Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 6: Hawks 83, Bucks 69

MILWAUKEE– There were a lot of doubts about the Hawks but after this stirring W they deserve to squawk a bit. So let them.

– “It was gut-check time for us,” Al said. “It really defines what our team is about.”

– “When we play the right way, we can beat anybody,” Jamal said.

– “Everyone counted us out except the people in this locker room,” Smoove said.

– The Hawks finally asserted their will on the Bucks. They shared the ball and got open jumpers. They went inside when the advantage was there. And, most of all, they defended the hack out of the Bucks for long stretches.

– Milwaukee shot just 32.9 percent from the field, their worst shooting game of the regular season and playoffs. “What really won the game was defense,” J.J. said. “I don’t think we’ve been that active all season.”

– Give Woody credit. The Hawks started off showing and recovering on screens instead of switching. That left them vulnerable with Bibby on Delfino but the Hawks made it work.

– “We had to keep them guessing as much as we could,” Al said. “The guards did a good job of getting over the screens.”

– In the third quarter, the Hawks went with a zone. Suddenly Milwaukee’s guards didn’t have so many gaps to exploit and Al and Smoove didn’t have to cover to much ground to get out to Delfino. Their ball movement, excellent for much of the series, came to a halt.

–The Bucks made just 3 of 17 shots in the third quarter and missed 11 in a row when the Hawks went on that 19-0 run. “It worked,” Josh said of the zone. “It was good just to show them a different look here and there. We were able to throw them off balance.”

– Woody had played sly the day before the game, insisting he wouldn’t change his defensive approach. “We just tried to mix it up a little bit,” Woody said. “They are so good in the one-on-one position and you’re not sitting down and taking individual challenges on the ball. It becomes a nightmare.”

– Talking to Jamal during the series, he hadn’t seemed like himself. He might have been most affected by that Game 5 loss but he showed something by bouncing back. That driving shot over Delfino when the Bucks rallied late is the kind of thing Crawford had done all regular season.

– “I feel like that’s what they brought me here for,” he said. “I felt like I let the team down in the last few games, especially the last game. I didn’t sleep the last couple days.”

– It was a brutal first half offensively for both teams but don’t discount the defense. The game was physical and tightly-contested. It was lacking in aesthetics but physical play was plentiful. “Nobody wanted to lose tonight and that’s an indication of the score,” Woody said. “Both teams were just grabbing and fighting and clawing to win a basketball game.”

– Neither team could gain separation in the first half. The Hawks gained a 16-10 advantage but Milwaukee closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run. The Hawks answered by opening the second quarter with a 9-0 run that featured three baskets by Jamal. Delfino started a 15-2 run with three consecutive 3-pointers. The Hawks made four free throws to close the half and calm things down.

– “We were missing easy shots, they were missing easy shots,” Horford said. “But we were playing the right way. I knew eventually we would get it going.”

– Man, did they ever. That 19-0 run was the Hawks’ most dominant stretch of play since the first half of Game 1. The Hawks shared the ball, collected rebounds and defended the Bucks late into the shot clock. Those 19 points were spread around: Bibby had five points, Josh four, Joe five, Al three and Jamal two.

– “I haven’t seen us play like that the whole series and it feels so good,” Smoove said. “Everybody laid it on the line.”

– The Hawks’ biggest lead was 58-38. Milwaukee made its inevitable run to get within 69-62, with J.J. taking a few ill-advised iso shots, but this time the Hawks stayed tough.

– After Jamal missed, Smoove blocked Stackhouse’s shot to lead to a jumper by Joe. Crawford took Delfino to the hole, Smoove blocked Salmons’ shot and J.J. made two free throws to finish the Bucks.

– The finish was the opposite of that meltdown in Game 5. “We weren’t going out like that,” Al said. ““We at least had to play our hearts out.”

– Bucks fans chanted “Josh Smith suc–” at the end as he urged them on. “It feels good,” Josh said. “I’d like to thank Milwaukee fans for their hospitality. They’ve been great.”

– He said he was being serious but somehow I don’t believe him.

– AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz wanted to make sure I noted that he’s 3-0 in this series while colleague Mark Bradley is 0-3. Before you ask, I’m not sure which guy will be there Sunday.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

135 comments Add your comment

josh

May 1st, 2010
12:05 am

that was a nice game – ready for game 7 – they needa stay focused!

Tom

May 1st, 2010
12:07 am

Tom

May 1st, 2010
12:09 am

DOH!

