Atlanta Hawks – The team you thought you knew

These can’t be the same guys that got swept in the most embarrassing fashion in the 2009-2010 playoffs, can they?

The Atlanta Hawks made dubious history in last season’s playoffs, losing to the Orlando Magic by a record number of averaged points. The only way they could do worse is to make history again, by giving up a 3 games-t0-1 lead to the Magic in this year’s first round series. NBA history is on the Hawks’ side, and unless Dwight Howard’s supporting cast decides to don a collective set of capes, the Hawks will drive on to round 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs.

Half Empty, Half Full

Most folks didn’t give the Hawks much of a chance against the Magic in this series, but now some quickly changed their tune, even before last night’s win. But what do the fans think of all of this? Did the Hawks fool us all season long into believing that they are less than they truly are? Have they reached their potential? Or is Orlando truly that bad, despite the dominating performance of Dwight Howard? Just how accurate our incredulity is, is a testament to how confusing this team can be. After losing the final six games of the season, there was little hope that the Hawks would come into this series with their heads held high, and a major chip on their shoulders. The Hawks haven’t just gotten the matchup with Orlando down pat, they’ve even figured out how to press the advantages they have.

On the other hand, this past season (and offseason) saw Orlando make some big roster moves to try and get over the hump and back into the Eastern Conference Finals. Perhaps it’s unseemly to give the opponent more discredit than to give the home team credit, but rest assured of one thing – if the Hawks cruise into the second round of the playoffs and suffer a beating, every headline about THIS series will read about the fall of the Magic and NOT the rise of the Hawks.

Glass half empty…or half full?

Difference Makers

On the defensive side, the differences between this year’s team and last year’s is at the center and point guard positions. With Jason Collins spending 6 fouls and roughly 18 minutes getting under Howard’s skin, the Hawks finally put themselves in position to defend the monstrous center one-on-one, and no longer subjecting them to futile run-outs at wide open shooters. At the top of the key, guard Kirk Hinrich holds his own, successful or not (Jameer Nelson has been scoring pretty well of late), once again, eliminating the frantic and ineffective help defense of the past.

But for my money, the biggest difference makers in this series are Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Both guys stunk up the joint last postseason, scoring below their season averages and not shooting well enough to be a threat to anybody serious. This year has been a different situation altogether. Not only is the high scoring backcourt duo playing well, they’ve both stepped up their games in regard to field goal percentage and attack effectiveness. Facts are facts, and the team’s two best scorers allow the Hawks to have a balanced attack, which has been just enough to beat the Magic’s two man game.

One more win, and the Hawks prove that they’ve passed the Orlando Magic litmus test. But is it enough? Are the Hawks truly better than we thought they were, or are they just better than the Magic now?

 

Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

239 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
7:59 am

Horrible performance all the way around, starting with the HC and working its way down.

From MC’s writeup;

When Dwight went to the bench with two fouls in the first quarter, it almost seemed like the Hawks relaxed. Maybe L.D. did, too, because he took out Kirk and Al as Orlando’s lead grew to 10. He got Al back in but the Magic’s lead was up to 42-21 by the time Hinrich returned..

I think that was when the game changed. LD did not have a plan for when the Dwight defense was not needed, and the players went back to being their former selves.

Dwight went to the bench with foul trouble, and Orlando was in the penalty. What did we do? Continue to jack up (and miss) jumpers.

…for a guy who talks about subbing depending on feel and flow L.D. sure does have some weird patterns sometimes..

Yes he does. Another example is a previous Orlando game when he took too long to being Collins back in the fourth. Luckily, Josh was yelling and asking LD to put Collins back. I have not been impressed with substitution all year.

JJ sucked, Jamal went back to bad Jamal, there was no defense, Al didnt do much…and the list goes on.

Game 6 is a must win (imo).

vava74

April 27th, 2011
8:10 am

OB,

Game 6 will be another loss by 15-25 points.

ORL regain its mojo and will use their new plan: move ball fast around the perimeter and use dribble penetration to get us to collapse and then kick out instead of feeding Dwight in the post and wait for his move or for his kick outs.

SVG made a simple adjustment and LD and our guys did not even identified it.

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
8:36 am

Among the things to be worried about is that the Magic players boldly challenged Jamal at the end of the 1st quarter. They were in his grill and he was responding (verbally). But he layed an egg in the 2nd quarter when he needed to respond with maybe 10+ 2nd quarter points.

