Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 91, Magic 81

Al and Co. made Dwight work for his. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Al and Co. made Dwight work for his. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

  • You can put asterisks next to this W and the one at Orlando if you want. The Magic were without Jameer and just getting over the flu (a fact they were sure to remind everyone) for that Dec. 6 game. This time they sent out three rotation players who hadn’t even practiced with the team yet.
  • “We caught them at the right time,” J.J. said. “They’ve got new guys who haven’t gotten acclimated. They were a little vulnerable and we took advantage.”
  • With that out of the way, let’s acknowledge that the Hawks gave a good effort tonight and have seemed to figure out a plan for dealing with their arch-nemesis. “To be successful against them we’ve obviously got to be physical with Dwight,” Twin said. “We’ve got a lot of big guys on this team and we’ve got to use our fouls against him.”
  • I was as skeptical as anyone when the Hawks re-signed Twin and said Woody should have played him more so he’d be ready to do battle Dwight. Got to admit that in three games he’s done a competent job bodying up to Dwight and making him shoot over him. He lacks mobility and hops but he’s smart and stout.
  • “Any time you have to battle Dwight straight up, you don’t see many guys who can do that,” L.D. said. “He’s not a defensive stopper by any stretch of the imagination but he makes him work, he makes him earn it. He plays him with a physicality. That’s what we need.”
  • Twin’s play against Dwight does two good things for the Hawks. One, it means they don’t have to scramble so much off of double teams and weaken their already suspect perimeter defense.
  • Two, it allows Al to get some space to do work off the dribble, shake free for perimeter shots and not get worn down ( or in foul trouble) from leaning on Dwight.
  • Dwight had 19 points on 14 shots but six turnovers. He started spending a lot of his time griping at the refs, always a good sign for his opponents.
  • “Hats off to the bigs,” Smoove said. “Zaza came in, Etan and, number one, Jason Collins came in and played big minutes and just did whatever it took to frustrate Dwight.”
  • Zaza played 11 (foul-shortened) minutes and had seven rebounds and a physical presence around the rim. Josh Powell, who usually does not provide that kind of tenacity or rebounding, got a DNC-CD.
  • Fantastic line for Al: 24 points 10 for 15, 11 rebounds, four assists, no turnovers. He was equally effective with moves to the basket and the usual pick-and-pops.
  • That fourth quarter was the textbook for how Marvin can help this team. The Magic used a small lineup for much of the period and Marvin collected five of their nine missed shots. He waited on the wings for the ball to swing to him and made open shots and also earned five free-throw attempts.
  • Jameer predictably got by Bibby a few times but Bibby did a good job of at least making him go to where there was help. This was another game where Bibby more than offset his defensive deficiencies with his shotmaking. He got the Hawks going in the third quarter.
  • It’s clear that Joe is going to play the same way whether he’s rusty or not. He forced a few shots and had five turnovers.
  • Orlando’s newcomers combined for 27 points while making 6 of 23 shots. “Tonight the adjustment wasn’t so much on the offensive end but our defense,” J-Rich said. “It’s going to take a while for us to get used to each other but we’ll just have to keep working.”
  • The Hawks went 5-5 in the stretch of 10 games that started in Miami and included Orlando twice, San Antonio and Boston. The Hawks were 2-3 in those games and 3-2 in the others with brutal losses at Detroit and New Jersey.
  • “We need our guys to play with a sense of urgency every time we step on the floor, irregardless of who our opponent is,” L.D. said. “I think that’s been the disheartening thing, especially with our losses in New Jersey and our loss up in Detroit.”
  • “We’ve been up and down,” Twin said. “I’m not worried about how we’re going to play against the Miamis and the Orlandos. For us we have to come into each game with that mentality of knowing were going to be in for a fight each game. I think there are a few games this season we definitely let slip away.”

Michael Cunningham

224 comments Add your comment

NUNNA!!!!!!

