Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 102, Pacers 92

The Pacers couldn't stop Josh Smith. (AP Photo)

The Pacers couldn't stop Josh Smith. (AP Photo)

Indianapolis–If their defensive energy is going to vary depending on how often their shots go in, then at least the Hawks are humming on offense more often than not. Facing a physical opponent, the Hawks were crisp, patient and effective scoring the ball and improved to 5-1 on the road.

Smoove was inside, outside and everywhere in between, making his jumpers and getting to the line. Bibby made the Pacers pay for collapsing on Smoove, then handed out dimes when the defense ran at him. Al damaged the Pacers with pick-and-pops in the fourth quarter. Marvin was efficient. J.J. wasn’t hitting so he passed.

– Clearly one early trait of the Hawks under L.D. is that they really are buying into moving the ball and spreading around the scoring. “He puts new wrinkles in probably every week,” J.J. said. “I think that keeps us fine-tuned to what he wants and what we are doing out there.”

– “They’ve got a lot of people you have to stop,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said.

– Smoove dominated with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots (the Pacers had six). “That’s a pretty good line,” L.D. said. “He made a couple mistakes but they were aggressive mistakes. ”

– Josh had three blocks within the first five minutes and from then on you could see the Pacers peeking to see if he was coming over to help on drives. Hibbert missed a layup in the fourth quarter because he felt Smoove.

– “Every night my teammates depend on me to give us energy,” Smove said. “I can’t let them down. I’ve got to play well.”

– J.J. came out on the losing end of his tussle with Danny Granger, who is a big, strong guy. J.J. can’t displace Granger like he can most defenders. The matchup wore J.J. down and frustrated him at times–he and Granger got double technicals in the third quarter.

– Still, J.J. had five assists and Bibby benefited from Indiana’s focus on him. “When we get into offensive sets, everyone knows we are going to feature Joe,” L.D. said. “He’s been very unselfish. He did a great job of finding the open man.”

–The Hawks’ bench was complaining about Indiana’s hand-checks and roughhousing in the first half. That made it tough for J.J. and the other guards to get into the lane and there also wasn’t much room for Smoove and Al to operate. The Hawks played through it until they started getting some whistles after halftime.

– “That’s kind of part of understanding how to win on the road,” L.D. said. “You are not going to get calls. We don’t expect it. You have to play through it.”

– Atlanta never did get calls in the first half but it hardly mattered once Bibby started draining 3s. He made all three attempts in the second quarter. “When you can get any guard to start knocking down consistent threes, it opens up the post-up for us bigs,” Josh said.

– Al was pretty stout against Hibbert, who never did back him down and score consistently. Hibbert said he spent time in the summer studying tape of his matchups with Al. Horford’s strategy: “Just contain him, keep him off the paint and make him shoot over the top. Obviously he’s gotten better but we weren’t going to come double and just kind of let him shoot over the top.”

– L.D. said the Hawks wanted to make Hibbert, the league’s top shot blocker, defend a lot of pick-and-rolls. Hibbert had one blocked shot in 33 minutes. “If you play a halfcourt game and allow him to sit there he can affect the game,” L.D. said. “We wanted to get him on the move.”

– Al picked up his second foul early in the second quarter and L.D. again gave him the hook. Horford said he was “frustrated” by having to sit.

– Horford took over during the 9-0 run that essentially put Indiana away. He started the spurt by scoring over Hibbert on a power move, made a jumper, found J.J. going baseline for an and-1 and then made another jumper. “I stuck with it and the guys really found me,” he said. “I was just ready to step in and make shots.”

– Hibbert had 15 rebounds as the Pacers had a 42-30 edge on the board. L.D. said the Hawks only sent their centers and power forwards to the offensive boards because they were focused on getting back in transition to cut off 3-pointers. Indiana had four fastbreak points and was 4 of 18 on 3-pointers.

Powell played only three minutes, most of those at center. Hibbert scored over him easily so L.D. went to Collins, who lasted only five minutes.

– Teague made a pair of 3-pointers to help Atlanta stay close in the first quarter. He also had three assists with no turnovers and three rebounds. His on-ball defense is invaluable to the Hawks.

– Marvin limped off in the fourth quarter and iced his knee on the bench. He said he could have gone back in if needed.

– The Pacers played without Darren Collison. T.J. Ford is a capable backup, and Bibby had his problems against him, but Indiana could have used Collison’s shooting.

– L.D. gave the Hawks Wednesday off.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.


