Hawks at Spurs, AKA Messin’ With Texas

San Antonio– It’s been interesting to see perceptions of the Hawks in Western Conference outposts Houston and San Antonio. Both teams were scuffling and coming off worrisome efforts and both considered the Hawks a threat to continue their slides.

Rockets coach Rick Adelman was matter-of-fact in talking up the Hawks like they are an elite team. He worried about their ability to score one-on-one and their open-court prowess. Then the Hawks used their one-on-one scoring ability and open-court prowess to beat his team. Afterward, Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, a Rockets TV analyst, said of the Hawks: “They are a team that has it all, and they proved it tonight.”

Pop's Spurs falling off?

Pop's Spurs falling off?

Now the Hawks are in San Antonio, where Spurs guard Tony Parker tells the San Antonio Express-News (last item): “They’re good — long and athletic. A little bit like the Bulls.” Normally, that might be taken as a backhanded slap since the Bulls are eight games behind the Hawks in the East, but Chicago just beat the Spurs on Monday.

It was the third straight home loss for the Spurs, and that hadn’t happened since 1996-97 (wow). Though coach Gregg Popovich has never been one to put too much stock in the ebbs and flows of regular season, viewing it as a process to get ready for the playoffs, the Spurs sound desperate for a victory. Said Spurs guard Roger Mason Jr.: “This is all a process for the end of the year, and we understand that. At the same time, you know, we’re trying to win games.”

Are the Spurs really in trouble? Woody glanced up at those championship banners inside the AT&T Center and said he’s not buying it: “They are still one of the top teams in the West. Any time ‘Pop’ puts a team on the floor, they are going to compete. You don’t hang four banners in here without doing that.”

– The Hawks will see San Antonio’s first three-game losing streak since ‘96-’97 and raise them 11 straight losses at San Antonio. The Hawks last won here on Feb. 15, 1997. And they haven’t swept all three Texas teams on the road since 1990-91. The possibility of doing so tonight has Big Ray feelin’ good

“Will they pull it off, or will we be singing ‘Two out of three ain’t bad….’? Either way, if you don’t think this is yet another sign of a team that is significantly better than it was last year, then consider the fact that the Hawks didn’t win a single one of these three daunting road games last season. How’s that for perspective?”

– Never mind San Antonio’s struggles. The Hawks will have to be better tonight than they were at Houston Monday night. Hoopinion says (in that very interesting, statistical kind of way) that the Hawks beat the Rockets with just an OK effort:

“Despite the niggling worries, it speaks to this team’s ability that they can go on the road, face a perfectly average team, and win comfortably while playing about 12 minutes of really good basketball.”

– Woody sees winning tough road games as another stage of growth for his team. He said the one constant has to be defensive effort: “Some games on the road you shoot lights out. But you’ve got to have a defensive mentality to win on the road. All elite teams win on the road. Cleveland. The Lakers. Boston. Orlando. It’s not easy.”

– Two days later, and no one with the Hawks seems to know the real story behind Woody’s missing eyebrows. And the accusations and counter-accusations are flying, with everyone seeming to think the person pressing them for info really knows the truth and isn’t saying.

Woody’s still not talking: “To be honest, I don’t know what happened.” And he’s letting them grow back even if the Hawks keep winning.

“It’s growing now as we speak. What am I going to do? Just let it grow.”

After seeing two days’ growth, I’d guess Woody has a good three weeks before they really come back.

There’s a cattle convention in town. Driving through downtown on the way to the AT & T Center for shootaround, I saw some cowboys with cattle on the sidewalk. I was trippin’ about this. Everyone else just kind of went about their business.

No point to that tidbit, really, just trying to wrap my head around it.

– Talk amongst yourselves, Hawks fans.

MC

367 comments Add your comment

Jonathan

January 27th, 2010
4:03 pm

Brett

January 27th, 2010
4:03 pm

could I really be first?

Brett

January 27th, 2010
4:05 pm

guess I’ll have to wait for my “too much time on my hands” award

allan in texas

January 27th, 2010
4:06 pm

Hawks fan living in Austin. Peace Up, A Town down. Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ree Roe

January 27th, 2010
4:06 pm

Should be a great game tonite. Hawks have to limit Tony P’s penetration into the lane & defend the paint. Whoever controls the rebound margin should win

-REEcently Roe!!!

