Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 7: Hawks 95, Bucks 74

They did it. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

They did it. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

– If you are still mad this series went seven games, can you at least be happy the Hawks closed it out today with no drama?

– Of course about 30 seconds after they clinched everyone wanted to ask them about Orlando. “I am ready to go lay down,” Bibby said. “I don’t even want to think about that. I am not even going to worry about basketball right now.”

– I kinda know how he feels. Looking forward to some Breaking Bad tonight. Get on that show.

– The Magic may have the Hawks’ number. They have Dwight Howard and a bunch of shooters. They have home court advantage. They have a longer history of playing good defense and an even more efficient offense than the Hawks. They were in the Finals last year. They’ve been sitting around waiting for what seems like forever.

– So naturally pretty much everyone will assume all of that means the Hawks won’t have a chance. “That’s how it goes,” Bibby said. “Somebody has to be the underdog. Why not?”

– That comes later. First, the acknowledgment that the Hawks pulled out a hard-fought series. (Warning, warning, lame boxing analogy to follow) Regardless if the Bucks should have been going toe-to-toe with them in the first place, the Hawks were left standing.

– “Guys played their hearts out on Friday and we did the same today,” Smoove said. “We’ve got to have that every game.”

– The Hawks ended up playing some defense in this series. In Games 1-4, the Bucks shot 48 percent, averaged 99 points and led the rebounding tally 159-154. In Games 5-7 the Bucks shot 35 percent, averaged 78 points and trailed 145-115 in rebounding.

– Sure, the Bucks aren’t a very good offensive team even when they have Bogut (though Salmons had made them better) but the Hawks hadn’t been a very good defensive team.

– They were over the final three games of this series. “I know that’s what wins basketball games,” Woody said. “As we move forward, it has got to stay consistent as far as how we defend and rebound. The only way we got out of this series is defend. We did that in Milwaukee, holding them to 69 points and tonight 74 points. It was our defense that came through for us in this series.”

– There will be lots of talk about whether the Hawks take their chances by focusing their defense on Dwight or let him get his and control all those shooters. But it may not be as simple as an either-or proposition, particularly within the flow of each game.

– When Bibby was asked about how Al can handle Dwight, he offered some vet perspective: “I judge teams by how good their team defense is. I remember playing San Antonio and Portland when I was younger and I was just baffled about how they were helping each other and rotating. How tough they made it for everybody to score. I look at it like it’s a team effort.”

– “I think we’ve figured out if we play hard defensively we always give ourselves a chance to win games and we just have to come out and match [Orlando's] intensity,” Al said.

– That kind of sums up the Hawks, doesn’t it? They’ve talked about being a good defensive team for so long and only now seem to have discovered that it actually does make a difference when they back it up. It’s how they beat the Bucks fairly handily in Game 6 and 7 despite some long scoring droughts.

– Al was a beast against the Bucks: 15.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 56 percent shooting. He had 25 and 11 in Game 5 (overlooked for obvious reasons), 15 and 15 in Game 6 and 16 and 16 in Game 7.

– About the only thing you can pick at Al were the few times he insisted on trying to bull Kurt Thomas to the basket instead of shooting in face-ups and pick-and-ops. But he offered an explanation for that before Game 7: “It’s all about what our guards want us to tun. I can do both. I feel comfortable doing both.”

– The Magic have to deal with Al, too. Dwight didn’t get to be defensive player of the year by chasing quick, athletic guys around on the perimeter. “They have a load down low and we have a guy that makes outside jumpshots in Al,” Josh said. “There are going to be some mismatches in the series. We just have to see where they are at.”

– Another good sign for the Hawks was Marvin getting better at defending and rebounding. Can’t say it enough: If he can do both of those things consistently and sprinkle in a couple games of 15-20 points, that’s a lot.

