Hawks show toughness again

If you think the win against Charlotte was something, then I hope you saw the game against San Antonio. While the Bobcats are certainly a tough team to play against (they’ve competed well against some of the best teams in the league), the Spurs are a different animal. Mentally and physically tough, disciplined, this team executes well and never seems to be out of control. That’s not something that the Hawks have been known for in recent years. But they may have just turned a corner, and found a new “toughness resource” in the process.

Call Me Al….

Much like the Paul Simon song (featuring a funny cameo performance by Chevy Chase in the music video), the source of Atlanta’s newfound toughness has a name. That name is Al Horford. Often maligned as undersized and offensively deficient, Horford has taken his game to new heights. Was that the intention all along? Perhaps not, as Horford approached the game and his duties in a very workman-like fashion, doing exactly what was asked of him and nothing more: rebound, defend, get the dunk or layup if the ball is handed off to you. In his first year, Al narrowly missed a season average double double in points and rebounds. He followed that up with a second season that saw him miss 15 games, and played hurt during the playoffs (when he was able to play, that is). Averaging just under a point-and-a-half more, and almost half a rebound less than his rookie year, it looked like Horford might not be more than just a hard-working power forward who could adequately fill in at center. Historically, he has struggled with larger, more traditional centers, and it seemed that this would always be a problem.

Fast forward to the ‘09-’10 season where the problem didn’t go away, but a budding solution was coming into view. Horford’s quickness and work ethic began to show a way to combat his weaknesses and turn them into strengths. The Hawks started giving him the ball more, and he started producing with it. Still, the criticisms remain. Destroying teams without a very strong post presence isn’t and wasn’t garnering much respect (but isn’t that what the premiere big men do?) Averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors isn’t exactly something to sniff at. But it wasn’t enough. Perhaps not until Horford was named by the NBA coaches as a reserve player on the ‘09-’10 All-star team, did he get some measure of proper respect, even amongst the greater Atlanta Hawks fan base. Perhaps not until Horford began doing more than just holding his own against “true centers” like Andrew Bogut, Kendrick Perkins, Chris Kaman, Nene Hilario, and Brook Lopez. Yet all of those performances pale in comparison to Al’s second half resurgence against San Antonio’s Tim Ducan, late Sunday night. After a miserable first half that saw him outworked, outmuscled, and outplayed in general, Horford led the Hawks to victory in overtime by posting 22 points and 18 rebounds, making one good decision after another as time ran down.

It’s not that Horford has grown into a world-beater at center. Perhaps he should still be moved to power forward if the Hawks can find a way to throw in a bigger, effective and rugged defender/rebounder into the mix. But he has learned to be tougher. He has struggled in games, and there have been times where the Hawks needed him, and he didn’t get it done. He has learned to be more reliable on offense, to the point of where the Hawks are well-served to go to him late in games. How badly have the Hawks been needing something like that? Someone who can get the job done down low, via score or pass, rather than hanging it all on the guards? How badly have the Hawks needed toughness in the post, on both ends of the court, and not had it? Horford is still a work in progress, but that work is paying dividends even as we watch, and he will NOT stop working.

A new toughness has come to the Hawks’ squad. And it’s name is Al Horford.

 

Pump Those Brakes !

On second thought, does two tough wins at home mean a better, tougher team? Or does it mean that the Hawks simply still have glaring problems that cause them to have to play games down to the wire? Maybe we should be more concerned about how many points we win a game by.  Are good teams defined by margin of victory? Perhaps good teams are defined by how they win, despite adversity. Atlanta has had trouble with this, of course. Are we really seeing the Hawks turn a corner now? Or are we making too much of a two-game winning streak? Speaking of which, the wins against Charlotte and San Antonio has the Hawks at 7 and 3 in their last 10 games.  

The Hawks have had trouble finishing off games in the past, even recently. But they are also owners of a 28 and 7 home record that is good enough for a 2nd place tie in the East with the Orlando Magic. Might these last two tough overtime wins at home be an indicator of how this team might perform in the playoffs. Or are we just…again…making too much of  two games?

 

Pick Your Favorites

I don’t know what’s more entertaining sometimes: how we fans want to call the game, or how the media wants to call it.

 

Here’s Scenario One:  I read the official site of the Atlanta Hawks, and there is a picture of Joe Johnson going strong to the basket (looks like he’s going to dunk it), and it reads that he had 20 points and 13 assists. Meanwhile, Al Horford’s 22 points and 18 rebounds gets the “sidekick” treatment. Before you go there, I have no issues with Joe Johnson, nor am I even suggesting that his contribution wasn’t absolutely crucial to this last win. But come on, man. How does Horford get the “sidekick” treatment in this one? Where is Marvin’s contribution? Wins are literally on a game-by-game basis. So do you as a fan think this was unfair in any way? Do I sound like I’m picking a favorite (and if you know me, you know I don’t have much to say about one of my “favorites”, he stunk it up too much last night)? Is there anything to being the front runner on a headline or the first person mentioned in a win?

Here’s Scenario Two: I’m reading the main page of NBA.com, and the headline reads thusly-  ”Working Overtime: It takes five quarters for the Hawks to beat the Spurs for the first time in eight games.” Aaaaarrrgghhhh!

What gives??  The accompanying picture shows Josh Smith looking like he’s laying up a finger roll as he flies past Tim Duncan. Now y’all know I love my boy, but….it’s not like he beat the Spurs up. In fact, his stat line was pedestrian by his own standards. Again, Horford gets the sidekick treatment, and the Hawks really got no respect at all. I mean, “It takes the Hawks five quarters to finally beat the Spurs for the first time in eight games” ??

Couldn’t we roll with “Williams has brilliant first half, Horford dominating second half, as Hawks beat Spurs for first time” ?

Okay, maybe I’m just grousing for no reason. Maybe even whining. Just a little bit. What do you think? Don’t be gentle…..

 

HAWKS VS. BUCKS….and then “You know Who”

No time for celebration for the Hawks as they travel to Milwaukee (a potential first round playoff opponent) Monday night. Chances are, there will be some tired legs coming off that flight, but this is the nature of the NBA. The Hawks will have to dig deep against yet another tough squad that is looking to solidify its own playoff spot in the East.

 

Focus…Focus…

The Hawks need to have two things on their minds as they prepare for this game, and one of them is NOT Orlando.

One - Atlanta has another chance to up that road record that stands at 17 and 17. The Hawks want to send two messages here, one to themselves, and one to a team that they may be facing in the first round of the postseason. Half of the message was sent to Milwaukee back on Feb. 28th when the Bucks came to town: “we won’t let you take one in our house.” Time to send the second half of that message. In the meantime, the Hawks need to leave a note for themselves: “establish a way to win on the road against playoff teams, especially those that play well at home.” No time like the present for learning that mentality.

Two – As has been mentioned here before (and I had to be corrected on this), there is no tie-breaker between Boston and Atlanta unless the Hawks can catch and pass the Magic for the division win. And since Boston is practically guaranteed to win their division, there is no such thing as a tie-breaker in the Hawks favor if they end up in a tied record with the Celtics, despite the season sweep. Catching the Magic is not impossible, but will prove to be quite the difficulty, especially if the Hawks keep losing to them. So right now, the Hawks may be best served by trying to have a better record than the Celtics.

Beating the Bucks in Milwaukee is not going to be easy, but it has to be done. Especially while the Celtics are facing the Jazz in Utah, where the Jazz are 27 and 8.

