Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 96, Raptors 78

Raps couldn't control Smoove. (Rueters Photo)

Raps couldn't control Smoove. (Rueters Photo)

Toronto–Maybe you are thinking the Hawks beat another lackluster opponent. But funk that: They beat the mess out of a lackluster opponent, and don’t think there isn’t a difference in this league.

– The Hawks dominated the Raptors because Smoove did it all, Marvin did more (again) and they didn’t let down in a circumstance where it had to be tempting. Yes, they are a much better team than the Raptors, but give them credit for leaving no doubt about it.

– Raptors coach Jay Triano summed it up: “You go one through five: DeMar got outplayed by Joe Johnson, Jose got outplayed by Mike Bibby, Andrea got outplayed by Josh Smith, Sonny got outplayed by Marvin Williams, Joey got outplayed by Al Horford. Nobody could score and we couldn’t stop those guys and that is why you have a 20-point game.”

– The Hawks have won three in a row after the famous Wednesday meeting so they deserve to feel good about themselves. “What we have been doing these last three games is something special,” Josh said.

– OK, maybe that’s a bit much, but still. “We are going to have ups and downs all season,” Marvin said. “I think sometimes other people panic more than we do. We just can’t get too highs on the highs and too low on the lows. We started off 6-0, obviously we are going to hit some rough spots. The one thing about this team is we stay together.”

– Smoove made all the right plays at the right times, effort and otherwise. He controlled the defensive boards, passed when he should have and (of course) helped make the Raptors jump shooters when the Hawks took control in the third quarter.

– “It just seemed like he was all over the floor,” L.D. said. “When he plays like that and plays under control, he is such a force. His defensive game, he was all over the place, rebounding the basketball, helping defensively and talking. Just a super overall game.”

– “He impacts the game in a great way,” Al said. “For this team to take it to the next level, everybody has to be the same way.”

– Back-to-back day games. An opponent that thrives in Sunday matinees (7-2 in its last nine). No problem: 11 of 20 field goals, seven assists and 27 points in the first quarter. “I was a little concerned with our energy, whether we would have our legs,” Drew said. “We started the game with good intensity.”

– You had the feeling the Hawks would dominate if they could limit Toronto’s offensive rebounds, points in the paint and take care of the ball. They did all of that in the third quarter and were off to a comfortable W.

– Watching Marvin go for 17 points and 12 rebounds a day after he was good against the Knicks, i remembered he had a couple games like that in the first two weeks. Then he hurt his knee. Now he says he’s moving better even if the pain is still there.

– “I am starting to get my confidence back in it,” he said. “There are still some things that still bother me. Coach is doing a good job with slowing me down and letting me sit out in practice.

– After three straight games with no free-throw attempts and nine rebounds combined, Marvin took seven free throws and collected 20 rebounds in the last two. “I feel more explosive out there. When I first got it banged, I didn’t feel explosive at all. These last couple games I’ve been getting to the line because I feel more comfortable pushing off. I still feel pain but I am starting to feel better each day.”

– Joe made 6 of 12 field-goal attempts overall despite missing 4 of 5 threes. It’s just the third time in his last 10 games he’s shot at least 50 percent from the field. So of course his teammates ribbed him for getting just one rebound.

– “Well, I had 10 yesterday, so that makes up for it,” Joe shot back.

– J.J. seemed more upbeat after this one. “Honestly, I don’t worry about the misses,” he said. “I am sure here soon I will get it back on track. As long as we keep winning, that’s the main thing, but I will get it back.”

– The Raptors are one of the best rebounding teams in the league with Reggie Evans. Not so much without him. “I think that was big,” Josh said. “He’s been a monster this year. He is one of my good friends. I hated that this had to happen to him, but I’m kind of happy I didn’t have to play against him. He’s a tough player.”

– Toronto’s defense, not so good to begin with, also suffered without Evans. But when the Hawks take care of the ball and share it they are tough for even good defensive teams to guard (see the Pacers). “When we play the right way, it’s beautiful basketball,” Smoove said.

– Keep beating up on the likes of the Raptors and they can buy time to figure out how to do it ugly against better teams.

– I’m out, Hawks fans.


238 comments Add your comment


November 28th, 2010
6:17 pm

Mista Gamer

November 28th, 2010
6:20 pm


November 28th, 2010
6:21 pm


November 28th, 2010
6:21 pm

Well I tried

Hawks vs. Raptors

November 28th, 2010
6:23 pm

“What we have been doing these last three games is something special”

I hope they can keep that positive attitude going into December because December is going to be tough!

