Atlanta Hawks Squawks: Hawks 105, Wizards 99

– After the game the Hawks were pumping up the Wizards as tougher than they seem because they had been competitive in losses lately. “We’ll take it,” Horford said. “They’ve been struggling but I’ve seen them play close games against good teams. We weren’t taking anything for granted.”

– I understand the Hawks taking a victory any way they can get it against whichever opponent, especially after what happened at Miami and New York. And I know all heck would have broke loose with a loss so give the Hawks credit for surviving.

– But come on, man. It’s getting a little late for that “all teams are tough, sometimes you have nights like this” stuff. The Hawks got outworked for most of the game by a team headed for the lottery. They let a bad offensive team have an easy time scoring for long stretches and let a so-so rebounding team dominate them on the boards.

– How does that happen considering what’s at stake? “It is disappointing,” Woody said. “We can’t rely on just mSmoove and Al to get rebounds. They were lacking in that area tonight (too). Blatche and McGee had their way on the boards. We’ve just got to get better.”

– The Hawks had to sweat out a victory against the Southeast’s last place team when they supposedly are trying to win the division. It’s one thing to have a bad shooting night but Woody stressed defense and rebounding and then got neither.

– Woody is putting together a video highlighting his team’s problems in those areas so he can see show his players how they need to pick it up. He will need to splice in plenty of new footage from this game.

– How bad was it? Rookie Alonzo Gee, recently signed to a 10-day contract by the Wizards, got his first NBA basket on a dunk in the second quarter. He should know it’s not supposed to be that easy against good teams.

– But was that easy for the Wizards. They shot 53 percent and scored 28 of their 51 points in the paint in the first half while taking a 19-11 rebounding advantage, including nine on offense. How can the Hawks come out with that kind of effort?

– OK, don’t want to be too negative here. The Hawks forced 21 turnovers with 11 steals so they were active at times. They survived the Wizards’ final surge while reducing their head-scratching offensive plays even when Washington played zone.

– “Good teams find a way to win,” Al said. “We lost the last two close games so it feels good to come out on top like this.”

– The Hawks can thank Jamal’s hot shooting and aggressive drives to the basket for this one. He made two 3-pointers to start that 19-7 run that gave the Hawks some breathing room. He also made 9 of 11 free throws, all in the second half, when nobody else was making them.

– “At this point of the season everyone understands what they are supposed to do,” Jamal said. “When they make a run, it’s up to certain guys to step up. That’s a part of my job description.”

– Good thing because J.J. had another off shooting night (8 of 19) and Josh wasn’t doing it all like usual (noticed a few times he didn’t seem to have the same energy). Also big that Bibby came through with 16 points and 7 of 11 shooting. Zaza made a couple big shots, too.

– But, man, I keep coming back to Washington’s 49.4 percent shooting and 42-29 advantage on the boards. I can’t stop thinking about how listless the Hawks looked most of the night when they were supposed to be desperate. It’s like they think they are much better than they are despite plenty of evidence they aren’t as good as they can be.

– And I don’t care how many close games the Wizards have been playing. They are headed to the lottery and after that trade have maybe three guys who could get major burn for the Hawks.

– Dang, there I go getting negative again about a victory. I think J.J. feels me, though. “Our effort defensively has to pick up for the playoffs,” he said “We’ve been to pretty much the highest level and we know what it takes. We have to come out and execute and play with effort.”

– Iso-Joe in the fourth: missed fadeaway jumper, missed straight-up jumper.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

160 comments Add your comment

LY Munz

March 11th, 2010
11:30 pm

Well said, nothing more to say. Another no show by Marvin, and barely escaping a pitiful Wizards team.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:33 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:33 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:34 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:34 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:37 pm

Stop being so negative, MC. Even if the Hawks beat the Nets on a last-second buzzer beater we should be happy because they are winning and they are not 13-69.

Positivity!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 11th, 2010
11:37 pm

Astro Joe

March 11th, 2010
11:41 pm

@MC, this is the type of game the Hawks have routinely lost in the past. Playing a bad team on a weekday night on the road. No energy in the building. No external motivating force. But the team is now one road victory from matching last year’s total road wins.

