Hawks Squawks: Hawks 98, Timberwolves 92

Smoove beat down the Wolves. (John Bazemore, AP)

Smoove beat down the Wolves. (John Bazemore, AP)

– Well, at least the Hawks won. “It’s a good win,” Jamal said. “The first game at home after a long trip is usually a tough one.”

– It didn’t have to be so tough. The Hawks were up 76-61 after outscoring Minnesota 27-15 over eight minutes of the third quarter. During that stretch they looked like an elite team handling their business against the worst team in the West.

– But then the subs started trickling in and that lead started withering away. “That’s kind of been a trend,” J.J. said. “When you sit down guys to start the fourth quarter teams are always going to make a run. That’s something we need to work on, whether it’s guys playing harder or more attention to detail.”

– Another game where Woody used the bench guys and they didn’t get it done as a group. Wither art thou, Big Z?

– It’s hard to fault the effort much when the Hawks beat a good rebounding team 46-38 on the boards. Maybe they blow out the Timberwolves if they get anything from Marvin (0 for 4), Jamal (0 for 7) and the usual efficient night from Al (5 of 14).

– Jamal is 18 of 54 (33 percent) since returning from the sore shoulder. “It’s all right,” he said. “It’s OK. I’m out there playing, so there’s no excuses.”

– (Ps to my blog people for noticing Jamal’s physical issues.)

– Good sign for the Hawks to see Mo and Bibby making shots. That’s how you avoid a bad loss when three of your main guys aren’t hitting.

– Well, that and Smoove doing his thang. If there’s a way to quietly go for 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, he did it. “Fantastic game,” Woody said. “He was all over the place.”

– He even made that 18-foot jumper when it was 88-82. I can imagine how it must feel for Hawks fans to see Josh winding up. Even when he makes it, you probably kind of wish he hadn’t because now he might take another one.

– Then again, imagine how unstoppable he could be if made them at a decent rate. “As long as I shoot without thinking and shoot with confidence, they have a good chance of going in,” he said.

– I’m down with the confidence. Not sure about that not thinking part.

– Bibby’s five field goals were his most since Jan. 18. “We’re going to need Mike to make shots and run the team like he has the last two years,” Woody said.

– If Bibby, Mo, Marvin and Jamal ever start making shots consistently all at the same time, wouldn’t a lot of this drama about isos and bench play fade away?

– That was the second time in the last two game that Teague took a bad foul at the end of a quarter. But he looked really comfortable directing the team in the first half. Sometimes, though, he seems a bit too nonchalant for a rookie.

– Different uniform for Damien Wilkins, but he looked the same against the Hawks. Remember when he scored 41 for Seattle vs. Hawks in ‘07? Good thing he only played 18 minutes tonight. “He always has big games in this building,” Josh said.

– I saw one Iso-Joe: he tried to lob a pass to Horford, it was deflected, he got it back and he made a short runner.

– Before the game, Woody riffed on the better offensive flow in the fourth quarter at Utah: “We had so many mismatches on the floor in the Warriors game we felt we could post Joe against smaller guys. Sometimes that is good and it works to our advantage and sometimes we get too stale and stagnant and we don’t get a whole lot out of it. The other night in Utah stayed in a bunch of pick-and-roll, and then when we needed to isolate, we put Joe in an isolation position and he was able to bring it home for us.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

65 comments Add your comment

JeJe

February 24th, 2010
11:09 pm

Rufus1

February 24th, 2010
11:09 pm

Rufus1

February 24th, 2010
11:09 pm

Big Ray

February 24th, 2010
11:10 pm

haha JeJe beat me again

JeJe

February 24th, 2010
11:10 pm

JeJe

February 24th, 2010
10:59 pm

FIRE MIKE WOODSON

DOES NOT USE BENCH IN CLOSE GAMES

2ND ROUND EXIT IN 4 GAMES

* Link
* Report this comment

JeJe

February 24th, 2010
11:02 pm

Why can’t we get Damien Wilkins? The guy would cost nothing in a trade. he is a flat-out scorer. He’d be a perfect 3 to have instead of Mo, who does NOTHING 90 % of the time

Ree Roe

February 24th, 2010
11:11 pm

Not first. I think if we bring our A game on Fri, we could be looking at an extended winning streak. Hopefully Jamal gets it back together soon…I dunno what to say about Duckman that hasn’t already been said besides “quack quack”.

