Atlanta Hawks at Celtics: Can they do it without J.J. and Jamal?

BostonJamal is out with a sore back. J.J. is back in Atlanta.

Is there any chance the Hawks can go back home with a W?

Under the best circumstances, it would be difficult for the Hawks to do it; it will be dang tough while missing an All-Star and Sixth Man Award winner. Then again, somehow win this one and it really would mean redemption for that Nov. 22 surrender at Philips.

On Boston’s side, Rondo says he’s in despite a balky ankle. (Update: Celtics GM Danny Ainge says Rondo to miss “weeks” with injury.) Shaq says he’s out. Even if Shaq plays, L.D. said plans to send out the big lineup with Twin at center.

“I want to play Al at the four,” Drew said. “The rookie [Semih Erden] is real long. I like the matchup better moving Smoove to three and Marvin to two; it gives us an advantage on the offensive end. We will match up Smoove on Pierce [to] put a little length on him to see if that bothers him. We will try to do some thing offensively with Allen having to defend Marvin. See if we can create an advantage size-wise with that.”

Maybe the Celtics will be sapped after that hard-fought W at Madison Square Garden last night. Perhaps the Hawks will chapped by that ugly L at Detroit and motivated to save face against the C’s. Of course Boston beat down the Hawks on a back-to-back last time with energy ball Nate Robinson doing the damage early.

The Celtics did show some vulnerability last night. It was shocking to see the Knicks working the pick-and-roll so easily. Doc noted he couldn’t put KG or Big Baby on Amar’e too often because the power rotation is thin without Shaq, J. O’Neal and Perkins. Can the Hawks take advantage, too? Note that the Knicks only have two Ls since Nov. 16, to the Celtics and Hawks.

Granted, the Hawks don’t have Amar’e pogo sticking as their roll man but Al is deadly on the pick-and-pop and Smoove is a load when he gets the ball going to the rim. Together, they are like a composite Amar’e. Gallinari was a weapon for the Knicks–ESPN talker Jeff Van Gundy noted that the C’s couldn’t “short close” on him at the 3-point line because he’s so big he can shoot over them, and once they closed hard Gallinari went by them to the hole. Dare I say Smoove should try to do the same if he makes the first couple (inevitable) 3-pointers he launches?

The Knicks did enough to get some respect from the Celtics, who aren’t the types to give it easily:

“They test our defense,” Pierce said. “There are few teams in the NBA that test our defense. That’s one of them because they go small ball and they put four shooters on the court. Then when you got a big man who’s an elite scorer in this league, who can shoot from everywhere, they’re a tough guard.”

“I’ll say one thing about the Knicks, they’re confidence is obviously through the roof,” Garnett said. “Definitely a team to reckon with.”

Obviously L.D. watched Knicks-Celtics, too, and he noticed some things. He said the Hawks would run a lot of pick-and-rolls and also try to run with Teague and JC2 getting some burn looking to do both.

“They struggled with [the pick-and-roll],” L.D. said. “New York, they picked up the pace, too. In that fourth quarter a few times Boston scored and New York got the ball out, came right back down and scored. It’s that type of tempo we have had success [with] in the past playing at that pace. At the same time, you have got to be smart coming down and not jacking up that ill-advised shots, especially on the road.”

MC

782 comments Add your comment

lewis

December 16th, 2010
2:46 pm

lewis

December 16th, 2010
2:46 pm

nice post btw

ATL FAN

December 16th, 2010
2:52 pm

No shot at this game if Marvin doesn’t show up.

all star voting thus far

December 16th, 2010
2:54 pm

Forwards: Forwards:
LeBron James (Heat) 607,994
Kevin Garnett (Celtics) 456,111
Amar’e Stoudemire (Knicks) 327,626
Paul Pierce (Celtics) 235,107
Chris Bosh (Heat) 161,801
Josh Smith (Hawks) 104,713
Carlos Boozer (Bulls) 82,655
Andre Iguodala (Sixers) 71,517
Danny Granger (Pacers) 66,759
Luol Deng (Bulls) 52,398 Kevin Durant (Thunder) 470,881
Pau Gasol (Lakers) 390,808
Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets) 369,768
Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) 264,301
Tim Duncan (Spurs) 247,364
Blake Griffin (Clippers) 245,167
Lamar Odom (Lakers) 134,594
Luis Scola (Rockets) 119,901
Caron Butler (Mavericks) 96,785
Kevin Love (Wolves) 81,865

