Hawks Squawks: Hawks 102, Rockets 95

Twitpic courtesy @hawksPRMan

Absurd Twitpic courtesy @hawksPRMan

– Maybe it was the eyebrows.

Woody showed up in the locker room before the game with his eyebrows shaved off. His players fell out clowning him but he kept a straight face and ignored them when they kept asking him what happened.

– “Nobody knows,” Jamal Crawford said. “You should get to the bottom of it and let me know.”

– “He claimed his barber did it on accident,” Smoove said.

– — Woody still wasn’t talking after the victory: “They got me doing all kinds of crazy stuff. There is no story. It’s just a win.”

– Smoove pasted some Velcro strips in the form of eyebrows on Woody’s head, and the coach came out for the pregame meeting looking redonkulous. So it was all fun and games beforehand. But then the Hawks went out and took care of business.

– It had to be a misdirection move by Woody, who didn’t want his guys to be too tight. “We wanted to have a happy-go-lucky atmosphere,” Smoove said. “I think he didn’t want to come and tell us how much he really, really wanted this game. I think it went over well with the guys. But we knew in the back of our minds how important this game was.”

– The Hawks played like it. The Rockets’ overachieving stuff is no match for the Hawks when they are scoring and swarming like this. This one had the look and feel of a Hawks team that knew it was better than the Rockets and was determined to come out and prove it.

– That’s three straight and eight of 10 for the Hawks since they lost four in a row. “When we play up to our ability, we are one of the elite teams in the league,” J.J. said.

– The Hawks won at Houston for the first time since Feb. 25, 1999, ending a 10-game losing streak here. “We’re growing as a basketball team,” Woody said. “It’s nice to see because we’ve had games here where we were not within 30.”

– “We wanted to get that monkey off our back,” Smoove said.

– The Hawks overwhelmed the Rockets with their talent. That’s how they stayed in the game despite not recording an assist until 9:53 of the second quarter.

– The Hawks dominated the second period with 12 of 23 shooting, 32 points, and an 18-7 advantage on the boards.

– That was the cushion the Hawks needed. “They ran the floor and at the end of the second quarter they made a run on us,” Houston’s Kyle Lowry said. “We didn’t need that and it seemed like we couldn’t get back after that.”

– Not when the Hawks are this determined. When the Rockets pushed back in the second half, the Hawks kept grinding. “That’s a sign of maturity,” Crawford said. “We don’t panic when we take a team’s punch.”

– After the Rockets made some 3-pointers early, the Hawks extended their defense to take it away. The Rockets were 3 of 8 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, 2 of 13 after that.

– There was nothing for them at the rim, either, except lots of long arms. Those seven blocked shots are just the beginning. “They blocked a lot of shots and changed a lot of our attempts,” Lowry said.

– The Hawks’ switching D was working. “We have each others’ backs if guys switch out,” Crawford said. “If somebody gets beat, we know we have help.”

– Once again when things went right Smoove was in the middle of it. Not even his dope stat line (22 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, four blocks) fully told it. “He did everything,” Woody said.

– Also, have you noticed lately that when Smoove gets ticked about a call early he doesn’t let his emotions take him out of the game? Forget Smith’s growth over the years, you can see it from week to week.

– The Hawks kept coming out on the wrong end of calls but they just kept playing. It was a very professional effort.

Al Horford had to get stitches on his left thumb after a first-quarter whacking from Chuck Hayes. There was no foul called on the play.

– Horford came back for the second quarter. While he was out, Zaza and Joe Smith held it down.

– Joe Smith had his second consecutive solid effort. The old pro knows how to stay ready. Remember that come the postseason. Hey, he did it for the Cavs not too long ago.

– Speaking of vets coming up, Mike Bibby made two 3-pointers late to put the Rockets away. If he does that against the Thunder the Hawks are on a seven-game winning streak. As it is, they are still rolling.

– Now the game at San Antonio Wednesday won’t seem so desperate. The Hawks haven’t won there since Feb. 15, 1997, an 11-game streak. Lose it, and at least they beat the Rockets. Win it, and damn.

– By the way, I’m 4-1.