MC, how much are the Hawks willing to throw at Big Z & are there any other players who are free agent buyouts we’re likely to pursue?

-fREE Roe!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2010
11:14 pm

cp

February 24th, 2010
11:47 pm

They won but it was ugly. We have some of the worst finishing big men on our second unit that I have ever seen. Teague should have had at least 7 dimes but Pachulia and Joe were clanking shots all night long. I wonder whats up with ZaZa because he has been terrible for pretty much the whole season. Nice to see Mo get his shot back but I wonder how long that will last. Marvin the invisible man is just out there. The only positive I can say about him right now is that he is a good kid because on the court he isn’t doing anything.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

February 25th, 2010
12:03 am

Let’s get Dallas and make em wish they never landed in the Atl on Friday.

David Smith

February 25th, 2010
12:41 am

Good win for our guys but, our difficulties in the second half continue to rear it’s ugly head. I just don’t know how Marvin can look himself in the mirror each day by underachieving each game the way he does (Bibby showed some signs of life tonight so he earns a temporary reprieve). We definitlely can’t repeat these lackluster efforts on defense against a rejuvenated Mavericks team coming here this friday and, we have a golden opportunity to gain some ground on Orlando with the next four out of five games at the Highlight Factory.

tjhook

February 25th, 2010
2:30 am

Marvin, you Suck . . . you Duck

tjhook

February 25th, 2010
2:31 am

Amendment 1 – Marvin, your game sucks. And you walk like a duck. Quackers!

Marcus

February 25th, 2010
6:01 am

the 3rd bullet (subs failing us after building leads) is the killer. Gotta get that fixed, as it has bit us too much vs. lesser teams.

Crawford needs to get healthy. His struggles could be part of the problem with us giving up leads.

Clyde

February 25th, 2010
6:13 am

Teague looked better last night. He’s gaining more confidence each game.

thomas22

February 25th, 2010
6:57 am

I agree about Teague he looked confident last night-

Zaza needs to hit the weight room as soon as possible-go up strong my friend!

Pretty soon we may have to start playing one of Marvin Gaye’s song to our Marvin- “What’s Going On?” but, hopefully he’ll recover by the playoffs…

Clyde

February 25th, 2010
6:58 am

The problem with the second unit is Crawford tries to take over. Last night in the fourth quarter he was throwing up shots from all over the place. Try passing the ball a little when your with the second unit Crawford.

joeBjoe

February 25th, 2010
7:07 am

Marvin got the big rebound and hit the 2 free throws that clinched the game last nite. He is a integral part of the TEAM and this is a TEAM sport. He does kinda waddle, though. ;)

The Real Hawk

February 25th, 2010
7:26 am

The Real Hawk

February 25th, 2010
7:26 am

MARVIN ON THIS TEAM?

Section 303

February 25th, 2010
8:05 am

I agree with what Jamal said. It seems like the first game after a long road trip is always tough. Although, the Hawks almost blew the T-wolves out. I never really felt that the Hawks were in any trouble.

Gotta win these home games coming up. All of them can be had. They can still get 52-55 wins, if they win the games they should.

GeeMack

February 25th, 2010
8:13 am

The new look Mavs will be here Friday night on a 6 game winning streak. That should be a good game. The defensive version of the Hawks should show up Friday.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 25th, 2010
8:16 am

If we’re going to go on any type of run and pass the Magic and Celtics, now is the time. After Dallas at home on ESPN (which I’m expecting to win as well) we have in order: Milwaukee, Chicago, Philly,Golden State, Miami, New York, Washington, Detroit, and New Jersey. We shouldnt come out of that with ANY MORE than 2 loses, if not 1, or a very long win streak. If we lose 3 or more during that stretch….we deserve 4th or even 5th place.

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

February 25th, 2010
8:19 am

That HAS to be the easiest up coming schedule for anybody in the league, no excuses.

GeeMack

February 25th, 2010
8:20 am

Why do Hawks fans keep bringing up Big Z?

He can not help the Hawks against the Magic or Cavs!

