Hawks Squawks: Magic 104, Hawks 86

This is a problem for the Hawks. (STEPHEN M. DOWELL, ORLANDO SENTINEL)

This is a problem for the Hawks. (STEPHEN M. DOWELL, ORLANDO SENTINEL)

– Maybe it’s as simple as the Magic has Dwight Howard and the Celtics don’t. But that’s not very helpful in contemplating the Hawks’ chances should they draw the Magic in the playoffs.

– “This game is all about matchups, and I think we match up well with everyone but them,” J.J. said. “They pretty much have their way with us.”

—- Al’s not big enough to handle Howard. Jason Collins and Zaza aren’t quick enough. Woody’s schemes haven’t been effective enough. “We’ve got to figure it out,” Woody said. “We’ll go back and look at the tapes and see how we can do a better job against him at our place (for the final meeting on March 24). He’s a load down there.”

– “We don’t know what looks to throw at him,” Smoove said. “When we tried trapping him we had success with it, but I think we waited too late in the game to do it.”

– “They just have our number right now,” Al said. “We have to figure them out. We have to do a better job inside in the post, starting with me.”

– As it stands now, I don’t see the answer for the Hawks against the Magic. Neither does J.J.: “I am sure the coaches will come up with something but I don’t know what to do.”

– The trading deadline is approaching. So far all signs suggest the Hawks believe they are set with this group. Wonder if the possibility of Howard lifting the Magic to the division title and then dominating the Hawks should they meet in the postseason changes that thinking.

– Or maybe that would be an overreaction. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wouldn’t bite when asked if the Magic has the Hawks’ number: “It’s not like a playoff series. I just don’t buy it. They’re coming in on a back-to-back. There’s just a lot of factors.”

– A legitimate footnote: the Magic twice has caught the Hawks on the second game of back-to-backs. That wouldn’t happen in the postseason. “I’m not blaming it on back-to-back games,” Woody said. “We’ve been fairly decent in back-to-back games but it’s just like the energy was sucked out of us in the third quarter.”

– The Hawks felt the officials didn’t help matters. They were called for 25 fouls to 15 for Orlando, and Howard attempted 18 free throws compared to the Hawks’ 20. “It’s tough to beat a great team like Orlando when you can’t get to the line,” Smoove said. “We were aggressive like they were aggressive.”

– Sure, the Hawks didn’t get calls against Howard. But is that ever going to change?

– Some guy named Ryan Anderson scored 16 off the bench for the Magic. Hawks reserves not named Jamal Crawford combined to score 11.

– That shooting foul called on Smoove against Jameer Nelson at the end of the half led to a five-point Magic lead instead of two. “I fouled him earlier (on the floor), and I thought they were going to call it,” Smoove said. “They didn’t, and then I bumped him again and they called it.”

– Woody got a technical after the buzzer. Nelson made the free throw to start the second half. The Hawks got within 57-54 on Mike Bibby’s 3-pointer but Howard had seven points during a 20-9 Magic run to close the period. “They picked it up defensively, and I don’t want to say fatigue set in but we looked very sluggish in the third quarter,” Woody said.

– At least Bibby was back to making open shots. But Jamal (6 of 17) was cold. Before the game, he was wistful about being an All-Star after the Celtics gave him some love.

– No more division lead for the Hawks. They did make it through a week that featured at Houston, at San Antonio vs. Boston and at Orlando at 2-2. “I’ll take it,” Al said. “This was a tough week. We obviously would have liked to have gone 3-1 but it was a good week.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.


138 comments Add your comment


January 30th, 2010
11:26 pm

they are a 2nd round disaster anyway so why waste your time on them.


January 30th, 2010
11:33 pm

Not sure what to say. Second let-down after a big win. To me it’s like they just don’t believe they can do it. They came out strong, Orlando made a run and we shut down. By the end when we cut it to single digits they made a few good stops. We resorted to ill-advised shots and boom 20 pt lead. I just don’t think we believe in ourselves and thus we lose to them every time.

Celtics used to have their way with us. In that 7 game series we finally believed. Now we own the Celts. I think it’s a mental thing here.

Only note I didn’t like was the double teaming Dwight. Play him tough, pound him and live with the results. The double team wasn’t fast enough. When it did come they found their shooters. It’s not worth the effort or risk to double him.

Collins/ ZaZa proved too slow. Maybe Randmo needs a shot in the next meeting.

My 2-2 prediction held true. Even picked the games. The next week has potential to be a great one for the Hawks. Hopefully we’ll return the favor to OKC and get on a roll.


