Error without comedy

It would be easy to rant and rave about the things that went wrong in game 3. Heck, we did it nearly every game during the regular season. So instead of breaking down what went wrong (did anything go right?), I’ll just chime in with a few observations.

_ I didn’t get to watch the game live, as I had other pressing matters to attend to. Trust me, it looked just as bad on DVR at 1:00 a.m. I got so mad that I forgot to fast forward through the commercials. Or maybe it was just my subconscious, trying to give my ears a break from the sound of Jon Barry’s voice. Hmmmmm…

_ I don’t care what anybody says. Mike Woodson gets a pass on this one. All the way. There is not one single thing he could have done to help this game. His bench stunk it up in the first two games, so what were his options? After a while, he realized that calling timeouts wasn’t working. ESPN had the huddle wired a couple of times, and Woodson was doing his best to encourage his guys. He’s a better man than me. Had I been in his position, the mic would have picked up nothing but “beeps.” I’m talking, enough to make you think somebody was writing an essay in morse code. Mike Woodson kept his composure through it all, not panicking even once. In fact, I think he’s learned to be a bit smarter about this than in years past. Don’t believe me? Well, I know this: Joe Johnson played only 36 minutes, despite the fact that he was really the only reliable guy on the court on offense.

_ Joe Johnson probably thinks he walked into a time machine, because it sure looked like 2006-2007 all over again. As in, he gets 25 points, half a dozen rebounds, nearly as many assists, and no help whatsoever from his teammates. By the way, don’t let that box score fool you. Joe was getting his game on out there, and only the desperation of having to do it all caused him to shoot as badly as he did (9-22). That, and the Bucks finally starting really keying in on him once they realized nobody else was going to present a credible threat.

_ Josh Smith has found out that there are a couple of things to do in Milwaukee that he hadn’t done before. Sulk in a hotel room is one. Another is learning how to pronounce Mbah a Moute and Ilyasova. I hear that both names translated together mean “You had better hustle better next time.”

_ The lack of energy and execution was astounding. And just in case you couldn’t see that for yourself, Jon Barry made sure to point it out. 3, 719 times. In the first half. Just in case you might have gotten up for a snack, or gone to the bathroom, and missed it.

_ Al Horford was lucky that Kurt Thomas didn’t bring his cane. He would have really laid a whoopin’ on him if he had remembered it. Unfortunately for Al, Kurt did remember to bring his jumper, his rebounding, and his defense. Al only remembered to bring his jumper. What’s with kids these days?

_ This game was so bad that Marvin’s flops and flails didn’t look out of place. Yes, it was that bad. The Hawks missed more layups than a junior varsity boys team does when the varsity cheerleaders are practicing at the other end of the gym. If I’m Woodson, I say we skip the shootaround and just do layups all day at pre-game practice. You have to crawl before you walk….

Okay, had to stop there. It was all I could do just to finish the game, and with about 5 minutes left, the only “treat” was watching Zaza Pachulia go 6 of 7 from the field, when it no longer made a difference. The Hawks have been beaten on the road before. They are certainly no strangers to this in the playoffs. We looked for signs of a good team in the playoffs, and we were seeing them in the first two games. But this? This shouldn’t happen. Losing is one thing. Getting blown out by a clearly inferior team is something else.

How well with the Hawks bounce back in game 4? Are we too presumptuous in thinking that they will bounce back, or is a realistic expectation? There isn’t anything complicated about this. The Hawks beat themselves. Even on a night when it seemed like the Bucks couldn’t miss from 3 point range, they STILL did not have enough weapons to be as good as the Hawks made them look. Brandon Jennings hit a few 3 pointers, but the kid still only finished with 13 points and 5 assists. Four of the Bucks’ main rotation players were held to less than 50% shooting (Delfino, Ridnour, Stackhouse, Jennings). There really is not much else to say. Atlanta doesn’t need to get it’s mojo back. It needs to get it’s head on straight.