He was dominated by D12 last year, and Shaq has always had his way with him in the past even in his older years.

GeeMack

February 25th, 2010
8:26 am

Mac-Town’z Finest 478

If we play with any intensity we could be on a 12 game winning streak, beacuse we should beat Dallas.

However we are talking about the Hawks.

Ry

February 25th, 2010
8:47 am

Another poor 4th quarter…that has really become a trend. Also, they need to get Crawford healthy if they are going to have any chance of winning in the first, much less the 2nd round of playoffs.

Daniel

February 25th, 2010
8:51 am

MC- You summed up the game beautifully. Coulda. shoulda been a blow out, but nothing from Marvin and Jamal. I know Jamal keeps deflecting on this shoulder thing, but there is clearly more going on here than meets the eye. I hope it really is minor. There is a story there MC if you have built enough good will yet to do some digging.

Gee- Why are you so down? That is not like you. BTW- Big Z would be a great addition to the team for several reasons. Obviously he is big, can shoot and has expierence, but it would be a big loss for the Cavs for him not to return. Can you see Shaq playing 38 minutes a game in the post season and holding up?

ntrigue

February 25th, 2010
8:58 am

The Hawks tend to struggle on offense too many times due to not sharing the ball. I wish I had stats on this but it seems like when other teams make their run on us we come down make 1 pass and fire up a shot. When that happens those are usually the games we loose. But when were making more than 1 pass on the offensive end and were moving the ball good things tend to always happen for us I just wish they would figure this out already! Woody needs to leave Teague alone he’s gonna make mistakes he is not patient enough with him. I was at the game and Teague was the only player he was giving it too. How bout getting in Bibbys grill and demand better defense, or tell Marvin to start looking up when he drives to the basket a lot of times he just acts like he just run over defenders in the paint like their not even there guess that him trying to be aggressive lol but this happen too many times too often! lol Go Hawks!!!

Rising Son

February 25th, 2010
8:58 am

“We need a guy like that,” said Hawks center Al Horford. “I hope our people can make that happen because he would be a big key for us.”

Ilgauskas would add three elements the Hawks need: size (he’s 7 feet 3, 260 pounds), shooting to stretch the floor and playoff experience (64 games).

“He’s a guy that is good with shooting on the pick-and-pop,” Horford said. “He’s a big body. We already have some of those but you need as many as you can get for the playoffs, especially an experienced guy like that.”

Duh, Al. Perhaps you could have more readily said, “look, I cant handle protecting the rim. Im not big enough, I dont block shot and most people like to show case there dunks on me. Im not defensive minded at all. But please give me the ball because I like to shoot. Let some one else play defense.”

O'Brien

February 25th, 2010
9:00 am

For a while there in the 4th quarter, I was thinking oh oh, here we go again. In the end, it wasn’t pretty, but the starters found a way to pull it out. Game ball to Josh, and hopefully Bibby’s shooting stroke is back to form.

I hope Crawford gets out of his slump (or gets over his injury), because we will need him against Dallas (who is not the same Dallas team we beat in Dallas).

Ray,

Vava has been suggesting that Woody should start Mo at SG, and JJ at SF. And then bring Crawford off the bench to replace Mo, and bring Marvin off the bench to replace JJ. And the way Marvin has been playing, you wonder if that’s something to look at more closely going forward.

Mo plays better at the SG position, and he plays better when he gets minutes with the starters. Marvin has been getting minutes with the starters, and he is still invisible. With the bench, he will be up against other bench SFs, so that might help him (plus he played well as Carolina’s 6th man).

Of course, then you worry about JJ having to guard the other team’s SF from the start of the game and the toll that might take. I know the Hawks are still winning, but maybe that could light a fire under Mo or Marvin (or both), even if it’s only for an experiment.

Melvin,

I remember you and another blogger (was it AJ?) talking about the Hawks getting Hollins at the time. It looks like it might have been a good move to make.

ntrigue

February 25th, 2010
9:02 am

Oh and Jamal is fine I mean we act like he cant have a bad game or two. I saw him on the floor and he was still lightning quick his shots just were not falling trust me he will show in the DAllAS game on Friday watch! And he just gave us a good game against Utah! Im not worried about JAmal he’s gonna be fine!