JOE

March 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

“Marvin the invisable” rather than C. Paul or D. Williams , the only less effective ( and worse) second overall pick I can think of is Darko M. picked by the Pistons instead of Carmelo or D. Wade

Astro Joe

March 11th, 2010
11:46 pm

Najeh, I think that beating the team in front of you bodes well for the playoffs. Playing better on the road than last year bodes well for the playoffs. Having a more diversified offense. Overcoming poor seasons from 40% of our starters and still being in a dead-heat for the 3rd seed. Finding new ways to exploit Josh’s talents. Featuring Al in the half-court sets. Creating an offense less dependent on the 3-ball. Having a winning record against .500+ teams. Valuing the ball and reducing careless turnovers. Responding to almost every bad lost with a 2-3 game winning streak. There’s a lot that is happening this season that suggests a deeper playoff run than last year.

I’m not feeling the comparison between the concerns of the fan bases’ of Boston and Atlanta. One team is clearly on the decline with little hope that they will recover (they won’t get younger and McHale isn’t around to hand them HOFers for pennies). The other team is in better shape than last year by every possible measure and is in a 3 year climb. Just because both stock prices are at $25, doesn’t mean that both sets of shareholders are equally satisfied/dissatisfied. It’s all about where the price was when you purchased the stock. And for most of us, the Hawks stock price has been at $7 for so long, we can’t even remember the days when it was in the $20s consistently. Meanwhile, the Celtics stock… well, you know the rest of the analogy.

But please, don’t let my platinum lining interfere with a bromance for the rain cloud.

Melvin

March 11th, 2010
11:49 pm

Maybe if the Hawks could allow their bigs to defend the opposing team bigs in the paint instead of chasing guards around on the perimeter, they could rebound better. I don’t how many times I saw Joe, Bibby, Crawford trying to box out McGee and Blatche b/c of the switching defense…..

Hawk n the Ham

March 11th, 2010
11:54 pm

I hear ya MC. Get after them!!! :)

Fire Woody! Hire…….MC!!!

doc

March 11th, 2010
11:55 pm

MC great comments. NOW YOU KNOW. These are the way our guys have been playing for two years. Jekyll and Hyde: enjoy the ride with us.;-)

Ree Roe

March 12th, 2010
12:05 am

@ Astro Joe, sometimes I read your posts & see the ironic & sarcastic statements and I wonder what exactly your expectations of the Hawks are? We looked BAD against a BAD Wizards team, but you seem to be intentionally ignoring that. Yea it was a win, but for a team trying to win a division & contend deep into the playoffs, is this the kind of performance you’re gonna give a pass?

-REEcently Roe!!!

Brad Smitty

March 12th, 2010
12:06 am

Guys (Astro and Najeh), you’re saying MC should stop the negativity, but I LIKE that he’s calling this team out right now. If the Hawks players and their fans are going to consider the team elite, than certain expectations need to be met.

It’s not like the kind of performance we saw tonight or the one against New York or the one against Golden State was some kind of aberration. For “elite” teams to play like this, even against poor teams, from time to time is perfectly acceptable. However, it is becoming the NORM during the second half of the season for this Atlanta Hawks team to play horrible defense, not move the ball on offense, and play close games against sub-par competition. The fact that the players and the coach say all of the right things in the media but then consistently fail to improve upon these aspects even against the worst of teams is something that DOES call for some negativity. Especially when we have shown earlier in the season that we can be an extremely good, maybe even elite, team in this league (yes, even defensively).

Hawk Str8Talk

March 12th, 2010
12:07 am

I LOOOOOOVEEEEE my Hawks to death, but there is nothing in the on court psyche or the comments of this team that gives me one iota of confidence that we’ll be winning a 2nd round playoff series. If I hear Woody say that a game is huge when it isn’t, I’ll scream. Beating the Wizards on the road is not huge for any team that wants to be a contender. No team is winning with a 7 man roster. So, it’s just sad because we accept it as an organization and as a fan base.