Here’s to hoping that the Hawks turn this back into the series that it should be. Fear not the deer. Fear the mirror.

151 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Error without comedy http://bit.ly/aSrSoo [...]

Richie Rich

April 26th, 2010
6:45 am

Richie Rich

April 26th, 2010
6:54 am

I was looking forward to this game, we’ve had only three hawks games on tv all season in Australia and lost them all (Thunder, Bobcats and this one)… destroyed on the glass, hesistant and stagnant on offense, and worst of all apathetic and unable to even look like they were taking the game seriously. Sometimes I think that all these road woes come down tot he hawks being more concerned with looking cool and calm to those they’re not familiar with. That would explain the constant lack of fire in the eyes of the hawks when they stray from their nest

Richie Rich

April 26th, 2010
6:55 am

and for the record… first.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
7:59 am

Ray,

These Hawks are so inconsistent, I just dont know what to expect from them. If they got blown out again by 15+, I would not be surprised. On the other hand, they have shown resiliency at times, so I wont be surprised if they keep it close and give themselves a chance in the fourth.

The players played like crap, and I dont know how much difference Woody could have made. However, I wonder if it would have been worth switching to man to man since the players were slow on their switching and closing out.

After the big third quarter run by the Bucks, I would have benched my starters, just to send a message that their level of play was unacceptable. Yes, I know the bench has been horrible, but I expect a better effort from the starters.

I will say this. I’m glad the Hawks play in the East, because if they played in the West, they could be in trouble. The West is tough. Nuggets and Mavericks down 3-1.

And it looks like the Mavericks might be first round losers again. First with Avery, and now with Rick. Maybe Dirk is not a guy you can build a championship team around…

westurd

April 26th, 2010
8:15 am

win game 4 and all is forgotten……….
lose game 4 and the sky is falling………

doc

April 26th, 2010
9:32 am

hmm over 3000 times. glad i dont have tivo or dvr or know how to use either one in case i have them already. :-) seriously man where do you find the time to do such refined research ray?

nothing to add to that game.

richie rich, congrats to you.

doc

April 26th, 2010
9:39 am

o’b as far as woody goes and your comment about going to a man to man d. he had nothing to lose by doing it except his own ego preference for it even when it isnt doing the trick. so yes woody just as liable in my book for not doing something to shake things up strategy wise when his first (and only) plan wasnt working. at least try woody.

o’b if we were in the west we would have been about where houston is or was. we couldnt stay up with the thunder and it is really good they didnt come to the east because they slaughtered our conference. they would have clearly been third here in the east and maybe second. i like that team and respect them for what they did this year without three mega stars which is the “formula”. who are those guys anyway? if they get by the lakers, watch out.

Lacsho

April 26th, 2010
9:51 am

Big Ray, I have to disagree with not blaming the coach. Woodrow has a 1-9 playoff road record. Every time they go on the road, it’s Groundhog Day all over again. A head coach has to come up with a scheme on the road that will work. To continue to do the same thing over and over again thinking you’re going to get new results is FLAT OUT STUPIDITY. Woody gets no pass, and the players definitely don’t get a pass.

Look at OKC and look at the Hawks, they stole Billy Knight’s diagram and ran with it. OKC’s future is a lot brighter than the hawks. They rebuilt the right way, and it only took them 3yrs, with a rookie.

Let’s face it management doesn’t want to win, and Woody has taken the Hawks as far as he could. It’s time for a new breath of fresh air. This team has gotten stagnate under Woodrow’s leadership, and management needs to spend some damn money.

dr.maryb

April 26th, 2010
10:21 am

Blue-Ray
(Sharper – Image)

Great Editorial up there. That game 3 was sickening. Even I fell off the Coach’s Bandwagon for a minute.
But, I’m still on board. Well, Al & Horford disappeared and was hiding under Marvin’s bed.

I can understand a player having an off night – but not the whole team. I thought I was watching the Braves when the whole team doesn’t hit any balls.

