Hawks Squawks: Hawks 100, Celtics 91

(Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com)

Celtics put out a hit on J.C. so he hit 'em first (Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com)

– Good, tough win for the Hawks. The Celtics were mad. The Hawks were ready. Philips (fourth sellout) was hyped.

– The tone was set before the game when Celtics center Kendrick Perkins called out Jamal Crawford: “We put a hit out on him today. Doc said somebody‘s got to step up and stop him.”

– “He owns us,” Rivers told his team.

– He still does. Crawford scored 28 points, including 18 in the first half, while dancing through the Celtics defense. He even had a 45-footer to end the first quarter and then uncharacteristically showed some real swag.

– Rivers said the Celtics had to “make (Crawford) score different ways,” and so he did. He went right at the Celtics despite the “hit” put out on him. He was 7 of 7 on free throws.

– Crawford heard about Perkins’ comments just before the Hawks took the floor. He got the word to his teammates. “I was kind of fired up, but I wasn’t too worried about it” Crawford said. “They can knock me down, and I’ll get back up. I know my teammates got my back.”

– You knew it was on when Perkins elbowed Smoove after he wrapped him up under the basket. The officials, who were bad both ways all night (that’s Tony Brothers for you), somehow determined Smoove deserved a flagrant foul.

Woody got a technical for arguing that call. “Playoff game,” he said. “They (officials) let it go both ways. Bodies were flying around everywhere.”

– “They let it be known that it was going to be a physical game,” Mo Evans said. “They thought they were going to come in and bully us. We had that same mentality. We were going to be physical and protect our home court.”

– The Hawks led 53-41 at the half. Then the Celtics slowed the pace, ratcheted up the intensity and clawed back in it. They scored 32 points in the period, including 19 free throws, and limited the Hawks to two fastbreak points after they had 25 in the first half.

– “We’re better when we’re up and down,” Woody said. “Playoff basketball, a good team can force you into a halfcourt game. You’ve got to be able to execute.”

– It wasn’t always pretty–J.J. (16 in the fourth quarter) and Crawford were good separately, not so good as a unit–but the Hawks made enough plays down the stretch. More importantly, they didn’t back down.

– “We won’t stick our chest out yet,” Crawford said. “But we can stand up and look them eye-to-eye. We’ve got a lot of respect for them but we don’t fear anybody.”

Mike Bibby’s defense was bad even by his standards. He played just nine minutes, three after halftime. His absence wasn’t really noticed. That’s two clunkers for Bibby since making those big shots to beat Houston.

Paul Pierce was a force. Mo did just about all you can do against him.

KG isn’t yet KG. Once he is back for real, he no doubt will make a big difference should the Hawks see the Celtics in the playoffs.

– Doc held back ‘Sheed when he approached the Hawks while they were celebrating after the game. It turned out ‘Sheed just wanted to give the Hawks some dap.

– “They played hard for four games,” Pierce said. “They took care of business, like we did to them last year.”

– That’s what you call grudging respect. It’s a start.

– Now the Hawks are off to Orlando to protect their Southeast Division lead. “We haven’t figured them out yet,” Woody said.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

97 comments Add your comment

vava74

January 29th, 2010
11:28 pm

Sautee,

You are looking at the whole blogging thing waaaay to seriously.

Nonetheless, I apologise if I offended you or your wife. That was not my intention since my words were not meant to be read literally. I even added a nice smiley face to break the ice since it was just a figure of speech…

As for your view on JJ in particular, it was not the first time that you (and your wife) judge JJ based on a lack of external manifestations of joy, leadership or unselfishness all based on what you can see on TV.

I think it is unfair to judge JJ like that.

JJ is averaging 20-5-5 (roughly) which should be a pretty good indication that he both scores, hustles and shares the rock.

Further to this, he is WIDELY perceived by his peers and by the experts as one of the most balanced players in the NBA and that includes considering him an elite defender.

Obviously, he does not match up well against everyone (Nate, for instance), but to forget his performances in which he completely shuts down some of the most dangerous opponents it is again unfair (there you are also wrong Astro) specially when he has to overcome day in day out Bibby’s lack of defensive capabilities.

All this came after you complained heavily against JJ in a game which we were winning. The fact that he only had 1 assist does not mean that he was not working out there to get things done, specially on defence where stats are more deceiving.

JJ is a great player and if he leaves, it will be very difficult to replace and our record will suffer.

All in all, I think you look at JJ with a more critical eye than you do other players. It’s only human and not the cause for a riot.