Keys to the Game

1) The Bucks are going to play tough on defense all game, but they are liable to go zone towards the end, as seems to be the trend these days for Hawks opponents. Atlanta will have to remember to get the ball in to Al Horford, who will make good decisions with the ball. Marvin Williams will need to make open shots, as he is most likely to be open. Atlanta will also need a good effort from Josh Smith, who helped will the Hawks to a win in the last game against Milwaukee with 22 points and 15 rebounds. However, Smith also has to be careful not to force passes into the defense, where Bucks defenders will be lying in wait. His 5 turnovers in that game also nearly helped lose the game, which would have effectively rendered moot his other good deeds. The tigher the game gets, the more the ball should go to Horford, who can get it to Johnson, Smith, and any others who have good scoring opportunities. Up top, same applies to Joe Johnson, who has been doing a better job of giving it up to others, lately.

And let’s not forget Marvin. If he remains a steady force on the glass and hit his open shots, opponents will be hard put to double up on the Hawks’ more potent offensive threats.

2) Do not let John Salmons go off as he pleases. A streaky shooter, Salmons can do more to hurt his team than help it if he’s not given open looks or clear paths to the basket. The Hawks should know this already, after watching Salmons torch them for 32 points in the last contest.

3) What Jerry Stackhouse did to us off the bench was outright embarrassing, and may have made him look better than he really still is. Then again, Stackhouse might have simply had a chip on his shoulder after hanging around Atlanta all summer long, then getting snubbed by management and having to go to Milwaukee for a job. It doesn’t matter either way. What matters is that our bench takes some pride in hustle, defense, and execution overall. And that our starters don’t let a minimum salary, 15 year vet outplay them for 27 minutes.

4) Either Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford (and preferrably both) has to pick it up out there. Last time, the two of them combined for a depressing 5 for 22 from the field, leaving Joe out there by himself. These days, and with the weapons the Hawks have, if you see Joe having to take 20 or more shots to score 20 or more points, you can just about bet that at least two main rotation players are struggling badly from the field. More often than not, those struggles are showing up along the perimeter.

 

You know the drill. Speak your piece….

162 comments Add your comment

Hawks Power Past Spurs, Vintage Manu

March 22nd, 2010
3:02 am

[...] Hawks show toughness again | Atlanta Hawks Fan Nest [...]

[...] Hawks show toughness again | Atlanta Hawks Fan Nest [...]

BONE

March 22nd, 2010
4:16 am

TOUGHNESS LOOOOOOL ,IF THEY WERE TOUGH THEY WOULDNT GET INTO SUCH SITUATIONS IN THE 1ST PLACE,. THE HAWKS ARE SOFTER THAN COTTON AND WHEN THEY FACE THE BUCKS TODAY, THEY WILL GET SMACKED

i_am_soulstar

March 22nd, 2010
6:34 am

game against the Bucks = possible playoff opponent = statement game. Man, if the Hawks were to take a quarter off last night, I’m glad it was the first, because they played 36 minutes of great team basketball. Go Hawks!

[...] rest is here: Hawks show toughness again | Atlanta Hawks Fan Nest Posted in Show | Tags: a-tough-team, antonio-, are-certainly, bobcats, game, game-against, [...]

Astro Joe

March 22nd, 2010
8:20 am

Good stuff, Ray. Before the season started, I suggested a few areas where I would focus my attention this season, as I was less concerned with total wins and more interested in some metrics that I thought may be a better indicator of 2nd round playoff performance., Road record, record against winning teams, margin of victory and record against the Eastern “elite”. So far, I think we have done well on 3 of those 4 categories. And had the Hawks won that “shot clock” game in Clevelnad, I’d say that we would be covering all 4 fairly well.

I appreciate your (Ray) blog above as it reminded me of the importance of tonight’s game. I was ready to come here this morning and say “Woody should play his starters no more than 30 minutes and be ready for Orlando Wednesday, after 3 playoff-level contests)”. But we do need to get to 21 road wins and continue to show some physical and emotional toughness.

I’m loving this season, especially watching guys like Josh and Al make that next BIG step. And the team as a whole, I saw some really good things in the last few games.

O'Brien

March 22nd, 2010
8:22 am

Great win for the Hawks coaches and players.

Coming off a very good game against the Bobcats, Marvin had a great game against the Spurs (Good job by Woody encouraging him (again) to stop deferring so much). Marvin will be an X-factor in the playoffs, because teams will leave him open. Keep it up Marvin.

Great game by Al. 22 pts, 18 rebs, 8-15 from the field, and key plays.

Ray,

Thats just how the media is. if LbJ has 15 pts, the headline will still say LeBron only scores 15 but Cavs win. It will always be about the stars.

2 constructive criticisms though.

1) Woody’s switching. Good teams will use it against us, and we must be able to adjust 2) Josh – stop shooting those jumpers. That is part of the reason he went 5-16. Pass the ball, or drive.

Other than that, great win. Hopefully our guys will have the energy to beat Milwaukee tonight. If not, our bench better be ready to come in and give valuable minutes.

13 win fan

March 22nd, 2010
8:48 am

This is a great season. My team has improved I’m happy.

Melvin

March 22nd, 2010
10:11 am

The Bucks are 14-2 since the Salmons trade. Enough said…

Astro Joe

March 22nd, 2010
10:20 am

Melvin, and one of those losses was against?

i_am_soulstar

March 22nd, 2010
12:05 pm

YOUR ATLANTA HAWKS!!!

2 FOR JOHN DREW

March 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Last night @ the Hawks-Spurs game, while gettin’a drink I heard this woman called this guy ….. BIG RAY ! I thought uummmm …. I’ve never met you. But if it was you ….. They oughta call you Lil’ Ray from round da’ way, ….’Cause this cat was like 5′9″, ’bout a buck-fifty, w/ dreadlocks,and a marvin gaye t-shirt. Was that you ? Nahhhhhhhh ! ………………. By the way, Marvin and Al was straight BALLIN’ !

Astro Joe

March 22nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Looks like Acie returned to his 3rd string status with Rose’s return to the line-up.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3219

drmaryb

March 22nd, 2010
3:38 pm

Blue-Ray

The Hawks are who we thought they were: A very cohesive and scrappy team. When we are not playing strong defense and rebounding, we look like a west-coast team. Sort of like the Warriors, with no real game plan. Like Captain Jack said, “We run in our sleep.”

But the Hawks are more than just a – “run & shoot” team. We do play really good defense, problem is…we don’t do it for 48 minutes. Only, when we have to! In the fourth quarter… and that doesn’t always work when you are re-lying on the “seemingly paid-off refs!” …to make the (ahem…ahem…) right calls.

So, here’s my point: Who are the Hawks? What is our identity? What are we to the rest of the league?

1. Long & Athletic?
2. Strong Defensively?
3. Great One-on-One players in Joe & Jamal in the 4th & un-stoppable at that point?
4. A club that shares the ball really well through-out the game & keeps defenses on the move?
5. Hard to beat, because you never know who to STOP on any given night?
6. A well disciplined and well coached team, who runs set plays..i.e.(pick & rolls) that you can’t stop….(ala: San Antone…Utah..who else runs a stapled system – with pick & rolls?) Help me out here.
7. Who are these HAWKS!

Are we a helter-skelter…(Nellie Team) that just run teams out of the gym?

I am so confused!

Melvin

March 22nd, 2010
8:03 pm

Astro,

Yeah, an overtime win at home (although I will take it). Let’s not act like they are some pushovers…

Sautee

March 22nd, 2010
8:05 pm

drmaryb,

While Woodson had undoubtedly improved, one of his true weaknesses is that he has not created specific roles to match the talents of this team. That said, it’s working pretty darn well as it is.

