Hawks Squawks: Hawks 108, Kings 97

– The reserves won this one, turning back the Kings in the third quarter. Woody went with the bench players after the Kings got back in the game.

– No Hawks starter played more than 32 minutes. Five reserves played 10 minutes or more.

– “Energy,” Zaza said of the reserves’ impact. “Hustle plays. Defensive stops. We’ve got one of the best offensive players, Jamal Crawford, on our unit. I love our second unit all year long.”

– I got the feeling the reserves would like more opportunities to play major minutes when the starters are sagging. Maybe they will after this.

– “On the bench, it’s something we discussed is to try to get in there and bring some energy on the defensive end, first of all, and let the offense handle itself,” Joe Smith said.

– The Hawks have reached the halfway point of the season with 27 victories. They lead the Southeast Division and trail Boston by one a half game for No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.

– “That’s good,” Smith said. “That means we are within reach of our goal of 50 wins.”

Mo Evans sparked the Hawks in the third quarter after the Kings got back within four. He made a corner 3-pointer before blocking Tyreke Evans’ shot and corralling it for a fastbreak dunk. Zaza’s dunk off a pass from Crawford put the Hawks up 81-67.

– “There wasn’t a lot of people in the stands so we had to create our own energy,” Mo Evans said. “Everyone started to pick up off those defensive plays and the easy baskets.”

– So the Hawks had a video session Tuesday in which Woody calls out his vets for not leading the effort on D. J.J. agrees and says the perimeter guys in particular need to pick it up.

– And then the Kings promptly came out and scored 34 of their first 42 points in the paint. Like the Thunder two days before, the Kings kept reversing the ball and attacking the basket until they got what they wanted.

– The Hawks wanted to feed Al Horford on post-ups early. But the first time Woody called his number, Horford appeared confused and was slow to get in position. Then he was indecisive once Mike Bibby gave it to him in the post. The possession ended with a missed 3-pointer by Joe Johnson.

– Ugly.

– Woody’s frustration was obvious early. He kept needing to tell guys where to go and they were slow getting there. He tried to put on a press in the second quarter but the Kings broke it with one pass when Smoove didn’t cover the middle of the court.

– That one prompted Woody to sit dejectedly on the bench. He feels your pain.

– But unlike you, he gets to do something about it. Eventually, Woody stopped barking at his starters and let his bench guys play out the third quarter.

– A second-quarter lineup featured Jeff Teague, Crawford, Evans, Smoove and Zaza. That’s allegedly a pretty good defensive lineup but the Kings opened the period with a 12-6 run.

– The Hawks finally picked it up, closing the first half with a 21-8 run. Breakaway dunks by Marvin Williams and Smoove got the crowd into it.

– Marvin was the most aggressive starter early. He had six points within the first eight minutes, including four free throws.

– Kings guard Tyreke Evans went right at J.J., who of course wasn’t going to give any ground to the rookie. Evans eventually grew frustrated with the refs.

– Got to like the Bibby-Smoove pick-and-roll game, especially if opponents are going to trap Bibby. He’s expert at getting it through, and Smith is unstoppable if he can explode to the rim without dribbling.

– Crawford converted his 22nd career 4-point play in the fourth (it was a bad call, but still). Crawford is two behind all-time leader Reggie Miller.

– As the final seconds ticked off, a fan told Woody: “Nicely coached game.” And it was. Woody seemed genuinely thankful for the kind words.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

95 comments Add your comment

Hawk Str8Talk

January 20th, 2010
11:15 pm

I’m happy to see Woodson work through the problems of the team with adjustments during the game. So often, he lets the game go without one adjustment only to talk about the problem in the post game interviews or video sessions. At this stage, we need to be acting and making adjustments DURING the game. This is the first time all season I’ve felt like a game plan was instituted and when it wasn’t working – Woodson went to something else instead of watching and complaining. Doesn’t matter if it works (it did, though) – just keep trying until you determine what you have in your toolkit.

