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

Timmah

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?

FIRELD!

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?

FIRELD!

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.

doc

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.

doc

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?

NagoyaHawk

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.

FIRELD!

May 7th, 2011
8:27 am

J.J.

“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.

Love, JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJoe Johnson

aka Money bags J

TeagueConvert

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).

MannyT

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.

BoomBoomJoe

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.

tjhook

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.

tjhook

May 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Because Larry Drew cannot enforce his own policies.

Section32

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.

noahjameson

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!!!

atlhawksfan4lyfe

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!!!!

DHunt

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.

niremetal

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.

niremetal

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.

barry

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!!??

Wink

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.,

yodaddy

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

yodaddy

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.

Lukas

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!!

Hawksphan

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

Lukas

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.

Slim

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

O'Brien

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.

doc

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.

ag

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

george

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

Keith

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.

N.D.T.K.A.

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!!!!

Kapoonka

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.

O'Brien

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.

O'Brien

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..

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2011/05/07/hawks-constant-sybil-act-reaffirms-changes-are-needed/

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.

E43

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

kwooden

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.

GO HAWKS!

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.

vava74

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.

vava74

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.

Will

May 8th, 2011
9:44 am

Excuses, Excuses, their were to many bulls fans

We were in the wrong offense

we just could not get it going

we did not come out with any energy

This group of individuals they have assembled to be ATL Hawks are pathetic.
How do you come out in a nationally tv gm in the playoff at home, soldout crowd, not ready to play or “we did not have any energy tonight” how bout we wont pay your “azz” tonight.

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
11:25 am

Gotta be said: Rondo’s performance last night might have been the gutsiest that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Only thing that rivals it was Pete Sampras literally throwing up on the tennis court in the middle of a fifth set tiebreak, and then rallying to win the match.

Slim

May 8th, 2011
11:56 am

@BigDaddy

yes the league designated Al Horford an All Star center but that does not mean that Noah is not 6′11 and outrebounding Tim Duncan.
and Horford and Marvin as a “frontcourt” is not good defensively. Having an all star does not mean you get to win playing small ball.

Is Josh an All Star “Power” forward and center? No.
Because rebounding is a team effort and u need 3 guys crashing the boards (see Memphis: Battier 6′10, Randolph 6′9, Gasol 7′0)
Isn’t Josh a better rebounder and defender and option to get double teamed in the post leaving our shooters open when he plays the 3 as opposed to the 4?

Sometime we need to stop blaming the chinks in the armor and realize this lineup is not shooting 3s well enough to overcome its size. 6′10 “center” with a bunch of small perimeter players we went back to being Orlando.

Is Marvin dead weight as a starter but firepower off the bench?
Put Jason Collins back in.

Slim

May 8th, 2011
12:00 pm

Teague/Johnson/Smith/Horford/Collins

+ Josh has yet to see the post versus Deng
+ Horford can finally shoot off of doubles from Josh
+Deng cannot switch off to Joe because Bogans/Korver will be left to cover Josh (watch out for flops)
+ Joe vs Bogans = double teams
+ Collins can screen for Joe letting Horford focus on setting up for his jump shot instead of picking himself
-less spacing

+less spacing, more offensive rebounds, more attempts at the rim
+more offensive rebounds=opportunity to kick out for an open 3 if CHI is out of position

Bottom line: this lineup clogged the lane in the Regular Season and made Rose into a jump shooter and everyone else had terrible games. Hawks won.

Bleed red

May 8th, 2011
12:52 pm

Play the big white guy more so he can punish rose he won’t let him lay the ball up with out paying for it go za za

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
1:36 pm

Big Ray,

Sometimes JJ can’t get out of his own way.

Could J.J. help himself by making quicker decisions against pressure?

LD:“Without a doubt. When you know teams are playing you the way they are playing Joe, you have got to do things faster. That was something we put a lot of emphasis in at the start of the playoffs against Orlando is for him to do things faster. They are not going to let you and just jockey around with it. They are going to be on top of it right away. You have got to do things a lot faster.

