Hawks squawks: Hawks 93, Bobcats 92 (OT)

What’s up, folks?

Ken Sugiura sitting in again for MC. He’ll be back Sunday.

It’s always interesting reading through the game thread after the game is over (which I just did). It looks like most of you (understandably so) did not see the game going the way it did, although, to your credit (I guess), you didn’t flip-flop completely. There was some measured acceptance of the win, but some “We can’t play like this.”

Some points – The Bobcats have the Hawks’ full attention. Or at least they do now. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson and Mike Woodson all noted how hard Charlotte plays and how well they defend. You might not know that Charlotte has taken three of four from Cleveland and had won seven of their last eight, including wins over the Lakers and the Magic. This isn’t a bad team.

Said Joe, “They play hard for 48 mintes. They don’t back down to anybody. Give them a lot of credit. Larry Brown had those guys rolling.”

I think some of that went into how the Hawks looked offensively, though I would not say it accounted for all of it. The Hawks turned it over 17 times and I wouldn’t pin that on Charlotte’s defense. Josh Smith was unusually loose with the ball with a seas0n-high six turnovers.

- Rebounding was not great. I was surprised to see the Hawks actually had more rebounds, 51-49. Gerald Wallace had 16 rebounds. But Marvin Williams had a solid game after his clunker against Toronto – 14 rebounds, 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting.

- The last shot of regulation. I’d say what killed the play was the botched handoff between Jamal Crawford and Joe. It forced Joe to retrieve the ball near midcourt, which gave the defense more time to get into him. It’s not clear to me why Josh was the bail-out option in the corner.

Woodson: “They sucked in on Joe and ‘Smoove’ was open. He’s got to take that shot. It looked good when it left his hand. That wasn’t the shot we were looking for, but we were forced into taking that shot.”

- Smith had a great will-imposing stretch in the third. In the third quarter alone, he had 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting, five rebounds, two steals and an assist. That’s pretty dang impressive. Only two other Hawks scored in the entire quarter, Marvin and Al Horford with two each. He basically kept the team in the game. (He also had three turnovers.)

- Horford came alive when the Hawks were down 10, 76-66. He was doing all the small things, setting screens, getting rebounds and hustle points. Here’s what my notes say. Down 76-66, he made a free throw, missed the next, but got the putback by rushing the basket to make it 76-69. He forced a turnover on the next possession and then set a screen for Jamal on the ensuing possession, leading to a basket. On the Hawks’ next possession, he set another screen for Jamal, who hit that fadeaway rom the right side over Raymond Felton that hit the front of the rim and fell in to make the score 76-73. On the ensuing possession, he foiled an alley-oop to Wallace, who was soon after whistled for three seconds. He hit a jump hook to make it 78-75.

Al: “Fourth quarter is kind of clutch time. I felt like I needed to be a little more aggressive and get after it and make plays when the team needed them to be made.”

- Al on playing in front of Michael Jordan: “I saw him in the second half. I was pretty excited about it. I’ve never actually met him. I don’t know him personally, and even though it’s his team and all that, it’s still exciting knowing that he’s there taking the time out of his day to watch us. You definitely want to look good in front of Mike.”

- In a way, that amazes me, that a highly successful professional athlete would be that excited about who’s in the audience, but in a way it doesn’t. It just shows how revered Jordan still is.

- Joe said it took him a while to get his rhythm, having rested for five days. I was listening to the radio broadcast on the way home – 790 had the Georgia Tech broadcast during the Hawks’ game – and at the start of the second half, Dennis Scott said it looked like Joe was “in a daze,” which is about right. He dribbled into traffic a few times and just looked lost. But, obviously, he found the range, making 7 of his last 12 shots.

On the game-winner: “I knew I had 3.8 on the clock. I knew I could take a few dribbles and try to get to a sweet spot on the court where I could get a good look.”

- For what it’s worth, Joe commented Friday morning on an ESPN report that cited an unnamed league source saying that any team that wants LeBron James should go after Joe, because LeBron apparently wants him as a teammate.

Joe kind of laughed and then looked like he didn’t know what to say, then said, “I haven’t heard anything about that. I haven’t seen it. Right now, my main focus is with the Atlanta Hawks ballcub and what we’re trying to do here as a team. We’re really trying to do something special. We’ve got the pieces. Now it’s about us as players going out and executing and getting wins.”

- Have a good weekend!

