Hawks 100, Kings 98

Greetings, all-

Hope you enjoyed the game. Sorry this is a bit late. I felt bad for Moses, the poor soul has to wait for me to leave the media work room before he can go home, and went home to write the blog.

An impressive comeback for the home team, though one necessitated by the Hawks’ lack of interest in playing defense in the first half and to some extent in the third quarter I asked Larry Drew if he was more encouraged by the way the team played in the fourth or discouraged in the first three quarters, particularly given that they fell into the same trip against Houston on Saturday and, not surprisingly, he said the former.

“This could have been a really bad loss going into Miami,” he said. “That’s just not a good feeling.”

More from Drew: “After the way we played against Houston, I really expected us to come out and play with more of a sense of urgency, especially having lost a game, having had a bad performance against Houston. … I told our guys at halftime we came out soft and we played soft across the board.”

He and Joe Johnson both made mention of how the team can’t afford to overlook teams like Sacramento and just turn it on in the fourth. But the fact of the matter, at least Monday, was that they could. I guess the Hawks had some things in their favor, like that the Kings had to be a bit taxed because they’re at the end of a six-game road streak, but I suppose it’s sort of a good sign that the Hawks can play that badly for a half and still win.

- A pretty forgettable night for Zaza Pachulia. He got his first foul as soon as he checked in, on a rebound off a free throw, got his second less than a minute later and got his third the next time he was in. Three minutes, three rebounds. He did have one rebound. And he put a heck of a clothesline on Beno Udrih.

- Jeff Teague was the only Hawk who didn’t get in. If memory serves, I think Drew had put in the whole team besides Teague by the end of the first quarter. He had a DNP the first time the Hawks played Sacramento Jan. 4. His minutes have been kinda skimpy this month. In the five games he’s gotten in, he’s gotten nine, three, five, seven and 11 minutes.

- As you might have seen in the notebook, Drew said the team is going to re-sign Damien Wilkins to a second 10-day deal. The first one ends Tuesday. I talked to Wilkins before I knew what the team was going to do, and he was in the dark. He just said he planned on making the trip to Miami.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen once we land or I wake up in the morning, but we’ll see,” he said.

Drew said the team doesn’t know what it’ll do when this 10-day runs out. The Hawks will have to either sign him for the rest of the year or let him go.

- Udrih was a team-best plus-13 for the Kings. He was the only starter who was the plus side. He was getting to the basket pretty easily, particularly in the first half. While I’ve never seen Udrih play before, I’m going to guess the Hawks’ flimsy defense had a little bit to do with it.

- Josh Smith said he hopes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh play Tuesday. James has missed the past two games with an ankle injury. Wade is nursing a knee injury, Bosh an ankle.

“You’re trying to get wins, but you definitely want to do it against a full deck on their side because you really can’t measure where you are as a team if you don’t play against the big three,” he said.

- Johnson is turning it on. He’s shooting 52.4 percent and averaging 28.9 points per game in January.

“You can see he had that bounce in his step,” Drew said. “He wasn’t hesitating on his shot, he was getting some good looks. I thought he was aggressive off the dribble. When he did have a chance to isolate, he made some things happen.”

125 comments Add your comment

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:16 pm

We are soft.

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:17 pm

ZaZa, Etan, Mo’, Wilkens are the least soft Hawks, you know the ones who rarely play.

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:22 pm

The blog monster ate my last rant. Must have been politically incorrect.

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:23 pm

It was actually very lucid and accurate. Maybe no criticism of LD is allowed.

honest_abe

January 17th, 2011
11:23 pm

Time to beat a good team…
Kudos to jj hes been on fire. Sad display of energy and defense.

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:24 pm

Teague DNP. Go ahead and do the Jason Thompson trade the Kings offered if your not going to develop the kid. Unless LD wouldn’t play Thompson either.

