Hawks lose their heads, but Cavs lose the game

Is it possible to not feel that great about your team having the best record in the Eastern Conference?

Raise your hand if last night’s win left you feeling like the Hawks deserve the distinction of being the only unbeaten team in the east. To be both fair and realistic, the season is barely four games old for many teams, and the Hawks have yet to come up against a truly tough matchup. But you have to wonder just how it is that they managed to escape their own Jekyll and Hyde act this time. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be grateful if that’s the ugliest third quarter we play all year. Utterly ridiculous. The Cavs are a hot mess. There is no other way to say it. How they ever beat Boston to begin the year is beyond me. They looked like a D-League team until the Hawks began giving them one gift after another, before finally deciding to remind them (and their fans) that those fun days of clowning the opposition from the bench are over. They’re so bad, you almost feel sorry for them. Nah. Atlanta fans still remember the clowning. And the ref calls.

 

This Won’t Cut It

It seems that not only do old habits die hard, but some diseases are tough to cure. Whatever were the Hawks thinking, this being a road game no less? The offense in the first quarter looked about the way it should have, despite some missed shots here and there. The turnovers were way down as well. The second quarter is where the Hawks looked like they were going to make up their own plays on the court. What may have stood out the most -

- Can’t have one without the other. For nearly two quarters, the Hawks forgot that there is no such thing as good ball movement when there is very little personnel movement. They tried to run the Princeton offense without the motion. The result? The Princeton “Stationary.” Is that an offense? I’ll bet Drew didn’t draw it up.

- Josh Smith dressed up as shooting guard for Holloween…and forgot to take the costume off for the game. Smith looked decent on a couple of his jumpshot attempts. Unfortunately, that was only a couple out of nearly a dozen (or so it seemed at the time). As a result, his shooting percentage went way down, and he managed only six points. It still wasn’t enough to lose the Hawks the game, but it certainly helped the Cavaliers on the glass, where they were getting beaten early on. Oddly enough, Smith wasn’t credited with a single turnover in the game, and grabbed 11 rebounds while dropping 4 dimes. That’s good, right? So why doesn’t it feel as good as it should?

- If they can’t shoot, then why defend them? Because….it’s an NBA team, meaning that somebody is likely to start scoring at some point. The Hawks saw that they didn’t have to play particularly tough defense against the offensively challenged Cavs, so they decided to simply let them do what they wanted, until the lead got away from them. After all this time, they still haven’t learned that they aren’t good enough to just turn it on when they feel like it. Facing a Cavs squad that is this awful did nothing to dissuade this false notion.

- There is no MBPG award, only the DPOY award. Simply put, you don’t win an award for Most Blocks Per Game. Okay, so maybe it seemed that way when NBA favored son Dwight Howard won it, but Dwight changed games by scaring teams from going inside to score, not just blocking shots. He prevented the scoring. Smith seems bent on breaking records with his swats so far this year, and there is no doubt that it is both fun and amazing to watch. Unlike Howard, Smith baits players into shooting or swoops out of nowhere to throw a shot that nobody knew he was even going to be challenged. Unfortunately, this is not all there is to defense, and Smoove is finding himself in a position already, where he is getting torched by the man he is supposed to guard. 5 blocks is worthy of ESPN highlights. Here’s what ESPN probably won’t show:  J. J. Hickson dropping 31 points on him while shooting 65% from the field, and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. This, after giving up nearly 20 points on to Darrell Arthur a couple games back.

 

The Bright Spots

- Hello, Dr. Jekyll. Arguably, no one looked better on the floor last night than Marvin Williams. Confident and aggressive right out of the gate, Marvin looked like he was due for his annual 30 point game. It was like he knew nobody wearing a Cavs uniform could guard him. He hit shots from wherever he chose, and made good plays off of post-ups (Marvin, posting up??). How is it possible for this guy to show up like this one night, then play the Invisible Man the next? Marvin still has us wondering, but his performance was VERY nice last night. We can only wonder how the next game will go….

