Archive for December, 2009

Zaza, the Jazz and some links

Hey, folks -

Hope you are well.

Had a few things for you. I talked to Zaza Pachulia Thursday about his alley-oop pass to Al Horford in the Memphis game. (If you didn’t see it, he forced a turnover, started going upcourt and then lobbed to Horford on the break.) I’ll have that Q&A – not terribly newsworthy, but kind of fun and interesting, I thought – and then  some stuff from Mike Woodson about Utah, my brief take on Friday night and a couple links.

Q&A with Zaza

Q: What happened on the play?

A: I took a couple dribbles and I saw that nobody was guarding me so I took it all the way. I was just trying to read the defense and Al Horford did a great job. He ran on the fast break and he was ahead of everybody. Rudy Gay was kind of in between and I just threw the ball up. Al is very athletic and I knew he was going ot get it. It was a great play. Al made it happen because he ran.

Q: When you let it go, did you think you might have thrown it too high?

A: It felt good. But still …

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Some pre-Grizzlies talk

Hey, folks-

My apologies for not coming to you earlier. I was going to blog last night, then this morning and it’s just been one of those days.

Anyway, loyal blogger Nunna Yo Biznezz gave me a few questions he wanted asked in the locker room.

Here are the ones I was able to ask:

Of Al Horford: Will we see you playing power forward this year? Do you miss playing (and dominating) at that spot like you did in college:

1) “That’s a good question. That’s a good question. I don’t’ think it’s happened this year necessarily. Last year I played more forward with Zaza (Pachulia) in at the 5. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

(I’m guessing you can read into it, but it certainly sounded like he wouldn’t mind playing some minutes there.)

2) “See, in college we really didn’t have a center or a power forward. Me and Joakim (Noah) played both. Coach (Billy Donovan) never said, ‘You’re the forward, you’re the center. We just played. In college, it’s kind of like me and Josh (Smith’s)  situation right …

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Hope all are well and enjoying another win. A few thoughts.

1) Randolph Morris looked pretty solid again. Mike Woodson always talks about how bench guys have to perform when they’re on the floor and take advantage of their minutes, and he’s done that. I don’t know how he fits into the scheme of things, but it would seem like he’s making a strong case for more time.

2) Same thing with Mo Evans. It seems like he’s trying to prove something out there. He was 4-for-4 from 3-point range Sunday. “Mo’s playing great,” Jamal Crawford said. “I told him, wherever he’s at in his head, mentally, just stay there. He’s locked in right now and he’s doing a heck of a job.”

3) I started looking last night for the last time the Hawks won three games in a row by more than 20 points. I got to the early 90’s and couldn’t find an example. I’ll keep looking, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s never happened. Even though the competition isn’t much, this is a pretty remarkable stretch of …

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Coming up on Game 23

Hey, folks-

Hope all are well. A few things:

While some interesting things were said on the topic, I am going to completely not venture an opinion on the European players thing.

KevinA  – thanks for the number crunching (the Hawks are 8-0 when they hit 22 or more assists and 10-1 when JJ has five or more assists) . I think this obviously says plenty about what makes them go. It’’s something that the players and Mike Woodson recognize, that they play their best when they’re unselfish and when they get out and run. Al Horford says this a lot.

This isn’t exactly the most insightful observation you’re about to read, but this obviously happens most when they’re defending and rebounding to start their transition game. It’s trite, but they have to defend well to win.

One thing I’ll say about Jeff Teague – even when he wasn’t playing much, he wasn’t having too much trouble getting to the basket. But he had a pretty low percentage on his drives. It seemed like 1 out of 4 shots in the …

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Joe Smith out, and some tidbits

Hello, Hawks fans-

Hope you are all well. A few things.

1) Joe Smith won’t be making the trip to Toronto. He’ll stay home for treatment, and Othello Hunter will be activated in his place. It’s possible Smith could play Sunday against New Jersey, but it would seem like that’d be an outside shot, perhaps somewhat dependent on what Hunter does against Toronto. Mike Woodson said Marvin Williams could be an option at 4 behind Al Horford if he doesn’t get what he wants from Hunter.

Smith had his hand in a wrap Thursday. He said the thumb was very sore.

