Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 98, Heat 89

J.J. and Hawks got by LeBron's Heat. (Curtis Compton/ ccompton@ajc.com)

J.J. and Hawks got by LeBron's Heat. (Curtis Compton/ ccompton@ajc.com)

–This was nothing like the Magic game for the Hawks. They were ready from the jump, defended hard until the end and didn’t blink when the Heat threatened to open up a lead after halftime.

– Both teams went at each other hard and had their starters on the floor to finish. “It didn’t feel like a preseason game at all,” Jamal said. “As the preseason winds down, we’re just trying to get into a rhythm we can carry into the regular season and they are doing the same.”

– “Two teams came out and really made a statement,” J.J. said. “It was fun.”

– Props to J.J. for 27 points, six rebounds, six assists and just one turnover. He’s quietly been the most consistent guy in the preseason. You can see him start to figure out where he can find space in the motion offense. There are still some isos but, for the most part, he picks the right time to do his thing.

– “The Hawks have a little more movement offensively,” Udonis Haslem said. “Last year they were more of a one-on-one team. They still have versatile big players. They’re going to be just as good as last year, most likely better.”

– That remains to be seen but would anyone have said that about the Hawks just three days ago?

– The Heat didn’t have D-Wade and this game showed the potential problems when any of the Super Friends are out against good teams. LeBron went for 38 points on 11 of 22 shooting and 13 of 19 free throws; his nine teammates combined for for 51 points on 10 of 57 shooting and 11 of 15 free throws.

– “I’ve seen improvement in the defense the last couple games,” L.D. said. “Tonight we did a good job collectively on them. One thing I wanted them to focus on was the transition defense. We let LeBron get away a couple times but for the most part we did a good job with that.”

– Having LeBron means the Heat are never really overmatched. I can’t even say Marvin did a bad job against him. LeBron is just so big, fast, strong and skilled. That’s no revelation, I know, but the guy provides reminders each time you see him.

– “When LeBron comes to town you know he’s going to score 30,” Marvin said. “That’s what he does. It’s the other guys you’ve got to cut off.”

– 11 rebounds and nine points points on 4 of 8 shooting for Marvin. That plus good D gets it done.

Smoove was really strong in the post against Bosh. He set the tone early by blocking his dunk attempt and stripping him of the ball a couple other times. He never let Bosh get comfortable.

– Josh also showed growth within a 5-minute span of the third quarter. Joey Crawford gave him a tech. “All I said was, ‘Hey Joey,” Smoove said, and J.J. backed up his story.

– Later, Josh was called for a foul on LeBron and calmed himself down, with his palms facing the floor. A few moments later he stole James Jones’ pass and soared in for a dunk that gave the Hawks their first lead of the second half.

Bibby said he was putting it on himself to get guys easier shots. He ended up with five assists, made two big shots late in the game and showed some energy on D. His issues are well known but the guy is a pro.

Teague looked like he needs more time to get back in rhythm.

– Jamal seemed less interested in defense than crossing over whomever the Heat put in front of him. His moves fired up the crowd, though. And he ended up with six free-throw attempts: “I’m just trying to get my timing back.”

Al looked out of sorts again. He couldn’t get his jump shot to fall and too often settled for jump hooks far away from the basket. He still made four free throws, collected nine boards and three steals and did a good job challenging Bosh at the rim.

Twin missed on a chance to send LeBron to the ground with a foul, instead just touching him as he went by. He made amends a few minutes later with a hard foul on Bosh that prevented a dunk.

Josh Powell was active again. He’s not shy about shooting the ball or mixing it up.

– With all of the regulars available and the regular season approaching, L.D. said he’s starting to set his rotation . Tonight that meant 22 minutes for Powell and the first DNP-CD for JC2.

– “Jordan will have his time for sure,” Jamal said. “He’s a really, really good player. But I think right now we are settling down into what we will do in the regular season.”

– Good effort for the Hawks, especially defensively, but they know the next step is to keep it up.

– “I knew this was a big game and I never have to worry about us in big games,” J.J. said. “It’s ther other games that are not so big that I worry about [the energy].”

– “That’s how you become a great team is to do it night in and night out regardless of what the offense is like,” Al said.

