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

Rufus1

October 22nd, 2010
12:07 am

Rufus1

October 22nd, 2010
12:15 am

Koolaide anyone…..

It is time for some of you to start drinking the Koolaide. The team that played tonight is definately a 50 win team. The Offense, Defense and Pace are all better.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2010
12:19 am

MC,

So the only reason JC2 didnt get no burn tonight was because of what again????????

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2010
12:19 am

“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.”

If Jordan is not going to crack the regular season rotation, they should send him to D-League and let him get some playing time. Sitting on the bench does him no good. Ask Teague.

Real Talk

October 22nd, 2010
12:21 am

That was a good performance from the Hawks 2night even though it would have been a TOTALLY different outcome had D-Wade played but Joe earned his check 2night. My questions is Y they couldn’t play Orlando like that? and Can they play consistent like this especially Joe?

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
12:22 am

Wow Teague looked horrendous tonight. As did ZaZa

FIRE SUND

Najeh Davenpoop

October 22nd, 2010
12:23 am

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

11 boards is nice. 4/8 shooting is nice. 9 points is no big deal — the Hawks don’t need him to be a scorer. The 3 pointer towards the end of the game was big, and if he can consistently hit that shot it would work wonders for this team. Defensively he had his moments, and of course his assignment wasn’t easy, but I thought Joe did a better job on LeBron than Marvin did. Marvin needs to be a lock down defender. Not a decent or good defender, but a lock down defender who can draw LeBron, Durant, Pierce, Granger, and whoever else and make them work for every bucket.

Real Talk

October 22nd, 2010
12:23 am

That was a good performance from the Hawks 2night even though it would have been a TOTALLY different outcome had D-Wade played but Joe earned his check 2night. My questions are why they couldn’t play Orlando like that? and Can they play consistent like this especially Joe?

Swatguy

October 22nd, 2010
12:30 am

Has Pape Sy practiced yet?

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 22nd, 2010
12:36 am

@ Najeh, ask not only Teague, but Salim and Acie also.

Hmmm

October 22nd, 2010
12:42 am

Niceness. I got a little nervous there in the 2nd qtr and at the beginning of the 3rd (I was like “PUT JC2 in, dunk-gate pt.2!”) but everything looked crisp tonight for the most part.

smh @Bibby, The old dog just wont lay down. He just wont let me win. MC was right though, he’s a pro.

The captains showed up, Marvin did not….

I like what I saw from the offense tonight. Guys were dedicated to making it work. Reggie Miller seemed to enjoy talking about it.

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
12:44 am

1) Teague needs to do a hell of a lot more than he did tonight
2) Horford needs to drain that midrange shot all the time
3) Smoove needs to post up. STOP TAKING JUMPERS.
4) Marvin needs to keep attacking. Dude posterized Bosh

Do those 4 things and this team will be fine.
We will never compete or come close to competing vs. Orlando, but we can compete vs. everyone else, as we showed last year

Grandad

October 22nd, 2010
12:56 am

JeJe

What game were you watching?
Zaza played with energy, hustle, kept balls alive battling on the def boards,
and should have gone to the line another time or two.
Jeff provided speed & quickness, saw the floor well and even though he is
still not shooting well he was able to collapse the def for some kickouts.
I also thought he did a good job of spotting open teammates.

I have openly been critical of Bibby.
Tonight, I must agree with MC, he showed that he still has a role for this team.
I was very impressed.

Josh Powell looks to be a sleeper pick-up.

mike

October 22nd, 2010
12:59 am

@jeje, shut up you sound dumb he sprained his ankle. He is clearly hurt still but he is trying to tough it out and play through it. He has to get his rhythm back. U know nothing about basketball

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
1:07 am


Zaza played with energy, hustle, kept balls alive battling on the def boards,
and should have gone to the line another time or two.
Jeff provided speed & quickness, saw the floor well and even though he is
still not shooting well he was able to collapse the def for some kickouts.
I also thought he did a good job of spotting open teammates.

I have openly been critical of Bibby.
Tonight, I must agree with MC, he showed that he still has a role for this team.
I was very impressed.

Josh Powell looks to be a sleeper pick-up.”

“@jeje, shut up you sound dumb he sprained his ankle. He is clearly hurt still but he is trying to tough it out and play through it. He has to get his rhythm back. U know nothing about basketball”

LOL. Teague was garbage tonight. Get real. His jumper at the end showed that he still can’t take a jumpshot. Bibby’s shots were all contested, which makes me think he probably will be streaky again this year. I was at the game, and I can tell you Teague is still incredibly timid. WTF is Van Exel doing?