-Killing ‘Em Softly. If you hadn’t heard Bob Rathbun gushing, or hadn’t read the box score, you might not know that Al Horford had his third straight double double. That had to have been about the quietest 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists I’ve seen in a while. Must have been the noise from the third quarter insanity, or the moronic “Godfather” music in the background every time Mo Williams did something halfway decent on the court.

- ISO Everything Man. Things definitely turned into ISO-Joe as the execution of the offense totally broke down. Of course, at this point Joe was well out of rhythm and missed a number of shots he normally makes. However…Joe is the go-to guy when this happens, and to his credit, he never forgot to pass the ball. More importantly, Joe never forgot Marvin, even towards the end of the game. 6-21 shooting may be ugly, but I’d say 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and a good deal of solid defense makes up for most of it.

- Can’t Argue the “W.” You always appreciate a win. Especially a road win. Even if your team makes it a little hard to appreciate it. Ask the Cavs fans. All they get to appreciate is their team letting them think that they had a chance, even if it was just for one quarter of basketball.

- Jamal to the rescue. Once again,  Jamal’s scoring and attack mentality helped bail the Hawks stay afloat. Crawford hit everything from the charity stripe (6 free throws), both of his 3 point attempts, and went 4 for 7 overall for 16 points off the bench, in a little over 21 minutes of work.

 

UP NEXTThe Detroit Pistons @ The Highlight Factory

The Pistons aren’t very good. Their 0-4 record would suggest that this is an understatement. However, the Hawks can’t afford to take it easy on these guys. Whereas the Cavs have offensive issues, the Pistons can shoot and score. Most of their troubles lie on the defensive end, and in rebounding.

Key Matchups

Josh Smith/Marvin Williams vs Austin Daye/Tayshaun Prince

Prince hasn’t been the same since the Detroit nucleus broke up, but he is still a defender of reckoning. Marvin Williams won’t have it as easy against Prince as he did against the Cavs, but if he remains aggressive he can still do some damage. In the meantime, will Josh Smith look to finally establish himself inside against yet another forward who can’t contain him, or will he engage in another ill-fated jumpshooting contest? Will Daye be the third straight young forward to torch Smith for a season or career high?

Joe Johnson/Mike Bibby vs. Ben Gordon/Rodney Stuckey

Only two Pistons can even think about guarding Joe Johnson, and one of them is out with a bad foot (Rip Hamilton). Tayshaun Prince will draw the assignment when Joe plays at the 3, otherwise it’s between Gordon and Stuckey. Neither is up to the task, and maybe we’ll see Joe’s 30 point game this time. On the other hand, Mike Bibby will find his hands full with whichever Piston backcourt player he gets assigned to, at least on the defensive end. But will either guy be able to keep Bibby from doing the damage he’s been doing to other teams so far this season?

X-Factors

Jamal is the guy who most accurately fits this description, even if opposing teams know he’s coming. However, the Pistons frontcourt depth is hurting badly, especially with Jason Maxiell not being what he once was. Detroit has to worry about Crawford, but they may find themselves having a hard time with Pachulia and Powell.

Detroit counters with the engimatic, but talented Charlie Villanueva, who can grab his share of rebounds, and explode for 15-20 points or more at any time. Villanueva is the type who will do it from the outside, utilizing his height and length to get shots off. If he goes unchecked, he’ll hurt the Hawks plenty. The best option for guarding him might be none other than Marvin Williams.

How do YOU see this matchup going down?

69 comments Add your comment

jaredb

November 3rd, 2010
2:42 am

first. the cavs went from the best nba team to the worst. at least the hawks gave those home fans something to root for by letting them back in it late. glad we can pull these ones out now instead of losing them like we did in past years.

BrittishAnger

November 3rd, 2010
2:49 am

DO NOT ALLOW BEN WALLACE TO OUTREBOUND THE HAWKS BY HIMSELF….PLEASE?!?!?!?