SteveW

January 17th, 2011
11:25 pm

JJ has in fact been on fire. Maybe another All Star berth coming his way.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 17th, 2011
11:28 pm

The Big Two and a Half all missed practice today. Wade is probable, LeBrick is a game time decision, and Bosh is doubtful.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 17th, 2011
11:31 pm

If LeBrickashaw does play, we better see a lot of Damien. He was great against him in the first meeting.

rusty

January 17th, 2011
11:32 pm

Ken. Will you please ask ld why he refuses to play jc2 & why he isn’t playing jt enough to grow. I really want to hear what he will say. I can’t imagine anything that will make any sense

Dept of unintended

January 18th, 2011
12:31 am

Josh be careful what you ask for..If the big 3 come back to play tonight you’ll lose by 40 on the road dude!! You guys suck on the road against the elites….

Dept of unintended

January 18th, 2011
12:33 am

it was a horrible pick:
Hey Marvin you looked good on the bench tonight all dressed up!!Why dont you just stay there.

Rod from College Park

January 18th, 2011
12:47 am

Ken Strickland,

“During our recent winning streak, I recall numerous comments suggesting we trade Marvin ASAP. The suggestion being we’ve proven we can win without him. Well, as teams adjust to what we’re doing without him, have you noticed how our DEF has started to really suffer in his absence, especially with our starters? Mo Evans isn’t the DEF player he once was, and he doesn’t have Marvins size, strength, versatility or explosiveness.”

So we have won 8 of our last 10, the best streak we have had all year, in our last 5 games, starting SF’s have averaged 11 pts per game against us, but we miss Marvin’s defense (LOL)? What was he going to do, stop Scola? Stop Aaron Brooks from penetrating and hitting 3’s? Marvin’s size means nothing, he plays like he is 6 feet. Strength???? Versatility and explosiveness???? Are we watching the same player? Our defense is no better or worse without Marvin. Maybe our rebounding is down a little, but not a big difference because of Marvin. This Marvin defensive thing is really funny. He is average at best.

northcyde

January 18th, 2011
1:05 am

I don’t comment too negatively about a post game write-up, but I’m disappointed in Ken not talking about JJ, and especially Horford more.

(( shaking my head at no mention of Horford at all ))

Honestly, who cares about how Zaza played and how Teague didn’t get in the game, when you had both JJ and Al playing like All-NBA players today.

Horford had a Josh Smith type superstar stat line, with a little more scoring. I bet Horford hasn’t blocked 7 shots in a game in his entire life. And Al has to have the best open midrange jumper in the league. As for JJ, he looked all the part of an elite NBA player. He and JJ literaly carried this team offensively for 3 quarters. They both were outstanding in that game.

Zaza and Teague are benchwarmers. Please don’t devote 2 paragraphs to those guys, when 2 of our stars had 2 of the best games of their life.

MsDee

January 18th, 2011
1:48 am

@Dept of unintended

There are those who likes to criticized the Hawks for just barely beating a 9-29 team like the Kings and expect to take care of a team like the Heat. well…

We didn’t have Jamal nor Bibby tonight?? If those 2 could throw a penny in the ocean like they usually do, we would have won atleast by 10 points!! NOW IF THOSE TWO GUYS WERE ON AND WE STILL ONLY WON BY 2, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE AN ARGUMENT..we didnt even have JJ the last time we played the Heat and we STILL almost pulled an upset ON THEIR COURT no less! And we STILL dont have Marvin. Yall can say what u want to about him, but Marvin could have EASILY made a difference in this game with his defense AND his free throw shooting!!

sam'l

January 18th, 2011
2:09 am

Same old story. If Hawks come out pumped and don’t get rattled, they’ll have a chance, a good chance. LD will have to make one or two critical adjustments in the last half and come up with at least 2 unstoppable out of bounds plays.

If, if, if……all this happens, the Hawks will win. LeBron knows he is snakebit and he knows the entire world knows…….

Trojan

January 18th, 2011
7:39 am

Trade Teague, do him a favor and get what we can. And I hope Rick Sund never drafts a PG again. He and his staff don’t have a clue about how to develop one.

We are playing the 1st game of a back to back and 4 games in a 5 day stretch and we play our starters 40+ and our PG 40+ (keep in mind our pg is probably the least athletic PG in the NBA).