Zaza also played better in the final two games. Because of Zaza, the Hawks were even better after Smoove got into foul trouble today. “It didn’t affect anything,” Woody said. “It gave as an opportunity to go big. It gave us an opportunity to move Al to the 4 and put Zaza at the 5. I don’t think we really lost a whole lot. We just continued to flow.”

– For all of the (justified) talk about the Hawks struggling to overcome an opponent with inferior talent, give the Bucks some Ps. Said Zaza: “Of course losing is terrible and no one wants to lose, but they should be proud of [themselves]. I give a lot of credit to Coach Skiles and the players there. They were really fighting. They almost had us.”

– Once Brandon Jennings gets his game under control, look out. “He’s a talented young man,” Woody said. “If he’s able to stay healthy he will have a long career. It’s nice to see a young guy figure it out that early.”

– Woody before the game: “All those people that wrote us off, they don’t dribble one ball up and down that court, they don’t shoot a jump shot, they don’t rebound the ball, they don’t get defensive stops and they surely don’t coach the team. It ain’t about all these people outside our circle. Any team will say that. It’s about the people who go to battle and work in the locker room. I could care less about what you guys write or say.”

– It’s been my experience that coaches and players who say they don’t care about criticism really do care. How can they not? It would bother me if I were in the same position. It’s human nature. That’s why I want to be rich but not famous. Yeah, I know, I’m 0-for-2.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

181 comments Add your comment

lewis

May 2nd, 2010
6:44 pm

VenomSpitter

May 2nd, 2010
6:45 pm

Fire Woody

Good game Hawks

Fire Woody

VenomSpitter

May 2nd, 2010
6:46 pm

Maybe the Magic will be outta rhythm and the hawks can steal Game 1.

VenomSpitter

May 2nd, 2010
6:49 pm

I don’t think Dwight needs to be doubled. Just play him str8 up.

SWAT Native

May 2nd, 2010
6:53 pm

Great day: Hawks win, Braves win, and the Boondocks comes back on tonight!

Great day at the Highlight Factory. I was a little concerned when I saw Mark Bradley, but I guess he decided not to blog this time.

I still say that the Hawks will give Orlando a better series than people think. I think they finally found a way to beat them in that game a couple of months ago. It should be interesting.

Clyde

May 2nd, 2010
6:57 pm

It should have been a sweep

FIRE WOODY

SWAT Native

May 2nd, 2010
7:04 pm

Can we give respect to the Bucks for fighting back and making it a series? They even put themselves in position to win Friday night. You could see in their eyes at the end of that game that they knew they blew their shot. Whem they get Bogut back, and from what I hear they have a nice salary cap position after next year, they are going to be a good team for a long time.

BirdDawg

May 2nd, 2010
7:07 pm

Clyde,
It’s ok to enjoy the fruits sometimes, my man. You don’t have to throw salt after EVERY game. Good game Hawks, enjoy it and get ready for Orlando.

FIRE WOODY

mountain_jim

May 2nd, 2010
7:10 pm

I also think the chance to steal game one is there – Orlando may be lethargic and ragged. Well that’s my hope anyways…

O'Brien

May 2nd, 2010
7:12 pm

Good job Woody and Hawks. The important thing is to survive and advance, and we did.

But Orlando is a completely different monster, and we will have to turn up the intensity defensively and offensively, because the magic are better than the Bucks at every position (except maybe HC).

I hope Woody watched the tape from our only win over Orlando this season, and I hope he also watches what his mentor and the Bobcats did in the first round, because D12 stayed in foul trouble that series.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2010
7:18 pm

Great game. Josh said they wouldn’t let the fans down today, and they didn’t. From the second quarter on, they whipped the Bucks into submission. The defense dominated, starting on the interior, and the offense got enough easy looks to put the game away, and it helped that the Bucks played maybe their worst game of the series. It says a lot about the depth the Hawks have that Joe only scored 8 points and the Hawks still won comfortably.