89 comments Add your comment

Ree Roe

March 20th, 2010
2:47 am

I guess I’ll start it off. Real proud of the effort of the Hawks in the 4th Q & Overtime to battle back & tie this game & then ultimately win it. A game like tonight might have been the wake up call the Hawks needed to get ready for this upcoming stretch of games (SA, @ MIL, ORL). Solid bounce back game by Marvin…I’m assuming Woody spoke to him
again. BTW, is Bibby hurt?

-fREE Roe!

JeJe

March 20th, 2010
3:10 am

REGULAR SEASON IS ALL THAT MATTERS . AS LONG AS WE BEAT LAST YEAR’S REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTAL, THIS SEASON IS A SUCCESS. THE FACT THAT WE WILL LOSE IN 4 GAMES TO ORLANDO BY 30 PTS A GAME DOESN’T MATTER. WE WILL WIN 48+ GAMES AND THEREFORE ARE NBA CHAMPIONS

Kevin

March 20th, 2010
3:11 am

Can you ask Woody why he locks himself into a final rotation with 9-10 min left in the game? (With the exception of a West substitution.)

soldierman

March 20th, 2010
3:46 am

really proud of the way the hawks came through. Its gonna suck without joe next year

Josh

March 20th, 2010
3:49 am

This win felt good, especially since it was a similar last minute shot that ended their loss the other night – heart breaking. But yeah, good to see joe doing his thing and making that clutch shot!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 20th, 2010
4:10 am

“Rebounding was not great. I was surprised to see the Hawks actually had more rebounds, 51-49. ”

Charlotte is top 10 in the NBA in rebounding differential. If you can out-rebound them you are doing well on the boards. Especially for a team like the Hawks, which is near the bottom of the league in rebounding differential, being able to win that battle against this team is a very good thing. All three front court starters had double figure rebounds. I’d like to see that kind of production on the glass from the front court more often.

If I’m the Hawks — or really, any top 4 East team — I do not want to see the Bobcats in the playoffs.

lewis

March 20th, 2010
4:17 am

Joe’s a good player but he’s not what the Hawks need, we did fine without him, and when we go spend his money on two very decent players, we’ll be deeper. The offense always plays differently when he’s in, and the big men never get to see the ball. He plays sort of passive aggressively, nothing seems to happen until he gets mad and takes over the game. Which is fine, but he’s only ever going to be a super star wingman, a scottie pippen. Al Horford is getting better and better offensively in the post, i’ts been really great to see. He’s been hitting that 10 foot jumper and 4-7 foot hook like he’s a third year all-star. Wth such a high shooting percentage and the recent improvement in quickly catching it and taking it to the whole, beating defense with his quickness and finesse, i pretty much always feel confident when he has the ball. Couldn’t say the same for Josh Smith today unfortunately, but night after night the guy brings it. Too bad he can’t control his emotions or he’d be able to take that anger and turn it into hard nosed, fearless post play. The Hawks need to get that hideous look of, “are you serious man” that they get every time something doesn’t go their way. Its immature, and other teams think they’re cry babies who’s heads you can easily get into. That said, Bobcats are a good team. They play really hard, not to mention people being nervous to play in front of Jordan. That said, we’re not looking bad right now, i’d like to see a little more aggressiveness and intensity on Woody’s end. Hawks need to start taking a bully-like mentality, using their size, strength and quickness combined with the will to win at any and all costs. Instead of letting other teams get to them, get to other teams by simply making scoring look easy with a straight face.

vava74

March 20th, 2010
5:23 am

Lewis,

if we don’t re-sign with JJ we will not have the cap space to sign one good player, much less two.

we will be left with just the mid-level exception which taking in consideration next years’ decreasing cap space should be only around 5,5 million per.

the only way to accommodate JJ’s eventual wish to move out and still get to compensate that would be with a sign and trade deal.

Joe mama

March 20th, 2010
6:31 am

The four-time All-Star JJ shows every day what a “real” allstar is.

*
o

45.3%
o

41.9%
*
o

33.3%
o

30.8%
*
o

60.0%
o

77.3%

* FG %
* 3FG%
* FT %

CHA ATL
Total Rebounds 3 5
Offensive Rebounds17 18
Turnovers 16 17
Fast Break Pts: 17 21
Biggest Lead: 10 5
Points in the Paint: 52 46

Hey Hore ford we get beat under the basket again. Spell defense! I guess you cant and you are the reason we wont get pass the second round. YOU WONT PLAY DEFENSE! PLAY SOME FREAKING DEFENSE BECAUSE THATS WHAT WINS CHAMPIONSHIP NOT THE LITTLE 14 POINTS YOU AVERAGE. HOW CAN YOU NOT DEFEND AGAINST GUYS LIKE WALLACE AND THE RETIREE THEO RATLIFF?

