Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 104, Sixers 101

Proof the Hawks did in fact play some D. (AP Photo)

Proof the Hawks did in fact play some D. (AP Photo)

Philadelphia–It didn’t take long for the same old Hawks to make an appearance. Well, that’s not quite right because they did pull out the victory after trying to give it away, but you know what I mean: Stagnant offense, careless turnovers, poor shot selection, awful transition D, lack of poise . . .

– “It was a little flash of what we were doing last year,” Al said.

– — “We just kind of made some boneheaded plays down the stretch, with me leading the pack definitely,” J.J. said. “We’ve got to know the time and the score. In the fourth quarter, under five minutes [to play], we’ve really got to take care of the ball. That’s on me.”

– Instead of going with motion sets late, L.D. kept calling for Bibby to set a pick so J.J. could end up with a mismatch on Lou Williams. That led to a lot of standing around for J.J.’s teammates and a critical turnover when Williams poked away the ball and Nocioni scored on a fastbreak.

– “We’ve had some success running the pick-and-roll with Mike and Joe, and they did a good job defending it,” Drew said. “We came up with a couple of bad possessions.”

– They won with a bad possession, too, unless you think Smoove shooting a corner 3 with the game on the line is a good idea. It was the textbook “Nooooooooo . . . yesssss!” play for Smoove. Or, from the Sixers’ fans perspectives the arena: “Shoot it! Shoot it! . . . Shoot!”

– “We was able to get it done,” Josh said. “It wasn’t pretty. You are going to have games where it’s not pretty like how it was in the end. But we found a way to get the job done.”

– That dagger aside, Smoove is still shooting and missing jumpers. This is (not surprisingly) going to be the first big challenge for L.D. He’s said he wants Josh’s teammates to stop giving him the ball in bad positions, but what are they supposed to do when they are looking for ball movement and he’s the open guy?

– Thing is, the game is over and you look at Josh’s line and he did most everything else right. Glaring exceptions being those three fourth-quarter turnovers and a technical foul when he kept jawing at Bob Delaney, who was trying to give him some slack.

– Al rediscovered his jump shot plus some. He pushed around Spencer Hawes, controlled the defensive glass and played big around the basket. Al was 6 for 6 with four rebounds in the first quarter, but then you sort of always expect him to have a good game after a bad one.

– L.D. so far has made good on his pledge to use the bench liberally. He sticks with lineups like Teague, Jamal, Marvin, Powell and Zaza for long stretches. Then again, the bench guys make it easier when they hold it down.

– Zaza was physical on the boards again. Powell doesn’t have great touch around the basket but he’s got some nifty moves. Jamal is still Jamal, balky back and unmet contract demands be damned.

– The Hawks are winning because they are scoring with relative ease for long stretches. But the defense is still suspect. The perimeter guys other than Teague struggle to keep ballhandlers out of the lane and aren’t much better at closing out on shooters. Smoove can’t do everything.

– And don’t even mention the transition D. If the Hawks are going to turn the ball over they at least need to get back, especially against high-energy opponents like Philly. “We got a little lackadaisical an we didn’t get back on defense, which was one thing we really wanted to do against this team,” L.D. said.

– Teague can’t get a call when he goes to the hole. The only way for that to change is for him to keep forcing the issue until he gets his respect from refs.

– When Jamal and Teague are in the game together it’s like each is trying to play a different style. Teague wants to slow down and run some sets and Jamal wants to attack and do his thing. Both were aggressive, though, so maybe they can work it out.

– J.J. had ice on his left hand after the game. He said he took a hit during training camp. “It’s something that’s not ever going to heal because I get hit in the hand every game,” he said.

– Joe had 12 free-throw attempts and Jamal had seven. The Hawks were 26 of 31 from the line. These are all encouraging trends for the Hawks.

– We’ll see if blowing road leads becomes a trend like last season. “As I told them after the game, sometimes it’s not always going to turn out the way we want it to turn out but the main thing is we found a way to get a win,” L.D. said.

Home opener vs. the Wiz tomorrow.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

124 comments Add your comment

jdewayneatl

October 29th, 2010
11:26 pm

First!

