Hawks Squawks: Pistons 90, Hawks 88

Austin Daye is one of the Pistons fill-ins who beat the Hawks. (AP)

Austin Daye is one of the Pistons fill-ins who beat the Hawks. (AP)

Auburn Hills–No excuses for the Hawks this time. The Pistons saw the Hawks missing their leading scorer (J.J.) and raised them their top three (Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey, who left the game early).

– In 15 road games since the All-Star break, the Hawks are 5-8 when they either had a lead or a tie in the fourth quarter. Of those games, tonight was the fifth time the Hawks blew a lead in the final two minutes.

– After this latest collapse the Hawks sounded much the same as they did following the others. “Same thing,” Mo said. “We just relaxed a little bit and got careless and thought we had the game in the bag and we let it slip away.”

– “We self-destructed again coming down the stretch,” Woody said. “We’ve got to figure it out.”

– And it’s not simply a matter of getting one of their closers back in J.J., who after all was on the floor for six of those eight blown road losses. “(Even) when he was here, we had to figure that out,” Jamal said.

– “Joe is a big part of what we do,” Woody said. “No doubt we are better with him on the floor. But we controlled this game until the end tonight. We didn’t make the plays we needed down the stretch.”

– Since the Hawks say these things over and over and yet still keep blowing these leads on the road, could it be they simply aren’t good enough? Because the Cavs, Magic and Celtics close out opponents on the road and they are 1-2-3 in the East. The Hawks are good enough to dominate at home and almost always give themselves a chance on the road but they can’t put up consistent Ws, so they are No. 4.

– The glaring number was the 16 points the Hawks scored in the fourth quarter. That’s the fifth time the Hawks failed to break 20 points in those eight blown road losses.

– The Pistons shot just 8 of 21 in the fourth quarter but were 7 of 7 on free throws to 3 for 8 for the Hawks had no turnovers to the Hawks’ three.

–”We missed free throws, we missed shots we normally make, we had turnovers,” Bibby said. “We were up one with the ball and it just didn’t go the way we wanted it to go.”

– That’s because with the Hawks leading 85-84 they threw the ball away and Bibby was called for a foul while trying to get it back. Good start for Bibby but a bad finish. “It was our veteran guards that turned it over,” Woody said. “That just shouldn’t happen.”

– Bibby then had to rush a 3-pointer after Ben Wallace deflected a pass that went into the backcourt. How does that happen on such a crucial possession?

– Before that, Josh missed two big free throws. They’ve become a problem. He’s down to 61.2 percent for the season. He’s also still taking (and missing) long jumpers. If one or the other keeps happening, then maybe it’s OK because of the many good things he does. If both continue, especially in fourth quarters, it could mean trouble.

– It seemed like it took two seconds for Austin Daye to collect Smoove’s second missed free throw and give it to Will Bynum for a ridiculously easy and-1. It actually took 6.5 seconds so I guess that means the Hawks offered resistance by their standards.

– Jamal was just 2 for 7 in the fourth quarter and missed all four 3-point attempts. He probably will benefit the most from J.J.’s return.

– The Hawks were outclassed by a young, ragtag group of Pistons. Daye, Bynum, and Jonas Jerebko all made winning plays. “We just gave this game away, I thought,” Woody said.

– Ben Gordon has done a little something in the league, at least, but then doesn’t that make it worse that the Hawks left him open at the 3-point line when they were up 84-78? Of course, losing shooters in crucial situations is nothing new for the Hawks, either.

– “Ben hit some big threes for them because we were hugging on the weak side because we didn’t rotate,” Woody said.”Those are things we have to clean up as we come down the home stretch and start thinking about playoff basketball.”

– “It’s turnovers, missed free throws, a lot of things that happen that let leads get away from us,” Smoove said.

– “We’ve got to figure it out,” Jamal said. “We play good for 3 1/2 quarters on the road and then we fall apart late.”

– It’s starting to feel like the Hawks will be saying the same thing after they are dismissed from the playoffs. Man, has any 50-win team (probably?) ever had so many issues? Or are these things really correctable and I’m just making too much of it?

