Atlanta Hawks: Amar’e Stoudemire promises ‘very, very intense’ game for post-fight rematch

New YorkAnd so it begins.

It’s Round 3 of Hawks vs. Knicks at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, and of course the storyline in New York is focused on Atlanta’s 111-102 victory in Round 2 on Jan. 28. An intense game climaxed with Atlanta’s Marvin Williams coming to blows with Shawne Williams. Afterward, Amar’e Stoudemire called out Al Horford for his chest-pounding exhortations to Hawks fans at Philips Arena.

The league suspended Marvin for two games for his role in the fight, which he said happened after series of unspecified actions by the Knicks throughout the game. But Marvin downplayed the rematch.

“I am sure it is going to be intense,” he said. “But it’s in the past for me, and I’m sure it is for Shawne, too. It’s over; it’s done with. I am sure he feels the same way. It’s just another game.”

Shawne Williams, who got suspended for a game because of the altercation, also said he’s not bitter about the incident.

“I feel like we owe them guys from last game,” Williams told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan today at Knicks practice. “Ain’t nothing personal, like I said that day. We were competing in the heat of the moment and it got out of hand. There’s no hard feelings after. You play the game and you get caught up in the moment and things happen sometimes. It’s not like it’s premeditated or anything. Everything’s good.”

While those two might be ready to move on, Amar’e sounds as if he’s eager to face fellow All-Star Horford.

Amar’e missed New York’s victory over the Nets on Saturday with a toe injury but said he’s ready for the Hawks:

“It’s going to be a very, very intense game after what happened in Atlanta. He don’t want to see me. I watched him play in Florida, and I’ve seen him play a few years in Atlanta. We’ve got two different games, and we’ll see how it plays out tomorrow.”

It sounds as if Amar’e is suggesting he’s tougher than Al. That’s similar to his comments after the game last month: ““I don’t know what Horford’s thinking. He needs to calm down. He’s not that type of player. He doesn’t want to see me on any night, so he’d better relax and calm down.”

Horford later responded on Twitter, saying: “I am that kind of player, who does what he needs to win…”

After the Hawks beat the Pistons Tuesday, Al didn’t have much to add.

“A comment was made that I found out [about],” he said. “He’s a competitor, I am too. That’s all there is to that.”

In the aftermath of that tough victory against the Knicks, Hawks coach Larry Drew said that while he didn’t condone fighting, he thinks the Hawks could have bolstered their rep by not backing down “when you feel things got tough.”

What kind of game does he expect tomorrow at the Garden?

“Same thing,” he said, chuckling. “It won’t be any different. It’s going to be a very hard-fought basketball game. It’s going to be a physical game. We just have to go in there and do what we always try to do on the road and control the tempo.

“We won’t get caught up in a lot of the hype behind it. We’ve got a job to do. This is game we want want to get, especially before the All-Star break. We have to go in there like gangbusters.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

70 comments Add your comment

John

February 15th, 2011
3:29 pm

I think Amare needs to quiet down. He is a great player, but I don’t think toughness is a word that anybody thinks of when they hear his name. I hope Al takes it to him Wednesday. Nobody can question Al’s toughness.

Marcus

February 15th, 2011
3:35 pm

interesting ………. but Amare’ needs to worry about beating up on MIA, BOS, and ORL. Easy to talk tough about beating the 4th/5th team in the East ..

sidenote: We finally seem to be better than decent on the road and pick the wrong year to be schitzo at HOME.

Westurd

February 15th, 2011
3:37 pm

It will be a good one. Al can handle Amare no doubt!

Grandad

February 15th, 2011
3:39 pm

Knicks by 30+

I hope I’m wrong.

Al will not be intimidated;
others might be?

i_am_soulstar

February 15th, 2011
3:41 pm

Please STFU Amare. Your team is one game above .500. Your focus obviously isn’t where it should be.

tim

February 15th, 2011
3:52 pm

“Brawl” in Atlanta???? Oh come on………when is 2 idiots trying to throw 2 punches a “brawl”

I guess you don’t watch much hockey… Mr Cunningham.

K.W.

