1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transactions

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1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:56 pm

This is the second of a series of threads analyzing games played, games started and transactions for the 1979-80 season. Before reading any further, see the introductory thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5945

ATLANTA HAWKS

SEASON OVERVIEW

The Hawks had a 50-32 record. They finished first in the Central Division, and were the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Hawks actually had only the third best record in the conference, behind the Celtics and 76ers, but the two division winners were guaranteed the top two seeds.

As a #2 seed, the Hawks got a bye for the First Round of the playoffs. In the Conference Semifinals, they lost to the 76ers, 4-1. They therefore played a total of 5 playoff games.

The Hawks used 15 different players for the season, four above the minimum.
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Re: 1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transaction

Postby MCT » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:58 pm

PART I - ROSTER AND TRANSACTIONS

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

Charlie Criss
John Drew
Terry Furlow
Jack Givens
Steve Hawes
Armond Hill
Eddie Johnson
Ron Lee
Tom McMillen
Wayne Rollins
Dan Roundfield

IN-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

In the list below, anything which is underlined is the subject of discrepancies or guesswork.

11/23/79 – Traded Terry Furlow to the Jazz for two 2nd round picks (1981 and 1982) and future considerations; signed Sam Pellom as a free agent.

12/21/79 – Placed Ron Lee on the injured list; signed Rick Wilson to a 10-day contract.

12/31/79 – Signed Rick Wilson to a second 10-day contract.

1/11/80 – Activated Ron Lee from the injured list.

1/24/80 – Traded Ron Lee and two draft picks (1980 2nd round and 1980 3rd round) to the Pistons for Jim McElroy.

1/28/80 – Placed Tom McMillen on the injured list; signed John Brown to a 10-day contract.

2/8/80 – Signed John Brown to a second 10-day contract.

2/19/80 – Signed John Brown to a contract for the remainder of the season.

Note: the Hawks finished the season with 12 players on their roster. Tom McMillen appears to have been on the injured list as of the end of the regular season, and remained inactive for the playoffs.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

Terry Furlow trade:

Most sources indicate that the Hawks received two second round picks and future considerations in this trade, but not all sources mention the future considerations. Those that do mention future considerations include the NBA Register, the Hawks Media Guide, the Jazz Media Guide, and pst.com. Those not mentioning future considerations include b-r.com and the transactions column in the following day’s Globe.

Assuming the Hawks actually received some sort of future considerations in this trade, I have seen no explanation of what the future considerations turned out to be. Two picks in the 1980 draft passed from the Jazz to the Hawks, one in the second round (#45 overall) and one in the third round (#64 overall), but I don’t know how these picks got from the Jazz to the Hawks. Could one or both of them have been the future considerations from the Furlow trade? The Hawks subsequently sent both picks to the Pistons as part of the January 1980 trade for Jim McElroy.

Injured list transactions:

On 12/21/79, the Hawks placed Ron Lee on the injured list. They filled the roster spot by signing Rick Wilson to a 10-day contract. These moves were reported in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe. pst.com also has them, probably sourced from a different newspaper.

On 1/11/80, the Hawks activated Ron Lee from the injured list. Lee’s activation was reported in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe. Lee filled the roster spot that was vacated when Rick Wilson’s second 10-day contract expired on the same day. The Hawks played a game on 1/11, but I don’t know whether Lee was activated before or after that game was played; neither Wilson nor Lee appeared in the game.

On 1/28/80, the Hawks signed John Brown to a 10-day contract. While I have no documentation of this, the Hawks appear to have opened a roster spot for Brown by placing Tom McMillen on the injured list. They must have placed someone on the injured list, because a team could only sign a player to a 10-day contract if they had a player on the IL. McMillen, who did not play in any games this season after 1/27, has to be the player who went on the injured list. The Hawks used eleven players in their next game on 1/29 (including Brown), and McMillen is the only player on the Hawks’ roster who does not appear in the box score to that game. Brown went on to sign a second 10-day contract, then a contract for the remainder of the season. When Brown signed for the remainder of the season on 2/19/80, the transactions column in the following day’s Globe stated that Brown had “replaced Tom McMillen, who is out for the season with an injury”, although it did not explicitly state that McMillen was on the injured list.

Rick Wilson:

On 12/21/79, the Hawks signed Rick Wilson to a 10-day contract. Wilson filled the roster spot that was vacated when Ron Lee was placed on the injured list the same day. These moves were reported in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe. pst.com also has them, probably sourced from a different newspaper.

