Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 2: Hawks 96, Bucks 86

– Well, what can you say about these first two games? The Hawks are just too good for the Bucks, who are competing but just don’t have the size, speed or offensive talent to keep up. Especially not at Philips, where they haven’t shown the ability to keep it together when the Hawks are defending, rebounding and running and the crowd is roaring.

– “They outplayed us in almost every spot up and down the floor,” Scott Skiles said. “We’ve got two or three days to get better.”

– The fans at Philip were hyped again. Say what you want about the Hawks’ troubles filling the arena with paying customers, but the people they do get in the building are doing their part.

– That’s 14 Ws in a row at Philips. “It’s the fans here,” Woody said. “The fans have been great the last three years. They really enjoy the product on the floor and how we play. They’ve been huge in the playoffs, like a sixth man.”

– It’s obvious the Hawks use that to fuel their big runs. I’ve maintained that the Hawks struggle to get up for games in front of sparse road crowds because they need a loud, packed house to generate energy. Woody dismissed my theory but I’m sticking with it.

Al says the Hawks are ready to take it on the road for Game 3 on Saturday. “We’re on edge,” he said. “We can’t take anything lightly. I’m sure it’s going to be a tough environment. We’re fighting for our lives.”

– The Bucks once again can take solace that each time it looked like the Hawks finished them off, they showed some life. Then again, the Bucks also saw that when the Hawks decide they are going to play with passion for stretches the Bucks get left in their dust.

– That’s what happened when Milwaukee got within 80-72 in the fourth quarter. J.J. made a shot, he made another, Josh passed to Johnson in the corner for a 3-pointer, Al had a 3-point play, Smoove scored an alley-oop layup and Bibby made a jump shot.

– Just like that, it was 94-77 and the Bucks sagged. “We weren’t going to let them get over that hump,” Jamal said. “When a team like that can do that, it gives them life.”

– If you want to look ahead (because you can do that even if the Hawks can’t) you wonder if these offensive lulls will come back to bite the Hawks if they make it through this round and the competition stiffens. But the Hawks deserve credit for handling their business against an overmatched opponent. I don’t need to tell you that hasn’t always happened this season.

– Smoove was one assist short of a triple-double. He missed only two shots and on one of those he launched a jumper while trying to beat the shot clock. The thing I noticed is even when the Hawks made a bad play at one end he just sprinted back the other way instead of sulking.

– “I just have to give credit to my teammates for sticking with me,” he said. “They know whenever they pass the ball in the post and I get double-teamed, I’m going to make the right play. I was able to get it going early and sustain it throughout the ballgame.”

– J.J. was impressive, too. The Bucks couldn’t do anything to keep him out of the lane. He was noticeably spry off the dribble, shaking off Salmons a few times and slicing to the basket. J.J. was in control.

– J.J. also fared better checking Brandon Jennings. He can’t match the rookie’s quickness but he’s got six inches of height and about 70 pounds on him. He used those advantages and his vet savvy to make things difficult on Jennings.

– He got help from his teammates. The Hawks basically made Jennings a jump shooter and he wasn’t a very good one. “We wanted to give him different looks,” Jamal said. “Sometimes trap him, sometimes ‘half trap’ him, acting like we are going to trap.”

– Al was feeling it, too. It wasn’t just his efficient offense and his solid defense, it was the way his energy got the Hawks going. He’s a really smart player.

– The Bucks keep sending out bodies but they’ve got nothing for Josh and Al. At one point the Bucks put lumbering big man Primoz Brezec on Al, who easily got by him to draw a foul.

– Got to feel for Skiles. He’s got his team playing hard but he just can’t find a combination that works. You could see his frustration each time he slumped on the bench disgusted after J.J., Josh or Al got to the rim for scores. “They’re getting a lot of easy baskets,” he said. “if we keep handing out those easy baskets, it could be over quick.”

– The Bucks got more open looks in the second half, some of those on scrambles, but they didn’t look to have the legs to convert. That’s what happens when they spend most of the game chasing the Hawks into the lane and in transition.

