Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 103, Warriors 93

Zaza got in on the frontcourt mauling (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

Zaza got in on the frontcourt mauling (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

  • At Milwaukee the Hawks shut down one of the league’s slowest-paced and least efficient offensive teams while getting key baskets to hold them off. This time the Hawks shredded one of the league’s least efficient defensive teams and got key stops against a faced-pace opponent to hold them off.
  • There’s something to be said for the Hawks handling their business in this way, particularly since they executed their offensive plan so efficiently: 44 of 86 field goals (with 36 attempts in the paint for 44 points) and 31 assists.
  • “At times we revert back to isolations, but that’s fine because we have some good isolation players,” L.D. said. “For the most part we are doing what we want to do.”
  • The Hawks took a look at Golden State’s thin frontcourt (no Biedrins or Gadzuric) and decided to exploit it. When the Warriors started overplaying Al and Smoove (and Joe when he was in the post) the Hawks regularly swung the ball around until the open man took an unrushed shot.
  • “The game plan was just to play inside out,” Al said. “I think when we do that we usually have a lot of success. Josh is unselfish and I’m unselfish. When there’s a double team, we usually kick it out to the guards. That’s how we got going as a team, then later that opened up everything else.”
  • It never felt like the Hawks were going to lose but it could have been a blowout if not for their bumbling in transition for turnovers. The Hawks wanted to run smart, and they did, but they were awful at finishing. Even the normally reliable Al threw a couple away.
  • “We had some careless turnovers on the break, [including] myself,” he said. “I try not to do that. I want to look back and see where I can improve in that area. We could have had a lot more opportunities on the fast break.”
  • The Warriors were even more careless with the ball. I lost count of their unforced errors. The weird thing was how eventually they seemed to just kind of shrug their shoulders as if they expect such things to happen. So what’s the point of being upset?
  • Golden State had better success working for open shots in the halfcourt. Not surprisingly, Stephen Curry was able to dance into Atlanta’s interior defense even though he’s just three games into his return from a balky ankle.
  • Curry and Monta Ellis just didn’t shoot nearly well enough to overcome Golden State’s suspect D and 18 turnovers (for 20 Atlanta points). J.J. constantly backed down Ellis, who tired to hold his ground but just couldn’t. “Some nights he’s just not going to have it,” Golden State coach Keith Smart said. “Guarding bigger guys will take some of his energy on nights like this.”
  • J.J. passed Lenny Wilkens for 10th on the franchise scoring list.
  • “I’m a big fan of Lenny,” he said. “It’s an honor and a privilege. It says a lot not just about me, but about this team and organization and where we’ve come to where we are now. We are just trying to do big things. We’ve got so much potential in this locker room; we just have to stay confident and believe, and the sky’s the limit.”
  • J.J. had 16 points on 14 shots and also eight assists. “When I see him with eight assists, it means he is playing the right way,” Drew said.
  • J.J. said he still can’t fully extend his right elbow and put his health at 90 percent. When you shoot the ball you’ve got to pop your elbow and I can’t quite do that,” he said. “When I’m on the court, I don’t really think about it. As long as we win, that’s all that matters.”
  • It looks like Josh Powell is out and Zaza is in (though such things are always subject to change with L.D.). Maybe that’s why Zaza looked so spry while putting up 11 points, seven rebounds and smothering David Lee.
  • Jamal was just 2 for 10 from the floor but had six assists against one turnover. He passed up some pretty good looks to get teammates better shots. At least he will do that when his offense isn’t working.
  • Fast-paced game, pick-and-roll-a-rama and Teague played just three minutes. I guess that’s just how it’s going to be for him.
  • Marvin suffered a lower back bruise when he fell to the floor in the third quarter. “I got up quick but when I tried to walk back to the bench it locked up on me,” he said. “I will see how it feels tomorrow.”