Jonathan

January 27th, 2010
4:08 pm

Hah. That’s literally the first time I’ve ever posted on here, too. On a serious note, I’m worried about a Spurs team that has it’s back against the wall. They’re a good, well-coached team and I would be surprised if they didn’t come out with a really strong effort. That being said, I think the Hawks match up pretty well. They’re more athletic than the Spurs and if Horford can contain Duncan and somebody can slow down Tony Parker, we have a shot.

Go Hawks!

Lacsho

January 27th, 2010
4:11 pm

Allan, nice comment I like that.

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
4:21 pm

Bottom Line….
The Spurs are very old! The Celtics are very old! The HAWKS are very very very Young! The Hawks may score 115 points tonight and the Spurs – 89. Ball Game Over!!!!

Rufus1

January 27th, 2010
4:22 pm

Daniel

I have a very opinion of Teague…I just don’t think on this team, with this coach, he will be anything but a bench warmer.

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
4:25 pm

Agent “0″ for the Hawks….needs to develop a jump shot and learn to play D-Fense! Chill – Out People! Geeez. If there was nothing to complain about – What would you complain about?

kwooden1

January 27th, 2010
4:32 pm

The Spurs are going to come to play. They’ve lost their last three at home and will do anything to make sure they don’t lose a fourth. The Spurs are missing some of their shooters, so the switching defense could be effective, but we have to keep Parker from the rim. They don’t have anyone that can stay with Smoove, so he should just keep taking the ball to the basket. I’m looking forward to another tough game.

GO HAWKS!!!

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

A win is a WIN in the NBA. “This is the NBA man!” We have the opportunity to SEE the best players in the WORLD play a silly game called Basketball!

These guys are not solving World Peace and Hunger…They are not fixing the economy nor bringing health care to all people. This is plain and simple ….ENTERTAINMENT! So, CLYDE…(T-Shirt Man), No one needs to be FIRED? The last thing we need is another Black Man Out-Of-Work and not feeding his wife and kids!

Let’s come together and ENJOY these HAWKS! How F*&%-in LONG has it been since this transient – azz town seen a WINNER! The Braves of ‘92 – ‘94. Hell, they won a WORLD-SERIES and we’re complaining because they didn’t Win another?

Go ask the Mets – if they would sleep with the guy next door for $5,000.00? uuggh…duuuh! you betcha! They would! So, the point, is let’s enjoy sitting on top the division, even if it is for a couple of weeks….would you rather we be behind the Magic or ahead of the Magic?

So, here’s my question…Would You sleep with the guy next door for $5k? Hell, I am so broke right now….Jeffrey Damnier is looking pretty good to me…oh hell, he’s dead already! That’s my luck…lol!

clarkekent

January 27th, 2010
4:53 pm

The key to this game is to keep T.P out of the lane. This is another team with penetrating guards. We have trouble with teams like this. CLE ORL LAL NYK DET… Bibby has to guard somebody. This could be a good game to play Teague. And hope he can stay in front of Tony Parker or George Hill or Manu. We already know Bibby can’t.

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
4:58 pm

Just Win Baby! I could give a flip – about who’s not playing? Just give me a WINNER!

Benjamin

January 27th, 2010
5:02 pm

Another day, another test…

Hope J-Smoove is fully healthy. He was day-to-day after the last game.

dooley

January 27th, 2010
5:10 pm

the hawks gonna pound the spurs 2nite

vava74

January 27th, 2010
5:10 pm

MC: You are rocking this joint man! Nice work!

On Woody’s talk about Teague:

Woody has been – in most cases – a stand up guy when talking about internal stuff and his personnel. He proved it again with yet another classy move.

Further to this, he is now complaining a lot more to the refs and trying to get what is due to us: fairer refereeing.

If only he manages to develop a better set of offensive plays and learn to adjust better within games (no easy thing) we could have a great coach in the making.

Right now he is in between B and B+, just like the Hawks and if he does not show that he able to take that next step until the end of the season, then we may need to replace him.

On Teague:

There is no comparison with Acie: Acie got more minutes because we were not winning as much and our personnel was not as high quality as we have now.

It’s difficult to find minutes to play 4G during a game, specially when we are winning like we are and with Crawford doing such a good job. Bibby still influences games positively with his savvy and 3 point shooting and needs to be on court for significant minutes.

However, I honestly believe that JT0 is already deserving of more minutes and that he would reward Woody with improved play as the games passed.