Your moves have got to be quicker and then just up into your shot. Just jockeying around trying to create space and go one-on-one against a set defense the way that they play him, chances are it is going to be tough for him. But if he does things just a little quicker–coming off screens, looking to shoot the ball right away–those are the kind of things that free you up.”.

But is J.J. comfortable playing that way considering his deliberate style?

LD:“Comfortable? I don’t know. Capable? Yes. He has shown the ability to come off screens and shoot the ball. Certainly I have seen him go into moves a lot quicker. I don’t know how comfortable he is doing it but I know he is capable.”.

If JJ is going to get his shots up, he needs to go quick, hopefully before the double team comes. And if the double team does come, then he needs to make the right decision quickly. And his teamates need to be ready to help.

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
2:59 pm

@niremetal: “MC, Have you ever asked Josh what he thinks about fans loudly groaning and shouting “nooooo” when he goes to take a jumper?”

yes. he claims he doesn’t hear them. of course he does but that’s what he says..

Is is because Josh is in denial?

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
3:15 pm

Big Daddy ,

First paragraph – well said. It’s easier to blame the MVP for being an MVP than it is to take ownership of one’s shortcomings elsewhere.

And that’s just it. The Hawks would rather whine about Rose being good or about the Bulls frontcourt being really aggressive. I don’t want to hear the whining. I want to see the physical reaction.

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
3:20 pm

Speaking of physical reaction, I see the article by MC where the Hawks say they want to get physical with Derrick Rose. I call BS.

Get physical with Noah. With Boozer. With Deng. With Gibson. Get physical with the guys who are REALLY punking you. Focusing on getting Physical with Rose has only three outcomes – 1) He’ll score 10-15 points at the line, 2)Key players will get into early foul trouble, and 3) The Bulls will retaliate in kind.

I look at the way Luol Deng has been playing out there, specifically when it comes to guarding Joe Johnson, and I say…if only that were Marvin. Deng can shoot badly and score just 8 points. But if he gets 6 or more boards, hustles like a madman and harasses JJ like he did the last couple of games, then he’s more than earned his pay.

Geez, could we get that out of Marvin?

O’brien ,

Yes and no. Yes, he’s in denial. No, he doesn’t hear the fans in the stands. I mean come on, he doesn’t even hear LD, who is right in his left ear…

Big Ray

May 8th, 2011
3:22 pm

O’brien ,

Per your post on JJ…this is what kills me. He says all that, but he’s the same guy saying that if one guy is running the offense the wrong way, then everthing goes to crap. Now who might that one guy be? I have a clue…sometimes it’s HIM.

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
3:41 pm

Big Ray,

Hawks just dont know what it is to be physical. We are more of a finesse team, so we need physical players. Roster shake-up anyone?

And its hard for Josh and Al to be physical when LD might enforce his 2 foul rule.

But it is unacceptable the way Al has disappeared. I did not expect it from him. Hopefully, he gives us one of those 15 points, 15 rebs performances tonight.

And if Josh and Al are having good games, that will take some of the pressure of JJ.

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

doc,

Mike Bibby for the playoffs:

21 mpg, 3.4 ppg, shooting 23% from the field, with 1 assist, and 1 reb per game.

Would you take a one armed Rondo over a healthy Bibby?

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
3:58 pm

O’B,

What Ray said.

Regardless, if he doesn’t hear them by the end of the playoffs, he needs to go.

doc

May 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

who would have believed at the start of the season that right now marc would be closer to the wcf than pau?

Tha Real Hawk

May 8th, 2011
5:11 pm

Jason Terry traded to Dallas for Antoine, Delk and a first round pick.
Where are they now?
He’s still in Dallas!!!

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
8:06 pm

From MC’s pregame blog;

“This is what it’s like to coach the Hawks sometimes. . .

L.D. looks at his computer screen, where Smoove’s shooting percentages by distance are displayed. He holds up a shooting chart of Josh’s misses and makes.

These are the tools L.D. uses to try to convince Josh to stop taking Js.

“I’ve had talks with him: ‘You can’t take those shots. You are not making them,’” he said. “When I talk to my players and I am making a point, I back it up with numbers and facts and video.”.

