Hawks Squawks: Hawks 108, Grizzlies 94

No Grizzlies dared challenge Marvin on this night. (Lance Murphey, AP)

No Grizzlies dared challenge Marvin on this night. (Lance Murphey, AP)

— This one basically was over once the Hawks cranked up their defensive energy. The Grizzlies scored just 39 points after halftime.

– “It was a little heated in the locker room at halftime,” Woody told FSN South/SportSouth sideline reporter James Verrett. “I just thought we were trading buckets. We were lucky to be down two coming in at halftime. The third quarter we came out to play and it carried over into the fourth. We’ve got to defend like that.”

– Man, the Hawks really look good when they decide they are going to make opponents play their game. They were ahead only 73-71 late in the third. Next thing you knew it was 106-86. You could see the Grizzlies sag in the face of all that talent unleashed.

– “It feels good to know when you got Josh and Al and those guys back there,” Jamal told Verrett. “It makes things a whole lot easier. You can put pressure up front and you know you have support back there.”

– The Hawks fed off of that defense and Jamal’s 3-point daggers. Everyone assumed Smoove would be fired up by the All-Star snub but maybe it’s actually Jamal. I wouldn’t have thunk it but he really seemed bummed about not getting serious consideration after Kendrick Perkins and Paul Pierce pubbed him for a spot after the fact.

– Jamal craftily used the Reggie Miller move to draw a foul on a 3-pointer. “He would have landed all right if he hadn’t kicked his legs out,” Grizz coach Lionel Hollins complained loudly enough for the mics to pick up.

– Maybe J.J. should be sick more often because . . . simma down, I’m just clowning.

– J.J. looked winded in the third quarter. His teammates supplied most of the energy while he mostly stood around. He barely played in the fourth and put in just 26 minutes total.

– He was efficient in those minutes, though. Five assists, no turnovers and 5 of 9 from the field.

– J.J. did show some life when he slapped his hands and then barked and scowled at official Rodney Mott for a bad foul call against him. One thing about J.J. rarely having outbursts like that is he tends to gets away with more when he does complain. Maybe he’s on to something there.

– What got into Marvin? He was assertive from the start. Loved that coast-to-coast dunk in the first quarter because you could tell he was going to do it no matter if any Grizzlies got in his way. None of them did but maybe that’s why. He even crossed over Sam Young in the open court on that play.

– “He was active,” Woody told Verrett. “He went to the boards, got a couple of putbacks and made a couple open-court plays where he was able to push the ball and make a play at the rim. We need him to do that when he has the opportunity.”

– Woody used his bench liberally. Of course that’s not hard to do when the Grizzlies don’t really have one. Not that it mattered but the Hawks’ reserves managed just two points over the final 3-plus minutes

Rudy Gay made a lot of tough shots, especially in the first half. Zach Randolph had 20 empty points. O.J.showed flashes. That was about it for the Grizzlies.

–Turnovers were a problem for the Hawks before they pulled away. It just doesn’t work if they don’t take care of the ball because they are vulnerable to easy buckets the other way against athletic opponents, which seems to cover pretty much 80 percent of the league nowadays.

Bibby earned a technical for arguing about that breakaway foul on Gay. Woody was hot about it, too. I didn’t see their beef: J.J. grabbed Gay trying to get a foul call, and he got it before Bibby reached in.

– Saw at halftime that 83 percent of respondents to SportSouth poll for first half coach of the year picked Woody, and figured they either juked the stats or no one around here voted.

– I didn’t see any Iso-Joes in the fourth quarter because he wasn’t really out there. The Iso-Joe count so far in the fourth quarter of four games: seven possessions, nine points, one turnover, two missed shots by teammates (both by Bibby on drive-and-kicks vs. Bulls) with one offensive rebound (by Smoove).

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

55 comments Add your comment

theZaZaGuy

February 9th, 2010
11:52 pm

Satisfying win. Will Joe be over his cold for tomorrow?

theZaZaGuy

February 9th, 2010
11:58 pm

By the way hawks fans… If you have time, catch the Hawks commercial that showcases the last second win against phoenix (At timestamp 2:04 on the Grizzlies game if you tivoed it). After Jamal hits the three to win, there are two crazy looking Asian guys cheering after the shot. The somewhat excited one in the gray sweater on the left is my brother. The absolutely crazy, Arsenio Hall impersonating, red v-neck sweater wearing Korean, who was riding in the passenger seat that night was yours truly. Go hawks!!!!

