Hawks problem is mirror image, not MVP

Yes, Derrick Rose is magnificent. Yes, he torched the Atlanta Hawks. This is what League MVPs do. You can’t stop them forever, you can only hope to slow them up. As Derrick Rose championed his team’s cause with 44 points on the way to a 99-82 victory, the casual observor would likely give the Chicago point guard all the credit.

The casual observor would be wrong, and that is not taking anything away from Rose, who had a fabulous bounce back game.

Chinks in the False Armor

Is there ever more cause for consternation than a team of guys who lose a game, and then can’t agree onwhy they lost, or what they need to do to win? It seems that we Hawks fans would be used to this by now, but then…should anybody have to get used to it? Courtesy of the inestimable Michael Cunningham (Hawks beat writer), the below post game quotes show the typical post-loss splintering of the Hawks’ psyche:

J.J. didn’t like the offensive approach: “It just seemed as if a lot of times we just ran a lot of pick-and-rolls and I was just kind of buried in the corner. I just thought we played into their hands. We didn’t do anything, I thought, to get our scorers the basketball to make plays. They come with the double team and they make us give it up. We can’t win like that. If you look at Game 1 it was nothing like that. Obviously they made adjustments but at the same time we have to stick with what got us here.” 

Honestly, I just got to force the issue,” Joe said. “In Game 4, I am definitely going to do that. I am not going to succumb to the double team and give it up every time because that’s what they want. We are playing right into their hands. I blame myself for that.”

Okay, so Joe knows that the double team strategy is killing the Hawks, but does he have the right answer? Does forcing the issue mean he’s going to hold the ball longer, or is he going to make the other team pay for doubling him? Here’s the problem – he can’t do that alone. If guys continue to stand around when he or Jamal get doubled, nothing will change. Well, except for the frustration factor, which will only go up.

And now the second team captain speaks:

Al: “We had too much one-on-one. When you do that, this team is too good defensively. We just need to do a better job moving the ball and running the offense the right way. If one guy is not running the offense right, it’s not going to work for others. So I think that’s our biggest problem right now on the offensive end.”

Al is telling the truth, but is he owning his contribution to the problem? It seems to me that the one-on-one was a result, at least in part, of other guys not stepping up and contributing offense. So who is Al blaming for not running the offense right? Jeff Teague? Joe Johnson? Jamal Crawford? Here’s the naked truth – 2nd year man Teague is easily having a better series than two-time all-star Al.

Funny thing is, our sometimes scapegoat sixth man gets it:

Whenever I’m at the top of the key, I see a second defender,” [Jamal] said. “They’re coming until I pass the ball. They’re kind of taking it out of my hands. That’s fine. I just want to make sure that we make them pay because we have an advantage
somewhere out there with two guys on me. if we don’t make them pay, then they’re going to continue to do it.”

Pain in the Paint

Of course, the Hawks aren’t just having offensive problems. And, they’re all too willing to focus on how they’re going to contain Derrick Rose. But, I contend – it’s not Rose that is beating them. Rose is magnifying Atlanta’s real problem, and that is the unwillingness to get down and dirty with the Bulls. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are good rebounders and hard workers, but neither guy fits the description of a goon or an enforcer. The same goes for Carlos Boozer, who has the look but hardly the mentality (much to the chagrin of Chicago fans). So what is the problem? Why are Al, Josh, and Marvin having problems with them on the glass? It isn’t athletic ability. It’s not health. As Hawks fan Astro Joe reminded me, it’s all HEART. Josh Smith showed more of this in last night’s game, but it wasn’t enough, and like with his cohort Al Horford, it came too late.

What makes this worse is the paltry performances from Chicago’s Carlos Boozer. Hawks fans aggravated with Josh Smith have something in common with Bulls fans in regard to Boozer, even though he has his teammates’ support. The Bulls’ power forward was supposed to be the #2 scoring option for Chicago, and has 20 point/10 rebound potential. The fact that he has only lived up to about half of that (the rebounding) only makes the Hawks’ low post shenanigans all the more heinous.

Face the Mirror

 Rose won’t score 44 points every night. His teammates are limited. But what they are capable of, the Hawks have allowed them to do only too well. The Bulls are winning the game by not letting the Hawks go with option #1 on offense (let their 2 shooting guards do most of the work), and by beating the Hawks literally everywhere else in the game. There is no excuse for this. You can’t beat the MVP on most nights. But you can beat his teammates.

That’s what the Hawks have to do to win.

Drew Adjustments

If Larry Drew wants physicality and the Hawks don’t provide it early on in game 4, he would be well served to inject Damien Wilkins and especially Zaza Pachulia into the game. There isn’t a single Hawk who works harder and more consistently on the glass and gets better position than Pachulia. He won’t back down from Chicago’s slender bigs (only Boozer is a thick body), and will likely leave some bruises as well. Wilkins probably can’t do a lot on the glass, but he’ll make thing tough in the driving lanes for Rose if he’s anywhere nearby, and he won’t do worse than Marvin Williams, who seems to have found himself on the back of a milk carton again. Besides, it may help light a fire under the starters if they have to watch the game from the bench for a while.