– Then again, Woody is undefeated post-eyebrows.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

98 comments Add your comment

Grip

January 26th, 2010
12:59 am

Woody coaching the all-star team, who would have thunk it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We may be 3-1 after this road trip, and that would really set us up for success. I am impressed, and that is saying a lot, with that summer league offense Woody runs. Let the Hawk fly!!!!!!

da ruler

January 26th, 2010
12:59 am

jerrywest

January 26th, 2010
1:01 am

Thanks MC. That Mr.Potato face will be the most memorable pic of this season.

mmgtfan

January 26th, 2010
1:01 am

Joe's place Joe speaking

January 26th, 2010
1:01 am

First??!! Nice read, thanks MC.

jerrywest

January 26th, 2010
1:04 am

Yes Grip. If we overtake Boston, Woody will coach the all star game. Brown can’t coach because he coached last year. (Pat Riley rule)

Jed

January 26th, 2010
1:14 am

Exactly right, MC, on Josh’s maturity. And for everybody who doubted Smoove & doubted Woody over the last 4 years +….you’ve got to admit not only that Josh has (only begun to) come into his own, but also that Woody played a key factor in his development. Sometimes he gave him a long leash; sometimes he gave him none at all. But the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding is….smooooooove!

Josh

January 26th, 2010
1:14 am

dude, i loved the fight in the hawks today… and like you said MC, the growth in smoove is awesome to see. marvin was contributing as well [that block was sick]. let’s get this in san antonio!

Ree Roe

January 26th, 2010
1:17 am

Good to see the team is loose & having fun right before a crucial road trip. lol @ the Legend of the Mysterious Eyebrows beginning now. Let’s get a win in SA!

-REEcently Roe!!!

tjhook

January 26th, 2010
2:19 am

I thought the team was a little too jump-shot happy but I’m glad to represent the Hawks with a win. San Antonio is going to try to control the tempo, so our main scorers (Joe and Jamal) will need to play with some reckless disclipine. I’m hoping for a lot of offensive putbacks in this one. And also hope Jeff Teague can get some time to take on Tony Parker because TP might break Bibby a new one (backside)

The Grapes of RATHbun

January 26th, 2010
3:24 am

Boy am I glad David Andersen never suited up for the Hawks! That guy is garbage! How about when he got hung up on the wide open dunk in the 2nd quarter? That $hit was hilarious!

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 26th, 2010
5:39 am

“He claimed his barber did it on accident,” Smoove said.

LMFAO

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 26th, 2010
5:40 am

so woodson was gettin his eye brows lined up? LMFAO

Clyde

January 26th, 2010
5:51 am

How you let your barber cut off your eyebrows? That what you get for letting a blind mind cut your hair.

FIRE WOODY

Benjamin

January 26th, 2010
6:23 am

15th… :)

IF we can come away from this five game run — I know most people have it ending with Orlando, but with a road game at OKC on the end of the stretch, I’m counting them, too — with a 3-2 record, I’m ready to roll going forward. Great game last night, and it’s nice to see Smith get out there and dominate the way he did to help lead the team after a relatively slow first quarter — just another night in the apparent continual progression of Smoove, in my book…

Another thing: Joe Johnson, in my view, is much more valuable than he’s given credit for by the commenters of this forum, and he put in another solid effort last evening. I really hope we can bring him back this offseason…

TheAntiMe

January 26th, 2010
6:41 am

The guys are getting it done on the road this year and that is huge. I might normally be concerned that they were out-scored 3 of the 4 quarters, if not for the fact that they were close on all 3. Unlike when they were in their last slump, they did not take entire quarters off on offense and/or defense.

I think Woody is dead-on when he says that the Hawks are growing as a team. Week-by-week.

O'Brien

January 26th, 2010
7:52 am

Great strategy by Woody, helping the guys to relax and just play their game.

I have been on Bibby the last 2 or 3 weeks because he looks really slow out there, and I also think Teaue should get more PT.

But I also think Teague should get his minutes early on in the game, because down the stretch, we need Bibby. Big shots by Bibby in the 4th (we know that Teague can’t make those yet).

Great team win last night, Hawks and coaches. Now let’s end the SA drought.

Mind over Matter

January 26th, 2010
8:09 am

Wow, what happened to the Bubba crew and the hate factory?

Woody, OOY !!

Fundamentals

January 26th, 2010
8:22 am

Excellent effort, great board work and definitely good team ball on offense. Everyone played their game and did what it took to secure a great team win for the Hawks. Impressive!

Section 303

January 26th, 2010
8:39 am

The Grapes of RATHbun, I’m glad Anderson is not on the Hawks, too. Billy Knight used to always say that the major hold up with bringing Anderson over from Russia was money. Anderson wanted too much of it. That would have been a bad contract to get trapped under.