Larry Drew is slipping very fast.

slimjr

January 18th, 2011
7:43 am

JJ is felling good! That elbow is healed up.. Come on Joe we need you to keep it going into the playoffs.
The three stooges need you Joe…ISO JOE, ISO JOE,ISO JOE

ILL-Logical

January 18th, 2011
7:48 am

Atlanta professional sports francises are run by people who care more about the public perception of their players(carefully manufactured in many instances) than actual on field performance.The Falcons’ shameful exibition is a prime example and the Hawks Kings contest was another.

Attended the game and sat there the whole time wondering what was going on with the lack of effort by the Atlanta team. The players ,especially Joe were not communicating with one another; ZaZa ’s head was clearly not in the game and jamal and bibby both missed the team bus. If this how they continue to play for the rest of the season with all of their vaunted :chemistry…. .

Changes,serious changes, are in order.

slimjr

January 18th, 2011
7:52 am

ZaZa=The Big Stiff

slimjr

January 18th, 2011
7:53 am

if Joe averages 38 a night they maybe able to slip past Orlando or Chicago in the first round?? NOT……

northcyde

January 18th, 2011
8:41 am

And all of this criticism of Drew is complete BS.

Despite the weak teams we’re playing, the Hawks have won 10 of their last 13 games, and stayed within striking distance of both Orlando and Miami when both of them had been playing well over the past 3 – 4 weeks.

Some of you want the bench to play more, when you know good and dang well that the 2nd unit CANNOT BE TRUSTED on most nights.

The thing is, is that 70% of you were CONVINCED that the way Woody handled the Hawks was wrong, despite he and the Hawks winning 53 games last year. So when some of you see Drew doing the exact same things as Woody did last year ( with similar results ), you automatically think that the season will end the same way.

Don’t you get it folks?

Overall, the talent on this team just isn’t where it should be. So that forces Drew to rely heavily on his starters, and get a win by any means necessary.

Losing that game last night was NOT an option for Drew, especially with the schedule coming up. The bench played like crap ( especially the frontline ), and people wonder why Drew stuck with the starters?

As for Teague and Jordan not playing, remember, we were down for most of the middle part of the game. No way you give them minutes at that time, and risk not digging out of that hole. Neither are good enough ofensively or defensively to be counted on in that situation.

Understand the position we’re in folks. We CANNOT finish behind Orlando, and expect to make noise in the playoffs. This team needs home court advantage in Round 1. The last thing this team needs, is to be the #5 seed, having to go to Chicago or Orlando in a playoff series.

I’d much rather be the #3 seed, and have home court vs the Knicks, then hope the team is more prepared in Round 2.

Mike is back

January 18th, 2011
8:54 am

MC, it was a festive crowd…ONCE THE HAWKS GAVE THEM A REASON TO GET EXCITED…the Hawks showed some perseverance in the fourth quarter…I WILL GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR THAT…A WIN…IS A WIN…glad we got W.

Lester Conner, is a funny guy…THEY ask HIM what was wrong with the Hawks defense…HE SAID EVERYTHING…EVERYTHING WE TOLD THEM NOT TO GIVE UP ON DEFENSE…they are giving it to them…EVERTHING…DID I MENTION DUDE SAID EVERYHTING…LOL

You can tell this guy has got a passion for the game of basketball…and that he detests poor defensive effort…which he is very candid about…in his analysis of the Hawks defensive performance.

I think we are more balanced when Twin is in the game…we may give up some quickness and athleticism…But Dude makes up for in with SMARTS and SAVY…He is another vets that makes good decisions when he is on the floor…we can definitely…use more of that.lol

It astonishing the amount of weight Twin has lost…Hats off to the dude…I know I cracked a couple on him…However, dude has earned my respect…man he looks like he’s in terrific shape…that should bode well for the HAWKS!!!!!

I could care less…who want play for the Heat…WE JUST NEED TO GO DOWN THERE…AND KICK SOME ASSSSSSS.