But that makes us a little schizo sometimes because we don’t have a true leader among the players.

Sautee

March 22nd, 2010
8:10 pm

Let me defend Woody a little. I can NOT assume that whatever roles the Hawks DO see for themselves were not a Woody creation (or at least direction).

I DO see improvement in plays, going inside more often, and rotations.

But I sorely wish we had plays that set up Josh in his sweet spot (other than the Bibby pick-and roll and the backdoor). I wish the guards would hit Al in the lane while he has his defender pinned deep.

More than anything, though I want us to keep sharing the ball. And THAT has been better lately.

Sautee

March 22nd, 2010
9:07 pm

Props to Woody for that play coming out of the time out to end the half.

Folks, he keeps improving as a coach

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
9:21 pm

Sautee, let’s wait and see how he will save the legs of the starters.

As soon as the legs start to lag, all those jump shots which are going in will start to rim out…

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
9:45 pm

Here we go… I just want us to score 20 points on the 4th.

It seems that when we do it we either win or go to overtime…

Still worried about the jump shots. We need to go inside and draw fouls so we can get them in the penalty.

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
9:48 pm

drmaryb ,

I think the Hawks are solidifying their identity even as we speak. We haven’t known “who they are”, and neither have they. It’s been a long transition period, and some individual growth processes are the key to the whole thing.

2 for John Drew ,

Nope, wasn’t me. Try about 6′0″ (in shoes) and about 310, with very short hair. T-shirt comes standard….

O’brien ,

Good post.

Astro Joe ,

You picked some very good categories as indicators on where this team is going, and how much it has improved. Those very same things are coming to the surface even now.

As for Acie, I figured he’d go back in the cellar once Rose came back. Rose is just too good (and too pivotal to that team’s performace), and Law is a backup in this league, period. I think we can see that now, even those of us who harbored the idea of him being a starter some day.

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
9:51 pm

Awful perimeter defense… Now they are hitting the shots. We need to change to a more conventional defense for a few minutes and deny those shots…

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
9:53 pm

This is something I have to say for Woody, that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves:

When a player is developing and improving in a significant fashion, such that as can benefit this team….Woody is not holding that player back.

We’ve accused Woody of holding Marvin back from being a better player. Has he really? We’ve watched Marvin do great things at times (but not that often). He stepped up against the Spurs, but has he always done that when given the opportunity? Has he always done what needed doing when we needed him to do it?

I’d have to say “no.”

Now take Al Horford. All of the sudden, Horford has shown that he can be a presence in the paint on the offensive end, and a guy we can run our offense through as needed. Not in every single case or in every single game, but quite steadily enough that it’s become a staple of our offense.

Woody hasn’t gotten in the way of this, and Al is blossoming…

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
9:55 pm

What a bogus call!

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
9:58 pm

We are going to lose this one. We are not defending and with salmons on fire woody just sits and waits…

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
10:00 pm

On a related note, I think we are seeing some physical evidence, lately, of why Josh Smith didn’t make the ASG, and Al Horford did.

I know it seems like Smith had done more for the team at the time. Maybe he did. But can anybody deny what we’re seeing NOW?

Speaking of Josh Smith, he’s playing like poo poo lately. Last night was enough to get by. Tonight is another story.

Meanwhile, we need to withstand this early 4th quarter run, and go on one of our own.

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:07 pm

Why those jump shots from Josh? Why is he even there?

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
10:10 pm

Jennings looks like he should be playing behind Teague. :lol:

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:11 pm

Bad shot. JJ has been carrying us but this was a stupid shot

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:13 pm

And a stupid foul

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
10:14 pm

Ok, so they scored. Now what are WE gonna do?

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:16 pm

This team has no brain…

Big Ray

March 22nd, 2010
10:21 pm

Disappointed in Joe. It is what it is. Toast of the town one day, tarred and feathered the next.

Melvin

March 22nd, 2010
10:23 pm

Astro,

make that 15-2 since Salmons becoming a Buck… How dumb is the Bulls GM. They were competing for the 5th seed in the playoffs with Salmons and now they may possibly missed the playoffs. And what if they dont sign that big FA this summer they would have traded Salmons away for nothing. Man I wish we could have gotten that guy…

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:25 pm

Too much perimeter offense and very little perimeter defense: Ridnour looks like an all star againts us all the time…

Al was 5 for 5 from the field and Josh was 3-4 inside moves 1-1 from midrange (elbow) and 0-4 from outside.

Jamal carried us in the first and Joe in the second but that was bound to end like it did. Skiles put in a new defensive assignment on JJ and our plays consisted in ISO dribble. Not a single pick to force a switch.

Bewildering…

Melvin

March 22nd, 2010
10:26 pm

Big Ray (and Astro),

Take your blood pressure pillow before reading MC’s latest article on Josh taking jumpers…lol

vava74

March 22nd, 2010
10:27 pm

Melvin, the Bulls were sheding payroll so they can have cap space this summer.

A mediocre post season with Salmons was not worth the risk of missing out on the free agent bonanza.

Disappointed Don

March 22nd, 2010
10:33 pm

Inexcusable, the midcourt mugging JJ committed in plain sight against a player who didn’t even have the ball. How did he figure that blatant assault wouldn’t be called? And once again, too much dribbling without an option at game’s end. Not smart, enlightened basketball.

Melvin

March 22nd, 2010
11:06 pm

Vava,

What if they dont sign any of the big name FA’s?

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
7:43 am

Good game by Joe. Considering he missed some games for his Achilles, and has picked up basically where he left off, says a lot. Hawks need to resign Joe.

That being said, if that was Josh who committed that foul against Salmons, people would be quick to jump on Josh. Joe has to do a better job of not getting a foul called in a tie game down the stretch like that.

I won’t be too hard on the guys though, because we’ve played 4 close games in 5 nights, against playoff teams.

Disappointments from the loss;

1) Free throw shooting. You can’t go 6-13 in a close game against a good team on the road and expect to win.

2) We didn’t go to Al Horford enough in the 4th. He was 5-5, we saw what he did against the Spurs in the fourth quarter, and he also had a good fourth quarter against the Raptors. But just like in the Toronto game, down the stretch, Hawks did not find a way to get him the ball enough.

3) Nothing from Marvin. This guy is so up and down, I don’t get it.

4) Hawks had 4 more FG than the Bucks, but the Bucks were +4 in assists, and +7 in rebounds.

5) fourth quarter defense. Playing back to back, maybe our tired legs was a contributing factor though.

Two Special Requests:

Can somebody please tell Woody that teams are taking advantage of the switching defense? Even Ridnour was making shots over Al Horford. The switching has been abused by the Bobcats, Spurs, and now the Bucks. Adjust Woody, adjust.

Can somebody please tell Josh to stop taking those long jumpers (unless the shot clock is under 5 seconds)? What was he doing posted up by the 3 pt line on that pass from JJ? Same thing against the Bobcats, he was posted up by the 3 pt line for the last shot. He should be on his way to the paint.

niremetal

March 23rd, 2010
9:16 am

Marvin touched the ball about 4 times after a game in which he couldn’t miss. Not sure what he’s supposed to do – guys don’t “demand the ball” mid-game in the NBA unless they are a Kobe/LeBron type.

And considering how few defensive adjustments we saw last night, I thought this was appopriate.

niremetal

March 23rd, 2010
9:24 am

And Horford literally couldn’t miss, but still only got 5 shots last night.

The $#!% works.