Michael Cunningham

February 10th, 2010
12:09 am

@ZaZaguy: nice. . . . i lived in Korea for a year, nine months in Seoul, three months in Daegu. i was an 8th-grade kid from Kentucky so, yeah, it was a tiny bit of culture shock.

Josh

February 10th, 2010
12:11 am

didnt get a chance to wach the game live, but was following the game cast… i could defnitely tell they pikced it up after the half cuz the grizz’s points were stagnant for stretches, haha. good win and as you say mc, it’s amazing what happens when they decide to really play:P.

btw zazaguy, i think i remember seeing you guys on that commercial, hahaha. solid!

Ken Strickland

February 10th, 2010
12:15 am

GOOD WIN TONIGHT HAWKS! I liked the way we played, defended, moved the ball and utilized our bench. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Astro Joe

February 10th, 2010
12:18 am

Didn’t Sund give Earl Watson that big contract a few years ago in Seattle? (When they had both Watson and Ridnour making big coin). That’s who we need to pry loose for the home stretch. And they should check and see what kind of hape Antonio Daniels is in these days. Seems like we only need 8-10 minutes of ball protection from a PG at this point.

theZaZaGuy

February 10th, 2010
12:36 am

Hey Mike, I understand the culture shock. I grew up in Kwangju and at age six my family moved to Auburn, Alabama. I trust you enjoyed your time, most foreigners do. Were you military or teaching English?

Michael Cunningham

February 10th, 2010
12:48 am

my dad was ex-military working as a contractor at the time. i was just a kid. i went to school on base in Seoul but we lived off base so i got the full cultural immersion. i remember students protesting the US military presence outside the gates of the base in Seoul–my first lesson in complicated US-international relations. i really enjoyed the people. they were all very nice to me and of course fascinated to see a black kid living among them. i was there in the buildup to the Olympics and i had a kind of hightop fade so people in the streets would call me Carl Lewis. it was great to be exposed to a place so different from my tiny piece of the world in Kentucky, all kids should get that chance. i’d like to think it helped me form a more sophisticated worldview.

theZaZaGuy

February 10th, 2010
1:04 am

Mike I agree, it’s good to get out in the world. It definitely helped me to grow up playing ball at a park in Decatur, which is one of the reasons why I”m such a huge hawks fan, even though I play soccer and am a fanatical Auburn football fan.

Clyde

February 10th, 2010
3:16 am

Did someone say Auburn on this blog? That just like saying Woody=COY

FIRE WOODY

vava74

February 10th, 2010
5:57 am

The always constructive Clyde!!!!

ILL-logical

February 10th, 2010
7:06 am

Good road win.Now comes the challenge: protecting home court AND instilling fear in a potential playoff foe.

Good to see some personal non corrosive banter here guys.

South ga boy in the atl

February 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Yes ill-logical, facebook is a great tool…. Oh wait, this is a Hawks blog, lol. No joke MC, it’s good to see we have an international beat writer, by way of Kentucky. Don’t hear that every day. Lol

An important road win last night. Even though Memphis has no bench, and I thought we would wear them down in the 4th qtr, I was worried that we were going to turnover ourselves into such a hole that we might not be able to climb back into the game, especially with JJ being sick. No matter though, Jamal pulled out his 3 point stiletto dagger and stuck it right into the bear’s heart and that was that, along with Al and Marvin’s steady play throughout the game. If Sund can get JJ signed to a new contract he should get GM of the yr for just doing that and getting Jamal (the best 6th man in the NBA) for nuetral money while giving up only a one legged never been and a young turnover producing, brick laying bust. Feel better JJ. Hope we take care of bizzness tonight and the team gets some rest over the next few days. With the Celtics playing 5 games straight on the road, starting tonight, and 3 of them against tough teams, we should open a lead up on them. And then, maybe, we can find a way to move ahead of Orlando. Go Hawks

O'Brien

February 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Good win on the road, which I think evens our road record at 12-12.

With 6 guys in double figures last night, I think it makes us more dangerous playing that way because opponents dont know who to key in on, and with everybody contributing, there is less standing around.

I’ve been on Marvin this season, so I was glad to see him have a good game last night. His play has improved the last few games, and I hope he will continue to be aggressive.

Good game by Woody as well.

Let’s beat the Heat.

dap01

February 10th, 2010
7:55 am

Michael: I enjoy your blog.

The Hawks were impressive last night. Hopefully they will continue to improve.

FunkyBobbyJ

February 10th, 2010
8:14 am

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/q%26a%3A-how-good-can-lebron-be%3F
I think the Hawks are doomed to repeat last year – so does Rosen. I hope that we are wrong.