155 comments Add your comment


November 16th, 2010
11:52 pm

1st to say congrats to LD & that beautiful “team” offense!


November 16th, 2010
11:53 pm


November 17th, 2010
12:00 am

Earlier tonight on NBA TV Network Ernie Johnson asked Chris Webber where the Hawks stood in the Eastern Conference. Webber responded by saying the Hawks will not make the playoffs and that they just ” aren’t good “.


November 17th, 2010
12:05 am

Teague 2 of 3 from deep? Wow!


November 17th, 2010
12:24 am


Webber must be smoking….. He probably pick the Rockets and knicks to be good this year.

Section 303

November 17th, 2010
12:31 am

Nice win. Hope they respond well to the time off. You never know…sometimes it has a negative effect. They need the rest, though.

Already looking forward to the Dallas game on Saturday.


November 17th, 2010
12:32 am

I’m not sure why all these fans are hating on LD from siting our #1 ALL-STAR CENTER down after 2 fouls early in the 1st quarter?? If i’m not mistaken, DONT EVERY COACH SIT THERE ONE AND ONLY BIG MAN DOWN AFTER PICKING UP 2 QUICK FOULS?????????????????? If AL picks up his 3rd foul shortly after, you guys would still be trippin saying he should not have left him in. If AL wants to stay in the game, he has to learn how not to foul so easily. Josh doesn’t pick up his 2nd foul til about the 3rd quarter with all the defense and blocks he gets thru-out the game. So stop hating on LD for being a smart coach and not a dumb spectator like some of yall!!


November 17th, 2010
12:35 am

So, apparently Horford was “frustrated” by having to sit out yet another second quarter with just 2 fouls. That’s understandable, I would be frustrated too. I wonder though, if he was frustrated at himself for picking up the fouls, frustrated at L.D. for not letting him play with 2 fouls, or both?

At any rate, a lot of people seem to be getting tired of this 2 foul benching nonsense. At least the Hawks got the win. On a positive note, the offense looked pretty good tonight, and that was against a very aggressive defensive effort by the Pacers. Nice team win.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 17th, 2010
12:39 am

@ Alan, Chris Webber is an idiot. What 8 teams are going to finish ahead of ATL? Webber will most likely be eating crow like all the idiots who doubted Vick. LOL.

I see a lot of maturity and organic growth in the fact the even though Joe Johnson is struggling the Hawks are still competing and winning on the road.


November 17th, 2010
12:57 am


In regards to benching Al when he picks up two fouls, I think the main issue that a lot of people are having is that they feel that Al would be fine playing with two fouls. He’s not a heavily foul prone player, and in the past he has shown that he can play through foul trouble. It’s understandable to want to sit your key players when they pick up early fouls to preserve them for later in the game, but in some instances it hurts the team more than helping them. A key example of that is the Orlando Magic game earlier this year. L.D. elected to bench Horford at a key turning point in the game when the Hawks actually had the edge, and when he saw the momentum shifting, he thought it would be more effective to save Horford for later and it ended up hurting the team in the long run.

I could understand if Horford was notorious for picking up early fouls and getting into foul trouble throughout games, sort of like Greg Oden was, but that’s just not Al Horford. Horford has done pretty well in the past staying out of foul trouble once he picks up early fouls, and if you need evidence, look at tonight’s game. Horford was taken out with 2 fouls and he ended up finishing up the game with a total of 2 fouls. Part of player development is letting your players learn to play through foul trouble, instead of taking them out all of the time.

Also, you mention that most teams do take out their star big men when they get into foul trouble. That’s true to some extent, but most coaches I’ve watched aren’t as cautious as L.D. Two fouls in the first half isn’t something to panic over. You have 6 for a game, and opposing players aren’t going to be going after you to try and foul you out until you hit around the 4 foul mark. Even if L.D. gambled and let Al stay in in the first half and he picked up a third foul, it would jeopardize the team or his usage. At that point, L.D. could take him out and he’d be fine to start the third quarter. Most likely, Al wouldn’t pick up that third foul anyway.