Welcome back Jamal Crawford!! Go HAWKS!!

josh

May 1st, 2010
12:09 am

btw – i loved how not only did the fans chant “josh smith suc-”, but also threw a ball onto the floor… keepin in classy in Milwaukee

Clyde

May 1st, 2010
12:10 am

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
12:10 am

The defense was as good as I’ve seen it all season — the players deserve props for bringing their nuts with them to Milwaukee and Woody deserves props for finally changing his approach defensively. The offense was, for the most part, still pretty sorry. Jamal heated up on his jumpers, which really was the difference in the game offensively, but as we’ve seen this series the Hawks would be foolish to rely on that to carry them.

Y’all can hate on Josh Smith and his supposedly low basketball IQ all you want, but the fact of the matter is he is BY FAR the most willing passer on the team, and the ball moves much, much better when they get him the ball in the post. Is every pass he throws perfect? Of course not, but it’s a hell of a lot better than Joe or Jamal trying to pick their way through the defense while everyone stands around. I’d much rather live with the mistakes that result from posting up Smoove and finding open guys than the mistakes that result from Iso-Joe and Iso-Craw. Bottom line is Smoove is one of the better passing big men in the league, and considering that every other Hawks player pretty much only passes the ball when they are unable to create a shot for themselves, it’s foolish for the Hawks not to exploit that.

If the Hawks come out with the same level of defensive intensity throughout Game 7, they will win. I’ll be there as I have for every playoff game this millennium. But they would make life so much easier for themselves if they would just play more unselfishly on offense.

Go Hawks… f-ck Fear the Deer, more like the Bird is the Word.

theZaZaGuy

May 1st, 2010
12:16 am

These guys are special. Yet they are an enigma. They have that certain, as the French say, “I don’t know what.” They’re kind of like Yannick Noah. Amazingly atheltic and talented yet unfocused and unserious at times. But they can capture the adulation of the mob. As many of you know, Yannick’s son played at Florida alongside our very own Florida Alum. Why do I mention this? I don’t know.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
12:19 am

Man… you gotta feel for the Thunder. That’s a team that hasn’t figured out how to win in the playoffs going against a team that probably knows better than anyone in the league how to win in the playoffs. Looks like they will bow out. Too bad, because they gave a valiant effort.

Wabe

May 1st, 2010
12:24 am

See the OKC fans give a standing ovation even after the loss?

Gotta love that from your fanbase.

Can’t expect them to do anything but applaud their Thunder team after the leap they made.

They’re gonna be special a couple years from now.

VenomSpitter

May 1st, 2010
12:25 am

Damn the Thunder are gonna be good

Kiki

May 1st, 2010
12:28 am

OKC fans gave that ovation because they know that team is going to be a championship one soon. The only thing they lack is experience.

Cannon

May 1st, 2010
12:28 am

We played shut down D in the biggest game of the year. Still not happy about how this series has gone down, but we have a chance to advance Sunday. In the long run that’s all I can ask for. GO HAWKS!!!!!

Kiki

May 1st, 2010
12:29 am

*going to bring

N-Trigue

May 1st, 2010
12:30 am

Kill the Deer!!! Itz deer hunting time Atlanta fans!!! Sunday were going to get sum deer!!! Lol Go Hawks!!!

Hawk n the Ham

May 1st, 2010
12:31 am

Everyone was watching Kobe. Not one Thunder player boxed out for a rebound. Enter Gasol.

Clyde

May 1st, 2010
12:33 am

Is that the same Najeh Davenpoop that was screaming FIRE WOODY yesterday? I see he ain’t putting FIRE WOODY at the end of his posts no more.

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

May 1st, 2010
12:35 am

ATLANTA FANS HAVE NO BACKBONE. CLYDE IS THE EXCEPTION

FIRE WOODY

Section 303

May 1st, 2010
12:36 am

Just a great f’ing win! I’m happy that I get to make another trip to Philips this season. Gotta be there, guys! Make The Highlight Factory a loud and hostile place.

This is great…watched the Hawks win, now kicking back with some Landshark beers and watching Lake Show and Denver/Utah. Tough loss for the Thunder. Was hoping they would pull that one out. I want to get to a game at OKC. May make the trip out there next season, if the Hawks play them on a weekend.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
12:38 am

Clyde, I’m still on the FIRE WOODY bandwagon — like I said on the previous blog, it’s not like I jumped on that bandwagon without thinking about it first — but typing FIRE WOODY at the end of every post is not second nature to me like it is to you.

FIRE WOODY

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
12:40 am

The Hawks would have got that same ovation in 2008 if they had lost in Game 6, or if their Game 7 loss was played in Atlanta. Thankfully they won Game 6 at home, which allowed us to give them their standing ovation for a different reason.

Section 303

May 1st, 2010
1:22 am

Najeh, those games against the Celtics are three of the best sporting events I have ever been to. Great games. The Hawks were new to the playoffs. Crowd was great.

BirdDawg

May 1st, 2010
1:24 am

Good intensity, but still no execution or this game would have been even easier. Give Woody some credit for finally getting off the stubborn horse and switching up the defense a little(like he really had a choice). Good road win regardless. F*ck the Deer, Fear the Fowl!!!

