Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 100, Raptors 87

There was no stopping J.J. (AP Photo)

There was no stopping J.J. (AP Photo)

  • Perhaps the Hawks lose tonight to a better opponent than these downtrodden Raptors. Chances are it wouldn’t have been so easy to score against a team that actually can play defense. And Atlanta’s half-quarter of respectable D wouldn’t get it done against most teams since they have better offensive talent than the Barbosa- and Kleiza-less Raps.
  • From an aesthetics standpoint, Atlanta’s offensive performance (especially J.J.) was a pleasure. Needing a big third quarter from Mo and a fantastic final period from J.J. to win a game in which the Hawks couldn’t have been much better on offense doesn’t do much for their credentials in the big picture.
  • “We played very unselfishly,” L.D. said. “The offense was there. The defense was non-existent in the fist half.”
  • J.J. was superb. It’s fascinating to watch him work when he’s going like this. He was in complete control, getting to the places he wanted on the court, passing when he should, making tough shots when he had to.
  • Interesting, though, that the first thing L.D. said about Joe’s game was: “He’s got to pick up his rebound total.”
  • “But he’s playing very unselfishly,” Drew said. “He’s getting into a rhythm. I think we are doing a good job moving him around to different spots offensively. And I think our guys are reading defenses. We put him in the post and they play him on one side, we are getting the ball to him on the other.”
  • Remember when opponents still were doubling J.J. even though he couldn’t make shots? Now it’s a sound strategy, especially when you have the likes of Sonny Weems trying to keep him away from the basket. J.J. had eight assists against two turnovers.
  • “I think everybody on the team understands if I am getting doubled and they are open I am going to make the extra pass,” Joe said. “Tonight I was just trying to get into the teeth of the defense and when I got double teamed, I was just trying to find the open man.”
  • My blog people know that it’s not always like that with Joe. But it’s fair to say it rings more true now than at any point in the recent past.
  • J.J. on playing fewer minutes (and games) this year: “It has helped me in a lot of ways. My body is feeling pretty good and it makes me be more aggressive when I am in the game knowing my time is a little limited.”
  • Both of Atlanta’s starting big men were facilitators. Al needed 13 shots for his 12 points but had 14 rebounds and seven assists. Smoove was making his jump shots early, missed a couple late, but was 9 of 14 from the floor and had 11 rebounds and four assists.
  • Bibby still is good at slipping into spots to get his shot. He’ just not making them nearly as much as he once did.
  • Zaza had six points on two shots and six rebounds in 17 minutes. If only he could finish more of those chances around the basket. He works hard enough to deserve them.
  • Mo started in place of Marvin had 10 of Atlanta’s 21 points in the third quarter. Poor Raps. They finally controlled Joe, Josh and Al, only to have Mo go off.
  • Jamal only took six shots in 28 minutes. L.D. wanted him to focus on getting dribble penetration and finding open teammates and he did so while recording four assists with one turnover. He also got three free-throw attempts, which in this game tied him for the team high.
  • Neither Josh nor Al attempted a free throw despite 27 shots between them. Bibby, Mo, Teague and Damien also didn’t get to the line. That’s five Hawks players playing a total of 130 minutes combined without attempting a free-throw.
  • The 18-6 advantage on free throws is one way the Raps stayed close despite Atlanta’s sizzling shooting. Another was the 11 offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points.
  • The Raps were within 84-78 with 7:30 to play because they kept getting extra possessions. The Hawks kept them off the boards over the next three-plus minutes, made four of their five shots (all assisted with two each from Bibby and Smoove) and were up 96-78.
  • “We were giving up too many offensive rebounds early on,” Josh said. “We was able to limit them to one shot, make them work at their end and we was able to get out and have fun.”
  • Toronto actually had five offensive rebounds over the final seven minutes (though two were team rebounds in garbage time). Just goes to show you that the Hawks really only played defense for short spurts and won only because the Raps couldn’t stop them.
  • L.D. seemed particularly mindful of not having too many bench guys out there at once.
  • “I wanted to establish some type of rhythm with the rotations tonight,” he said. “I wanted to keep a couple of the starters out there with three of the reserves. Tonight I was able to do it because we didn’t get into any kind of foul trouble. That’s pretty much what I’ve always tried to do but sometimes fouls and [injuries] dictate that.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

112 comments Add your comment

Rufus1

February 2nd, 2011
11:51 pm

Above Average Joe…..

