Hawks Squawks: Hawks 103, Bobcats 89

This is what it felt like for Jax and the Bobcats. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

This is what it felt like for Jax and the Bobcats. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

– Man, it was crazy to watch the Hawks dismantle the Bobcats like that. They finished their homestand 4-1 and that’s big with a brutal week ahead: at Houston, at San Antonio, vs. Boston and at Orlando.

– “We judge it week by week,” Woody said. “Last week was a great week. We had some slippage against Oklahoma City, can’t take anything away from them, they are playing well. But we bounced back to win the last two games. It was a good week.”

– The start was one for that school of thought that says “flat” really means “can’t make open shots.” The Hawks made 15 of 20 shots in the first quarter and it didn’t really come from working inside. Even Smoove got in on it with a 20-foot jumper.

– That started a run of 11 straight baskets during a six-minute stretch of the first quarter. Smoove had two steals and J.J. one during that 25-10 run.

– The Hawks came out smoking against the league’s best defensive team, which looked helpless to do anything about it. The Hawks ended up with assists on 32 of 42 field goals.

– It was pretty to watch. ““Everybody had a chance to see who was on tonight,” Smoove said. “Whenever we get a chance to see who has the hot hand, we are a good team.”

– Then again, the Hawks got those shots because they had more early oomph than in their last three or four games. “We came out with energy and effort,” J.J. said. “That makes up for a lot.”

– Reserves Jeff Teague, Zaza, Jamal Crawford, Mo Evans plus Smoove held it down to start the second quarter.

– Then the second quarter became one for those who think “flat” really means “lack of energy”. The starters began to trickle back in, and the Bobcats got back in it. They got 16 of their 26 second-quarter points in the paint, including layups on 3 of their last 5 baskets of the half.

– “We relaxed a little bit,” Al Horford said. “We had a big lead and they were just attacking the basket and making plays. But I think we made a good adjustment at halftime, and came out in the third quarter and really put them away.”

– There was a third-quarter possession that told it. Smoove was out of position for the play the Hawks wanted to run. Woodson barked at him, but Smoove didn’t seem to hear. Meanwhile, while all of that was going on, J.J. made a jumper.

– See how making shots makes everything better?

– Defense does, too.Woody likes to say how run-outs are the reward for defensive intensity, and that was on display during that stretch and another in the fourth after the Bobcats creeped back in it..

– “Our defense was good, too,” Woody said. “We shot it pretty well, but defensively I thought we were solid.”

– Especially in the first and third quarters, when the Bobcats shot a combined 13 for 43. “It shows how we can turn it on with defense,” Smoove said. “We’ve just got to be more consistent.”

– The Hawks start the second half of the season leading the Southeast Division and trail Boston by a half game for No. 2 in the East. They are feeling themselves, and they should. “We know we can beat any team in the league if we play up to our ability,” J. J. said.

Larry Brown took out his starters trailing by 13 with 3-plus minutes to play. Guess he saw enough from them. Strange, though, even for Brown.

Ochocinco was in the house after boasting on Twitter: “I wonder if the HAWKS will let me suit up tonight? I might not get in the game but I bet I sell the arena out-CASH COW”

– Turns out the Hawks were the real show.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.


87 comments Add your comment


January 22nd, 2010
11:19 pm

Great game tonight I loved the intensity we started the game with.

Im biased but so what lol Jamal Crawford is playing as well as any guard in the NBA right now starting or coming off the bench .Hes doing it well and doing it effortlessly. I know he wont make the all star team but I anxiously await to see what he will do in the playoffs .


January 22nd, 2010
11:50 pm

that was awesome to see. glad they didn’t let us down tonight!

Section 303

January 23rd, 2010
1:46 am

So…they made shots early, therefore they weren’t “flat”?

Good showing tonight. Tough stretch ahead. Looking forward to see how they handle it. I think they are capable of winning 3 out of the next 5. If they can do that, maybe, just maybe, some that post on here can accept the fact that the Hawks are a good team.

Where was Mario tonight?

Ree Roe

January 23rd, 2010
2:59 am

I knew we would win big. Charlotte is a good team, but when we focus, we can beat anybody. Good win, time to get ready for a tough road game at Houston

-REEcently Roe!!!


