Hawks-Clips pre-game notes/game thread

Greetings, all-

Ken sitting in for MC, who’s prepping himself for the epic road trip. A couple things from shootaround.

1) Larry Drew will start the “big” lineup, which means to start Al Horford will be matched up with Blake Griffin.

Horford, on how aware he is of the hype surrounding Griffin: “Very aware. We see him on ESPN every day, the highlights and the dunks. He’s a great player.”

2) Horford and Joe Johnson comments on their All-Star selections, second and fifth, respectively.

Horford: “It’s special. I take a lot of pride in working and just getting better as a player. I”m happy to be on a team like this. We’ve been winning, we’ve been having success, so that makes it better.”

Johnson: “I had visions (of achieving this at the start of his career), not knowing if it would happen or not. Now that it’s a reality, every year’s been amazing, and I’m sure this year’s going to be amazing, too. I’m just looking forward to going out there, having fun representing the Atlanta Hawks.”

3) Josh Smith was even-handed about not making the team. He had been public about his aspirations of getting named.

Smith: “It is what it is. Nothing surprises me about anything in this league. You can’t let one thing affect your whole season. We’ve got something good going. I’m going to continue to play hard, continue to do what I’ve been doing the first half of the season and continue to have a successful season.”

4) Drew on Griffin: “He’s got the power, he’s got the athleticism, he can dominate the game.”

Drew also likes Baron Davis and thinks he “still has something left in the tank” and center DeAndre Jordan (7.2 rpg, 6.9 ppg), the 35th pick in the 2008 draft.

A concern, naturally, for Drew is the Clippers’ pick-and-roll with Davis and Griffin.

Drew: “We really have to focus on what we have to do as far as coming out and playing with aggression right at the very beginning, try to, as much as we can, limit Griffin’s’ ability to roll to the basket for lobs and in the transition. We’ve got to be all on the same page so we can affect him going to the basket.”

If you don’t remember, the Clippers led 31-18 after the first quarter in the fiHrst meeting Jan. 2 and 53-42 at halftime before the Hawks won going away in the second half of a 107-98 win. Griffin had 31 and 15. Yikes. Johnson led with 29, Jamal Crawford added 24 and Smith had 22.

363 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

February 4th, 2011
3:46 pm

Strange that LD wouldn’t start his best defender against Griffin.

Astro Joe

February 4th, 2011
3:47 pm

Oops, in honor of Horford’s 2nd All-Star election, I should have said… UNO!

O'Brien

February 4th, 2011
3:58 pm

The question is, who is more likely to pick up fouls trying to guard Griffin? I think Josh is more likely to commit the foul (going for a block or a steal).

Teague played well enough the last 2 games (Dallas and Toronto) to get PT tonight, so I will be keeping an eye on his performance. Hopefully Bibby will knock down some shots early.

From the previous blog;

@ Rod, its been mentioned before on the blog. One thing to keep in mind is that Dwight is also best friends with Jameer.

If we can figure out a way to trade for Jameer, and keep Josh, then I think it is almost a lock that Dwight would want to come here.

gangsta duck

February 4th, 2011
4:29 pm

The BIG lineup is not needed against the clips. Jordan is not a threat to score except on dunks so horford really doesn’t have to concentrate that much on him. Match up JS dollo against the young gun.

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slimjr

February 4th, 2011
4:36 pm

Al will have to sit down with 2 fouls in the 1st 3 mins trying to guard Griffin the Beast!!!!

slimjr

February 4th, 2011
4:38 pm

Griffin to powerful for Josh. Josh would be dessert………….Griffin starting to hit the 3-ball.His form looked good the other night..This guy is scary!

Astro Joe

February 4th, 2011
4:41 pm

I would have preferred seeing Horford pull Jordan away from the rim on the offensive side. That would give Joe a little more room to work over the smallish Clippers backcourt down low. Jordan (while Collins is in the game) can cheat off of Twin in a way that he couldn’t do if matched up against Horford.

Surely the DPOY runner-up can check a rookie without getting into foul trouble.

slimjr

February 4th, 2011
4:43 pm

Josh will need to bring his A game for 48 mins to help out in the post. He needs to grab a bunch of rebounds…Its going to be fun to watch..Can’t sleep on these Clippers..

lewis

February 4th, 2011
5:06 pm

Josh and Al is a pretty tough frontline as is, Twin/Josh/Al together are sound defensively.

