Hawks 99, Wizards 92

Greetings-

A good enough effort, with a strong game from Josh Smith, did the job against Washington.

A couple numbers jump out – first, the Hawks were 26 for 35 from the free-throw line, while the Wizards were 8 for 18. I think Washington got a little jobbed with foul calls, but, regardless, 35 free throws says something about a team’s aggressiveness in going to the basket, something we haven’t seen a ton of on a consistent basis lately.

Hawks free throws for the last 10 games – 12, 20, 14, 11, 23, 23, 23, 22, 9, 13. Notably, the Hawks took (and made) 13 free throws in the fourth, when in recent games they’ve resorted to jump shots. I’m going to guess that’s a season high for the fourth quarter.

“Going down the stretch, we talked about it being a possession game, meaning on every possession we’ve got to come away with the shot that we want,” Larry Drew said.

- Terrific game from Smith. He played well in the post, taking Andray Blatche’s lunch money, and I thought was pretty good distributing the ball, better than his two assists would indicate.

“Smoove picked up the slack, had an unbelievable game,” Joe Johnson said.

Said Drew, “I thought he did a magnificent job in his post-ups. He made some passes out of the post and got to the basket a couple times for some three-point plays. I just thought he played a well-rounded game.”

Another quote from Johnson about the Smith-Blatche matchup: “When you’ve got something that’s working, you’ve got to milk it. That hasn’t always been the case for us this year. I just kept telling Mike (Bibby) and Jamal (Crawford), ‘Just keep going to him because he’s in a rhythm.”

- Drew made comments about Smith’s shot selection that were interesting. “The third quarter, we got into a situation where we were taking some ill-advised shots, and him in particular, and he knows that I’m going to stay on him about his shot selection. I do feel very comfortable with Josh Smith taking the jump shot, it’s when he takes it that I have a problem with, but he and I, we’re going to battle that all year long, but we’re on the same page. We’re on the same page with it.”

Smith did have one particularly egregious shot, I thought, about halfway through the third quarter, a fadeaway near the lane that, if memory serves, went off the backboard. Zaza Pachulia rebounded it and got fouled, which minimized the error. He then hit a jump shot, missed another, then airballed one from the corner. After that, he took Blatche to the basket, had a vicious dunk, and then Crawford went on his personal 6-0 run at the end of the third.

That said, I thought Smith’s shot selection was by and large was acceptable. For what it’s worth, Drew’s tone when he said that was even and not challenging.

- Strong minutes from Damien Wilkins. Six big points in the fourth quarter and good defense.

Smith: “Every time he gets the opportunity to play, he does something good on the court. He definitely came in in the fourth quarter and gave us some big points and was pretty much able to hold (Nick) Young down on his own.”

- Pachulia held his own, drawing some fouls and scoring seven points with four rebounds. He’s 2-0 this season as a starter. He helped the Hawks get the early lead, which they held for nearly the whole game.

- Not the most important aspect of the game, but Bibby shot better – 2-for-3 from 3-point range – and did alright against John Wall. Notably, he drew two or maybe three fouls on him, which helped limit Wall to 32 minutes. (Kirk Hinrich’s effectiveness probably had something to do with that, too. When did he start wearing those glasses?)

- Hawks have won three in a row with a chance to make it six with Philadelphia, Charlotte and Detroit up next followed by a bit of a rough patch. Ten of the next 12 after that have winning records, including two with the Lakers, Knicks and Bulls, as well as Oklahoma City.

- They’re also now 12-4 on the second game of back-to-backs, which is ridiculous, and 16-11 on the road. I’ll have to dig in the media guide to find out the last time they finished above .500 on the road for the season.

- That’s all.

Ken Sugiura, Hawks writer

106 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

February 6th, 2011
12:27 am

Good win. And I like the fourth quarter play. Much better shot selection.

Maybe Bibby is coming out of his slump.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2011
12:32 am

The Warriors are up by 9 with 7 minutes left in the game on the Bulls. If the Bulls lose, the Hawks close to within 2 games of the #3 seed.

Freshfromatl

February 6th, 2011
12:37 am

Daaaaammmmnnnn!! Golden State is straight running the Bulls out of the building right now.

