Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 2: Magic 112, Hawks 98

ORLANDO– “Almost need the perfect game to beat this team,” Woody said. If that’s true, “almost perfect” for the Hawks does not include things like a 15-point fourth quarter, allowing a 35-point third quarter when they had control of the game and getting scorched for 56 percent shooting.

– “We know we can play in this arena and we can play with these guys,” Smoove said. “We just have to establish ourselves. We have to look at the bright side. We played hard and we didn’t just let them roll over us.”

–The Hawks lost by 14 points despite being nearly perfect from the line, seeing only 39 minutes of Dwight Howard due to foul trouble and a bloody nose and holding the Magic to 17 points in a quarter. “You have to look at the positives,” Jamal said. “We came in their place and were down one entering the fourth quarter. That shows you we are right there.”

– I understand the Hawks have to maintain that positive state of mind but it’s little solace if they are actually trying to win this series. Is this the really the best they can do at Orlando? Take a lead at halftime, spit the bit in the fourth quarter and lose by double digits?

– “I think we are good enough to play with anyone in the league,” Al said. “We have to keep improving and build on how we played in the first half.”

– The Hawks were a model of offensive efficiency in the second quarter: 9 of 21 shooting, 10 of 10 free throws, six offensive rebounds for eight second-chance points and five assists. The first quarter was good, too. “I think we had more movement going around instead of keeping the ball on one side and playing isolation,” Al said. “We were moving the ball and just sharing it. When we play like that, we are at our best.”

– They didn’t play like that in the second half: 41 points, 12 of 33 shooting. J.J. and, to a lesser extent, Jamal were the culprits. The Magic are a good defensive team but the Hawks make it easier for them when the ball stays in one place.

– You had to figure Al would start making jumpers. When he does, it usually means the offense is flowing and Dwight is away from the basket, and both of those are good things. “Al Horford, it seemed like he didn’t miss any shots tonight,” Howard said. “I was upset that he was just on fire.”

– Bibby played just four minutes after halftime, none in the fourth quarter. Maybe having him out there would have improved the flow but, considering the way he defers to Joe, maybe not. Jamal had the Hawks playing faster. He went hard to the basket, too, getting six free-throw attempts.

– “Mike will be back in there Saturday ready to go,” Woody said. “That’s not my worry. It’s all about trying to win. I thought Jamal was playing pretty well but we just didn’t have that in the fourth quarter.”

– You know what you are going to get when Jamal is running the show. The shot distribution was out of wack in the second half: 11 for Jamal, 7 for J.J. and only 5 for Al. So were the minutes: only 5 for Zaza and 4 for Mo.

VC, Jameer Nelson, Pietrus, and Rashard Lewis combined to make 27 of 51 shots. I still think the Magic just has too many good perimeter players and the Hawks have too many bad matchups out there. That’s something that needs to be addressed in the offseason.

– If the Hawks are going to take the “let Dwight get his” approach, they have to find a way to control all those shooters. Dwight got his and so did Rashard, VC and Jameer. No one is saying it’s easy to do both but that’s what it’s going to take for the Hawks to win this series. “The idea is to put pressure on them,” VC said. “You want to come in as many waves as possible.”

– The Hawks survived Dwight’s 18 points, 6 of 6 shooting and 6 of 9 free throws in the first quarter. He only had 10 over the final three yet the Magic still won going away. “We tried doubling him,” Woody said. “We tried playing him straight up. He got to the free-throw line quite a bit in the first half, but I don’t think that really hurt us. Their threes coming down the stretch were huge in terms of our rotation. We were slow there and they were able to knock down shots there.”

– The Hawks had a 57-49 lead at halftime and then almost immediately gave it back. They started the quarter by coming up empty on five consecutive possessions, including three turnovers. “We just fell apart to start the third quarter to give them momentum to get back in the game,” Woody said

– The Hawks didn’t let it get away from them at that point. The lead changed eight more times over the last nine minutes of the period, the last time on Nelson’s running, banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer. “I think we relaxed and that’s a big momentum shot for them going into the fourth quarter,” Woody said.

– The Hawks were down just 88-87 early in the third. Then the Magic ripped off runs of 10-0 and 9-0 as the Hawks missed 8 of their next 9 shots, including four in a row by Jamal. “We just didn’t have anything left in the fourth quarter,” Woody said.