Joe mama

March 20th, 2010
6:32 am

CHA ATL
Total Rebounds 3 5
Offensive Rebounds17 18
Turnovers 16 17
Fast Break Pts: 17 21
Biggest Lead: 10 5
Points in the Paint: 52 46

Hey Hore ford we get beat under the basket again. Spell defense! I guess you cant and you are the reason we wont get pass the second round. YOU WONT PLAY DEFENSE! PLAY SOME FREAKING DEFENSE BECAUSE THATS WHAT WINS CHAMPIONSHIP NOT THE LITTLE 14 POINTS YOU AVERAGE. HOW CAN YOU NOT DEFEND AGAINST GUYS LIKE WALLACE AND THE RETIREE THEO RATLIFF?

TP

March 20th, 2010
6:42 am

The reason why this team will never reach the nba finals is because certain members(JS and JJ) on the team have a ego problem. It is obvious that they do because they continue to shut out Jamal Crawford when they’re on the floor together. Jamal can’t be affective because he’s trying to please those 2 ego Maniacs. They’re so concern about Jamal scoring most of the points and making the fans say “WOW, did you see that move Crawford put on that dude?” they can’t do there on job. They try to play every position on the team.

JS is a complete bonehead. That idiot swear he is a point guard and a shooting guard. Can someone tell me why Woodson continue to let JS dribble the ball up court? I thought that was the point guard’s job. I just cringe every time he shoots the ball. How in the hell are these people paying this guy all this money? He aint worth a dime! All he does is complain about the officiating. Joe Johnson is trying to SHAKE N BAKE! Please Joe, just let Jamal handle that department and just be yourself dude. This team is dysfunctional and DOOM!

sam'l

March 20th, 2010
7:26 am

Lots of technical errors in this game I guess, but a lot of heroism as well. Tough, gritty win over Charlotte with icon Jordan in the stands. Way to go Hawks. Joe and Jamal should cooperate, and they probably are cooperating. They say the right things. They both want to win. Funny how Charlotte’s ability to handle Cleveland and Orlando is coming up. I maintained last week the key to a Hawk victory over Orlando is to watch how Larry Brown does it.

RA

March 20th, 2010
7:37 am

There were some problems in this game that were just too glaring to ignor. For one thing, the interior defense, if you can call it that, was terrible. Too many layups and too many dunks. When you miss a rotation on a three pointer, you can live with that, but when the seas part time after time after time, giving up those layups and dunks, that’s concerning to the point of alarming. Whatever problems they have on offense, this team is going to score. The problems on defense however MUST be address, starting with the layup situation. Not I’m not saying that we need to take things back to the days of the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons and decapitate anyone that looks like they’re going to head for that lane, but the Hawks need to give them something serious to think about whenever they drive it. No layups, that’s needs to be the philosophy. This “win” concerns me more than any of the loses that we’ve suffered to the Orlando magic. There’s no shame in getting beaten by a great team playing at the top of its game, but when you let a team like Charlotte come in and darn near emasculate you on your own home court, that’s something you need to sit down and think about. Now, they’ve got a game coming up against Orlando. I hope they do their best, but the next time they play Charlotte, I hope they leave the dresses at home.

VenomSpitter

March 20th, 2010
7:42 am

The refs tried their best to ruin that game

TP

March 20th, 2010
8:15 am

sam’l, the way to beat Orlando and Cleveland is to attact them with your best weapon(Jamal Crawford). ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK!! This is an erea this team lacks because JJ and JS have ego issures. PERIOD! If you people are too blind to see that then you will never understand why this team can’t win consistently.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

March 20th, 2010
8:48 am

The ESPN report about LeBron wanting JJ shows how high others regard JJ. If he had a quick point guard along side him, he’d be devastating. Bibby has done tremendous work for this team, but he’s lost his quickness. The other thing JJ needs is a better coach: Teague should be playing more, he’s shown he belongs in this league. Teamed with JJ, they could make up some great chemistry, and Josh wouldn’t be forced to handle the ball as much.
Anyone remember how JJ used to kill teams when he played along side Steve Nash? He needs to be on a quick team, not an ISO team. Same with Josh.

