Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 93, Sixers 88

– Bizarre night at the Highlight Factory. Smoove gets benched in the fourth quarter and the Hawks are better for it. Jamal misses clutch free throws. Zaza grabs a key rebound. Marvin gets it done all night. Al couldn’t get anything going much of the night but owned the final moments.

– I’m still trying to figure out how the Hawks won when they basically 10 minutes of solid basketball. I suppose that’s all it takes to best the Sixers but, man, sucks for them to take it to the Hawks all night and then collapse when it counted (just one point in the final 4:57, with Lou Williams’ missed dunk on a fastbreak the low point).

– That’s not to slight the Hawks, who rallied for their fifth straight W and avoid a deflating L before heading off for the formidable Florida swing. “We got down but we were never out,” Marvin said. “A couple years back we would have folded. We are all older guys now.”

– “You’re not going to put the perfect game together every time,” L.D. said. “There’s going to be some games where you’ve just got to grind it and gut it out. I’m very proud of our team because we did that tonight.”

– Al was just 3 of 12 from the field through three quarters but he stayed involved with nine boards and five assists. Then he suddenly was everywhere doing everything in the final two minutes. “At the end I wanted us to win so bad I’d do whatever it takes,” he said.

– Horford corralled Bibby’s block of Lou Williams’ 3, made a jumper to cut the lead to 88-86, converted a 3-point play to give Atlanta its first lead, rebounded Elton Brand’s miss, and stole the ball from Jodie Meeks on Philadelphia’s inbounds pass.

– About the only thing he did wrong was try to dribble out like seven seconds on the clock. “I thought there was less time,” he said. “I would have gone up and dunked the ball. But it worked out.”

– Not to be overlooked in all that craziness was Marvin’s rebound that led to Al’s 3-point play and of course Zaza’s heads-up play to chase down Jamal’s second missed free throw. “Since I have been his teammate, I never remember him missing two free throws in a row,” Zaza said.

– Zaza slipped Brand and went across the lane to take the ball away from Iguodola. “When I saw the ball bounce kind of funny, I found position and grabbed the rebound,” he said.

– “I thank Zaza,” Jamal said. “If I would have missed those two and they wouldn’t won I would’ve walked to Miami tonight.”

– It’s not that the Hawks were stagnant on offense. Note their 25 assists on 33 field goals. It’s just that faced with a solid, scrappy defensive team, they lacked patience and sagged when they missed open shots.

– “I didn’t think we were very sharp running our offense,” Drew said. “We settled. We will do enough things to give us the movement but we cannot settle for the perimeter shot. We’ve got to get the ball inside and establish our inside game. I’ve got to give Philadelphia credit, too, because they did a good job defending us.”

– Marvin was the only guy to attack the basket all game. He was rewarded with eight free throw attempts and made them all. He had four steals, too, his constant energy in contrast to Smoove’s meandering focus.

– When Josh missed a 21-foot jumper with the Hawks down 84-72, L.D. pointedly told him it was a bad shot. When Josh jacked up a 19-footer with Atlanta down 85-74, L.D. sent Zaza to the scorer’s table.

– Before he went out, Josh forced a turnover on Jrue Holiday and then stormed off the court while shooting L.D. a scowl. The coach ignored him. “We were in a situation we had to be a little bit more focused on getting the ball inside and getting the ball to the basket,” Drew said. “He took two ill-advised shots. When the game is a grind, we can’t settle for that type shot. I explained that to him, he did it again, so I took him out the game.”

– L.D.’s decision was made easier by the fact that Atlanta’s offense was running smoother and the defense had more urgency without Smoove, whose demeanor wasn’t good much of the night. “At the start of the fourth quarter, I subbed Josh in to give Al a blow,” Drew said. “The minute I did that their lead went right back up on a couple of bad offensive possessions. I thought I have got to go with what was working, and in this particular game was Zaza and Al together with Jamal and Mike and Marvin. I went with my gut and I’m glad I did that.”

– Josh wasn’t happy on the bench for a while, standing apart from his teammates and airing his gripes with J.J., but he got back into it once the Hawks started to rally. “I’m straight,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to be in the game. I knew that my offensive game wasn’t clicking. I’ve got to thank Zaza for stepping in there. He played big minutes tonight. Every time we go to hug each other, I make sure to tell him he plays a big part in what we do.”

– The Hawks were lucky to be down only 54-46 at the half. Philadelphia shot 57 percent from the field, collected all but one of Atlanta’s 22 missed shots and turned most of those into easy baskets. “Our guys are just not defending, and I don’t know why,” Hawks assistant coach Lester Conner lamented during his halftime interview broadcast on the scoreboard.

