Archive for November, 2010

Atlanta Hawks: Jazz 90, Hawks 86

Deron Williams and the Jazz slipped past the Hawks. (AP Photo)

Deron Williams and the Jazz slipped past the Hawks. (AP Photo)

–When things got tight down the stretch, you could see the Jazz thrive on the situation as the Hawks started hiccuping. Before the game, L.D. praised the Jazz for their mental toughness and discipline and then the Hawks saw exactly what he meant. Utah rallied for a W for the fourth straight game.

– “They are a team that has no quit in them,” L.D. said. “At no point in the game could we relax or take possessions off because this is a team that’s going to be solid for 48 minutes. We may get a little lead in them, but they have no quit in them.”

– It’s not like the Hawks quit, either. It’s just that for the third time in the last four games they weren’t good enough to finish off a quality opponent. Viewed in isolation, this wasn’t such a terrible loss for the Hawks. But placed in the context of those losses to Phoenix and Orlando and the surrender against Milwaukee, this was a game the Hawks couldn’t lose.

– It’s …

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Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks: Still happy, together?

L.D. called guys out during the Thursday video session and apparently some feelings got hurt. When the team huddled up after practice, he told them: “This is no time to be sensitive. I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong and you have to be able to look in the mirror. There is going to be accountability.”

Smoove and Al, who got into during a timeout huddle in the Bucks game, both said the team remains together.

“It took a game like that to wake us up to doing things the right way and staying together,” Smoove said.

“I think for a moment there everybody kind of went their own ways on the court,” Al said. “We came back together [Thursday] solid. We have to make a commitment to each other to always try to stick together even when the going gets tough.”

Wednesday night’s debacle was reminiscent of Atlanta’s meltdown against Orlando last spring, but L.D. said he’s fine with some healthy disagreement:

“It kind of comes with the territory any time you lose. The most important thing is …

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Atlanta Hawks injury report: (Update: Marvin and Mo to play vs. Jazz)

(Update: Mo will play limited minutes against Jazz. Marvin is out)

Mo Evans and Marvin Williams both practiced today and said they could play against Utah Friday.

Mo (knee) hasn’t played since the season opener.

“I think it went pretty good,” Mo said. “We are definitely not 100 percent but I think we can be effective and help plug some holes.”

Marvin (knee), out since the leaving the Detroit game, sounded optimistic about his chances to return tomorrow.
“I’m doing better,” he said. “I’m not hobbling around too much. It still hurts, but I’m pretty excited. As long as nothing happens tonight, I will try to give it a go tomorrow depending on how it feels.”

L.D. has struggled to patch together a workable rotation with his only two small forwards out. The Hawks got by when facing the softer part of their schedule but Phoenix, Orlando and Milwaukee exposed Atlanta’s issues matching up against deeper opponents without Williams and Evans.

“It’s tough to watch, especially yesterday …

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Atlanta Hawks: Bucks 108, Hawks 91

When the going got tough against the Bucks, Josh and Co. gave in. (AP Photo)

When the going got tough against the Bucks, Josh and Co. gave in. (AP Photo)

– No quantitative analysis really necessary. The Hawks got outworked by an opponent that played last night, outrun by a team that’s not as fast, outscored by a team with less offensive talent (but better depth).

– The Bucks outscored the Hawks 45-18 in the last 16 minutes of the first half. They had a 17-6 rebounding edge over that period.

– “We came out like we wanted to win,” Josh said. “In the last three quarters, I don’t know what happened.”

– “It’s hard to explain,” Al said. “I don’t understand what happened between the start of the game and the end of the first quarter. I thought we had a good thing going. We had a lot of energy. It’s one of those things you can’t really explain.

– Maybe worst of all, the Hawks stayed down once they got down. “That’s a big concern because I’ve always looked at this team as when it gets a little tough, we have a tendency to hold our head down,” L.D. said. …

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Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks: Bucks looking for ‘true nature’

Remember when everyone said the Bucks might overtake the Hawks this season? Maybe it still happens but Milwaukee is 3-5 and couldn’t find much offense until shooting 53 percent to beat the Knicks 107-80 last night.

Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks that was “the first real hint of their true nature,” just in time for the Hawks:

How long does it, or should it, take for an NBA team to disclose its real identity?

