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

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:02 am

well br didnt think they were up for the challenge and they are proving me wrong. it is also the magic are a much worse team than they were last year as much as we are better. like the effort. if that continues them we may be golden. just the same they have to respect their own possessions better if they go to the next series, then they have to prove they wont be blown out in that round as much as by the magic. that is the true monkey on their back not the magic who are a shadow of what they were.

doc

April 25th, 2011
1:04 am

interesting comment on tnt that kobe is more a three for defense than a two.

[...] Orlando Magic | NBA playoffs [3] Atlanta Hawks (44-35) at Washington Wizards (21-58), 7 p.m. [4] Atlanta Hawks ‘ The team you thought you knew [5] Atlanta Hawks Lack the Heart to Win a Championship [6] Hawks’ Crawford in rental dispute [...]

[...] Series LeadCBSSports.comOrlando Magic season is now on life supportOrlando SentinelHawks.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -OrlandoMagic.comall 1,148 news articles » Posts Related to Hawks make plays at [...]

bjrufino

April 25th, 2011
1:50 am

hawks is better in every way

Harry Hawk

April 25th, 2011
1:55 am

The embarrassments have come in the second round, not the first. That’s the real test of this club.

[...] Magic season is now on life supportOrlando SentinelHawks.com -USA Today -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 1,148 news [...]

Ed

April 25th, 2011
6:53 am

Good stuff Ray. Without a doubt the Magic are nowhere close to the Magic of last year. It’s far more that aspect as opposed to the Hawks being better. TNT consistently pointed out bad plays by the Hawks, immediately following a poor play by the Magic, thereby not taking advantage of a chance to stretch an 8 point lead to a 16 point lead. Sure enough the Magic were right there in the end. Playing that way we will be forunate to win one game against the Bulls.

Willie Coyote

April 25th, 2011
7:02 am

The Magic are as much of a mess as we thought our Hawks were. However, the Hawks have actually manned up and should be celebrating a sweep if not for that dude on the sideline.

The one thing that scares me though; the better these guys perform in the post season, the less likely needed changes are coming. I’m not rooting for the Hawks to lose but we all know how comfortable our ownership and GM seem to get at the least sign of success.

Let’s finish these guys out in 5 and then we can see what these guys are really made of next round.

Hawks on deck

April 25th, 2011
7:33 am

If the hawks are going to make some noise in the second round, Joe got to step up and give me a superstar stat line for a change. Jamal Crawford seems to be the go to guy.

Joe…. I want my Kobe night. 120 million means putting the team on your back. I want my money. But in reality, I ain’t hating on you. Let’s blame management for the lack of sound judgemental decisions in negoitiating that overpaid contract.

Good luck in the playoffs. It’s time to step up.

Don!

April 25th, 2011
7:35 am

I think it’s more an issue of continuity than talent. Especially in the playoffs, where the game is much more focused on team defense and execution.

Look at the teams that made the playoffs after a significant mid-season trade, specifically Orlando, New York and Denver. None of these teams are doing well right now, and that’s as much a function of team chemistry than anything else. I honestly expected Denver to be much better than they’ve shown so far, but Oklahoma City has just found the little chinks in their armor to take control of their series.

Much the same is true in the Atlanta/Orlando series. It’s not that the Hawks are playing their best basketball of the season — it’s more like the Hawks are playing the same game in the playoffs that they’ve played all season. Not to mention, that the core of this team is pretty stable as far as franchises go in the NBA. Come playoff time, that helps more than you know.

Anyway, a number of analysts thought that the Hawks would have a good chance to win this series before it started. It’s not like we were playing from a talent deficit, but folks wondered if this team would ever stop shooting itself in the foot and aim it’s weapons at the other team instead. So far in this series, it’s been more of a case of us not hurting ourselves — and Orlando being the team that’s struggling to not shoot itself in the foot.

Later,

Don!

Nick

April 25th, 2011
9:25 am

The second round is going to show us really who we are. We know how to beat the Magic and have a set philosophy and plan against them. I’m worried that once we play a team (Bulls) that we do not know as well, they will revert back to their old sporadic ways.

Gwalk

April 25th, 2011
9:25 am

TRADE JOSH SMITH! He will never play to his full potential as a Hawk! He has the talent to be a superman in the NBA but his half a$$ play is part of the reason teams are allowed to get themselves back into these games. Trade him now while he’s still worth something!

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
9:46 am

Sorry, I don’t know how to react to the Hawks being up 3-1 in a playoff series… this is uncharted territory for me.

No doubt that Jamal and Joe are glad that Petrius & Vince are no longer in a Magic uniform. I know there’s been plenty of talk about Gortat’s absence, but I recall those wing players giving our SG-tandem fits. Joe has gotten off early in the last few games and Jamal has been a terrific finisher. Orlando doesn’t seem capable of guarding both of them so they have to “pick their poison”.

LD has to take a fair amount of credit as well. The players are focused now that they are in the playoffs so a lot of LD’s weaknesses (getting players to execute the game plan) are hidden. Likewise, his game plan has been very solid (other than the 2-foul debacle in Game 2). Te new wrinkle of the JOe/Jamal pick and roll was a very nice set, even if the execution wasn’t always perfect. He trusted Hilton last night when I was screaming for Etan and Hilton played about as well as anyone could ever ask. His continued fascination with watching Powell get abused by Dwight is annoying, but I guess we can’t ask for perfection from our first-year head coach.

On a completely different note, it was good to see Arenas have a flashback to his old days. He must look at what Jamal is doing in this series and think “that used to be me”.

kwooden

April 25th, 2011
10:00 am

First and foremost, GREAT WIN!!!

They consistantly made plays to help Orlando, but consistantly came back and made plays to help themselves. Orlando definitely got tight and started missing open shots, but they were tight because they knew the HAWKS could score on any possession.

Ray, clearly Orlando isn’t the same team without Lewis, especially against us. I think we’re better, but we haven’t come close to our potential. We’re still a team that goes 2 good possessions and then 4 bad possessions. We’re learning though and I like the fact that we’re learning at the end of games when it matters. Joe hitting 4 in a row from the line, was hugh for the team because it let Orlando know they we’re going to have to make a tough deep 3 just to TIE the game! The biggest play of the game to me was the late layup by Horford to put us up by 5. Jamal had just hit a 3, we got a stop, and instead of taking a contested 3 Jamal ran the screen and roll and hit Horford going to the basket. Dwight had to over play Jamal which left Horford with only small players to shoot over. I think we’ve found at least to different good alternatives to ISO Jamal or JJ at the end of games. JJ, Jamal screen and roll or Jamal, Horford screen and roll. I think the guys have a good feel for those plays and naturally can execute them effectively. Joe got stripped by Jameer on one screen and roll but I’m sure next time he will do a better job of get his shot off. (besides Jameer fouled him on that play)

I don’t know if we will win this series, Orlando clearly can win 3 in a row against us. But I’m encouraged because we haven’t played great for longer than 8 min stretches and given up first half leads the last two games, but still have found a way to win.

GO HAWKS!!!

Rufus1

April 25th, 2011
10:15 am

The regular season matters…Hawks

Talent matters….Hawks

Focus matters….Hawks

Discipline matters…..Maybe

The Hawks did not take off one minute all season against the Magic and this is just a continuation of those games. I knew they would win this series and make it to the 2nd round.

Rufus1

April 25th, 2011
10:21 am

Stop the fastbreak, it is killing us.

The Hawks are too undisciplined to be an uptempo team. If you watch the game last night the Hawks gave up the lead trying to run. They have been executing their offense very well, so they should stay in the half court and beat-up the Magic.

No Crying

April 25th, 2011
10:52 am

After the season we just suffered through we are now being teased with this playoff run. I am enjoying the ride while it lasts. The difference between last year’s playoff debacle and this years performance is when the magic make a run we are not quitting. But it feels like we have yet to play a complete focused game, and we are always on the verge of the familiar collapse. We only need 2 more wins to exceed expectations, which proves how our expectations have fallen. Have we given up on this team? Have we given up hope of winning and will now accept losing with pride? I am so tired of hearing about last years 101 point combined loss total. This team has the talent to become a powerhouse in this league, we just need to learn how to play up to that potential. But winning teams don’t talk about potential they talk about winning. “Potential” is just another way of saying loser.

steve brown

April 25th, 2011
10:59 am

You watch Josh Smith play basketball because I can’t stand to watch. I find his wasted athleticism so disappointing and his game appalling. I think, given the choice, he would rather fill his own stats than have his team win.

Fireld!

April 25th, 2011
11:16 am

The reason we are not getting whooped right know has nothing to do with ld or the Hawks improvement. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that the Magic are missing v.carter, r.lewis, m. pietrus, m.barnes. and m. gortat(all of whom are over 6′6 and m. barnes and pietrus would have shut that j. crawford and j. johnson iso BS down!) I know because you see crawford and joe in that order domimate jj. redick 6′4 and jameer nelson 5′10 you get excited, don’t fall for it. The only reason we won last night was because that idiot on the other bench took Gilbert out after he made the Hawks d look like crap, and tied the game up, only to put him back in after the magic go dwn by 6 with like 3 min left. Don’t fall for it. And for all yall Teague haters, yall really must not understand B-ball.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
11:48 am

I forgot about Matt Barnes. I wonder if SVG and Otis Smith survive.