Resign or Re-Sign?

November 3rd, 2010
3:21 am

Excellent work; Big Ray! Totally agree on every point.

jdewayneatl

November 3rd, 2010
3:21 am

@Big Ray

I can understand your concern for J-Smooves on-ball D thus far, but to his defense and LD mentioned this, Hickson was hitting his jumpers. The same can be said for Arthur in the game against Memphis. I would argue that it is more a part of the defensive scheme for Smoove to protect the paint and live with the jump shot.

If you noticed Andray Blatche jump shot was off in the game against Washington, so he obviously was less successful vs Smoove.

jdewayneatl

November 3rd, 2010
3:26 am

Also, Dwight Howard wasn’t blocking many jump shots last year or anytime before that.

jdewayneatl

November 3rd, 2010
3:31 am

Again on your comment about Smoove’s on-ball D:

- L.D. didn’t see it that way: “I thought we were OK [defensively]. Hickson made some shots. He shot the ball a lot better than what I anticipated, I give him credit for that. Our defense was really solid. Pick-and-roll we did a great job. Coming in our gameplan was to limit their transition game, which we did. Only two transition points in the first half. Overall I thought our defense was pretty good, they just made shots.” – Excerpt from Mike C.’s blog

Big Daddy

November 3rd, 2010
3:56 am

BR, I agree with your assessment of the game. Marvin was the surprise of the night. I didn’t think that they let the Cavs back in the game was a surprise. The team has still not learned that you have to keep the other team down when you have them down.

I have also noticed that Josh is taking jump shots again and I think there are two reasons for that. One, all of the beat writers and bloggers have talked about how he hits those shots in practice. Maybe some of the coaches are trying to get him to get the confidence to make those shots in the game to stretch the defense. Also, the talk continues about Al needing to be at Power Forward. Josh may be trying to make a case that he can play at small forward with all of the trade rumors floating about. The problem with that is that the team needs his rebounding and defense at the rim. Don’t know how that can work.

The team continues to ride the wave of success with their new offense and I expect them to be successful against the Pistons. Let’s hope when the loss does come it does not deflate their confidence to the point that begins a losing streak. I have high hopes for this team. Go Hawks!!!

vava74

November 3rd, 2010
4:27 am

Ray,

Not quite in agreement. You want the wins and you wanted it to be pretty…

Well, i saw the game upside down: fell asleep and started to watch it when the lead was down to 7 in the 3rd and the watched the first two quarters after the game ended.

A few things spring to mind: we had a fast start like we usually have AT HOME. This is already a bit different from previous years.

We had 25/6 assists for 37 FG.

JJ was 6/21 and Josh 3/11 and we still won.

We were almost even on the boards against a scrappy and hustling frontcourt.

We made adjustments (zone D here and there, Al on hickson to close te game).

What’s there not to like?

Quite a few things but the progress in many areas is palpable.

m.t.baker

November 3rd, 2010
7:31 am

I’ve seen the Celtics, Heat, Magic, and Lakers at various times in the last few years give up big leads and close out in the end. What you have to remember is that the opponets are paid to play as well. There are ebbs and flows in this game. BR, when it comes to Marvin, he’s not the go-to-guy, he is a team first type of player and it’s not like the offense was created around him in recent years. Our former gm Billy Knight even said Marvin’s potential has yet to be realized which was one of the reasons BK wanted to get rid of Mike Woodson.

BBgenie

November 3rd, 2010
7:38 am

Damm Big Ray, what do you expect? A perfect game every night? Are you ever happy? I think I remember everybody wishing and praying for Better Ball movement, Better Shot selection & more rebounding from JJ & Marvin. And Not to mention a Deeper rotation. This is what I see happening currently, let’s give the Hawks 30 games before we start crying about every little turnover or bad shot.