The fact that Josh continues to take bad shots despite all the evidence is very frustrating.

LD decides to start the big lineup. I think I would have started ZaZa instead of Collins, because Twin plays good position defense, but if the offense is not run through the guy he is guarding, he loses osme effectiveness. And he is not a good rebounder.

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
8:21 pm

Great minutes from Twin although he picked up 2 fouls in 6 minutes.

And great start for JJ. He is making his move quicker.

O'Brien

May 8th, 2011
8:25 pm

Man, who is this Boozer guy?

jlewis

May 8th, 2011
8:33 pm

JJ isnt going any quicker, he just isnt making an attempt to run the offense. Everyone makes it sound so simple, dont you think the bulls know the offense and we only have two scorers. No one is an offensive genius without any players. Additionally, LD is being forced into the same decisions as woody with a limited roster. JJ is not the problem, its the roster.

bo

May 8th, 2011
8:47 pm

The Hawks are in the playoffs and the lakers and spurs arent.wow

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
8:54 pm

So far, the Hawks have come to play. If nothing else, that’s good to see.

bo

May 8th, 2011
9:00 pm

As a lifelong Hawks fan,I also bacame a Lakers fan. What I saw today from the Lakers I realize I was just having a bad dream. We all know that when you are having a bad dream , you do something within the dream like flying or other things that assure you that you are dreaming. I am going on top of my roof right now and I am going to jump of and fly and then I will know everything is fine.

bo

May 8th, 2011
9:04 pm

thanks josh. Has anybody seen Al Horford

Melvin

May 8th, 2011
10:07 pm

4 of Marvin’s 5 shots (80%) have been block. My goodness…

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
10:13 pm

They called a phantom foul on Zaza when Boozer took a jumper. Marvin got blatantly fouled in the act of shooting 3 times without a whistle, and then got called for two ticky tack fouls on the other end. This is the worst officiating I’ve ever seen in a Hawks game.

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:23 pm

Down to the wire…

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:30 pm

Teague with the two dishes and the strong drives!

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:35 pm

Take Crawford out. We need D.

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:38 pm

Yeah! Teeeeeague! JT0! He’s earning it!

JT0!

Melvin

May 8th, 2011
10:38 pm

Jeff Teague, this is your Hawks team Sir…. I have officially passed you the keys….

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:48 pm

Yeah!

But the downside of this win is the sensation that we could easily be 3-1 or have swept these a-holes…

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
10:48 pm

We’re back boys!

vava74

May 8th, 2011
10:53 pm

4/4 and 2 dishes and a block just on the second half of the 4th quarter!

Yeah! Make them pay!

We should bear in mind that in game 6 Teague will be marked to be defended better.

But who they let free for that? Jamal? JJ? Al in the post?

Make them pay!

Melvin

May 8th, 2011
11:05 pm

I still can’t believe 80% of Marvin shots were block tonight… SMH

vava74

May 8th, 2011
11:07 pm

And as I said: limit CHI’s 3 point shots!

doc

May 8th, 2011
11:08 pm

I do love J SMASH!

vava74

May 8th, 2011
11:11 pm

Why? Why can’t Josh and Hawks play like this all the time?

Why?

vava74

May 8th, 2011
11:21 pm

Josh’s press conference is making me cringe…

… I have the distinctive sensation that Josh instead of learning and pick up from this point will come out shooting the long ball … So many questions about his shot selection and he will respond the wrong way…

vava74

May 8th, 2011
11:22 pm

56 out of 100 points in the paint

vava74

May 8th, 2011
11:28 pm

And again, more Zaza = more hustle.

More hustle = hawks win

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
11:48 pm

Melvin,

Did you see the plays? Marvin got clobbered on two of them and also was fouled on a third. On the third one, he got hit across the body without it really altering his path – in the playoffs, it was a foul that isn’t usually called, but the reason I bring it up is that Rose got to the line on the same type of play 3 different times during the game. And then Marvin got whistled for breathing on Bulls at the other end. Incredible.