This team gets PUNKED far too easily. All of them. Joe gets punked so often it has become a standard mode of operation. The better JJ was the shorter one with a Duke degree. I think I saw Horford playing but I don’t recall him making any kind of impact. Oh yeah, I remember now, he had his jumper blocked by the shorter Bass during the 1st half.

The pressure is squarely on the Hawks for Game 6. They placed all of their Easter eggs in the Game 6 basket… I hope it holds up.

Great defense by Collins, holding Dwight to <10 points. :evil:

Melvin

April 27th, 2011
9:05 am

Well the Hawks marketing department didn’t waste anytime, I got emails to purchase Game 6 tix before midnight. Heck, I don’t think LD was finish with his press conference before I was solicit to purchase game 6 tickets. They must have had the email type up before the game and hit send but as soon as the Hawks walkoff the floor…

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
9:52 am

Melvin,

They probably had the email typed by the start of the second quarter.

Rod,

I’m sure you weren’t surprised to see Marvin stumbling.

AJ,

And that’s why even if the Hawks win this series, a move needs to be made. This roster is soft, and too complacent. And I still dont think LD is the right coach for this team, even if they advance and win a couple games in the second round.

honest_abe

April 27th, 2011
9:56 am

like how you threw that last bit in there aj. point taken. he’s still had a major impact on the series i might have inflated it’s worth just a tad.

bad loss. on to the next one. ld needs a plan b. get control of the team yoda! whenever orlando gains some momentum in the game the hawks make no adjustments to fight back. they look lost out there. scatter brained basketball. or the hawks can play it like games 3 and 4 and hope the magic miss their jumpshots while praying the theirs goes in.

doc

April 27th, 2011
10:09 am

play down to us in the first games or did we play over our heads?

cream rising?

hawks a bunch of mental midgets with no killer instincts?

stay tuned.

meanwhile, i am so relieved that obama birth has been confirmed. here i was beginning to think he was an alien implant sent to destroy the center of the universe ….. the u s of a.

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
10:58 am

doc, I vote for mental midgets.

Consistent with the regular season, we have a winning record despite scoring less points. That 25 point deficit put us in the red for the series. We mostly win close games while losing badly.

doc, I’ll avoid the political talk (despite my desire to engage), but I will change the subject by saying that the news yesterday regarding the NFL is good news for resolving the NBA labor issues. The only problem (as I see it) is that there are FAR more NBA owners losing money than NFL owners. So the NBA owners may have more resolve and fight than Blank and his peers. But the de-certification tactic (and subsequent ruling) may have changed the game.

vava74

April 27th, 2011
11:14 am

doc,

The Magic woke up from the slumber which last season’s series put them into.

They came this year with the notion – parallel to ours – that the major factor in their dominance of the Hawks was Howard’s superiority.

This notion was wrong, as I pointed out all summer long when everyone was obsessed with getting a C to stop Howard (which we had already in our roster, although with far to many hamburgers on his tummy) instead of focusing on the real problem (lack of perimeter D, lack of coaching and – now we know it – lack of heart).

The fact is that last year’s Magic were much much much more than Howard.

It was a collection of shooters who defended well the perimeter (Lewis is a decent defender, Pietrus is an excellent defender, Barnes is an excellent defender, …) and a nice example of a major choker (Carter) who excels against inferior, heartless, clueless opponents (which includes us).

So, this year, with an inferior roster defensively and also on their outside shooting, they “drunkenly” went to Howard, pounding the inside on every possession, standing around in the perimeter waiting for Howard to deliver or for the kick out pass.

Yesterday, with Howard out, they finally realized that all they need to win is to move/pass quickly in the perimeter, drive – attracting the collapsing D – and kick out, leaving Howard to work more as a decoy, a rebounder and a defender.

Expect them to repeat this recipe and for us NOT to adjust.

In particular, with more movement in the perimeter by ORL, Jamal’s lack of D, amplified by LD’s stubbornness to over use him even if his shot is not going down, will cause out defensive “cohesion” (or lack of) to be exposed.

Obviously, this will be coupled with JJ’s “Houdini act”, Al’s “pant-crapping act” and Josh’s emotional but erratic and miss guided efforts.

ORL by 15-25 and back to Florida for the final humiliation.

