No news = good news?

 

You can bet Matt Harpring, Jerry Sloan and the Jazz will be ready to go against the Hawks tonight at Philips Arena.

You can bet Matt Harpring, Jerry Sloan and the Jazz will be ready to go against the Hawks tonight at Philips Arena.

HAWKSVILLE – The status of Hawks starting small forward Marvin Williams hasn’t changed since yesterday. He’s still sidelined indefinitely with a lower back injury that could ultimately cost him the rest of this season.

But as of game time Wednesday night at Philips Arena, Williams and the Hawks are still awaiting word from specialists at Duke University before they announce any further information. It still sounds like it’ll be the end of the week, and perhaps even a bit later, before anything certain comes to light in regards to Williams.

What should be a heck of game is being overshadowed by the ongoing story surrounding Williams. The Jazz showed up tonight sporting a 12-game win-streak, the NBA’s longest current streak of the kind.

These two teams also have some interesting bad blood leftover from a couple weeks back, when Josh Smith whacked former Marist and Georgia Tech star Matt Harpring on a hard foul and was ejected from the game the Hawks lost in Utah Feb. 23.

Smith promised before the game that anything that happened that night was in the past. I’ll bet the Jazz coaches reminded Harpring and everyone else in their locker room about what went down. Those are the sorts of things that a hard-nosed bunch like the Jazz won’t forget.

They’ll be ready to rumble. So the Hawks better be as well.

427 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

March 12th, 2009
12:59 am

CP,

When it comes to the end of games, I think it’s situational. If you absolutely, positively MUST have a stop on defense, if you MUST hit free throws (because the opposing team is going to purposely foul you), if you need to hit a 3 (or conversely score inside), stuff like that. These things dictate who is in the game at the end, in my opinion.

And sometimes you simply have to choose the lesser of two or three evils. In that case, I think sometimes it’s not only okay to yank a particular starter, but it’s actually good strategy.

Kirk,

You may be right. I see Charlotte as a tougher, smarter, better team than before, but road games are no joke. Jersey has the stuff to get it done. Indy has some injury issues still, and I don’t think they’ll make it anyway. Chicago is better after the trade, but with a rookie head coach, some normal/natural chemistry issues, and some inconsistent play from some of the regulars…they won’t get it done. I say it’s between Charlotte (who will have to work very hard for it), Milwaukee, and Jersey for the 8th spot. Could be wrong though.

RLP,

The problem with playing Orlando is that Alston is a pg with good quicks and a great handle, who doesn’t have to score a lot to hurt you. Nelson has a decent handle, but needs to score to be fully effective.

Ariose

March 12th, 2009
1:04 am

HAhaha!!!0h Ray that was a serious “Low” “BLow” heheheheh……

RLP

March 12th, 2009
1:16 am

Ray The only issue with Orlando is if the team’s chemistry is affected or not with fitting in a new face this late in the season. Personally once the Hawks are eliminated from the playoffs I will be rooting for the Magic because I think they have a really good team. I was just really impressed with Nelson when I saw him play. And I have not been able to really judge how his loss has affected what the season’s outcome will be.

RLP

March 12th, 2009
1:20 am

Isn’t it interesting with six teams competing for the last playoff spot that the one which currently holds the spot has a 3-7 record in it’s last 10 games? This fight will be fun. I suspect that almost every one of these teams will have pluses and minuses going into this period.

Big Ray

March 12th, 2009
1:35 am

Ariose,

I just couldn’t resist….ol’ Samuel just doesn’t rise to the bait anymore, but he’s as insistent as Clyde when it comes to his tag line. they’re like polar opposites.

Sam: Woody=COY

Clyde: FIRE WOODY

I guess for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. heh heh heh….