Nacho

March 20th, 2010
8:49 am

Woody had an effective and energetic 2nd unit that performed GREAT in the first half. He chose to sit those energetic players the whole second half and not give the starters any rest.

The starters were flat.

Ken Sugiura

March 20th, 2010
9:10 am

Ree Roe – Nothing I saw (which, granted, is not everything) suggested he was hurt. He was on the floor for the game-winner (though I guess he was sent in just to inbound), but he was, per usual, among the first to get dressed after the game, which I imagine he wouldn’t do if he were hurt and had to get treatment.

N-Trigue

March 20th, 2010
9:14 am

Great game Hawks! 2nd half Teague and Zaza shouldve saw more mins. Anybody seen Acie Law lately the kid is ballin he just need some tick.

TP

March 20th, 2010
9:23 am

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, this what I’ve been saying for along time about JJ. He would be more affected as a player if he played under someones else leadership because he doesn’t have the kind of leadership skills to lead a team to an nba finals. As for JS, I rather not comment on that BONEHEAD! I will say this though. If head played with Magic Johnson or a Larry Bird back in the day, he would not do the things that he does as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. PERIOD!

j

March 20th, 2010
10:05 am

guys say what you want about this game but give the bobcats credit … they just beat Orlando in Orlando and also the Lakers. Also, taking 3-4 from the Cavs is pretty legit. you can’t blame this close victory on the Hawks … they were lucky to get the w tonight. once again, most of you are too hard on the hawks. its a win, as good as a win gets. hell, games are more fun when they are played this close … makes you feel like you got your money’s worth

Nacho

March 20th, 2010
10:06 am

Josh sometimes handles the ball too much because he easily passes Bibby and Joe who want to slow everything to a grinding halt and then hand the ball to Joe in the corner to start the offense.

If Josh had a set of guards who would push the ball and a coach to simply say fill the lanes, our team would be a great running team.

SWAT Native

March 20th, 2010
10:11 am

The TV crew said Bibby has a sore hip that he got in a collision in the Toronto game.

Great win for the Hawks – I was concerned they would lose this one. A nice offset to the Toronto loss at the buzzer. The Hawks have had a few nice last second wins in Philips this year, including the Crawford shot and the Josh Smith putback. It really is the highlight factory.

Mike Jay

March 20th, 2010
10:18 am

Agreed Nacho. Josh usually only brings it up when he is getting pissed at the ISO game. He is usually effective when he does it to as he pushes it quick and takes it the hole or makes a nice pass while penetrating…..kinda like a point guard. I have no problem with it for the most part, the man can see the floor and anticipate as good as most guards. There’s a reason he has so many assist.

JosephdaKoolest

March 20th, 2010
10:23 am

Hey, Mr. Lewis whats up bruh? Joe Johnson just proved why we he is our go to guy and a superstar in this league. The problem with Joe all year is fatigue and just recently his ankle. Last night his activity was outstanding and his energy was great. I think Mike Woodson finally gets the fact that we have a bench and you have to let them play. I think Joe Johnson is was overused. Remember Lebron last year in the playoffs mising free throws in the fourth quarter and laying on the floor after the first game. Thats because Mike Brown uses him too much. Thats th same thing Woodson does with Joe. Now that we have Jamal Crawford we dont have to overuse Joe. And he will be fresh in the fourth quarter. The hawks have enough talent to beat the lesser teams without Joe. However come playoff time against the better teams Joe will demad double teams and open up things for the rest of the guys. If Joe has energy and Crawford plays like he has been playing all season we can make a deep un in the playoffs. GO HAWKS THE CITY OF ATLANTA IS BEHIND YOU

Hawk n the Ham

March 20th, 2010
10:29 am

J Smoove = MVP

It’s nice to see Mo Evans in there getting his minutes, and taking advantage of them.

