Hawks can kick habits, underdog status

Game 1 of the first round series between Atlanta and Orlando has been labeled an upset by some, and a surprise for many. Game 2 was a little more like people have been expecting. Yet in so many ways, the Hawks have already begun to prove themselves against their Southeast Division nemesis. With the series tied at 1 game apiece and Orlando’s homecourt advantage virtually gone, is there a clear favorite anymore? Differing theories abound about who will win and why, as well as explanations about how the first two games went.

Star power and the Theory of Inevitability

Magic center Dwight Howard has put up some very impressive individual stats against the Hawks, but his performance is still not winning the hearts and minds of basketball pundits the way guys like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul are currently doing. All the same, his is the only name with star quality in this series, as nobody has much to say about anybody else. As such, the average sports writer or commentator will lean towards the Magic when it comes to picking a guy who can lift either team to a win in a close series or a tight game. And why not? Dwight has been consistently good, unlike anybody else on his team. For Atlanta’s part, anybody who played well in game 1 did not fare as well in game 2. Since this was the case for Atlanta for much of the season from game to game, there’s no vote of confidence in the basketball world for anybody wearing a Hawks jersey. Then again, that’s not quite true. The one guy who has been consistent in his performance besides Dwight Howard? Jamal Crawford.

The Magic won more regular season games. The Magic have experience better postseason success in recent years. The Magic know who they are from night to night, and how they win. The difference between winning and losing for Orlando is usually whether or not they can execute their well known gameplan. The Hawks still haven’t proven that they understand how they win games, and therefore tend not to play the same way every night. For this reason, most pundits say that inevitably, the Magic will win – because when all they chips are down, they know what plays to run, who to give the ball to, and when. The Hawks? Nobody seems to know any one formula. Can the Hawks rise above their own obstacles and take control of this series? Are they locked in to what they need to do?

Closing the Gap

Some people may suggest that the game 1 win for Atlanta was more about the Magic being bad than the Hawks being good. Game 2 results suggest otherwise in some ways. The difference here is that Orlando still wasn’t able to top 40% shooting in game 2 after struggling similarly from the floor in game 1. Has it been Atlanta defense, or are the Magic just struggling? Either way, it should be noted that despite losing, Atlanta wasn’t blown out and never was in any real danger of being blown out. That’s a far cry from last year, but “losing better” is not the goal here, and shouldn’t be acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. Atlanta is in this series and can actually win after having stolen one in Orlando. If the Hawks continue to keep the Magic shooters off balance and out of rhythm, they can win. Only one other thing stands in the way – the Atlanta offense. And there my friends, is the rub. Orlando can defend, but they aren’t the Boston Celtics (or the Chicago Bulls for that matter). In other words, their defense can be beaten, despite having the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the pivot for them. And that is where the Hawks might be the weakest. Between inconsistent performances and failures to execute whatever the gameplan might be, Atlanta showed in game 2 how a good defense effort (or a bad offensive effort on the part of the opposing team, whichever you believe it to be) can be wasted. It takes more than a near 30 point fourth quarter to make up for a 12 point third quarter, and head coach Larry Drew is going to have to figure out ways around that.

Again, Atlanta’s defense really didn’t fail them in game 2 (the second quarter being the lone exception), but their offense sputtered for the better part of two quarters, giving Orlando just enough breathing room to withstand the 4th quarter rally. How Larry Drew and the Hawks find a way past this is the key to the series, as the Hawks return home to Phillips Arena.

 

Performances

A goat of sorts all season long, guard Jamal Crawford is having the best performance by a Hawk in the playoffs through the first two games. Leading Atlanta in scoring at 24 ppg, Crawford is also shooting over 48% from the field and 58% from beyond the arc. Joe Johnson had a very nice game 1, but fell off a good bit in game 2. Still, the all-star shooting guard is hitting on 48% of his attempts, and is also shooting 50% from the field. If Joe and Jamal can keep their field goal percentages above 45% or so, the Hawks have a chance at being offensively successful. Drop below that, and disaster ensues. Why? Because the matchups still show the frontcourt advantage falling to Orlando. Josh Smith isn’t wowing anybody with his postseason stats, but his offense hasn’t been a failure. Smith has been right there with his season average in points scored, and tops the team in field goal percentage at nearly 54%. What lacks, however, is his rebounding and assists (to a lesser extent).

