Hawks Squawks: Hawks 109, Lakers 92

– The Hawks dominated the Lakers in every which way. The offense was unstoppable. The defense was excellent. The bench was superb.

– The Lakers are tougher with Andrew Bynum (Achilles’) of course but that shouldn’t take away from the Hawks’ complete effort. “Any time you beat the Lakers, the defending (NBA) champions, it speaks volumes,” Woody said. “If we are committed for 48 minutes we can beat any team in the league, I really believe that.”

– It sure looked like it tonight. The defensive intensity, rotations, closeouts and rebounding were all on point. “Guys got after it,” Marvin said. “We took on the individual challenge to defend.”

– “I was satisfied with every position defensively,” Woody said, and how many times does he say that?

Kobe got 28 points but only eight after halftime. He showed why he’s the best during that 14-point second quarter, when the Hawks did pretty much everything they could to slow him but he just made tough shots.

– “They did a fantastic job,” he said. “They’re playing with a lot of energy and confidence.”

J.J. was just as good as Kobe with 25 points, eight assists and just one turnover. “Joe played like I thought he would play,” Woody said. “Kobe brings out the best in everybody.”

– “Just for the Lakers, period,” J.J. said. “Because they’ve been so dominant over the years.”

– After halftime, the Hawks hardly heard a peep from Lakers fans. “There were a lot of Lakers fans but that’s to be expected,” Mo said. “They’ve earned that. But it was good to have our fans cheer for us by the time the game ended. We definitely are going to need that support,”

– It’s not like the Lakers weren’t motivated. They are way clear of Dallas at the top of the Western Conference and probably won’t catch Cleveland for the league’s top record. But Kobe had said they were “on edge” after losing at New Orleans on Monday because they don’t want to relax heading to the playoffs.

– “They just outplayed us,” Phil Jackson said. “Regardless of inspiration, they beat us to balls, they were quicker to the offensive boards.”

– Good move by Woody to stick with Zaza over Al, who was strangely passive–why did he keep passing up those open jumpers Gasol was giving him?

– Zaza made a difference. It wasn’t just the 10 points and 10 rebounds, it was the way he made sure the Lakers got nothing easy when they came into his area. And no one fires up the guys on the bench like Zaza, whose highlight was a drive through the lane after a dunk after faking a pass.

– Mo (18 points, 7/9 FG) also was good off the bench. The Rook’ was solid. With those three getting it done it hardly mattered that Jamal had an off night shooting (5 of 14).

– “Our bench was huge again tonight,” Woody said. “They’ve been playing extremely well and we’re going to need them to play that way the rest of the way.”

– Woody seems to be trusting his reserves more. Tonight makes six straight games of at least 14-plus minutes for Mo, six straight games of 10-plus minutes for Zaza and two straight games of nine-plus minutes for Teague.

– “We are starting to get more opportunities to play,” Mo said. “We need to step in and get our rhythm as well (as the starters).”

– The Hawks had just five turnovers, none in the second half, and against six steals.

– J.J. had a swollen right thumb. “In the first quarter I was rasslin’ with Artest,” he said. “My thumb bent back. I was just keeping a heat pack on it.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

128 comments Add your comment

Freshmaker

March 31st, 2010
11:30 pm

First! Great job Hawks!!!

Freshmaker

March 31st, 2010
11:32 pm

JT0 can get UP btw. Loved his breakaway dunk in the 2nd half. Awesome game from Joe too – neither Artest nor Kobe could do anything to him. He burned Kobe with a crossover real good in the 4th. Great bench play. Mo Evans…wow. Hope we can play like this in Cleveland on Friday.

nick

March 31st, 2010
11:41 pm

I’m just glad to see the hawks play with some attitude. They didn’t let the lakers push them around got a couple of techs called a hard flagrant on gasol and just overall physical play. If they play like this. On friday lebron will be pouting just like kobe was tonight. Go hawks
!!!!

Melvin

March 31st, 2010
11:46 pm

Get the Lakers and that oversize Lay-z boy chair out of Philips areana… Bring on the Queen….

BirdDawg

March 31st, 2010
11:48 pm

Man this was awesome. That’s why it’s so maddening when they play down to their level of competition. Because the Hawks are capable of games like this on almost any night against any competition. Even mighty Cleveland and Orlando.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2010
12:01 am

Hawks deserve a standing O for this game. I’m sure Lakers fans will use the absence of Bynum as an excuse, but Bynum has never been worth a 17-point swing. Wish I saw this game, but just looking at the box score and the blog posts, it’s pretty clear that the bench came to play and the defensive effort never let up. Great win.