Leo

February 6th, 2011
12:37 am

Please trade for Ramon Sessions or Captain Kirk from the wizards.

doc

February 6th, 2011
12:37 am

thanks ken, good stuff from the locker room. fun to be a fan with you and MC doing the job. would love to see josh get smart enough to onch up to avg 2 pppg more. if 18 and 9 dont get him all star the way he does defense then he has to see a plastic surgeon to change his looks because that would be all that was left to change about himself since coming to the league. yeah he sucked last night a bit like the rest of them for trying to stroke jumpers early in the clock count but he has chaged since.

NorcalHawk

February 6th, 2011
12:38 am

Did Al’s hard-nosed drive at the end of the Clippers game perhaps inspire his teammates to go harder to the bucket? Whatever the case, loved seeing everyone step up against the Wiz. Great road win!

Section 303

February 6th, 2011
12:48 am

Come on, Ken. The Wizards got “jobbed” by calls? Last year, all you told us was that the Hawks were lucky to beat team X because player A was hurt. Now, the refs make the difference. If there is a way to cheapen a Hawks win, you will find it.

I’ve sat through enough games over the years where the calls were against the Hawks, with little doubt, I might add. If the tables turn, for once, than fair is fair.

Please, tell me this is Michael’s last game off this year.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2011
12:49 am

The Warriors have shadowed Derrick Rose with a second defender for a big chunk of this game on the perimeter, and that second guy has usually tried to take away Rose’s passing lanes. Generally it has worked. Rose has 14 points and 9 turnovers. Maybe something the Hawks could try to use against him, since they clearly are not going to contain him with just Bibby.

Section 303

February 6th, 2011
1:01 am

Nice win by the Warriors! Hawks not out of that #3 spot just yet. I would love for them to play (and beat) the Knicks in the first round.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2011
1:38 am

From the previous blog…

“Bibby won’t be guarding Rose . . . JJ will. Bibby will be on someone like Keith Bogans or somebody.”

You’re probably right, but I’d rather Joe not have to chase Rose around all game long. Anyway, the Bulls give Kyle Korver a lot of minutes, and that is one guy who cannot be left alone on the perimeter. If Bibby is switched on to him he better be able to stick with him.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2011
1:41 am

Anyway, the reason I’m obsessing so much over the Bulls is because the three remaining games with them are probably three of the four most important games of the season left for the Hawks (the other one being the one remaining game with the Magic). If the Hawks beat the Magic they clinch the tiebreaker over them, and if the Hawks can take two of three from the Bulls, not only will they clinch the tiebreaker over them but they will gain a game on them in the standings, inching them closer to the #3 seed. Their schedule after the All Star break is brutal, but if they can find a way to continue winning 65% of their games through that stretch, the 3 seed is well within reach.

Worldwide Clyde

February 6th, 2011
1:59 am

Grandad

February 6th, 2011
2:24 am

At this point in the season we don’t need a nickel/dime player like Sessions.
chemistry has been formed.
Besides, Sessions cannot shoot, therefore teams don’t honor his shot,
and he can’t space the floor.

We need two types of player:
(1) impact; i. e. Nash (not suggesting, just stating – he’s an impact player)
-or-
(2) role player/specifically a defender @ one of two positions. [pg -or- Big]

I tried earlier to post this: (I’ll try again)
The p-layer we “do need” is:
Amir Johnson;
We need to get him before he becomes “un-get-able”
He’s getting better every day.
*G-dad’s~~~Amir Johnson~~~bandwagon!!!
-Hop on Sund-

Grandad

February 6th, 2011
2:32 am

*N-ot r-eal s-ure w-hy I t-ried t-o s-pell [player] w-th a h-yphen.

Ken Sugiura

February 6th, 2011
2:35 am

303 – i appreciate your comments, but i invite you to count the number of things i said the hawks did to earn the win vs. basically the one thing i said that, in your words, “cheapened” the victory. and, sorry to disappoint you, but you’ll be hearing plenty from me.

Ken Sugiura

February 6th, 2011
2:39 am

grandad – the thought of a player like nash on the team is without question intriguing. what i wonder, though, is what it would do to the chemistry you brought up. (which, i agree, is forming.) if the price for nash or a similar impact player is one of the big three, is that a trade you’re willing to make?