While I have no documentation of this, Wilson appears to have signed a second 10-day contract about ten days after he signed the first one. He continues appearing in box scores beyond the point when his first 10-day deal would have expired. Other sources imply that he signed a second 10-day contract, and indicate that he remained with the Hawks through January 11 (see below).

On 1/11/80, the Hawks activated Ron Lee from the injured list. In addition to reporting Lee’s activation, the transactions column in the following day’s Globe states that Wilson was “released”. This seems to be referring to the expiration of Wilson’s second 10-day contract. A player let go upon the expiration of a 10-day contract is better described as being “released” than “waived”, as a player in this situation does not pass through waivers.

The 1980-81 NBA Register states that Wilson was “re-signed” by the Hawks on 12/21/79, and was “released” on 1/11/80. It makes no explicit statement that Wilson was ever on a 10-day contract. This is how the NBA Register wrote things up in this era when a player was with a team only on 10-day contracts, however. For some reason, the editors of the Register did not like using the phrase “10-day contract”. They would show the player signing as a free agent on the date of his initial signing, and being released on the date his final 10-day contract expired. Note again the use of the term “released”, rather than “waived”. The Register’s use of the term “released” implies that Wilson had been on a 10-day contract, and had not been signed to a regular free agent contract. When Wilson initially signed, the Register uses the term “re-signed” (rather than “signed…as a free agent”) because the Hawks were the last NBA team Wilson had been under contract to. He had played for the Hawks in 1978-79, then was cut in in training camp before the start of the 1979-80 season.

b-r.com and pst.com both indicate that Wilson was “waived” on 1/11/80. I believe this is referring to the expiration of Wilson’s second 10-day contract. As discussed above, however, I don’t think “waived” is the correct term to use. Sources of transaction data can sometimes be imprecise with their choice of words, and it’s not uncommon for sources to claim a player coming off a 10-day contract was “waived”. Based on other sources, I don’t think that Wilson was ever signed to a regular free-agent contract, just to a pair of 10-day contracts.

Wilson being “waived” on 1/11/80 is the only transaction b-r.com has for Wilson aside from being selected by the Hawks in the 1978 NBA Draft. b-r.com is missing both Wilson’s waiving before the start of the 1979-80 season, and his signing in December 1979. This makes it look like Wilson remained with the Hawks continuously from the 1978-79 season into the 1979-80 season until he was “waived” in January 1980. That wasn’t actually the case.

John Brown:

On 1/28/80, the Hawks signed John Brown to a 10-day contract. This is in pst.com, probably sourced from a newspaper. The Hawks appear to have made room for Brown by placing Tom McMillen on the injured list, although I have no documentation of that transaction; see the discussion above.

On 2/8/80, the Hawks signed Brown to a second 10-day contract. This is in pst.com, probably sourced from a newspaper.

On 2/19/80, the Hawks signed Brown to a contract for the remainder of the season. This was reported in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe. pst.com also has this, probably sourced from a different newspaper.

The Globe transactions column reporting Brown’s signing for the remainder of the season states that Brown “had signed two consecutive 10-day contracts with the team”. This provides further evidence that Brown had previously signed two 10-day contracts with the Hawks, although the Globe transactions column did not report them at the time they originally occurred. (Brown’s initial signing with the Hawks on 1/28/80 was in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe, but the column didn’t specify that it was to a 10-day contract.)

The 1980-81 NBA Register states that Brown was signed “as a free agent” on 1/28/80. It gives no indication that Brown was ever on a 10-day contract, or that he signed three separate contracts with Hawks during the season. At first glance, this may seem to contradict everything I laid out above, suggesting that Brown simply signed a regular free agent contract with the Hawks on 1/28. This, however, is how the NBA Register wrote things up in this era when a player who initially joined a team on a 10-day contract ended up sticking around for the rest of the season. For some reason, the editors of the Register did not like using the phrase “10-day contract” (or “contract for the remainder of the season”). They would simply show the player signing as a free agent on the date of his initial signing, with no further detail.

b-r.com also shows Brown simply signing as “a free agent” on 1/28/80, with no indication that he was initially on a 10-day contract, or that he actually signed two 10-day contracts followed by a contract for the remainder of the season. b-r.com likely used the NBA Register as their source, and took the Register’s write-up at face value.
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Re: 1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transaction

Postby MCT » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:59 pm

PART II – GAMES STARTED

REGULAR SEASON

MEDIA GUIDE

As far as I can see, the 2016-17 Hawks Media Guide has no historical games started information whatsoever. So for the 1979-80 Hawks, we will need to rely on the TSN box scores.