Sweet win last night. Anyone notice the crowd, or lack there of? Atlanta gets ripped for fans not coming out during the week, but look at Houston and most of the other teams in the league. They are not selling out, either. Really, only about 4-5 teams that can say they pack the place on every game night. Thinking: Lakers, Cavs, Celtics (Boston fans will leave once the team gets bad, though), Spurs, Mavs…can’t think of anyone else.

AlternateReality

January 26th, 2010
8:41 am

Why does Woody need a barber?

Grandad

January 26th, 2010
8:43 am

If he really did it on purpose to relax the guys…well I’ll be darned.

jean

January 26th, 2010
8:54 am

did any1 see when crawford try to bang it on the hole team wit like a minute left?

d.carter

January 26th, 2010
8:58 am

Marvin will never become the player that he can be in woodys offense of 1000 dribbles… So with that being said….Marvin, Bibby and Mo Evans for YI and Devin Harris…. I think the numbers are close enough,

GeeMack

January 26th, 2010
9:04 am

The Hawks don’t need those guys they are winning. Unless it’s a move to make us championship contenders we shouldn’t make a move.

JM

January 26th, 2010
9:08 am

jean, I did. What have been great if he made it.

JM

January 26th, 2010
9:20 am

Would have been…

richbrave

January 26th, 2010
9:30 am

JAVARIS CRITTENTON was given one year’s unsupervised probation and voluntary community service work along with two fines totaling $1250. His duty to the government is over. Now he must deal with STERN and the WIZARDS. He should be playing for someone else next year as the D.C. franchise did not exercise their option on his contract. He currently makes 1.45 million and is being paid. He should make a fine point guard for some team other than the WIZARDS. To me, this is a blessing in disguise because he’s outta’ here and that’s good for him. I predict he will be appearing in an arena near you next year. Also, it will give his foot a chance to full heal.

[...] what is easily the strangest story of the NBA season, Hawks coach Mike Woodson inexplicably shaved his eyebrows prior to last [...]

richbrave

January 26th, 2010
9:36 am

“So it was all fun and games beforehand. But then the Hawks went out and took care of business.”

The difference between the HAWKS and WIZARDS is the D.C. team does the same in the locker-room, but stays in the moment for the game. What an azz-clown “organization.” “I feel like shooting somebody.” For real? “Oh no, I was just goof-ball kiddin’.”

Astro Joe

January 26th, 2010
9:36 am

richbrave, has he (Crit) established a role yet in the NBA? Is he a true back-up PG or a back-up combo guard like Flip or a strong perimeter defender? I agree that he should be provided another chance but he plays an over-crowded position.

Astro Joe

January 26th, 2010
10:00 am

The below is from the Human Highlight Blog:

Mike Bibby is a wonderful luxury to have as a Hawks fan. Not only is he a calming influence on the game and gets the ball into the hands of our finishers so effectively, Bibby is a nice lethal three point sniper to lean on when Crawford and Johnson aren’t open or the ball comes out of the lane and finds the vet teed up and waiting.

Bibby is having a four year high in Assist rate, assist-turnover ratio, and EFG% from 3-pt range. He is also right on his four year highs for EFG% and TS%. That Bibby, who just two and some odd seasons ago was the Hawks #2 option offensively, is now having the lowest Usage rate in his career means the Hawks have grown up on that end of the floor—and that Bibby’s role as a long range sniper and master facilitator can be even more finely tuned and make for a very effective role player along with his role/responsibilities as team leader.

JM

January 26th, 2010
10:02 am

richbrave, feeling you on the Wiz. I was born and raised in NW DC and used to be a big Bullets/Wizards fan, but that team is so screwed up I had to let them go. Still pissed about C Web for Mitch Richmond, wtf. Go Hawks!

AceDawg

January 26th, 2010
10:07 am

Hawks are entertaining and good – it’s still shocking!!

james rudolph

January 26th, 2010
10:12 am

I think a perimeter guy is all this team needs to win the East. (Assuming The Cavs don’t get Amare or Jamison.) Just a guy that hangs out on the perimeter and can shoot the 3 at about 42%. A Kyle Korver type. Anthony Morrow leads the league in 3pt fg% and is in Nellie’s doghouse. Give them a first round pick straight up for Morrow, and figure out a way to cut a little money. This team DOES NOT NEED TO GET ANY YOUNGER through the draft. He would spread the floor and give us about 20 minutes a game. A perfect fit.

richbrave

January 26th, 2010
10:13 am

JM:

You said it. GO HAWKS. I got a feeling they are moving up the pecking order in the east to third. They do have to get the DWIGHT HOWARD monkey off their back however.