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

215 comments Add your comment

sam'l

April 7th, 2010
11:57 pm

just beat the heat and the cavaliers in the playoffs…we’ll forget these two

BONE

April 7th, 2010
11:57 pm

sam'l

April 8th, 2010
12:00 am

Actually MC, you are right, but since we’ve been saying the same thing for the entire season, it’s finally gotten tiring. So, I’m rolling with the Hawks and again if we beat the heat and get cavaliers it’s all okay dokay……

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
12:00 am

Did Wdsn really say: “We’ve got to figure it out.” again?

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
12:11 am

Mike Woodson is to the Hawks as Michael Scott is to Dunder Mifflin.

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
12:13 am

Najeh Davenpoop

April 8th, 2010
12:16 am

“Since the Hawks say these things over and over and yet still keep blowing these leads on the road, could it be they simply aren’t good enough?”

In terms of talent, they are easily good enough. That’s what gets all of us so frustrated when they blow games like this time and time again. If this was a one-man team like Miami or a scrappy overachiever like Milwaukee, we would probably be thrilled with 49 wins and wouldn’t care one way or another whether or not they drop a game like this every now and then.

The problem with this team is squarely between the ears, and that’s something they better get fixed before the playoffs start.

VenomSpitter

April 8th, 2010
12:19 am

Gucci Mane’s Lyrics are more complex than Woody’s offense

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
12:22 am

Typical of today’s overpaid spoiled athletes to come in and not give full effort. Today’s players have no pride at all. Losing to a team like Detroit had out there today should leave the Hawk players feel embarrassed and you know they feel no such thing. They should have enough pride to play hard enough to make sure a loss like tonight doesn’t happen. But this is typical of the modern NBA and it’s a big reason why the league struggles and has such a small fanbase. Let’s face it, the NBA doesn’t have a lot of fans and it’s easy to see why.

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
12:22 am

“We’ve got to figure it out,” Jamal said.

“We self-destructed again coming down the stretch,” Woody said. “We’ve got to figure it out.”

FIRE WOODY

BirdDawg

April 8th, 2010
12:23 am

Didn’t catch the game tonight, but THE PISTONS?!!! REALLY?!! Groundhog Day once again.

BirdDawg

April 8th, 2010
12:27 am

Najeh D, I agree with you completely. How hard could it be to figure out that you keep playing and stay focused until the clock shows all zeros? No team in the league is good enough to stop playing and still win so why do the Hawks keep trying to prove that they are?

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
12:28 am

The Hawks haven’t truly been a good basketball team since being in Atlanta. That doesn’t change now.

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
12:42 am

FIGURE THIS OUT

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
12:48 am

I hope Woody can figure things out before the playoffs. smh

FIRE WOODY

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
12:53 am

Anthony:

I beg to differ. The 6 players who played, played hard, as far as I could tell. In the 4th qtr., they were gassed.

As far as the Hawks never winning a championship [Atl.], then you
are historically accurate. However, saying they have never been a
‘good’ basketball team, I must challenge that observation.
My 1st query to you is how far back does your appraisal measure.
2nd does your personal discernment extend to the mid 60’s?

BONE

April 8th, 2010
12:57 am

IM ABOARD………….FIRE WOODRO

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
1:00 am

Bone I got some fresh t-shirts coming for the summer. Welcome aboard. Feel free to use a FIRE WOODY as much as you like.

FIRE WOODY

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
1:02 am

I beg to differ. The 6 players who played, played hard, as far as I could tell. In the 4th qtr., they were gassed.”

If you think this team played hard and still lost to that team Detroit fielded tonight you can’t possibly believe the Hawks are a truly good basketball team. That was basically a minor league team the Hawks lost to tonight. The hawks ARE losers. The whole thing about them being gassed is nonsense.

I don’t count the 60’s when the league had so many white players.

The Hawks haven’t even made the finals. They’re a bad franchise. Nearly as bad as you will see in professional sports. Heck, the owners are even inept and can’t even get along.

