Archive for December, 2010

Atlanta Hawks at Thunder: Marvin to remain in ATL

Oklahoma CityMarvin won’t join the team on this West trip and instead will remain in Atlanta to rehab his back injury.  L.D. said an MRI showed no further damage so the diagnosis remains a bruise.

“Hopefully after we get off this week road trip he will be back and be ready to play,” Drew said.

Add these four games for Marvin and that brings Atlanta’s total to 50 games missed because of injury/illness after 38 games. That number was 25 for 82 games last season.

The Hawks will use the Twin lineup tonight.It’s their most efficient defensive lineup and has the best plus-minus differential but tonight the alignment means Smoove draws Durant. There may not be another guy in the league who is a tougher test for Small Forward Josh.

“But there are probably going to end up being three or four different guys guarding [Durant],” L.D. said. “We have to give him different looks because he gets a lot of touches and he’s a tough guard. We will have to change some defenses in trying to limit …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 103, Warriors 93

Zaza got in on the frontcourt mauling (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

Zaza got in on the frontcourt mauling (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

  • At Milwaukee the Hawks shut down one of the league’s slowest-paced and least efficient offensive teams while getting key baskets to hold them off. This time the Hawks shredded one of the league’s least efficient defensive teams and got key stops against a faced-pace opponent to hold them off.
  • There’s something to be said for the Hawks handling their business in this way, particularly since they executed their offensive plan so efficiently: 44 of 86 field goals (with 36 attempts in the paint for 44 points) and 31 assists.
  • “At times we revert back to isolations, but that’s fine because we have some good isolation players,” L.D. said. “For the most part we are doing what we want to do.”
  • The Hawks took a look at Golden State’s thin frontcourt (no Biedrins or Gadzuric) and decided to exploit it. When the Warriors started overplaying Al and Smoove (and Joe when he was in the post) the Hawks regularly swung the ball …

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Warriors: Marvin still not feeling bench role

L.D. is using his normal lineup tonight so Marvin is back among the starters. He looked pretty good in his two most recent games coming off the bench. He played fewer minutes than his average but he got up 17 shots in 50 minutes. I think the Hawks benefited from him playing on the second unit.

None of that changes Marvin’s preference to start.

“I’ve played what, two games off the bench?” he said. “I’ve played how many starting? Now start me for 300 games and see how I play.”

Truth is Marvin has played well the last couple weeks as both a starter and reserve. But L.D. notes that he can get Marvin more involved when he’s on the floor with the reserves.

“When he comes of the bench, it allows him to be more of a guy I can go to a little bit more as far as play sets that are called,” L.D. said. “When he’s in the starting lineup with Joe, Mike Smoove and Al he can be a first option at times, he can be a fourth option at times. When he is in there with the reserves, he is going to be …

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Atlanta Hawks: No MRI for Al Horford’s bruised hand

Hawks center Al Horford said today he decided against having an MRI for his bruised shooting hand. Horford said after Atlanta’s victory at Milwaukee Monday that he would get more tests for the hand after X-rays were negative but he changed his mind.

“I didn’t think it was necessary,” he said. “I just think it’s a matter of, I’ve had several injuries to it and it takes longer to heal. I was getting concerned because it wasn’t getting any better. It feels somewhat better today.”

Horford said he’s accumulated injuries to the hand in his three-plus seasons with the Hawks. The latest flare-up came after he was hit on the hand in a game against Indiana on Dec. 11. Horford hasn’t missed any games.

The current treatment regiment for the hand is ice and electrical stimulation. The Hawks had a three-day break last week but a return to contact in games caused the hand to swell again.

“I hope it goes away,” he said. “[Rest] is the key. I thought taking those couple days off would make …

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Atlanta Hawks: On Drew and Teague

The Hawks can use Teague's skills but he can't get regular minutes. (Benny Sieu / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Hawks can use Teague’s skills but he can’t get regular minutes. (Benny Sieu / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Back on Dec. 16, before the Hawks played the Celtics at TD Garden, I had a conversation with L.D. about his team’s pick-and-roll defense. I noted that, according to Synergy Sports Technology, his team ranked next-to-last in the league at defending pick-and-roll ballhandlers (they now rank 28th, allowing .91 points per possession).

(Synergy counts only those times when the screen-roll ballhandler is “responsible for the ending action which can be a shot attempt, turnover or drawing a foul that results in free throws.” So it does not count the times when the initial pick-and-roll leads to other actions as the Hawks scramble. Notably, the Hawks rank first in the league at defending the roll man, allowing only .82 points per possession. I ‘m thinking this is what is known as “The Josh Smith effect.”)