Eric

November 3rd, 2010
7:46 am

Who gives a damn as long as you win!!! I don’t care who you play in professional sports, a win is a win. Woody is gone and I think the team is mentally stronger because if it. Drew will be coach of the year, the team loves him and they are buying into his system. With Woody no one bought into anything he was trying to sell.

Eric

November 3rd, 2010
7:55 am

Boston lost to Cleveland without Mo Williams and it’s no big deal, Atlanta wins by 12 to Cleveland with Mo Williams and they “Lose Their Heads”??? You got some explaining to do Big Ray.

O'Brien

November 3rd, 2010
8:08 am

To Ray’s point, our average margin of victory is 8.5 points, despite the fact that we have played Philly, Washington, Cleveland, and Memphis, none of which are seriously considered as playoff teams, so it would be nice to see the Hawks dominate more games from start to finish.

But we are 4-0 (3-0 on the road), and guys are still learning the offense.

Great job by Marvin, and great job by LD. From MC’s blog.

L.D. had a talk with Marvin after he didn’t score against the Wizards: “I told him I had to get him more shots. I have got to put him in better situations. I want him to be more offensive-minded. With that being said, I don’t want him forcing things.

I thought tonight he did a great job. When I ran plays for him he was aggressive. When ran plays for someone else, he waited until the ball rotated around to him and he knocked the shot down. But I’ve got to get him more touches.” .

LD is taking some of the responsibility for getting Marvin involved, and getting him shots, which is good, because they need each other.

O'Brien

November 3rd, 2010
8:17 am

I agree on Josh. On multiple occasions, rather than try to stay in front of Hickson, he let him go by, and tried to get the block, or he gave him too much space on his jumpers.

Hickson went 11-17 (65%), and Darrell Arthur went somethink like 8-12 (75%) from the field. I think Josh can do better with his man to man defense.

But I loved his effort on the boards, and no turnovers. The one shot that I thought was really terrible, was from the baseline, he tried a mini-crossover, anfd then pulled up for the jumper. It’s the kind of move that JJ does well, but that’s JJ.

Eric

November 3rd, 2010
8:20 am

O’Brien, it still makes no sense. If you can criticize a team that’s only played 1 home game out of 4 and won them all, then what’s the criticism of the other 27 teams that have at least 1 loss??? Currently the Hawks, Lakers, and Hornets are the only undefeated teams.

Willie Coyote

November 3rd, 2010
8:32 am

Same old Hawks; these guys just don’t get it. They just refuse to compete sometimes.

LD said he is holding people personally accountable to guard their man. If Josh is not doing that then he needs to lose a few minutes until it sinks in. The thing is, you can’t sit Josh for that and let Jamal go unchecked. He doesn’t even try to fight over screens. For all the heat and insults Joe takes, he is as tenacious on his man as anyone in the league…he may not be a vocal leader but that his defensive effort is leading by example.

Josh’s jump shots…no comment.

4-0 is great but the bad habbits are still there.

Willie Coyote

November 3rd, 2010
8:37 am

I also found it interesting that all that holding Verajo did last night actually got called. In years past (when he did exactly the same thing), he was praised as a great defender. What changed????

I definitely do not feel sorry for that bunch of clowns. Payback is coming every night for them so I hope they are ready.

yodaddy

November 3rd, 2010
9:21 am

It’s the NBA teams make runs. Just because teams are not good doesn’t mean they won’t compete. It’s plenty of teams (Boston instantly comes to mind) that get up big, become stagnant on offense and then let up only to regain the momentum and win. It’s almost human nature. NBA teams rarely get beat by 30, 40 points regularly. The NETS last year were in plenty of games until the final 5 minutes. 8.5 points per victory is pretty good even if the competition is low. And I don’t care if the competition is low right now because we are supposed to beat these teams. We will beat the Pistons tonight as well.

Plus this is the type of game the Hawks would have lost last year because of not being able to handle adversity. They are still transitioning their mentality I admit but that’s part of changing the culture of the team.