Go Hawks… Its the first week but could you believe Atlanta and New Jersey are the only remaining undefeated teams in the Eastern Conference…

I Heart Atlanta

October 29th, 2010
11:40 pm

All i care is that we won and i dont care how, especially on the road……….. GO HAWKS

Rev in Tampa

October 29th, 2010
11:42 pm

I saw some on the blog dissing Marvin tonight for missing some wide open 3’s. Does everyone realize that Kapono, the Sixers starting SF had NO POINTS tonight. The NBA.com game recap said Kapono struggled even to get open looks. GOOD JOB MARVIN!

fanATicaL

October 29th, 2010
11:47 pm

Rome wasnt built in a day and Im sure this transition of motion offense.Forcing players to play better transition defense wont either.But we just improved in an area that needed improvement from last years stats. . . .road wins.Can we beat Orlando in regular season play ?

truthspitter

October 29th, 2010
11:53 pm

A win is a win but those turnovers have to get down to less than 15 a game. I liked Al getting more touches tonight. Marvin will never be worthy of that #2 pick. I really hope we find a way to get a guy like Tayshaun Prince away from Detroit because depending on Marvin then being let down is just becoming old.

ptc

October 30th, 2010
12:05 am

They were in the same place this time last year 2-0

The Truth

October 30th, 2010
12:10 am

Kudos to the Hawks on two nice victories on the road; Yes I saw some defensive breakdowns and lackadaisical offense at times down the stretch but those things will occasionally happen to even the elite teams in the NBA. I wouldn’t be too critical especially when they win and hopefully learn from the mistakes. These wins are reminding me of comments Greg Anthony made during a telecast on NBA Network while evaluating the Hawks with Kenny Smith a few days ago. He said basketball players like Kobe, Tim Duncan Joe Johnson, KG etc though they are great and still playing at a high level; they have also peaked and will not get any better. But on the Hawk team, young players like Josh Smith, Al Horford and even Marvin William have not played their best basketball yet and are still growing. Greg Anthony pointed out that if those players ever took their game to the next level, the Hawks could be a very dangerous team.

So tonight, when you saw flashes of Josh evolving into a credible jump shooter along with his amazing defensive skills and Al Horford dropping 20 points with ease or Marvin in the Memphis game stepping up with an easy 15 points, you can begin to appreciate Anthony’s comment.

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
12:11 am

truthspitter

Quit worryin’ about where Marv was picked.
He didn’t draft himself.
All he can do is play the best he can, and play hard.

Josh was picked in the teens.
Pretend he [Josh] was picked 2nd and Marv was 17th or whatever.
Now were even.
Can we move on.

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
12:13 am

* left out an apostrophe.
yawl can figure out where?

The Truth

October 30th, 2010
12:14 am

My comments: Your comment is awaiting moderation

I guess that means it won’t make it the cut,

Oh well

ATL FAN

October 30th, 2010
12:18 am

Quick

October 30th, 2010
12:19 am

Marvin is lookin good so far, I like how L.D. is givin the bench (namely Teague) some valuable playing time. Solid, well rounded, fundamental basketball minus the flashback 4th quarter play tonite for our beloved Birds so far. Thumbs up to Larry Drew for winning his first 2 games as a head coach. 11 more and he’s ties Woody’s 1st season record. And Smoove, chill wit the 3 pt attempts already. It was old 2 years ago. One word for ya…maturity. On the flip side, I’m diggin the 6 blocks homie. Big road wins to start off the season, cant wait to get to Phillips and be a part of a great 2010-11 season. Go Hawks!

Rufus1

October 30th, 2010
12:19 am

@Rev

What do they want from Marv rev…..He shuts down his man and get 7rbs we win, but that isn’t enough. He is turning into a very good defender

HawkZ

October 30th, 2010
12:19 am

@ptc our 2-0 this year is different because we were on the road for the first two games.

niremetal

October 30th, 2010
12:21 am

Josh on 15+ft jumpers so far this season: 4 for 14, or .286. Of course, he’ll just remember the one that went in at the end of tonight’s game and use that as an internal excuse to keep shooting them.

You nailed it with the “Nooooooooo . . . yesssss!” bit, MC.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 30th, 2010
12:26 am

This is hands down the weirdest Youtube athlete mix I’ve ever seen.

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
12:35 am

There were a couple of dry spells where the defense
kept Philly at bay.
Mainly Josh and his defense of the rim.

We can carp about his shooting but;
he’s got brass nuggets, that’s for sure.

And if he plays like a warrior, it’s easier to forgive
some indiscretions.
He’s a game changer.

Other athletes in this town have gotten a pass,
[let's just say...for not being perfect]
Josh is playing as well and as hard as any Atl athlete
that comes to mind.
If he keeps up this level of commitment,
not only will he be an all-star but he will enter:
“Grandad’s elite status” [Rodman-esque]. (a truly noble honor)

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
12:45 am

Sign Al.
Re-sign Jamal.
This team has chemistry.
Not perfect.
One young Big [really Big] shot-blocking compliment
to Josh & Al away from challenging elite status.