January 23rd, 2010
4:54 am

Definitely a solid win tonight. I knew that team would come out focused, after the November loss and after what Charlotte did to Miami a few nights ago.


January 23rd, 2010
5:01 am

Good to see Acie proving Woody wrong!

Even with Felton down with an injury he did not get any burn! Man, that must be frustrating.

A nice win, but Woody should have played the reserves more: you need to show to the bench that you trust them and can count on them.

When we were up by 22 why didn’t he insert a bunch of reserves? What could have gone wrong? The advantage down to single digits?

That still happened with the starters!!

I think the Hawks are well coached from a technical point of view, in particular, on defense, but we need to have better game management from Woody.

The starters relax when the advantage gets in the high teens and in the twenties: it’s a natural reaction.

Hence you need to play at those stages the reserves who should be hungry for playing time and vê able to keep te intensity levels up.


January 23rd, 2010
5:02 am

I'm Gonna put My ZaZa in your Pachulia

January 23rd, 2010
6:48 am


January 23rd, 2010
7:25 am


January 23rd, 2010
7:48 am

Great win and revenge against the Cats. After the game Al was saying how much better we play when we play unselfish. You big’s need to keep delevering that message. Last night it worked to perfection. Ya’ll prob had your best balanced attack on offense this year. Between Al, Marvin and yourself I tally a 23-40 night with 14 assists. I hope we take this style of play on the Texas road trip. Great game – relax and enjoy it with your fans.

Williams, Marvin

January 23rd, 2010
8:04 am

Quack Quack!!!!


January 23rd, 2010
8:39 am

Balance Watch


Josh S ..6-10……….6

Total 8-15……..3

This game was the best example of unselfish play and great passing with balanced scoring for the year. When we play like this we can beat anybody. I can’t remember a time when we took a Texas trip and got a win. With this style of play there is no doubt we can. Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!


January 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

Man,it’s a shame Al,Josh,and Jamal will get shafted for allstar game because the play in The Atl .Josh or Al should make it,especially AL because the only Center playing better in the East is the Man from The Atl that plays in Orlando.Oh yeah,Joe,isn’t it great to have Jamal to lean on.Show him some love Joe.Team wins and meball loses.Good game Hawks and Coach Woody.


January 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

great job hawks! They are truly a bang for the buck team! They prove why there legit every single night! If only the thrashers could play as good as these hawks… Oh well. LETS GO HAWKS WIN US A CHAMPIONSHIP!


January 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

Houston will be tough but Spurs are struggling … A Texas split would be nice, but I’d really like to see the Hawks beat the Magic. It’d be a great confidence-booster given the recent blowouts they’ve suffered against them.

darrell starks

January 23rd, 2010
10:50 am

WOODY have 2 stick with his 9-10 rotation no matter what the circumstances is, i dont care if you up by 2, or down by 10, you have 2 develop your bench if your going 2 be succesful coach in the nba.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

This week will be the tell of the tate on how good we are, but if we are going to be a dominate team come playoff when every thing is halfcourt we have get a center to control boards, and andris biedrins is that guy who think defense first offense second.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!


January 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

Good win, Hawks; I was worried about the matchup. I’ll be in Houston this Monday (I’m a soldier stationed in Texas) and I want to see how we match up with a staunch defense. Both teams bring the same height deficiencies so this gamde will judge how well our chemistry is. (Houston’s is excellent)
The San Antonio game will also be interesting because it will be a test of tempos. San Antonio likes to surgically pick you apart while we like to push it. They don’t have a defensive stopper currently so look for Joe Johnson or Jamal to have a really big game. Also look for Zaza to do some good things in Texas. GO HAWKS!

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Ken Strickland

January 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

Good win last night. We made what was a quality opponent, and the NBA’s #1 DEF team and nemesis, look like anything but. Eveyone did a good job overall. I especially liked what we did during that stretch with JJ and Bibby took over the OFF and started launching quick jumpers, which let them back into the gm. We settled down and went inside to Horford, which definitely worked.

