Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks: Life after Joe

OK, blog people, I’m back in action. I can put together some halfway coherent thoughts and just had my first solid food in two days (mmm, chicken). Thanks for the well wishes.

Lots of chatter about whether the Hawks will be better off without J.J.. I understand the sentiment. He hadn’t been himself and so basically the Hawks have shed their highest-volume, lowest-percentage shooter and now those shots will be spread around elsewhere.

Yet J.J. also is second on the team in assist percentage. He has an even lower turnover rate than Bibby, who never turns it over. Joe draws lots of attention from defenders. And he can defend three positions (with varying degrees of success, but even halfway competent perimeter defenders are cherished on this roster).

The Hawks are going to miss some of that just a little bit, right?

Anyway, the debate soon will be moot as we can see how all the hypothetical arguments regarding J.J. play out over the next few weeks. It will be interesting, at least.

Same starters (for now)

L.D. is sticking with the same starting lineup tonight: Mo in place of Joe. He said he wouldn’t necessarily always go that way, though:

“There could be some games where I change that and go bigger with Al at the four. That lineup is not set in stone until Joe get back. But looking at different matchups with different teams we are going to be playing, I will make a decision of what will be the best matchup for us at the very beginning of the game. Chances are we will be shifting lineups.”

JC2 didn’t play against Memphis but he will get more time soon enough.

“I wish I could play [Jordan], Jeff and Jamal together some but that just makes me too small at the two and the three,” L.D. said.

But L.D. said that before the Hawks signed Damien Wilkins (who won’t dress tonight), so maybe eventually Jordan will get his minutes alongside Jamal/Teague with Wilkins.

By the way, Pape Sy is no longer on the injured list but he’s still in his suit.

MC

209 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

December 3rd, 2010
7:47 pm

Blast,

I think Miami signed Stackhouse after Mike Miller went down.

northcyde,

If anything, Mo Evans will be the one traded at the deadline if Damien plays well enough (imo).

Am I the only one who wishes they would replace Nique? He adds nothing to the broadcast. The comments he makes…I could make them. And I have never played any kind of basketball in my lifw

O'Brien

December 3rd, 2010
7:50 pm

Hawks starting slow again. 13-10 Philly.

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
7:52 pm

Mo Evans…come on man…what a lazy shot

O'Brien

December 3rd, 2010
7:55 pm

I’ll say this about Bibby. i think his assist to turnover ratio is overated. Watching the game, he dribbles across half-court (if Josh or one of the guards dont bring it up), and then Bibby makes a pass.

After that, he mostly just moves around in case he gets the ball back so he can shoot. And if he isnt open, he passes to the open man.

He does help run the offense, but I just think his assist to turnover ratio is a bit overated.

J.J.M.

December 3rd, 2010
8:02 pm

zaza is so horrible…crawford was wide open

J.J.M.

December 3rd, 2010
8:03 pm

wow guess ill just watch the game on espn…should be much better

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:04 pm

I agree about Bibby’s A/T being overrated; it’s not like he makes any effort to set players up with easy shots by making any passes that involve risk. In a sense, he’s kind of like the game managing quarterback who dinks and dunks his way to a good completion percentage.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:05 pm

Any possession on which Smoove or Al doesn’t touch the ball is a wasted possession.

Bench is in the game now; at the very least, the bench big men need to play with more energy. Zaza has come in and just flailed his arms around accomplishing nothing on either end of the floor.

Melvin

December 3rd, 2010
8:08 pm

Another slow start for the Hawks. And what’s up with ZaZa? Man he look terrible….

Sautee

December 3rd, 2010
8:08 pm

Najeh,

Zaza’s not completely useless. He can always serve as a poor example.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:09 pm

6′0″ Teague just got beat off the dribble by 6′10″ Thaddeus Young.

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:10 pm

“Atlanta’s getting killed on the glass.”

-Bob Rathbun

shocker!!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:11 pm

On the bright side, Teague is looking much more assertive on the offensive end than usual.