– Zaza said the coaches showed a video during halftime. “It was obvious the energy was the key,” he said. “They were running on the fastbreak and putbacks. If we wanted to win we had to clean those things up.”

– Once the Hawks cut off Philadelphia in transition and stopped line so often, the Sixers couldn’t score under pressure. “As a coach after a game like this, I have to stay aggressive and tell our guys keep playing to win, keep playing to win,” Coach Doug Collins said. “I have to remain positive, but at the end of the day we have to make some shots.”

– They were certainly good enough defensively, at least until the Hawks turned it up at the end. “We stayed positive, we kept fighting,” Al said. “We were frustrated but have to give Philadelphia credit. The most important thing was we stayed with it and we were able to pull it off.”

MC

57 comments Add your comment

Big Ump

December 3rd, 2010
11:57 pm

Chris

December 3rd, 2010
11:57 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
11:58 pm

Big game tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how they match up with LeBron and Wade without Joe Johnson in the lineup. Maybe Damien Wilkins gets his first Hawks action tomorrow?

tjhook

December 3rd, 2010
11:59 pm

Oh, yes 1st!

niremetal

December 3rd, 2010
11:59 pm

Should not have been that close at home against a 5-14 team, but I’ll take the win. Props to Zaza for stepping up when it counted.

beone

December 4th, 2010
12:01 am

Enter your comments here

tjhook

December 4th, 2010
12:01 am

I missed the game – can someone tell me was Marvin scoring because the offense was stagnant or was he being featured?!

beone

December 4th, 2010
12:01 am

Now let’s see if Josh AND LD learned from this 4th qtr. IF SO, we may be in for some good times!

tjhook

December 4th, 2010
12:03 am

I like the Wilkins pickup but don’t know what lineup will work with him in it.

BC

December 4th, 2010
12:08 am

Got to the game late… halftime, and was surprised. Crowd was pretty ticked. Lotsa missed shots, Hawks couldn’t catch a break, then at the end… the clouds opened up. The crowd the last few minutes was on fire, that was a lot of fun. You got to believe. Really glad they won it. Kick A tomorrow Hawks!

Stoned Mountain

December 4th, 2010
12:11 am

Josh Smith totally disrespected his coach tonight, standing around moping after he got criticized for stupid shots. I think he needs to be fined. And if that attitude persists, I’d entertain a trade, if we can get value. I hate prima donnas.

Loserville USA

December 4th, 2010
12:23 am

Josh Smith needs to go. Would score single digits on a Wunderlich test.

RethinkPossible

December 4th, 2010
12:39 am

I was at the game and sat behind the hawks bench….Lost a lot of respect for Smoove tonight. Plain and simple, Drew pulled him after he took a open jump shot (with plenty of time on the SC) and he was not playing well on OFF. He then made 2 good defensive plays in a row, with ZAZA waiting to come in he yelled at LD multiple times. When he came off, he looked like a spoiled teenager that was not allowed to stay over at a friends house. He did not look in when LD had huddles, he was bad mouthing the coach to JJ and other benchers (being calmed down by ETTAN)… Baby Smith has a lot to learn if he ever is to become a true all-star. I love him when he is at his best, but this kind of behavior is unnacceptable.

MsDee

December 4th, 2010
12:46 am

Hay u guys, it just might be a blessing in da skies we get Damien Wilkins b4 playing Miami cause just think about it, Damien haven’t been on a team ALL season, has ALWAYS wanted to play for his uncle’s team since FOREVER, and now has an ALL TIME OPPORTUNITY to be on this team a few more years to eventually retire with a team he has always wanted to play for…I say all that to say, HE WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE HIS DREAM COME TRUE TO STAY AND RETIRE WITH THE HAWKS!! He just might play the same identical way he played against us some 3 yrs ago when he KILLED us offensively AND defensively. Even though JJ scored 39 that day, he gave JJ fits!! And also if he plays that way against the Heat, they wouldn’t be prepare to truly know how to stop a guy like that when they didnt prepare for him the night b4 in practice. I’m hoping for a LIGHTS OUT performance by Damien OFF/DEF, with Marvin and Jamal leading in scoring with Al & Josh great on the boards!! GO HAWKS!!

MsDee

December 4th, 2010
1:00 am

Oh, By da way, WHAT HAPPEN TO JOSH POWELL???? He was 3-3 from the field??

Banana Pepper

December 4th, 2010
1:20 am

Enter your comments here

northcyde

December 4th, 2010
1:22 am

Smith is trying too hard to be the offensive scoring star, instead of just playing his normal game. I knew something was up in that Memphis game, in which at one point he took 13 shots in just 16 minutes.

