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

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
3:12 pm

O’brien ,

Good points, but a few questions. And you know I’m not huge fan of the switch defense. The question is, if it worked in the first two games, why change it in the third? The second question to that is why wasn’t it working in this game? If you ask me, it was a total lack of effort. So does the effort suddenly get better due to a change of strategy?

You’re right that we’ll never know because Woody didn’t try it.

Here’s another one. Teague? Teague plays a big part of this? Come now, if Woodson deigned to play him little in the regular season, you surely don’t expect the Tiger to change his stripes for Leopard’s spots in the playoffs do you? :)

On Jennings: the guy finished with 13 and 5. So he really didn’t get his teammates that involved anyway. If anything, superior ball movement by Milwaukee overall is what got them the shots they wanted. Guess what? Nearly all of those shots were WIDE OPEN. They weren’t that wide open in games 1 and 2. Why?

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
3:18 pm

Astro Joe ,

Yep, saw what you saw. Horford got punked.

Mike is Back ,

I agree that Kurt Thomas is a VERY capable player in the post. I’ve also seen Al Horford go 13pts/12 rb (season finale), 15pts/7rb (game 1), and 20pts/10rbs (game 2).

He went 10 and 3 in game three, a far cry from what he was doing in the previous 3 matchups against Thomas. He gets no pass from me on this one. His play was tentative on offense, and nearly non-existant on the boards.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
3:18 pm

I have no anxiety about missing on Roy. No one seems to recall that he was oft–injured in college and we had just finished a season where we gave up about 175 points per gam ein lay-ups. And there was a little bit of concern about BK drafted a bunch of wing players (after Childress, Smith and Marvin). Granted, Shedlen was a bust but he helped us get some guy who put us in theplayoffs.

Mike, yes, Kurt is a great low post defender. Here’s my concern… TRY. I didn’t see much effort out of Horford in the first half. Did Thomas defend differently in the first 2 games than in the first half of the 3rd game? Did Thomas forget how to defend in the 3rd quarter? I don’t think so… I think Horford’s engine was cold and it took him too long to warm-up and get in 5th gear. It’s one thing to be stopped by a veteran defender, it’s another to defer. Let’s face it.. Horford looked very Marvin-esque in the first half of Game 3. We don’t need that from our All-Star center.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2010
3:20 pm

Yeah, and Teague looked real good against Jennings in Game 1, when Woody put him in as the designated quick-guard defender. Didn’t Jennings go 0-4 once Teague entered? No? Oh.

doc

April 26th, 2010
3:29 pm

ray you missed the point, durant is a pure scorer so the argument is moot to include any other “ops” to get better as part of the “plan”.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
3:37 pm

Ray,

Again, I don’t think Deron or Roy belong in the same category as Deron. Roy and Deron are good building blocks for a franchise. Durant is one of the two most spectacular offensive talents to come along in the past decade. Historically, Durant is the type of player (deadeye 30ppg scorer) for whom a title contender can be built around relatively easily – deadeye 30ppg guys come along only a few times a decade, and you really have to blow it to not build a contender around one. Same with a dominant, Hall of Fame caliber big man like Dwight. The same is NOT true of great PGs and great SGs like Deron and Roy. If you think I’m wrong about that, fine. But you have to go back to the years of Magic and Isiah to find even an arguable counterexample.

And please – everyone stop trying to make this argument into something it’s not. I’m NOT saying it wasn’t a mistake to pick Marvin over Deron or Shelden over Roy. All I’m saying is that we never passed up someone like Durant (or Dwight). So comparing the Thunder’s progression to the Hawks’ is apples and oranges.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
3:40 pm

I don’t think Deron or Roy belong in the same category as Durant.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
3:53 pm

We’ve all heard the adage that roler players play much better at home, and that was the case with Kurt. Plus the Bucks had their fans into it. However, game 3 Al did not seem close to games 1 and 2 Al, (and Josh did not resemble Josh either). So regardless of what Kurt did, a big part of it is on Al to be Al, and he wasn’t.

Ray,

The Bucks had good ball movement. But with our switching defense being so ineffective, we seemed to be scrambling on defense, with very little communication, which led to wide open shots for what seemed like every Buck.

I agree that it was the players lack of effort etc that made our defense so horrible. Would they have exhibited more effort playing man to man? Maybe not. Would Teague have been able to keep up with Jennings? Maybe not. I just think it would have been worth a try to find out, because whatever we were doing was not working.

In BK’s defense, the Hawks badly needed a big man in the draft. And if you look at who was drafted after Shelden, you see names like Patrick O’Bryant, Hilton Armstrong, Mouhamed Sene (drafted by Mr. Sund in Seattle) etc.

So his choices for a big man were slim. But what about trading down and picking Shelden later. Or taking the best available player, and then trading him to somebody for a big?

