Hawks Squawks: Hawks 110, Clippers 92

Al had his way with Craig Smith and the Clips. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Al had his way with Craig Smith and the Clips. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Los Angeles– All the Hawks’ talk about refocusing after the All-Star break wouldn’t mean much if they lost this game. The Clippers were shorthanded, still spinning from recent trades and had played at Portland the night before. The Hawks were fresh, back at full strength and had a chance to start their four-game Western Conference trip in style.

– The Clippers were ripe for a beating, and the Hawks obliged. “This game was a challenge for our mental focus,” Smoove said. “We couldn’t worry about who they had playing.”

– The Clippers pushed the Hawks while losing at Philips Arena on Feb. 3 but this wasn’t the same team. Baron Davis sat out with a sore back. Marcus Camby was traded on Monday. Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair were traded before the game on Tuesday.

Al Horford, fresh off his first All-Star appearance, went for a career-high 31 points. He was 12 of 15 from the floor as the Hawks shot 54 percent and scored 70 points in the paint. “The guys were finding me and I was getting a lot of good looks,” he said. “I was finishing plays and making them pay.”

– No one paid more than Clips forward DeAndre Jordan, who had all kinds of trouble with Horford. Al didn’t look like he needed a break over the weekend. “I had two really good practices,” he said. “I felt good coming into the game.”

– The Hawks led from seven minutes into the game until the final buzzer. “We got off to a pretty good start,” J.J said. “One thing we’ve got to get better at is jumping on teams and putting them away really fast. We’re still learning to do that but we’re getting better.”

– “We knew we really couldn’t give this team confidence early or we’d be in for a long night,” Smoove said.

– Smoove had 20 points, nine boards and seven assists. As complete games like this become more and more common it shouldn’t be lost that he’s having a great year.

Zaza was back from his hip injury and looked good while getting eight points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. He looked to have good lift in his legs, which is a good sign. Zaza said he felt pretty good, too. “I can’t say all the pain is gone but I will take this one,” he said. “I will keep an eye on it.”

Jamal came back from a shoulder injury and had 12 points and five assists. “It’s a real good start to the trip,” he said.

– When the Clippers threatened to get back in the game in the second quarter, the Hawks turned up their defensive pressure. They got six of their 16 steals in the period and held the Clippers to 18 points. “In the second quarter we came out and established the way we wanted the game to be,” J.J. said.

– The Hawks next head to Phoenix for a Friday night game. They face the Warriors on Sunday and the Jazz on Monday. Energy shouldn’t be a problem. “We are fresh,” Zaza said. “The couple of days off really helped us.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

151 comments Add your comment

jerrywest

February 18th, 2010
1:15 am

Sund needs to get Ilgauskus here. Plenty of good players will be bought out.

kev

February 18th, 2010
1:16 am

Mel

February 18th, 2010
1:24 am

I agree with jerrywest ……. We need to snatch Big Z after he is waived. I hope he feels insulted by the Cavs and does not consider them. Haywood is looking REALLY good for the Mavs. Good game by Al tonight.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 18th, 2010
1:25 am

Trade Marvin Williams for an actual duck to keep the bench lively and enterained on the sideline, thus, inspiring energized play through the entirety of a game. It’s a win/win situation.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 18th, 2010
1:29 am

Horford showed out tonight, hope he keeps it up. Bibby is becoming as useless as Mario West.

24 mins…2 pts. Marvin and Bibby have to go, trade them to the NETS just because they deserve to be on a team that is a complete laughing stock. It doesn’t matter who we get back, couldn’t be any worse.

Gilley

February 18th, 2010
1:34 am

I know we were playing the Clippers but we played great defense and it was good to see our bench play extended minutes to get real game-time minutes. I hope Woody keeps it up and our bigs continue to play big. Josh and Al were phenomenal.

Gilley

February 18th, 2010
1:36 am

Zydrunas is deeply rooted with the Cavs and if they win a NBA Finals, he deserves one . So I am confident he will re-sign with them.

The Truth

February 18th, 2010
1:40 am

AL HORFORD IS A BEAST!!!!!

cdog

February 18th, 2010
1:41 am

WORST THING COULD HAVE HAPPENED, HORTFORD SCORES 31 NOW RICK SUND IS LOOKING LIKE I TOLD YOU SO, WE HAVE OUR BIG MAN.AGAINST THE LOWLY CLIPPERS SUND? NO WAY.I USE TO THINK PETE “SALARY CAP” BABCOCK WAS THE WORST GM THE HAWKS EVER HAD BUT SUND HAS BABCOCK BEAT BY FAR AS THE WORST GM THE HAWKS HAVE OR WILL EVER HAVE.I GUESS TOMMOROW HE WILL ONCE AGAIN HAVE A CELL PHONE STUCK IN HIS EAR AND NOT MAKE A TRADE FOR THE MISSING BIG MAN THE TEAM NEEDS.HE’S SATISFIED WITH FINISHING 4TH AND MAKING IT ONLY TO THE SECOND ROUND AND OUT.THEN HE WILL BLAME MIKE WOODSON.SUND IS TERRIBLE.UNLESS HE DOES SOMETHING, HE NEEDS TO GO.BILLY KNIGHT, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO LEAVE?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 18th, 2010
1:50 am