– “We knew it would be like that,” Josh said. “We stepped up and played with passion and with our hearts out. That’s how we’ve got to play all the time. I think this is the toughest division in the NBA and wins are going to be precious. This showed that we can play with them and be a force to be reckoned with but we’ve got to do with with everybody.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

134 comments Add your comment

ASHCAN.

October 22nd, 2010
1:34 pm

Yep good game from the hawks lets see if they can play like this every game and don’t have mental laps like the pryor years.I know this is on PRE-SEASON but good effort.I don’t know my fellow bloggers who commented on joe having good games this PRE-SEASON,with the type of money he’s making 124mil im especting 40 points a game 15 assist 10 rebounds 5 steals and 20 game winners at the buzzer.Joe you brushed off the fans,along with those numbers you should also serve the fans beverages in the front row every home game.I think thats about it.

Big D

October 22nd, 2010
1:34 pm

Will LD be willing to start Teague against some teams (N.O., Phoenix, Chicago, Washington etc), and then start Bibby against some teams?

jtshoopsblog

October 22nd, 2010
1:35 pm

I`m telling u. Heat is all Hype. ATL just proved it.

Big D

October 22nd, 2010
1:43 pm

The Teague-Jamal dynamic: This is a blog onto itself. Here of some comments from bloggers. Let’s continue to weigh in on this critical dynamic.
Which guard combination should the Hawks utilize most or does it vary from opponent to opponent?
Jamal C- looks like he is not interested in playing this year -It looks like he isnt giving full effort because he is pissed about his contract with the CBA situation right around the corner. C’mon son be a professional and quit pouting like a child

As for Teague, he is fast, but still rusty. We talked a little about it on the previous blog. When he is in the game with Jamal, Jamal dominates the ball, which I think takes away from Teague’s game, because Teague is not a shooter.

Jamal is a bad backcourt partner for Teague. He needs to play with someone like Joe or Mo. But the idea of playing Bibby and Jamal together is frightening when thinking about defense. Unless you have “expendable” bigs down low to get in foul trouble when the opposing guards constantly penetrate into the paint.

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

My take on why Jordan Crawford did not play last night – for what its worth…

The Hawks are playing a back-to-back games and Teague is still nursing his ankle. I am guessing that Jordan will play 40+ minutes tonight. I believe Twin will also get more floor time. Somebody said that the Hawks should treat the Charlotte game as a throwaway so that the Hawks can enter the season next week good and healthy. I’m guessing this will be how LD treats the game.

In other words, although there was some talk from LD about narrowing the rotation, I don’t think there is any way Jordan is relegated to a consistent DNP-Coach’s Decision status.

If Jordan has continued to take unwise shots or played undisciplined defense in practice, then I can also see that LD may have used last night’s DNP as a “learning opportunity”.

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

Big D, just for grins…

What if the Hawks went with Teague, Jamal, Jordan, JJ as shooters with Al in the paint to pick up the scraps. Who do you guard? They could be used like the hockey teams do when they pull the goalie off the ice to score quickly at the end of a game.

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
2:11 pm

I don’t know what has been happening in practice, but I can’t believe that Zaza has earned so much more playing time than Collins. Zaza looked awful missing lay-ups, fumbling passes, and punching at rebounds. He looks intimidated when he tries to shoot. Its almost like he expects it to get blocked so he just throws the ball in the direction of the hoop rather than shooting the ball. And his hands are just bad. I remember when I played football in high school. Before practice the wide receivers would toss bricks back and forth to each other to develop softer hands. Maybe this might work for Zaza, otherwise he is hopeless.

ASHCAN.

October 22nd, 2010
2:13 pm

Rufus1, i guess james and company gotta proove you wrong too.You could be right.I don’t even like the heat but im pulling for them because of all the hatred pouring in from james decision to leave cleveland.I will never understand why peeps are hating because of a grown man making a decision for him and his family putting him(james)in a better position to win championships.Not saying you are hating but i guess people don’t understand buisness.

darrell starks

October 22nd, 2010
2:14 pm

One thing about TEAGUE AND JAMAL PLAYING TOGETHER, teague should always bring the ball up court 2 set up jamal or moe for and open jump shot or penetrate toward the basket for powel and zaza on the blocks for easy basket. NO ONE CAN GUARD TEAGUE 1 ON 1 WITH HIS QUICKNESS.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

October 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

LD TEACH DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE.
G HAWKS!!!!!!

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

I really enjoyed Marvin’s vicious dunk last night. He seemed to enjoy it. Was it in Bosh’s face? I wish we could see more of it.

