Atlanta Hawks Squawks Game 3: Magic 105, Hawks 75

– Presented with a chance to get back in this series, the Hawks instead checked out. “I wish I knew [why],” Woody said. “It’s very disappointing. After we played three wonderful quarters there in Orlando, I figured we would come home and really play at a high level, make a series out of it. We were so flat coming out.”

– Guess they shouldn’t have been so indignant at those questions about their heart and toughness after that Game 5 loss to Milwaukee. They rallied to beat the Bucks but the Magic are a much better team. Faced with that challenge, the Hawks have laid down in two out of the three games. Is there any way they won’t fold again in Game 4?

– At least Al still seems to care: “It’s frustrating. It really is. I’m not the kind of person that’s going to get out there and point people out. I will acknowledge it. I’ll let them know but you’re not going to see me cursing somebody out or things like that. They know what they have to do. And it’s just frustrating when the effort’s not there.”

– It was an ugly scene at Philips Arena. Fans let the Hawks know that competing and losing is a different deal than failing to show up for a home playoff game. The boos started in the first quarter, grew louder at halftime and reached a crescendo when the home team walked off the floor.

– After Smoove shot a jump shot, Woody barked at him to pass the ball. Smoove shot Woody a look as if to say, “Whatever.” That kind of sums up the way the Hawks played. They weren’t really competing but, oh well.

J.J. acknowledged the “embarrassing” effort but then seemed to be saying “oh well” to fans who didn’t like it: “That doesn’t bother me and I hope it doesn’t bother anyone in this locker room. It’s about us in this locker room. We could care less if [fans] showed up.”

– That’s the Hawks’ leader, All-Star, and highest-paid player talking. And oh, by the way, he’s been pretty bad in the playoffs. He said he doesn’t think he’s costing himself money with his performance but I’m not so sure. He’s definitely raising more questions about his future with the Hawks.

– “It’s terrible to have a performance like that, especially individuals, [including] myself,” Joe said. “These guys look to me for guidance, and when you are playing like that, it is almost impossible for us to win. I take a lot of heat for this, a lot of criticism.”

– He doesn’t have to like the boos but better to say nothing at all than insult the paying customers. A professional basketball team that gives this kind of weak effort in a big game deserves to be booed. “We expected to come out today and play at a high level,” Woody said. “I’m sure our fans expected that. We deserved that. We didn’t compete today.”

– It’s amazing how quickly the atmosphere surrounding the Hawks has soured. It wasn’t too long ago that they finished a 53-win season and there was a debate about the futures of J.J. and Woody. Then they pummeled Milwaukee in Games 1 and 2 and it appeared maybe they were on their way.

– Ownership has pretty much said that the Hawks need to make a good showing in the playoffs or all bets are off. And then the Hawks struggle to beat Milwaukee in 7 games and now are on the verge of being swept by the Magic.

– Don’t get me wrong: Orlando is a better team than the Hawks and a bad matchup. That doesn’t mean the Hawks shouldn’t at least be able to deliver more than one victory and two-perhaps-three competitive efforts in their last seven games against the Magic.

– It’s about more than Dwight Howard, too. Yeah, he was beast in Game 2 but, think about it: He only scored 10 points over the final three quarters of that game and the Hawks took an 8-point lead. The Magic made their comeback when Howard was on the bench.

– This time, Howard was on the bench with two fouls and the Magic down 24-16. When he returned to the game in the second quarter, the Magic were up 38-24. The Magic’s bench players outplayed the Hawks’ starters over that stretch. That has little to do with talent and more to do with a team that is sharper than the Hawks.

– Watching the Magic run their offense and then watching the Hawks try to do the same is like seeing two teams who play in different leagues. “Offensively, the ball was stuck on one side of the floor,” Smoove said. “They’re a great defensive team. When you do that against a great defensive team, you just play into their hands.”

– How many times have the Hawks made similar comments this season? Why are they still saying it in the East semifinals? The stagnant offense has been an issue all season long but it was masked by the good offensive numbers and opponents who didn’t have the time to lock in on the Hawks for the regular season.

– Now it’s the playoffs and Scott Skiles and Stan Van Gundy, two coaches who push their teams to defend at a high level, figured them out. And when the Hawks have a tough time scoring, usually everything else falls apart, too.

– Skiles didn’t have the horses to beat the Hawks, but Van Gundy certainly does. He never lets up on his team, either, and that’s important when Howard is the dominant personality. The Magic have a potent combination of talent, skill and coaching. “What I really like is the intensity,” Van Gundy said. “The guys never got big-headed. They came to play. They played hard.”