Seattle Hawks Fan

April 1st, 2010
12:02 am

I hope the Hawks turn it on like this in the playoffs!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2010
12:03 am

Oh yeah, and y’all need to coordinate. Mark Bradley loves to f-ck with us by opening a Hawks live blog every few weeks or so, and all it ends up doing is splitting the usual Hawks blog traffic in two. Love the work you put in, MC, but one live blog is better than two (or three). Especially when someone like me has to go to three different blogs to see what people were saying during the game.

JeJe

April 1st, 2010
12:08 am

JeJe

April 1st, 2010
12:09 am

Why the heck was T.I. allowed at the game? No one wants to see that 5″4 felon

J.J.M.

April 1st, 2010
12:13 am

JeJe atl loves t.i. thats why hes the king of the south….by the way anybody thinks mo evans will start soon?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2010
12:14 am

Just saw some of these highlights. Looks like Zaza played even better than his stat line.

I was hoping for a Zaza vs. Kobe fight, but I guess Mo Evans and Ron Artest glaring at each other is better than nothing.

They didn’t say anything about the crowd during the highlight video, but I’m hoping the Hawks fans in attendance shut the Lakers fans up.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 1st, 2010
12:15 am

I did see one possession in the first half, when Joe Johnson was D-ing up Kobe and forced him into an airball. That may be as good as I’ve seen anyone defend Kobe on a possession in his career. Joe straight up embarrassed him.

Greg

April 1st, 2010
12:20 am

Looking at the schedule a couple of weeks ago, this game shaped up great for the Hawks. Rested and catching the Lakers on the last game of a 5 game road swing.

The Hawks deserve some credit for their D, but the fact of the matter is that the Lakers missed a lot of open 3’s tonight. They couldn’t buy one from out there until the beginning of the 4th quarter when the game was pretty much out of reach.

5 of the next 7 on the road. Another chance for the Hawks to prove that they are contenders, not pretenders. Gotta be able to beat some good teams on the road to have any chance to advance in the playoffs.

drmaryb

April 1st, 2010
12:29 am

JeJe

Go to sleep! Puh-lease.

Big John

April 1st, 2010
12:33 am

JeJe – Every time I look at this site, I get turned off with the FIRE WOODY statment. Give the man and the team a break. No matter what the team does he will never get any respect, evan though better basketball mines than you think he is doing a fine job. I don’t know if you come to the games, but you do have the right to bitch when they do bad, but at least give him and the team some props when they play well, and tonight they played very well. Tonight 1/4 of the sell out crowd or maybe 1/3 was Laker Fans. Why don’t you comment on that.

BirdDawg

April 1st, 2010
1:01 am

Haven’t seen the last few games before this one. So is Woody finally making effective use of his bench or is the bench just playing more effectively when he uses them? Either way, I hope it continues. The team I saw tonight can make a serious run. Now, if someone could just get Marvin an adrenaline shot, this team would be in business.

drmaryb

April 1st, 2010
1:03 am

JeJe = Clyde

lewis

April 1st, 2010
1:14 am

“Oh yeah, and y’all need to coordinate. Mark Bradley loves to f-ck with us by opening a Hawks live blog every few weeks or so, and all it ends up doing is splitting the usual Hawks blog traffic in two. Love the work you put in, MC, but one live blog is better than two (or three). Especially when someone like me has to go to three different blogs to see what people were saying during the game.”

AGREED

The Truth

April 1st, 2010
1:20 am

TheAntiMe

April 1st, 2010
1:22 am

Thanks Hawks, you really made us proud tonight. The Hawks played D with that F word that you often hear about but don’t always see. Of course that word is Focus. And although the Lakers seemed to hardly play any defense at all, you have to give it to the Hawks for being able to exploit what is normally a very good defensive team by executing at a high level on offense.

This was an awesome win for the Hawks. It did my heart good to see all of those Lakers fans in their Kobe Bryant jerseys having to shut the funk up. They came to Philips fully expecting to be able to talk smack to the Hawks fans after the game and it was nice to see them on TV, almost all of them looking like they wanted to cry.

If the Hawks can carry some of this momentum with them up to Cleveland, it could be a huge boost for them when the playoffs roll around in a few weeks.

DecentJ

April 1st, 2010
1:40 am

Look at the Lakers Report…they said Jamal had the flagrant??

“Later in the quarter, Jamal Crawford was called for a flagrant foul for taking down Pau Gasol with 8:59 left.

– Broderick Turner, reporting from Atlanta

sam'l

April 1st, 2010
2:04 am

Next, Hawks over Cleveland. Apparently, the Hawks are really very good. They just have to get excited. What a great game!

Big Ray

April 1st, 2010
2:26 am

That was an awesome game. The Hawks played ball for a full 4 quarters, and it showed.

