Kings at Hawks, AKA Let’s See What Happens After Woody Calls Out His Vets

Woody was dang near prophetic before that loss to the Thunder on Monday when he said: “We are still trying to learn how to win at a high level.” A big part of that is matching the effort and intensity of so-called “lesser” opponents, and Woody said the Hawks “didn’t put up a fight early” against the Thunder.

So during the Tuesday film session the coach called on his veterans to lead the defensive effort.

“I put it right on them,” Woodson said. “And that’s how it should be. They should want more. Thy should want more from each other, and hold each other accountable, but they are not getting it done.”

Joe Johnson agreed.

“It’s definitely on guys like me, Mike (Bibby), and Jamal (Crawford) to get us all on the same page, especially on the perimeter,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a lot of breakdowns and that puts our ‘bigs’ in tough positions.”

Bibby said “we always can put a little bit more effort in,” but added: “We’ll be fine. I’m not really worried about it.”

Woody, though, notes that he’s a coach, and so “I’m selfish. I want more, like every coach.”

– That includes Kings coach Paul Westphal, who told The Sacramento Bee he plans to send out a new lineup tonight with Donté Greene taking over for Omri Casspi at small forward and Spencer Hawes replacing Jon Brockman at center.

“It’s time that (defense) becomes an all-the-time thing for us,” Westphal said.

Are coaches ever happy?

– The Hawks should expect a scrap from the Kings, another try-hard team that won’t wilt in the face of superior talent. The Bobcats had them down 24 in the third quarter on Monday but the Kings got back within 94-93. They lost their fourth straight game but they didn’t quit.

– The Kings are third in the league in offensive rebounding percentage. That’s effort.

“They play hard,” Smoove said. “The are young and talented. We can’t take them lightly.”

– So why did the Hawks not come out fighting against the Thunder?

“A lot of it is attitude,” Woody said. “We can’t be comfortable, man. It’s nice to sit at the top of your division but you have to play like every night you want to hold onto it, and we didn’t do that (Monday).”

– J.J. on Crawford taking the last shots against Phoenix and Oklahoma City instead of him: “The plays are not getting fully executed. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s nothing against Jamal. He makes big shots for us. You never know, the next three or four game-winners, I might take them. We’ll live with it.”

– Smoove is ditching the sneakers that he says caused a bruise on his right Achilles’.

– Woody didn’t have much to say about the NBA’s denial of his protest of the Hawks’ Dec. 30 loss at Cleveland:

“Disappointed. I just won’t comment beyond that. What are you going to do?”

No doubt the Hawks didn’t like that stuff from David Stern about the clock error having “no clear impact” on the game’s outcome. Of course it did. I mean, deny the protest if you want but don’t say something silly like that.

– I saw that players voted J.J. the most underrated player in an Sports Illustrated poll. I wondered how a guy with three All-Star appearances, going on four, could be considered underrated. Then I saw LeBron James got a vote and decided I had to stop looking at that poll.

Still, though, J.J. probably is underrated. A deep playoff run this spring should take care of that.

– I’m relieved to discover there actually are nice winter days in Atlanta. It ain’t Miami, but I’ll take it.

– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.

MC

135 comments Add your comment

Dan

January 20th, 2010
2:53 pm

Cole

January 20th, 2010
2:55 pm

Man I was first but didnt put in email…guess i’m second

Dan

January 20th, 2010
2:57 pm

Yes!! First!!

This one will be interesting tonight. The Hawks should win. This one could get tough, though.

I am already anxious for the rematch with the Thunder. Everyone keeps saying that the Hawks came out flat. I don’t think they did. I think they just missed shots (just like they did at the beginning of the Suns game). The Thunder are a good team. I think the rematch will show if the game on Monday could be credited to the Thunder just being a better team or were the Hawks just shooting poorly.

Also, getting tired of hearing from people that the Hawks were “flat” everytime they lose. Sometimes teams just lose. It is not always because they were “flat”. I tend to think they just got beat on Monday because they missed too many open shots. They had a million chances to win that game, but just could not get the shots to drop at key times. That has nothing to do with them being flat.

dooley

January 20th, 2010
3:05 pm

is it me or does Joe Johnson sound a little salty about jamal taking the last shots.

jon

January 20th, 2010
3:06 pm

No impact , Stern should be embarrassed that the refs reviewed it and still got it wrong… Fishy, very fishy.

theZaZaguy

January 20th, 2010
3:11 pm

Joe was only salty because Jamal missed. Or rather, he felt comfortable talking about it because he missed. The honeymoon is over. Now they have to work through their issues. Sort it out and we’re in the finals, continue to bicker and it’s Reggie Theus/Doc Rivers and an early exit to Milwaukee again.