However, I understand Woody’s fear. All in all, it his ass on the line when we lose.

Another huge difference between Acie and Teague is that you can sense an aura on Teague… he has a certain “IT” which makes us feel that he is much better than his current production.

Acie didn’t have that AND let us not forget that Acie came to the NBA with 4 years of college ball and JT0 only had 2. HE IS STILL A KID!

In relation to tonight’s game:

The worst factor is that the Spurs already lost 3 in a row at home and will certainly do their best to correct this. I hope that our guys have this in mind and understand that an “injured beast” is sometimes twice as dangerous than an healthy one.

Talent wise we can match up well with the Spurs, although the Big Fundamental, Parker and Ginobili are clear cut all stars, we are deeper.

Coaching and mental stamina are our problems so we need both Woody and the guys to bring their A games.

RA

January 27th, 2010
5:37 pm

Uhm, as far as that quote from hoopinion is concern, I hope that whoever used the word “niggling” was a black fella.

Big Ray

January 27th, 2010
5:46 pm

Thanks for the love, MC !

As to the previous blog, in which the subject was Teague and Woodson, I’ll say this:

I don’t always like the kid’s playing time, or lack thereof, but I have a right to like or not like it. Nobody really cares if I do or don’t anyway!

But….Teague is getting a lot of support from his coach and his teammates. I see things going on with him that I did not see with Acie Law. We can speculate all day and night as to why this is so, but we don’t know the truth. Do I want to see him out there more? Yeah, but I also want to eat a Whopper and Fries and not gain a single calorie.

Much noise as I make, I’m sure the kid will be fine. Again, Woody has shown the kid plenty of support. But he’s also made his decisions. Right now, his decisions and the team’s play has us in the top 3 of the East, something that even some of the diehard Hawks fans (and diehard Woody fans) said wasn’t possible. Hey, I still have issues with plenty of stuff. It’s the nature of being a fan. Apparently, so is dogging each other for having opinions, lol….

doc

January 27th, 2010
5:47 pm

ra ….

nig·gling (nglng)
adj.
1. Petty, especially in a nagging or annoying way; trifling: a pointless dispute over niggling details.
2. Overly concerned with details; exacting and fussy.
niggling n.
niggling·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
niggling [ˈnɪglɪŋ]
adj
1. petty
2. fussy
3. irritating
4. requiring painstaking work
n
an act or instance of niggling
nigglingly adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition 2003. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Adj. 1. niggling – (informal) small and of little importance; “a fiddling sum of money”; “a footling gesture”; “our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war”; “a little (or small) matter”; “a dispute over niggling details”; “limited to petty enterprises”; “piffling efforts”; “giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction”
fiddling, footling, picayune, piddling, piffling, trivial, petty, lilliputian, little
colloquialism – a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
unimportant – not important; “a relatively unimportant feature of the system”; “the question seems unimportant”
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
niggling
adjective
1. irritating, troubling, persistent, bothersome Both players have been suffering from niggling injuries.
2. petty, minor, trifling, insignificant, unimportant, fussy, quibbling, picky (informal), piddling (informal), nit-picking (informal), finicky, pettifogging They started having tiffs about the most niggling little things.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

Big Ray

January 27th, 2010
5:49 pm

RA ,

“Niggling” doesn’t mean what you think it means. And that’s coming from a black guy. It’s all good, fella.

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
5:54 pm

hey doc…

i like that word…niggling. I am a word freak, I read my thesarus-sp, for fun & entertainment….I see you do too. yeah…thatz my new word….niggling! -sniggles-

Hawks 115 – Spurs 89

vava74

January 27th, 2010
5:56 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

January 27th, 2010
5:58 pm

I posted on a blog a couple of days ago that the Hawks’ switching defense would be weakest against a team that a) has a good low post presence and b) is patient enough to exploit the switching defense to get that low post presence a favorable matchup. The Spurs qualify on both counts, and you can bet that a good coach like Popovich knows all about the switching D and has drawn up plans to exploit it. Let’s hope the Hawks have a way to counter that. Between the possibility of Duncan posting up one of our guards all night long, and Parker breaking down Bibby off the dribble, I’m not too confident about the Hawks’ chances tonight.

drmaryb

January 27th, 2010
6:16 pm

o.k. i’m on a roll…

Little Johnny is six years old, he comes home from school and says , “Dad, I need your help with my homework assignment – I need to know the difference between Theoretic-ally & Realistic-ally.”