January 30th, 2010
11:44 pm

I keep telling you all, get rid of Woodson, problem solved!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 30th, 2010
11:50 pm

I may be in the minority, but I actually disagree that the Hawks don’t have the personnel to handle Howard. Al Horford was matched on Howard one on one for a stretch in the 3rd quarter, and I think Howard went 2/4 and turned it over twice, which is not great but not terrible. The worst defensive sequences for the Hawks’ defense came when they double teamed Howard. The Magic took advantage every time, swinging the ball faster than the Hawks could rotate and getting open 3s or dunks every time.

I think going forward the best defensive strategy for the Hawks will be to play straight defense on Howard, let him get what he can, and put the clamps on the Magic supporting cast. Players like Rashard Lewis and JJ Redick are the ones you don’t want to get into a rhythm. Howard is a physical freak, but his post moves are limited and he won’t make you pay at the free throw line, so it’s not like single-teaming him will hurt you more than double teaming currently does. And the 3’s from the supporting cast are the real momentum swingers, not the hook shots by Howard.

Of course, if they insist on running iso and not sharing the ball on offense, the defense they use is irrelevant.


January 31st, 2010
12:01 am

Najeh has it perfect!

The double team kills us on D, which leads to bad tempo on O.

Start Randmo, Al, Josh, Joe, Teague

2nd Unit – ZaZa or Collins, Joe Smith, Marvin, Crawford, Evans/Bibby

I love Rio, but I still say we should’ve gone with 3-4 D-League bigs till the trade deadline comes. Watch the waiver wire and test prospects. After the trade deadline pick up Rio for chemistry, but not until then. He is a useful tool for a team, but not necessarily what we need. We need someone who can defend Dwight better and a PG that can penetrate…wait, we have those, we just don’t use them?


January 31st, 2010
12:06 am


Don’t you realize they’ll handle Woodson’s situation in the off-season. Some of you folks cursing him after every single loss isn’t going to help anything. Time will tell where this team goes.

ASG and Sund have enough respect for Woodson to allow him to finish his contract. Decency and honor are not often seen in pro sports. He’s come a long way with this team. He’s meeting and exceeding goals and expectations set for him at the outset of the season. He deserves his chance 100%. After that we’ll see what they decide.

Your desire to fire is never followed with a real viable upgrade option. Just rage. Get real! Such a weak, weak post. I’ll scroll next time. What a waste of time.

Joe's place Joe speaking

January 31st, 2010
12:55 am

Any idea what big men could be viable options for us before the trading deadline Michael C.?


January 31st, 2010
1:04 am

Whats up with the excuse making at some point its about just simply wanting it more and our entire frontline caves when they see Howard .They have yet to even challenge Howard simply as basketball players so to suggest its simply the scheme is crazy. No scheme works when you are afraid of the guy.

The Grizzlies beat the magic and Howard beasted them with 27 and 15 and 6 blocks but they still won because Randolph and his 2 inch vertical and the Grizzlies frontline challenged Howard on the glass . Randolph had 19 boards in that game .

Tonight Howard had 19 boards but no other magic had more than 5 boards and no hawks had more than 6 boards . Al 4 boards-Smoove 6 boards- Marvin 2 boards thats simply unacceptable and while I dont expect Woody to call them out publicly he should be all over them about that behind closed doors .


January 31st, 2010
1:19 am

Brendan Haywood. Good contract [expiring]. *Plenty of size! Available.
Always seems to play well v. D.H.

I hope you were being sarcastic. Ryan Anderson is pretty good.
He came over in the NJ trade. Terrific 3 pt. scorer.
Wish we had him. Another player to spread the floor.
Good night all.

Rock Preston

January 31st, 2010
1:31 am

Guys…it is so obvious…Sund is letting Woodson hang himself with him boneheaded “strategy” moves….if u even want to call them that. I’ll give Woody this….he is a good defensive mind having learned from Larry Brown. But he clearly…I mean CLEARLY limited in making adjustments offensively and sumtimes defensively to be able to lead this team past the 1st round. He was brought in to instil discipline and he has done that…Im sure Sund will see what he has with Woody and decide to go in another direction. Its painful to watch other young guards dominate the lane for other teams and not see Teague get a chance to contribute. Think about it…If you have a point guard to penetrate the lane to draw D. Howard..then you have other avenues for Joe and Jamal to work….plus you could get Howard into foul trouble. But our stubborn excuse for a coach wont do anything different that would negatively affect his potential contract down the line by playing a player (teague) that could positively impact a game. Frustrating watching this mess nite after nite.