– At least the Hawks didn’t stay down once they got down like they usually do on the road. “I think we realized that we had to play harder than what we did [in Game 1],” Al said. “We got away from our game plan in the first game and we learned from that and moved on. We tried to put a full game together tonight but just couldn’t do it. We just have to go home and handle our business and win at home.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

120 comments Add your comment

Brad

May 7th, 2010
12:57 am

MC, I am very surprised that you don’t have anything in your report regarding Josh Smith’s pouting and lack of effort to start the second half. That was a huge turning point in the game, and his lack of effort led to several open and converted Magic 3’s.

VenomSpitter

May 7th, 2010
12:57 am

I got nothing more 2 say

Woodys No Goody

May 7th, 2010
12:57 am

darrell starks

May 7th, 2010
1:01 am

South georgia boy are you slow, if your the nets and you draft john wall how in the h are you going 2 play devin and john wall there both point guards?
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 7th, 2010
1:01 am

“Bibby played just four minutes after halftime, none in the fourth quarter. Maybe having him out there would have improved the flow but, considering the way he defers to Joe, maybe not.”

Considering the way he gets abused by Jameer Nelson like underage prostitutes do by Lawrence Taylor, definitely not. Give Woody credit for realizing how much of a liability the “teacher’s pet” has become and getting his azz out of there.

Like you mentioned the Hawks had an 8 point lead at halftime and almost immediately gave it back, but they still hung around until the beginning of the 4th, holding that lead for much of the time. Not trying to pick on you, but what you didn’t mention is that Orlando made up that deficit in the first 4 minutes of the quarter when Bibby was on the floor, and as soon as Crawford came in for Bibby the Hawks stabilized the game and stopped the Magic run. Bibby was awful tonight, just as he was in Game 1, and just as he has been for most of these playoffs.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 7th, 2010
1:04 am

Darrell, Harris and Lopez are great fantasy basketball players, but you do know they won a total of 12 games this year right? You really think this 53-win team will benefit by remaking their core around the core of one of the worst teams in the history of the league?

darrell starks

May 7th, 2010
1:13 am

Look the nets sign BOSH OR STOUDEMIRE 2 A MAX. plus they draft john wall
and the josh smith trade.

THAT A GOOD STARTE FOR THE WORST TEAM IN TH NBA.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

May 7th, 2010
1:15 am

Sund regrets the reup of slew-foot Bibby. Maybe if the Nets draft Wall, we can pry Devin Brown from them. At any rate the countdown to Woody getting the hook is on. Can Bibby while you are at Sund.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

May 7th, 2010
1:20 am

watching a Hawks fourth quarter is like ground hog day. you already know what’s coming-utter collapse and disgusting ball movement. J Smoove taking of plays was the worst. Bye Woody. Go Hawks.

J-Hey

May 7th, 2010
1:21 am

“We know we can play in this arena and we can play with these guys,”

– You know you can play in this arena because it’d be strange playing them in a different area for an Orlando home game. And you know you can play with these guys because it says “Orlando Magic” on the posted lineups.

- And sure you can play with these guys, you played with them for 30 minutes in Game 1 and 45 minutes in Game 2, you just can’t compete with them for 60 minutes. Playing is one thing but competing is different

darrell starks

May 7th, 2010
1:40 am

NAJEH yes i think putting good player in a great position can benefit the hawks, plus a change or 2 can make you better as a team, look at the wizard trading there 2 best player with the mavs, could benefit them in the long run but hurt them in a subliminal way in the beginning time will only tell.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

Grandad

May 7th, 2010
1:55 am

darrell starks & Hawks Fan In New Orleans:

I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’m not certain D.Harris
is an upgrade over Teaguer. Kyle Lowry [FA] would not reqire an
*expenditure *[players] in a trade. [$] would be minimal to sign.