2) A quick thought on Wednesday’s game:

They got a lot of help from the Bulls (Kirk Hinrich, playing after missing the last six games with a sprained thumb, missed all nine of his shots) but the Hawks played pretty tough defense for the second game in a row. They held Dallas and Chicago under 40 percent shooting and, if the fourth quarter hadn’t turned into an AAU game between the backups, they would have held both teams to their …

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Hawks-Bulls game thread

Sorry to get on late. Busy night.

Another packed house at Philips….

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Bring out your crystal ball…

Hey, folks-

Hope all are well. A few weeks back, after the Hawks reached Game 10, I asked you to predict the next 10. Some of you responded, and I am coming back with your winner. It is Dan, largely on the strength of a fairly prescient (I thought) prediction.

Here were the rules. I asked you to predict the Hawks’ record over the next 10 games (worth 10 points), the outcome of each game (one point for each game) and then to make a prediction (worth somewhere between 1-10 points, based on the likelihood of the prediction coming to pass).

Dan missed on the 10-game record (I think he picked 7-3; they went 6-4), got five games right, but correctly predicted that Josh Smith would have four double-doubles and Joe Johnson would have three 30-point games. For going with a combination prediction and giving a specific number for Smith and Johnson’s double-doubles and 30-point games, respectively, I gave him eight points for a total of 13.  (Only Big Al correctly predicted the Hawks …

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Post Dallas

Greetings, all-

Hope you enjoyed the game Saturday night.

My thoughts:

- No matter how the Hawks shot the ball, holding Dallas to 75 points in its building is an impressive feat. It’s Dallas’ season low.

- As I made mention in the game story, the Hawks played far better defense than they did against New York and perhaps their best in awhile. Dallas had their runs, but didn’t get that many easy baskets.

- Dirk Nowitzki is ridiculous.

- The Hawks, at times, moved the ball really well to get open shots. But it went stagnant at times – a decent number of possessions where one or two players touched the ball, or players jacking up jump shots early in the shot clock when better shots could have been worked for. They had 16 assists on 32 baskets, an OK number.

- Love him or hate him, Joe Johnson did what he does best, make a lot of baskets, many of them crucial. He took 24 shots to make 31 points.

Some extra quotes:

Mike Woodson: “[Joe Johnson] got off to such a hot start and then we …

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Got it out of your system?

Somewhere over Alabama or Mississippi – I’m on my way to Dallas. It struck me as odd that I’ll be in Atlanta and Dallas today, but am covering neither the SEC or Big 12 championship.

Anyway, my quick take on the New York loss. Obviously, losing Josh Smith was huge, in that the starters burned more minutes than they would have, and the Knicks went at the basket with relative impunity. The Knicks shot 30/41 in the lane for 60 PIP – tying the season high against the Hawks – and the Hawks only blocked two shots, a season low. I don’t think it’s beyond the scope of reason to say that the Hawks would have won with Smith but I’d also say the Hawks still should have won anyway. They realized a little late that Al Horford and Joe Johnson were the answers offensively.

I don’t have an answer about how the Hawks could have protected the rim better. You’d think Woodson would have tried Joe Smith in the middle or Jeff Teague on Chris Duhon. I didn’t get to ask Woodson last night, but my …

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Hawks-Knicks thread

Hello, all-

Hope you’ll be somewhere to see the game. I’ve got to get down there before I get stuck in SEC traffic.

Things I’ll be watching
1) What do the Hawks do with Al Harrington? The former Hawk busted out for 21 in the first game and had control of the game in the first half. Watch for double teams if he gets it in the post.

2) Same question with Toney Douglas. Expect him to see plenty of minutes off the bench, as Nate Robinson is squarely in Mike D’Antoni’s doghouse. Douglas also went for 23. Perhaps Mike Woodson goes to Jeff Teague, who knows a little about defending Douglas from their ACC days, and might be a good match in quickness.

3) Can the good feelings of unselfishness from Wednesday keep going? The Hawks assisted on 37 of 52 baskets as they moved the ball around and found open shooters. Given the way the Knicks defend (109.1 ppg defensively, third worst in the league), I’d expect they’ll have a chance to do so.

4) How many points does Joe Johnson get? His last …

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