Ra'mon

February 6th, 2011
2:39 am

G’Dad, This is my trade suggestion, if Sund can’t come up with an impact player.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4qn9fut

Hawks get:
B. Wallace
C. Wilcox
W. Bynum

Pistons get:
Z. Pachula
M. Evans
J. Powell
E. Thomas
and 2011 2nd round pick.

This deal gives Detroit over 4 million in expiring contracts. The Hawks are able to add defensive front court depth to the roster, and add a good defender at the point position. Wilcox is in the final year of his deal which pays $3 mil, and Wallace has one more season left for $2 mil. Bynum has 2 seasons left at about $3 mil a season. So beyond this season you basically traded Zaza’s salary cap space for Bynum and Wallace’s. That’s a trade I’d be willing to make. And the 2nd round pick,… well lets just say its better to give it away in Feb., than to give it away during the draft, lol.

Ra'mon

February 6th, 2011
2:43 am

KenS, the only way you trade one of the big three is if its for one of the all star PGs in the game in two weeks. Other wise, the most talent you’re willing to give up is Jamal. For every game Jamal has like last night, he has 2 or 3 like tonight. Jamal will score 31 in the first game, 9 in the second game (while committing turnovers and shooting 20%), and 8 in the third game (while shooting 30% percent). Then when you look back at it on paper you’ll see a 16 ppg average. When in actuality he only positively affected the outcome of games 33% of the time.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

February 6th, 2011
5:27 am

I cannot wait to catch this one on league pass – the All-Star Snub may send Smith on a tear again – time will tell. Time will also tell if my prediction that the Hawks will win the reg. season series versus the Bulls and take the 3rd seed is accurate. I am sour grapes that the Bulls have been given a pass as Eastern Conference Elite over the Hawks – with one of the weakest first half schedules and not proving it in the playoffs yet. They are also in the weakest division by far in the EC. Boozer doesn’t want it with Smoove or Horford. Noah doesn’t either.

slimjr

February 6th, 2011
8:19 am

The Hawks will earn respect from the National sports media when they stop getting drilled in the playoffs..

“Their schedule after the All Star break is brutal, but if they can find a way to continue winning 65% of their games through that stretch, the 3 seed is well within reach.”

Sund is fixing to found out if his squad are a bunch of pretenders or true contenders in the East….

Stay Tuned! Hawks as a 3rd seed this year??? Dreams do come true……lol

doc

February 6th, 2011
8:36 am

hf in no, yes, the bulls have ripped undefeated through their division. just the same their projected first team for the season is yet to play more than 9 games together and that was with noah already injured and as he said it unable to palm a basketball even with his huge hands. they are still a force with the coach we seemed to never even blink his way to consider for a job here. on that note maybe chicago is that much better of a town and organization if TT decided he didnt even want to look our way or answer the telephone if we did indeed consider him.

gilbert arenas

February 6th, 2011
9:46 am

BLATCHE didn’t have any lunch money. It was already stolen by the rest of the league. ‘DRAY plays soft inside since he got ‘his’ extension, and has been bankrupt since.

gilbert arenas

February 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Hey Leo

Captain Kirk for your Captain Krunch [Horford] straight up.

gilbert arenas

February 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Ha,ha,ha. Clyde we’ll trade you Sund for Grunfeld and throw in a Flip or two to boot.

gilbert arenas

February 6th, 2011
9:58 am

now you talkin’ doc. ‘tt’ is the man. If I hadn’t stunk up the phone booth, d.c. might have had him instead.

mountain_jim

February 6th, 2011
10:20 am

I agree with Ken, the Warriors did get jobbed on some foul calls late. But they also got away with a lot of grabbing on their double-teams that was not called.

Dukester

February 6th, 2011
11:01 am

Well I know we need to be more athletic at center. Collins and Zaza will not cut it in the playoffs. I love Horford the death but he will not take us through the playoffs at center. Now one thing I can say I have been one of the toughest on MARVIN but last night’s MARVIN will get us somewhere. 15 pts 12 rebound let me be the first to congratulate MARVIN keep up the good work. Seems like every since that fight he has been very aggressive I hope he stays on fire.
@Grandad I love Amir Johnson I dont care who we choose but i know we need a tough rebounder and shot blocker.