Starting Jason Collins against the Magic resulted in Marvin Williams coming off the bench and Al Horford getting some time at power forward. Unfortunately, this has come with mixed results at best. While being effective in game 1, Horford is nevertheless shooting just 44% from the field while averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds so far. The Hawks would fare better if Horford was scoring 15 or 16 points per game, but that’s not the point. The issue is efficiency, and the field goal percentage hurts. As for Marvin Williams, we are once again left with disappointment. After showing out well in the regular season while coming off the bench, Williams isn’t making much of an argument for more playing time. In 18 minutes per game, Marvin is averaging 5 ppg on a paltry 33% shooting from the field, along with 2 rebounds. I do believe we could have gotten that from Mario West. What gives? In this series, the Hawks can’t rely on their frontcourt to win the games. But they do need them to be consistent and efficient.

As mentioned before, Game 3 is in Atlanta. Can the Hawks press the advantage on their homecourt, or will Orlando finally settle into a comfortable shooting rhythm and begin to dominate?

 

Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

78 comments Add your comment

The Falcon Jedi

April 21st, 2011
2:37 am

Andrew

April 21st, 2011
3:41 am

I definitely believe that the Hawks have the personnel (players) to win this series, but the problem is that they do not have the coach to do so. If the Hawks win, it will be in spite of Coach Disgrace. Even though our execution was flawed and we failed to execute at the end of a tight game 2, I can’t really fault the players all that much. They were playing with a lot of intensity. They didn’t’ lose that game, Drew lost the game with his idiotic coaching. This is something he has done before. His biggest mistakes were how he managed the frontcourt rotation. He didn’t play Collins enough, and most importantly, he essentially fouled Horford out the game with his completely moronic decision to bench him for what was the vast majority of the first half. I still can’t get over how bad of a decision that was. I love this quote by John Hollinger on Drew’s decision to sit Horford for the remainder of the first half after picking up 2 early fouls.

“There is no way to sugarcoat it: This is the most indefensible
coaching decision I’ve seen this season. Horford played the entire
second half and finished the game with — you guessed it — two fouls.
This didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who watched the Hawks this
season. Horford has one of the lowest foul rates in the league at his
position — just 2.85 fouls per 40 minutes — so even if he had stayed
in the game with the two fouls he was at virtually no risk of fouling
out. ”

He’s right, and he’s not the only one who has stated this in some fashion. I’m fed up with putting up with Drew. To make things worse, he was also too much of a pompous coward to admit his mistakes. Drew is just a disgrace to this organization. He’s an absolute joke as a head coach. For one who preaches about effort and “sense of urgency”, he fails to display either of those characteristics in his coaching. The man cannot even do a mediocre coaching job. I don’t think there’s one head coach in the NBA today that couldn’t do a better job with this team than Drew does.

Under absolutely no circumstances should a coach put his team in a position to lose in the post-season. If the team loses, it should be due to the inability of the players to execute, or due to lack of heart/effort by the players, or simply due to the fact that the team loses to a better team which their greatest effort and flawless execution simply cannot beat. I’ve followed this team very closely for many years, and I’ve never been more disappointed in the man on the sidelines than I am now. Woodson was infuriating at times and was very poor at making adjustments, but even his coaching prowess was far better than Drew’s, and that is saying something.

For this team to succeed, they need a real head coach, not some arrogant fraud who refuses to own up to his own mistakes. The Hawks have a chance at winning this series and may accomplish it, but if they do, they’ll have to counteract the poor decisions by their head coach. One can only hope that stupidity by Drew doesn’t ultimately decide this series for the Hawks. The fans have suffered enough through the terrible, yet brief, Larry Drew era.

At least we can all rejoice when this incompetent man is replaced by a true head coach, or at least when he is just replaced. At this point, almost anyone would be an improvement.

Willie Coyote

April 21st, 2011
7:20 am

The GM needs to go first, the coach will follow as a result.