JSmoove10

January 20th, 2010
11:39 pm

Michael,
Great first week of coverage. Doing a great job. Why doesn’t Woody put Randolph Morris in more often? It seems that every time he gets minutes (garbage time) he scores the ball effectively. It seems he could be an assist when the team is struggling to score.

Section 303

January 20th, 2010
11:44 pm

The crowd was actually decent tonight. The game was a little dull. I just did not think the Hawks were in any danger of losing, even when they were down.

Worried about this Bobcat game on Friday. Did you guys see what the Bobcats did to the Heat tonight? And, what they have been doing to a lot of teams lately? Could be tough…Hawks owe them for that beat down they took in Charlotte, though.

Show up on Friday, everyone. We are going to need a big, loud, angry crowd.

vava74

January 20th, 2010
11:45 pm

Ken Strickland will have a field day with this one:

Mo Evans: “We were able to run up and down a little bit and not worry about coming out if we made a mistake.”

i’m ouuut tooooo but before I go: nice job MC, you are really on top of things!

Loserville USA

January 21st, 2010
12:35 am

Raw talent can only take you so far…. Some of the Hawks have the intelligence of a potato chip and it shows.

Josh Smith: Use a nickname when a team you’re on ACTUALLY does something.
Marvin Williams: Show up 2 games in a row.
Joe Johnson: You’re a great player when you don’t force shots.
Mike Bibby: Does almost every break have to be a lob pass thrown away?
Jamal Crawford: Don’t fall in love with yourself just yet.
Al Horford: See Marvin Williams.

Until this team can beat Cleveland and show ANY heart against Orlando, forget it.

Wabe

January 21st, 2010
12:47 am

Just saw on ESPN that the C’s have offered the Knicks a trade for Nate Robinson. The same Nate Robinson that just torched the Hawks DEF. Wouldn’t that be something if they pulled that off. Wonder what that deal would look like.

Benjamin

January 21st, 2010
12:56 am

Will be looking forward to the Bobcats on Friday. As a poster stated earlier, I expect them to be a tough opponent. They’ve been playing very well of late.

I’ve got to give a minor plug out to Joe Smith for putting in a very efficient 15 minutes tonight. 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists… plus, he was a solid defender in the post. I know he doesn’t have the legs any more to play excessive minutes, and he’s not the guy some thought he was going to be coming out of Maryland, but I love having him on our bench.

Bibby aside, solid night for our first unit, as well. The more I think about Bradley’s blog on the Hawks from earlier today, the more I tend to believe he was right; Al Horford deserves more looks. 15 points tonight on just 8 shots from the field… good night in the paint for him, too.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what things look like down the stretch.

Benjamin

January 21st, 2010
12:59 am

http://espn.go.com/nba/notebook/_/page/Awards-100119/awards-watch

Am a little surprised at this point that Coach Woodson and Josh Smith aren’t getting more respect.

Smith should be in the top 5 in defensive players, in my opinion, and it’s a travesty that Woody isn’t in the top 5 in coaches. If the season were to end today and we were to win the Southeast, that alone would have him third or fourth on my list. Several publications were picking us to finish third in the division in the preseason…

Clyde

January 21st, 2010
4:15 am

Clyde

January 21st, 2010
4:18 am

IF THE DJ PLAYED MORE GUCCI MANE AND IF THEY WOULD GET RID OF KISS CAM I WILL WOULD COME TO MORE GAMES TO SUPPORT THE HAWKS.

Jay

January 21st, 2010
6:40 am

Mike,

I seat down low in sec 109, in the fourth quarter, a scout sat behind me, he stated that he was from the Nets, we had a conversation about the pro and cons of Marvin Williams. Any word from the Hawks about a trade with Nets? or any trades. I know that the scout could have been here for the Kings.

vava74

January 21st, 2010
7:40 am

Clyde,

It’s good to know that your criteria to attend basketball games is the music played and the existence or non existence of specific entertainment gimmicks…

Whoaaa!!! What a relief!!!! I was beginning to think that you actually cared about basketball!!!!

vava74

January 21st, 2010
7:43 am

Devin Harris for Martin and Thompson??

mountainman36

January 21st, 2010
7:44 am

finally the game we have been waiting for. they looked like the team that blew out opponents a few weeks back. although it started slowly, they finally found the gas pedal, and went with it.