J.J.M

February 6th, 2011
11:16 am

josh seems to always go off after being snubbed

Section 303

February 6th, 2011
11:31 am

Ra’mon, I usually hate the ESPN Trade Machine, but I like that deal you created. The players the Hawks get would help. And, my least favorite Hawk (Mo Evans) would be hitting the road.

Go ahead and call that trade into David Stern. Let’s do it.

ICECOLD

February 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

What you think about this Ken…
http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4gxcjto

THE HAWKSG GET PAUL GASOL

THE LAKERS GET
Marvin Williams
Zaza pachulia
Mo Evans
Etan Thomas
first round pick

they get the defense they want in everybody we give them, and they get that youth in Marvin Williams.. and they would get our first round pick!!! everybody wins

[...] significant because is recent games the Hawks have been even more perimeter oriented than usual. The AJC’s Ken Sugiura outlines the Hawks free throw totals over the last ten games. Hawks free throws for the last 10 games – 12, 20, 14, 11, 23, 23, 23, 22, 9, 13. Notably, the [...]

ATL FAN

February 6th, 2011
1:16 pm

lol ICECOLD this isnt NBA live, why in the world would the Lakers want to make that trade?

slimjr

February 6th, 2011
1:34 pm

Sautee

February 6th, 2011
2:03 pm

Ramon,

Why on earth would Detroit do that deal? You say it gives them $4M in expiring contracts, but they ALREADY have $3M in Wilcox’ salary expiring. What makes you think they would take our garbage for a measly $1M in savings.

Also, tell me who you’d rather have: Big Ben at $2M or Zaza at $4.5M?

Well you already told me that. You’d choose Ben. Why wouldn’t the Pistons?

Sautee

February 6th, 2011
2:07 pm

LOL@ slim. That trade would cost Portland 15 wins.

C’mon man, I’ve told you over and over. Now you are getting silly.

Unless Mikey specifically wants a trade, “it ain’t happenin’”

superiorblogman

February 6th, 2011
2:28 pm

When posting trades you have to take into account that the Hawks are not going over the luxury this year nor next year. Being that they don’t know what the luxury will be next year or will it even be a luxury, just keep in mind that whatever amount they will be spending next year on incoming contracts they must send out next year in incoming contracts. That’s why Jamal has not been traded and probably will not be traded because they don’t want to take contracts back they just want to let Jamal walk and be rid of his contract. That’s the sad truth about a sorry franchise when it comes to trying put the best possible product on the floor, that is not the Hawks main concern. Also we currently have 8 guys under contract for next year but are only like $6.4 million under the current luxury threshold. So, just understanding that if you wanted 13 players you would be either getting guys at minimum or draft picks to stay under luxury. Furthermore, you can not afford to trade like 3 players for 1 this year because that number of players under contract would go down from the already low 8. So, the guys that could feasibly be traded are few. Mo, Jamal, Josh Powell, Jason Collins, Etan are the most likely. Every other guy that you could trade would have to be in a even trade meaning if you send out 3 guys you need 3 back. Too complicated for you Trade Machine addicts?

On the other hand, we can dream though the truth is there is not a trade out there that the front office is willing to make that would get us to the next level that does not include giving up Josh or Al.

superiorblogman

February 6th, 2011
2:32 pm

Also, a lot of people are down on their knees blowing Sund for getting Jamal, but it was not a good trade if you don’t get something out of Jamal, rather that be via trade or re-sign. It was just a half ass trade, done well in one sense and handled horribly in the other sense.

superiorblogman

February 6th, 2011
2:44 pm

All that said, the best and most feasible trade for ATL is to send Jeff Teague and Mo Evans to the Kings for Jason Thompson and Donte Greene. You go from having 8 to 9 players under contract next year and you get another big who can be a consistent rotation player.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=27gunp6

prison mike

February 6th, 2011
2:55 pm

Pistons aren’t making deals as they are going through ownership changes. Phoenix is playing hard to get for a 37 year old nash.

