Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 94, Pistons 85

Zaza gave the bench a lift with Jamal out. (Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com)

Zaza gave the bench a lift with Jamal out. (Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com)

– The Hawks shot 54 percent from the field against the Pistons. “We did?” Al said, incredulous.

– You can see why he’s surprised. Despite pretty much everyone but J.J. making shots, Atlanta had to be nearly perfect in the final six minutes to beat hapless Detroit. The reasons: 17 offensive rebounds for Detroit, leading to 16 second-chance points. “We were a little careless in that area, and it almost cost us the game,” Horford said.

– Yet, and so far there’s always a “yet” with this team, the Hawks overcame all they did wrong by getting themselves right at the end. That’s been the theme early in the season. “We’re not going to go out and blow out a lot of people,” L.D. said. “We have to learn how to win at the end. Sometimes it’s going to be pretty, sometimes it’s going to be ugly but we have to win in those types of situations.”

– This one actually ended up being pretty at the end. During that 18-4 closing run, the Hawks made seven straight baskets and Detroit missed 7 of 8. Atlanta’s energy dragged for most of the game but not at the end. “We were a little sluggish,” Al said. “I think everybody was feeling tired from the night before. I think everybody just had to push through to get this win.”

– The Pistons played last night, too, and their opponent was Boston, not Cleveland. The Hawks were without Jamal (and it especially showed during that second-quarter lull) but the Pistons “are missing half their team,” as Al put it.

Zaza’s 12 points in 19 minutes were essential. Otherwise, Detroit’s 35-25 advantage in bench points would have been much worse.

Marvin’s eight rebounds were essential for the Hawks, too, since he was the only guy outside of Smoove and Al putting in work on the boards. Facing the rare opponent that doesn’t enjoy a size advantage inside, the Hawks gave up offensive rebounds due to lack of awareness and energy.

– “Totally unacceptable,” L.D. said. “We didn’t get out bodies on people. It’s not just our big guys, our guards have got to dig out long rebounds.” Bibby, J.J., Teague, and JC2 totaled seven rebounds.

– JC2 got his most meaningful minutes of the season and was OK. Early in the fourth he took an ill-advised 3-pointer and threw away a pass but he also had two assists and generally didn’t hurt the Hawks.

– Teague’s three first-half turnovers marred an otherwise solid game. The Hawks needed the energy he and JC2 provided.

– J.J. missed a lot of wide open spot-ups. He’s 11 for 36 in his last two games. “It’s been a little tough the last two games,” he said. “I just haven’t really been able to get in a rhythm. I know it will come. I’m not really worried about that.”

– Maybe he’s just tired after playing 42 minutes at Cleveland and then logging 42 again tonight. It’s apparent L.D. is going to ride him in situations like this and tell him to keep shooting, but the game changed when Al and Smoove started touching the ball more late.

– To J.J.’s credit, he recognized he wasn’t getting it done and shared the ball for three assists in the fourth quarter. He also converted an and-1 that made it 89-83.

– With Jamal out, L.D. didn’t have a lot of other options to close. When Marvin went down, Zaza came in to play power forward and started the closing run with a reverse layup on a nice feed from Joe.

– Jamal may not make the trip to Minnesota. Marvin is questionable with what the team called a sprained right knee. “I’ve already got a lot of treatment,” he said. “I will just go home and kick my feet up and see how it feels in the morning.”

– Already Atlanta’s decision not to add another wing over the summer could be a problem. No Mo (who is more of a guard) and no Marvin means no small forward other than Joe (who isn’t one).

– Good thing for the Hawks Villanueva likes to jack up bad shots. Josh Powell might have matched him brick for brick if he had played more than 13 minutes.

Ben Gordon scored on everyone the Hawks put in front of him. J.J., Teague, JC2 and Bibby either couldn’t get to him through screens or lost track of him at the 3-point line.

– While Jamal’s absence was felt by the Hawks, Will Bynum (hamstring) would have made a difference for the Pistons. “Not to have Will has really hurt us,” Tayshaun Prince said. “He helps us play at a faster pace and attack the pick-and-rolls.”