TSN BOX SCORES

Every TSN box score for the 1979-80 Hawks appears to list the players in “starters first” F-F-C-G-G order.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

From the TSN box scores, I am getting the following games started totals for the season:

Roundfield 81
Johnson 79
Drew 78
Hill 76
Rollins 52
Hawes 31
Criss 5
McElroy 4
Givens 2
McMillen 2

As with the other teams for which we have no media guide numbers, I’m pretty confident that the games started numbers I’m coming up with are at least good estimates. But there are a few anomalies in the TSN boxes that I wish I had a media guide to square up with. Did John Drew and Armond Hill really both play off the bench for some reason in the games on 1/9/80 and 1/11/80? Without media guide numbers to compare to, it’s hard to hold my games started numbers out as exact.

PLAYOFFS

As far as I can see, the Hawks Media Guide does not have games started stats for the playoffs.

The TSN box scores show the same five players who were the usual starters during the second half of the regular season (the first five players on the list above) starting every game in the playoffs. While we don’t have any info from a media guide to check it against, I am assuming this is accurate, as there seems no reason to think it isn’t.

B-R.COM’S GAME LOG FEATURE

When b-r.com first added its game log feature several years ago, it used the TSN box scores as its original source for every season that TSN ran them (1966-67 through 1980-81). Since games started was not an official NBA statistic during that period, and the TSN box scores didn’t explicitly identify the players who started each game, b-r.com’s game log feature did not have any games started data for these seasons. Over time, however, b-r.com has collected additional box score data. In some cases, this includes data for statistical categories that do not appear in the TSN box scores. For some games, this includes explicit identification of the starters. As of February 2019, b-r.com’s game log feature has games started data for thirteen of the 1979-80 Hawks’ regular season games, and all five of their playoff games. For all of those games, the players identified as the starters in b-r.com’s game log match the first five players in the TSN box scores.
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Re: 1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transaction

Postby MCT » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:06 pm

PART III – SAMPLE ROSTER

The sample roster below shows the Hawks’ roster and starting lineup as it looked in mid-to-late February.

EDDIE JOHNSON

History: 3rd round pick of Hawks in 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 79 G, 33.2 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 37.6 MPG): The three games Johnson didn’t play in were a single game on 12/2/79, and two consecutive games on 1/22/80 & 1/23/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 79; Playoffs: 5): The TSN box scores show Johnson starting every game he played in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

DAN ROUNDFIELD

History: Began pro career in ABA, 1975. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, June 1978 (compensation owed to Pacers).

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 32.0 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 34.8 MPG): Roundfield didn’t play in the game on 3/21/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 81; Playoffs: 5): The TSN box scores show Roundfield starting every game he played in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career.

JOHN DREW

History: 2nd round pick of Hawks in 1974.

Games Played (Regular Season 80 G, 28.8 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 30.0 MPG): Drew didn’t play in two consecutive games on 2/22/80 & 2/26/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 78; Playoffs: 5): According to the TSN box scores, there were two games Drew played in but didn’t start. These were two consecutive games on 1/9/80 & 1/11/80.

Why Drew wouldn’t have started these two games isn’t obvious to me, but those two box scores have a few other oddities. Regular starting guard Armond Hill is also shown playing off the bench in those two games, and the TSN box scores also show Wayne Rollins replacing Steve Hawes as the starter at center effective with the game on 1/9. Perhaps the Hawks’ coaching staff was looking to shake up the team’s starting lineup, for whatever reason.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career, including 1979-80, with one exception. The exception is his rookie season of 1974-75, which is shown as PF.

WAYNE “TREE” ROLLINS

History: 1st round pick of Hawks in 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 25.9 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 26.8 MPG): Rollins appeared in every game the Hawks played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 52; Playoffs: 5): The TSN box scores show Rollins starting 52 regular season games, as well as all five of the Hawks’ playoff games.

Based on the TSN box scores, Rollins and Steve Hawes traded off the starting center role during the first half of the season, with Rollins taking over for good in January. Rollins is shown playing off the bench for the first ten games of the season; starting twelve consecutive games from 11/3/79 through 11/23/79; playing off the bench for the next twenty games; then starting every game from 1/9/80 on, covering the last 40 games of the regular season, and all of the Hawks’ playoff games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

ARMOND HILL

History: 1st round pick of Hawks in 1976.