Ray

April 25th, 2011
12:25 pm

You know at this point even if the hawks advance to ECF to face Boston(which would be cool). I don’t think I’m ready to praise them again like before. It might be me being a hater as most would say, but I say no it’s me just tired of the way the hawks are run.

Still their up 3-1 don’t make it a 3-4 in the next few days. I still say Chicago is going to eat our lunch horribly.

sb33

April 25th, 2011
12:52 pm

The Hawks have not played well overall. Orlando can’t buy a shot from outside and other than Jameer and Dwight, the team isn’t doing much on offense. Even Shaq and Kobe needed some support when they won their rings. Dwight and Jameer can not do it alone. Other than that, I am really happy the Hawks are up 3-1. I believe we could and show have swept this series, seeing how bad Orlando has played. I personally don’t want to see a game six because my heart will be pounding and I will be sweating beads. The Hawks need to quit making it difficult on them.

When getting an offensive board, we quickly shoot an outside jumper or take a questionable shot. Use the shot clock. Take time off the clock and make Dwight play defense for a little longer. Every second counts.

Josh Smith has played horribly in this series and I am sick of his sour attitude. He is a fantastic athlete but can anyone else not see how out of shape he looks? It’s apparent to me that he doesn’t spend very much time in the gym. But I could be wrong so I’m sorry if he does spend a lot of time in the gym. He also needs to stop settling and draw the defense in with his inside game and either take it to the rim or dish it out for an open shot for our guards.

Two times in Game 4, the Hawks avoided a possible foul drawing contact with Dwight. Marvin had a lane and dished it in a resulting bad shot when he could have instead gone straight to Dwight’s body and possibly drawn a foul. Dwight had two fouls in the first quarter but he still played almost the entire game. That should say everything about how the Hawks are not doing what they need to do in order to take Dwight out of the game.

I don’t mean to sound like a hater but the Hawks have been extremely fortunate in this series. We’ve witnessed a ton of lucky shots…

But whatever… Go Hawks!!!

http://thesbentourage.wordpress.com/

sb33

April 25th, 2011
12:55 pm

should* not show in the first paragraph

settling for jump shots* in the paragraph about jsmoove. He’s averaging an air ball a game…

Sorry for the confusion…

http://thesbentourage.wordpress.com/

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
1:01 pm

I think the big difference against Orlando (on the court and off) has been the play of Collins. In the past, the Hawks were mentally weak against Orlando. But with Collins starting and doing a good job on Dwight, the Hawks actually believed they could win (starting in the regular season). And with that belief came confidence. And it has continued to grow.

I still get concerned though. Like in last night’s game, Steve Kerr was getting on the Hawks down the stretch, because after being up 6, we could come down and dribble out the shot clock, and throw up a shot before the buzzer went off. Very little movement (pick and roll, screen, pass etc). Everybody just stands around while the guy with the ball does his thing.

As for Orlando, they are worse than they were last year. No Gortat, No Pietrus, and no Barnes have made a big difference. Unless Otis convinces Dwight to stay, I think he will be on the hot seat.

As doc pointed out on the other blog, SVG deserves some blame too. He has not come up with an effective plan for when the 3’s arent falling. I think he will be on the hot seat too.

Big Ray

April 25th, 2011
1:56 pm

Good points, all.

Good points about the absence of Rashard Lewis (let’s be honest, Josh Smith isn’t really being challenged in this series), Vince Carter, etc.

I tend to agree with those who share concerns about how management/ownership will tend to view this current postseason success, and it would be all too convenient to ignore the roster changes Orlando has undergone in favor of comparing our current success against them to our ineptitude a year ago.

As for the Hawks themselves, once again most are correct. They are still shooting at their feet, but missing more often, thus less injury. The low scoring and the mental errors would prove deadly against any other Eastern Conference playoff team right now. If fact, I’d say things could/would be worse against both Philadelphia and Indiana (though to a lesser extent in the case of Indy).

And I hate to sound so negative, but the Magic have truly been horrible and one-and-a-half dimensional (Dwight + Jameer…who hasn’t been great the whole series).

The big story of this series will be the all-too-expected speculation as to what the Magic will do in the offseason to try and stave off the inevitable – the departure of their second all-NBA franchise center.

In the meantime…I’ll still take a first round win from my team. Always.

Big Ray

April 25th, 2011
2:01 pm

O’Brien ,

Have to hand it to you, of all those missing from Orlando’s former supporting cast, Matt Barnes may be the most glaring. He’s a killer for a team like ours on both ends. Harassing Joe on one end, making 3s on the other…

I still say they miss Gortat more than most think. The guy is no superhero, but he’s tall and fairly quick. He ran the floor well and would get key rebounds (particularly on the offensive end), while also changing a shot or two. Basically, he neutralized Zaza in a number of ways.

It’s a sad day for Orlando when they realize that with the NBA’s best center and several moves later, they are no longer elite. It’s a sad day for Atlanta when they finally beat Orlando, only for the fans to realize that this does not make them elite.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
2:02 pm

I struggle to give Collins a ton of credit. First, the notion of defending the “role players” is enhanced by the fact that the role players aren’t as good thi season. Secondly, Collins has mostly played less than half of the game. I could see giving the “disposable bigs” credit for at least keeping Dwight occupied (inlcuding Collins, Zaza and Hilton) but I think the hype specifically directed to Collins is unjustified. I’m just not sure that if the Hawks were trying to defend Rashard, Vince and Jameer (like last year), if the defense of Dwight would be sufficient. But I give LD credit for recognizing the weakness in the role players and essentially daring them to score against solid defense.

Melvin

April 25th, 2011
2:32 pm

Forget style points.

Just win Babe, Just win…

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
2:36 pm

It’s a sad day for Orlando when they realize that with the NBA’s best center and several moves later, they are no longer elite. It’s a sad day for Atlanta when they finally beat Orlando, only for the fans to realize that this does not make them elite.

Dang, Big Ray. Allow us to enjoy the fantasy for a minute, why don’t you. Hawks are elite and the Easter Bunny delivered those eggs yesterday. That’s my story and I’m stinking with it, dammit.

doc

April 25th, 2011
2:43 pm

astro, let al or josh try to manage dwight and foul out and not contribute anything more and you might understand what isnt hype but credit where credit is due. i watched that match up in the phillips where i didnt have to depend on the camera both in game three and the last regular season victory and was really impressed with the way twin stayed with dwight and frustrated the dickens out of him. collins has the knack for knowing where dwight wants to go and clearly getting there before dwight does. that takes smarts and both hilton and zaza look to have learned from it as well. no hype just good basketball that should be brought out.focus in on it pretty impressive.

i only wish jj and josh could be as disciplined to stick to the basics. jj needs to have an internal timer go off in his head when he gets to three seconds and counting when he has the ball. his efficiency probably goes down with that as a quarterbacks does by not getting the ball out of his hands early enough in the routes.

niremetal

April 25th, 2011
2:45 pm

I think Collins deserves a good amount of credit. If nothing else, it’s clear that he and Zaza are exhausting Dwight. At the end of the game, Dwight clearly is toiling, which is something you don’t see much from him because he’s one of the fittest guys in the league. But Collins knows how to use his bulk to get in Dwight’s way, which makes Dwight work that much harder in order to get around/through him on offense and on the glass. Zaza is, of course, Zaza. He just harasses annoys the hell out of whoever he’s guarding. Vlade Divac minus the offensive game.

I’ve heard/read many athletes say that the most physically exhausting sports in the world is Olympic (ie Greco-Roman or freestyle, not WWE) wrestling. It requires absolutely incredible amounts of effort to move a 250-lbs man who is using all of his strength to keep you from moving him. The elite-level athletes train hours upon every day, but still are inevitably exhausted at the end of a 6-9 minute match.

I’m definitely not saying that what Dwight/Collins/etc are doing in this series is as physically taxing as Olympic wrestling. But Dwight is having to use far more energy than he’s used to expending against just one guy. He’s strong and fit enough to score a lot of points and get a lot of rebounds early on anyway, but he’s using up so much energy (which makes him less effective late in the game) and so many possessions (which keeps his teammates from getting into a rhythm for late in the game) in the process that it’s a Pyrrhic victory for him.

yodaddy

April 25th, 2011
2:49 pm

The Hawks still have offensive lapses where they get too excited and get out of control….if they can limit the number of possessions that that happens they will finally make the Eastern Conference Finals this year.

I have confidence we will close out Orlando.

The Chicago Bulls are a team that we can beat especially with a gimpy Derrick Rose. In addition we just matchup well against them. The only advantage they have is point guard. With that said….I see the glass half full.