I think, the young guys thought they could just show up and the Bucks would lay down? This is the NBA play offs and no team should think that foolishly. Now, we have to play 5 games to advance. The rest alone – should have been enough motivation. Perhaps, they were looking too far ahead to round 2.

The only thing Josh needs to do in Milwaukee? Is beat the Bucks! That’s it! This is a business trip for crying out loud! I look for a very competitive game tonight & a WIN on the road. This is the most important game of the year for us.

Let’s Go!

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
10:30 am

I like Horford but I take exception with this comment:

“We got away from playing inside-out, tried to do too much individual stuff,” Horford said. “We need to get back to playing team ball. When we do that, that’s when we play our best.”

Because unless my eyes were deceiving me, I saw Horford pass up opportunities to make a play several times early in the game. I recall one time when he was in the post, single covered, got the ball and immediately passed it to Josh who put up a 20 footer. No doubt that the team sometimes gets jumper-happy, but we’ve also seen Horford start games passively. It appeared to me that Kurt Thomas came out laying the wood on Al and it took him almost a half to get himself mentally ready to fight back.

So what takes more energy, fighting through a screen or switching? For all of this talk about playing “man-to-man” that requires that every player battles through each screen, and the Bucks set a bunch of screens. So if you believe that theplayers are lacking energy, is asking them to run through Thomas, Gadzuric, or Mbah-a-Moute better than asking the plauyer on the other side to pick up the guy with the ball? It seems easy to say “change” but what is required if you make that “change”?

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
10:31 am

Of course, it helps when Kevin Durant falls into your lap. Deadeye 30ppg guys come along 2-3 times per decade.

Lacsho

April 26th, 2010
10:42 am

@Nire- I agree, but we have JJ RRRRIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTTTT!!!!!!!

LouFan

April 26th, 2010
11:00 am

Great post BigRay. Yet I do agree withsome of the bloggers here that Woodson is to blame too. If you get a bunch of open shots from switch D…. Man on man. If starters stinking it up…. Put in the bench. If bibby can’t play D… Put in teague. Seriously it is that simple. The best thing about ANY leadership posistion is adapting to situations. That is his job. Purpose, motivation, direction.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
11:02 am

Astro,

I wasn’t impressed by anyone’s post-game comments on Saturday. Lots of diagnoses and proposed treatments, but no agreement on what needed to be improved for the next game. Al played what was, to me, the most disappointing game of his young career. He played passively, without fire or passion. He got the ball plenty of times in the first half, but not once did he go up strong, nor did he crash the boards (which is where a lot of big men’s offense comes from). He either passed it to someone standing on the perimeter or settled for a jumper.

Normally, I’d agree we need to go inside-out more. But with the way Al was playing Saturday, that would have been counterproductive.

Lacsho,

JJ ain’t Durant on offense. No one is right now. I honestly think he’s the best scorer in the NBA.

jlewis

April 26th, 2010
11:03 am

The hawks problem is at point guard, the pg’s in the league are to good and to young to have your 6′8 shooting guard defend, and your old pg you can’t hide. Jamal is turning into what he is, the playoffs are no place for wild shots and bad D. Also, now you guys see why Josh was not an All Star, CONSISTENCY. That being said, we should still beat the Bucks, the name of the game is advancing, no matter how or how many games.

doc

April 26th, 2010
11:16 am

no nire, if you make that argument i got to say it one more time ….but we passed on cp3, deron wiliiams and roy to make the climb harder than it needed to be. not sure if it wasnt planned that way. three players of note to make a franchise and any of the three would have made jj and the team better. who and where did they get the rest of their players?

