Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 117, Hawks 83

  • “I could have never imagined that kind of win tonight,” said Sixers coach Doug Collins, who apparently hasn’t watched the Hawks very much.
  • Perhaps this a chicken-and-egg thing for the Hawks. Do they just not care enough to play better than this against an opponent they eclipse in talent, or do they just look like they don’t care when they can’t play better than this against an opponent they eclipse in talent?
  • L.D. seemed to think it was more of the former after another home surrender:
  • “It is just totally unacceptable to come out and play with that type energy, that type so-called passion, to play almost as if they don’t care. And that’s a reflection of me. If that’s the case, then I am going to have to make some changes to my starting lineup. I’ve seen that way too often and if that’s the way we are going to start basketball games, I am not going to sit here and take it I am going to make some changes.”
  • Which of course begs the question: Which changes could he possibly make to fix what have been persistent problems for this team?
  • Drew can get Al back in the lineup, ASAP. That’s not going to suddenly make the Hawks be a team that doesn’t rely heavily on making jump shots to score, rebounds on defense, defends dribble penetration and slows opponents in transition that match (or exceed) their athleticism.
  • Here is what L.D. had to say about Jrue Holiday and Co. dancing through his team’s defense:
  • “Bad defense. That’s all it was. We were broken down off the dribble where it was man-on-man. We were exploited off the dribble. We know Philadelphia has guys that are capable but we cannot come out and constantly let a team penetrate our interior like that. And it happened from the start and it happened until the end. When you play where team is constantly breaking down off the dribble, you are in a lot of rotation situations, you are forcing bigs to come and help, they put it up in the glass, they get the offensive rebound.”
  • This is not a new revelation. As I said, it’s not like L.D. has a lot of good options but his distribution of minutes this season shows that this is a weakness that he has not purposefully tried to shore up with the personnel available to him.
  • After the Hawks surrendered defensively in the first half, Drew could have made good on his threat to change lineups. The move would have sent a message to his starters at the same time it allowed him to experiment. Instead, he sent out the same group that couldn’t defend in the first half and saw them fail to do much better after halftime.
  • So, back to the chicken-and-egg thing: Did this happen because the Hawks don’t care or did it just look like that because they couldn’t overcome their deficiencies?
  • “I don’t think anybody didn’t care,” Marvin said. “Obviously when you get down by such a huge deficit, guys’ body language is going to change and that’s what frustrates [Drew] the most. He doesn’t like to see that. But anybody that laces their shoes up cares, especially on this team. I can say that wholeheartedly.”
  • At the very least, Marvin (10 points, 10 rebounds, a handful of hustle plays) can say that for himself in this game.
  • Home fans booed the Hawks a bit at halftime and again in the second half. Eventually, they just seemed to grow bored and disinterested. I mean the fans, not the Hawks, though I guess it could be both if you buy into L.D.’s theory.
  • “I don’t care who we are playing, we should never be down by 30,” Jamal said. “I think that is just caring more. We have got to continue to hold each other accountable and keep getting better.”
  • With Al out, Etan inactive and the game moving too fast for Twin, L.D. tried various small lineups that included Smoove, Josh Powell and (if I saw what I think saw) even Damien at center.
  • The Sixers continued to run past the Hawks, dominate them on the boards and make most of the plentiful open shots that were available and the few that the Hawks managed to challenge.
  • “When we wasn’t making shots, every rebound they got they were pushing it and pounding the ball down our throat,” J.J. said. “We wasn’t playing no help defense. The defense tonight was just non-existent. They got whatever they wanted.”
  • The Hawks also couldn’t make shots, starting 4 of 14 from the field. Then, like happens with this team, the lack of jumpers falling (and the lack of a marquee opponent to keep them revved up) eventually led to an all-systems failure.
  • “I hope that’s not the case,” L.D. said. “You are going to miss shots. But there is no excuse for giving up easy baskets the way we give up easy baskets. It starts from our starters. When they come out and play like that at the very beginning it’s hard to overcome a deficit like that.”
  • The big question for the Hawks is how they will fare once the schedule toughens. But before we can even get to that, it’s already time to wonder about a team that regularly takes home beatdowns like this (Milwaukee, Boston, New Orleans and now Philadelphia, just one real contender among that group).
  • That just doesn’t happen to serious teams, so it’s a major red flag for the Hawks.
  • “Joe and I were talking about the same thing on the bench on the fourth quarter,” Marvin said. “You see this happen a couple times on the road, but this has happened to us a couple times at home. Obviously there are going to be nights like this but you can’t chalk it up to that. We just weren’t ready to play as a team.”
  • That seven-game circus trip is right around the corner. Orlando won tonight and is still right below in the standings while Chicago is still two games ahead.
  • “Especially at home, we cannot come out and play with that type energy, we cannot play with that type effort and play such a lethargic game when every game has such a a meaning to us,” L.D. said. “Here we are about to play our last game before we go out on the road for seven games. It is just totally inexcusable for us to come out with that type effort, with that type energy and play such a game that we are fighting for our lives trying to move up in the standings.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