Games Played (Regular Season 79 G, 26.5 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 21.8 MPG): Hill didn’t play in three consecutive games from 2/10/80 through 2/13/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 76; Playoffs: 5): According to the TSN box scores, there were three games Hill played in but didn’t start. These were two consecutive games on 1/9/80 & 1/11/80, and a single game on 2/15/80.

The game on 2/15/80 was the game immediately following the three games Hill didn’t play in. Why Hill wouldn’t have started the two games in January isn’t obvious to me, but those two box scores have a few other oddities. Regular starting forward John Drew is also shown playing off the bench in those two games, and the TSN box scores also show Wayne Rollins replacing Steve Hawes as the starter at center effective with the game on 1/9. Perhaps the Hawks’ coaching staff was looking to shake up the team’s starting lineup, for whatever reason.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

STEVE HAWES

History: 2nd round pick of Cavaliers in 1972. Acquired in trade with Blazers, August 1976.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 22.6 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 29.8 MPG): Hawes is credited with appearing in all 82 regular season games, but I only noted him in 81 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Hawes in only 81 box scores. It is possible that Hawes was omitted from the TSN box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The TSN box score Hawes is absent from is for the game on 2/10/80. If Hawes really did play in all 82 regular season games, he obviously has to have played in that game.

Hawes also appeared in all five of the Hawks’ playoff games.

Games Started (Regular Season: 31; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores show Hawes starting 31 regular season games.

Based on the TSN box scores, Hawes and Wayne Rollins traded off the starting center role during the first half of the season. Hawes is shown starting the first ten games of the season at center (through 10/27/79); then playing off the bench for the next twelve games; then starting twenty consecutive games at center from 11/24/79 through 1/5/80. At that point, Rollins is shown taking over the starting center role for the rest of the season.

After 1/5, Hawes is shown making just one additional start, which was at forward at 3/21/80. This was in place of Dan Roundfield, who didn’t play in that game.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as PF for most seasons of career, including 1979-80. Three seasons are shown as C, which are 1974-75, 1975-76 (Hawes’ first two years in the NBA) and 1980-81. Note that even though Hawes’ position in the old header is listed as “Center-Forward” (implying that center was the position he played at the most over the course of his entire career), his primary position for the vast majority of the individual seasons of his career is shown as PF.

CHARLIE CRISS

History: Eligible for 1970 NBA Draft but was not selected. Signed as a free agent, July 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 22.1 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 30.4 MPG): Criss didn’t play in the game on 3/21/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 5; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores show Criss starting five games. These were on 12/2/79, two consecutive games on 1/9/80 & 1/11/80, and two consecutive games on 1/22/80 & 1/23/80. Criss’ starts on 12/2, 1/22, and 1/23 are shown in place of Eddie Johnson, who didn’t play in those games. His starts on 1/9 and 1/11 are shown in place of the Hawks’ other regular starting guard, Armond Hill. The TSN box scores show Hill playing in those two games but coming off the bench.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JIM McELROY

History: 3rd round pick of Jazz in 1975. Acquired in trade with Pistons, January 1980.

McElroy started the season with the Pistons, then was traded to the Hawks on 1/24/80 for Ron Lee and two draft picks.

Games Played (Regular Season 31 G, 16.6 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 6.4 MPG): When the Hawks acquired McElroy, they had 31 games remaining in the regular season. McElroy played in all of them, as well as all five of the Hawks’ playoff games.

McElroy had played in 36 games for the Pistons prior to the trade, giving him a total of 67 regular season games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 4; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores show McElroy starting four games. These were four consecutive games from 2/10/80 through 2/15/80. These starts are shown in place of Armond Hill, who didn’t play in the first three games in that stretch.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JACK GIVENS

History: 1st round pick of Hawks in 1978.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 15.3 MPG; Playoffs 4 G, 9.0 MPG): Givens is credited with appearing in all 82 regular season games, but I only noted him in 81 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Givens in only 81 box scores. It is possible that Givens was omitted from the TSN box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The regular season TSN box score Givens is absent from is for the game on 2/7/80. If Givens really did play in all 82 regular season games, he obviously has to have played in that game.