Brad Smitty

March 12th, 2010
12:08 am

I think you were being sarcastic, actually Najeh. My bad!

kwooden1

March 12th, 2010
12:11 am

I saw parts of this game and I’m just happy the HAWKS got a win. The Wizards have been playing pretty well as of late. They should have beaten Boston on the road and had a nice win against Denver at home a few weeks ago.

The Good:
1) Crawford was on fire and Bibby knocked down some shots.
2) Woody played the bench in the 3rd and 4th which gave the starters some rest

The Bad:
1) Terrible Fundamental Rebounding!
2) Terrible pick-and-roll defensive
3) Terrible Help defensive by everyone not named Smoove

The HAWKS always struggle against long athlete teams, but tonight was one of the worst performances ever! Usually Portland is the team to do this to us, but the HAWKS knew they were playing a bad team and didn’t bring the right level of intensity. I’m glad Woody gave the starters some rest in the 4th quarter, but the starters almost lost the lead the bench had built. Overall rebounding and transition defensive can be corrected, so I’m not overly worried. I did like Horford attacking McGee inside though, its a good test for when we play Orlando. Horford has to challenge Howard as often as he can for us to be successful against the Magic.

Take the win and get ready for Detroit on Saturday

GO HAWKS!!!

Geemack

March 12th, 2010
12:32 am

Astro

The points you made are valid and should be commended.

However you can not ignore the fact, that the Hawks have regressed defensively, and often lose focus in the 4th.

We’re currently in 3rd place battling a Boston team that clearly taken a few steps back this season. Yet as a team the Hawks have failed to put distance between us because we have given away games we had controll of, and we were better than the teams.

You are correct we are winning, but we are not seeing the play of our team progress as the playoffs approach.

northcyde

March 12th, 2010
12:37 am

Theme of the night:

“Good teams can sometimes play sloppy, and still win.”

With us playing on a Thursday night, the Inside the NBA crew will be discussing us a little tonight. Will they talk us up a little, since we’ve won 7 out of 10 . . . or will they dog us and go negative?

Charles may be a little positive, but Kenny will definitely go negative.

The Hawks played like how the Lakers play, when they play bad teams on the road. The Lakers will let a team hang around and hang around. But they’ll play real good for about 3 minutes, and take enough of a hold on the game to win it.

Geemack

March 12th, 2010
12:40 am

Astro

That stock analogy is classic. lol.

Geemack

March 12th, 2010
12:47 am

northcyde

The difference between the Hawks and Lakers…..The Lakers are bored and the regular season will not define their season only a championship matters.

The Hawks on the other hand are defined by what they do in the regular season, because seeding will determine how far they go in the playoffs.

Grandad

March 12th, 2010
12:51 am

Do we ever play well and just beat somebody’s butt?
Have we had a run where we won 6 or 8 in a row and looked
both skilled, and polished? Have we ever looked like a well
oiled machine operating with precision @ optimum level?
I would think elite well coached teams would do this
from time to time.

The Truth

March 12th, 2010
12:58 am

The game ball goes to MC for keeping it real and calling the Hawks performance appropriately. Near the end of the game, it seem like JJ did everything in his power to give this game away. It appeared as though he was more pre-occupied with “being the man” then winning the game; coming off the bench cold and playing ISO Joe against 3 defendants.. We all know about the Hawks terrible defense but I also notice the team struggles to finish plays. Again, we keep teams in games because we can’t capitalize well on turnovers.

northcyde

March 12th, 2010
1:35 am

What I don’t understand, is how or why people are correlating how we play against these bad teams, as how we’ll play in the playoffs? What does look bad against the Wizards have anything to do with how we’ll play in the playoffs?

You’re talking about a totally different level of intensity and focus once the playoffs come around. How the Hawks look in early March against a bad team, has nothing to do with how the Hawks will play come April.

Even if we’d blown the Wiz out, that has nothing to do with a potential 2nd round matchup with Cleveland or Orlando or Boston or whomever . . . because the playoffs are a totally different animal.

What are we gonna do? Break out the game film of the March 1st Chicago blowout, in preparation for Orlando in the playoffs?