Fundamentals

February 10th, 2010
8:26 am

Good team win where everyone pitched in. Nice to see Marvin really assert himself since he knew Joe would be down. That’s the beauty of this team. Anyone can step in on a given night.

Fav play was the blocks Marvin & Josh threw down back to back. Awesome!

vava74

February 10th, 2010
8:31 am

Funky,

We our guys fully healthy and if we get a break from the refs, I think we can have a chance to win a couple of games.

The series? Impossible: Lebron is balling like a monster right now AND – this is a big AND – he gets a huge lift by the refs (palming & traveling offenses not called, every contact on him called foul and a vast array of other bad calls which will go against us).

vava74

February 10th, 2010
8:37 am

People are so used having the Hawks losing that the guy from nba.com providing the commentary on the highlights said that we were headed to Memphis following 3 losses… instead of Memphis coming back home following 3 losses…

Lacsho

February 10th, 2010
9:06 am

Jamal the finisher was great in the fourth, and Marvin had a pretty good game too.

yardie

February 10th, 2010
9:23 am

I was amazed how they turned up the defense against the Grizzlies. To me the Hawks are a good team but not an elite team. How come they dont do the same thing against the Knicks and the Thunder?

terrell

February 10th, 2010
9:27 am

Crawdaddy is officially the “closer”. Let Joe do his thing in the 1st 3 qtrs, and then it’s time to hand the keys over to Jamal.

darrell starks

February 10th, 2010
9:29 am

Marvin have 2 be more agressive and take the ball 2 the hole other than that great game marvin.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

O'Brien

February 10th, 2010
9:33 am

More from Rosen on msn.foxsports.

Point guards who play good defense seem to be rare in the NBA. Who do you think are the best in this category? – Peter Chan

Rosen listed a few names, but the 2 that stood out to me were Royal Ivey and Earl Watson.

“…Royal Ivey is probably the best all-around defender at this slot” and “Earl Watson plays good defense, when he’s not playing too fast…”

Our Royal Ivey? Really? I didnt know his defense was that good. And I know AJ has suggested Earl Watson on multiple occasions, but I dont know what it would take to get him.

terrell

February 10th, 2010
9:40 am

Vava, I think he meant 3 straight road losses.

tjhook

February 10th, 2010
9:50 am

Marvin did look impressive in the highlights last night (didn’t watch the game). I agree I want to see how the Hawks play the playoff-bound teams in the Western Conference, teams which seem to be a little more hardened by the tough schedules they play weekly. If Pierce does not play, will Josh be considered for an All-Star spot?

jg

February 10th, 2010
10:18 am

Great win last night Hawks in a game that I could have truly seen them losing. It’s obvious this team is really growing up and growing up fast! They’ll always have their slip-ups, aka New York and Oklahoma City, to name a few. But the more I look at the scores–OKC is not a slip up anymore–they are a very good team now. But we still have to beat them at home!

As for tonight against the Heat, we have to bring it against those fellas. I certainly do not want to go into the break with a loss to them. They’ll be coming in well rested with their rout of Houston last night–while we had to work a little harder against Memphis. Home court should be the factor–we all know how well we play at home.

Great First Half–33-17 with a tremendous shot at 34-17. I couldn’t be prouder of this group! I do know it’s the NBA and all the teams are phenominal. Therefore, I know we’re capable of beating any team in the league in the playoffs or losing to any of the eight that make it in….it’s all about the matchups!!! Just keep winning these games–get the highest possible seed and let it all hang out come playoff time. I really do like our chances against any of ‘em. Although I wouldn’t mind someone knocking off Orlando before we have to play the Magic.

jg
chattanogoa

jean

February 10th, 2010
10:58 am

crawford all star

Daniel

February 10th, 2010
11:08 am

Yo! ZaZa guy, I saw the commercial. Super cool, man. Super cool!

ILL-logical

February 10th, 2010
1:40 pm

Question for MC Bright: will you have mixed emotions about tonight’s game?

Ramon

February 10th, 2010
1:44 pm

Wow, on the trade machine Marvin, Zaza, Evans and a 1st for Haywood and Butler actually works.

Daniel

February 10th, 2010
1:57 pm

ramon- does the trade machine factor in Marvin’s BYC status?

Daniel

February 10th, 2010
1:58 pm

Ill- good question, where did the MC Bright come from? Am I behind?

Daniel

February 10th, 2010
2:04 pm

I know you mean Michael Cunningham, but where did the Bright come from?

theZaZaguy

February 10th, 2010
2:08 pm

There was one thing that particularly gave me a warm and fuzzy watching the game. Jamal gets a hot hand and the hawks continue to feed and fan him. Then Jamal misses on a “heat check”. Next time around Joe drives the lane and has a good look at the basket (for Joe), he kicks out to Jamal for a three. Any other “star” of the team would have taken the miss as an opportunity to assert himself, but Joe did not. I really like these guys and I think they really like each other.