Every time the Hawks beat the Magic, there is the same debate; was it good Hawks defense or bad Orlando offense with the latter getting the lion’s share of the blame. The bottom line is the Magic have played “bad offense” against the Hawks six times this year. They have lost four of those games and escaped with two hard fought victories.

What does this tell me? The Magic have the most dominant player on the court when they face the Hawks but the Hawks are just better. If the Hawks actually had a coach worth anything, they’d be up 2-0 and the Magic would fold in Atlanta. The Hawks kept it close despite getting dominated on the boards without Horford. By my reasoning, if they had played Horford in the 2nd, they would have probably had a lead at halftime instead of a 6 pt deficit. That could have been the difference between a W and an L.

Will the Hawks win? That’s like asking will they show up from game to game. Who the hell knows. I think they should eliminate the Magic in 5 or 6 but again, who the hell knows?

I still look forward to the offseason with the outside hope that we get a competent GM so subsequent competent personnel decisions can finally be made. There are some free agents out there this summer and next who we need to be looking at acquiring.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
7:37 am

Somebody posted this on the other blog, and it’s a good read from Hollinger. And I agree with him this time.

For those who didn’t see, Horford — Atlanta’s best player — picked
up two fouls in the first 2:11 of the game, and Drew’s response was to sit him out for the ENTIRE FIRST HALF. This is straight out of the Larry Brown-Mike Woodson playbook, and Drew comes from that coaching tree, but I can’t emphasize enough what an irrational and
counterproductive strategy this is.

The cost of having a player foul out is that he’s taken off the court. So sitting him for 22 minutes to eliminate the “penalty” of a third foul out is inherently counter intuitive — the Hawks basically chose a cure that was dramatically worse than the disease.

Yes, studies have shown there may be some benefit to sitting a player in more dire foul trouble — with more fouls than the quarter of the game, basically (i.e., two fouls in the first quarter, three in the second, four in the third) — because such players will slack off on
defense if they stay on the court.

Even by this logic, however, Horford should have been back on the court to begin the second quarter. Or, at worst, come back in with 8:44 left in the quarter after Jason Collins picked up his second foul.

Oh, did I leave that part out? Yes, the Hawks did the same thing with Collins, too — their most valuable player this series because of his defense on Dwight Howard. Wanting to preserve Collins for the fourth quarter — one he ended up not playing a minute in, because the Hawks were behind and Collins can’t score — Drew also sat Collins for the final 8:44 of the half with two fouls.

And Zaza Pachulia, the backup to those two players? Yes, really. Him too. He picked up his second foul with 11:22 left in the half and immediately hit the pine for the rest of the period.

Can’t be having players getting a third foul in the second quarter, after all, because
if they get three more, they’ll be forced to sit out. And there’s nothing worse than having a player forced to sit out. Which is why Drew sat them out. My brain hurts.

Unfortunately, Drew’s personnel choices sabotaged them so badly in the second quarter that they missed a golden opportunity to grab this series by the throat..

wordsmithtom

April 21st, 2011
9:16 am

vava74

April 21st, 2011
9:34 am

Astro,

“Woodson was infuriating at times and was very poor at making adjustments, but even his coaching prowess was far better than Drew’s, and that is saying something.”

They two different kinds of bad. Woody’s stubbornness almost cost us the MIL series and his “double Howard” tactic backfired with the effects you well remember.

Also, LD is better, much better, at drawing plays out of time outs.

The sad conclusion is that if Woody had managed to extract what his staff did good and incorporate it in his in coaching whilst keeping what he personally did well, they could have done something good with these players.

Unfortunately he didn’t and we are left with a complete idiot on the bench again.

vava74

April 21st, 2011
9:39 am

Rod,

From the past blog: contrary to you, I would gladly eat my words if it meant that the Hawks would win it all.

Gladly. However, I doubt that Crawford will continue to shoot well and even if he does, he will need to shoot lights out to compensate his usually lacking D.

As I said, this series is a particularly favorable match up for us and only due to LD’s idiotic coaching we are not 2-0 up and we will probably be 1-2 after the weekend.