Yeah, there’s plenty to complain about with wins like these. But like Astro said, if this game were played a year ago, this game is a LOSS. But this group of Hawks are a mentally tough bunch. Even when they don’t play great, they can pull a win out of their butts.

I don’t worry about this team nearly as much as you guys do. You guys are going to run yourselves crazy thinking about how we’ll supposedly will play in the 2nd round ( which won’t be played 2 months away ), instead of simply watching this team for what it is, and enjoying and savoring every win . . regardless of how pretty or ugly the win was.

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

March 12th, 2010
1:45 am

Mark Fox > Mike Woodson

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

March 12th, 2010
1:52 am

northcyde: “You’re talking about a totally different level of intensity and focus once the playoffs come around”

………

talkin about that same intensity our leader Joe Johnson had in the playoffs last year?

The Wiz arent the Magic or Cavs, obviously, so of course even blowing them out wouldnt necessarily mean we are then prepared to take down those teams. However, looking horrible against horrible teams, would make one wonder, hmmm, how we are going to look against much better teams (particularly ones we have yet to even win a game against this season) when we are barely winning and losing to mediocre and below teams.

For you to say you arent worried is perfectly fine, but if you atleast cant even see why some of us would be very worried, then you’re blind. There is valid reason to be worried.

northcyde

March 12th, 2010
2:01 am

Do we ever play well and just beat somebody’s butt?

Yes. We’ve had 2 games recently like that, in Chicago and Philly. And a lot more games like that all throughout the year too.

Have we had a run where we won 6 or 8 in a row and looked both skilled, and polished?

Yes. See the 6 game win streak in December and the 7 game win streak in November

Have we ever looked like a well oiled machine operating with precision @ optimum level?

Yes. See both Toronto games. And the recent Chicago game, plus a few others.

I would think elite well coached teams would do this from time to time.

We do. Even if we’re not elite yet.

(( shrugging shouders )) . . . just stating the facts, and not perceptions.

Grandad

March 12th, 2010
2:11 am

When do we ever play with efficiency, focus, and intensity
on both ‘O’ and ‘D’? When, when, when is this team gonna jell?
It’s always something, one excuse right after the next.
As I said before; “when is this team gonna put it all together
for 6 – 8 games and play with precision and authority in so doing”?
We win ugly…we lose games that elite well coached, ‘mentally tough’
teams don’t lose.
Really – Wdsn’s putting a tape together [brainstorm].
Sorry Michael, I appreciate the reporting, I sincerely do.
Don’t elite coaches do this on a daily/nightly basis. (watch tape)
A team’s leader (Coach) sets expectations.
Then, ‘dad blame it’, he ensures that those expectations are met.
I really didn’t intend for this to turn into an anti-Wdsn rant.
Good night everyone.

northcyde

March 12th, 2010
2:14 am

Mac . . . you guys are ALWAYS WORRIED though. The fact is that we may not simply match up against Orlando in the first place, to expect to beat them. That’s the reality of the situation. Regardless if we were blowing these sorry teams out or not, doesn’t change that fact.

To beat Orlando, JJ AND Crawford are going to have to play at damn near a superstar level . . both of them. They’re going to have to be lights out from the perimeter for us to take down Orlando. That’s the only matchup advantage we have over that team.

To beat Cleveland, our frontline is going to have to come up HUGE. No nights off for Horford and Smoove, and we’re going to need Marvin to show up EVERY NIGHT. No disappearing acts from him offensively or defensively.

Those two things would remain true, regardless of how we play against sorry teams.

The only thing I can say, is that it would make some of you guys feel a little better, if we were blowing them out, giving you a false sense of hope for the playoffs.

But the reality of the situation, is that those games have no correlation to how we’ll play in the playoffs. Let’s see how this team plays starting next week, when we play playoff caliber squads. Let’s see if playing against teams fighting for playoff position, enhances their focus.

Meanwhile, it’ll be nice to take care of Detroit on Saturday night.

As for how we’ll fare in the 2nd round . . we’ll play games vs 2 of those possible teams in about 3 weeks. If we beat one of those teams, no one will be talking about how bad we looked in a win vs Washington. All people will be talking about, is how we beat one of our potential 2nd round opponents.