I was just pulling you chain in a moment of joy. It’s 4.20AM here in PT and to be honest, I am certifiably mad for still being up so late just for this “post game jousting”.

vava74

January 29th, 2010
11:57 pm

Sautee,

read nire’s post on this matter. I had no ideia of your age, hence my kind of humour was miss guided.

If you had said the same to me, I would not have been offended, neither my wife would.

Heck, her humour is way more caustic than mine: a couple of years ago during a friend’s birthday dinner she joked, while speaking to a district attorney that when men hit their wifes they should no complain because the beatings were good to reactivate the blood circulation (something which many women complain about) we all laughed and the DA laughed the hardest.

On the other hand, if I ever laid a single finger on her once, you can bet your touche that I would never ever see her again, nor our daughter.

You see, words are just words, provided that we are all on te same page.

I thought we were and I was wrong: hence my apologies.

As for the breakdown on where and when you said that JJ was selfish, I prefer to apologise again! It’s almost 5am over here!

niremetal

January 29th, 2010
11:57 pm

Sautee,

It does not take much reading between the lines to see what your opinion of JJ is. Vava need not apologize for making what is a legitimate inference from your many posts criticizing JJ for not passing the ball more, for not showing more enthusiasm for his teammates’ successes, etc. It’s perfectly legitimate for him to use a word that describes the overall impression made by posts. It’s petty and whiny to demand a retraction or an apology for him using a word as shorthand for the overall tenor of your posts even if you yourself never used the word that VAVA chose to describe your opinion.

So stop with the indignation. It’s not warranted.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
12:01 am

Of course, he DID apologize. But that makes a bigger man for doing it, not you for unnecessarily demanding it.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
12:01 am

(Not incidentally, Vava, Sautee also demanded that I publicly apologize for my own posts that he claimed contained “false accusations.” I too acceded to his demand.)

bigdave

January 30th, 2010
12:22 am

Big Ray…

though im sure it gets overlooked due to my undeniable support i am critical of Joe’s play when it deserves criticism. just not one of those that choose to be unappreciative….

Astro…

not to mention the defense he’s played on legitimate pf and center post scorers (i dont think he’s been scored on)… how many 2 guards can do that?

maybe if Joe was a bit more of a RARA!! chest beating, pixy dust throwing guy he’d be liked more. maybe he needs to act hurt and tell everyone how hurt he his all the time instead of just shutting up and coming to work…

bottom line, Joe stepped up when we needed him.. like Portland, like Cleveland in Cleveland, like Bos.

rusty

January 30th, 2010
12:48 am

vava
my ass the celtcs adjusted. i have been watchng nba since the 1953 & i never seen anyone ever trying to dominate the ball like jj did,not even the superstars of today. when wilt did he would score 50 or 60 points a game. thank god he got hot or we would have
had to run him out of town. that was the most sefish & disgusting display of team play.
it seemed that he thought that he was the only player on the floor. i hate to see basketball
played this way.jc is one hell of a better player than joe. his selfishness is the main reason we get blown out of games. we will never win a champonship with joe johnson.
i hate his style of basketball,he is an ahole

Grandad

January 30th, 2010
1:17 am

I apologize for everything I have ever done. Therefore, I promise to never do it again, whatever it was. Now, where was I ?

Somebody said in an earlier post, (nire, I think) that we older guys are a little touchy about making sport of the missus.
That IS ‘most’ accurate. Taboo. Don’t do it. Very bad etiquette.
What confuses me is why you younger guys think any differently?

I’m, once again, sorry! Once again I won’t do it again. Whatever it was?

mak

January 30th, 2010
1:28 am

Interesting piece of news. If the Hawks take care of Orlando tomorrow, then the Hawks will remain the second seed on Sunday. And do you all know what the means?

Woody gets to coach the Eastern All Stars :D . Nice!

[Rules state the coach of the all star team is the coach with the best record, 2 Sundays before all-star Sunday. If the coach with the best record coached the all star team the year before, then the coach with the second best record coaches the team]

Grandad

January 30th, 2010
1:34 am

By the way: ‘Pros & Cons’
*Joe Johnson is a very good and most unique player.
*He plays the way he does because Woodson allows/encourages said play.
*He is perplexing in his demeanor. [as a teammate]
*I suspect he is about to do to us, exactly what he did to Phoenix.
*I’m not sure it will bother him to leave this team that has grown up around him.
*It will be difficult to replace his skill set.
*The offense should be more diverse and less stagnant without him.
*Al is ready to assume the leadership role if he has not already done so.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

January 30th, 2010
2:08 am

Woody said they haven’t figured out Orlando yet – that does not bode well for tonight’s game…Maybe he had his poker face on when he made that comment. Nice analysis on JJ, Grandad.