110 comments Add your comment

superiorblogman

February 8th, 2011
11:39 pm

The Hawks suck. The ASG is garbage and so is Drew. He let his boy quit and his team quits on the regular. The Hawks need a starting level PG and another big who can play and hold his own in any situation preferable a C. What a sorry ass team and franchise.

Geoff

February 8th, 2011
11:40 pm

Melvin

February 8th, 2011
11:42 pm

Good post game right up LD. I hope LD makes some changes with the rotation b/c we know Sund and the ASG will not make any personnel changes.

Geemack

February 8th, 2011
11:45 pm

MC

This should not be a surprise. The is the exact same team that got blown out last year in the playoffs by Orlando on their home floor.

The Bucks came into the Hawks house in the playoffs last year and beat the Hawks with a short handed team.

Mr. Sund refuses to shake up the personnel and Drew refuses to change his starting unit and both know this is a flawed team but will not a move to spark life into it.

Geemack

February 8th, 2011
11:49 pm

The Lakers excuse for playing poorly from time to time is they’veplYed over 300 games the last 3 seasons and won 2 titles.

What’s the Hawks?

kaminari

February 8th, 2011
11:56 pm

How can this happen? They won’t make the necessary changes to be real winners. That’s why with the sixth best record in the league, the Hawks will be ranked about 11 or 12 overall. They are perceived as losers with an inflated record. All it takes is for an injury to a starter for the whole ship to sink. I still want to know why Teague doesn’t get minutes. The last two years he’s played in only two games with 25 or more minutes. In both he excelled. Why isn’t he playing?!

slimjr

February 8th, 2011
11:56 pm

“The Hawks suck. The ASG is garbage and so is Drew. He let his boy quit and his team quits on the regular. The Hawks need a starting level PG and another big who can play and hold his own in any situation preferable a C. What a sorry ass team and franchise.”

Cosign!

tom

February 8th, 2011
11:57 pm

this team is soft.

Kitis

February 9th, 2011
12:00 am

This team’s true character shines through when they face any hint of adversity, and the roll-over-and-quit attitude was evident from halfway thru the 1st qtr on in this one. Even the worst teams in this league are able to make a run to cut a lead to a somewhat respectable margin at some point during a blowout, but this was wire-to-wire embarrassing.

The missed shots are an afterthought compared to the lack of team defense, the total disregard for boxing out, and a general feel of indifference when the odds are against them. Everyone in the NBA knows that the Hawks stop playing when the going gets tough, so jumping on them quick is all it takes to put them down for the count.

Al (I can’t believe I’m about to type this) and occasionally Marv are the only ones who play with any fire; Joe and Jamal are just out there playing to get theirs, Smoov is too busy bickering with the refs, LD and everyone else that’s supposedly out to get him, Bibster is just below everyone else athletically to actually compete with any intensity, and even Zaza has long since lost that spark due to his preoccupation with his mediocre restaurant ventures and his overhyped fashion sense.

This team lacks any semblance of leadership- LD tries to get them to play hard, lord knows, but these guys have been together too long to respond or even respect what he has to say.