– Woody hasn’t been able to get the same kind of consistent effort from the Hawks, not even when they come back to Philips Arena for an important playoff game. Before the game he said this about his future being up in the air: “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, but it is what it is. I am sure we will sit down at the end of the season and talk about a contract. I’ve got a two-year deal, and I’ve proudly honored it. We’ve had a wonderful season. There are a lot of teams still watching us. We control our own destiny with these next two games at home.”

– After the game, Woody said: “Tonight was just unacceptable. I’ve got to take responsibility. I’m the coach. I thought we were going to come out and compete and we didn’t.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

201 comments Add your comment

niremetal

May 8th, 2010
10:39 pm

Atlanta fans frankly do suck, but that’s no excuse for JJ’s comments. Sounds like he doesn’t care about Atlanta anymore, which probably means he’s on his way out. And no matter how much anger people have toward him, that means it’ll be rebuilding time this summer. Because JJ’s unrestricted, it’s tough to envision a scenario where he walks and we get anything back besides (maybe) a token second round pick.

niremetal

May 8th, 2010
10:40 pm

It’s not Atlantans’ fault that they suck as fans, by the way. Tough to have a loyal fan base when 70% of the metro area’s population was born elsewhere.

Sautee

May 8th, 2010
10:51 pm

From the previous blog:

Truth-serum,

Here you go lying about Horford AGAIN!

Why do you keep on misrepresenting the truth?

You said this: “By the way, Horford built his average of 2 blks against the bucks who had no center. When he play against the magic today he had 0 and last game one which is .5 blocks agame and closer to his season average of .41 pergame”

Wrong. Here’s the link: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=3213

Scroll down to postseason game log and you’ll find that Al had TWO blocked shots in both Game 1 AND Game 2. His blocks per game average for THIS series is now 1.3 / gm.

And, by the way, his regular season average was 1.11 blks / gm., NOT .41

STOP LYING. Or am I twisting your words somehow by cutting and pasting you post?

Dominique

May 8th, 2010
10:56 pm

Woody is now officially over his head. JJ is a role player, not a superstar. And Smoove, poor sod, doesn’t have the sense to come out of the rain.

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:02 pm

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:03 pm

WOODSON EXPECTED US TO COME OUT AND COMPETE

LOL

HOW ABOUT MAKING US COMPETE LIKE SVG DOES

THEY BEAT US BY 23498324 IN GAME ONE AND SVG IS ON THEIR ASSES TO NOT LET UP

WTF DOES WOODY DO?

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:03 pm

MONDAY’S GAME IS GONNA BE UGLY. MAY BE DOWN 30 AFTER 1. LOL @ JOE NOT CARING ABOUT FANS. LOL!

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:09 pm

CAN SOMEONE TEACH JOSH SMITH HOW TO PASS A BASKETBALL PLEASE?!

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:11 pm

JOE WAS THE 3RD OR 4TH SCORING OPTION IN PHOENIX. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A ROLE PLAYER. BUT THE HAWKS WERE DUMB ENOUGH TO GIVE HIM A PHAT CONTRACT.

FIRE WOODY

dead...

May 8th, 2010
11:12 pm

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:13 pm

The bottom line is we NEED Dwyane Wade in ATL. How the heck can he be happy in Miami? Their roster is !@#$ right now, even if they own us. S&T Joe and any other player besides Horford and Smoove for Wade. Wade won’t get another better off (Miami, rather). JOE WILL NOT GET US CLOSER TO ORLANDO CLEVELAND. THIS TEAM HAS GONE AS FAR AS IT POSSIBLY CAN

SVG IS PROBABLY YELLING AT HIS TEAM NOW, TELLING THEM TO SWEEP US ON MONDAY SO THEY CAN REST. HE IS NOT A GOOD COACH BUT HE HAS A SENSE OF URGENCY IN HIS GAMEPLAN

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:14 pm

HOW IS THERE AN ARTICLE WRITTEN ABOUT HOW HAWKS ARE IN “MUST-WIN NOW MODE” FOR GAME 3 THEN HORFORD SAYS WE HAD A LACK OF EFFORT?

LOL!!!!!!!

“I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE.”
-TYPICAL WOODY QUOTE

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:15 pm

SINCE JJ DON’T CARE ABOUT THE FANS THEN I DON’T GIVE A F%%% BOUT HIM. PRETEND LIKE YOU HURT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON AND GET THE HELL ON WHEN ITS OVER.