‘STROH JOE:

I know, but he showed out running the point for the WIZ late last season and I could see he’s got game. I know those tapes are still around, but it is an overcrowded position except on the WIZ.

The negatives are that 1- he played last summer in the HOTATLANTA – against orders I believe – then got hurt, and 2- He’s let GILBERT’s crap rub off on him.

The better teams will probably say no thanks, but the lesser teams with point problems will give him a chance because he can bring it. He just needs plenty of burn to develop. And he’s still quite young.

doc

January 26th, 2010
10:16 am

rb from two blogs past:

richie, javaris was very naive and got played big time. arenas is a bully not a prankster. it is his mask to hide behind.

james rudolph

January 26th, 2010
10:17 am

Make that 44.3% from downtown. Now that’s filling it up. Every good team has that guy. Not that Woody would draw him up plays, but when Joe is getting doubled…kick out…and there it is. Whether it’s Eddie House, Anthony Parker, JJ Reddick, Kyle Korver, Sasha Vujascic, or anyone…all the good teams have that guy that doesn’t create his own shot, and just hangs out and waits for the double team or an open look in transition. Morrow would be ideal. He played at Tech and is from Charlotte.

richbrave

January 26th, 2010
10:17 am

Bibby’s role as a long range sniper and master facilitator can be even more finely tuned and make for a very effective role player along with his role/responsibilities as team leader.

That’s great as long as him pay is commenserate with that limited role.

Sautee

January 26th, 2010
10:19 am

AJ,

From the last blog: “At least stir the pot with a logical spoon. Although asking me to put down Adelman is a very clever tactic… given my long-standing bromance with the Rockets coach.”

Yes, a dastardly tactic. Joe, I hope you know that I was just messin’ with you.

Of course I remembered your “likings” for Adelman. ;-)

And I was certain that you’d take the bait I put out about Budinger. Was it tasty?

And my reality about Teague…. well I had a lot more attachment to Acie as a player, MAINLY because I thought the front court was starving and he would feed them every time he was on the court. This year, Woody is at least TRYING to have the front court more involved. So I’m less concerned about time for Teague, since my main objective (front court involvement) is beginning to come to fruition without a lot of his minutes.

That said, I’m STILL not a fan of Crawford at PG. Oddly enough, not for any lack of passing, but it seems that when Bibby is not in the game, and Joe IS, it seems that Crawford defers too much to Joe instead of moving the ball.

terrell

January 26th, 2010
10:23 am

Damn Woody! Wtf? Who’s your barber, Stevie Wonder?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta Peach Movers, Matt Stroup, Michael Cunningham, Michael Cunningham, john freman and others. john freman said: Hawks Squawks: Hawks 102, Rockets 95 | Hawks Blog: Maybe it was the eyebrows. — Woody showed up in the locker roo… http://bit.ly/7gRIuF [...]

terrell

January 26th, 2010
10:25 am

Oh yeah, great team effort last night. And that includes Marvin, Rod.

Preist Lauderdale

January 26th, 2010
10:55 am

Now you see em, now they burnt off!

Melvin

January 26th, 2010
11:17 am

I read on Hoopshype in an article by ESPN that all non-Tax teams (under the salary cap) receives a 5 million rebate during the summer for not going over the cap. Now we know why the ASG is so adamant about staying under the cap….

KevinA

January 26th, 2010
11:19 am

http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2010/01/25/graphic-offense-a-look-at-usage-and-per-mid-season/

Scroll down to the Par and useage chart. Very telling. Feed a big- get a win.

darrell starks

January 26th, 2010
11:25 am

GOOD GAME BY THE HAWKS WOODY WHAT THE H IS THAT ABOVE YOUR EYE LOOK LIKE MRS POTATOE HEAD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Sautee

January 26th, 2010
11:26 am

Bob Rathbun: ‘Nique, this is a tough stretch of games ahead, are you up to it?

‘Nique: Yeah Bob, I’ll just take them one cliche’ at a time.

darrell starks

January 26th, 2010
11:26 am

Woody did a great job coaching last night he use his bench and the team played with energy.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

theZaZaguy

January 26th, 2010
11:29 am

Hey Rich Brave. I think Bibby is priced about right. 3 years for 18 million. That makes him the lowest paid starter except Horford (who I’m sure will get a nice contract next year). Sund did a good job on this one I think.