And I think what made the Shelden pick so bad, is because there was a rumor that BK had already promised to pick Shelden. So that might have had an effect on teams not willing to trade with him, because the assumption was he wanted Shelden.

doc

April 26th, 2010
4:03 pm

ob, funny we fired about three big guys still in the league as contributors didnt we or let them move on somewhere else according to the knight asg plan of hold down costs for awhile? then we hastily need a big through the draft.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
4:08 pm

O’Brien,

You got the Shelden pick pegged. Honestly, I’m not even sure there would have been a team willing to trade up in the ‘06 draft, which was quite possibly the worst draft class of the past 20 years. But what killed me was that the pick got telegraphed a month in advance. No way were we going to be able to move that pick when everyone knew our target already – and when that target would have slipped to #10 or lower absent our selection of him.

i_am_soulstar

April 26th, 2010
4:14 pm

burn the red unis. that is all

irishmafia

April 26th, 2010
4:30 pm

Lousy coach = lousy team =no effort=no consistency=no too smart=never a champion with this team or coach

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
4:34 pm

Maybe the Hawks should “Fear the Deer”…

doc

April 26th, 2010
5:50 pm

o’b i said the same thing to ando the night of the draft of shels trying to make sense of it. we have to get a big man. nope, ando didnt buy it and ranted for what seemed like hours. then he really got started when milsaps wasnt our guy either i think in the same draft instead of solo. i know he wanted milsaps bad.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
6:26 pm

What I would love to see from the Hawks draft picks, is I want other teams to look at one of our picks and say “How could we have missed on him”.

Right now, except for Josh Smith who dropped all the way to 17th, we dont have anybody like that. Chills? Marvin? Shelden? Acie? Salim?

You look at second round guys like Milsap and Monta Ellis or Blair, Arenas, or guys like George Hill, or Manu, Parker etc. Hawks front office are not able to overachieve on their drafts (although coaching might have a role too).

And we’ll probably be having this same discussion again before the next draft.

Looking forward to the game tonight. I will probably miss the first half, but I’ll be checking the box score and the blogs.

Harpie

April 26th, 2010
8:02 pm

WOODSON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
8:26 pm

From yahoo sports.

“Larry Brown is angling to take the Philadelphia 76ers’ presidency, and has targeted Washington Wizards front office executive Milt Newton as his general manager and the Atlanta Hawks’ Mike Woodson as coach, sources said”

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
8:33 pm

More from yahoo sports:

“Sources say that this is the reason Atlanta is willing to sell its first-round pick for $3 million this summer, and the reason that they’ll likely offer no more than a three-year contract for $1.8 to $2 million a year to a possible Woodson successor.

Woodson could expect a bigger offer to stay on the job, but perhaps not by much. For Woodson, the 76ers could offer leverage to leave, but he would have to weigh leaving a legitimate Eastern Conference contender for a flawed roster in Philadelphia”.

Sautee

April 26th, 2010
8:38 pm

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
8:38 pm

Doc ,

Missed the point? I was poking a stick into an existing argument for the heck of it. Keep up, will ya? ;)

Nire ,

See my answer to Doc above. Well, all except the part about Billy Knight and pgs, that is. Lord knows you and I have had this conversation/discussion in private enough times to know where we stand. Surely you can’t blame me for stirring the pot (again) on the blog, can you? You can! Awww, maaaaan, you’re no fun. LOL

p.s. In no way do Deron and Roy compare to Durant. But here’s a funny thought for ya. Durant’s college stats were great, but Michael Beasley’s were a smidgen more impressive. Yet one is nowhere near the other, and never will be, if you ask me. Even Rod can’t dispute that one. Wait a minute. Yes he can, and would if given a chance to stick a fork in his Marvin voodoo doll in the middle of the conversation….

O’brien ,

Strong points again, when talking about our defense the other night.

As far as Knight goes, I can only say that the results have been mixed. Yes, we needed a big man when he drafted Sheldon. So why did we end up having to draft one? Because we’d only gotten a single big man in free agency (Zaza). There are two guys on this roster who other teams can look at an be envious about. One of them only became such a player this year (Josh Smith). The other is Al Horford.

How many lottery or upper-half-of-the-draft picks have we had? You named them already, and none here any longer. We have one lotto pick that’s turned into something (Horford). The highest pick we had is a guy who we are looking at now and wondering what went wrong (except for Marvin’s public enemy #1, who has known what sort of player he would be from birth) .

The Mike Bibby transaction looks good, and is good, as long as you don’t dig too deep into the number. Somebody mentioned him as “the guy who put us in the playoffs.” That’s true, he helped us right along. How did we get him? We traded away a failed high lottery pick, a bargain basement big man of the sort some of us now cry about not having, and two straight failed veteran pg ventures. The reality is that this is also how we got Jamal. A failed lottery pick pg, and a failed vet pg.

