Atlanta Hawks: Suns 118, Hawks 114

Nash got the Hawks this time. (AP Photo)

Nash got the Hawks this time. (AP Photo)

– The Hawks are no longer undefeated but it shouldn’t be overlooked that they got down big but didn’t stay down against a team that causes them all kinds of matchup problems. “We didn’t give up,” J.J. said “We just can’t go out and start like that, especially in our house.”

Marvin and Mo were in street clothes. Zaza and Twin might have as well have been in a game like this. If the playoffs are about matchups, then the Hawks saw the kind of team they don’t want to see in the postseason.

– The Suns have skilled wings all over the place and the Hawks, as presently constructed, don’t have any to spare. So L.D. felt like he had to use switches on defense to have a chance.

– “The thing that hurt us as far as the switches, we couldn’t match up the way we wanted to match up if you don’t have perimeters when they go small,” he said. “You have to go small along with them, especially when you play big and playing big is not effective. Tonight was a clear case how bad we needed a Marvin or a Mo so we could look at going a lot smaller and trying some other things defensively.”

– Drew abandoned the Twin lineup once it became clear the Suns were too fast. Josh Powell opened the second half at power forward but the game was too fast for him, too. Teague is fast enough for a game like this and was effective but he only played 17 minutes.

– Funny how Atlanta’s depth doesn’t look so great against a quality opponent like Phoenix. The Suns had a 46-19 edge in bench scoring and had 10 guys score at least six.

Al has done a pretty good job when switched on Nash in the past. This time, though, Nash attacked the basket instead of settling for long, contested jumpers. Once he got Al thinking about that, he burned him with step-backs.

– “We have had some success with switching with Nash,” L.D. said. “Tonight he made some shots, which we knew chances are he was going to make some. We got a little complacent on a few of the Childress drives where that didn’t call for any help. We got sucked in and he kicked out to shooters. That’s failure to execute the gameplan.”

– Offensively, Al is suited for a game like this. Amazing line: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 13 /16 FG, 4/5 FT, one turnover. “I don’t think anyone in the league works harder than Horford does on either end of the floor,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “Whatever they signed him for, it’s a bargain. He’s a stud.”

– Facing a high-powered offense for the first time, the Hawks appeared slow-footed on their rotations and unsure about their assignments in transition. Marvin and Mo would have helped check all those perimeter guys, but J.J. said: “It’s tough but no excuses. We are a better defensive team than that. Give them credit. They exploited what they thought were mismatches. They made a lot of tough shots down the stretch.”

– J.J. finally found his shooting stroke and used it often while scoring 34 points. He took eight of his 27 shots in the fourth quarter. But he again shared the wealth with six assists.

– J.J. on the missed drive with the Hawks down 114-112: “I think I had more guys guarding me than I expected. When I went up, three other guys went up with me and I really couldn’t see the rim. It was unfortunate, man. If i had to do it all over again, I’d probably do that play a little differently.”

– On the play before that, the Hawks were the victim of a switch when Bibby ended up on Channing Frye. His teammates sure were slow to help.

– The Hawks never got stops consistently but erupted for 38 points in the third quarter with Bibby and Jamal bombing away on 3-pointers. The Hawks don’t want outscoring opponents to be their identity but at least they know they are capable of doing it.

– Then again, the boxscore shows what’s become a common theme this season: The Hawks shot 54 percent yet found themselves in a tight game because something else went wrong. This time it was turnovers (14 for 23 Suns points). Other times it’s been rebounding. Usually it’s defense.

– Jamal was just 3 for 11 from the field but his seven points in the third quarter, including his second 4-point play in as many games, keyed Atlanta’s comeback. The Hawks needed more than 11 points from him, though.

– The fans booed Chills pretty good. I wasn’t around for that entire saga but people who were say they were surprised by the reception.

– L.D. rode the starters hard and now they have to turn around and play the Magic. It’s just one of 82 but not really.

– “We’ve just got to get a win,” Smoove said. “They have definitely had our number the last few times we have played them. Even the game we won we had to have a tip-in dunk. We just have to go out there and match their intensity. They play with a certain type of toughness, especially on the defensive end. I want to see where we are as a team with toughness.”

– I’m out, Hawks fans.

MC

100 comments Add your comment

mike

November 7th, 2010
10:01 pm

man the suns were quick.. however i def think marvin would’ve helped with their abundance of wings.. also dont know why everyone booed chills what did he do to us?

Brazil_Boy

November 7th, 2010
10:02 pm

Wow… first?

