A Tempered Look at the Hawks Lineups


After watching the Atlanta Hawks pathetic outing Monday night against Chicago Bulls it motivated me to write my first fanpost. Immediately after the loss I was emotional, as most Hawks fans with a pulse were. I was spewing venom and gnashing teeth at Josh Smith. Reading the reactions of fellow Hawks fans it seems (they believe) Larry Dew is the annoying drunk girl at the party. Having a full 24 hours to digest the loss I have decided to take the most rational, impartial (with the limited resources available) view of how the Hawks have only 2 wins in January.

First I will start with the lineup Larry Drew has been playing the most so far this season.

Teague/Lou/Korver/Josh/Al They score 1.09 points per possession. League average is 1.02. Opponents score at a league average level at 1.02. Watching this lineup at times can be frustrating when Teague/Lou is not penetrating/distributing. The rebounding rate leaves something to be desired. In this lineup Opponents are out rebounding the Hawks by 13 total rebounds per 100 possessions. Rebounding is not just this lineups problems, but a team wide problem. The good for this lineup is obvious, FG% is .452 which is slightly above league average. 67% of baskets converted come from assists when this lineup is on the floor.

That lineup is the Hawks bread and butter. It scores well, and doesn't let opponent offenses run wild (for the most part). Like I mentioned this lineup has rebounding issues, but overall the positives outweigh the negatives. Next I want to look at 2 lineups I like and would enjoy Larry Drew to use more of.

Teague/Lou/Korver/Horford/Pachulia I love this lineup. It scores 1.31 points per possession. The lineup also defends at a high rate giving up just .99 points per possession. This lineup does everything starting with FG% .529! The defense is slightly above league average, opponents are shooting .424. The lineup has three point shooters that spread the floor. The intrusting part is opponents are only shooting 28% from close range (3ft to 9ft from the basket). So this lineup is defending the rim well, which every team in the NBA is looking for in their defenses. The best part no Josh Smith the rebounding rate is really good. This Hawks lineup is grabbing 10 more rebounds than the opponent per 100 possessions. Only problem is this lineup has only played 51 minutes together. Get them on the floor more Drew!

Teague/Korver/Josh/Horford/Pachulia Another really solid lineup. Scores 1.12 points per possession. Opponents only score .97 points per possession. This lineup shoots a deadly .511 FG% and allows opponents to shoot .422%. The rebounding is decent. Hawks are out-rebounding opponents by 8 boards per 100 possessions. This is also one of the few lineups that gets to the charity stripe. Hawks are averaging 6 more free throw attempts per 100 possessions than their opponents. The only problem with this lineup is turnovers. The lineup is 2nd worse in Hawks lineups that have played 25+ minutes.

Next I want to look at the bad. Which lineups Drew should not put out on the floor.

Teague/Devin/Korver/Smith/Horford Drew has trotted out this lineup for 110 brick filled minutes! The offense is scoring just a rotten .88 points per possession. From my perspective the offense has been struggling because Al has sucked at shooting from close rage (3ft to 9ft from the rim). I don't know what is going on with him this year. It looks to me he is rushing his shot in the paint. This year he is shooting 34% from close range. In 2010-2011 (before his injury) he shot 49% from close range. I don't know what is wrong, but it needs to change for the Hawks to be an effective offensive team. Another issue in this lineup pertaining to offense (trying to stay away from Smith's game) is Devin Harris.

This needs it's own paragraph so here it goes. Harris is a black hole to put it bluntly. He routinely hangs out around the three point line, while shooting just .342! He jacks up (per 36 minutes) 5 threes a game, he is a career .317 three point shooter! Why is he allowed to shoot so many threes!? By comparison Josh is shooting .325 and is only jacking 2 a game. Why is it ok to criticize Josh (not saying it isn't warranted) without pointing out Devin is just as bad (if not worse)? If you think Devin is a creator for the Hawks offense the stats prove you wrong. When Devin is on the floor he assists on just 17% of made baskets. By comparison Josh assists on 19%. Devin doesn't even get to the line (career low FT% this year) when he is on the floor.

Devin/Lou/Morrow/Horford/Pachulia These 5 together are the worst defensive unit the Hawks can put on the floor. giving up 1.33 points per possession it's not hard to see why. Horford's defense has been lacking this year, but it doesn't help that Devin, Lou, and Morrow have been acting like matador's on defense. Opponents crush this lineup shooting .545%! Devin's a decent defender, but Lou and Morrow struggle. Added to the fact that Lou and Morrow (sometimes Devin) are guarding bigger guys makes their defensive liabilities even greater. This lineup also can't block or steal so that's never good. Out of every lineup Larry Drew uses, this particular lineup gives away the ball (15 times per 100 possessions) the most.

So that was my little research vent. I figured why throw out blanket statements without checking if they are correct or not. Let me know what you guys think.

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

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