On the offensive side of the ball, the only answer to solving the Bulls’ defensive adjustments is to attack quickly, make the extra pass, make the SMART pass, and take smarter shots.

Of course, the question is whether or not the Hawks can all realize this at the same time, and put it into action.


Big Ray, Hawks Fan Nest Blog

135 comments Add your comment


May 7th, 2011
5:48 am

first! hawks suck! Burned my Josh Smith jersey last night.

[...] in controlBoston GlobeRose scores career-high 44, Bulls rout Hawks 99-82Spartanburg Herald JournalHawks problem is mirror image, not MVPAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Philadelphia Daily News -Philadelphia Inquirer -Chicago [...]

season ticket holder

May 7th, 2011
6:15 am

hawks open the door and allow the visting team to run all over their house…do they want to be atlanta hawks, or players receiving a paycheck with effort?


May 7th, 2011
6:17 am

Our offense is putrid! No sets we run have joe or jamal coming off a screen to shoot the ball, instead only for them to go one on one. How many pts does the MVP have to score before we trap off of the 100 screens they set on teague last night(the same way they did to crawford). Weather it’s the fact LD is not making any adjustments(offensive or defensive) or not getting damien and zaza in there for rebounding and energy when marvin is MIA there seems to be a huge despairity between the coaches. Let’s not forget that the best player for the hawks this series just so happens to be the player he has always believed in, but he never played.(Huhh?) So my question is what else does he believe in but never puts into action? Jordan Crawford? Oh, he’s playing for the wizards. Our 2011 1st round pick? Oh, we gave that to the Wizards. I can’t trust this guys decision making for another 82 plus games next year, PLEASE FIRELD!

Can you imagine how good teague might be or the hawks might be playing if he actually did his job and actually coached players like Jeff Teague and guess who else, JOSH SMITH?


May 7th, 2011
6:35 am

J.J. didn’t like the offensive approach: “It just seemed as if a lot of times we just ran a lot of pick-and-rolls and I was just kind of buried in the corner. I just thought we played into their hands. We didn’t do anything, I thought, to get our scorers the basketball to make plays. They come with the double team and they make us give it up. We can’t win like that. If you look at Game 1 it was nothing like that. Obviously they made adjustments but at the same time we have to stick with what got us here.”

“Honestly, I just got to force the issue,” Joe said. “In Game 4, I am definitely going to do that. I am not going to succumb to the double team and give it up every time because that’s what they want. We are playing right into their hands. I blame myself for that.”

123 million dollar translation:

Coach you suck. Allowing someone else to try and get me an open shot is ridiculous! I have to dribble for 12 sec. with 3 guys on me and then shoot my patented fadeaway if we have any chance of winning! You guys just don’t understand the game of bball!

Love, JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJoe Johnson aka Money Bags J

No Woody for Me

May 7th, 2011
7:06 am

Josh played a much better game last night. Yes, he did hoist a couple of jumpers, but he was clearly making an effort to get into the paint, and he led a few good fast breaks.

Al has joined Marvin on the milk carton this series. Is he hurt? He usually gets up for games against his old roomate, but Noah has been totally outclassing him on the glass.

Teague has been awesome, and if nothing else, this postseason has given the Hawks their new point guard. At times, he looks like Rondo to me.

Please give Marvin’s minutes to Wilkens.


May 7th, 2011
7:57 am

yes big ray, from the start we knew it was the setting for a three headed monster. you have repeatedly and successfully pointed it out; on point once again bro.sorry to check in and see these results. yes rose burned em butt seems thibs defense actually was their undoing. defense is critical at this time of year. miami, yes miami and the bulls are doing it best right now and will battle it out the next step of the way. different tier teams and truly ELITE.

ill be there sunday. oot now.


May 7th, 2011
8:03 am

oh yeah, where did batman or green lantern go? is it all about coaching which sounds like jj take? for two games now?


May 7th, 2011
8:16 am

Go Bulls! Show us Hawks fans how it’s done & kick our butt so we can start over. Please.

Heat Fan

May 7th, 2011
8:18 am

Come on Hawks fans, you guys have to be realistic, you guys were only 6 games above .500 ball this year. That tells me you should be happy to make it to the second round. There are usually only 4 elite teams every year. 2 East and 2 West. You guys have a god team, but what separates the elite teams from the good teams is COACHING and DEFENSE. Your offense haven’t come up with an answer yet to their double team, that’s coaching, can’t blame the player’s for that.