I am now in agreement with Sund/ASG (hate to admit)
that the core should remain intact [for now].
They are playing together so well.

Ramon

October 30th, 2010
1:07 am

Grandad, the team is close. But we found out tonight Spencer Hawes isn’t the answer, lol.

Ramon

October 30th, 2010
1:12 am

West and Wafer had a fight in locker room today for Boston. And West, reportedly, initiated the fight on the court, and threw the first punch in the locker room. I wasn’t there, so don’t know what happened. But I’ve never been much of a fan of West (especially after the Desparado ride he took on his bike).

Ramon

October 30th, 2010
1:13 am

NIremetal, Josh has made some bad shots. But some of those were good attempts that rolled out of the rim.

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
2:04 am

Ramon – ditto on Hawes.

Josh only attempted 1 making 2 from 3 tonite.

Grandad

October 30th, 2010
2:06 am

I suffer from dispepsia;
* Josh att 2 making 1 from 3 tonite.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

October 30th, 2010
2:41 am

Philly fans, “Shoot it, Shoot it!!! Shoot.” LMAO

J Smash is fearless – sometimes to a fault – but there it paid off.

hawks_4_life

October 30th, 2010
3:09 am

south Ga boy in the ATL

October 30th, 2010
4:36 am

Dear Granddad, Its not Smoove’s “brass nuggetts” that concern me as much as his occassional “cinder block head” when it comes to 3 pointers. His defense was ferocious tonight with 6 blocks but he and JJ must take care of the ball in the 4th qtr and realize that when your ahead you “must” make the other team beat you and not accomidate them by beating yourself with turnovers. Its a good “overall” start but the same “dumb” mistakes seem to crop up year after year. One can only hope that one day the light bulb comes on for this “core.” Gotta throw out “young” before core now. It’s time to grow up and “take thee care of the ball” in crucial situations

drmaryb (*_*)

October 30th, 2010
6:46 am

Rev in Tampa

Marvin is an enigma. He disappears every Summer, I for one advocate a quality education. However, when he was in College, he bolted after one year to sign a NBA Contract! So, he made his choice then to forego a degree for now and now he has the money and wants to go back to school?

Is the commitment really here or there? He can always go back and get that
African Studies, BA. I would he focuses on making those jump shots to improve his game offensively and help this team. Fans pay to see Marvin play professional Basketball not earn that degree. The UNC isn’t going anywhere and will be there for the next 50 years if the Lord Willing.

He has to make those wide open shots, at least some of them.
He has all the tools, a beautiful release, size and athleticism.
It’s been 6 years now, so when? His defense was good last night, not great!
He got 7even boards, he should get at least 10 to go with 10 points nightly.

Is that asking too much?

Rev in Tampa

October 30th, 2010
7:25 am

drmaryb, I’m with you on Marv’s overall offensive game. The man can’t even hit a layup consistently while driving to the basket. But I’ve seen some things from Marvin that I really like so far in this young season. He battled three sixers by himself for a rebound, his dunk in Bosh’s face and his overall defense. In otherwords – HEART! That has been missing in the past.
My main goal last night was to give him some props we had completely overlooked him.

Rev in Tampa

October 30th, 2010
7:31 am

drmaryb, I know you blog from your blackberry, as do I, so have you noticed when you use Larry Drew’s initials that it automatically inserts the day’s date? I find it very annoying. But if I were posting things that needed a dateline I would love it.

hawks_4_life

October 30th, 2010
7:43 am

Ramon,

My fantasy sleeper sucks, guess when you wished me luck with that you knew what you wrere saying lol.

NCBravesFan

October 30th, 2010
7:46 am

Well at least the team seems to have the road monkey off its back so far. Given some of the stinkers the team put up on the road last year, that’s progress in itself here in the early going.

It will be interesting to see what happens when these guys play a championship level team (home or road).

SadDawg

October 30th, 2010
7:47 am

I’m a big Josh fan. If he would develop a dependable 10 to 15 foot jumper, he would be an All Star every season.

hawks_4_life

October 30th, 2010
7:50 am

This is the quietest ive seen the blog in a while. I guess there is more to talk about if we lost huh.

hawks_4_life

October 30th, 2010
7:56 am

Enter your comments here

Rev in Tampa

October 30th, 2010
8:09 am

hawks_4_life, the naysayers aren’t coming out to play since the Coach Drew is backing up his talk with back-to-back ROAD wins to open the season. If the Hawks beat the Wizards next game the blog will grow even more quiet.

wordsmithtom

October 30th, 2010
8:11 am

hawks-4-life,
Hawks crapped in their mess kit against Orlando. Fan base still not over that debacle. Reminds me of the dude caught cheatin. One or two bouquets of roses is not enough to get those arms unflolded from her chest. “You ain’t touchin’ these with them cheatin’ hands…..”
The haters can’t say anything after 2 wins, but 2 wins against nobody significant is not enough to get any love…not just yet.

