Atlanta Hawks at Heat: Begging for bench boost

Miami–The Hawks survived to beat the hapless Kings but to do it needed big minutes from Al, Bibby, J.J and Smoove.

Now they face the Heat, who are without Bosh tonight but get back LeBron. The Hawks have been suspect defending in transition lately anyway and now I’m imagining D-Wade and LeBron galloping in the open court against their tired legs.

About 90 minutes before tip, L.D. said he wasn’t sure which starting lineup he would use. He was waiting on Erik Spoelstra to reveal his starters.

“There’s going to be a wait-out,” Drew joked.

Atlanta’s pregame board had Bibby matched on Arroyo, J.J. on Wade, Smoove on LeBron, Al on Juwan Howard and Twin on Ilgauskas.

Whichever way he goes, the Hawks will be looking for a bench boost. Jamal is a pretty good bet to give them something but the other guys are a mystery.

“I wasn’t anticipating playing my starters the amount of minutes I played [them] last night,” L.D. said. “I’m going to need production from my bench tonight. Coming in on a back-to-back, playing a team like Miami it’s going to take a total team effort.”

Still here

Damien Wilkins is glad to still be with the Hawks on another 10-day. He knows his time could be limited and admits it’s hard not to think about that because he so badly wants to stay with Uncle ‘Nique’s franchise.

“If this was a team where I wasn’t happy here, it wouldn’t be on my mind as much and not bother me,” he said. “It’s tough because this is where I want to be.”

Last time Atlanta was here Wilkins did a good job harassing LeBron. He plans to use the same strategy this time: Get physical and cut off his space. And he wants redemption.

“I felt so bad about letting Tyreke get that layup last night,” Wilkins said. “I couldn’t even sleep. I was pissed about that. Luckily, we got that win. But tonight is a totally different animal. I am up for the challenge. He is a great player. I love watching him play and IU love playing against him.”

Etc.

“Limit” was the theme for the Hawks’ pregame board. On defense the Hawks want to limit transition scores, offensive rebounds, 3-pointers foul shots and the crowd. On offense they want to limit turnovers, bad shots, missed screens and standing. . . .

The Heat has been slipping defensively, too. Spoelstra: “We have to get back to our identity and do it consistently. It has been a long time since we’ve held a team to under 90 points and under 40 percent [shooting]. We were doing that semi-regularly in the month of December.”

MC

635 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:40 pm

Interesting to see Spoelstra go with two centers in the starting lineup. I think Horford would have rather been matched up on Juwan Howard than Joel Anthony to start the game, but I don’t think either one is going to feel comfortable stepping out on Horford’s mid range jump shots.

Damien should get a lot of minutes in this game. He showed in the last meeting that he can cause problems for LeBron.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:43 pm

I wonder if LD has had the Hawks play zone at all this year. I can’t remember them using a zone at any point. Miami seems like a team that would have some problems against a zone being mixed in every now and then.

bigdave

January 18th, 2011
7:45 pm

big head Joel always gives Al trouble..

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:45 pm

Good D to start the game. Can’t let that team get too many second chances though.

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
7:46 pm

jj to start it off… another hot night that will go unnoticed for him

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:50 pm

Good to see Joe attacking instead of settling so far in this game.

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
7:51 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:51 pm

LeBron and Wade 2/4, rest of the Heat 1/3.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:52 pm

Joe playing great so far. Good D, attacking when he has room, passing when he has the open man.

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
7:55 pm

Najeh,

I like the zone idea.

bigdave

January 18th, 2011
7:55 pm

if that wasnt a black blonde.

Sleepy

January 18th, 2011
7:55 pm

OMG How is Arroyo starting for them ? We talk about allowing jamal to walk or even trading him and I could see him walking right into there starting lineup for the MLE .That Arroyo sucks worse than Bibby

bigdave

January 18th, 2011
7:55 pm

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
7:56 pm

oh man j smoove

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:57 pm

LeBron fades away matched up on Collins. Thanks for bailing the Hawks out on that one.