All the talk we hear about injuries (Roy and CP3) is true. But it’s also presumptive in a way. Were both guys destined to be injured in the League the way there are and have been, regardless of which team they played for? If your crystal ball is telling you that, then it can also tell you what would have been had we drafted this guy or that guy.

My guess is, it doesn’t tell any of us anything. We just don’t know. And who cares what other GMs missed out on (Dumars probably still has nightmares about Darko vs Carmelo and Wade). They don’t run my Hawks. So I don’t care where they messed up.

Anyway, these conversations can be fun as long as nobody takes them too seriously.

Sautee

April 26th, 2010
8:39 pm

Y’all know where that ding was aimed, I’m sure.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
8:48 pm

O’B,

I think the last time Wojnarowski correctly predicted what the Hawks would do was…uh…never. Either he or Chad Ford said almost the exact same thing last year – that the Hawks were looking to sell their first round pick for cash. Woj also said the Hawks had decided to hire a first-time GM to save money when Knight left, and they ended up getting Sund. He is a rumor mongeror who seems to get “this is what my friend thinks will happen” and uses it as a source.

As I said – if it doesn’t come from a beat writer, i don’t buy it.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
8:54 pm

Oh, and remember the “Marvin Williams for cash” rumor from last year? It’s pretty clear there’s someone(s) out there feeding reporters stories about the Hawks owners trying to run the team on the cheap, and there’s clearly plenty of fans willing to believe it so…

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
8:54 pm

Better energy, better execution.

Bibby is hot, Josh needs to drive on Mbah a Moute.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
8:56 pm

Nice move by Joe, didn’t fall though…

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
8:58 pm

Whose hairbrained idea is it to throw a lob like that to Bibby? Stupid pass play!

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
8:58 pm

At least they’re playing a bit harder tonight, though the aggressiveness still isn’t where it needs to be.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
9:01 pm

I would love to know what % of Al’s fouls come off plays where he’s switched onto a guard…

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:02 pm

This is one way to exploit the switch defense: make their bigs guard your guards…

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
9:02 pm

Delfino clowning us.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:12 pm

OMG. Okay, I don’t want to hear ONE more complaint about Josh running the ball up the court after watching what Marvin just did.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:12 pm

I take that back, Josh still has to cut that down, but Marvin….what a run killer….

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:15 pm

What a BS call, that ref wasn’t even in place to make a good call. What an ass…

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
9:21 pm

The switching defense is working. For the Bucks….

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:21 pm

Pathetic perimeter defense. Jennings is quick, but that is absolutely pathetic. This is where our defensive issues start, and you can blame the switch defense, or you can blame the players on the perimeter (guards!). Either way…..

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:23 pm

Can’t blame Smith for being angry (though he has to be careful). That was NOT a charge, Ilyasova did not have position, and Josh never extended his arm.

Refs have it out for us even in Milwaukee. BS alert!

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
9:23 pm

You simply cannot have Bibby, Jamal, and Mo out there simultaneously with someone like Jennings on the floor…

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
9:24 pm

Big Ray,

At what point do you try something new? The Bucks are getting layups. At least try trapping the dribbler (Jennings) on the pick and rolls…

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
9:26 pm

Why are we playing Joe Johnson at PF?????

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:26 pm

We’re not even defending simple plays.

Has Joe scored from the field yet?

Crawford missing free throws…WTF…

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:27 pm

Melvin,

Anytime is a good time right now….

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:28 pm

Want something to laugh at? Right now, I’d love a couple of ISO Joe plays. Nothing else seems to be working.

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
9:33 pm

The ISOs are ok for a stopgap and change of pace. I don’t want us to look like this in the 3rd, though.

Melvin

April 26th, 2010
9:37 pm

Ok, I will say it. I’m tired of Bibby…..

niremetal

April 26th, 2010
9:41 pm

Good to see Crawford shake off his slump. Hopefully he shows for the 2nd half too.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:41 pm

We’re only down by 4, but it’s these “end of the quarter” runs that bother me. The Bucks are making these plays at the times that WE should be making them.

Big Ray

April 26th, 2010
9:42 pm

Nire,

Co-sign both posts…we needed something to get us going, though. Right after Joe started scoring, he also started passing effectively.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
9:49 pm

Good job by Woody to cut Marvin’s minutes…

Crawford looks so much better this game. Hopefully him and Bibby can continue to make shots in the second half.

doc

April 26th, 2010
9:51 pm

stinger, “they are forcing the switches and taking advantage of it”. how will we adjust? we wont is my guess. this is fugly.

what was it ray old and dumb or something like that?

O'Brien

April 26th, 2010
9:56 pm

We dont need Salmons to get off…

Hawks defense has looked bad on 2 possessions. And Horford needs to get his head in the game.

And Woody was staring at the ref like he (the ref) was a rookie lol.