FIRE WOODY

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:15 pm

KEEP HORFORD, JAMAL, ZAZA, AND TEAGUE AND TRASH THE REST OF THESE UNDERACHIEVERS

slim

May 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

Josh cant be helped because he’s delusional!!!!! Ship his ass outta here.. only way to fix that.. Billy Knight set this organization back ten years with all those blown lottery picks.. But dont worrry we will have a string of lottery picks again real soon the way this ship be sinkin fast like the titanic!!!!! Go Orlando inspite of your cluless coach vangundy..He remindes me of Bobby “should have retired 14 yrs ago” Cox……

JeJe

May 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

KEEP HORFORD, JAMAL, ZAZA, AND TEAGUE AND TRASH THE REST OF THESE UNDERACHIEVERS

I GUESS NO ONE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT CRAW HAS WOKEN UP FINALLY. OF COURSE WOODY WON’T ACKNOWLEDGE BECAUSE HE YELLS AT HIM ALL THE TIME. WOODY WILL NEVER CALL OUT THE SACRED COWS: BIBBY, JOE, MARVIN

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

WOODY IS CLUELESS AS USUAL

FIRE WOODY

Keep it Real

May 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

Who wants to play with J-smooth? Let me answer that questions for you! NO ONE!

No NBA player should need a coach to get them motivated they get paid to play their best everyday!
They all should be fire!

doc

May 8th, 2010
11:18 pm

nire, id say atlanta fans are pretty discerning rather than suck. how can you cheer something so pathetic as what we have seen now in the past 8 games? remember we have lost 6 of 8 showing no courage or cohesion while doing it. what has jj done in those eight games? his remarks suggests entitlement that starts at the top from BK during his tenure, to woody’s remarks recently that only former coaches can criticize and now jj’s remarks no one in the club house really cares who shows up. come on arent you a bit tired of seeing this “team” trounced?

personally, i have been waiting over fifty years for something to cheer about into mid may and june. that is what truly sucks.

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:19 pm

WOODY CAN BLAME IT ON INJURIES AND HE SURE CAN’T BLAME IT ON HIS BENCH. WHAT’S THE EXCUSE NOW WOODY……

“I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE.”

FIRE WOODY

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:22 pm

JJ’S COMMENT MIGHT CAUSE ME TO HIT THE RITZ AND GET DRUNK TONIGHT

FIRE WOODY

doc

May 8th, 2010
11:22 pm

nire from MC speaking of JJ:

He doesn’t have to like the boos but better to say nothing at all than insult the paying customers. A professional basketball team that gives this kind of weak effort in a big game deserves to be booed. “We expected to come out today and play at a high level,” Woody said. “I’m sure our fans expected that. We deserved that. We didn’t compete today.”

seems he didnt think it inappropriate enough to say fans suck.

slim

May 8th, 2010
11:24 pm

Doc this Organization passed over Charlse Barkley for Jon “Contract”!!!! This organization has been dysfunctional for over 40 years. I feel bad for ya….What a looser of an organization. At least the Falcons reached the super bowl???

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2010
11:25 pm

Dear Joe Johnson: If y’all playe like the Jazz did tonight and still lost, nobody would have booed. In fact, we may have even cheered, OKC style.

Have fun being a Knick. I’m sure they will NEVER boo you if you decide not to show up for an entire playoff series.

niremetal

May 8th, 2010
11:26 pm

Doc,

I’m not disagreeing that the Hawks deserved to be booed tonight. I would have booed too if I had been there. But I don’t think it can be seriously disputed that Atlanta fans suck compared to fans of other cities. For every pro sports team here, the team’s ranking in attendance lags behind their ranking in the standings. That makes sense, because most people who live in Atlanta were born/raised elsewhere and thus did not grow up being fans of Atlanta’s teams. That’s all I was saying.

Gilley

May 8th, 2010
11:29 pm

I would never boo the home team but they deserved to be booed.

slim

May 8th, 2010
11:31 pm

Their attendance lags because the Hawks are pretenders not contenders and the real fans know that!! They truly look clueless out there!! Orlando is puckin them by almost 30 points per game the past 3 years!!!! The Hawks last year were down by 50 in a game last year against Orlando.. Not a fluke. Now the whole world gets to see this ish on national TV!!!!!

tom

May 8th, 2010
11:32 pm

Time for Mr Johnson to find anothe team. You stink up the court during the playoffs and then go off on the fans who should be upset . Find another team to play for and take the coach with you.