Al has a lower center of gravity, arguably quicker lateral movement and is bigger than Josh. While I think Josh is the better overall defensive player, I think you have to play to the refs, in that big guys guarding other big guys usually allows for more banging to take place with less fouls being called. Its quite noticeable when an undersized player fouls his opponent. Al is less foul-prone, and is also an all-star and lets face it, all-stars get more leeway in this league. Hope that explains why Al is on Blake instead of Josh.

lewis

February 4th, 2011
5:11 pm

niremetal

February 4th, 2011
5:21 pm

O’B/AJ,

I think Horford’s the better guy to check Griffin simply because Horford is a bit taller and stronger, and those are the attributes that are most valuable to dull Griffin’s explosiveness.

That being said, arguing who is the best guy to guard Griffin is kind of like arguing over who would be the best one to stand in front of a tank – they’re probably going get run over either way unless the tank malfunctions, it’s just a question of which can slow the tank down more.

HoosierHawk

February 4th, 2011
5:25 pm

@ Ken Any comment from LD about why his son quit the tar heels basketball team>? Know it’s not Hawks related, but odd move for Coach Drew’s son.

northcyde

February 4th, 2011
5:38 pm

Drew can’t stick with that lineup long. Deandre isn’t one of the main low post scoring options, so he’ll be free to roam. He ate up rebounds in that 1st meeting in the 1st quarter. Griffin scored 13 pts in that opening quarter as well.

It’s a matchup in which Collins will be virtually ineffective. Hope Drew doesn’t stick with Collins, if it’s obvious right off the bat that him in the lineup is hurting us.

(( sigh )) . . . I had tickets to this game, but couldn’t make it to ATL today.

Art Vandelay

February 4th, 2011
5:40 pm

@HoosierHawk, LD’s son lost his starting job to a freshman and was having an overall miserable time trying to find a role on the UNC team. I think he realized that if he wanted to play any significant minutes, it was time to find a different program. It’s too bad, but I can’t blame him since he’s pretty clearly not a pro prospect and just wants to make the most of the time he’s got left as a college player.

superiorblogman

February 4th, 2011
5:48 pm

Drew’s son would fit in well with the Hawks little funny looking quitter. Drew is trying to hide the fact that Josh is really overrated defensively. He should get the ASG to go get a real C and real PG then the Hawks would be legit. Either way, they should win tonight.

KevinM

February 4th, 2011
5:52 pm

Marvin not starting, uh-oh get ready for an unhappy player……

Think Larry is telling his son to find a team who runs the motion offense and stay healthy so he can bring him in to replace Bibster?

Smoove says his game has improved overall…..I’m still waiting for him to retire his 3-5 jump shots/game.

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
5:57 pm

Great reaction from Smoove. Lets get a win tonight Hawks!!

Grandad

February 4th, 2011
5:58 pm

As always the Clippers must worry about us as well.
Yes Griffin can dunk.
I haven’t heard anyone rave about “his defense”.
Make him play both ends of the floor.
Make him -Work-.
Honestly, our guys can’t go in being scared of him.
Worry about what we do and play our game effeiciently and everything will be fine.
The Hawks have more (different and better) players than do the Clips and more ways
to skin the cat. Let them worry, and let us rejoice in our confidence.
“Winning Basketball 101″
~by G-dad~.

Rod from College Park

February 4th, 2011
6:00 pm

O’Brien,

“@ Rod, its been mentioned before on the blog. One thing to keep in mind is that Dwight is also best friends with Jameer.”

Yeah, it was mentioned by me. Remember I am from College Park. He has been friends with Josh much longer than Jameer, and who would not want to come home and win a Championship for a franchise who never won one. He would be the biggest sports Icon ever in the city.

EmirS.

February 4th, 2011
6:03 pm

Im trying to get Dwight on my NBA 2K11 Assosication. : )

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
6:05 pm

Where are these rumors about Dwight coming to ATL coming from? Or are they just assumptions?

EmirS.

February 4th, 2011
6:06 pm

Not even assumptions. Just day-dreams.

Rod from College Park

February 4th, 2011
6:13 pm

Only Assumptions. But let me ask you this. If you were from Atlanta, I you were a star in the league, and not a follower, would you not want to play for your hometown team, with a guy who has been your best friend since you were little? Let me help a lot of you old heads out. People that rep Atlanta, and really grew up in this city love the city, and don’t like cities like New York. LA, maybe, but N.Y., hell no.

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
6:14 pm

J smoove grew up a Bulls fan, so I dunno if Dwight was ever an Atlanta fan

aFan

February 4th, 2011
6:24 pm

Almost everyone grew up a Bulls fan lol.

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
6:26 pm

Yea exactly, the Hawks were no good while these players were growing up so I don’t know if Dwight has any emotional attachment to the Hawks… maybe the city of Atlanta, but I think he’d much rather stay in Orlando

EmirS.