37pts, 8ast on 21 shots….only 3 free throws…he is pretty good

SteveW

February 2nd, 2011
11:51 pm

MC – Thanks for the honesty as always

LD – Thanks for playing Teague.

Way to go JJ!! No way Ray Allen deserves that All Star spot over JJ. And either Al or Josh will probably make it also.

Rufus1

February 2nd, 2011
11:53 pm

Bibby’s shooting….

We can’t beat good teams if Bibby can’t hit those shots.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 2nd, 2011
11:53 pm

“My blog people know that it’s not always like that with Joe. But it’s fair to say it rings more true now than at any point in the recent past.”

Joe has always been pretty good at finding the open guy when he gets doubled in the post or inside the 3 point line. It’s only when he gets isolated on the perimeter that the offense stalls and he jacks up bad shots instead of finding teammates. Thankfully in this game there was only one perimeter isolation for him, and he made the shot since he was on fire all night.

lewis

February 2nd, 2011
11:53 pm

jj was fire tonight

Najeh Davenpoop

February 2nd, 2011
11:58 pm

The lack of free throws is more of a problem if it results from the team settling for bad shots. When shots are not falling or are not there, people need to take the initiative to drive and create free throw opportunities. In a game like this one, though, when the ball is moving so well and people are getting good shots and making them, it’s not that big of a deal. Ball movement is more important than free throw opportunities.

jlewis

February 3rd, 2011
12:06 am

I’m with you najeh, JJ has been here 5 years and he’s always been a willing passer.

Scoop

February 3rd, 2011
12:08 am

That is called earning your paycheck……….and all it took was getting healthy.

It’s funny…………now I can’t find anybody talking about how overpaid and overrated Joe is, can somebody help me out????????

Lets hear it for the Hawks Front Office!!!!!!!!!!! Give Sund a raise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leo

February 3rd, 2011
12:27 am

Good win against a bad team. I am not saying they didn’t play well, but they didn’t play anybody. Bibby is not the answer. We play the clippers next I think and we need to play Teague more or trade for a point guard.

Leo

February 3rd, 2011
12:28 am

Sorry in advance, my english isn’t great ready

Worldwide Clyde

February 3rd, 2011
1:06 am

Atlanta Fawkers

February 3rd, 2011
1:21 am

Hawks are like the bully in elementary school that picks on all the pee wees but gets beat down against someone their own size.

Not impressed.

Tom

February 3rd, 2011
1:50 am

the hawks have beat Miami and Orlando on the road, I’d say those are opponents their own size

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

February 3rd, 2011
2:13 am

Ra'mon

February 3rd, 2011
2:17 am

Would it be unrealistic to say that Josh and Joe play together better than Joe and Al? Josh sets up Joe for more wide open jumpers than anyone on the team. And Joe constantly passes to Josh beyond the arc, with the clock low. My point is, if Al could be packaged with JC1 and a pick for someone like P. Gasol, would it not be worth exploring? I think given the expiring deal, and the age of Al, LAL would have to strongly consider it. And for the Hawks, they would instantly have be best scoring big in the East. Gasol has a mid range game as nice as Al, and an even better post up game. Gasol would be virtually cheaper than having JC1 and Al on the same team next season. With this move, the Hawks are a serviceable point guard away from the ECF and possibly the Finals.

Ra'mon

February 3rd, 2011
2:21 am

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Reggie

February 3rd, 2011
4:24 am

Cosign Tom also

dsee

February 3rd, 2011
5:11 am

Great time to trade Joe, Jamal, 2 fillers to NJ for Favors, Morrow, Harris, Murphy & draft picks. Let Harris create the offence or give someone else a chance

Najeh Davenpoop

February 3rd, 2011
5:24 am

“It’s funny…………now I can’t find anybody talking about how overpaid and overrated Joe is, can somebody help me out????????”