Also, if you want an example of a similar instance on another team, take the Orlando Magic for instance. Dwight Howard, for one, is far, far more foul prone than Al Horford and Stan Van Gundy is probably the most worrisome coach in the league, yet even Van Gundy will allow Dwight to stay in the second quarter (usually to some extent when he picks up a second foul). Van Gundy knows that the team will start to slide if he takes Dwight out, so he weighs out the risks and does what is best. That’s basically what he did in our game against them earlier in the season. Dwight picked up two fouls in the first half also, but Van Gundy let him continue playing. L.D. should do the same thing. If Al starts really getting into heavy foul trouble, or starts fouling out of games (which is highly unlikely), then L.D. could maybe resort to doing what he has been doing now, but until that happens, there’s no legitimate argument for benching one of your best players in a close game when he only has 2 fouls. If he picked up two fouls in the first quarter, I would sit him for the rest of the quarter and probably half of the second, but I know Al isn’t a foul prone player anyway.

One other thing that bothers me is that L.D. doesn’t seem to treat all of his players this way, in terms of sitting them due to early foul trouble. First off, it’s understandable to be more cautious with your big men, since they are typically more foul prone due to all the physicality down low. However, I’ve noticed that L.D. has never benched Josh for an entire quarter due to foul trouble, and I’ve seen Josh pick up 2 fouls in the first half before. Also, when you look at guards, L.D. would never bench Joe for a quarter due to foul trouble unless it was an extreme situation. There needs to be a set of ground rules if you use a system like this, and no player should be exempt without proving otherwise.


November 17th, 2010
1:00 am

Correction on my last post:

I meant to say “wouldn’t jeopardize” not “would jeopardize”.


November 17th, 2010
1:07 am


A lot of the “experts” on NBA TV are just bandwagon guys who will say what the media thinks people want to hear. Weber, Barkeley, McHale, etc. never give very good predictions. Barkeley and those guys were pretty much sold last year that the Cavaliers were going to win it all and completely counted Boston out. Then, they were all on the Miami Heat bandwagon before the season started, and once they season got going and the heat started losing, they jumped onto the Celtic bandwagon in the east. I really don’t take much of what they say seriously.

Weber says something different in his predictions almost every week. First, he had said that the Hawks weren’t going to to be good and claimed that they wouldn’t make the playoffs. After they got off to that 6-0 start, he apologized and said that he was wrong and claimed that they would be good this year and said he wanted to retract his previous statements. Now, after they went on a losing streak, he thinks they’re bad again and won’t make the playoffs. LOL. The guy is more Jekyll and Hyde than the Hawks team was last year. If the Hawks end up going on another big winning streak, look for him to say that they’ll be a top 4 seed in a couple of weeks.

Shyne G

November 17th, 2010
1:21 am

Great coaching by Drew. He may not be the coach that most commentators envisioned at the start of the season, but in my opinion he has been solid. The guy actually tinkers the rotation and plays based on performance instead of showing favoritism.

Josh Smith

Let me be the first to point out his contributions to this team on both the offensive and defensive end. The accurancy that this guy is shooting is phenomenal. It gives us another shooter on the court that is able to space the floor in this new offense and makes things even harder for the opposition to defend. Defensively, when he is jumping all over the place contesting every shot attempt, it creates much needed stops to capitalize on the other end. He and Al Horford, to me, are already in mid-season form even though Joe is currently suffering from flu-like symptoms. It shows another level of maturity for guys to step up like they did tonight when your star player isn’t producing.

Great win. Go Hawks!


November 17th, 2010
1:23 am

To me, the issue isn’t Drew taking Horford out after 2 fouls, it’s the amount of time he’s leaving him out. And even when he doesn’t have 2 fouls, he’ll sit for 10 minute stretches at times in the middle of the 1st half.

In the beginning, Drew was trying to develp Powell a little too much, which took away from Horford’s floor time. Now he’s doing what the former coach used to do with starters when they got 2 fouls in the 1st half.

Now granted, this tactic does give bench players a chance to play and prove their worth ( supposedly what the fans want, so our key players won’t be worn out by playoff time ).

But when the bench is sorry ( especially the bigs ), no amount of extra playing time is going to turn them “un-sorry”. So every attempt should be made to get Horford his 32 – 35 minutes a night . . unless we just don’t absolutely need him.

As for the game, it’s always good to see Smith in “beast mode” as some call it. When he’s playing like that, he’s an elite level player. And as long as he’s making 40% of his long 2 point shots, there’s nothing that can really be said about him taking the shot. I just want him to know when that shot isn’t falling, and always look to go to the hole first.

The Truth

November 17th, 2010
1:27 am

” “Every night my teammates depend on me to give us energy,” Smove said. “I can’t let them down. I’ve got to play well.”