Gilley

January 20th, 2010
3:13 pm

Yeah JJ salty but players should never be salty about passing the ball to someone who has a better chance of making the shot due to double team, bad angle or execution or being hot. Crawford is more clutch than JJ and has proven it his entire career.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
3:29 pm

Dan, do you really feel like we gave 100% effort for 4 quarters? I saw maybe 1.5 quarters of decent play. We got beat by a team that obviously outhustled us on both ends of the court. FLAT! FLAT! FLAT!

Ken, I see your point from the last blog. I’m not proclaiming to love Woodson. I just pray every day he sees the light and continues to grow. Granted he does it slowly and honestly reverts back in times of adversity. He just can’t committ to a 10 man rotation because he fears for his job. Sadly he’d get the big bucks if he would develop them in time to help us in the playoffs. Time will tell, but I just don’t think the guards he “killed” were really that good. They definitely didn’t bloom elsewhere. Hopefully Teague has that talent. He seems different, and thus deserving of a chance.

The inside out game is coming. Al & Josh are coming along. In time we’ll move from our guard oriented offense regardless of Woodson’s ideals. Hopefully in time Teague or a quicker point will assume the healm and our team will be able to run and gun, while still dominating the 1/2 court offense with our post play. That’s the dream. Can Woodson get us there? Time will tell, time will tell. It’ll all be over in June. We’ll see where we/he/they end up.

Westurd

January 20th, 2010
3:37 pm

oh and MC, keep the behind the scence quotes and stories coming. Thats what us true fans cant experience without your help.

O'Brien

January 20th, 2010
3:39 pm

It’s definitely on guys like me, Mike (Bibby), and Jamal (Crawford) to get us all on the same page, especially on the perimeter,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a lot of breakdowns and that puts our ‘bigs’ in tough positions.”

I bet most of the breakdowns on the perimeter involve Mike Bibby. But for those who hate on Horford (especially for his defense), I hope you’re paying attention to what Joe is saying. Defense begins on the perimeter.

J.J. on Crawford taking the last shots against Phoenix and Oklahoma City instead of him: “The plays are not getting fully executed”.

Hmmm…what plays are those JJ? Make sure we get you the ball, watch you get double teamed, and then you’re forced to take a tough shot, very similar to what Crawford did?

Fundamentals,

Although the guys who left the Hawks have not dominated after leaving, its hard to say they didnt have the talent in the first place. Sometimes, the talent is there early on, but it needs to be groomed and cultivated by the coaching staff. Sometimes when that player loses confidence, and gets sporadic PT, they will regress, and its hard for another coaching staff to give them that chance again.

ant banks

January 20th, 2010
3:44 pm

anyone who is on their knees beggin’ for stern to give us a “do-over” because of a 10sec differential needs to be pimped slapped!!. wipe your mouf while you are at it.

the hawks could be up 31-8 and not 26-13 had they won both knicks games, the detroit game, without their big 3. the okc game and the hornets games, without cp3. fightin’ for your manhood and not sittin’ around waitin’ on a 3rd entity to give you a do-over.

sound like some biotches.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
3:48 pm

O’Brien? Wouldn’t one of them come around? I thought maybe Salim would’ve caught on with San Antonio, but they cut him. Others just never panned out anywhere on multiple teams. Teague needs PT for sure. Woodson needs to play him. He hasn’t gotten a real chance. The other kids did. Woodson might “kill” Teague, but the other kids did themselves in if you ask me, but that’s my 2 cents.

Our perimeter defense stinks based on effort some nights. When it does, Josh and AL get frustrated and foul out or relax. We need all 5 together to win! It’s Woodson’t job to subsitute Bibby for a more effective matchup. Tonight that might be Mario or Evans to be physical against Evans or Teague to keep up with his speed. We’ll see what Woodson does. We all have our guesses.

jerrywest

January 20th, 2010
3:49 pm

JJ sounds grumpy. He wants to take the tough shot on double team defense.

dap01

January 20th, 2010
3:51 pm

Thanks for the fresh blogs MC. Joe’s idea of a play is someone handing the ball and everyone else watching him pound the ball. Motion would help everyone including Joe. Marvin would be helped if there were actually an offensive plan.

I don’t get Joe’s comments at all.