As soon as the inadvertent whistle happened, I knew that the post-game commentary from the talking heads would be how the refs blew THAT call rather than the 8-10 ridiculous foul calls against the Hawks and the 6-8 ridiculous no-calls on the Bulls. It was so damned predictable. I still can’t believe Marvin got hit across the face with no whistle, and then Zaza breathed on Boozer’s elbow and was called for a shooting foul. Total BS. And you could tell the Hawks were pissed about it, especially in the first half.

The Hawks kept their energy level high. They were electric from the time the ball went up. It was the hardest I’ve EVER seen them play. If they can bottle that energy for 2 more games, they will get into the ECF. Unless Stern sends the refs another memo…

niremetal

May 8th, 2011
11:49 pm

Bah, blog monster ate a post where I b!tched about the refs. Ah well.

doc

May 9th, 2011
12:39 am

nire the refs sucked big time. i think they also missed a charge that should have been called on teague but it was far from make up as they missed so many the other way. rose is a protected commodity now and he gets the calls forever going forward. the foul will be called so you might as well make sure he feels it.

still reflecting back on how aggressive teague has been on defense. he plays rose straight up or follows korver running wildly through the maize of bulls like his shadow. yes as i called jt, jt0 last week, he has earned it.

geez, rose is so good.

Sautee

May 9th, 2011
1:50 am

doc,

I realize that you didn’t have the replay available, but Korver was clearly inside the dotted line on the Teague non-charge call.

Isn’t it amazing when J-Smash shows up?

vava74

May 9th, 2011
2:42 am

Only watched live the 4th quarter.

Watching now: 6.52 to go in the second and we already have 3-0 in calls/non-calls going the bulls’ way:

Foul on Marvin at the rim (block my *ss)
Foul on Pachulia at the rim.

Second quarter:

Phantom foul on Zaza – boozer to the line.

vava74

May 9th, 2011
2:46 am

Phantom call (3rd foul) on Horford with 5 to go in the 2nd.

4-0

doc

May 9th, 2011
7:13 am

no sautee i couldnt see it on the replays on the big tv and thanks. it loooked like he was far enough away from the basket. funny the only “blown” call by the officials was the one they admitted they didnt call for rose and called it an inadvertant whistle. they hacked with no calls, we slapped at thin air and call were made.

in stern rules you have to beat the refs, too, just as the mavs did. seems the lakers came undone when it wasnt going their way and more ron artest’s were uncovered on their team. really sorry to see bynum do that he is supposed to be better than that. if they dont get more than what marvin did after his incident then there is reason for pause to stop doing the nba and go on.

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
8:17 am

Great team win. LD had a good plan, and the players executed well. And Teague looks like a veteran out there.

Props to the Hawks fans in the arena too. They provided some extra energy, and would not be outdone by the Bulls fans.

doc,

Very disappointed in Bynum too. Not only was it a punk move, but he also went after the smallest guy on the court. I think Lakers GM will call up the Magic’s GM and offer him anybody on the roster (except for Kobe) in a trade for Howard.

vava74

May 9th, 2011
8:34 am

Finished watching the game a few minutes ago.

There were at least 8 to 9 very clear blown calls going the Bulls favor.

Just in the third quarter Josh got fouled by Gibson twice (charge converted in 2 FT, dunk where he fell on his back with clear contact). There was a third call that I don’t recall. All in a span of 1 minute.

We benefited from 2 calls down the line: Teague’s charge (pretty clear) and Crawford’s foul on Rose, but Teague got fouled in one of his lay ups and no call, as it was the whole game when Teague got to the rack.

The latter call which has been said benefiting us (Rose 3FTs) IMO was doubtful, Crawford jumped vertically and at some point refs need to start calling these correctly.

If someone jumps vertically you should not be able to simply get yourself under and get the call.

So, in my book, the no call was a good call, although Salvatore has since said that he was wrong…

Talk about pressure… We should brace ourselves for an even worse showing by the refs in CHI but if Josh played like he did in the second half we should be able to compete.

Collins may have been limited by fouls but 2 dunks and 2 charges drawn. That’s worth 8 points.

