Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks: What would a W mean?

The Hawks are looking for their first W against a so-called marquee opponent.

But what would it really mean if they beat the Mavs, Celtics, or both? Is it about the team gaining confidence? Sending a message? Getting some media love?

Is it about proving they can do it, even though it’s only November?

“We swept Boston and they still went to Eastern Conference finals,” Mo noted. “You have got to be peaking at the right time and continue to get better.”

L.D. seemed to be simultaneously downplaying Atlanta’s failure to beat the best teams on its schedule and emphasizing that fact to his players.

“I don’t know how much the guys have thought about who the wins are against,” he said. “It’s early in the season. We have to respect every opponent. You don’t look at their wins and losses. ”

But before practice broke yesterday he told the team they needed to “beat some of these [better] teams.”

“I did put that bug in their ear,” he said.

The way things are going for the Mavs, maybe they need to win this one to prove something.

The Bulls beat them in Dallas last night by pounding them on the boards and shutting down everyone outside of Dirk. The Mavs have do have a victory against Boston and split with Denver and New Orleans.

Amazingly, this is the first set of back-to-back games for the Mavs.

“It’s one of the realities of the league,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The good thing is we didn’t have anyone play ridiculous minutes last night.”

A Dallas reporter asked Carlisle about his team’s struggles against “young and athletic” opponents.

“It’s important for us to play our game,” he said. “We have to play to our length and experience.”

The Hawks want to make Dallas defend the entire floor but L.D. said it’s not like the Mavs can’t run. He said they play at a “youth’s pace” despite a starting lineup that averages 10 years of experience.

“They are a team that we know they are going to be well-prepared and even playing a back-to-back are going to give us their best game,” Drew said. “We can’t allow them beat us on glass, we can’t allow beat us up and down the floor. We’ve go to do a good job containing the dribble on the perimeter. We can’t get seduced into playing a style that doesn’t fit us.”

Notable quotes

L.D. on the team’s effective jump shooting so far: “I won’t count on it every night. There will be some shots where we can’t put it in the ocean. We can’t go out and rely on the perimeter shot. We have to be a good executing team. But more importantly we have to be a sound defensive team. We’ve got to be able to get stops when we need them. We’ve got to be able to be solid defensively every night we step out.”

Al on the team developing a defensive identity: “It is coming along real well. We have to keep trusting each other. We are not there yet but I am encouraged to see some improvement. We are up and down but I think we are more consistent than we were in the past.”

Carlisle on that game J. Kidd stole from the Hawks last season: “I try not to live in the past. That was a great win, but in the NBA that was light years ago. Both teams are different now.”

Smoove on playing Thanksgiving night: “It’s good, but the only negative about it is you can’t eat what you want to eat before the game. That’s what Thanksgiving is about is to get some of that good stuff. Some of that cranberry sauce, some gravy with some mashed potatoes. I think we will definitely eat good when we get home. It’s always a plus to be able to do things like this. I just hope we don’t get the Christmas games. I don’t want those at all.”

MC

386 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
7:51 pm

“But what would it really mean if they beat the Mavs, Celtics, or both? Is it about the team gaining confidence? Sending a message? Getting some media love? ”

Maybe it means more to observers than it means to the team, but I think it should mean something. At the very least, if the Hawks want to convince the fans that they have improved from last year, they are going to have to win some of these games against good teams at home.

As inadequate as Woody was, the Hawks under Woody consistently overachieved against good teams at home.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 20th, 2010
8:14 pm

very true Najeh – fans don’t want to see regression in the area of defending your home court. This game means a lot to the psyche of the team and the fan base – even though its early, wins against quality teams bolster confidence that wins can be achieved come playoff time. A home win tonight would be huge because already lost 3 at home win last year they only lost 7 all season.

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:14 pm

lmao what is marvin doing

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

November 20th, 2010
8:17 pm

Dunno if it’s just me but It seems like Bibby’s takin it to the hole more the last 2 games.

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:18 pm

Hawks already have 3 losses at home this season. How many did they lose the entire season last year? 8?

Winning tonight is a step towards establishing home court again. You want your arena to be a tough place to play, and the Hawks have not defended it well.

Plus it would show that they are capable of beating a good team. And lets not forget that this is the Mavs third game in 4 days, and they played last night.

Hawks need to win this game.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:18 pm

just fall over and get a whistle..?

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:20 pm

only 7 last season

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:20 pm

ok. Marvin is plain sorry.

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:21 pm

man marvin is useless i swear

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:22 pm

josh probably can shoot better than marvin and thats saying a lot

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:24 pm

Thanks. 7 losses at home last season, and they already have 3 so far?

Fortunately, they are winning on the road.

I now its early, but Marvin is being Marvin. Now 2-15 on 3’s from your starting SF.

And here comes Jamal for Marvin. That didnt take long to get Marvin out of the game.

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:25 pm

Josh with a wide open…layup?