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:11 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:12 pm

What exactly are Josh Powell and Zaza supposed to provide again?

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:12 pm

Powell cleans up Bumchulia’s fumbled board opportunity

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:13 pm

can we seriously go deep with them being key guys off our bench?

EmirS.

December 3rd, 2010
8:14 pm

LD = Horrible @ Time Management.

Melvin

December 3rd, 2010
8:14 pm

Get ZaZa out of there…

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:14 pm

man this is awful

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:14 pm

Yeah, I’ll give Powell this much — he has been knocking down jumpers. But I was under the impression he was supposed to help on the boards and on defense. At that, he is failing as miserably as Zaza.

Hawks vs. 76ers

December 3rd, 2010
8:16 pm

If this is how they’re playing the 5-13 Philly team w/o Joe … I’m curious as to how they’ll play the teams with winning records w/o Joe

Ron

December 3rd, 2010
8:16 pm

What the hell is L.D. doing!? Get the damn bench out of the game already. It’s almost midway through the second quarter and Marvin, Josh, and Al are all sitting out with with an 11 point deficit. Somebody needs to slap this guy upside the head so that he can learn to coach.

Sautee

December 3rd, 2010
8:16 pm

Yeah, it seems like either Josh or Al need to be on the court all the time.

EmirS.

December 3rd, 2010
8:17 pm

Starters and the bench have the same amount of minutes……

lol

December 3rd, 2010
8:23 pm

ld what are u doing…starters play 9 min a qtr to win especially when down

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:24 pm

Hawks’ defense and rebounding sucks as usual, but their offense is just getting majorly unlucky in this game. They have missed a ton of point blank shots that they usually make.

Sleepy

December 3rd, 2010
8:26 pm

getting destroyed on the boards again

Hawks vs. 76ers

December 3rd, 2010
8:26 pm

Ugly FG shooting
Hawks are just 14-35
76ers are way better right now with 23-39

lewis

December 3rd, 2010
8:27 pm

haha is a failure
trade this guy

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:27 pm

Ironically, Marvin is one of the few players who has played reasonably well in this game.

Sautee

December 3rd, 2010
8:28 pm

What do they have, like 5 fast break baskets? No transition defense.

In fact, not much D anywhere.

niremetal

December 3rd, 2010
8:29 pm

Paging Mark Bradley…

Sautee

December 3rd, 2010
8:29 pm

Horford will need to hit about 5 in a row to get his pct. tonight.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:30 pm

Defense needs to clamp down in these last two minutes to make this a game.

Sleepy

December 3rd, 2010
8:30 pm

Spencer Hawes working us over to the tune of S. Hawes 9 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast in the first quarter lol SAY WHAT !!!

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:32 pm

needed that ran

{MAC-Town Georgia 478}

December 3rd, 2010
8:32 pm

Melvin

December 3rd, 2010
8:33 pm

Nice to see the Hawks show some life to end the 1st half….

bigdave

December 3rd, 2010
8:33 pm

Josh needs to shut up w/ the bytchin..

Ron

December 3rd, 2010
8:33 pm

LOL I was very worried that Zaza was going to miss that last shot.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 3rd, 2010
8:33 pm

Nice run to end the half. Defense still could have been better — Sixers were 2/4 in those last 2 minutes — but they finally started hitting some shots they usually make and getting into a rhythm.

This game is not out of reach, but they need to keep up the energy level to start the 2nd half.

O'Brien

December 3rd, 2010
8:40 pm

Powell is a jump shooting PF, and ZaZa is a jump shooting center. No surprise Hawks struggle in rebounding.

The funny thing is Jamal said one of their strengths is their bench. Ha!

I know we’re playing without JJ, but its the 76ers. Come on Hawks. What happened to defending home court?

Jesse

December 3rd, 2010
8:40 pm

Bibby runs the offense so well. He knows when to push it and when to slow it up. He runs great pick and roles and knows how to hit the open man. If you can’t appreciate his old school game, you simply don’t understand basketball. He’s not as quick as he once was, but he is great for his age, and gets the job done. Watch his +/- over the next 10 games. See how the team does with him running the show.

lewis

December 3rd, 2010
8:45 pm

nique’s opening line “joe is the team franchise everbody knows that.”