Once we win this series I hope Coach Drew still allows Jason Collins to play. He gives us some intangibles that cannot be measured. Things such as taking charges, setting screens, hard playoff fouls, and boxing out.

doc

April 25th, 2011
2:49 pm

yes big ray, i saw that the lakers solely went after barnes to assure he wouldnt be with the magic if they had to face them in the finals. make the other team weaker if nothing else. we see how that did affect the magic going forward.

i am still wondering who made the trade to get arenas and the trade to get rid of perkins. both still leave me clueless as to the benefit to each team that made those trades. if getting arenas was to make up for the phoenix trade then clearly the first one should never had been made.

niremetal

April 25th, 2011
2:49 pm

In case it wasn’t clear, the connection with wrestling was that it takes a lot of energy to move Twin’s bumping/flopping 300-pound frame around the block, and a comparable amount to move Zaza’s Ritalin-OD body too.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
2:53 pm

Hawks won Game 1 with Dwight producing Wilt-type numbers. Collins is averaging 18 minutes in this series, Zaza around 20. And Zaza can actually contribute rebounds and a few points in addition to occupying Dwight. Like I said earlier, I appreciate the effors of ALL of the bigs and can’t single out Collins from the mix as being any more impactful, especially while only playing 18 per game. Ultimately (IMO), this series will be won because the Magic role players were exposed by LD’s defensive strategy of not allowing them open looks.

doc

April 25th, 2011
2:53 pm

nire, amen to the toiling part as dwight is less productive with each game and is wearing down even though it is only game four complete now. he is having to play every possession with no time off. who would have thought hilton could do what he did to dwight in his short stretch? it was probably fatigue playing a factor there, then to have collins come back when josh got his fifth. he wasnt the go to guy down the stretch was he?

doc

April 25th, 2011
2:55 pm

wilt like numbers have wilted astro. he isnt even close to that type of player for long stretches.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
2:55 pm

doc, I wish I knew if the receivers were running the right routes when Joe gets sacked for holding the ball too long. I suspect that both QB and receiver are guilty on this highly undisciplined team.

Big Ray

April 25th, 2011
2:56 pm

LOL@ Astro Joe . What fantasy? Beating the Orlando that seemed unbeatable (except in Boston) or beating this farce of a 50+ win team? Sorry, I’m a cold water kinda guy, LOL.

As for Jason Collins, he does deserve the credit of playing his lone assignment to perfection. He isn’t out there to stop Dwight. He’s not out there to play 30+ minutes. He’s just there to allow Horford and Zaza to actually contribute to the game for 18 minutes or so without having to deal with Dwight on one end of the floor. Collins has no other role, and if there was a way to substitute for him on offensive possessions only, you can bet that LD would do it.

I don’t see a link at all between Dwight and the current supporting cast vs. the former supporting cast. In other words, Dwight’s numbers look good now, and would still look good if Barnes/Vince/ Pietrus were here. The difference is solely with our perimeter guys. Historically, we’ve been unable to contain Vince, and you could bet that if he was here now, he’d be taking many of the Magic’s late game shots, along with perhaps Nelson and Barnes, maybe even Reddick. Fact is that the Magic traded him away, and neither Richardson or Arenas have come close to making up for what he was able to do.

In fact, outside of the unheralded Barnes, Vince may be the biggest loss for this team. Rashard Lewis was good for these guys for a good while, but of late, he also showed that was a weak point. Lewis is past his time and his game, and seems highly unmotivated, leading to his trade. But little sense in arguing all of this. Assuming the 2nd round is all but guaranteed, we face greater challenges for our current heroes.

Joe will get to chase Rose after Hinrich fouls out….that’s one theme…

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
3:03 pm

doc, the only reason why he would even have to be that type of player for 40 minutes a game is because the other players are being shut down. Come on, dude is averaging 28 points, 17 boards on 64% shooting. That is MORE than enough to have your team winning a playoff series if anyone else shows up. Those are utterly ridiculous numbers (in 41 minutes/game). Sorry, I struggle celebrating the defensive effort that allows those kind of numbers without acknowledging the other side of the coin which is likely producing ~55 points and 30% shooting from everyone else on the Magic.

The Dreamer 3K

April 25th, 2011
3:06 pm

It’s a great sign that my only complaint with Coach Drew is his frequent use of the non-word “irregardless,” as opposed to the word “regardless.” Somehow he manages to slip it into every press conference. It makes me cringe. But as long as the Hawks win, he can use as many non-words as he wishes.

kwooden

April 25th, 2011
3:10 pm

Big Ray, those are some tough words, but I don’t think anyone thinks this team is elite! Kenny Smith basically took 5 minutes at half time to tell everyone how bad both the HAWKS and MAGIC are and neither are playing winning basketball.

We play well for a few possessions and then play poorly. Part of the reason last nights game wasn’t a blow out was us and part was Gilbert. The Magic aren’t going to lay down, so we can’t expect for the HAWKS to keep a lead just because. They have to consistantly execute their offensive and make jumpshots. (Yes, JumpShots!) They are a jumpshooting team, and they have to do what they do best. At this point I think the only way they learn to play more consistant is adversity. I think they’re learning because they are making plays when they have to. One of the best signs I saw from this team was Josh giving Crawford “five” after the game 2 loss. It showed me that these guys believe they can should win this series.

In my mind there is no reason to look any further than the next game. Anyone they play if they are fortunate enough to win this series, they have played before and beaten at least once this season. They need to learn as much as they can from each game, especially learn what they have to do every possession to be successful.

GO HAWKS!!

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
3:11 pm

http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2384/dwight-howard

Dwight is averaging 10 more points/game vs. the regular season. Sorry, the story of this series (IMO) is ALL about shutting down the non-Dwight players… not allowing Dwight to produce more points than his likely MVP runner-up regular season. I give the bigs credit (all of them, not singling any one player out) for keeping Dwight occupied but my guess is the non-Dwight Magic players are probably averaging around 55 points and shooting around 30% for the series. LD is exploiting that weakness… forcing the supporting players to produce against solid defense and they are stinking up the joint.

And Big Ray, I would also throw Pietrus in the mix as his physical defense always gave us problems. Having the ability to rotate Barnes AND Pietrus against Joe and Jamal was a big factor in their success. And of course, Vince has killed us while wearing several different uniforms during his career.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
3:14 pm

Dreamer 3K, irrespective of LD’s choice of words (and 2-foul debacle), he has mostly been good in his first playoffs in the big chair. :)

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
3:15 pm

With Gortat, Orlando could even play him and Dwight in the game at the same time just to give the Hawks a different look.

And the presence of Gortat allowed Dwight to take a break. With no Gortat, Dwight is playing major minutes, and taking lumps from ZaZa and Twin which is clearly getting to him.

Otis made a big mistake not getting a backup Center for Dwight.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
3:20 pm

If 10 years ago, Shaq had gone for 32/17 on 65% shooting in a series lost against Utah, my guess is that no one would be all excited about Ostertag’s defense against Shaq. They would more likely be wondering what happened to the other Lakers or giving the Utah wing players some love for holding down Shaq’s supporting cast.

honest_abe

April 25th, 2011
3:21 pm

let’s not leave out the fact that collins has also drawn charges on a number of occasion even from people not named dwight. he’s also the main reason dwight leads the playoffs in turnovers. he’s played real real solid and i can’t say enough about that guy. he’s taken a pounding every single game.

honest_abe

April 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

let’s not forget dwight has gotten a bulk of his points on guys like “6′8 dud” josh powell, and “chopstick” hilton armstrong and “beyond over the hill” etan thomas…. do i need to go on? when collins has gotten the chance to guard him one on one he’s had favorable to decent results.

yodaddy

April 25th, 2011
3:29 pm

I don’t know why everyone is acting like the Bulls are some magical team that can’t be beaten. They’ve been pushed to the limits by the Indiana Pacers of all teams. IN that series the Bulls are FORTUNATE to be up 3-1 and with Derrick Rose “questionable” for game 5 this thing could easily go back to Indianapolis 3-2.

This year…more than ever….the Hawks can get to the ECF. They avoided Carmelo and Amare, The Big 3 and the Big Bad Celtics.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
3:30 pm

Abe, no doubt. But Zaza has also taken a pounding (while rebounding, scoring a little and enforcing a lot). And even Hilton got in on the act. But for all that pounding, Dwight is putting up epic numbers. He’s scoring 10 more than the regular season. If 5-6 players are averaging less than normal and one player is averaging more than normal… you recognize the group that is defending the guy averaging more than normal (while getting minimal rest as OB pointed out)? What is this, the bizarro world?

Melvin

April 25th, 2011
3:46 pm

honest_abe

April 25th, 2011
4:06 pm

i’m sure some stat nerd will look up how effective each defender has been against dwight. but i get your point dwight has been sick.

can we really credit the hawks d for the magic’s inept outside shooting? we all know outside shooting has its swings. in fact its the main reason for the hawks late season swoon. as they couldn’t figure out any alternative way to score. now that the magic have lost all the players that could create shots for themselves, its only a matter time before those bricks turn into makes. let’s just hope the shots don’t start falling in game 5.

doc

April 25th, 2011
4:27 pm

well that puts jamal in about the same epic category in his RESULTS for the post season in comparison to the regular season. throw out the 46 and dwigh begins to come back to earth a bit. he has not recreated the first night with fresh legs. dwight has also not dominated at crunch time, so he can score all the wants as long as when it comes time to measure up for the final shots he hasnt been the go to guy as yet for some reason. then it is just happenstance that their shooters all go dead? we will see. collins has been huge literally against dwight taking his best shots and wearing him out mentally as well as physically, zaza, too for that matter then hilton but uh etan and powell? uh, not too much.