Of course, this all just makes it that much more disappointing that they couldn’t do this in Game 5, like they should have.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2010
7:40 pm

Looking ahead to Orlando, the Hawks already have the blueprint to beat them. March 24 was the day the Hawks figured out how to beat the Magic, and it was probably Woody’s best coached game of the season. After three games of switching on the perimeter, doubling Howard, and getting burned, they finally realized that the key is to shut down the perimeter players at all costs, even if it means Howard gets a 20-20 game. In the March 24 game, Howard had 24 boards, 4 blocks, and 16 free throw attempts, and the Hawks still won because none of the Magic perimeter players cracked 50% shooting.

Teams often treat Dwight Howard like he’s a go-to scorer, when in reality he’s at best the 4th best offensive player on the Magic. Doubling Howard and focusing on him defensively only allows players like Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and JJ Redick — whose long-range jumpers are the backbone of their offense — to heat up and get on a roll. The key is to make sure every perimeter guy has a hand in his face at all times and cover Howard with only one man. If Howard takes advantage and dominates the game offensively and the Magic win, you tip your hat and move on, but his post moves are nowhere near developed enough to where he will do that on a consistent basis.

What this means is that the Hawks are definitely capable of winning games against the Magic with Horford and Zaza assuming responsibility for defending Howard. The tougher task will be trying to keep the Magic from dominating the glass; this will involve putting a body on Howard at all times and forcing him away from the hoop, which is easier said than done. But make no mistake, any game the Hawks will win be won on the defensive end by shutting down the perimeter players of Orlando.

Considering how badly Jameer Nelson abused Raymond Felton in Round 1, I would suggest putting Joe Johnson or Marvin Williams on Nelson and rotating Bibby onto someone like Matt Barnes who is less likely to drive the basketball. On the perimeter, Nelson is the only tough matchup for the Hawks — they have the athleticism and length to deal with Carter, Lewis, Pietrus, and Redick if they concentrate and stick with their guy.

On the offensive end, Josh Smith needs to assume a much bigger role in Round 2 than he did against the Bucks, because Horford is not going to be able to do much more than knock down mid-range jumpers against Howard. I would like to see Horford face up and drive against Howard to try to get him into foul trouble, but for some reason Horford never does this despite having a quickness advantage on nearly every other center in the league. Smoove on the other hand will be matched up on players like Barnes and Lewis often, and these are all players that he can post up with success. And of course as the most willing passer the Hawks have, getting him the ball in the post leads to more ball movement, which leads to easier buckets.

One thing is for sure — the Magic players will have no problem getting in the faces of the Hawks’ perimeter shooters and contesting every shot, because they know Howard has their back if they let a guy get past them, and the Hawks won’t have a very good shot at getting rebounds on their long jumpers. This means if the Hawks insist on running the iso-whoever offense, they will get destroyed.

None of what I wrote above takes into account the Hawks’ psyche and mentality, and whether the Orlando crowd will rattle them or whatever. But if they can keep their heads in the game, contest every perimeter shot, and move the ball on offense, they will have a good shot at making this a long series. If they insist on running iso-whoever on offense and are slow to contest perimeter shots on defense, they might as well buy their fishing equipment now.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2010
8:04 pm

Oh yeah, one more thing: a lot will be made over the next week and a half of Orlando’s superior depth. Don’t let it fool you. Yes, Orlando has a lot of good players, probably more than Atlanta, but most of their bench players duplicate rather than complement what their starters do. Aside from Howard, Nelson, Bass, and Gortat, pretty much every Magic player is a shooter first and everything else second.

It’s a very different situation from playing a team like Cleveland, which can throw several very different big men at you and make it all but impossible to drive inside. The Magic can swap in all the shooters they want, but the only player whose foul trouble will matter in this series is Howard. If the Magic beat the Hawks, it’s not going to be because of their depth.

Zach

May 2nd, 2010
8:04 pm

MC,

I know that you agree with me on this one. Bibby was excellent in this series, and he (along with pretty much everyone else) will have to be excellent to beat orlando. I’m giving you and me some props for knowing that Bibby is a stud when everyone else doubted him.