May 7th, 2011
8:27 am


“I didn’t like the offensive approach: “It just seemed as if a lot of times we just ran a lot of pick-and-rolls and I was just kind of buried in the corner. I just thought we played into their hands. We didn’t do anything, I thought, to get our scorers the basketball to make plays. They come with the double team and they make us give it up. We can’t win like that. If you look at Game 1 it was nothing like that. Obviously they made adjustments but at the same time we have to stick with what got us here.”

“Honestly, I just got to force the issue,” Joe said. “In Game 4, I am definitely going to do that. I am not going to succumb to the double team and give it up every time because that’s what they want. We are playing right into their hands. I blame myself for that.”

$127 translation:

COACH YOU SUCK! Allowing someone else to help me get an open look by penetrating makes no sense. If we have any hopes of winning I must dribble for half of the shot clock at least and shoot my patented fadeaway. You guys really don’t understand bball.


aka Money bags J


May 7th, 2011
9:02 am

Love JJ’s take on our problems in the past two games is hilarious. He’s right, it he and Jamal are shooting 60% like they did in Game 1, it works like a charm. Unfortunately, he can’s shoot consistently any more. If LD wasn’t such a wus, he might be a decent coach. In the games that we come out playing the offense, we jump out to quick leads. Even in Game 2 we started strong. Problem is, LD isn’t tough enough to pull the stars out of the game when they start going iso. I think JJ’s biggest problem, like JS, is that he’s not real bright. You’ll know in the first 5 minutes on Sunday whether we have a chance or not. If JJ misses his first 3 shots, watch something on HBO. Thank God for JT. There is hope for next year, especially if we can find a team to trade us a big for small forward (or two).


May 7th, 2011
9:03 am

Not that different from the regular season.
Inconsistent, not on same page.

I am more concerned about the actions than the words. It seems like the team is unsure of the method they want to use to attack the Bulls. Whatever it is, LD needs to play the guys that will execute the plan.

I agree that we need more scrappiness which probably comes from Damien Wilkins.

Can the Hawks agree on adjustments at this point? If we are not going to rebound, do we intentionally play small & quick? Why? Easier to switch some things up on the fly. Swap on a few pick & rolls. If we are committing to rebounding, do we move Josh to the 3 & sit Marvin. Because Noah is an energizer bunny, I would not start Collins, but I might start Armstrong (or Powell) on the run & scrap team. I think Hilton might be the quickest of the bench centers. Line up change might sound desperate, but we need to do something to get the regulars to scrap more until Astro Joe finds that Wizard with a heart for them…wait, isn’t that Heinrich ;-)

That may be what we’re missing when Cap’t Kirk isn’t in uniform!

The Bulls are not the best collection of players, but they are definitely the better team at this point.

The most amusing part of this is when I say that it could be worse, we could be the Lakers.

We are not playing as well as we can, but this series does look like our season…up & down. The Lake Show is just down right now.


May 7th, 2011
9:10 am

I seriously think LD’s decision making as an coach sucks. JT should’ve been starting all season and the trade to send Jordon Crawford away to the wizards was stupid, now he’s putting up All-Star numbers. I think the Hawks Real problem is the organization. Any organization that would pay JJ that much money is not smart, Hire an horrible coach like LD and keep unuseful players like Marvin Williams.


May 7th, 2011
9:30 am

This underachieving mess is LD’s, not Sund’s. I know Marvin was resigned at Drew’s request: Childress can’t shoot 3’s and Marvin can. Sund brought us Flip Murray, Jamal Crawford, Teague, and Damien Wilkens. He even brought us Bibby for spare parts(Anthony Johnson, Tyrone Lue). What the team lacks is leadership. Unfortunately, Teague is too young and Drew and Hinrich don’t have enough skins on the wall. We need a floor general. Would Tony Parker be sufficient? I think so just wondering who should play with him besides Joe.


May 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Because Larry Drew cannot enforce his own policies.


May 7th, 2011
9:47 am

The problem last night can also be pointed towards the home crowd, or the lack of a soldout hawks crowd. There were to many Bulls fans contributing to the sellout crowd, which could make the players disheartened. Its hard to be in this position, fight hard on the road, come home expecting 100% support from your home crowd, and find Bull fans yelling MVP.


May 7th, 2011
9:49 am

Marvin sucks, needs to sit the bench for Damien. Listen to Joe Johnsons comments about having to be more aggressive. It took you a whole game to figure that out, you idiot. After the first quarter you should have been splitting the double team and driving the ball before the double gets to you. Al played like a pus you know the rest. Zaza needs to play, he’s the only physical presence we have. Except for a few bad shots Josh played well and finished in the paint. teague is playing the best, by far, i think he has been watching tape of Rondo. Nobody was beating the bulls last night. They are not a very good offensive team, i don’t think they will shoot the ball like that again. If they do you can give them the championship! SOMEONE LEARN HOW TO BLOCK OUT!!!