Astro Joe

April 25th, 2011
4:45 pm

doc, Jamal is the 2nd player in league history to score 20 off the bench in the first 4 playoff games. So yeah, I think “epic” would apply. And if you were coaching such a poor foul shooter, how many times would you give him the ball in late/close game situations? Again, as I said from the beginning, I struggle to celebrate Collins’ contribution above Zaza. I tend to go with the guy who plays more minutes, scores more points, grabs more rebounds and butts more heads. But Collins wins the flop award, hands down.

doc

April 25th, 2011
5:32 pm

when jj dribbles into the corner and a double team i dont care what his receivers are doing astro. yes they stand around too much but jj sometimes just puts himself into a bind as he doesnt have the quicks or the handles that he used to have to get out of it. it happened again at least once in the fourth quarter. bb iq. find it.

doc

April 25th, 2011
5:36 pm

i think dwight has become a much better fouls shooter, hasnt he? it was around 70% at some point this year and certainly better than our guys have done during this series. the way they are shooting id risk an and one with dwight and give him the ball if i could get it to him and forget the long range stuff. but i am not svg. heh heh

doc

April 25th, 2011
5:39 pm

yeah astro i know with mchale mentioned it the other night and no he hasnt blown up that much over the regular season except in the first game and is trending down which i expected due to the load of collins et al during this series and why svg has been complaining so much because he knew it as well.

doc

April 25th, 2011
5:40 pm

well,dwight about 70% for this series anyway as he was at 60% for the season where he stays.

Mike

April 25th, 2011
6:05 pm

I think it goes both ways, Hawks is playing alot better since the beginning of the playoffs but they still sucking when it comes down to rushing everything (tempo, shot selection and other stuff) but it is the Magic who is the shadow of themselves and they should probably didnt blow up the team so early in the season.

To me, I think the second round is going to be the major factor of the what the Hawks is going to do after the season and for the future, believe me from the GM (last year of his contact and might be retiring from GM) to Josh Smith (he is going on the trading block, if he contiunes thinking he is Dell Curry), from Larry Drew(this series earn him another season) to JJ will be including in this, even go after FA like CP3 and Dwight in 2012 will play in the big part in that seriee(we can still lose 3 straight to the Magic then it is blown up mode)

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
6:51 pm

I think its a combination of both (JJ and the other players). And right now, JJ is stuck in his ways of holding the ball too long, while the other players are stuck in their ways of not making the effort to get open.

I know Jamal has been balling, and as a Hawks fan, I’m glad he is. but how much of it is due to this being a contract year, and his last chance to get that big contract? How many examples can we find where a player is awesome during his contract year, only to return to norms after signing his new deal.

I would like to resign Jamal. However, it has to be for the right price, because Hawks have made enough mistakes of overpaying for guys. And I dont think we want to invest too much money into a 31 year old SG after investing big money into a 29 year old SG.

Rod from College Park

April 25th, 2011
6:58 pm

vava74,

From last blog:

“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.”

Yeah, I guess that why Jason Terry is averaging 33mpg in the playoffs also. Both guys supposedly play no defense, come off the bench and can put up big numbers. Wonder why both coaches let them play big minutes? Guess neither of them no anything about basketball either. You sound dumber and dumber everytime you respond.

vava74

April 25th, 2011
7:17 pm

Rod,

Shoot away. I don’t care.

Jamal is playing ABNORMALY well.

I hope he will keep it up. Yesterday he played really well. Focused, less out of control and trying to play D.

In case you missed it, Kerr praised Jamal heavily but said the following: Jamal is the type of player who not play more than 25 minutes and take as much as possible from his minutes. If you keep him more than 35 minutes or so he will often shoot you out of the game”.

As for Terry and Dallas, I guess you did not tune in on their meltdown in Portland. If you did, you would know that Terry is being over-utilized as well.

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
8:15 pm

Dallas is known for their meltdowns too. Golden State and Miami come to mind. And they can’t blame it all on Avery Johnson since he isnt there anymore, so maybe the players (starting with Dirk) had something to do with it.

Rod from College Park

April 25th, 2011
8:18 pm

vava74,

OK. If you put yourself in the line of fire, you will get shot. LOL

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
10:04 pm

The Spurs are in trouble. Down 13 going into the 4th. They should be down 3-1 after tonight, and Memphis will have the chance to send them home early. I did not see that one coming.

And Mike Conley is playing well. I hope Teague can take step forward next year like what Conley has taken. Memphis is without Rudy Gay, but that might have been a blessing in disguise, because they would not have made the trade for Battier if Gay was healthy. And while Gay can score, he plays little defense.

doc

April 25th, 2011
10:27 pm

yes watching a bit impressed with how this griz team has gelled over the course of the year. i dont see the spurs having any answers for what is going down right now as the griz are coming in waves.

O'Brien

April 25th, 2011
10:35 pm

doc,

If Memphis can win the series, that gives OKC a great chance of making it to the conference finals, becuase I think OKC would beat memphis in the next round. And I would love to see OKC make it to the NBA finals… to play the Hawks of course.

Rod from College Park

April 25th, 2011
10:51 pm

“As for Terry and Dallas, I guess you did not tune in on their meltdown in Portland. If you did, you would know that Terry is being over-utilized as well.”

So now Jason Terry is the reason Dallas has meltdowns? Wow.

doc

April 25th, 2011
10:53 pm

o’b, i thought the lakers would draw the griz with the higher lower seeding with presumably the mavs and okc draw each other for the next round.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
7:06 am

doc,

I dont think the NBA reseeds in the playoffs, so the brackets will stay the same.

doc

April 26th, 2011
7:48 am

yup o’b, could be a 2vs3 and 4 vs 8 in next series. i missed it but they said on tnt last night how rare it is for an 8 to beat a 1, maybe 3 times?

wordsmithtom

April 26th, 2011
7:50 am

Let’s hope they can finish thing tonight. If not, Zaza needs to stay out of trouble so he can stoke the crowd in Atlanta for game 6. I have been critical of LD for not giving bench more burn during last 6 games, but I’m impressed Armstrong stepped up in Zaza’s stead Sunday to harass Howard. Zaza said the bench were pro’s and would step up. HA did. Bravo.

Finish off Orlando tonight, please.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
7:50 am

Rod,

Like Jamal’s, Terry’s D is mostly non existent, so when his shot is not falling, just like Jamal, he is a huge liability.

That game, he was 5-16 which is also a very Jamal-like line.

I saw the Brandon Roy resurrection in the 4th and Terry was on the floor for most of the time in which the 23 point lead eroded.

Honestly I don’t recall if he was guarding him or not, but a backcourt with an decaying Kidd (whose D is no longer as good as it was), Juan Barea and Terry is, IMO, a very good step for disaster.

Terry posted a compounded -18 during his minutes in the 4th quarter (two shifts) and in his last shift of 5m19 seconds, he was 1-5 from the field so, yes, Terry was a factor, IMO.

In conclusion, I must say that I have not been very impressed with Carlisle’s ability to coach in the playoffs.

DEAD BIRDS

April 26th, 2011
8:29 am

Jamal is going to get a big paycheck from some other team after the season. We should have lock him up with a contract extension and now it is too late.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:13 am

The Thunder are more talented than the Grizzlies but I kind of think the Grizzlies may be a little more “playoff ready”. I like the presence of Tony Allen, Battier and even Zach Randolph on their roster. Experienced guys who can do something significant when the pressure is at it’s highest. And none of them are “finesse players”. The Thunder are clearly the media darlings but I’m not convinced that Perkins is their version of Yoda. Durant and Westbrook may need a few more hard knocks before they are ready for the big time of a Finals appearance. If they do make it against a team like the Celtics, it could be a Cavs-Spurs type series.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
9:44 am

doc,

It doesnt happen much in the NBA. It could turn into a 6 vs 7 (Port vs N.O) and a 4 vs 8 (OKC vs Memphis). How crazy would that be?

AJ,

I think going toe to toe with the Lakers for 6 games last year was part of their hard knocks. I do think it would be a close series though (at least 6 games), because Battier and Allen give them 2 good defenders, and Gasol and Randolph give them size to match up with OKC bigs.

newkid

April 26th, 2011
10:19 am

Assuming Hawks continued success (with the Rope-a-Dope strategy) in the 1st round, what’s the ‘winning’ strategy for the Bulls series? On the offensive end the Bulls’ success is built around Rose’s ability to drive the lane and finish, drive and dish to Boozer or Luol for mid-range jumpers, using his threat to drive to set-up his vastly improved J. Rose sets up the entire offense, and is likely the only individual problematic match-up.

