Atlanta Hawks Mid-Season Roster Report Card

Feb 23, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks fans celebrate against the Orlando Magic at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

 

All-Star weekend has ended, and the Hawks are set to begin their post All-Star game schedule tonight vs. the Golden State Warriors. But before we begin, let’s go ahead and hand some grades to each player on their performace thus far in comparison to preseason expectations.

Players are listed in alphabetical order.

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Jason Collins: I was hoping the Hawks would grab a solid big man in the off-season to appease Al Horford (and the entire Hawks fan base), but instead they re-signed Jason Collins. Didn’t expect much from Collins. Only thing I expected was that he would play against Orlando and provide toughness when facing Dwight Howard, but that small expectation of him wasn’t even met as he got injured 4 games before the Magic game. He has played 13 games (started 3 of them) this season, but I can’t remember one good performance by him.

Grade: F

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Erick Dampier: With Jason Collins and Al Horford both out with injuries, it was clear the Hawks needed to sign one big man. Enter Erick Dampier. He’s currently in his second 10 day contract, and if I had to guess, he’s here to stick around. I had (have) low expectations of Dampier, I just simply think of him of just an extra body. Someone that can provide the same things Jason Collins provides.  He hasn’t played many minutes or games(averaging 5 mpg in 6 games played), so it’s hard to give him a real solid grade. The only thing that I’ve noticed in the small sample size is that he seems like his lateral quickness is even slower than Jason Collins.

Grade: Incomplete.

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Willie Green: I honestly didn’t expect much from Willie Green either. I thought it was a desperate move by the Hawks to try to replace Jamal Crawford’s scoring by signing Willie Green, but it turned out to be a pretty solid move. Willie Green has played pretty well, averaging 7.8 ppg while shooting 47% from the field. However, his defense is nothing to rave about. His size and lack of lateral quickness can be easily taken advantage of by many opposing guards….and when his shot isn’t going in, he’s not doing anything else that helps the team.

Grade: B

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Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich started the season off by missing the first 18 games due to a left shoulder injury, and the Hawks managed without him posting a record of 13-5.  He has played the last 16 games, but the Hawks have gone 7-9 in that span. Now I’m not saying Hinrich is the reason for the Hawks’ current skid, but it’s hard to say that he’s not a part of it. He hasn’t exactly played well, as he’s only averaging a career low 4.9 ppg while shooting a career low 33% from the field and 24% from 3 point range. There is an excuse that he is still trying to get his feet wet, but how long until that excuse is acceptable? He has played 16 games and has played a significant amount of minutes in all of them (averaging 20 mpg so far).

Grade: D

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Al Horford: Horford had a solid season before he went down with a pectoral injury. He wasn’t spectacular and he was never the best Hawks player in any game, but Horford always played consistently solid. Also, as we can all see, the Hawks are surely missing his presence right now. Al Horford’s toughness, defense, and his ability to contribute some in the offense is surely something the Hawks are missing and is surely something the Hawks need right now in this skid they are going through.

Grade: B-

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Ivan Johnson: When I saw his name on the training camp roster, I (and I would assume many) thought “Who?”. This guy was a no name. I even thought at one point that maybe the Hawks signed him because he’s somehow related to Joe Johnson (he’s not, I checked). I didn’t expect him to make the team. He didn’t have a good track record (see here and here), and I thought Hawks would prefer someone with more length. But Ivan Johnson showed up and surprised the entire team and fan base with his play in the final pre-season game vs. the Bobcats. He stuck around and has played pretty solid for the Hawks. He’s provided toughness, some scoring, some defense, some laughs, some nervous laughter, some toughness, and even more toughness in his stint here so far. He actually played so solidly at one point that the Hawks had their very own “Linsanity” story going on, as Ivan Johnson went all the way up to #5 in the NBA.com Rookie Ladder. Ivan has fallen off in the past 8 games though, only averaging 1.5 ppg in 8 minutes.

Grade: B

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Joe Johnson: If you’re looking at the entire season’s stats, Joe Johnson is having a pretty subpar season. Almost every category is down from last season. But I can’t say that Joe Johnson has played bad this season. He’s been a huge part to the Hawks success this season. When Horford went down, Joe Johnson (alongside Josh Smith) really stepped up and kept the Hawks in the race for a top 4 seed. Joe Johnson didn’t have a great February, only averaging 14.1 ppg and shooting 39% from the field, but that could have been because he was playing through an injury. Overall, Joe Johnson has done a good job carrying this Hawks team. Before the season started, the Hawks were ranked pretty low in the Eastern Conference, and Joe was a big part of proving those people wrong. When Al Horford went down with the injury, everyone thought the Hawks would fall off, but Joe Johnson has kept the Hawks in it as they are only 2 games behind the 3rd seed.