Teague looked lost during one sequence in the first quarter. Ilyasova shook free for a 3-pointer when Teague was slow on a rotation, then Teague didn’t seem to know the Hawks’ play and had to be shooed off by Jamal, and then he overdribbled and clanked a shot. That got Bibby back off the bench.

– The Hawks’ reserves didn’t contribute much. Jamal shot just 2 for 10 and then drew Woody’s ire by becoming gun shy. Zaza seemed out of sorts. Mo took just one shot. The Bucks’ bench players had 40 points to seven for the Hawks.

– Zaza and Woody had a blowup when Woody took him out of the game after Salmons kept going around him for layups. Zaza didn’t want to talk about it. “We won the game, that’s what’s important,” he said.

– Did you see Bibby crossover Ridnour and draw a foul? Then he threw a nice lob to Al for an alley-oop layup. Bibby was just 2 for 8 from the floor but found a way to contribute with seven assists and six free throw makes in six attempts.

– The Hawks are taking the day off on Wednesday. They will meet up on Thursday for practice and plan to leave for Milwaukee on Friday.

– I’m out, Hawks fans


126 comments Add your comment


April 20th, 2010
11:57 pm

When JJ met the press after the game, he got a preview of what it would feel like playing next to LeBron. Almost all questions were directed to Smoove. Even Josh joke about the press ignoring JJ.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 20th, 2010
11:59 pm

The AP game notes say both of these games were sellouts. Not so sure about that, but I can say this: the people who showed up for these two games couldn’t have possibly been better. I was pleased to see a few fans sitting near me who were clearly on their first trip to Philips today thoroughly enjoying the experience.

I haven’t seen Josh sulk in a long time, maybe this entire season. Whine at the refs, sure, but he’s been a model teammate in every game I’ve seen this year.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 21st, 2010
12:01 am

Also, to the people singing “na na na na hey hey goodbye” at the end of the game, come on now. I can’t even hate the Bucks. I just feel bad for them. That fan base hasn’t seen a true contender in ten years either, and now they finally make the playoffs and both of their best players are injured and they are getting blown out of the building. Save the taunting for teams like the Magic and Cavs who will thoroughly deserve it.

Ree Roe

April 21st, 2010
12:03 am

What happened b/w ZaZa & Woody, if anything.

The team looked focused tonight. Defensively we were active, agressive on offense & if it wasn’t for our lackluster bench play we’d be firing on all cylinders. Very impressed by the team tonight. Sucks that we don’t play til Sat, but it is what it is

-REEgistered as Roe!!!


April 21st, 2010
12:06 am

This question is for Josh. Al fell down on the floor trying to save the ball and you ran over and helped him up. Can you talk about that?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 21st, 2010
12:10 am

One more thing: let me jump into Sautee and northcyde’s ongoing debate about playoff rotations tightening for a second. I always hear that teams tighten their rotations, but I haven’t done the research to know whether or not that statement is actually based in fact. I do know this though: if I was Mike Woodson, and I was playing only one game every three or four days in the playoffs, I would definitely be tightening my rotations up and playing my best players as many minutes as possible. During the regular season, I want to see the bench get more burn so that they are ready to fill in if a starter gets in foul trouble or gets hurt. But in the playoffs, the best players should be on the floor for as long as possible. So I have no problem with only one bench player playing over 20 minutes in Game 2.

In a way, Woody is like the anti-Bobby Cox. Woody has been coaching like it’s the playoffs all year long, keeping a quick hook for bench players (particularly Teague) and not really allowing them to play long enough to get into a rhythm and gain confidence; this is necessary in the playoffs but not so much in the regular season. Cox, on the other hand, has screwed up many a postseason series by continuing to play struggling players trying to build up their confidence; in other words, by managing the playoffs in regular season style. I’m all for complaining about this habit of Woody’s in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different ball game. I think Woody’s doing the right thing.


April 21st, 2010
12:17 am

If I hadn’t watched the game myself, I would’ve thought Joe had 50 points or something and no one else mattered. What game was the NBA tv crew watching? There was definitely a nice balance- Josh and Al both had really good games but somehow they went on for ten minutes about Joe carrying this team and how they lean on him too much.