Zaza with enough minutes almost invariably produces what we need from him. Sometimes he should shot that midrange jumper and do it with confidence like he did in the second quarter.

That would help keep defenses honest.

Diaper Al was much better tonight. Very few rebounds but one of them was KEY off Rose’s missed FT and you simply can’t contest his efficiency down low.

What is there to be afraid down low? When he took his body against Noah’s he simply dislodged him from the paint and dunked the ball at will. Gotta repeat that in CHI.

Great solidly quiet game by JJ. Did not force it in the 4th when CHI overplayed him, allowing us to get easy baskets off the double and triple teams.

Teague is showing that he can play at this level. Obviously that with Jamal and JJ getting double teamed he is benefiting from some space but those 4th quarter layups were simply sick.

And he added 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal on Rose!

doc

May 9th, 2011
9:47 am

yeah vava, in the first half, zaza clearly had a vertical hands up with no jump (because he cant) and rose ran right into it and they called zaza for it. the only way he could have not made contact would be to bring his hands down. he did absolutely nothing with his hands except hold them up. no call or call it as a charge into a set player. sautee said teague wasnt called because the defender had his feet inside the circle which i didnt see at the game on replay.

doc

May 9th, 2011
9:50 am

thibs works the refs almost as much as rivers does. man he is on them all the time for saying they do such a good job. ;-) he yells at them much more than his own team. i would prefer a coach more verbal and then tell his team to sfu to refs and he will do the talking for them.

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
9:51 am

doc

May 9th, 2011
9:52 am

o’b thanks for the bibby update. except for a brief flash he has been as awful there as he was here his last two months. he may regret putting aside 6 mil if they dont win a championship.

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
10:07 am

Great win last night. In addition to Tegaue’s play, it is interesting to watch his personality unfold. He is showing some emotion on the court instead of that previous “whatever” demeanor.

No need to comment on Josh’s game… everyone knows that he is the one who most often stops (and starts) himself. He decides if good/bad Josh shows up on a quarter-to-quarter basis, we’re all being held hostage by his personal dysfunction. A caller this morning suggested that Woody should not have called him “Smoove”, it was a fair and interesting point… even though JOsh played a little more like good Josh under Woody than he has under LD. But nonetheless, a fair point to suggest that Josh’s alter-ego shouldn’t be enabled by his head coach (or teammates for that matter).

I took the time to watch a few plays on the DVR when Joe was doubled team. I suggest that you all do the same. In some cases, Joe was clearly very slow moving the ball. In most cases, his teammates literally did NOT move. No cuts, no attempts to create a passing lane, they just stood there, looking at Joe try to do something with 4 arms encasing him. Kind of like a WR who makes no adjustment when his QB is being blitzed and then wonders why he didn’t receive a pass while running 40 yards up the field. Very frustrating.

LD gets credit for the Twin line-up yesterday. Even when it doesn’t seem like that would be the best line-up, they tend to be so much better defensively that one has to believe that LD should never revert back to the regular version.

Meanwhile, sign me up for acquiring Andrew Bynum. Yes, he is an injury risk. But virtually every Hawk is a mental risk. And trade Hinrich… he is still considered a starting PG and that is too valuable to keep on the bench next season. I’d rather see Sund go with a more traditional 4-guard rotation than what we’ve done the past several seasons.

Did anyone see Barkley at halftime? One only wonders if his mean-spirited attack on Josh will help or hurt. But it was funny. Very funny.

And Sund needs to go get Bynum while he is being villafied in LA (in case I didn’t mention that previously).

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
10:13 am

It seemed like LD was quietly calling out Joe for not studying game film (based on his pre-Game 4 comments). We certainly haven’t seen that before… I’m usually not a fan of using the media to communicate to players but I appreciate his attempt to reach the too-often stoic Joe by any means necessary.

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
10:26 am

AJ,

I really like Teague’s new found dog. From espn.com;

There was second-year point guard Jeff Teague, in the middle of the first quarter Sunday night, shouting back at an assistant coach after he was taken out of the game, presumably for a mistake he didn’t believe was his fault..