Clyde

May 7th, 2010
3:23 am

cp

May 7th, 2010
3:33 am

Bibby is done. Dude couldn’t defend the Gatorade cooler at this point……..Marvin has to be one of the softest players I have seen. This dude goes up so weak that its not even funny. Bibby and Marvin should be put on the trading block as soon as the playoffs are over. I don’t even care what they get in return but these two have got to go. Woodrow just cannot make adjustments on the fly. The Magic were killing us with that one play and ol Woodrow couldn’t draw up nothing to stop it.. Unlike the Hawks, the Magic will beat you over the head with something that works until you stop it…… The Hawks on the other hand go away from whats working.

Clyde

May 7th, 2010
3:45 am

Bibby is done but he still has 2 years left on his contract.

FIRE WOODY

magic sweep

May 7th, 2010
5:40 am

J-Hey’s comment saying the hawks cannot compete with the magic for 60 minutes. idiot. of course they cannot. the game lasts only 48. this a’int football fool.

vava74

May 7th, 2010
6:24 am

I did not see the first half, but I intend to as soon as I find a download on the web.

But here is some speculative food for thought:

Apparently, we played really well during the first half.

There was ball movement.

Good shot distribution.

JJ got to the line and got points even though his shot was not going in at a good rate.

We out rebounded ORL.

We got Howard in foul trouble.

ALL THE ABOVE is not necessarily standard MO for us. It seems that the team responded to some strategy changes and to some different preparation.

Here, Astro is the moment that you will shut the f*ck up about effort, OK?

Even you came up with a post where SVG praises Woody for the adjustments made.

SO THE ISSUE IS WHY DIDN’T THOSE ADJUSTMENTS COME BEFORE GAME 1??

ISN’T it viable to speculate that the first half would be our standard MO if we were better coached since DAY 1 of the season?

And that, consequently, instead of looking at a very probable sweep we could be talking about a possible upset or at least at a competitive series.

What we saw yesterday only adds up to our “horror show”. Up by 8 at the break and then back to game 1 mode.

If we actually had some offensive plays designed to take advantage of our personnel? Cutters, shots off screens, ball and player movement?

Does anyone really think that JJ would not sink at least 45% of his shots if they came out of ball movement and with the D off balance rather than going 1 on 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 or 5?

JJ was never and will never be Lebron, nor even Wade since he is not as explosive AND since he does not get 1/4 of the calls but he is a terrific shooter.

Do we see Ray Allen – aged 100 right now – struggle in these playoffs or do we see him play well, off screens and after significant motion which has kept the defenses looking to keep up with him rather than stationary waiting for him to go against a wall of out-stretched arms?

And Smoove? Where are his high flying heroics in the playoffs? What do we have as a designed offense to take advantage of his superior athleticism and strength?

Nothing. Instead we have him stationed in the low post (where he now has some decent but not really reliable moves) as if he was a second coming of Tim Duncan or Hakeem.

What about Al? His correct usage is clearly on and off. Wasn’t he looking to beat Howard one on one down low in Game 1, as if he didn’t give away 2 inches and about 30 lbs of muscle to an athletic freak which gets a free pass (most of the time) from the refs?

His speed and outside shot can be used if he plays away from the basket and either shoots or catches ON THE RUN, instead of trying to get around Howard from a stand still position (well sometimes it does work from a stand still position, but Howard is not an immobile center, rather the contrary).

Due to his mobility, balance and athleticism Al can be used like a guard, rotating and shooting (or driving) off an elbow screen. That would keep ORL defense completely off-balance and would open up the paint.

What about Bibby. Isn’t he supposed to be at least an acceptable shooter? Why are there any more shots called for him off picks? If they go in, he can stay on the floor, if they are not going in you can get Jamal in.

Bibby’s first 5 minutes in the game should be ALL OUT giving maximum effort to move the ball and make a few shots. Then he would get a breather with Jamal taking over and giving the D something different to think about.

Bibby could then come in later in the game against the opposing reserves and DO THE SAME: ALL OUT speed and plenty of shots against inferior opposition AND WITH A BIG FRONT COURT playing for us to get the rebounds and to work the pick and roll (ZAZA JOE S and MARVIN) and with MO playing next to him to give some back court D during that period and some extra outside threat.

If Marvin was used on the pick and roll wouldn’t he be effective? He has a decent mid range shot and when he catches on the move he usually gets the call or the basket.

The same that was said for JJ can be said for Jamal. Why almost all of his shots must come from plays where he has the rock and has to shake and bake 3 defenders?