December 20th, 2010
11:37 pm

FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jerry West

December 20th, 2010
11:38 pm

SteveW

December 20th, 2010
11:38 pm

Good win Hawks! And we were without Jamal also. When’s he coming back?

Jerry West

December 20th, 2010
11:38 pm

almost. good win tonite. who was that wearing #24 for the Hawks?

Jerry West

December 20th, 2010
11:40 pm

“We need our guys to play with a sense of urgency every time we step on the floor, irregardless of who our opponent is,” L.D. said.

word up, coach!

JeJe

December 20th, 2010
11:40 pm

FIRE RICK SUND

ATL FAN

December 20th, 2010
11:40 pm

FIRE RICK SUND

SteveW

December 20th, 2010
11:41 pm

And the Magic will be good once they get it figured out. You can’t have Arenas and Richardson (J) on the court with Dwight and not be good. But they’re going to have to trade Q Richardson or Reddick, and probably Duhon and get another big. Even when Anderson gets back, they don’t have another big unless Orton is impressing in practice or something. Malik’s never been much, and Bass is good, but I do think they’ll miss Gortat.

SteveW

December 20th, 2010
11:43 pm

Rick Sund is not our problem, ASG not going over the luxury tax maybe, but not Rick Sund.

Any word on Jamal getting a contract? Or are we moving him before the trade deadline? And Marvin has had some decent games of late. Way to go Marvin!

JeJe

December 20th, 2010
11:45 pm

What’s with LD’s comments about Collins? Disqualifies him as a defensive stopper and plays him down, just saying he can slow down Dwight.

Collins is THE ONLY reason this team has beaten Orlando twice as opposed to last year, so give him more props rather than treating him like some scrub who is useless otherwise.

Starting Collins may be the best thing this team does all year if it means rejuvenating Marvin off the bench.

I’m very interested to see how LD distributes minutes once Jamal returns because if Collins starts, the minutes can spread much better.

I also don’t like the idea of Horford and Smoove having to play the 3, 4, and 5 in different games. It’s too much adjusting, as they have stated. Just start a real center and slide them over

JeJe

December 20th, 2010
11:48 pm

Our usual starting lineup of Bibby Joe Duck Smoove and Horford is not good enough defensively to pull away from most teams. Bringing in a true Center at the 5 and spreading out our substitution patterns balances the team much better and provides better defense.

LD really needs to be on his A-Game with substitutions from here on out.

No more Mo Evans

We need more Damien

Section 303

December 20th, 2010
11:51 pm

This stuff about needing to bring energy, regardless (irregardless is not a word, by the way) of the game, is tired. We’ve heard this for years. This win, as nice and fun as it was, does not excuse yesterday’s debacle. Hawks have never had a problem (save the Boston game Thanksgiving week) getting up for big games at home. It’s the f’ing losses to Detroit and NJ that drive everyone nuts.

And, I get the Magic were just getting their team together tonight, but so what? No one ever makes excuses for the Hawks. No one. Two years ago, when they were swept by the Cavs, the Hawks were basically without 3 starters (Joe, Al, Marvin). Not one talking head ever mentioned that when stroking the Cavs. Now, had the shoe been on the other foot, and the Cavs had to play minus Lebron and two other stiffs on that team, you never would have heard the end of it. Classic double standard in the coverage. Michael, I see you’ve fallen into that trap tonight, too.

Section 303

December 20th, 2010
11:53 pm

By the way…easily the best home game of the year, so far. Good crowd, good environment, good buzz in the air…hope some of you were in the Highlight Factory tonight, too.

I would put the preseason game against Miami as a distant 2nd to tonight, for best home game of the year.

NUNNA!!!!!!

December 20th, 2010
11:56 pm

I find that “first” thing that people put on these blogs so immature but i had to do it,lol..

Props goes out to twin and his play,but the question i have is why not play him even more against other teams?

Yea,i know that we only would need him to counter bigs issues from other teams,but why not let them prepare for us?Why not go back into the Josh at the 3,Al at the 2,and twin at the 1 more often??