Big Ray

March 12th, 2009
1:48 am

RLP,

If the Hawks are out of the picture, I don’t know who I’d choose to root for, long as those blasted Celtics lose. Nelson went from being Orlando’s achilles heel to really helping them get where they are. But Alston is a good fit there. Nelson went down after Feb 2nd. Since then, the Magic went 11-6 without him. They’ll be fine. Again, Alston isn’t as much of a shooter, but he’s better with the ball in his hands when he’s not shooting then Nelson is. Nelson needed to be scoring, or he wasn’t giving the team much.

cp

March 12th, 2009
1:54 am

kirk I wasn’t saying yank Bibby like coach did Josh . What I said was why force him back in the game when it was under control and Law was playing well. It was no need to put Bibby back in. He could have enjoyed the rest because he wasn’t doing anything else. My whole point was there is no need to pull a hot hand for a cold hand just because the cold hand is a starter. You stick with what is working that game not go away from it. That logic has hurt us a few games this year where we go away from whats working and try to force something that is not working .

Samuel

March 12th, 2009
6:48 am

Ray,

Get a Job

doc

March 12th, 2009
7:05 am

kirk asked; “Bibby did not have a good game and it is true he’s not executing on a level we have grown accustomed to seeing. That said, I don’t understand why it’s ok to keep Bibby on the bench,but not Josh?”

kirk, it is because putting josh on the bench hurts your team just as it would jj or al. putting bibby on the bench for certain times in a game actually helps you because he is getting beaten and schooled by certain point guards in this league. it has brought out his worst going up against the elite point guards. you just cant say that about josh because there is no one to replace him. it also might say the coach realizes he might have been part of the problem so he moved on. bibby’s issue is performance and if you cant deliver you sit as it should be.

pure brilliance for playing mario last night for the extended minutes as the three last night as he delivered big. fun to watch the guy work so hard and actually look good on the court. sloan pushed a few buttons and tried to out big us as he had a huge tam on the court in the third and we seemed to have no answer for it. the guys persevered.

kirk, finally you put the guys on the floor to win the game not the starters at he end of games. starters are starters finishers are finishers.mo started the game and didnt finish, thankfully. did you want him at the end of the game? if bibby can do things to help us win then he stays, if not you move on. simple and it begins to shape the next year if there is a transition happening. that said, i think for short periods bibby can still bring it on defense but if he had played big minutes against paul and deron we would have not won. for that cudos to woody for putting acie in there for extended minutes and making a move to get the energy of mario in the game early at the 4:30 mark if the first quarter. ultimately, both players delivered as many of us have anticipated before the moves were made. i want starters at the beginning of the game and guys to win it at the end, the finishers who are really more important. last year as the finishers we had chills in the game as often if not more than the starter marvin. just the way it is. please dont suggest mo needs to finish a game because he started or any other player if he cant do the job.

Big Ump

March 12th, 2009
7:07 am

All the time RMS post it’s always negative about the Hawks, especially before the game and after if the Hawks lose. Now that’s consistent

Marcus

March 12th, 2009
7:08 am

Hawks are doing it at HOME. A l’il extra breathing room last 2 weeks (last second road loss to DEN, inexplicable road losses to sub. 0.500 NYK and CHA) would have been nice. building for for next year, considering our relative draft position, we will get a good player but not a dominating player from this years collegiate crop.

Daniel

March 12th, 2009
8:50 am

Great win again last night. Man, that first half made the Hawks look like they can beat anybody. Now, we have to watch out for a trap game against Indy. We need to jump on them early and choke the life out of them. I will have to admit that Woodson has used the bench more effectively since Marvin’s injury, and Acie and West have responded well. Maybe, just maybe, Acie can help this team down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2009
9:04 am

Confidence, thy name is Mike Bibby. I don’t care if Bibby is in a slump, his teamates believe in him. They believe that they are a better team with him in the game. They believe that he will make the right pass, make the big shot or draw the foul (he is by FAR the team’s best actor) in a close situation. He calms their fears. It doesn’t matter if we don’t believe the hype… his teammates believe in him. And truthfully, I doubt many opposing coaches are going to leave Bibby open at the end of a game to go and double Joe. Even if he is in a slump, he still serves as an effective “decoy” to help his team. I want Law to get more minutes but I want Bibby on the floor in late/close games because of what he does for his teammates.

Thank goodness the Chicken Littles have left the building. No more of that “the sky is falling” nonsense. The Hawks are clearly a very, very good home team and when healthy, can scare any quality team on the road. Now let’s see if the team can collectively improve their free throw shooting. It will almost certainly cost us a playoff game (or two) if we keep shooting less than 75%.