When you repeat a move and a strategy “ad nauseum” aren’t the defenses supposed to get comfortable and figure it out?

N-Trigue

May 7th, 2010
6:24 am

Joe Johnson dribbling and dribbling and dribbling and dribbling till the shot clock is down to 4 seconds then trys to pass or shoot is really what killed us this game. Joe’s lack to recognize the flow of the game is critical! He plays as if he is having a special game like he’s been on fire the whole first half! What I have recognized is that. It only takes 1 or 2 of these type of possessions and its like a domino effect on the Hawks players and offense! This is where the momentum and game changed for the worse! Secondly something I’ve also noticed which is key as well when is the last time you all seen Woodson get in one of his players face besides Teague??? When the Hawks are having bad gms or are having a bad spurt where they are not playing like they should they need a coach that will call Timeout and get into its team star players face and challenge him and the team to play better! Woody doesn’t even have the balls to sit Joe when clearly he looks like he is lost out there trying to play to prove he’s an elite player worthy of a max contract instead of playing to win a championship game. We honestly need to sign and trade Joe and Bibby to Suns for Amir Stoudamire and their backup point I think his name is drobnic! Then bring in a defensive big and another player that can bring energy and defend off the bench in Joe Smiths current spot. See if the Warriors would be stupid enough to take Marvin and a draft pick for Brandon Wright and now where getting somewhere! Goodbye Woody hopefully in comes Steve Smith!!!!

Nate ArchiBALL

May 7th, 2010
6:27 am

In answer to the late night calls for the trade of Josh for a “Perkins-like Center”.

Give me the name of the center you would get for Josh. We keep saying we need a “Perkins like center”….. give me a name…. please.

It is my thought that that person / center doesn’t exist.in today’s NBA.

Is it
Marcus Camby / Brad Miller / Ben Wallace / Andrew Bynum, / Mehmet Okur / Chris Kaman /
Nenad Krstic / Tyson Chandler / Samuel Dalembert / Kwame Brown / Jeff Foster / Brendan Haywood /
Erick Dampier / Rasho Nesterovic / Andris Biedrins / Shaquille O’Neal / Al Jefferson/ Jason Collins / Randolph Morris / ZaZa Pachulia

You may also pick one from the 103 players who played the center position in the NBA this season
http://www.hoopsstats.com/basketball/fantasy/nba/playerstats/10/6/eff

Can you imagine Perkins in the current Hawks offense and switching defense? He would look like ZaZa.

N-Trigue

May 7th, 2010
6:41 am

Josh Smith is my boy I love his game but somebody tell him to man up this is the NBA playoffs not rec league! If u get hit in the mouth and your teeth is still there u better run up the court and continue playing! Did anybody see when he barely got hit in the mouth in the 4th I think and stayed at half court holding his mouth? Then after the tv timeout he was right back out their playing that reminded me of watching 9year olds playing rec trying to give up cause the gm is not going their way! Josh suck it up and stop making jokes with the other team and stop looking like Dwight used to punk you out when you were little! This is the playoffs so suck it up and go get some balls man!!!!

Justin

May 7th, 2010
7:06 am

Everybody keeps talking about how the Hawks hit all their ft’s and rebounded and hit their 3’s and still lost by double digits. Big deal. They scored enough points to win a game, even with the slow 4th quarter. If you score 98, that’s enough offense to win a game. The Magic got red hot at the end of the game. THEY HIT 6 OF 7 3-POINTERS from the end of the third through middle of 4th, and one of those was a 30 foot bank shot at the buzzer. Yeah, the Hawks turned the ball over in the 4th and missed a lot of shots. But a lot of those shots were good looks and by and large they were not long range 2 point jumpers. The year we took Boston 7 we never had a game this close in Boston. Not to mention that Howard played a ton of minutes last night after the 3 blatant no-calls early on and he still finished with 5 fouls. If the refs had called those fouls, it really would have changed the dynamic of the game. Just look at what we did in the 2nd quarter when he was out. If the whistles down low are more fair in Atlanta, don’t be surprised if we take them both. Chartlotte couldn’t capitalize on Dwight’s foul troubles because they’re a poor offensive team. If Dwight gets in foul trouble early, we can definitely go over 100 points.