(I sincerely hope that I am wrong and I wish Jamal drops 50 on these guys, I really do, but… I have ZERO confidence in being wrong)

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
12:08 pm

From hoopinion.com;

The Hawks took bad shots, their head coach created foul trouble where none yet existed, that choice put an inferior defensive unit on the floor for long stretches of the first half, the Hawks fell way behind, and they tried to catch up by taking more bad shots. A familiar tale for the 2010-11 Hawks.

Yes, a good portion of the margin of victory is due to Orlando shooting well rather than horribly. And, yes, some of the rest of that margin can be attributed to Atlanta’s hideous offensive display. But Orlando made a tactical adjustment. One that worked.

As one who feared, before the series began, that the Hawks had but one way* to beat the Magic, the necessity of Larry Drew making a counter-adjustment proves fertile soil, at least in the immediate aftermath of this game, in which to sow the seeds of doubt..

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
12:25 pm

Bulletin board material…from a columnist.

No matter how much talent they have, the Hawks are still the Hawks. They are still Team Dummy. They will always do stupid things and take stupid shots. They will always lose their focus and their composure..

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-magic/os-bianchi-magic-column/

honest_abe

April 27th, 2011
1:07 pm

i’m pretty sure most basketball analysts would tend to agree with those statements. perception is reality.

doc

April 27th, 2011
1:23 pm

well i see there are more votes for mental midgets. one for cream rising. heh heh

astro, my political debates are over for now as it is all in wall streets and the feds hands anyway now a days and probably always has been so what is the point. yes there was a lot of sarcasm in my typewriter as i wrote it. follow the money, or had you heard?

cudos to svg who took five games of saying shooters better shoot better before he could figure it out he had to put the shooters in control rather than dwight. duh?

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
1:40 pm

Horford has obviously played most of this series at PF. According to him, that is his “natural position”. On one hand, Orlando is a very good defensive team while on the other hand, he is mostly going up against Bass and Ryan Anderson in terms of individual match-ups. So is a 12.5 point average and 41% shooting what we should expect from our All-Star who is playing mostly at his natural position?

http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3213/al-horford

Melvin

April 27th, 2011
1:44 pm

What was the purpose in playing Al and Joe 35+ mins in a 30pt blowout? This coach finds reasons after reasons not play his bench. If the staters(+1) playing well, continue to let them play. If the starters (+1) are not playing well, continue to play them until they get their rhythm. A page straight out the Larry Brown and Mike Woodson book. Get this coach outta here….

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
1:55 pm

Melvin, so were you expecting an apple to fall from the lemon tree?

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
2:44 pm

Wow, that Orlando Sentinel column (Atlanta Birdbrains) is scathing. And MC tweeted that it was placed in each Hawk locker. Of course, there have likely been other “pride-inducing” things that have been written/said about this team that has resulted in nothing but disappointment for fans and players. I’d like to believe that the column will light a fuse but there have been too many times this team appears like they are void of pride and dignity.

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
5:36 pm

AJ,

I dont know if Al realizes he will not be an all-star at PF. In fact, I think Josh is a better PF than Al (if josh plays to his strengths). I have been very disappointed in Al.

I am also disappointed in JJ. In our 2 losses, he averaged 9.5 pts. New blog up from Jeff Schultz;

But Johnson didn’t do nearly enough to prevent the loss – or even collective team humiliation – from happening. And yes, he does deserve a greater share of the blame than Josh Smith or Jamal Crawford or anybody else on the roster because more is expected from him.

Such are the little inconveniences that come with a $123.7 million contract..

Doc,

I think this is what you were trying to say about how the team looks to Jamal and Joe more often than anybody else.

“Joe and Jamal are our main guys who put the ball in the hole,” Josh Smith said. “We depend on them to get us involved at the offensive end, because when they start making shots, it opens things up for everybody else.”.

Rod from College Park

April 27th, 2011
6:02 pm

vava74,

“I give Jamal due credit when he deserves it. He is playing really well in this series. However, contrary to Rod, I know that the game of basketball is a team sport and a game which requires players logging 30+ minutes to play both sides of the court.”

“a streaky shooter should remain on the floor if he has shown to be hot and should be glued to the bench when he has shown to be off.”