– Strangely, Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey only played 14 minutes, apparently because coach John Kuester didn’t want to put him back in.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

106 comments Add your comment

Rev in Tampa

November 3rd, 2010
11:34 pm

MC, I’ve heard you through the summer pointing out the lack of depth at SF. You have proven to be prescient.

kdubstockbridge

November 3rd, 2010
11:35 pm

Rev in Tampa

November 3rd, 2010
11:36 pm

This Hawks team has a knack for playing down to the level of their opponents. And with the exception of Orlando, they typically play at or above the level of their opponents when playing the elite teams.

kdubstockbridge

November 3rd, 2010
11:36 pm

AHHH. DAG NABBIT..maybe one day..I can’t believe i’m saying this, however, I hope Marvin is ok..

Loserville USA

November 3rd, 2010
11:37 pm

Finally… Orlando Monday. Let’s see how good we are.

Rev in Tampa

November 3rd, 2010
11:39 pm

I’ve got a meeting on Monday I’m trying to reschedule so I can represent the Hawks in Orlando. But I’ve got to find a Marvin jersey to wear.

Jody

November 3rd, 2010
11:40 pm

MC,

What did you think about the lineup the Hawks used to close out the game? I thought Josh, Al and Za Za played well together and I would like to see that lineup a little more.

Rev in Tampa

November 3rd, 2010
11:42 pm

The nosebleed seats in Orlando start at $4 or $6. Incredibly low. The surcharge for ordering the tickets is more expensive.

Hawk n the Ham

November 3rd, 2010
11:44 pm

No depth at SF? Here’s the plan………..

Trade ASG & Rick Sund to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. Then pick up Arthur Blank off waivers.

I’ve done this on the ESPN trade-machine, and it works!!!! Let’s get this done, PRONTO!

jdewayneatl

November 3rd, 2010
11:52 pm

What was that about J-Smooves on-ball defense. He almost single handedly shut the Detroit offense down pressuring Tayshaun Prince as he tried to set the offense.

If Marv isn’t available for Friday’s game, Zaza will start, Smoove will play mostly at the 3, and be prepared to get a descent dose of Jason Collins and a little bit of Etan Thomas.

Ramon

November 3rd, 2010
11:54 pm

Kobe has had a HUGE first half. 21 points/ 8 assists/ 6 boards/ 1 steal. Wow!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 3rd, 2010
11:55 pm

You are so right about Will Bynum. He would have eaten Bibby alive. I completely forgot he was still on that team.

A lackluster win is still a win. Hopefully they find that next gear and step it up whn they start playing good teams.

KevinM

November 3rd, 2010
11:58 pm

Rev, that Marvin jersey is probably very hard to find…..

Who knows what type of game you will see out of the Hawks…you know what you are getting with the Magic…they will be ready.

Rev in Tampa

November 3rd, 2010
11:59 pm

jdewayneatl, I agree with Smoove at 3, but he will have to rotate out of the game. Then who? I assume JJ. But JJ has to pick up Jamal’s minutes. So we are left with heavy minutes from JC2 as best as I can figure when JJ moves up to 3.

MannyT

November 4th, 2010
12:16 am

I think we lose this game last year. Jamal & Mo are out & Marvin gets hurt. Going into the 4th quarter Bibby & Joe are both cold. We’re giving up O boards like the paint in the lane is toxic.

Hawks find a way to win while Josh is shooting jumpers. Not expected, but a win is a win. Harder part of schedule is later in season. Glad we didn’t give one away when injuries were an easy excuse.

jdewayneatl

November 4th, 2010
12:20 am

@Rev,

Yeah it’ll be a little more of JC2, but you will also see a little more of Teague and Bibby also. LD used those two together for a few minutes in the 2nd half.

I know that its not ideal but Minnesota’s backcourt isn’t as big as the backcourt used by detroit tonight. It can work to buy a little time.

MsDee

November 4th, 2010
12:34 am

Again, I can compare the Hawks tonight with Boston tonight..Both teams were playing so-called “sorry” teams tonight but found a way to WIN..Both teams are veteran teams, by-da-way!

I hope LD finds out who has the tape when Miami beat Orlando the other night and see how they defended those guys, cause just like us, Miami has no “real” center either but was able to not just beat Orlando, but embarrassed them.