Take Jamal and 1st 2011 and trade him again for another mid first rounder.

Ra'mon

February 6th, 2011
3:05 pm

Sautee, the reason Detroit would do that deal is, while Big Ben is a better defensive and rebounding option. Zaza is a better scorer than Wilcox or Big Ben. I’d do the deal even if we had to throw Teague in the deal, and take out Powell or Evans. The dream deal would be Evans, Teague, and a first for Rodney Stuckey. However, I don’t see that happening.

Sleepy

February 6th, 2011
3:14 pm

Jamal is our best road player Joe ,Al,and Josh are a bunch of homecourt frontrunners . You dont think that the coaches know this ? They know who shows up on the road and who shows up and home and it all balances itself out .

@ Ramon sorry bruh but you just dont get it . Jamal comes off the bench there isnt anyone better in the league off the bench .

Saying that he has one 30 point game and then 2 poor shooting game is just silly did you even read the notes

If there is only been ONE 30 pt game by someone else off the bench this year and jamal now has 3 what does that tell you ? H e also has 10+ games of 20+ pts off the bench as well.

If you dont think that Drew and Sund know these facts you are crazy . .Our “core” play to the crowd of family and friends at home and then go out consistently fail to show up on the road .

They are all quality players but jamal is one of our most consistent players in a role that is extremely chaotic which is why there are very few players in nba history who have been able to do what hes been doing

Grandad

February 6th, 2011
3:19 pm

Mr Sugiura,
Thanks for your response.
Plus your blogs are most positive.
Ignore both those who would praise or criticize.
[myself included] Thick skin is a blessing.
As to your query about Nash and or the big 3 (Joe,Josh,Al).
I would not trade any of the Big 3 as they are untouchable.
*Unless? *[Durant et al]

**We Need:
{{{-Amir Johnson-}}}…..G-dad’s ~~~ bandwagon ~~~ hop on !!!

Ken Sugiura – If you’re listening, alert Sund, to the “Amir johnson” bandwagon.

drmaryb (*_*)

February 6th, 2011
3:21 pm

Do The Math!

“Furthermore, you can not afford to trade like 3 players for 1″
___________________

Superirblogman these silly people took silly math in high school. They can’t add nor subtract. Aye people … The roster minimum is 15! There are anly 420 jobs in the NBA.

drmaryb (*_*)

February 6th, 2011
3:27 pm

Truth Meter!

“.Our “core” play to the crowd of family and friends at home and then go out consistently fail to show up on the road .”
_____________________

This a “Pants on Fire” Lie!
Last I checked The Hawks were tied with The Lakers for the best road wins record. I haven’t checked that lately, but we haven’t lost any road games except in Dallas.

Just Stop it!

bigdave

February 6th, 2011
3:42 pm

Dwight a grown man on the blocks today..

Jae Evolution

February 6th, 2011
3:56 pm

“This trade solves all of our problems:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6h4jh36

Marcus Camby is going to undergo surgery on his knee so he probably won’t be available for the rest of the season.

I do like that trade to the Piston’s because Will Bynum is a great PG who doesn’t get enough credit and we can get some backup’s who aren’t missing point blank layups every other night.

JeJe

February 6th, 2011
5:29 pm

Ken, I can’t post from home but am at a different spot now so here goes…

I wasn’t too fond of your comment about Smoove having a high IQ the other night in that he knew Horford may have to be replaced to shoot FTs. As soon as Horford landed on his back, I immediately thought of Collins or Wilkins having to shoot those FTs. Thank God Horf was feeling good enough to shoot [and make] the FTs.

Most people who follow NBA know that rule very well

hawks_4_life

February 6th, 2011
5:57 pm

Where is a good website to watch games online?

The original slimjr

February 6th, 2011
5:57 pm

Sautee, I did not put a link for trading players.I never have since I started blogging with you guys.That was an imposter, fake, fraud,(Troll),Buster, copycat,looser, big dummy, et al!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……………………

Oldtimer

February 6th, 2011
6:08 pm

It is amazing that we are in the month of Feb, and Hawks and Bulls have not played yet. Meanwhile, Hawks have twice played Kings and Clippers each. Some of those NBA schedule makers have a sense of humor about them.