Givens appeared in four of the Hawks’ five playoff games. In the Hawks’ five-game series against Philadelphia, Givens played in every game except Game 5 (4/15/80).

Games Started (Regular Season: 2; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores show Givens starting two games. These were two consecutive games on 2/22/80 & 2/26/80. These starts are shown in place of John Drew, who didn’t play in those games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

JOHN BROWN

History: 1st round pick of Hawks in 1973. Signed to a 10-day contract, January 1980.

Brown did not start the 1979-80 season on an NBA roster. He was with the Jazz for a short time in November, but was waived. The Hawks signed Brown to a 10-day contract on 1/28/80, to fill in for the injured Tom McMillen. As McMillen missed the remainder of the season, Brown was signed to a second 10-day contract on 2/8/80, then to a contract for the remainder of the season on 2/19/80.

Games Played (Regular Season 28 G, 12.9 MPG; Playoffs 5 G, 11.6 MPG): When the Hawks signed Brown, they had 29 games remaining in the regular season. Brown is credited with appearing in 28 regular season games, but I only noted him in 27 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Brown in only 27 box scores. It is possible that Brown was omitted from the TSN box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The two TSN box scores Brown is absent from are for games on 2/10/80 and 3/18/80. If Brown really did play in 28 regular season games for the Hawks, he obviously has to have played in one of those two games.

During his brief stay with the Jazz earlier in the season, Brown had appeared in four games before being waived. Between the Jazz and the Hawks combined, he appeared in a total of 32 regular season games for the year. Brown also played in all five of the Hawks’ playoff games.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Brown starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career, including 1979-80, with one exception. The exception is 1975-76, which is shown as PF.

SAM PELLOM

History: Eligible for 1978 NBA Draft but was not selected. Signed as a free agent, November 1979.

Pellom did not start the season with the Hawks. He had been with the team in the preseason, but was waived in training camp, and did not start the 1979-80 season on an NBA roster. The Hawks brought Pellom back by signing him as a free agent on 11/23/79. Pellom filled the roster spot vacated by the trade of Terry Furlow to the Jazz on the same day. Pellom had no regular season NBA experience prior to the Hawks signing him.

Games Played (Regular Season 44 G, 8.5 MPG; Playoffs 4 G, 4.5 MPG): Pellom is credited with appearing in 44 regular season games, but I only noted him in 43 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Pellom in only 43 box scores. It is possible that Pellom was omitted from the TSN box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The Hawks played a game on the day Pellom was signed (11/23/79). It isn’t clear to me whether Furlow was traded, and Pellom signed, before or after the Hawks played that game. Neither player appears in the TSN box score. Pellom doesn’t appear in the TSN box score for the Hawks’ next game after that (11/24), either, finally making his first appearance on 11/27/79. At that point, the Hawks had 59 games remaining in the regular season. Pellom appears in the TSN box scores for 43 of them. The sixteen TSN box scores after 11/27 that Pellom is absent from are for games on 12/1/79, 12/8/79, three games in a four-game stretch from 12/14/79 through 12/19/79 (absent from 12/14, present on 12/15, absent from 12/18 & 12/19), three games in a four-game stretch from 12/27/79 through 1/5/80 (absent from 12/27, present on 12/29, absent from 1/3 & 1/5), 1/23/80, 2/10/80, 2/29/80, 3/8/80, three consecutive games from 3/11/80 through 3/16/80, and 3/26/80.

Pellom seemed to play somewhat more frequently as the season wore on. Half of the box scores he is absent from were among approximately the first 20 games he spent with the team. Aside from the three consecutive games in mid-March, he is only absent from five regular season box scores after January 5.

Pellom appeared in four of the Hawks’ five playoff games. In the Hawks’ five-game series against Philadelphia, Pellom played in every game except Game 4 (4/13/80).

Games Started (Regular Season: 0; Playoffs: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Pellom starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career.

INJURED LIST:

TOM McMILLEN

History: 1st round pick of Braves in 1974. Acquired in trade with Knicks, November 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 53 G, 20.2 MPG): McMillen appeared in the Hawks’ first 53 games (through 1/27/80). After that, he played in no further games. McMillen was apparently placed on the injured list on 1/28/80, and stayed there for the rest of the season, remaining inactive for the playoffs. The Hawks signed John Brown as a fill-in for McMillen.

Games Started (Regular Season: 2): The TSN box scores show McMillen starting two games. These were two consecutive games on 1/9/80 & 1/11/80. These starts are shown at forward in place of John Drew. The TSN box scores show Drew playing in those games but coming off the bench.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career. Note that even though McMillen’s position in the old header is listed as “Forward-Center” (implying that forward was the position he played at the most over the course of his entire career), his primary position for each individual season of his career is shown as C.

NO LONGER WITH TEAM:

RON LEE

History: 1st round pick of Suns in 1976. Acquired in trade with Jazz, October 1979.

Lee started the season with the Hawks, but was traded to the Pistons on 1/24/80, with two draft picks, in exchange for Jim McElroy.

Games Played (Regular Season 30 G, 12.1 MPG): At the time Lee was traded, the Hawks had played 51 games. Lee had appeared in 30 of them. Further details:

--Lee played in only six of the first twenty games of the season. These were the first two games of the season (10/12/79 & 10/13/79), 10/18/79, 10/26/79, 11/3/79, and 11/13/79.

--Lee then played in seventeen consecutive games, from 11/21/79 through 12/20/79.

--On 12/21/79, Lee was placed on the injured list. While Lee was on the IL, Rick Wilson was signed to a pair of 10-day contracts as a fill-in.

--On 1/11/80, Wilson’s second 10-day contract expired, and Lee was activated from the injured list. The Hawks played a game on 1/11, but I don’t know for certain whether Lee was activated before or after that game was played; neither Wilson nor Lee appeared in the game.

--Lee then played in the next seven consecutive games, from 1/12/80 through 1/23/80. This streak ended when Lee was traded to the Pistons on 1/24.

After the trade, Lee played in an additional 31 games for the Pistons, giving him a total of 61 regular season games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Lee starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

TERRY FURLOW

History: 1st round pick of 76ers in 1976. Acquired in trade with Cavaliers, January 1979.

Furlow started the season with the Hawks, but was traded to the Jazz on 11/23/79 for two 2nd round picks and future considerations. The Hawks filled the roster spot by signing Sam Pellom.

Games Played (Regular Season 21 G, 19.2 MPG): The Hawks played a game on the day Furlow was traded (11/23/79). It isn’t clear to me whether the trade took place before or after the Hawks played that game, as neither Furlow nor Pellom appear in the TSN box score. Prior to that date, however, the Hawks had played 21 games. Furlow had appeared in all of them.

After the trade, Furlow played in an additional 55 games for the Jazz, giving him a total of 76 regular season games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Furlow starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

RICK WILSON

History: 2nd round pick of Hawks in 1978. Signed to a 10-day contract, December 1979.

Wilson did not start the season with the Hawks. He had played for the Hawks in 1978-79, and had been with the team in the preseason, but was waived in training camp, and did not start the 1979-80 season on an NBA roster. Wilson returned to the Hawks on a pair of 10-day contracts between 12/21/79 and 1/11/80, while Ron Lee was on the injured list. Wilson was not retained after the second 10-day contract expired, as Lee was ready to return.

Games Played (Regular Season 5 G, 11.8 MPG): Wilson appeared in five consecutive games from 12/22/79 through 1/5/80. Those were his first five games on the roster.

After that, Wilson was on the Hawks’ roster for at least one additional game in which he didn’t play (1/9). The Hawks also played a game on 1/11, which was the day Wilson’s contract expired, and the day Lee was re-activated. I don’t know for certain whether Wilson was still on the Hawks’ roster at the time that game was played; neither Wilson nor Lee appeared in the game.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Wilson starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.
Last edited by MCT on Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MCT
 
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Re: 1979-80 Atlanta Hawks Games Played/Started & Transaction

Postby MCT » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:09 pm

PART IV – POSITION INFORMATION

STARTERS

The starters on the sample roster are shown in bold below. Any games started figures below are per my analysis of the TSN box scores, include regular season games only, and may include games started by players at positions other than their primary position.

C: During the first half of the season, the center spot passed back and forth between Steve Hawes and Wayne Rollins. In January, Rollins took over for good, and held down the starter’s role for the rest of the season. For the season as a whole, Rollins started 52 games, Hawes 31.

PF: Dan Roundfield was the regular starter throughout the season.

SF: John Drew was the regular starter throughout the season.

PG: Armond Hill was the regular starter throughout the season.

SG: Eddie Johnson was the regular starter throughout the season.