GO HAWKS
FIRE WOODY

Jokeman 4000

May 1st, 2010
1:47 am

I Will Be There On Sunday I Will Be In A Group Of 6 We Will All Be Starting The Chant KILL THE DEER!!! KILL THE DEER!!! KILL THE DEER!!! KILL THE DEER!!! Making Sure The Bucks No There Season Is Coming To A END All Those Coming To The Game I Hope You All Join In With The Chant And Have That Place Rocking Our Team Needs Us!!!!!

BirdDawg

May 1st, 2010
1:58 am

Lot of arrogant Bucks fans came on these blogs talking smack after game 5. Here’s a link to a Bucks blog if anyone wants to get in a little trash talking.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/bucks.html

GO HAWKS

BirdDawg

May 1st, 2010
2:04 am

One rather level headed Bucks blogger made a statement that would make any Hawks fan excited at the possibility. He said, “Can you imagine a team with Atlanta’s talent and Milwaukee’s heart?” The Hawks would be a truly fearsome team.

supa

May 1st, 2010
2:07 am

Much better today. What I noticed is that they played mad. They definitely did not want to be remembered for that loss in Game 5. Now they have to continue to play like that. It’s not over. Play smart and play hard.

Atlanta Fawks

May 1st, 2010
2:25 am

Noooooooo!!!! This just means Woody comes back next year if we win Sunday!!!! What happened Bucks?

Ryan

May 1st, 2010
2:32 am

Jokeman 4000 say “SMEAR THE DEER”! I think that would be awesome! Or fear the queer fear the queer. lol.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
3:36 am

There are too many gay people in ATL to pull off anything involving the word “queer” without someone calling security, but “Kill the Deer” sounds good. I’ll join in.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 1st, 2010
3:39 am

“Najeh, those games against the Celtics are three of the best sporting events I have ever been to. ”

Definitely. In terms of the crowd, the atmosphere, and the magnitude of the game I don’t think any other sporting event I’ve ever attended has come close. Maybe a couple of Braves games I went to in the ’90s when they were World Series contenders, but that’s about it.

Joe's place Joe speaking

May 1st, 2010
4:06 am

Najeh I feel you on that! That game 6 against the celtics was the best sporting event I’ve ever been to! I was in a suite right beside Billy knight We high fived after the win. It was awesome!

No crying

May 1st, 2010
4:08 am

Reprieve. No play with the same determination on Sunday. This Series should be over. The Hawks are playing for woody’s job and JJ contract.

Gregory

May 1st, 2010
4:31 am

You Hawks’ Fans suck. You booo your own team. Did you you hear us booing in Brew Town? F*** NO we went out and partied. All you can talk about is sacking Woodson. You don’t deserve a team. Jerks. We’ll party in the Old Third Ward all weekend as you bozos eat your quiche. I hope we can cream you guys in Atlanta and you can boo hoo all you want. LOsers.

TigerWoods

May 1st, 2010
6:53 am

Gregory – first go tie your antelopes to a tree. Then look outside, see where you live, cry some more. Last if you still feel like it, go jump in that filthy lake outside and do the world a favor, you may be too stupid to get it.

i am glad Hawks won against an inferior opponent. Hawks much higher talent level shows. Need to consistently bring the same intensity on Sunday to win. No more take it easy on this team. Have them down, kick them in the head while they are down. It is good to see Jamal have a good game, finally. Great defense.

Nate ArchiBALL

May 1st, 2010
7:16 am

Najeh – good post at 12:10 am.

Ken Strickland

May 1st, 2010
8:20 am

Let me know how that cums out.

May 1st, 2010
7:56 am

Ken,Strickland, tonight I will try to get 3 big dicks in my mouth @ once. Have you ever done that?

lewis

May 1st, 2010
9:01 am

Al Horford actually plays really solid defense around the basket.

He even kept Jennings in front of him on the switches yesterday.

JeJe

May 1st, 2010
9:18 am

HOW DOES WESLEY MATTHEWS SCORE 23 FOR UTAH?. WHY CAN’T TEAGUE BE THAT GUY FOR US?

FIRE WOODY

JeJe

May 1st, 2010
9:21 am

AVERY IS INTERVIEWING FOR PHILLY AND NEW ORLEANS JOBS? WHY CAN’T WE INTERVIEW HIM? NOH HAS A WORSE FINANCIAL SITUATION THAN WE DO

FIRE WOODY

[...] Hawks Blog – AJC.com [...]