Unless Joe starts playing at LeBron and Kobe’s level, he is and will always be overpaid. But I think we all pretty much have him rated where he belongs, at that 2nd tier below the legit superstars in the league. He’s not overrated. Great start to 2011 for him.

O'Brien

February 3rd, 2011
6:47 am

Good team win for the Hawks, and great games from Al, JJ and Josh. I’m disappointed we let an (undermanned) Raptors team that had lost 12 in a row hang around for so long, but in the end, I’ll take the win.

As for Bibby, he did hit a big 3 for us, but we need him to make more shots, because thats his biggest contribution to this team. Teague had an up and down game, but as a young second year player, that’s expected.

However, I think he played well enough overall to get PT next game. I hope LD will use each game as an audition for the next game for Teague.

Bulls win, Knicks lose, so its looking more and more like the Hawks are only competing for 4th or 5th.

Willy

February 3rd, 2011
7:01 am

I know Teague didn’t play well in limited minutes last night (or lately). But why not give him a spot start or two to build his confidence? He isn’t developing as is, it’s worth (potentially) sacrificing a game or two over.

NUNNA!!

February 3rd, 2011
7:23 am

Morning Willy,
I am one of da biggest teagues fans on here and to tell u da truth,we did that already.
I tape games on my dvr and i see the players always motioning to him where to go and what spots to go to on the floor when we have the ball..
Its like he does not even practice with the team on offense at all..
And plus,i think most of the players have lost confidence in him.

But one thing that i don’t understand is why when Jamaal is in the game he never goes up the court and just runs with the offense and try to get open.Teague always has to give Jamaal the ball and just stands in the corner,lol…

I’ve seen it plenty of times that if teague is in and he brings the ball up he always finds an open Jamaal for a open 3 or just an open shot.All Jamaal has to do is get open,he does not have to bring the ball up and half the time dribbles between his legs and miss a wild shot!!

Trojan

February 3rd, 2011
7:50 am

Our starting PG last three game totals would not make a good half.

We have to get better pg play.

Trojan

February 3rd, 2011
7:55 am

Why not try to develop Teague? We don’t have anything to lose. Bibby gives NOTHING.

Section 303

February 3rd, 2011
8:10 am

Trojan, don’t fall into that trap. Every year on here we have people calling for certain guys to play more. One year it’s Salim Stoudemire, the next it’s Acie Law. What we later learned was that neither guy was good, which is why they were not getting minutes.

There’s a reason Teague does not play. For all his flashes of good play there are double as many flashes of bad play. He just is not that good. Which, again, is why he does not play much.

Fundamentals

February 3rd, 2011
8:17 am

Section 303 – I’ve called for minutes for many but time is telling there is alot of truth to your words. We have yet to see someone leave our bench to make a significant contribution elsewhere.

My only exception to that is Collins. Without minutes he’s gaining weight and losing value daily. We’ll need his size and D against teams like Boston, LA, Orlando, ect. He came in inspired, but will quickly lose focus without a light at the end of the tunnel.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

superiorblogman

February 3rd, 2011
8:44 am

Teague has no clue of how to run a team. Trade him for whatever you can get. We really need a starting level PG or C but if you can’t do that, revisit that trade for Jason Thompson if the Kings still want to do that, they should have done that when offered IMO. Jason Thompson is better than any big man we have coming off the bench and he is still on his rookie scale salary, a little over $2 million a year. Would be better than constantly picking up the Josh Powells and Etan Thomas’s of the world. Finally, I laugh at the JJ bashers. JJ is at worse the 3rd best SG in the league behind, Wade and Kobe. Ray Allen is in the last year of his max contract and is making more than Joe this year. The ignorant redneck whiteys of the south and Atlanta just hate to see a black having something.

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
8:44 am

@Tom – The Hawks beat the Orlando Magic one time without Jameer Nelson playing, before their trade for Gil and Jason R. Way to go taking credit for beating an undermanned team as if they were at full strenth.

The Hawks then beat the Miami Heat without Chris Bosh. Way to go taking credit for beating another undermanned team as if they were full strength. So to play to the analogy about the school bullies. The Hawks beat the Magic and Heat because they had one arm tied behind their backs. Or whichever physical disadvantage you prefer in a school yard fight.