O'Brien

May 2nd, 2010
8:05 pm

Najeh,

We got blown out by the Magic 3 games last season, and the first 3 games this season, before Woody finally made an adjustment. I’m not sure why it takes him so long…

That being said, I agree with your scouting report. Use up all our fouls, and send Howard to the FT line as often as necessary. Plus we dont want to give him any easy dunks, because that will get the crowd into it. And everybody needs to crash the board.

We will need JJ to play good defense on the perimater, and Crawford will need to help carry us offensively (he has struggled against the Magic all year).

Nobody expects the Hawks to win, so if we can find a way to win game 1, we will be in great shape.

nola hawk fan

May 2nd, 2010
8:07 pm

can we just take a sec and say BIG UPs to MC for his coverage during this series. Great job on the game stories, notebook and blog. Even bringing out a dusty article to sum up how most of us felt (Z post)

For someone who came in mid-season, you have done a fine, fine job sir. Rest up Mike… wait until Round 2. Us ATL natives will get even more pessimistic on ya… hey, its all we know in this town.

Mike

May 2nd, 2010
8:08 pm

Najeh… The Hawks don’t have a blueprint for the Magic, they only won 1 game off of a last second tip-in because Rahard Lewis did not box-out Josh Smith. Orlando is probably going to sweep or win this series in 5 games. The Hawks only chance is if Orlando’s does not show up.

BirdDawg

May 2nd, 2010
8:12 pm

People forget that 1) the Hawks played three of the games against Orlando in the second of a back to back after having played a brutal team like Boston the night before. And 2) even still the Hawks held a decent lead in two of those games before having one of their, now infamous, mental lapses. The only game where those two instances weren’t a factor, the Hawks won. That’s not to say that the Hawks will or won’t win the next series, it’s just to point out that a Magic victory shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. Also, for the haters, here’s an excerpt from another sports writer:

“A question: Would you rather have a center averaging 15.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in the playoffs while shooting 56 percent from the field and 74 percent from the line? Or would you take his counterpart, a guy with a flashier nickname but with averages of just 9.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.5 fouls, not to mention his 48 percent field goal percentage and his 38 percent success rate from the line?

If you chose the former over the latter, you just selected Al Horford over Dwight Howard.”

Last I checked, Charlotte had no one near as good as Al Horford at center. Just food for thought.

MAD-DONNA

May 2nd, 2010
8:17 pm

Mike, the Magic can be beaten! There should not be a concern about the Magic showing up or not! The concern lies in whether the Hawks show up or not! When they do, they can compete with any team in the league!

drmaryb

May 2nd, 2010
8:21 pm

Najeh

Awesome Editorial! You definitely possess the moxie to have your own blog!

Co-Sign ALL that!

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

May 2nd, 2010
8:23 pm

nah@Mike…Najeh has a point.

Those perimeter players for Orlando burned the crap out of the Hawks in their blowout wins.
Its ALOT more of them and just 1 Dwight Howard. It’s way more important to limit them than it is doubling Dwight. They really didnt focus on that until the last game.

I agree with what Josh told ESPN’s Chris Sheridan

“It seems like they hit every shot when we play them,” Smith said. “They have a load down low, but we have a guy that makes outside jump shots in Al, so there’s going to be some mismatches exploited in the series, we’ve just got to see where they’re at first.”

That’s how I felt, it just seemed like their perimeter guys didnt miss at all and ALWAYS hit the big shots….they would have crushed anybody in the league shooting the way they did against the Hawks in those game.

Shut them down and let Howard get his, foul him and try to get him in foul trouble.

BirdDawg

May 2nd, 2010
8:30 pm

As long as the Hawks do not, I repeat DO NOT switch on the pick and roll with Nelson and Howard, they should limit a lot of easy points by Orlando. Having Horford on Nelson is a recipe for disaster as Nelson is like Jennings but with more experience and playoff savvy. But having Bibby on Howard in the post is the best way to guarantee Howard takes over the series.