And,i think its a mistake that orlando traded defense to get more scorers into the mix.

Defense wins championships..

EmirS.

December 21st, 2010
12:06 am

@Nunna

So you want this:

C – Bibby
PF – JJ
SF – Smoove
SG – Horford
PG – Collins

?

pinoy hawk

December 21st, 2010
12:42 am

lewis

December 21st, 2010
12:51 am

really enjoyed the game tonight
good crowd
good atmosphere
not too many magic fans

nothin else to say really
Al made some beautiful plays
Bibby’s D suspect as usual

fans were counting up each time Dwight took a free throw (rule is supposed to be 10 sec max and he was taking around 20)

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
12:57 am

I was at the game tonight and YES, it was a great crowd!! Glad Marvin came off the bench, he played really well in the 4th and I think he will spread that type of game more into the 2nd and 3rd quarters as well as he continues to come off the bench. I LOVE Horford!! He played GREAT tonight against Dwight!! Lets keep it coming, Hawks!!

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
12:58 am

@lewis,

I heard the count down in the crowd as well…mann, that was funny!! But I heard the limit is 15seconds, not 10.

Clyde

December 21st, 2010
1:12 am

Free Jordan Crawford

L-QUE

December 21st, 2010
1:32 am

ATLANTA still need the point to keep scoring, a average of 15 from the starting point ,sg,sf,AL and JOSH cant carry the scoring each game,JOSH, I want to say is one of a kind, in this he do so many things on defense& offense, next summer he work on his foot work,low post moves,he will become even more a player in high demand.

slimjr

December 21st, 2010
1:36 am

RICK SUND=BILLY KNIGHT JR

L-QUE

December 21st, 2010
1:45 am

STEVE.W its hard to tell about this MAGIC team i dont see help for HOWARD they went smaller for scoring they vunerable now at full strenght on defense alone,the trades put ORLANDO is in trouble

Ramon

December 21st, 2010
1:51 am

There’s no way Orlando can beat Boston, Miami, LAL, or SAS. And I really don’t think they can beat the Hawks now.

The Truth

December 21st, 2010
1:52 am

Foul magnet Zaza will become the 3rd option in the rotation behind Etan. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Etan > Zaza

Dear Mr. Sund

The verdict is end. AL HORFORD IS A PF, NOT A CENTER!

Sund = Bonehead

The Truth

December 21st, 2010
1:56 am

*The verdict is in

Clyde

December 21st, 2010
2:01 am

They should just cancel the rest of the regular season in the East and let Miami and Boston play for a trip to the Finals.

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
2:24 am

@Clyde,

Miami has had a pretty decent schedule thus far!! The Heat have played a total of 4 games amongst Utah and Dallas going 1-4..They lost 2 games so far to Boston and only won 1 game so far against Orl while Orl won the other..They havent played Spurs yet (not til in March both games), they haven’t played Lakers yet, & they havent played Chicago yet. They are no different than us Hawks right now when it comes to ‘playing top teams’. We lost to Boston twice so far like them, have gone 2-3 so far against Orl, 0-1 against Utah,Dallas, & Spurs so far. We STILL have an opportunity to split the series against those 3 teams whereas the Heat are threw with them(except the Spurs) this season.
So how can u say Miami and Boston automatically to the Finals??

K.W.

December 21st, 2010
2:24 am

It’s amazing that the Hawks can’t get their props for these wins against Orlando. The Magic can’t deal with the fact that the Hawks are not backing down anymore.