Howard is not getting whistled – as I anticipated – like he was during the regular season (that back head butt should have been an ejection on game 1) and our bigs, including Collins, are being whistled much more avidly.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
10:12 am

vava, that quote about Woody came from Andrew at 3:41am not me. I was counting sheep at that time.

But since you brought it up, I have long stopped trying to worry about recipes and cooking techniques, just give me a big, tasty and juicy burger. How much salt, garlic or white pepper is used is less important than the finished product. If the max for this “sacred core” is around 55 regular season wins and 6 games in the 2nd round, Woody came super-close to realizing the team’s potential. I think that is ultimately what a head coach should do. Not every team is built to win a title, so you can’t judge Doug Collins (as an example) on his ability to win a trophy. But does he get the most out of his team? This core is flawed and some have only begun to realize that this season. It was NEVER a top 2 team in the conference. It never had a realistic chance at defeating a better team on the road in the playoffs. The players simply don’t possess the resolve and discipline required. Woody needed to go but if the ASG were interested in contending, they would have made some roster moves AND would have hired a different coach. Ultimately, they opted for the hope of a more entertaining product for the home fans with comparable results… and it appears they lost on every side.

OB, I doubt that Woody gets the Houston job, he doesn’t seem the type of head coach who would be interested in using Morey’s vast stats when developing his game plan. My guess is that they will hire a “new jack” head coach to go with their “new jack” GM. Woody should hold out and try to take the Indiana University job (his alma mater) when it opens in another 1-2 years. I think that he would be a great college coach and he obviously adores his old school and the legacy built their by Bob Knight. And I think he would be a very convincing recruiter… I think most parents would truly feel like Woody would take great care (personally and basketball wise) of their son.

doc

April 21st, 2011
11:38 am

as usual hitting the head of the nail big ray.

my, how the mighty have fallen, comparing marvin to mario, wow. heh heh two years ago i wouldnt have considered it but yes, mario might give us as much as marvin does. well, not really.

aj on championship contention:

The players simply don’t possess the resolve and discipline required.

might i add, the talent nor depth to do it either aj? i dont like some of the things that ld has done nor said as his cerebral approach in the preseason, beyond trying to pacify three players into thinking they were captains, has become more say the first thing that comes to mind; bringing back red from the grave would not get this team to the ecf unless the others falter due to injury. that incidentally was where the suns found themselves last year with no chance of advancing. we dont have the horses.

andre

April 21st, 2011
11:54 am

LARRY DREW let the HAWKS play.ORLANDO has no answer for the HAWKS.2 fouls difinitely cost us the game.Larry,you can not leave any athelete on the bench over a certain amount of time.Muscules are cooler and mentally they are not as sharp.Larry you know all of this.The HAWKS didn’t cost us the game Larry.You did.Errors are going to be made.Just own up to the mistake and move on.LET THE HAWKS PLAY LARRY,LET THE HAWKS PLAY.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

doc, agreed. The horses we have don’t possess the resolve or discipline to “shock the world” and it would require something truly remarkable for them to overcome the overall lack of depth and talent (not to mention underwhelming coaching).

Now that said, there is a more than decent chance that we can beat a team with similar problems (Orlando clearly isn’t built to win) and a squad that Sund was determined to defeat as shown by the roster design.

I’ll add this one thing as well, if last year’s Magic team were playing this year’s Magic team in a 7 game series, I think last year’s team wins in 5 games. They are significantly worse… and it is not all due to the trade as Rashard Lewis came into this season playing more like Tim Thomas than a borderline All-Star.

doc

April 21st, 2011
12:32 pm

rashard may have lost some oomph when he had to give up anabolics? wasnt he “caught”? still dont quite see the arenas trade, vince couldn’t have been that bad could he?

will

April 21st, 2011
1:24 pm

There’s no doubt, Drew, made a bad decision pulling Horford, in the first quarter.

But, I did not see the hawks playing really good defense in the 2nd quarter when they had a 10 pt lead, and getting out rebounded that badly, the hawk really is not a small team, most of their team are 6-8 to 7.0 ft guys. They have got to have the will, effort and mindset to accomplish those things.
If they can put it all together, they win this series in six.