When you’re in the dog house, you gotta learn to eat dogfood till you get mean enough of nice enough to get back in the house…

dap01

October 30th, 2010
8:40 am

The thing that I have noticed it how LD effectively spreads the minutes. If this was Woody coaching, JJ would have already played 14 more minutes in the 2 games. JJ will be fresher and much more effective in the playoffs with LD coaching. Woody was incapable of not playing JJ into the ground. LD has a clue.

hawks_4_life

October 30th, 2010
8:46 am

Rev you might be right, its not cool how people have grown so cynical about the hawks. Granted all we’ve been through we should be happy for L.D.

Wordsmithtom

New season, new coach, time to move on, what do you think.

joBjo

October 30th, 2010
8:57 am

Dampear signed by Houston. no more pining for the guy that needs a cue tip.

i_am_soulstar

October 30th, 2010
9:15 am

Why in the blue hell is Jason Kapono starting for anybody?

truthspitter

October 30th, 2010
9:20 am

With success comes expectations I have to be truthful and admit that I am already looking forward to being 7-0 and going to Orlando next Monday

Section 303

October 30th, 2010
9:26 am

I swear…some of you just need to learn to enjoy wins. Really, just enjoy it. The Hawks are 2 and 0, about to have opening night at Philips (one of my favorite nights of the year), and we have people upset. Why? You don’t know what will happen in the playoffs. They’re months away. Just be happy in the now, for once.

hawks_4_life, are you at ISU?

kaminari

October 30th, 2010
9:29 am

Josh Smith is volatile. The Hawks are winning. Nobody is talking about them at all, they’re so under the radar & picked by some to finish 8th in the East. And I like it. After two games I know this Princeton Offense is looking good. To boot we have play makers. 2 down & 80 to go, 80 more games to learn how to play defense before the playoffs start. Go HAWKS!!

Sautee

October 30th, 2010
9:38 am

truthspitter,

a couple of weeks ago you said this:

truthspitter
October 13th, 2010
12:00 am
“Publix: I have been screaming for Biedrins all summer. Don’t worry they will do
something by all-star break when we are 15-30″

So now you say they will be 7-0 BEFORE going 15-30?

Saint Richt

October 30th, 2010
10:06 am

I am almost ready to apologize to Mike Woodson……not sure now that it was all him as much as it is a bunch of BASKETBALL STUPID players…….

oranjucejonz

October 30th, 2010
10:25 am

Jamal has to stop it with the selfish play,The only guy that seems to not be buying into the new offense….Maybe he’s auditioning for another team

Rev in Tampa

October 30th, 2010
10:35 am

Sautee, LOL! I’ve saved some of the ame kind of lame predictions in a file to pull out later in the season.

J from the A

October 30th, 2010
10:55 am

In spite of the fact that Josh made that all-important 3 toward the end of the 4th, I think I am going to be jumping off the “let Josh regularly shoot the long-range jump shot” bandwagon.

I still think if Josh could develop a 15-18 ft. jump shot he and the Hawks would be able to take their game to another level. However, he is taking too many jump shots, and some of the shots were ill-advised … ill-advised in the sense that even if he was, say, a 40% jump shooter, I wouldn’t want him taking the shot.

I just think Josh needs to have a drive or pass 1st, jump shot 2nd mentality. However, there were too many times when it was clear that jump shooting was taking precedent over driving or passing.

So, I encourage Josh to continue to work on the jump shot. I don’t mind him sometimes taking the shot in games when the defense is giving it to him AND there is no pass to make. But he needs to be a bit more wise when it comes to taking the jump shot, and probably cut the long attempts in half.

KevinM

October 30th, 2010
11:11 am

Smoove was lucky last night not to have been the goat for the T he picked up late. LD composed him, took him out, and brought him back.
I think Smoove continues to listen to LD after the results last night.

Good game by most of the guys….Bibby still holding his position quite well.

KevinM

October 30th, 2010
11:14 am

Here we go again………disgruntled employee 2.0……Iggy unhappy after one week under Doug Collins…But, he hasn’t requested a trade…same familiar?

As much as Melo sounds like he could really help a new team, I don’t feel the same for Iggy…