Clyde

December 21st, 2010
2:29 am

MsDee I know everything. Call me the Prophet

FIRE SUND

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
2:31 am

We STILL have a chance to top our division based on Miami schedule for the remaining of the season and also Orlando. The Magic hasn’t played Dallas, the Lakers, NOR Boston yet. Have 2 more games remaining against Miami, (1-1 so far), have 3 more games remaining against Chicago (won 1 so far), Lost both games to Utah and 1 to the Spurs and hopefully will lose the other 1 tonight against them. So after noticing the rest of their schedules, WE DEFINITELY HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET THAT BANNER IN ATLANTA!! MAKE IT HAPPEN, HAWKS!!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 21st, 2010
2:36 am

The Magic can whine all they want, but they were at full strength, while the Hawks were missing Jamal Crawford. Honestly, Arenas was the only one who appeared to me to be blatantly out of sync. Everyone else seemed to be more or less on the same page.

I actually didn’t think the Magic’s offensive execution was a big reason for their loss. The offensive execution really seemed to suffer only when Arenas was running the point, and I’m pretty sure he was playing the 2 next to Nelson for the majority of his minutes on the floor. Rebounding and perimeter defense were much bigger reasons. The Hawks dominated the boards in this game — I know Dwight had close to 20, but the rest of the team combined for less than that — primarily because they did a great job boxing out. Magic players were missing jump shots because every shot was being contested. Collins (and even Zaza to a lesser extent) did a great job handling Howard one on one, and this allowed everyone else to contest the jump shots.

I can’t over-emphasize how well Collins played in this game. His contributions look pretty pedestrian in the box score, but the Hawks do not win this game without his physical, fundamentally sound play at center. He has done a total 180 from what he gave the Hawks last year.

Honestly, I don’t think a lot of these issues are going to go away for the Magic very easily. They got beat on the boards in large part because Dwight is their only real big man left, and Arenas isn’t exactly a pure point guard who is ever going to run the offense all that smoothly when he is in the game. Bottom line is that the Hawks just played a better game. I don’t think the Magic are going to be a serious title contender until they make another trade to get Dwight some more help down low.

Sleepy

December 21st, 2010
2:40 am

they get no props when they lose to the Nets the night before . It amounts to breaking even not moving forward . and they are missing a prime opportunity to stay within a shot of the top 3 spots . Right now we should be firmly in 3rd putting pressure on the heat instead we are treading water in our old spot

We really should be trying to win this division not keep status quo.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 21st, 2010
2:40 am

The only things I didn’t like:

Smoove played a great game defensively, blocking or altering a ton of shots, boxing out, crashing the boards, and initiating ball movement, but there were several possessions on which he was posted up on Turkoglu or Bass in the post and didn’t take advantage. I saw him try to spin towards his off hand at least two or three times when he could have probably gone to his lefty jump hook and had a decent chance of making it. He needs to quit trying to draw fouls and go to his bread and butter. Yeah, he has to develop the left hand, but save that for practice.

Bibby was getting schooled by Nelson, and if Nelson chose to take over the game he very easily could have. That’s one guy Bibby just can’t guard. They brought Teague in to check him for a while, but Teague was playing scared, and aside from a nice floater he didn’t really do much.

I really hope this is the last game Mo Evans plays more minutes than Damien Wilkins. The four minutes he played in this game may be the worst four minutes anyone has played in the league all year. He airballed a 3 and got burned by JJ Redick on two or three possessions in a row.

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
2:42 am

And all those ‘bunny loses’ against teams like Detroit & The Nets will end if JJ can get his groove back and Marvin becomes an added bonus off the bench along with Jamal, Rich Sund may have a ‘backward hand slap’ to hand out to alot of fans here on this blog for not respecting his vision with ‘this core’!!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 21st, 2010
2:48 am

“That fourth quarter was the textbook for how Marvin can help this team. The Magic used a small lineup for much of the period and Marvin collected five of their nine missed shots. He waited on the wings for the ball to swing to him and made open shots and also earned five free-throw attempts.”

Co-sign. He played solid, and Horford played great.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 21st, 2010
2:54 am

About the crowd — I was there, and it was a good crowd, not a great one. A great crowd is what was at Philips for Game 7 against the Bucks in April. A fantastic crowd is what was at Philips for Game 6 against Boston in 2008. As usual, the 7 PM start meant that half the crowd didn’t arrive until halfway through the 2nd quarter. I don’t understand why the DASG hasn’t realized this yet. Start the games at 7:30 and the atmosphere, if not the attendance, is guaranteed to be better.

