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 selection.”
  • Smoove was the guiltiest party on the latter. He’s getting jump shot happy again and now they aren’t falling. He did have 12 rebounds but foul trouble limited him to 28 minutes and, in another unsurprising development, the Hornets got free run at the rim when he was out of the game.
  • The Hawks came out smoking. They moved the ball, made shots and attacked the rim to get calls. Joe and Marvin looked unstoppable. The Hornets were a step behind. “We let them move the ball where they wanted to,” David West said.
  • And then the Hornets decided to be more aggressive guarding the perimeter. Now Joe, hounded by Ariza, couldn’t find room to operate. Marvin couldn’t finish. Okafor owned the paint.
  • The Hawks scored just 31 points after halftime. “We stopped running, we stopped pushing the basketball for easy transition points and we started settling for jump shots,” L.D. said.
  • That’s what tends to happen when the scoring gets harder for the Hawks.
  • “I thought we got out and rattled them a little bit, got them off balance,” West said “Joe Johnson is one of the best players in the league, so obviously you are not going to just shut him down completely. But I thought we made his alleys a little more crowded and forced him into some tough looks.”
  • The Hawks would to well to emulate the Hornets under coach Monty Williams. “They have done a tremendous job defensively,” L.D. said. “Looking at where they were last year and where they are this year, they have made the commitment defensively and put together some great games.”
  • The Hornets also have better defensive players than the Hawks, but still.
  • Atlanta’s nine-point halftime lead was gone fast. Paul assisted on two baskets during 13-4 run. “We started the third quarter and we just didn’t come out with any energy,” Drew said. “We came out very lethargic.”
  • Or, you know, it could be that a great pick-and-roll player picked apart a weak pick-and-roll defense.
  • “We missed some defensive assignments against him on how we were defending the pick-and-roll,” Drew said. “Then we tried to mix it up and play a little zone to get him off balance a little bit. But he made some shots and he got too deep on us on the pick-and-roll a couple times. We went underneath, which was a missed assignment.
  • Paul was strangely passive in the first half and then suddenly became animated in the third quarter. In one stretch he scored 11 of his team’s 13 points and assisted on the other basket. He screamed and pounded his chest as the the Hornets’ second-largest crowd of the season snapped from its slumber.
  • “One thing we didn’t want to do was let him get going and get the crowd into it,” L.D. said.
  • The Hawks tried everyone who wasn’t a point guard to slow Paul. Joe, Marvin and Mo all took turns on him. The Hawks even tried zones with Al and Smoove at the top. “He’s seen every coverage by now,” Jamal said. “You just have to live with it sometimes.”
  • Atlanta’s defense took a hit when Marvin was forced to the sidelines with cramping. He started the fourth quarter but went out for Josh with the Hawks down 80-78. Marvin received IV fluids after the game.
  • Mo went out for J.J. at that point, too, a fact he pointed out more than once afterward.
  • “The game was tied at 78-78 and then I think we were stagnant in the latter part of the game,” Mo said. “The They continued to run their offense. CP continued to create for other guys and put it in position where all they had to do was score the ball or shoot it. They got great looks every time down the floor and eventually that is going to win out.”
  • Al played just eight minutes in the first half because of the two-foul rule. He tried to attack the basket in the second half but Okafor and West made it tough. The Hornets took 15 more shots in the paint (38) than Atlanta and enjoyed a 48-22 advantage in points.
  • Joe said the three-day break helped his elbow. He wore a brace over that time and said he can extend the arm more than before: “I don’t know how much straighter it’s going to get, though.”
  • He looked pretty smooth, especially in the first half. “I was kind of taking what the defense gives me,” he said. “Our offense, basically everybody is moving the basketball, and if you are open, you take the shot.”
  • That’s how it worked in the first half, but what happened in the second? “The ball just stopped moving,” Joe said. “And then I thought we settled a lot in that second half when we could have been driving and making plays for other guys and getting to the basket or getting to the line.”
  • The Hawks attempted 18 free throws in the first half and six after halftime.
  • Jamal went into attack mode in the second half. The results were mixed. He had eight points, four turnovers and no assists after halftime. “It definitely felt rusty,” he said.