Dec 4: @ Miami , Dec 6: @ Orlando , Dec 10: @ Spurs , Dec 16: @ Celtics , Dec 20: Home Orlando , Dec 26: @ New Orleans, Dec 27: @ Bucks , Dec 31: @ Thunder


November 28th, 2010
6:29 pm

This was a good win for the Hawks. They are continuing to progress, and go in the right direction. If this team could get their hands on someone like Ramon Sessions a young PG who defends and can truly give Bibby rest and be able to defend the quicker pg’s and another wing defender like jamario Moon the would make the hawks better defensivley. But as of now they are learning how to win and not to have as many lapses in energy and effort. If they continue to do this by the time they playoffs roll around this team will be a tough out in either round of the playoffs. So hawks keep maturing and learning how it takes total team effort and energy to compete night in and night out.

Also I noticed as long as Marvin is getting involved early in the game i.e. getting plays call for him from the very start he is more engaged and agressive and more focused, keep running plays for him early L.D.


November 28th, 2010
6:31 pm

It’s been wonderful seeing the hawks go to the playoffs but lets’ be real now we need a center inorder to make it pass the orlando majic other than that the hawks are just spinning there wheels!

Jae Evolution

November 28th, 2010
6:41 pm

Mo Evans and Jeff Teague for Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas!


November 28th, 2010
7:26 pm

December’s gonna be a huge test. Glad they blew the Raptors out. I expected nothing less with Evans out.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

November 28th, 2010
7:37 pm

I was at the Hornets/Spurs game today and when the announcer called out the final score of the Falcons/Packers game they erupted with. I was the only soul in the NO Arena with the gall to cheer…Mr. Everything has my all-star vote this year, nice triple-double and 3 game win streak, now the tough part of part of the schedule begins. We have passed the early season road-test though. I must admit its impressive to have the best road record in the east seeing how awful we were on the road against good and mediocre teams.

Ken Strickland

November 28th, 2010
7:56 pm

Despite the 4 and 3gm losing streaks, we’re 3rd in the East, behind Boston and Orlando @ 11-7. Last yr, we had only 19 road wins in 82gms. This yr we have 7 road wins in only 18gms.

Brandon Hayward Fan

November 28th, 2010
8:01 pm

How about Brandon Hayward for the center position.He can’t get along with Rick Carile.I think he plays with Dallas.


November 28th, 2010
8:02 pm

Also Ken, we are back on a 50 win pace.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

November 28th, 2010
8:07 pm

Brandon Hayward Fan

November 28th, 2010
8:01 pm

“How about Brandon Hayward for the center position.He can’t get along with Rick Carile.I think he plays with Dallas.”

You THINK he does, while you call yourself a fan of his? ROFL!

Do you even know what his salary is, and how we would acquire him?

Jason Haywood fan

November 28th, 2010
8:32 pm

D.of U.I.

How about Jason Haywood, he plays for the Braves, I think.
He’s tall. Could he play the center position.
I don’t think he gets along with Pete Carril either.

Jason Haywood fan

November 28th, 2010
8:34 pm

Enter your comments here


November 28th, 2010
8:35 pm




November 28th, 2010
8:40 pm

How about having a “players only meeting” before a legit title contender. While a win is a win, these victories still don’t prove anything towards the Hawks real issues, we all know that, stop kidding yourselves. Ken, that was the shortest post in your career. You can do better than that. December is coming up so you better get em in while you can. It’s time to see what these Hawks are made of.


November 28th, 2010
8:43 pm

I Think Hayward would be a great pick up we need at least one seven that command playing time . When we look down the road, SIZE matters. I dont know the data but I am sure big men are being dicussed for a true play off run, its wide open.


November 28th, 2010
8:52 pm

If Marvin is aggressive and Teague can improve at all, this team will win a lot of games this year.

Our ENTIRE success is based upon whether Marvin attacks the basket. If he doesn’t we will be done in the 1st or 2nd round. If he attacks, we can make it a series vs. Orlando (same as the last 2 years. Too bad the guy has been asleep his whole career, save for 6 or 7 games a year)
I think when he attacks, it makes the ASG look better for believing in this core



November 28th, 2010
8:53 pm

Hmmmm . . . last year after 18 games:

- Hawks were 13 – 5

* had only 5 road wins ( but wins @ Portland at full strength, and @ Boston )

* were #3 in the East . . one game behind Boston and Orlando, who were both 14 – 4

* 7 – 1 at home

* had fans flipping out because we had lost a bad game @ Detroit, leading to our 3rd loss in 4 games ( but was still 12 – 5 at the time )

* after the 18th game, we win 6 of our next 7 to push our record to 19 – 6.