E43

April 21st, 2011
1:35 pm

Obrien- I don’t take articles to heart because there are thousands of them and I can very easily find one that says otherwise. I can also find cases where superstars hit the bench because of foul trouble and still had their team win. Being that they had a lead the only thing that LD did wrong was not putting Al back in when the magic at least tied or went ahead. If LD should take blame it should be for not putting Al back in the game but not for pulling him. It was unfortunate but the hawks are still responsible for doing whatever it takes for them to win as a team. Not having one man just isn’t a good enough excuse and you can ask the Celtics.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
1:42 pm

Here we are, talking about the lack of depth and the lack of talent on the Hawks (and I agree), but the fact is we have the 7th highest payroll in the league. It just reminds me of the bad decisions we have made in the past.

I think Woody would take the Houston job just to get back into coaching. He is not a numbers guy like his GM, but if the GM lets him know what is expected, and encourages Woody to go in a certain direction, I think Woody will make a few changes.

When Woody came to the Hawks, he was hired by his boy BK, and the players were young. Then BK tried to fire him, but got shot down. When Rick came, he gave Woody 2 years extension, so Rick was probably trying to learn the players, learn the coaches, observng etc.

If Woody goes to Houston. the GM is already in place, and most of the players are veterans already. I think that makes a difference.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
2:09 pm

E43,

I agree. I understand LD pulling Al when he did. But I think mid second quarter when the Magic made their run, and Collins and ZaZa were both on the bench…that was the time to put Al back in.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

I’m not sure that the Hawks consider “gray matter” as a a variable when drafting players.

• The Lakers drafted Andrew Bynum because he likes to break phones open and see how they work. Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated: “Bynum is massive even by NBA standards, taller than Magic center Dwight Howard and 20 pounds heavier, with downy-soft hands and feet made nimble from a childhood playing tennis and soccer. But all the scouts could see that. What Los Angeles noticed was the gray matter. Growing up, Bynum cracked open telephones so he could examine the circuitry and put them back together. At seven he was in the chess club at his local Barnes & Noble. At 14 he was installing Microsoft Windows on broken laptops his mother found in her office. His favorite subject in school was physics. He only considered colleges where he could major in mechanical engineering. His plan after graduation was to land a job as a computer programmer. He can describe the difference between a quad-core and dual-core processor in such detail that it almost makes sense. ‘He cares deeply about the way things work,’ says L.A. coach Phil Jackson. The Lakers knew Bynum would encounter setbacks, but while the typical teenager might shut down, his instinct was to keep tinkering. It’s how he is wired. ‘I want to master everything,’ Bynum says. ‘I want to understand what the hell is going on.’”

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
2:18 pm

OB, I think it is dangerous to hire someone with the assumption that they can modify their stripes. Better to hire someone who comes closest to naturally meeting the requirements. I think that he will eventually get another shot, I’m just not sure that Houston and their modern way of doing things is the right team. We’ll see.

Changing subjects, I heard Tom Glavine on the radio this morning. He confirmed that he is trying to pull together a group of investors to purchase the Thrashers and ideally keep them in Atlanta. Many know that Glavine is a HUGE hockey fan and I think was actually drafted by a hockey team way back when. He obviously made the right decision as he is a sure-fire projected member of the Baseball HOF. Maybe the ASG can convince John Smoltz to join their merry band of men, since Smoltz is a huge basketball fan (and evidently a pretty good player as well). I don’t think it could hurt having guys with championship experience AND an intense love of that sport helping to run the team.

The Dreamer 3K

April 21st, 2011
3:31 pm

Astro Joe

“Gray” matters to me. I hope it’s a variable the Hawks consider in player selection. It should not be controlling of course, but if all things are otherwise equal, or perhaps slightly unequal, in addition to basketball skill, I want someone who shows an ability to process information quickly.

Once the groceries are bought however, the duty of the cook is to maximize the ingredients. Whether we have Chef Boyardee or Emeril Lagosse remains to be seen. (No offense to Chef Boyardee. His food is …mm good!)