February 15th, 2011
3:52 pm

Some please tell Amar’e to have a seat. He wasn’t doing all this talking in Phoenix.

ryan

February 15th, 2011
3:53 pm

Hey the Rock will host WrestleMania in Atlanta in the words of the Rock JUST BRING IT Amare .

K.W.

February 15th, 2011
3:53 pm

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
3:54 pm

Great stuff for the media to hype this game. I hope the Hawks don’t get seduced by this nonsense. But knowing them, they might.

i_am_soulstar

February 15th, 2011
3:57 pm

The Hawks play well when passion is involved. I can’t recall them losing one game that they were incredibly hyped or passionate about. I bet anyone here that Amare just dug the Knicks’ grave for Wednesday night. I’m calling it now, Hawks by 10.

tyger

February 15th, 2011
3:57 pm

Hakeem Thabeet…

He’s obviously not ready, came out too early, etc. But did well at UConn, is not a problem child and 7′3. Memphis has different needs. They have Marc Gasol and Zack Randolph down low, so they are set. They are probably just trying to save face and recoup something, if not just cap space.

Hawks have nothing to lose here. The kid makes $4M about the same as ZaZa – throw in Teague and Mo Evans if they want, or a pick, whatever. I wouldn’t give them Marvin or anything, but I’d much rather have a 7′3 shot-swatting African on the bench vs. Etan Thomas and Jason Collins.

If he were just to hustle, grab rebounds and block shots; allowing Horford to move to PF; we would be way ahead of the game. Plus, his next contract wont be big.

Michael Cunningham

February 15th, 2011
4:05 pm

@tim:” “Brawl” in Atlanta???? Oh come on………when is 2 idiots trying to throw 2 punches a “brawl” I guess you don’t watch much hockey… Mr Cunningham.”

no, i do not. however, the word “brawl” appears nowhere in this blog post . . .

Scoop

February 15th, 2011
4:12 pm

There is a reason we own the Knicks and are 2-0 vs them this season………

They are weak inside, but they combat that against most teams with their athletcism-well the Hawks see their athleticism and raise them JOSH SMITH!!!!!!!!!!

The Knicks stand no chance if the Hawks come out with teh same focus as they did vs Detroit. And how about J SMoove. There is a difference in that dude now………

His attitude is different. He’s not wasting energy complaining to the officials and I can here him though the TV directing his teammates. And man did he crash the boards against Detroit-he had his hands on every rebound and loose ball. That should be his goal, if not this year then next, to average double digit rebounds. If you combine that with his steals and blocks he would have to be one of the most effective players on the court.

Smoove has all the potential in the world. If he can harness all that passion and emotion into a postive outlet the sky is the limt for him. I also want to see a little nasty from him though especially against New York tomorrow. All of the Hawks are high-character, good dudes, which makes me pull for them even more, but theres no need to play buddy buddy with the opponent on the court. Tomorrow, we need to be aggressive and hit first(not literally).

But this is the difference between this year and last-we acknowledge any leaks in our game and make the necessary adjustments. Last year, we would have lost to Detroit when they were up by 15.

Tremaine

February 15th, 2011
4:14 pm

If Mike Bibby crawl back in his shell then it will be a blowout by the 4th quarter. “GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!”

tim

February 15th, 2011
4:16 pm

@ Michael Cunningham……Who wrote the headline on the front page of the AJC sports page that says “Wednesdays game expects to be intense as teams meet for 1st time since BRAWl in Atlanta”. You click the link and it goes to your lame blog.

prison mike

February 15th, 2011
4:16 pm

Sounds like amare is pulling out horfords h card. Don’t see none of them saying anything about JS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x95Ya5Hpdow
That’s all dude, whoop ya behind with a tall dude.

Rev in Tampa

February 15th, 2011
4:19 pm

I hope Al snaps Amare’s goggles.

ICECOLD

February 15th, 2011
4:20 pm

This is going to be intereresting , amare might have 25, and 7 but al will have like 18 and 12 ….this at least this is giving horford a reason to go hard.. I think amare needs to worry about josh smith though and how he been playing!!! Hawks win 107-102…. they won’t meet in the playoffs , at all , but this should be fun in the garden …( what’s up with Joes scoring )

tim

February 15th, 2011
4:21 pm

Oh…of course you don’t watch hockey…you’re black.