Tom

November 7th, 2010
10:04 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

November 7th, 2010
10:04 pm

Childress didn’t deserve to get booed. It isn’t his fault the Hawks never gave him a fair offer. 5 years, $30 million for Childress is a way, way better deal than 5 years, $37 million for Marvin.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 7th, 2010
10:05 pm

Marvin is not some kind of Ron Artest to where your defense should fall apart without him. The Hawks’ defensive issues run way deeper than that.

Stuart

November 7th, 2010
10:13 pm

Disappointing… The comeback from down 18 was nice to see. But unfortunately it came from putting up 3’s. The offense turned into a lot of Joe Johnson dribbling and going 1 on 1 again the 4th quarter. And the defense!!??? Or lack thereof…. Phoenix just ran the same plays most of the time: Nash getting a pick set to switch and get Horford guarding him, and an early high screen to get Richardson open for a wide open jumper. That was essentially their offense late, if they weren’t running on a fast break. The Hawks made ZERO adjustments and just let them run this offense essentially the second half. They finally denied J-Rich the ball on their play out of the time our with 30 seconds left, but after they still put it in on a mismatch and the Iso-Joe failed to put it in on the next play, it was too late. Plus, the defensive rotation was BAD in the 4th especially, leaving shooters wide open for 3. If that continues, Orlando is going to win in another HUGE blowout…

Anyway, some encouraging signs, but many all-too-familiar mistakes and defensive lapses…

truthspitter

November 7th, 2010
10:14 pm

Thanks MC for pointing out the truth which is these bloggers have been blowing the bench way out of proportion I said before the game and I will say it again. The bench is still weak so is defense. Zaza is useless just as last year. We really need to make a move for a defensive wing and a big. Next, I will not be blogging for a while. I have better things to do with my time than blog about this team which has not improved any. It’s like talking about the same things over and over again, you eventually get tired of it especially if the things aren’t good. Finally, I commend the city of Atlanta for not supporting this fraud of a contender/Elite team and I hope it does not change. You are being hustled if you buy into this team as a contender or the best product that the Hawks could put on the floor. Take care my fellow blog peers. Hopefully I will be in contact sometimes next year. God Bless.

JSS

November 7th, 2010
10:19 pm

@ Najeh…
That’s Atlanta, it is so rare when fans in this town treat free agents with kindness when they return…

ignition

November 7th, 2010
10:24 pm

I’m just glad Hawks fans showed enough passion to boo…
I’m sorry but this one is on LD..
Defensive adjustments should have been made and as much as Bibby helped get us back in the game in the 3rd he should have been out once Nash started to re-establish himself offensively that would have corrected the switch problem and gave Nash someone to cover off the dribble as well.

MJ

November 7th, 2010
10:39 pm

Hawks should move back to St louis
This is not an NBA city

ignition

November 7th, 2010
10:42 pm

@ MJ move off the Hawks board..

jdewayneatl

November 7th, 2010
10:54 pm

Hey its the first loss of the season. It was due to come at some point, duh. But overall it was a good comeback and a fun second half. Phoenix did what they were supposed to do. The took advantage of our lack of perimeter D. And this is the first game where we truly miss Mo and Marvin. The game would have been totally different if Jamal and Bibby didn’t have to play half the game on the court together. That was the difference. Their wings and guards were too quick and too big for the defense to overcome. But however, this games also shows the toughness and never die attitude the Hawks have this year. Go Hawks!

Clyde

November 7th, 2010
11:09 pm

Its still early.

kwooden1

November 7th, 2010
11:38 pm

Didn’t see this game, but figured the Suns would be a tough matchup without Marvin or Mo. We have a lot of bruisers on our team and not a lot of quick forwards. I was hoping that LD could have slowed the game down against the Suns, to take advantage of our size but it clearly didn’t happen. Nice comeback by the guys but we ended up in a shootout with not enough bullets. Tomorrow night, I expect another beating, but I hope that LD uses a hack-Dwight strategy to at least get us to half time only down 10 or less. We’re really going to need Powell and Teague tomorrow night though. Someone on our team is going to have to slow down Bass/Anderson when they come in the game. (Powell) And we need someone to attack the basket once Dwight is out of the game. (Teague) I hope we can keep it close and maybe have a chance to pull it out in the 4th.

GO HAWKS!!