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
9:50 am

Melvin,

I can understand Chicago dumping Salmons and taking a chance on landing a big FA this offseason. Imagine if Wade or JJ signs with them? Then it will be worth it. They could have kept Salmons only to see him get injured anyways.

I admire them for taking a chance, instead of standing pat. But if I was a Bulls fan and they miss the playoffs, and dont get a big name FA, I would be ticked off lol.

And I read the Josh jump shooting article. Just because Josh gives everything he has on both ends of the floor is no reason for Woody not to get on him about his jump shots. If Al was taking 3s and shooting poorly, Woody wouldn’t get on him because he plays hard on both ends of the court?

If what Josh said is true, I dont think thats the right attitude for Woody to take.

But Josh has to realize that he hasnt been a good shooter for his entire career, so why does he think all of a sudden, it will get better if he stays confident and keeps taking them? Making them in practice is one thing, but I still think he should spend the offseason working on it some more and take it less during the game.

nire,

Woody needs to adjust the switching defense, because the good teams are taking advantage of it, but he is too slow to make any adjustments. I think it will be abused in the playoffs when teams consistently run the pick and roll to get the matchup they want.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
10:26 am

The most strikingly stupid event of the game was Woody wasting his last TO to call a ISO play which did not even involve a pick or any decoy movement by Jamal.

Just a simple clear out ISO play.

Why did he waste a TO for that? To give enough time for Milwaukee to rest and focus on the inevitable ISO play?

This has been standard procedure with Woody: the Hawks have the ball following a miss by the opponents and instead of capitalizing on that fact – since following a miss a team’s spirit goes down and the nerves go up – he does the opposite: gives the adversary the opportunity to re-group and we take no advantage since there is no actual designed play drawn up from our side.

Then, the fact that it was our last TO makes it a stupid decision beyond belief.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
10:36 am

Another thing:

I think Woody has been using Jamal too much.

I think he fades as the game goes and that he needs to sit back and see the game from the outside so he can get in as a rhythm changer.

I think he is more productive (final balance) when he plays only 30/31 minutes than when he plays 35/36.

And why the hell Woody did not try West against Salmons?

Skiles saw that JJ was torching MIL several possessions in a row BUT THEN he put in Mbah a Moute to stop him with great results.

That IS COACHING.

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
11:03 am

vava,

Crawford is used to being a starter, so I dont know if I fault Woody for playing him 35-36 minutes per game. Plus having him out there takes some of the pressure away from JJ or the other bench players.

If you put West in the game on Salmons in the fourth quarter, who do you take out? Bibby? I think Woody prefers to have his offensive guys in there. I would have liked to see more of Mo in there instead of Mario, because at least Mo gives you a presence on the offensive end.

And thats what makes you wonder why the Hawks didnt take a flyer on Stackhouse earlier in the season. Was it his game, or was it his attitude? You can never have enough decent bench players in my opinion.

Astro Joe

March 23rd, 2010
11:17 am

Melvin, the Bucks were without a clear “go-to” scorer and Salmons has clearly provided that to the team. His value is far higher to the Bucks than it was to the Bulls or would have been to just about any other team.

i did read the article about Josh and his jumpers. I’m not surprised. Josh is an audacious player and that has propelled him to become an outrageously productive player this season. But it will also mean that he will continue to go places he ought not go. I have learned to accept both sides of the “Josh coin”.

Ray, speaking of Josh, I don’t like his body language the last two games. Maybe he is fatigued… he has probably used more mental energy this season to suppress some of his bad tendencies and he is likewise playing a lot of games and a lot of minutes. But in both the Spurs and Bucks games, he has looked more than a little disinterested on the court. I don’t expect that tomorrow night against the Magic. I understand that players need to take a break while working, many of us do the same everyday.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
11:17 am

OB,

If we are not involving the other 4 players why do we need them to have any offensive ability?

With the switching defense burning us like it was and relying on JJ, I would even consider going with a line up of JJ, West, Mo, Josh and Al to close yesterday’s game.

Mo could be roaming the t3-point line, Al and Josh could set screens, crash the glass and get a few post ups for them.

West could be watching out our backs insuring that we had some transition defense.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
11:46 am

Astro,

Josh needs more minutes on the bench.

He is typically the most active guy in the court and that is very difficult to sustain day in day out.

Joe Smith has been playing well enough to warrant 16/20 minutes of action and if necessary Marvin could also chip in with some minutes at the PF slot against more athletic teams (against whom Joe could struggle more due to his age).

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
11:55 am

Give Josh credit though. Even when he seems disinterested (especially on offense), you can still count on his blocks.

Afer the All-Star break, he had some monster games, and having played 4 games in 5 nights, you wonder if its finally catching up to him.

Joe Smith played 15 minutes last night, which is good. But the 3 previous games, he played 7,8 and 7 minutes. Down the stretch, I hope Woody is able to find the time to give his starters a few extra minutes of rest here and there, because we need them 100% rested for the playoffs.

But he’s in a tough position, because we’re tied with Boston, and there is a slim chance of catching Orlando. So Hawks need to keep winning.

vava,

I think you have to go with JJ, Crawford, Al and Josh down the stretch. But the 5th player is where you have to have a pretty good feel for the game (time, score, and who’s played well so far) to know who to go with.

The bad thing is, I dont think Woody has a good feel for the game down the stretch in a tight game like that.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
12:01 pm

OB,

One thing I can tell you, Jamal is not doing nothing in the court when Woody calls an ISO which involves a clear out and NO PLAYER MOVEMENT, NOR PICKS.

If Woody knew what he was doing, he could use JJ as decoy and get the ball to Jamal, Al or Josh on a diagonal cut after a dribble penetration by JJ.

Instead of launching a bad and highly contested jumper, he could dish out.

vava74

March 23rd, 2010
12:02 pm

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
1:54 pm

vava,

To me, thats the biggest drawback with the ISOs. The defense has to focus (mostly) on 1 player, while on offense, the other 4 guys are not as involved.

In the playoffs, teams will double JJ at the end, and he will be forced to give up the ball, or take a tough shot. I just hope we are able to make the right decision when the game is on the line.

Fortunately, at least we have Crawford to help him out. But I would like to see us go to Al more down the stretch.

Hawks are 4 games behind Orlando in the loss column. If we lose to them tomorrow, then we can kiss the division goodbye, because they already own the tie-breaker, and they would be 5 games up.

If we win, we have a slim chance of catching them. Hopefully Woody calls off the double-teaming of Howard. Play him straight up (foul him hard and often if you have to), stay on the shooters, and hope JJ and Crawford can bring us to victory.

Melvin

March 23rd, 2010
2:29 pm

Astro,

See the Bulls record (or improvement) when Salmons was wearing their uniform. Check him stats from last year playoffs.

OB,
I see the thinking behind the Bulls trading Salmons but I think it’s too risky trading your 2nd best player for cap space especially since it’s rare that the top tier FA’s to sign lesser deals with other teams (yes the bulls made be able to offer a max contract but the player current team can offer more money and years). I think they would be better off trying to do S&T deals to acquire a Superstar player. The more pawns you have, the better your chances of getting such a deal done. Just my opinion.

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
8:07 pm

There is an article on bleach report that suggests, that if JJ leaves the Hawks, then we should look into Manu Ginobli as a replacement. Manu might take 3 yrs, $30 mil to start at SG for the Hawks, And we could still bring Crawford off the bench.

A max for JJ will be approximately 6 years, $119 mil. How do you guys feel about Manu as a replacement (if JJ chooses to sign with another team)?

Astro Joe

March 23rd, 2010
8:36 pm

No thanks to Manu. He is an incredible player when healthy, dude just plays the game in a manner that won’t likely allow him to stay healthy as he ages.