Marcus

April 26th, 2010
11:20 am

Game was horrible. We have seen this before and Ray is right. Better get it straight or else..
BTW, lose the red alternate uniformss. They are like our version of (DAL Cowboy) “bad luck blue”.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
11:26 am

I’m sorry Doc, but what the heck are you talking about? How does that have anything to do with what I was saying?

doc

April 26th, 2010
11:36 am

nire i assumed you were responding to this of lacsho:

Let’s face it management doesn’t want to win, and Woody has taken the Hawks as far as he could. It’s time for a new breath of fresh air. This team has gotten stagnate under Woodrow’s leadership, and management needs to spend some damn money.

wben you said:

Of course, it helps when Kevin Durant falls into your lap. Deadeye 30ppg guys come along 2-3 times per decade.

maybe you were referring to something else but i thought that was in context as he then responded:
@Nire- I agree, but we have JJ RRRRIIIIGGGGHHHHHTTTTTT!!!!!!!

i have often thought that the asg were not that desirous of moving quickly to the top or would not have made such stupid moves to thwart it. with the upheaval in the organization and really a belkin five year plan in effect that seemed to be the way to g, spend less over time if i remember correctly. thunder did get lucky but when opportunities stare you in the face call it luck or not you
grab it. some say horford was luck. me i finally think they got it right to not be cute and pick the right guy.

so then i said:

no nire, if you make that argument i got to say it one more time ….but we passed on cp3, deron wiliiams and roy to make the climb harder than it needed to be. not sure if it wasnt planned that way. three players of note to make a franchise and any of the three would have made jj and the team better. who and where did they get the rest of their players?

seems to be in context nire. sorry if you dont see it or understand it in terms of what your response was to lacsho.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
11:47 am

AJ,

Sure, the players would have their challenges playing man to man. But in my opinion, the switching was not working at all. So why continue to stick with what isn’t working? Why wouldn’t Woody give something else a try?

Now if they start playing man to man, and its not working either, that’s understandable. But to continue to switch when the players were ineffective, and not try something different I thought was the wrong move.

I’m not blaming Woody for the loss, because the entire team (except for Joe) played poorly. And I also think Joe could have played better on defense. However, I would have liked to see Woody change something up.

nire,

It also helps when your draft picks are contributors, which I think is what doc is saying. I wont even talk about the guys who we passed on. I will focus on who we picked. We picked Marvin, who gave us very little early on, and we picked Shelden, who gave us nothing early on.

Had (BK) made better choices, it would not have taken us 5 years.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
11:48 am

Doc,

Did the Hawks make bad personnel decisions? Yes. Did those decisions make it harder for the team to win a title? Probably, although I still would rather have Horford than CP3/Roy/Deron, even in a 1-for-1 deal at this point, because I think Horford is a better fit to play alongside JJ and Josh.

But the point I was making is that the Hawks never passed on someone like Durant. I think most people would agree that Roy and JJ are comparable talents, so I’ll leave him aside. CP3 and Deron are elite PGs. That’s not the same thing as an elite scorer. An elite scorer is someone who can average 30ppg with their eyes shut, and the Hawks haven’t had a shot at one since Nique left. They are the guys who you can build a title contender around. You don’t build title contenders around traditional PGs, even elite ones, and for good reason – if your best scorer is also your best passer, it makes the defense’s job too easy if one guy is both the distributor and the #1 scoring option. I would argue that that’s why all the best point guards since the retirement of Isiah and Magic – Hardaway, Payton, Kidd, Nash, Jackson, Strickland, etc – never won a title as a starter. That formula is just not conducive to success against the league’s best defense.

In the same period, the only scorers comparable to Durant who have come along have been Shaq, Iverson, Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Melo. The Hawks never had a shot at any of those players. THAT is the point I was making. Along with getting a Hall of Fame center, getting an elite scorer like Durant is one of the two surest ways to become a serious title contender. The Hawks simply have never had a shot at one.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
11:51 am

nire, good, so you saw what I saw. And I think Ray saw the same. I think we are all trying to say the same thing nicely, but the reality is that Horford got straight PUNKED in the first half against the old man. And it is quite disappointing to read his quote that seems to point the finger at his teammates.

dr.maryb

April 26th, 2010
11:54 am

Lascho

JJ is NOT Durant! Geez!