Michael Cunningham

January 20th, 2010
3:54 pm

@Dan: i see what you are saying, but maybe the two are related, as in the hawks were flat because they missed shots. Woody thinks they let the offense affect their defense and he doesn’t like it. and if you think about it, they weren’t missing shots early so that doesn’t explain the first half hole. not sure they were really “flat” against OKC as much as they failed to match the Thunder’s intensity until late.

@cole: no excuses

@ joe, zaza, gilly: i can tell you J.J. didn’t seem salty when he said it. he was actually in a very good mood. but maybe that was because he just got off the massage table? he also said something along the lines of this is a better situation than when he always had to be the one to take those shots. PC, perhaps, but i tend to believe him for now.

@westturd: do my best

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:01 pm

MC – Flat comments to me demonstrates the lack of intensity and effort for 2.5 quarters during the game. We really never turned it on, we thought we could just beat them b/c we were the Hawks. That doesn’t work against a real team, much less scrubs.

We might have the same issue tonight. Look for Evans, Martin & Hawes to have big nights. We need some effort tonight. If they win the boards we might just lose the game.

Folks are just looking for a reason to blame JJ for hating Crawford. We need both of them to win – every night! We shouldn’t have ever put Crawford in that predicament Monday. Suns game we pretty much stole that game. A blessing to offset the CLE robbery.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:07 pm

Typing in a hurry today. About the past few games.

Suns – Crawford hit a great shot. Amazing that we had the chance to shoot it, regardless of who shot it we stole that game from PHO. We didn’t deserve to win that one based on our play.

OKC – Joe wanted it, obviously, but the inbound went to Crawford. He got a good look. Once again, we should’ve never been there. More effort and better play keeps us out of a last second shot.

Hawk Str8Talk

January 20th, 2010
4:12 pm

I have done a few blogs on this, but there’s something wrong with blaming effort and intensity and flatness all the time. We have mailed in a few games and lost a few by playing bad defense and Woody was right to call it out and call it that, but when is he going to say – hey, you know what…I’m not doing the team a service sometimes with the offensive sets I call (or don’t call). Sorry but the Thunder loss wasn’t due to effort or defense – it was due to AWFUL 4th quarter offense. We shot terrible shots and after a while you can’t just say that the players are solely at fault unless the coach repudiates it and says – hey, guys we WILL move the ball, we will give it to our most efficient scorers (Horford and Josh), or you’ll sit next to me. Our team is too good to have Joe and Jamal throw up those last two shots of that game. It was simply awful basketball and we’ve been watching it for too long and someone needs to stop blaming everything on effort or defense because that’s not all that causes losses. I suspect that he says those things b/c they point the finger back to the players instead of on his inability to get his players to do what’s best offensively.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:22 pm

Everyone here has argued to get the ball in the post. When we play lazy we drop it off to Joe or Crawford and stand around. The PG has to dictate the offense and make things happen. Crawford & Bibby are capable of being the floor general with our without Woodson. I’ll also agree he needs to expand his rotation and hold folks accountable.

Melvin

January 20th, 2010
4:29 pm

“So during the Tuesday film session the coach called on his veterans to lead the defensive effort.” Woody

Hawk held OKC to 15pts in the 4th qtr and this guy is still talking about the defensive effort. Are his interview responses scripted? You held a team to 15pts in a qtr and you’re talking about DEFENSE…Nevermind the fact that your team only scored 16pts in the same qtr. You wanna talk DEFENSE!!! Do he know, the winner is determined by who scores the most points before the game is over????

Eman

January 20th, 2010
4:30 pm

The Hawks do not have a real leader!! When the team gets down they all look at each other stupidly.Nobody on this team gets in to the face of their team-mates. They need a leader that provide them with leadership and energy. Joe is not a natural leader thus we need a player that has that drive. Al Horford is that type of player but it will be in his five year or so before he becomes that leader.

rms

January 20th, 2010
4:31 pm

Such a “ho-hum oh well attitude from Bibby. He needs to know the team is not good enough to just turn it on when they feel like it. Does anybody on this team have any fight in them or fire in their belly or passion to go out and beat the squat out of their opponent every night. Such boring players and lazy mental attitudes towards winning and settling for second place!! :(

clarkekent

January 20th, 2010
4:34 pm

so MC … if you see your vets are not playing the way you want them to then why stay with them..(mintues send a better message than words) thats when teague, mo evans, mo west, marvin should play more. our defensive problems are on the perimeter. hint bibby, crawford and jj. our young inside guys damn near avg a double and double and always seem to get in foul trouble helping on defense not guarding thier on man. Teams with penetrating guards hurt the hawks not to metion when both back court players have the ability to attack the basket. you can’t hide bibby or crawford -(JJ plays defense when he wants too).. bibby has to guard one or the other. thats why bibby always go under the screens .. trying to prevent himself from getting beat.. he gets beat most of the time anyway.. hence the foul touble our big guys get into sometimes. woody needs to play his bench when matchups present themselves and not be stubborn and stick with his “fav 5″.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