LesterHayes

March 20th, 2010
10:36 am

I cant believe the tone of some of the most ungrateful fans Ive heard. One blogger said “Joes good but hes not what we need. When he was out, we did fine”. What an ingrate! Folks if you dont see greatness when you look at Joe Johnson then you will never see it. In the ot against the bobcats, when joe received the ball from out-of-bounds, there were 3.8 seconds left. Joe had to create a shot for himself with a defender draped all over him, while getting off a comfortable shot and getting it off before the buzzer. Joe did that and secured the win for the hawks and then the ungrateful bloggers come out of the woodwork completely unappreciative of the fact that Joe continues to save our season time and time again and they ignore that fact. Of course we are thrilled we have Jamal Crawford but there are games when Crafords shooting touch is off when he starts out 1-9 and if you have another all-star available like Joe, it give you more depth and more security. Dont expect Jamal Crawford to be our savior. We have that in Joe Johnson already. The problem is that most fans in altanta and across the league just dont know how good Joe really is. That is a shame becaue until they find out, they will continue to underappreciate this larger than life talent.

lewis

March 20th, 2010
10:42 am

yeah I rethought that after I posted. JJ gets you 22 very difficult points a night, it just sucks that he has no intensity or leadership and possess no ability to get anyone else involved. when JJ is on a role, the hawks offense sits back and watches.

lewis

March 20th, 2010
10:52 am

I do like JJ, i think he’s definitely one of the best players in the NBA, but if you don’t think he’s a bit soft for a superstar you’re kidding yourself. If you’re going to be the leading scorer you need to have that fearless scorers mentality, which also means passing it after dribbling around for 15 seconds to your low post guys. neither of which Jamal or JJ are very good at. I’m sorry to all you Johnson fans, I like the guy a lot and know that without him the team wouldn’t be the same. I also know that this makeup of players can’t really beat orlando or cleveland unless he matches the play of Lebron and Dwight, and that just hasn’t happened. Sometimes atlanta’s lack of agression leads me to believe they sit around smoking ganj all day, especially when they zoom in on the red-eyed, expressionless face of Woody. Jordan’s Bobcats looked like they were playing for something, the Hawks look like a team where mediocrity gets payed 7 million dollars a year anyway.

NDiiBaBii

March 20th, 2010
11:23 am

For once I’m happy about a Joe Johnson comment, that was a nice comment from him. Last night in the Highlight Factory I knew we had it, I just didn’t know who would take the shot. The crowd was amazing last night though

Sleepy

March 20th, 2010
11:42 am

The main problem this team has is not iso joe but the push of someone starving to win . Crawford imo is the only one on this team that plays like it means something . None of our starters do and they used to do it all the time . They have been spoiled by the money,accolades and compliments. .

I dont know what Woody can do about that Charlotte is a tough team but if our starters played as hard the first 12 minutes as they did the last five minutes of last nights game we would have at least 6 more wins .

Everything else play calls ,execution rebounding I will complain about but could easily live with because I know that if we play as hard as we can than I know we can beat anyone .

ChokeArtist

March 20th, 2010
12:13 pm

Charlotte is a really, really tough team and a great win for the Hawks. Charlotte has beaten the Cavs 3 out of 4; the lakers in Los Angeles and Orlando in Orlando. Michael Jordan has that team beating the best in the toughest places to play. The Bobcats almost beat us last night, but because we have Joe Johnson they were unable to. Sign Joe Johnson now to a long-term deal and give him the money he deserves. Joe, in my opinion, is the third best closer in the league behind Kobe and LaBron. I think Joe is even a better closer than D-Wade. In my mind, Joe has moved up from fourth best player in the league to third best player. That is what i see and i know that i am right. WHAT NBA FANS SAW LAST NIGHT WAS A CONTINUANCE OF “THE LEGEND OF JOE JOHNSON.” PERIOD. Joes unbelievable and he takes your breath away when he is on. There is no single player in the nba who could guard joe one-on-one or who could stop Joe when Joe is determined to score.

TP

March 20th, 2010
12:22 pm

lewis, it’s good to read comments from an open minded fan. These so-call fans have been watching mediocrity for so long, until they don’t know the difference between a superstar and your average Joe. If they think this team will make it to the nba finals with an average Joe, then they better think again. This team need real leadership like a Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd(too old now) or a Kobe Bryant if they expect this team to ever get the nba finals. I seen the hawks make the playoffs back in the 70s when Eddie Johnson, Tree Rollins, John Drew and Tom McMillen played only to get eliminated. It’s time to build a championship caliber team NOW! or ship them out of here. Period!

HawksFan11

March 20th, 2010
12:24 pm

I just have to co-sign with Ree Roe’s first comments.

This was a total team effort, by a scrappy bunch of players, each of whom stepped up when called upon, including the bench players, capped by the clutch shooting of the team captain in front of frantic home crowd and the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of Nikes. The Hawks simply decided that they would NOT lose this game PERIOD!