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
5:30 pm

D3K, I agree whole-heartedly. If I have to sacrifice an inch on the max vertical for someone who has the capacity to “master” the playbook much sooner than later, I’ll take it. But given some of the more recent draft picks by the Hawks, I’m not so sure that they are influenced by a candidate’s gray matter or ambition, fire-in-the-belly, “dog”, discipline or other intangibles that aren’t measured by a stop-watch, measuring tape or stroke-tally. I’ve asked the question several times in the past few months if they even conduct interviews as some of these guys seem far too timid and/or laid-back. Of course, the one guy who had confidence oozing out of his pores was traded in February. Our draft picks tend to resemble someone with Hilton’s demeanor far more often than someone with Jordan’s demeanor.

The Game Has Changed

April 21st, 2011
6:15 pm

To All Of Yall-OBrien, Joe, Andre, and everybody else. Just let LD coach. He is 1-1 in his first playoff series. The Hawks are playing well enough to beat any team still alive. And Im talking East and West. So just sit back and stop complaining about every single decision. No coach is perfect and if Hinrich and Joe were making shots this would all be irrelevant. Besides the game was not decided in the first half not the third quarter. All but two or threwof the first round series are 2-0 go get on those coaches who are down 0-2. Even when we go up 2-1 tomorrow I want yall to remember what you were saying last week that we were going to get swept

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
6:58 pm

The Game Has Changed,

No coach is perfect and if Hinrich and Joe were making shots this would all be irrelevant..

If Hedo and Richardson were making shots, this would all be irrelevant. They went a combined 4-17 in game 1. It all depends on how you want to spin it.

The bottom line is we are all hawks fans, and we want the hawks to succeed. So nobody is rooting against LD. But if there is a decision we disagree with, I think its ok to talk about it.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
7:01 pm

From ESPN.com;

The Houston Rockets have formally requested permission to interview Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey for their coaching vacancy, according to sources close to the situation..

Hawks Suck

April 21st, 2011
8:28 pm

Lets get rid of sund and Drew, bring back Woodson and get this team a center.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
8:39 pm

Melvin, I’m checking out your boy Paul George with the Pacers. He seems like a silky-smooth player. He ialso looks a little more like a SF than a SG. I wonder if he and Granger can coexist. Good looking player, though.

Man, I would LOVE to have Pyscho T on the Hawks.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
8:45 pm

The other thing I like about the Pacers… mostly former college upperclassmen. Guys whose draft evaluation mostly talked about what they couldn’t do. Guys like Granger, Hansbrough, Collison and Hibbert. Now they are a nice-looking squad competing hard in their first playoff appearance as a unit against the team with the best record. When this series is over, no one will talk about their lack of effort, not sharing the ball, not trusting each other, quitting on their coach or any of those other expressions of immaturity.

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
8:47 pm

Dang, that Jeff Foster is a straight goon on the court. He is knocking the Bulls around like he is Anthony Mason or someone.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
8:51 pm

From Jeff Schultz blog;

“At home at times [this season] it didn’t feel like we had that confidence of the crowd, but I feel like our crowd feeds off what we do,” Al Horford said. “So if we have some highlight plays and really get it going, the crowd buys into that. Or we play hard. That’s all the fans ask for. It’s really disappointing at times we don’t do that as a team.”

Bingo.

This sports market has always supported two things: 1) Georgia football; 2) Something else. No. 2 always changes, either because of fluctuating success, the perceived level of commitment of ownership and management or, as Horford said, just flat out effort.

In short, fans want to be given a reason to believe..

I dont know what game 3 will be like. but if Hawks win game 3, I think more fans will turn out in game 4.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
9:03 pm

AJ,

I have always liked Jeff Foster and his willingness to do the dirty work (foul a player hard, go after a loose ball, fight for the rebound etc). The results were not always there, but more often than not, the effort was (imo).

Astro Joe

April 21st, 2011
9:10 pm

OB, I agree, but after years and injurues, he almost seems satisfied with just breaking bones out there now. He’s gone from a more consistent version of Zaza to a borderline dirty player… at least that is what I am seeing out there tonight.