Grandad

March 12th, 2010
2:29 am

northcyde:

Good answers all.
My memory rarely extends beyond what I had for breakfast.
However, my queries were more about prolonged periods of time.
or sustained excellence. [consistency]
Also, I never seem to remember, excellence running our half ct. sets.
I was talking about all phases of the game.
Lastly, if we’re so darned good, then why do we gripe all the time.
*NOTE* Your points were well taken!

Lacsho

March 12th, 2010
6:40 am

MC you nailed it, I think your assessment was on point. SMH The hawk’s look bad winning!! Crawford was hot, but as usual his defense was awful. Then you got hop along Cassidy running the point. He couldn’t stay in front of my 7 year old son. I won’t get started on ISO. What’s really funny, now every team plays zone against us.

Hmmm, perhaps Woodrow will install a zone offense this summer. (He’s a joke)

The Real Hawk

March 12th, 2010
7:15 am

Marvin Williams plays for the Hawks? Since when?

ant banks

March 12th, 2010
8:19 am

boston is garbage and it is lookin’ like we will face orlando in the 2nd round. here is the strategy for beatin’ orlando. “HACK-A-HOWARD.”

you have 18 fouls between joe smith, collins, and zaza. anytime they go into the post foul him!! he is a 50% free throw shoota. play good defense on the perimeter, throw some salt over the left shoulda, give out rabbit foot in all the lockers, and hope for the best

Mike Jay

March 12th, 2010
8:23 am

This team lacks a tough veteran leader on the floor. One who won’t put up with slacking play. One who expects, no demands that everyone else play to his level of intensity and effort. It certanly will never be JJ, though it should be. I think J. Smith or Al Hofford could grow into that role but we need one NOW.

ant banks

March 12th, 2010
8:23 am

jj shrivels up ever year around this time. think back to the last 10 games of last year, the 1st rnd and 2nd rnd playoffs. he needs some “male enhancement.”

O'Brien

March 12th, 2010
8:26 am

Did not see the game, so all I have is the box score.

It was good to see Bibby have some good numbers. I hope he can keep it going, (as opposed to one good game out of every 5). And Crawford looks like he is officially back as the SMOY. I also like Josh’s contribution in other ways (5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks).

The 2 things that concern me are missed FTs (15-25), and the rebounding (42-29). Those are stats that can cause you to lose a game. I do think the switching contributes to missed rebounding opportunities, because our bigs are out of position sometimes.

Hawks just need to stay focused and get back to playing good defense.

That being said, good win for the Hawks. This Wizards team gave Boston all they could handle (in Boston) a few games ago, and almost won that game. So I’ll take the road win and move on.

Lacsho

March 12th, 2010
8:37 am

O’Brien trust me it was not a good win. We should’ve blown this team out by 20.

Iso - Who cares

March 12th, 2010
8:38 am

Can you please stop your iso analysis? No one cares about it. Stop wasting your time

The Truth

March 12th, 2010
8:44 am

ant banks

So JJ needs some “male enhancement.” You think that’s the problem? Viagra to the rescue!! :)

Khao$

March 12th, 2010
8:59 am

Honestly, the reason the Hawks were crushed on the boards was because Javelle Mcgee and Blanche are bigger than our tandem of Horford and Smith…and they are athletic. On most nights, Josh and Al hold an advantage on other teams. Although other bigs may be bigger, typically Al and Josh are quicker. Thus, they have a mismatch. In this case, Blantch and Mcgee ran the floor and were bigger. Mcgee has given the Hawks problems in the past. It’s not that those guys are good, it’s just that they match up well with our bigs. Rarely will you see a game with both Josh and Al perform that badly on the boards, but I believe this was the reason why.

TheJerk

March 12th, 2010
9:01 am

FIRE WOODY
FIRE MC
FIRE NORHTCYDE

PMC

March 12th, 2010
9:15 am

Maybe Joe is checking out already. Nice to see his hustle and scrap on display.

ILL-logical

March 12th, 2010
9:16 am

Marvin Williams plays for the Hawks? Since when?