Perhaps the clearest sign of growth and maturity by Josh Smith, he showed us the whole package in this game, both inside and outside. However, the flip side of this story though, if we ever loss Josh to any injury, this team would go up side down. Since he is the real MVP on this team he would be irreplaceable. No one else on the Hawks roster brings as much as Josh brings to the table. The Hawks would be badly exposed in this unfortunate scenario. Let’s hope this never happen.

Shyne G

November 17th, 2010
1:32 am

I believe Josh is trying to acheive his goals from last season…


November 17th, 2010
2:28 am

much needed rest before we take on Dallas and Boston Sat / Mon.

if we could beat them both we could possibly go on an 8gm win streak before facing the heat, who we match pretty well with. extremely slim chances but if marvin, mo and joe come back rested its possible.

What does this guy add to a motion offense necessarily?
Does nothing on defense.
Always has negative +-.
Prevents Teague from running the second team offense properly.
Not into it at all.
Constantly dealing with back pain.
He’s a great scorer but that’s clearly not what this team needs.


November 17th, 2010
2:57 am

@Leon, you said, “in regards to benching Al when he picks up two fouls, I think the main issue that a lot of people are having is that they feel that Al would be fine playing with two fouls. He’s not a heavily foul prone player, and in the past he has shown that he can play through foul trouble. It’s understandable to want to sit your key players when they pick up early fouls to preserve them for later in the game, but in some instances it hurts the team more than helping them.”

I want to believe that LD is trying to also TRY and teach AL a lesson by NOT PICKING UP UNNECESSARY fouls TOO early in the game when you are very much needed on the floor. This IS early in the season so if Coach Drew wants to teach any of his players a lesson, I’m all for him doing it early than later in the season.

You also said, “if you want an example of a similar instance on another team, take the Orlando Magic for instance. Dwight Howard, for one, is far, far more foul prone than Al Horford and Stan Van Gundy is probably the most worrisome coach in the league, yet even Van Gundy will allow Dwight to stay in the second quarter (usually to some extent when he picks up a second foul). Van Gundy knows that the team will start to slide if he takes Dwight out, so he weighs out the risks and does what is best.”

Now the difference between LD and Van Gundy is that Van Gundy is a VERY EXPERIENCED COACH, whereas, LD is a ROOKIE COACH! Van Gundy already has a comfort zone where he can take chances like that with Dwight..LD has to create HIS OWN comfort zone when it comes to making the RIGHT decision for him and his team. If his constance is telling him to take AL out with 2 QUICK FOULS,( I might add) than so be it..Im not mad at him for that. You cant compare a Rookie coach to a veteran coach..that’s just not if you were to compare him to New Orleans coach, than you might have a case, but even still, I’m not mad at LD decision on AL cause this will help both guys out in the long run as the season continues. LD may end up developing a peace of mind leaving him out there.


November 17th, 2010
3:02 am

Another reason why I’m not all BENT OUT OF SHAPE like these fans on here about LD sitting AL with


November 17th, 2010
3:08 am

Another reason why I’m not all BENT OUT OF SHAPE like these fans on here about LD sitting AL with 2 QUICK FOULS, is because AL is a Warrior, a LEADER, with extremely HIGH B-BALL IQ who knows how to handle any situation he is faced. Yeah, LD sits him longer than you guys THINK he should sit him, yet and still, AL comes back into the game producing like he never left!! Its NOTHING WRONG with LD TRYING to help develop his bench (once again early on into the season) so that these guys wont be burnt out by the time playoffs arrives. This is a new experience for LD, allow him to make his mistakes EARLY ON IN THE SEASON..WE ARE 8-4 FOR GOODNESS SAKE, NOT 6-6!!


November 17th, 2010
3:11 am

CORRECTION: allow him to make his ADJUSTMENTS at HIS own pace,not mistakes (cause they aren’t mistakes) EARLY ON IN THE SEASON..WE ARE 8-4 FOR GOODNESS SAKE, NOT 6-6!!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 17th, 2010
3:24 am

I’d rather LD get the experimentation and tinkering out of the way early so that he can settle on a rotation come playoff time, instead of letting the bench players rot all year and suddenly scramble to use them against Orlando in the playoffs like Woody. I still don’t think most of the Hawks’ bench players, particularly the big men, are worth their weight in sh-t, but I don’t have too much of a problem with LD trying different combinations now to figure out who he can rely on. Yes, it is frustrating to see Horford limited to 10 minutes in the first half if he picks up two fouls early, but it would be a lot more frustrating to see Zaza and Collins on the floor in crunch time.