RedTailHawk

March 12th, 2009
9:06 am

Is Mark Price still free-throw coach? If he is, what is he doing for his paycheck? When Josh was not hitting any freethrows (until the last game or so), he did not give Price any credit for helping him improve. Instead, he credited JJ with telling him simply that he was not bending his knees. Very few good freethrow shooters do it without bending their knees.

Now I see Al Horford struggling at the line and notice that there is no bend in his knees whatsoever. His motion is all arm and wrist. Doesn’t anyone else see this?

Mark

March 12th, 2009
9:33 am

I have been the biggest Josh critic, but I must admit he has stepped up and if he and Al continues to get double-doubles then we will be alright. Get rid of Bibby, he is basically a LIABILITY. We can use that money for a better player. Maybe we are a better without Marvin also. It at least forces Woody to use more than three people off the bench. Flip should get an extension. He is just as important as anybody. I might start him over Bibby some nights. Joe has finally shooting better. We must improve that freethrow shooting. That might kill us in the playoffs.

Rod from College Park

March 12th, 2009
10:27 am

Great game last night fellas. I made a statement when we found out that Marvin was hurt, that I think it will actually help this team in the long run, because it will force Woody to play AC more and utilize the bench more. I stand by that comment. This Marvin injury will make this team better, and it will expose the fact that we actually play better without him on the floor. He will be missed strictly from a depth amd matchu persective, but I think we can overcome that. Would you rather have Bibby, Joe and Flip on the floor in crunch time, or Bibby, Joe and Marvin. I know which one I would want. Should we still get rid of Josh and kee Marvin? Two games is not a good way to tell, but I have a feeling that the Hawks are about to go on a run. Watch!!!!

JM

March 12th, 2009
10:30 am

Late to the blog today and I won’t get into all the “get rid of” talk, but that was a hell of a game last night (pissed I choose to go to the N.O. game instead of that one). Got to give it to Woody for the bench rotation – I was shocked to see Mario get so much time. Everything has been said already but I have to give props to Uncle Flip for his dunk on two Jazz players and to Mario for the great put back. Go Hawks.

Clyde

March 12th, 2009
10:46 am

After last night’s win I am suspending the Fire Woody tag line until the end of the season. The Hawks showed me last night they can make a deep run in the playoffs so lets enjoy it. I’ll deal with Woody later.

Al Hoford must be reading my posts. Since I called him out he has been playing better on defense. But our frontline is still this teams weakness.

Joe seems to be playing better at the 3.

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2009
10:51 am

Good for you, Clyde. Enjoy the run, I know I am. We can return to the “All Gripe All the Time” rant in the summer. The same issues will still be there but why not enjoy a playoff-bound team (with a winning record and likely home-court advantage) when you can?

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
10:52 am

The Hawks have stopped 3 or 4 long winning streaks this year, and still cant get any love from ESPN. No Hawks highlights whatsoever. What did we do to those guys? Thank God for NBA TV.

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
10:59 am

Not even ESPN News. Any they show every fukkin thing. I just saw some div 3 college basketball highlights, but still no Hawks. The ONLY time we’re on there, is if we play against Kobe or Lebron. And even then they show the back of our heads, or show one of the guys getting posterized. What’s up with that? Sekou? Anybody? I mean really! Utah was on a 12 game winning streak for crying out loud. Oh well.

ILL-logical

March 12th, 2009
11:05 am

I thought I saw one of the better NBa games of the season last night with solid play on both ends of the court from the Hawks, some decent (first half) coaching and an incrediable play at the end of the game where Josh not only guarded D Williams one-on-one but blocked his shot; caught the shot in the air; and despite being pushed/fouled by Boozer, got the outlet pass to Flip whostarted the break that lead to a breakaway dunk by Al.

But when I read the dead tree edition of the local media all I see is what Al did and what Joe said and oh,and by the way Josh led the team in every stat but scoring and played 42 minutes on a sprained ankle.

Oh, and all of the print ads had Al in them.

