Atlanta Hawks: Lakers 104, Hawks 80
This was just one of several mismatches for the Hawks. (AP Photo)
Los Angeles–If I know my blog people, I figure you’d rather hear about trade chatter (some hope for the future) than a recounting of this debacle (a depressing reminder of the team’s stasis).
- So, OK . . . Yes, Kirk Hinrich is a possibility and Ramon Sessions remains in play. No to Devin Harris (who is probably headed elsewhere) and Raymond Felton (whom the Nuggets apparently aren’t looking to move).
- Basically, it seems like the Hawks have called about every decent-to-good point guard who might be available. Of course it will take more than a new point guard to fix what ailed the Hawks tonight.
- The Lakers were smarter, faster and tougher than the Hawks.
- “I can go down competing, but we are not competing at our highest level it’s frustrating,” Al said.
- These beatdowns are becoming more commonplace. That’s four Ls in five, with three of them by at least 15 points. It’s also Atlanta’s fifth loss by at least 20 points this season.
- The Hawks are back to their habit of getting down big and staying there. “We didn’t play with an edge; we gave them too much respect,” J.J. said. “We didn’t have that fire, that competitive nature that we need. It’s frustrating, man. I don’t know what to do.”
- They could start by not continuing to jack up jump shots when they a) are challenged and/or b) aren’t making them. Both things happened against the Lakers, yet the Hawks kept firing away.
- Certainly it’s no easy task to score inside against all that Lakers size but it’s not as if the Hawks ever made a focused effort to try it.
- “I don’t think we went to the rim enough,” L.D. said. “I just thought we settled, which is starting to be a pattern with us. When you fall into that type of pattern when you are not making shots you’re going to struggle. We went 1-for-15 from the three, yet we settled for the three. We have to have more basketball savvy than that.”
- The Hawks got handled 54-32 on the boards. Los Angeles collected an astounding 42 of Atlanta’s 62 misses (not counting “team” rebounds) with Gasol and Bynum combining for 21 of those.
- “We didn’t play with physicality,” Drew said. “I thought they really banged us in the half court. I don’t think we responded very well to it.”
- This game showed the limitations of the big lineup. Twin is a good position defender but he can’t hang on the boards against the better big men. The Hawks actually had more success (relatively, at least) going small with Al working outside against Gasol and Bynum.
- The Lakers made 24 of 48 shots before emptying the bench in the fourth quarter. Kobe (20 points on 11 shots) didn’t even have to do anything special in his 26 minutes. Heck Shannon Brown took it to the Hawks and Joe Smith had three blocked shots.
- “They dominated on both ends,” Al said. “We really have some soul-searching to do as a team. It’s discouraging. We had a great practice yesterday, and to come out like that, it’s frustrating.”
- The Hawks botched five fast break chances by my count. Smoove threw a couple passes that smashed the backboard.
- Here was one inept fast break sequence: Mo fumbled the ball away while standing under the rim and missed a layup; Josh Powell tried to put it back only to get his shot pinned by Joe Smith, leading to an alley-oop dunk by Devin Ebanks.
- The Lakers presented Powell with his Lakers championship ring before the game.
- “I actually want to see it,” Al said. “I kind of saw it from far away. I know what it’s like to win. I did it on the college level. We are hungry for that. We are hungry to be in that position and we are not there yet.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat