Hawks soar, then stumble

Meanwhile somewhere in the mountainous of Pennsylvania.….

Road trips aren’t always a lot of fun.The Atlanta Hawks and any other NBA team can tell you that. And if you are traveling for the Holidays, you can probably attest to it as well.

On the heels of an 18 1/2 hour drive from southeast georgia to Pennsylvania (we drove through what radio stations in Virginia were dubbing “The Blizzard of  ‘09″), in which I missed both of the last two Hawks games, I have to be thankful. Even if the Hawks lost to the Bulls in overtime, they beat the Jazz before that, and made it look relatively easy. Oh, and  we made it  safely through the worst snow, sleet, and  ice situation (even if the trip took several hours longer than it should have, due to road closures and the need to reduce speed drastically) I’ve ever been in by far. Ah yes, sometimes there is just no substitute for The Beast (my Ford F-150 Supercrew FX4), which powered right past one spun-out hybrid sedan or sports car after another. But enough of that…

As I watched some clips of the game against the Jazz, I thought, is this who the Hawks are becoming? A team that shares the ball and doesn’t have a 25+ ppg scorer? A team that uses a harassing, switching defense that can bother even the most efficiently executed offenses? Is this who the Hawks finally identify themselves as?What do y’all think? Since I didn’t get to see both games, how about y’all assess them both (I figure there will be more said about the loss, than the win, since we just CAN’T enjoy wins around here, heh heh!)

Both concepts (share the ball, properly execute a zone/switch defense) worked great against Utah. Most of what little bit of footage I saw  of the Chicago game was offense (some shots of Derrick Rose showing why he was picked #1), so I don’t know how the defense went. Not all that well, based on the idea that Chicago, who has been struggling to score, managed to hit 48% of their shots.

The offense, however was a different deal. Just reading the box score, a few things were obvious.

First, the Hawks only had 15 assists. It would be easy to say that the Hawks didn’t share the ball, but is that what really happened? I mean, you can make all the beautiful, snazzy, or just plain fundamental passes you want. But if the guy receiving the ball doesn’t convert, then there’s no assist. So which happened? Did the Hawks just not share the ball, or did they not convert on plays?

Second, Joe Johnson had a pretty dang good game, offensively. He shot 50% from the field, including a blazing 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. He also took nearly three times as many shots (32) as the guy who took the second most shots on the team (Josh Smith, 12 shots). Was this the offense the Hawks wanted, or is this the offense they were forced into? Either way, it doesn’t seem to be how the Hawks win these days, for the most part. Then again, with Marvin, Mike, and Josh shooting a combined 6 for 27, Joe wasn’t getting much help at all. Oddly enough, it seems that perhaps Jamal should have taken more than 10 shots.

Third, Al Horford and Josh Smith were both in foul trouble, with four each. Ah, but there is a difference here as well. Foul trouble didn’t seem to limit or change Horford’s game too much, as he finished with 15 points on 6 for 10 shooting, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. Josh Smith was far less impressive, recording just 8 points on 3 for 12 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Was this the biggest negative impact in the game? Is foul trouble the biggest difference between Smith’s game against Utah, versus the one he had in Chicago? Why didn’t it have the same impact with Horford? Venturing an opinion, I would say that Josh Smith has to find ways to positively impact the game on BOTH ends of the court, regardless of foul trouble. And he must do so quickly. Why? Because coaches and their teams will catch onto how much of an impact Josh has on the game, and that he often doesn’t play well in foul trouble. Guess what that means as far as opposing gameplans?

Meanwhile, the road trip continues for the Hawks, who get some rest before facing the Minnesota Timberwolves in their own den on Tuesday. The Hawks then face the Denver Nuggets (who will no doubt wish to avenge the drubbing they received in Atlanta earlier this season) the very next night. Back to back road games are never fun. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be successful.

HAWKS VS T-WOLVES

The Hawks worked the hapless T-Wolves over last season, pretty much like everyone else did. Mike Bibby was the most consistent Hawk, going for an average of 21 points per contest. This year’s Minnesota squad is different, even if they don’t end up winning more games. With a record of 5-22, things don’t look too good for that to happen. However, the Wolves do have some things to look forward to, and some things to build off of.

The Hawks? Well, they’re different, too. But you knew that already.

Leader of the Pack

So much of the Wolves’ future begins with rookie pg Johnny Flynn. Like most rookie guards, Flynn has issues with consistency. One night, he hits nearly every shot he takes. The next night, he can’t buy a bucket. Be that as it may, Flynn is Minnesota’s floor general, and they key to success, even if he is the harbinger of  failure on some nights. The highlight of his very young career has to be the 28 point outburst against Utah, in which he also made the game-winning shot. In fact, Flynn has been competitive against quite a few of the NBA’s better point guards. More specifically, he has been effective against them on offense. Defense has been another matter. The Hawks will have to be careful to swarm and frustrate Flynn early. He’s not a great shooter, but his speed, quickness, and determination help him to get points. The other thing about Flynn is that he struggles to be an effective playmaker when he’s not scoring. Of course, Flynn only has so much freedom in Coach Kurt Rambis’ offense (he has to learn the system first, then he will be cut loose to do his thing), so his assists are up and down.

Either way, a savvy veteran like Mike Bibby can exploit Flynn’s lack of experience and frustrate him into a bad game. On the flip side of the coin, if Bibby and the Hawks don’t get after Flynn right away, he’ll use his superior speed and nose for the paint to explode for a 20+ point night.

Paint Wars

Al Jefferson isn’t producing like he was last year (23 points, 11 rebounds, 1.7 blocks per contest), but he’s still a very credible and solid producer in the paint with 16.8 ppg and 9.1 rpg, even if his defensive statistics have also taken a downturn. Jefferson is a double double threat any night, but he will get to face a similar threat in Al Horford, who has seen his offensive output increase this season. Horford is strong, but his advantage here will be quickness and speed. Who wins this battle, or will it even out, much as Horford’s matchup with New Jersey’s Brook Lopez did, before Horford  left the game and Lopez was able to pad his stats?

Here’s possibly the more pivotal post matchup: Kevin Love versus Josh Smith.  Horford can’t be expected to take on Minnesota’s glass-crashing duo without a tag team partner. Smith is just the man for the job. In fact, Horford and Smith both tend to play better when the other is in the game with them. Similarly, Jefferson is always better when Love is there to lend a hand. Kevin Love is a natural rebounder that has two advantages on most nights- size and near-flawless fundamentals. He’s also an opportunistic and steady scorer who has very good shooting range (8-15 from beyond the arc this season), and tends to make good decisions with the ball. Both he and Jefferson average about 2 assists per game each, showing their ability to pass the ball. On defense, Smith will have to shadow Love and fight him hard on the glass, or the Horford and the Hawks could find themselves overwhelmed in the battle of the boards. On offense, Smith must use his quickness to score on Love and draw fouls. On the other side, Love will try to do the same thing (draw fouls) to Smith, as he surely will not want to be stuck trying to deal with the high-leaping and active Atlanta forward.

Role Players

Normally we’d call this the battle of the bench, but in this case it seems more like a matchup of the role players. Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer are the main support guys for Minnesota, though both are usually starting. Add Ramon Sessions to the group, as the backup point guard. Sessions was probably looking for another shot at a starting gig when he left Milwaukee, but with Flynn around, Sessions has had to settle for second fiddle and about 22 minutes per game. Still, Sesssions has responded decently by shooting over 50% from the field, scoring 8.4 ppg, and adding 3 assists per game. Getting back to the wings….Brewer is not a good shooter (40%) but still gets 11.4 ppg. His forte is defense, where his hot stat is 1.74 thefts per contest. Gomes is more offensively adept than Brewer, averaging 12 points per contest on roughly 48% shooting. Both guys help out on the boards though, as Gomes averages 5.3, and Brewer 4.1 per game.

The Hawks counter on the wings with Marvin Williams and Mo Evans, who will have to bring energy and intensity to match that of Brewer and Gomes. In the backcourt, Sessions will need all the help he can get against explosive veteran Jamal Crawford and rookie Jeff Teague. Teague is not likely to have a huge impact in the game, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t get decent minutes against the Wolves.

Coaching

While some may think this is an alien concept in the ATL, the Hawks’ coaching staff is doing a good job. It’s a new day when the Hawks lose a game in overtime to an inferior team, and it only drops them to 19 and 7 with a road record of 7 and 5. This has to reflect well on Mike Woodson in particular, who is getting more consistency out of his team than ever. Will that earn him a new contract? Very likely so, and all current signs point toward that result. The question is, when? GM Rick Sund has publicly (and apparently privately) said that this will be at the end of the season. Will that affect Woodson’s ability to perform at a high level? The Hawks record indicates that the answer is a resounding “No”, and there is little reason to think that this will change. Woodson and the Hawks seem to be running along just fine, despite the concerns with Woodson and guard Joe Johnson’s contract status. But what do YOU think? Will Woodson be able to maintain his professional approach to things and continue to get good results, or will the lack of a contract extension RIGHT NOW keep him from doing his job?

Off  We Go

Hopefully the Hawks get a couple of good practices in before heading into the games against Minnesota and Denver. They always seem to play well right after they have good practices.

Well, back to more snow and exceedingly cold weather for now. So what do you think, Hawks fans? Does our squad bounce back from this loss and do to the T-Wolves what they’ve done to so many other bad teams so far this season? It would be a good thing if the starters get an early blowout and get to rest up for at least a quarter or so against Minnesota, since they’ll face Denver the very next night.

72 comments Add your comment

niremetal

December 20th, 2009
2:10 pm

Funny how you and I switched places for a weekend :)

Truth-Serum

December 20th, 2009
4:18 pm

.

Not to lose perspective,the length of the season is about seeding, refining, positioning against perspective opponents. From where I sit, we are right about where I expected and not far from where the experts projected.

I expect between 50-53 wins and a 4th seed. the experts project 44-47 and 4th-7th seed. This team is nice offensively but plays good defense as well.

I’m not bother by a tight loss to Chicago, Its a good experience to work on last second play clock management and over time perspective. Its was our first game as such,(at least that I remember), but come playoff time and down the stretch this type of game will be common place. This was a GREAT game in the sense that its a goal post, something to work on and perfect.

Of the decisions that could have be played different, I agree with the consensus that Crawford should have been in the game, and I also wonder why we did not force the ball and foul Noah out of the game as he had 5 fouls in the fourth.

Seems like Deng dominated us in the low post and no body else for the hawks could muster much offense. This troubles me because Deng is not the most dominating low post presence and wonder how Horford with hold up against better low post power.

We go to overtime and lose on their home court with the game still on the line at the second buzzer…. Ive got no complaints. You wont win them all. 5-1 stretch? Ill take it. My bet was 7-3 on the stretch. This team is still playing very well.

Like you, Im thinking about how are we going to be able to deal with either of the big three. Im sure last minute strategy and forced foul outs as well as ISO’s will be more keenly attended in a 5-7 game set than 1 game here or there during the course of the season.

This was a good game to help us get a early focus on what is sure to come later.

Truth-Serum

December 20th, 2009
4:20 pm

Make that 6-1 down the stretch.

Blast

December 20th, 2009
7:07 pm

Big Ray,

You say Hawks always play well after a good practice, I say they usually play well after a disappointing loss. Glad to read players were mad about the loss to Chicago. They should be upset. That should have been a Hawks win. Hope the team and coach learn a big lesson from last night’s game. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Bad coaching in a tight game that should not have been tight. Jamal should have finished that game. Selfish play by Joe. I’m not impressed if you score 40 in a loss. Come talk to me after you drop 40 in a win. Bad defence down the stretch. Bad turnovers, even in the last play. And Joe had several turnovers for pounding the ball too much, driving into a wall of 4 guys…. I could go on and on.

Then again, Hawks won’t win every game, and Chicago wanted it more. I still love the Hawks no matter what. They have given us such joyful moments in those 19 wins. Still has a winning road record. Enuff said.

Now if they lose in Minny, I will be MAD!

Go Hawks! Junk the Iso game. Team ball wins every time.

Y’all have noticed Hawks seem to lose everytime Josh is in foul trouble and can’t play major minutes? Josh must stay in the game! And stop jakking up those 20 footers!

dominique0107

December 20th, 2009
7:57 pm

Hey Coach Woody! You must stick to your gameplan that made you win by big margins the last 5 games.. Hawks lose whenever you switch to panic mode- not being able to give the starters some breather and forget about your second unit! Many of fans appreciate the wins with JJ being all-around, not necessarily a top scorer sometimes, unselfish guy rather have him score/shoot- almost single-handed, yet lose in the end. I love the Hawks because you play basketball beautifully as a team and not have those cocky guys who dominate the games.

Noel

December 20th, 2009
8:10 pm

I agree with you blast! Joe was very selfish in that game especially in crunch time..I saw Mike Bibby was open from down town a couple of times but he didn’t pass the ball instead shoot a very tough fade a way jumper..

Harpie

December 20th, 2009
9:55 pm

Woodson sucks! The Hawks will never have a meaningful season until they get rid of him!

Moxie

December 21st, 2009
12:42 am

Tough loss but they had to lose at some point. I really don’t mind Joe scoring 40+ because nobody else did anything else, with the exception of Al. Mike missed open shots, Jamal was being Jamal by making great shots, then bricking the rest. Poor Marvin. I really believe that he works the hardest at pratice, but it just doesnt equate to the court. I really hope he gets better because when he is on, he is really good. Now on to Josh. I like to think of him a rehabbed alcoholic. Everything goes great when are around a positive environment. But when things go bad and they are alone, that spells trouble. Well Josh is the same way. When they were blowing out the other teams, he was great. But something happend along the way and everything was craptastic. He refused to drive the ball a times and took open shots. THEY WERE OPEN FOR A REASON! But I hope he just had a relapse and he comes back to his senses because this road trip can either be difficult or average. And does anyone else think they should stop blowing out teams because these teams will remember it and come back with a vengence? Maybe they should just win by 10? Well I love it either way.

Fire Woodson

December 21st, 2009
12:43 am

Larry Drew is tired of waiting for that promotion.

Oh, and Byron Scott may be interested…

Noel

December 21st, 2009
12:50 am

Josh Smith is the barometer of the team!whenever he struggles our team struggles, if he uses he’s head and focus on the game we are a beast. So I recommend that we should always use the pick n’ roll that’s the best play for him since he is very athletic and fast and post him up a lot of times so that he can draw fouls.

vava74

December 21st, 2009
6:53 am

J-Smoove has been struggling offensively since he is not getting any calls down under and is starting to be impatient and not posting up as he did in the beginning of the season.

Look at what Simmons (ESPN) has to say about working the refs (JUST ADD J-SMOOVE to the list of players mentioned):

“Certain players (Rick Barry, Iverson, Rasheed, Antoine Walker) made it much harder on themselves by not playing The Ref Game, which goes like this: Don’t show them up; don’t complain and moan every time you don’t get bailed out; don’t swear at them or menace them in any way; don’t run 25 feet in disbelief after a bad call; and most importantly, call them by their names and not “man,” “ref” or “you.””

vava74

December 21st, 2009
7:08 am

Can someone pass on these simple instructions to Josh???

vava74

December 21st, 2009
7:17 am

actually, i just left a post in his blog!

Daniel

December 21st, 2009
8:43 am

Ray- I didn’t get to watch the Chicago game fully. The NCAA Women’s Volleyball national championship was on as well. Before anyone tries to pull my man card, my daughter plays volleyball for her high school team and really wanted to watch the game with me. Turned out to be a great game by the way.

From what I did get to see during “flipage”. Josh had to sit early with his foul trouble and Horford did not. Horford also came out in the 3rd quarter with a vengance. Josh did seem to sulk a little to be honest, but given his game against the Jazz and his overall general play this season, I give him a pass.

To be honest, Chicago came hard and determined. The Hawks looked a little tired. Even with the Bulls at their best and the Hawks kinda in cruise control we still could have/should have won.

Overall, I am going with its “just one of those games”. If the Hawks lose one out of every 7, I think I can be just fine with that.

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2009
10:00 am

We didn’t want the win. We allowed ourselves to stoop to their level. We essentially beat ourselves. 24 yr old kids shouldn’t ever be tired. Especially after sitting most of the night before. To me it showed a lack of heart. They were satisfied with their record and had a lapse. Hopefully it won’t continue with the difficult stretch ahead. I don’t mind a close, hard-fought loss to a good team. I can’t accept a lack luster loss to scrubs. Everyone on the team is to blame for this one, top to bottom.

jhan

December 21st, 2009
10:11 am

How can anyone possibly blame Joe for that loss? If Bibby, Smith or Williams would hit 1 extra shot each we win by 5. Bibby had a wide open 3 at the end but decided to pass to a double teamed Joe Johnson. I guess that’s Joe’s fault also.

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2009
10:23 am

I’ll agree, Joe shot 50% from the field, but he missed 3-4 shots in the last two minutes. He followed that dismal slump with missing every one of his shots in overtime with the exception of a layup to open the frame and two free throws. Seems like he was forcing shots in the end b/c no one else could hit a shot or step up either. To to me it seemed like the whole team let down on D, allowed the Bulls to score and then expected to go 1 on 1 for buckets late. Whenever we shift to that type of ball we lose. Everyone forced their shot late. We played lackluster D which leads to lackluster offense which leads to alot of complaining here.

No effort = No win. It’s very simple.

How do you defend Joe’s last 7 minutes?

jhan

December 21st, 2009
11:01 am

What’s to defend? Because he didn’t shoot 100% it’s his fault we lost? Where were Josh, Marvin & Bibby when we needed them? Joe was able to play outstanding D against Rose to even force the overtime. We’ll have to disagree on this game. What we can agree on is poor effort/execution from the rest of the team caused this loss.

Fundamentals

December 21st, 2009
11:54 am

When I played ball if I missed 7-8 shots I’d drive the bucket and make sure I got a bucket or free throws – or pass it to someone new. We can disagree about Joe’s effort in the final minutes. He tried because no one else would. It’s not his fault he was put in that situation. Nobody else helped him out.

We agree on the main item = poor effort/execution.

vava74

December 21st, 2009
12:59 pm

Fundamentals,

The problem was that this time, some of the misses were drives to the bucket where JJ did not get neither the basket nor a call…

I’m not saying that he was fouled, however, if it was Wade, Kobe or Lebron instead of JJ, the call would have come…

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
2:39 pm

Great comments, guys.

I have a hard time blaming Joe Johnson for the loss in Chicago. Woody pretty much summed it up by saying that they went to him a little too often. The bad thing is, he wasn’t getting much help beyond Al Horford and Jamal Crawford, and neither of those guys took more than 10 shots.

Would we rather see more ball sharing? Sure. But as others have already mentioned, what did Marvin and Josh do to promote, justify, or validate that style of play? Nothing.

It’s amusing, the knack that some people have for finding a way to blame a particular player for a loss or anything else negativer, every chance they get, while never giving said player any credit for doing anything right.

Examples:

Al Horford leaves the game against New Jersey with one more point and one more rebound than the bigger Brook Lopez (Lopez played the last 12 minutes of the game and padded his stats against our bench players while Horford relaxed on the bench). Not one word about Horford in this game from some corners. Meanwhile, he gets blamed for Luol Deng’s performance?

Josh Smith plays very well against Utah, leading the team. But you won’t hear a word from the usual suspects. That is, not until he gets into foul trouble against Chicago and shoots poorly. Then the post come a-flowingly…

Joe Johnson hits 50% of his shots and is basically the only offensive threat in the game (Al just didn’t get the ball enough). In games like this, clearly we were not firing on all cylinders. If other guys aren’t hitting the shots, then it’s Joe’s fault for not seeing this immediately, and scoring a Kobe-like 40 points. Joe scores 40, he was hogging the ball. Honestly, where does it end?

:lol:

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
2:43 pm

Well, I look forward to Minnesota. We need to put Johnny Flynn and Co on notice: we’re not the Utah Jazz, sonny boy!

James

December 21st, 2009
2:48 pm

Joe played great but we didnt give anyone else a chance to do anything .

Horf seemed to wear down in the end

Josh took 12 shots in 28 minutes 2-12 while Crawford who played 37 minutes was 5-10

Situations like that to me are coaching because it didnt seem like we even tried to get Jamal into the game offensively but instead treated Jamal as though he was Marv in the 4th and had him go stand in the corner and get treated to a Joe show .

This bother me because this was not a case where Joe was hot and we had to come back this is a case where we were ahead basically the entire game.That to me is why its on the coaching .

I fully expect us to bounce back big and its only one game but these situations are great teaching opportunities for preparing the team for the playoffs.

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
4:15 pm

Heh….Some of the stuff around the league is funny.

The old Gilbert Arenas is back. What were they expecting, the NEW one? No such thing. Unless something amazing or otherwise polarizing happens for the Wiz, there will be none of this foolishness the media was talking about before the season began. Oh, you know. Stuff like the Hawks fighting tooth and nail to wrest the 4th seed from the hands of Agent Zero and the mighty Wizards….

Cavs coach Mike Brown says his team is built more for the playoffs than the regular season. This after a couple more losses keeps them just behind us in the standings. Sure, Mike. That’s why you won 66 games last season and took home COY and MVP (Lebron James) at the end of they year, bought into your own hype after sweeping a heavily injury-plagued Hawks team, and then got dismantled by Puff the Magic Stan and Mighty Dwight in the Eastern Conference Finals….

Yeah, that’s what it is. Your team is better built for the playoffs than the regular season. If you were the Spurs, I’d believe you. But you’re not. Lebron is not the King until Kobe hands him the crown, Mo Williams isn’t really an all-star, and the Diesel is finally running out of fuel. But hey, you’re still 20-7. See you in a few days, you bald-headed sucker.

Sautee

December 21st, 2009
4:16 pm

Ray,

Glad you had safe travels.

LOL about Deng. Does ANYBODY here remember Horford guarding Deng at any time during the game? Maybe once on a switch, but mostly he was guarding Noah and Miller. So how was he responsible again?

But I’ve come to expect “hate” about Horford from our multi-named poster. Even with Al going for 15 and 10 with THREE BLOCKED SHOTS (the most for either team).

Hey, I thought he was supposed to be overmatched! ;-)

And yes, it would have been a good strategy to foul Noah out, but we never tried.

Mz. Hawkdafied

December 21st, 2009
4:31 pm

LMAO @ Big Ray’s 4:15pm post. Yeah nothing but excuses, excuses from Mike Brown.

“Stuff like the Hawks fighting tooth and nail to wrest the 4th seed from the hands of Agent Zero and the mighty Wizards….” HAHAHA!

Mike B.

December 21st, 2009
6:13 pm

The Hawks are playing good ball as of late. The difference in stats in the Chicago game was Josh was in foul trouble early. Josh is VERY important to this team, regardless what the haters think. When he doesn’t get foul calls or gets in early foul trouble, it effects everyone on the team if he gets down. This game he was in foul trouble in the first half and felt he had to make up for it in the second half and took some early long jump shots just to feel like he was “in the game”. I’m sure he will come out next game against the Love/Jefferson combo and show the J-Smooth we love in the A. Joe had 40pts because he needed 40pts. He didn’t have much help. It is what it is. No team goes 82-0. We will lose some. Right now, we are on pace to win around 56 games. I’ll ltake that any season. We will take care of business in Minn, and play a team looking for some payback the very next night in Denver. I’m looking forward to this stretch of road games by the Hawks.

Astro Joe

December 21st, 2009
6:55 pm

Joe had 20 points in the first half… 20 of the team’s 46. He came out hot and every one else came out cold. Horford had a big 3rd quarter and then Joe took over (again) in the 4th.

Here’s what I find interesting. Joe took a ton of heat for not playing bigger in the playoffs last season. Yet, when he sees his teammates ice cold and delivers a 40 point performance (on the road no less), he is deemed “selfish”. I just wonder if he averages 18-20 in the playoffs and we go down in flames, if folk will knock the other members of the “ensemble” or if they will again ridicule Joe for not delivering a “selfish” performance. If you say “well, he needs to step up if his teammates are cold” then I will ask, what do you think he was doing in Chicago? No, he wasn’t perfect in every possession (I can;t believe he missed the lay-up in OT), but I don’t understand how a true Hawks fan could fault the overall effort. One more made basket and they streak would be at 7.

Safe travels, Ray. And swing by Hershey, PA and grab a brotha a cab-load of Reese’s peanut-butter cups. :)

Noel

December 21st, 2009
7:45 pm

I agree Mike B.! Good luck in Minnesota..I want to see the hawks fly and punish these team in these next 3 games. Were # 3 in the east right now i know you can make it all the way to the #1 spot. The most exciting team in the NBA now I just love watching you guys..please continue with intensity and good defense.