Michael Cunningham

201 comments Add your comment

J from the A

December 29th, 2010
11:43 pm

Two firsts in one day?!

rusty

December 29th, 2010
11:45 pm

Thank god for al& Josh,no for ld

JeJe

December 29th, 2010
11:45 pm

Marvin with Back Bruise. LOL! You can’t tell if his back is injured or not the way he walks.

What will be his January injury? Broken thumbnail + out for 7 weeks? GTFOH

No. GTFOOT (Get The…Off our team)

J from the A

December 29th, 2010
11:45 pm

Yes!

On topic: Good analysis, MC. Good game, Hawks!

Now let’s see if the Hawks can execute for 48 minutes against some of the higher-caliber opponents, starting with OKC Friday night would be nice.

JeJe

December 29th, 2010
11:47 pm

From previous blog….Rod from CP & Najeh:

“Please name me one thing Marvin does better than Josh besides free throw shooting, shooting the 3, turning invisible and walking like something is bothering him (no homo).”

You’re being awfully generous, Rod. Smoove’s 3 point percentage is 7 points higher than Marvin’s this year.

Marvin has a quicker release on his shot, and he shoots free throws better. That’s ALL he does better than Smoove. Comparing the two is quite frankly idiotic.”

—-

LOL!!!!!!

Guy had 6 and 3 against freaking GOLDEN STATE.

Dorell Wright had 32 points, most of which Marvin is responsible for. HMM MAYBE WRIGHT LIKES TO SHOOT 3S AND YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY GUARD HIM?

LOL @ THESE RANDOM INJURIES MARVIN KEEPS GETTING. OF COURSE YOU’LL GET HURT WHEN YOU DON’T WORK OUT DURING THE SUMMER AND SIT ON THE COUCH WATCHING SPONGEBOB IN YOUR UNDERWEAR

drmaryb (*_*)

December 30th, 2010
12:29 am

Fire Ryan!
Because he sad this:

“I like Marvins attitude 10 times better. I say trade Josh for a Center move Al to foward or trade josh and bibby for a point guard and start collins.”
__________________________

And we thought Sund sucks?

Did The Bulls like Rodman’s attitude? No! They liked his rebounding!
Did The Lakers like Artest’s attitude? No! They liked his defense!

I don’t even care if The Hawks don’t like each other, I never like many of my co-workers at GE Capital the seven years I was there balling either. But, I loved my job and the paychecks was very nice (6 Figures). As a professional, you show up every day, do your job and don’t punch your Boss.

These guys are paid to play and win! Just Win Baby! Be a Pro!

drmaryb (*_*)

December 30th, 2010
12:42 am

27th Pick!

Rusty, be patient with Jordan Crawford. He is a gunner a high volume scorer. The league is riddled with his kind. Understand, JC2 was not drafted by The Clippers or the Hawks of 6 years ago with 13 wins.

Jordan came to a 53 Win team, we don’t need his scoring – man we need perimeter defense. When Jordan was selected, we didn’t have Joe. Joe was in L.A. not returning calls to the Hawks. Jamal was pounding the table for a contract extension or be traded.

Jordan was drafted just in case we had no SG! Now, he is buried behind three of them. He may be traded for a PG or C, who knows.

This is a business man, not a love fest! The Celtics traded for Nate Robinson last season at the trade deadline and Doc sat him for 34 Games straight and told him to be ready to win a game in the play offs! Now, Nate was a proven scorer, he dropped 41 on our Hawks 6 weeks (I believe), before he was traded to Boston. The Celtics didn’t need him to score, they needed him to sit, watch and learn how to play Celtic’s Basketball! Run their offense and most of all: Play some damned DEFENSE!

You Heard?

O'Brien

December 30th, 2010
12:58 am

Al is right. When the Hawks play inside out, they usually have success. But sometimes the guards go away from the bigs.

I’m happy for the win, even though the game should not have been close going into the 4th. But it would be nice to get a win in OKC on Friday night. After starting off good on the road, we have struggled there.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

December 30th, 2010
12:59 am

KG’s injury bodes well for the Hawks – they better take advantage and move up in the conference standings while he is out.