Ken Strickland

February 10th, 2010
2:23 pm

THEZAZAGUY-You had better believe you went through a culture shock if you ended up in Auburn AL. I grew up in Northern AL, and that place was a culture shock for me.

It’s obvious there’s been an increase in trade suggestions and possibilities lately. I was wondering, is this just an exercise for entertainment purposes for most of you, or are you making suggestions because you expect us to actually make a trade?

If you are serious about your suggestions, then it’s very obvious you haven’t been paying attention. Woodson is a creature of habit and doesn’t like change, which explains why he’s so slow to embrace it. He knows his job is on the line, and there’s no way he’ll sanction a trade that will change his starting lineup or his limited rotation.

O'Brien

February 10th, 2010
2:36 pm

Ramon,

Even if it does work on trade machine, I dont think Washington would do that deal. And thats what makes it so difficult for the Hawks to do any trades. Even if they wanted to, it would be very tough to find a deal that the other team agrees on too.

Ken,

I’m guilty of suggesting trades that I know aint happening. After all, Sund said he likes the core, so he doesnt expect to make any moves. But the part that bothered me about his comments was when he said the Hawks will keep their roster at 13, so they wont even look to add a veteran in case somebody gets bought out later in the year.

theZaZaguy

February 10th, 2010
2:44 pm

This is a question for all you season ticket holders out there. I’m pretty sure when they talk up season tickets at the games they say “renew for next year by march (some date I don’t remember) and pay this year’s price for next year’s tickets.” This was broadcast at the games right? My season ticket guy pretended that he never heard that before. Please respond if you remember for sure.

Coach D

February 10th, 2010
2:55 pm

Boy, oh Boy, did that first half make you want to cuss as it did me???!?!?! Sure would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in the lockerroom. I hope they continue the streak against the Miami Wade, I mean Dwayne Heat, I mean Miami Heat.

Traceman

February 10th, 2010
3:24 pm

Good solid win last night. I figured MEM was going to be in trouble after we started to play D. They shot 77% in the first but were only up 3 after 1 and they were only up 3 because other than Jamal, our bench was horrible early.

MEM is simply TERRIBLE defensively. TERRIBLE! To be as athletic as he is, Rudy Gay is an non-factor on the defensive end. Marvin and Jj blew by him like he was standing still on a couple of a occasions. Randolph has never played D, Gasol is slow, Mayo is slightly undersized and while Conley is quick, he is too weak. If they are going to keep that group together, that had better get a bench with good defenders or hope that Thabeet is the next coming of Mutombo. That team has some good young talent but they don’t defend like OKC and that is why OKC is MUCH better.

When Marvin chased down Mayo for the block and Smoove blocked Randolph’s shot right after that in the 3rd, I knew we were focused on D and that MEM was done. They simply don’t defend well enough to beat us if we play like we are capable of playing.

Another solid game by Marvin. THAT is the kind of talent I see in him and I think we will see more performances like that from him going forward. He seems to be figuring out more and more what his role is and that is key for him even more than it is for most players because he is such a team player. The dude has a LOT of skills. He just needs to be confident in himself and do his thing.

I hope those who call JJ selfish took note of the fact that he was creating wide open looks for Crawford in the 4th despite the fact that he hadn’t scored much due to foul trouble and despite the fact that he had a lot of friends and family at the game. JJ is not, and never has been, selfish. His style of play CAN bog down the offense at times but he doesn’t play the way he plays due to being selfish. He uses tricky dribbling to create enough space to get his shot off. Jamal does the same thing, he is just naturally quicker and more decisive with his moves. Both guys are great offensive players and they compliment each other well. I’m THRILLED they are both here.

LOL @ Smoove turning the ball over on the break on multiple occasions after I bragged on his improved AST/TO ratio. I still don’t have a problem with him pushing it up as one bad game in no way overshadows how successful he has been making plays for his teammates this year. Besides, he was stroking that midrange J last night! :)

I still think Teague has all the potential in the world to be our PG of the future but those of you who think he is the answer NOW, especially DEFENSIVELY, must be on the pipe. He can’t stay in front of his man any better than Bibby, he doesn’t understand the rotations and he is WORSE than Bibby once the switch has been made. Both Conley and Marcus Williams took him off the dribble easily when he was in the game. Teague will learn to defend better but he’s simply not there yet and we are in no position to sacrifice wins so that he can learn. Biby is the starter, the backup PG minutes are appropriately going to Crawford and that is EXACTLY how it should be.

