the Teague's an extraordinary talent stuff, but I've maintained all along for certain roles - he was only playing time away from being a real rotation contributor for this team.

I would have wanted him playing on the ball defense vs. Jameer Nelson/Brandon Jennings in the playoffs if he played all year - I would have wanted him pushing the ball to beat the Magic down the court when the offense bogged down. I would asked him to simply drive into Dwight Howard's chest until he fouled me.

Would it have won for us? No, but we'd know if he's an answer for us. I will say that one thing we should ignore completely and that's whatever Mike Woodson says in the offseason about a player. he said the same thing about Acie Law, said the same thing about the bench, said we were 10 deep in the preseason. Bottom line, like anyone trying to validate their job security, Woodson knows how to say the right things - demonstrating them during games is yet an altogether different story.

Bret LaGree said...

Oh, I would have definitely given Teague more and regular playing time this year had it been my choice, I just wouldn't have expected him to provide any substantial help while doing so.

It would have been a decision based on hoped for, long-term benefits. Mike Woodson doesn't coach that way. It's not about his contract status. He can't successfully manage foul trouble by thinking ahead to how much he might use a player later in the same game.

The Casey said...

They did draft David Andersen in the second round. And I don't know what the Hawks paid Joe Smith/Jason Collins/RandyMo vs. how much Houston gave up for/paid him, but I'm willing to bet he could have sat on the bench just as good as any of them.

And I'd like to see what the frontcourt of Marvin, Josh, and Al could do with a different coach and a backcourt that's willing to push the ball and drive to the basket some. Bibby and Joe moved towards the basket sometimes, but I'm not sure I'd call what they did 'driving'.