LuvSolDat

December 30th, 2010
1:17 am

I was at the game & I have to say when we move the ball two to three touches we get fluid easy points. Josh hasnt been getting the blocks as frequently as of late but he had great poke away steals to go with his better shot selection tonight, when Jamal passed up the trey to Smoove for the trey I knew it was money. JoJo’s jumper is getting silkier every day & he is the man like it or not. ZaZa had a solid inspired game too. Good game all in all.. Go Hawks…

kwooden1

December 30th, 2010
1:28 am

Good win, especially against a team which usually causes us a lot of problems. Al and Josh dominated inside and guys played adequate defensive on the perimeter. Curry clearly was hurting and Ellis just didn’t have it tonight. I question not playing Teague a lot, but at least Bibby didn’t play more than 28 minutes. (which is my personal limit for him) Joe had another tough shooting night, but always brings it on the defensive end and had another good assist night. Everyones getting on Evans, but he’s had some good shooting nights lately. Overall the bench did a nice job, but that really just means Mo and Zaza.

I’ll take the win.

GO HAWKS!!

lewis

December 30th, 2010
1:49 am

appreciate mo’s efforts with the knee but he’s getting beat too often on d
more damien

Clyde

December 30th, 2010
2:12 am

Free Jordan Crawford

Najeh Davenpoop

December 30th, 2010
2:49 am

Josh said the same thing as Al when interviewed at halftime, that when the ball goes inside good things happen. Al is efficient when it comes to scoring inside, while Josh makes it a point to pass to the open guy. This has been the case for at least a couple of years now, that the Hawks’ offense flows better when Al and Josh are the focus. They have done a slightly better job of emphasizing that under LD than they did under Woody, but it still needs to be something the guards consciously do.

hawkfan

December 30th, 2010
3:09 am

kind of interesting, but I wonder if Larry Drew still keeps in contact with Woodson on how to coach to this team effectively and what Woodson tells him as advice, because it sure looks like a 3rd party is in these rotation lineups, from the start of the season till now playing time has decreased or been inconsistent more often then not like it’s now panic mode

Big Ray

December 30th, 2010
7:52 am

Solid win. We didn’t let them run our game on us for most of the night.

Marvin Williams can shut his trap about starting vs. coming off the bench. His offense was nearly nonexistent, he got outrebounded by a significantly smaller small forward, and he got TORCHED by the guy as well. In short, he didn’t do anything right for the bulk of his playing time.

On the flip side of the coin, he has played well in several of the previous 8 games, so let’s see how he bounces back. Oh wait, I forgot. He hurt his back, so we can expect an excuse for him if he sucks in the next 5-10 games. And for a special somebody on this blog:

It WAS a bad pick

Big Ray

December 30th, 2010
7:53 am

Teague probably wakes up these days thinking he Larry Drew is Mike Woodson reincarnated.

Meanwhile, I could not understand why Drew played Crawford so much last night. The guy STUNK, and NO he did NOT defer with the ball nearly as much as has been suggested. Going 2 for 10 from the field isn’t my idea of passing up shots. It’s called MISSING THEM.

dap01

December 30th, 2010
8:36 am

Larry Drew could not bear to take Bibby’s 3 assist and 3 turnovers out of the game a couple of minutes in order to let Teague get a little experience.

Has anyone noticed that when our forwards get a defensive rebound, they push the ball up? If the guards get a pass or rebound, the ball stops. Bibby shoots well but does nothing else even close to average.

Come on LD!

i_am_soulstar

December 30th, 2010
8:38 am

I want this win against OKC bad.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe OKC was the only team that the Hawks didn’t get a win against last season.

Lacsho

December 30th, 2010
8:48 am

What’s good Big Ray?

SMH- I just don’t understand the rotations!!!!

Until we get new ownership, the Hawks will always be a Hot Mess!!!