Sleepy

January 18th, 2011
7:58 pm

way to recognize big z on joe and give it right back jamal who then feeds josh for the open 3 …very nice

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
7:58 pm

wow great start so far…until the bench comes in

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
7:58 pm

A lot of settling by the Heat so far, and a lot of good ball movement by the Hawks so far. Hopefully that continues. We all know the Hawks have a tendency to start settling.

Sleepy

January 18th, 2011
8:00 pm

cmon hawks gotta go up stronger than that

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:00 pm

Joe, Al, and Smoove have taken every shot so far for the Hawks.

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
8:00 pm

LD is smiling at that “sense of urgency” he sees.

Melvin

January 18th, 2011
8:01 pm

Hawks need to attack the rim. Stop settling for the jumpshots. Miami have no shot blockers…

J.J.M

January 18th, 2011
8:01 pm

I sense josh might be scared to drive the ball…might just be me though

drmaryb (*_*)

January 18th, 2011
8:02 pm

On that Horford turnover early in the game, Nique said,” Al definitely had NIMBERS!” LOL

DrSteam

January 18th, 2011
8:03 pm

Anyone know what shoes Joe Johnson is wearing?

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:03 pm

That possession is Exhibit A on why LD > Woody all day all the time. Last year, the Hawks would have seen that zone and given it to Joe or Jamal and watched them shot an off balance jumper. This year, they swing it around and get a dunk.

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
8:04 pm

man joel is playing al tough so far

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:05 pm

As solid as Horford is at every other aspect of the game, if he could develop one go-to low post move he would really be deadly.

dj

January 18th, 2011
8:05 pm

DrStream Joe Johnson wears Jordans.

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
8:05 pm

Who was the nimrod that said Horford has low B-ball IQ?

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
8:06 pm

lmfao pachulia… also the heat are awful

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
8:06 pm

“As solid as Horford is at every other aspect of the game, if he could develop one go-to low post move he would really be deadly.”

Word. And a left hand counter move, too.

J.J.M

January 18th, 2011
8:07 pm

gosh mo evans suck

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
8:08 pm

Good first for the Hawks. Very nice defensive intensity.

Blast

January 18th, 2011
8:08 pm

This is a big game for Hawks. Love the intensity to start. But can they keep it up?

FanfromFL

January 18th, 2011
8:09 pm

I predict the final score to be 76-44 hawks…

bigdave

January 18th, 2011
8:09 pm

he’s been in the Jordan 6-17-23’s

DrSteam

January 18th, 2011
8:10 pm

Cool thanks bigdave, his shoes r sweet

Melvin

January 18th, 2011
8:11 pm

Hawks should have scored more than 19pts in the 1st qtr..

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:11 pm

Why does Damien not get regular minutes again?

Sautee

January 18th, 2011
8:11 pm

Melvin,

Actually Anthony blocks 1.4 per game in not many minutes.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:12 pm

“I predict the final score to be 76-44 hawks…”

Haha… way to multiply by 4.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:13 pm

I was hoping the Hawks could keep the Heat in single digits for the first quarter. That would have been great. But as it is, that first quarter was probably one of the best defensive quarters they have played this season.

Sleepy

January 18th, 2011
8:13 pm

why is Damien trying to block a HOF players shot ? just play sound defense dude !!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:13 pm

How long can the Hawks go with only one real scorer on the floor?

FanfromFL

January 18th, 2011
8:13 pm

Yea, laugh all you want Najeh… but you’ll see…

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:14 pm

First BS call of the game.

ATL FAN

January 18th, 2011
8:15 pm

wtf… here we go with the refs

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2011
8:16 pm

Bad play by Powell on the offensive end, but he really made up for it on the other end by rotating over for that block.

Still don’t know how long the Hawks can count on Jamal carrying the entire load offensively.

J.J.M

January 18th, 2011
8:16 pm

I knew our bench was going to come in and play semi bad