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:32 pm

DOC YOU RIGHT. HOW CAN YOU EXPECT FANS TO SUPPORT LOSING? HOW CAN YOU EXPECT FANS TO SUPPORT A TEAM WHERE THE STAR PLAYER SAYS HE DOESN’T CARE IF THE FANS SHOW UP?

ITS MESSED UP WHEN THE TEAMS IN YOUR CITY BLAME THE FANS FOR THEM BEING SORRY AS HELL. WE NOT THE ONE DRAFTING PLAYERS. WE NOT THE ONE TRADING PLAYERS. WE NOT THE ONE GIVING OUT CONTRACTS TO PLAYERS THAT DON’T DO SH## FOR THE TEAM.

THE MANAGEMENT OF ALL THE TEAMS IN ATLANTA NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR MISTAKES AND QUIT BLAMING THE FANS.

FIRE WOODY

O'Brien

May 8th, 2010
11:34 pm

When the team quits like that, you can’t put it all on the coach. Players need to defend, rebound, make shots etc. So the players deserve the majority of the blame for this loss.

But it is the head coach’s responsibility to have them ready. And we have seen this time and time again during the regular season (but some bloggers were quick to point out “#4 in offensive efficiency”).

The only bright side to this is I think it seals Woody’s fate (we are limited on who we can trade, but its easy to let Woody go). I give him credit for helping the Hawks get to where they are. I give him credit for helping to keep these guys stay out of trouble off the court, and he has been a stand up guy. But he is not the guy to take us to the next level.

I hope JJ stays with the Hawks, becuase if he leaves, we take a huge step backwards. However, I dont think the hawks will offer him max money (which if I’m not mistaken, works out to 6 years, $120 mil). I would love to see him stay with the Hawks for 5 years, $75 mil though.

Very disappointing with our effort. Jazz and Spurs are also down 3-0, but it wasn’t because of lack of effort. Very unacceptable to see professionals play like this.

I still hope the Hawks can find a way to win game 4.

mike

May 8th, 2010
11:34 pm

Najeh Davenpoop…

Last week you rubutted everything I said about the Hawks not having a chance and wrote out all the reasons they would beat Orlando. Guess you’re not the expert you thought you were?

mykhalc

May 8th, 2010
11:34 pm

what you said Najeh!!!

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:35 pm

I DON’T GO TO BRAVES, FALCONS AND HAWKS GAME CAUSE THEY SORRY AS HELL. I GOT OTHER THINGS TO DO THAN TO SEE THEM LOSE.

FIRE WOODY

slim

May 8th, 2010
11:38 pm

Najeh must have drank too much stuff to feel that this ish had a shot against Orlando??? One lucky win in 2,5 yrs??? And getting crushed in all the others…………………………

Keep it Real

May 8th, 2010
11:41 pm

The ATL teams have very poor management! They continue to hire the wrong coaches draft the wrong players and think the fans should support average teams!

READ this….. I will boo if you do not put forth a great effort, this is the play-offs go out there and play your azz off and we will cheer your efforts and we will want you to return to the team!

Joe Johnson please leave this team and city, since you cannot show up in big games!

Nate ArchiBALL

May 8th, 2010
11:42 pm

Complete Voting for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year
http://www.nba.com/2010/news/04/20/player.of.year.ap/index.html

Defensive Player of the Year Award is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points; each second-place vote is worth three points; and each third-place vote is worth one point. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.
Josh Smith received 3 First place votes / 34 second place votes / 19 third place votes = 136 Total points (second to Dwight Howard’s 576 points (no other Hawks received any votes/points)
=========================================
Complete Voting for the NBA All-Defensive Teams
http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/0910kobebryant_alldefense.html

The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Two points were awarded for a First Team vote and one point was awarded for a Second Team vote.

Hawks:Josh Smith received 6 First Team votes and 8 Second Team votes (20 points)
Joe Johnson received 1 First Team vote (2 points)
Al Horford received 1 Second Team Vote (1 Point)

VenomSpitter

May 8th, 2010
11:42 pm

O’Brien u cannot be serious about giving Joe a 5 year $75 mil deal. Are u kidding me.

Nobody is paying Joe $75 mil

Joe is leaving man just let it go.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2010
11:43 pm

Oh yeah, and say what you want about Smoove, Horford, and any other key player on the Hawks, but I can pretty much guarantee that none of them would have reacted so indifferently about the fans booing them in a playoff game.