I know that the NBA is a business but is it good business to have made a decision about who your are going to sacrifice “for the long term growth of the franchise”?

Come on, when the silver tongued Mr. Wilkens expresses surprise at josh’s shooting ability( clearly forgetting his early days when he couln’t hit the broadside of a barn with his jumpshot) there is a discernable attitude shift going on.

Now, while Marvin recovers is the perfect time to see how having your best defensive front line works. the offence will work itself out if you run ; plus imagine Josh posting up on 6′6″ folks!

Better yet, Marvin posseses all of the ELEMENTS of Joe’s game, like 3-point shooting skills without the pound the ball into the floor liability. In a not to distant future that may have to be considered to keep the progress of the Hawks on an upward incline. Keeping the core guys albeit in different but prehaps better roles would build the chemistry that lifts teams to championship status. Unlike some of the town’s other franchises who build teams to attract a certain demographic. The Hawks have improved : with 17 games to go they have already matched last year’s victory total and will finish over .500 for the first time in years. Let’s keep the trend going with the right faces but in the right places.

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
11:24 am

Big Dave, what Mario said is the same thing that Kellon Wislow Jr. said, and he got slammed for it. Remember? That’s crazy. The media is insane.

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
11:25 am

You guys do know that if Marvin returns, Acie and Mario will go right back to the end of the bench, dont you? Just a reminder.

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
11:32 am

Last night, Larry Hughes got fouled from the 3 point line by Richard Hamilton with only a few sec to go. He drained all 3 to send the game into overtime, and the Knicks eventually won the game. I was thinking to myself, “Terrell, name one player on the Hawks roster who I could count on in a similar situation”? Couldn’t think of 1. Maybe, just maybe, Joe Johnson. But other than that, the game would be over. WE MUST MAKE OUR FREE THOWS. Plain and simple. If we dont, it’s going to really hurt us come Playoff time.

Lacsho

March 12th, 2009
11:44 am

TB, Espn has been showing Mario a lot of love today.

Great win!!!!!!

terrell barron

March 12th, 2009
12:25 pm

It looks like 37 wins might get the 8th seed in the East again this year. Milwaukee is sitting on 30 right now, with 15 to go.

Ken Strickland

March 12th, 2009
12:46 pm

I WANT TO TAKE MY HAT OFF TO HC MIKE WOODSON. THE DECISIONS HE MADE HAD A DIRECT IMPACT ON THE POSITIVE OUTCOME OF LAST NIGHTS GM. I do have one complaint though. Every NBA HC and most serious NBA fans, know Jerry Sloan disdanes the double team. Knowing that, and the fact MBibby isn’t shooting well and is a DEF liability, he shouldn’t have been in the gm at crunch time.

JJ didn’t need Bibby’s protection against the double team, he, and his teammates, needed protection against Bibby’s matador DEF. JJ shouldn’t have been required to provide as much OFF as he was asked to provide, and have to protect Bibby as well by defending the opposing PG, especially one of DWilliams’ calibur. Acie and West were far more helpful to JJ in this situation than Bibby.

BREAKING WITH HIS OLD HABITS AND INCERTING MWEST EARLY WAS A GAME ALTERING DECISION. JUST LIKE WOODSON WANTS TO SEE MORE CONSISTENCY IN THE PLAY OF ACIE AND SOLO, WE NEED TO SEE MORE CONSISTENCY IN THE COACHING AND POSITIVE DECISION MAKING OF HC MIKE WOODSON.

Wink from Lithonia

March 12th, 2009
1:06 pm

If we play this way every night, Marvin can go get well, he would not be needed. Woody was force to play the bench, with good success. Two game in a row the bench has helped us secure wins. I hope this is not the end of Marvin season because it will cause the Spirit group confusion on what to do with his contract.

Indiana will be our test game, we usually blow it against sub 500 teams. It does not surprise me that we have beaten 3 quality teams at home, but stay tuned for Friday night’s adventure.