I didn’t get a chance to see this game until the last five minutes, but I see the Hawks only turned it over 9 times today. I am too lazy to look up all the box scores for this season, but I believe that is a season low, and hopefully it means they are progressing in their understanding of the new offense.


November 17th, 2010
4:41 am


I can’t say I agree that holding Horford out for an entire quarter is really “teaching” him anything useful. You don’t often teach your players much by pulling them out of the game right when they do something wrong. If that was the case, L.D. wouldn’t be playing Teague as much as he is. In fact, he’d barely be playing him at all. Aside from that though, I don’t think Horford needs to be taught much at all in regards to managing his fouls. As you said yourself, Horford is a very high-IQ player, and if you take a look as his NBA career as a whole, you’ll see that he’s not a very foul prone player. I believe Al is already aware of how to scale down on the fouls when he is in foul trouble. L.D. just hasn’t given him the chance to do so yet, and L.D. even said himself that it is not his policy to pull Al out for entire long stretches due to foul trouble, it just happened to turn out that way early on. Whether or not that is true still remains to be seen.

Also, you mention that it’s unfair to compare L.D. to an experienced head coach. Well, the fact of the matter is, experienced or not, he’s in the head coaching position right now and is expected to know how to manage his players’ minutes if he is to coach the team effectively. L.D. has been an assistant coach under woodson for Al Horford’s entire pro career, and should be very familiar with Horford’s tendencies. Also, L.D.’s “comfort zone” with Al is not going to develop without allowing Horford to at least take a chance at playing with a couple of early fouls. It’s not like Horford is making terrible decisions and just taking silly fouls. Most of the early fouls that have been called on him have been “ticky-tac” fouls (as some like to call them). Horford only averages about 2.7 fouls per game, which is pretty good for a big man.

Plus, I think the lack of experience is what is causing L.D. to follow Mike Woodson’s two-foul benching approach, considering that he hasn’t seen anything else used while working with the Hawks and Horford. However, it would be more beneficial to both Horford and L.D. if he at least attempted to leave Horford in or at least not sit him for such long stretches so that he can assess the risks/rewards instead of always going with the overcautious approach.

As far as rookie coaches go, L.D. is pretty much on his own with the approach he is using for Horford. Tom Thibodeau is a rookie head coach and while I don’t approve of his current rotation management, he’s playing guys like Noah (who are much more foul prone than Horford) 40+ minutes per game. That’s going a bit overboard with the minutes, but I just wanted to through an example out there.

On another note, I’m all for L.D. trying to develop his bench, but developing the bench doesn’t have to be done at Al Horford’s sole expense. It is possible to use various combinations and manage the rotation so that Al and Josh can still play around 33-35 minutes per game, while the bench players get their 14+ minutes per night. I just don’t really like the idea that our All-star center is still being underutilized after all of these years, even though he continues to develop more and more and plays like a beast out there every so often. Think about it, how many All-Star big men can you think of that play less than 30 minutes per night, unless they are coming off of an injury?

It’s early in the season and right now, Al’s lack of minutes and his recurring bench treatment hasn’t hurt us as much as it could have due to the level of competition and some very hot shooting, but this could become an issue if L.D. keeps this up once the schedule picks up.

I know that L.D. is new to this head coaching position, so I am quick to cut him slack, but I just hope that he doesn’t make a habit of managing Al’s fouls and minutes the way he is doing it now. Hopefully, the growing pains start to subside as the season goes on.

Also, just to clarify, I noticed that one of your posts earlier was talking about people arguing over Horford being taken out when he picks up two fouls in the first quarter. I am okay with him being taken out in the first quarter if he picks up two fouls, but what I’m referring to mostly is L.D.’s approach to sitting Al for entire second quarters if he has two fouls, or taking him out very early in the second quarter if he picks up that second foul. I just wanted to make sure we were clear on that.


November 17th, 2010
4:43 am

Correction on my last post:

I meant to say “throw an example”, not “through an example”.


November 17th, 2010
5:06 am

We are 8-4 and only in the loss against MIL we were not in position to win the game during the last minutes.

The losses cam with Mo and Marvin either injured or severely limited (they still are).

There several lingering issues from last year still not solved: inconsistency between and within games, poor decision making in the crunch, defense on quick PGs and pick and roll D, … BUT there are clear progresses.

We have been picking up wins with JJ struggling.

The offense is clearly more varied and does not stall like we did last year against for instance zone Ds.