I hope he is able to nurture it and allow it to continue to grow leading up to next season.

As for Barkley, somebody should have called him out after the game. Prior to the game, he said Hawks had no chance because Rose made it to the arena.

And I am on board with getting Bynum. But I don’t think we have anything that LA wants (especially with Dwight Howard out there).

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
10:27 am

And I like the fact that LD is willing to try different things (different lineups, calling JJ and Josh out in the media) etc.

niremetal

May 9th, 2011
10:45 am

It’s so, so clear at this point that LD is a better playoff coach than Woody. He makes adjustments on a game to game and even quarter to quarter basis, and it shows. Thibodeau’s move in the chess match next. Thibodeau adjusted to game 1 by pulling out the Jordan Rules on JJ and Jamal and freeing D-Rose to come off multiple screens. LD flipped the script last night by getting better spacing on offense and by trapping D-Rose off screens on defense. Now it’s Thibs’ move in the chess match. But really, this series will come down to whether the Hawks can continue to play smart and hard like they did last night. If the Bulls can’t dominate the glass or get the hustle points, it’s tough to see how they can beat the Hawks. 60 wins or no, it’s clear that the Hawks have a more balanced team when the play the right way.

doc

May 9th, 2011
10:55 am

AJ, it wasnt woody but the gosh dern askg organization has called him j smoove with every frigging basket or introduction. it is the problem in the organization to tap into that stuff. i dont think even as enabling an organization the cavs were with labron they didnt announce “the king!”, every time he did anything from pick up talc or make a half court bucket. you know i have long seen the promise in josh, seen his head issues, pleading to get him to a sports psychologist in much the way john smoltz used one to overcome his own demons but most emphatically, i have DEPLORED that nickname to where i NEVER refer to him as such. it is either josh smith or J SMASH for me.

J SMASH turned up last night. let the heavens open up.

i guess AJ, you have also criticized LD for not holding those guys accountable. it seems behind closed doors he has and it is if since that wasnt working he has begun to get their attention in the media. that is a very tough road to take and may backfire; for now that seems to be what LD is doing for all the world to see.

woody sort of did the same thing but more on the team but didnt hold back when it came to josh like letting everyone know and have josh say out loud that he would not do the three point thing last year. woody would say things like get 50 wins, be elite and get to the second round. that last one was his undoing as it was like mark richt with the best team in the land by si saying all he wanted was to get to the sec championship and it would take care of itself. goals dont work that way, do they?

barkley can say whatever he wants as it is very entertaining what he says. none of those guys get it right anyway any more than we do here. in fact we may get it righter than them or ld. heh heh

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
10:55 am

nire, no doubt about LD over Woody. Both are/were forced to spend too much time focused on energy, effort and execution, but LD is better once he gets that energy, effort and execution. Woody was probably better at coaxing those 3Es from the team but didn’t meet that with the proper game plan/adjustments. I’d still choose “none of the above” if we could have a do over… but I will enjoy the ride until next summer.

doc

May 9th, 2011
11:08 am

nire, we have to do what no other team or teams were unable to do this season if we are to win this thing and show the superiority you suggest. that is to win two in a row from them. they went the whole season without losing two in a row.

nice that it took rose so many shots to get his points which came in spurts it seemed.

since i was at the game, i would like to know what barkley said about josh and if it hit the mark.

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
11:22 am

doc, when they went to the TNT Studio at halftime, Barkey was on the set wearing a helmet that read “Test Dumbie”. He then said something to the affect that when Josh Smith takes jumpers, that he is a “Test Dumbie”. (And yes, C-Webb did ask about “Dum-bie”). He also suggested that the safety helmet is needed for fans in the front row whn Josh takes those ill-advised jumpers. He complemented Josh’s overall abilities and tried to stay focused on his commentary only related to shooting jumpers. Kenny Smith also used his film segment to discuss Josh’s decision-making, both when he decided to drive into the paint and do something good and when he settled for a long jumper. I’m sure that their half-time segment is available somewhere for you to observe online. But the notion that his shot selection was being associated with a mindless test dummy was pretty insulting. (And seeing Barkley in the goofy-looking helmet was very funny).