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

northcyde

January 18th, 2011
9:01 am

I just don’t know what Hawks team some of you are watching sometimes.

We’re not Boston, in which we can go 9 – 10 deep every game, and rely on a true motion offense in which ALL of our players benefit from it.

All I know, is that Drew saw a virtually tie game immediately get away from him in the Houston game on Friday night, and saw the exact same thing in the Sacramento game, as soon as JJ went out the game. That game went from virtually tied, to us being down 10, in a little under a 4 minute span.

I’m not mad at Drew at all for doing what he did last night. With the way we’re constructed, this team is what it is . . a group that has to rely on the starters + Jamal Crawford, to win games.

slimjr

January 18th, 2011
9:41 am

The Hawks are going to get humiliated for the 3rd consecutive time come playoffs but this time it will be in the 1st round not the 2nd. Sund you better pull the trigger and get JJ some help or its gonna get real ugly…

Sund=Knight take a hike

Trojan

January 18th, 2011
9:49 am

I agree. Bibby was having much too good of a game to take him out and give him a breather. His shooting % was a robust 30% and his defense is what kept him in the game. Those 2 assists were incredible. With such brilliance, I can understand why a reserve guard would not be able to crack the rotation.

northcyde

January 18th, 2011
10:04 am

And Trojan . . the alternative was playing Teague, a guy ( whether it was his fault or not ), was -13 in 11 minutes in the Houston game.

Meanwhile, all Bibby does, is post the 2nd best +/- number on the team.

I’m not saying that Teague didn’t deserve to play last night, with both Bibby and Jamal struggling offensively. All I’m saying is that with the Hawks down 7+ points for over 1/2 of that game, Drew wasn’t about to take out one of his shooters, to put a non-shooter in.

We all know that while Drew talks about defense, his solution to get back into a game will always be an offensive move. So Drew went with his best offensive group to bail us out. Once Smith got his head back into the game in the 4th quarter, we took control of the game and JJ held them off.

People talk up Teague like he’s the difference maker. Well, it’s obvious that Drew doesn’t trust the dude. We as fans don’t see everything behind the scenes. It may be a good reason why Teague can’t get consistent minutes.

KingfishStevens

January 18th, 2011
10:09 am

I went to my second Hawks game of the year yesterday, I’m convinced that Atlanta has the absolute worst mannered fans of any city. While other teams have their share of obnoxious fans, it seems to me that many Atlanta fans are only there for a social event rather than to observe the game itself. It’s the same at Braves games. Many Falcon fans, either sell their playoff tickets to the opponents fans or don’t purchase them themselves. It’s no wonder that other cities have little respect for Atlanta’s sports teams if our own fans are so lame. I personally have to drive over one hundred miles each way to attend at least a dozen games in Atlanta each year, maybe it’s time I started spending my money elsewhere.

northcyde

January 18th, 2011
10:10 am

Maybe it’s like on the Will Smith movie “I’ Robot”. Maybe MC needs to “ask the right question”.

Maybe this is the question that MC needs to ask Drew.

“Coach, what does Teague need to do in order to get 15 minutes every game?”

Maybe that’s the right question.

JeJe

January 18th, 2011
10:15 am

Mike Bibby is fat

JeJe

January 18th, 2011
10:15 am

Josh Powell is in the doghouse

LOL

O'Brien

January 18th, 2011
10:21 am

Great games by Al and JJ. I wonder what our record is when Twin starts.

I hope the players have enough energy for tonight.

northcyde,

If LD doesnt trust Teague (and it appears he doesn’t), I hope Rick brings in another PG this offseason (assuming we let Jamal walk).

And I do think LD is doing some of the same things Woody did. But more than anything, I blame Rick for not bringing in better players and giving LD more options.

However, I expect better results in the playoffs this year. If the Hawks dont get to the second round AND win a couple games, I think LD will be on the hot seat next season.

SteveW,

ZaZa’s deinition of tough is to foul you hard.