February 4th, 2011
6:33 pm

I may say that I would love nothing more then to play for my hometown with a friend of mine that I’ve known since pre-k. However, once 8 figure numbers’ are put into the equation my train of thought…may change dramatically. Being realistic, we all know money makes the world “go-’round”.

There is nothing in my head that would even force me to assume that Dwight Howard would want to play in Atlanta. Hometown or not. Friends or not. Players go where they can earn the best amount of money AND at the same time win a championship. Or just for the money.

And to me personally, I don’t beleive that hometown is that much of a factor in the NBA. Otherwise LeBron would have stayed in Ohio. Wade would have gone to Chicago. Amar’e would have gone to Miami. These are franchise players’ that could do wonders for their hometown’s.

However props to ‘Melo for wanting to join the Knicks.

O'Brien

February 4th, 2011
6:47 pm

Rod,

True. But Orlando will be able to offer him more money than the Hawks, so for us to get him, I think it will have to be a trade.

Maybe Dwight will pull a Carmelo and refuse to sign Orlando’s extension. If I’m Rick Sund, I am definitely keeping it in the back of my mind, because you almost have to plan for a move like that (like Riley did in Miami).

And I would gladly trade Horford, draft picks, expirings and filler for Dwight.

O'Brien

February 4th, 2011
6:57 pm

As for the game tonight, I know Blake is a rookie, but could Josh learn something from watching Griffin?

Dude averages 23 and 13, which is awesome. This a career year for Josh as far as rebounding goes, and he is only at 8.9 rpg.

And Blake is currently shooting 52% from the field, with a ton of his points coming on dunks.

What I didnt know was that Blake averages basically the same assists as Josh (3.6 to 3.4).

northcyde

February 4th, 2011
7:01 pm

LOL @ Hawks 360

If I wasn’t a basketball player, I would be . . .

JJ – a coach
Bibby – a coach
Marvin – a coach
Jason – a coach/mentor to kids
Teague – a teacher
Etan – a teacher
Jamal – an architect
Jordan – a rapper
Powell – a DJ

Nothing from Josh or Zaza, and I forgot what Mo would be.

LoneStar Observer

February 4th, 2011
7:03 pm

Since the Hawks have not publicly listed email sites in their PR department, please pass along to Coach Drew: Wah Wah Wah Wah. You raised a crybaby.

streams

February 4th, 2011
7:08 pm

ne1? the government seized atdhe and firstrow and channelsrufing

Najeh Davenpoop

February 4th, 2011
7:22 pm

atdhe.me or atdhe.fm

Najeh Davenpoop

February 4th, 2011
7:49 pm

They told me at the gate that all the 300 and 200 level seats are sold out, and then I walk in and see the upper level half empty…

Jae Evolution

February 4th, 2011
7:51 pm

Come on LD, let’s see an early Teague sighting, Bibby has missed two already and got blocked.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 4th, 2011
7:51 pm

Two early and obvious observations: Bibby is a huge defensive liability, and even if Zaza has better rebounding stats, Collins boxes out better and is still the better player.

Ken Sugiura

February 4th, 2011
7:52 pm

najeh – i find that a little odd, too. maybe the weather has kept people away.

Ken Sugiura

February 4th, 2011
7:54 pm

not sure how jamal ended up on jordan on that one..

Ken Sugiura

February 4th, 2011
7:57 pm

clippers dunking, hawks shooting jumpers.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 4th, 2011
7:59 pm

“not sure how jamal ended up on jordan on that one..”

Because Bibby can’t stay in front of his man and it forces everyone else to rotate.

Jae Evolution

February 4th, 2011
8:06 pm

DeAndre Jordan leads him team in points off DUNKS alone.

Andre

February 4th, 2011
8:07 pm

I think Al did a nice job on Griffin while he was guarding him. Griffin was unable to score in the post against Al, and outside of a lob dunk, he only scored once on Al. Still, overall, Griffin has 8 points, but he’s had to take 9 shots to get those points. If Griffin ends up taking more shots than he has points, we should be in good shape.

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
8:10 pm

Jae Evolution

February 4th, 2011
8:12 pm

Why haven’t we gotten Josh in a post-up yet?

ATL FAN

February 4th, 2011
8:12 pm

Omfg is that all Teague knows how to do

Najeh Davenpoop

February 4th, 2011
8:12 pm

That right there is why Smoove driving the ball is not a good option.

EmirS.

February 4th, 2011
8:15 pm

Wow how is someone besides Blake beating us on the inside?

Ken Sugiura

February 4th, 2011
8:15 pm

clips have 31 points, 22 in paint.

Andre

February 4th, 2011
8:15 pm

I like it better when Josh Powell isn’t part of the regular rotation…