Michael Cunningham

April 21st, 2010
12:27 am

@Najeh: maybe “sulk” isn’t the right words. what i mean is, sometimes when things don’t go well at the offensive end Josh slumps his shoulders and doesn’t get back. i don’t mean to imply he’s bad teammate.

@ Ree Roe: from what i saw, Woody took Zaza out and said something to him, Zaza didn’t take it very well and he was yelling at Woody when he sat on the bench. Jamal was trying to calm him down.


April 21st, 2010
1:47 am

zaza should be glad to be on the floor.he stands around, don’t box out and if the ball don;t boune staight to him, he will not move to get.poor sportsmanship.if i was woodson, i would make he doesn’t have to worry about being taken out.the game is not about him but the team.he should be glad to be on a winner.


April 21st, 2010
2:07 am

man ive never been happier to be a hawks fan! we be dribblin on them bucks like a bee in a burger barn, you know what im sayin?

Ric Roc

April 21st, 2010
2:08 am


No, “sulk” is/was absolutely the correct choice of words! I get so sick of watching Josh do just that after a missed shot or turnover… constantly the last one back on defense and always making that awful face where he scrunches his facial muscles like he’s about to cry.

My girlfriend and I do that as an inside joke… we call it “The Josh…”

If Najeh hasn’t seen it all season, then he hasn’t seen the Hawks…also, the “hey, hey, hey” was frigging hilarious! I’m a Hawks fan… why should we care about about making the other team feel good about themselves??


April 21st, 2010
2:47 am

Great game. I had section 214 row J rocking!!! Very late arriving crowd. The arena was only half full during player intros. Come on Hawk fans get with it, and support this team, not just when it’s convenient for you.


April 21st, 2010
4:40 am

If you were to look at you wouldve thought there was only three games played last night. How is it our game is the only one not front page worthy? Thats ok, make them believe hawks.


April 21st, 2010
4:53 am

We are 2-0 for the first time since 1970!!!


April 21st, 2010
6:24 am

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the 2-0 situation, however, the Bucks are probably the weakest playoff team of the 16 that got in.

They are completely over matched inside and Jennings is still wet behind his years and not yet capable of playing consistently.

So, anything less than a 4-1 series win should be a reason for us to be ashamed.

We should all expect to be 100% focused on Saturday and not let the Bucks get into any sort of groove.

Our defense on Jennings and Salmons must remain tight and aggressive and we should make sure that we translate our inside superiority into a rebounding hedge, something that did not happen yesterday.

I game like we had yesterday could easily go down the drain if one or two crucial baskets that got in from us didn’t and if the Bucks had not missed so many free throws and managed to get one or two buckets more.

We’ve got to remain FOCUSED.


April 21st, 2010
7:03 am

Did not see the game, but from reading the comments, and looking at the box score, our bench played horrible, while our starters played great.

ZaZa had a -17 rating, so I dont know what he’s complaining about. Crawford has not played well in either game (he went 2-10, after going 4-11), so hopefully he will get things straightened out by the next series, because we will need him then.

Not much from Teague or Mo. Fortunately its the Bucks, so even with our bench struggling, we have more than enough firepower to beat them. But for us to get by Orlando, we will need more production from our bench.

Good job Woody and the starters.


I’m with you. In the playoffs, I dont worry much about minutes. What Woody should focus on is effectiveness. If a player is playing great (and energized), then leave him in the game. But if he is struggling or tired (starter or not), pull him, and it looks like thats what Woody did with Crawford and ZaZa.


I agree with some of your points, but the bottom line is the Hawks did what they were supposed to do. Hold serve at home. Hopefully they’ll keep it going on the road.

The bad thing is no Hawks basketball until Saturday.


April 21st, 2010
7:11 am

I will be happy if we keep seeing these backdoor screens and Smoove lobs. Can we just do that for every play?


April 21st, 2010
7:21 am

I feel JJ is one bad thumb hit away from a serious injury. We gotta look out for this guy


April 21st, 2010
7:21 am

You know folks:
Josh Make that face & maybe on occasion he argues with an offical
before getting back on def…’BUT’:

The young man plays his tail off!
How many times have you seen him chase down a fastbreak
and block the shot – clean; saving ‘2′ pts.
*He runs the floor.
*He dives [on] the floor.
*He fills the stat sheet.
*He is unselfish. “Rodmanesqe”
*He has turned himself into a hybrid low-post/slasher. [sans 3's]
*He seems to be a really good kid.
*To top it off he has become a leader.

