What the hawks need to improve on

Fire Mike Woodson. Sure, he's brought the hawks from a 13 win team to a top contender in the east, but was it really him? Any coach given that amount of talent to work with can at least do something win it. What has he done? He's set up a primitive defense and a primitive offense. Our defense consists of switching... ON EVERYTHING..... I mean, switching is a great strength of ours because from our SG to C the players are generally the same height, but switching should be selective. Why do we switch Bibby and Hortford? Switches that cause mismatches like that should only be done towards the end of the shot clock. I've seen many plays where bibby has ended up guarding a PF or joe has ended up guarding a Center, and i would forgive them if it happened once or twice, but it happens so many times more that that... He's defensive minded but he doesn't have the mind to teach it. Why can't he switch it up every once in awhile and put a zone defense. That way the Bibby hole on defense would be less obvious On offense it's just a lot of plays to get someone open for a pass so that they can do an isolation play, or run the ball. Running the ball is really good for the hawks, but it can't be done every single time without a great PG, but what structure is there in our offense? none.

One thing that fires me up about mike woodson is that he never develops any rookies. You can make an argument for Hortford and smith, but what has he actually taught them? Smith still relies heavily on his athleticism and can't even use it correctly, and hortford was a very sound player who went to college for four years. Hortford's development has come naturally. Smith has not actually gotten better unless he was working with players such as hakeem olajuwon on footwork and such. With marvin, he has not gotten better at anything that deals with team skills, such as passing, positioning, rebounding, etc.... but he has developed one on one skills such as shooting, which he already had a great shooting for when he came into the league, but after saying all of this.. what has mike woodson done for them? A great coach, or even a good coach develops players at least somewhat.. Any spurs player improves greatly when playing under Greg Popovich. In fact, greg popovich makes use of any player he has to the greatest he possibly can. If oberto was on any other team, then no one would ever have heard of him. Manu and Parker were both 2nd round nobodies. What happened to Nazr Mohammed when he left the spurs? Everyone on the spurs knows how to defend and pass. Why can't Mike Woodson take the time to develop any young players... How many rookies have become successful under mike woodson... i can name 3. How many have disappeared into free agent oblivion? What happened to Salim? What happened to Roy al Ivey? What happened to Donta Smith? Where is Solomon Jones? Sheldon Williams????? Boris Diaw showed quite a gifted display of skill after he left the hawks. I feel really bad for Acie Law, who was a lottery pick. Josh Childress may have developed, but that was just from getting used to the NBA.. He honestly never really improved. Mike, play teague more, play bibby less, teach them how to play basketball!!!!!! with the talent josh smith has... he should be a definite allstar... he should be considered to be a part of the elite. may be a lot of it is his fault, but this doesn't take away the fault of Woodson. What happened to Marvin? if he was playing with another coach, his development would have been much better.

Now with individual players, there must be much more improvement. First starts with Josh Smith, the backbone of the team. He is the most important because when he is having a great game, everyone else is having a great game. He has the ability to change the momentum of the game and bring the hawks an enormous amount of energy. However, if this occurred more often the hawks would be the team to beat. First of all, Josh needs to improve his jumpshot. He needs to have a 15-17 footer that goes in consistently so that players cannot sag off of him. That way he can take advantage of the mismatches he poses every game. No PF can stay in front of Smith. If there is one, then they will not be strong enough, most likely. With that jumper, he needs improved ball handling skills in order to take advantage of his speed. That way he can drive past defenders even without a jumpshot. then josh needs to take it to the basket with full speed and power. He needs to go up STRONG and aggressively. No one can compete with his height and vertical. He needs to dunk more often because he obviously has the ability to, and not just on fast breaks but in half court situations. He needs to play like chris bosh and KG and Amare, but also a little hint of Lebron. With the jumpshot and ball handling, he needs to improve on his touch around the basket. He misses a lot of lay ups and he relies heavily on his left hand. He needs to be adept with both hands and must also develop a reliable little hook shot. Also he needs to learn a face up, high-post game, like boozer, but also learn a back-to-basket, low post game, like a time duncan. Josh already has good passing ability shown with his 3.7 assists a game which is leading the league in the PF spot, but his passing is more because of natural vision. the accuracy of his passes are pretty iffey, but once josh become good enough offensively to be double teamed, his passes would help open up teammates which will make him even more of a player that gets the team going.

