Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AJC.com: Cunningham: Brad Miller Still In Play As Center Options Dwindle

Say what you will about spending millions of dollars on Shaquille O'Neal to make Zaza Pachulia redundant, but at least O'Neal is on the downside of an all-time great career and is still productive in those minutes he can play. Brad Miller, on the other hand, is on the downside of a good career and not one noted for its involvement in improving a team's defense.

Michael Cunningham is all over the Hawks' continued pursuit of another big man:
The Hawks are still in the running for Brad Miller.

“There is definitely mutual interest,” agent Mark Bartelstein said today. “Where that’s going to lead, it’s tough to say. There are a lot of things he’s looking at. Nothing has been decided.”

Boston and Miami also reportedly have been talking to Miller, but a return to Chicago is still a possibility. Bartelstein said Miller could make a decision by the end of the week.

The Hawks apparently think Miller would be a good fit in L.D.’s offense. He had been a good outside shooter for years but slipped in that area last season. So too did his defense and rebounding for that matter.

Defense and rebounding have not yet proven to be foremost among this team's concerns (see the desire for Ilgauskas) lending further, implicit credence to the team's interest in Miller, who, it should be said, could be expected to serve as an upgrade over Joe Smith.

Kwame Brown also draws a mention in the post, though as one with interest in the Hawks rather than vice-versa. Brown's last four teams (over the last three seasons) have allowed fewer points with him on the court but, combined, that's over less than 2500 minutes and Brown's teams have seen their own scoring rates decline even more with him on the floor.

As for Anthony Tolliver, he possesses some marginal stretch-four potential (he edged over 33% from beyond the arc with the Warriors last season but was less successful (natch) with the long twos), can finish at the rim, and is competent on the defensive glass.


Keith Box said...

You know, I just don't understand the infatuation the Hawks and a large contingent of Hawks fans have with getting a so called "true center." Why are we focusing on big men when what this team needs more than anything else is perimeter defense? None of the options at center that are being discussed for the Hawks are marginally better than Zaza Pachulia at this point, and as your research shows, the Hawks actually play solid defense when Zaza and Al are on the floor together. IMO, the Hawks should be focusing more on finding a power forward that will rebound and defend to give Josh Smith some rest. It will not be hard to find someone better than Joe Smith that can give the Hawks minutes, rebounds, and fouls if needed.

Bret LaGree said...

You know, Othello Hunter's played really well in Vegas this week. Also saw him hanging out with Teague and Morris after his game this afternoon.

rbubp said...

I am hugely disappointed to not hear of larger things going down. I cannot see any good strategy for overpaying Joe Johnson is it doesn't include a serious deal that moves the team into contender status--like, for instance, something involving Chris Paul and Josh Smith.