Are we worrying about his facial expressions.


April 21st, 2010
7:24 am

“[makes]* that face”


April 21st, 2010
8:29 am

i wanted that triple-double double so bad for Josh :( .. oh well, good game Hawks


April 21st, 2010
8:40 am

“Teague looked lost”. I wonder who’s fault that is? You learn from playing, not sitting. And I dont care what Woody said his Coach did back in the 60’s. Sit and learn Rook my ass. I expected him to look lost out there in a Playoff game, when he barely played in the reg season. You should’ve expected the same MC.


April 21st, 2010
8:48 am

Zaza knows good and damn well he dont wont no part of Woody’s doghouse. ANYBODY but Woody’s. Hell, his sorry behind is lucky he’s getting an NBA check to begin with. And some of yall got the nerve to talk about Horford’s defense. The Bucks went straight to the hole, when Zaza came in. And btw, how long does it take someone to learn how to set a screen without moving? Sit his ass Woody. Give Randolph some burn. lol!


April 21st, 2010
9:27 am

What a great night for Atlanta sports. I actually went to the Braves last night, before you guys crush me I did make sure my tickets went to fans, and the Braves game was with four college buddies who I haven’t seen in a year. Still was a tough call though. I don’t have a lot to contribute today since I only saw highlights. The first game all year that I haven’t either seen in person or on TV.

[...] Hawks Blog – AJC [...]

Mike is Back

April 21st, 2010
9:40 am

@MC, Great Stuff…Skiles is a nice guy, but I don’t feel for him…nobody ever gave a crap about us…all you hear about is the past…even though our guys went into the playoff as the 3rd seed…the tone of ESPN and TNT make you feel like we are an 8th seed or sumin. Like JJ said…its time to let the world know these Hawks are for reaaaaal. Everyone will be looking to see how we respond on the road in the playoff…I think Woody will have his guys ready to go.

On Zaza, I notice the same thing…he just looked a step slow, and tentative…Salmon was eate’em alive. lol

@Najeh Davenpoop, when the fans come out in force like that…let’em have all the fun they want. I love it when everyone is into the game.


April 21st, 2010
9:46 am

woody is a idiot for pulling crawford he can be 0-15 u dont pull him he still always a threat to get hot and by pulling him he will get him out of his comfert zone 4th quarter is his time…..this guy woody is king of panic not stan van gundy


April 21st, 2010
9:49 am


To be clear…. my debate with northcyde is NOT related to Woody’s use of the bench. It was in a total vacuum. Like you, I have not done any research (leaving it for the KING OF RESEARCH), but I noticed last year the in the Finals, both coaches used 10+ players at times. That was the beginning of my “debate” with northcyde, but the games that I have checked so far back me up. It may no longer be “gospel” that all coaches automatically shrink their rotations in the playoffs.

Just from last night’s games, and speaking of double figure minutes, MIL played 9, MIA played 9 (plus J. Jones had 9 min.), BOS played 9, POR played 9 (plus J. Pendergraph played 9 min), Suns played 10, LAL played 8 and OKC played 9.

So out of 8 teams playing, only two, us and the Lakers, played fewer than 9 players with double-figure minutes. I don’t know what this means, but I’d say that it does NOT mean that coaches are automatically shortening rotations. To be fair, I have no idea how much or little other coaches use their respective benches in the regular season. To play 9 COULD be shortening the rotation for some teams.

As far as Woody’s rotations go, I’m right there with you (and we’ve agreed many times about that this season). If they aren’t producing, pull ‘em out. Even northcyde and I agree on that.

Mike is Back

April 21st, 2010
9:50 am

@terrell, come on bro…You can’t blame that on Woody. This is the playoff…last year THE ROOK was in college…Hence why they call him the rook. Teague probably got butterflies the size of golf balls flying around in his chest right now…he will be okay. lol


April 21st, 2010
9:51 am


April 21st, 2010
10:13 am


lucky dog.. u saw a classic.. i hope Nate gets it together so he can claim that lead off spot.. we are consistent lead off man away from an elite team… our bullpen is just plain beastly..