MC

203 comments Add your comment

Larry Drew

December 26th, 2010
11:21 pm

(From the last blog)

drmaryb,

Josh has been working on his jump shot over the summer. I want him to take that shot with confidence. I love jump shots. That’s what my system is all about. I need to have as many jumpshooters on the floor at once as I possibly can, as long as their names aren’t Al…I like him to sit on the bench and watch. We just need to get into a rhythm on our jump shots. I need shotmakers in the game, that’s why I play Bibby and Jamal together, they are shot makers. Sometimes, we just miss our jumpshots, but I want us to take more. I want Joe and Jamal to take 20 shots a night, at a minimum, or however many it takes for them to score at least 15 points, and I need Bibby out there to direct traffic by passing the ball to either Joe or Jamal for more jumpshots. I can’t play Teague, he has an ugly jump shot, and sometimes he passes the ball to Al in the post. I hate that. I don’t want Al to get shots, especially not in the post where he shoots at 60+%. A shot for Al is taking away from my other jumpshooters. I Teague sometimes tries to get into the seems of the defense and puts up floaters. Floaters are ugly, I want jump shots, damn it! Damien just doesn’t have the type of jumpshot that I like. I like that smooth shooting stroke. I’m going to start playing Mo more, because he has just the kind of brick-laying jump shot that I used to have when I played. We need to maximize the number of jumpshots that we are taking. Any shot inside of 15 feet is getting my guys a trip to the bench, and if anyone passes the ball to Al, instead of Jamal or Joe, I’m sitting them down. I need to start playing Josh Powell more minutes. I love his jump shot. I’m trying to find just the right combination of players, so that everyone on the floor is shooting jump shots, all of the time.

Down the stretch, you might not see as many players getting jump shots, because I need to turn to my clutch shooters down the stretch. Joe, Jamal, and Bibby are shot makers. I need to Joe to dribble the air out of the ball until he gets into a rhythm.I want him to pull up for a jump shot right before the end of the clock on each possession down the stretch. His jump shot is unbelievable. I dream about it sometimes. Don’t worry if we are struggling, we just need to take more jump shots.

cp

December 26th, 2010
11:29 pm

Great breakdown MC

@Bailey, I agree with your last post on the previous blog…….Seriously wtf is up with this team and the word energy. Everytime they lose they always blame it on lack of energy smh.. How can LD talk about defense and have his worst 2 perimeter defenders in the game at the same time? Why is Mo playing over Wilkins when Damien had been playing better than Mo? The line about trying everyone who isn’t a pg to stop CP3 was a page out of Woodson book. I truly dint get sticking with an ineffective Bibby when he wasn’t getting it done on either side of the floor. Teague had finally began to play better and for some reason he gets a DNP against one of the quickest pgs in the league? Really?…………LD is looking more and more like Woodson.

lukas

December 26th, 2010
11:39 pm

cp, even his post-game quotes are like Woody. One of those days he will come out with the proverbial “i got to get ___ more playing time”.

@DanWeiner

December 26th, 2010
11:41 pm

The point guard we should have drafted six years ago slices and dices us while our point guard of the “future” gets a DNP-CD. I’ve followed and rooted for this franchise my entire life but it’s just a whip watching the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and it never changing.

lukas

December 26th, 2010
11:42 pm

But again guys, i think you are asking too much from LD. When ASG hired him this summer they went not only for the most conservative option, but also the cheapest. What you pay is what you get.

@DanWeiner

December 26th, 2010
11:48 pm

head of the nail, meet the hammer, courtesy of lukas.

Ramon

December 26th, 2010
11:51 pm

Smoove was the guiltiest of them, but he only had 3 shot attempts in the entire second half (one which was right outside of the lane)? And in the first half he shot over 40% percent?

Najeh Davenpoop

December 26th, 2010
11:54 pm

“The Hawks tried everyone who wasn’t a point guard to slow Paul. Joe, Marvin and Mo all took turns on him. The Hawks even tried zones with Al and Smoove at the top. “He’s seen every coverage by now,” Jamal said. “You just have to live with it sometimes.””