And he came out much more under control tonight in that 1st quarter, making 3 of his first 5 shots. But from that point on, he made 1 of his next 9. And I believe those last 2 missed jumpers were his 7th and 8th miss in a row.

And with him not even looking to create anything for anybody else, Drew pulled him. And the move paid off.

Smith just has to understand that we don’t need for him to try to score like JJ tries to do. But in these last 2 games, that’s exactly what he’s tried to do And he’s 10 – 29 FG because of it.

Drew is going to have to keep a close eye on him to keep him in check, so that he doesn’t try to do everything.

jdewayneatl

December 4th, 2010
1:28 am

I’m jus glad they were able to pull this one off. It looked bleak for a second. If they had let this one go, we may have seen another 3 or 4 game losing streak. But now we can go to Miami with the purpose of winning without the pressure of having to win against a big opponent after losing one of those “supposed to win” games.

Stoned Mountain

December 4th, 2010
1:42 am

Yeah what happened to Josh Powell — shot great, then got posted on the far end of the bench and forgotten. In seven minutes got 3 for 3 shooting,couple of rebounds. Like Horford he is a little big man but he sure can shoot straight, and that’s what we needed.

Section 303

December 4th, 2010
2:08 am

What a game tonight! I’m not sure how they won, but I’ll take it. Too bad there were so many empty seats there.

Josh Smith really let me down tonight. Right when I’m ready to declare him the best player on the team, he goes and reverts back to being a spoiled brat. His behavior was embarrassing. There has to come a point in that guy’s life where he stops acting like a pouting 5-year old. Not sure we will ever see him reach that point, though.

Good for Coach Drew! I’m glad he would not put up with Josh Smith’s sh#t.

Tom

December 4th, 2010
2:36 am

Team captains dont act like that. LD was right to sit him down. As a captain you have to lead your team and he did not do that.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 4th, 2010
4:17 am

Crazy stat: after his last two games, Josh Powell is now shooting a full 9% higher than he has in any other NBA season. It would be great if he could keep that up…

tony

December 4th, 2010
5:16 am

Don’t get mad with JS for displaying his tantrum behavior during games, blame Billy Knight. It was his responsibility to find out about these players attitudes, intelligence, dedication and more importantly to be sure they are team oriented.

You could have gone to just1 of JS high school game and seen this type of behavior. I doubt this young man will ever change because like northcyde said, he want to be a scoring superstar. If he had half of Dennis Rodman’s basketball IQ he would be the best defender in the league.

The Hawks still need a facilitator(pg). Sign Kirk Hinrich before some other team sign him. I don’t care how we get him,,,,,,,,JUST GET HIM!!!!!!

Spud Webb

December 4th, 2010
7:06 am

Impressive coaching by Coach Drew. It is refreshing to see him telling it like it is in his post game comments. I am not sure woody would have benched JS in the same situation. In a weird way having JJ out will bew good for the team and force the rest of the players to learn how to play without him, because that will be the way they need to plan with him in order to go farther in the playoffs. My feeling is that they have some momentem and will plan Miami tough.

Prison Mike

December 4th, 2010
7:26 am

How is Kirk available when he’s making 9 million right now and playing with the wizs? Don’t understand the misinformation there…

JS has been about 90% more great opposed to 10% horrid. Zsa and Smoove were both bad tonight except Zsa Zsa was the lesser of two evils.

NCBravesFan

December 4th, 2010
8:10 am

Love it that LD pulled Josh! It’s about time somebody held him accountable for the times where he undermines what the team is trying to do.

Really nice win by the Hawks – awesome job by the coach both during and after the game.

Big Al

December 4th, 2010
8:24 am

Nice to see some level-headed coaching that can make adjustments in game. Also nice to see Josh Smith get benched for taking bad shots in key situations. Even nicer to see Al Horford step up when it counts and virtually put the team on his back. I’ve been waiting for him to be The Man. Is my wait over??

Ray

December 4th, 2010
8:24 am

I’m not understanding all this hate for JS myself like Prison mike just said JS has been 90% great as opposed to 10% horrid.

As for those always wanting to trade JS I’m glad you’re not GM or coaches cause for one you trade away JS you pretty much trade away the crowd left at Phillips arena. Number 2 you’d trade away pretty much any backbone of defend we have the only thing left would be Al Horford like seriously.

Then 3 if you guys were coaches you’d probably have him sit the entire game which is the dumbest thing ever. SMH

Boooo!