Clyde

November 4th, 2010
1:16 am

Dam the Larry Drew and the Hawks got me and my boy JeJe real quiet so far. Let’s see if they can play like this in March and April.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2010
1:23 am

I love how Josh Smith stepped up on a night when we struggled on the boards against a skinny front line, and our two most explosive scorers couldn’t get the job done (Joe was missing shots, Jamal was MIA).

He didn’t just step up, he led the team, especially on defense, where he was able to rally the troops. Totally different than against the Cavs, as the Pistons had a backcourt advantage either with speed (Gordon) or size (McGrady).

Another thing. Our young guards never shied away from the challenge, and really fought well. Teague and JC2 looked good, even when it was just effort.

Good win for a tired team.

kwooden1

November 4th, 2010
1:37 am

Didn’t see the game, but sounds like the guys fought hard. I thought it was going to be a close game. Gordon was definitely going to give us problems and we never really rebound well against Detroit. Good to see Jordon get some playing time, but hate to see all the injuries. Another Good Win!

GO HAWKS!!

Hawks

November 4th, 2010
2:16 am

to make as many “mistakes” I guess you could call them, in these past few games and still win and be 5-0, you at least have to admit that these Hawks are pretty good (now about winning against Orlando ….).

They may not always be pretty wins but this isn’t the BCS so as long as you’re in the Top 8 at the end of the season, you at least give yourself a shot to win a championship.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 4th, 2010
2:16 am

We need JC1! They need to resign him or trade him for more offensive fire power PERIOD
We need Marvin to continue this all out fearless play! J Smash stays on the squad because he is MR. EVERYTHING.

ignition

November 4th, 2010
2:19 am

Good win for the Hawks..
Josh stepped up and played well on both ends, now if we can get that kind of offense consistently man watch out.. I like how LD has Josh aka Smoove, Al aka Boss, & Marvin aka Duck, playing its Beautiful basketball when they in gear..

truthspitter

November 4th, 2010
2:24 am

Yeah this team is looking really thin right now. Looks like we are gonna make up for those injuries we missed last year this year early though I hope

MsDee

November 4th, 2010
3:08 am

I’m sure there are some decent unsigned SF’s out there for the taking, truthspitter.

tony

November 4th, 2010
4:08 am

The players plays with more confident under Drew. They are less timid and seem to be enjoying the game a lot more. It was obvious that Woody was putting too much pressure on his players iust by the way he would showed up some of his players during games. Hated when he would do that. I knew his mean actions would backfire.

JJ is not earning his money and that could hurt the team when they start playing quality teams. Can they maintain that same confident level against Orlando, Miami, LA L, San Antonio, Boston and OK? We will see.

JoJo the Godfather

November 4th, 2010
5:35 am

Is Pape Sy healthy enough to suit up on Friday?

MsDee

November 4th, 2010
5:57 am

Good question, JoJo

O'Brien

November 4th, 2010
7:27 am

JoJo,

Even if Pape Sy is healthy, and suits up, I cant imagine him getting any PT. He missed basically the entire summer and preseason.

Hawks were virtually injury free last year, but so far the injury bug is starting to appear. I hope they can weather the storm.

I’m happy the Hawks won, but I’m still keeping it in context until they play some good teams.

The Hawks are 5-0 this season, which is great, but except for Memphis, we havent been dominating, and the teams they have beat (Memphis, Philly, Washington, Cleveland and Detroit) are a combined 5-17.

5-17 is the record of their opponents.

Sid

November 4th, 2010
7:49 am

The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those that cannot fly. Go Hawks!

dukester

November 4th, 2010
7:54 am

The money we spent prying Pape Sy from over seas and signing him we could signed a re tread like Tracy Mcgrady or Stackhouse. I just dont understand the fascination with this guy. Those are the type moves that puzzle me sometimes.

As far as Josh it is what it is!

By the way everybody is human, Kevin Durant went 0-10 from 3 pt land last night. So i guess we might as well back off our players when they have off nights.

So what the competition has been weak. We are playing the schedule and they are professional organizations and that’s who they put on the court we could be 3-2.