RomeDawg

February 15th, 2011
4:38 pm

Maybe this will get these guys fired up and ready to play from the tip! We got the talent but sometimes it appears we lack the motivation.

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
4:47 pm

If I were Amare, I’d be more worried about Josh Smith. Horford will take care of his, and when he plays passionate, he’s a load to deal with (ask Doc Rivers and the Celtics).

Amare….”he don’t wanna see me”….We’ll see about that…just because you are in New York doesn’t mean you’re suddenly Mr. Tough Guy.

man man

February 15th, 2011
4:47 pm

Al is not ready to see him.Amare is a way better player and will be him one on one any day.And Amare plays defense

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
4:48 pm

tim

February 15th, 2011
4:21 pm
Oh…of course you don’t watch hockey…you’re black.

Race-baiting lunatic alert….

Big Ray

February 15th, 2011
4:49 pm

Al is not ready to see him.Amare is a way better player and will be him one on one any day.And Amare plays defense

Too bad it’s a team sport, huh? How’d we win last time if Amare is so great? :roll:

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
4:49 pm

From the previous blog:

K-Dogg

“The Truth Josh Smith is a good player i dont think any of us have denied that esp as a 17th pick overall but here are the keys to why he has no real value. 1: The turnovers is a key b/c he has been in the L long enough to not have some of the types of turnoevers that he has. 2. His attitude that he still has when thing dont go his way like touchs and foul calls. He has to in becoming a vet get past letting stuff like that take him out of games”

“He is 6′8 or 6′9 at best and he is a true power foward and its the same postion anotehr 6′9 guy on our team plays”

To each his own but regarding TOs; there are 23 other players ahead of Josh in TOs with some impressive credentials (just to name few):

Rajon Rondo (2)
Lebron James (3)
Steve Nash (4)
Derrick Rose (6)
Deron Williams (7)
Amar’e Stoudemire (8)
Dwight Howard (9)
Kobe Bryant (16)

So to say he has no real value because of his TO ranking is bit over the top IMHO. You also mentioned his perceived bad attitude which has been also echoed by many. I can also remember MJ and many other star players lobbying to the refs to change a call in the heat of battle making all kinds of outburst to no avail. The Truth is, in the heat on battle, competitors give-off all kinds of emotions. Josh Smith should not be an exception. Why is it that there is a “stay in your place” standard that seems to be expected from the professional ball players throughout this area? Flamboyant, outspoken, or any other out of the mode behavior just isn’t accepted in this region of the country, I wonder why?

kc

February 15th, 2011
4:52 pm

Amare is questioning Al’s toughness??? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Makes no sense. Al Horford IS a very tough player. No clue what Amare is talking about. If Amare doesn’t like it, do something about it. Talk is cheap.

Paradise Lost

February 15th, 2011
4:56 pm

@I_am_soulstar- cosign your post!

I actually have a new working theory about their road game record: Hawks are feeding off of energy at well attended away games. Kind of like your kids wanting attention and even negative attention from you is better than nothing at all. It seems to fit with what players are saying about their “us versus them” mentality on the road. Add a packed Garden, crowd frenzy, and some Hawks fired up by the hype and tomorrow may prove to be a most exciting match.

Oh, and memo to The Boss: Please kick Amar’e-with-the-apostrophe’s @zz!!!

Atllll

February 15th, 2011
5:00 pm

“And Amare plays defense”

hahahahhahahahahahahhahahahaha

Michael Cunningham

February 15th, 2011
5:02 pm

@ tim: “Who wrote the headline on the front page of the AJC sports page that says “Wednesdays game expects to be intense as teams meet for 1st time since BRAWl in Atlanta”. You click the link and it goes to your lame blog.”

that would be someone in our online production department. i know this may surprise you, but this is not a one-man operation.

“Oh…of course you don’t watch hockey…you’re black.”

i wouldn’t know this because i don’t watch them, but someone told me the Thrashers have multiple black players. sorry to blow your mind again..

finally, thanks for reading my lame blog. i get credit for the clicks.