Dad says, o.k. Son …Go upstairs and ask your Sister – if she would sleep with the guy next door for $5k dollars? Little Johnny runs upstairs and ask his Sister, “Hey Sissy, would you sleep with the guy next door for $5k dollars?” She replies, “Are you kiddin’ me? duuhh …hell yeah!”

Little – J returns to Dad & says, “Sissy said…duuhh! hell yeah!”
But, I still don’t know the difference between Theoretic-ally & Realistic-ally?

Dad, says o.k., Son, go out to the kitchen and ask your Mom – if she would sleep with the guy next door for $5k dollars? Little – J..goes out to the kitchen, and asks, “Hey Mom, would YOU sleep with the guy next door for $5k dollars?” Mom says, You Betcha!

Little – Johnny, tell his Dad, “Mom says, You Betcha – she would sleep with the guy next door for $5k dollars!”

But, I still don’t know the difference between Theorectic-ally & Realistic-ally?
Dad, says Son – Theoretic-ally we got $10k dollars – Realistic-ally … we’re BROKE and got two WHOES in the house!

My point? Theoretic-ally the Hawks are A-TOP our division…..Realistic-ally we got to beat them Lakers!

Traceman

January 27th, 2010
6:58 pm

Ken,

From the last blog, I’m no more “covering up” periods of inconsistency than you are “manufacturing” periods of inconsistency. Your analysis always begins right at the end of our 7-game winning streak. OF COURSE any stretch that doesn’t include our longest winning streak of the season is going to make us look less consistent in comparison.

We had a 7-game winning streak in November, a 6-game winning streak in December and we’ve won 6 of 7 and 8 of 10 since our 4-game losing streak at the end of Deccember/beginning of January. We have consistently put together significant stretches of good play in every month this season.

Seeing as how we have defeated every team in our division other than ORL, what “TEAMS in our division” are you saying that we can’t beat? Yes, we struggle against ORL but we have been very competitive against every other team in division as well as every other team in the NBA. There are currently two teams ahead of us in the EC standings and we are 3-0 vs BOS and we played CLE VERY tough. ORL had the perfect team to beat CLE last year. CLE was so worried about BOS that they looked past ORL. Once they got to ORL, they were worried about Howard but he was not the problem. Turkoglu and Lewis were matchup mightmares for CLE and CLE simply didn’t have the personnel to matchup with them. I say all that to say this. We may or may not play ORL in the playoffs but we need to focus on what helps us be the best team and not specifically focus on ORL.

As for using the regular season “develop, adjust, modify, improve and solidify the players, systems and overall team,” I think Woody is clearly doing that. The defense is getting back to where it needs to be, Jamaal is more comfortable than ever in his role, Woody is giving both Smoove and Al more post up opportunities than ever (even if they could use even more) and he is doing a MUCH better job of having the team play a good 3rd quarter than he has in past seasons. Both Al and Smoove have shown TREMENDOUS improvement in their offensive games. Marvin and Bibby are both starting to play better as the season goes along as they are finding what they need to do to help the team. The bench continues to improve as well.

Woody does a LOT of things right, including relying on Bibby and Jamaal to play the majority of the PG minutes. Unless Teague can guard Dwight Howard, he is not going to be the difference in us beating ORL and we seem to be doing pretty dang well against everyone else. We are no longer in development mode, we are in “win now” mode and Teague playing major minutes at PG does NOT give us the best chance to win now.

HawksFan11

January 27th, 2010
7:01 pm

The hawks will lose tonight becuz…. We wont get any calls and that means alot of complaining from josh and his head will be out the game… The spurs know we are going to switch on defense so they will bring horford to the top to guard parker and parker gone go off for 30.. Look for a couple garbage players to make a ton of 3’s. Mason bogans BONNER! watch and enjoy my friends.

Ramon

January 27th, 2010
7:03 pm

With this being 3-4 seasons in a row that Arenas will miss more than half of the season, I wonder does he refer to the NBA as his part time job. LOL.

FRESH

January 27th, 2010
7:13 pm

drmaryb,

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a funny and excellent post man…WOW!!

Blast

January 27th, 2010
7:18 pm

MC!

Wow! Three blogs in what? 24 hours? You are indeed the man! And don’t worry about folks talking about you calling them haters. We use that word here all the time.