I’ve held out as long as I can, but this team will be lucky to get through the first round this year, and that will be as good as it gets with this bunch. Might as well flip the roster while we still can and start over fresh. This group is played out, I’m sorry to say. Thanks for always tellin it like it is, MC.

And to the ASG, there are no words to describe my utter disgust for everything you represent. Y’all are more of an embarrassment to this franchise night in and night out than tonight’s performance ever could be.

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:02 am

You Guys ain’t seen nothing yet. They have a brutal schedule over the next three weeks. They could easily go 3-9 over the next 12. They will get dismantled up in Charlotte this Saturday night!!!! Stick a fork in the Hawks….Marvina’s back. That’s how the Hawks played tonight…Got their ish slapped around the court again…It’s curtains for this crew….D-league stuff……
Sund=MAJOR FAIL for 31 yrs and counting…The beat down will continue fellas…………..

Grandad

February 9th, 2011
12:04 am

I just arrived and haven’t read everyone’s perspective.
Here’s mine:
LD had best back up what he says;
“shake up starting line-up”.
There was no excuse for this garbage.
These supposed professionals did not earn their exorbitant checks tonight.
It’s on LD just as he says [a reflection] at least he understands.
Plus he’s correct to call out his charges in public.
They were a public disgrace.
Once in a season…but twice in 3 wks.
Gomer [Pyle] said:
“fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice , shame on me”.
This is totally unacceptable.
Did they go out on a binge last eve?
Were they hung over?
Do they even care?
Why do I care?
Too long, too many times, with this bunch.
I can’t wait to hear the same ol’ drivel…..
This is not X’s and O’s and it’s not about a pg or a Big.
Someone @ the top has to figure out who posses these qualities:
*Warriors *Winners *Competitors *Heart *Leadership
*Responsibility *Industrious *Team 1st *Perseverance.
Then get rid of the chaff…break up the durn core!
I feel better now.

Original Thought

February 9th, 2011
12:04 am

Yeah, that will fix it. A “starting level” PG and a C who can “hold his own in any situation preferable”. You think we could trade Etan and Mo for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul? Or somehow sign Steve Nash away from the Suns? Or maybe ask Bill Russell if he can come out of retirement.

Come on man, the problem is not the personel we don’t have, but the personel we have that don’t seem to enjoy playing basketball on a couple nights here and there.

Jlove from Denver

February 9th, 2011
12:05 am

I love the Hawks… they have always been underrated but still had a cool swagger. Unfortunately, it seems like they’re one or two players away from making a real push to challenge the elite in the conference. Still, they reside in the East where they have a great chance to at least make it to the conference finals if they can play more consistently as a team and improve their defensive schemes. In my opinion Jamal and Josh Smith give the Hawks the best chance to win, but as everyone in the league probably agrees… despite his talent, signing Joe Johnson to such a massive contract was a huge mistake.. All analysis aside.. the Hawks losing by 34 to the freakin’ Sixers (or ANY team) at home is completely unacceptable!

Rev in Tampa

February 9th, 2011
12:06 am

I missed the game tonight, thankfully, but I saw the Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit and New Orleans beat-downs so I feel like I have seen this game as well. This is a replay of the Orlando series. This team has a mental flaw somewhere in its genetic makeup. Whenever the right button is pushed this team just wilts.

Significantly, or not, the five beat-down losses were NOT after back-to-back games. This team seems to play more focused on the back end of a back-to-back.

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:06 am

Free Jordan Crawford

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:07 am

Where was Joe Johnson tonight?

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:10 am

one or two away,Try 10 to compete for a title plus new ownership!

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:10 am

We need to start calling Mike Bibby “Pops.”

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:10 am

LD your fired!

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:11 am

Mike Bibby=old geezer

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:12 am

We keep getting blown out but Zaza continues to get playing time. When will Drew realize he is too soft to play in the NBA? Bench Zaza

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jane and Jeff Schultz, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 117, Hawks 83 http://bit.ly/feAiwu [...]