If Joe bolts, I say either take a long look at Mike Miller or bring in a perimeter-oriented center, move Marvin to the 6th man role and try that for a year. Not that long ago, Luol Deng played a season without taking more than a few 3s from the SF position and was very efficient. Couldn’t Josh do the same? Couldn’t the Hawks run some of the same offensive sets with a perimeter center positioned wherever Marvin is now in those same sets, with Al and Josh closer to the paint?

If Joe leaves, do you replace him with a SG or do you use the limited salary slot to push Al and Josh down one position?

It’s certainly debatable and it would provide Sund with several viable options.

Melvin

March 23rd, 2010
10:36 pm

I agree with Astro. No thanks to Manu. At his age, his durability is definitely a question. He and Crawford may be able to fill in the points but they can’t replace the defense and versatility that Joe brings.

Melvin

March 23rd, 2010
10:47 pm

Astro,

NBAdraft.net is expecting Craig Brackins to drop to the 2nd round. I think the Hawks should snatch him if he’s available when they pick. He reminds me of Glenn Robinson. Although he’s not the wide tweener that you like but I can see him playing alongside Marvin and Josh. As he filled out he could be a very nice PF. Checkout his highlights…

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/craig-brackins

Melvin

March 23rd, 2010
11:17 pm

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
3:58 am

Melvin ,

I don’t see the point in feeling insecure about Joe leaving. This team can’t take that approach, the coaching staff can’t, and management definitely can’t. No time for crying over spilt milk if it does in fact get spilt.

O’brien ,

Personally, I don’t like the tone of the “Josh shooting jumpers” article, either. Of course, I see a certain intent in writing that article…. ;)

Also, I agree and have been saying the very same thing myself: practice that jumper in the offseason with a vengeance. Take fewer in the games for now.

Astro Joe ,

I don’t like his body language either, and I do think he may be mentally exhausted.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
4:05 am

I think if Joe leaves, you don’t try and get another starting SG. I don’t think we can get a guy who will be good enough to start ahead of Crawford. Anybody that fills that role would have to be a good defender AND be able to create his own shot or at least be a deadeye jumpshooter, who can come off of screens and what not.

I’d change the way we approach the game. Moving Smith to the 3 isn’t impossible, but it requires a perimeter oriented center, or at least a “perimeter capable” center. Horford at the 4 would take some adjustment by Horford, as a lot of PFs out there are quick, there aren’t as many bruisers as there used to be. However, Horford can adjust.

Marvin would have to go to the bench as a backup SF. If Mo Evans isn’t around, then we have to get a backup SG who can defend and hit open shots. The trick to this is pg. We need more penetration. But anyhow, these are thoughts for another day….

O'Brien

March 24th, 2010
7:29 am

Melvin,

Thanks for the hoopshype link on Josh. I like what he was saying in that article (but I still dont like his comments in the jump shooting article).

“We feel we have the depth and talent to do big things this season. We’re going into the postseason with the mindset of winning a ring. Everybody on this team is hungry for a title.’’

If JJ leaves, I think Crawford becomes our starting SG, and Mo Evans our backup SG. I would resign Chills to be our backup SF (or give him Marvin’s spot, and move Marvin to the bench), and then we would need a backup PF, and a solid PG to backup Bibby. For the perimeter oriented center, I would look into Big Z.

If Josh is shooting all those jumpers now, I would not want him at SF, because he would probably shoot even more. So I would keep Josh and Al where they are.

With continued growth from Josh and Al, and the return of Crawford, if JJ leaves, it will not be the end of the Hawks playoff run (although we might be competing for 4-8). Maybe they can do a sign and trade, but if not, Rick Sund will have to get creative.

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
9:29 am

If Joe leaves, then I think Bibby and possibly Woody should be a step behind him. As this team/offense is built around Joe and with him gone then that philosophy needs to change. And I’m not sure if Woody is flexible enough to incorporate a different style and Bibby is ineffective without a workhorse at SG. I agree with Ray, an upgrade at PG would be needed (uh, Devin Harris).

O'Brien

March 24th, 2010
9:40 am

If Joe leaves, then Bibby and Woody should definitely be behind them. Even if Joe stays, I wish we could find an upgrade at PG.

Melvin,

If JJ resigns, are you open to trading Crawford? For example, what if we could we get Devin Harris and piece for Crawford and piece? Upgrade the starting five, but bench takes a hit.

I hope Sund explores all his options, regardless of whether or not JJ resigns.

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
10:54 am

OB,

I think Crawford is a keeper. For what he brings off the bench: scoring, the ability to play 1 or 2 and deliver the big shot. I hope the Hawks can extend him versus trading him. I would try to use other methods of trying to get Harris like Bibby, Mo, Chills and/or picks. Then look to upgrade the bench thru free agency.

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
11:01 am

Also, I wouldnt mind seeing the Hawks go after Drew Gooden and Kwame Brown to fill the Joe Smith and Collins seat next season…

Astro Joe

March 24th, 2010
12:18 pm

I’m nt sure what options Woody had previous to this season, other than run things through Joe. And when Josh matured and stopped taking horrific shots and Al blossomed and became a low-post threat, the offense changed to accomodate their talents. So I’m not sure where the hard-link between Woody and Joe has validity. I struggle to think of some supremely talented offensive player who didn’t have a significant role in Woody’s offense while wearing a Hawks uniform. Are we supposed to believe that Flip and Jamal just happened to have amongst their most productive seasons in their careers as a Hawk? We’re supposed to beleive that Chill was not able to use his skill set (while hiding his shaky jumper) as a Hawk? Are we saying that Al and Josh were ready last season to do what they are doing this season?

Obviously, I’m missing how Woody has mismanaged the offensive talents of this team. And don’t talk to me about 4-5 minute spurts in 20 games… I don’t think you hire a coach based on 4-5 minutes stretches in 20 games.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
12:34 pm

Melvin,

First of all, I think you are day dreaming when you think that such trade could be pulled out.

Second, Harris is not a true PG and suspect that our bigs would continue to starve for attention with him manning the position.

He is a scorer who plays from the PG position and a defensively liability. His eventual pairing with Crawford would be a highway into our rim.

It’s true that he has lost quite a few games due to injury but when a supposedly legit PG playing with a legit 7′0” Centre is not able to produce more than single digit wins doesn’t that trigger your alarm bells???

niremetal

March 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

Melvin doesn’t care about the feasibility of the Hawks acquiring players or whether they’d be a good fit, vava. If he likes the player, he thinks we can and should be able to acquire the player with little difficulty. ;)

vava74

March 24th, 2010
1:27 pm

Melvin is what? Fifteen?

O'Brien

March 24th, 2010
1:54 pm

Good article om Hoopinionblog.com as to why the Hawks struggle with the Magic.

According to the article, the bottom line is we are unable to score against the Magic. But there were some other interesting stuff on there, including the ISOs.

“without a second manner of attack, the Hawks remain susceptible to good defensive teams that prevent the creation of advantageous one-on-one matchups leaving isolated individual Hawk players attacking a defense at a numerical disadvantage.

This applies not just to Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford. When the Hawks make an effort to get the ball to Al Horford on the left block he remains just as isolated* from his immobile teammates as does Johnson when the Hawks clear out the left side for him.”