They’re content with meeting expectations. The “Defense & Effort” speeches are basically relating to HEART & CHARACTER. We don’t fight every night. We play lackluster ball looking for our Lebron or Kobe to take over. Problem is we have a TEAM. We don’t have a superstar.

rms – it’s not just Bibby, it’s everyone at times. They trigger off one another. We need 10-deep 100% or we’re gonna get swept in the 2nd round. If so we’ll fire the coach and maybe break up the team.

We’ve got such a great thing going here. How can they not see it?

Answer = Maturity & Professionalism

theZaZaguy

January 20th, 2010
4:39 pm

Good to know about Joe’s tone. I’ve always had a good impression of Joe. But he doesn’t seem like the kind of person that you can read easily. He’d probably be really good at poker.

Michael, It’ll be interesting to get your thoughts once you have more contact with these guys.

O'Brien

January 20th, 2010
4:41 pm

Fundamentals,

Salim was hurt when he went to the Spurs (I think it was hamstring), so he never caught on. And then he was still hurt when Milwaukee got him. (Ariose, where are you?).

Acie looked really good in college, so I dont know what happened to him. He looked above average early on with the Hawks, but then he got hurt, missed some PT, lost some confidence, and got buried on the bench. He’s been to Golden State and Charlotte, and he’s buried on the bench again.

I dont think JJ is hating on Crawford, because the last shot against OKC looks like it was originally designed for Bibby, based on these comments in the ajc article after the game.

He said he hesitated while waiting for a play for Bibby to develop. The Thunder covered that option and Green gave Crawford some space.

“I was a little surprised,” Crawford said. “It felt good when I let it go.”

Melvin,

Exactly. When the Hawks lost to Cleveland in ATL, didnt we hold Cleveland to 95 points. They scored 19 in the 3rd quarter, and 20 in the fourth. But we lost that game because we went 9 minutes without making a shot.

Woody should talk about offense more.

Benjamin

January 20th, 2010
4:42 pm

LeBron James as an underrated player… give me a break…

The guy is going to be the National League MVP if the media gets into his bed any more.

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:42 pm

Woodson will never send a message to his starters buy playing the bench. At least not until he gets his contract.

Mike is Back

January 20th, 2010
4:43 pm

MC, It not that JJ is under rated…it is his persona…usually your leader is an animated or emotional guy…JJ rarely shows any emotion…unfortunately…that comes off as indifferent…it hard to get a read on him. I would like to see him be more vocal during the game and quit letting the ref off the hook by avoiding contact when goes to hole.

He’s one the elite guards in the league…make the ref blow the whistle…create contact…he is like what a 90% free throw…jeez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jean

January 20th, 2010
4:46 pm

how about that forced layup that had no chance of going in by joe when we were down 1 ask him about that……wit 2 people open

Fundamentals

January 20th, 2010
4:54 pm

Joe is the perfect compliment to an elite star player. He’s a great fit for us, but he’s not our leader. We go as Horford and Smith go. Eventually they will lead the team. They’re not there yet. Hence the need to hold the team together.

Dukester9

January 20th, 2010
5:19 pm

First of guys this is one of the best blogs i have ever read. All good points no matter your opinion, i must say i agreed with most. And no stupid comments or personal attacks against each other. Now here is my opinion I agree 100% that JJ is not the leader we need. I say we give his max contract to Wade and find a way to move Marvin because no doubt he is the weakest link. They should have traded him last year for a big man.

Dan

January 20th, 2010
5:59 pm

@ Michael: Fair. The two may be related. But, I think we (as Hawks fans) are getting a little full of ourselves thinking that the team came out “flat” whenever they lose. Sometimes you just get beat and that was my take on Monday. The Thunder is not done beating people. They are a good team, give them their due.

I am off to the Highlight Factory. Hope a lot of you will be there. These midweek games have been poorly attended.

rms

January 20th, 2010
6:12 pm

I got nosebleed seats to the game on Friday when they play the Bobcats.