T-Mac to the Kings, Kevin Martin to the Rockets, Nate Robinson to the Celtics.

sam'l

February 18th, 2010
3:18 am

Too me, the story is not that the Hawks won, but how they won. Hawks had 16 steals to Clippers’ 2. Hawks had 8 turnovers to Clippers’ 22. (Bibby had 0 tunoovers.) (Teague 4 steals in limited minutes). Clippers shot good percentage, had good rebounds and good assists. Smith and Horford had great all around games…Way to go!.

I really do think the Hawks are good enough to win the whole thing. They have to WANT IT though, more than anything. They’re not cocky, which I like, but they’re not very stable either. They need some ideas on Howard. Woody needs help making quick effective adjustments, even if they have to hire a coaching assistant to do nothing but that.

For some reason, I’m not scared of Cleveland….They ARE dominant…..but are they going to come through? .Has Cleveland ever come through? One thing I saw about Cleveland….they can when they need to run complicated plays involving everyone on offense. I would run Shaq out of the building by speeding up tempo.

This thing is still wide open….. Hawks could finish third win their first round, Orlando could be upset in the first round, leaving Hawks to eventually play Cleveland….maybe the Lakers, maybe the Nuggets.Mavs, Blazers,…OKC?

sam'l

February 18th, 2010
3:18 am

Enter your comments here

sam'l

February 18th, 2010
3:19 am

Hmmmm….

Just wanted to say….look at how the Hawks won, on turnovers and steals.

vava74

February 18th, 2010
4:24 am

Ziggy has mentioned at the start of the season that he is considering retiring at the end of the year.

It is absolutely guaranteed that he will sign with the Cavs if he is waived.

Coach D

February 18th, 2010
6:49 am

Yeah, yeah!!!!! Taking care of business. If we can win 3 of 4 on this west coast swing, I think we’ll take it!

Senator Blutarski

February 18th, 2010
6:53 am

Glad to see the Hawks continue to rise toward elite status a mere 5 years or so after an awful 13-win season. It took me a lot longer than that to rise from being a party boy at the Delta House to becoming a Senator.

The Real Hawk

February 18th, 2010
6:59 am

Look around. We do NOT have the inside bodies to win against Cle and Orl. That will kill,us in the playoffs bouncing us in the 2nd round again. a 50 win season means nothing if we don’t advance past the 2nd round. That’s not progress, Sund!

Stoned Mountain

February 18th, 2010
7:31 am

Mac-Town’z Finest , you bad. And right. But actual ducks feel insulted. ;-)

Rock Preston

February 18th, 2010
7:55 am

If Clips buy out Drew Gooden…Go get him!!!

Section 303

February 18th, 2010
8:08 am

Good win last night. This morning, I am paying for staying up late to watch it.

They needed to get the crappy taste out of my mouth after the Heat game last week. If they can split on this trip, that would be huge. There are some very winnable games coming up at Philips.

Great day for the guards

February 18th, 2010
8:09 am

Jamal 5 assists
JJ…….2 assists
Bibby.5 assists
JT……2 assists

For just the second time this year the Big’s got more shot attemtps than the guards. Go big they did. This is how the Hawks should attempt to play every game. Their will be games JJ and Jamal will be needed to take over. But this team plays much better with with balance. 27 assists was the total. Did I mention Josh and Al had 11 assists between them? These guys look to pass. Nice to see the guards join them. Great team effort. Fun win.

GeeMack

February 18th, 2010
8:11 am

Why do hawks fans keep wanting to get scrubs to contend against superstars?

Big Z & Gooded can’t help against Shaq & Dwight.

Peachtree John

February 18th, 2010
8:21 am

When, oh when, will management get the great BIG man? True, our current team is athletic and they are learning to play together (absent Johnson’s insistence on 1 on 1 play), but small athletic players can’t beat big athletic players consistently.
Get the BIG athletic man.

The Grinch

February 18th, 2010
8:26 am

Bibby isn’t done yet, but he’s obviously close. I don’t know who Woodson thinks is gonna take over if he doesn’t start getting Teague some more minutes. But then again, I don’t know what Woodson thinks about anything, if he does at all. Glad to see them come out shooting though. Al and Josh looked great.

colorado bulldog

February 18th, 2010
8:36 am

Did Josh Smith officaly change his name over the break? Not once did you use his real name. I know who ‘Smoove” is but I can’t believe a journalist would write an article only using a nickname. So you write “Al Horford” instead of just “Al” when you first mention him as well as “Marcus Camby”, “Baron Davis” etc. But you never say “Josh Smith”? Incredible. To top it off you just use “ZaZa” and “JJ” as well. I know this is a blog but is this where we are going in journalism?

athhawk

February 18th, 2010
8:47 am

Trade Marv, bring in a true center. Al at 4, Smoove at 3, it’d be stout! I say Marvin and whatever we can give to get the big guy from the Clips. He’s pretty darn good, Kaman I think is his name.