JeJe

January 18th, 2011
10:27 am

Should’ve traded Teague for J.Thompson and signed a PG

JeJe

January 18th, 2011
10:28 am

LOL @ people saying LD might be on the hot seat next year. THE GUY IS ON A 2 YEAR CONTRACT MAKING THE LEAST MONEY OF ALL COACHES

WHY WOULD HE EVEN BE FIRED? SO ONE OF OUR NO-NAME ASSISTANTS CAN BE COACH?

LOL
ASG IS NOT GONNA SPEND MONEY

Rev in Tampa

January 18th, 2011
10:30 am

northcyde,

I understand what you are saying and agree in principle. Yesterday, when the Hawks climed to within two points of the Kings late in the third quarter, I was saying to myself, “Uh oh, here comes the bench scrubs and there goes the lead.” But to my surprise Drew left the starters in the game. It was a must win given the loss on Saturday.

However, this is not the formula for winning basketball over the long run; certainly not in the playoffs.

The reason that the Hawks could not pull away from the Kings was their lack of perimeter defense. The Hawks made Beano (not the anti-flatulant) look like an All-Star yesterday. He drove into the paint at will to score or make an easy dish-off. Since Bibby couldn’t stay in front of him he sagged off, giving Beano open 15-fters.

To compensate Drew left the starters in the game with the hopes that the Hawks could outscore the Kings. With the help of Dalembert’s poor shot selection toward the end of the game, the Hawks were able to win by two points.

My point is, Drew said at the beginning of the season that he was making a commitment to defense, but Bibby cannot stay in front of the younger, quicker point guards. Evans and Beano were shooting in the paint all game long. It is no coincidence that Al Horford had seven blocks yesterday with those point guards thowing up shots all game within four feet of the basket. I believe Bibby is committed to playing tough defense. I see his effort on the court, but he just doesn’t have the lateral foot-speed.

For Drew to keep Teague on the bench during a game where the Hawks were being so visibly exploited on the perimeter MAKES NO SENSE! It tells me that Drew is more committed to offense than defense. He hopes that the Hawks starters will outscore the other team. When Drew says that the players need to be more committed to defense, he needs to realize that THEY ARE SIMPLY FOLLOWING HIS LEAD.

KevinM

January 18th, 2011
10:32 am

slimjr is dead on….nothing that this team is doing is giving the fans any confidence in their ability to exceed come playoff time.
I gotta say though that even if Joe got hurt and for some major injury he could not play in the playoffs, this team would be no different.
This team needs a guy who provides a mismatch that other teams struggle with stopping. That will free up Joe and Jamal.
As far as the current state of Hawks 2011…..
Watching that game last night, the Hawks just decided not to play dominant defense. Other teams know that the Hawks will not be physical enough to stand their ground. It sure is looking like the East is going to have tougher 1st round matchups. A big frontline will hurt this team the quickest.
I still think Miami clinches early enough this year that the games they play at Philips will not have any significance to them.

Ken Sugiura

January 18th, 2011
10:36 am

northcyde-
you’re right. al deserved more than he got. i wrote about joe johnson in the game story, but not much about horford. he did play a great game. he shot well and hit the jumper that put the hawks ahead for the first time. he had the dunk on the break after bibby scrapped for the loose ball (after losing it), which i thought could be a turning point in the game, but wasn’t. plus, seven blocks, which is a career high. plus, if memory serves, nine rebounds and six assists. i guess maybe it’s kind of easy to take that production for granted a little bit, which i shouldn’t.

Rev in Tampa

January 18th, 2011
10:38 am

northcyde,

I was responding to your 9:01 post, but I just read your 10:04 post. You just said everything that I posted when you wrote:

“All I’m saying is that with the Hawks down 7+ points for over 1/2 of that game, Drew wasn’t about to take out one of his shooters, to put a non-shooter in. We all know that while Drew talks about defense, his solution to get back into a game will always be an offensive move. So Drew went with his best offensive group to bail us out.”