Let him Joe

April 21st, 2010
10:37 am

If Joe Johnson does not want to resign with the Hawks, I say let him Joe and let’s focus on Dwayne Wade. With Wade we will mentioned for Championships for the next 5 years.

Section 303

April 21st, 2010
10:44 am

I agree, Michael. Teague did look lost. He failed to get out on the 3-point shot, like you mentioned. Also, his turnover down in the corner, on the inbounds pass, directly led to a Stackhouse open 3. Teague shows flashes of being good, the potential is there. He has looked in over his head this entire series, though.

My favorite part of last night was locking down Jennings. Those who claim Woody makes no adjustments have some explaining to do. If there are no adjustments, explain Jennings from game 1 to game 2. Betting I do not get a legit answer to that question.

Funny…whoever was talking about Josh Smith’s body language. He does sulk, but sometimes I wonder if it is impossible to read that guy. I think he is getting to the point where he is elite, especially on D. Sometimes I think he just losses interest or gets a little lazy. Josh is going to be a great one when everything is all said and done, though. I never would’ve thought I would write anything like that 5 years ago.


April 21st, 2010
10:49 am

fire woody how dare he bench jamal


April 21st, 2010
10:51 am


You cant seriously be upset for Woodson pulling Crawford out. He was cold not contributing and most importantly it paid off cause we won the game.


April 21st, 2010
10:56 am

Yeah Najeh . . . these teams simply have to do what they have to do to win games at this point of the season. The shortening of the rotation not only has to do with the number of players you play, it also has to do with the amount of minutes you play them.

Like with Woody last night, he didn’t even waste time trying to let the bench play through their problems. They were totally ineffective, so he significantly shrunk the minutes of our 3 main guys off the bench. Even Crawford saw his time cut because of his ineffective play.

That’s the trend you always see come the playoffs.

Sautee . . here’s a K of R stat for ya:

The 23 minutes that Crawford played last night, was his 3rd LOWEST minute total of the season. He played 22 minutes in a blowout vs Denver last month . . and only 13 minutes in the season opener.

With Crawford basically being an instant offense player, even Woody knows not to play him his usual 30+ minutes a game if he’s struggling on both ends of the court and if Marvin and Bibby are giving the team good minutes.

Woody knows his team.

Michael Cunningham

April 21st, 2010
11:03 am

@jean: i think Woody actually agrees with you. he pulled Jamal because he passed up a couple shots. he wants him to keep shooting but Jamal seemed to lose confidence. it’s similar to what happened when Jamal went through that mini-slump after the AS break. but i figure he will be fine.

@Sec 303: Josh’s facial expressions don’t give a true picture of what he’s like. the guy plays hard but sometimes he gets frustrated and, like you say, disinterested. of course i’m not saying those times he fails to get back on D outweigh the many good things in his game. i just noticed last night that he quickly let go of the bad possessions and hustled back on D. it made a difference because Milwaukee can’t get those secondary breaks when he’s lurking around the rim.

Section 303

April 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Michael, Josh has been outstanding this year. He is getting so good, that I am surprised when he does not block a shot. In game 1, there was a sequence where Salmons had beat Marvin and Marvin grabbed him to stop him from getting an easy hoop. Josh was trailing right behind that play. I wish Marvin had been aware of that. I think Josh would have got that shot, too.

The guy is a stud, no doubt. One of the most talented players I have ever seen play, that is for sure…

Coach D

April 21st, 2010
11:12 am

2-0! Can’t get better than that.
@ Vava-You can only beat the team that you’re playing. On the other hand, if the Hawks let the Bucks extend this series to more than 5 games, I’d be willing to bet Orlando will sweep Atlanta. Finish the Bucks and I hope the Hawks will have a fighting chance against Dwight and his crew.
Go Hawks GATA!!!!!!!!!

Show me state

April 21st, 2010
11:15 am

I enjoyed watching da whole game….Great win Hawks…..

darrell starks

April 21st, 2010
11:24 am

Great game hawks the place was loud and we look good.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!