Alatl

January 20th, 2010
6:33 pm

Can we please make a move and get somebody for Bibby DEVON HARRIS for example he is on the block we need somebody who can push the ball

rusty

January 20th, 2010
6:34 pm

jj is not the type of player to bring home the bacon. he is selfish & even worse halts all ball movement. woody is a hugh ass,always comes all as being stupid

Alatl

January 20th, 2010
6:34 pm

please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

January 20th, 2010
6:35 pm

LMAO @ antbanks.
@ Dan the team did come out flat – they are superior to OKC point blank and they should not have lost the game. They need a leader to light a fire when they go into lulls. Bibby is lackadaisical in his response to defense, we need a critical voice who will hold himself and team accountable for lackluster play (weak perimeter defense and non-existent (at critical times) ball sharing.)
IMO, Woody not benching the vets and developing Teague/Morris more could be the determining factor in him being let go.

NDiiBaBii

January 20th, 2010
6:41 pm

Joe Johnson is a selfish player and it shows more && more at the Thunder game everyone in my section was shouting pass in Joe pass it, but he wouldn’t Jamal Crawford was below the goal instead he took the shot & missed it, then we had to depend on JCraw to make another 3. We can’t always depend on that, if Joe would pass the ball when other players are open then we would see a drastic change. I always hear of tension w/ JJ and other players, I’m really thinking he is jealous of Jamal!
I hope Teague gets more playing time bcuz I would hate to see him be wasted, anywho I’m heading to the game in a few we will see how this goes

Hawks v Crowns

January 20th, 2010
6:59 pm

Woody called out his vets? I guess that’s good but hopefully after he got done they called him out.

Don’t just critique the vets, critique the whole team even yourself!

mountainman36

January 20th, 2010
7:01 pm

ok – Fundy – i agree with you on pretty much everything. Not sure about Al and Josh being the leaders eventually….perhaps 3 years from now, but not sooner….hate to say it though. I think they are both awesome players, but they need to earn more respect before they can lead. They have coaches respect but not other players as much, i think. Pehaps if they are the last men standing from present team, then maybe sooner.

Dan – i dont see how you dont think we looked flat in the ok loss. No we didnt look terrible, but we shoulda won that game. Sometimes good teams loose, yes, but we just sucked it up for most of that game, and didnt put forth the effort.

Im not sure about Marvin being the weakest link, or Wade being the answer. I would like to see the team like it is with another solid, true #5 guy. I think we can play horford with another skilled big man (ZaZA isnt quite there) with josh and a couple good guards (JJ and JC) and we would be really good. We may have to move Marvin for that to happen, perhaps….i may be ok with that, but i still would like to see Marvin do well.

Also – as far as woody ruining previous players. Not buying that. I havnt watched but 2 years of hawk Bball intensely, but none of the other guys have been getting it done after they have left here…..I cant say with teague – i havnt been watching long enough to have a good reference point. My argument is that those other guys have bounced around and havnt found a home…..if you have the skills and are good, a home finds you pretty quick…..

As for JJ and crawfors – they arent mad at each other. JJ didnt mean anything i bet.

As Fundy said – JJ is a great compliment, but not a quite a leader, go to guy. hes just not consistent enough…..i suppose the double team doesnt help. but lots of other elite playes get the double, and still score……..just sayin.

JASon

January 20th, 2010
7:05 pm

Regardless of how good a player is, if he cannot knock down shots in the clutch, then we might be better off without him.

Gwinnett Fred

January 20th, 2010
7:10 pm

I’m still wondering how, with visual evidence, the refs couldn’t have made the correction that night!

I would at least like to hear that the Cavs timekeeper was chastised. I remember the Hawks scorekeeper getting singled out for a mistake a couple years ago against Toronto I believe. Fair is fair, but we are talking about King James and his court AT HIS CASTLE.

Stern is a weasel always has been, always will be.

DangerousDan87

January 20th, 2010
7:15 pm

The Hawks just couldn’t buy a shot even in the second half. Didn’t they have a run of 10 missed shots in a row. They are so close to becoming an elite team and can’t afford losses like that.Hopefully a better story tonight.

Sid

January 20th, 2010
7:20 pm

Here we go again with another high energy high scoring start by the Hawks starters at home. These guys need to get it together .

J.J.M.

January 20th, 2010
7:21 pm

smh trade joe for bosh

rms

January 20th, 2010
7:21 pm

Uh oh!!!!!!!

terrell

January 20th, 2010
7:23 pm

The vets really listened to Woody. What a start!

Sautee

January 20th, 2010
7:24 pm

Let’s go inside over and over.

terrell

January 20th, 2010
7:25 pm

Maybe we should start the bench and bring the starters in later on? lol!