O'Brien

April 21st, 2011
11:01 pm

Mike Bibby watch;

Game 1: 3-9 in 28 minutes
Game 2: 2-7 in 26 minutes
Game 3: 1-5 in 27 minutes

I think the only guy struggling worse than him is Andre Iguodala.

Bulls take care of business too.

Big Ray

April 21st, 2011
11:16 pm

The Game Has Changed ,

If we should “just let Drew coach”, then we should also “just let the players play.” In other words, don’t have an opinion? ;)

O’Brien ,

That’s what makes Al Horford who and what he is. There is no substitute for a guy who “gets it”, even if the subject of conversation is how the fans relate to the team.

O'Brien

April 22nd, 2011
12:11 am

I wonder why Josh Powell gets no respect; Do they not take into account his leadership, and his great “locker room” character? I wont mention his “blocking the intersection” character :smile:

From hoopinion;

No team deserves to win a playoff game when they put Josh Powell in before three minutes have passed. If that misappropriation of resources (and even categorizing Josh Powell as a resource seems wrong) fails to explain how quickly the good feelings engendered by Game 1 evaporated, take a gander at the shots the Hawks made in building their first quarter lead:.

From John Hollinger;

First, Josh Powell came in, after he mystifyingly was left activated while Etan Thomas didn’t dress. (True story: I was talking to two NBA front-office types before a game this month and we were trying to come up with the worst player in the league. Without any prodding from me, both of them nominated Powell.).

O'Brien

April 22nd, 2011
12:17 am

There is a rumor that J.R. Smith will not resign with Denver. That makes 4 legit SGs available on the market. jamal, J.R., Vince, and Richardson.

The more FA SGs that are available is the more likely Jamal and the Hawks can work out a deal. My $0.02

drmaryb (*_-)

April 22nd, 2011
4:52 am

To Be or Not To Be?

That is the question.

Blue-Ray
(Picture Perfect)

Fantastic blog topic and contents. I get so caught up in literal conversations on the beat blog, I run out of opportunities to start them over here. I apologize for that.

Man, I tell you, I am at lost for words when it come to Larry Drew and his refusal to use all his weapons effectively. What does Jeff Teague have to do to see the court, or perhaps the better question would be:

What in Sam’s Hill, did he do to peeve Larry Drew? I mean really?
Benching Al like he stole something, is another query. It’s the NBA Play Offs maane, you bring your AK47 to a pistol fight and you win every time.

Tell Al to play lights out until the lights come on. You don’t sit him in the dark. The only team you help is the Magic when you do that.
What other choice do you really have, play your best five at all times or go home! Nuff said.
________________

Let’s Go Hawks!

Oh yeah, and Marvin is a complete pile of dung! He should be on a college team, holding a clip board with that turrible game he claims.
It is NOT NBA worthy – It may not even be MBA worthy!

doc

April 22nd, 2011
7:41 am

good morning dmb or was it good night?

ob, bibby keeps the spacing and leads the fast break by getting the ball to his point sg and point pf. he is one of the best at it or hadnt you heard? how are his assists going? oh, you dont get one when the guy you pass it to dribbles 2/3 of the floor to make the basket? ;-)

o’b, say it isnt true. i really dont want to face another year of vava and his jamal look. could we also trade josh as they are the guys that are holding back this team just like woody was the problem last year. ;-)

NATIVE SON

April 22nd, 2011
8:42 am

The referee’s had as much to do with this loss as anybody, I watched closely how the calls and non-calls were affecting my team when they seemed to be getting in sync. Drew made a terrible decision to let Horford sit, and Jamal at the end, but had the refs been calling a fair game; there really wouldn’t haave been a need to bring Horford back in because the Hawks probably would have kept riding the momentum they had and never lost the lead. It’s the same old conspiracy argument, but if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…….
As for the silver lining, we probably took Orlando’s best effort going 5 on 7, a not too great coaching decision, add a guy who’s reluctant, or can’t take over a game, and lost by only six.