Big Daddy

February 15th, 2011
5:06 pm

This will probably be a tough physical game and the Hawks are going to have to establish themselves early and but not let the Knicks rattle them. If they do that, they will be fine. There is always a lot of trash talking going on with a lot of the players. This is no different and I expect everyone will do their job.

Hey Tim, you do realize that Anthony Stewart and Evander Kane play for the Thrashers, right?

Westurd

February 15th, 2011
5:07 pm

BURN! nice one MC!

lewis

February 15th, 2011
5:12 pm

Wish Al was healthy so he could take it to him

Ra'mon

February 15th, 2011
5:15 pm

Guys to be honest, I can’t blame Amare for calling out Al. Amare is doing whatever it takes to psyche up his squad, and that’s what some leaders choose to do. To date, there’s no question that Amare is better than Al, and no question he’s proved himself in playoff basketball. The funny part about it is, three seasons ago, we could’ve traded the third pick and change for Amare but didn’t. Anyone who doesn’t believe this team would be a better team with Amare than with Al, are either related to Al or kidding themselves.

At the same time, on tomorrow night, the past means nothing. Statistics means nothing. Al has a chance to take his lunch money. And no one can use Al’s back as an excuse because Amare is injured as well. This may be the stage where Al makes his career, or regresses in the minds of people/players around the league.

Ra'mon

February 15th, 2011
5:16 pm

Lewis, Amare isn’t healthy either.

Rufus1

February 15th, 2011
5:17 pm

New York ButterMilk Biscuts….

Amare may not be soft, but the rest his team and coach is very, very, very soft…

Ra'mon

February 15th, 2011
5:18 pm

Rufus1, and would you not describe majority of the Hawks as not being very very very soft?

Rufus1

February 15th, 2011
5:25 pm

Ra’mon

I don’t think Al, Josh or Joe are soft physically…. Undisciplined mentally at times, but not soft.

Ra'mon

February 15th, 2011
5:28 pm

Rufus1, exactly, you just named 3 players out of 14, lol. As I said MAJORITY of this team is soft.

Ra'mon

February 15th, 2011
5:29 pm

Nate Robinson used to come and punk majority of the back court and get confidence out of the way they seemed as if they were scared to guard him.

Rufus1

February 15th, 2011
5:49 pm

Ra’mon

This is not a football team. The NBA by nature is a league full of people who are soft and afraid to play football. The “core” of your team is the players that need to be tough.

I did not name Etan, Damien, Powell, JC2 or Zaza, because they are not the “core” of this team…That is 8 players total.

Trojan

February 15th, 2011
6:18 pm

MC does a great job on this blog.

lewis

February 15th, 2011
6:26 pm

Frank Isola should not be allowed to write

KevinM

February 15th, 2011
6:41 pm

MC, if Stoudemire bows out of the All Star game this weekend, does Josh have an opportunity? Is it too late to add replacements?

You would think the East wouldn’t go into the game at Staples short-handed?

Coach D

February 15th, 2011
7:39 pm

Am hoping/thinking Jamal Crawford might go off. One of the the things that I think pissed Marvin off was Toney Douglas’ elbowing/roughing J.C. up a few times. I love the local kid, but think Jamal has been looking forward to this for a while. Hope I’m right! We’ll need Jamal tomorrow night!!!!! Go Hawks!

Coach D

February 15th, 2011
7:44 pm

Amare plays defense is like saying the Knicks head coach coaches defense! Neither happens!!!!

tim

February 15th, 2011
8:15 pm

Cunningham….your reply shows me you are a total azz.

bigdave

February 15th, 2011
8:18 pm

prison mike..

good link sir..

slimjr

February 15th, 2011
8:31 pm

Hey
MC ignore that Neanderthal whose bloodline were probably ship into the Georgia prison camps a couple of hundred years ago from Great Britain.. We all know Georgia started out as a penal colony…Then it went down hill from there till the late part of last century…He does not even no why he hates?He’ll found out when he crosses over and meets his maker some day……..Next….

bri-guy

February 15th, 2011
9:00 pm

witty comeback tim. sit down man.