Johnson and Roundfield were the only two players on the Hawks to average 30 mpg. Hill and Rollins in particular each played relatively light minutes for a starter. In Rollins’ case, this may be partially attributable to his not having been the starter all year, but I get the impression that the Hawks had somewhat of a platoon at these two positions, with Charlie Criss and Steve Hawes playing heavy minutes off the bench.

MINUTES PLAYED

All players are listed based on their primary positions for this season as shown by b-r.com.

REGULAR SEASON

Center
Available minutes: 3956
Rollins 2123, McMillen 1071
adds up to 3194 (762 under)

In the course of this project, I’ve encountered a number of players who have an inconsistency between the position information listed in their old b-r.com header and the positions shown by b-r.com for each individual season of their career. The Hawks have two such players. Tom McMillen is one of them. McMillen’s old b-r.com header lists his position as “Forward-Center”, implying that forward was the position he played the most over the course of his entire career. But his primary position for every season of his career is shown as C. That doesn’t make sense; how could the position he played the most over the course of his career be forward if the position he played the most in every season of his career was C?

The second player on the Hawks with this anomaly is Steve Hawes. Hawes’ old b-r.com header lists his position as “Center-Forward”, implying that center was the position he played the most over the course of his entire career. But his primary position is shown as PF for seven of his ten NBA seasons, including this one. Again, that doesn’t really add up; how could the position he played the most over the course of his career be center if the position he played the most in the vast majority of the individual seasons of his career was PF?

For players with this anomaly, I’ve found that the positions listed in the old header often seem to make more sense than the positions shown as primary for each individual season. I suspect that’s the case here, too. I think Hawes’ primary position was actually center, and McMillen’s was actually forward.

With regard to Hawes, consider the following:

--Hawes started 30 games at center. All of his starts at center were prior to early January. This suggests that Hawes played fairly heavily at center during the first half of the season.

--During the second half of the season, Wayne Rollins was the regular starter at center. For most or all of this period, Hawes has to have been serving as Rollins’ backup. McMillen went out with an injury in late January and didn’t play for the rest of the season, so he can’t possibly have been serving as the backup center from that point on. With McMillen out of the picture, I just don’t see any other obvious candidates besides Hawes. Rollins and McMillen are the only two players on the team who b-r.com shows with a primary position of C. Of those listed as “Forward-Center” in their old b-r.com header, I can’t see Sam Pellom (didn’t play enough minutes) or Dan Roundfield (needed at, and much better suited to playing, PF) filling the backup center role. This suggests that Hawes played fairly heavily at center during the second half of the season.

If Hawes played fairly heavily at center during both the first and second halves of the season, it stands to reason that his primary position for the season as a whole was center.

With McMillen’s minutes at center, we’re significantly under (by 762 minutes). If we take McMillen’s minutes away from center and replace them with Hawes’, our minutes now come out close to even (20 minutes over, to be exact). That seems like too much of a coincidence.

The positions shown for each player in the preseason rosters in the 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1981-82 editions of the NBA Guide are consistent with this. All show McMillen as exclusively a forward, while all show Hawes as “C-F”. I think the evidence is mounting that b-r.com has each player’s primary position backwards.

In a previous paragraph, I called it too much of a coincidence that Hawes' minutes fit almost perfectly into the available space at center. To a degree, it is. As suggested by his “C-F” position designation in the NBA Guide, I think Hawes also spent some time playing forward as a secondary position. If nothing else, I suspect that Hawes picked up some minutes at power forward after McMillen went out, as the Hawks no longer really had a full-time backup there. If Hawes played some minutes at forward, in order for the math to work out, someone else who b-r.com shows with a primary position of forward must have played some center.

One possibility is that McMillen was seeing some minutes at center before he got hurt. The position designations in the preseason rosters in the 1980-81 and 1981-82 editions of the NBA Guide point to another possibility, however. Both editions show reserve big man Sam Pellom as exclusively a center. (Pellom doesn’t appear on the Hawks’ preseason roster in the 1979-80 edition.) This contradicts b-r.com, which shows his primary position as PF for every season of his NBA career. Much like Eric Fernsten on the Celtics, Pellom was the last player on the Hawks’ bench, and didn’t play a lot of minutes, which makes it difficult to figure out exactly how much he played where. If Pellom actually played most or all of his minutes at center, though, that would help balance out the time I believe Hawes spent playing forward.

The bottom line with these guys:

--I think b-r.com has McMillen’s primary position wrong. I think it was PF, not C.