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
11:56 am

O’Brien,

You know my view on Marvin. I’ll put it another way: The Hawks stumbled into a team that has all the essential components of a title-winning team. They didn’t design it that way, but that’s how things worked out. I’m not arguing that the individual draft picks weren’t mistakes. I’m just saying that the whole course of events resulted in a roster that is, in my opinion, more championship caliber than it would have been had everything gone according to plan.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
11:58 am

The one thing I will say is that if JJ leaves this offseason, you will never again hear me say any of this. Because I’d rather have Roy and Zaza than Crawford and Al.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
12:04 pm

And doc,

You a few other Hawks fans are the only people I have ever seen who have thought that bad personnel decisions were the result of a management conspiracy to keep the the team from winning quickly. The fact that the path you mentioned would have allowed the Hawks to win more quickly while spending LESS (since stars on rookie contacts are the biggest bargain in the business) makes your interpretation just plain bizzare.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
12:09 pm

Try another angle:

The Hawks gave JJ a near-max contract in 2005. It would have been much cheaper to keep Diaw (on his rookie contract) and try to build with the surrendered lottery picks.
The Hawks signed Speedy in 2006 using their remaining cap space. It would have been a bit cheaper to simply draft Deron, CP3, or Roy and sign a good forward instead of spending that money on a veteran PG and drafting a (hopefully) good forward.

And you think that those picks were part of a conspiracy to spend LESS?

Lacsho

April 26th, 2010
12:17 pm

@nire – Who said there was a conspiracy? Mangenment is cheap and some bad decsions caused the Hawks to develop a lot slower than OKC. It’s just that simple.

What’s bizzare is your pg theory SMH.

doc

April 26th, 2010
12:18 pm

point guards like cp3 and deron certainly put those teams into the elite category within weeks in comparison to how we structured our efforts. brandon is even one of those types and though not a 30 ppg guy a 25 ppg one. the durant’s come along infrequently too inferquently to think you cant compete without one. some end up on very poor teams, so they cant be the only reason for a team to rise up. there were plenty of champions that didnt have durant types on their teams. i would also think that the hornets with cp3 until they ran out of money or interest were pretty close to contending. deron as well nire, to balance your argument. brandon not far from it without a host of supporting characters healthy.

yes, durant is a nice no great piece but that is all until the team plays well around him. he didnt do it alone last year in spite of his ppg.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
12:32 pm

Stop addressing arguments I never made, Doc. I never said you can’t compete without a Durant. I said that that, along with drafting a Hall of Fame center, is the MOST SURE-FIRE way to build a contender. To put it another way, every Hall of Fame center (Hakeem, Ewing, Admiral, Shaq, Dwight) and deadeye 30ppg scorer (the guys I mentioned above) from the past 25 years has, at some point in their career, played for a legit title contender (the closest counterargument is Iverson, who *gasp* was also his team’s main distributor!). The same cannot be said of any other types of players. Drafting an elite PG is NOT nearly as sure a way to build a contender. See all the examples I listed.

And lacsho – you can call it bizarre, but you won’t be able to cite a single exception in the past 20 years. Teams don’t build around elite, high-scoring PGs. Marbury, Francis, Strickland, Hardaway, Payton, Kidd, Nash. I’ve heard it called the Iverson Curse. I’m not the one who first said it, but I subscribe to it – you can’t win a title in the modern NBA with your main distributor also being your best scorer. The one and only exception might be LeBron, whose size makes him much harder to contain than a 6′1 point guard.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
12:34 pm

OKC is where we were 2 years ago… 8th seeded team in their conference.

Lacsho

April 26th, 2010
12:37 pm

OKC won 50 games two years ago we won 37. Try something new AJ. There’s no comparison.