It’s nice to see some of the people who were freaking out over a 13 – 5 Hawks team that had beaten top level teams, be so calm about an 11 – 7 Hawks team that can’t even beat one.

Hopefully the Hawks will keep winning to put everyone else at ease this year.


November 28th, 2010
9:14 pm

Obviously, when Josh is on it noticeably makes things better. Another not so noticeable but still quite important factor is that if Marvin can ever be more than just a tease, it will be instrumental in allowing the Hawks to gain some sort of consistency and not be a team that lives and dies by the streak so much.

Gulfwaves Gary

November 28th, 2010
9:56 pm

The Hawks have enough talent to dominate almost every game IF they decide to play with intensity. When they don’t you go from 6 and 0 to something way less. The last three games had intensity. GO HAWKS. Al Horford changed the Hawks with a winners attitude from the start and Josh Smith has unreal talent!. GO HAWKS!

Ken Strickland

November 28th, 2010
10:05 pm

NORTHCYDE-there’s a big difference between a team that CAN’T defeat a team with a winning record, as you put it, and one that has yet to defeat a team with a winning record. At 19-6 after 25gms last yr, we were winning at a 76% rate, which would have given us 62 wins. However, we finished with 54 wins, which means we finished last season much like we’ve started this one.

We started last season with the same HC we’d had for the last 6yrs, the same OFF/DEF systems, as it were, approach, and the same starting lineup from the previous yr. This yr, although we have the same starting lineup and 10 or 12 players from last yrs active roster, the HC, OFF/DEF system, and almost everything else about the teams approach is different. Our ability to win on the road,. and win convincingly, is definitely an improvement.

Why not expect the Hawks to go through some inconsistency and adjustment problems, much like the Heat, Bulls and Bucks, especially the Heat?. Even with all of their talent and hype, they just followed the lead of Hawk players and called a players only meeting to deal with their inconsistency, losing and adjustment problems. Bottom line, regardless of where we are record wise compared to last yr, we’re still in 3rd place in the East, just like we were last yr at this time, and at the end of last season.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 28th, 2010
10:09 pm

11-1 against bad teams, 0-6 against good teams.

Nice win for the Hawks. I watched the game streaming on my computer while Falcons-Packers was on the TV. Too bad maybe five people in Atlanta watched this game today. Whoever makes the NBA schedule should be fired.

In fact, an even better idea occurred to me. Why doesn’t the NBA start the season in January with the playoffs happening in August? Why have the first two months of the NBA season coincide with football, when they could start a couple of months later and have the NBA playoffs happen in August when there’s nothing happening in the sports world other than the “dog days of August” baseball games?

Great game for Smoove, who continues to cement himself as the Hawks’ MVP. Surely this won’t stop people for continuing to try to blame him for the Hawks’ problems and propose preposterous trades involving him.

Nice game for Marvin, but I’m over him. We’ve seen this movie before. He’ll go off against a couple of soft teams like the Knicks and the Raptors, and then he will go the next 10 games without hitting double digits in any category. As far as I’m concerned, a game like this is just good for boosting his trade value. I’m still down for the Jamal+Marvin for Prince+Wallace+Wilcox trade. For all the talk of the Hawks capitalizing on Reggie Evans’ absence, the Hawks barely out-rebounded this team after barely out-rebounding the Knicks yesterday. I still see nothing to convince me that they will go toe to toe with the teams they are going to face in the playoffs.

In any case, as little as this game means as far as the Hawks proving their worth as a playoff contender, it is still a win. If they can go close to undefeated against bad teams, at least they will make it back to the playoffs.


November 28th, 2010
10:14 pm

enjoyed watching the falcons and the hawks at the same time.

sick of seeing jamal/bibby on the foor at the same time.
sick of seeing joe suck.
Zaza is a sub par reserve pf
Mo Evans is solid
Larry Drew forcing Marvin’s involvement in the offense has helped him
Al is looking phenomenal on the offensive end


November 28th, 2010
10:16 pm

i don’t really care about the slow start. As long as we beat the teams we should beat and the team starts really clicking after the all star break we can hopefully ride that into the playoffs.


November 28th, 2010
10:33 pm

Ken S,

I think our December schedule will tell us a lot about these Hawks. Road games @Miami, @Orlando, @ San Antonio, @Milwaukee, @OKC, @Boston, and a home game against Orlando.

And I would not compare our adjustment to the Heat’s adjustment. They have a bunch of new players (inlcuding one who needs the ball in LbJ), and we dont.