It’s obvious why almost nobody cares about the Hawks. Truthfully, nobody should go watch them and only complete fools go to Hawks games.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
1:03 am

Clyde:

How long has Wdsn been here? 6 yrs.?
Why would he all of a sudden figure it out in less than a month?
You know that last question was rhetorical.

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
1:05 am

lol @grandad

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
1:09 am

Grandad where ya lady doctor friend at? Maybe she can help Woody #figureitout

FIRE WOODY

Smooth

April 8th, 2010
1:09 am

The way I look at it right now, the Hawks are just facing a bit of adversity trying to adjust to playing without a key player in Joe Johnson. Think about how much of an impact Joe has on offense. Now, while that is something I think the Hawks need to get away from, it still isn’t going to happen instantly. As far as tonight’s loss, it was a 2 point loss, not a blowout, and this type of loss does not only happen to the Hawks. Think about the Laker’s road trip last week. They lost to just about everyone they faced and got destroyed by the Hawks, but unlike here, you don’t hear people saying that they are not good enough because they lost a couple of close games. The point is that this type of thing happens to even the best teams once in a while and the team’s record reflects how good they are.

The only key issue I see coming from this is that the Hawks tend to underestimate sub .500 teams a bit too often. On a positive note, you rarely see the Hawks with a lack of effort or a bad game against the elite teams in the league. So, as far as the playoffs are concerned, if the Hawks can defeat their first round opponent, they should have no lack of motivation for future rounds considering they will be facing some very prestigious teams from then on.

Right now, the biggest focus needs to be upon regaining that third seed. History has shown that any time the Hawks go on a mini-losing streak, they tend to rebound nicely, and it is likely that they will rebound from this well. Even if the third seed does not make much of a difference to some of you, it is a large token of accomplishment for the team, by not only signifying that this team will have finished the season above Boston since the Big 3 era, but it would be a great boost of confidence to the team knowing that their record not only improved, but that their positioning actually shows that as well. Additionally, I think Milwaukee would be a much more favorable first round match-up than Miami. While one of their main threat’s (Bogut) is out, the team’s main weapon right now is John Salmons, and while he has played some spectacular games against the Hawks, I don’t think his scoring alone is enough to beat the Hawks, plus the Hawks have an advantage in the frontcourt (even before the Bogut injury). Also, I feel like Miami has a great chance of defeating Boston in the first round, meaning they would face Cleveland in the second. Even if Miami didn’t beat Boston, either of those teams would be a nice match-up against the Cavs and could take them to the limits.

On the Hawks side of things, while I feel that the Hawks have a great chance against Cleveland in the playoffs judging by how they have played against them for the majority of the games in which they have met (I think the Hawks feel pretty confident that they can beat that team judging by their body language), I think it would be better to face the Cavs, later, rather than sooner since it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that the Cavs may be eliminated in the second round. I also feel that the Hawks struggles against the Magic in the first three meetings were mental issues more than anything else. The team should have much more confidence after finally defeating the Magic.

Now, looking at the final games of the season for the Hawks and Celtics, lets take a look at some possible predictions. The Hawks have a home game against the short-handed Raptors on Friday. That game is likely a win even without Joe Johnson, especially considering how the Hawks will be itching to avenge their most recent shortcoming in Detroit. After that, the Hawks play the wizards in Washington. Washington has been struggling heavily and will also be coming off a back-to-back, so I think the Hawks have a great chance of winning that one as well (the Hawks are 3-0 against the Wizards this season). Next, the Hawks play the Bucks on Monday night in Milwaukee. This game could be tough, but considering the Bucks will not have a strong frontcourt to handle Josh and Al, the advantage definitely goes to Atlanta. The Bucks would likely have to beat the Hawks by shooting jumpshots in order to pull out that win, and unless you are hot shooting the ball, that is not a very good strategy for winning games. Lastly, the Hawks wrap up the regular season with a home game against the Cavs. This one worries me a bit, not necessarily because I don’t think the Hawks can beat the Cavs, but because I worry about whether Lebron James will be playing or not. The Hawks, at home, definitely will be looking to finally get a victory over the Cavs in their final meeting in order to carry that momentum into the playoffs. The Cavs on the other hand, may just unload the bench in that one, considering they really have nothing to play for in the remaining games of the season as they’ve already secured the best record in the East. If James plays in this one, the Hawks definitely have to bring their A-game, since Lebron can basically get any call he wants. The Hawks need to not only outplay the Cavs, but vastly outplay them, in order to balance out all of the free throws that Lebron would be shooting. Still, the Hawks have about a 75% chance of going undefeated in these final 4 games if they maintain focus and play for 48 minutes each night.