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

ASHCAN., the basketball business is the entertainment business. A player can play the game simply because he loves playing, but he gets paid the big money from the fans. LeBron basically told everybody he doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his legacy. He, and others, can say its just business, but a fan, by definition, doesn’t take such a disinterested view of a players actions. Therefore his is near universally despised.

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
2:24 pm

*Therefore *he* is near universally despised.

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
3:13 pm

Heat are not winning the title. Any injury to the Big 3 and they are just a good/great team. They have no PG unless LBJ is running it (Chalmers is very overrated), their bigs are all ancient and lethargic (except for Haslem who is always solid)

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
3:15 pm

Anyone else enjoy that Jamal sonning of LBJ? Did a Rafer Alston jumping between the legs dribble then spin move.

I sometimes wish every play was iso-Jamal. He makes it look so easy and is an extremely underrated passer.

Another thing I loved last night is we double-teamed LBJ a ton, and we are athletic enough to recover.

Double teaming is so much better than that retarded P&R switching where we end up having Bibby on Dwight at the FT line

I think we can compete with any team in this league and even start winning road games this year…. We still have not figured out Orlando. It’s not that we can’t compete against them. We can’t even show up vs. them

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
3:16 pm

Mo Evans’ playing really leaves a lot to be desired.

It seems like his only contribution to the team is a nice game every 10 games or so, and being called for fouls then frowning. He’s very short for a SF in general and really doesn’t put up numbers. Would’ve liked to have seen JC Rook last night

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
3:17 pm

And trading Jamal is pure idiotic. He is the ONLY player on our bench who can score at least 10 PPG consistently (yes – pathetic). What the heck will we get in return for him? Draft picks?

SWAT Native

October 22nd, 2010
3:19 pm

I wonder if Mark Bradley saw this game, and if he will do a revision to his “Hawks are doomed” blog he posted the other day?

O'Brien

October 22nd, 2010
3:28 pm

For what its worth, the decision was supposed to generate over $2 mil.

James’ team isn’t saying how much in total was raised, but Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR, did say on Thursday afternoon that more than $2 million in net proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club of America. Vitaminwater and Nike also contributed in the charitable effort. .

Decision generates $2.5 mil

But in my opinion, ESPN got their ratings, which is fine. But LeBron shouldnt have done it. He could have written a check for $2.5 mil, and not even blinked.

I hope I got the link post right…

O'Brien

October 22nd, 2010
3:39 pm

I think Teague being injured really slowed him down, because he has only played in 2 games.

If Bibby can play how he did last night on a nightly basis, then I would be ok with him starting. However, Teague needs to be caught up by the time we play teams with fast PGs (Nash, CP3, Rose, Wall etc), because Bibby cannot keep up with them, and our defense will break down.

Rev,

I think the main reason Jordan didnt play last night, is because LD played the rotation that will get the most PT during the season.

With Jamal playing SG and handling the ball sometimes, JJ doing what he does, and Bibby, and Teague, there won’t be much PT (imo) for Jordan in the regular season.

northcyde, Najeh

I’m not sure how I feel about sending JC2 to the D-League. LD probably wants him around for practice, so he can learn the motion offense some more. Also, going up against Jamal and JJ in practice will help his defense.

Grandad

October 22nd, 2010
3:48 pm

Rev,
Rarely do we disagree,
but Zaza last eve was fantastic.
He has lost wgt. Punching @ balls as you say was keeeping balls alive
and tipping/punching them out many of which we came away with.
Plus many times after the catch he would create space, knowing he does
not have the lift to prevent being blocked, so he used his bounce & improved
his angle. Neither did he get a call several times.

To All:
Speaking about getting calls;
I’m sick & tired of LbJ’s Foul shots every trip down the floor.
If he goes to the rim and any attempt is made to defend him, then it’s a foul.
Yet, the same does not apply for Joe, Al, Josh, or Zaza.

Bibby & Teague:
Does it matter who starts if they compliment each other.

Versatility & match-ups = one of our strengths.