I don’t know if that was a Woodson or Bibby decision, but either way it was the right decision. Contrary to what some of our fans seem to believe, we’re not getting the leadership we need and expect from Bibby. Instead of taking control of the OFF, especially when it starts to faulter and/or morph into playing WOODY BALL, he defers too much to JJ and Crawford, or gets involved in it himself.

How many of you noticed how Bibby was lost and unable to do much against the Bobcats when they presured us last night? His lack of quickness and penetrating ability allowed them to use his man to initiate their press at halfcourt. When he got the ball, they were able to recover easily because they knew he couldn’t hurt them by going to the basket or beating anyone off the dribble. They know he’s limited to shooting jumpshots, which is what they wanted.

If we espect to get better as the season progresses, we must consider making some changes/adjustments at PG. Teams are starting to find new and exciting ways to take advantage of Bibby. IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE WHATSOEVER TO HAVE ONE OF THE NBA’S FASTEST, QUICKEST AND MOST ATHLETIC TEAMS, YET INSIST ON STARTING AND GIVING MAJOR MINS TO QUITE POSSIBLY THE NBA’S MOST ONE DIMENSIONAL PG, WHO ALSO LACKS SPEED, QUICKNESS, ATHLETICISM, PENETRATING AND DEF ABILITY.

darrell starks

January 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

The hawks are missing 1 piece if we get biedrins it will be a big splash, not only that but a profiting market for this organization, plus the guy look like the terminator.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Astro Joe

January 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

I’m glad that I was wayyy wrong, Hawks never seemed to be in jeopardy and played a nice game.

Vava, you beat me to the punch. No Felton due to injury and no Law due to what?

LB (HOF coach) didn;t seem overly concerned about Gerald Henderson’s development either. A lottery selection who is buried behind Captain Jack and Flip. Seems like LB is focused on winning. WTF is on his mind?

Another set of “test games” upcoming. We have played more home games than any of the teams ahead of us, so if we’re going to stay in the hunt for the division, we must win these road games.

darrell starks

January 23rd, 2010
11:24 am

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!


January 23rd, 2010
12:44 pm

I have to give props to the Hawks, I didnt think they would win this one. This game was never in jeopardy. Woody STILL needs to play the bench more. This is going to be our downfall come playoffs (ie the Cleveland Serise last year)


January 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

Woah i had no idea the bobcats were the best defensive team in the league. When this team comes to play we can beat anybody-good game last nite,I thought it would be alot closer.
Jamal Crawford AKA The Closer-this man really does hv ice water in his veins.
In the 4th when the lead was cut to 9, Joe bricks 3 consecutive shots. Then I watch Jamal hit two in a row and turn the lights out on the bobcats. I believe that Joe is concerned about Crawfords ability to make big shots. He may see him as a guy that is taking his spotlight and sum animosity may form there….. its all good tho as long as we keep winning
JJ would sound like a selfish prick if he complained about shots and players knowing their role while we are winning.Below the surface tho I can sense that he doesnt like it nor does he like smoove and horford getting more touches.

Acie Law – Woody was dead on, the guy is a borderline NBA talent who will probably be out of the league in 2yrs. The nets took BLopez that year at #10 and we got acie at 11,I wonder if Lopez was on the board would he have been the selection or would we still reach for Acie all in the name of NEED….. Sheldon williams at 5 jus because we needed a big


January 23rd, 2010
1:14 pm

All you Bibby haters should realize that before he came in to town, the team was going nowhere fast. Acie Law, what a bust. Bibby is struggling a little with his shot recently, but he will definitely turn it around. We don’t have to have a quick driving point guard, when you have JJ and JC, being able to get by anyone. Bibby is a facilitator and a player that rarely makes a mistake. Stop hating and start supporting. The team is assembled right. The more they play together the better they will become.


January 23rd, 2010
1:44 pm

did yall see that play when joe was dribblin around n woody told him 2 pass it 2 marvin but he forced the shot ne way ….SELFish i tell u …. biedris would b a horible move 1 that means josh plays the 3 and is standing out there and 2 he only made 1 free throw the whole yr he’s worst then josh n shaq


January 23rd, 2010
2:33 pm

For all of you who think JJ was gunning in the 4th quarter, because he was trying to match Crawford, you may want to look at the link I’ll post at the end of this.