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
1:07 am

Miami is probably the only team in this league with worse point guards than us.

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
1:10 am

Another thing this team DOESN’T do is box out.

Same story different year — SSDY

Players just depend on athleticism and let seasoned vets like Haslem outsmart them.

BOX OUT YOUR MAN. IT’S NOT THAT HARD

truthspitter

October 22nd, 2010
1:11 am

Atleast they tried to play defense tonite and the offense looked good tonite. Let’s see what happens 2morrow night on the road, lets see what happens when teams are playing for Wins come next week. Finally, Teague is not ready to be a starter as I have been saying all summer since I saw how sorry he was in summer league for someone that people are calling to start. Frankly put, not just Teague but the entire bench is garbage. Jamal has to be traded for some depth.

JeJe

October 22nd, 2010
1:16 am

Bench really does suck.

Mo is useless
Teague is useless as of now

Powell is okay
Collins is okay
ZaZa is off and on

Craw is a stud
——-

Now look at Boston’s bench:
Shaq
Jermaine
Big Baby
Delonte
Wafer
Nate

Yeah………

Rufus1

October 22nd, 2010
1:18 am

What no one is talking about….

This HEAT team even with Wade gone is probably as good as the Cavs team last year that won 60 games.

PS The Heat won’ t win the title for one reason….NO INTERIOR DEFENSE OR REBOUNDING and WADE can’t help with that. Of the 47pts the Hawks had in the 1st half, 26pts were in the paint.

Sorry Lebron no title this year………):

Grandad

October 22nd, 2010
1:22 am

Al’s shot will come around.
He has proven in the past what he can [and will] do.

My take on JC2 is he is a volume shooter which is not a need. (right now)

Jamal’s playing time was curious to me.
It caused me to wonder.
Was LD sending him a message? [defense]
Was LD holding him accountable? [defense]
Does LD consider him part of the core? [trade]?

Two more observations:
(1) 1st half – I was ready to give up on Marv.
[stats proved that my eyes were lying to me]
(2) Mo was horrible.

*** Last Thought – the offense was a thing of beauty ***

Chicago '85

October 22nd, 2010
1:36 am

Pre-season. No D-wade. Lets see what the Hawks do when the games really counts.

MsDee

October 22nd, 2010
1:50 am

I love what we accomplished tonight and dont give me that ,”Wade didnt play” crap. Heck, for that matter, we actually got the toughest player out of the “BigThree”. Now if Wade would have played and LeBron out, than folks MAY have a reason to say something but with LeBron being LeBron with 38pts,,WE STILL WON WITH GREAT OFFENSE AND DEFENSE!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 22nd, 2010
1:52 am

I will reserve my season record projection for after tonight’s game. Great early road test before opening day in Charlotte.

Clyde

October 22nd, 2010
2:00 am

Real teams play their best basketball in March and April. *yawns*

The Truth

October 22nd, 2010
2:09 am

Kudos to the Hawks on a nice win; did anyone notice LD lobbying for Jamal on TNT? “He is very valuable to our team”. Perhaps he was sending a message to Sund. When you coupled that with Jamal comments about Jordon:

“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.”

From these comments, I wouldn’t bet on Jamal being traded at the deadline. If the plan was to groom Jordon for a role in the rotation to help transition away from Jamal, then to DNP Jordon with the rookie treatment would not be a way of doing it. With so much pressure on the Hawks to show continuity from last year winning season, I don’t see how Sund could pull the trigger on anything during midseason without major disruptions given Jamal key role and PT on the team. Unless it’s a blockbuster trade which is highly, I don’t see it happening. This script looks more like a replay of Flip Murray empty-promise from Sund then a BK Speedy trade that got us Bibby during midseason.

Big Ray

October 22nd, 2010
2:36 am

The truth ,

I wouldn’t bet anything in the opposite direction, either. You never know what a GM is going to do, regardless of what a coach says. Larry Drew also said that adding Shaq would really be something. Is Shaq here?

Big Ray

October 22nd, 2010
2:45 am

You gotta love it.

Northcyde is right. What is with some fans??

We lose games in the preseason and people wail that the season is hopeless, Larry Drew is screwing things up, and the Hawks won’t make the playoffs, or whatever. The whole team is garbage, the bench sucks, blah blah blah.

The team turns it around and wins a big game against a big opponent and the first thing out of some of the same people’s mouths is “it’s just a preseason game” and every other excuse they can think of.

Some will be saying the exact same thing during the regular season.

