Hawks Squawks: Bucks 98, Hawks 95

J.J. took over in the fourth but faltered late. (AP Photo)

J.J. took over in the fourth but faltered late.

– The Hawks couldn’t make a playoff berth official on their second try. Elias Sports Bureau screwed up by telling the Hawks on Friday they could clinch with a victory over the Spurs, but waited until Monday to tell the league “Oops!” The Bulls won tonight so the Hawks couldn’t even back in.

– It’s tough to get down on the Hawks too much after this one. They’ve still won four of their last six. The Bucks are hot. The Hawks played a tough overtime game against the Spurs and arrived in Milwaukee early this morning.

– But just when you are ready to say the Hawks are one of those rolls that might last into the playoffs, they squander a 12-point lead and fall apart at the end in front of rowdy road fans. At least they could say they didn’t have J.J. when that happened at Toronto.

– But he was out there this time, and his Iso-Joe duel with John Salmons in the fourth quarter gave the Hawks a chance. But then Dick Bavetta called him for grabbing Salmons, a play so perplexing I looked up at the scoreboard and figured the Hawks actually had a foul to give.

– What the heck happened there? “I was just being aggressive and trying to deny him the ball,” Johnson said. “But he called a foul. That was at a crucial part of the game. That’s a tough call.”

– J.J. then missed a runner that would have tied it. That was the ninth Iso-Joe of the quarter. He made five in a row at one point but missed the last two to finish 6 of 9. “Late in ballgames, these guys look to me to make plays,” he said. “That’s what I was trying to do.”

– The Hawks could have earned a second chance on J.J.’s miss at 7.9 seconds but Luke Ridnour chased down the loose ball. The Bucks beat the Hawks 11-6 on the boards in the fourth quarter and made 11 of 19 shots. That’s how the Hawks lost despite shooting 53 percent.

– “It was a good effort considering we had an overtime game and then got in late,” Woody said. “We had our chances but we had a bad fourth quarter defensively. We gave up 31 points. We were solid on defense up until then. They got hot, made some shots. We matched shots but we couldn’t get stops when we needed top get them. We couldn’t control the dribble. Everybody just picked and choosed when they wanted to drive the ball.”

– Woody played Joe Smith and Mo 15 minutes and Zaza 10 minutes and the bench guys were effective. So you can’t say he rode his starters too hard but was fatigue a factor?

– “Out starters logged a lot of minutes in the overtime game so coming down the stretch you would think they would start to get a little tired and shots would come up short and that’s what happened,” Mo said.

– The Hawks looked to be in control after they took a 74-62 with two minutes left in the third. Even after Milwaukee started creeping back in it and the fans came to life, the Hawks still looked OK when Mo scored for a 76-67 lead to open the fourth.

– Then Salmons, Ridnour and Carlos Delfino started making shots. “They just turned it on,” Smoove said. “We had them in check pretty much the whole game and then they shots lights out early in the fourth quarter. It was hard to defend.”

– At the same time that was happening the Hawks stopped looking to Al. They were creative in getting him the ball in the first half but, just like at Toronto, they seemed to give up once the Bucks made their entry passes more difficult.

– Another invisible night from Marvin, who only took two shots. Consider his three rebounds and three turnovers vs. Delfino’s 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

– The Hawks might see the Bucks in the playoffs. I used to think it would be a tough series for the Hawks but I’m not so sure now. The Bucks play hard and are a good defensive team but for three quarters you could see how the Hawks boast much more offensive talent than the Bucks. Too much for the the Bucks to handle over a series, I think.

– “They play hard. All Skiles teams play hard,” Josh said. “They’ve got a low-post presence who demands a lot of double teams and a lot of shooters on the perimeter. They are a pretty good team.”