STEEL(Formerly VenomSpitter)

October 22nd, 2010
3:48 pm

In case anybody missed Marvin MASHING on Bosh here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fMqLboBFOk

Marvin got his duck on

~~MAC-ToWN~~ (Area Code 478 Westside Macon)

October 22nd, 2010
4:03 pm

uh oh….looks like Oregon doesnt have the only ducks flyin high these days

Rev in Tampa

October 22nd, 2010
4:14 pm

After watching Marvin’s dunk a couple of times, I am actually just as impressed with JJ’s pass to Marvin. And with a hat-tip to Grandad, I noticed how well Zaza was blocking out during the play so that Marvin had the hoop to himself.

Kramerica

October 22nd, 2010
4:21 pm

1. Is Josh Smith ever going to grow up and quit pitching a fit every time a call goes against him?? &
2. QUIT SHOOTING JUMP SHOTS
3. Teague still looks lost
4. Don’t just give the Heat the title yet

Fresh

October 22nd, 2010
4:35 pm

I guess LD has effected the blogs as well lol!

It’s refreshing to see the blog-people actually discussing strategies/matchups using intellegient basketball logic rather than the normal babling on and on about unrealistic trade scenarios and the usual fire “insert your most-hated person here” rants.

Good job people! I can hardly wait until the season tip next week!!!!

See you all next Saturday at the Highlight Factory!!!

drmaryb (*_*)

October 22nd, 2010
5:13 pm

Felonious Activities!

T.I. You should move to Los Angeles:

He violates probation after serving 13 months in prison &
He gets 2 weeks to turn himself in for 11 more months.

Lindsay Lohan violates probation bout 8 times and after serving 13/90 days in county jail, she gets rehab for 180 days.

Aye T.I. Get yourself together and do right brotha … The GA Courts will not help you with your drug problems. Or, move to Beverly Hills, CA.

The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision «

October 22nd, 2010
5:18 pm

[...] Is Jordan Crawford out of the regular-season rotation in [...]

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2010
5:44 pm

“This game reinforced my theory that Chris Bosh is highly overrated. ”

You are not alone in holding this theory.

My theory is that fans and media alike are way too quick to form opinions of players based on physical appearance and other superficial characteristics without actually bothering to pay attention to their game. People see Chris Bosh putting up big numbers in Toronto as a 6′11″, lanky, long-armed PF and they assume that he’s a clone of Kevin Garnett, when in reality he is not as good offensively and nowhere close defensively. There are several NBA big men I’d take over Bosh.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2010
5:58 pm

“with the type of money he’s making 124mil im especting 40 points a game 15 assist 10 rebounds 5 steals and 20 game winners at the buzzer.Joe you brushed off the fans,along with those numbers you should also serve the fans beverages in the front row every home game.I think thats about it.”

“I will never understand why peeps are hating because of a grown man making a decision for him and his family putting him(james)in a better position to win championships.Not saying you are hating but i guess people don’t understand buisness.”

So if Joe brushes off his fans it’s a huge offense, but if LeBron gives a nationally televised middle finger to the fans who pulled for him since he was in high school, it is OK?

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2010
6:01 pm

“I wonder if Mark Bradley saw this game, and if he will do a revision to his “Hawks are doomed” blog he posted the other day?”

I was thrilled when I saw that. Bradley is so consistently wrong on all of his predictions that picking against the Hawks was the best thing he could have done.

northcyde

October 22nd, 2010
6:09 pm

Nah O’Brien. While I do agree that going up against JJ and Jamal in practice would be a good thing, if he’s outside of the 10-man rotation, he won’t get many opportunities to do so.

I was in that role for about a month my freshman year in college. And what happens is that when 5 on 5 scrimmages happen, you become a sub in practice that gets limited time, rather than one of the top 10 players that play most of the scrimmage.

Scrimmage would be 30 minutes. If you’re a player outside of that top 10, you may play 10 minutes max, unless one of the 2nd team guys were really playing like garbage, and coach wanted to “punish” him.

The fringe guys we had here in the past . . . ( Solo, Salim, Acie, and even Teague ), would’ve been better off actually developing their skills in actual game-like conditions, rather than in practice. In the NBA, you don’t practice every off day anyway, so that lack of playing time will not help a young player develop.

drmaryb (*_*)

October 22nd, 2010
7:10 pm

Najeh said:

“So if Joe brushes off his fans it’s a huge offense, but if LeBron gives a nationally televised middle finger to the fans who pulled for him since he was in high school, it is OK?”

Great Analogy of Biased Thinking!
People typically believe what makes them feel good about themselves.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2010
7:14 pm