The 8-4 sample is too small to take definitive conclusions on our success in eliminating the problems we had, however, it’s big enough to show that there are already significant progresses on other fronts.

Let’s be patient.


November 17th, 2010
6:26 am


I do understand where you are coming from concerning AL and how long LD keeps him out, but haven’t you notice, LD uses his rotation based on how the game is flowing. I’m sure that if the game was getting far too away from us in the PF/C position that LD would have IMMEDIATELY put AL back in regardless of AL’s foul situation. I guess that’s why I’m enjoying everything about LD decision making thus far cause he bases everything from players to offensive/defensive plays on the flow of the game. Not the way Woody would do which was everybody would play the EXACTLY amount of min per game, NO MATTER WHO IS ON AND WHO IS OFF, everyone was designated their min per/game and that was STUPID, IMO of course!!


November 17th, 2010
6:48 am

The best I have ever seen the hawks play,
and if they played this way most of the time
they would win a nba championship.


November 17th, 2010
7:27 am


This was from MC’s blog.

“Al picked up his second foul early in the second quarter and L.D. again gave him the hook. Horford said he was “frustrated” by having to sit .”

Al finished the game with only 2 fouls. I know thats hindsight, but Al has never been the type of player who fouls out often, so LD could have left him in. So what if he picks up 3 in the first half?

That just means he can only pick up 2 in the second half. And by giving him the quick hook, its telling Al that LD doesnt trust him to handle playing with 2 fouls.

Give him a chance LD. If he picks up a quick 3rd foul, or if he fouls out of the game, then you can revaluate next time.

But Al is one of the smartest players on the team. Set him free. Oh, and BTW, Al is shooting 64% on the season. Give the man for field goal attempts.


November 17th, 2010
7:35 am

As for the game itself, overall we played well, and I was surprised to see Teague make a couple 3s (the whole team was probably surprised).

People are quick to talk about Teague’s bad shot (and they’re right), but I’ll bring this up again. Marvin Williams is 2-14 (15%) from behind the 3pt line on the season. And he has a very smooth stroke.

Teague is 3-8 (38%) from behind the 3pt line, and 13-14 from the FT line (93%). So the guy is still an asset.


November 17th, 2010
7:41 am

Great game from Josh. And I’m sure LD will keep working with him, because he still makes a couple bad decisions here and there. But he is a game changer.

Only 9 turnovers was great to see. If we keep our turovers to 10 or less, we should be in every game. One thing that helped us win this game was we were 8-15 from 3. Thats probably the best we’ve shot all year.

One concern, which has been a problem all season. Rebounding . We were outrebounded by 12.

Horford with 6 rebounds in 31 minutes? Thats bad. I dont know whats happened to his rebounding. His last 5 games rebounding? 5, 6, 8, 10, and 6. We need more rebounding from our starting center.

And even 8 for Josh is low. We need at least 10 rebounds each from Josh and Al every game. Hibbert had 15 in 33 minutes. We must improve our rebounding.


November 17th, 2010
8:34 am

when you shoot 50% from the field there’s not a lot of rebounding going on.


November 17th, 2010
8:52 am

also when you shoot a lot of jumpers rebounds are longer…explaining Bibby & Teague having 3 rebounds each.

But i also see rebounding…particularly defensive rebounding as an area they have to shore up…but teams can improve that slightly by positioning and things like that but can’t improve it dramatically.

Last year the Celtics were pretty average as far as rebounding so it can still work…


November 17th, 2010
9:17 am

LD is doing a great job thus far. Us arm-chair quarterbacks think we know whats best for what the coach should or should not be doing with Horford and his 2 fouls. But its early on in the season, let things play out and see what types of patterns emerge.
Powell is just not getting it done.
Zaza i will never expect anything significant from.
JC1 i am very on the fence about him now/(defensive liability (possible trade is lookin better by the game)
JC2 i would like to see get more playing time
JT is proving himself to be a valuable defensive addition
Bibz is still knockin down treys though no defensive presence

Mike is back

November 17th, 2010
9:30 am

MC, nice commentary on the game…THAT WAS A TREMENDOUS DEFENSIVE EFFORT BY THE HAWKS…great win!

Those were perhaps the most astute post game comments of young Josh career. Dude still has his moments…however I love the efforts, energy, and passion Josh has played with thus far…no reason why he can’t ascend to ALL Star level with the elite players in this league…I’m impress!!
Kudos to LD…for getting his guys refocused…after a spate of adversity…they have some big games coming up…LIKE THE BIRDS…this will be a great time to send a message to the rest of the league…THAT WE ARE FOR REAL FOLK!!! LOL

Doc, still don’t get a chance to post much…I you hope had a great time with yo sweet pea at the game…mine want be home until next week.