May 7th, 2011
10:04 am

It’s sooooo interesting that ALL the fans and the media all can be on the same page as to what the problem is, but the players playing the actual game on the same team can’t! These dudes are pompous jerks. My tag name is true, but I have been a loyal fan for some years now and these dudes (Joe and Josh) do not have any B-Ball IQ and all they want to do is force their game play rather than play within the system. We are probably one of the most undisciplined teams out there, but we keep getting to round 2 with no heart of discipline, SO imagine how great this team could be if they were disciplined and played with heart! I truly agree, we need to play the bench, look at how Teague has shined!!!!


May 7th, 2011
11:04 am

The bulls were out of position of defense many times last night with that double team. The hawks only made them pay for it a few times. The Hawks got burned almost every time they got out of position on the screen and rolls. JJ has to penetrate better and take a quicker shot or swing the ball if he gets challenged on the drive. That also means the rest of the team has to have the right spacing and move to create passing lanes. And it’s not like they don’t all know this. But like G.I. Joe says, knowing is only half the battle.

Also, That bulls run to start the 2nd qtr really threw the Hawks off, and that cannot happen.

Like you said Big Ray, that kind of stuff is all about the man in the mirror.


May 7th, 2011
11:20 am

Re-post from last thread:

I could see game 4 going either way, to be honest. The first quarter will tell us all we need to know.

The Bulls’ blueprint is now in the open – they will win by killing us on the glass and by pulling out the Jordan Rules on JJ and (to a lesser extent) Jamal.

Ironic since the “Jordan Rules” strategy was first used against the Bulls and JJ is hardly Jordan, but the Bulls guarded him tonight as if he was. Even if he caught the ball 30 feet from the basket, he was trapped within 2 seconds whenever he touched the ball or brought it over the half court line. If he somehow managed to drive inside 20 feet from the basket, EVERY defender converged on him. They did the same thing to Jamal, except they made sure either Bogans or Deng stayed home on JJ.

I’d say it’s a minor miracle that JJ/Jamal combined for just 3 turnovers, but it’s not really because this was a different type of double teaming than they’ve seen during most of the year. In the past, JJ always looked stunned when a double-team came, and he often panicked and turned the ball over. JJ wasn’t caught off-guard by these double-teams. He knew they were coming, and he knew to make a decision with the ball quickly. The only smart thing for him to do on most possessions was to pass before the trap closed on him. Tonight, JJ looked way more stunned the 3-4 times that he WASN’T immediately double-teamed (and even on those, he still had either Bogans or Deng in his grill).

The Bulls were determined to make someone other than JJ or Jamal score. Teague did. I thought Al would too, but like I said, he looked like he got hit with whatever they hit Barkley with in Space Jam in the first half, and by time he got a rhythm back it was too late.

The Bulls’ defensive strategy for the rest of the series is pretty obvious. They are going to try to force the ball out of JJ and Jamal’s hands. Those two will be lucky to get more than 3 clean looks per game the rest of the series. I just don’t see a way for us to score 90+ points against that.

I think that if we get back into this series, it’ll have to be by grinding it out. In order for THAT to happen, we can’t allow 15+ ORebs per game. Like I said, Josh and Al might have had ok looking box score rebounding stats, but that doesn’t tell the story. One downside to Josh’s freakish athleticism* is that he never learned to box out. I was really stunned when I saw how many rebs he and Al had in the box score, because the number of times Gibson and Noah have punk’d them on the glass was embarrassing. Josh never bodies them up. He just jumps at the ball. If the ball bounces right at him, he’ll get the board because he can outjump them. If it doesn’t, it seems a good bet that the man he’s assigned to (usually Noah or Gibson in this series) will find a way to get it because they’ll go around him with no resistance.

Well, now we know what to look for going forward. Let’s hope the Hawks do too, before it’s too late.

And oh, Josh has to make a pretty drastic turnaround during the rest of the series in order to keep himself off the “trade for whatever we can get for him” block this summer.

* Even this has clearly waned a tad; people on Hawksquawk say he has gained some weight this year, and it wasn’t muscle.


May 7th, 2011
11:22 am

That being said, chins up – it’s still just 2-1, with the next game at home. The series definitely isn’t over.


May 7th, 2011
11:22 am

Joe Johnson, horrible, Al horford, horrible, Jamal Crawford, horrible, WTF..are these guys watching the same film. JJ wants to force the issue..what does that mean exactly..hold the ball more and A) have it stripped, B) Have it blocked in the lane trying to shoot that floater, C) throw it to Josh behind the arc who will shoot and miss. JJ can be very good when catching and shooting coming off screens and moving without the ball, but dribbling into traffic is not working, why can’t he see that.
Teague should start next season after the way he has played, but i would not be surprised if he doesn’t. oh well GO HAWKS!!??