Lacsho

April 26th, 2010
12:38 pm

OKC is in the west and they dominated the east. During the 37 win season we didn’t dominate anyone, and I don’t think we dominated anyone this year.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
12:41 pm

And within weeks, Doc? Last I checked, Deron and CP3’s teams both failed to make the playoffs when they were rookies. CP3’s failed to crack 40 wins in each of his first two seasons. And they are the exception to the rule. Usually, high-scoring PGs’ teams disappoint much more spectacularly.

If the Hawks knew how good CP3 and Deron would turn out to be, I am confident they would have drafted them over Marvin. Would we be better off had that happened? I don’t know. But no one can say with a straight face that they knew how good CP3 and Deron would be on Draft Day 2005. Bret LaGree thought that Raymond Felton and Jarrett Jack had a chance to be about at their level. And for every CP3 and Deron who gets selected in the top 5, there’s two PGs who never live up to expectations.

Billy Knight made a mistake when he drafted Marvin Williams instead of CP3 or (as I would have preferred) Deron. He made an even bigger mistake when he drafted Shelden over Roy. But it’s ridiculous to say that blown draft picks were part of a conspiracy to spend less money, as you did.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
12:45 pm

Lachso, as long as conferences play unbalanced schedules, I will always believe that the only way to compare teams across conferences is to look at their seedings. 50-wins and the number 8 seed is not the same as 50 wins and the number 3 seed. You can’t convince me otherwise.

Is it better to be a 38-win playoff team or a 45-win non-playoff team? Answer is very easy… in order to win the trophy, you have to be invited to the party. So first and foremost, you have to compete within your conference. Conference seeding matters.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
12:57 pm

I’m tired of all of the love for Western Conference teams. Howmany teams from that conference win titles? Two… Lakers and Spurs. Suns aren’t special. Mavs aren’t special. Blazers aren’t special. The Hawks don’t need to apologize for playing in the same conference with the Cavs, Celtics, Magic nor Heat over the past 5 years.

I like OKC a lot. The have a promising future. But relative to their immediate competition, they finished 8th. Before we start engraving O’Brien trophies, let’s see what happens over the next 2-3 years as they continue to compete and deal with issues like players coming out of their rookie contracts. Didn’t the pundents forecast great things for that young Bulls squad with Chandler, Gordon, Hinrich, Deng and Curry? And that didn’t quite pan out once guys started asking for more money.

doc

April 26th, 2010
1:11 pm

aj check the standings:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/standings;_ylt=Am9ivhN8P7T7yRpV2ALKDOi8vLYF

okc, 14 games over 500 in the east in 30 games, 4 games over in 54 in the west. 23 and 19 on the road in contrast to our own sub 500. no way you can say they are where we were two years ago. dude i hope the hawks will be where they are this frigging year as they have put the mighty lakers on the ropes as an 8th seed. yes we did it to the c’s but with fewer wins and lopsided losses in boston whereas the thunder were competitive in l.a. interesting where they will be over the next two or three games in my opinion. could be an interesting discussion.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
1:19 pm

doc, sorry. I understand the argument… but relative to their immediate competition… 8th. And didn’t we have the Celtics tied at the EXACT same point 2 years ago after 4 playoff games as the 8th seed against the 1st seed? I think so… I think I even met you at half-time of Game 4 shortly before Zaza went head-to-head with KG. You had a pretzel, I had popcorn and Ando was blasted. Or have I mis-remembered? :twisted:

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
1:20 pm

Why such long faces? Yall wanted the Bucks, now you got the Bucks… Now can this Hawks teams show some intestinal fortitude and beat an inferior team in a pivot game on the road to take a commanding 3-1 series lead?

doc

April 26th, 2010
1:25 pm

aj, i think i said just that except mentioned our road woes that persist, no?

yes, you remember well and the pretzels tasted so much better then. heh heh tasted so bad this year moved over to the pasta/beer line.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
1:35 pm

doc, no doubt that our guys are much too emotional. There highs take them much too high… to the point when they begin to believe that they are much better than reality. I think that is why they still struggle to play well on the road… because after looking so good at home, they begin to believe that they can play the same way away from Philips. At the same time, I do recall that they stepped up in a big way in Miami last year.