Where is the dunk Josh? We’ll gladly take the 2 point though

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:27 pm

josh doesnt dunk no more..hes trying to be “mature”

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:31 pm

omgggg release marvin

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:31 pm

Marvin looking like the definition of mediocrity as usual.

Rev in Tampa

November 20th, 2010
8:32 pm

First of all, its great to watch a Hawks game on TV. Although there is something wrong with Nigue calling a nationally televised game.

The Hawks are playing with swagger this evening. Josh is the leader on this team tonight. His attitude has infested the entire team.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:33 pm

The zone has turned the Hawks into a bunch of jump shooters, and Josh going to the bench has made their defense nonexistent.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:33 pm

Jamal’s game looks so uninspired.. its a shame.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:35 pm

When Marvin passed that to Zaza on the break, did ANYONE think it would result in points?

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:35 pm

smh zaza cant dunk

terrell

November 20th, 2010
8:35 pm

Marvin sux!!!!!

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:36 pm

hawks have been jump shooters all season though

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:36 pm

Seriously, when you are 6′11″ and it leaves people genuinely surprised when you make a layup in traffic, you have no business playing important minutes for a playoff team.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:37 pm

“hawks have been jump shooters all season though”

It’s one thing to shoot open jump shots in rhythm that result from ball movement. It’s another thing to shoot contested jump shots out of rhythm without moving the ball, which is what the Hawks started doing when the Mavs went zone — especially after Josh (the main catalyst for ball movement on this team) exited the game.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:37 pm

i wish Marvin’s decent defense and Jamal’s streaky offense could land us a complete player in trade..

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:38 pm

Why does ZaZa insist on bouncing the ball? Just go straight up ZaZa.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:39 pm

God dammit Teague, you are the ONLY guy on this team who has the quickness to break down their zone. DRIVE THE DAMN BALL!

Sautee

November 20th, 2010
8:39 pm

Horford is rebounding better tonight. Good to see.

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:39 pm

time to turn

northcyde

November 20th, 2010
8:39 pm

I’m trying to remember the last time Zaza dunked.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:40 pm

this lineup scares me.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:41 pm

Teague is plain sorry. doesnt have a pro game. is what it is.

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:41 pm

teague is a bust he never drives the ball….marvin just sucks with a stupid walk….jamal crawford doesnt even want to be here…

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:41 pm

again 2nd unit pg play sub par.

Damon

November 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

Wow, our bench is so horrible. There they go again, ruining what the starters have accomplished. L.D. needs to stop messing around with the bench and just play the starters when it counts. That was a good timeout that he called there. He needs to get Josh and Al back in ASAP, they were pretty much controlling the game.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

The Hawks’ bench is awful. I don’t know what it’s going to take for Teague to say f-ck everyone, I’m going to make something happen, but he needs to find a way to get over the mental block keeping him from playing his game.

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

bigdave,

If we could combine Marvin and Jamal into one player, and combine Teague and Bibby into one player, and combine ZaZa and Twin into one player, Hawks would be legit contenders to get to the NBA finals :smile:

superiorblogman

November 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

Zaza and Marvin are both garbage and should be traded ASAP, they have both been around too long to be so unproductive. Jamal is not good for this current team and Larry Drew is incompetent

Ree Roe

November 20th, 2010
8:43 pm

We used to be so good at home…now were so mediocre. Why?

-REEsted Roe!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:43 pm

“If we could combine Marvin and Jamal into one player, and combine Teague and Bibby into one player, and combine ZaZa and Twin into one player, Hawks would be legit contenders to get to the NBA finals”

Combining Zaza and Twin would just make one fat tall guy who dresses nice and eats cheeseburgers.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:43 pm

those are all players that KG supposedly doesnt like according to the great Joakim Noah..

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:44 pm

wtfffff marvin cant hold the ball right

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:44 pm

Jamal shedding points.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 20th, 2010
8:45 pm

I would take 12 Smooves on the Hawks any day of the week. F-ck the haters.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:47 pm

Obrien..

im ready to trade them. though the hybrids sounds nice ..

what would be even better if we could do subs like hockey.. and each time we got on defense Teague just runs on the floor .. offense Bibby.. defense Marvin.. offense Jamal..

Roy

November 20th, 2010
8:47 pm

Get Al back in the game!

O'Brien

November 20th, 2010
8:47 pm

Wow. Marvin had the short PG guarding him, and he still gives up the ball. I’m glad we ended up with a bucket.

But Marvin, take advantage of the mismatch.

And then Marvin with a foul on Dirk. Come on Hawks. We need to step it up.

bigdave

November 20th, 2010
8:48 pm

that boy is most improved..

showing his a$$

J.J.M.

November 20th, 2010
8:48 pm

josh is tired

lukas

November 20th, 2010
8:49 pm

I’m prepared to put Mo in the starting 5 and bring Marvin from the bench. This season has showed us a new glaring need besides the perennial PG and C position: SF!!