April 21st, 2010
11:26 am

bigdave- I am on a streak, was at the home opener too. Plus, I have been to around 20 Hawks home games this season, ALL WINS!!!
I think the teams need to put me on payroll as a good luck charm.

Rick Sund

April 21st, 2010
11:29 am


Im considering it!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

April 21st, 2010
11:31 am

We are not a good road team at all so there is no relaxing on the bucks, i remember when the hawks was down 2 games against boston and every one said the hawks will get sweep next thing you no we are in game 7, so it’s not over until fat lady sing.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!


April 21st, 2010
11:35 am

So out of 8 teams playing, only two, us and the Lakers, played fewer than 9 players with double-figure minutes. I don’t know what this means, but I’d say that it does NOT mean that coaches are automatically shortening rotations. To be fair, I have no idea how much or little other coaches use their respective benches in the regular season. To play 9 COULD be shortening the rotation for some teams.

Sautee . . it means that the BOS -MIA and the POR – PHX games were all blowouts, and the coaches pretty much emptied their benches. MIL and OKC pretty much stuck with their rotation. And if they do that, they’ll probably get swept.

OKC is going to have to reduce Eric Maynor’s minutes, and keep Westbrook on the floor as much as possible. And it’s not because the kid is playing bad . . . he’s just not impacting the game, although he does play decent defense. But Westbrook MUST play 40+ minutes vs the Lakers, even if he has to play through foul trouble.

As for MIL, Ilyasova has arguably been their most consistent player and best rebounder, yet, he’s not even playing 25 minutes a game. If they have to start him, or play him more minutes, then that’s what they have to do. To Smoove’s and Horford’s credit, they shut that dude down in the 2nd half, after he had that monster 2nd quarter.

Let’s see if the coaches people believed did a better job than Woody this year ( Skiles and Brooks ) can make adjustments at home to help their team win one or two of these next games. Hopefully, Skiles will stick with his rotation, playing his 2 most efficient players in the playoffs so far ( Ilyasova and Stackhouse ) fewer than 25 minutes a night.


April 21st, 2010
11:35 am

thanks Rick- all I need is two season tickets, preferably 105, and a Marta pass.

Rick Sund

April 21st, 2010
11:37 am


I was thinking courtside next to Ciara but suit yourself.


April 21st, 2010
11:38 am

I would bench Jamal too. He is one of the main reasons why teams come back. Lack of D is apparant as well. Good call woody. Bad shot selection for Jamal.


April 21st, 2010
11:38 am

Good mid-AM to all / (a bit off topic) But we don’t play again ’til next month, or so it seems. However, I fet a need to go ahead with this post. I attemted to post this several times over the last couple of wks.
But the ‘Blog Monster’ kept eating it. So, I’m trying again. I wanted to get it on before someone scooped me.
[Draft Xpress has moved him up to # 35 on their list of " Top 100".

New draft philosophy for our [1st round] draft pick,this summer 2010.

It is an amalgam of strategies which I concluded from [2] fellow bloggers: [given the fact, we are drafting so low in the 1st round]

*1st – AJ: the ‘niche’ player; a player who exhibits a specific skill that can immediately be put to use in his rookie season therefore helping the team compete for a championship.

*2nd nc: reaching for said ‘niche’ player in the 1st round regardless
of how ridiculous that pick may seeem.

(making sure THAT player is not gone when we/Hawks select in 2nd round)

I’m now making my case for…Brian Zoubek:

*7-1, 260 & Duke definetly has a wgt. rm.
*Best Off. reb. in nation by a wide margin
*Did I say he is 7-1
*excellent passer
*Most fundamental BIG to come out of the college ranks in a while.
(Kevin Love don’t count – only 6-7 & 1/2 sock ft.)
He’s Big & Strong enough to battle D Howard.
*Scoring is irrelevant, we have plenty of scorers/we need BIG BANGERS.
*he’s less expensive than ‘Cheeseburger”
[moved up to # 35 in dr. xpress list of "Top 100"]

Bash on, I fully expect a thorough shellacking!

darrell starks

April 21st, 2010
11:39 am

Woody have 2 stick with his bench period, even if they have a bad night that will be hawks only shot in the playoffs, play your bench regardless woody.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!