Blogtable: Shaking Up Atlanta

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 12: The bumbling Heat | Shaking up Atlanta | Rock bottom for Lakers?

Larry Drew said he’s gonna make changes with the Hawks. Ideas?

Steve Aschburner: I’m the wrong person to opine on this because I was in the building Monday night when the Hawks scored just 20 points by halftime against Chicago at United Center. Hey, the entire Atlanta team, in the second quarter, scored five more points than I did. So I’m prone, as they say, to throw the baby out with the bath water – and then slap the baby’s parents. But I’ll focus on one possible change: Josh Smith. Before the game, Drew talked about Smith being overdue for All-Star selection. But in the game, the talented but temperamental player sulked, jawed with referees and got T’d up for throwing the ball hard at ref Ken Mauer. Nice enough guy and supremely skilled, but the Hawks should not commit on a max deal to him and dare not lose him in free agency for nothing. Trade him before the Feb. 21 deadline.

Fran Blinebury: What’s he going to do — put Zaza Pachulia in the starting lineup for Al Horford, Devin Harris in for Jeff Teague and expect everything to change? Despite what Drew said, it is very much his job to coach effort, to have his players inspired and motivated every night. As soon as a coach throws up his hands and says it’s not, he’s inviting himself to be the change.

Jeff Caplan: Sign up on LinkedIn and get your resume up to snuff. Look, this team had a nice start, but it doesn’t have the pieces to make a deep playoff run. It didn’t with Joe Johnson and it doesn’t know. There’s been a sense ever since Danny Ferry took over as GM that Drew was a short-timer. Ferry’s done a great job clearing out salary and making room to add more pieces, but that process likely won’t start until the summer when Drew will likely be hitting the pavement.

Scott Howard-CooperScore more than 58 points. Change that. Assuming you mean ideas for changes with the team he is given, since that is LD’s department, not trades, there aren’t many changes to make. Tell Josh Smith to lay off the jumpers? Good luck with that conversation.

John Schuhmann: I’m not sure why he put Lou Williams back on the bench in the first place. They were having some success with a starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. Then they lost a few games in a row and Drew went away from it, even though that lineup wasn’t really the problem. Lineup change or not, I think they’re just coming back down to earth a bit. They’re not as good as they were when they were No. 3 in the East, and they’re not as bad as they’ve been over the last seven games.

Sekou SmithLarry Drew, who’s done a fine job as the Hawks’ coach, better be careful. He doesn’t have a contract beyond this season and is working under a general manager who didn’t hire him. The easiest change to make for a team with a roster full of guys on one-year or expiring deals is a coaching change. The rumors of the Hawks trading Josh Smith have been rumbling for five years. Ignore them. He’s not going anywhere. The stunner, the move that would really shake things up is if the Hawks were to consider it, would be to entertain offers for Al Horford, whose trade value would be sky-high (young and productive power forward with a reasonable contract).


  1. Aaron says:

    As a Hawks fan, I’m glad Joe is gone, you can say he is a good player and I will agree, but getting rid of that money is so nice. Plus he was hurting the team in some ways, he shouldn’t be running the ball up the floor like he did in Atlanta, because then no offensive scheme happens and he forces a shot, now a similar situation is occurring with Josh Smith, Larry tells them to go out and run so Josh gets a rebound runs up court and forces a mid range jumper the other team is begging him to take. Its the reason the Hawks are 3-0 without him. Its time to move on…

    But, I am so tired of the Pau Gasol rumor, the fact it was even considered is bad, Danny is smarter than that and it’ll never happen, if we are going to sacrifice the cap space on a contract it’ll be a trade for Rudy Gay and a pick and we would send Josh and Korver or Morrow… I personally like what Dallas and Houston has to offer, with Dallas the Hawks could add Mayo Kaman and possibly Crowder for Josh and the Rockets pick we got from Brooklyn. Finish the year strong with Teague, Mayo, Crowder, Horford, Kaman, with Lou, Korver, Harris, Stevenson etc. Then next summer we could sign Al Jefferson and Iggy(I think it isn’t working in Denver and he may consider leaving, but I’m not fully sure on this yet) and let Kaman, Harris, and Korver walk..

    As for Houston we could get Aldrich, Motiejunas, Parsons, and Patterson for Smith, since I don’t think we could get Asik. We would keep Aldrich and Motiejunas and cut Tolliver and Petro. Finish the year with Teague, Korver/Stevenson, Parsons, Patterson, Horford with Lou and co… then next summer we sign Jefferson and a maybe Tony Allen or some other guard to start over Lou.

    Other teams I’ve seen in Rumors are Toronto(don’t like what they have to offer, I don’t want Barg) and Boston( lot of deals could be made with them, but we haven’t had a good history with dealing with Boston.)

    This is just a realistic approach IMO, no Dwight/Paul dreams, but you never know…

  2. Lebron James says:

    They should trade Josh Smith for Pau Gasol. No one can beat the lakers come payoff time if he heads to LA. Ive already realized that I will never win another championship in Miami but hey at least Kobe has a few more up his sleeves.

  3. zgillet says:

    Hawks/Lakers trade. Save two seasons.

    Pau Gasol and MWP for Josh Smith, Devin Harris, and Lou Williams.

    Salaries work out fine and it makes sense for both teams.

  4. Jerel says:

    @Mr. Schuhmann the reason Lou went back to the bench is because Devin Harris returned. He was out for a while with injury but came back and had his best game of the season. The Hawks were right around .500 with Lou as a starter so they were actually doing better with Harris in the starting lineup before Harris got injured. In terms of line ups, I would like to see Teague come off of the bench until he gets out of his slump. I’d also like to see Ivan Johnson get a bit more burn.

  5. Pokie says:

    Never trade a guy like Joe Johnson for multiple players. There’s a reason Brooklyn agreed to that trade and Houston jumped at the James Hardin deal and that New Orleans decided to match the Phoenix offer for Eric Gordon. A player that can close games is hard to come by. Look at the Hornets record since Gordon returned. Look at what Joe has been doing for the Nets. If Ferry wants to burn a year to try and get a closer cheeper in free agency next year, I can understand that, but I hope he realizes what a risk he is taking. They are few and far between.

  6. Kamote says:

    The problem with the Hawks, even during JJ’s time, was that they played Horford at C and Smith at PF. They’ve got to get a quality center to play with them. Harris, Williams and Teague can play PG by committee (just more minutes on who’s more effective in a game). Have a good center and let Horford and Smith do well as PF ang SF. That’s just about it.

  7. prix says:

    Atlanta still a reat team…sometimes team just get cursed and everybody have their worst night…not like the Lakers seems like every night is cursed…

    • bounty hunter says:

      everyone is so quick to jump on the lakers, you all would give away your mothers to have their history (celtics excluded)