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

Vava,

Go back and read O’brien post to me again. He ask if I was willing to trade Crawford for Harris and I said no. I would rather use another method b/c Crawford is a good fit on this team. Also, O’brien stated that if Hawks RE-SIGN Joe. So pairing Harris with Joe not just Jamal is no worst than pairing those two with Bibby. Actually I consider it an upgrade b/c Harris is more explosive and a better playmaker than Bibby…

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
2:15 pm

Nire,

I guess you saw the Bibby and Crawford trades coming b/c clearly there was equal trade of talent in those deals.

Sarcasm alert

March 24th, 2010
2:35 pm

Devin Harris is a bad player, and therefore a bad fit, because he plays for a team that basically gutted itself in preparation for the 2010 summer free agency bonanza (that may just not be all it’s cracked up to be). Ineffective coaching changes had nothing to do with it, nor does having a bunch of directionless young players with no veterans to help out.

Missing nearly 20 games in the season is no excuse. You have to find ways to make your team win, even if you are in street clothes. Failure to do so is indication of a bad player.

Devin Harris is a defensive liability who probably won’t pass the ball. Just ask Vince Carter and Brook Lopez, both of whom have suffered mightily while playing with Harris. 6.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Absolutely pathetic on a team that relies on you to be scoring option #1 or #2 every night, and actually guard your position.

I heard Mike Bibby expects to get faster, stronger, and make the NBA all-defense squad next season. He says playing next to one of the best SGs in the game has nothing to do with the contributions he makes, and thinks he will get even better if Joe signs elsewhere. Bibby is three times the defender, penetrator, and overall player that Devin Harris is, or ever will be. Mike Bibby still has upside. Harris should be in the D-league. Besides, acquiring him is impossible. That would be like trading a useless Speedy Claxton and Acie Law for Jamal Crawford or something. Nobody has ever heard of such things.

Speaking of Jamal Crawford, he should be traded. Because he played for losing teams his whole career, he’s a bad fit.

Miami is not going to try and resign Dwyane Wade. A couple years ago, his team only won 15 games, despite the fact that he is regarded as one of the League’s top 3-5 players. That alone signals red flags. After all, a team’s struggles can always be attributed to the performance of a single player. Miami was just letting him play his contract out, to be nice. But they don’t want to resign him.

Melvin turns 16 next month. Haters.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
3:10 pm

:-) wow… shall I bow and apologize?

I never said that Harris is not better than Bibby, just that his game is, IMO, flawed, in particular if we analyze him as starting PG.

The ability to score is important, however, a PG should make the players around him better.

Devin does not do this, at least not yet. Hence, he plays PG but he is not a PG in my book.

Bibby was, prior to this year, making the players around him better and his arrival changed this team.

Now, he is fading fast and consequently we need to look for a solution at the PG.

Teague? Maybe since he has shown a willingness to involve his teammates. Harris? I doubt he would make us better and let us not forget, he demands so much ball and so many shots that we would need to sacrifice elsewhere.

This, unless anyone believes that we would suddenly average 130ppg

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
3:12 pm

Sarcasm alert, I like the way you think…..

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
3:16 pm

Vava,

Did Harris not start on a team that was game away from winning the NBA title? Last time I check, Bibby best effort was leading a very talented team to the WCF.

O'Brien

March 24th, 2010
4:07 pm

If the Nets get the #1 pick (John Wall), then Harris might be available. And if he is, I think he would be worth looking into. His career average is 13 pts, 5 assists. And this year, he is averaging 17 pts, and 7 assists.

I’m sure he is a better defensive player than Bibby, but I really haven’t seen much of his game to know if his defense is a major upgrade. Even if we keep JJ and Crawford, I think Harris would be an upgrade at PG over Bibby.

However, I can understand if his price tag and his injury history makes it too risky.

niremetal

March 24th, 2010
5:18 pm

Melvin,

Not one of the players you mentioned has an expiring contract, and Childress is BYC. You pretty much never consider what incentives the other team has in making a deal. You just think about what players you’d be willing to part with and say “Get it done, Sund.”

Sarcasm alert,

Put together a package that the Nets would have some incentive to take. Acie and Speedy had expiring contracts, and Speedy and Jamal’s salaries were about to decrease and increase, respectively, at the time of the trade. Thus, the Warriors stood to save $15M by making the deal. The Nets would have no similar incentive to trade a franchise PG with 3 years left on a reasonable contract (the last year of which actually drops in salary) unless they are getting back expiring deals (like the Hawks did with), lottery picks, and/or cheap young talent. The Hawks can offer none of those things, unless you’re willing to part with Al Horford.

And no, I don’t think Harris would fit well here as long as Woody is the coach.

niremetal

March 24th, 2010
5:24 pm

None of this is actually to say that with a different coach, I wouldn’t take Devin Harris to play alongside the rest of our squad in a heartbeat. He actually is not a bad defender. His effort is hit-or-miss, but he at least has the tools to play good D when called upon. But with our coach, Harris’s skills would not be put to good use. And pretty much every other team in the league could put together a more appealing package than we could (again, unless we’re willing to part with Horford).

Sarcasm alert

March 24th, 2010
6:39 pm

Warning.

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Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:11 pm

I think Al Horford has it right: we must attack Orlando, instead of waiting to see what they do, then trying to defend it. It’s what our mentality has been all this time, and we can’t keep this up.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:20 pm

So far Bibby has guarded Nelson just once. And that resulted in a crossover and layup for Nelson.

Great.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:30 pm

More of the same, I see.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:31 pm

Dwight Howard has but two jobs to do tonight, and I think everybody on the Magic bench knows it: rebound our misses, and act like he’s going to block our shots if we go inside.

He has 8 rebounds already. I forsee 20 for him tonight, 18 of them on the defensive end, off of missed jumpers.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:37 pm

Josh’s aggression begins to take over…

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
7:42 pm

Josh with the block, Teague with the dime. These are ballers, gentlemen…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
7:50 pm

That pass by teague was enough for me: he’s a keeper.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:02 pm

Every time that we get close to take the lead we make a bonehead play. What was Marvin thinking?that he was hot to finish a semi-fastbreak with that dribble and pop?

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:03 pm

Another bump by Howard “bordering” the charge…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:06 pm

Huge block by Smoove. That was “Bill Russellesque”…

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:13 pm

Okay, maybe we should let Jamal Crawford have those kinds of plays. Joe is just not getting a break here…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:17 pm

Great recovery by the bench. The fact that ORL is missing Ryan Anderson seems to be favouring us since their bench has killed us consistently from 3 point land.

I also hope that Pietrus doesn’t come back, however I am expecting the same sh*t which happened when we were dominating in our first game in ATL: up at the half time and the Howard got a free pass to ram his shoulder on Al’s stomach and plow his way to the rim with +1 calls instead of charges…

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:19 pm

Okay, well we’ve had a lead over these guys before, so I’ll reserve my barely-contained excitement for the second half, where Orlando will no doubt try to come out and punch is dead in the mouth.

In the meantime, here’s the difference in the game for me:

1) Our bench has performed well. Those guys came in with major energy, played some defense, hit some shots. Mo Evans and Jamal Crawford combine for 17 points on 50% shooting from both the field and from 3 point range.

2) We didn’t let their bench torch us, like we’ve done in the past. Reddick, JWill, and Gortat? Non-factors.

3) They have the advantage on the boards, but we have half as many turnovers as they do.

4) Both teams are shooting low percentages. However, the second quarter did it for us. We held them to 20 points, while we scored 30.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:20 pm

Barnes is getting a free pass to poke JJ all that he wants.

On the previous play when JJ got a rare +1 Barnes made a clear reach in foul right in the front of the refs’ noses before he got poked again during th shooting motion…

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:20 pm

Vava,

I think the question comes down to this: will we forget what was working in the first half?