Melvin

November 7th, 2010
11:55 pm

Where was Robin Lopez at tonight? Just think, many folks wanted to trade for this guy…. Al “undersized” Horford line from tonight – “30 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks”

cp

November 8th, 2010
12:29 am

I thought Teague was going to play more this game. He was playing well then he got pulled. JC2 has a lot to work on defensively. Dude is going to be a player but his defense is just not there yet. Bibby was knocking down shots but gave it right back up on the other end.

MsDee

November 8th, 2010
12:41 am

IMO, ISO’s should only be used in the 4th quarter by your star player..Heck, isn’t that what Kobe, LeBron(Cavs) and Wade(Miami) did for their team?? No matter what u say or think, JJ IS our Kobe, is our LeBron, is our Wade and he played like it today. My only problem with this game was the unexpecting switching IN THE 4TH!! Why would LD go to this defense in the most important quarter of the game?? I didn’t see Phx switching a center on JJ when they picked for him. Cause they know better!! Nash was licking his chops everytime the Hawks went back to ole Woody defense mentality with AL on him to guard. Well, better now then later on in the season. Hopefully this would have taught us a valuable lesson for tomorrows game against Orlando cause it was that SAME defense that got us BLOWN OUT!!

MsDee

November 8th, 2010
12:48 am

When will Pape Sy be ready???? How bad can your back be when he hasn’t played a game or practiced yet??? Is he just gun shy and isnt ready for the big leagues?? I was really hoping to see him soon.

picassokat

November 8th, 2010
12:51 am

It was a good effort but fell short. It was bound to happen. Granted we were lacking in depth but we played a real team. We were 6-0 against teams with 6 wins combined.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 8th, 2010
1:08 am

Good comeback but that switching defense brought back nightmares from last years that I dare not mention. Hopefully we bounce back strong tomorrow.

sam'l

November 8th, 2010
3:18 am

Conventional wisdom is Orlando will flatten the Hawks next.

BUT…..The Hawks have in the past been full of surprises……

I hope tonight is a surprise.

hawks_4_life

November 8th, 2010
4:19 am

This offense is suited perfectly for Al, he looks really comfortable and is turning into be a real scoring threat. The next couple of game might be rough not because of the caliber of the opponent but because right now we are the walking wounded. Who knew Marvin meant so much huh, Im sure we wouldve won if he played. I guess his value is very underestimated.

hawks_4_life

November 8th, 2010
4:19 am

PS the blog format sucks, wish it was the way it was before…….smh

RomeDawg

November 8th, 2010
5:38 am

Why would anyone be surprised at the Childress reception? He chose to leave us and that is what you do to players when they leave your team. He went over seas which was a complete slap in the face.

lewis

November 8th, 2010
6:51 am

if Smoove keeps this up every night he WILL be in all-star.
His intensity has been there 7 games in a row throughout. You can tell he’s in better shape.

vava74

November 8th, 2010
7:00 am

This game was like a bad dream. Due to technial issues i only watched live a bit of the game and it was precisely the worst stretch during the 3rd quarter when we looked like we would be blown away.

Then i waited for the game to end and watched the second half with league pass.

Whenever we played a defensive possession i kept looking over the players trying to see Woody’s bald head… Bad switch after bad switch after bad switch…

Yuk… I am disapointed at LD’s defensive plan to close the game. We should have tried zone d with Teague and JJ at the top and let them try to score with jumpshots.

Yes, they were hot but to leave Al on Nash play after play did not make sense to me, in particular because he was clearly hot.

Anthony

November 8th, 2010
7:16 am

Armed with the worst defense in basketball they will enter Orlando to get slaughtered again.

When Josh, Joe and Al ALL three have great games and they still can’t win at home, you know the team is in BIG trouble.

lewis

November 8th, 2010
7:24 am

How are the players not pissed at Bibby?

O'Brien

November 8th, 2010
8:04 am

Melvin, Co-sign.

Lopez numbers: 7 pts, 1 reb, 1 steal in 19 mins
Al’s numbers: 30 pts, 10 rebs, 5 assts, 2 blocks in 42 mins.

Al’s season Average: 17 pts, 10 rebs, 1 block in 30 mpg.
Lopez season average: 6 pts, 5 rebs, 1 block in 20 mpg

BTW, Against Orlando last season: Lopez’s numbers?

2 pts, 2 rebs, 5 fouls in 5 mins .

Lopez against Orlando in 2008-2009?
4 pts, 1 reb, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 fouls in 20 mins in game 1.

In game two: 2 pts, 1 reb, 1 block, 2 fouls in 2 mins .

So no more Robin Lopez trade suggestions please.