jj

January 30th, 2010
2:25 am

I,like most of you are preplexed because I know when the Hawks watch film they see what happens when Joe goes solo and also see the difference when the move the ball around and shsre.I can’t belive Woody is that blind.I also hope he saw that the Hawks are better with Bibby sitting.I don’t understand why JT only got 4min.This TEAM could really be something if Joe and Woody growJoew as much as Smooth has.Joe,you don’t have to be the Star for this Team to shine.When Isiah Thomas learned this lesson,the Pistons became champions.Woody,this could happen to your Hawks if you and Joe wakeup and see what I know the film shows.

jj

January 30th, 2010
2:30 am

Sorry for all the errors in my post above.I am talking about the misstypes,not the observations.

JSS

January 30th, 2010
3:11 am

Rusty…
One name: Marvin Barnes! Joe Johnson never has, never will, and should not ever be conjectured to be called the most self-centered player in the last 40 years to participate within any teams offensive system…

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 30th, 2010
4:39 am

Here’s our problem with the Magic. The Orlando Magic are basically the 2.0 version of the Hawks. The love to shoot jumpers, so do we. They have more firepower in that department than us.

We have Al Horford (a good guy down low)
They have a FORCE in Dwight Howard.

X factors for us…Josh and Crawford???

Guys are just gonna have to suck it up, give it all they have…and leave everything out on the court.

Marcus

January 30th, 2010
7:15 am

what just happened? I see apologies and folks rushing to someones defense…

I agree ……. I literally braced myself when went to iso-Joe last nite, esp. with a lead and the C’s whittling it down. It would seem OK if there was rhyme or reason why we go to isolation plays, but it seems like JJ has the green light “whenever”, not just flow of the game or a mismatch. That is what is killer …. and what killed us (along with rushed jumpers and ill-advised/rushed shots) in the 2nd half of our Thanksgiving game vs. ORL (where we also had a double-digit halftime lead).
JJ balled in the 4Q but his iso game brought the C’s back (along with them getting a foul call when we breathed on them) in the 3Q.

Marcus

January 30th, 2010
7:30 am

by the way .. might be last season of iso-Joe: I could see the Hawks letting Joe test FA and just move Crawford up to starting SG and letting Teague become 6th man off the bench. Then you can spend this years draft pick (or option on the rights of past years’ picks) for a reserve PG to back up Bibby.
My speculation is all dependent on contracts recently signed or with 1 or more years remaining (Bibby, Crawford).

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 30th, 2010
7:32 am

Has anyone checked the Hawks schedule the rest of the way???? It’s VERY VERY favorable. We have a stretch right before and after the all star break with 6 of 7 on the road…and 3 of those are against Washington, The Clippers, and Golden State. The the rest of the way it looks like 85-90% of the games are against mediocre and below teams….with every game against really good teams AT HOME except for 2… roadies with Cleveland and Charlotte.

I wouldnt be shocked if the Hawks finished
56-26

allen

January 30th, 2010
7:59 am

Trade Bibby!!!!

dap01

January 30th, 2010
8:06 am

Great win. JJ was great, JC was great. Not real fond of the iso and non ball movement. Why does JJ and JC not mesh too well at times? Teague should continue to worked in, Bibby is fading.

I am glad that the Hawks were not bullied by the Celtics. Great game.

hawks_4_life

January 30th, 2010
8:14 am

I WONDER IF FINALLY THE HAWKS WILL BE CONSIDERED AS BEING AN ELITE TEAM IN THE EAST? FUNNY HOW TO BE AN ELITE TEAM YOU HAVE TO HAVE THAT “SUPERSTAR”. WHAT WILL THE CRITICS SAY NOW?

RA

January 30th, 2010
8:22 am

I was over at celticshub.com. I accessed it through the celtics ESPN page. Their writer Zack Lowe referred to Crawford as, and I quote, “the Sixth Man Who Should Die of Gonorrhea and Rot in Hell” Now, whether “the difference,” Jamal Crawford’s alias, will translate into a championship for this team, I really don’t know, but one thing’s for absolute certain, he’s made a profound affect on the Boston Celtics over the course of this regular season.

RA

January 30th, 2010
8:31 am

I’ve always wondered why when a Kobe Bryant or a Le Bron James, or, dare I say it? a Paul Pierce takes over a game, it’s brilliance, but when JJ does it, it’s selfishness. Here’s a bottomline, the Celtics had decided that Crawford was NOT going to beat them in the 4rth quarter, and unless some of you see something that I don’t, nobody else was exactly lighting it up last night. AND, and this point can’t be overlooked, the kept leaving Joe Johnson one on one WITH DEFENDERS THAT COULDN’T GUARD HIM!!! Now, some of you can say what you want, and I’m sure that you will, but there is no substitute for having a star that can bring you home late in a game. The Hawks actually have two of them. If you don’t believe me when I tell you how important that is, ask the Lakers or the Cavs, or the Celtics.