It was not a bad pick

December 30th, 2010
8:57 am

Big Ray
I never understood why the Hawks even kept that pick…the hawks should have traded the pick..They had no intentions for the guy who they drafted to be no more than a role player..After they traded their life away for Joe Max?….Marvin has been wasted..Against GS, he was 3-7..he only got 7 damn shots..The #2 pick gets 7 shots….if they did what you wanted and drafted Williams or Paul, 2 things would have happened…1.Both would have sat on the bench for 2 years anyway with Woody, the iso offense would not have been kind to them..Dribble it up and get it to Joe. or Flip or jamal and stand in the corner, While Josh has ALWAYS had the green light to jack up untimely jumpers. …2. When we traded our soul for Joe Max, we comitted alot..Money,Money, and him having the ball all game..What the hell would Joe do without the ball? If I was Marvin I would request a trade right now..Get out why you can..I was completely wrong about Drew..he is almost worst than Woodson..

vava74

December 30th, 2010
8:59 am

Big Ray,

Yes, it was the same guy who said to start Teague and… you know what?… that guy is keeping his view on it.

Teague should start every game and play with the big boys and depending on his production Bibby would come in either earlier or later in the first period.

That would develop Teague faster and soon we would know what’s his value.

My guess is that he would struggle against a few teams in the early days but within 10/15 games he would averaging a solid 25/28 minutes per game.

What we saw against Boston is the real Teague, the Teague that was fearless coming off college and that just needs to string a few games together playing 25+ minutes to have a breakout moment.

Also, as said above, Bibby could still be a double digit scorer coming off the bench because when he is hot he can still get 3 or 4 buckets in a row.

He may not be able to create his own shots but he is more reliable than Jamal to knock the open jumper so we could use either as a designated scorer off the bench depending on how the game was flowing and how the defense were playings.

Notwithstanding all the above, it should be noted that yesterday Bibby played a very solid defensive game and when Teague got a bit of light he didn’t. He let Curry get by him twice for drives and dishes that produced two easy buckets.

Duello

December 30th, 2010
8:59 am

Alright, here’s my new theory on Drew and Teague. Drew likes to guard the quicker guards with someone taller. That way they can play off to take away the driving lanes, but still be able to harass the jump shot. This theory at least gives Drew credit for having some sort of plan with Teague.

But really, isn’t it almost insulting to just throw the guy out for three minutes at the start of the 4th. It’s like Drew was thinking “I get called out when Teague gets a DNP, so I need to throw him out there for a little bit…”

clarkekent

December 30th, 2010
9:01 am

Dap01…
you are correct.. Al and Josh push the ball more than Joe and Bibby. Bibby skips all the way up the court ..cross half court then hand it to joe. Jamal and Teague are the only guards who push the ball and one of them can’t get enough playing time. Al and Josh almost always beat bibby up the court and they are the ones who got the rebound. Seriously, watch it closely.

How does your center and power foward play help defense on the pentrating guard, still get back to the glass to box out there man, get the rebound, turn and start up court and still beat your PG down the floor. Who i might add, got beat off a pick and roll, and is the reason why they had to help in the first place. Which is another reson they (C and PF) pick up early fouls…. Your guard cant stay in front of his man. it was the luck of the draw that stephen curry had a bad ankle (but he still got in the paint passed bibby of course)and Monta was off tonight.

Lacsho

December 30th, 2010
9:06 am

What’s good Vava- you nailed it!!!!

It was not a bad pick

December 30th, 2010
9:08 am

i could see if Marvin had to defer to Kobe or LBJ..but Joe Max?..Josh”Bad shot”Smith, and Jamal”If my shot aint falling what do I do”Crawford..Last night Jamal came in at pg..lol..and jacked up 10 shots and made 2..Time to bash marvin?…I like Josh, but never understood why Marvin, the 5th option in this crazy lineup, gets bash more than Josh..Typical 2 minute stretch for Josh: bad long shot, bad long shot,turnover trying to lead the break, then he will block a shot and he is a hero…Its time for Marvin to grow some kahunas and request a trade..JT better pray that he is involved in that trade also…It looks like he is the next victim…Jordan could be next..the Hawks should have never kept woodson around 5 years and then hire a bigger dummy then woodson..