News flash: the only teams PLAYING in March and April are the ones who take care of business in October, November, December, January, February, etc….

Yes, it’s a preseason game. No, it doesn’t count in the standings of the regular season. But you just saw that this team is capable of playing a new way, a different way, a better way.

If the bench sucks, then how in the devil did we win a game that saw 10 different guys play double figure minutes? Powell was in the game longer than Josh Smith. Even Joe played less than usual (35 minutes). Fact is, they held serve long enough for us to rest guys. Now are they gonna do this on a night to night basis? I don’t know. We’ll see.

Big Ray

October 22nd, 2010
2:49 am

Now look at Boston’s bench:
Shaq
Jermaine
Big Baby
Delonte
Wafer
Nate

Congrats to them. I guess the fact that we swept them in the regular season last year prompted them to upgrade, huh?

Better hope:

Shaq – doesn’t hurt his toe, or get grumpy about playing time

Jermaine – gets two brand new knees for Christmas

Delonte – doesn’t get caught trying to screw somebody else’s mom, or get caught with 15 different firearms strapped to his motorcyle in the middle of town at 2 a.m.

Nate – can defend as well as Tony Allen….not!

Big Baby – doesn’t get in trouble again

Wafer – can play defense

ICECOLD

October 22nd, 2010
2:52 am

i saw some things in this team that i think really need to change…

1. zaza needs to be traded, he doesnt fit in this offense or this defense any more… his minutes is played better by etan thomas or twin

2. Jeff teague needs to work on that jump shot asap… and he is so fast, sometimes a little bit too fast..

3. josh smith has to stop shooting jump shots… he can shoot 3 a game.. but not 7 like he did tonight….

the good

1. joe johnson is showing that he is worth the contract he signed…

2. marvin did ok tonight,.. dunkin, shooting and rebounding…

3. offense was beautiful.. it was some iso… but you can tell that its going to work when they get it down pack..

4. jeff teague was showing signs of brilliants… he is so fast and have a mean cross over.. he is going to be good on a athletic team like the hawks

excuse the bad typing.. its late

cp

October 22nd, 2010
3:26 am

Teague has only played two games. Dude is coming off a ankle sprain. He put up 20 and 6 in his first game and looked fine. The overreactions on this board is hilarious at times. The Hawks win its only preseason, The Hawks lose its trade everybody and fire everybody. Player has a good game then its only preseason. Player doesnt put up big numbers then its the player is garbage and not ready. Absolutely hilarious

lewis

October 22nd, 2010
3:52 am

verdict isn’t out on teague yet…i personally thought he looked good given the circumstances

MsDee

October 22nd, 2010
5:47 am

Teague would have had probably a 14pts/7assists game tonight if he would have played all pre-seasons games up to this point but guess what? He didnt cause he has been hurt with an ankle sprang u guys so of course you are not going to see Teague put on an all-star performance now even though, IMO, he did in the 1st and ONLY OTHER pre-season game he has played thus far. Yes, Bibby was great tonight but dont be fooled, he was playing up against Arroyo, a PG slower than him. Heck, Bibby even got a block on him so you know the Heat are in trouble if Bibby can stay in front your PG. Teague WILL be our next starter PG, just watch and see!

JustAThought

October 22nd, 2010
6:37 am

So who’s gonna drink the “drank”????????

lou

October 22nd, 2010
6:45 am

Still pre season

Samuel

October 22nd, 2010
6:58 am

Ray,
Where did you get that from? Shaq on the bench? He’s started every game so far this year.

Samuel

October 22nd, 2010
6:59 am

Guess it was JeJe who originally posted it.

JROLL1

October 22nd, 2010
7:41 am

I WENT TO THE GAME….NEW MOTION OFFENSE? 4 ASSISTS AT HALF TIME…STILL WAY TOO MUCH ISO JOE FOR ME. I REALLY WANTED TO SEE JC2 PLAY. THANKS LD! NICE JUMPERS BY BIBBY DOWN THE STRETCH. AL MISSED AND TOOK WAY TOO MANY JUMPERS.

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

October 22nd, 2010
8:06 am

From what you guys have saw in the pre-season, do you think L.D.’s strategies will benefit the team more than Woodson’s? Has there been any real displaying that make you lean one way or the other?

O'Brien

October 22nd, 2010
8:07 am

1) JJ looked good tonight. And he didnt have to work as hard as he usually does for his shots.

2) Marvin looked ok. But I agree with Najeh. If his defense can improve from “ok” to “very good”, that would do wonders for this team. And for offense, just make the open shots.