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
8:47 am

@ Scoop, It takes 37 points against and undermanned bad team thats allergic to defense and hustling for you to justify Joe Johnsons infection of a contract. The idea that you would even make an attempt to justify how much he gets paid from that particular game (not as if any game would justify that mess of a contract) shows that you dont know much of anything about what type of player “deserves” a max contract.

This is more a reply to your comment geared at others on this blog who know what they are talking about.

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
8:51 am

@section303&Fundamentals – if Salim, Acie, and Teague are so bad, what does that say about your teams scouting department, player development, and overall coaching ability. That you draft all these players in the first round, passed up on legitimate all-stars and now are complaining about how they dont deserve minutes to develope.

Maybe Salim, Acie, Teague arent the greatest players but considering the track record of the current Hawks organization I would be stretching to mention that its likely not all their fault. Anybody loses value, confidence, and precious years of experience sitting on the bench for the dreaded Hawks.

I actually feel bad for anyone drafted by this team thats not a sure fire talent (lottery pick).

Reggie

February 3rd, 2011
8:53 am

@Hawksgoingbackward- The Hawks beat Orlando without Jameer Nelson but the Hawks didn’t have Joe Johnson either so whats your point? The Hawks beat the Heat without Chris Bosh but last time i checked two all star starters named Lebron James and Dewayne Wade both played in that game plus that game was in Miami so again whats your point?

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
8:59 am

@ Superiorblogman – im black and I watched Ray Allen solidly play up to his max contract in the playoffs. I also watched Joke Johnson take a dump in the middle of each basketball court every game hes played in the playoffs for the past 3 years.

I also watched Ray Allen set a record for 3 pointers in the first half of a game in the NBA finals a year ago.

I watched Joke Johnson “lead” his team to the worst playoff losing average in NBA HISTORY!

This has nothing to do with being black, this has everything to do with paying people for what they contribute, when the Hawks get demolished again in the playoffs i wonder where you will be, certainly not on this blog defending Joke Johnsons contract I can guarantee that!

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
9:01 am

@ Reggie – point is why dont you wait until both teams are at full strength to play then make a statement about superiority. Because based on all other indicators of strength regarding this team when you look at strength of schedule and how they lose to better teams, they ARE NOT that good!

So whats your point?

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
9:02 am

hey Reggie where were you when the hawks set a new franchise low for points against the Hornets, Joke Johnsons played in that game too didnt he???

Yeah i thought so!

Hawksgoingbackward

February 3rd, 2011
9:03 am

If i remember correctly he didnt score 37 points, SMH

vava74

February 3rd, 2011
9:15 am

Teague, like all inexperienced players takes time to “warm up” and get his game flowing.

His substitution for Bibby after he had strung together 3 good plays was, IMO, criminal.

Teague started off by having a TO and missing a floater, which was not a good omen, however, he was working hard on D playing defense with his feet and getting by TOR weak screens and got Zaza an easy bucket at the rim.

His hustle on D rewarded him with 2 possessions gained (no steals credited but when he was decked by DeRozan he had swiped the ball) and his dribble penetration, which may still be a work in progress handed Zaza – a notoriously poor finisher at the rim – an easy layup.

Immediately upon entering, Bibby drove to the lane and missed/got blocked for a semi-floater, bricked a 3 and got easily man handled by Calderon on a pick n roll play.

Inexcusable IMO since he is not rewarding Teague even when he contributes.

Naturally, Teague’s second stint also started slow and the final, lasting, but ultimately wrong impression is that Teague sucked when in reality he was not given a fair chance to roll when he got warm in the second quarter.

lp

February 3rd, 2011
9:25 am

The Joe after the surgery is the one I remember from previous hawk years. For all the talk about not showing up in the playoffs, wasn’t he hurt both years. Against cleveland he was injured when the hawks were swept, and from previous comments about the elbow its been hurting sometime. Obviously the injury probably wasn’t disclosed because he was in a contract year and trying to get max money. Only on here can the star of the team get criticized for taking shots. People actually argue that al horford, j.crawford, and smoove are better. Its laughable seeing that none of them consistently see a double team. You guys have to realize and be happy we have the 3rd best sg in the league. 2nd best in the east. A guy who can get thirty without referees help.

vava74

February 3rd, 2011
9:25 am

“LD is not rewarding”

JeJe

February 3rd, 2011
9:30 am

Great game Bibby!

