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Sekou Smith Addresses The Big Issues

If material of this quality got printed in the newspaper perhaps the medium would not be dying.

First, a revealing quote from Joe Johnson:

“… this isn’t just a spell we’re going through right now. It’s about a lack of focus on our part. It’s just about playing with more energy, more heart and more determination. We’ve been going out there lately playing lackadaisical, like we can win games because we think we’re good. When you don’t respect teams and players in this league you can go out there and get your tail kicked like we have lately.”

Second, an unnamed advance scout speaks about the Hawks' offense in Sunday's game:

"There was one stretch where Andre Miller was guarding Josh Smith and Louis Williams was on Marvin Williams and the Hawks ignored both of those opportunities for their standard sets on the other side of the floor. That’s not winning basketball in this league. You have to be able to recognize where those mismatches are and max them out. Joe and [Mike] Bibby have been piling up assists, but they left a lot of plays on the floor Sunday. Even worse, they let those Philly guards off the hook on the defensive end. They didn’t make them work the way you have to with two 6-9 guys on them.”

Sekou follows up on this thought:

I’ve heard that critique of the Hawks several times this year, that they don’t utilize the entire floor the way they should offensively because they’re so used to their default setting of ‘Give it to Joe and watch him go.”

It’s a valid opinion. I can think of a lot of ways to breathe life into a struggling team. And one of those would be taking some of the pressure off of your No. 1 option by utilizing some of your other options, not all the time but just whenever the opportunity presents itself.

The Hawks have actually gone over this stuff in practice the past few days but they haven’t seen any improvement during games. It makes no sense.

That last sentence sounds like the frustrated Sekou Smith of last season.

A source of frustration for anyone watching this team regularly, Josh Smith's poor rebounding of late:

Josh Smith has averaged just 4.3 rebounds in the Hawks’ past five games, down from his paltry season average of 6.6. That needs to change dramatically with Al Horford out for this road trip.

But it also needs to change because Smith is too good a player and too good an athlete to rebound like a shooting guard.

He didn’t grab his first rebound Sunday until the 8:14 mark of the third quarter. How a 6-9 guy that can jump over the moon goes the entire first half and the first few minutes of the second without a grabbing a single rebound is beyond me (and plenty of other people that have noticed his decreased activity on the boards this season).

This dude is just not playing the way he normally does. Anyone can see that. He’s watching the action go by him on both ends of the floor.

Finally, I don't doubt the accuracy of this nugget of reporting but that doesn't mean the idea being reported makes any sense to me:

But don’t be surprised if Solomon Jones is deployed with the starting unit against the LA Clipper and possibly Golden State.

Pachulia’s been so good off the bench that moving him into the starting lineup, the way the Hawks did Sunday, seemed to mute his effectiveness.

Because, of course, if Zaza Pachulia plays better against backup big men than he does against starters, then starting Solomon Jones, who doesn't really play well against anybody is clearly the solution to the problem of the Hawks' recent slow starts.