Game 1 Jamal played 31 min- won by 10
Game 2 Jamal played 31 min – loss by 4
Game 3 Jamal played 29 min – won by 4
Game 4 Jamal played 33 min – won by 3
Game 5 Jamal played 25 min – loss by 25

The thing about “streaky shooters” is you never know when they will get hot. What’s the alternative? Marvin? He is just as bad offensively as Jamal is defensively. When the team puts up 76 points, I’ll let you figure out which one you should go with.

vava74

April 27th, 2011
6:30 pm

Rod,

A good shooter, like for instance Allen, deserves the trust to keep on shooting in order to come out of a slump within a game.

A streaky shooter is on-off. Jamal never starts 0-3 and then gets hot. Never.

He either starts hot and continues hot or he starts cold and continues cold.

Good shooters are consistently around .500, streaky shooters vary between .600 and .250.

It’s not by mere chance that Jamal is just .410 and .350 for his career, it’s because you can’t trust him to make good decisions / good shot selection.

As for you bringing Marvin again to the fold, I would say the following:

Yesterday, Jamal was clearly off. Hinrich should have been brought in as soon as possible.

All other aspects of the rotation would be difficult to discuss, but once thing I can tell you, keeping Jamal on the floor was THE wrong option since he was giving us nothing and was deeply detrimental yesterday.

You’re too stubborn to man up. I acknowledged that Jamal had very good to great performances in previous games but I predicted a major egg coming and LD keeping him on the floor against all logic.

It materialised as expected and I am the guy who is/was wrong? Please, man up. Acknowledge that Jamal is what he is. Spectacular sometimes, yes. Streaky, yes. Dependable, no.

I called it and it happened. We were living on borrowed time, reality would catch up.

It’s the law of averages.

vava74

April 27th, 2011
6:36 pm

Actually, let me be more precise:

“A streaky shooter is on-off. Jamal VERY VERY RARELY starts 0-3 and then gets hot.”

He either starts hot and continues MODERATELY hot (he many times fades) or he starts cold and continues cold.”

But again, my posts predicting the Hawks defeat on Gand 5 were not directed at Jamal but AT OUR RECIPE for winning the 3 games.

It was a bad recipe since it was nearly impossible to keep it going. Reliance on jump shooting and in particular on a streaky undisciplined shooter who plays bad D most of the time does not cut it.

vava74

April 27th, 2011
6:39 pm

Finally: Jamal has logged 30+ minutes including ALL 12 in many if not all games in which we struggled offensively.

His presence on the court does not guarantee points in our favour and almost certainly guarantees points against.

vava74

April 27th, 2011
6:40 pm

“All 12 in the fourth”

Rod from College Park

April 27th, 2011
6:52 pm

Vava74,

What would I man up for. Jamal is leading out team in FG%, 3p% and ppg in the playoffs. You said he was a “loser” and never made the playoffs because of his style of play. If he does not score another point in this series, he has disproved your theory. He almost single handedly won two games in this series by himself. If our ALL STARS don’t step up and win the other one, Jamal would not be to blame. Please remember that Jamal subs Hinrich, so bringing Hinrich back in ASAP is not going to happen, based on LD’s coaching this year. Your streaky shooters good shooters explanation is bs just like the majority of other crap you post. If anyone in this series has earned the right to keep shooting, it would be Jamal. I can assure you that Jamal has started 0-3 many times in his career and gotten hot, later in the game. I don’t even have to do the research to prove that. The major egg that you predicted from Jamal, was by no fault of his own, it was good coaching by Van Gundy. The started trapping Jamal, like they do Joe Johnson everytime we set the high pick. If you want to blame somebody, blame Joe Johnson, asd All Star Al Horford for not stepping up.

Rod from College Park

April 27th, 2011
6:56 pm

“Finally: Jamal has logged 30+ minutes including ALL 12 in many if not all games in which we struggled offensively.

His presence on the court does not guarantee points in our favour and almost certainly guarantees points against.”

My prior post kills that theory. The game that he played the least amount of minutes, or closer to your dumb 20 minutes per game theory, we lost by 26 points. All the other games where he played close to or over 30 min per game we won.

Game 1 Jamal played 31 min- won by 10
Game 2 Jamal played 31 min – loss by 4
Game 3 Jamal played 29 min – won by 4
Game 4 Jamal played 33 min – won by 3
Game 5 Jamal played 25 min – loss by 25

Astro Joe

April 27th, 2011
9:23 pm

Can Miami execute in the last 2 minutes? That has been their problem, executing the offense late in clise games.

