After most of these losses Hawks' coach Larry Drew has talked about the team's low energy level and a lack of effort. Energy and effort comes from the leaders of the team, as well as the coaching staff. Coach Drew has tried to shake up the starting line up and it has had a little success but nothing worthwhile. It's gone from big lineup to a small one and back again, with very little lasting effects. He started playing the rookie John Jenkins (because he needed the depth, not to bring in new life to the team) and while Jenkins has been playing well, he is still getting limited playing time. With all the shifts in the lineup and talk about the team still playing "soft", it won't be long before someone starts pointing a finger to the one that is doing the shifting (cough!…Coach Drew…cough!).
When new GM Danny Ferry put this team together he told Atlanta that he loves shooters. After looking at Atlanta's roster, you can see that to be true. With guys like Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow and rookie John Jenkins someone is bound to be hot. That philosophy has also backfired when the team gets down it relies on the jumper instead of going to the basket to get some easy points. Just a few games ago the Hawks only shot five free throws but 22 three pointers and they lost by 16 points…to Cleveland! In the lost to the Washington Wizards, the Hawks attempted 25 shots from the charity stripe but the majority of the shots were taken by Josh Smith (six), Ivan Johnson (eight) and Jeff Teague (seven). When the team needs baskets there should be an all out effort to get the ball inside to Al Horford and Josh, so that they can get buckets in the paint (not fading away). Jeff Teague has shown that there are not many point guards who can stay in front of him defensively, he needs to take guys off the dribble and get to the cup. If he doesn't take the shot it sets up Al, Josh or someone else to get a dunk.
Josh and Al want to be considered as All Stars but in many of Atlanta's losses these two have refused to take the lead and lift the team prove that they are what they want NBA fans to see them as. If the team continues to spiral out of control it is not unlikely that someone will be traded or fired. The front office has sold the fans on the fact that they want to improve and if they expect ticket buyers to believe that then a change must be made…somewhere.Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Danny Ferry, Jeff Teague, Josh Smith, Larry Drew, NBA