Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off-Season Speculation Can Only Get Better Than This

Jeff Schultz has a Six-Point Plan to improve the Atlanta Hawks. Among those points...
  • Doc Rivers as a "dream world" replacement for Mike Woodson.
  • Replacing Joe Johnson with the older and less good John Salmons whose 30-game hot streak with Milwaukee is both unsustainable and a weak facsimile of a typical 82-game Joe Johnson season.
  • A single paragraph that calls for acquiring an unspecified "true center" or (its means also unspecified) trading for Chris Bosh and moving Josh Smith to the 3. It's the perfect storm of terrible and meaningless commentary.
A cap situation primer and a look back at pre-season predictions to follow this week. Season review posts to commence after that.

7 comments:

JMar said...

I especially like his response to a commenter that moving Josh to the 3 doesn't necessarily mean he has to start taking jumpers. Such naive optimism.

Bret LaGree said...

Start? Start?

Do we need jump shots as a separate category in the box score for the casual, albeit professional, observer to take note of all the jump shots Josh Smith took this season?

One would also think that, having witnessed the series just past that having Josh Smith away from the paint when the other team has the ball is just as disastrous an idea.

Wolmania said...

Bret, once again, great work. Best Hawks reporting out there. Love reading your Dime coverage as well.

There's been a lot of talk about "the winning formula" for a team: you have to have a true center, you have to have a superstar, you have to have a SF... until basically what's being described is the US Olympic team.

In your opinion, what historical precedent / team model is realistic for the Hawks to pursue at this point, if the interest is tweaking as opposed to overhauling while still moving deeper into the playoffs? Thanks!

jrauch said...

For all his athletic gifts, Josh Smith wouldn't leave the bench if he took a shot outside 10 feet if I were roaming the sidelines.

In six years, he's developed zero low post moves, and shows a startling lack of acceptance that he's not a flashy wing player.

I'm also frustrated by this idea that after six years, we're still talking about this guy's potential. If he hasn't figured it out after six years, he's not likely to ever figure it out.
People were saying the same things about Al Harrington, Corey Maggette and Quentin Richardson a few years ago.

The effort from the Magic is impressive night-in, night-out, though the only person that seemed to learn that lesson was Al.

Bret LaGree said...

Wolmania --

No precedent comes immediately to mind, but I'll think on that.

Acquiring more good players would be a decent improvement for the Hawks. The mindset (and/or financial decision) that they don't need Brandon Roy because they have Joe Johnson or won't be disadvantaged by punting roster spots 9 through 15 has to be eradicated.

If those players that they acquire are either good perimeter shooters or high-efficiency scorers and can play defense, a newish looking Hawks team could begin to take advantage of their young, athletic frontcourt while it's still young and athletic.

jrauch --

The greatest concern with Smith is that the positive attention he received for not shooting threes this year (which, in my opinion, largely missed the larger point but was certainly intended to be complimentary to him) seemed to make him want to shoot more jump shots.

I'd still like to see him play for a coach that holds him accountable before the Hawks give up on him but he's surely their greatest trade asset and I couldn't fault Sund for exploring the market should he choose to do so.

That there wasn't a coach in place four years ago to turn Smith into the power forward he could be may be the defining tragedy of this period of Hawks basketball.

rbubp said...

Re: Schulz--Gotta love it when sportswriters don't actually know much about sports. You should hear the clods in my town attempt to talk about the NBA...they are at least this bad.

Wolmania said...

JJ and Crawford AND Roy on the same team? You are talking loco, and I like it!

You'd have to think we can get JJ on the cheap now... unless Knicks really are that desperate... hm.