January 31st, 2010
2:38 am

Rocky – Crawford drove with reckless abandon from the moment he came into the game and no one actually moved with them to present them at the front of the rim even though everyone knows Howard is gonna go for the block. When Crawford comes around that screen and it becomes 4 on 3 every stays spread and Howards man never trailed Howard to the rim .Our frontcourt did not want anything to do with the paint today. We really need to work on our pick and roll offense the second half teams dont expect and when we are not lazy it works well for us . and it could work against the magic as Howard is the only god defender they really have .


January 31st, 2010
2:46 am

They sound like the defeated losers that they are. The Hawks have never amounted to anything so why would that change with all these 2nd rate players that they have now??

Just Saying

January 31st, 2010
3:21 am

Two steps forward. Five steps back!!!!!!


January 31st, 2010
4:33 am

The Hawks better learn how to be the aggressor and beat the Magic by outscoring them. They do nothing to try to get Howard in foul trouble and get to the line. You’re not going to beat them scoring in the 80’s.

Willy Wonker

January 31st, 2010
5:07 am

Hawks suck and allways will suck. Suck suck Suck.


January 31st, 2010
6:46 am

Trade Bibby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


January 31st, 2010
6:48 am

We were up 16-6 when the refs bailed the Magic with a series of bogus calls and non calls (for instance: Collins had a clean steal on Howard quickly converted into a foul in the penalty, then Collins was called for a moving screen when he was being pushed and Marvin was sacked when driving for a reverse lay up). All within 4 or 5 minutes of play and I am not being exhaustive.

When something like that happens, it becomes difficult to defend Howard because you fear getting called for every contact and you start to fear attacking the rim.

Then there was the bogus call on Josh plus the tech on Woody: a maximum of 2 pts for the Magic converted into 4.

Zaza was called for a foul and a tech when he dove for the ball with Howard pushing him. Then, we we were closing in again, he was called for a moving screen.

Again, I’m not being exhaustive. Just point the obvious. How can you play against this?!

In order to beat Orlando, we either have to be 200% or get a fair chance from the refs.

Anyone ignoring their influence on Howard’s “dominance” is blind.


January 31st, 2010
6:50 am

Ah! He also got away with at least three or four 3-second defensive offenses in the lane. Pretty easy to get blocks that way too…

Big Daddy

January 31st, 2010
6:54 am

I agree with Najeh. Play Dwight straight up and he will get his points. If we play tough defense on the others we can win the game. However, we have to knock down our open shots. I don’t understand Marvin Williams who can look like a world beater one night and too many nights look like he is just out there taking up space. Most of the other players are pretty consistent on their shooting within a few points or boards, but Marvin is a mystery. If he makes his open shots, he can take the pressure off JJ and Jamal. It will open Horford and Smoove up more because the player guarding Marvin will be less likely to leave for a double team.

We have got to not get so bogged down in isos. They use up too much energy for both JJ and Jamal and I don’t understand for the life of me why Woody doesn’t make more use of the screens. Players like JJ, Jamal, Bibby, Teague could square up and take good shots off screens. It could give Smoove, Evans or Joe S clearer paths too the basket to get to the rim and make the layup/dunk or draw the foul. But, we don’t use them. Instead we allow or pursue 6 to 10 second isos that drain the energy out of our guards and don’t allow them to recover on the defensive end. I don’t see any of the other top tier teams running as many isos as we do and it may spell Woody’s undoing.

We have to spread the ball around, set screens to free up players for open shots and run with the ball. Period

Willy Wonker

January 31st, 2010
6:58 am

Hawk fans are a bunch of cry babies just like the team. They Suck and know it and need any excuse to they can come up with to ignore that they are incapable of being a elite team. Sure they beat Boston, only because Boston is aging team.


January 31st, 2010
7:13 am

And you seem a “foul weather fan”. Where have you been when we win games?


January 31st, 2010
7:14 am

I’m a Big Hawks fan and I’m at a lost for words on why they just don’t let Crawford do his thing…Teams already know they can exploit Bibby’s lack of speed…Crawford goes in to play catch up..yes, sure it’s smart to put him in best position to get the 6th man award, but I just think the chemistry with Crawford and Joe is still lacking and hurting this team. Is Crawford a threat to Joe’s Big Payday?
It amuses me when I hear Joe say he isn’t thinking about the contract till the end of the season…c’mon now when contract time arrives every stat matters…. Crawford and Joe’s body language and chemistry says alot … that aside …We need a Visibly vocal Player who isn’t afraid to hold other accountable on the court…Example–Garnett, Kobe, etc–etc– Hawks players have Too many of same personality types –outside of Z and Smooth….think about it…WWBD (What Would Barkley Do??) … JSmooth can learn alot from the Magic/Isiah rivalry, LOL


January 31st, 2010
8:18 am

You would think at some point this would hit home that the Hawks need a true center. Horford is an excellent player but not a center and the 2 centers on the bench aren’t worth talking about.

