The great Hawks offense? It’s gone with the wind

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer stands on the sideline in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

“Run that play where we actually make a shot.” (AP Photo/David Goldman)

This will sound weird, coming as it does the morning after the Atlanta Hawks allowed the Orlando Magic, who ranked next-to-last among NBA teams in scoring, to muster 131 points (72 in the first half), but here goes:

In 2014-15, the Hawks ranked sixth in offensive efficiency. After 25 games, these Hawks rank 26th. There are 30 NBA teams.

In 2014-15, the Hawks ranked second to Golden State in 3-point field goal percentage. After 25 games, these Hawks rank ahead of only Chicago in the same category.

In less than two calendar years, Pace & Space has been shredded. The Hawks still defend well enough, last night notwithstanding. They were seventh in defensive efficiency in 2014-2015 and second last season; they’re tied for fifth now. They’ve actually gotten much better at rebounding. (The Dwight Effect.) But they’ve gotten really bad at the thing that made them really good.

We note that the Hawks are different from two seasons ago. DeMarre Carroll is long gone to Toronto, replaced by Kent Bazemore. Jeff Teague was traded to Indiana to clear a space for Dennis Schroder. Al Horford was allowed to leave for Boston, Dwight Howard taking his spot. At 35, Kyle Korver no longer starts. Some if not all of this was inevitable. Still, the collapse of a once-mighty offense has been stunning.

We also note, not for the first time, that the team of 2014-15 was built by Danny Ferry; he stepped aside as general manager on Sept. 12, 2014, never to return. We note that every personnel decision since has been the work of Mike Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox. We note that the 2014-15 team won 60 games. We note that these Hawks started 9-2 and are below .500.

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18 comments
NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

Also, the Hawks didn't "allow" Horford to leave. Horford decided to leave. He has since been quoted as saying the Hawks weren't even his second choice, let alone his first. I am hard pressed to see how that is the fault of management.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Peachtree Bart

What's garbage is some blog blowhard condescendingly citing "a source" while refusing to name that (fake) source.

Peachtree Bart
Peachtree Bart

@DawgNole @Peachtree Bart The source is an immediate relative of one of the co-owners, and I respect their privacy. 


By the way, I've read your (obsessive) posts and they're invariably self-aggrandizing and riddled with logical fallacies.  You're the garden-variety troll-hack. 


And you want condescending?  Learn to use the word correctly.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

The Houston Chronicle ran an interview with Horford a week or two ago in which he said the Rockets were his second choice after the Celtics. It's possible the Hawks co-owner to whom you refer was under a mistaken impression.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

Here's the thing you fail to note, Mark. 


2012: John Jenkins, Mike Scott

2013: Dennis Schroder, Lucas Nogueira, Mike Muscala

2014: Adreian Payne, Edy Tavares


Ordinarily, when a team prospers thanks to underpaid talent, and that talent is due for a raise, one of three things can happen. Either a) the team pays up to keep that talent around, and locks themselves into that roster; b) the team lets that talent walk and takes a step back; or c) the team lets that talent walk and doesn't take a step back because they have younger, cheaper talent to replace the departed players. 


Hard to replace departed talent with younger, cheaper players when you end up with one starter, two middling bench players, and three busts out of three years worth of draft picks.


The reason the washed up Korver still plays 30 minutes a game and the Hawks (stupidly) overpaid Bazemore, directly resulting in the team's problems so far this season, is because Danny Ferry couldn't be bothered to draft a single usable wing player in three plus years as the GM here. 

tyger
tyger

Reminds me of the Big Tuna...


In contemplating Miami job...

Concluded if he was responsible for meal...

He ought to be able to buy the groceries...

Made perfect sense then, not so much now...


Budz proves everyone not good shopper...

He may be helluva cook, at least to some...

I still see no difference between him and LD...

Both 2nd rd. exits w same players...


Point is, he put together this garbage stew...

Cant blame Ferry, ATL Spirit, NAACP, Obamacare...

None of the usual suspects...


The standard euphemisms don't apply...

He's not the "right fit"...going in "different direction"...etc.

By most accounts, Budz perfect fit....certainly white enough...

Direction, however, is highly questionable...


Successfully purged roster of highlight factory...

Now we have no highlights...


Horford now face of Boston...

Sweet Lou on fire in Hollywood...

Marvin leading the Southeast...

Joe cashing checks in Salt Lake...

Smooth banished to Shanghai...


On bright side, plenty flexibility going forward...

However, I would be afraid, very, very afraid....

No indication that flexibility an advantage here...

That debauchery witnessed last summer indefensible..

And we're paying for it now...


see Bazemore $16M per LOL...

see Spitter $8.5M per LOL...


That $25M couldve fetched a superstar...

Instead, we got zilch...

Peachtree Bart
Peachtree Bart

@tyger Name me one superstar who would have come here.  And "banished to Shanghai"?  Have you been there, chump?  It's not exactly the cultural revolution anymore.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@tyger: "By most accounts, Budz perfect fit....certainly white enough..."

________________

Usually looks pretty red-faced to me.

SaulGoodwin
SaulGoodwin

atlanta will not make the playoffs with this roster--they need to make some trades and dump some overpriced contracts and start tanking in February to get a higher draft pick and start over.

MikeS777
MikeS777

They offered Horford a very good raise, they just weren't willing to offer him max money which was the correct decision.  He's averaging 15 pts on .500 shooting with just 6 rebounds per game this year.   That's not worth max money.  Howard is an upgrade at center.  He shoots a much better FG percentage, and pulls down twice as many rebounds per game.  He and Millsap are a brutal combo on the front line.

The problem is they also got rid of Teague, but then didn't really add anything that would immediately help in his place.  Howard can't replace the production of both Teague and Horford.

MikeS777
MikeS777

 In general, I'm not sure I follow here.   You start with pointing out that the Hawks gave up 131 pts last night.   Then go on about offense.   They scored 120 pts last night.  When you give up 131 on near 60% shooting to Orlando, 120 doesn't get you the win.

During their 9-2 start, they held teams under 100 pts 7 out of those 11 games.  They've only managed to hold teams under 100 3 times since then, and it's cost them games they shouldn't have lost like last night.   Teams are scoring 60-70 pts by halftime on the Hawks the past couple of weeks.

They have to get their defensive intensity back, or its going to be more of the same.

MikeS777
MikeS777

They do need more consistent play at both ends from the perimeter guys.  The Hawks have a lot of expiring contracts end of this season (Splitter, Scott, Korver, Hardaway Jr., Sefalosha, Humphries) which they could use in trades for teams looking to dump players.  I'd like to see them get a Rudy Gay from Sacramento or someone like that to plug in the starting lineup.

moboman
moboman

@MikeS777 Yep, they didnt stop anybody last night.  Defense seems to be the bigger issue, and shot selection.  Guys taking rushed shots and not hitting them.

Wink7
Wink7

Yep, I co sign this one here!