O'Brien

April 27th, 2011
10:21 pm

AJ,

Philly just isnt talented enough. If it was Miami against Boston, I think Boston would have won becuase of their execution. The big 3 all played over 40 minutes. Bibby started, but only played 4 minutes. Was he injured?

Despite being up 3-1, and playing in San Antonio against the #1 seed, its nice to see Memphis not quitting like the Hawks. In fact, they are up 3 in the third. I hope they pull it off.

If Spurs lose in the first round, i think they will have to break up the core, because they have been eliminated early the last 3 seasons. And Duncan isnt getting any younger. Tony Parker in a trade…anyone?

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 27th, 2011
10:49 pm

P.U.R.E I.N.S.A.N.I.T.Y

Putrid. Underwhelming. Rancid. Egregious.

Idiotic. Nonchalant. Surrendering. Acquiescing. Ne’er-do-wells. In-corrigible. Turrible (lol). Yearly.

Pure insanity for the players to come out with that big of a dud with the entire sports world watching and waiting for that type of disgusting display! How insane was LD for not making the right defensive adjustments when it was obvious STAN made adjustments?

How insane do they think WE are to support quitters who don’t leave it all on the court in big games???

How insane is the ASG if they don’t either bring in a real coach with experience, brains and cohones or bring in more players who don’t wilt under pressure????

I rooting for them but man a loss tomorrow after being in the driver’s seat will be too embarrassing.

lukas

April 27th, 2011
10:52 pm

“No matter how much talent they have, the Hawks are still the Hawks. They are still Team Dummy. They will always do stupid things and take stupid shots. They will always lose their focus and their composure”.
Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel.

WOW. If this article did not hurt the pride of this team please trade everyone of his members for players who truly give a crap about his job.

Melvin

April 27th, 2011
11:29 pm

If OKC win, then all the home teams would have won their game 5. Just a thought as so many Hawks fans are disappointed with the game 5 road lost.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 28th, 2011
1:12 am

How much pride does a team realistically have left after being blown out as often as this team has?

vava74

April 28th, 2011
3:28 am

Rod,

You are hopeless.

Jamal’s production during the first 4 games was an ANOMALY, not the norm, a great and brilliant ANOMALY but an anomaly nonetheless.

I am 100% sure that he is unable to keep it up. If he did, he would be all-star every single year and not a journeyman streaky shooter as he is regarded in the league.

Hence, even if he had produced ABOVE HIS NORMAL levels but BELOW THESE ABNORMAL levels during games 1-4, the Hawks would be in trouble.

The simple fact is that his offensive production is frequently off-set by his lack of D and that any decay from this ABNORMALY high level of production means that his presence on the court MUST BE LIMITED.

His ± stats show that and my visual analysis confirms it.

The fact that he was PLAYING WELL ABOVE his normal level (even the high end of his normal level) was the sole justification for him to play 30 minutes (to be fair, he was even playing above his normal levels on D, but I would say that ORL made it easy for him with so much standing around watching Howard and just waiting for the kick out pass).

Stave Kerr called it and nailed it during game 4, but I am sure that since he was a nonathletic and white shooting specialist, his opinion is not good enough for you.

During game 5, the Hawks were down by 4 when he came in for Hinrich and our offense which was already crappy got even worse as he went 0-4 and had 1 TO to go with ZERO assists.

On the defensive end I will not even comment.

Yes, Jamal was obviously not the sole responsible, but he also contributed significantly for the disaster.

For me, it was on LD.

Also, Jamal’s production went down dramatically the MINUTE THAT ORL focused on him and DECIDED TO TRY AND PUNK HIM.

His notoriously poor decision making (just like JJ many times) was, instead of acting as a decoy and get the ball to the open man, to TRY AND BE THE HERO.

EPIC FAIL.

You continue to live in your “hero basketball wonderland” so your grasp of what it takes to win games is narrow and limited.

The JR Riders and Jamals of the league are SELDOM involved in winning basketball and spend their careers playing hero basketball in losing or average teams.

Sometimes, particularly against worse teams, hero basketball produces spectacular results, most of the time, it ends up badly.

You live in a dream world.

Notwithstanding the above, f*ck, I hope you are right this time and Jamal and the rest of the guys get the win tonight, however, I will not be holding my breath.

The harsh reality is that we have been winning “the wrong way” and that it will catch up with us.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
7:55 am

Melvin,

I have no issue with the Hawks losing game 5. It’s the way they lost that bothers me.