PEACE FROM THE MOST NATIVE

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

OB, here is a really good site with free agent information. Obviously, some of these guys may re-up with their current team… I tend to focus on the unrestricted free agents. Jamal may have to decide betweenstarting for a lesser team or maintaining his 6th man role for a contending team.

http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/freeagents/2011byposition.jsp

E43

April 22nd, 2011
3:57 pm

Earlier I predicted that the hawks can cause problems and will. So far they have done so even though they were unable to come out with a W both games. Hopefully they can give us something positive to go crazy about at Philips. The hawk have had up and downs at Philips during the regular season. Hopefully they fully comprehend what Dwight said “its a different animal in the playoffs.”

Hawks win by 2 tonight… Go hawks…

honest_abe

April 22nd, 2011
5:58 pm

wow the sissification of the nba. aj really? jeff foster like a goon? i keep hearing this from c. webb, d. scott etc. i’m like that would’ve been likened to a tap on the backc as late as the mid 90s. its the playoffs baby, physical play is not only desired it necessary.

d. rose is the best player in the nba. right now.
d. howard punked the hawks in game 2.
can we deactivate j. powell tonight?
kg has aged.
why couldn’t the hawks get perkins? and get rid of j. smith at the same time? one can wish dammit!
if the hawks can beat orlando its conceivable they could make the finals. it’s just as conceivable that they lose the next 3.
it hurts watchin the spurs and celtics. so old. it’s like watching a crappy replay of when the nba was actually good.
al is the most passive all star in the history of the nba. even more so than jj. heh

out.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2011
8:18 pm

It looks like a big and quiet crowd tonight. Very quiet white shirts.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2011
8:19 pm

Teague should get some love with Hinrich in foul trouble.

niremetal

April 22nd, 2011
8:57 pm

AJ: I was thinking the same thing about your 8:18. You’d never know we were winning…

Rod from College Park

April 22nd, 2011
10:45 pm

vava74,

Yeah, Jamal Crawford is a “loser”. He should only play 15 minutes per game. Marvin should have been in the game for him at the end of the game. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Michael

April 23rd, 2011
12:00 am

to everyone blaming Drew for not playin AL game too Al is playing with an injury… just saying

Melvin

April 23rd, 2011
9:34 am

Why was Dwight not ejected? What the difference between Jason and his slap to Zaza face?

doc

April 23rd, 2011
10:38 am

sorry guys, the crowd rocked last night from the start though the seats on the ends up top and clubby area filled slowly. not sure why unless traffic was awful or couldnt handle the will calls at the ticket office. i have my short cuts to avoid both and a well oiled strategy but others may get stuck in the maize of the phillips and the street lay out around it. i hear even players sometimes get lost and end up in jail because of it. maybe i could ask to be a logistic consultant for them.

even if you say quiet early, most had their white t’s on and were up screaming like i was from the first quarter on. only the most “look at me’s” refused to put on the t’s.

rod loved the result but i can only say sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. i dont know about you but i was getting pretty impatient and saying omg what a sh!tty shot out loud all the way until it went through then laughing and cheering for joy. like LD said, “just like i drew it up”.

doc

April 23rd, 2011
11:10 am

o’b i am loving the defense we are showing to now, loving it.

Rod from College Park

April 23rd, 2011
11:39 am

doc,

Our offense is horrible, but Jamal is a shot maker. I would not call it luck. He is the best offensive player on the team.

kwooden

April 23rd, 2011
12:04 pm

I had to watch this game on the old tape delay and actually missed the last 3 minutes. Finally saw Crawford’s shot on NBA Gametime!! A WIN is WIN!!

Overall, I think the HAWKS are playing better, they just aren’t consistent on offensive for long enough stretches. The starters plus Jamal played well most of the 1st half, the bench gave away a lead in the 2nd, but the starters got it back later. The 3rd quarter Orlando played more aggressively but the HAWKS weren’t making good decisions and playing poorly. All of the HAWKS post players have to work harder to get good post position. Since they have 3 guys that have advantages in the post they have no excuse not to go to it on every possession. JJ, Josh and Al have to make quicker decisions in the post, anticipating the double teams, especially in the 2nd half of games. If Zaza is out tomorrow, then our post play is going to be that much more important. If JRich is out, they have one less defender on JJ, so he should be even more aggressive especially in the post.

GO HAWKS!