2 comments. after mario fouling on that breakaway dunk, i was no longer thinking about getting off the mario train, i had one foot on the platform…..shortly there after he forced a turnover, and a few good legitamate defensive plays, and i got back in the train.

I think you guys are right about teague. he is really quick. that drive in the fourth (i think) the crowd made some noise too. i know he missed it but dang that was a quick move and crossover dribble.

i hope they keep the intensity for charlotte. a hot team coming in. lets hope they go flat, or woody puts in the second unit early,

dap01

January 21st, 2010
7:54 am

There are many factors involved but has anyone noticed that when Al and Josh are involved in the offense, when JJ shoots less that 15 shots and is more active in assists and rebounds, the Hawks look great? Heck, Marvin had a very efficient game.

We have players, let’s not waste them in ISO Joe.

O'Brien

January 21st, 2010
8:01 am

I must give Woody props for this game. He told them to get the ball into Horford, he had the Hawks doing some pressing, he gave his bench some minutes when the starters were lagging, and he stuck with the bench even though they started out slow.

Good Job Woody. Now can you please do those same things (as needed) against the Bobcats and subsequent games?

Although the Bobcats are coming in hot, most of their wins have been at home. They have the best home record in the NBA at 18-4. But on the road, they are like 4-15 or something like that. However, Hawks can’t take them for granted because we did lose to the Knicks twice at home.

Woody, continue to play your bench. It will pay off in the playoffs.

Section 303

January 21st, 2010
8:02 am

Does anyone really think there is a market for Marvin Williams? I just don’t see it. Not that I have a problem with Marvin. I just think the Hawks would have to give up someone else, someone better, in order to get a quality trade. Marvin is OK, though. He has his moments.

Bibby is in a shooting slump the past few games. Would be nice if he broke out on Friday. Beating the Bobcats would be nice considering the trip to Texas that is coming up.

Section 303

January 21st, 2010
8:04 am

By the way…anyone sitting in section 303 last night? The group of kids (there were about 15 of them) running around the section was driving me nuts. I’m all for kids having fun at a game, but they can’t be running all over the section getting in people’s way. Parents? Hello…

Have had season tickets in 303 for the past 6 seasons. Have never left to sit down low until last night.

Astro Joe

January 21st, 2010
8:05 am

– The Hawks wanted to feed Al Horford on post-ups early. But the first time Woody called his number, Horford appeared confused and was slow to get in position. Then he was indecisive once Mike Bibby gave it to him in the post. The possession ended with a missed 3-pointer by Joe Johnson.

– Ugly.

– Woody’s frustration was obvious early. He kept needing to tell guys where to go and they were slow getting there. He tried to put on a press in the second quarter but the Kings broke it with one pass when Smoove didn’t cover the middle of the court.

– That one prompted Woody to sit dejectedly on the bench. He feels your pain.

Y’all better school this new Cunningham guy.

If Horford was confused, it was because Joe shoots too much. If Smith missed a defensive rotation, it was because Bibby is a bad defender. Could someone please explain to our new blog leader that the root of all evil on this team is either the guards or the coach? Horford and Smith are the closest thing to perfection since Halle Berry in a catwoman suit. WTF is wrong with this Cunningham dude?

O'Brien

January 21st, 2010
8:17 am

KevinA,

Speaking of assists, I saw an interesting stat in the Jazz-Spurs game last night. They said on average, the Jazz have assists on 67% of their FGs this season. I wonder what the Hawks assist % is.

RLP,

From the other blog, Cleveland made it to the finals 2 or 3 seasons ago, and were swept by the Spurs.

GeeMack

January 21st, 2010
8:27 am

Astro Joe

January 21st, 2010
8:05 am

Great post very funny.

Daniel

January 21st, 2010
8:33 am

Astro- It is so good to have you back on a regular basis. I am rolling with Gee on that one… super funny.