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 31st, 2010
8:23 am

Josh from the top of the key and making it spelled doom for the Hawks last night.

BTW, this is rapidly becoming Al’s team w/ Josh as his Lt./enforcer.
Not a bad combo.


January 31st, 2010
8:36 am

I agree with vava74…Howard gets his 2nd foul with 6 minutes to go in the game…no way a big man throws his body around and knocks people off of him with his big shoulders and only commit 2 fouls in an NBA game. Refs control the calls to dictate the game. Watch Howard when he matches up with the Lakers or Cavs and see how quickly he gets whistled. It’s always a double standard in the league…thats why you have the same teams dominating every year.

Hawk n the Ham

January 31st, 2010
8:48 am

Trade Bibby and Marvin for Amare.


January 31st, 2010
9:01 am

Michael L.

January 31st, 2010
9:08 am

They will never go nowhere they can;’t beat Cleveland or Orlando…soo who cares what seed they are or if they win 50….


January 31st, 2010
9:39 am

Hawks season was “made” when they beat Boston Friday; this game against the Magic was anticlimactic.


January 31st, 2010
10:11 am

Nothin to “figure out” Mike Woodson……your team shot 39%. You can’t win many games when you miss 61% of your shots, but it’s the typical NBA throw up crap and hope it goes thru the net. College B Ballers are the REAL professionals.


January 31st, 2010
10:16 am

If we have to wait for Woody to <figure something out then by that time Dwight Howard will be old enough to collect Social Security.

big worm

January 31st, 2010
10:40 am

its a shame when a guy on a 10 day contract has played more min than your 1st round pick woodys not right guy

darrell starks

January 31st, 2010
10:43 am

Im tired of this i have thrown in the towel marvin william is horrible, its time 2 keep real about marvin, no contribution from the 3 position is hurting this team bad.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

Rock Preston

January 31st, 2010
10:45 am

I 2nd that emotion THEANTIME. Woody is as clueless as they come. This hopefully will save us the embarrasment of watching him coach the East All Stars. He doesnt deserve to coach the East All Stars.


January 31st, 2010
10:48 am

Stop complaining about fouls. Everyone knows that Howard is a poor FT shooter and teams fowl him as part of the game plan.. If you watched howard’s games, players grab him by the neck, throw him to the ground, under-cut him, 3 players swatting at him, etc. At one point Howard got a tech for verbal retaliation because an opponent grabbed him by the neck and Van Gundy was really verbal about the league play against howard on the post game interview…the next day the tech was recinded. Howard gets many, many calls against him like in the Celts game. The fact is that Al can’t handle Dwight. Za Za is waaay to slow, and Collins needs to get into shape…these out of shape guys tend to foul more because they cant get into position so the grab and swat.

darrell starks

January 31st, 2010
10:51 am

Woody is hanging himself on a rope no development of teague at all,how can we ever find our future point guard when woody continue the same old crap he have been doing from day 1 as a coach, he is a confidence killer of young players.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 31st, 2010
11:00 am

The smartest thing woody did the hole night was 2 play jason collin on dewight howard, what a clueless coach i think woody just get caught up in the momments instead of coaching, if your a coach and you see a player who is 6′5 in horford guarding 7′7 dewight howard what do you do you make adjustment and he did nothing but play jason for 5min what a waste.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 31st, 2010
11:11 am

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!


January 31st, 2010
11:27 am

No trade for a big= second round lost= no contract for Woody= Joe leaves to team up with lebron= NO FUTURE FOR THE HAWKS= NO FAN SUPPORT= TEAM MOVES BY 2015.


January 31st, 2010
11:32 am

I said this yesterday before the game a it is once again validated after las nights game:

3 Reasons why Josh Smith is not an All-Star:

1- He got rid of his 3-point shots, but he still tries that “just inside the three-point line jumpshot”, which he can’t make consistently. I think that everybody in the league knows that, but Josh, himself.

2- He is a constant whiner about not getting fouls called. Does it really matter? I mean he’s going to miss at least half of the foul shots. Which brings me to #3.

3- He has to improve his foul shooting.

Josh is a gifted athelete that can become great player in this league, if he works on improving on his weaknesses and stop being so stubborn. That coast to coast sh@# has to stop.

BTW I wonder what our record is when we wear the alt uniform. Does anybody know?


January 31st, 2010
11:33 am

This team does not have a leader thus they will never win a championship ever!!!!