rusty

December 21st, 2009
8:16 pm

when joe starts the game gunning whether he is making the shots or not,it tales us out of all ball movement & the ability to make easy baskets. when he is taking a high percentages of
the shots it puts a lot of pressure on every one else to make the few shots they are getting.
also when he is pounding we lose our uptempo playing. joe aways shows the same pattern
of playing streaky & has proven without a doubt that you cant depend on him when the game is on the line,he doesnt make shots at the end of the game & has a high rate of turnovers. for this team to play real well we have to play up an uptempo game. joe slows us down with all his dribbling

rusty

December 21st, 2009
8:38 pm

in the chicago game woody pulled josh out & kept him out far to long.we need josh in the game. josh needs to be in the game,when he sits for a time when he does come back in ,
he usually does not play well. he had 4 fouls when he went out & when the over time was over he still had 4 fouls. i almost think he gets pissed off when woody keeps him out for
long periods of time,i also think he gets pissed off when woody lets joe hog the ball for long periods of the game. i dont think that he gets mad when he is taken out of the game
when we are dominating the game while it seems that jj always does. it seems that in a lot of the games that mw gets more minutes than josh even tho he is playing like crap. i think that woody is not fair & shows favoritisn to jj & mw. i certainly would take more of a gamble
& let josh play more with 4 fouls than sitting on the bench letting the game go down the tubes because this team certainly has no one on the bench to match his intensity on offense & defense.

doc

December 21st, 2009
8:49 pm

fundamental if i put up 7 or 8 shots there were 4 dead teammates around me. heh heh

no calls again for jj as he moved to the basket last night.

doc

December 21st, 2009
8:51 pm

wasted a very strong performance by jj, dont understand why when he goes out and does it he doesnt get more support from his teammates in extra effort in other areas. sorry game for josh, man he was out of synch.

Big Ray

December 21st, 2009
11:59 pm

Mz. Hawkdafied ,

I aim to please!

Astro Joe ,

Thanks, man. You want the regular ones or the new white chocolate ones? :)

Sautee ,

You have it pegged, my friend.

rusty ,

That was the best Haiku I’ve seen in a while, man. Wait, that wasn’t Haiku, was it? ;)

Just kidding. On a more serious note, when Kobe scores 40, does it take HIS teammates out of rhythm? How about Wade? Lebron?

KevinA

December 22nd, 2009
2:19 am

Big Ray,
Would we rather see more ball sharing? Sure. But as others have already mentioned, what did Marvin and Josh do to promote, justify, or validate that style of play? Nothing.

It’s amusing, the knack that some people have for finding a way to blame a particular player for a loss or anything else negativer, every chance they get, while never giving said player any credit for doing anything right.

The blame is in the style of play. Poor ball movement, ISO rearing it’s ugly head after walking the ball up the court. Where was the time for passes to teamates. Why can’t the first pass come with 17 secounds left in the shot clock instead of 7. We have Bibby/JJ ball and team ball. We have a fresh team with more substituation or we walk and stand around.

In the previous 4 games we played team ball so this is not some kinda dream idea of when we play our best. Sure we can win with JJ dominating the game. We will just not see the Hawks play their best ball with JJ dominating the offense.

By the way when have we lost when we have had good balance?…….. Seems to be validation to me.

KevinA
December 20th, 2009
10:43 am
A look at balance for last nights game.
Guards 24-52
Swing 2-10
Post 10-25
This game looked allot like one from 2007. Poor ball movement, ISO and guard dominated shooting. No matter how well JJ plays, taking 32 shots is not a good game plan. Win or lose.

Noel

December 22nd, 2009
3:31 am

Guys Josh Smith is the man! If J-smoooooooove can play 18 pts 10 reb 2 blks nobody will beat us..Don’t get fooled with the #s that i gave..What I’m saying is if Josh smith can play with consistency were unbeatable..We will gonna win the NBA championship trophy..He don’t just give us stat, he also gave us the intangibles like intensity,hustle,fighting spirit and showtime..If he can only hit those outside shot he will be like Kevin Garnet at the very list and Lebron James at the very best..He will be unstoppable I’m telling you.

[...] But the Hawks need to be ready for the young Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night, and Big Ray of Hawks Fan Nest has his eyes on rookie Johnny Flynn, among other [...]