JeJe

January 30th, 2010
8:36 am

I feel like ZaZa could’ve played more minutes last night

JeJe

January 30th, 2010
8:37 am

We have a chance in February to really make some noise. Our schedule is very light — yes we have lost some games we should’ve won, but if we play like last night, we can seriously go on a loooong winning streak

JeJe

January 30th, 2010
9:30 am

Why the hell does AJC not post half my stuff?

We had a nic win last night but are we seriously going to have any chance tonight? We haven’t come remotely close to competing against Orlando (or San Antonio or Cleveland) in recent memory. Why can we not compete against these teams? Orlando is so deep that if you took Jameer, Vince, and Rashard off their team, we’d still lose. Redick and Anderson are amazing assets to have off your bench

JeJe

January 30th, 2010
9:31 am

People in Cleveland know Jamal owns them too. THE GUY SHOULD HAVE THE BALL ON EVERY PLAY. HE IS BETTER OFFENSIVELY THAN JOE

Bastin Socks!

January 30th, 2010
9:33 am

What can u say about J. Crawford. Some call him the truth; some call him the difference; He is “THE TRUTH THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE” !!!!!!

go hawks

RA

January 30th, 2010
9:38 am

There’s only one TRUTH, and that’s Paul Pierce, but Crawford has been the difference more than once.

Bastin Socks!

January 30th, 2010
9:41 am

Yeah PP is the truth but….he’s kinda like the old testament truth; the new testament truth is JC….

RA

January 30th, 2010
9:46 am

I don’t know about old testament, but last night the Celtics seemed old period.

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
9:59 am

I found this to be humorous:

The same person who said this:

“So stop with the indignation. It’s not warranted”

Was the person who was totally indignant that I would have the NERVE to criticize Joe Johnson the way I do.

Nire just wants the whole blog to post the way he sees fit. And it you don’t, he’ll attack you. Not so egalitarian there, nire.

You know, the world will not end if someone disagrees with you.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
10:14 am

Sautee,

BS. I don’t jump down the throats of people simply for disagreeing with me. And you know it. I don’t criticize people who criticize JJ. Just you, because back in the day you DID used to make balanced posts, but now you just criticize him when he does poorly and give him credit when he does well. THAT is what I take issue with. And it’s something you can’t refute with a straight face, because you didn’t say a damned thing when JJ shredded the Celts early this month, but managed to find time to criticize him twice before halftime last night.

I take issue with people who are haters. That’s what you’ve devolved into with regard to JJ. Just because I called YOU out, don’t pretend I do that to EVERYBODY. Because you know that’s not true.

Oh, and you’re the only one around here that I’ve ever seem demands demands public apologies or retractions from people. And I’ve seen you do it twice in the past 2 months now. What was that about the world not ending if someone disagrees with you? Please.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
10:17 am

Start giving credit when JJ does well, and you won’t see me say a damned thing to you for criticizing him when he does poorly. I know you’re capable of it. So do it. And don’t get mad at me just because I called you out when you didn’t.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
10:21 am

*I don’t criticize all people who criticize JJ.

Rod from College Park

January 30th, 2010
10:27 am

Did Marvin play yesterday? Pierce really looked worried when OUR BEST PERIMETER DEFENDER Marvin was checking him. LOL

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
10:37 am

nire,

Are you denying your indignation?

No, you’re deflecting it by saying it’s towards me only. Yeah, right. Well for THIS blog, ok.

And with you being a lawyer, I’m stunned that you think it’s ok to make a false statement about someone in a public forum, and NOT have a retraction seem necessary.

I guess it’s that “generation” thing. My generation seems to care more about “your word is your bond”.

Or shall I just start making false statements about you? Would that be ok?

vava74

January 30th, 2010
10:37 am

Rod,

Marvin had a very good final stretch defensively, including drawing an offensive foul on KG.

He also knocked a jumper in crunch time after missing one a few minutes earlier.