Sekou K. Smith

March 12th, 2009
1:57 pm

News on Marvin is a bit better than expected. Still don’t know that he’ll play in the regular season but at least there’s a chance he returns for the playoffs.

niremetal

March 12th, 2009
1:59 pm

Phew! Thank god Marvin won’t need surgery

niremetal

March 12th, 2009
2:07 pm

And as several people have said, it might be good for the Hawks come playoff time since it forces Woodson to use his bench. Assuming that Marvin is actually back at 90% strength and able to play in the playoffs, the Hawks could turn out to be a very dangerous team if Woody gets comfortable with Acie and Mario getting some burn (which is far from a guarantee).

It also might lower Marvin’s stock as a RFA over the summer – although in this economy, I’m not sure teams will be offering more than the mid-level to any non-All Star anyway.

The Truth

March 12th, 2009
2:12 pm

Kudos to the Hawks and Woody for a great win against a quality Jazz Team: The win maybe the turning point in terms of consistent play for the Hawks. Even Woody didn’t look clueless. He made some good coaching decisions including bench utilization. Maybe he has also turned a coaching corner. We shall see. Regarding Bibby, I agree; at this stage of the season, you roll with your players regardless of their shooting slumps. There is a psychological benefit when a slumping player knows he is still trusted by his coach and teammates. No play-off bound team wants to go into the playoff with less than confident players. Also, if anyone still wonders whether Josh dunks has a psychological effect against the opponents, checkout this comment:

Deron Williams also was dismayed when Smith dunked over Kyle Korver to give the Hawks an 83-82 lead about 3:30 earlier.

“(Those plays) took the wind out of us at the end of the game, and we weren’t able to regain our composure after that,” he said.”I think we drove hard in the second half, but things just didn’t go our way.”

**On that note, keep dunking Josh!!**

Blast

March 12th, 2009
2:24 pm

Terrell Brandon, why are you so shocked at ESPN not showing the Hawks any love? ESPN has been doing that for years, ignoring the Hawks, but you know what? I like it. It’s kind of cool. It allows us to stay under the radar and shock more people on the court. Let them keep on touting their beloved teams, Cleveland, Boston, Miami and the Magic. Hawks, just keep on doing your thing, man. Keep Winning!

Ariose

March 12th, 2009
3:03 pm

Sekou, did marvin tell you what the doctors said it was exactly that he tweaked in his back? Spine? Muscles? Discs?

jhan

March 12th, 2009
3:24 pm

RedTail – are you trying to say Price is telling them to shoot stiff-legged? I highly doubt that. When Joe told him to bend his knees it probably reinforced what Price was preaching.

I really like Joe playing the 3 spot. He can post up & shoot over smaller 3’s & take the larger one’s off the dribble. Tough matchup. Anybody think Marvin/Josh can play that position better than him? He’s actually our best player at the 2 and 3 spots. He’s probably our second best PG as well.

RedTailHawk

March 12th, 2009
4:07 pm

Jhan – I don’t know WHAT Price is telling Josh to do. Neither do you. I do know that Josh said that JOE told him to bend his knees. He did not say that Joe reiterated, confirmed, expanded upon, reminded him of or embellished something that Price had already told him to do. And judging from the team FT percentage, perhaps Price is telling them to shoot like their legs are frozen in ice. …See Al Horford last night.

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2009
4:44 pm

jhan, I think it’s way too optimistic to expect Flip to play this well for the remainder of the season (and playoffs). And the only way Joe at the 3 works is if the PG or SG are scoring… to render the double on Joe ineffective. We don’t have much of a choice, unfortunately. I guess we can hope that when Flip slumps that Bibby or Mo may provide the spark. I just feel far more comfortable with Marvin at the 3 but again, that is a moot point for the next 4-6 weeks.

HOMEGROWN aka E.J.

March 12th, 2009
5:08 pm

What’s up fellas, I have not been on here in a while. Getting LAID OFF TODAY!!!!! SH!T!!! Great couple of games by the home team by the way. Woodrow fianlly using the bench! Anyway, if anyone knows about any employment, let me know. I need it!!! Anyway, hold it down boys, and when i can get to a computer, I will hit ya’ll up. Hopefully I can catch ya’ll at portal #5 pretzel stand. 4th seed, home court for playoffs, Yes sir!!!

jhan

March 12th, 2009
5:29 pm

I’m not sure what Price is telling them you are correct. Seems pretty far fetched to me that Price has never shown them the correct form. Do you think last week was the first time Woody told Josh to start rebounding better? Probably not – but I don’t know for sure.