If you look at the play by play, JJ played about the most under control game of the year. He took 7 shots in the 1st quarter, but only 4 shots in the next 2 quarters. When we were up comfortably in the game, was when JJ started shooting.

People want to make this a JJ vs Crawford thing, but that may be the furthest thing form the truth. The “selfishness” that the fan base wants to believe, may have actually been a “selfless act” by JJ last night.

So for all of you who think our Captain is so selfish, take a look at this link. Then look at the type of shots that he took when we were up big in the quarter, and see if this doesn’t correlate.


Kip Smithers

January 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

Dan, I bet you have a life sized poster of Bibby on your ceiling right above your bed. Bibby is trash.


January 23rd, 2010
2:35 pm


Lopez was drafted the year AFTER Horford and Acie. I’m guessing that if Lopez HAD been available in ‘07, then we may have taken him instead of Al.

But count me as happy to have Horford.


January 23rd, 2010
2:41 pm


I just saw it as typical of a player in a contract year, to start jackin’ while we have a decent lead. Not putting on a “selfish” tag, or any other tag other than “typical”.

I’ll say this, though….. that 4th quarter 12 foot floater, when he went 1 on 4 with at least 15 seconds on the shot clock was D U M B. Even if you are determined to take the shot, use some clock with a lead. Especially if it’s 1 on 4. Dang!


January 23rd, 2010
2:58 pm

Sautee, I agree with the 1 on 4 dumb shot selection ( in the OKC game ). Some Hawk fans act like JJ isn’t our main scorer. Every main scorer in the league is going to take some bad or questionable shots ( see Kobe vs the Knicks last night ). But the 4th quarter last night was so uncharacteristic of how JJ had played up until that point, that the Haitian relief effort he was involved in, may have influenced some of those shot attemtpts.

LOL . . he took three 3-pointers . . in a game in which we were leading by double digits . . in a 3 minute span. I honestly thought he was just trying to reach 20 points, not outdo Crawford or just be blatantly selfish. That’s now how JJ operates. You would think after watching the guy for 5 years, that people would know that. No way he’s jacking up shots like that, that quickly, under normal circumstances.

But people want to believe that JJ is such a selfish player now ( even though he’s actually shooting better than he was last year, and is still averaging 5 assists a game as a SG ), that everything remotely negative that JJ does, gets blown out of proportion.


January 23rd, 2010
3:02 pm

That should read . . . “That’s NOT how JJ operates.”


January 23rd, 2010
3:06 pm

Great game last night……not much to complain about,however JJ does have a bit of jealousy toward crawford.those were awful shots he put up near the end of the game last night.he did not want crawford to lead in scoring again.that type of mentality is going to lose us games


January 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm


.that type of mentality is going to lose us games

Did you mean to say has lost us games and more in the future?


January 23rd, 2010
3:56 pm


Two things….

First, one can be an altruistic saint off the court and still be selfish on the court. And don’t think I’m being hateful to Joe, BUT, even if the reason for shooting “uncharacteristically” WAS for the Haitian relief, isn’t that still being selfish? His FIRST duty is towards the team, not towards something not related to the game.

Second, the reason that many things Joe does get “out of perspective” goes along with being “the man” on any team. He was paid greatly (with 2 first round picks, to boot) to come here. Joe possibly didn’t realize THAT side of being “the man” when he signed up. I think you’d find that the best player on most teams is often highly criticized.

And, even though Joe is vastly underrated, I’d say that many of his positive traits are also somewhat out of perspective. For example, his rep is that he’s a great defensive player (didn’t Coach K say something?), and he certainly CAN be. But he takes too many defensive possessions off. Particularly for a Captain and team leader. I think if you asked him, he’d agree. And part of that is on Woody for asking him to carry such a load on offense.

That said, we’re much better off if he re-signs. Much better.