– “They’re deceptively good,” Mo said. “You look at their roster on paper and you don’t think they’d have respect. It’s not a team you would say is going to win a championship or go deep in the playoffs but somehow they are still able to contend and earn that respect.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

190 comments Add your comment

sam'l

March 23rd, 2010
12:07 am

Looks like the Hawks have 3 back-to-backs after this one.

Looks like the IRS will audit you if you don’t buy health insurance.

Both prospects don’ make me feel so good.

keno

March 23rd, 2010
12:23 am

This team has a glaring deficiency on defense. Every team knows that the Hawks are switching and they know what match up favors them. And as for Marvin, it seems that if the ball is moving, he should be that open guy but it always manages to be Josh. Why is that? Could it be that Marvin does not move well without the ball? Maybe the answer to the Hawks problems is a new coaching staff. I think that Woody depends on Joe too much (and yes, it is Woody that screams out those ISOs and tells everyone else to clear out).

RLP

March 23rd, 2010
12:29 am

With 12 games to go the Hawks need 5 wins to hit the 50 mark. This team is perplexing because I think the addition of Jamal makes the team better than last year by more than three wins. Both Josh and Al are better players this year than last year. Jamal is better than Flip was last year. Bibby and Marvin have both taken a step back. Joe is still Joe but he must learn to trust his teammates which is a new thing for him. From an objective standpoint this year’s team should be much better than last year. But judging on their won lost record they will appear to show only minimum improvement. My analysis is that the team still has not matured enough because at this point they still have a losing record on the road. They have improved their road record but tonight is another example just as the Toronto game of how difficult it is to win on the road. There are only three teams in the East with a winning record on the road and there are only four in the West. Winning road games is one of the true indicators of an elite team.

This season reminds me of the year they improved from 26 wins to 30 wins. The difference is that the future holds more variables because we do not know what will happen with Joe. But at this point I do not want to spend too much time pondering future developments when the final results for this year are not yet in. The team still has 12 games remaining. They could still, theoretically, tie the franchise record for most wins in a regular season just as they could still theoretically fail to make the playoffs by losing their last 12 games. So we have to conclude the regular season and then enjoy the playoffs. There the regular season record does not matter except for determining home court advantage. And that advantage can disappear in one game.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

March 23rd, 2010
12:35 am

Agreed Sam’l, keno and RLP.

Ree Roe

March 23rd, 2010
12:45 am

I agree with MC’s assessment. I’m not gonna overreact to this loss either. Look, we played a tough road game at one of the hottest teams in the NBA by 3 pts. We’ve played 4 straight 1 possession games in a row and this was the 2nd game of a back to back. I’m cutting the guys & Woody some slack. Good effort guys, we’re still tied for 3rd in the East & have a huge game vs ORL on tomorrow. That needs to be our focus moving fwd. The handwringing & nitpicking over this team needs to end

-REEalist Roe!!

Clyde

March 23rd, 2010
12:51 am

Its all about protecting the paint and the Hawks are one of the worst at it. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to us Wednesday night vs the Magic.

FIRE WOODY

rusty

March 23rd, 2010
12:55 am

joe gave them that game on a silver platter. that foul was just stupid,what a jerk. his ball hogging in the 4th quarter made our offense come to a halting stop. woody will always let him get away with this nonsance. let him go,please

bigdave

March 23rd, 2010
1:07 am

MC appreciate that link..

…not to try to find reasoning for that foul Joe committed 28ft away from the basket… but Joe likes to take away the space of the opponent.. its just usually you’ll see him do it after the catch. after John starting flailing Joe should have let up a bit… funny thing is the Bucks reach, grab, and hold an awful lot to not have a “elite” player. no complaints about the officiating though, i thought we got a way with a couple of goal tending violations. maybe its just certain match ups that are officiated differently, or players welcome certain challenges. pay close attention to how Dwight is officiated Wed. your best bet is to do your work early against him, but we tend to get an early whistle when this approach is taken. however, when watching the Leprechauns match up against him its a different story.. they’ll let Sheed and Big Perk battle and joust for position all day long and Dwight wont flop..