On the defensive end Thibs is a master at effectively devising team-specific schemes, and his players (they go 10-11 deep, and they allow themselves to be coached) expend the energy to execute the defensive schemes. JJ’s tendency to dance with the ball for 8-10 seconds of the shot clock will likely be met with traps, turnovers, and fastbreak points that’ll get those cats on Madison even more jacked up than they normally are.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
10:39 am

newkid, IMO, the Hawks would need to focus on 2 things if they meet the Bulls.. rebounding the ball and closing lanes for Rose to drive the ball. I’ve been a big believer in the Bulls since they put together a very, very good collection of rebounders during the summer (Boozer, Noah, Gibson, Kurt Thomas and Asik). Since missed shots increase during the playoffs, rebounding becomes that much more important to end a possession. Even before the Hawks get to think about Rose, they need to figure out how they will score against a very good defense AND rebound the ball. If they can actually make that happen, then they get to deal with the likely MVP. “What’s your prediction for the fight?” they asked Clubber Lane. “PAIN”.

OB, I’m very skeptical that the Thunder have the experience and resolve at this point to make that kind of a run. I remember reading that Perkins was impressed with how well they work together and get along (when he arrived). So the fact that they “know their roles” will most definitely help them play beyond their inexperience.

doc

April 26th, 2011
10:53 am

rose, turned all our “athletic’ guys upside down and sideways continually in the games i saw. if he is on we cant hold him back is what my fears are unless they bring collins out to flatten him on one of his drives. as hinrich said our defense was good because he was missing his shots. the problem is he penetrates easily against us so it doesnt matter if his a game from outside is not working if he is patient.

newkid

April 26th, 2011
11:17 am

By ‘closing lanes’ AJ, I take it you mean either Rose’s defender (Kirk or Jeff) stays in front of him, or the 3 and/or 4 collapse to the middle to ’squeeze’ the alley after Rose has beaten his defender. The counter to this squeeze play is the dish to Boozer or Deng for mid-range jumpers. Can’t have it both ways, can we (especially if Boozer and Deng are making their shots)? So one key seems to be the extent to which Hinrich and Teague can stop Rose’s penetration in one-on-one situations. Force him to take and make the long jumper from the very outset. If he’s making them early, lookout.

Defensive rebounding is about man-to-ball positioning and concentration; offensive rebounding is about effort. The Bulls will likely ‘out-effort’ the Hawks (particulary Noah and Gibson), and therefore get more than their fair share of offensive boards. Even if Rose is only moderately successful, if the Bulls convert their 2nd chance opportunities at a high rate, we’re in trouble. On our offensive end, let’s hope we’re making shots at a high rate so that there aren’t many rebounds to be had.

Sleepy

April 26th, 2011
11:18 am

The strategy for the Bulls is to give Rose that three point shot and when he does drive bring the hammer .

Rose in just 4 games has already taken a huge amount of punishment and they havent even closed out the Pacers . The physicality of the pacers is taking its toll a bit and we want to continue that if we get to play them.

Ours bigs should use there fouls but use them wisely. I think he gets the old superstar wink win as defender and I would make him play defense and wear him down .

It seems as though we view the Bulls the same way we used to view the magic with Dwights dunks seemingly demoralized us as everyone was so caught up in the “oh no Dwight dunked on me” ….now we are like so what he is not gonna wan this game though.

We need to apply the same strategy to Rose the guys a superstar he is not gonna be shut down but we have to make him pay for every point we can and not get caught in worrying about his highlight plays.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
11:30 am

newkid, you nailed it. Like I said before, “PAIN”.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
11:37 am

Sleepy, I agree. But Rose has a MUCH better supporting cast this season than Dwight.And it some ways, it is easier to stop a center who spends 95% of his time in a specific area of the court than trying to contain a PG who is everywhere. My biggest fear is that we are badly out-rebounded and that the Bulls are constantly pushing the tempo off our missed shots. The Magic are a half-court team (like us) while the Bulls would have no problems sprinting down the floor for easy baskets.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
11:41 am

Enough talk about the Bulls… there is a scenario that has the Hawks losing tonight (the Magic will pull out all of their ammunition/tricks), the Hawks come home and experience a Milwaukee-Game-5 type let down at home and then we’re dealing with a Game 7 in Orlando. Surely one of these teams will have a 3-point barrage game in this series… will the Magic make it rain at home tonight?

vava74

April 26th, 2011
12:19 pm

Stop talking about the Bulls. If the Hawks are as immature as the fans, we can expect a major disaster.

The Magic have been shooting like blind men and nonetheless they have won 1 game and been veeery close on 2.

I don’t think that it is unreasonable to think that they could have a good shooting night today and that if they do, they will pull out an easy win. If this carried on going forward…

Also, Jamal has been smoking hot. Actually, too hot to be true and to continue like this.

.471 from the field and .565 from 3 point land is outlandish and I don’t think he can carry on like this.

Enter a small fluctuation to these two variables and we have the recipe for a major let down and the Hawks being the 9th team to blow a 3-1 advantage on a 7 game series.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
12:22 pm

Astro,

One thing about Collins that you obviously missed: late in the 4th, he came in to replace J-Smoove after his 5th foul.

While guarding Howard one on one, he rotated, stepped and got a charge called on Turk’s drive.

That play was absolutely crucial and was a masterpiece in defensive basketball.

newkid

April 26th, 2011
12:39 pm

Relax Vava74, Hawks’ performance against Orlando in games 5, 6 (if necessary, and 7 (if necessary) not predicated on extent to which some fans begin ‘early’ discussion of possbile next opponent. At least I hope it isn’t. Are you superstitious?

The Dreamer 3K

April 26th, 2011
12:56 pm

I do not agree that the TWO variables determinative of success or failure tonight are (1) How well or poorly the Magic (ENTIRE TEAM) shoots and (2) How well or poorly Jamal Crawford (ONE INDIVIDUAL PLAYER) shoots.

The Magic is the sum of it’s parts, rightly so. Yet the Hawks, despite two all-stars Joe and Al and another player who is regarded as the best player not to make an all-star team, Josh, is seemingly reduced to having its fortune rest upon one sixth man’s shoulders, Jamal.

I choose not to view the game through this prism. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a Jamal fan. I think his offensive skill-set is much needed on our team. But, I’m a bigger Hawks fan. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t believe one player will win or lose tonight’s game.

If one player determined his team’s success or failure, Orlando would have swept the Hawks already because Orlando’s number 12 has dominated.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
1:04 pm

newkid,

early discussion on a subject by fans is a good indication of what is also going in the minds of the players.

most of them are merely kids (or big kids) who have shown to be immature more often than not.

I am ZERO superstitious, but I am a realist: the MAGIC can’t believe that they are 3-1 down against us and may feel that this has been an aberration.

If, and we are not talking about a big if, their shots start to fall and Jamal stops shooting like he is right now, close games like these past two wins quickly turn into lopsided losses.

I don’t think most fans are realizing how thin is the line between winning and losing, in particular when we have not been winning with any degree of command over the course of the games.

newkid

April 26th, 2011
1:08 pm

Well, I am a bit superstitious, so maybe you and AJ are correct, let’s stop this business about the Bulls until after the Magic series is wrapped.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
1:21 pm

Dreamer 3K,

As you know, I am not a Jamal fan, but contrary to what some people say around here, I am not a hater.

I am a realist who knows how fragile is the success based on jump shooting and in particular on jump shooting by a player who has been throughout his whole career extremely streaky.

Jamal was crucial during these past two wins and with JJ being consistent but not overwhelming, Jamal has been a key factor.

A bad shooting performance by Jamal is bound to happen at any moment and the problem with that is once that happens LD will not limit his minutes and will insist on him “shooting himself out of a slump”, which, IMO, is one of the biggest myths in basketball.

When a streaky shooter is not shooting well the only right place for him to be is the bench.

If you add the above to the fact that Al has not been shooting well you’ll see that we either start playing the right kind of basketball or we will crash and burn as soon as our jump shooting by our guards tails off a bit.

Having said the above, I do hope that JJ is fresh (after playing only 33 minutes) and has another good game in him in this series (like game 1) and gets us a win tonight.

Sleepy

April 26th, 2011
1:47 pm

Oh please Vava you are a hater lol . Just a couple of weeks ago you were claiming jamal shouldnt be playing more than 20 minutes a game and now that hes basically blew a hole in your entire argument you are in here trying to act as though you were anywhere close to being right in your criticism of jamal.

Now you are of the belief that one bad shooting performance means he should sit on the bench when he already comes off the bench ? Your hate is so deep that I believe that you dont even believe half the things you are saying but hey you would rather end out that message that your crazy as opposed to simply admitting that you were wrong .