Geemack

December 30th, 2010
9:15 am

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

“KG’s injury bodes well for the Hawks – they better take advantage and move up in the conference standings while he is out”

Wow! Is that how you want the Hawks to move up, because another player got injured?

vava74

December 30th, 2010
9:24 am

And, why is everyone overreacting about Marvin’s production last night?

Jezzzzz…. he had a string of good games and almost everyone who is not a super duper superstar has bad games.

Now, if he injured his back again and will revert back to being a non factor, please protest all that you want but focusing on his production last night is an overreaction.

Just look at the much beloved Granger: he is shooting .411 from the floor this year and his past 2 games he shot .238 (5-21) and .389 (7-18).

Rudy – max contract – Gay in his last 4 games had 2 in which he shot .250 (4-16) and .356 (6-17).

Marvin had 6 solid games out of the last 8. He is shooting .480 from the floor and his 3 point shooting is improving rapidly after an horrible beginning of the season.

This is not – by all means – a blind vote of trust in Marvin not disappearing again but simply that right now its an overreaction.

He was 3-7 with at least 2 shots rimming out but with good alignment and to put on him all the blame for Wright’s 32 points is preposterous. Sometimes when a guy is balling, it’s just that.

KevinM

December 30th, 2010
9:28 am

With all the banter here, you would have thought the Hawks lost last night. I can agree with alot said here, but they did win this one against a team that doesn’t really have a game plan. GS got little from their backcourt and it wasn’t because of our perimeter defenders.

DMB – 2 thumbs up! That’s some good stuff there…JC2 wants a slot? He has to take minutes from JC1…plain and simple. He’s the rook and he better be ready when called upon.

We ought to treat Marvin and his comments like he treats us with his performance: like we didn’t even know he was on the court. This guy continues to disappear….also tell him he left his defense at home.
And how about his 1/2 hour spotlight show afterwards? I will have it memorized in about 2 weeks with all the times they have shown it this season. Cmon Marvin, no more comments about startin’…just play when you’re told to play.

The Teague/Bibby minutes debate rages on….not a lot you can say on that one….at least someone else thinks Teague has value…we are just stuck with the Bibby/Zaza/Marvin rotation until their contracts run out.

But, a win is a win, and time to hit the road….

Mike is back

December 30th, 2010
9:37 am

MC, first off…even though it was GS…a win is a win…so Good Win by the Hawks!!

Big Ray, I think LD will eventually follow through on giving Teague more PT…however I don’t think it will be as a starter…I think he eventually get his chance…he just has to stay ready…it is what it is.

I do wish LD would stay true and open up competition for more than just the PG and Center positions…it’s already paying dividend…look at the improve play of Zaza and Bibby…these guys are being push and they are responding…and Marvin can say what it wants…he plays more motivated coming off the pine…it’s not a hard decision for me…play Marvin where he helps the team more…that’s coming off the bench…save for injury to a key starter.

As long as LD is holding everyone accountable at the same level…I’m cool with that…however thus far…that hasn’t been the case…still wouldn’t throw dude under the bus…and call him another Woody…it’s too soon.

Woody take yo pins out of your LD doll…this is one of boy’s folk…heh heh…lol

Westurd

December 30th, 2010
9:46 am

Free Teague….

Astro Joe

December 30th, 2010
10:02 am

Didn’t Josh get benched about 2 games ago when he kept launching perimeter shots (and missing) against the Bucks? How many times have we heard LD say that he wants Josh to start out in the paint… but Josh starts out on the perimeter? Stop blaming the guards for every perimeter shot and go look at how many jumpers our “bigs” take in an average game. No doubt, we should be playing closer tot he basket but that’s on all 5 to make happen.