Wabe

March 23rd, 2010
1:18 am

I’ll be honest, I don’t get why so many people are so high on chasing and/or surpassing the Celtics to get that 3rd spot. We all know we don’t matchup so well against the Magic, so why should we be trying to pass them? It’s a game of matchups, and I think we’d have a much better shot at getting to the ECF going through Cleveland.

As for tonights game, I was disappointed, but not as disappointed as I would’ve been if we had lost LAST NIGHTS game. I still think we haven’t dealt with the 4th-quarter issue. This is something that doesn’t seem to be going away, and it’ll hurt us come playoff time if we don’t figure it out.

keno

March 23rd, 2010
1:18 am

Was that really a foul Joe committed? I have seen defenders give way more contact without a whistle being blown. I have seen Joe receive way more contact than that without a whistle being blown. That was about defensive respect and benefit of the doubt and Joe gets none from the refs. Guys like Bruce Bowen and Ron Artest can do that all game and its called good, hard defense. More importantly, that is not the reason the Hawks lost his game. The Hawks lost his game on the defensive end with the switching and mismatches.

The Truth

March 23rd, 2010
1:29 am

Woody comments during the post-game “We got to go back and look at the film and see what happen”. How many times have we heard that line? Again, how do you define insanity Woody? YOU KEEP DOING AND SAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, ONLY TO GET THE SAME RESULTS. The same switching defense (all the time) with predictable double teams, the opponent baiting Josh to take the open jumper (during crunch time); the ceasing of ball movement that leads to Iso Joe (who can’t resist taking tough shots during crunch time) while our opponents waltzes in for easy put-back may explain why we lose winnable games.

This Bucks win against the Hawks is equivalent to a Hawks win against Orlando going into the playoff. If you could imagine what that win would mean for the Hawks, then you know how satisfying this Buck win becomes to them. You can take this to the bank; they will not fear us in a first-round match-up.

AG

March 23rd, 2010
2:21 am

Good game for the most part. I see somebody in the organization does read these blogs. Somebody mentioned about Marvin always tugging and pulling on that arm brace, but now does not wear it. Also, the Hawks did not make a trade because they know they will only go as far as Marvin will take them. Unlike like last, no other Hawk starter took more than 10 shots, Joe took 27. Marvin, Hortford and Bibby 10-14 shooting. Lastly, I have told everyone, Marvin has to take 10 shots for the Hawks to win. They are 7-1 in March when he took 10 shots (he shot 1-10 in the Toronto loss), 1-1 in February and 3-0 in January. The Hawks are at 8-4 in March, finished 8-4 in February and 9-6 in January. For the season, 16-4 when Marvin takes 10 shots. Marvin is as skilled as Salmons, but he does not have the heart to do it day in and day out.

AG

March 23rd, 2010
2:22 am

This was a big game, a statement game. To beat Milwaukee in the regular season series will be big, along with any other opponent. All will be forgiving with a win over Orlando.

northcyde

March 23rd, 2010
3:52 am

Why do people have a problem with JJ actually playing like a superstar, when his shot is on? That’s what I want to know. If anybody else on the team does it, they’re celebrated. When JJ tries to do it . . he’s selfish.

LOL . . so what’s the REAL STORY behind that?

TheAntiMe

March 23rd, 2010
4:00 am

The defense, for the Hawks seems to go bye-bye for entire quarters at a time. Usually, it seems to happen in the 1st and the 4th quarters. On offense, the Hawks do much better when they get the rock inside.

Of course, most coaches know how to make defensive adjustments and usually do against the Hawks. To counter this, they need to have set plays to run for Al and Josh to get the ball inside.
(The Hawks have done this as an ad lib play on their own in the past where Josh will act like he’s cutting underneath to the left side of the floor but stops a couple of steps from the basket and cuts toward the hoop for a wide open dunk off of a pass from Bibby.) Especially if the opposing team’s defense is going to double J.J.