So if Josh is still taking jumpshots it will take more than 4 games to break a habit developed probably since he started playing basketball and nobody told him to not take the shot.

All I ever hear is complaining and crying. Atlanta dominated this game, had a lull, and then came back to finish this team off. If I was bored watching I’m sure they were bored playing.

Scrub teams always have that one guy scoring to keep the team from embarassment tonight it was JJ Hickson. He took 11 free throws, hit a few jumpers and got some garbage points.

Talking about defense, the Cavs had 88 points and Josh had 5 blocks and 11 Rebounds not to mention help defense and presence alone. Sounds like defense to me. Can’t expect the team to shoot 70% for the game and have 4 40 pt quarters.

doc

November 3rd, 2010
9:39 am

okay, apply the mantra, “great to get a win on the road”. good critical assessment ray.

here is a look at another franchise and how they are doing things. really glad i am not a griz fan:

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/25626885

dub366

November 3rd, 2010
10:06 am

some peoples just not happy no matter what. they won the game that all that matter.

Willie Coyote

November 3rd, 2010
10:25 am

They won the series last year against an undermanned Bucks team. Were we supposed to be happy it took seven games? The problem with this win is they were dominating an inferior team and they let up and actually gave the lead back. They played a hack of a 4th quarter to win by 12.

The problem is not with the result of the game, it is that the same weaknesses that caused them to be taken to 7 against the Bucks and embarrassed against the Magic are still there.

It’s only game 4 so hopefully those issues will resolve themselves as the season goes on.

Tom

November 3rd, 2010
10:51 am

Just wanted to give my 2 cents. I admit that I thought this season was going to be a step back. I am very impressed that the team has started 4-0 with 3 road wins. I am not a “how it looks guy” just wins or losses, because that is all that really matters and in that respect they are doing very well. Congrats and keep up the good work.

Astro Joe

November 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

Rick Sund radio interview from this morning. I had hoped that they would ask him about Jamal’s contract, but they did not.

http://www.790thezone.com/instantreplay/Episodes.aspx?PID=1345

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

1st in the East! A road win is a road win. Last year we would have been 2-2. I feel Stuckey will have a huge night but Hawks win.

Astro Joe

November 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Funny how the playoffs wiped out the memories of some fans. Hawks were 6-0 to start the season in 2009-10 and 11-2 to start last season. Heck, they were first in the SE division at the All-Star break last season (remember the shaved eyebrows?). And to think, some were giving my grief early in the summer for suggesting 50+ wins again this season. Pistons are ready to implode… 5-0 after tonight. And Dumars is fired within 10 days of the change in ownership.

Big Ray

November 3rd, 2010
12:30 pm

jdewayneatl ,

Smith doesn’t block many jumpers, either.

Let me ask you this – Is Darrell Arthur or J.J. Hickson better than Chris Bosh, Rashard Lewis, Kevin Garnett, etc? Those are the forwards who play for the Hawks’ top competition. We do need Smith to defend around the basket. But we also need him to keep guys like that from killing us from the midrange perimeter.

Vava ,

I have no issues with ugly wins that come against tough teams. The Cavs are not a tough team anymore. We let them take the lead later in the game, when we should have cruised to a 20+ point victory. Just my opinion. Yes, we won in spite of Josh and Joe having bad nights from the field. That’s always good. But this was a team that practically had no chance at winning in the first place. We should crush teams like that.

Big Ray

November 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

Eric ,

You make some good points. At the same time, Woody was coach over a 53 win team, was he not? Don’t get me wrong, I was more than ready for Larry Drew to take over this team. And I agree a win is a win. You must have missed this part of the blog where I wrote –

– Can’t Argue the “W.” You always appreciate a win. Especially a road win. Even if your team makes it a little hard to appreciate it. Ask the Cavs fans. All they get to appreciate is their team letting them think that they had a chance, even if it was just for one quarter of basketball.