ILL-logical

February 25th, 2010
9:04 am

A win. Josh is growing but: MC, you almost bought into the kool-aid in your remarks about him but the second clause before his comment forced me to hold back the invective I was going to unleash on you.

The kid, he is just 24 albeit a 7 year NBA vet, has had some serious issues to deal with both personally and professionally. Two years ago, this board was lit up with the type of comments about him that sounded like the Michael Vick comments made by some outstanding members of the Order of The Crimson Nape.

I am glad to see some on and off court growth in the individual and hope that it continues for both his and the team’s sake.

Friday’s game isa big one because the Mavs are now tougher as well as tall and talented.and they want revenge for the homecourt defeat that the Hawks administered to them earlier this season.Should be fun.

And as is becoming your custom-good reporting.

Rising Son

February 25th, 2010
9:07 am

GeeMack
That may be true, but Nate Robinson or Tony Parker or other guards will not have their way with him. They will spent their days as a jump-shooters against him. Bottom line is it not about one man “the center vs the center”, its about being able to protect the rack in the paint. Stopping the blood shed of itibiti guards and small forwards dominating us at the rim. Its about turning the other team in to a jump shooting team. Its about opening the lane for our guards who will be shielded to the basket by a 7′3″ 265lbs man. Its about altering shots and being a force in the middle, something we dont have now.

Its not about Shaq or Howard, and yes, if hes here to play we are back in the hunt for the championship rounds.

ntrigue

February 25th, 2010
9:13 am

And I know everyone has been on Zaza’s game but I just think he’s not use to not getting consistent mins on the court. I think its time to shake up the lineup and try sometthing new. I would start Teague, Joe, Josh, Al and Zaza….I think a 2nd unit of Bibby, Jamal, Mo, Marvin, and Joe Smith even though a little on the smaller side would dominate most teams 2nd unit and it would take a little pressure from Jamal of having to score so much, Marvin too I think it will allow him to go against less skilled players which will help his game and confidence tremendously!

Rising Son

February 25th, 2010
9:14 am

I cant say this reporting,(reference M. Cunningham) is “good” but its more an editorial, written with an obvious slant and covert censorship. This journalist gets a C- on my ledger and is in the running for the “you assume facts not in evidence, Watson,” award.

Journalism is, who, what, when, where, and how. This is highly opinionated, thought controlling, typical…

Dezz Nuttz

February 25th, 2010
9:17 am

Big Ray

February 24th, 2010
11:10 pm

Oh wow, Big Ray beat Dezz Nuttz, again.

niremetal

February 25th, 2010
9:22 am

O’Brien,

I’d have no problem bringing Marvin off the bench. In fact, I think it would actually provide us with more balance coming off the bench, because our second unit is a defensive train wreck. It seriously seems like recently, every time the second unit enters the game, the opposing team scores on each of the next half-dozen possessions. Mo is the best defender on the second unit, but he’s undersized and somewhat foul prone. Teague is still a foul waiting to happen, Zaza seems to have lost his confidence, and Jamal is…well, still terrible on the defensive end. He at least seems to be giving more of an effort, but he gets caught out of position way too much.

On the other hand, the role of Marvin on the first unit right now is “stand in the corner and wait for a bail-out pass, and then go play defense.” Mo can do that just fine, and JJ is big enough to cover most SFs, at least for some stretches of the game. I would like to see that lineup change, but I don’t see it happening with Woody. I think we’ll come to regret that if our luck with injuries this year runs out, because unlike last year, Marvin hasn’t been involved in the offense enough that he’d be ready to step up when injuries happen like he did last year.

JOE

February 25th, 2010
9:28 am

at this point is there a less impactful or relevent starting SF in the NBA than Marvin W.? How about a a starting PG that is more of a defensive liability than Bibby. I guess it’s a testimony to the solid and sometimes outstanding play of the other 3 starters (as well as Crawford) that makes up for Marvin and Mike’s miserable play.

terrell

February 25th, 2010
9:35 am

Clyde, Crawford is doing what the Coach tells him to do.