O'Brien

November 8th, 2010
8:07 am

As for the game, I pointed this out a couple days ago. Hawks have to do a better job of knocking down their 3s. They shot 30% yesterday, and for the season, Bibby is the only one with a good % from behind the arc.

We need to knock down the threes, especially against better teams. Hopefully we shoot a good % tonight.

ken

November 8th, 2010
8:23 am

Here’s my problem. J.Collins 4 minutes 0 pts, 0 rebounds, from your starting center. E. Thomas has not seen the floor this season and probably will be needed tonight in Olando after Howard gets the other bigs in foul trouble. Why do we continue to sign players that does virtually nothing to help the team? This more than anything tells me why the Hawks will regress this year and win less games. They will finish no better than 6th or 7th in the East and probably lose in the first round to Boston or Orlando. We have the core for a push for a championship, but management is not willing to bring in a top flight center make this team true contenders instead pretenders.

terrell

November 8th, 2010
8:43 am

Lose 1 game (by 4 points btw) and people are already pushing the panic button. Some even jumping off the bandwagon. What a shame. lol! Even if we lose tonight we’ll still be 6-2 with a new Coach, a new system, and a few new players. Come on fellas. Calm down. It’s a l o n g season. You learn from it, and move on. Yall need to be giving the guys credit for fighting back. They could’ve easily folded. Heck, both of our sf’s were out and yall still trippin. lol!

vava74

November 8th, 2010
8:51 am

ken,

Our ACTUAL starting C got 30 points 10 rebounds 5 assists.

Collins was not suited for this game since PHO plays small and perimeter oriented.

We were playing with a makeshift line up.

JeJe

November 8th, 2010
9:21 am

Larry Drew, as well as he’s done with the lineups, MUST START COACHING DEFENSE. THIS TEAM HAS NOT PLAYED DEFENSE WELL AT ALL THIS SEASON. THAT’S THE REASON WE ARE NOT BLOWING OUT WEAK TEAMS. OUR OFFENSE IS GOOD

WE MUST PLAY DEFENSE

Melvin Fllowers /Macon Ga

November 8th, 2010
9:24 am

A Strong center is needed. Hawks can be in 3rd. Place by Saturday.
1st Heat
2nd magic
3rd Hawks

League
1 Boston
2 Heat
3 Orlando
4 Hawks

A point guard won’t hurt.

JeJe

November 8th, 2010
9:30 am

Is Joe really that much better than J.Rich? I wish we had J.Rich at the 2 (dude is huge), Teague was good enough to start, and Duck could be traded for a cheaper wing. That’d be a low payroll.

PLEASE TRADE OUR FIRST ROUNDER FOR DAHNTAY JONES

AND PLAY SOME DAMN DEFENSE FOR ONCE

STRETCH

November 8th, 2010
9:34 am

The Rockets are NOT going to sign Dampier and the Hawks have Etan Thomas who has yet to step on the court.

Its obvious they need help at the SF spot but they once again are NOT going to make a move.

JeJe

November 8th, 2010
9:38 am

WE SIGNED ETAN THOMAS FOR NO REASON AT ALL.

POWELL AND COLLINS WERE GOOD SIGNINGS, BUT WE ALSO SHOULD’VE GOTTEN JERRY STACKHOUSE

WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE NO WINGS?

JORDAN CRAWFORD IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO WATCH

doc

November 8th, 2010
9:45 am

fans stooped pretty low and showed their ignorance of the CBA that puts owners in the drivers seats. they would not like it if they had similar skill sets to move on if they felt they had more to gain by leaving a company but cant understand it if a player does the same. crazy mentality, the ones they should be booing is the ASKG.

anyone think that chills would not have fit in the last three years and revel in this offense with his varied skill? instead we go and pay more to a limited range number two draft pick. again we should be booing the rick sund overlook here and the ASKG for not seeing things a little better.

.horford kept us in the game in the first half scoring 18 points and making nearly everything he put up there. everyone else looked like blacksmiths, hitting nothing but iron. that is why we lost because we couldnt hit anything until about 6 minutes left in the third quarter when we were down by 18.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2010
9:48 am

If injuries result in some losses, then the Phoenix game can definitely be categorized as an injury loss. Yes, the defense was bad and the guys waited too long before “waking up” (sad considering they were playing a team from a different time zone). But Marvin and Mo clearly would have been used when the game became one when you wanted to have a strong defensive five for a possession followed by an offensive five for the next possesion. We simply didn’t have the bodies needed.