January 31st, 2010
11:40 am

The Hawks play a lot better when the move around w/o the ball and they stay active. The problem is with all the isolation plays, the offense just becomes stagnant. Why do you think the triangle offense is so successful, it creates a flow.


January 31st, 2010
11:41 am

Here’s a play for you that almost always works:

Bibby and Josh pick and roll or Bibby and al pick and roll. It’s that simple!


January 31st, 2010
11:41 am

I think the biggest thing is that the Hawks dont have “superstar” thats going to get sent to the foul line. I watched the Boston and the Orlando game and its amazing that no one on this team can get to the line consistently. Friday night it was Paul Pierce, who in the longest 3rd quarter of basketball I have ever withnessed, went to the line an unprecidented amount of times, and the Celts were able to get back into the game.

Last night it was Howard, 20times the total Hawks team 18. Enough said. JJ is our “start” but he does not demand the help from the Zebras.


January 31st, 2010
11:46 am

Do the Hawks actually make adjustments vs. ORLANDO or are we just gonna hear this “We haven’t figured Orlando out yet” crap every time they destroy us?




January 31st, 2010
11:48 am

I agree with you Nole, but the problem is that when JJ penetrates or drives to the basket, he is looking for ways to score as opposed to guys like Paul Pierce that look for a way to get fouled so they can have 2 free ones. One tries to avoid contact (JJ) and waht Pierce does is try to create contact to get to the foul line. Back in the 80’s Adrian Dantley was a master of getting to the line by just creating the contact from the defensive player.


January 31st, 2010
11:54 am

Guys the Hawks are 30-16, enough with this fire Woody crap. It’s not gonna happen. Stop hating and start supporting!!!!


January 31st, 2010
11:55 am

It’s not so much about the coaches anymore, it’s about what the players can get done on the court. Or are Mike Brown, Stan Van Gundy or Doc Rivers super coaches? Please, give me a break!!!

Mike is Back

January 31st, 2010
12:11 pm

MC, great stuff as usual…it never surprises me to READ the level of discontent on the blog after a big loss. I mean guys like Wood, JJ, Josh, and Al are being honest about the outcome of the game. Would guys rather they lie to us?

Well, I guest most have forgotten that that was the reason LBJ and the Cavs went out and got Shaq…BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY JUST DIDN’T MATH UP WELL WITH DHoward and Orlando. Why are so many people surprise to hear the Hawks admit the same…oh I know…it a sign of weakness…what ever!!

I agree, it is the coaches job to formulate a scheme to take away a dominate player like DH…however, we are still taking about the team that represented the East in the NBA FINALS last season…so it ain’t like the Hawks are playing second fiddle to some lowly team…jez. With the resigning of JJ looming…I wouldn’t try to do too much before the trade deadline. There are going to be some teams that make a run at JJ…you can count it.

Just like the SA game…we can’t dwell on one loss…The Hawks has far exceeded most everyone expectation thus far…when the playoff start…anything is possible.

Some Boston fans set in our section for that game Friday…we were High Fiving the F out of them every time the Hawks scored. I can’t remember when I had that much fun at a Hawks game against Boston…with the tremendous effort and energy it took to finish off Boston…it was going to be a huge challenge going into Orlando on a back-to-back.

After that Boston game I thought we would finally knock off Orlando…well it did not happen…time to move on and get ready for the next opponents…like MC said…THIS IS THE NBA BABY!!

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


January 31st, 2010
12:16 pm

I agree with Sid and Dan and others:-


It is NBA 101. B/c the Hawks do not consistently run effective pick-n-roll plays … most half court possesions end up with very difficult shots by JJ or JC, regardless if the shots are falling or not.
This weakness is REALLY exposed when the Hawks cannot stop opponent from scoring on the defenside end.

With that said, why is it so hard to design more Bibby-Josh or Bibby-Horford pick-n-rolls?? They would allow Bibby to get near the paint so he can dish out to the shooters (Marvin, JJ, JC) or to possibly pass it back to the screener cutting towards the rim. It also allows the offense to swing the ball and create ball movement as the defense scrambles to cover the perimeter players. It is the simplest play in basketball yet the WORST play ran by the Hawks.

If Steve Nash at age 34 can run it every time down the court, I dont see why Bibby can’t do the same. Even though Nash has better 1-on-1 moves, neither have that much speed but they’re both great passers and shooters. I have given up with Woody allowing Teague to run this play (at least this year) so this is why I am using Bibby as the main example.

Bottom line is that the play friggin works, and the Hawks have the talent and personnel, but unfortunately, not the coach to develop it.