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
11:26 am

doc

May 9th, 2011
11:43 am

as far as apologies barkley gave one and they laid two huge eggs after game one. barkley needs to keep up his act if it means josh and the team plays better.

NBA Mafia

May 9th, 2011
11:43 am

D Rose gets calls like Jordan .So what if one referee blows a call. Guess he wasn’t in the loop.

doc

May 9th, 2011
11:48 am

thanks aj very funny indeed. i hope josh can laugh at it as he continues his inside rampage and takes the team to the ecf. i also hope the prove em wrong josh doesnt show up and josh now knows where the bait is attracted to, the area between his ears.

niremetal

May 9th, 2011
12:02 pm

O’B,

That was a great article on ESPN. EXCELLENT article. I gotta say though, that this is frustrating to see after a game like last night:

“When people who don’t understand the game or know the game [criticize me], it really doesn’t faze me,” Smoove responded when Smith was asked how he handles the terse reaction from fans to his struggles on the court.

Ok. What about criticism from your teammates, coaches, commentators, and basketball luminaries? Do Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello, Jack Ramsay, Kenny Smith, Jeff Van Gundy, and probably the ghosts of Chuck Daly and Red Auerbach all not understand the game? It’s worrying to see these types of quotes after a game like last night, where Josh went 1-6 on long jumpers but DOMINATED in the paint, because Josh still seems to think that he needs to prove the doubters about his perimeter game wrong rather than simply rendering their doubts irrelevant.

Josh’s focus needs to be on dominating with his strengths, not on trying to prove that he has no weaknesses. So yeah, Josh needs to give Smoove a blindfold and a cigarette and let Smith take over his body full time.

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
12:31 pm

doc,

I think Josh will use it as motivation to continue to take (and hopefully make) jumpers to prove Barkley wrong.

The reason for the Lakers coming apart? They didn’t have Josh Powell :smile:

O'Brien

May 9th, 2011
12:34 pm

nire,

I thought the same thing. Just when you think the light bulb is on in Josh’s head, he says something to make you realize that he still doesn’t know when to turn the switch on or off.

kwooden

May 9th, 2011
12:47 pm

Game 1 was the best I’ve ever seen this team, play, but last nights performance is 1 better! JJ knocked down open 3’s, Teague finished at the rim (especially in the 2nd half) and Josh did his thing! But more then anything else they executed on offensive. They really made Chicago pay for their double teams and aggressiveness on shooters. Horford and Collins had at least 5 dunks because of extra passes out of double teams. Josh pushing the ball off rebounds made a hugh difference, but the real value was in just getting the rebound. Also, I really liked what Kenny said at half-time about Josh closing space on the defenders. If he can drive and get either Gibson or Boozer back peddling he can get to the foul line on 80% of his drives.

I think the Bulls adjustments for tomorrow night will be quicker passes from Rose out of double teams and for the bigs to try and stay home more on their double teams of JJ and Jamal. We need to keep rebounding the ball and attacking the double team with quick one dribble jumpers or quick passes to the high or low post. Jeff has to stay aggressive also, hit 1 or 2 jumpers and drive hard to the basket!

We’re learning to get better, I hope the growth continues tomorrow night.

GO HAWKS!!

kwooden

May 9th, 2011
12:54 pm

As for Smoove vs Smith, I think Josh is who he is. Very similar to Lamar Odom, in terms of talent and not bring it every night. (or just can’t bring it every night!) Josh is a rhythm player, like some guys are rhythm jump shooters or streaky jump shooters. When his rhythm isn’t right, he stands around, runs back on defensive slow and doesn’t get rebounds. When he’s in rhythm, the jump hook looks good, his passes look crisp and he’s rebounding. He needs to consistently get himself in rhythm, but only he can do that. I think his teamates can help a little, but they’ve got their own problems to deal with.

Melvin

May 9th, 2011
1:55 pm

Look as if the guy LD was hesitant to play may have saved his job. M-V-Teague… LOL

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
2:10 pm

Melvin, or LD is saving Teague from an Acie Law career. LOL.