cacambo

May 7th, 2010
7:23 am

ALL THAT AND NOT ONE MENTION OF HOW JOSH WAS STUPID ON OFFENSE AND LAZY ON DEFENSE IN THE SECOND HALF? UNBELIEVABLE. CUNNINGHAM HAS NO PROBLEM BASHING JAMAL AND JJ, BUT JOSH GETS A FREE PASS FOR TURNING THE BALL OVER AND BEING HALF-A$$ED CLOSING OUT ON SHOOTERS. HELL HE DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO GET BACK ON D AT ALL ON A LOT OF POSSESSIONS.

HOW DO YOU DO A WRITE UP BLAMING EVERYONE BUT HIM, MC?

O'Brien

May 7th, 2010
7:35 am

“I think we had more movement going around instead of keeping the ball on one side and playing isolation,” Al said. “We were moving the ball and just sharing it. When we play like that, we are at our best.”

Isolations have been the blueprint of this team the last few years, and it all comes back to coaching. After all, you play how you practice, right? And if the players are not playing the way Woody wants them to play, then get the player out of here, or get Woody out of here.

I would like to hear from those fans who said Teague does not get any PT because he has not earned it, or he does not impact the game enough.

Bibby impacts the game alright, but its mostly negative. Maybe with more PT during the year, Teague might have been an option for games like this when Bibby only plays 12 minutes. I just hope Bibby makes a positive impact in the home games so he can stay on the floor.

And for those complaining about Bibby, keep in mind that he is signed for 2 MORE YEARS after this one ($5.6 mil, and $6.2 mil). Thanks Woody and Rick Sund. In my opinion, Bibby’s contract was a reward for what he did when he first got here. I’m not sure if they considered his contributions going forward.

He was always slow, and a big defensive liability. And despite his age, we still gave him a guaranteed 3 year deal (was anyone else offering him 3 years?). I just hope he finds the fountain of youth this offseason.

MC,

” I still think the Magic just has too many good perimeter players and the Hawks have too many bad matchups out there. That’s something that needs to be addressed in the offseason”.

Agreed. As constructed, this team has some flaws, not all of which can be blamed on coaching. If Sund leaves the team intact, then he has to make a coaching change. And if he brings Woody back, then he has to make some roster changes.

I’m also surprised there were no comments about Josh and his lack if effort on defense, especially in the second half.

And whats up with JJ? Another bad shooting night. I can’t help but think his hand is bothering him. His play is disappointing though, because we have needed our star to help carry us on the road, and he has not done that. Thats part of the reason why we are 2-12 on the road in the playoffs, with 9 or 10 of those losses coming by 19 points or more.

doc

May 7th, 2010
7:43 am

does any of this talk sound reminiscent of what thisteam sounded like two or three years ago after terrible losses?

pathetic, just pathetic.

where is JJ to say i havent gotten the job done and i need to do that?

we have allowed VC to feel too comfortable, again.

jg

May 7th, 2010
7:54 am

you got your moral victory woody! i hope you are proud! i suspect a “close” loss on saturday at home and another blowout on monday to give the magic a sweep.

we missed a great opportunity last night. played a decent first qtr barring defense. 2nd qtr was outstanding. we get a break to start the third with them losing howard–instead of taking the lead up to 15 to 20–we turn the ball over several times and let the magic cut the lead to one as howard re-enters the arena. depressing–so much so that woody has to burn a time out which gives howard more time to get back into the game. stupidity!

the half court shot by nelson was big for orlando–got the crowd even more into it, fired his teammates up and kind of shook up the hawks that had just got a big three from jamaal to give them the lead.

4th qtr was typical hawks basketball. i kept saying the whole game that we couldn’t keep playing this well offensively and i was right–we did it for about 38-39 minutes and than it just stopped!!! and is it me or does the magic shoot better against us than anybody us in the league.