Now, onto the Celtics. Their next game is at home vs. Washington. Obviously the Wizards are not a very big threat to most teams at this point in the season, but they do seem to give the Boston frontcourt some problems. The versatility and speed of Javale McGee and Andray Blatche always seems to both Perkins and Garnet, so I expect the Celtics will have to win that game through the backcourt. I’d say that Boston has about a 60% chance of winning that one. Now, onto Milwaukee, whom they play on Saturday. By saturday, Milwaukee will probably be pretty desperate trying to grab that 5th seed from the Heat, so I expect that one to be a war. Although, the advantage goes to Boston there as well, with only real threat coming in Salmons and maybe Ilyasova and Mbah a Moute, since they tend to give Garnett headaches. I think that game could go either way. Now, the Chicago game on Monday is probably the biggest threat I see for the Celtics out of the remaining games since just about every guy on the Bull’s starting lineup is a threat to boston, except for maybe Taj Gibson. Noah is more energetic, taller, and quicker than Perkins, Deng is stronger and more physical than pierce, and Derrick Rose is just a problem for any backcourt, plus he has the speed to guard rondo who is the key to the Celtics offense. I think the Bulls have the advantage and a better chance of winning that game than the Celtics, especially since they will be fighting for their playoff lives in that one. Lastly, Boston wraps things up with the second night of a back-to-back against Milwaukee. Regardless of the outcome of their previous meeting, I think the Bucks will be looking to make a statement against the Celtics (a potential first round matchup for them) heading into the playoff and, again, this one could go either way.

So, overall, the Celtics chances of going undefeated in their final four games of the season are definitely below 50%. Mainly because they will be playing more desperate teams who are still fighting for position. As long as the Hawks have a better record than the Celtics in the final 4 games of the season, this loss won’t mean much.

Lets hope the Hawks close out the season strong and the rest to Joe Johnson is worthwhile.

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
1:11 am

Teague only gets 6 minutes when one guard has a bad toe and the other is out. Still trying to #figureitout.

FIRE WOODY

BONE

April 8th, 2010
1:12 am

@ CLYDE YEA LEMMIE GET ONE OF THE SHIRTS, WE NEED TO CAMPAIGN THIS THROUGHOUT THE CITY

FIRE WOODY

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
1:14 am

They can’t even beat Detroit without Stuckey, Hamilton and Prince and Smooth is dumb enough to think they can run with Cleveland in the playoffs. They would have NO SHOT at even winning 2 games in a series with them.

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
1:15 am

The Hawks might take one game from Cleveland if Cle takes them lightly enough.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
1:31 am

Anthony:

I’m sorry you have had such a bad day.
The Hawks are a talented but flawed team.
They are coached by a miserable bully, who refuses to play
and or use his reserves, especially his rookie pt. guard.
Also one who has no philosophy yet doggedly & stubbornly
refuses to adjust or adapt.
If you don’t think they were/are tired, then I would question
your basketball accumen.
As for Det. having players out, I will not excuse the coach
for not having a plan [Joe Johnson] as he’s known all season
that a situation such as this could occur. Det. adjusted nicely.
The owners situation will work itself out. That’s no excuse as
the owners have given the team resouces when excuses would have
been handy.
I’m not sure what you are whining about?
If not a Hawk fan, then find a European soccer team to follow.
Once again, I’m sorry you had such a bad day & I hope tomorrow
brings you more cheer:

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”

Clyde

April 8th, 2010
1:38 am

David McDavid we need you to come save the Hawks. #Figureitout and find a way to get Woody and the Spirit Group out of Atlanta.