I was a little surprised that Teague didn’t get more minutes, he seemed to be playing well (espcially with the Joe, Josh & Al) and made Nash a liability on defense. But just like I deferred to the head coach last year with regard to Teague’s playing time, I will do so again this year.

vava74

November 8th, 2010
9:49 am

JeJe,

You must have a very sad life… Why all this negativity? Jordan Crawford is a baller. He is just inexperienced and was asked to play in a very difficult match up situation.

And yes, JJ is MUCH better than J-Rich.

J-Rich is having a nice moment now but he is not as a complete player as JJ is. It’s a no contest.

Last night the difference is that we were missing the perimeter defenders necessary to close on the shooters who were way to comfortable and we are still missing a defensive present at the PG slot.

Personally, I would have played Teague more to close the game on Nash, but hey, it was a difficult match up and he could have been burned beyond recognition and now its the time to rebuild his confidence.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2010
9:54 am

doc, did you notice how upset Horford was during that 3rd quarter timeout? It was shortly after both Joshes had put up long-distance bricks. LD called a TO and Al was very demonstrative on the bench area. My assumption was that he was ticked off that despite being able to score at will, his teammates were still shooting jumpers and not getting him the ball inside. After that TO, they started to play through Al (again). What was interesting is that it wasn’t the guards who were the jump-shooting culprits.

The thing about the non-iso offense is that everyone must make good decisions. The PG isn’t going to dictate which player touches the ball and gets to shoot… everyone must make the proper decision. A five man attck (as LD called it early) requires 5 good decision-makers. And when Powell is shooting 18 footers to start a quarter, he needs to spend the rest of the half glued to the bench.

lewis

November 8th, 2010
10:15 am

“Horford, I don’t know if there’s a guy in the league that works harder than him. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, on the offensive end, the defensive end, rebounding . . . that’s a bargain, whatever they signed him for. He’s a stud.”
– Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry without even being asked about Hawks center-forward Al Horford after he scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists, blocked two shots and added a steal with one turnover in 42-plus minutes.

O'Brien

November 8th, 2010
10:20 am

We have heard LD preach defense all along, but the Hawks are not getting it done defensively. And defense is what wins.

Just to compare some numbers with the other East elite:

The Hawks are 11th in points allowed and 15th in rebounding. We have to rebound the ball better. And we can’t blame it on the switches this time.

Boston is 23rd in rebounding, but they are sixth in points allowed.

Orlando is second in rebounds per game, and second in points allowed.

Miami is 15th in rebounds per game, but first in points allowed.

Hawks need to step it up defensively. Defense is not ZaZa’s strong point, its not Bibby’s strong point, its not Jamal’s strong point. So I’m really not sure how LD expects a top 10 defense. Shouldnt Sund have given him better weapons.

Coldwork

November 8th, 2010
10:24 am

Hawks plan on making a statement against the Magic? Maybe they should try and keep Orlando’s regulars in the game for the 4th quarter instead of watching from the bench while the back ups are getting their mop up minutes in another blow out.

yodaddy

November 8th, 2010
10:24 am

Pape Sy really is a waste of a roster spot and Etan Thomas is a 12th man needed to fill out the roster. 2 are injured so that leaves us with an 8 man rotation.

They need Mario West on speed dial to provide some defensive tenacity. No scoring whatsoever but will defend like it’s his last game.

The piece this team is missing is an additional scorer off the bench that is also a small forward. I’m not talking a double digit scorer just someone who is a threat to score if the other team tried them. But then again Mo Evans is hurt and he’s a decent scorer and defender…so I don’t know…we’ll see as the season goes along.

yodaddy

November 8th, 2010
10:37 am

Enter your comments here

ntrigue

November 8th, 2010
10:54 am

Man yall tripping! we cant win every game. This was a good game for the hawks they didnt give up the negative was not playing teague more and the switching def but I can live with it for this one game! I expect us to come out angry against the Magic tonight and get a win! Go Hawks!

doc

November 8th, 2010
10:59 am

CLYDE THIS IS FOR YOU!

FIRE NICK!!!

heh heh, just kidding bro. ;-)

astro, no i am on the other side of the arena closer to the visitor bench. i saw LD jawing jt0 though.

i_am_soulstar

November 8th, 2010
11:14 am

Nash killed us on the switches. I started having Milwaukee Bucks’ flashbacks.

I can never be sad after a Hawks’ loss after they made the type of comeback effort that they did. And considering that Phoenix couldn’t miss from the field, I’d say it was a good try by the birds.