Joe Johnson

May 7th, 2010
7:57 am

Forget yall I like to dribble and show my handles off we loss cause I didn’t get to dribble more If it wasn’t for those stupid shot clocks! Who invented those things anyway its really messing up my game!!!

oldmike

May 7th, 2010
8:04 am

Why should we be encouraged by the effort. They fell short. They are an NBA team. Some of these dudes makle 15 million a year! Shouldn’t that be enough to motivate them to run the floor and play with energy? For 4 freaking quarters? Where is their heart? JSmoove should have been on the bench when he sulked and lslow footed it down court. Why does this team have so many lapses in big moments. Maybe the composition stinks. Gte rid of them all (except for Al) and start over. My stomach can’t take much more. And bring in a new coach, PLEASE!!!!!

Ken Strickland

May 7th, 2010
8:21 am

The officials seemed determined to prevent DHoward from repeating the foul trouble issues he experienced against Charlotte. They stood back and allowed him to bully his way over anyone that got in his way. He got so carried away with his new found freedom, they were forced to reel him in and make some charging calls against him, but the calls they made were petty compared to the ones they let go.

You’d think after witnessing Orlando’s regular season domination, Milwaukee’s embarrassing 3gm playoff win streak, and the far too numerous 4th qtr regular season meltdowns, Woodson would get it through his thick stubborn head that his dependence on ISO’s and his beloved switching DEF won’t work, especially in the playoffs.

At halftime, Woodson said he was satisfied with our DEF, which gave up 49pts, so that was all the justification he needed not to make a single DEF adjustment. The Magic obviously made an adjustment, and their players took turns scorching us. Woodson did absolutely nothing after watching their guards beat our C’s and PF’s off the dribble after taking advantage of us switching everything and forcing mismatches.

Woodson simply doesn’t have what it takes to be a playoff calibre HC. He did and said absolutely nothing as JJ consistently disrupted the OFF with his ISO BS, which has been his position all yr long. He did absolutely nothing when Smoove hung back several times on DEF arguing with the officials. Marvin was going to the FT line almost every time he went to the basket, yet he was ignored the entire 2nd half, which has been his position all yr long.

We didn’t get outplayed tonight, we got out coached, bigtime.

Furloughed

May 7th, 2010
8:22 am

Does anyone besides me realize that Atlanta is misspelled in the headline?

“Atlatna Hawks Squawks Game 2: Magic 112, Hawks 98
12:39 am May 7, 2010, by Michael Cunningham”

Section 303

May 7th, 2010
8:27 am

Josh Smith reverted back to the Josh Smith I used to hate. All the walking around, not running back on D, standing at halfcourt holding his face while play is going on….he can’t do that stuff.

Really, I am just accepting that the Hawks are totally outclassed this series. Not only to the Magic have a better collection of players, but the Hawks simply do not win these kind of games. They can keep it close, but actually winning the game is a different story.

Also, I know more than half the things these guys say to the media is bullsh#t, but can’t the Hawks give us something else. I mean…Horford is on the podium talking about how the team learned they can’t quit. Really? It’s f’ing May 6th and we’re just learning we can’t quit? Someone needs to write these guys a new script because what they are saying makes them sound stupid.

Only two more beatings to take and we call it a season. Not sure if the Hawks will avoid the sweet…not sure it really matters. Team/organization is not as far along as I thought. There needs to be some changes. 2nd round is about as far as this group can go.

And, I’ve also come to accept that Joe Johnson is not worth a max contract. I love him. He is my favorite player. But, giving him a max deal would cripple the organization for years. I hope he comes back, but if a max deal is the requirement then it is time to let him go.

Nacho

May 7th, 2010
8:28 am

Have you noticed how irrelevant Woody has become? Does any reporter really want to write down his thoughts for the next game?

Our team is so poorly prepared, have you noticed how sloppy our screens are compared to any other team?

Mike Jay

May 7th, 2010
8:30 am

I’m a huge Josh Smith fan but the only part of his game he has elevated for the playoffs this year is his whinning and complaining. It really is gettting tiresome. You want to jaw at the ref? Fine but do it as you are running back on defense.

Also it is time to kill the iso plays. The Hawks needed to do that I nthe past as they were basically Joe Johsnson and a bag of chips. However, now they have multiple people that can score and play their best when they move the ball. Nobody o nthe tema wants to play that way except maybe Joe johnson and he even doesn’t look comfrotable doing it anymore. I’m fine with crawford doing it on occasion as he can actually create and take people off the dribble. along that line cane we not at least try a different defensive approach? This switching thing ain’t fooling anybody.

i_am_soulstar

May 7th, 2010
8:39 am

It’s clear where the team went wrong. Two things:

1) Josh’s drop from intensity in the 1st half to a clear lack of effort to start the 2nd half

2) Iso plays, when ball movement worked so well for 2 quarters.