EmirS.

December 21st, 2010
2:56 am

Now its a matter of taking this win as a confidence builder and forming a string of consistent wins. That win one, lose one scenario wont help on any level. This was a great win by any measure. Hope this line-up stays. If Marvin can contribute off the bench then we may after all have a trading chip in Jamal. As JeJe has said COUNTLESS times, bring in a PG and we “may” actually have something going for us.

Worldwide Clyde

December 21st, 2010
3:42 am

MsDee we don’t have a chance in hell to win the East. Quit the drunk posting. Now that the Magic have tanked we have a chance to get to the third seed. We will probably win the first round but will get swept just like we did the past two years.

Free Jordan Crawford

MsDee

December 21st, 2010
3:45 am

@worldwide Clyde,

No U NEED TO OPEN YOUR EYES AND READ WHAT I POSTED! I NEVER SAID WE WILL WIN THE EAST! The east is the conference NOT the division, in case u didnt know. The division is Us, Orlando, Miami, Washington, & Charlotte..NOT THE WHOLE CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

December 21st, 2010
3:57 am

Did not see the game. Gonna catch the replay on league pass. I must admit that loss last note in Jersey left a bitter taste in my mouth. Crawford holding out again, lol?

Jae Evolution

December 21st, 2010
4:54 am

Here’s to pushing for second seed in the EAST and winning our DIVISION!

Marcus

December 21st, 2010
5:43 am

echo Twin’s quote (last one in blog) and Sec. 303’s post @ .
We have to stop being .
For too long (since Methuselah was a pimply-faced teenager), Dwight and the Mousekateers took our lunch money and we didn’t fight back (save for one buzzer beater rebound dunk by J. Smoove last year), now this year we finally ‘bow up’ to the tune of a 2-1 series lead vs. ORL (with that one loss being a rattled-out J. Crawford runner from being a tie game in the waning minute)…yet get our battleships blown up by jayvee squads NJN and DET?????!?!?

Something has gotta give.

O'Brien

December 21st, 2010
7:28 am

I predicted a win yesterday, because that’s been the Hawks blue print for over 2 seasons. Follow up a bad loss, with a good win. And they’ll do it again and again.

I’m happy for the win. But I wish we could bring this type of effort every game.

One thing I didnt like. “It’s clear that Joe is going to play the same way whether he’s rusty or not. He forced a few shots and had five turnovers.” MC .

JJ needs to not force the issue. Let the game come to him. He took ad some bad shots last night, and he struggled from 3 again.

i_am_soulstar

December 21st, 2010
9:01 am

Nice 2nd half. Marvin is better suited coming off the bench maybe?? It makes perfect sense that he is more effective as the first or second option offensively on the second unit rather than being the fifth option offensively on the first unit. Maybe we should have used this line up against New Jersey.

lewis

December 21st, 2010
9:04 am

yeah after leaving at 5:45 to get there for a 7:00 it kind of made me realize the necessity of these games being at 8 or at the very least 7:30. Its kind of stressful around there at 6:30. Also, it makes sense to start at 8 because when tip started, thousands were still eating cheaper food @ cnn center

lewis

December 21st, 2010
9:07 am

but yeah, marvin looked about 20 times better coming off the bench

Mike is back

December 21st, 2010
9:07 am

What’s up MC, yes the atmosphere was electric…last night…the wify and I enjoyed it…VERY ENTERTAINING GAME…GREAT WIN!!!

MsDee, you are right…Al was on it…BUT BIG SHOUT OUT TO COLLINS…for stepping UP and allowing LD to have A via able Big to go to…that’s been huge for AL.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 21st, 2010
9:12 am

Great win last night.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

Samuel

December 21st, 2010
9:21 am

The Magic are locks to win the East, now that they have Turkoglu back. LOL!!