J from the A

November 17th, 2010
9:42 am

I am really confused. I keep hearing that Bibby is a defensive liability and that Teague’s on-ball defense is solid. But then I watch the games, and I tend to see a different story.

Bibby’s defensive fundamentals are good. He is really working hard on defense this year. He fights through screens better than either Teague or Jamal. He is rarely caught out of position.
Of course, Bibby has lost a step, and the faster point guards can expose this weakness.

On the other hand, Teague has the tools to stay in front of the better point guards in the league, but his actual defensive performance is very inconsistent. Much more often than Bibby, he finds himself out of position, and he doesn’t seem to fight as hard through screens. The result is that although he has the speed, quickness, and strength to match-up well against the best guards, Teague often enough gets burned by even mediocre guards.

I mean was I the only watching the first half of the game last night? Teague’s (and Jamal’s for that matter) defense was atrocious. Teague looked lost at times. On the other hand, Bibby looked solid — not great, but very solid and very consistent.

J from the A

November 17th, 2010
9:45 am

My confusion aside (previous comment), the Hawks looked good. The offense was clicking even though Joe was having an off-game, and aside from a horrible defensive stretch in the first half, the defense was solid. I really liked the fact that in crunch time — even when Indiana looked like they were going to make a run in the 4th — the Hawks held their composure and stayed within their gameplan. Very nice to win.


November 17th, 2010
9:47 am

Hey Hawks fans, what do ya’ll think about this story?

Geoff Petrie, who tried to pry Darren Collison from New Orleans before the former UCLA star was traded to Indiana, more recently inquired about Atlanta Hawks backup Jeff Teague, with Thompson reportedly part of the conversation. “It’s the NBA,” Thompson said after Tuesday’s practice, in a matter-of-fact manner. “It’s a business. It’s kind of good when your name is floated out there. It means you’re well -known, you’re wanted. The story book is me ending my career here and winning some division titles and getting to the playoffs. But the book isn’t finished yet, so you never know.” Sacramento Bee

Mike is back

November 17th, 2010
9:49 am

Doc, That should have read…I hope you had a nice time with yo sweet pea…although I should have said sweet peas…in your case. lol


November 17th, 2010
9:57 am



November 17th, 2010
10:11 am

ENOUGH! These guys are all human as well, where is the support, where is positivity! everyone (including national media) sounds like we are 0-8 and just drowning! Last night Chris Webber said on NBA TV ” I dont think Hawks will make the Playoff’s” really C Webb? After beating pacers in Indy, the team who dropped 155 on Melo? Why this much hate? Let these guys play some ball!! Is this really fair to Josh or Horford? show me another player working as hard as Josh? and he is 24! No offense but Dominic Wilkins could not shoot the ball till he was 27! And one shout out to Atlanta Spirit : ” Reduce the ticket prices!”

Astro Joe

November 17th, 2010
10:34 am

Does anyone around here realize that Al Horford is averaging 20/10 on a per 36 minute basis? The only thing stopping Al from having a defining season for elite big men is his coach who sits him after 2 early fouls. Josh is having a superb season, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that Horford is approaching 20/10 and shooting over 60% from the field. I mean, DAMN!

J from the A

November 17th, 2010
10:39 am

Co-sign Astro Joe’s 10:34 comment.

If Al continues at this pace, he is definitely deserving of a repeat All Star appearance.

The same for Josh, too. If he continues at this pace, he is definitely deserving his 1st All Star appearance. However, with fan favorites Garnett, Amare, and Bosh in the East, I wonder if he will get snubbed again.


November 17th, 2010
11:03 am

Astro Joe,

If Horford wants to get to 20-10, he’d better pick it up on the rebounding side. He has a paltry 35 rebounds in his last FIVE games. At that rate, a few extra minutes is not nearly enough.

AJ, you KNOW what a Horford fan I have been. But lately his rebounding is pitiful. He’s now down to 8.8 a game, when two weeks ago he was over 10.

Pick it up, Al.

Rev in Tampa

November 17th, 2010
11:05 am

AJ, Good point about Al’s shooting percentage. Especially in light of that goosegg he put up in the first game of the season.