FIRE WOODY

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
1:39 am

Clyde:

I don’t know where my Grandaughter is tonite?
Me bein’ her “GRAND DADDY” & all !
It’s 1:39 AM:
Do you know where your Granchil’ren are?

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
1:43 am

If you don’t think they were/are tired, then I would question
your basketball accumen.”

It’s not like basketball is a real job. Many of people do what they do just for fun. If they can’t handle playing 30 minutes they have some major issues.

” The owners situation will work itself out. That’s no excuse as
the owners have given the team resouces when excuses would have
been handy.”

Well, the owners are about as inept as Ted Turner was when he owned the Hawks. Not surprising the results have been teams that have failed to accomplish anything of importance.

‘John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”

The bible was written by lame brains that thought the world was flat. When we die we get pushed into a box and the maggots eat away at our rotting flesh and it’s all over.

The bible is worthless. All of them should bed p!ssed on and sat on fire.

cp

April 8th, 2010
1:44 am

Its amazing that Woody says the same crap over and over and catches no heat for it from our GM or 34 owners. If Atl cared more about basketball they would be ripping this cat for saying some of the dumb stuff he says. Seriously how many times does the same thing have to happen before you figure out a way to fix it? Woodrow acts as if this is the first time this has happened. This crap has been going on for a long time and he still cant make any adjustments. Hubie Brown calls one game and pretty much details the Hawks issues to a tee yet the coach who is around this team everyday cant. You have to be kidding me. The starting pg is out there gasping for air and getting his ankles and neck broke from trying to play defense. Most coaches would go with another option but nah not Woodrow. His solution for a tired pg who is getting beat on ever possession on defense is to play him more minutes. Clyde you might need some stickers and posters to go with those shirts.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
1:45 am

Clyde – I heard he [D.Mc.D.]went broke.
That settlement is probably going to pay bills.
If ASG can ever get rid of that albatross [Belkin],
I think they will try to do right.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
1:50 am

Well Anthony, I’ll pray for you.
I understand you would rather I not,
but I will do so just the same.
May God bless you & keep you.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 8th, 2010
1:54 am

Damn Smooth, how long did it take you to type that?

Robert

April 8th, 2010
1:56 am

It is clear by Anthony’s reasoning and offensive remarks that he is having an adolescent bout with immaturity. Don’t let his comments get to you, it is most likely his anger that is doing the talking as his reasoning is ill-conceived and relatively senseless.

Smooth

April 8th, 2010
1:59 am

Longer than I probably should have spent on that post, Najeh. I just had a lot on my mind as that loss really bothered me, almost more than any loss has in a long time. I suppose I needed some time to vent and wanted to consider the positive aspects of the remainder of the season.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
2:07 am

Robert:

Thanks, but it would take more than that.
I do appreciate your concern.
This blog is recreation for me.
Maybe, he just needed to vent.
No pun intended.

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
2:11 am

It is clear by Anthony’s reasoning and offensive remarks that he is having an adolescent bout with immaturity. Don’t let his comments get to you, it is most likely his anger that is doing the talking as his reasoning is ill-conceived and relatively senseless.”

WRONG.

The bible was written by stupid people and it means nothing.

Everything I said about the team is true. They’re a lousy franchise and that’s why they’ve never had fan support. The fans only show up to watch Kobe play and not the Hawks players. The Hawks haven’t even won a division title since 1994 which alone makes them a bad franchise that they’ve went so long without even winning a division title. Everyone laughs at the Hawks and knows they’re a joke.

