– The bottom line is the Hawks turned back a tough, scrappy opponent that came in a hot streak and avoided losing two straight at home for just the second time this season. “We all gutted it out,” Jamal said. “It was definitely intense and very physical out there.”
– So the bottom line looks good. Some of the other lines were ugly, though: 5 of 18 shooting in the fourth quarter, including 2 of 9 for J.J., 0 for 3 for Jamal and no shots at all in 11 minutes for Smoove.
– Basically, here’s how it went: bad Iso-Joe and the Hawks faltered, good Iso-Joe and they won.
– Fourth quarter Iso-Joe: fadeaway airball, missed 3-pointer, missed fadeaway, missed runner and the missed pull-up at the regulation buzzer. Overtime: 3-pointer, fadeaway jumper, baseline fadeaway, and a missed 21-footer.
– “When you get another chance you always want to come through,” J.J. said. “I wanted to make plays in that overtime to get us over the hump.”
– He shot 7 of 22 in regulation, 3 of 4 in overtime. “He’s going to have games like that,” Josh said. “We had to keep riding him to see if he could get going. He was making tough shots and tough moves on his guy. When he’s like that, we’ve got to keep giving it to him.”
– It worked out in the end because J.J. really is a very good one-on-one player even when a strong guy like John Salmons is up in his face. But the Iso approach contributed to the familiar no-ball-movement, poor-shot-selection formula that has hurt the Hawks late in games. They are a combined 16 for 54 (29.6) from the field in the fourth quarter of their last three games.
– At least the Hawks played some fourth-quarter D this time. After the Bucks shot 50 percent through three quarters, the Hawks held them to 6 of 17 in the fourth. As usual, the tighter D led to offense: six points off turnovers and seven fastbreak points in the fourth for the Hawks.
–The Bucks scored the first five points of overtime and it felt like the Mavericks all over again. “We knew what we had to do,” Jamal said. “We look at the Dallas game as a fluke. Our record in the last few minutes of the game is actually outstanding.”
– “Milwaukee has been hot lately but we were able to get the win,” Josh said. “It’s nice to have a win to get our confidence back. We just need to tighten it up on the defensive end and share the ball offensively.”
– I’m guessing at least four of Jamal’s 11 misses were forced. He’s now shooting 26 of 84 (31 percent) in the seven games since the All-Star break. He says the shoulder only bothers him when he drives to the hole. So it’s got to be that he’s just in some kind of funk right now.
– But he did have four assists and a steal against just one turnover. And, as he was sure to point out, he made his free throws.
– Nice D by Horford on Bogut on Milwaukee’s last possession of regulation. He held his ground against a bigger opponent who was determined to get to the basket. It’s how the Hawks had to play the Bucks in a game where officials allowed roughhousing.
– “We couldn’t back down,” Smoove said. “We didn’t take any mess. That’s how you’ve got to play when a team hits you in the mouth.”
– “It was a fun game to be on the court,” Zaza said.
– Stackhouse looked spry while scoring 10 points in the first quarter and eight in the fourth. He was interested in joining the Hawks last summer. Think their bench and locker room would benefit from a pro like him?
– Salmons has really made a difference for the Bucks. Because he went for 32 points they still had a chance to win with Brandon Jennings scoring just three points. But Salmons couldn’t stop Iso-Joe in the end.
– Question: How do you make Iso-Joe develop even slower? Answer: Stop the clock and have shook game officials who don’t notice for at least five seconds.
– “I’m watching the clock tick down so I can see when to go and it just stopped,” J.J. said. “I was thinking it would start back, but it didn’t. It was frustrating, but it happens.”
– Yet another complete game from Smoove: 22 points, 15 rebounds, six assists. Take away those times he thought he was a point guard (five of the team’s 12 turnovers) and he was nearly perfect. “I’m letting the game come to me,” he said. “I’m playing well for the team. I’m not rushing anything. When the opportunity presents itself, I’m seizing it.”
– Woody played Zaza and Mo 14 minutes each, Teague seven minutes and Joe Smith six. It wasn’t always pretty but the bench crew pretty much kept the Hawks in the game during their stints.
– The Hawks play at the Bulls Monday night. “It’s going to be hard playing a back-to-back against a good team but we should feel good about ourselves,” Zaza said.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.