If the Magic come back in the second half with a different approach, will we recognize it and adjust as well?

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:21 pm

I say poke Barnes in the eye again. :twisted:

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:23 pm

Ray,

the problem is that our bench will not see consistent daylight in the second half and even if we are ahead or close by mid-4th quarter, we will falter…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:28 pm

Yeah, we need to go hard at these guys and draw some blood.

In particular Howard needs some flying elbows every time he goes up for a rebound. Something discrete but effective… You jump up with your arms outstretched in a “V” shape and either when going up or when coming down, hit him in the face… Just a slight “rub” will do the trick.

I think that with this done consistently his rebounding average against us would drop to single digits…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:31 pm

Great feed and great shot by Al

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:34 pm

Great feed again by JJ and nice bomb by Bibs

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:35 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Did Jameer really think he was going to get that shot off?

Meanwhile, Joe’s assists picking up, even as his shooting dips. Love that he’s still contributing without hitting shots.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
8:38 pm

Would you believe it? Al Horford is turning into something that neutralizes Dwight Howard’s defensive domination. I like this.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
8:57 pm

We will need more out of the frontcourt in the 4th.

I hope that the tim suddenly does not tighten for us and that Al keeps up hitting those shots.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:00 pm

Charge by Howard!

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:01 pm

Howard is getting away with pushing off every single time. This is disgusting.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:02 pm

Let me help myself to another serving of grilled crow as Mike Bibby’s long range shooting bails us out once again….

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:03 pm

Another clear foul by Howard on the rebound

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:04 pm

Line doesn’t lie…. :lol:

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:04 pm

Vava,

I can barely contain my disgust with the calls by these idiot whistle blowers…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:08 pm

This is nauseating: Howard is being allowed AGAIN to push, grab, hit and do whatever he wants at will…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:17 pm

Stern doesn’t realize that this “star system” is what is killing the NBA.

How does he expect people to attend matches and support the trams who don’t get these benefits?

there is a clear cut favouritivism benefiting some players/teams which allied with the financial disparity which exists between markets, kills the ability to draw interest from the people who feel that for instance college bball is not rigged nor spoiled by stars…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:21 pm

We are imploding

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:23 pm

And there’s the trap.

Orlando has more guys who are capable of drawing fouls (penetration is the key).

Atlanta is stuck with Bibby on defense for the simple fact that he has been hitting shots on offense.

Both teams are in the penalty.

Josh is out with 5 fouls, and Horford has 4.

What to do now?

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:25 pm

Magic get away with straight nasty fouls and are rewarded with a free dunk.

I hate NBA refs.

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
9:26 pm

another 4th qtr meltdown.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:26 pm

Why do I bother staying up to watch this?

In between thd calls and our inability to simply have JJ and Crawford shoot OUT OF PICKS jnsteD of out of ISO dribble situtions we are bound to lose again

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
9:27 pm

Keep shooting the jumper Josh….lol

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
9:28 pm

Get that weak shot out of here Reddick…

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:28 pm

Josh with the jumper, then with the block!

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:30 pm

The number of passes made by the Hawks after the half court averages about 1,5 per possession at best

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:31 pm

Hit the FT JJ please! Pretty please with sugar on top?

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
9:34 pm

Somebody explain to me why we had Horford on Carter?

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:34 pm

Why Woody called the time out? Orlando will foul for sure!

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:36 pm

I have a bad feeling about JJ’s free throws. He has been missing a lot at end games

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:38 pm

Uffffff… Please, play straight up d down the line Woody. No more switching please…

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:39 pm

What an unbelievable finish by Josh!

vava74

March 24th, 2010
9:40 pm

There was a clear foul by Carter on JJ with the extended elbow!

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
9:46 pm

Take that Daddy Mouse….

KevinA

March 24th, 2010
10:47 pm

I have mentioned several times that the Al short jumper might be a way to get Howard out of the paint. Well it never happened but it did leave Al with wide open jumpers. We need to consider this same type of play calling in the future. Do it until they adjust to us. Gundy bad – Woody good. I would argue we did not do enough of what was working. I once mentioned that Josh and Al could be used like Duncan. Of course I was laughed at. It was not the claim of our big’s being as good as Duncan but the style of play. Nothing is an answer after a team adjusts but until then both Al and ZaZa shooting the 15′ seems viable to me.

niremetal

March 24th, 2010
10:51 pm

Looks like I missed a helluva game. Props to the Hawks for pulling out the type of grinder they usually lose, and props to Smoove for crashing the boards. Two game-winning dunks in a year – gotta be a record!

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
10:53 pm

I think I’ve finally calmed down enough to type on the keyboard…..whewwwww! What a win! What a play at the end by Josh! How about J-J-J-J-JOOOOEEEE with the clutch free throws?!

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
10:57 pm

KevinA,

All I can say is that it worked. We didn’t allow Howard to beat us, while Horford played very well on both ends. We did what we had to do to beat these guys, and it certainly involved going to the bigs, as the guards weren’t getting it done (Bibby being the exception with those big shots he hit).

Low scoring, low percentage FG shooting game. Defensive grinder, and we came out on top. I was so hoping we didn’t go to overtime, as I think they would have had the advantage.

Big Ray

March 24th, 2010
10:58 pm

Man, what a grinder. What an entertaining game, felt like the playoffs. I can’t think of a better way to get win #46!

KevinA

March 24th, 2010
11:00 pm

Running the ball through our big’s is potentially our next move toward better ball movement. If this was our focus and team mentality, who better than JJ and Jamal with Evans and Bibby waiting in the wings to finish. I realize I have many distracters when it comes to inside out play. As time goes buy the results seem to go in that direction. I saw this coming two years ago.

We do not use this philosophy or style of play game in and game out. Even during games we still allow our guards to think shoot first. But as time goes by the trend is obvious. We are better and more diversified when we think Attack the basket through good ball movement.

I have made a commitment not to knee-jerk after a loss even when I think we have lost our best style of play. We are not anywhere close to perfect but are trending in the right direction. Got to love it.

KevinA

March 24th, 2010
11:07 pm

Ray – On another blog I was begging for Joe to get fouled. He is an all-star. Attack that basket to get fouled is what we need. Our top six are capable. Even Evans and ZAZA can draw the foul. Bibby is the only one that has to rely on more of a shooting style. It’s playoff time. Attack that basket.

KevinA

March 24th, 2010
11:08 pm

Geeze – I can’t help but type and grin. Great win over a tough opponent.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
11:12 pm

Good grief… Al was supposed to switch again on Carter…

NBA Hang Time (Sekou’s New Blog): http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2010/03/24/air-smoove-to-the-rescue/

“…“I had a great view of the play from the corner,” Hawks center Al Horford said, “so I knew it was good when he caught because he had the follow through and everything before the light went off. I was really excited because we actually made a mistake on the play before that. I was supposed to switch over on Vince [Carter] on defense and hesitated for a second and waited to long and he knocked down the 3-pointer that tied the game. So Josh sort of bailed me out.”

vava74

March 24th, 2010
11:20 pm

How can you use the switching defense on a closing defensive possession? When it is crucial to keep as much man to man defensive contact as possible?

Al was on Howard, locked on to him and when Carter came cutting from the baseline using Howard’s pick Al had to switch, but that would always be an ultra difficult defensive play which would free Howard to receive the pass from Carter with a good match up (against Marvin who was on Carter previously)

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
11:21 pm

Nire,

All you need to know is that the Sh!t works….

vava74

March 24th, 2010
11:25 pm

Let us not forget that we were close to 10 minutes without a basket in the 4th… and ended with just 18… including the last gasp dunk…

The refs had a huge role on the game flow as well, however, we had close to zero ball movement throughout the 4th and with Craw and JJ cold as icebergs.