AJ – I agree with you about JJ at the 3 for this year. I would give serious consideration to moving him there permanently next season. It would all depend on who is available during the off season. It’s really a nice option to have.

hawkfan

March 12th, 2009
8:00 pm

“The Hawks said Thursday Williams is out indefinitely but will try to resolve his problem with rest and treatment. Atlanta is undefeated without Williams in the lineup, winning all five games he’s missed this season.”

This kind of struck me that we have won all five games without marvin in the lineup, I am not trying to assume but…

RedTailHawk

March 12th, 2009
8:12 pm

Jhan – Very poor analogy.

” Seems pretty far fetched to me that Price has never shown them the correct form. Do you think last week was the first time Woody told Josh to start rebounding better? ”

You are confusing effort with technique.

ray

March 12th, 2009
8:53 pm

Good news for Marvin, as well as the team. Here’s to hoping that he completes his therapy and feels a lot better. And that he doesn’t come back too soon. We’ve had that happen twice already. It doesn’t take a “COY” to figure it out….

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2009
8:55 pm

jhan

March 12th, 2009
9:23 pm

RedTail – I thought you were saying our free throw shooting problems were directly related to Mark Price’s inability to teach. I was just saying it’s seems odd that the best free throw shooter in NBA history doesn’t know the proper technique.

Effort vs. Technique – maybe the guys aren’t putting forth enough effort to learn the proper technique?

It’s just like kids – parents can tell them repeatedly how or why they should do something & they think we are idiots. One of their friends tells them the same thing & suddenly the light goes on.

RedTailHawk

March 12th, 2009
9:38 pm

Jhan – The Hawks are 29th in the league at FT shooting. If their win record were 29th in the league I don’t think you would be defending Woody, even if at one time he had been an excellent “player”.

doc

March 12th, 2009
9:39 pm

we got a big game tomorrow gotta make sure we dont look over indy who has tj ford who al hroford hit last year itll be interesting to see if tj holds any ill will toward al or if they aer cool now i expect woodson to brring the troops ready since he is facing indy kidna sad that indy may have to move because of financial troubles they got some good players but with dun and grang out its not a very good team sorry to say watch out for troy murphy to do some damage inside on the baords and jarrett jack will be comign back to the atl so watch out for ihm too the interesting game will be on sunday when portland is in town brandon roy should haev a good matchup with joe who seems to be rejuvenated so itll be interesting to see the real test is vs san antonio lakers and bsoton those will be some tough games but itll be at home so hopefully we can steal a few i know for sure ill be at the games in my season seats so it should all be good im glad to see marvin soghuld return befoer the end of the year we definitely need ihm even tho mario played well last night would also lie to see some productino from mo evans good role player but not much else

rms

March 12th, 2009
9:41 pm

All my posts aren’t negative and inconsistent, its the Hawks who are inconsisent. Their erractic play sometimes drives me nuts!

Lacsho

March 12th, 2009
9:57 pm

Nice article, but it’s not totally accurate. Smoove wasn’t playing selfish ball; he was actually leading the team in scoring. He took a bad shot, but how many bad shots does Bibby take every night. JJ said everyone needs to get on the same page… Hmmm I wonder what book JJ, Bibby, and Woody are reading from. Oh that’s right, they’re reading that old school book, which is really outdated.

It’s good to see flashes of the old JJ.

However, I do agree that Woody needs to go, at the end of the season. Keep in mind, if Marvin never get hurts West and Law would remain on the bench, while Bibby is shooting us out of games. Bibby might be the only starting pg in the NBA guarding the other teams two guard. That’s a damn shame and he’s earning 14 million a year.

Mr. Gardner is freezing on the bench; he might be the best three point shooter on the team, but we won’t see it this year. I’d play RIO and Gardner before I’d play Mo.

Peace!!!!!

Lacsho

March 12th, 2009
9:59 pm

I digress to bad the rest of the team lacks Rio’s heart heart and tenacity