They Can't All Be Winners, Part 17: Atlanta Hawks

Share |

The starless juggernaut remains theoretical, but for a while, it seemed like the Atlanta Hawks might be it. When they were running through an undefeated January, defending them was essentially futile. Sure as winter strips an oak’s leaves, the opposition were going to chase the Hawks around the court, always a pass behind, closing out to one unguarded man after another, until a good shot went up. The offense plied you with Fireball, then asked you to explain the first thirty pages of Ada. It was impossible.

Watching this, from where I was sitting, was less than exciting. A certain kind of basketball fan gets his rocks off on efficiency, but I respect smoothly mechanized shot creation more than I thrill at it. Kyle Korver is a fine player. I refuse to employ any descriptor more effusive than that.

Perhaps what unsettled me about last season’s Hawks was that they seemed, for a while, until they suffered a couple injuries and fell off their furious pace, to be proving an argument that basketball rationalists have been shopping for years: under a certain caliber of coach, if the talent fits together in a precise fashion, a team doesn’t need a focal point to be great. By itself, I think this an interesting idea, something like the NBA’s version of the dream of the self-driving car. When that idea is put into praxis by the Hawks, it unfolds with boringness of a well-played game of solitaire. Such handsome order! It gives me a twitch.

* * *

Here’s a fear that visits me at night like a bat emerging from the fireplace: I’m not cut out for this creative shit. Just because I paid rent doing it for a while doesn’t mean I’m going to be a professional writer for decades. The market is narrow and volatile. The sort of work I’m drawn to isn’t saleable or popular. I am prickly and critical and dismissive. I’m a terrible reporter. I possess all the pretensions and social dysfunctions of a Difficult Artist with one-fifth of the talent it would take to render my flaws tolerable. I am willfully nigh unemployable in a field that doesn’t employ many people in the first place. When I have a job, it is because someone fucked up and hired a loss leader with no cachet. It’s an anomaly; it gets corrected sooner or later.

I have just enough self-awareness to know what I am and the ways I continually thwart myself, but lack the sense to change. Case in point: this is part 17 of a 30-part navel-gazing session that only intermittently stops discussing depression and books I like long enough to be about basketball teams. The audience for it could fit in a middle school gym. I’m doing it for free at a time when my weekly income is $150. I’m hoping it gets traction somehow, that the constraintlessness of the project draws out my best writerly self and someone with hiring powers or a freelance budget says to themselves I need to keep this guy in High Lifes and indoor living. The odds on that second thing are interstate highway long; it is not how you go about reinvigorating a flatlining career. This will almost definitely prove to be an extravagantly stupid, broadly ignored moonshot. I am making a fist around the stove range and hoping that instead of burning me, it gives me superpowers.

Sometimes, as I’m writing, I think about how this project needs to be extraordinary, and isn’t.

* * *

What must it feel like to be so good at something that you can operate beyond convention and win? Star players give us a window into this sensation. Your LeBrons, your Kevin Durants. When they encounter a double-team, they can split it instead of passing. When the lane appears clogged, they can reveal its seams. They can control the pace of the offense, quicken or slow it down depending on their preference. It’s not that they always do this, but that the option is always available to them. If it feels right, they can make what accepted wisdom would deem the wrong play, and make it work. They’re permitted and able to be extraordinary. They’re mind-expanding.

The Hawks, in their starlessness, always try to do what they’re supposed to. That they do this so well is remarkable, but it’s the opposite of inspirational. They’re defined by their system—that word pops up seven times in a not-particularly-long Kevin Arnovitz piece; Zach Lowe uses it five times here—and the plaudit-slathered coach who devises it. From that Arnovitz piece, about Jeff Teague: “[the] point guard position in Atlanta these days demands a complete devotion to the system.” The same is true of every other spot on the floor. The players are bound by Mike Budenholzer’s ideas, obliterated by them.

And that is my problem with the Hawks. They’re a collective of rule-followers, individuals allowing themselves to be subsumed by a larger mechanism. It’s alienatingly beautiful basketball, like a symphony composed by a geometry textbook. I can’t stand it; there is nothing in it for me. The scheme is too rigidly prosaic. At all times, the players are staying within themselves; the team murders the opponent with sensible choices. It’s an excellent way to win games and utterly discouraging at the philosophical level. The Hawks see greatness glimmering in the distance, and they don’t lunge for it. They make a to-do list. They don’t believe there’s any chance they can be extraordinary. They don’t try.

After the Hawks were swept by the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, bloggers and reporters wondered about Atlanta’s ceiling, if their approach could land them a title, if what looked like a new dawn was in fact a lightbulb blowing out. Will it work? they asked, in so many words. The question is irrelevant. We already know how it will work. The Hawks will operate like great, crashing waves of math. There are shapes that look like faces in those waves. They might illusions.