Guards: Guards:
Dwyane Wade (Heat) 570,489
Rajon Rondo (Celtics) 497,141
Derrick Rose (Bulls) 424,356
Ray Allen (Celtics) 235,977
John Wall (Wizards) 120,284
Vince Carter (Magic) 117,628
Gilbert Arenas (Wizards) 88,599
Brandon Jennings (Bucks) 65,705
Joe Johnson (Hawks) 46,811
Jamal Crawford (Hawks) 31,524 Kobe Bryant (Lakers) 722,682
Chris Paul (Hornets) 386,649
Manu Ginobili (Spurs) 230,137
Steve Nash (Suns) 190,226
Deron Williams (Jazz) 184,148
Jason Kidd (Mavericks) 141,283
Russell Westbrook (Thunder) 140,519
Eric Gordon (Clippers) 113,510
Tony Parker (Spurs) 103,238,
Derek Fisher (Lakers) 81,088

Centers: Centers:
Dwight Howard (Magic) 611,561
Shaquille O’Neal (Celtics) 241,782
Joakim Noah (Bulls) 97,163
Andrea Bargnani (Raptors) 53,275
Al Horford (Hawks) 49,098
Andrew Bogut (Bucks) 48,298
Brook Lopez (Nets) 38,103
JaVale McGee (Wizards) 36,227
Roy Hibbert (Pacers) 35,006
Ben Wallace (Pistons) 21,858 Yao Ming (Rockets) 430,984
Andrew Bynum (Lakers) 198,044
Brendan Haywood (Mavericks) 127,375
Marc Gasol (Grizzlies) 120,811
Emeka Okafor (Hornets) 115,647
Nene (Nuggets) 105,747
Chris Kaman (Clippers) 87,536
Marcus Camby (Blazers) 57,046
DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) 37,571
Andris Biedrins (Warriors) 36,655

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
2:55 pm

Glad to see JT and JC2 going to get some action. Smart move LD. I wonder if starting ZaZa wouldn’t be another smart move.

And for those thinking Marvin at the 4 would be a good idea, I find it interesting that LD would rather play him at 2 than 4. I know it’s about personnel, but still….

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
2:59 pm

It looks like it may KG and Stoudamire as the East PF’s, which would be a shame really. I think it should be Stoudamire/Josh. I do think Al’s got a real shot behind Dwight at the C spot. 2 straight All Stars for Al? Hope so and good for him.

Looks like JJ’s streak is stopped at 4 straight All Star game appearances, unless he comes on really strong from the surgery. But most likely done.

Section 303

December 16th, 2010
3:02 pm

Michael, good post. The answer to your question is no. There’s not a chance of the Hawks winning tonight. I think every member of the Celtics could play with their left hands tied behind their backs and the Hawks still would not win.

I just hope the Hawks show a little pride, at least. The game on 11/22 was pathetic. It never fails to amaze me how willing the Hawks are to give up. If they do that tonight, they might lose by 50-points.

Too bad TNT picked this game to televise. It’s going to get ugly.

Mike is back

December 16th, 2010
3:03 pm

MC, Great to hear Teague and JC2 will/might get some Burn…hard to predict how the game will go tonight…Eton would be good change of pace to go with too…Zaza has not fared well against physical players like Big Baby.

Rod from College Park

December 16th, 2010
3:03 pm

No. We have no other scorers.

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
3:06 pm

I know PER can be overrated, but I find it interesting Jeff Teague will have the 3rd highest PER among active Hawks tonight. He’s 5th overall behind Jamal, JJ, Josh, and Al. BTW, Josh has a slightly better PER than Kevin Garnett. He (Josh) deserves the All Star team at this point to me.

Section 303

December 16th, 2010
3:10 pm

Joe Johnson has 46,811 votes too many for the all star game. He shouldn’t even have one.

Proud to say that I’ve voted about 20 times and have not voted for Joe Johnson once.

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
3:12 pm

I do think the Hawks have a chance tonight, especially if Josh shows some maturity. I think JT and JC2 can make it interesting, along with Josh, Al, Wilkens and Co. Too bad Rondo’s playing or I’d really like our chances.