I know that our offense is different, but as Rick said, the motion offense is just one of our sets, so its not like we run the motion offense every single time down the court. We still run ISOs, pick and rolls etc.

There are some positives though. Road wins, high FG%, high assists among them. Hopefully we can keep building on our winning streak.


November 28th, 2010
11:01 pm

What I see…

I see a team that is working on the thing they were BAD at last year and forgot how to do the things they were GOOD at.

The Hawks know how to get-up for the BAD teams, how to win at HOME and run the ISO offense…….. Learning how to win on the ROAD, getting-up for EVERY TEAM, changing your OFFENSIVE IDENTITY is a lot to ask of any team.


The Bright side….

We have the best ROAD RECORD in the east and 11 WINS while JJ is strugglings……PLEASE SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE!


November 28th, 2010
11:07 pm

Is Pape Sy Marvin Jr. With his back ailment? Jeez…


November 28th, 2010
11:10 pm


Motion offense is run from a # of sets as well.
It also can be initiated from a pick & roll.
One can run a starter play then finish with motion principles.
Ball reversal is the key.
Making the defense guard both sides of the floor.


November 28th, 2010
11:52 pm

Basketball and the match up problems it brings is what makes basketball champions teams looking to compete for a title adressed as many problems they had in the off season boston got bigger and faster in some positions lakers added more to their weakness. regardless of the sideshow going on in miami. orlando didnt add help for howard .they to are finding it hard to blow out teams like last year .the bucks cant beat no team but atl. why, big inside quick at the point. ATL. cant live by the jumper alone .ATL big men lead and finish the fast break where are the guards. al& josh are going to need help from big men to advance in the play offs they will get there.most teams have changed personnel from last year.What happen last year is OLD NEWS, the future will be determined by injuries, and matchups that where we are behind the teams LA-BOSTON ORLANDO SAN ANTO.we still need a point and a sevenfooter to help against the monsters inside. then we can fully complain help didnt come this off season. I CANT BELIEVE TORONTO LET JACK GET AWAY FOR BAYLESS


November 28th, 2010
11:53 pm

The Pacers beat the Lakers in LA. Does that make the Hawks win (in Indy) a better win now????? LOL take that Kobe…


November 29th, 2010
12:14 am

“the one thing about this team is we stay together.”
Is Marvin delusional?! Does he think the Wednesday meeting was a formality? His ATTITUDE is why I want him out of a Hawks uniform; he has no sense of urgency. The Hawks need to assign someone to permanently agitate him because he doesn’t see the importance of being assertive/dominant on the court. TRADE HIM!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

November 29th, 2010
12:19 am

Yeah, I’ll promote Indiana to being a “good team” after that win.

10-1 against bad teams, 1-6 against good teams.


November 29th, 2010
12:20 am


I noticed that you were comparing the Hawks of last year to the Hawks of this year which is kinda unfair considering the fact that the JJ of last year is NOT the same JJ of this year nor is Jamal the same Jamal of last year..ALSO those MINOR loses we had on our mini losing streak were WITHOUT Marvin nor MO, and b4 you say ‘Marvin who’, WE HAD NO SF TO HELP OUT IN DEFENSE CONSIDERING HE PLAYS PRETTY GOOD DEFENSE..him and Mo!! AND FOR US TO STILL BE 3RD IN THE EAST WITH ONLY A FEW GAMES UNDER BOSTON AND ORLANDO IS REMARKABLE..WEITHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!!!


November 29th, 2010
1:37 am

Lol Indy won in LAL and Collison didn’t have a great game (he’s been a bit worse this year than I thought he’d be) and Granger didn’t go off either.

Hibbert is playing very well this year. Imagine having Hibbert and one of their PGs instead of Duck and Bibby …Oh yeah, we drafted Marvin over Granger too



November 29th, 2010
2:05 am


MsDee . . come on now.

I said before the season that I thought the Hawks had a good shot to be 14 – 4 after 18 games, due to the extremely “easy” road schedule and the winnable home games. We took care of business on the road, which is great, but faultered mightily at home for some reason.

We can’t use the injury excuse to minor players, because half the teams we played in November had injured players that were more valuable to them, than Marvin and Mo are to us. We took advantage of them when they had players out, so some of those teams returned the favor when we had people out.

Next month it will be reverse. Our “easy” games are at home, while we play a pretty brutal road schedule.

If we can win these next 2 games to go 13 – 7, that should give us enough of a cushion to deal with the December road games, if we lose a good number of them.