While I’m not thrilled about the blow-out loss, I’m guessing if we had lost by 2, we’d still be ticked off right now… and I certainly never believed that we would sweep them. So from a high-level, we are still where I thought we’d be.. up 2-1 headed into game 4. The series begins tonight.

doc

April 26th, 2010
1:59 pm

or as jennings says … cocky. how could a team like this take itself that seriously to be cocky?

woody can certainly use that comment for motivation purposes, thanks jennings.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
2:10 pm

AJ,

2 years ago, the the #8 Hawks finished 29 games behind the #1 seeded Celtics. This season, the #8 OKC finished 7 games behind the #1 Lakers.

“I’m guessing if we had lost by 2, we’d still be ticked off right now” AJ.

You’re probably right, because we would be complaining about our stagnant offense, or our inability to get a key stop, or Woody’s use of the bench etc.

Tonight will be a key game. If Bucks win, then the series could go 7 games, but if the Hawks win, it could be over in 5.

One reason they stepped up big in Miami last year, is because Miami had already won a game at our place. If the Hawks lost game 4 in Miami, they would have been down 3-1. Whereas if they lose this game tonight, the series will be 2-2.

Hawks have shown resiliency all year, so I look for a better effort tonight.

kwooden1

April 26th, 2010
2:18 pm

The HAWKS are where most of us thought and this was the game that most thought we would lose. The Bucks as a team shoot a lot of jump shots and in turn shoot a poor percentage most of the time. The issue with the last game is we never got back in the game. I agree with nir that Horford was passive in the post but its clear that we should start with Smoove in the post, he has the immediate mismatch. If we start with Smoove and he makes the simple pass or a deceive move then I think we will be fine. Saturday night was one of those games where everyone was waiting to get back in the game, instead of getting back in the game. Marvin has to attack Salmons every time he gets the ball. I think that the first 5 possessions should start with passes to Smoove in the post or Marvin driving on Salmons if the clock gets to 15. Salmons gets away with being a weak defender because of the Bucks overall team hustle, but I saw what he could do in the previous 3 games the HAWKS played against the Bucks. We’ve got to be the aggressors all game long! No more letting the Bucks dictate where we’re going or what we’re doing. If we attack all game long, we should be able to go home up 3-1

GO HAWKS!!!

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
2:24 pm

#8 = #8! I’m sure that there are great arguments for why they don’t… but just like #1 = #1 (regardless of total wins), #8 = #8… as long as there is an unbalanced schedule.

Y’all can love on the other lawn if you choose… but to me, they are the same shade of green (or brown, depending on your perspective).

Funny how sometimes, it’s all about the playoffs but other times, regular season records matter. I guess it depends on if you choose to see the lawn as green or brown.

2-2 after 4 games… #8 vs. #1. Two home wins, 2 home losses.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
2:47 pm

Great discussion in here guys.

I knew saying “Woody gets a pass” was going to get some responses. ;) My point there was that I don’t think there was a single thing he could or would have done that would have made the players execute any better, or play with more desire/energy/whatever. That includes the bench, where Crawford is making a case against himself in the postseason. Oh, it’s easy to say “well, Woody could have tried this or that”, but for instance, let’s say he trashes the switch defense and goes man-to-man. Here are some results, I think:

1) Bibby on Brandon Jennings. Do you really want this? The way Jennings was shooting, something tells me he goes for more than 13 and 5.

2) JJ on Salmons… for the entire game . That means no help on Jennings, while guarding the Buck’s best scorer. See point #1.

3) Josh vs. Ilyasova or Delfino, take your pick. Either will drag him away from the basket, and out towards the arc. This leaves the lane open for Jennings, Salmons, and Ridnour, with only Horford around to contend with shots. Only…he’ll be walled off by Kurt Thomas, who will be in his jersey every single time.