Clyde

May 8th, 2010
11:47 pm

IF I PAID $80 TO WATCH THE HAWKS AND THEY QUIT PLAYING LIKE THEY DID TONIGHT I WOULD BOO TOO.

FIRE WOODY

Najeh Davenpoop

May 8th, 2010
11:47 pm

“Last week you rubutted everything I said about the Hawks not having a chance and wrote out all the reasons they would beat Orlando. Guess you’re not the expert you thought you were?”

I missed the part where I claimed to be an expert…

…and regardless, I never said the Hawks would win this series. I did say that if the Hawks play hard and execute the game plan they used in the March 24 game, they can make this a competitive series. So far, they have stuck to the March 24 script for all of three quarters.

Richie Rich

May 8th, 2010
11:48 pm

Joe Johnson is playing like his mind is somewhere else (N.Y. ANYBODY), Marvin Williams is a waste of money, maybe after the a-town pounding on monday night the spirit group might grow some balls and fire coach Woodson and let no show Joe walk with him….better yet, maybe Woody, Joe, Billy Knight and Josh Childress can get together and play guitar hero during the N.B.A FINALS and reminisce about what could have been.

bigdave

May 8th, 2010
11:51 pm

“But I don’t think it can be seriously disputed that Atlanta fans suck compared to fans of other cities. ”

one would think this would be based on pure opinions people who like those “70 %” arent from here.

“For every pro sports team here, the team’s ranking in attendance lags behind their ranking in the standings. ”

there are other variables that could be looked at that would support an angle other than yours. however, particularly in the states most popular sport (football) that if you put a consistent winner/talent on the playing field the support will come. other than the Braves of the 90’s consistency has always been at question. there was only 1 pro franchise that was started here from expansion, the Atlanta Falcons. so the rich lineage, and history just doesn’t stretch that far back. like other premier sports organizations who have either been around for generations or have put “stars” in the locker rooms.

bigdave

May 8th, 2010
11:52 pm

* opinions of people

Keep it Real

May 8th, 2010
11:52 pm

This is a question we need to ask the Hawks management why in the world did you sign Marvin Williams and J-smooth to new contracts? Two more bad moves by management!

The lack of effort by the whole team is amazing, how can the whole team play like these are exhibition games?

Woodie should be screaming at the top of his lungs about the effort! Good riddance both Woodie and JJ!

The Truth

May 8th, 2010
11:53 pm

niremetal

You say this: “Atlanta fans frankly do suck”

Then, you say this: “It’s not Atlantans’ fault that they suck as fans, by the way.”

Why don’t you apologize for your interpositions, nullifications and insults? If what you say is true, then birds of a feather must flock together. So if we suck and you are here with use, then that means you suck too.

The Truth

May 8th, 2010
11:54 pm

Correction: “you are here with us”

O'Brien

May 9th, 2010
12:05 am

If I’m JJ, I’m signing with the bulls. They have great PG play (so he wont have to handle the ball as much, and he wont have to defend other PGs as much).

And they have Hinrich, Deng, Noah and Gibson, so they should be competitive. The only way I see JJ going to the Knicks is if they sign another Max Guy (lebron, amare or bosh ).

Maybe the bulls will hire woody

Wabe

May 9th, 2010
12:06 am

Venom Spitter, name 5-6 2-gaurds that are better than JJ…

He’s worth 15 million a year.

Wabe

May 9th, 2010
12:08 am

And O’Brien,

I completely co-sign. I have cousins in Chicago that have been tellin me they’re waiting for this offseason, and they say there’s PLENTY of buzz in Chicago about JJ. They need a 2-gaurd and another frontcourt peice.

Rose, JJ, Deng, Noah, Gibson, Hinrich, another frontcourt player…

They’d look good.

niremetal

May 9th, 2010
12:09 am

The Truth,

I was speaking generally. Clearly, the fans who do pay to see the Hawks do not suck as fans. But they are the exception, not the rule, and the existence of exceptions does not negate the rule. The rule is that Atlantans do not support their hometown teams as well as fans from the vast majority of other cities in America do. Worse teams from smaller cities outdraw the Hawks, and always have. The same is true of the Braves and Falcons.

Not incidentally, I’m not there with you. I grew up in Atlanta (thus my sports loyalties), but I live in Philadelphia. I am to Philadelphia what most ‘Atlantans’ are to Atlanta – a transplant without deep ties. I could care less about the Sixers, Phils, and Eagles because I grew up cheering for other teams.