December 4th, 2010
8:29 am

This game made me respect mike woodson a little more for the crap he had to put up with from Smoove. Just embarassing.

proffish

December 4th, 2010
8:39 am

That’s two games in a row for Josh Smith since JJ left the lineup. Compare to how Marvin and Jeff Teague have stepped up.

Big Al

December 4th, 2010
8:42 am

I don’t think you want to sit Josh Smith a whole lot. He is a very important player on the team. But the coach has to maintain control of the team, especially in key stretches at the end of the game. Josh Smith’s arrogance can weigh this team down at times. There’s no point on argueing with him, like Woody did, and then putting him back on the floor. You yank him. That’s what LD did. And it worked.

With that said, LD definitely got a little lucky. The whole team got kinda lucky. Philly just fell apart. But the guys on the floor had to execute the game plan. Maybe Josh Smith won’t settle for jump shots in the 4th quarter next time…

And I’m not saying that Josh shouldn’t take jump shots period. He’s become a much better shooter this year. But he has been shooting poorly the last few games, trying to do too much. And if he’s not listening to what coach is telling him to do, then you have to yank him.

gwite

December 4th, 2010
8:49 am

Josh wants to be thought of in the terms of LBJ. He saw Lebron’s total game Thursday, and will forever try to prove he’s that type player. But alas,as someone else said, he’s more similar to a Dennis Rodman type, as opposed to LBJ. Josh will never accept that though.

gwite

December 4th, 2010
8:55 am

And especially now that Boss Al is developing a big time outside game. That probably just kills Josh.

Josh, stick to dunks, tip ins, and alley oops. You’d be a much better player.

LBJ, L.O., you are not.

JeJe

December 4th, 2010
9:13 am

All you folks need to gather from the blog:

Al Horford: “At the end I wanted us to win so bad I’d do whatever it takes,” he said.

Josh Smith: “stormed off the court while shooting L.D. a scowl”

And why again is Josh a captain?

JeJe

December 4th, 2010
9:15 am

JOSH CANNOT DRIBBLE A BASKETBALL. NO WHERE CLOSE TO LBJ’S DRIBBLING ABILITY.
HAS ANYONE EVER SEEN SMOOVE MAKE A STEPBACK JUMPER?

MARVIN, KEEP BEING AGGRESSIVE. IDK WHO HAS BEEN GETTING ON YOUR CASE ABOUT BEING AGGRESSIVE, BUT DON’T LET UP

STRETCH

December 4th, 2010
9:28 am

Its time for Josh Smith to go. Sometimes you have to cuts your ties, no matter how painful it may seem. This guy will NEVER learn so its best to trade him while he’s got some value.

Big Al

December 4th, 2010
9:28 am

Josh is a captain because he can be Electrifying. It’s that same fire that makes him a hot-head. It’s the same thing with JS – he has to learn to pick him moments better. With JJ out, he is going to get more shots. But when he is having an off night, the answer is not to just jack up shots. He needs to use his defensive ability and his passing ability to get himself (and the team) going.

no justice

December 4th, 2010
9:39 am

gwite is gblind
(Josh wants to be thought of in the terms of LBJ. He saw Lebron’s total game Thursday, and will forever try to prove he’s that type player. But alas,as someone else said, he’s more similar to a Dennis Rodman type, as opposed to LBJ. Josh will never accept that though.)

Josh’s game is light years ahead of what Rodman was. On Rodman best day he could only rebound and play defense. That is all he was known for, that is, before he met Madonna and became Queen Rodman. Have noticed Josh’s stat line, it pretty impressive. Maybe you should visit it before writing foolish comments. Furthermore, how can you say he shouldn’t try to better his game and try to become a rounded player. If he’s put on the trading block watch and see how fast he will be snapped up by one of the smart teams in the league.
He is a spoiled athlete with an attitude and has been for several years, but he getting better every year. It is a process, it takes time to change. Give him time! I’m sure in time you to become a true Hawk fan. In time!

STRETCH

December 4th, 2010
9:43 am

7 years isnt enough time?!!!!

Joey

December 4th, 2010
9:44 am

“time for Josh to go”

___________________________

There should be a Basketball-IQ test for posters. Do you have any idea what the Hawks record would be without Josh?