January 23rd, 2010
5:20 pm

Okay, I want to be absolutely clear, for the past four and a half years, the only constant on this team has been Joe Johnson. Is he perfect, no, but he is a good captain and for four years, he’s led this team when at times he was the ONLY option the Hawks had. Now, maybe some of you don’t remember the last couple of years when teams like Boston and Cleveland had the approach of “beat the crap out of Joe Johnson and take our chances with everyone else.” Well, they did, and let me tell you, let me tell all of you, that man took more punishment over the past few years than I’ve ever seen any captain on any team be allowed to take, but night in and night out, he brought it. Four two out of Joe’s first three years here, he was the ONLY reliable option for the Hawks on offense. Some guys would have sat out before the start of every year for more money, but he’s not about money. Some players would have demanded to be traded, but he’s not about himself. Whatever Joe Johnson decides to do at the end of this season, he’s been a great captain, and I feel that he’s ALWAYS put the team above himself. Now, he’s taken some shots recently that’s got me shaking my head, but as much suffering as he’s had to go through these past few years, he might be entitled to an ill-advised shot or two, provided it doesn’t cost us too much.

Joe Johnson is not just underrated, he one of the great players in this league, and if he moves on after this season is over, trust me, he’ll be missed.

Ken Strickland

January 23rd, 2010
5:26 pm

I MUS WRITE-I’m certain words simular to yours were likely uttered early in the careers of CBillups, BWallace, SJackson, RArtest, BDiaw, and possibly even DRodman, when they were unable to crack a starting lineup. WAS WOODSON RIGHT WHEN HE PUBLICALLY VOICED HIS DOUBTS ABOUT PG’S CPAUL AND DWILLIAMS’ ABILITY TO PERFORM SUCCESSFULLY AT THIS LEVEL? WAS HE CORRECT WHEN HE SAID BDIAW WASN’T TALENTED ENOUGH TO PREFORM IN THIS LEAGUE?

After 3yrs of being coached down by Woodson, and having his confidence lowered, it’s not surprising ALaw has been unable to rebound from that DARK AGE in his career.

Ken Strickland

January 23rd, 2010
5:41 pm

It’s truely amazing and revealing of the mentality and deep denial of those who’ve formed personal attachments to MWoodson.

You insist on promoting him as a COY candidate, and wanting him to have a new contract, because he’s coached the Hawks to annual increases in win each yr he’s been here. Yet, you constantly blame JJ for doing what Woodson obviouly allows him to continue doing, even though the team has INCREASED ITS WINS EACH YR JJ HAS BEEN HERE. GO FIGURE!


January 23rd, 2010
6:00 pm


Good point about playing the reserves when the lead had swollen, because the starters tend to relax and let the other team get back into it.

But its a catch 22, because if the reserves come in and give up the lead, fans will say thats why Woody does not play them (although we see starters giving up leads all the time).

I dont know what has happened to Bibby the last few weeks. He seems to have lost a step. The key to his PT is if he is hitting his shots, because if he isn’t, then he is a major liability. I think he should continue to start though, but if he is struggling, Woody needs to pull him.

I like what Teague brings to the table, and I hope he can develop a more consistent jump shot, because (right or wrong) thats probably the only thing holding him back. And looking back, I think that 3rd year we gave Bibby could be an issue, because as bad as he looks at times, imagine how bad he will look 2 seasons from now.

I’ll say this. I am okay with Woody as our coach, under 2 conditions:

1) Hire an established offensive coordinator.
2) Be more flexible


January 23rd, 2010
6:01 pm

By be more flexible, I mean being more open to adjustments.


January 23rd, 2010
6:13 pm

Sautee . . . the fan base acts like JJ can’t take a bad shot. All of the star players in this league take bad shots on occasion. But the difference, is that they can also MAKE those bad shots. That’s why they’re star players.

The shots that JJ were making in that last Boston game, were some of the most difficult shots I’ve ever seen him take. But because he was making those shots, everything was all good.

Last night, seeing the Haitian relief thing, it’s clear to me what he was doing. He was merely trying to up his point total, to give a sizeable donation off of his point total. The game was virtually out of reach at the point where he started to chuck those shots. When it got back down close, he stopped shooting, and deferred to other people.