Big Ray

May 2nd, 2010
8:31 pm

Co-sign drmaryb . Najeh definitely has the knowledge.

I agree on his assessment of Orlando (particularly on Dwight Howard). Not a go-to scorer yet by any real means.

I want to see quicker adjustments by the coaching staff and consistently high effort from the players (not to mention a more team oriented attitude).

Al Horford’s leadership is crucial.

drmaryb

May 2nd, 2010
8:32 pm

Knock – Knock!
Who’s there?
Orange.

Knock – Knock!
Who’s there?
Orange.

Knock – Knock!
Who’s there?
Opportunity! Orange you glad I didn’t say Orlando?

People – Orlando is NOT knocking on that door!
You heard it for yourself! That is OPPORTUNITY! Knocking on that DOOR!

Orange You glad l didn’t say Oralando!

Big Ray

May 2nd, 2010
8:33 pm

Mike ,

That win against Orlando had less to do with HOW we won the game, and far more with the fact that we actually competed with them. THAT is the key. In the other three losses, we either only competed with them for two quarters, or not at all. If you don’t compete the whole game, then you haven’t competed at all, really. In the win, we gave ourselves a chance by actually competing.

That’s where the blueprint comes from.

Rock Preston

May 2nd, 2010
8:36 pm

Classic Woody during presser….Giving off a bully vibe after his strategies have been questioned. NEWS FLASH WOODY!!!! You dont coach them either!!

Mike

May 2nd, 2010
8:48 pm

Orlando has won 10 straight and 24 of the last 27 games. Atlanta has to beat Orlando 4 times in 7 games, Orlando has not even lost 4 times in the last 27 games.

Atlanta has lost to Orlando 6 of the last 7 times and only won by a last second tip-in the one win they had in Atlanta.

My prediction, Orlando in 5.

bigdave

May 2nd, 2010
8:50 pm

how can we get Brandon Jennings..? lol.. he says, “hopefully we didnt tire them out too bad, they can go get one in Orl. at least they’ll be warmed up”

aye.. key to Orlando; dominate the glass (only Dwight really cares about boards).. contest shooters.. let Dwight eat offensively..Josh has to be a major contribute offensively this series, im not sure Orl. has an answer for what he can do..

bigdave

May 2nd, 2010
8:51 pm

*contributor

Clyde

May 2nd, 2010
9:08 pm

drmaryb you lost me with that one

FIRE WOODY

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
9:08 pm

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
9:09 pm

“We’re healthy, the depth is there, and we don’t have to rely solely on the starters to get the job done.”

LOL @ Smoove for saying that. What depth? Our bench consists of Crawford and ZaZa (gets 10 minutes even if he plays great)

FIRE WOODY

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
9:11 pm

EVERYONE IN THE ROTATION IS EXHAUSTED RIGHT NOW. BIBBY SAID AFTER THE GAME HE WAS EXHAUSTED.

THIS IS BECAUSE WOODY DID NOT DEVELOP THE BENCH, MEANING OLD-@$$ BIBBY PLAYED HUGE MINUTES BECAUSE WOODSON WAS TOO ARROGANT AND SELFISH TO DEVELOP YOUNG GUYS LIKE TEAGUE OR EVEN MARIO (AND ACIE LAW THE LAST 2 YEARS). YOU WILL SEE SOME TIRED LEGS TUESDAY, SOLELY BECAUSE WOODSON IS A GARBAGE HEAD COACH, WHOSE TEAMS NATURALLY GOT BETTER BECAUSE THEY ARE SO YOUNG

MAGIC IN 5. AND TRUST ME I WANT THE HAWKS TO WIN, BUT DWIGHT AND VINCE HAVEN’T EVEN SHOWN UP IN THE PLAYOFFS YET

FIRE WOODY

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
9:13 pm

HORFORD SAID THAT THE HAWKS THINK THEY’VE FIGURED OUT THAT IF THEY DEFEND WELL, THEY GIEV TEHMSELVES A CHANCE TO WIN. HOW THE HELL DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO REALIZE THAT?