Ken Sugiura

January 18th, 2011
10:38 am

worth noting – he played 46 minutes, two nights after playing 45. bibby played 43, johnson played 41, smith played 40. not the kind of minutes you want to have to play your starters the night before playing miami, which had the day off. at least teague’s fresh.

Rufus1

January 18th, 2011
10:49 am

Great post- Rev in Tampa at 10:30am

We were down because we could not stop Beno Udrih…. THINK ABOUT FOR A MINUTE. If LD was committed to defense at the start of the game, we might not be down so early.

Bibby & Jamal-17pts total
Udrih & Evans-33pts total

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:03 am

Northcyde, we both know that +/= numbers can be skewed, depending on who your playing with. Teague is usually in the game with ZaZa, Mo’, Jamal and maybe a starter or Wilkens, while Bibby is normally in the game with JJ, Al, Josh, and many times Jamal. Who’s +/= will be better?

I do understand that losing to SAC at home (like the Knicks did) was not an option, and I’m a huge Bibby fan, having been a former small college coach, and how he used to come up so clutch with the Kings versus the Lakers in the playoffs. That being said,

The whole League except for Larry Drew knows that Teague has got “it”. The Kings offered a starting young C, Jason Thompson, for Teague straight up, and Sund said no. LD and Woody are old school coaches and just favor vets plain and simple. The only reason Woody developed Josh, and allowed Marvin to develop is because we were a 13 win team (and then 26 wins) and had no other options. Same with Al.

LD is also a former PG (basically, kind of a hybrid like Teague), and of course he likes Bibby. When Bibby is on the floor, he is usually the smartest guy on the floor on either side. But he just doesn’t have it anymore. Time to take our lumps, let Teague start before the trade deadline, have Bibby and Jamal bail him out when he needs it, and see if we need a trade before the deadline, so we can try to make a move in the playoffs.

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:10 am

And for all of you JJ doom and gloomers who said he signed a max contract, and then began declining, and for all of us who said wait until he’s healthy in January, guess who was right?

And back on Bibby. Don’t think a former player won’t play Jamal to help him get a great contract next time, and play Bibby to keep the overpaid, trade the expiring contract label off him. That’s what a players coach does, helps players. And we’ve picked up Teague’s contract for next season already, even if he doesn’t play another minute. I do think Sund is going to force LD’s hand, and maybe not re-sign Jamal, and def. not Mo’ for next season. Then he’s going to have to play Teague and JC2 regardless.

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:14 am

Reading RealClear Sports yesterday, they said the only possible difference maker on this team is Jeff Teague. They said if we’re not going to play him, trade him and get a PG in here. I don’t think LD will play any other PG that the Hawks can realistically attain other than Bibby. Bibby’s too smart, and has way to good of a jumper, and to LD that makes up for any other deficiency.

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:16 am

O’Brien – Do mean like not signing TMac, Stackhouse, Dampier, and Shaq for the vet minimums (possibly)?

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:17 am

Rod – Many scouting reports say Marvin is quite possibly our best perimeter defender. If he’s average at best, what does that say about the rest of our perimeter D?

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:27 am

Rockets BC of Lowery and Brooks combined for 3-17 shooting and 8 assists combined in their semi-demoliton of the Bucks. Are Keyon Dooling and Earl Boykins that much better defensively than Bibby/Jamal? Lowery and Brooks had 9 pts. combined, only getting to the foul line once combined.

Brooks and Lowery combined for 40 pts and 14 assists against the Hawks on Sat.

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:32 am

The Spurs are on pace for a 70-12 record at the midway point of the season. Popovich is a coach!

SteveW

January 18th, 2011
11:35 am

The team with the best record in the East over the last 10 games? Our ATL Hawks at 8-2.

Rev in Tampa

January 18th, 2011
11:38 am

SteveW,

Great posts. What hurts is that we should be 9-1 over the last 10 games.

Rufus1

January 18th, 2011
11:45 am

SteveW

“Brooks and Lowery combined for 40 pts and 14 assists against the Hawks on Sat”

You can’t be committed to defense, when Bibby and Jamal are getting 30-35mins a night….STOP LYING TO US LD.