Credit that to the team and the coaching staff. Don’t give one ounce of that to it being the Lakers and “Kobe bringing out the best in everybody.” What a bunch of hogwash.

Joe Johnson didn’t just outduel Kobe Bryant. He was a better leader, better teammate, and better player last night. Two of my favorite plays included Joe harassing Kobe into an airball, then Joe blowing right by him on the other end, and scoring at the rim. Take that!

Woody did a masterful job in this game. Not only did he make the right substitutions at the right time, but he kept those guys in the mix the whole time, rather than yanking them at the end of the first half, never to return in the second. And man, did they respond.

Zaza was great. He played well beyond his stat line, and nobody on this team gets in your face quicker than he does! When Mo Evans pushed Ron Artest (after Artest fouled him TWICE in the same play, and got away with it), and Artest came after him, it was Zaza who shoved him away. Make no mistake, Zaza wasn’t there to break up that impending fight. He was there to fight for his teammate. Say what you want about him. We need that guy.

For those who want to credit that loss, even partially, to the absence of Bynum, let me give you some perspective. The Lakers got to the NBA Finals (and didn’t lose easily to the Celtics) with that same lineup in ‘07-’08. Not only was Bynum missing, but they didn’t have Ron Artest, they had Trevor Ariza. So save the excuses. Nobody ever feels sorry for the mighty Lakers. They didn’t lose that game.

The Hawks won it.

Big Daddy

April 1st, 2010
3:04 am

This was a great win and confidence builder for the Hawks. The guys played their hearts out and played as a team. The bench came in and did one of the best jobs they have done all season. We will definitely make more than 50 wins this season and if we play like we played tonight we should finish no worse than 5-3 in the final stretch. Woody did a great job tonight and having been at games for the Hawks were the ATL fans looked like the minority, the crowd tonight was overwhelmingly loud and for the home team. I loved that pan around the crowd to all the solemn Lakers fans. GO HAWKS!!!!!

Clyde

April 1st, 2010
3:05 am

Clyde

April 1st, 2010
3:08 am

REGULAR SEASON GAMES DON’T MEAN NOTHIN’.

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

April 1st, 2010
3:10 am

When we get swept by the Magic or the Cavs in the second round we will remember blowing out the Lakers at home.

FIRE WOODY

HawksFan11

April 1st, 2010
3:19 am

The Hawks played all 48 minutes like the great team we all know they can be. The enitre team contributed, 7 players in double figures in scoring, the Captain showing the way on both ends of the floor, hell Jason Collins even matched Marvin Williams in scoring.

I loved how the LA faithful fell virtually silent from halftime on.

Great win Hawks.

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

April 1st, 2010
4:21 am

Great win for Hawks. It was over the Lakers AND the bench showed up.

It’s always nice when you see guys like Mo Evans stepping up

JeJe

April 1st, 2010
4:51 am

“So is Woody finally making effective use of his bench or is the bench just playing more effectively when he uses them? ”

Watch us play other good teams and you be the judge. The guy said we will shorten our rotation in the playoffs (what, we’re going from 7 players to 6.5?) but that Joe Smith and J.Collins should look out for minutes. He has no idea how to use his rotations. The only reason Mo got minutes was because Joe was hurt early. ZaZa took forever to get in in the 2nd half and Teague got “big” minutes compared to what he usually gets.

Lacsho

April 1st, 2010
6:33 am

I don’t care what anyone says, the Hawks played like an elite team last night. As another blogger stated that game last night is maddening to a lot of us. We know the Hawks can duplicate last nights performance on any giving night, but mentally there are nights when they just don’t show up. (That’s every team in the NBA, but the Hawks seem to play down to their competition).

The entire team and coaching staff did an excellent job last night. Big Up to Woodrow, the team executed and played their azz off. This is one game that won’t be deleted from my DVR.

Nuff Respect!!!!

Marcus

April 1st, 2010
6:35 am

@JJM (12:13 am comment) … Would Marvin Williams be better coming off the bench? He was a 6th man in his only season at UNC and was made a starter probably by virtue of his projected talent/draft position/contract.
Granted, Mo might not be the best fit as a starter either, but consider something………until maybe drafting someone in June so M. Williams can be our 6th/7th man.

wordy

April 1st, 2010
7:42 am

great game- all the internet rags are saying it was the Lakers that lost it.

O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
7:46 am

Did not see the game, but from reading the blogs and seeing highlights, this was a great win for the Hawks. Players played great, and Woody coached great.

This is the ZaZa Rick thought we were getting when we resigned him. If he can play like this in the playoffs, it will allow Woody to go with ZaZa, Al and Josh on the court together (depending on matchups). And if Al happens to get early fouls, ZaZa can step in and keep it going. We need that.

Great job defensively too. This just reinforces (to me) that JJ can be an elite defender when he wants to.