J from the A, I don’t think Bosh gets All-Star consideration. He is stinking it up right now. If Miami is in third place behind Orlando & Atlanta he will be the scapegoat (after the coach). To solidify Al’s position as an All-Star the Hawks should run replays of Marvin dunking on Bosh in the preseason and Rondo’s dunk last week.

Ken Strickland

November 17th, 2010
11:17 am

GRANDAD-co-sign your 11:52PM post. We saw all of the OFF variations of LDrew’s multiple OFF options, like the MOTION OFF, HIGH LOW POST, ISO and PICK AND ROLL. This is a far cry from the extremely limited and predictable ISO and jump shooting dependent OFF of the past. Our perimeter DEF has also improved. While they’re still not strong defensively, Bibby and Jamal aren’t the total DEF liabilities they’ve been in the past.

Rather than trying to cover up their DEF liabilities by employing a gimmick DEF that took away from everyone else, and was extremely easy to exploit, LDrew is holding everyone accountable and making them hold their own defensively. He’s managed to get far more production out of Bibby on both ends of the court. He’s also getting production out of JTeague, especially on DEF, and more consistency from MWilliams.

With the complete switch from the flawed DEF philosophy of the past, our Bigs are now allowed to remain with their DEF assignment, instead of being forced to defend PG’s and SG’s on the perimeter. The end result is Smoove has become the DEF force he was before Woody switched to his beloved switching DEF, and both he and Horford are now doing an excellent job of defending the basket.

What impressed me the most about last nights win was the way we stuck with our OFF down the stretch. In earlier gms when teams mounted a comeback, we’d see certain players react by reverting to ISO mode, and all ball and player movement would cease. If it makes certain fans feel better to focus on and nit pick the Hawks every flaw, whether real of imagined, then be my guest, because that can be done with every team. This team is definitely progressing under LDrew, as evidenced by the fact we’re:

1-leading he NBA in FG efficiency, which means we’re getting easier scoring opportunities,
2-getting more inside scoring opportunities, which has led to more FT opportunities,
3-playing better team ball, which has given us a chance to win every gm,
4-doing a much better job of OFF and DEF rebounding,
5-displaying and utilizing far more OFF options against double teams,
6-getting far superior perimeter and interior DEF,
7-getting positive contributions from bench players that were all but ignored,
8-establishing an identity as an uptempo, attacking the basket type of team.

All of the above were team problems before this season, and they seem to have been addressed rather quickly. The Atlanta Hawks will be a very dangerous team after the All Star break and in the playoffs.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Rev in Tampa

November 17th, 2010
11:24 am

Ken, I appreciate your pointing out that the Hawks lead the NBA in field goal efficiency becuase in every game I see blogposters complain about all the jumpshots the Hawks are taking as a part of the motion offense.

The Truth

November 17th, 2010
11:34 am

As previously mentioned, Al increased offense production on the perimeter and high PER is costing him rebounds. He just can’t be in two places at the same time. However, LD should deputized Marvin to fill the rebounding void and help Josh when Al is on the perimeter. When LD goes small and replace Marvin with either Mo or Jamal, as the case with the Pacers, Hawks will pay a rebounding price. So from game to game, LD must decide, does he wants more offense potential going small or more rebounding production with a bigger line-up.

Astro Joe

November 17th, 2010
11:53 am

Sautee, I’d like to see Al grab another 1-2 boards a game, but his rebounding rate is on par with Josh. He is only averaging 31 minutes a game after playing 35 minutes last season. The Hawks are 8-4 so it’s hard to argue that LD is hurting the team by sitting Al… but it doesn’t quite seem logical. A guy who shoots 63% is sitting on the bench because of 2 early fouls?

I just think that we’re missing the fact that Al is approaching thatrarified air of 20/10… because we’re focused on Josh’s new jump shot and because LD is wrapping Al in protective bubble-wrap too early in games.


November 17th, 2010
11:55 am

Enter your comments here

Big Ray

November 17th, 2010
12:19 pm

L.D. said the Hawks wanted to make Hibbert, the league’s top shot blocker, defend a lot of pick-and-rolls. Hibbert had one blocked shot in 33 minutes. “If you play a halfcourt game and allow him to sit there he can affect the game,” L.D. said. “We wanted to get him on the move.”

I understand the strategy, but since when is Hibbert the league’s top shot blocker? That honor belongs to none other than Josh Smith, who leads in both total blocks, blocks per 48 minutes, and blocks per game. There are five guys ahead of Hibbert….