I can’t complain too much about the offensive lapses because the Hawks are still one of the more efficient offensive teams going but those defensive lapses just are causing them to give too many games away that they seemingly had locked up.

Alabama’s governor Riley

March 23rd, 2010
5:31 am

I wish people stop living the lie that Al’s lack of offense is the problem we we dont win. Al’s 14 points a game come from the fact that jj and Crawford shoot so well that it opens up the middle for horford who is unable to create his own shots or draw double teams like JJ and Crawford.

When the Horford nutt huggers are planting wet kisses they never mention his defense, because they cant. Defense wins basket ball games not 14 pts agame. Play some freaking defense in the middle and the hawks win. Just that simple. When ever the hawks lose check and see, you will find we were outscored in the paint 99% of the time. As clear as that is its amazing the the nut hugging posse call 14pts a game all star material. That funny. Why dont you tell me about his block shot average? How many shots he’s altered? Who hes put on the seat of their pants? THAT’S WHAT WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, NOT TRYING TO MAKE 14 PTS INTO 15!

1

Big Ray

March 23rd, 2010
5:50 am

It was a tough game on the road against a good team that has been hotter than any other since the all-star break.

At the same time, they had to employ the same tactics that other teams have been beating us with.

1) Play zone, because we will respond by jumpshooting ourselves to death.

2) Make passing into the post difficult a few times in a row. We’ll give up and start jumpshooting ourselves to death.

Marcus

March 23rd, 2010
6:02 am

@wabe,
yeah the 4Q issue is still there. Seems like we can’t get 20 pts. or more to wrap up a win. :(

JustaThought

March 23rd, 2010
6:41 am

Well it’s getting close to the end of the season, and I think you hawk fans are just starting to either realize or see this team is not what you thought it was or was going to be by this time………

The Real Hawk

March 23rd, 2010
6:48 am

Are we going to get out of this funk of losing to teams that seem to want it more than us? Especially when they have worse records.
Back to the coaching!

joBjo

March 23rd, 2010
7:16 am

free throws cost the Hawks this game. Hawks were 6 for 13.

joBjo

March 23rd, 2010
7:18 am

Hawks lost the battle of the boards too. Bucks 49, Hawks 44. counting team rebounds.

SWAT Native

March 23rd, 2010
7:30 am

Like AG said earlier, make up for this tough loss with a win over Orlando tomorrow night. I would gladly make that trade.

Grandad

March 23rd, 2010
7:32 am

Sybil, your [-]basketball IQ amazes me.

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
7:40 am

Good game by Joe. Considering he missed some games for his Achilles, and has picked up basically where he left off, says a lot. Hawks need to resign Joe.

That being said, if that was Josh who committed that foul against Salmons, people would be quick to jump on Josh. Joe has to do a better job of not getting a foul called in a tie game down the stretch like that.

I won’t be too hard on the guys though, because we’ve played 4 close games in 5 nights, against playoff teams.

Disappointments from the loss;

1) Free throw shooting. You can’t go 6-13 in a close game against a good team on the road and expect to win.

2) We didn’t go to Al Horford enough in the 4th. He was 5-5, we saw what he did against the Spurs in the fourth quarter, and he also had a good fourth quarter against the Raptors. But just like in the Toronto game, down the stretch, Hawks did not find a way to get him the ball enough.

3) Nothing from Marvin. This guy is so up and down, I don’t get it.

4) Hawks had 4 more FG than the Bucks, but the Bucks were +4 in assists, and +7 in rebounds.

5) fourth quarter defense. Playing back to back, maybe our tired legs was a contributing factor though.

Two Special Requests:

Can somebody please tell Woody that teams are taking advantage of the switching defense? Even Ridnour was making shots over Al Horford. The switching has been abused by the Bobcats, Spurs, and now the Bucks. Adjust Woody, adjust.