KAI

April 8th, 2010
2:28 am

I think if the Hawks really wanna go far in the playoffs once they reach the 1st round, first thing’s first: we r going to have to def. most def. no if buts and or ors about it make sure we improve as a road team! point blank period no need to say they self destruct they need to stop relying on the fans and leaving their winning mentality in ATL they need to bring it on the road b/c when we get to round 2 we r going to have to steal an away game or else we will never reach the Finals we need to improve because as an away team we suck & they didn’t have this problem not too long ago I think they r just slacking cause they r nw in the playoffs

when playoffs come hopefully we c a more aggressive competitve Hawk team b/c i am sure the teams in the lower spots see us a weak component compared to the magic n cavaliers (if boston counts)! they need to stop finding excuses & be a better away team

but i will say this loss to the pistons won’t matter in the playoffs cause we will be playing against better teams n we need to still improve with our road games!! or else… but GO HAWKS! n they need JJ back too… ASAP!

rusty

April 8th, 2010
2:39 am

i finally have it figured out.dan,drmaryb,tiger woo & northcyde are woody the woopecker. woody is the worst coach in the nba, it is catching his players are all getting as dumb as he is.

hawks vs. pistons

April 8th, 2010
3:00 am

once i again i say, this team just fills you with confidence when they say stuff like:

“We just relaxed a little bit and got careless and thought we had the game in the bag and we let it slip away.”

glad these guys are getting paid to play tough for 3 quarters and just take the 4th off

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
3:04 am

Anthony;

Obviously, you are a person of conviction concerning your bias’.
My sentiment is that I may have lived quite a bit longer than you,
therefore, aquiring wisdom I never would, have without life’s experience. Is my reasoning & faith any more valid than yours is to you? Absolutely not. So, once again, Whether or not you believe
what the Bible has to say. Historically it has been proven accurate
and it is full of wisdom regardless of your belief.
Try ‘Proverbs’ just for fun, you sound like an intelligent young man.
Prov. 11:2
Prov. 12:18
Prov. 13:10
Good evening my new friend.

Anthony

April 8th, 2010
3:16 am

If we listened to everything in the bible we would still be stoning people.

vava74

April 8th, 2010
3:57 am

I’m with you Anthony on the bible thing! However, we better watch out because we may really end up stonned to death! :-)

As for the Hawks, let us be patient and see if Sun makes the right thing: resign JJ and fire Woody.

A Wooden doll would coach better than Woody.

We had a very effective line up last night with Craw, Mo, MW, Josh and Al and then Woody had an epifany: against a team which was settling for contested jumpers let’s put in Bibby.

And there it was: Bibby bricked all shots but the meaning last one, had two TO and failed to make a single entry pass into our bigs (he actually failed to reach the 3 point line with his dribble).

And more important: he was responsible for initiating all defensive miss matches which gave the Pistons open looks and easy baskets.

In contrast: whilst Teague was on floor, Bynum only had 2 points (a break away dunk off a mid court TO) and had difficulty penetratingband dishing out (the Pistons had several possessions during that span that went to the last seconds).

Bring on a mummy to coach this team, Anything would be better!

vava74

April 8th, 2010
3:58 am

Sund, meaningless

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
3:59 am

Then don’t listen to everything it says.
You’re smart. Pick out the good stuff.
By the way some countries are still stoning folks.
Others do worse. ‘Waterboarding’ is no picnic.
Or, so I hear. People do bad stuff every day.
Did it then, do it now.
All we can do is try to help folks.
Try to make somebody happy every day.
@ least, thats what I get a kick out of!
Sorry, I dangled my participle, up there.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
4:05 am

Anthony:

Forgot to put your name on the 3:59 post.
Sorry about that.

Grandad

April 8th, 2010
4:14 am

vava74:

You & I know “the secret”.
On that level, read I cor. 1:10
I saw what you said about the Bible.
Hey, I’m not preachin’, I’m just an ol’ coach.
I used to have my teams read that verse.
Forget for a min. that it’s in the Bible.
Omit the greeting and read the words.
The perfect definition of ‘TEAM’.
Kinda like “the Secret”, Bill Simmons wrote a good book.
God wrote a better one. No secrets in his.
Seriously, get back to me after you read the def. of TEAM.

NCBravesFan

April 8th, 2010
5:16 am

Just a question here, from someone who doesn’t get to see many games (in NC) – are players who make dumb, lackadaisical plays in these meltdowns getting yanked or are they being allowed to “play through it?”

Seems to me if you make the same dumb mistakes over and over again your butt needs to grab some bench in favor of someone who might actually want to hustle and try to close out a win.