STRETCH

December 4th, 2010
9:49 am

The guy has been in the league 6 plus years and still acting like he’s in high school! And people are talking about “give him some time?” If he doesnt get it by now, he will never get it!

darrell starks

December 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Josh smith my fav player on the team was embarrassing last night.
1.Crying and complaining 2 the ref all night.
2.Not paying attention 2 game and out of control.
3.Still dribbling the ball from one end 2 other with giving the ball 2 point guard.
4.Call him self a captain and did nothing in the showing 2 prove 2 be one.
5.The more i watch LD the happier i am he is the hawks coach, and by pulling josh and putting him on the bench show that LD is a true leader.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 4th, 2010
9:53 am

Josh and al have 2 get the ball more in the post, the hawks have no inside game at all.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 4th, 2010
9:56 am

LD should no that if josh play above the rim around the basket the guy can easily avg 20points and 10 rebounds a game, NO ONE CAN STOP JOSH IN THE POST.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bigdave

December 4th, 2010
10:29 am

Josh has to play w/in himself.. be Josh Smith. when he tries to do too much it looks bad.
early in the game after a reb. Bibby along side asking for the ball, Josh decides to takes it himself coast to coast.. and misses, twice he did that.

pressing big time.. when he doesnt have too.

now watch him put up something like: 18pts. 9 rebs. 6 ast. 2 stl. 3 blks tonight..

O'Brien

December 4th, 2010
10:52 am

Drew said. “He took two ill-advised shots. When the game is a grind, we can’t settle for that type shot. I explained that to him, he did it again, so I took him out the game.”.

I think benching Josh was the right move. Ironically, one of the benefits of benching Josh in the fourth was Al got to play PF. This helped get Al going.

Some more from MC’s blog;

“L.D.’s decision was made easier by the fact that Atlanta’s offense was running smoother and the defense had more urgency without Smoove, whose demeanor wasn’t good much of the night.

Josh wasn’t happy on the bench for a while, standing apart from his teammates and airing his gripes with J.J., but he got back into it once the Hawks started to rally.” MC .

Maybe I’m nit picking, but Josh is supposed to be one of our captains, and with JJ out, it is up to him and Al to lead these guys. He needs to handle the situation better.

Like northcyde said. Just play your game, and let it come to you. he was forcing it at times.

I’m glad we got the win. If we can go 1-1 against Miami and Orlando, I’ll take it.

Stoned Mountain

December 4th, 2010
11:35 am

Josh Powell intrigues us because he seems to make his minutes count. Like last night he scored six points and grabbed two rebounds in just seven minutes.

For the other 41 minutes he sat at the end of the bench, literally and figuratively. But at each break he was among the first to leap to his feet and grab and hug starters as they came off the floor. My guess is Josh feels like a blessed man, as this bio indicates.

He was undrafted, played two years in Europe and Arctic northern Russia —- a long way from Riverdale High in south Atlanta where he went to school. In his five year NBA career he has played as an undersized center for five teams. Now he is home, and contributing. And probably doesn’t need any anger management medicine. ;-)

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/josh_powell/bio.html

cp

December 4th, 2010
12:13 pm

Good win but very disappointed with Josh. He has been in the league for far to long to still be pulling these stunts. I’m glad LD benched him but knowing Josh I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens again a few more times this season. Dude is trying to do to much when he doesn’t have to. When things don’t go his way he starts all the pouting and hissy fits. Its time for him to grow up. That attitude is why he dropped in the draft. He is supposed to be a captain so it would be nice if he acted like one. I see people are making excuses for him but lets be real here, Josh has been pulling this crap since he has been here so its not like its his first incident.

Beast from the East

December 4th, 2010
12:14 pm

If JS had Al’s frame of mind he’d be an all-star every year.

Ramon

December 4th, 2010
12:43 pm

I don’t know a single player in the NBA who wouldn’t be mad for being taken out of a game, rather two bad shots or anything. Imagine Phil Jackson trying to take Jordan out of a game in the fourth quarter, after MJ just committed 3-4 turnovers in a row. At the point Josh was taken out, he was still 2 for 4 on his long jumpers (one being a three). And Al was 0 for 3 on his long jumpers. They both were shooting horrible last night. And Josh’s true shooting percentage last night was better than Al’s. Yet when Al took his jumper in the fourth, LD didn’t gripe then. At the point last night when Josh was taken out, he was having the best night on the boards by far. And the place the Hawks were getting killed the most were on the boards. LD says the defense improved when Zaza came in the game. But did he not realize the defense on the interior seemed to improve because Tony Battie instead of Hawes (who had a decent night shooting) was in the game. Battie is in the game for defense and rebounding, not so much for offense as opposed to Hawes. Also the defense went better because AI went down the court in 4 out of 5 trips and shot contested jumpers. That had nothing to do with the post defense.

But that being said, Josh has to learn if the coach doesn’t want you to shoot it in a certain situation don’t make the attempt. And move on to the next play.

Marvin had a great game. But it will be nice to see how he plays tonight against LBJ.