You did forget to mention that Marvin is always falling down with the ball, and if Teague were just getting more minutes then he would be as good as Steve Nash half way in his first season.

Daniel

January 21st, 2010
8:33 am

Also, Halle Berry did look fantastic in her catwoman suit, but good grief that is an AWFUL movie.

GeeMack

January 21st, 2010
8:35 am

Watch how an 11 point Hawks win turns into

Woody sucks

Woody has a horrible defensive/offensive scheme

Woody should have played Teague 30 mins

Woody let JJ shoot to much.

Woody should be fired

Woody should bench Bibby

The Hawks should never lose if Woody plays his bench, switch his offense & defense, & bench Bibby for Teague.

Nice win Hawks, and good job Woody.

newkid

January 21st, 2010
8:36 am

Too funny AJ.

KevinA

January 21st, 2010
8:48 am

O’Brien

January 21st, 2010
8:17 am
KevinA,

Speaking of assists, I saw an interesting stat in the Jazz-Spurs game last night. They said on average, the Jazz have assists on 67% of their FGs this season. I wonder what the Hawks assist % is.

We have 911 assists and 1,607 made shots = 56%

jean

January 21st, 2010
8:55 am

crawford should b a all star he is a top 5 4th quarter player in the nba

GeeMack

January 21st, 2010
8:56 am

Loserville USA

What team you support?

Daniel

January 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Now now Gee… I have told you before that there is no room on this blog for reasonable assesment, admissions of mistakes, and/or general happiness with good performances.

You need to work on your irrational fears, your need to find faults(in order to appear smarter than the room) and in general develop an agenda beyond just enjoying the Hawks and rooting for wins.

Fundamentals

January 21st, 2010
9:08 am

Excellent job by the 2nd unit in both halves. The starters just didn’t have it till the end…when it matters. Nice to see Woodson use the bench effectively.

I do wish Randolph would get in more. He looked alot stronger than he did at the start of the season. Seems to be bulking up this year. We need him to see some minutes. He’s looking like a great piece these days. Glad we kept him, but not sure yet what he’ll become. We’ve got to test him.

Give Woodson props for using Teague when Bibby was obviously having yet another night. Teague did well. Looking forward to more.

Big test Friday. Looking forward to seeing how Marvin & Joe do against Jackson & how Josh handles Wallace.

There’s also a lot of Hawks we beat down on regularly coming home to show us what we gave up on. Wonder how AC & Boris will handle their opportunity to show Woodson up. Hopefully Flip will get a warm welcome. Nazr might try to sit on the wrong bench, he’s been here so many times.

Astro Joe

January 21st, 2010
9:16 am

Gee, Daniel, newkid, thanks.

Daniel, I thought it was an excellent movie, considering it was a silent movie. Huh? What? There were words? I never noticed. I wonder why?

vava74

January 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Fundamentals,

Acie will show Woody that he can still ride the pine like few!!!

O'Brien

January 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Fundamentals,

Bibby has looked really slow in some games this year (and he will only get slower in the 2 seasons after this). I hope Woody continues to monitor him, and use Teague accordingly. Bibby will have a hard time keeping up with Felton and DJ Augustin. Those guys are quick.

That trade for Stephen Jackson was HUGE for Charlotte. And Gerald Wallace has been playing well. He averages about 18pts and 11 rebounds (as a SF) per game.

It will be interesting to see what strategy Larry Brown comes up with. The first time we played them, I think they made a bunch of 3s. I hope our defense is quick to the shooters. And we can’t afford to start slow against them.

Daniel

January 21st, 2010
9:28 am

Fundamentals- Is Flip playing? I thought he was injured. He definitely will get applause from me.

My one complaint about last night’s game (oh boy here I go). I really don’t like the low energy starts against inferior teams. You know me, I want hustle, hustle, hustle. Also, the way Woodson uses Mario makes you wonder why they broke camp with Othello. I know Nire feels good about that.