Ken Strickland

May 1st, 2010
10:00 am

MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM-Why give Woodson credit for finally doing what obviously should have been done after our gm 3 loss? It took him until the team was on the brink of elimination to get past his stubbornness and actually do something other than put the blame on the players poor DEF. After switching to a DEF that allowed each player to stick with his original assignment, which allowed Smoove and Horford to remain in the frontcourt rather than the backcourt, we witnessed some serious DEF, both individually and team wise.

If a machanic takes 3 times longer than normal to complete a repair, and offers absolutely no explanation for the delay, would you compliment him on a job well done and/or give him a tip? As for the players, they did what they were capable of doing, and could have done all season, if Woodson hadn’t forced them to play his beloved switching DEF.

Even Bibby played solid DEF. Of course, a lot of that had to do with having Smoove and Horford under the basket to back him up. Let’s face it, Buck players still had the ability to blow by him at anytime, but Horford and Smoove’s presence let them know they couldn’t get easy uncontested layups like they did so successfully in the 3 previous gms.

Woodson’s stubborness and arrogance reminds me of his college HC, Bobby Knight. When his player abuse became public, and IU could no longer ignore or coverup his uncivilized, brutish behavior, they put him on probation and told him he’d be fired if his behavior and attitude didn’t change. Well, we all know the rest of the story. In the end, Bobby Knight never accepted responsibility for getting himself fired. He insisted on blaming the school and the assistant coach that replaced him for his demise. Woodson is in a simular situation as far as being on the hotseat, and almost to the end he’s stubbornly insisted on doing it his way, even when it was obvious much earlier that his way wasn’t working.

Woodson seems to have inherited that same stubborn Bobby Knight mentality of, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT ANYBODY SAYS, I’M GOING TO DO IT MY WAY NO MATTER WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OR RESULTS MIGHT BE, type of behavior. This team and organization need to move forward, and we can’t do that with Woodson and his stubborn, defiant attitude.

mountain_jim

May 1st, 2010
10:16 am

Well stated Ken. I agree. But if the Hawks somehow turn this around and make it to the finals (I know dream on), then Sund would have a hard time not re-hiring him, I would imagine.

Mz. Hawkdafied

May 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Smoove is wrong everybody didn’t count them out. There are people who didn’t count them out. Unless he talked to everybody and he didn’t. I take offense to that statement.

i_am_soulstar

May 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Come on Schultz, you’re on Sunday mate. Take one for the team.

I need to think of a poster.

How about “Buck Milwaukee”

OR

“Milwaukee, Go Buck Yourself”

mountain_jim

May 1st, 2010
10:19 am

The east finals I mean.

doc

May 1st, 2010
10:35 am

not sure why it took 3 games to figure it out since we had a whole season to practice this stuff and try it out, so the transition could have been made sooner. i guess in some way you have credit woody for finally getting out of his and his teams way. really isnt the regular season about getting ready for this stuff and seeing if it can work. why didnt we do it then and who is his own worst enemy? zone defense huh, not switch at every pass and leave them guessing ,,,, hmm what a novel idea, surprised someone on the blog never suggested any of this before.

mc, i think their most dominant stretch was against utah jazz that had jerry sloan of all people tossing in the white towel early in the third quarter when they blew by them in the second quarter and continued the onslaught into the third. they erased an early lead of the jazz and had the crowd giving them a standing o. it was breath taking and i can only hope the bring that one out in game 7.

DHunt

May 1st, 2010
10:45 am

I’m not in the habit of heaping praise on people for doing what they were supposed to do. Like saying congratulations to someone for not being a drug addict. So I’m happy about the win, and looking forward to many more Hawks games this season. I’m not going to pretend it’s all good though. I’m still picking the Hawks to win it all this year. That’s how much of a fan I am. And I’m still praying they FIRE MIKE WOODSON. That’s the kind of realist I am. Coaching, especially at the professional level, is about bringing out the best in each individual player, and at the same time putting the Team in the best position to win against an ever changing landscape of opponents. Who in their right mind could say that describes Woodson?

O'Brien

May 1st, 2010
10:47 am

Did not see the game, but from reading the blog and looking at the boxscore, hawks played good defense, an woody finally made adjustments.

Offensively, we are still horrible (I wonder where we rank in offensive efficiency in the playoffs ).

That being said, I am looking forward to game 7. I expect skiles to make adjustments, but if we defend and play to our capabilities, hawks win big.

Clyde, Najeh,

Shouldn’t it be “DON’T RESIGN WOODY”

Peter

May 1st, 2010
10:52 am

Sometimes it is better to be lucky then good……..

Tell me how many open looks, and blown layups did the Bucks miss?

Hawk’s could have easily gotten blown out early if the Buck’s hit anything.

Hopefully the next game will be about a strong D, and not the Buck’s having so many open looks they just missed.

Section 303

May 1st, 2010
11:12 am

Peter, you know the Hawks game was at 7:00PM last night, right? I think you may have been watching the wrong game.