Can somebody please tell Josh to stop taking those long jumpers (unless the shot clock is under 5 seconds)? What was he doing posted up by the 3 pt line on that pass from JJ? Same thing against the Bobcats, he was posted up by the 3 pt line for the last shot. He should be on his way to the paint.

Hawks need to beat Orlando just to get over the mental hump though.

Willie Coyote

March 23rd, 2010
7:40 am

Another come-from-ahead loss

terrell

March 23rd, 2010
7:59 am

Just imagine if Teague had commited that horrible foul on Salmons. Wow! Woody woulda tore him a new one. That foul basically lost the game. Come on Joe, your’re better than that.

terrell

March 23rd, 2010
8:02 am

The season is almost over, and people are still telling the old stubborn one to adjust. Please!

terrell

March 23rd, 2010
8:05 am

Anything from the sf spot woulda got us a victory. Marvin was a NO-SHOW. Again. How can you score 26 one night, and 2 the next?

JeJe

March 23rd, 2010
8:12 am

So if we don’t resign Joe, we are screwed? We cannot go over cap by signing outside free agents. SIGNING JOE OR S&T JOE IS ONLY CHOICE

JeJe

March 23rd, 2010
8:14 am

WHY DO WE STILL SWITCH ON DEFENSE? WHY DO WE SWITCH HORFORD ONTO MANU GINOBILI?

Nacho

March 23rd, 2010
8:23 am

If you scratch below the surface of Woody, you really don’t find that much in terms of coaching.

Nacho

March 23rd, 2010
8:23 am

That foul by Joe was stupid!

Section 303

March 23rd, 2010
8:25 am

Michael,

I had the same thoughts. I was afraid of the Bucks series, too. Not anymore. I think the Hawks will be able to outscore that team when they have to. Plus, in the playoffs, there will be no more back-to-backs.

If I have one concern, however, it is Solmans. He has become a Hawks Killer.

terrell, get off Marvin’s back. Really, how many chances did he have? Crawford took things over in the 2nd-3rd, and it was all Joe in the 4th. Marvin has been playing well. I think some on here just look for reasons to bash him.

AG

March 23rd, 2010
8:38 am

Why is anyone complaining about Hortford? Do the math and look at my other post. Marvin is the key. Two shots? I know Joe is our man, but even Jordan had his Pippen. JJ’s game is much better when teams are not doubling etc. Coach has to see what is going on and make the adjustments – so when Marvin took off last night, he should have played Mo 30 min.

lewis

March 23rd, 2010
8:41 am

good game. starters played too many minutes. josh smith waited too long to be aggressive. marvin williams looked great taking it to the paint twice then he got scared and didn’t touch it. Marvin just isn’t good at running around on offense and getting open, he’s hardly even a distraction. I think he’s one of the tougher players on defense and to defend, he can wear down other teams when he wants to, but where is his heart? Joe and Jamal looked great today, needed a little more out of Josh and Marvin. Al is Al, he could be one of the best PF in the league. We throw Zaza at center. Marvin becomes a more agressive scorer and defender and stays at PF. Josh comes off the bench until he learns to do more than just block shots on D.

lewis

March 23rd, 2010
8:43 am

tidog

March 23rd, 2010
9:04 am

@ lewis, josh come off the bench until he learns to do more than block shots. Maybe u are from the planet Zendron and haven’t watched the maturation of josh smith this season. When the shot blocker is on the bench who blocks the shots?

MsDee

March 23rd, 2010
9:06 am

For once, I will not blame Joe for this loss but what I would have changed about the last shot is for Joe to have taken the shot much quicker than just dribbling the time down just to go base line for a very difficult shot with not enough time to really get the rebound or to foul in time for another chance at scoring. I remember that NY game when NAte was playing for them and if I’m not mistaken, that game went into OT also. It was about 14 sec left in the game and NY was down by 2 or 3 points. Instead of Nate holding the ball til the last posible sec, Nate IMMEDIATELY ran in to score the ball for a 3 point play. What he did was, he scored QUICK unlike Joe. We already didnt have another timeout left so Joe really should have tried to score quickly to give us enough time to either get a rebound for a put back or to foul early to get the ball back. I believe if we had a little more time when Jamal attempted that last shot, he probably would have made it or been a better looking shot because of more time on the game clock.

