Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dwight Howard's Problems Sound Familiar

Sometimes, it's just nice to know you aren't alone.

Down the road, in Orlando, there is a problem. Dwight Howard is frustrated at the offensive philosophy of his team as it is making the post, and therefore himself, an afterthought.

You can read about it very well in the Sporting News' new basketball blog, The Baseline.

The piece makes the comparisons between the Magic's systematic exclusion of the post as a bloodstream source of offense and the nurturing, developmental way that the Lakers are taking on Andrew Bynum's role in the Laker offense.

Read the article and you might get that it's the same feeling the HHB gets when looking at the First Two Years of the restricted role Al Horford has taken offensively in the Hawks gameplan and the development of many young big selected after him, Glen Davis being the most obvious example right now.

In Orlando, this will definitely be dealt with, as Dwight Howard's frustrations will surely be cause for change---but in Atlanta, what is the future for Horford offensively, if he is never developed into a stronger post player? With his quickness, explosiveness, and good hands, there is no reason why the offense can't flow through him. But what is happening instead is he's looks like he's being asked to be a more European center, knocking down jump shots, cleaning the glass, and basically taking the scraps of the offense.

For coaches to ignore the role of the post in the offensive efficiency of the offensive is one thing is a matter of philosophy---to do it at the expense of your high draft picks and/or superstars with post skill sets seems more than a bit inflexible and deigns to threaten either the growth of those players on that end or the end of your existence as "coach".

Any thoughts or discussion on the matter are welcomed eagerly in the Comments Area.


Unknown said...

Well, I hate to tell you this, but the primary thing that Al Horford told Micah he's working on this summer is ... wait for it, his jump shot!!!!

Like we don't have enough guys trying to take jump shots in this offense. Only Zaza is even close to spending most of his time with his back to the basket, but as I continue to say - we aren't going to get better until the philosophy of the coach changes or the coach changes. Until our ceiling is 2nd round loss no matter how many wins we get each season.

Jesse said...

Personally, I'm not sure if it's even worth talking about offensive (and to a lesser extent, defensive) philosophy, or what might change and what should change with regards to individual players until we know what Sund is going to be allowed to do with Woodson. I want to extend that sentiment as far up as the ownership group as well, but that is going to be a constant for quite a while and nothing can change it. But keeping or firing Woodson is something that can change right away and have the biggest impact on this team, regardless of the FA issues that need to be addressed.

Until then, nothing we bring up and talk about means anything. We can talk about how the offense needs to change, but then we are simply repeating what has been stated for a few years now with Woodson running things. It's clear that no matter who we draft, if given the chance, Woodson would rather undermine this teams talent and potential before allowing a young player to develop in-game. It is clear that no matter what type of talent we have on this team, he only knows the wing-iso play. It is clear that no matter the personalities accumulated on this team that Woodson doesn not or will not take the necessary steps to corral them into one cohesive unit.

Until Woodson is gone, nothing changes in Atlanta. The names might change, but the result will be the same. It is of my own personal opinion that this team has reached its potential playing under Woodson and playing his style, though I do believe their is untapped potential in our players. This team has oly gotten better because of time and familiarity, not by some grand development provided by Woodson.

With the ownership group fighting with each other in court over money, I see absolutely no indication that they are ready to make a move to take this team to a championship. It really makes me sad that this may be as good as it gets for quite some time. I posted it somewhere else, but I think that we will not make the playoffs again for another five years because of Woodson. I sure hope I'm wrong.

Jason Walker said...

Larry and Jesse---that is pure, honest frustration I am reading there---nothing unreasonable attached to it as well---

As I said yesterday on Shanks' show, you would hope that the team would see that their approach doesn't scale and adjustments would need to be made, but we have indeed heard the words--and to date all it's been is lip service.

We will indeed see--and there is plenty at stake.