Joe Johnson needs many improvements, but none of them are skill. Skill wise, he could just use a little improvement in passing and shooting and whatnot, but his main issues deal with his mentality. If he got 8 FT a game scoring would be so much easier for him he would average around 2 or 3 more points just from free throws. He should play more aggressively and draw some fouls. When he posts up, no one can effectively guard him except a few 2s and 3s. He never takes advantage of that and just waits for a double team to come, but if he just took advantage and used the post up to score instead of just drawing a double team then the double teams would come harder creating more open shots for other players, he just needs to stop isolating, and make quick aggressive moves to the basket. His floaters are great, but he rarely does it. He shoots his floater less often than he should. He also has a nice baby hook and a nice shooting touch. if he learns a fade away, then the double team would come earlier and passing it would be easier. If the pass is made early the ball movement should be quicker. Also i often see JJ miss some wide open threes. the majority of his points come from pull ups after a lot of over dribbling. he needs to establish an aggressive tempo to start off then just score off of easy buckets with cuts and fast breaks and some little post ups or an open jumper, then towards the final minutes of the game take over with isolations. When the tempo is established he should just be more of a facilitator, until the tempo is broken or his scoring domination is needed. Also, when he is double teamed, then he should pass it out quickly with will call for quicker ball movement and scrambling of the defense.

Marvin Williams is another key for the hawks. He has the ability, but doesn't use it. He needs to play like how he played last year. when he gets the ball, he should take it to the hole and get a foul call. he needs to use his athleticism in this point of his career and make a few cuts every now and then. Mike woodson should have a couple of plays a game to get marvin going offensively. That way it'll open up more for the other team members. Also, his threes have improved, but he should keep improving them. That way, he can be a defensive player that can shoot threes and slash to the basket, but also a scorer that can score on will when he is on fire. he should play like Paul Pierce. They have similar body structures. Marvin needs to get stronger and get ball handling so that he can use it to get past any defender. also he needs to be able to post up, just like paul pierce and absolutely bully defenders.

Al Hortford needs to keep shooting that mid range. He needs to get it to a point where you must absolutely defend that shot. Also, defensively, since he's a little undersized, he needs to play like a Ben Wallace, and just defend with that kind of intensity and energy. Hortford is a decent passer but he could use a little more work on that. Also, he needs to get more back to basket moves, as long as high post moves, and perform them with more fluidity. Another thing is he could use better ball handling skill because he loses control of the ball often which prevents him from beating his defender as well as he could. He just needs to learn the post game, and how to score without using brute strength. His fadeaways should go in more considering his shooting touch, but if he can make his fadeaway a deadly weapon then it'll become, well, a deadly weapon. He needs to execute his offensive moves with more fluidity. His moves seem a bit rigid as of now. He should be like a Zach Randolph, or Amare Stoudemire. Zach randolph does not have overpowering height or strength or athleticism. He is like a big man version of andre miller. Stoudemire can score with skill and athleticism. If hortford can use his athleticism(not as good as Stoudemires but solid athleticism) and also score with skill then he'd be a pretty deadly offensive force.

Jeff Teague needs to learn a lot in the next 2 years from Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. He also needs to learn how to become his own player. Take the positives and leave the negatives. If Teague can become a respectible defensive player and offensive player, then i can see the hawks becoming the team to beat within a couple of years. As Bibby steps down, i'd want a PG just like him offensively, but better defensively. However, teague is also pretty athletic, so he needs to learn the PG position: understanding tempo, momentum, ball distribution, how and when to pass, and decision making. then become a scorer second, which he already has shown talent of. His jumpshot is sort of low, and he sort of palms the shot so it doesn't get much rotation. As a result i don't see him becoming a great shooter, but he can become a good shooter. With all that he should be a PG that can drive the ball in like no other. He needs some ball handling moves that can get him pass any player. Learn how to run the pick and roll. He needs a reliable floater. He should get stronger without losing his speed. 

ZAZA needs to further develop his 15 foot jumper. Recently he's been showing signs of a nice shooting touch. Also, when he gets the ball he needs to make an aggressive move to the basket, and learn some post moves. I love the way ZAZA shows and plays with so much intensity. If he shows more offensive production, he can fire up the team, as well as contribute more to the offense.

All the other players are already developed or have no problems that can really be fixed. Mike Bibby is too old and he's a veteran that won't really improve, unless he suddenly pulls a steve nash. Crawford just needs to keep doing what he's doing. He's not the perfect player, and he doesn't always take the smartest shots, but most teams need a player like him, who can absolutely explode on offense. Mo Evans has shown great shooting touch, and pretty sruprising athleticism, but he does not have the ball handling skills to use those skills to the fullest. He could also learn a little post game since he's pretty strong, but Mo evans is pretty old also and probably will not improve. Mario West can improve though. With watching him, he seems to have an extremely similar body style to dwayne wade, and he is really strong and very athletic. If he could develop ball handling, shooting, offensive awareness, and coordination, then he could become a potent offensive force. His defense also needs some work. Sure he is considered a good defensive player, but he only has to play in like 1-2 minute stretches and he tends to foul a lot. He shows great anticipation in rebounding. He seems to be really quick, and explosive, but he's already 25, and it's highly unlikely that he will develop those skills.

A FanPost expresses the opinion of the community member who wrote it and not that of the blog management.

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