Starters played well, and bench played well.

I’m starting to think that starting Mo over Marvin might not be the thing to do. Because Mo might not be as effective on the starting 5, and Marvin might not be any better on the bench. We just need Marvin to play solid defense, crash the boards, and make the open shot. But he has to step his game up in the playoffs, especially in the second round.

Good job by Woody sticking with the bench again. And they have responded with their play. I did read a couple comments that make you wonder if the bench is taking a subtle jab at Woody for not playing them consistently until recently.

From espn.com, “”You can’t win the championship with five guys,” Pachulia said.”We have some great players on the bench. Why not use them?”

From ajc.com, “We are starting to get more opportunities to play,” Mo said.

Anyways, on to Cleveland for a date with the King. Last time we played them in Cleveland, it was the second of a back to back, and we had a chance to win that game (shot-clock malfunction). Hopefully Hawks can build on this effort on Friday, and beat the Cavs.

wordy

April 1st, 2010
7:47 am

oh and John Hollinger thinks we face near certain defeat at Cleveland.

Nacho

April 1st, 2010
8:11 am

Good job Hawks and Woody! Also good luck against Cleveland and the NBA refs who will do all that they can do to help the King.

[...] Hawks Blog – AJC [...]

i_am_soulstar

April 1st, 2010
8:47 am

48 minutes of serendipity. What more can I say? Go Hawks!!!

Daniel

April 1st, 2010
8:51 am

Great game for the Hawks. A complete effort all around. ZaZa was player of the game for good reason. The bench crew really has bonded together and has developed an identity. I was a little dissapointed with the number of Laker fans at the game (I guess I shouldn’t have been), but the team let us homers rub it in all their faces!!!!

A note, on a highlight package after Al gets his third foul in the second quarter the camera cuts to a serious looking ZaZa and Crawford leans over and is giving him a pep talk in his ear. Now, that is what I am talking about!!!!!

One more thing, Joe Johnson is the man.

Ry

April 1st, 2010
8:52 am

Great game. The only thing that bugs me is the qoute from Joe about stepping up his game against the Lakers. How about stepping up your game no matter the opponent. Why can the Hawks not play like that in most games.

Zach

April 1st, 2010
9:07 am

Big Ray/MC,

MIke Bibby again is a stud, and most likely the reason for the hawks victory over the lakers. He’s going to dominate in the playoffs when he decides to play past the first 2 minutes of the game.

Question: did you see the free throw stats on the bucks/cavs game? 45-9 in favor of the cavs? 17-0 in the fourth quarter? What! How is that possible

darrell starks

April 1st, 2010
9:29 am

Good game last night way 2 go hawks.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

April 1st, 2010
9:32 am

Again marvin is M.I.A. woody need 2 starte moe starting friday and lets see how marvin respond coming of the bench, i don’t understand why is it so hard for woody 2 starte moe over marvin.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

Mike is Back

April 1st, 2010
9:34 am

Clyde, u no we folk and all…but get some rest on this one broooooooooooooo. THE HAWKS KICK SOME ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS LAST NITE. THAT’S WHATZUP!!!

Big Ray, good call on Zaza. HE CLEANED THAT SCUFFLE WITH ARTEST UP QUIT. LOL

Halla @ Ya Boy

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

April 1st, 2010
9:37 am

Woody did a great job coaching last night the bench got plenty of min, that how you develop your bench, but teague still need more P.T and joe smith need 2 play more 2, other than that woody did great.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Sleepy

April 1st, 2010
9:40 am

Its a home game and they played the way they should play and the way we should expect them to play at home. They should be congratulated but lets not get overboard . The ROAD game tomorrow night against a possible playoff matchup is where the statement needs to be made .

darrell starks

April 1st, 2010
9:41 am

Friday night before the game woody need 2 curse out every referee and let them no we are not taking this B.S. TONIGHT.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

MoMoJo

April 1st, 2010
9:49 am

To Zach: “How is that possible?” First of all, if you look at NBA box scores, the Bucks are always on the wrong side of Free Throw Attempts, and if you saw the Cleveland-Milwaukee game last night, you would understand. The Cavs took the game into the paint and the Bucks foul like mad man – which may not be bad against the Cavs, they are not a good free throw shooting team. Within these comments (and in past comments), fans line up to claim the league has special rules for Lebron when it comes to fouling. Get off of it – none of you see enough games to be able to make that comment. The man is a freight train going to the hoop and most of time there is a lot of contact, which gets called and many times does not. You all should “buck up” on those comments, they are lame.

Hawk n the Ham

April 1st, 2010
9:50 am

How many feet back was JJ’s last 3 pointer?? That kid shot it all the way from Mableton. It was the salt in the wound.