It’s just funny that after everyone was afraid that we’d lose to Charlotte, that JJ’s 3 minute chucking exhibition is all people are talking about with this game. We pretty much manhandled a red hot team last night ( with JJ being a major part of why we got out to that big lead to start the game ). Smoove and Horford were great. Marvin even played great.

But what are we talking about? JJ’s 4th quarter shot selection in a virtual blow out.

If we lose a game with him doing that, then yeah, rip him to shreds. But that game was never in doubt in the 4th quarter, even if we have blown some 4th quarter leads.

If the captain was trying to score more points to get more money to the Haitians, then the captain gets a complete pass from me.


January 23rd, 2010
6:19 pm

You can’t look at a damn play by play and say JJ wasn’t gunning. I went to the game with twenty people, and we all came to the same conclusion “JJ was gunning and he almost shot us out of the game in the 4th quarter. His body language is horrible; when he misses a shot, he gives up on the play. I like JJ, but we will be fine without him next year.

This should be the last year for Bibby, he’s two damn slow, and his defense flat out sucks. If he can’t hit a shot, he needs to sit next to Woodrow.


January 23rd, 2010
6:21 pm

And as far as Woody goes . . . if we happened to be in 2nd place by Jan 31st, Woody will coach the All-Star game. Mike Brown can’t coach it two years in a row, because he was the coach last year.

LOL . . that would be poetic justice around here, for Woody to be coaching the All-Star game. So it’ll basically come down if we can beat Boston one more time, that determines Woody’s All-Star coaching debut.

It’ll kill people to see Woody coach the All-Star team . . . then become Coach of the Year at the end of the season. Then, the only thing that would stop a Woody extension, is an extremely poor showing in the playoffs.


January 23rd, 2010
6:22 pm

Some of you bloggers don’t look at the game objectively; you’re to caught up in your agendas. You should try to watch the game with an unbiased eye.


January 23rd, 2010
6:35 pm


about this: “But what are we talking about? JJ’s 4th quarter shot selection in a virtual blow out.”

Well, you said yourself that it was “uncharacteristic”, right? Why WOULDN’T it be a topic?


January 23rd, 2010
6:37 pm

Lascho . . . of course he was gunning in that 4th quarter. We were up 17 when he started gunning. But 3 of those shots you always want him taking because those are makeable JJ shots. The quick 3 pointer off the fast break was bad, and going into the entire defense was bad. Those are the 2 shots he took out of the flow of the game in that quarter.

He missed 5 shots in about a 3 – 4 minute span, so of course he was gunning.

It’s just funny that this is the focus now, instead of the overall great game that this team played. It’s almost like people can’t help but to focus on negativity around here. Horford played a great game, yet, people are barely saying his name.


January 23rd, 2010
6:40 pm

Sautee . . . because it did nothing to the outcome of the game. All of that positive that went on last night, yet, people are talking about JJ’s shots and misses in the 4th quarter of a game that we won by double digits.

People have been bagging on Marvin all week, but I thought he played excellent last night. He was very a very active player on the floor in that game.

But I understand why people focus on the negative. That’s what most fans do, especially this fan base.


January 23rd, 2010
7:12 pm

I would love to see Woody coach the All-Star game. That would give him a chance to work with other players, not just his own players.

Although the all-star game is mostly offense, I wonder if Woody would be preaching defense and rebounding. And I would like to see his substitution patterns. Does everybody play, or does he go with a 6 or 7 man rotation lol.


I agree JJ might have been forced a couple bad shots last night, but I won’t chalk it up to him wanting to score more so that he can give more money to Haiti. The participating players contributed $135k to Haiti based on their point total last night. But even if JJ only scored 5 points in the game last night, he can stil donate as much money as he wants to Haiti, as opposed to only giving $1K per point.

But I dont think he’s being selfish or jealous of Crawford. I just think thats how he’s always played (for a while, the Hawks needed him to play that way), so it will take some time and adjustments for him to give up the ball more often.


January 23rd, 2010
7:31 pm


We’ll just agree to disagree. In my mind, he was thinking contract BECAUSE we had such a lead. Typical of a player in a contract year.

But I personally think that it was a blog topic BECAUSE it was, as you put it, “uncharacteristic”.