Sorry guys, MC already covered the Teague story. LD clearly thinks that the good/bad of playing the youngster weighs too heavily on the not good side. He went from a consistent rotational player to something of a situational player. He had his shot and his coach, who undoubtedly supported him from jump, lost confidence in Teague. I, for one, trust the head coach in these situations. There are better options in front of Teague. At best, he may be our consistent back-up PG of the future but lets not project any further than that.

Rufus1

December 30th, 2010
10:11 am

This article Peachtreehoops.com

This is for those people who think Woody> or = to LD as a coach
“The Hawks are now 21-13 on the season and as I noted in yesterday’s game thread, they are only one game off of their pace from last season when they were 22-12 after 34 games. Maybe that can provide some perspective in what has seemed like an up and down early part to the season. Look at it this way. If before the season I had told you that Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, and Marvin Williams would all miss significant time in the first 34 games and the Hawks would have one less win than they did at this point last season would you have took it? Just something to think about going forward. At any rate the team is now re-establishing some home dominance having won nine in a row at Philips Arena while being 12-5 at home overall.”

The Hawks had no major injuries in the 1st 34 games.

Rufus1

December 30th, 2010
10:13 am

“last year The Hawks had no major injuries in the 1st 34 games.”

It was not a bad pick

December 30th, 2010
10:14 am

Astro Joe

If Jt is smart he better get the hell out of ATL..drew is just like woodson

Rufus1

December 30th, 2010
10:15 am

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
10:35 am

It Was – It looks that way. Teague is going to be a solid player for somebody in this League. Hope it’s ATL.

KevinM

December 30th, 2010
10:38 am

The reason LD is hear is because they like the core and they didn’t want to go too far away from what the ASG deem has been as successful.

The Hawks are in the same position they were a year ago, and many expected as much. It’s what happens going forward against a tougher schedule that is upcoming. This is a team of streaks.

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
10:45 am

KevinM – Yea, this 4 games in 6 day West Coast trip kinda has my concerned. The Thunder and Jazz with Clips and Kings sandwiched in the middle. We could easily go 1-3. Or worse.

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
10:51 am

My Take on LD: He is a much better pre-game coach than Woody. Hence, we get out to bog early leads, and almost always play better in the 1st half than the 2nd half. But he doesn’t seem to anticipate other teams adjustments at the half, so the 3rd and 4th quarters we struggle.

He is Woody light. Especially in his struggle to develop Teague and JC2. You can’t expect Teague to have = basketball smarts to 2 30+ year old vets like Jamal and Bibby. And you can only learn so much in practice. He’s just going to have to bite the bullet, and say for the good of the team and franchise, Teague plays, mistakes and all.

I guess Josh Powell is either resting his knee, or he’s joined Damien on the end of the bench?

Mo Evans is our player rep with the Union. LD is a former player. Any questions on why he plays?

It was not a bad pick

December 30th, 2010
10:51 am

SteveW

this is crazy, ownership should have brought a coach from outside the hawks organization..Too many young players being wasted for average players..

KevinM

December 30th, 2010
10:53 am

Steve, you gotta be thrilled with a 2-2 split. This team has enough depth to do it….LD has to find time for Powell. I just don’t think he throws Teague out there in this WC swing.
The only way Teague’s minutes go up is if Bibby gets hurt. He is a lock for 35 minutes.

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
10:55 am

And if you would have told me Marvin, Mo, Jamal, and JJ would be out and injured for stretches before the season, I would have told you we would be a .500 team right now. So LD is doing something right. And I like LD’s lineup changes based on who we’re playing.

Hope Al makes another All Star game. The East has some good C’s behind Howard: Barnini, Lopez, Bogut, Noah (hurt now). And Bosh will probably make it ahead of Smoove, both behind Stoudamire. And Jackson or Richardson probably makes it ahead of JJ.

So we may have 3 All Stars or none. It just depends…

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
10:59 am

We’ll need Teague against Westbrook, another not pure PG who’s doing pretty good, and we’ll need him against DeRon. Teague would eat Baron Davis alive, but he probably won’t be allowed to.