3 good games last night. Philly hung tough, but Miami’s big 3 is too talented. Bring on the Celtics.

Spurs were 1 shot away from Elimination, so now the pressure is on Memphis to win game 6.

And Durant took over in the 4th to send Denver home. That guy is a beast. The second best thing about the Perkins trade is it allowed Ibaka to play PF full time, and dude had 9 blocks last night.

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
9:12 am

OB,

I understand your concern but a blowout to this team is nothing new. Like Sekou said on 790thezone yesterday morning, blowouts don’t even faze this group of players. So I expect a better effort and performance from them tonight.

Now what I really didn’t like about Game 5 was LD playing his regulars guys 30 – 38mins in a 30pt blowout…

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
9:27 am

Melvin, I actually thought that LD was leaving his starters out there as punishment. I may have been inclined to leave them out there longer… it’s not as if they had broken a sweat or something. They should have been forced to smell the stench that they had left on that court. The notion that blowoouts don’t faze them is bad… not good like a CB forgetting about giving up a big play. If the opponent isn’t capable of humiliating them, then I am all for the head coach taking a crack at doing so. Like I said the other day, they treating Game 5 in the same way they treated the last 6 games of the regular season… like it was meaningless. Did any other road team put forth such a pathetic effort in Game 5? Again, if LD had left them out there until they played like professionals, that would have been fine with me… even if someone had come up lame… these guys need a kick in the a$$.

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
9:41 am

Astro,

I understand what you are saying but if a blowout lost doesn’t faze them, do you really think Uncle Larry can discipline them by playing them extended mins in the same game they got swipe the floor in? If they are going to show pride and be professionals, then it’s going to happen in the next game. He should have played his bench players in hope that they would have finish the game in a professional manner. There was nothing to gain in playing those guys in the 4th qtr.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
10:05 am

During the season, this team and coach have no sense of urgency (imo). And I wont be surprised if they come out flat in game 6, because in their mind, they might be thinking worse case scenario, they still have a game 7.

Just like blowouts dont bother these guys, I dont think playing extended minutes or playing shortened minutes bother them either. I just dont think they care enough consistently.

Can someone post the Sekou interview from yesterday?

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
10:27 am

Melvin, you may be right. But they need to learn how to focus on the game at hand. Simply saying “we’ll do better next game” is the problem. They ALWAYS say that ish. At some point, someone needs to say “no, you will do better in THIS game”. If (heaven forbid) they are getting blown out at home tonight, I hope LD leaves them out there to hear the boos rain down. No need for Hilton or Damien or Teague to be on the court listening to the fans respond… the 3 captains need to be out there listening to disgruntled (and paying) fans voice their outrage.

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
10:29 am

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
10:38 am

Astro,

Now I definitely can see your reasoning with letting them stay on the court at home to get booed but remember, one captain don’t care if the fans show up or not…

Rod from College Park

April 28th, 2011
11:19 am

“I am 100% sure that he is unable to keep it up. If he did, he would be all-star every single year and not a journeyman streaky shooter as he is regarded in the league.”

Please name me another journeyman streaky shooter in the league who makes 10 mil per besides the other guy you think is a “loser” also, Jason Terry.

“Hence, even if he had produced ABOVE HIS NORMAL levels but BELOW THESE ABNORMAL levels during games 1-4, the Hawks would be in trouble.”

If if was a fifth, we’d all be drunk.

“Stave Kerr called it and nailed it during game 4, but I am sure that since he was a nonathletic and white shooting specialist, his opinion is not good enough for you.”

Correct, Steve Kerr talking about anybody being one demensional, and not playing any defense is very hypocrtical. He could not stay in fromt of a parked car.

“During game 5, the Hawks were down by 4 when he came in for Hinrich and our offense which was already crappy got even worse as he went 0-4 and had 1 TO to go with ZERO assists.”

During games 1, and 3 he was almost solely responsible for us winning. See how easy that is.

“Also, Jamal’s production went down dramatically the MINUTE THAT ORL focused on him and DECIDED TO TRY AND PUNK HIM.”

Incorrect again. His production went down, when Stan Van Gundy made and adjustment and started trapping him, and none of our other players except Josh, played with any fire.

“You live in a dream world.”