I’m sick to death about this Teague talk. Guess when Hawks are winning, fans must find something to moan about. Can’t we just enjoy the ride? Hawks have a chance to sweep Texas, to create yet another piece of history tonight, and we’re talking about a rookie not getting minutes. Teague is good, but he is not just ready for 15-20 minutes yet. Sorry. At least Woody acknowleges that the rook needs more playing time.

Spurs are gonna come out desperate, but if Hawks stick to game plan, they should pull it off. I was more concerned about Houston than the Spurs.

Ho Hawks!

RA

January 27th, 2010
7:19 pm

Sorry guys. Just wanted to change the color on your mood rings:)

Blast

January 27th, 2010
7:28 pm

Make that Go, Hawks!

Astro Joe

January 27th, 2010
7:44 pm

Cattle convention? MC, I have a decent-sized freezer in the basement. How much will Delta charge you to bring back maybe 20 pounds of porterhouse steaks, 15 pounds of ribeyes and a few dozen angus burgers? Ray and doc will pay you later… they promise. :twisted:

Any Word....

January 27th, 2010
7:50 pm

Starting in NIGG is suspect. It has a British orgin, thats enough guilt for me. Plus that HOOP poo doo guy is suspect and he is NOT Black…..

Big Ray

January 27th, 2010
8:07 pm

Astro ,

You’re on a roll, lol! Since I can’t eat it right now anyway, I’ll donate to the Astro Joe fund. I’ll even grill it for ya. How do you take yours?

Big Ray

January 27th, 2010
8:08 pm

“Any Word Starting in NIGG is suspect. It has a British orgin, thats enough guilt for me. Plus that HOOP poo doo guy is suspect and he is NOT Black”

Wtf…..

northcyde

January 27th, 2010
8:11 pm

I think we’ll see Smoove and Horford struggle a little offensively tonight. It’s imperative that they not let the Spurs dominate the boards. Smoove and Al are really going to have to hold their ground defensively, to keep this game under control.

So what do we do for offense? It’s going to be a lot of ISO ball tonight folks. JJ and Crawford will have to be on their game tonight, in order for us to win. Expect a 30+ point night from JJ, out of necessity. I can easily see him taking 24 – 28 shots tonight, if our frontline is struggling to score.

The X-Factor tonight is Zaza. He’s the guy we’re going to need decent play out of, when Horford gets in foul trouble. ( and he will get in foul trouble ). Zaza is usually somewhat successful against the Spurs. He may play his best game of the year tonight.

All in all, this will probably be a “grindfest” in which every possession in the 2nd half will seem to be huge. And after tonight, Blair will make most people wish we’d taken him, instead of Teague.

ISO JJ will win this game.

Hawks 94 – Spurs 90

vava74

January 27th, 2010
8:13 pm

;-) sensitive people around here…

vava74

January 27th, 2010
8:15 pm

why not pound Duncan early with a lot of touches to Al and Josh? Even if they miss a bunch, make him work early and see if he holds his wind…

bigdave

January 27th, 2010
8:29 pm

lets get it…

BONE

January 27th, 2010
8:32 pm

Im here ya’ll lets get this party started.

Sautee

January 27th, 2010
8:33 pm

LOL @ vava: “holds his wind”. Not making fun, bud, but that might mean something a little “different” to some of us. ;-)

If he fails to hold his wind I hope Josh and Al are out of range.

KevinA

January 27th, 2010
8:35 pm

Pressure Duncan. Attack him.

Sautee

January 27th, 2010
8:39 pm

Last year the Spurs used a liberal dose of hack-a-Josh and made him shoot free throws. He will have to be VERY patient.

vava74

January 27th, 2010
8:39 pm

Actually, in portuguese we say when a guy is tired and out of breath that he is “a bufar” which is written precisely the same as as “breaking wind” due to the somehow similar hissing sound made with the gas exhaustion… :-)

BONE

January 27th, 2010
8:43 pm

Man Bibby sucks if he’s not making jumpers.

BONE

January 27th, 2010
8:44 pm

BONE

January 27th, 2010
8:46 pm

Seriously can the hawks play defense. And why is Josh taking jumpers

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 27th, 2010
8:47 pm

wdf????? these shots are too easy for the spurs

BONE

January 27th, 2010
8:48 pm

Hawks are clearly the inferior team.