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
1:50 pm

newkid, AJ,

In addition to Boozer and Deng, there is also Korver who will hit the 3, so we have to make sure we stay on him. If Kirk gets in foul trouble, I dont think LD can afford to play Jamal at PG for extended minutes.

vava,

If the Hawks lose the next 3 games to Orlando, then major shake up should be coming (coach and player movement).

honest_abe

April 26th, 2011
1:53 pm

doc, being kinda rough on hiney don’t ya think? grandma driving a porsche? heh good stuff. that analogy is spot for bibby.. but i’d say hinrich is more like at least a grandpa.. no? and lets bring that porsche down to an equus. fake luxury boss.

playoff basketball can dissected in so many different ways it can induce a severe migraine. for the sake of simplicity it’s all about execution in the last 2 minutes of each quarter with the magnifying glass coming on in the 4th. case in point indy vs bulls/bos vs ny. indy has played extremely well but has had trouble executing in the last two minutes. boston is the best at time management and execution in the half court at the end of games. it requires a creative, smart coach. willing, focused, disciplined, unselfish players in order to make everything click. i have my doubts that the hawks have any of these characteristics. and before you go on and say the hawks are up 3-1, lets remember it’s more of the magic’s ineptitude than the hawks improvement. at the end of games they give the ball to joe or jamal and pray. that tactic will only take you so far.

Sleepy

April 26th, 2011
1:59 pm

honest_abe – we dont give the ball to JJ and Jamal at the end of the game and simply pray weve ran quite a few offensive sets both this year and last year.

Weve ran a ton of pick and roll with Al and jamal to great success at the end of games

Weve also seen the JJ/jamal pick and roll play

a lot depends on matchups and whose playing well.

doc

April 26th, 2011
2:03 pm

glad to know you still got it honest. no arguments, agree with it all but hinrich is not a sports car but a solid ford i guess and we arent that athletic.

i like hinrich just he is what he is an a huge need and a big improvement on bibby. at least he wants the ball coming up the court. funny sometimes to see some of the silly little postural things that josh does like not give the ball up to the guy he should like hinrich but passes it off to someone else coming up court. it also seems like hinrich and ld communicate real well and hinrich is always tryong to herd the cats by calling a play even if it never gets in motion.

honest_abe

April 26th, 2011
2:21 pm

sleepy. snore. you can think what you like, i’m not going to change your opinion and that fine. but the hawks rarely call a play in the final two minutes. on occasion they’ll do a little 2 man game with joe and jamal but more often than not whoever has the ball will call off the screen and go at it one on one. and heave some junk at the end of the shot clock. thats a fact jack.

doc exactly. he tries to get them into sets with little success. which is exactly what he tried to do in game 2. with the hawks down by 4 hinrich calls a play but of course who isn’t paying attention. hmmm. everyone yells at josh to wake up and by that time everyone in the building can see which play is coming which is a jj curl off of a horford screen so richardson overplays it. josh throws a dumb pass to horford who is in awful position with 3 left to shoot. so he shoot an 18 foot fadeaway that has no chance.

sometimes i think joe or jamal would call a play but it takes the entire 5 to execute it properly and more often than not the play fails miserably so they just resort to an iso. i guess in hindsight it can be better than the alternative.

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2011
2:21 pm

“Oh please Vava you are a hater lol . Just a couple of weeks ago you were claiming jamal shouldnt be playing more than 20 minutes a game and now that hes basically blew a hole in your entire argument you are in here trying to act as though you were anywhere close to being right in your criticism of jamal.

Now you are of the belief that one bad shooting performance means he should sit on the bench when he already comes off the bench ? Your hate is so deep that I believe that you dont even believe half the things you are saying but hey you would rather end out that message that your crazy as opposed to simply admitting that you were wrong .”

Could have not said it better myself. Matter of fact, vava74, you are beyond a hater.

honest_abe

April 26th, 2011
2:22 pm

phrase of the day: more often than not.

honest_abe

April 26th, 2011
2:29 pm

fact of the day: no where else in the world is term “hater” used more than in hawks blogs. lord have mercy on my soul. my eyes won’t complain if i never have to see that word again. when people run out of things to say it’s HATER TIME!

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2011
2:59 pm

honest_abe,

You stating that Josh was not paying attention at the end of a game, and everyone yelled at Josh to wake up is hating. You have no way of proving that, and you have no idea what Josh’s responsibilities are. Me saying Marvin is not a good player is expressing an opinion that can be proved by facts. If you get tired of hearing the word hater, then stop hating.

honest_abe

April 26th, 2011
3:24 pm

stop hating on me rod. i can’t take this hate anymore. all these hate filled responses to my haterade is causing me to get hatesick. as for my take on josh there’s this cool new invention called tivo (not sure if its very new anymore) go see for yourself big boy. and then let the hate begin!

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
3:36 pm

Canniblogging rears it’s ugly head.

When you watch the other playoff teams and then the Hawks, it is abundantly clear that we’re missing something as a collective unit. Call it B-ball IQ, discipline, attentiveness, maturity, preparation, focus, aptitude, gray matter… call it what you will but there is something that breaks down between the muscles and the brain in too many players wearing the Hawks uniform. And for that reason, irrespective of what happens in this first round series, if the ASG is serious about doing more than making an annual fruitless trip to the 2nd round, they need to break-up the core of this team.

I’m not sold on Jason Collins as the series MVP, but I do recognize that he is an anomaly on this team… someone who effectively merges his knowledge AND his physical abilities to exceed individual expectations. God Bless him.

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2011
3:38 pm

honest_abe,

Was that your attempt at humor? So now you are a professional lip reader. You are far from honest abe.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
3:48 pm

If the Hawks are down one or two possession, they will call a play down the stretch. When they are leading down the stretch is when one guy does all the dribbling, and then throws it up before the shot clock buzzer goes off, while the other players stand around and watch.

AJ,

Co-sign. Collins knows his limitations, and he plays within himself. Too many of our players try to do things that are not “strengths”, or try to play hero.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
3:55 pm

I love SVG’s sound bites. From Jeff Schultz’s blog;

When asked about fatigue possibly setting in for Howard, given all of the minutes he has played, Van Gundy said: “I don’t want to give away a big secret here before the game. But he will not get a lot of rest tonight.”.

On whether there will be any carryover from the game three scrap between Zaza Pachulia and Jason Richardson, who return from their suspensions: “Yes. I think they’ll square off at center court.” .

On his defensive plan for trying to slow down the Hawks’ Jamal Crawford: “We’re going to triple team him. We’ll have two guys guard the other four.” .

newkid

April 26th, 2011
4:08 pm

” funny sometimes to see some of the silly little postural things that josh does like not give the ball up to the guy he should like hinrich but passes it off to someone else coming up court.” doc

Noticed the same doc. If that’s Josh’s way of resisting Kirk’s leadership at the point guard position, it’s beyond childishness.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
4:19 pm

The “Defenders of Josh” have said for 6+ years that when he does something like not pass the ball to a superiorball-handler to push the tempo, that he is simply “trying to make something happen”. Anyone familiar with the term “dumb energetic”?

doc

April 26th, 2011
4:54 pm

rod say hello to the ninja. yes honest is known to be a bit on the sarcastic side. ;-)

he also has certain players that bring the best out in him as well….. have you heard the one about an nba duck?

yeah newk, on more than one occasion. i dont think it is by chance. astro, this is not even faster than walking speed with no energy at all except spite maybe.

newkid

April 26th, 2011
5:21 pm

I’m not a fan of either Josh or Al attempting to initiate a fastbreak by dribbling the ball upcourt. Oft-times Josh appears to fancy himself the re-incarnation of Magic Johnson, which too often results in an idiotic turnover; and Al just hauls arse to the front court foul line extended before turning and giving the ball to a guard (which he should have in the 1st place), getting absolutely nothing accomplished. Dammit, rebound the ball, give it to the guard (even if it’s Hinrich), and get your tails out on the wings where you can help your team. Allow yourselves to be coached, and discontinue these teenage fantasies of playing five positions at once.

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2011
5:23 pm

doc,

I remember him. If you make a statement be willing to back it up. If you say Jamal is a “loser” because he has never been to the playoffs, fall on the sword when you have been proven wrong (vava74). He saw on his TIVO that Josh was not paying attention st the end of the game (lying_abe). LOL

doc

April 26th, 2011
6:30 pm

rod love you both, mean it.

rod also if josh doesnt frustrate you when he takes plays off at the most conspicuous times, you are the only one in the big a. i love j smash not j smoove if you catch my drift … the good josh. ;-)

newk, who was the young big stud on the griz last night that got the rebound, fell out of bounds over the end line picked himself up to hustle down court and be on the highlight film by receiving an alley oop from their guard. i want to see that from our big guys. not sure what al thinks he is doing except live out a bad habit developed during the bibby years but josh is trying to ball like the queen is my fear.

doc

April 26th, 2011
6:56 pm

lost one in the hopper big ray, did not use the word hate even used love. ;-)

The Dreamer 3K

April 26th, 2011
7:07 pm

Prediction Time.

Okay guys, it’s 30 minutes before gametime and I can’t find anything else to do to kill time so here goes. I generally try to avoid predictions, especially about the future, but tonight I make an exception. Hawks will win tonight by 10 plus points. The game will be close at half time, but the Hawks will run in the third quarter and the Magic will quit in the fourth.

Predictions anyone?

doc

April 26th, 2011
8:08 pm

dreamer, uh no. magic bring it back to atlanta.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:17 pm

Yep.