Josh’s careless turnovers and Joe’s dribbling down to 6 seconds left on the shot clock twice and getting shot clock violations left me absolutely infuriated!

On a lighter note, Welcome Home Hawks!

Let’s even this series up.

ladyhawksfan

May 7th, 2010
8:43 am

This was yet another Hawks 4th qtr meltdown.I felt that 3 Nelson made at the end of the 3rd was a back breaker for the Hawks.It changed the momentum of the game.They started to doubt themselves and that spells disaster for this team.They stopped running pick and rolls,there was no penetration or ball movement,just a lot of standing around watching Joe and Crawford dribble out the shot clock.Not to forget those dumb turnovers by Josh.Then they decided to stop playing defense.Did Howard even have a foul in the second half?

SC Smith

May 7th, 2010
8:46 am

It’s clear the Hawks have no true leader of closer. Nice cast but no true game changing star. Until they do this is what you get. Break the bank for Wade or Bosh.

TJHOP

May 7th, 2010
8:53 am

Josh Smith nor Joe Johnson gave Al Horford any help….The switching defense is there worse enemy..Josh Smith cant get off so he just sulks and he made idiotic mistakes that biddy ball players make….. Granted the gave Dwight Howard some questionable calls but at least play with some passion…..That whole team should of been dismantled last year including the coach. They are built for regular season basketball NOT playoffs…..They barely made it by a lowly Bucks team and if the Bucks had their starting center the Horrible Hawks would be fishing right now or checking out their favorite strip clubs……HAWKS ARE TERRIBLE…..

Gamer

May 7th, 2010
8:54 am

Hawks show some resiliency the first three quarters but the fourth quarter they start relying on the long ball and dragging around on defense,,result another loss.

If the Hawks can stay conscious and focus the next two games in ATL, I predict two wins for Hawks, series tied 2-2.

Joe Johnson need to hit shoot around.

HAWKS MAKE BEDLAM!!! STRIKE FRIGHT INTO YOUR OPPONENT

i_am_soulstar

May 7th, 2010
8:58 am

Section 303,

I agree. It’s been a hard truth for me to swallow, but Joe is absolutely not a max player, or he hasn’t played like it in these playoffs.

If anything, he’s simply the “best of the rest” as they say.

If we have to give up max money to get him, it may be time go in another direction. Take that 5 year – 80K, they probably wanna offer him and sign Rudy Gay and a third tier guy, or work a sign and trade.

Mike Jay

May 7th, 2010
9:13 am

Soulstar,

I just doesn’t work that way. Just beacuase we don’t give Joe Johnson a max contract does not mean we have a max contract type deal we can give somebody else. The Hawks are close to the cap and can ONLY go over that on deal with one of their players. So basically we either max out and resign Joe Johsnosn are we can use the veteran exception to go get a ‘contributer’.

Wait till next year

May 7th, 2010
9:15 am

I have been a staunch Josh supporter, but I must admit that he showed all his mental flaws in this game. That being said; does anyone remember how he played last year. He had 300% improvement in his overall game over last year. Remember that he is still a young man, and that he did not gain valuable gametime experience in college. What he missed most by skipping to the pros is the mental toughness that he has yet to fully develop.

If he improves his mental and physical game by the same amount this offseason, he will be a first team all-pro for many years to come. If you trade him it will be one of the biggest blunders in Atlanta sports history. Twenty years from now people will be saying “Remember when Atl had young HOF’s Josh Smith and Al Horford? They were so close until they traded JS away just before he broke out!!!! They haven’t been that good sense.”

Blk.Knight

May 7th, 2010
9:19 am

The main problem is that Joe Johnson looks worn out. Many of the hawks seem tired and I think that impacted their performance at the end of the game. I know that this is the playoffs, but Woody doesn’t use his bench effectively. Where is Joe Smith? I thought we brought him here to Atlanta for his veteran presence in the playoffs.