May 7th, 2011
11:40 am

LD time to make it senior night at the old highlight factory. Start your most defensive team from the bench & lay some wood to D Rose the first ten minutes of the game…you need energy guys & all out hustle. Post Josh Powell, Horford & ZaZa…feed the post. Let Josh, JJ, and Marvin play off the bench with Jamal.,


May 7th, 2011
11:41 am

Hawks players need to cut to the basket simple and plain. We take too many jumpers but that’s nothing new. The true mark of a good team is how often they can get to the basket for easy shots and the amount of free throws they take.

Derrick Rose was hitting his jumpshots because he started off the game making a bunch of layups and free throws.

Joe Johnson fails to realize this. He’s 6′8 240 and shoots floaters. Muscle your way to the basket take the contact and get to the free throw line. It’s an easier shot. It’s every player’s best shot. A free throw. Nobody’s FG% is higher than their FT% and I’m willing to put that on life.

Josh SMith stands out shooting horrendous shots but when he took the ball to the basket he scored easily and was more active and it forced the Bulls to foul him. He’s not a great FT shooter but he makes a higher percentage of those than the long jumpers. So even if he only makes 1 free throw….1 pt is better than 0 pts and a fast break due to a long rebound.

Last but not least… BOX OUT!!! Last night the Hawks actually played pretty well on defense despite Rose having 44 points. They were absolutely murdered on offensive rebounds. Josh SMith had 13 boards….Al Horford, Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson failed the team in that respect. Against a team like the Bulls…. EVERYBODY has to rebound and that includes the guards. The fast break is not going to happen so CRASH THE BOARDS.

That’s my 9 Piece (straight 8 Balls) on this subject


May 7th, 2011
11:44 am

We’ve seen the Hawks bounce back after bad losses particularly just last series. I fully expect the Hawks to answer the bell tomorrow night and tie the series up. Al Horford has to be a special player…he can’t just be out there. He’s an all star for crying out loud and has he even had a double figure point game yet in this series???

Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford will play better…

drmaryb (*_-)

May 7th, 2011
12:00 pm

Poll Question: Will the Hawks win or lose game 4?
Answer: No doubt.


May 7th, 2011
12:02 pm

For the 1st time since Horford got here, i was happy when LD benched him in the 1st half. Dude is offering NOTHING!! There’s a sequence where DRose crossed JT0 and bullied his way through the middle for the 2-handed dunk. In this sequence you can see clearly that Horford only threw a hand to the ball instead of blocking the shoot or giving a hard foul.

I could live with him not being an offensive force, but in defense?! it’s unacceptable!! offer no resistance at the rim, does not help on defense, watch everybody grab rebounds around him, gets pushed away at will by Noah and Gibson, his man is grabbing offensive rebounds over his head. The only thing that is left, and i would not be surprised if happens, is that DRose gives him a 2-handed facial!!

All-Star?? hell no!! Soft-Gal? definitely!!


May 7th, 2011
12:06 pm

@HeatFan….. Are you implying that Erik Spoelstra is a good coach… Says a lot about your knowledge of basketball


May 7th, 2011
12:16 pm

Because of Teague, I think LD will lose his job regardless of the outcome. Not developing Teague cost this team JC2 (the natural and cheaper replacement of JC1) and a future 1st round pick. Sund will make him pay because of this.


May 7th, 2011
12:33 pm

I humbly propose we move Collins back into the starting lineup. He gets in there clogs the lane, allows Josh and Horford to get back on defense.

I mean can you imagine the holes in the Celtics if KG had to play center and Pierce power forward. This is exactly what would happen outrebounded by 20. smh

Dwight Howard killed our small unit and now Joakim Noah is doing the same.
Is Drew throwing the game? Smith, Horford always get beat up on the boards, Marvin never helps? BIG LINEUP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-4phGAkNgg


May 7th, 2011
12:34 pm

Usually, a team makes an adjustment after a loss. I did not see any adjustments from LD after the game 2 loss. And I did not see any adjustments during game 3.

Shouldnt we have given Rose the Jordan treatment (double him and force him to give up the ball, and let somebody else beat us)? Or shouldnt we have put in Etan or somebody for the sole purpose of delivering a hard foul on Rose when he comes into the lane?

I remember when Plan A wasnt working, Woody’s plan B was to try harder at plan A. I think that’s what LD is doing too, because the only thing we get from LD is “more energy, more ball movement”.

I agree with MannyT. LD needs to change it up. Hopefully Hawks win game 4, and push this thing to 7 games.