But if Josh starts whining early, it will bleed into the younger players like JT and maybe JC2, and they will start playing defeated ball as well. And if Marvin and ZaZa happen to show up (which I doubt esp. with ZaZa), we have a really good shot.

I say start ZaZa and bring Etan off the bench at PF and see what happens. Criticize Sund all we want too, and I have vociferously, but he has built us a flexible team, and that’s good when the injury bug hits like now.

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
3:13 pm

But what a debacle at Detroit, man it causes me to doubt our team.

SteveW

December 16th, 2010
3:17 pm

Does the West have some good PG’s or what? Paul, Nash, DeRon, Westbrook, Tony Parker. Can’t we just get 1 or them?

JeJe

December 16th, 2010
3:23 pm

Shaq says he’s out. Even if Shaq plays, L.D. said plans to send out the big lineup with Twin at center.

MC, what does this mean? Does this mean we are playing a big lineup regardless? I still don’t get why we didn’t use the big lineup in Atlanta.

Shaq was sonning Al that night

Fresh

December 16th, 2010
3:32 pm

JC2,

Here is your chance! Bright lights, big city! Wha’chu got kid??

Wabe

December 16th, 2010
3:33 pm

No, Teague and JC2 better not get “some burn”…

They better get a whole lotta minutes in this game. No joke.

We’re not gonna win this game with Mo Evans…

So JC2 better see extended minutes tonight.

Don’t expect to win it with the rook out there either – but best believe he’s a hell of a lot better than Mo.

Melvin

December 16th, 2010
3:35 pm

If LD is going to start the big lineup and plan to play JC2, does this mean Mo will get his mins cut? Assuming that Damien will play backup SF.

JoJo the Godfather

December 16th, 2010
3:36 pm

LD said “We will try to do some thing offensively with Allen having to defend Marvin.”…Hopefully the plan doesn’t involve letting Ray Allen strip the ball from Marvin’s hands.

It was not a bad pick

December 16th, 2010
3:40 pm

Marvin will show up if given the oppurtunity

cp

December 16th, 2010
3:41 pm

I think the injuries are just too much for the Hawks to overcome tonight. I just hope they play hard. The last game against Boston was ugly but JC2 came in and played hard.. When they get hit in the mouth tonight they cant put their heads down and start playing sloppy selfish ball.

Astro Joe

December 16th, 2010
3:42 pm

So LD would rather have Horford defended by KG than Erden? Wow.

ATL RAISED INDY LIVING

December 16th, 2010
3:42 pm

JORDAN CRAWFORD WILL HAVE HIS BREAKOUT GAME AGAINST THE C’S JUST LIKE MICHAEL JORDAN DID BACK IN ‘86…THATS MY PREDICTION…..GIVE JC2 THE RRRROOOOOOOCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK !!!!

Daniel

December 16th, 2010
3:46 pm

Of course Rondo is going to go tonight. LD never plays Teague, so Bibby is going to be checking Rondo all night. Even hobbled, Rondo can blow by Bibby…

Daniel

December 16th, 2010
3:49 pm

MC,

Why doesn’t LD give Teague more consistent burn, especially against teams with quick PGs? Bibby can’t guard quick PGs to save his life. Plus putting Jamal at the point makes no sense whatsoever. All he does is look for his own shot.

Do you think LD is feeling the same pressure Woody did and is only looking to win today with no regard for the future?

LionHearted(FormerlySteel)

December 16th, 2010
3:49 pm

Do they have a chance?

U serious

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
3:53 pm

Hawks got no shot tonight or tomorrow night. They get crushed tonight by at least 30, down 20 in the second qrtr!! On TNT. It’s going to be ugly…Go Marvin!

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
3:56 pm

@ it was not a bad pick
“Marvin will show up if given the oppurtunity”!

Dude Marvin has been given 6 years of opportunities. We the fans are tired of his sorry game, and we mean very sorry game..Kick Rocks Marvin!!!!

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
3:58 pm

Jordan Crawford will have to drop 50 to give the Hawks a chance tonight!

dap01

December 16th, 2010
3:58 pm

Nothing is as painful as watching Bibby shuffle down the court. He has no athletic ability to move. He can shoot though.

RealSquawk

December 16th, 2010
4:03 pm

Have the C’s ever said anything that respectful about the Hawks? If not and I don’t think they have, I wonder how teams feel about the Hawks.