I’m beginning to wonder if almost everybody missed that part. LOL.

Big Ray

November 3rd, 2010
12:38 pm

BBGenie ,

Damm Big Ray, what do you expect? A perfect game every night? Are you ever happy? I think I remember everybody wishing and praying for Better Ball movement, Better Shot selection & more rebounding from JJ & Marvin. And Not to mention a Deeper rotation. This is what I see happening currently, let’s give the Hawks 30 games before we start crying about every little turnover or bad shot.

There is a difference between negativity and criticism. No, I don’t expect a perfect game every night, and to be honest, I have yet to seen anything like a perfect game so far this season. I’m not worried about every turnover or every bad shot. I’m worried about the things that we’re getting away with against bad teams, that will kill us against good teams. Let’s see how we feel about it when we lose to good team by 15-20 points by doing the exact same thing we did last night.

Do you remember most of our matchups with Orlando? How about Charlotte (who is NOT better than us)? If we want to win against those guys, we have to play better than that. We beat a very bad team. I’m glad of it, we just won’t get away with some of those things against better teams, and that’s all I’m saying.

Having said that, I hope we beat the brakes off of Detroit tonight! Lookin’ for 5-0….

O'Brien

November 3rd, 2010
12:46 pm

Ray,

We scored 19 points in the second quarter and 15 points in the third quarter. If we do that against good teams, then chances are we lose the game. So even though we won, I’m with you. We still need to tighten up. I dont want our bad tendencies to continue to be a bad habit.

AJ,

One comment that Sund made that some people might not pay much attention to, is that the motion offense is just another “set” that the Hawks can run. It doesn’t mean that’s what they’re going to do all game. Sometimes they’ll do ISOs, sometimes they’ll run other plays.

I was disappointed that they didn’t ask him about Jamal’s (no) extension, or even the (premature) Josh Smith trade rumors.

wordsmithtom

November 3rd, 2010
1:26 pm

Big Ray,
Appreciate your post. Nothing wrong with critical thinking. Still, enjoy the ride. 4-0 is enjoyable.

That said, none of us thought LD would have his system in place and running like a well tuned machine by game 5. Obviously there were problems or we wouldn’t have been routed by Orlando. To expect a new coach to work out all these issues in a handfull of games is a bit much, I think.

I think they are running ahead of schedule. JS and MW have had on and off performances; even Horf had a stinker….but, we are lucky to be playing a team sport where some take up the slack from others. Yes, all starters will have to be well tuned to beat the Orlando’s, Miami’s and Boston’’s of our universe. We will lose some of these head to head games against elite teams. However, I am very encouraged to see LD make changes, and to see the team come back at the end of games to win instead of folding to the pressure. Will this new trend continue? Time will tell….I sense it will.

Keep up the excellent critical thinking……

Astro Joe

November 3rd, 2010
1:40 pm

OB, yeah, Sund has been fairly consistent with his perspective on the motion offense. And based on what we’ve seen, I think the media did overhype things. I still see many of the same sets that we previously ran. But, Drew was also quoted as saying something to the effect “no one is running what I plan to install”, which also added to the “legend of the pentangle offense”. As usual with our Hawks, there is reason for optimism and pessimism. I look forward to seeing them against better competition than the D-2 squads we’ve been facing. At the same time, no need to apologize for the schedule that the NBA handed them to start the season.

kwooden1

November 3rd, 2010
2:01 pm

I’m looking at every game from the perspective of the Playoffs, so a regular season win just helps towards that goal. I don’t like giving up leads, but I do like the fact that we lost the lead briefly, but got it back and never gave it up again. We also made big shots and got big stops when it matter late in the 4th. I like the time that Teague got in the 4th, which will continue to build his confidence. It really looks like this is Teague’s first year. JJ played over 40 minutes, but he still didn’t appear to work as hard as past years. All of these things are good for this team looking towards April. The clear negative in this game is Smoove let Hickson get his game going. Smoove looked slow to react and seemed to have poor foot work. I think Josh is our best defender besides JJ and he needs to bring that every game. If Hickson was making fadeway jump-shots I would have been fine with that, but he wasn’t.