May 7th, 2011
1:15 pm

nire, the * might be applied to jj as well. he does not come close to being as cut as say wade is and wade was not cut last year. both josh and al need to bulk up this summer and get stringer and leaner. it is time they grew into their position whether it be pf or center. if josh needs to be a sf then he has to pull weight off and cut up for quickness and elevation. his knee is a problem and he has payed through an injury that takes 6 weeks to heal’ it cant be used as an excuse. both need strength as they get pushed around by boozer’s bulk and joakim’s motor and deceptive strength and weight. al has not been the same since blake took him out.

well i didnt think the magic series would go five and we would be out and then planned at least six games for this series that we could possibly win in six if playing grind it out as they said they were convinced they should play. i guess i will be wrong on both series.

i still think the bulls could give the heat some game as they are bigger play defense and have rose to challenge bibby, ha! or wade. if rose’s performance suggest he is healing that ankle then watch out heat and we are done. i dont want to see our team play the heat as they are playing now.


May 7th, 2011
2:08 pm

Great quote Crawford…that is how you beat the double team. Joe, pressing the issue is not the answer. Maybe JJ on the bench will allow the other players to play in the flow of the offense


May 7th, 2011
3:49 pm

chicago is a hustle team if the hawks keep them of the boards play good defense they can beat this team but they need to play together and stop the blame game let za za start and d wilks sit marvin he’s a underachiver i wish joe would stepup and be the superstar we need him to be jamal got the heart but his shot selecting is not all way at the right time let d rose get his but keep these other guys of the boards if teague is our point gaurd of the future then he need to make j smoove get in the box and stay in the box dont give him the ball out there and some time jj dribble the clock down and when j smoove get it there’s no time to do any thing but shoot


May 7th, 2011
4:12 pm

LD, I told you to sit Josh on the bench and let your most intense and toughest player on the team start the game which is Zaza and let Wilkins get some more time and put Marvin on the bench so Josh will have somebody to talk to. Tell Zaza when he is open to go ahead and take the shot he cannot no do any worse then the other 3 (Teague not included) players on the floor. I hope Teague got those sprints in during the regular season because when he is on offense he needs to keep moving to try to tire out Rose at least a little bit and if you insist on playing Josh tell him to pull his panties up and to the basket hard everytime and oh yeah a couple of hard files on Rose driving the paint should get some things going as well……………..I mean seriously “we” might lose the fight but at least we have a chance to win the game………………..Thank You, Sincerely the Couch Coach.


May 7th, 2011
5:10 pm

Thibodeau has the Bulls playing playoff basketball. After game one most of his comments weren’t about gameplan adjustments, they were about intensity, effort, and hustle.

The Hawks shocked us in the Orlando series and in game 1 with the Bulls by coming out with that same intensity and effort. Now that the Bulls have matched and surpassed their effort, the Hawks up until this point have no answer.

Mainly the Bulls just refuse to be denied on offense and take the ball with purpose to the basket and don’t let the Hawks defense stop their attacking.

I don’t know if ZaZa or Collins can stop the Bulls, either is too slow to stay with Noah up and down the floor. Although Collins is good drawing fouls.

Hawks have to fight, hustle, and attack the Bulls to compete. More importantly they have to trust their team mates and pass the ball to have any chance of competing.

This is difficult because Teague has not been playing with these guys that long and seems to be an afterthought to his team mates after giving up the ball on offense. Teague is one of the few players on the team who can and will break the Bulls defense down off the dribble.

Al and Josh have to play inside from the start of the game. Don’t know what is wrong with Horford inside since he has a history of playing big against this team. Maybe go to him on offense early. Go to Josh in the post early also.

Oh well, good luck Sunday Hawks!!!!


May 7th, 2011
7:53 pm

No way I can let you minimize the “Rose” effect. Are you kidding me? You do realize that the Bulls are the only team who never lost more than two consecutive games ALL SEASON!!! Rose has done the same thing to the Hawks that he did to every other team that trie to minimize his impact. They may be able to do it for one game, but Rose’s ball IQ is such that he figures a way around whtaever defensive scheme they throw at him. The Hawks have the personnel, but they don’t have the heart. Their chemistry comes and goes and sometimes is non-existent. They do not have a leader. Give Teague a chance next year, and see what happens. A kick butt point guard has been the key to every team’s victory. Hinrich is good, but he’s not fast enough to be a constant threat. Teague has the handles and skills….I predict the Bulls in five and a long off season for the Birdswith a bit of house cleaning.


May 7th, 2011
8:20 pm

Rose has taken 27 shots all 3 ATL games, and in game 1 and 2, he shot under 41%. But he got his shots up, and his guys rebounded misses.

JJ may have to get more shots up and let the bigs crash the baord. Instead, we have Josh and Al spending time on the perimeter, so they are not in position to rebound misses on offense (especially since they are retreating to play transition D), and we have JJ pounding the ball too long, and then the double comes, he gives it up, and might not get it back.

Memphis goes up 2-1 against OKC. KD was off today, and Zach Randolph had 21 pts, 21 rebs. Wow.