JeJe

November 4th, 2010
8:12 am

What was the point in signing Etan? We know he is a good guy and physical body but WE NEEDED TO SIGN JERRY STACKHOUSE. THIS IS THE 3RD YEAR IN A ROW WE HAVE FAILED TO SIGN A GUY WHO HAS SAID HE’D LOVE TO COME HERE AND IS A TRUE VET

JeJe

November 4th, 2010
8:18 am

SIGN A WING NOW. WITH MARVIN OUT WE HAVE NO OTHER TRUE SFS TO PUT IN. MO IS TOO SHORT AND IS HURT.

JO-CRAW HAS NO STRENGTH AND IS NOT READY. THIS IS WHERE U SIGN SOMEONE LIKE RUBEN PATTERSON (WHO IS PROBABLY RETIRED).

SUND GOT THIS COMPLETELY WRONG. WE HAVE PLENTY OF BIG DEPTH. IF ONE OF OUR PGS GOES DOWN THEN JAMAL GETS HUGE MINUTES AT PG. NOW LOOK AT OUR WING DEPTH

FIRE RICK SUND NOW

Robert

November 4th, 2010
8:23 am

people need to stop with the Josh Smith trade rumors.That would be the downfall of the Hawks if it happened.I for one would never support them again if they did that.

J from the A

November 4th, 2010
8:36 am

It was mentioned above by jdewayneatl, but I have to say that Josh’s on ball defense (while playing the 3, guarding Prince) was pretty solid.

After reading the “How Do You Like D Now” by Jon Cooper on the Hawks site, I wonder if Josh’s normally “weak” man-on-man defense/”strong” help defense is by design. The article seems to suggest that Drew (or at least Conner) wants Josh to play stronger help defense (even at the expense of man-on-man defense) when Josh is at the 4.

Also, even though Josh is still shooting the jumper, his shot selection appears to be improving a bit … and he is actually making the jumper. It was beautiful to see how making a couple jumpers opened up his game a bit. Early on, the Pistons were giving Josh the jumper. After he made a couple, his man really started to rush after Josh when he caught the ball on the perimeter allowing Josh to drive by his man.

J from the A

November 4th, 2010
8:43 am

Everyone with their eyes on Orlando … let’s hope the Hawks are thinking like this.

After all, we do have a game on Friday against the Timberwolves and a game on Sunday against the Suns. Normally, I would say the Timberwolves shouldn’t be a problem, but with the potential of having 3 guys out with injuries is going to make the game quite a challenge. And we definitely cannot sleep on the Suns. Yes, they have gotten off to a slow start, but they are still a very dangerous team.

J from the A

November 4th, 2010
8:54 am

“I don’t care (about the trade rumors),” Smith explained to HOOPSWORLD. “I just go out there and play the game. I really don’t look at what people are saying in the media. People tend to create their own stories up. Then everybody else who reads it takes it from there. They can copy and print it, then make it their own story too. So I just play and not worry about anything. If they (Hawks management) want to do it, they’ll do it.”

Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford overheard the conversation and offered his thoughts on the Smith trade rumors. “He’ll be here as long as he wants to be here. He’ll be the last one (to be traded).”

Kwa

November 4th, 2010
9:12 am

Stand by my opinion that jc1 IS NOT injured with turf toe? wtf?…he’s pissed cause he was pulled at the end of the game……play or get traded!!!

dap01

November 4th, 2010
9:28 am

How long is Marvin out? Does anyone else get the feeling the Jamal is not going to be there for us this year? My perception is that he will not be dependable, if he feels bad, he will simply take the day off?

terrell

November 4th, 2010
9:32 am

Better give the 2nd unit MAJOR min’s in Minnesota, if we dont wont to get blown out in Orlando.

terrell

November 4th, 2010
9:40 am

Damien Wilkins perhaps? He’s riding the bench in Memphis I think?

Section 303

November 4th, 2010
9:41 am

I thought the Hawks coasted last night. They looked like a team going through the motions in the first half. They got things rolling in the late 3rd/4th quarter, though.

Joe was awful shooting the ball.