Over I like out the last 4 games have gone because we can’t get to up from being 4-0 and there clearly no reason to be down on a team that is 4-0. I think LD’s done a very good job with the minutes and I think he’s got a better feel for the game than Woody.

kwooden1

November 3rd, 2010
2:05 pm

Tonight, I’m worried about Ben Gordon and Ben Wallace. We can’t let Ben Gordon go for 30-40, keep him between 20-30. Keep Wallace off the boards and don’t let Stuckey get the rest of his team involved the game. I see tonight being another close game, I hope the crowd can gives the guys extra energy. My free NBA.com ran out yesterday, so looks like I’m just going to have to listen to the game over the radio.

GO HAWKS!

vava74

November 3rd, 2010
2:15 pm

kwooden1,

check if the game will be on atdhe.net

Big Ump

November 3rd, 2010
2:22 pm

Big Ray

Great posts as always.

Astro Joe

November 3rd, 2010
2:42 pm

kwooden1, I think Wallace called out his teammates after their game last night. So he may come out like the Big Ben of 6 years ago. I think he impacted a game against us last year as well. But I have ZERO confidence in anyone else on that team and Big Ben will obviously not score more than 10 points. Hawks by 15+ tonight.

niremetal

November 3rd, 2010
2:56 pm

“That’s what makes me special,” Josh said, grinning. “I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, I don’t hang my head because I’m not making shots. I have so many [other] attributes to be able to help my team. I did that on the defensive and offensive boards. I was able to deflect some shots, and whenever you deflect shots early it makes teams think about coming in there.”

I actually haven’t picked on Josh since early last season, but this time, I just can’t resist. “That’s what make special?” He pulls that stuff out of his ass after Hickson made him his whipping boy?

Yeah, too bad JJ Hickson wasn’t intimidated. He scored 25 of his 31 with you guarding him. Only 14 of his 31 came off jumpers, so you can’t just blame that. And even if you could, why is it that you always seem content to let your man shoot jumpers even when he’s draining them every time? Then again, the three times I saw you try to close out on him, he blew by you and ended up either scoring or getting to the line. It might have been nice if, at some point in your career, you had talked to Al or even Zaza and asked them how to close out on jump shooters without leaving yourself so open to getting blown by.

Nah, instead of closing out on Hickson’s jumpers, you decided to show him that you could shoot jumpers too. Brilliant plan. Because it’s not like you’ve shot under 30% from the field on long jumpers over the past couple season. What’s that? You did? Nevermind. You really showed him when you bricked two jumpers during the Hawks third quarter run with 12 and 7 seconds left on the clock. Just a hint: Just because they are leaving you wide open on jumpers doesn’t mean you should leave your man wide open.

So yeah, keep patting yourself on the back (even if you don’t “mean to”) and talking about what makes you special. Because it doesn’t mean jack $hit when you’re getting torched for the umpteenth time by a stretch big that you won’t cover.

Astro Joe

November 3rd, 2010
3:31 pm

Well, the good news is that Villanueva rarely puts together back-to-back solid gamers and he went for 17 last night on 50%+ shooting. So despite his ability to do more damage on the perimeter than Hickson (and Smith’s knack for ignoring jump-shooting PFs), I suspect that Charlie will be MIA. Plus, Josh usually plays MUCh better at home than on the road.