May 7th, 2011
9:39 pm

From Jeff Schultz;

Question: Does Smith even realize he is 0-for-17 from beyond 15 feet in this series, and 5-for-33 in the playoffs? Conversely, he is shooting 60 percent from nine feet and closer (38-of-63). The lesson there should be easy to locate.

Coach Larry Drew was asked Saturday if he ever has been a part of such schizophrenic team as a player or coach. He smiled.

“I will admit — I do have an interesting group,” he said.

Everybody laughed. It was as if Sybil had just been described as having an interesting personality.

“What happened [Friday] night, it did catch me off guard,” Drew continued. “I really thought we would start that game too energized. I was expecting a lot of early turnovers. I thought we would be too hyped and have too much energy. I thought I would have to find a way to tone my guys down.”

There are only so many times a coach should have to threaten to use a cattle prod. Concepts such as competitive instincts, professional pride and even the motivation generally associated with earning a seven- or eight-digit salary should take over.

But too often with the Hawks, that’s not the case. Something is missing in their DNA. And they are way past their growth spurt..


Last year, Rick thought the issue was All Woody. Regardless of what happens this series, I hope Rick (or whoever the GM is) realizes that the players quit on Woody last year, and they are too inconsistent. Change is needed. And along with that change, we dont need Uncle Larry on the sidelines.

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
12:08 am

Aaaaand Jeff Schultz nails it:

At some point, you come to the realization that certain teams don’t grow, they just forever mutate into a new, unexpected and possibly really ugly life form.

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
12:12 am

I am more concerned about the actions than the words. It seems like the team is unsure of the method they want to use to attack the Bulls. Whatever it is, LD needs to play the guys that will execute the plan.

I agree. Now can he find 5 guys who will do that and have the necessary talent level to match? That’s also part of the problem. Even then, that means playing 5 guys for 40+ minutes to have a chance at winning.

Schizophrenia, thy name is Hawks.


May 8th, 2011
12:25 am

1) LD is not going anywhere. You can hope with and pray but hes not going anywhere after this season.
2) This is about the players. You cant tune out two coaches and about about 13000 hawks fans in the arena. This is about refraining from just going through the motions and actually playing faster and harder as well as having their minds in the right place. I think they need to worry more about being disruptive instead of just worrying about getting a hand in someones face.
3) I think a key to winning game 4 is going deep into the rotation in the first half and making the needed adjustments in the second half.

The hawks roster is filled with capable people. Whether or not they can combine their capabilities to win a game is up to them. I certainly think they can and will… Go hawks


May 8th, 2011
12:45 am

I had the distinct pleasure of missing this game and having to watch it today. I wasn’t happy at the time, but I think it was the best thing for my emotions. Rose and Gibson really killed us! The Bulls were just better last night, I actually don’t think the guys played that badly. Again, I didn’t see it live, so I could really look at things more objectively. The odd thing I see is that JJ, Jamal and Al are all right because we’re not doing anything on offensive consistantly. They hold the ball to much and pass out of doubles to quickly. Its a hard thing to see, but I don’t think they will understand how to solve this problem without more tough games. (probably losses) Jamal and JJ have to move without the ball, then execute either a one dribble pull-up or drive to the basket. They can’t dribble around then pass the ball after stopping or backing-up, they have to do everything while attacking the rim. This means the other guys have to make themselves available for the pass, especially the guys who’s man is doing the double teaming.

We really have to let Teague run the offensive because he’s doing a great job of attacking the basket and drawing doubles. Teague will have to hit some more jumpers, because that will force guys to stay up on him and open up passing lanes.

Even if the HAWKS figure out their offensive we’re not going to win if we don’t get rebounds. We might even be able to live with the 3’s from Rose but we can’t give up the boards too. We’re back to not putting a body on guys and letting them use their length. This falls on Horford because he’s been out worked by Noah and Gibson. Josh played better in the 2nd half but he got out worked in the 1st.

I hope they can figure these things out and improve.


Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
1:42 am

I give him a good bit of crap, but LD is flat-out on the money with this one:

“They are playing him physical. If he’s not being double teamed, they have climbed up in him. He is just going to have to combat that. There are a lot of key players on teams that other players play physical against and they just combat it. There are a lot of key players that get double teamed and they play out of double teams. A lot of playing out of double teams is not trying to beat double teams but making plays and you have to show a willingness to give the ball up and trust your teammates. If you continue to try to beat the double team by yourself you are playing into the opposition’s hands. We did a good job with that against Orlando. Orlando ran a very similar [scheme], the game plan was to take it out of his hands, double-team him. We made the right plays out of it. When you are playing against a team that is going to roughhouse you and play you physical, you have to combat that. A lot of these great players around the league, they face it every single night. You have got to look at how they play you, watch film, combat it. Don’t put yourself in situations where they can constantly be up on you. Draw fouls. That’s one of the things we need to do more of vs. that type of pressure, when they are playing like that.”