Ron

December 3rd, 2010
8:48 pm

The Hawks really need to look for Al more in the post. This has been a recurring issue all season long. He’s a very good post player, with a highly-reliable jump hook. The Hawks rarely run post-ups for him, when they should use that as one of their bread-and-butter plays, especially when they don’t have Joe available and no one else is hitting shots. I realize that Al missed his first few shots tonight, but that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t be looking for him on the offensive end. It’s almost a guarantee that any other coach head coach in the league would make it a point to play Horford in the post more. For some reason, L.D. would rather have him set up the offense at the top of the key. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that we don’t have a true point guard. At any rate, I really hope that the Hawks run more plays through Al in the post in the second half. That would probably get him going. He has a definite advantage over Elton Brand and Hawes in the post when they are defending him and a good team/coach would be exploiting that, rather than playing right into the hands of the opposing team’s defense.

Sometimes, I get so sick and tired of hearing about how it was “the lack of energy” that has caused the Hawks to lose. Energy definitely is one of the factors, but I’d like to see some accountability by our coaches for not utilizing the strengths of the team, and the players for not executing the plays. It’s not all about energy. Even if you play with all out energy, all of the time, you are not going to beat the good teams unless you have significant skill and execution. Looking at the box score, it is clear that the team is not running the plays that they should be running. Josh Smith is leading the team in field goal attempts at 9, and has made less than half of those. When Josh has close to 10 shots in the first half and hasn’t made a large percentage of them, it’s pretty obvious that the Hawks are forcing things and taking too many jump shots. Josh shouldn’t have to try and play hero, that’s usually a recipe for defeat when he starts trying to lead the break and make hero plays. Even ‘Nique has picked up on the fact that the Hawks are not playing inside-out enough. This needs to be addressed quickly, and likely by someone other than L.D., because it is clear that that is not his style. A “motion” system is dedicated primarily to cutters and shooters. When you don’t have many of those, you should be able to utilize your post play to get open looks and score in the paint. I don’t know why L.D. seems to be so lost on that principle.

One other thing. The bench playing time is driving me crazy. The bench minutes for the Hawks are at the top of the league. No team with a record above .500 plays their even close to as much as the Hawks play theirs. There’s a good reason for that. Mainly, it has to do with the fact that no other head coach is stupid enough to play his bench as many minutes as his starters when the team is down by double digits and the starters have been sitting for 8+ minutes. You’re not going to win like that unless you have an extremely productive bench, and the Hawks don’t have anything close to that. L.D. really needs to wake up and learn how to manage a rotation. In all of my years playing and watching basketball, I’ve never seen a coach do a worse job of rotation management, and decision making at key times. I understand that he wants to “develop the bench”, and instill some confidence, but sometimes you have to do what is best for the team and can’t gamble with your bench in key situations. Zaza should not be playing as often as he is with the way he’s been playing lately, and that’s only the start of it.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

December 3rd, 2010
8:49 pm

“He runs great pick and roles and knows how to hit the open man.”

Maybe he’ll be a casting director in his next career.

Blast

December 3rd, 2010
8:49 pm

O’Brien,

Thanks for the info on Stack.

This game is not out of reach. Defense needs to step up, which means Philly won’t be shooting the ball at such a high clip. Hawks must show more energy and life.

Come, on Atlanta! This game is important!

northcyde

December 3rd, 2010
8:50 pm

Thanks Najeh for telling me about the new blog.

We all talked about JJ getting to the line, but Smith and Horford need to do the same. I believe both are averaging less than 4 FTA per game. Both guys need to just attack the rim at times, and see if they can draw a foul.

Melvin

December 3rd, 2010
8:52 pm

Josh is really going to have to turn his play around in order to offset all these bonehead plays he’s making…