Not sure how I missed this, but Sekou's replacement, Ken Sugiura, had a nice, quick blurb two blogs ago.
It'll be interesting to see how Joe Johnson fares. As I wrote earlier this week, he is in a pretty decent slump. Mike Woodson conceded that some of the misses have been forced, but is going to keep riding him. Said Woodson, "when he's making those forced shots, nobody's saying a [darn] thing."
Ahhhh, Woody. You don't need to tell us. You clearly do not coach to what people are saying since you have done things for years that people despise. So don't say you are going to deny the problem based on the every fan reaction to Joe's makes. You never listen to the fan. If you did, two fouls would not be a foul letter word. Honestly, if it took a few fan gripes on a blog to question Joe's shot taking, I would be more confused than ever.
And I very much get that nearly every shot by Joe Johnson is forced. Forced does not mean bad. When you methodically drive at that slow a pace, you are rarely not going to have a contested shot. Nique remarks "that was a tough shot" after every Joe shot beecause they literally are tough makes. It is a testament to how good he is.
I am all for Joe taking a one on one forced shot. Anytime he drives for a layup, floater, or close jump shot and no one doubles, Joe should have free reign to take that shot. The problem comes when Joe forces the attempt against three defenders, four defenders, every defender. Those are bad shots especially as the players around him have become more capable of scoring efficiently.
And as for the Joe complaints increasing among fans, I can only say Joe Johnson turned down a sizable contract this summer. He wants to be a max contract player. That kind of contract will set the Hawks into a certain style of team and with a specific ceiling for the next five years. That kind of contract is no longer a necessary tax the Hawks franchise has to pay. Earning that kind of money will be a different ride for Joe than it was last time. It will have new expectations and criticisms. That kind of money with the team around Joe is championship money.
Going four on one time after time and hogging the ball is perfectly fine max contract play for a guy on a 30 win team. But the Hawks want to win fifty something win team, and Joe is auditioning for franchise player. So if he is going to play like he wants to be that kind of player but does not change his style from three years ago expect criticism...whether Mike Woodson does anything about it or not.