MsDee

February 25th, 2010
9:36 am

ntrigue,

Maybe its a good thing Woodson gets at Teague..as a player ( I was one in my prime), you think the coach is getting at u but in reality, the coach sees more in you and expects more out of you. Woodson needs to yell at Marvin cause Mann, I’m feeling bad about him out there..he just isnt himself since last year. Also, if you look at it, Teague is looking more and more comfortable out there as a result so maybe its working what Woodson is doing. I’m starting to feel good when Teague enters the game. I just wish sometimes Teague could see the floor when JJ, Smoove, & Al is in the game cause Teague would have a lot more assists with those guys out there instead of Zaza and Joe Smith..I mean, Teague couldnt pay them for an assists last night.

Barrington

February 25th, 2010
9:39 am

Have any of you guys watched ZaZa lately? He has been god awful! That guy isn’t giving the Hawks ANYTHING! The Hawks will be fine as long as they swing the ball, box out, and play hard-nosed defense. The problem is, can Woody get them to consistently do those things? Woodson is not a great coach by any means so I doubt the Hawks will go far with him. Fire Woodson, cut Zaza, and trade Marvin Williams for some balls and towels!

Barrington

February 25th, 2010
9:47 am

With the addition of Crawford, I did expect Marvin Williams’ numbers to drop, however, last night that guy scored 4 points. Lucky we played a bad team because we won’t win many nights when our starting 3 only scores 4 points. What a wasted lottery pick that guy is! Who’d the bigger bust, Darko Milicic or Williams?

terrell

February 25th, 2010
9:49 am

For the person that said Zaza is one of the top 15 worst player in the NBA, no way. He’s top 5. To be honest, I cant think of 1 player who’s worse than he is. Not after the last few games anyway. He’s been absolutely horrible. All you have to do is look at the Nets roster. Every big man on the roster is better than our backup center. Not good. I’d take Lopez, Tony Battie, Josh Boone, or Yi over Zaza in a heartbeat. lol!

The Truth

February 25th, 2010
9:58 am

I hope the Hawks got the Memo about Dallas; THEY ARE HOT!!

terrell

February 25th, 2010
9:59 am

Darko by a longshot. Good pick Dumars. lol! Before Melo, Wade, and Bosh? lol! Marvin was a bad pick, but he’s not even OUR worst pick. That award goes to Sheldon”Shellhead”Williams. At #5?? Are you kidding me? At least Marvin had upside. Let me rephrase that. At least Marvin was supposed to have upside. Sheldon played College ball for 4 years. He was basically maxed out as a player. A lot of the experts had Marvin rated as the #1 player that year. Damn, I wish Milwaukee would’ve agreed. lol! Was Sheldon even considered a lottery pick? I dont think so. So Darko’s the winner, with Shellhead coming in a close second, imo. Marvin is gaining ground though. lol!

GeeMack

February 25th, 2010
10:17 am

Daniel,

I’m not down. I’m frustrated that the Hawks aren’t putting together better defensive efforts lately.

I’ve seen us play lock down defense against some of the best teams in the league for stretches but not the whole game.

If we bring our defensive games on a nightly basis we can do some damage regardless of the match ups in the playoffs.

Thats why I’m not sold on Big Z. He doesn’t help us in the areas we need it most on defense and rebounding.

ant banks

February 25th, 2010
10:20 am

can anyone explain why illgaskus would come to atlanta versuses goin’ back to cleveland?

The Truth

February 25th, 2010
10:20 am

I had shied away from being too critical of Marvin because of natural growing pains and other factors unique to him. But he made a move last night that was so retarded; I have to break my silence. DAM THAT WAS UGLY!

It is becoming clear; Marvin needs to spend time this summer in a basketball clinic before his regression gets out of control.

Section 303

February 25th, 2010
10:21 am

Get off Zaza’s back. Are you guys kidding? Zaza is a role player. His job is to come off the bench, be physical, and rebound. He does those things on most nights. I’m not really sure what some of you are expecting. He’s supposed to shut down Howard? LeBron? What? Enough.

The low b-ball IQ of some is staggering.

Melvin

February 25th, 2010
10:22 am

OB,

Yes, Me and Ariose was campaigning for Ryna Hollins. We could have sign that big guy for around Mo Evans money. He could have backup Al and play along side ZaZa or Joe Smith then we could have left Collins at Golden Corral…