--I think b-r.com also has Hawes’ primary position wrong. I think it was C, not PF. I think Hawes played significant minutes at PF as a secondary position, though.

--Because Pellom was the last player on the bench and didn’t play a lot of minutes, it’s hard to say how he fits here in terms of playing C versus PF. The position designations in contemporary NBA Guides raise the possibility that b-r.com may have Pellom’s primary position wrong as well, however, suggesting that it should be C, not PF.

Forward
Available minutes: 7912
Roundfield 2588, Drew 2306, Hawes 1853, Givens 1254, Pellom 373, Brown 361
adds up to 8735 (823 over)

As discussed above under Center, I think Hawes doesn’t really belong here, while Tom McMillen does. If we switch those two players around, instead of being 823 minutes over, we would be 41 minutes over. Taking into account the 20 minute surplus we would be left with at center, the frontcourt as a whole is 61 minutes over.

That surplus suggests that someone whose primary position was forward played a little at guard. Only a little, though, as 61 minutes works out to less than one minute a game. This could be nothing more than one of the forwards helping out at guard in a handful of games when one of the regular guards was unavailable. The best candidate is probably Jack Givens. Givens’ old b-r header lists his position as “Forward-Guard”, and the Hawks’ preseason roster in the 1979-80 edition of the NBA Guide shows Givens’ position as “F-G”.

In the 1980-81 NBA Guide, where Givens appears on the preseason roster of the expansion Dallas Mavericks, he is shown as exclusively a forward. If the position designations in the 1979-80 and 1980-81 Guides reflect how Givens was used during the previous season, perhaps he played significantly at guard in 1978-79, but not enough in 1979-80 (i.e., 61 minutes) to make it worth mentioning in the 1980-81 edition.

Guard
Available minutes: 7912
Johnson 2622, Hill 2092, Criss 1794, McElroy 516, Furlow 404, Lee 364, Wilson 59
adds up to 7851 (61 under)

The 61 minute shortage presumably reflects modest usage at guard by someone whose primary position is shown as forward (less than a minute a game, averaged over a full season; perhaps nothing more than one of the forwards helping out at guard in a handful of games when one of the regular guards was unavailable). I think the best candidate is Jack Givens; see the discussion under Forward above.

PLAYOFFS

Center
Available minutes: 240
Rollins 134
Adds up to 134 (106 under)

With Rollins as the only player on the playoff roster who b-r.com shows with a primary position of C, we’re left with a 106 minute shortage. But if we move Steve Hawes’ 149 minutes from forward to center, as we did during the regular season, we’re instead 43 minutes over. This is consistent with my earlier suggestion that Hawes’ primary position was really C, but that he also had to cover significant minutes at PF after Tom McMillen went out with an injury.

Note that Hawes’ minutes per game increased from 22.6 during the regular season to 29.8 during the playoffs. Hawes played more minutes during the playoffs than Rollins, though those minutes were probably divided between center and forward (so Rollins likely played more minutes at center than Hawes did).

As in the regular season, it’s possible that some or all of Sam Pellom’s minutes belong here, too. Pellom only played eighteen minutes during the playoffs, though, so his minutes won’t affect the equation much in either direction.

Forward
Available minutes: 480
Roundfield 174, Drew 150, Hawes 149, Brown 58, Givens 36, Pellom 18
Adds up to 585 (105 over)

As discussed above under Center, I think Hawes’ primary position wasn’t really PF, but C. If we move Hawes’ minutes to center, instead of being 105 minutes over, we would be 44 minutes short. Taking into account the 43 minute surplus at center, the frontcourt as a whole is one minute under. During the regular season, the frontcourt had a small surplus, but during the playoffs, this was gone.

Guard
Available minutes: 480
Johnson 188, Criss 152, Hill 109, McElroy 32
Adds up to 481 (1 over)

As discussed above under forward, the small shortage at guard that we saw during the regular season was gone for the playoffs.

Note that while Hill continued to start in the playoffs, Criss played more minutes than Hill did; Criss actually averaged over 30 mpg. Approximately 93% of the available playoff minutes at guard were covered by three players (Johnson, Criss and Hill).

TRIVIA

Oldest Player: Charlie Criss, born 11/6/48 (turned 31 early in the season).

Played in ABA: Dan Roundfield.

Longest continuous service with team: John Drew, with the team since the 1974-75 season. John Brown had played for the Hawks for two seasons before Drew arrived, but had not been with the team continuously since then.
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