Also, Marvin Williams is a good support play, but he does not provide any impact on the defense or offense.

I’m interested to see what moves the hawks make this off season. If they continue with this approach to the team I believe we will always have the same result. “Being Average!”

The Truth

May 7th, 2010
9:22 am

There were ominous moments in the second the half that revealed the flaws of this team:

Instead of stretching an 8-point lead to start the 3rd quarter by being aggressive and attacking the basket, the Hawks became lackadaisical as if they had secured the victory already. This led to Orlando’s 6-points gift from the Hawks. The Orlando Magic continued to extend their lead by putting together multiple runs with no real offensive or defensive answer from the Hawks.

Flaw #1: What did Woody tell them in the locker room? He should have been strategizing and making a motivational speak but apparently it didn’t work.

Flaw #2: Bibby was in the game when the defining run took place (enough said).

Flaw #3: Where is our floor leader to calm the ship? Do we really have one? It’s been said that JJ (The 60M man who wants more) leads by example. Well, his MIA 2nd half performance suggests otherwise. Has he thrown Woody under the bus after all the love and support he’s shown him over the years? His playoff performance suggests he has.

Flaw #4: The Hawks Doctor Jekyll defense always leads to their Doctor Jekyll offense. In the movie Mr. Hyde suffered from an identity crisis. Maybe the Hawks can learn something from this movie.

Flaw #5: Why is it when we desperately need to score to stop the bleeding or to turn the tide, the ball falls in the hands of Josh Smith who decision making skills has always been questionable? You would think after these many years this team has been together they would know the nuances of winning a winnable game.

ladyhawksfan

May 7th, 2010
9:29 am

This is what Woody should do for game 3.Bench Bibby and Marvin.Start Teague and Mo.Craford still assumes his six man roll as usual.Teague should be able to handle Jameer,if anything he can keep him out the lane,where he has really abused Bibby.Then on offense he can get into the lane himself and set up other guys,something Bibby doesn’t do.Bibby and Marvin could excel against their second unit.I also like the idea of going big playing Al at the 4,it worked so well in the 2nd qtr,i dont know why he didn’t try this in the second half.And if Josh comes with his little baby fits on Saturday ,i say bench his behind.Lets hope Joe will find his mojo and prove that he is worth a max contract.

mike

May 7th, 2010
9:38 am

MC- i realize the team’s shortcomings, but the pessimism in your articles is too much.. i would read bret’s article at hoopinion if i wanted a large dose of pessimism early in the morning….

Rock Preston

May 7th, 2010
9:46 am

Soulstar…you are right on. Go get Rudy Gay in sign and trade for Joe. Gay is a restricted free agent and Joe would be close to home in Memphis. Make it happen Sund.

jg

May 7th, 2010
10:07 am

i like the idea of tinkering with the starters but woodson won’t give it a shot. i say start your regular starters in game 3 but if we get smoked again–try something different in game 4. why not?

i too have wondered where joe smith has been the whole season??? this guy is too good to not be playing 8 to 10 minutes a half. he didn’t even get in the game last night. what a joke by woodson–he doesn’t know how to use a bench at all.

i would start teague, joe, al, joe smith and josh smith in game 3. bring in bibby for some leadership with the second unit along with marvin, zsa zsa and still use collins and even morris on howard. this might work–who knows–we do know that we’ve done so far is not working!

Deleted?

May 7th, 2010
10:13 am

I was just reading a new post on here that was calling out “Big Ray” and “bubbas” and putting the onus of this teams shortcomings on the Hawks lack of a center. I hit the refresh button and now it is gone.

WHERE DID IT GO? WAS IT DELETED?

It did not seem offensive to me.

Michael Cunningham

May 7th, 2010
10:13 am

@Najeh: my point is the Hawks were sunk either way. with Bibby, it’s the problems you mention. with Jamal, it’s the problems i mentioned. point guard has to be high on the team’s list of needs this summer, both seeing what they have with Teague and getting another vet.

Deleted?

May 7th, 2010
10:14 am

Michael Cunningham

May 7th, 2010
10:14 am

@Brad: true. i Tweeted on it. but that’s not anything new for Josh, is it?