I’d love to say we are built to counter that with a guy Marvin Williams’ size. But he’s not reliable in that situation these days.

I agree that Woody could have tried some things.

I just don’t think, based on what I saw, that any of it would have worked. Results are results. And if the results are similar, you’re going to bash the coach for trying something different, right? Just saying…. bad play can foil coaching of any kind.

And y’all know how I generally feel about the man.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
3:00 pm

When the Hawks lost games 1 and 2 in Boston, our average margin of defeat was 21 ppg. OKC’s average margin of defeat for games 1 and 2 in LA is 5.5 ppg.

To be fair though, the Celtics that we played 2 years ago, was the clear favorite to win the title (and they did). This LA team is not the favorite the way that Boston was. And if OKC beat the Lakers in 7 games, it wont be the same kind of upset it would have been if the Hawks had beat Boston and the much younger big 3.

kwooden1,

“I think that the first 5 possessions should start with passes to Smoove in the post or Marvin driving on Salmons if the clock gets to 15″.

I agree on going to Smoove to see how he does with Mbah (sp?) on him. But to have Marvin drive on Salmons? I’m not feeling that one, because in my mind, I see Marvin fumbling the ball, or getting it blocked, or losing the ball while falling over, or just missing the shot (with a smaller possibility of getting fouled and going to the line).

That being said, we might have to try something different.

Ray,

I know that I can only speak for myself, but I dont think most of us logical fans would have bashed Woody for trying something different, because it was clear from the start that the players were playing horrible on defense, all game long.

If Bibby guards Jennings straight up, maybe Jennings goes for 55 again. But the other players would not be as involved on the offense, so that might have slowed their team down. And Jennings is known for his cold shooting spells and bad shot selection.

And Woody would also have the option of putting Teague on Jennings, because at least Teague has some quickness. And I think Teague would have helped with 1) and 3) with his speed and ball pressure.

2) I dont think JJ played well defensively either. So maybe mixing and matching him and Evans on Salmons straight up might have helped.

But if Woody doesnt try it, we will never know for sure. The one thing we know for sure is that the switching was NOT working.

Mike is Back

April 26th, 2010
3:03 pm

Astro Joe, I keep hearing this argument about Al getting punked in the first half…but I don’t hear people acknowledging that Thomas is no slouch to compete against…even though he is past his prime. He made a living frustrating young Bigs like Al. If memory serves me correctly you made a comment about the availability of Thomas, because you thought he was a heady vet that could help the Hawks thin front line heading into the playoff…I agreed BTW.

Well as it turns out your right…the only problem is he is playing against the Hawks instead of for the Hawks. This notion that an undersize Al should be dominating Thomas is some what misleading…because he is a legit 6’10” wide body that knows how to play in post…plus he has tons of playoff experience…also he appears to still have the ability to knock down that midrange jump shot. Although Al was clearly outplayed in the first half…he never gave up and fought through his struggles. Going up against Thomas is only going to make him better.

Can we at lease admit that Thomas is a very capable defender and rebounder…and without him, the series would likely be ending tonight?

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
3:05 pm

Lacsho ,

I like what Oklahoma City has done over there. I hear you on them stealing Billy Knight’s plan and running with it. Except for three things:

1) They drafted their franchise player. We went out and bought ours (and paid a premium for him, too).

2) Billy Knight’s plan never called for taking a good point guard in the draft. It called for going after one broke-down vet pg after another, until he reached the top of the pile with Mike Bibby. Nice move, but it took too long.

3) OKC added the bulk of their complimentary players throught he draft. We kinda went 50-50 with that one (at best).

Call it Billy Knight’s plan copied, and then improved.

Niremetal ,

Durant fell into their laps? Your’re right. Kinda like Deron Williams fell into Utah’s lap, and Brandon Roy fell into Portland’s lap. There’s always some team with a great opportunity in front, that just doesn’t take advantage of it. Man, I sure wish a player like those could have fallen in our laps…wait a minute…