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:16 am

Pops was getting beat off the dribble 2 years ago but we still gave him a new contract. I guess bad defense is rewarded in the Hawks organization.

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:18 am

Free Jordan Crawford.

He couldn’t have did any worse than Bibby tonight. Hell if Joe didn’t want to play we could have gave Jordan the start.

FREE JEJE

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:19 am

Drew ain’t bout to change the lineup. He just talking. Plus the Spirit Group won’t allow him.

Jlove from Denver

February 9th, 2011
12:21 am

umm.. bench ZaZa and play who at center until big Al comes back? For most match ups playing small usually is a bad idea.

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:29 am

Sign Sean Williams to a 10 day contract for all I care. Zaza is trash. A waste of a contract.

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:35 am

Shame on you Hawks!!!! You are officially PATHETIC!!!!

Jlove from Denver

February 9th, 2011
12:39 am

ehhh.. i like ZaZa. he’s a solid back up center in the NBA.

MsDee

February 9th, 2011
12:40 am

Its just 1 lost, people..weither we had lost by 30+(which we did) or by 1, its STILL just 1 game. We are like 5-18 when playing games after 3 or more days off. To me, playoffs matter more than regular season games. With statistics like this after 3 or more days off, THANK GOODNESS, we wont have to worry about playing games in the playoffs after sitting 3 or more days.

darrell starks

February 9th, 2011
12:41 am

Why in the H LD continue 2 play small line up, what is he thinking absolutely absurd.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Jlove from Denver

February 9th, 2011
12:43 am

I will agree this is a bad loss for the Hawks but they will get back on track.. I dont understand everyone acting like the team hasn’t been one of the top players in the east for years.. maybe you should try being a Cavs fan. :P

darrell starks

February 9th, 2011
12:46 am

The hawks have 2 either trade for a big man or just prepare 2 lose in the first round, because for some strange reason he refuse 2 starte collins at center and teague at point, bibby is now trash rank dead last in assist per game and with no defense.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:47 am

i am incapable of positive thought. all i do is btch n moan

darrell starks

February 9th, 2011
12:48 am

BIBBY PLAYED 22MIN WITH 1 ASSIST WOW!!!!!
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:48 am

Hawks=PRETENDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lose by 41 and 34 in the weeks…What a joke….Sounds like those playoffs losses to Orlando last year… Its hawks history repeating…

lewis

February 9th, 2011
12:51 am

the players are too complacent, if for any reason the Hawks need to make a trade, it’s to keep the players on their toes

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
12:53 am

I predict another 2nd round sweep for the Hawks.

darrell starks

February 9th, 2011
12:55 am

What would it take 2 get BYNUM in a hawks uniform.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!

darrell starks

February 9th, 2011
12:57 am

MARVIN, ZAZA AND A 1ST FOR BYNUM.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

slimjr

February 9th, 2011
12:57 am

“Significantly, or not, the five beat-down losses were NOT after back-to-back games. This team seems to play more focused on the back end of a back-to-back.”

Playoff format are not back to back=beat down…

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
1:00 am

Drew has no problem calling Teague out but he won’t call Bibby out.

Atlanta Fawkers

February 9th, 2011
1:01 am

Let me guess… there is a positive from this loss too?

SWATS30311

February 9th, 2011
1:14 am

The word I would describe this team as is bi-polar! You don’t know what team you’re gonna get night to night!

Plus, you paid JJ to be a leader, but he doesn’t have it in him. We need a player in that locker room who will stand up and dayum near come to blows with his teammates when the team’s slacking – like tonight.

Dayum shame.

And LD keeps allowing Smoove to jack up silly ass shots! One ill-advised jump shot will get you pulled out the game QUICK around here!

northcyde

February 9th, 2011
1:25 am

@ slimjr . . . now you know better than that. 80% of fans threw dirt on the Hawks after the New Orleans beatdown. And it really didn’t phaze them one bit. They’ll go to Charlotte and take care of business, like they always do when they lose like this ( except in the playoffs vs good teams )

@ Rev . . . the problem is 4-fold, to me

1) lack of defense on both the perimeter and point blank around the rim ( with the defense at the PG position with Bibby, Jamal, and Teague being a major problem . . Bibby is by far the worst, then Jamal, then Teague )

2) lack of rebounding, which really shows up when we play frontlines that like to bang.