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
2:15 pm

Or Marcus Williams (former 1st round pick out of UCONN).

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
3:47 pm

IMO, Sund’s job is to understand why Jamal’s statement is true and then do something about it. Since it is not likely a coaching issue alone, then find the players who contribute to this and move them. (I suspect that trading away Bibby was one of the first steps toward that goal).

Jamal Crawford sums up #Hawks: “We’ve shown we can play with anybody, and some nights we can play with nobody.”

niremetal

May 9th, 2011
3:52 pm

Trading Smoove will be step 2, Astro. Unless Josh can figure out a way to exorcise Smoove from himself.

poobear jenkins

May 9th, 2011
4:02 pm

Coach make teague the starting 1 guard from now on period !!!!!!!!

Melvin

May 9th, 2011
4:38 pm

Josh Smith on booing #Hawks fans: “They expect a lot out of me but they have to understand I’m a human being.”

Melvin

May 9th, 2011
4:50 pm

Astro,

I think step 2 for Sund should be to acquire some adequate depth. So when Josh wants to turn into JSmoove, you can sub him for a Gibson, Big Baby, Blair type level player. Or when Marvin wants to disappear you can sub him for a Brewer, Krover, Barnes or Posey level type player and another quality big guy would help as well. I think we are set at the guards spots with Joe, Jamal, Jeff and Kirk…

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
4:53 pm

nire, would you trust that the exorcism is complete based on whatever may happen over the remainder of this postseason? That is the thing… if he is good Josh for 80% of the remainder of the minutes, do you roll the dice that he has turned the corner and keep him?

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
5:02 pm

Melvin, with some type of salary restriction (whatever the new CBA says), finding quality back-ups may be challenging. So while I understand that “cautionary approach”, I’m not sure that we can afford Jamal AND a quality big like Big Bay AND a quality SF like Korver. With double-digit salaries invested in Joe, Josh and Al and another $15M in Hinrich/Marvin, I’m fairly sure that we can’t do it all within the budget constraints. We’d need for someone like Ike Diogu or Jarvis Hayes (or some other minimum wage vet) to far exceed their historic performances. And that seems doubtful.

mykhalc

May 9th, 2011
5:05 pm

to follow niremetal’s point, after enjoyin’ Josh’s performance and the team’s performance last nite, just listenin’ to his post game and First Take interview this morning, all i can say is the Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde has gone NOWHERE!!! he is who he is…

and Joe, how many times over the last 3 yrs did we think Josh ahd turned the corner? just askin’…

Astro Joe

May 9th, 2011
5:14 pm

mykhalc, I’m just asking the question. I’ve been leading the “he ain’t gonna get much better/saner” parade for years around these parts. But honestly, I’m checking out Zach Randolph’s recovery from the brink and I’m wondering if this unprecedented backlash on “Smoove” may be the catalyst to something. At the same time, I have often theorized that Josh’s road to self-actualization may not EVER happen in Atlanta. Many a young man had to leave home to “find themselves” and Josh may be no different. His final wake-up call may require a one-way ticket out of Atlanta. The overall temperature of the blog world (around these parts) has always been pro-Josh.. just checking to see if things have really changed and folk are truly ready to rid themselves of Jekyll/Hyde.

mykhalc

May 9th, 2011
5:41 pm

Joe, oh man i know. i was merely askin’ how many times we’ve asked it amongst ourselves? quite a bit i believe.

my 2cents, based on my readin’ between the lines at LD’s presser after the game…Josh ain’t goin’ nowhere…especially if LD is here…just my gut on this one tho…

vava74

May 10th, 2011
8:06 am

Let’s make a wager on the number of long jumpers Josh will launch tonight and the number of misses off those jumpers:

I’ll start: 8 but he will hit 5.

He is bound to break out of his slump and have one of those 2 games out of 10 in which his shot is good.

But my guess is that we will lose by double digits tonight.

In game 4 CHI did not bring their overalls and we did. I expect a much much much more hardworking CHI team tonight and, as SVG said, we tough when we get up but once we get down…