This may not be the ideal way to win one, and they acknowledged their shortcomings, I for one was truly impressed with how every player brought something to the table last night and, with few exceptions, no one really tried to do too much.

Great team win Hawks.

VenomSpitter

March 20th, 2010
12:36 pm

Umm I colda sworn I saw someone refer to Joe as a Superstar. Umm no he isn’t.I like Joe, He is a very good player. An All Star. But not a Superstar. Lets just get that str8.

The Truth

March 20th, 2010
12:44 pm

GREAT WIN!!

I was at the game and believe me, it truly was a playoff atmosphere. A special shout-out to the bench players including Teague and Mo for helping set the table for the starter’s comeback; as I saw some break-downs by particular Hawk Players, I won’t criticize them because of the effort they showed during crunch time. It’s amazing how different this team play at home. If this was a road game we might have had a different outcome.

As for King James wanting JJ, I think the NBA has created a spoil brat who thinks he can just make a statement, snap his fingers and get what he wants. His influence has manifested itself (for example) in how the officials even call their games. Also how the Cleveland team manipulates the rules and then has it blessed by the NBA is yet another example. Is this where the NBA is going? The favoritism is all too glaring.

The Truth

March 20th, 2010
1:04 pm

Just to pick-up favoritism:

Now that MJ owns the Bobcats, as we saw last night, I guess we can expect more bogus and bias calls in their favor especially during the playoff.

tidog

March 20th, 2010
1:24 pm

@ tp and lewis. whats up with all the” this team needs a supertstar “to make it to the finals. any team and especially this team needs to effectively play defense, rebound, score, avoid injuries and have lady luck on their side. if having a superstar is the main prerequisite for the finals and championship, barkely, ewing, drexler, malone, stockton just to name a few would have rings.

Sautee

March 20th, 2010
1:36 pm

Choke Artist,

So, I assume you wouldn’t trade Joe straight up for Dwight Howard?

Grandad

March 20th, 2010
1:45 pm

Okay: If Stern decides joe is a superstar then Joe is a superstar.[FT's]
Example – Joe goes to NY. Joe = SS.
J + SS = more free throws + 10 more pts. on scoring avg.[30 ish]=SS.
Joe + LbJ + NY = (Jordan/Pippin), Pippin = SS.
Superstar x New York = Legacy !

Now: Best case scenario = we sign Joe. ‘Joe stays’ ! No matter What !
Alternate scenario: sign & trade – we get Gallinari (sp)
‘That’s all they have to offer’ that’s worth a flip, plus a couple of
draft choices. We lose!

benzo atl

March 20th, 2010
1:54 pm

hey TP, u a fool if u think j smith is a weak link or a bonehead. He is the fuel for this team. He is the backbone not the bone head, your lil comment sounds like u a bonehead or someone that doesnt know much about the Hawks or the NBA. He is the future son!! Reppin for J-smoove we wouldnt have 40 wins if Josh Smith wasnt a Hawk. If you from Atlanta you need to move out partner. Go be Cavz or Celtics fan u BONEHEAD. PEACE

ChokeArtist

March 20th, 2010
1:55 pm

Sautee: No I would not. Like i mentioned in my blog, i think joe is the third best player in the nba. Im not saying he needs to be paid like it because there are nights where it appears joe johnson is invisible. But I think joe is invaluable because there will be nights when you are trailing the game by 1 point with seconds left on the clock and you need a clutch shot. Joe will deliver that more often than not. We found out in the phoenix game this year that Jamal Crawford can deliver clutch shots too. But I think Joe is what I refer to as a “closer”; like LaBron and Kobe. What i mean by that is players like that can assess the situation and then deliver what is needed regardless of whether they get help from anyone or not. They can literally create their own shot. THEY CAN DELIVER ON THEIR OWN IF THEY HAVE TO. Only the closers can do that. I think Jamal Crawford certainly has become like that as well; so I think the Hawks actually have at least four closers on their team: Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smoove and Jamal Crawford have all developed into that as well. When you can depend on either of those 4 guys at cruchtime to deliver the knockout blow–YOU THEN HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBRE TEAM ON YOUR HANDS, which is just about where the Hawks are right now. The reason why I say that is that most teams may have one (1) closer. I think the Hawks have four guys like that. So the Hawks have an advantage over most teams and they really should psychologically start to feel that way. I think the Hawks are much, much better than the media or even the fans for that matter give them credit for. Case in point; when the hawks lost the game to the raptors the other night…I heard dominique wilkins in the boadcast booth say, what i felt, was he wished that the hawks had continued to feed the ball to Al Horford in the post. Horford was making every single shot down there and I felt that HORFORD WAS IN THE PROCESS OF CLOSING OUT THE GAME. Feed Horford one last time and the hawks would have posted a “W” in the win column.