They didn’t try Teague, though.

I didn’t see the first half, but the second half of this game was on LD. It looked like Woody’s Hawks were in the building tonight.

Samuel

December 27th, 2010
12:04 am

It was Woody’s fault. LOL!!

Ramon

December 27th, 2010
12:07 am

Najeh, the first half the Hawks were up by 9.

ant banks

December 27th, 2010
12:14 am

wow, a new effin’ blog.

Dre

December 27th, 2010
12:19 am

I wonder when drew is gonna grow the goatee.

Atlanta Fawkers

December 27th, 2010
12:19 am

I would understand accepting this kind of up and down play in 2007 but four years later – this team is the same. Hawks owners are not serious about winning.

Now WE know!

rusty

December 27th, 2010
12:28 am

I didn’t think anyone could be worst than woody, I guess I was wrong

rusty

December 27th, 2010
12:33 am

Does ld do crack

twista

December 27th, 2010
12:36 am

what if the hawks are one of the teams that lebron is talkin’ about contraction? can you imagine chicago with jamal crawford comin’ off the bench. or if jsmoove was comin’ off the bench for new york.

rusty

December 27th, 2010
12:37 am

Does any one even give a crap anymore

tjhook

December 27th, 2010
1:20 am

Clearly, Drew needs a guard he can send to the floor and not have to coach him up. I would like to see the Hawks pursue Mo Williams; I would offer Teague and Marvin. Teague if he improves was not drafted as a player who is featured in the offense. I believe there is no need to feel obligated to keep him on the roster.

O'Brien

December 27th, 2010
1:28 am

“But against good teams we have to be able to follow through on the game plan, especially defensively”. LD .

What does he expect, when Bibby played 41 minutes, Jamal played 34 minutes, and Josh and Al (due to foul trouble) only played 28 minutes each.

When will LD and Rick realize that they don’t have the personnel to be a good defensive team?

More from the blog;

“On the road you have to have better shot selection.” LD .

“Smoove was the guiltiest party on the latter. He’s getting jump shot happy again and now they aren’t falling”. MC .

That was the problem with Josh making those shots earlier in the season. Now that they are not falling, he still has the confidence that he can take and make them whenever he wants.

O'Brien

December 27th, 2010
1:33 am

As for the game tonight, this was a team loss, but the coaching was a big part of it.

Props to Marvin. This is what we need from him more consistently, and he has been playing much better.

As for the coaching;

1) 41 minutes for Bibby, despite going 2-8 and playing horrible defense, despite the fact that he spent time guarding Jarrett Jack?

2) 34 minutes for Jamal, despite the fact that this is his first game back, and he had 5 turnovers?

3) DNPCD for Teague despite the fact that he had 3 decent games prior to the time off?

4) DNPCD for Damien, despite the fact that Marvin was cramping and had to be taken out for a rest?

Last year, our offense would come to a screeching halt under Woody, especially in the fourth quarter. I thought the motion offense was supposed to stop that?

Hawks had 31 points in the second half.

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
2:00 am

If you coach any basketball team have them watch the hawks on film and then tell your team this is not how you play if you want to be a champion!! Just brutal….I have officially stop recording the games in high deff. to save disk space on my dvr. Very soon I will stop watching this sorry team all together…

Grandadc

December 27th, 2010
2:02 am

One point left out of MC’s analysis is;
when our offense bogs down,
Joe stops the offense.
He is a major culprit…as a bogger downer.
MC tends to give the opponents defense ‘all’ the credit.
True, they deserve much, but Joe said himself the ball stopped moving
in the 2nd half.
I watched the whole game. Joe always catches and holds the ball, allowing
the defense to adjust even if he eventually passes. He stops the ball and
pounds the air out of it for a # of seconds looking to make something out
of nothing rather than let the offense flow.

Defensively, we need a long armed rim defender in the rotation.
The entire blog has been screaming for one since I’ve been around.
Heck, Thabeet is available, he can do two things:
(1) block shots & (2) rebound,
go get him – who cares if he can hit a lay-up.