3) Al rushed his shots, so he just needs to slow down.

4) I saw Josh take 2 or 3 juumpers in the first half (although he was open). Josh, go to the basket.

5) 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.

With Bibby and Jamal in the game, Jamal can play point more, and find Bibby for good looks.

I think Teague should get most of his minutes with JJ, and let Bibby get most of his with Jamal.

6) Make your FTs

Section 303

October 22nd, 2010
8:16 am

Walking into the arena last night, I knew the Hawks would play well. There was a buzz in the arena and the team seems to always respond to that (when Orlando is not in the building, anyways).

I love watching Jamal Crawford handle the ball. Just fun to watch. As someone who spent their playing days (high school and 1 year of JUCO) struggling to dribble, Crawford’s handles just amaze me. Love watching that guy play.

Did anyone see Sportscenter’s highlights last night. Literally all LeBron James. He was the only player they showed. Gee…how hard is ESPN trying to rebuild that guy’s image?! The network will not rest until that guy is everyone’s favorite player.

Bosh is very average. By far, most overpaid free agent this summer.

jason

October 22nd, 2010
8:18 am

i think we have a chance against the heat next season.

Hawk n the Ham

October 22nd, 2010
8:19 am

I swear, by reading some of these comments, some people are still so jaded from the Woodson way of doing things. Wake up folks, new coach. Player rotation was GREAT tonight. Just because Jordan didn’t see time tonight, doesn’t mean he is not going to get his turn. The problem for Jordan was Bibby, Joe, and Jamal were playing well last night. It’s hard to take some of those guys out long enough to insert the rookie. Plus, Teague had to get his burn.

And for anyone knocking Teague last night, the boy was rusty, but come on! He has been missing in practice and game time due to injury. Give him time to knock the rust off. He had a beautiful drive in the lane that broke down the defense, to dish it out to a wide open Joe for a made 3 pointer. Isn’t that what the team needs out of him? Well, he did it! Stop whining LOL.

It is nice to see defenses are not going to lock us down by doubling on Iso Joe this season. Joe’s work has gotten easier, and still scored 30 points. Good job to LD!

The Hawks offense really needed to have a good game like this, so they will buy into LD’s offense. This was very pivotal for the team. Now, they can start trusting themselves within the offense and make things happen. A few months down the road, who knows how clean and crisp they will be executing this offense? Might be a treat for us fans to watch. I can’t wait for opening night.

Go Hawks

darrell starks

October 22nd, 2010
8:20 am

LD is a smart coach from what i see so far, his bench rotation is awesome unlike woody, one thing i would like for LD 2 do is concentrate more on defense and understand that will be the hawks bread and butter from and offensive prospective into translating easy basket from fast break.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Section 303

October 22nd, 2010
8:23 am

O’Brien, I thought Teague’s most impressive play happened in the 3rd quarter (at least, I think it was the 3rd). At the Hawks basket, he came up with the ball on the baseline. Through traffic, from the baseline, he managed to get the ball to Joe Johnson for a 3, which Joe hit. Nice pass. Thought it showed good court awareness on the part of Teague.

Bibby is playing well right now. I do not think Teague it is a lock that Teague is going to take most of the minutes from Bibby. It’s going to take sometime for him to beat Bibby out.

Section 303

October 22nd, 2010
8:24 am

err….I do not think it is a lock Teague is going to take most of the minutes from Bibby. I don’t know what kind of mental fart I was having when I typed the 2nd paragraph up there.

darrell starks

October 22nd, 2010
8:27 am

LD ROTATION IS THIS.
STARTER BIBBY, JOE, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD,
BENCH TEAGUE, JAMAL, MOE, POWEL, ZAZA

LD SHOULD STARTE TEAGUE 2 CREATE EASY BASKET SPECIALLY ON THE ROAD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm

October 22nd, 2010
8:30 am

http://dimemag.com/2010/10/joe-johnson-hands-lebron-primetime-loss/

At least we dont hve to listen to themedia kiss miamis butt for one night lol. ESPN’s highlights were pathetic! Nothing but Lebron. SERIOUSLY!

darrell starks

October 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

I no bibby played well last night but the fast break is not there when he is in the game, it’s time 2 starte teague with the starter and let him make his mistake on the court he will only get better with time.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Art Vandelay

October 22nd, 2010
8:49 am

Michael:

Would it be asking too much for you to write like an actual journalist and use the players’ names, at least the first time you mention them? Who the F is “Twin?” Do any casual fans know who “JC2″ or “L.D.” are without having to research the roster and coaching staff?