Interesting that you feel that way, when all the points I made are about what actually happened, and everything you posted is filled with if’s. Please continue posting, your thoughts are very amusing. You might well be the most uninformed poster about baskeball that I have ever come across. LOL

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
11:33 am

Melvin, I think one captain doesn’t think the fans have anything to do with team effort… and I completely agree with that captain.

vava74

April 28th, 2011
12:00 pm

Astro, Melvin, OB,

I actually don’t think that the problem on game 5 was effort, at least not at the beginning.

Early in the game, when the game was up for grabs, our guys were running hard and even playing too fast and out of control missing lay ups and rushing shots, looking very nervous.

I think that the major problem was LD’s complete lack of preparation and inability to read the adjustments made by SVG and correctly put the right line up on the floor and instruct our guys on how to re-adjust.

ORL had already come out with a bit more spunk but they only really changed their game midway the first quarter when Howard picked up the second foul and had to play a completely different type of bball.

By the time Howard returned, ORL was already clicking on a different level.

If there was anything mental about our guys maybe was them relaxing when Howard went out with two fouls, but again, it was LD job to stop that make adjustments.

vava74

April 28th, 2011
12:57 pm

Re-post from main blog:

“Buddy Grizzard

April 28th, 2011
10:31 am

Let’s break down the first half of Game 5, where the Hawks got outscored 58-35 and lost the game. The point differential in the second half was 43-41 in favor of the Magic, so the first half is the story of this game.

I’ve broken down in other posts how Josh Smith pounded the ball inside and drew two early fouls on Dwight, causing him to go to the bench with 5:39 to play in the first quarter and Orlando leading 10-8. With 5:33 to play and the Hawks trailing 10-9, Kirk Hinrich picked up his first foul, and Las Vegas Larry immediately subbed in JC1 for KH.

Q+1 rule means in the first quarter, Q1+1 is two fouls to be in foul trouble. KH goes to the bench, not in foul trouble. I believe this is what Bret Lagree was referring to in his Game 5 breakdown when he said Las Vegas Larry “created foul trouble where none yet existed.”

With Dwight on the Bench and Orlando forced to rely on its perimeter players, the obvious move would be to leave KH (not in foul trouble) and Joe Johnson on the floor to try to slow Orlando’s guards. Instead, Las Vegas Larry almost immediatly sends in Atlanta’s worst perimeter defender.

I find it very easy to believe, much as Michael Cunningham tried to discredit it, the New York Post’s report that a former Hawks player described Las Vegas Larry’s game preparation a “f-ing joke.” Do you think Las Vegas Larry had a game plan if Dwight went to the bench? Do you think that game plan involved JC1 tossing up 20 to 25 footers producing long rebounds and Orlando fast breaks? Do you think that game plan involved the Hawks attempting only 4 free throws for the rest of the half, including zero in the second quarter?

I’m not an NBA coach, but I would have told my guys to pound it inside to Josh Smith and All Star Al and let them go to work on Orlando’s Dwight-less front court. I would have told them to keep drawing fouls and try to keep the game at a slow tempo. None of that happened.

And when Josh Smith saw that his good early work was not rewarded with additional post touches, and saw that effort undone by JC1’s cold shooting, he went with the only game plan the Hawks ever had… toss up outside shots, hope they go in. And hope that Orlando, the most productive three-point shooting team in the NBA during the regular season, continued setting postseason records for three-point futility.

Meanwhile, JC1 checks in at 5:33 with the Hawks trailing by a point. After missed shots from 20, 23 and 25 feet by JC1, Atlanta calls a full timeout with 2:36 to play and Orlando leading 19-9. Kirk Hinrich re-enters the game and picks up his second foul with :45 to play in the first quarter. The half ends with Orlando up 26-13, having closed the quarter on a 16-4 run since JC1 entered the game. At this point Kirk Hinrich is -4 and JC1 is -12.

Atlanta starts the 2nd quarter with JJ, All Star Al, Marv, Zaza and JC1. Orlando starts the quarter with Dwight, Reddick, Arenas, Q-Rich and Ryan Anderson. With 6:09 to play in the half, KH re-enters the game replacing JC1. The score is 42-21 and Orlando has outscored the Hawks 16-8 for the quarter and 32-12 during the 11 minutes, 24 seconds JC1 has been on the floor. Does it take a 20-point swing in favor of the opposition to figure out something isn’t working?