A less than stellar performance overall, but hardly a bad one.

justahawkfan

January 30th, 2010
10:43 am

The way some of us feel about J.J.’s play, his value to team and should we choose between him and Crawford is a little off point. We don’t have to choose we have them both. JJ doesn’t do everything correctly and do get tunnel vision at times(shot selection, forcing shots) but the things he does well far out weighs that one negative. He’s our best on the ball defender, a good rebounder,good assist man and a good team mate. Wanting to trade him is like getting rid of the best girl you ever had because she had ugly toes.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
10:44 am

Sautee,

You did say something false about me. You said “Nire just wants the whole blog to post the way he sees fit. And it you don’t, he’ll attack you.”

That’s not true. Will you retract it?

O'Brien

January 30th, 2010
10:53 am

When the Celtics played Orlando Thursday night, they played Howard one on one, and the shooters were only 6-20 from 3.

Last night, Nique said he would play Howard one on one. Let him get 30 (foul him and send him to the libe if you have to), but stay on the shooters.

We tend to double Howard. I hope Woody plays him one on one. Use up all our fouls (Howard shoots under 60% from the line).

Astro Joe

January 30th, 2010
10:54 am

nire and Sautee, you guys are making me long for my days of battling Ando. Sniff, sniff… fond memories… sniff, sniff.

“Memories, like the four corners of the court. Many bloggy-colored memories of the way we were. Shattered opinions, of the picks we left behind…”

Sorry, sometimes, I just break out in song… going to take my meds now.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
10:54 am

I was indignant, but not simply because you criticized JJ. It was because you criticized him now (and you have been doing so more and more during the past couple months) but didn’t give him credit when he did well.

I don’t want a retraction from you, Sautee. This is a BLOG for the love of pete. EVERYONE says things that are not literally true. So why is it that YOU are the only one who demands public apologies and retractions? There are plenty of people from your generation on here, and they don’t do it either. So why is it that you, amongst all people who are the recipients of critical posts that are not literally true, are the only one who demands public apologies and retractions?

And btw, what Vava said wasn’t even false. He was using a word that characterized your overall posts about JJ. Those posts, taken as a whole, portray JJ as a ballhog who does not care about his teammates. The fact that you may never have actually said the word “selfish” is not at all the point. If I said “Bibby doesn’t try very hard on defense and takes a lot of defensive plays off,” it wouldn’t be unfair for someone to say “That’s not true – Bibby isn’t lazy on defense” because “lazy” is a useful shorthand to describe my post about him. So it wasn’t even a false accusation. It was shorthand for an inference he drew from your posts. Nothing wrong with that.

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
10:54 am

Nire,

From your 11:57 last night:

“It’s perfectly legitimate for him (Vava) to use a word that describes the overall impression made by posts.”

Well if THAT’S legitimate, then so is my “overall impression” that “Nire just wants the whole blog to post the way he sees fit. And it you don’t, he’ll attack you.”

Of course if it WASN’T valid for Vava to say what he did, then I DO owe you an apology. ;-)

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
10:58 am

Astro Joe,

I needed that hearty laugh. Thanks.

O'Brien

January 30th, 2010
10:59 am

doc,

With Bibby sucking it up the last 2 games, I think Woody should start finding more minutes for Teague, because Bibby is clearly on the decline.

I really like Bibby’s attitude though. he doesn’t complain about his minutes, and he seems just as happy once the team wins.

niremetal

January 30th, 2010
11:04 am

Sautee,

Well if THAT’S legitimate, then so is my “overall impression” that “Nire just wants the whole blog to post the way he sees fit. And it you don’t, he’ll attack you.”

Exactly. It was legitimate for you to say that, even though it wasn’t true. So you know what I did?

Did I demand that you retract it? Nope.

Did I demand that you publicly apologize? Nope.

I made a post where I refuted it. THAT is how blogs work. It doesn’t work by being the literalism police and demanding public apologies when people criticize you in a way that you feel mischaracterizes what you’ve said. You tell them why what they said was a mischaracterization and you leave it at that. You don’t get indignant and demand a public apology/retraction.

Astro Joe

January 30th, 2010
11:06 am

OB, I agree that we should try to defend Howard one-on-one but that will likely require some help from Bacon Jason. But let’s be honest, Perkins is a far better defender agianst Howard than Horford. And while allowing Howard to score 30 may be acceptable (and I think it is as long as you defend the other players), it can’t result in foul trouble for Horford because we need him on the offensive end. Perkins can be a one dimensional player for the Celtics, we really can;t do that with Al.

Teague may need to do something in practice to earn his get-out-of-jail card. While Bibby struggles, Crawford, Evans and Mario may get the time.

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
11:07 am

So if I blog the way you see fit, then I’m ok, right?

Do you not hear yourself?

Sautee

January 30th, 2010
11:10 am

Nire,

This is getting old and stinky. No more.

Just scroll when you see my name.