Lately, Marvin has been playing WITH the Hawks-you know like as a guest MC.

Seriously, the one thing that I have noticed about the team’s performance as of late is that they are not having fun on the court. Remember early on the towel waving, the fast breaks where the ball never touched the floor? Well some of that is missing and it could be the grind of the season catching up/ the pressure of great expectations; whatever it is the team needs to address it .Soon.

Maybe that was what the eyebrow shaving incident was all about- bringing a little levity to the locker room. Now the club’s leader (s) need to step up and help lighten up the tension. A good frst step would be for the current incumbent head coach to stop micro managing every game situation. No one likes it when their manager is looking over their shoulder evry minute. Have him sit down and only stand when there is a time out. And calm down; majoring in the minor over 100 plus games gets old real quick.

Fire Ken(TheJerk)

March 12th, 2010
9:17 am

THANK YOU MICHAEL VICK!

Girl has third surgery in three days for dog attack injuries

ncat96

March 12th, 2010
9:23 am

In reading the posts today you would think that the Hawks were in danger of missing the playoffs. But the last time I checked the Hawks are the 3rd best team in the conference, the 7th best team in the league of 30, 7-3 over the last ten games, and on pace to win 52 games. Am I missing something here.

I understand that the Hawks need improvement. I would love to see them in the championship this year. However, if you study most NBA teams that have made elite or championship status you would see that it takes more than a few playoff seasons. The Hawks are a work in progress. This will be only their second straight winning season. Much has been accomplished by this team. Now last night’s win was ugly. But they won. And yes they have lost these kinds of games this season. But not as many as they would have lost in past seasons. So if you want to continue to look at the glass half empty . . . so be it. I like the progression that I have seen over the past three seasons. What may happen in the future . . I don’t know. But I surely am enjoying what is happening now. I may not agree with the coaching style at times . . but they are doing well with what Coach Woodson has done so far. Just my two cents.

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2010
9:30 am

I wonder if Woody had told MC before the DC game that he was going to start experimenting with playing his bench at the start of the 4th quarter, if you all would have felt better about last night. Because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Teague, Joe Smith and Zaza at the beginning of a 4th quarter in a fairly tight game.

I wonder if Woody had told MC before the Knicks game that he wanted to see if Al or Josh could be featured at the end of a tight game as the primary scoring option. Because Josh took about 4-5 shots in the last two minutes of that game and learned valuable experience.

I wonder if fans had advanced notice about attempts to make subtle changes, if it would be met with less cynicism. Because unless something is repeated about 50 times, many seem to miss attempts at changing facets of this team. Heck, some still rant about iso-Joe despite all of the evidence that shows it is run around 2X a game.

Seasons change.

March 12th, 2010
9:31 am

Our center plays no defense and is very lazy defensively but loves to shoot the ball. Every coach runs plays to get him under the basket and then drive on him because he cant defend. All opposing centers suddenly look like superstars when they play Horford but only average against the rest of the league. Why? If we had a legitimate center we would be in the top 2 teams. This team is playing well above their potential but once JJ and Woodson leave it will be “rebuild city” for the next five years til we realize what a slothful defense Horford is.

The bottom line is Id like to thank the team and management for the outstanding seasons of late. Its been a very nice run and Ive got to see some good and fun basketball.

JJ will leave because he wants a ring and is nearing his prime, Woodson will leave because he can make more money, have a better contract and stick it to M. con & ham , ken s. and the rest of the Bubba Crew.

Both of you will be love and missed. You guys did an ” OUTSTANDING JOB! ” and will be missed!

Thanks to the entire organization last few years.

We were a center away………

Astro Joe

March 12th, 2010
9:38 am

Ill, one of this team’s greatest flaws is that they don’t have a vocal peer leader. This team can’t maintain their emotional edge over 82 games (most teams can’t) so they sleep-walk through weekday games against lesser competition. It’s frustrating but it is unrelated to a forecast of postseason success.

Joseph

March 12th, 2010
9:45 am

Hawks will be out in the first round of the playoffs it looks like. Sad for a team with so much talent.