I told you so…

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:22 pm

sleepy & Rod,

English may not be my mother language but I made myself clear:

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.

tonight he is already 0-4.

I hope that he proves me wrong, but I don’t think he will turn hot, hence, his minutes should be extremely limited.

heck, after his first two misses, I would have brought back Hinrich and would have given Jamal another chance later in the game.

if you don’t understand this logic, then you continue to overvalue Jamal.

doc

April 26th, 2011
8:23 pm

there’re back!

doc

April 26th, 2011
8:25 pm

jj being beaten by no legs arenas.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
8:34 pm

Hawks need to at least keepo it close, because mentally, if we lose by 30+, then they will start to question themselves going into game 6.

Same thing all year. When jumpers are falling, Hawks look good. When they aren’t….blowouts.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
8:35 pm

In 9 minutes, Jamal is -16.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
8:40 pm

JJ didnt even bother try and stop Richardson. he just let him go by. And then jamal gets stripped, and lets Nelson run around him….

What will the Hawks do different in the second half?

In 13 minutes, Jamal is -19. In 21 minutes, JJ is -20. With both of those guys struggling, we dont have a chance.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:42 pm

Simpler than this, only 1+1=2

And after the beat down tonight, look for the Magic to feel re-energized and come to ATL filled with confidence with the Hawks’ bubble completely burst.

Brace yourselves for a disaster: 3-4 and the Magic will move on.

niremetal

April 26th, 2011
8:43 pm

No positive takeaways of note in the first half. Josh is attacking the rim a bit more (half of his shots were in the paint), but still not as much as he should be and he’s still making bad decisions with the ball most of the time. But the first half of that last sentence is the nicest thing I can say about the Hawks’ first half performance.

They’ll come out lifeless at the beginning of the second half, Drew won’t try to do anything different until it’s too late, and the fourth quarter will be meaningless garbage time a la last year’s series. Round up the usual suspects.

niremetal

April 26th, 2011
8:45 pm

In case you wondering, the Blueprint for Beating the Magic still holds: The way you beat them isn’t to shut down Dwight; it’s to shut down everyone else.

Onto game 6.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:48 pm

OB,

Jamal is -21

JJ is s*cking badly too.

We had a golden opportunity: down by 4 (more or less) and Howard out with 2 fouls with 5.30 to go in the first.

Our offensive execution s*cked and enter Jamal and it even got worse with the defense becoming non-existent.

It’s not only Jamal and I am no laying on him all the guilt. Not at all, it’s simply that it is POINTLESS to keep Jamal on the floor if he is not hitting his shots and his first two misses were CLEAR signs that he was on route to an OFF NIGHT.

Again, I hope he proves me wrong and comes back to score 50 in the second half but if don’t mind, I will be waiting asleep and check back tomorrow.

My prediction is that we will lose by 30-40 points since the Magic will try to make a point and our guys are completely clueless (and heartless).

lukas

April 26th, 2011
8:49 pm

Tota lack of preparation for this game. Aparently, they got game 6 in their heads before this one started. 100% on the coach nd the 3 captains!!

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
8:53 pm

I think LD should play Teague in the second half once the game gets out of hand. That way, he wont be quite as rusty in case we advance.

vava,

Our defense has been horrible too. At least you expect it with Jamal, but the other guys…they all stayed home in ATL.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:55 pm

ORL are executing a lot faster moving both the ball and the personnel more crisply instead of dumping the ball on Howard and just wait around the 3 point line.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
8:57 pm

OB,

Our defense was OK until Howard left and LD introduced first Marvin and then Jamal.

I suspect that it was a combination of “relax, Howard is on the bench” and “Jamal’s lack of D” that did the trick.

O'Brien

April 26th, 2011
8:59 pm

Josh is 10-22 from the FT line this series. Wow.

And JJ is struggling big time. 2-9

niremetal

April 26th, 2011
9:13 pm

You wanna know what the saddest thing is? The Hawks are doing better than I thought they would in the 3rd quarter tonight.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:17 pm

Joe didn’t show up tonight, he seemed content to use his safety net… Game 6 at home, I fear that may have been a huge mistake. Another example of a lack of something working properly above the shoulders. This effort is akin to those last 6 games of the regular season when they weren’t playing for anything of substance.

But alas, this one was fairly easy to predict… that the Magic would have a tremendous shooting game in this series.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:18 pm

The Teague lovers should enjoy the 4th quarter.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:22 pm

I guess Josh didn;t want to hurt his field goal percentage on that last possession of the quarter. OK, now we get to see some Josh Powell action. What time are the Braves playing?

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:37 pm

LD decides to deliver some “accountability” in the 87th game of the year by keeping his starters out there during garbage time.

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2011
9:40 pm

JJ should refund the ASG about $5M for his poor effort tonight.

Melvin

April 26th, 2011
9:42 pm

As much as I like Josh, I swear he put up an ugly 22/11 performance tonight….

doc

April 26th, 2011
9:58 pm

i love the way our boys have grown up ….. not.

well get to go to the phil on thursday. they better bring their a game and get the fans in it.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
10:05 pm

Howard finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds and we lost by 25.

That is a sad.

LD was thoroughly out coached, IMO: ORL went away from Howard and rotated the ball faster instead of going inside-out.

LD looked as plan A failed due to ORL changing the way they were playing and when facing an adjustment, he did nothing.

This was Woody part 2 with just a different strategy failing.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
10:05 pm

doc,

If you want to take an advice from a fellow blogger, sell your ticket and stay at home.

niremetal

April 26th, 2011
10:09 pm

My theory on why we lost tonight: Everyone was suffering from hay fever and got doped up on 3 different kinds of antihistamines. Or was that just me?

*crickets*

Zyrtec, Tavist, and Allegra, in case you were wondering.

doc

April 26th, 2011
10:29 pm

vava tempted, good seats.

vava74

April 26th, 2011
11:02 pm

doc,

Get the dough and stay at home. you will thank me later.

If the Hawks win – by any chance – you can still watch them against CHI, if they lose, you will save yourself the trouble and the beat down (because I really think it will be another beat down).

vava74

April 26th, 2011
11:04 pm

Even the crowd will be deflated after tonight and ready to boo as soon as the game starts to slip away a bit.

Heck, during game 3 in which we were winning and playing OK they started booing simply because the lead we got slipped away and ORL tied.

doc

April 26th, 2011
11:16 pm

staples is very quiet now, only 8 assists for cp3 in the first period.

doc

April 26th, 2011
11:18 pm

i was at the 3rd game and i dont remember any booing at all maybe it was game four when they lost the big lead.

better set up a an account with stub hib quickly/

E43

April 27th, 2011
12:43 am

I just thought that the hawks passed up an opportunity to lengthen the rotation earlier in the game and keep the magic scrambling for adjustments. O well, orlando somewhat beat us to it. I still believe the hawks will win. I actually pick them to win by 10 in game 6. If not, it is what it is…Go hawks.

Big Ray

April 27th, 2011
3:59 am

Rotten loss, simply said.

Hawks have to sink or swim in the very next game, I have zero confidence in a game 7 otherwise. Remember the premise in the first part of this blog post, perfect storm waiting to happen and can only be avoided by the Hawks being what they can be, and not what they are.

I’m not going to play the blame game with this loss. It’s self-explanatory anyhow…

Magic could gain confidence here and be deadly. We shall see.

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

doc

April 28th, 2011
3:14 pm

yeah pretty awful, invisible, like marvinesque range.

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
3:20 pm

Funny, Joe has had a better series than I realized (after looking at the stats). Scoring 20 points when your team is scoring less than 90 is pretty good. The last game (when he didn’t want to play) was a real stinker but otherwise, he’s been doing fairly well in terms of scoring. 13 combined points from Joe and Dwight in Game 5… that won’t happen again.

doc

April 28th, 2011
3:24 pm

when was the last time a superstar laid as big an egg as jj did playing 35 minutes in a blowout?

Astro Joe

April 28th, 2011
3:37 pm

doc, it has probably happened before, for guys who are in his category of “superstar”. He didn’t show up the other night and most (who aren’t obsessed with Jamal) said as much the night of the game.

Rod from College Park

April 28th, 2011
3:52 pm

Exactly doc. But idiots like the one I keep going back and forth with keep trying to blame Jamal and Josh Smith. It really is amazing. If Joe performed in NY, Chcago or LA like he does in Atlanta, he might not even be able to leave his house. Horford should not be absolved of blame either. He has been a very average player this series also, after wanted to be a PF all year.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

AJ,

I think we need 45 points from JJ and Jamal combined. If that happens, then we have a good chance of winning. But All-Star Center Al needs to show up. And Josh needs to play under control and try not to be the hero.

It is a team game, so we need everyone to contribute. But JJ needs to set the example early.

Rod from College Park

April 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

When has a team that has two allstars ever depended on two non allstars (Josh and Jamal) to carry the team?

vava74

April 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

Rod, doc,

Again, English is not my mother language but I think I made myself understood.