Of course, I cannot say this without telling the rest of the story: JJ’s teammates. The man can only make so many plays if his teammates aren’t playing right.

For the billionth time, standing around or hanging out in areas that you aren’t so effective in is counter-productive.

1) Horford has to help out. He has excellent passing ability (not to mention control of his passes unlike somebody else we know) and can make plays if he quits acting like someone shoved a railroad plank up his butt. He can score, but he can also make plays with the ball in his hands. He has to step it up.

2) Smith has to quit hanging around the perimeter where he does NOT have an advantage, and flash to the basket where he has EVERY advantage.

3) Ditto that with Marvin….he has a more reliable jumper most days, but using his athleticism and length to get to the rim always helps. Even if he flops, that’s fine if he draws a foul.

4) Not having Hinrich really hurts in cases like this. More than we know, I suspect.

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
1:44 am

E43 ,

I agree. If I were LD, I’d go with Zaza and Damien just to set the tone . Both guys will work hard and hopefully inspire the starters to pick that torch up and run with it. If the starters come out on fire, then fine. But I’d still give the reserves a shot at keeping or upping the intensity. We need it. And they can provide it.

And how about throwing Etan out there? The Bulls won’t like having to bang with a guy who is heavier and stronger than most of their bigs. Etan plays with some fervor, it can’t hurt.


May 8th, 2011
4:21 am

The Hawks have been systematically out-hustled over the season.

They made amends against ORL against a team which was even more lost than the Hawks.

We out-hustled CHI in game 1. Started well game 2.

Now, we are toast since it’s “quitting time” – everyone will be pointing fingers at someone else instead of grinding these games.

Our personnel is better than theirs but our hustle levels are pathetic.

It has been mentioned around here: after game 1 Thibs only talked about effort/hustle levels not being there for them and that it was the only thing he thought had to be corrected.

In the end he made also some defensive adjustments but those adjustments only take you as far as your hustle levels take you.

It’s really sad seeing this bunch of quiters.


May 8th, 2011
5:06 am

Having said that, I still consider LD has the main culprit.

He simply allows players to revert to their comfort zone and does not instill any discipline and accountability:

Diaper Al should be forced to mix it up in the post and be Boss again.

Josh should be pulled when he shoots jumpers early in the clock or commits stupid TOs.

JJ should be benched when he is passive or pounding the ball.

Jamal when he is shooting even more out of control than he usually is or when he is looking for the 3+1 more than the 3 going in.

etc etc

Big Daddy

May 8th, 2011
5:18 am

I have seen a lot of post on the blogs about how Derrick Rose torched us for 44 points and cemented the loss for the Hawks. What the people who make this observation fail to realized is that Dwight Howard had 46 points against us and Orlando lost that game. That happened because we played lock down defense on everyone else. Rose had 44 points because they ran pick and roll on Teague and NOBODY picked him up coming down the lane or taking the ball on the short wing.

We keep hearing how Al Horford is playing out of position and is undersized as a center. When you make the All-Star team the last two years it is a sign that you are very good at the position you are playing. Al would not have the All-Star designation if he were playing power forward. There are too many others who have far better numbers.

Our defense in game 3 is what killed us and the inability to make adjustments during the game. Teague is definitely making the case that the Hendrick trade was unnecessary if he had been given a proper chance. But, it is done and we have to live with it just the same as Joe’s contract. I have been more disappointed in him than any other player. There were times when he took over games in the past and brought us from the brink of losing to a win. That has happened less and less this year and I don’t know if it is the surgery or something else, but what is not getting any sympathy is the lack of apparent effort.

I have to agree with Schultz that this team who made the second round will probably have to be blown up and started over. Josh has been my favorite player over the years and he is the only player whose jersey I have has that player’s name on it. And, I have jerseys for every ATL team. All of the rest have my name on it and that is because of trades and legal issues. That and the fact that I have two Michael Vick jerseys hanging in my closet that I just don’t feel okay wearing anymore, but I digress. Smoove has an amazing talent but nobody here has been able to harness it and get him to play within his strengths. That is unfortunate. Early in his career I expected him to become this era’s Dominique Wilkins in the Hawks pantheon. DW had his issues early in his career but he harnessed and refined them to make himself the player that he was. For whatever reason, Josh has not done that.

The Hawks have a chance here to really make a difference. They are only down 2-1. The speculation is that they will lose this game and that will be it. That may happen. But, there will be hope that for at least Sunday’s game they will show the promise that got them to the 2nd level of the playoffs when nobody thought they would. If they execute their defense and play to their strengths, they may just make a series of this. Hawks in 7. Go Hawks!!!

mothers concerned

May 8th, 2011
9:36 am

There were a lot of Chicago fan’s their but the hawks don’t care about the Atlanta Fans not all of them. They played like they didn’t care at all, no energy at all.