Grade: B+

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Tracy McGrady: I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited when I heard Tracy McGrady was signing with the Hawks. I was wishing for him to be in a Hawks uni two summers ago, so when I heard that he was going to be in a Hawks uniform this season, I was pretty excited. I thought McGrady would have really contributed in both ends of the floor and maybe even challenge Marvin Williams for that starting role at Small Forward. While the latter didn’t happen, he has shown at times this season that he is still capable of scoring and is still capable of playing some defense. But then again, there have also been times this season when Tracy McGrady looks like his knees were about to give on him….Overall, McGrady has done okay. He caused some ruckus in the locker room with his complaints about Larry Drew and his lack of playing time, which I wasn’t exactly fond of, but still, McGrady has been the best backup swingman this team has seen since “The Fro”.

Grade: C

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Zaza Pachulia: Zaza has been solid. He has shown that he’s not a starting caliber Center, but he certainly does belong in an NBA roster. Zaza hasn’t shown anything spectacular, but he also hasn’t shown anything too ugly. He’s done an okay job filling in for Al Horford. At least he does a better job than any other big man out there.

Grade: C

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Jannero Pargo: I didn’t expect much of him and it’s rightfully not to. Jannero has had a couple of good shooting games, but that’s it. He’s not much of distributor. He’s not a great defender. He’s just a streaky shoot first point guard. But he was a pretty solid insurance when Hinrich was out though.

Grade: C-

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Vladimir Radmanovic: I expected him to shoot and shoot only, and that’s exactly what he’s done this season. Unfortunately, his shot hasn’t been going in (35% from field and 36% from beyond the arc). He’s in a similar role as Willie Green. When his shot isn’t going in, he’s a liability. And for the most part this season, he’s been a liablity.

Grade: D

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Josh Smith: This guy is an All-star. He’s been the Hawks best player this season….before and after Al Horford went down.  Does he still shoot some questionable jump shots? Of course. Does he still make some bad passes? Of course. Does he still argue with the refs? Yeah, some. But one thing you can’t deny is that he has put this team in his shoulders and has been the #1 reason for the Hawks’ success in exceeding expectations this season.

Grade: A-

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Jerry Stackhouse: Signing Stackhouse to a contract was great….four seasons ago. Stackhouse isn’t much of a scorer and he doesn’t provide much hope in defense now. He doesn’t provide anything other than veteran locker room presence now, but honestly, I was still adamant on him sticking with the team. I think “leadership” is something that is always needed in any locker room, and that’s something the Hawks have been missing for years. Now, I don’t know what goes on in the locker room or during practice, so it’s hard to say if Stackhouse is providing the needed “veteran leadership”, but I’m sure he’s done more good than damage.

Grade: C-

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Jeff Teague: After the playoff series vs. the Bulls last season, it was clear to me (and everyone else) that Teague should be starting this season. Teague played in a really high level in that series. Did I expect Teague to contribute the same way he did in that series, this season? No, but I did expect Teague to show us that he is the long term Point Guard for the team. There have been times when Teague has shown that, but there have also been times this season that prevents me from confirming that he is.  There are times when he looks like the next Parker/Rondo hybrid, and there are times when he looks like he’s Acie Law.

Grade: B-

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Marvin Williams: Marvin Williams is back to single digit points a game this season. He hasn’t done that since his rookie year. He’s also shooting a career low 40% from the field. Marvin Williams’ stint on the Hawks looks like it’s coming to an end soon. There’s only a small amount that are still in the Marvin Williams bandwagon. Almost everyone has jumped off. In the last 10 games, Marvin has been averaging  6 ppg and shooting an ugly 31% from the field in 25 minutes of playing time. I’m willing to excuse him though, as he did just lose a family member. Condolences to the Williams family.

Grade: C-

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Atlanta Hawks (As a team): This team has actually surpassed my expectations for the most part. I thought they would skid down a little bit this season, but they played well at the start. When Al Horford went out, I thought the Hawks would really struggle without him, but they’ve managed somewhat well. My only concern about them is when they face .500+ teams. They are only 7-12 against winning teams. But give credit to the Hawks, they have feasted on the bad teams this season, posting a 13-2 record against teams with losing records. They’re not playing down to the level of their competition this season.

Grade: B

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Agree/ Disagree on the grades? Comments and criticisms are welcome.

 

Topics: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Erick Dampier, Ivan Johnson, Jannero Pargo, Jason Collins, Jeff Teague, Jerry Stackhouse, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Marvin Williams, Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic, Willie Green, Zaza Pachulia

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