The MAJOR problem with these Hawks lies with LD, then, due to LD, other obvious issues emerge.

The first one is the type of offense, which depends waaaaay too much on jump shots.

Consequently, one of the problems is our over reliance on Jamal, who I said could not be expected to keep up the level of play he showed in most of the first 4 games.

I called out JJ and Al as well and I was loud and clear doing it. I even said that Al is crapping his pants.

My “focus” on Jamal is solely a two men conversation with Rod, who thinks that Jamal is the next best thing after Kobe simply because he “can get his own shot” disregarding all the rest.

Rod from College Park

April 28th, 2011
4:45 pm

“My “focus” on Jamal is solely a two men conversation with Rod, who thinks that Jamal is the next best thing after Kobe simply because he “can get his own shot” disregarding all the rest.”

I actually don’t really like Jamal’s game that much, but he is the Kobe Bryant of this bunch. I defended him because you called him a “loser”, and a “streetballer” because he had never been to the playoffs, but yet you have never played the game. Also no matter what the Hawks do, you have to always find fault with Jamal, but yet he is our most productive player in the playoffs. If you spit venom at Marvin everyday, you would have no arguments from me, because he never does anything. If you spit venom in the playoffs at either of our two All stars, no arguments from me. You are simply a hypocrite, and are not knowlegable about the game, because you always talk about basketball being a team game, but then you try to bame everything on the “streetballer” Jamal. I have explained to you on numerous occasions that if you don’t like the way Jamal plays, then blame the coach. He is doing what Larry Drew ask him to do. LD has said many times that when Jamal comes in the game, he wants him to be aggressive offensively. Since you don’t speak english well look up aggressive. I’m sure he does not mean aggressive defensively. Teams are comprised of guys with different skill sets. Jamal is a scorer, not a streaky jumpshooter. He is paid to score the basketball. Defense is not his strong suit, and everyone knows that. Thus his role on the Hawks, a team that can’t score in the playoffs, is to score. He has done his job in 4 out of 5 games. So what’s your issue?

vava74

April 28th, 2011
6:29 pm

Rod,

My issue is that:

a) Jamal has performed abnormal and unexpectedly well and we should not rely on him continue to perform at this pace.

b) Jamal is a notoriously bad defensive player and a guy who, due to his inability to contribute in any other way, many many times off-sets his individual offensive production with his defects.

Given a) and b), Jamal is not skilled enough to warrant so many minutes in a team with “aspirations”, so my criticism of Jamal HAS ALWAYS been a criticism of, initially, Woody (over the summer) and now of LD.

As for Jamal being a “streetballer”, in my dictionary, that definition covers what I mention in b) above.

The “loser” to some extent is a “brand” if you like that I feel free to give to players who are individually talented but never developed aspects of the game which would maximize that talent.

Jamal is extremely talented but also deeply flawed due to his poor understanding of what it takes to contribute towards TEAM success.

Obviously other players have shortcomings, but the “loser” brand I reserve to the ones who are a waste of raw talent.

Jamal fits the bill, as did in the recent past (in various degrees), JR Rider, Glenn Richardson, Derrick Coleman, Penny Hardaway (to some extent), Mashburn, Marbury, Francis and as do now, Carter, McGrady, JR Smith, Harrington, Eddy Curry, Baron Davis, … and as some guys seem to be destined to be, going forward, if they don’t change in the meantime and round up their games, like Tyreke Evans, Monta Ellis, Jennings, Aaron Brooks, Smoove, …

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
8:02 pm

Hawks 6-17 so far. JJ starts off 1-5. Josh is 1-6.

Luckily, our defense has been better, which is one reason Orlando has 4 turnovers. Hawks up 1. Will the game change when jamal checks in?

vava74

April 28th, 2011
8:11 pm

Who the f*ck is the JJ impersonator who kidnapped him and is single handedly trying to destroy us?

WTF?!

vava74

April 28th, 2011
8:14 pm

Let’s hope that this is good omen!

vava74

April 28th, 2011
8:14 pm

5 point play!

vava74

April 28th, 2011
8:19 pm

Bad defensive possession on Arenas.

And JJ must look for the contact instsead of the finesse finish.

With so much rebounds and we have such a small margin.

vava74

April 28th, 2011
8:23 pm

Why on earth no one sets good picks in this team?

What kind of a sorry ass pick was that by Marvin?

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
8:50 pm

Falcons trade up to #6 for Julio Jones. I like the pick, but they gave up a lot.

As for the game, JJ and Josh and Jamal are a combined 10-35. But I like the activity on defense, and on the boards.

What adjustments will SVG make at halftime?

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
9:12 pm

How many shot clock violations have we had?

And to think, we once had a 10 pt lead.

vava74

April 28th, 2011
9:18 pm

Horrendous preparation.

These guys are in a perpetual pick up game

vava74

April 28th, 2011
9:25 pm

12 minutes. 7 points.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
9:29 pm

Hawks are making jumpers, so the lead grows to 11.

And Marvin is making his open shots. That is what we need from him (in addition to defense of course).

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
10:07 pm

I didnt like how we played in the 4th (18 pts scored)…but its good to be on to the second round for the third year in a row.

Against the Bulls, LD will have to actually do some coaching…

vava74

April 28th, 2011
10:08 pm

Bianchi’s column had a double ripple effect: motivated us and relaxed ORL!

vava74

April 28th, 2011
10:09 pm

JJ shows up in the second half with some quality stuff.

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
10:10 pm

Let Dwight get fitted for his Hawks uniform before he leaves the highlight factory tonight…

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
10:10 pm

Big game from Joe, Marvin and Jamal tonight… I hope Kirk injury is minor….

niremetal

April 28th, 2011
10:11 pm

Full credit all around tonight. Especially against Orlando, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH WINNING UGLY

niremetal

April 28th, 2011
10:16 pm

What Kirk did tonight was the closest thing to taking a bullet that you’ll ever see in pro sports. Hopefully it’s just a superficial wound…

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
10:31 pm

We definitely need Kirk to compete in the second round. At least it doesnt start until Monday, so he will have a couple days to rest. Hopefully its minor.

Big shots from marvin. He only had 10 points, but they were timely shots. And that is what we need from him. Timely shots. He will need to do the same thing against Deng.

And JJ came up big in the second half. Jamal’s shot was off, but he made some key buckets too (like the 5-pt play).

Enjoy the win tonight, Hawks and LD.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
10:31 pm

I wonder if a new blog from Big Ray…is on the way?

doc

April 28th, 2011
10:34 pm

good crowd
far from a sell out
josh kind of blew up five points with a silly t o
he and team are giving the energy

keep it up fpr another 24?

Melvin

April 28th, 2011
10:47 pm

All the Hawks starters finished the game with negatives +/- minus stats but the Hawks still won… Throw the stats out the window and Just win babe…. LOL

vava74

April 28th, 2011
11:00 pm

Man, I am so freaking relieved that I was wrong.

Fortunately the Magic sucked big time and went completely off track from the plan that gave them the win in game 5.

I think Bianchi’s column had a double effect, motivating the Hawks and relaxing the Magic.

It seemed like ORL were simply waiting for us to lose the game (we nearly did it).

In the end, it was them that did a wonderful Hawks’ impersonation: loads of bad shots after little to no ball and player movement, followed by no one crashing the boards to get the misses (praises to our bigs too), and also horrible defensive rebounding (particularly in the first half and then in the last possession – clutch rebound tapped by JJ).

Jamal was is usual self, an igniter for both sides, missing badly his defensive assignment on Redick several times, including the next to last possession, but overall in these series I have to hand it to him, he was great.

JJ had ups and downs but even on the games in which his offense was not particularly impressive he was a work horse on D and people rarely realize that.

Ken Strickland

April 28th, 2011
11:09 pm

What’s up Hawk nation? I was discharged and made it home just in time to witness the 2nd half of the gm. I had complications during and after surgery, but that SILIENT ASSASSIN is gone. We all know there will be some who’ll find some rediculous reason to B!TCH AND COMPLAIN.

This is exactly the kind of playoff performance and victory Sund and the ASG were looking for when they hired Drew. I can’t spend too much time on the net, so I’ll say goodbye for now.

niremetal

April 28th, 2011
11:11 pm

One thing that amazed me was how active Joe was on the glass. I’m not even talking about the 10 boards he did get. I’m talking about the 4-5 times (at least) that he tipped the ball to a teammate for a rebound. Those don’t show up in stats, but in each case we definitely would NOT have gained/kept possession but for Joe’s no-stat activity on the glass. In a game decided by 3 points, those extra possessions are HUGE.

doc

April 28th, 2011
11:16 pm

well thst was timely

hard fpught gsme

hinrich injury did not look goid any indication of what happened?

doc

April 28th, 2011
11:19 pm

playoffs arr not sbout style points.

really good win. great crowd. where wre they at the start?

vava74

April 28th, 2011
11:19 pm

doc,

you don’t mind if I ask you what have you been drinking? :-D

hamstring is what has been reported

vava74

April 28th, 2011
11:21 pm

I think he will be out since it looked very severe.

He was in deep pain and had to be carried off.