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:04 pm

@ATL FAN

Trust us, Marvin wont show up tonight. Paul Pierce will make him cry on national TV..Hawks have better shot if he is benched!!

Astro Joe

December 16th, 2010
4:06 pm

Josh Smith is starting out on Paul Pierce.

It was not a bad pick

December 16th, 2010
4:12 pm

Slim Jr

marvin was not drafted to be the man…the man is Joe max who currently is nursing an bad elbow…with the 2 quick shot brothers both hurt, Marvin should get some plays called for him tonight..Also Drew is starting a true center….i predict a close win with Marvin hitting one of his famous corner threes or maybe one of his many sportscenter highlight dunks…..

J from the A

December 16th, 2010
4:13 pm

‘it was not a bad pick’ = Marvin Williams! lol

Hey Marvin, here is your chance. Go out and have a big game. Offensively, the Hawks need a 20+ point game from within the system. Defensively, the Hawks need you to shut down whomever you are guarding.

If you accomplish this, I’ll be the first to give you your props.

It was not a bad pick

December 16th, 2010
4:14 pm

Oh, did I mention Joe Max last three years are all worth over 20 mill a year….16 ppg 20 mil….marvin 6 mill 10 ppg,solid D,no turnovers…

Ramon

December 16th, 2010
4:15 pm

LD can not afford to have a 2 foul Rule tonight.

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

“NEWSFLASH LD” you don’t have Amarie to run the pick and pop with. You have undersized AL, Josh ” I think I will be like magic johnson and the battle tested, WNBA MVP MMMarvin Williams.. Goodluck LD………….

Astro Joe

December 16th, 2010
4:17 pm

Do the two remaining captains need to “shut down” their opposing player tonight? It looks like LD is putting Al on KG and Josh on Pierece… so I guess we need for KG and Pierce to score less than 25 combined? Meanwhile, Marvin will be chasing Ray Allen around 2-3 screens… because it is so clear that Marvin is the best Hawk available to chase Allen around screens.

lewis

December 16th, 2010
4:21 pm

someone needs to frustrate ray allen

i like ray but dude is a nasty competitor and will stomp on nuts when given the chance

J from the A

December 16th, 2010
4:21 pm

Al is the same size as Amar’e … but I get the point. Al plays a bit smaller than Amar’e. However, Al’s face-up jumper is just as solid as Amar’e’s, so the pick and pop might work well … or does the pick and pop only work well against the C’s when the player doing the popping also can legitimately go hard to the rack on a pick and roll? If that is the case, that may be the difference between Al and the Hawks being successful at pick and roll/pick and popping and Amar’e and the Knicks being successful at it.

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

@ J from the A

“it was not a bad pick’ = Marvin Williams! lol”

“Hey Marvin, here is your chance. Go out and have a big game. Offensively, the Hawks need a 20+ point game from within the system. Defensively, the Hawks need you to shut down whomever you are guarding”.

“If you accomplish this, I’ll be the first to give you your props”.

Save your “props”..This bust will be invisible again tonight! He scored 4 points against Miami!!The Celtics are a lot better defensive team…Marvin go put on a skirt and play with the girls…

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:27 pm

Marvin could not case his shadow…..

JeJe

December 16th, 2010
4:29 pm

LOL

Marvin said he shows up to the arena an hour before.

Ray Allen shows up at like noon and shoots jumpers and has his daily meal and does his daily rituals

Shows who has been an all star and who hasn’t.

If Marvin never played in a playoff game again, do you all think he’d care?

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:31 pm

@ J form the A

“Al’s face-up jumper is just as solid as Amar’e’s”. Are u kidding me?? Al has a basic “set” shot! A has a real “pro” jump shot… No comparo’s there…A has much more range also add to the fact he plays above the rim dude…

Jae Evolution

December 16th, 2010
4:34 pm

Danny Ainge just made a report on NBA.com that Rondo will miss a ‘couple of weeks’ with a left ankle sprain, so now Bibby has to check Nate all night, which is even worse in my opinion…

lewis

December 16th, 2010
4:34 pm

rondo out a couple weeks

Jae Evolution

December 16th, 2010
4:35 pm

And Yao Ming’s season is done with a stress fracture…

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:35 pm

Nate playing tonight instead of Rondo????? OH NO!!!! HAWKS LOSE BY 40!!!

slimjr

December 16th, 2010
4:36 pm

Yao Ming’s=SAM BOWIE