Cannon

March 20th, 2010
1:57 pm

This team is a 7-8 seed without Joe Johnson. I really really hope management realizes this, and makes Joe an offer he can’t refuse.

HawksFan11

March 20th, 2010
2:02 pm

The Truth

“As for King James wanting JJ, I think the NBA has created a spoil brat who thinks he can just make a statement, snap his fingers and get what he wants. His influence has manifested itself (for example) in how the officials even call their games.”

The sad part about that is that James doesn’t need the crutch the the officials are giving him. He’s a great player in his own right. Even Kobe doesn’t get the foul calls that James get if he’s defended.

What the league has done is make the game bad for the fans. The’ve already deemed James a champion and started their campaign early this year so that everyone is on notice. (Waited too late last year and Orlando didn’t get the memo).

The best are supposed to win, and while James is the best player, it’s a team sport.

Sad.

HawksFan11

March 20th, 2010
2:10 pm

Back to Atlanta. I think all of us on this blog should start our own little campaign on behalf of ourbeloved Hawks.

Have you ever noticed on the local news how the lead stories are always college basketball GT or UGA), then The Braves, then The Thashers, and if there’s time “Hawks are at home against…”

Can this team get a little love from the home town?

Sprite, a Coca-Cola product, headquartered in Atlanta, has a billboard outside of Phillips Arena with, you guessed it, LeBron James slamming it home. I understand marketing and sponsorship, but not outside the Hawks front door. What’s the message to out stars here?

Who’s with me on this?

TP

March 20th, 2010
2:16 pm

tidog, don’t put words in my mouth young blood. I never said we needed a superstar to get to the nba finals. This team need court smart leadship which they don’t have. Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford can be good leaders but Mike has past his time and Crawford isn’t welcome to take on that role because of JJ and JS. PERIOD! Barkely and the rest of those players you mentioned at least got to the nba finals but the hawks have not since they moved to Atlanta.

Don’t mean to change the subject but I’m intrigue by the young center(Omar Samhan) who plays for St.Mary. That young man is a force to be reckoned with. Rick Sund need to take note of this kid. He could be that missing link(CENTER) we’ve been missing since 1999.

The Truth

March 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

HawksFan11

“Sprite, a Coca-Cola product, headquartered in Atlanta, has a billboard outside of Phillips Arena with, you guessed it, LeBron James slamming it home. I understand marketing and sponsorship, but not outside the Hawks front door. What’s the message to our stars here?”

Good Point

What do you propose we do?

Clyde

March 20th, 2010
3:04 pm

Horford stood there flat-footed once again when Felton drove to the basket on J smoove. A good big man would give help and try and block the shot instead of just looking at the man score the go ahead basket.

FIRE WOODY

bigdave

March 20th, 2010
3:16 pm

Omar Samhan..

boy stop. dont let poor college front lines fool ya.

northcyde

March 20th, 2010
3:23 pm

@ LesterHayes: Great post. I’ve said before on here that Joe Johnson is the most underappreciated athlete in ATLANTA SPORTS HISTORY. A lot of these fans turned on him the minute he declined that extension ( something that every major free agent this year has done . . but JJ is villifyed for it ). The ungrateful fans don’t think that he’s worth more than 15 mill a year, despite the fact that he is a top 3 or 4 SG in the NBA . . and a top 15 player. If JJ could get some dang calls, he’d easily average 23 – 26 ppg and be shooting closer to 48 – 49% FG.

@ HawksFan11: Have you ever noticed on the local news how the lead stories are always college basketball GT or UGA), then The Braves, then The Thashers, and if there’s time “Hawks are at home against…” . . .

Yes sir . . I definitely have. I’ve called out Bradley and Schultz on numerous occasions for writing negative articles on the Hawks, while not even acknowledging how great of a season this has really been for this ballclub. Instead of hyping up the team as a top 10 team in the league, they constantly ridicule the club for its shortcomings. They won’t say it, but it’s almost like they refuse to endorse this team for what it has done so far this year.