LOL people here already acknowledge Bibby can only take jumpers.

The guy cannot get the ball inside the 3 pt line because he is so pathetic

Jed

February 3rd, 2011
9:35 am

I blame lack of FTs on poor officiating tonight. I do hate to see Smoove complain, but he had a right to.

KevinM

February 3rd, 2011
9:50 am

MC, my favorite comment…”They finally controlled Joe, Josh and Al, only to have Mo go off”….

Last night might be the only time you can use that line with Mo. They played better than a struggling team and had a brief letdown in the 4th but didn’t fold.

Joe was en fuego last night, and that is what’s needed for success in the playoffs….he needs a running mate before its too late.

A headline that the AJC will not be writing under the current regime:
“Hawks GM looking to make a trade”…..you folks can cancel your trade machine subscriptions….as long as they play well against bad teams, the core will stay as is.

KevinM

February 3rd, 2011
9:55 am

NUNNA “But one thing that i don’t understand is why when Jamaal is in the game he never goes up the court and just runs with the offense and try to get open.Teague always has to give Jamaal the ball and just stands in the corner,lol…

I’ve seen it plenty of times that if teague is in and he brings the ball up he always finds an open Jamaal for a open 3 or just an open shot.All Jamaal has to do is get open,he does not have to bring the ball up and half the time dribbles between his legs and miss a wild shot!!”

Could this be traits of the Larry motion offense? We have Teague being shoved in the corner a la Bibby and becomes the 4th or 5th option on offense.
Doesn’t sound like a lot of motion to me in your description?

Going forward, I still think we defer to the iso offense the closer we get to the playoffs and the late game situations.

KevinM

February 3rd, 2011
9:58 am

Every time I go to hoopshype, I get discouraged when you look at the numbers that was given to Marvin….the next 3 years…
7.5/8.2/7.5 going forward…..I gotta think his upsize is at its peak.
This should be a top 15 forward and he still hasn’t come close to that level.

Rufus1

February 3rd, 2011
10:01 am

Indefensible….

Bibby is becoming indefensible…2-7 from 3 is becoming the norm and these shots are NBA wide open.

Please tell me again why Bibby is better…the offense does flow better when he is out their…just like when Luke Ridnour came in for Jennings, but most teams like to develop quick, athletic PG’s(except the Hawks)

PS. Jednnings shoots 38%FG

ICECOLD

February 3rd, 2011
10:08 am

Yall dont know who side to be on … if Josh is messing up, yall quickly say trade him he is over rated, if joe is off, all man he is over paid, Now somebody saying trade horford, and now Jamal Crawford is not hitting right now, now yall saying he should be traded, and now saying Bibby suck, but when he is hitting… yall was giving him so much praise, I bet if yall was laker fans, it would be, trade kobe, he sucks, get him out of here… lol.. yall trippin.. relax, because it might flip flop again, and yall are going to have to back up what yall say..

real HAWKS fans, enjoy the win, it was fun to watch and the three Hawks that should be a all star, Had great games!!

GO Hawks!!!

ICECOLD

February 3rd, 2011
10:35 am

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=47j37ze

straight up trade… just wanted to see what would happen
Joe for Melo

They say Hawks will -1 win, and the Nuggets will +1 win… weird huh

ICECOLD

February 3rd, 2011
10:40 am

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4gxcjto

the lakers want young players.. here u go.. a super trade for paul gasol

Section 303

February 3rd, 2011
10:53 am

Najeh, the only player I can think of that counters your point is Josh Smith. He was not a lock to be a good player. The Hawks have dealt with a lot from Josh (butting heads with coaches, lazy play, reported scraps early in his career with vets). He’s developed pretty good.

Even though Josh Smith drives me nuts and still slacks off from time-to-time, there is no doubt he has grown into a player. And, a better player than many thought when he was drafted.

After him….I got nothing. The organization is f’ing terrible on draft day. I still say that should surprise none of us. When you have a GM that says “I don’t watch much college basketball”, we should all cringe.