WOODSON ALSO SAYS THAT HE HAS NOT FIGURED OUT ORLANDO YET. GOOD TO HEAR THAT YOUR COACH CAN’T DEVISE A GAMEPLAN TO BEAT A DIVISION RIVAL (WE GOT LUCKY IN THE 1 GAME WITH THE SMOOVE GW)

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
9:17 pm

I’M SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT HOW IF THE HAWKS PLAY UP TO THEIR ABILITIES THEY CAN BEAT ANYONE. THAT STATEMENT IS MEANINGLESS. ANY TEAM IN THE NBA CAN SAY THAT

FIRE WOODY

Blast

May 2nd, 2010
9:25 pm

Great series win, Hawks, even if it took you 7 games to do it. Do not discount the Bucks either. They brought all they had. Hawks gave them life by taking them for granted.

Play Orlando the way you did in the only game you won this season. Straight up! Double Dwight only when he puts the ball on the floor and rotate on the shooters. Double only selectively. Foul him if he gets too close in the post. Make him make foul shots. Stay on the shooters! All of them! I would rather Dwight score 50 than get beat by deadly three’s.

Hope Hawks can gain momentum from these last two wins.

Go, Hawks, Go!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2010
9:31 pm

“MAGIC IN 5. AND TRUST ME I WANT THE HAWKS TO WIN, BUT DWIGHT AND VINCE HAVEN’T EVEN SHOWN UP IN THE PLAYOFFS YET”

What makes you think they necessarily will? It’s not like either one is a proven playoff performer.

Logic favors Orlando winning this series, but if this past series has taught me anything, it is that making predictions about the Hawks is a pointless exercise.

Blast

May 2nd, 2010
9:32 pm

Mike Bibby was awesome! He seems to get better as the season goes on, saving his best for the playoffs! Hope he can keep it up. Give that man major credit, dude coming up strong.

Joe was awful on offense, but he gave a great defensive effort.

Josh was Josh. Filling up the stats sheets despite foul trouble.

Jamal continues his great play two games in a row.

Wow! Hawks, what can you do vs Orlando?

Blast

May 2nd, 2010
9:40 pm

And Big Boss Al Horford was a super Beast!

He has improved greatly, but can he match Dwight toe to toe?

banks

May 2nd, 2010
9:43 pm

The key to this series is Al Horford and if he can hit the 15 ft jumper and pull Howard from the lane and create lanes for the other players. Also Howard is a mentally fragil player at times. ZaZa and Collins needto play the role of Kurt Thomas and frustrate Howard. One worry is Vince he always kills us. However he can disapper in games once he becomes frustrated. I think more than any other series Marvin will be the key he will have to hit the open shot in order to provide more one one match ups for Joe and Jamal.

northcyde

May 2nd, 2010
9:47 pm

Mike

May 2nd, 2010
8:48 pm

Orlando has won 10 straight and 24 of the last 27 games. Atlanta has to beat Orlando 4 times in 7 games, Orlando has not even lost 4 times in the last 27 games.

Atlanta has lost to Orlando 6 of the last 7 times and only won by a last second tip-in the one win they had in Atlanta.

My prediction, Orlando in 5.

*****************

LOL . . . this must be an Orlando troll. Like people couldn’t look up this, and see if he’s right.

Record of the Hawks vs Orlando in the past 5 years:

2009 – 10: 1 – 3
2008 – 09: 1 – 3
2007 – 08: 2 – 2
2006 – 07: 3 – 1
2005 – 06: 2 – 2

RECORD: 9 – 11

. . . . definitely nothing to brag about. LOL . . but we haven’t lost to them 10 straight and 24 out of 27. Hell . . . Orlando JUST got good.