So I asked L.D. how the Hawks could ever hope to be effective defending …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 95, Bucks 80

Twin put his big body on Bogut. (Benny Sieu / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Twin put his big body on Bogut. (Benny Sieu / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Milwaukee–After scoring easily in the first half for the second straight night, the Hawks found themselves in a asasa game against an opponent that tends to thrive on it. On top of that the Bucks were rested while the Hawks were coming off that draining L at New Orleans last night.

  • So it’s significant that the Hawks were able to win ugly at Milwaukee with a methodical, professional effort. “Coming in here off the back-to-back, we knew this game would be a physical game,” L.D. said. “I thought our guys responded really well tonight.”
  • The Hawks scored 33 points after halftime against the Hornets and lost. They scored 38 in the second half against the Bucks and won.
  • No doubt there’s a difference in offensive talent between the Hornets and Bucks, who are the league’s least efficient offensive team. And that’s mostly with Brandon Jennings.
  • But Milwaukee just carved up and shut down the Lakers last week at …

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Atlanta Hawks at Bucks: Jordan Crawford could be next for D-League

MilwaukeePape Sy is off to Utah to play in the D-League. It’s possible Jordan Crawford will join him at some point.

“There has been some talk about it,” L.D. said. “We are certainly going to keep our options open with our young guys, putting them in situations where they can get some playing time instead of practicing every day and just being with the team. I would rather them be somewhere playing, where they are learning, where they can get some experience.”

  • L.D had one of his ongoing shot-selection chats with Smoove today. Josh lately has failed to make long jump shots at a respectable rate and it was particularly glaring with Atlanta’s relative lack of a post presence at New Orleans last night. Said L.D.:

    “I am definitely going to stay with it. As I told him this morning through our breakfast and walkthrough, we have got to get established early inside. We don’t want to come out jacking shots up and he has done that the last couple of games. I have brought it to his …

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Atlanta Hawks: Hornets 93, Hawks 86

Ariza and the Hornets dominated the Hawks inside. (Matthew Hinton/The Times-Picayune)

Ariza and the Hornets dominated the Hawks inside. (Matthew Hinton/The Times-Picayune)

New Orleans–The Hornets are a very good defensive team. Once they started playing like it, the Hawks couldn’t score.

  • The Hornets are a very good pick-and-roll team. Once they started playing like it, the Hawks couldn’t stop them.
  • Neither of those things should be surprising. Look at the top teams in defensive efficiency, and then notice how Atlanta’s sizzling offense has grind to a halt against all of them at winning time.
  • And by now the sight of a good point guard slicing through Atlanta’s defense to score or set up others is so common as to be expected. CP3 might be the best at it, and he methodically carved up the Hawks in the third quarter.
  • “As bad as that third quarter was, we were still right there and had a chance,” L.D. said. “But against good teams we have to be able to follow through on the game plan, especially defensively. On the road you have to have better shot …

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Atlanta Hawks at Hornets: Back in action

New OrleansIt’s been a long time . . . I shouldn’t have left you . . . without a strong blog to step to. . . .

Season’s Greetings, blog people. Hope you are having a good Christmas weekend. I had some of my people come down from The Ville to stay with me for a few days. In case they read this, let me just say it was a delightful time and at no point did I contemplate the advantages of living alone. Ain’t family great?

The Hawks are back in action (and Jamal is back in the lineup) but not before taking some time for inaction. L.D. let them loose after the W against Cleveland Wednesday, canceling an early Thursday practice because “it would have been beating a dead horse to death,” or at the very least beating down a tired team.

So the players were free from postgame Wednesday to shootaround today. Everyone showed up and they seemed to have a bit more pep.

“I noticed at shootaround today they seemed really rejuvenated,” L.D. said. “I hope it carries over to the game tonight. …

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Hawks 98, Cavs 84

Greetings, all-

Sorry this is a little late. I wanted to get out of the arena media work room so the poor gents who have to wait on me to leave so they can lock up could get home a little earlier than normal, and then once I got home, I was futzing around a little bit.

Anyway, I confess I don’t have a ton to offer you. We found out about the Atlanta Spirit settlement right after the first quarter, and I spent much of the rest of the game helping out on a story about that, so I didn’t get to watch much of the game itself. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m asking you to feel sorry for me because I’m not. Just explainin’ is all. It sounds like it was actually a pretty impressive second half.

Anyway, a brief thought on the settlement. I saw some entries on the blog about how this might affect the team. My guess is not much. One point that Bruce Levenson made is that he’s never had a player or coach or any Hawks or Thrashers staff member ask about how the lawsuit was going. It’s …

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