But you and Ken should not be mistaken. November was by far the easiest part of our schedule. We had a golden chance to put up a very good record, and just couldn’t do it for a variety of reasons.


November 29th, 2010
3:27 am


The issue about Josh is that he does not keep the same focus.

In some of our losses he was not playing focused and looked tired and disinterested (BOS when he was schooled by Garnett).

It’s not rocket science to conclude that when Josh plays like this we either win or come close.

The problem is when he takes a game off on the boards, closing out on shooters, on man to man D and piles up bad turnovers and shots.

That’s when we definitively lose and usually by a lot.


November 29th, 2010
3:47 am


November 29th, 2010
5:02 am


Ok again you say, “We can’t use the injury excuse to minor players, because half the teams we played in November had injured players that were more valuable to them, than Marvin and Mo are to us. We took advantage of them when they had players out, so some of those teams returned the favor when we had people out.”

U right but u act as if those loses were all blow-outs!! We only had 2 blowouts as of now, Bucks and Boston with 1 being with the Bucks with both Marvin and Mo out so dont act as if we were trash those games we lost. We lost between 4-7 pts. If I’m not mistaken, this is what the early part of the season is for, to make mistakes and correct them as we move along which we have as of late no matter WHO we play cause just like we are playing ‘non-playoffs teams’ so are Boston, Orlando, and New Orleans.


November 29th, 2010
5:08 am

@northcyde, and u keep talking about the hawks COULD HAVE had a record of 14-4 after 18 games?? Who cares after 18 games??? I ONLY care what our record looks like with 18 games remaining!! Again, like you said, we started out last year after 18 games with the record of 13-5, and look where that got us…TO A VERY TOUGH 7 GAME SERIES WITH THE BUCKS AND AN EMBARRASSING SERIES ENDING WITH ORLANDO IN THE 2ND ROUND. I’m not saying we will be 60+ wins this season, but be happy where we are now!! BE HAPPY IN THE PRESENT AND SEE WHERE IT TAKES US IN THE FUTURE!!


November 29th, 2010
8:09 am


I think focus is one area where Josh can do better, especially since he sets the tone for the team. If other players are struggling, Josh tends to hang his head, and pout. We need “KG like” intensity from him.


November 29th, 2010
8:11 am

“no matter WHO we play cause just like we are playing ‘non-playoffs teams’ so are Boston, Orlando, and New Orleans.” MsDee .

Actually, the Hawks do not have any wins against teams that made the playoffs last year. Not one. Our only good win so far is against the Pacers.

Boston has wins against Miami (twice), Milwaukee, Chicago, ATL and OKC.

New Orleans has wins against Milwaukee, Spurs, Denver, Houston, Miami, Portland, Dallas.

Orlando has wins against ATL, Phoenix and Miami (and the Pacers).

So far, everytime we play a playoff team, we lose.


November 29th, 2010
8:26 am

Nothcyde,”extremely easy schedule” IN THE NBA? What planet do you live on? There’s no easy out in the NBA. Hell, N.O. was on like a 12 game winning streak, and got beat by the freakin Clippers, for crying out loud. The Pacers beat the Lakers in LA last night. These are PROFESSIONAL players. Remember that. And btw, I’d rather start off slow, while using a different offense, different rotations, etc.. than fading late with worn out starters, like we did for 3 straight years under your boy Woodrow. And 3rd place is 3rd place. The Hawks dont make the schedule, they just play who’s on it.


November 29th, 2010
8:47 am

“Hawks wont win without a center”, but Milwaukee’s 6-10 with A 7FTR and a GOOD PG. lol! Whatever. lol!


November 29th, 2010
8:48 am

Proof positive that it’s all in chemistry and buying into the system. When they try their best, play with energy and work hard they win. When they don’t, they lose. It’s all in giving 100% professional effort and not pointing fingers.

A solid effort against quality teams in December will prove to the “easy schedule” crowd it ain’t who we play, but HOW we play the game.


November 29th, 2010
8:49 am

Obrien, key word being, “so far”.


November 29th, 2010
8:51 am

MIA and ORL will give the Hawks another chance to shine this week. Let’s hope they play hard, they play together and they play their game so we can really see what we have.


November 29th, 2010
9:23 am

Great posts, McDee. Any team can beat any team on any given night.

Hell, we beat the Lakers IN L.A. in the season we won 13 games. We beat the Spurs at home in 07 when we sucked.

Would just be nice to start beating good teams.
Gotta keep winning – don’t let up

Welcome back, Fundamentals. How was your Thksgiving?