My assessments:
Joe must adjust to the offense.
We must upgrade our personnel on defense.
No reason for not playing Teague. [that we know of]

sam'l

December 27th, 2010
2:04 am

If the Hawks can’t stop a good pick and roll, pull out the tapes, watch em until they make sense, then go out on the floor and run through the pick and roll………until they get it!

If the other team starts putting together a hot streak, call a timeout, analyze the situation and put an end to it.

If anyone cannot play defense, either correct this or ship them out.

Grandad

December 27th, 2010
2:05 am

That was me.

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
2:12 am

LD was a really bad hire..

Sund just quit dude……

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
2:14 am

The Hawks have not been able to defend a pick and roll since Mookie Blaylock retired over 10 years ago……

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
2:17 am

Watching Josh Smith operate in the 4th quarter is like stubbing you big toe, it really hurts like a mother………

Clyde

December 27th, 2010
2:25 am

“I’ve followed and rooted for this franchise my entire life but it’s just a whip watching the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and it never changing.”
-@DanWeiner

Clyde

December 27th, 2010
2:33 am

The Falcons are on the minds of Atlanta Sports Fans. Nobody cares about the Hawks.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 27th, 2010
2:35 am

Hawks play at Milwaukee tomorrow night. More genius NBA scheduling. How many metro Atlanta TV sets are going to be tuned to that game? 5? 6?

If I was David Stern, NBA opening day would be New Years’ Day, or maybe even MLK Day. Why compete with the NFL for three months when you can compete with the much weaker MLB during the summer?

Clyde

December 27th, 2010
2:36 am

Here is the problem I got with the Hawks.

We got blown out 2 years in a row in the second round and we bring back the same team for a 3rd year. Common sense would tell you to make some moves but the Hawks didn’t do anything to better the team. Now we are experiencing the same ole problems and people are tired of it.

Rise Up Spirit Group and make some changes.

Ronald McDonald

December 27th, 2010
2:48 am

Things are looking oddly familiar. Is this deja-vu? Is L.D. going to grow a goatee and shave his eyebrows soon?

MR. KRISPY KREME JR

December 27th, 2010
5:40 am

THE HAWKS ARE JUST ANOTHER MEDIOCRE NBA FRANCHISE !! JUST END ALL BLOGS, SPECULATIONS, AND DISCUSSIONS…THE HAWKS WILL LOSE OUT THIS YEAR AND CONTINUE TO LOSE OUT UNTIL WE GET SOME PEOPLE IN HERE WHO KNOW HOW TO RUN AN NBA FRANCHISE..FROM THE OWNERS TO THE COACHES, TO THE PLAYERS ON DOWN, THE PERSONNEL IN PLACE JUST SUCKS TURD AS ALWAYS….GEEZ LD DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THE PURPOSE OF A BENCH IS…AND WHAT IN THE NAME OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IS RICK SUND DOING AS GM…BEATING HIS MEAT ??? COME ON I’VE BEEN A HAWKS FAN FOR 25 FREAKIN YEARS AND ALL I KEEP HEARING IS QUOTES LIKE ” OH WE MUST PLAY HARDER OR ” WE DIDNT PLAY WITH ENOUGH ENERGY ” …LISTEN, IM JUST TIRED OF THE MEDIOCRACY OF THE HAWKS AND THE NBA IN GENERAL..ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE CAN WE CHANGE ? YES WE CAN !!!

terrell

December 27th, 2010
5:46 am

Ken Strickland, remember when you said the Celtics were old, and the Heat werent all that? And that the Hawks were younger, with better coaching, better offensive philosophies, better rotations, learning how to win on the road, etc…………..? Still feel the same way? Told you it was a little too early to be making any kind of predictions about the C’s, the Heat, and the same ole up and down Hawks. I’m losing what little faith I had in LD and this team in general by the minute. Still early, but I’ve seen nothing whatsoever to make me believe this Hawks team can compete with the before mentioned. Dont think we’ll compete with Orlando either, once they gwet settled in. Cause like Stan said, “we’ve been together for 6 hours, they’ve been together for 6 years”.