Fundamentals

January 21st, 2010
9:40 am

Not sure about Flip. I just think he deserves some respect for really trying his best to help us last year. He was a nice piece, regardless of the haters here on the blog. He did nothing but good for our 2nd unit.

I too agree with the bad starts. I won’t say the “e” words or everyone will bash me. I still say it’s maturity, professionalism and their personal goals. They play like they’re after 50 wins. Right now we’re above that goal so a few games here and there won’t matter. Last year we could’ve easily gone over .500, but we slacked b/c all we worried about was the 4th seed. We’re not playing 100% every night cause we just don’t care about that.

Bobcats are bringing it night in and night out of late. They look like they’re on a mission. It’s scary to think they’ll be the 5th seed. Hopefully that’s enough motivation for our team. If they continue we’ll lose home court to them, and maybe be out in the 1st round.

We need to improve to the 3rd or 2nd seed to maintain a gap between them. If nothing happens they will be a very dangerous team come playoff time.

Time is not to get every option we have prepared! Time is of the essence! We’ve got to play every minute as if it matters…cause it does!

O'Brien

January 21st, 2010
9:47 am

Another reason for the Hawks to be the #2 or #3 seed is because that increases the likelihood that we will meet Boston in the second round of the playoffs.

ILL-logical

January 21st, 2010
10:01 am

Good start Mr. C- you have filled the blogosphere with some timely and pertinent information with a touch of snark on the side. Just don’t go Woodson on us and revert back to the “old ways” at the first sign of trouble.

The Bobcat game will be a watershed moment because they have no fear of the Hawks and feel very confident since Flip has revealed all of the teams weaknesses and shortcomings, especially the coach’s.

I hope that Josh’s thigh bruise is better because his feelings sre going to get bruised by Gerald Wallace Friday night at the Highlight Factory.

darrell starks

January 21st, 2010
10:02 am

GO GET ANDRIS BIEDRINS.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

jean

January 21st, 2010
10:06 am

crawford all star top 5 clutch player in the nba

GeeMack

January 21st, 2010
10:14 am

Fundamentals & Daniel,

I agree the bad start are hurting us. I am not sure of the answer, but it needs to be resolved.

Fundamentals,

I think the biggest challenge with the Hawks is their mental preparation. Our focus should be on winning a title. If we meet Bos, Clev, Char, or Orl on the way to winning a title so be it.

The Lakers don’t care who they have to play, they have 1 goal… an NBA title.

We get that attitude, and seeding, or playoff opponents won’t matter.

Melvin

January 21st, 2010
10:15 am

Have the Hawks sign Mario for the rest of the season yet….

Melvin

January 21st, 2010
10:17 am

Daniel,

Flip played last night against the Heat….

Sautee

January 21st, 2010
10:35 am

O’Brien,

From the last blog: “What’s up with Bibby? 21 minutes, 2 points. Although he does have 3 rebs, 5 assists. I cannot imagine what Bibby will look for 2 more seasons after this. Is it just me or does he look slower this year?”

He looks slower to me this MONTH. Seriously. And all I can hope is that his ankle is still bothering him. Because otherwise we’re looking at an alarming rate of attrition of his skills.

“Teague with the penetration, and he goes to the line. So thats what it looks like when a PG actually penetrates? Can anyone remember when was the last time Bibby penetrated? ”

Actually he penetrated once last night, but turned it over trying to shovel it to Horford. Woody pulled him on the next stoppage of play. My guess is that Woody doesn’t WANT Bibby to penetrate, likely for floor balance.

“Woody has given the bench some minutes, and they played well. Unfortunately, come the next game, he is just as likely to shrink his bench again…”

Well, that’s his pattern, but we can all hope that he’ll change his stripes by Friday. His use of the bench was perfect last night. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt going in. Of course I’ll be b!tching in the second quarter if no bench player other than Crawford has gotten any minutes.

Astro Joe,

Wow. a whole new level of smarmy. LMAO.

However I KNOW that you recognize that without further development on offense for Al and Josh, we will NOT be bringing home a ring. Horford may have been confused THAT possession, but how did he do overall?