“I wouldn’t want to put a time frame on it,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “I don’t know what the true nature of the team would be yet.”

For this group, it wouldn’t be the bricklayers who were 30th out of 30 teams in scoring and 29th in shooting percentage on the way to a 2-5 start, with seven of the nine in the rotation missing more than six of every 10 shots taken.

But Skiles noted the Bucks are ahead of his schedule defensively. Defense, of course, is what made the Bucks a tough out for the Hawks in the East semis last spring even without Bogut, a …

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Is Rick Sund the only one who believes in the ‘core’ thing?

It seems no one outside of Atlanta can believe the Hawks really are willing to stick with this group and see how far it can go. So the trade rumors keep percolating.

The latest comes from Hawks blog legend Sekou, who floated a rumor that the Pistons and Hawks were discussing a deal for Tayshaun Prince and someone else (possibly Will Bynum) for Jamal and Teague.

MLive.com’s Chris Iott shot down that rumor and also the bogus Josh talk. The day prior Iott’s colleague, Justin Rogers, explored the Josh situation and wrote: “Predictably, Atlanta management shot the rumor down. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s off the table . . .”

Well, sure it does, since it was never on the table to begin with, as Iott reinforces. Can we at least wait to see if the Hawks fall apart before trying to trade them all away?

Links from around the Association . . .

That Hawks W at Cleveland is looking a bit better now that the Cavs have won three straight, all on the road. The Akron Beacon Journal’s …

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Atlanta Hawks: Magic 93, Hawks 89

Dwight got his but Magic had to win it late. (Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

Dwight got his but Magic had to win it late. (Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando– Afterward, the Hawks seemed caught somewhere between being satisfied with their effort and disappointed with their execution when things got tight at the end.

– Asked if there was any consolation in giving a competitive effort against the Magic under the circumstances (back-to-back, no Marvin or Mo, recent history), L.D. said: “None whatsoever.”

– But he later added: “They came in here and played with a lot of energy right off the bat and I am very proud of them for doing that.”

– The Hawks were primed from the jump and built a 21-8 lead. Smoove was the catalyst with seven points, four rebounds, two assists a steal and just one turnover. “We wanted to be able to show the Orlando Magic we can come in and make a game out of it and not just hand them the game,” he said.

– Things went awry when L.D. started sending in the reserves. After Josh Powell scored for a 23-10 lead, Atlanta’s …

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Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic: ‘Next step’ for Hawks?

It’s only November. This is just one of 82, as they say.

Except this date with Orlando is the first since you-know-what, and I don’t think anyone believes the ramifications won’t go beyond one game in the standings.

Hawks tri-captain Al rejected the notion they need this one for their psyche. Credibility is another matter.

“I don’t even think it has to do so much with confidence, but I think if we want to be considered as a contender to win the division, this is the step we have to take,” he said.

There’s been no indication that the Hawks have the quality of depth to compete with the Magic. Orlando is without Jameer Nelson, and that’s a major break for Atlanta. VC will play with a bum hip.

But the Hawks left Marvin and Mo back in Atlanta. L.D. says Marvin could miss up to two weeks: “After the first week, it’s about how much he can tolerate the pain.”

L.D. is going with Twin as the starting center again. Orlando reporters, who apparently examined Atlanta’s roster, asked L.D. …

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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 …

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Phoenix Suns at Atlanta Hawks: Larry Drew stays big with lineup

L.D. is using the same lineup today as he did at Minnesota: Bibby, J.J., Josh, Al and Collins.

That alignment “worked out better than I thought it would” against the T-Wolves, Drew said, but he considered changing it today for one reason: “Their strength is they have one of the best pick-and-roll players in the game.”

That would be Steve Nash, of course. Remember that Woody’s switches worked pretty well on Nash because Josh and Al could contain him on the dribble and make him take challenged jumpers.

Nash’s numbers against the Hawks in two games last season: 9 points, 8.5 assists, 33.3% FG, 0% 3FG, 29 min. His numbers overall: 16.5 points, 11 assists, 51% FG, 43% 3FG, 33 min.

L.D. said the Suns run so many pick-and-rolls the Hawks will get caught in switches whether they want to our not. If it turns out the bigs can’t handle them then he said he would go smaller.

“I don’t want to put them in bad situations,” he said.

As for Smoove at small forward, L.D. said he “did a good …

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