Mike

May 2nd, 2010
9:48 pm

Al Horford is a great player, but he can’t defend Dwight. Plus the Hawks need his offense so he can’t waste his fouls on Dwight like Charlotte did with their centers.

You can’t really gauge how good Horford is by the way he played in Milwalkee, they had no one even close to the caliber of Dwight. It’s like thinking that an NBA team is good enough to win a title because they beat a college team.

Floze

May 2nd, 2010
9:55 pm

Great Win Hawks – Rest and Heal, you will need it.

BirdDawg

May 2nd, 2010
10:04 pm

Mike,
By the same right, Charlotte has no center anywhere as good as Horford. Al may not be able to defend Howard in the post, but Howard can’t defend Al on the perimeter either. Also, it’s not necessarily about that individual matchup. If Al is able to pull Howard out to the perimeter, it opens up the lanes for Jamal or the post for Joe and Josh. Also will lead to many more offensive rebound opportunities. If the Woodson is smart (big IF), he will start Zaza at the beginning of the game, rotate between Al and Josh at the PF and use Collins and Morris spell Zaza and waste some fouls on Howard. In the second half, go with your regular starting lineup to take control using Al to bring Dwight to the perimeter and work the inside outside game like they did against Milwaukee using Josh, Joe, Jamal and Bibby. This is all completely dependent upon the flow of the game of course and we all know how Woodson is with his in-game adjustments. Woody usually feels that it’s not that his gameplan isn’t working, his players just need to play harder to execute it. No need to make adjustments.

Stuey Rock

May 2nd, 2010
10:06 pm

northcyde,

Mike isnt talking about the Hawks record against the Hawks, he’s talking about the Magic’s last 27 games, including the playoffs, and he’s right.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=orl

Najeh Davenpoop

May 2nd, 2010
10:06 pm

“The Hawks don’t have a blueprint for the Magic, they only won 1 game off of a last second tip-in because Rahard Lewis did not box-out Josh Smith. ”

What you seem to be forgetting is that the Hawks led for most of that game before one of their isolation-fueled dry spells allowed Orlando to come back and tie it. Not to mention, if Vince Carter doesn’t hit a highly improbable, contested fadeaway 3 in the final minute, the Hawks would have just dribbled out the clock with no need for the tip in. I was at that game, and the Hawks executed the defensive blueprint to perfection.

Also, LOL at the idea that the win is somehow less legitimate because Smoove took advantage of Rashard Lewis’ mental lapse to win the game. Last time I checked, the team that makes big plays in crunch time usually tends to come out on top.

Stuey Rock

May 2nd, 2010
10:06 pm

I mean he isn’t talking about the Hawks record against the Magic

JeJe

May 2nd, 2010
10:14 pm

WE NEED TO ATTACK THE BASKET AND GET DWIGHT IN FOUL TROUBLE

AND JOE, STOP THIS DAMN ISO !@#$. YOU TAKE HORRENDOUS SHOTS AND NO ONE CUTS

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

May 2nd, 2010
10:21 pm

It’s like this, The Magic have shooters, but we have shooters too (Joe, Bibby, Crawford, Marvin, Evans)
they just have to knock down their shots at a high enough % to compete with the Magic.

The Magic have Dwight Howard, a big, intimidating physical specimen down low….with no jumper and cant shoot free throws

We have Horford, who isnt as big or as intimidating but has speed and is able to move howard away from the basket (to respect his mid ranged J……..where he also could use the space to drive right at Howard and try to get him in foul trouble) ………………………+ plus Josh Smith

The Hawks can compete and win, and it would be dissapointing if they dont atleast compete.

banks

May 2nd, 2010
10:23 pm

The one thing we can not do is double Howard. If you do that he will find the open shooters. Let Howard beat you. Collins, Za and Joe Smith have 18 fouls per game to give.