I have not liked Mike Woodson the whole time he has been coach. Through five years, I have only begrudgingly given him props for not screwing up. Even now, he is the last main cog I am reluctant to give my trust to. Still, even with that baggage of disdain still dragging behind me, I read quotes like this one and cannot help but feel that weird feeling in the pit of your stomach I believe most people call "respect."
"I’ll never forget those 13 wins. I’ll never forget walking into the locker room and seeing those faces, knowing we couldn’t win many games."
Now Woody is only three wins from matching that horrid season. So I don't think he is thinking motivation, looking for pity, or answering fluff questions when he drops post game quotes like this one. I think he just telling the truth.
"I can't ask for anything better. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys that made a commitment when they came into camp this year."
I am not revising history and taking away the blame I think Woodson rightfully deserved over the past few years nor will I promise that history will keep from creeping into my assessment of him during the season. But this is Woody's job, and it has been a ridiculous tough one. He has a right to be proud, and we have a duty to say well done.
The refs called a great game, it just was a bad game for Marvin Williams. They allowed a lot of contact around the rim, and they allowed it both ways. I am fine with that consistency, but Marv was beating his man and driving the ball under control. With a normal ref crew and one or two of those shots dropping, and Williams easily has 20 something points. Marv was more confident, got more opportunities, and hit a few much needed jumpers. One of the big questions still remaining this season is how to take advantage of Marvin's much needed perimeter defense against the number one unit of the opposing team and get him opportunities with the Hawks' second unit where he plays better offensively.
I would still like to see Teague play more minutes, but if he is going to ride the bench for long stretches, I am glad it is this season and not last February.
"[Josh Smith] plays so hard," Teague said. "The things he did on the floor, like blocking shots and rebounding and all of the things he doesn't get credit for, like taking charges and getting deflections and things like that ... I always try to pump him up when he comes off the floor to let him know that somebody's seeing what he's done and that we appreciate it."
2009-2010 Josh Smith is an excellent tutor. After my Woody love-fest, this post officially takes over the top spot of "thinks i thought I would never type."
Bret makes an excellent comparison with Dwyane Wade
The Hawks know how to defend Dwyane Wade. The sagging, switching defense combined with a lack of attention paid to the other four (largely immobile) players, and Dwyane Wade, one of the five or six best players in the world, turns into the equivalent of Iso-Joe circa 2006, lack of free throw attempts included. I fully expect Miami to do anything to win or willingly tank games (if necessary) five months from now so as not to face the Hawks in the playoffs again.
The Human Highlight Blog has no place to use its nice, new red pen. Thanks a lot Hawks.
Josh Smith continues to own the Vent's "good" section.
Str8Talk demands you give respect to the women of Philips Arena.
Final Victory Bullets
- Ten games from now, if the Hawks stay close to this pace and level of play, Atlanta residents need to start going all kinds of 1991 on this city.