Sunday, March 20, 2011 Schuhmann: The Demise of the Hawks

John Schuhmann looks at the precipitous decline of the Atlanta Hawks offense from 2009-10 to 2010-11:
When Larry Drew took over for the fired Mike Woodson last summer, he promised to bring more ball movement to the Hawks’ offense. That sounded great to those that grew tired of Iso-Joe, but some wondered why Drew would mess with a good thing. The Hawks ranked third in the league offensively last season, scoring an efficient 108.9 points per 100 possessions. Iso-Joe may have looked ugly at times, and Atlanta may have ranked 16th in assist rate. But overall, Woodson’s offense worked for the Hawks.

Well, it looks now like Drew made a mistake. The Hawks rank 21st in the league offensively this season, scoring just 103.2 points per 100 possessions. They have Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford, and they’ve been worse offensively than the Pistons (103.9, 18th) and Raptors (103.5, 20th). They’re assisting on a higher percentage of their shots (ranking fourth in assist rate), but that doesn’t mean anything when they’re not getting as many shots at the basket.

1 comment:

Bronnt said...

I certainly can't flaw Drew's plan. Clearly, Iso-Joe needed go, as it was designed to minimize mistakes and beat up on weaker competition, but never created good shot attempts against better defenses. His execution of the plan has been awful. He's given free reign for Josh Smith to take more jumpshots and hasn't held him accountable for drifting out to the perimeter on about two thirds of all offensive possessions.

Joe Johnson's decreased ability to make jumpshots at an effective rate has also hurt and can't be blamed on a changed offensive concept, while Jamal Crawford's decreased efficiency was a predictable regression. Also giving more minutes to Jason Collins rather than Zaza Pachulia has really hurt the rate of offensive rebounding. And of course, Maurice Evans completely lost the ability to contribute anything on the court at all without seeing a significant reduction in his playing time.

One more factor has been the inability of the Hawks to avoid injuries to key rotation parts, as they did last season.