Josh Smith easily team MVP last night. He played with energy throughout the game. His jumper was on last night. I can’t decide if that is a good thing or not. He is starting to hit the outside shot with some regularity. I just wish he would move in a few steps. Like, 19-feet in. He is always shooting jumpers from just inside three.

Should be able to get a win against Minny on Friday night. The Suns will be tough on Sunday. We all know an a$$ kicking is coming our way on Monday night. Hawks need to be 7 and 0 heading into Orlando. That way they can take their beating, be 7 and 1, and get on with the season.

Really, should we even play the starters on Monday night? Why not give them some rest. We’re losing that game anyways.

O'Brien

November 4th, 2010
9:41 am

dap01,

Jamal is unhappy about not getting the extension, but I dont think that will be an issue. What will be interesting to see is what does he do if LD starts to go with Marvin in the fourth quarter down the stretch.

Jamal pouted when LD took him out in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland game (rightly so, because Marvin played well all game). It is interesting that we hear about turf toe now, when we didnt hear anything about it during the Cleveland game.

JeJe,

I’m not sure why Etan was signed either. I guess it was because he adds physicality to practice. I think Josh Powell is ok, but I would like to see him improve his FG%. He is shooting 39%.

KevinM

November 4th, 2010
9:44 am

JC1 is only hurting himself if he doesn’t get out there and contribute. Why doesn’t Sund see this or is he just stubborn enough to think that JC1 will let this blow over?

Something will have to happen, but give JC2 his shot and it will show that he will not be as successful as JC1 for years. You just aren’t going to come into the league and become a 6th man candidate.

Marvin being hurt is a major hit simply because JC1 and Mo are in suits currently. The roster starts to thin out rather quickly when a rash of these things come up.

Better not be looking ahead to Orlando yet….2 to play before heading there. I would not expect anything more than a 2-1 stretch here.

Ken Strickland

November 4th, 2010
9:47 am

When we were losing during the preseason, there was no shortage of negative comments and predictions of doom and gloom for Marvin and the Hawks from JEJE and SAMUEL. Now that the team has started out strong and is undefeated, we seldom here from either. And somehow, these NEGATIVE MINDED bandwagon jumpers expect us to believe they’re actually fans of the Hawks. What fan keeps quiet when the team is winning, but breaks out the chorus and responds with negative complaints and assessments when the team loses?

In previous yrs the team would start gms out strong, but fade down the stretch. We all know the fading part was due to a combination of fatigue, limited OFF options and predictability. This yr, we seem to have reversed that trend and have become a team that finishes strong down the stretch. If we’re going to suffer with injuries, I’m glad they’re happening during preseason and early very early in the season.

It’s just beautiful to see us use an expanded rotation and see someone other than Jamal Crawford come off the bench and contribute, especially when most of our starters are struggling. Last yr, most Hawk fans blamed the players, and/or a lack of talent, for the limited production we got from our bench. But with the production we’re now getting from basically the same bench, those who blamed the players now know where the blame should be placed.

terrell

November 4th, 2010
9:50 am

Kevin, 2-1 stretch would be great. If your’re thinking 3-0 with Orlando on a back to back your’re insane.

dap01

November 4th, 2010
9:50 am

What is the extent of Marvin’s injury?

terrell

November 4th, 2010
9:52 am

Ken, you forgot about Rod from College Park. Haha. Hadn’t been around here bashing Marvin in a while. lol!

Ken Strickland

November 4th, 2010
9:57 am

One more thing. Isn’t it revealing how immediately after his PAY ME OR TRADE ME demands, and getting an immediate response from management, Jamal Crawford suddenly became unable to play during most of the preseason? And now, immediately after getting upset over being replaced at the 4min mark of the last gm by Marvin, he’s suddenly unable to play again.

Him being out during preseason gave Jordon Crawford a chance to show what he can do, and this little ego driven stunt just might backfire as well, and seal his fate, especially if Jordon successfully steps up and takes advantage of the opportunity Jamal is giving him.

JeJe

November 4th, 2010
10:05 am

Ken Strickland,

I’m actually a pretty busy guy. I don’t have time to read every single comment here. I know that for most of you, this is your pathetic little social outlet – talking to people you will never meet. I actually have a life and come here when I can.

Thanks for the input though.