What does it say when it’s “newsworthy” that Horford was confused for even a single possession?

GeeMack

January 21st, 2010
10:36 am

C’mon Hawks fans

We talking about Charlotee like they are the 2nd coming of the Bulls. When the Hawks play their game they can play with anybody healthy or unhealthy.

I’m taking anything away from the Bobcats, but I have more confidence in the Hawks than anything Larry Brown is doing.

Rod from College Park

January 21st, 2010
10:44 am

For what it’s worth, Kenny Smith and E. Snow on NBA TV stated that the Hawks don’t want any part of the Bobcats in the playoffs. I might have to agree with them. They are quicker, bigger and honestly have just as much talent as us. The mismatches at the 3 and the point position are glaring. Hawks need to try to stay in the top three to avoid a first round 4, 5 matchup. At this point I like our chance against Miami instead of Charlotte. I don’t like the matchups against Charlotte.

Mike is Back

January 21st, 2010
10:49 am

Benjamin, I agree with ya on the Bobcats…it will be a tough match-up like the Thunder game…but I expect the Hawks to win…we have to keep an eye on these Bobcats…we might meeting down the road in the playoff.

If the Hawks come out flat…they will get embarrass this time…when the game started against the Kings…I said not again…then the second unit energized the crowd.

The Bobcat are a much improved team since the acquisition of SJackson…again…should be a great game…I’m looking forward to it!!

Nice utilization of the bench Woody…TREMENDOUS EFFORT BY THE SECOND UNIT…MOE and ZMan was huge…the Hawks look like a more dynamic team…when all the parts are being used.

I like what Joe Smith said to the second unit…FOCUS ON THE DEFENSE…the offense will come…sounds like a good message for the entire team. lol

GOOD JOB WOODY…NICE WIN…GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

terrell

January 21st, 2010
10:52 am

Boris, Flip, and Acie are coming back to the ATL tomorrow night for some revenge. Haha!

Rod from College Park

January 21st, 2010
11:02 am

GeeMack,

“C’mon Hawks fans

We talking about Charlotee like they are the 2nd coming of the Bulls. When the Hawks play their game they can play with anybody healthy or unhealthy.”

Not meaning to be the bearer of bad news, but we have not proven we can play with anybody. Two teams come to mind. Cleveland and Orlando. I don’t think we have won a game agianst either of those teams in almost two seasons. We have lost our last 8 games vs. Cleveland, and 5 to Orlando with one game being close.

GMAN

January 21st, 2010
11:06 am

GeeMack,

Larry Brown was the head coach of the Pistons squad a few years back. Woodson was the assistant coach. Whatever coaching Woodson learned came from Brown. Brown obviously knows what Woodson will run because he saw it for years with the team the Brown coached for years!

Fundamentals

January 21st, 2010
11:13 am

Gee,

I think we’re on the same rationale, but you’re missing what I’m saying. It’s definitely mental preparation. We’re lackluster at times because our team is settling for a 50 win campaign as meeting the goal. At times we look like we’re on track for 60+, mostly we look like a 55 win team. I’d like to see them push their goal from 50 to 60 to keep them focussed and hungry.

We can beat anyone, but lately it seems like we can’t beat the Magic, Cavs, Bobcats or Knicks. Just sayin, it ain’t a done deal till the clock hits zero. We stand a good chance at losing to the Bobcats. We’ve got alot to prove Friday!

If Bibby’s ankle is really hurting why not give Teague some run? He’d be a better matchup for the Bobcats, Spurs and Rockets. They all feature quick penetrating guards. Save Bibby for the Boston matchup.

Mario is on a 10-Day as far as we’ve seen. We can sign him to one more and then we’ll be forced to sign him for the remainder. I love Rio, but I just think we should use others on 10-day contracts till late Feb. Sign Rio after the waiver wire goes cold and trade deadline passes if nothing better comes along.

I like the idea of D-League Centers to investigate future prospects for chemistry. Woodson isn’t going to play them, but why not give them practice run? At least until late Feb.