As for tonight’s game, it sure would be nice to go into the All Star break on a nice winning streak. I hope the guys come motivated to play because I’m sure MIA will be ready. Go Hawks!

Ramon

February 10th, 2010
3:29 pm

Daniel it does factor in the BYC of Marvin’s.

O’Brien, I can understand you saying that. But If they’re considering trading Butler for Howard out of Dallas, I must say I’d rather have Marvin over Josh Howard now. And moving Haywood would create more playing time for McGee in a throwaway season for their franchise. Zaza is said to be highly regarded around the league. I know its a dream scenario for the Hawks, but maybe if they throw in their first pick, and next year’s second rounder.

ILL-logical

February 10th, 2010
3:48 pm

@Daniel: it is a play on an 80’s rapper’s name that I coined because of Mr. Cunningham’s artful use of facts and figures in his columns.

Folks, the translation for all of the stuff coming out of the Hawk’s organization mouths is we don’t have any more money!Just because they are no longer litigating doesn’t mean that the underlying problems have gone away. Do not get it twisted, the Thrasher’s situation is just the tip of the iceberg(pun intended). (check out Jerry West’s suggestion for contracting the NBA.) The economy is killing pro sports in general and poorly managed franchises specifically.

Astro Joe

February 10th, 2010
4:23 pm

Traceman, good stuff.

Ill, I agree with your assessment of the financial situation. And when you consider that Sund was able to obtain $2M from Houston in the David Andersen trade, it truly reeks of something not smelling good. We have maintained the league minimum roster throughout the season despite the extra dough. And now, we can’t even add a vanquished vet for less than $400k at the end of this month. Without that $2M, we may have been playing with 4 NBA players and 9 members of the A-Town dancers off the bench.

JerryWest

February 10th, 2010
4:32 pm

Astro – Don’t forget Hawks will get another $4.5 million for being under the luxury tax. Add that to the $2 million for selling Anderson. + League is paying part of Joe Smith, Collins and Mario’s salaries.

Conclusion:
Hawks are not paying for Joe Smith, Collins, Mario West, Morris and Zaza. They are paying for 8 players only. They are also keeping Chillz’s rights without paying. The best penny pinching ownership group.

O'Brien

February 10th, 2010
4:32 pm

AJ,

If the Hawks were playing with 9 members of the A-Town dancers off the bench, they would probably more fans at the games lol.

If I’m the Hawks though, I’m looking to spend a little extra to bring in a vet who might become available. Wouldn’t the extra revenue from playing more games in the playoffs be worth it?

The Hawks have their best chance in years to make it to the ECF. Sund should be looking for a move to help us out even more, especially if it will only be an extra $400k or so.

Rod from College Park

February 10th, 2010
5:24 pm

For all of you who have jumped on the Marvin bandwagon, forgive me if I don’t join you. I have seen this movie before. While he has played better for three straight games over that three game period he scored 10,11, and 15 and grabbed 10,8, and 7 rebounds. His rebounding has been great, but that is the point, it should be. With Al and Josh (who if you go to the games, you can clearly see that Marvin is the same height or taller) always battling bigger players, and having to box them out, Marvin should be a monster on the glass. Especially since the people who have been guarding him are much smaller. When we played the Clippers, he was mostly guarded by Eric Gordon (6′3), as they put Rasual Butler on Joe. When we played the Bulls, he was mostly guarded by Kirk Hinrich (6′3), as they put Deng on Joe, and last night O.J. Mayo (6′4) drew the Marvin assignment. In the Bulls game, they actually ran an iso play for Hinrich against Marvin, and he converted a three point play on Marvin. Nique even spoke of that play. The point is that teams are totally disrespecting us by putting smaller players on a guy who is 6′9 with a 7 foot wingspan. With these size guys on him, Marvin should be going to the hole aggresively and finishing with ease. If he plays aggresively like he did last night, I will give him all the credit in the world, but something tells me that when he is guarded by guys his size, that won’t happen. He also still is not knocking down that wide open 3, which will be crucial for the Hawks in the playoffs when the doubling of JJ starts. Maybe some of you guys are right about Marvin playing better when Joe is not on the floor, but my theory is that a true baller would shine in any situation, unless he is on the bench like Jamal was last year. Marvin has improved in the last three games from being awful to being good. Those of you like me who were looking for Marvin to be an above average, don’t hold your breath. I wish I saw everything in him that Traceman saw. Then I would be able to pecil us in for the finals.

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