3) inability to create points on the inside, especially in the post, but also via penetration.

4) inability to get to the FT line, which is why/how teams can go on long runs, when we don’t make jumpers

Usually 2 of these 4 issues will show up in a typical Hawks game. We’re usually good enough to overcome it. But when 3 or all 4 show up, we’re dead in the water.

Despite us taking a ton of jumpshots, we’re 26th in the league in Offensive Rebounding %. And that’s because our guards take ill-advised shots and our big guys love to shoot jumpers.

We were 4th in the league in Offensive Reb % last year. Now, we’re 26th. With all the “good” of the new offense, that stat right there is one of the major differences between the 09 – 10 Hawks, and the 10 – 11 Hawks.

- 26th in offensive rebounding
- 27th in free throw rate

Two ways in which a team can get easy points, and we’re horrible in both categories.

Strength of schedule is 23rd in the league . . and we have very few “easy” home games left. These are not issues that are going to clear up with “effort”.

Either the team is going to have to play smarter, with more aggression on both offense and defense ( which is against their nature ). Or they have to bring in more aggressive players ( plural ) to the mix.

As of right now, neither will get done. This is why we’re simply a “good team” instead of a “contending team”

Big Daddy

February 9th, 2011
1:31 am

I did not see the game but wow, lose by 34 points at home! I have read about it and it is obvious in the tone of MC’s article that he is frustrated. It appears LD tried a lot of different combinations and nothing seemed to work.

My frustration, when I read this comes from two very distinctive points. First, how is it that your power forward has 7 assists and your starting and back-up point guards have 2 combined. Next, on all of the teams that I see that are any good, nights like this is when your superstar and one of the highest paid players in the league takes the team on his back and has a career night. He doesn’t end up with half the points of the guy who just came off two 10 day contracts. This was the night when people should come away saying we got our butts whupped tonight but did you see the show that Joe put on tonight. That did not happen and it should have.

This is beginning to not be an anomaly. How many times this season have the Hawks gotten blown out and this is at least the 2nd time at home. I like all of these guys but, it is obvious that changes have to be made. Sund, the clock is ticking. Are you just going to let Jamaal’s contract run out and get nothing for him if he chooses to go to another team or are you going to make a deal. On a night where even Teague scored more points than the person who will be playing in the All-Star game in 2 weeks, a statement was made by this team. Unfortunately, it was not a very good one.

Ra'mon

February 9th, 2011
1:32 am

Northcyde, the differences in offensive rebounding has more to do with transition defense than it does offense. As soon as the shot goes up, LD sends everyone but the 5, back on defense. So oppose to four people crashing the offensive glass you only have one. LD knows a team can easily score in transition if Bibby is the only one back (or Crawford). With this lineup its like pick your poison. And to make it worse the back up bigs don’t rebound at all. When your starting PF and C both are ranked in the top 15 in rebounding. That shows its everyone else who isn’t doing a decent job rebounding.

Ra'mon

February 9th, 2011
1:34 am

Also, after the show he put on, should AI be considered as a possible trade option? He’s clearly available, and you have to think JC1 or Marvin and a pick would be enough to acquire him.

NorcalHawk

February 9th, 2011
1:54 am

I don’t blame LD for wanting to “punish” his starters by reshuffling the lineup. Trouble is the bench……..
well, there is no bench after JC1 and even he’s been off his game more often than not. Larry may send a message by sitting some guys down, but I doubt it’ll make much difference in the long run. I’ve been a long time fan of Mike Bibby; it’s time now to ask if his days of contributing on the court are over.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 9th, 2011
2:03 am

In the NBA this season, a home team has lost by 34 or more twice. The first time was when the Hawks lost to the Hornets, and the second time was tonight. No other team — not even the Cavs — has lost by 34 or more at home.