We benefited from an cold ORL team (some defensive merit from our side – better perimeter defense and good defense on Howard) and from the absence of Ryan Anderson who has been torching us from the outside all the time.

vava74

March 24th, 2010
11:34 pm

In our defense:

The refs were plain awful again, bailing out Howard with bad calls against us and non calls benefiting him (elbow to Marvin’s face, for instance).

Also, on the last play, Carter pushes JJ on the hip and that should have been a foul called against ORL but the refs were not going to call it.

Melvin

March 24th, 2010
11:56 pm

Vava,

Uh, Anderson was available. He has falling out of the Magic playing rotation. DNP-CD…

vava74

March 25th, 2010
4:51 am

Melvin,

Bad move by SVG then. He has single handly outscored our bench in previous games.

SVG is probably trying to satisfy Bass giving him more time because he thinks he will need Jim for the playoffs.

My guess is that SVG accepted the possibility of a loss against us by going for that option.

vava74

March 25th, 2010
4:54 am

In the meantime, you should all take a look at what my favourite NBA analyst (Charley Rosen) has to say about the Hawks and last night’s game:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/hawks%27-offense-won%27t-cut-it-in-playoffs

FYI this guy has always said that Woody was making a very good job with wat he was given and has been pointing in the past out two major flaws in our roster: Josh’z immaturity ad Bibby’ decaying game.

Astro Joe

March 25th, 2010
8:48 am

Vava, regarding your 11:20 post, remember that the Hawks had a 3-point lead, so if Howard was in a favorable match-up with Marvin and scored, the Hawks would have been up by 1. Giving Carter room to shoot the 3 allowed the Magic to tie the game. I’m sure that is why defending the 3-ball was a coaching priority on that possession.

When Dwight gave Marvin a shot to the face with the ref 3 feet from the action (and Howard didn’t get called for a foul) I almost tossed my TV out the window.

That said, the Hawks have played maybe 5+ playoff-like games in a row. I can’t remember the last team that we played that didn’t have a sense of urgency. I like the way we have competed in all of those games. And I actually like the fact that all of them have required late game execution. Some of y’all consistently discuss “player development”, well, learning how to play in charged atmospheres with a game on the line, those are great lessons for a team looking to do some 2nd round playoff damage.

Great win, Hawks!

Melvin

March 25th, 2010
9:52 am

Vava,

Hard to argue with SVG rotation when they been on such good streak…

Astro,

Now I really feel sick about the losses to the Raps and Bucks. We could have really been on the Magic heels for the 2nd spot. Then you throw in the Mavs, Knicks, Warriors, and Pistons games and we could have been ahead of the Magic….UGGGHHH

Astro Joe

March 25th, 2010
9:57 am

Melvin, but how many comparable “bad losses” did the Magic have this season? You can’t isolate one team when playing those “what if” sceanrios… every team has a “I wish we could have a do-over” list of games.

I know they won’t do it, but I’d love for the Hawks to hold Marvin out of the next game and say that he is suffering from “concussion like symptoms”. I’d like the Hawks to plant a seed in the minds of refs that Howard’s elbows are dangerous and need to be carefully monitored as we approach the post-season.

Melvin

March 25th, 2010
10:54 am

Astro,

It will be kind of hard to hold Marvin out the next few games when he continue to play after being elbow. Besides the league could careless about the Hawks….

Melvin

March 25th, 2010
10:55 am

Astro,

Did you check out to the link to Craig Brackins I post on page 1. If so, what do you think?

Astro Joe

March 25th, 2010
11:07 am

Melvin, sorry, I forgot to comment on Brackins. Yeah, I’ve been reading about him since last year. I won’t be upset if he’s wearing a Hawks uniform next season. He always sounded like a Troy Murphy type but with less rebounding (if we’re allowed to compare players of different races). He certainly fills a void, a pick and pop big.

My draft preferences are an upper classmen and someone who can fill an existing skill gap from day 1 (no projects please).

vava74

March 25th, 2010
12:21 pm

As anyone thought that we only won the game because Josh was able to pull that miracle slam at the end…

And that Josh only pulled that trick because he was fresh and sharp…

And that he was only fresh and sharp because he had a breather in the middle/end of the 4th quarter…

And that he had a breather in the 4th quarter solely because he picked up his 5th foul…

And not because Woody recognized that having your best player fresh and sharp to end the game is ESSENTIAL??

vava74

March 25th, 2010
12:31 pm

Even Josh understands that Woody’s tactic of calling a TO to set up an ISO play is dumb and that it is better just to let the game flow.

“It may have helped that we didn’t have a timeout. They were sort of discombobulated [defensively],” Smith said minutes after combobulating the Hawks and their thoughts. “But we know we can play with anybody as long as we give a full 48 minutes like we did tonight.”

Woody has called at least two stupid TO in the last few games after a miss by the opponent team rebounded by ATL with the Hawks ahead in the scoreboard.

Instead of taking advantage of the adversary’s increased nerves and jitters after a miss, Woody has been calling TO to set up ISO plays which go against fully set, rested and focused defenses.

Astro Joe

March 25th, 2010
1:17 pm

Vava, ok, but I’m guessing that some Magic fans may be suggesting that Vince shooting with 10 seconds left on the clock may not have been the best play call since it provided the Hawks plenty of time for a game-winning shot. there are a few dozen ways to make a good burger and a few dozen ways to win (and lose) a game.

O'Brien

March 25th, 2010
1:26 pm

vava,

I’m sure thats a tactic most coaches struggle with. Do you call a time out to run a play, or do you let the guys wing it. I’m not sure which way to go. I guess it depends on the opponent and the situation.

Woody called a time out in the game against Phoenix, and Crawford made the winning 3 at the buzzer, so we’ve won both ways.

Although the time out allows the defense to rest and get foucsed, it allows Woody to make sure all his offensive guys are on the same page, so they know where to be (even if we’re going to run ISOs).

AJ,

I dont understand how the ref missed the foul on Howard/Marvin. It happened right in front of him. Why do the Hawks seem to always get the short end of the stick from the refs? That could have easily cost us the game. I just hope it doesnt happen in the playoffs.

As for Marvin, how can one guy with so much alleged “talent and potential” be so inconsistent? Just when I’m ready to write him off, he gives us a monster game. And just when I think he does have his mojo back after all, he disappears for five games in a row…

niremetal

March 25th, 2010
1:57 pm

O’B,

Marvin is kinda like the Rubik’s Cube he loves to play – just when you think you’ve figured him out…

Astro Joe

March 25th, 2010
2:02 pm

OB, yeah, but dude got 2 shot attempts in one of those games. He’s the team’s 5/6 option on offense. I’m guessing most other team’s 5/6 option are likewise inconsistent.

O'Brien

March 25th, 2010
2:26 pm

AJ,

Woody told Marvin that he (Woody) played 10, 11 years, and got 1 or 2 plays run for him. Woody is probably exaggerating, but the point he was making to Marvin is you can’t wait for plays to be run for you.

Before the season, Sund and Woody told Marvin that they needed him to step up his game. So he will have to be more aggressive on his own. Be aggressive and look for good shots. But I dont think Marvin looks for his shots enough. And even when he is not getting shots, there is also room for him to improve his rebounding.

I agree that he is our 5/6th option on offense though. But if he can give us 12 and 8 every game, that would help out the Hawks tremendously.

Big Ray

March 25th, 2010
2:39 pm

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