With 2:13 to play in the half, JC1 subs back in for Kirk. The score is 52-30, Orlando has outscored the hawks 10-9 during KH’s three minutes, 56 seconds of playing time in the second quarter (with two fouls, not in foul trouble; Q2+1=3), and KH is -5 over 9 minutes, 3 seconds of first half playing time. JC1 plays 13 minutes, 37 seconds in the first half and goes to the locker room -21 with Orlando sporting a 23-point lead. Orlando would only outscore the Hawks by 2 points in the entire second half.”

Simply right on the money.

doc

April 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

it is amazing that the pulse of this blog seems to be about the jamal factor when the real problem is our most important player laud a huge egg in jj. he is paid to show up or die trying. whether he likes it or not he is paid t be the big man. his faltering on the big stage is as egregious as the faltering of our number two pick. sorry it is. can you imagine how folks would react if kobe, paul, wade, queen, etc. came up with only 5 points in a playoff game where his team lost by 25. remember this is the guy who has the ball put in his hands to do the job of getting to the hole or getting it into the hole.
j
oe blinked when the doors should have opened with howard on the bench. isnt that what the team has been waiting for and what drove a bit of their first payoff win? no killer instinct on this team and it starts with the alpha dog, joe johnson. show up tonight or be banished is what will need to happen.

yes o-b the straws that stirs this offense is jj and jamal pain and simple. if they dont delever then we are toast and we look like the team that hobbled to the finish line. it is not about chemistry if those two guys can do it. if they cant then LD better put his best defense on the floor and say win it mean and ugly guys.

call it a manifesto of sorts, my fellow bloggers, tonight is all about jj, if jamal is not his mercurial self. dont lose sight of it. let us see if he can walk among those of significant import with similar monetary packages or he better leave it all on the court wanting it more than he has ever shown anything in his life. nothing less, there is no tomorrow jj.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
1:41 pm

You have to wonder if Joe Johnson is watching what’s going on around the league right now, if he knows what time it is for players of his ilk?

Surely he’s seen the highlights. He’s witnessed the work guys like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Zach Randolph, Brandon Roy and so many others have done these past two weeks.

The Hawks will need more than just an average Joe Johnson to finish this job and finish off the Magic. They need the All-Star, the wunderkind that wore No. 2 for the Hawks in January and averaged 26 points on 50 percent shooting form the floor while leading them on a near month-long tear. They need the Johnson that helped them win Game 1 of this series in Orlando with those 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting.

What won’t work is the Johnson we’ve seen since then, the one averaging 17 points and shooting a combined 23-for-65 (35.4 percent) from the floor, the one who scored just five points in a blowout Game 5 loss.

The Johnson that plays without any emotion, with that blank stare on his face, will do the Hawks no good tonight. If ever there was a time for Johnson to step out of character and show his fangs for all to see, this is it. .

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/04/28/hawks-need-more-than-average-joe/

I hope JJ can get it going early, becuase that will open things up for the other guys. As a matter of fact, the team needs to get it foing early. If they don’t, I can see the fans gettng real quiet and restless.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
1:43 pm

Doc,

Sekou and Jeff Schultz are saying the same things you mentioned. JJ needs to step up tonight. Even if we lose this game, it should not be because JJ had a bad game.

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
1:58 pm

I need the right attitude from Joe. For all of the mentions of the great superstars, folk often forget that they sometimes have awful shooting nights in big games also. But what we DON’T see from the superstars is the appearance of not caring. The defense may be geared to stop you and they could have success, but you don’t mope around like you’d rather be enjoying a beer at Applebee’s. I won’t fault Joe for having a 9-23 shooting night, but I will fault him for conveying disinterest in his team’s outcome.

Oh, and while we need Joe, we can’t let 12-point Al off the hook. Because 25 points from Joe isn’t likely going to be enough without a good 18+ from another player (and there is NO reason why we shouldn’t expect that from natural-PF-Al).

doc

April 28th, 2011
2:32 pm

o’b, joe cant be passive and allow the game to get out of hand. i havent had time to read the others just reflecting on the misdirection that this blog seems to have right now. been meaning to respond to your comments yesterday and this is along those lines. fire the spot on the one person that cant afford to take a back seat tonight. yes it is a tem game but when things are not going right then alpha dog has to step up and intervene. 5 points in a blowout is uh, not quite enough.

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
3:00 pm

doc,

To make it worst, 5pts in a blowout where he play 35mins… SMH