Tim

March 23rd, 2010
9:09 am

Someone please explain something to me. Why do NBA teams use “getting in late” as a challenge to playing the next day (as Woodson did when referring to last night’s loss). These guys grow up playing basketball all day long, and now they find 80 minutes of basketball (and that’s if you’re Joe Johnson) in 24 hours a challenge?

MsDee

March 23rd, 2010
9:12 am

Oh and Joe made a bad foul on Salmons, not a good decision at that time in the game but other than that, Joe played like an All-Star/Super Star up to that point in the game. He made great shots in the paint and he should have taken the last shot. If that was Wade, LeBron, or Bryant scoring the way Joe did in the 4th, they would have definely taken the last shot as well. And speaking of those players, when they take those same shots and miss them, their fans screams down their necks as well of their blogs so I guess that comes with the territory of being a elite player in this league.

tidog

March 23rd, 2010
9:21 am

@ Tim, when is the last time your body has exerted the type of energy a NBA player body does over week. We are fragile humans and our bodies get tired. Athletes bodied are better tuned for heavy exertion more so the joe blow the traveling saleman and it tires. It requires rest.

Kitis

March 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

The free throws and 4th qtr D is what cost us this one. Other than that, not a bad showing all things considered. Marv needs to play with an attitude to be effective like he was against SA.

I just don’t get why Woody needed to call a timeout with 21 seconds left. So he could draw up an Iso-Joe play? Saving that TO for another possession (like after Ridnour missed his second FT) would’ve been HUGE in giving us a much better look to tie the game.

PMC

March 23rd, 2010
9:32 am

Lets just get 50 plus wins in the next 12. I don’t really care how that happens at this point.

O'Brien

March 23rd, 2010
9:34 am

Tim,

The 85 minutes of basketball is a challenge, but one big reaason they were tired is because of the travel built in (flying to Milwaukee, getting in late, only a few hours of sleep, then practice). if they played both games in ATL, it wouldn’t be so bad.

MsDee

March 23rd, 2010
9:42 am

Well, that comes with the territory of playing in the NBA. All those guys know there are many back-to-back games and ‘in 1 city 1 night and in another city the next night’. That is no surprise for these guys. Its up to the coach to allow the main guys to get enough rest by playing the bench more. Teague didnt even touch the floor last night. Again, the coach needs to rest his players more, esp on a back to back night.

MsDee

March 23rd, 2010
9:45 am

Maybe Joe fouled Salmons because he was tired!! If you notice, he was basically laying on the guy while trying to deny him the ball. Joe dont always make mistakes like that..Woodson should have sat him most of the 3rd so that he would have been fresh in the 4th.

Hawk n the Ham

March 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

Like MC said, you can tell the Hawks are a different level than the Bucks, even though they lost energy in the 4th (which is understanding from the last 2 OT games).

Let’s talk Orlando! Phillips needs to be RAWKIN tomorrow night!

Tim

March 23rd, 2010
9:55 am

I’m not talking about my body, I’m talking about an athlete that is paid millions of dollars to be in world-class shape. I agree basketball requires more athleticism than most sports, but there are athletes (soccer comes to mind) whose performance wouldn’t be hindered from 80 minutes of a stop and start sport in 24 hours.

Andy

March 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

Two nights in a row Joe Johnson has missed a game winning or tying shot. Yet he thinks he is kobe and lebron. He’s not even Bosh. This is why this team will lose to Milwaukee in the first round. Joe is an overrated joke.