BBgenie

November 3rd, 2010
3:39 pm

Big Ray, I’m remember our match ups problems with the Magic. It still HURTS to watch J.J Redick & R. Anderson Kill us from the 3pt line, When we both know Man to Man this Hawks team has Better talent than Orlando. One day or evening soon this Hawks team will stand up and Stop taking an ASS kicking from the Magic. But the NBA is a Game of Match-ups. Until this current Hawks team goes on the Road and Beat 5-7 CONTENDING PLAYOFF Teams Back to Back to Back! In a 2 week period we shouldn’t get too excited. Being 5-0 against Mid to Low level NBA teams is Good not GREAT! I put the Hawks on what I call the 30/20 plan, Win 30 games at Hm & 20 on the Road = 50 wins. That should get you home Court advantage in the playoffs in the East. Every game over 50 we win is what Elite Teams do. What Championship Teams do is ” Attack every team with Relentless pressure on both ends of the floor”.(Every night!) Then in the 4th Qt, Their Go to guy AKA Joe Johnson takes over. To be Honest the happiest thing I see, is Larry Drew Doing “What he said he would do” Cut minutes, demand Ball movement, make J-Smooth Focus on shot selection and Improve our win total on the Road. So were 3-0 on the road (17 more to go). The Bobcats match up well with us, also they had (3) Ex- Hawks players on their roster last season S. Jackson, Flip Murry & Boris Diaw, It’s called Pay Back for trading me. Or the Revenge factor. Kind of like what A.C. Law did to us in the pre-season. Big Ray, Keep up the Good Work.

BBgenie

November 3rd, 2010
3:50 pm

Would you sign Greg Oden if you were GM?

ATL FAN

November 3rd, 2010
4:30 pm

Very, VERY, good article. You hit the money on all of the points.

Bangladesh

November 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

“The offense in the first quarter looked about the way it should have, despite some missed shots here and there.”

We scored 40 points!!!! What more do you want, you cant be perfect…i dont mind a few bad misses if your scoring 40 in the quater.

But Im fustrated that we cant hold on to leads…Miami blows teams out and rests the big 3…LA blows teams out and rests Kobe…Hawks blows teams out just to let them back in it…maybe one day…GO HAWKS!!!

AtlHawksFan111

November 3rd, 2010
5:47 pm

U heard it hear first. Detroits wins tonights game 92-86. Ben Wallace and Charlie V will combine for 32 points, 23 rebounds, 4 blocks. Marvin will score 6 points 2-9 fgs. Joe 19 points. 7-23 fgs. I just dont see the Hawks being focused for this back-to-back against this TERRIBLE team. But hey its the HAWKS.

niremetal

November 3rd, 2010
7:17 pm

Oh no, it’s the Atlanta feed. That means 48 minutes of Nique. Please, someone, make it stop…

Melvin

November 3rd, 2010
7:19 pm

Nire,

Lets keep a running tracker on Josh Blocks shots tonight. His 1st block denied a Pistons layup which resulted in a non scoring possession for the Pistons….

niremetal

November 3rd, 2010
7:27 pm

Melvin,

I’m fine with that concept, but Josh’s block didn’t “result” in a non-scoring possession any more than a deflected (but not intercepted) pass “results” in a non-scoring possession or someone tapping the ball away (but not stealing it) “results” in a non-scoring possession. My complaint about blocks has always been that they are an arbitrary stat. It’s the only stat in use that doesn’t tell you which team had the ball at the end of it. You can’t even say whether it “saves” points because there’s no way to know whether the shot that was blocked would have gone in or missed absent the block.

But sure, I’m ok with running a tally:

Josh block 1: No change of possession. Result of possession: Missed 3-pointer.

Melvin

November 3rd, 2010
7:31 pm

Nire,

I agree but the only reason why I put in a non-scoring possession b/c it look as if the Detroit player had an very makeable layup which resultes in a lower percentage jumpshot for the Pistons….

Melvin

November 3rd, 2010
7:31 pm

A Jordan Crawford sighting…

lukas

November 3rd, 2010
7:45 pm

Jordan has the confidence that Teague lacks. He looks better.

Melvin

November 3rd, 2010
7:47 pm

Bibby defense is so bad that LD rather put him on TMac instead of Ben Gordon…