Tim- E- D

December 22nd, 2009
5:00 am

I think the Hawks are doing well and hope to win at least 50 games. The Hawks need to realize that their offense wil sputter at times but they can bring their defense out every night. Their defense will always keep them in the game until the very end. It seems that they are buying into Coach Woodson system to play solid defense. The Hawks are a good defensive team and that starts with Josh Smith. Not only is he a great shot blocker but he commands respect from others players when they come into the paint.I don’t think he has to score 15 plus points a game to have an impact in the game. He impacts the game on the defense, like a Mutombo impacts the game with his defense and rebounding. That is why he is so valuable to his team. If the Hawks continue to play great defense, they will continue to win. They say defense is what wins championships.Josh Smith will continue to play well the rest of the season and right on in the playoffs. Good luck Hawks!

Fundamentals

December 22nd, 2009
8:09 am

My comments about Joe earlier never said he hogged the ball, never said anything other than he was hung out to dry. There was no motion, no effort, no help from anyone late in the game and in overtime.

Everyone said, “Give it to Joe – he’s the superstar!” and down we went. Joe is best when he’s working with other players. He’s a great talent, an awesome player and I love having him on our TEAM.

Late in the 4th he would’ve been better suited to have someoone like Crawford drive the bucket and dish to Joe for a shot if he got stopped or doubled. Joe can hit that. He just can’t hit drives over and over and over again. It’s just not his game. He doesn’t get foul calls, I’ll agree. But he knew that before he went for the shot.

We didn’t use our pieces. We watched our “Superstar”. We lost, big deal. It’s only one game.

Now we’re ready to crush MN.

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
8:45 pm

Fundamentals ,

Don’t take that personal, it wasn’t directed at you. I’ve read “ball-hoggin’ Joe” on so many sites that it’s just plain hilarious. I just think it’s funny that people will literally say he hogs a ball, then turn around and diss the man for not scoring 40+ points or something.

KevinA ,

My point was that Joe got no help. Josh went 3 for 12. Marvin went 1 for 7. They started going to Joe because those guys weren’t getting the job done, clearly. Woody himself said that they went to Joe too much. Basically, they took the easy way out. In other games we HAVE won by sharing the ball more. But that sharing has to include execution. You don’t execute, and all that sharing turns out to be nothing more than everybody playing “hot potato”, which is what happened against the Bulls.

We panicked and said “here Joe, YOU do it.” So in that sense, Marvin and Josh did NOT validate sharing the ball. They played like sharing it was a bad idea. That’s all I was saying.

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
8:48 pm

Heh…..read this in Woody’s interview with NBA.com, in an article I saw posted there today. I found some of Woody’s words to be very interesting and good reading. Note how he responds on the topics of Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, and his contract (hot button issues). Some of the answers may surprise you.

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/steve_aschburner/12/22/woodson.qa/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
9:00 pm

Horford looks good against these guys. 10 and 8 already. Hell, that’s a game for some guys. Question though: Will we continue to go to him in the second half?

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
9:04 pm

Typical JJ…4 boards and 5 assists to go with those 9 points. Love his versatility.

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
9:04 pm

Say whaaaaaat? A RandMo sighting? Oh yeah, I forgot J-Smoove is in early foul trouble again.

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
9:48 pm

Can’t take this team lightly…which the Hawks are doing, but it’s always a defensive struggle without Josh in the game, something that needs to be addressed.

niremetal

December 22nd, 2009
10:21 pm

Missed development this year: Somehow, Bibby has turned himself into a non-liability on defense.

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
10:32 pm

Hawks win by 25. Josh took himself out of another game. Al played BIG. And the veteran guard triumvirate was awesome. Yessssss!

Big Ray

December 22nd, 2009
10:33 pm

Nire ,

Excellent observation.

doc

December 22nd, 2009
10:44 pm

nire he has always paid attention to defense and played it smart, this year is not an exception. he just doesnt have the quickness you want i a guy in his position. not many folks watch his complete contribution on defense very slick and sly.

Marcus

December 22nd, 2009
11:07 pm

Big Ray,
just like I do w/the Falcons blog, I wanna take a little time to look towards 2010-2011 w/ the Hawks. JJ is heading for FA … so what if, for one year, we keep J. Crawford and make him starting SG … continue grooming Teague and if possible draft a SG-in-waiting in the 2010 draft, kinda like we did with Teague this year?
Not sure who the “hot” prospects are for this year, but I kinda like the size (and scouting reports) on Cal-Berkeley SG P. Christopher.