Previously on TCABW: Charlotte Hornets | Philadelphia 76ers | Houston Rockets | Los Angeles Lakers | Dallas Mavericks Indiana Pacers | Oklahoma City Thunder | Memphis Grizzlies | Chicago Bulls | Washington Wizards Cleveland Cavaliers Brooklyn Nets New York Knicks Denver Nuggets Miami Heat | Los Angeles Clippers

Share |

Comments

It’s amazing in support of me to truly have a blog site, which will be valuable meant for my knowledge. Thanks admin.
Mark Curry AWL

دانلود فیلم سلام بمبئی , دانلود رایگان فیلم, دانلود فیلم جدید, دانلود فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. Menggemukkan Badan

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. wiki how

Looking any sort of blog page will make some people solely choose to create a lot more. I did so an incredible that i was eye-catching articles and other content in. Application in all probability engaged in for ones rate even so it’s superb. I just sometimes dispatch most people. essays for sale

Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming. Kopi Hijau Untuk Diet

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated sarm

We provide services like Web Designing, Logo Designing, Business Card Designing, Letter Head Designing, Digital Marketing Services & Training, We are expert in SEO Services & Training in Visakhapatnam. logo designing Visakhapatnam

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! vinagre de maça

I visited your site & after visiting i found that it is very informational for everyone you have done really a great job thank you. dieta da sopa

I enjoy a person's posting. Its fine to check out you actually explain in words with the soul plus resolution during this vital matter is often without difficulty viewed. specifics perspective web-site. research paper writing service

Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming. buy likes

Making it very seek out online websites utilizing useful information on specified niche and provides the criminals to professor some of our belief and also report. bullet hole stickers

As i plan to explain which really find out more about your webblog and even As i realize it's highly important and even insightful.. essayhave review

Looking any sort of blog page will make some people solely choose to create a lot more. I did so an incredible that i was eye-catching articles and other content in. Application in all probability engaged in for ones rate even so it’s superb. I just sometimes dispatch most people. comprar carteira de motorista

Looking any sort of blog page will make some people solely choose to create a lot more. I did so an incredible that i was eye-catching articles and other content in. Application in all probability engaged in for ones rate even so it’s superb. I just sometimes dispatch most people. http://speakerguide.page4.me/

Trust Twilx to deliver on promises by using our unique search engine optimisation services to rank your website in Google and be seen by more customers. We’ve helped hundreds of webmasters and business owners by increasing a ton of traffic to their website and boosting sales with SEO! It doesn’t matter what niche your in, what product or service your selling, just let us show you the path of least resistance by providing pure results…

Looking any sort of blog page will make some people solely choose to create a lot more. I did so an incredible that i was eye-catching articles and other content in. Application in all probability engaged in for ones rate even so it’s superb. I just sometimes dispatch most people. PureMones are Pheromones for Men

The 3 week diet is a quick weight loss diet program created by Brian Flatt. Mr. Flatt claims that you can lose between 12 and 23 pounds of fat in just 21 days. His diet is based on the principle where you eat normally for five days a week and fast on the other two. It is recommended for people who wants to improve lifespan and brain functions, and wants to be healthier and more fit. This 3 week diet can also help lower the risk of certain obesity related cancers and a lot more.

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.buy Youtube views

Appelez-nous quand vous le désirez, nous faisons constamment le nécessaire pour mettre en ligne les meilleurs experts de la voyance par telephone.

Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided hereGoogle plus Follower kaufen

Get best rental apartment, villa property in Costa del Sol, Marbella, Malaga, Fuengirola, Benalmadena, South of Spain. Visit our website! villa rental spain

nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this! ניהול נכסים באשדוד

The high traffic websites useful for affiliate marketers and new bloggers who are looking for a bit of extra traffic 600 Dofollow Blog Comments

Clients marketing strategies that you choose to useful survey before establishing. It can be straightforward to jot down top-quality write-up like this.Happy Valentines Day 2017 Images

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! Amsterdam tattoo

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this.. Taxi in Bern

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. voyant par telephone

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. London Weight Singapore

By reason of an individual's newly released articles or blog posts, That i wil take advantage of one of the best composition provider throughout my best access.Tubemate APK

Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here Dofollow Blog Comments

After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

fake facebook message

Our frtend descrtbed tn my expertence your stte, ind so t belteved tt ts studted by t’d . Reilly tnteresttng observittons ts ltkely to be for more bick!

Happy new year 2017 Messages

The appearance positively wonderful. All of these miniature info are fashioned utilizing massive amount historical past experience. I want it all significantly.

Tubemate Download

After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

happy new year 2017 Images

It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

fifa 17 coin generator

Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. 100% Manually, So your site is safe you can get all HQ links, that definitely increase your SERPs. 20 High Quality Backlinks gig Only for fiverr members just for 5$ WOww...high trust flow backlinks

It's very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.
canada us tax planning

Thank you so much. I am grateful for your generosity in sharing such valuable information and fantastic site!
vehicle tracking

seo I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good. visit this site hurry up waiting your order low obl unique domain Thanks alot! dofollow blog comments

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!
Download Garageband

This article was written by a real thinking writer. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back. eAadhaar Card Download

Amazing put up i must assert not to mention thanks a lot for ones advice. Coaching is definitely a sticky topic area. But, continues associated with the prominent articles our instance. I just understand a put up not to mention await further. The Logan Condos

Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.

happy new year status whatsapp

Lake have onto your web page despite the fact that applying notice only only a bit of piece submits. Relaxing strategy for near future, I am bookmarking at this time get hold of styles carry out comes away. cccam

The question is irrelevant.new john deere parts

Awesome content i have to tell you and additionally regards for those knowledge. Certification happens to be a sticky content. Still, 's still the contributing tips of our effort. Document recognize any content and additionally wait for a great deal more. Google Plus

This is certainly as well a really good posting we seriously experienced looking through. It is far from on a daily basis we have risk to check out a little something.

lucky patcher apk

The easiest way to buy unlocked cell phones is to buy retail, preferably from a third-party vendor. The goal here is to purchase a clean slate that has none of the proprietary settings.

best bluetooth headphones under 100