T r u t h S e r u m

December 27th, 2010
5:51 am

I couldnt enjoy this more. Good job idiots. keep suckking horfords nutz while he refuses to play defense and you will go down down down.

We miss you mike woodson.

Larry Drew and the Bubba Crew!

terrell

December 27th, 2010
6:16 am

TS, LD might not be the best Coach, but youre the ONLY one who misses Woody. Please!

dap01

December 27th, 2010
7:48 am

Poor game for Larry Drew.

dukester

December 27th, 2010
7:49 am

Now if the ASG feel this team does not need tweaking they are crazy. Some parts of this core needs changing bottom line. PG and Center needs to be addressed. Point blank.

drmaryb (*_*)

December 27th, 2010
8:13 am

You Talking ’bout The Hawks?

Child Please!
Bump That!

Mike is back

December 27th, 2010
8:17 am

MC, great breakdown of the game…WHAT DO YOU…say about a team…when the HC and the Assistance come out and openly admit that this team…takes too many jumps…AND AT THE START…of every half…the guys goes right back out there…and hoist up jumps shots…go figure????

Same ole Hawks…when the pressure is on…during critical stretches of the game…they have a propensity of wilting under duress…it’s as though they haven’t figured out…that they are beating themselves…by letting the opponent of the hook…with poor execution of the offensive scheme…that’s why they are not considers an elite team… elite teams don’t beat themselves…ultimately squandering away winnable games…will come back to haunt THE HAWKS at some point in the season.

Carlos

December 27th, 2010
8:18 am

With as much time, thought and participation I see on here by some, the best and most reasonable comments by far were by Clyde at 2:33 AM and MR. KRISPY KREME JR at 5:40 AM.

Their overall message is simple and not as complex as the essays worth of philosophy and material some of you guys put, but it’s way more realistic.

The bottomline is that the hawks wont do ANYTHING until major changes are made with this team. Player personnel, front office, and-or coaching.

You guys can kid yourselves with all the silly talk about

“well if Josh did this….”
“Josh has been working on this….”
“well if Teague got some minutes….”
“Where is JC2???”
“I hope we go with the big line up and Collins starting….”
“Bring Marvin off the bench….”
“Well if you look at the +/- and per statistics”
“Well if we played this and that type of Defense/offense…Josh/Crawford/Teague would do better”

NON-SENSE…..This team is going NOWHERE with the roster we have right now.

STRETCH

December 27th, 2010
8:41 am

The Hawks wont win a darn thing until they release that its time to end the relationship with Josh Smith. Best to do it now while he still has value.

i_am_soulstar

December 27th, 2010
8:51 am

If I didn’t see the game, but saw the boxscore, I would’ve sworn Woody was coaching.

Ramon

December 27th, 2010
9:03 am

Why does it seem as if 2 or 3 people are posting with multiple names?

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
9:50 am

“Why does it seem as if 2 or 3 people are posting with multiple names?

Because their beloved Hawks play like two or three different teams every night but the results are the same.Garbage……………….

Samuel

December 27th, 2010
9:52 am

Why do you guys keep talking about the “motion offense”. I told yall it was a “smoke screen” by LD to get the job. NBA players will not consistently run a motion offense. Too much running.

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
9:54 am

Keep iso Joe.Do you and just hoist them up. The 3 stooges will disappear in the 4th quarters anyway..Show America you da man!!

steve brown

December 27th, 2010
9:57 am

Josh Smith =JSmooth=JS=Just Selfish. Not a player I can get behind (except for the few games each year that an alien takes control of his brain). Get his behind outta here for players that understand there is no JS in team.

slimjr

December 27th, 2010
9:58 am

Motion Offense only works if you have have talent at the 1,2,&3, the 4 and 5 just need to rebound and defend well with occasional put backs or dunks. Add in a couple of JUMP SHOTS which our HAWKS 4 and 5 don’t have. They shoot set shots which I will not pay to watch since my jump shot is far superior…..

J.J.M

December 27th, 2010
9:59 am

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS

TRADE MO AND JAMAL FOR MONTA ELLIS