Baron Davis is the 1 PG starting in the NBA I think Bibby can man up on.

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
11:00 am

Bibby and Baron work out at the same gym, Burger King.

Sautee

December 30th, 2010
11:04 am

“It was not a bad pick”

said this: “Its time for Marvin to grow some kahunas and request a trade..”

OK, now there’s a start. At LEAST you are now admitting that Marvin lacks “stones”.

Don’t you think that’s part of why he gets criticized here?

If Marvin played like he had “kahunas” then he would have gotten the shots you say he needs to be a consistent scorer. Instead he disappears for long stretches of many games.

And you want to put it all on the coach? Ummm, ok, yeah right.

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
11:07 am

I still remember Teague’s famous DLeague statement. I don’t need to learn to be a true PG. I’ll mostly be passing the ball up the court in the wings to either JJ or Jamal (paraphrase). It was then I said Uh-oh, the kid doesn’t have a clue. Then he gets hurt in training camp, and has been behind ever since.

But I still say start him. Bibby can’t look at the bench as a demotion, but as a different way to help the team win. Bibby would still get his minutes, and be much fresher for the playoffs.

With Teague at Point, and ZaZa playing beast inside, we can beat the Heat. We have the tools to do it.

The Celts on the other hand may have to much beef inside, especially if Perkins gets back. He’ ahead of schedule and already back at practice, may be back before the end of January. But if KG is gone…

SteveW

December 30th, 2010
11:09 am

I still say we match up pretty well with everybody in the East if we utilize our talent. We may surprise some people.

Rev in Tampa

December 30th, 2010
11:22 am

Rufus1,

Thanks for the quote from Peachtreehoops.com. It is interesting to see how this year’s Hawks team is so similar in the standings to last year’s team at this point in the seaon. It is a cause for confidence to remember that last year’s team was free from the injury bug but is still at the same place in the standings.

However, this also brought back for me the overwhelming feelings of frustration that this team has caused me over the past two years. I remember when the Hawks topped the ESPN Power Rankings last year for ONE WEEK. When that ranking came out I printed it out and taped to the door in my church office. I especially highlighted that the Hawks were ranked above the Magic and the Celtics. (Here in Tampa basketball fans cheer for the Magic somewhat, but more for the Celtics since they are all d—- yankees). I talked smack for about three days until the Hawks went on that bewildering losing streak and fell like a rock from the top of the Power Rankings.

Granted, the Hawks are doing some things better this season. And there is the foundation for an improved team this year in the playoffs, but there are frustrating traits to this team that defy explanation. And these frustrating traits were a part of the personality of last year’s team. These frustrating traits are more mental than physical. That’s what makes this team so frustrating some times – they can be better than they are without adding any other pieces to the team.

After watching this team this season I believe that the Hawks can move past the second round of the playoffs if they will improve their MENTAL approach to the game. However, if they stay the same team MENTALLY then we should expect the same result as last year in the playoffs.

The only way for the Hawks to grow mentally is for Drew to hold the players accountable (especially on defense). It was disturbing on one of the last couple of blogs to hear that Drew is still switching on D in order to hide the deficiencies. This may help the Hawks win in the short-term but will not force this team to grow in mental toughness in the long-term. I think Drew needs to make a decision that will take mental toughness on his part – that is, throw Teague into the starting role now.

That being said, I don’t believe the Hawks can win an NBA championship as currently constructed. The Hawks are too imbalanced right now to be considered an elite team. I am still hoping AGAINST HOPE that a trade will be made sometime this season to help this team take another step forward.

6th seed

December 30th, 2010
11:27 am

The hawks are a few percentage points ahead of the knicks in 5th seed. Expect this to be a battle all season long as the Knicks players learn each other and uses their talent to pass the hawks into 5 seeding.

The hawks will probably end up a six seed. Clearly last year team and coach was superior.