Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer League: Hangover Links

Five days and four nights* at Summer League, plus that West-to-East travel put me down for the better part of a day. Catching up...
  • Here's that Jordan Crawford piece I wrote for the Daily Dime (#9) yesterday:
    In his first two summer league appearances, Jordan Crawford displayed good basketball instincts. That's not unusual to see in summer league, but rarely in this setting does that trait come with both the athleticism and skill to take advantage of good instincts. The results: 36 points on 27 shots, seven assists against just four turnovers and six steals in his first taste of professional basketball. In his third game, Crawford's youth betrayed him. Matched up against DeMarcus Nelson for much of the game, Crawford struggled to create space for himself against the similarly framed but markedly older and stronger defender. He still scored 12 points but he needed 12 field goal attempts and six free throw attempts to do so. Lesser numbers to be sure, but far from shameful for a 21-year-old facing an NBA-quality defender for the first time. The game wasn't a complete washout for Crawford. Those good instincts were still apparent. In transition, he looks to pass ahead as often as he looks to finish. When the Hawks' motion offense stretched the Bucks' defense in the half court (as it did often in the 83-60 victory) Crawford consistently made himself available, often with the next pass rather than a shot for himself in mind. He earned three more assists, committing just one turnover. It's unlikely that Crawford will get significant minutes for the Hawks this season. Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Maurice Evans all figure to slot ahead of him in the rotation. As time passes, and if his body matures to match his game, it's easy to imagine him proving to have been a tremendous use of the 27th pick in the NBA draft.
  • Colleagues former (Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk) and current (Matt Moore** of everywhere) joined me courtside for the Hawks/Bucks Summer League tilt. Kurt focused on Jeff Teague. Matt offered thoughts on both Teague and Richard Hendrix.
  • Word's out that ownership is not willing to go over the luxury tax line. I certainly don't think they should do so to sign Shaquille O'Neal (or any other veteran center). Nor do I believe that this demonstrates an unwillingness to spend money. I can think of four contracts that quite clearly demonstrate the opposite. The problem with this organization is an inability to spend wisely. I have no reason to assume they don't want to win, they're just not very clever in their efforts to accomplish that goal.
  • Hawks v. D-League Select, for those of you without Summer League Broadband, can first be seen at 7am (EDT) Sunday on NBA TV.
*The events of most of those nights technically took place in the morning hours.

**True story: the first thing Matt Moore said to me in person, "How does Alade look?" Furthermore, he meant it.


Keith Box said...

Brett, I am beginning to wonder if you and I are the only ones on the internet that doesn't think the Hawks should go over the luxury tax to sign a center. It would be different if there were actually some quality options. There are a lot of Hawks fans that think Atlanta might miss the playoffs if they don't get a center.

The drum I have been banging all offseason is the need to improve the team's perimeter defense.

Unknown said...

Guy has the same last name of his team mate.

rbubp said...

Personally, I'd like them to go over the luxury tax to get any impact player that will make them more playoff-competitive. I don't care what position they play, and I would be in favor of trading just about any player that got a plus-side playoff guy in return.

I just want to see a real effort to improve now--now that they have pissed away the future.

Bronnt said...

I wouldn't mind going over the luxury to sign Matt Barnes

Bret LaGree said...

Bronn --

A lot of the appeal of Matt Barnes, to me, is that he's done what the Hawks ask of Marvin Williams for one-fifth the price. I wouldn't want to be the team to pay him what he's been worth for a multi-year contract that begins with his age 30 season.

To make it worth paying the luxury tax, I think the Hawks would have to find a player worth 7-8 wins more than Williams or Bibby. ASG might not have been lying about being willing to pay the tax for the right player. Neither were observers wrong in assuming this hypothetical right player would not be available.

Mr. Harden said...

I have read this blog a thousand or so times and have never felt compelled to leave a comment. But my goodness. This article was downright harsh.

I am not going to get into whether or not the statements are true. But you basically have said that Pape Sy has no hope and Randolph Morris is a waste of time.

jrauch said...

Has Randolph Morris done anything to prove having him on an NBA roster is not a waste of everyone's time?