POKECHOP23

February 18th, 2010
9:03 am

if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. the team chemistry is there. go hawks!!!!

PMC

February 18th, 2010
9:05 am

31pts from AL Excellent Work in the paint last night.

HOpefully a healthy ZaZa can reel in offensive boards like he did in last years playoffs. I like this start.

ILL-logical

February 18th, 2010
9:05 am

Good start to a long road trip.The real test will be the newly confiqured Mavs; can we beat them at home now that they are making what could be their last run at the championship?

DHD

February 18th, 2010
9:05 am

Marvin, Collins, rights to Childress and a first round draft pick for Amar’e.

Great day for the guards

February 18th, 2010
9:06 am

athhawk,

What center names can you come up with for the Marvin salary of 6.7 million next year. PS Kayman will make 11.3 next year.

That guy

February 18th, 2010
9:10 am

Colorado Bulldog = white russian with a splash of coke. GO HAWKS!!!!!!

Great day for the guards

February 18th, 2010
9:11 am

DHD

We will not have rights to Chills unless we sign him or if he gets an offer next summer we have the right to match the offer. If he does not recieve a good offer – look for him to stay in Europe. Besides who would want Collins.

darrell starks

February 18th, 2010
9:22 am

BIBBY, MARVIN FOR IGG, JRUE, THIS WILL MAKE THE HAWKS STRONGER.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

February 18th, 2010
9:24 am

MY BAD OUR FIRST BIBBY, MARVIN, FOR IGG, JRUE.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

niremetal

February 18th, 2010
9:26 am

HOW CAN PEOPLE KEEP TALKING ABOUT OUR “NEED” FOR A “TRUE” CENTER WHEN OUR CENTER IS A 23-YEAR OLD ALL-STAR? ESPECIALLY AFTER HE JUST DROPPED 31 AGAINST A SO-CALLED “TRUE” CENTER WHO IS ALSO AN ALL-STAR?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

February 18th, 2010
9:28 am

This trade will cover the hawks for next year just in case joe leave.
NEXT YEAR STARTER JRUE, JAMAL, IGG, JOSH, HORFORD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!

Sautee

February 18th, 2010
9:36 am

colorado bulldog,

Does DOB on the Braves blog say “Larry Jones” instead of “Chipper”?

Did you know what MC meant?

Yes, you did, so why complain?

Sautee

February 18th, 2010
9:37 am

nire,

Big co-sign on the scream

darrell starks

February 18th, 2010
9:42 am

Bibby is shooting 40percent from the field wow, plus no defense.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Mike is Back

February 18th, 2010
9:44 am

MC, GREAT beak down of the game…nice piece on Al…nice plug on Smoove.

Where is that lunatic that was haten on AL? Crow anyone, oh well…all the hard work AL has put in is really starting to pay off. We are Bless to have some really quality individuals on this team…from the coaches down to players. I think that gets lost some times under the dubious circumstance that the organization has endured. Great Win Hawks!!

I think we can take all four of these games as long as the guys adhere to their commitment to start the game fast. I want to see the Hawks put their foot on somebody throat and knot’em out early. lol

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

Atticus

February 18th, 2010
9:44 am

I agree, a journalist using nicknames is ridiculous.

darrell starks

February 18th, 2010
9:46 am

Jrue is 6′4 point guard from ucla will be a beast in 2years from now, and igg wants out of philly.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Atticus

February 18th, 2010
9:47 am

Sautee, Chipper is the name everyone uses, NOBODY ever calls him Larry and it is the name he is announced by, it’s on his babseball card etc……Josh Smith is not called Smoove Smith on TV, in Phillips etc…

NoCoach Blewitt

February 18th, 2010
9:48 am

Nice to see the Hawks dominate a game in which Carl and Joe only combine for 30 points …..Al Horford is becoming a BEAST inside (only player from UF in any sport I root for)

Hawk n the Ham

February 18th, 2010
9:57 am

Adding to MC’s stats on Smoove last night:

4 Steals

Hawk n the Ham

February 18th, 2010
9:59 am

Atticus,

When Josh Smith scores in Phillips, the announcer says:

J SMOOooove!!

Daniel

February 18th, 2010
10:05 am

darrell- I would love to get Igudala and Jrue is a nice young piece, but two things did you factor in Marvin’s BYC status in the trade? Second why in the world would the 76ers want to make that trade?

Melvin

February 18th, 2010
10:12 am

Hawk n Ham,

If he attend a game, he would know that…lol

niremetal

February 18th, 2010
10:13 am

Daniel,

The salaries involved are high enough that the trade would work under the cap. But if the Sixers are rebuilding, they sure as hell aren’t taking back two long-term contracts for Iggy.