Atlanta Hawks: Lakers 104, Hawks 80

This was just one of several mismatches for the Hawks. (AP Photo)

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

720 comments Add your comment

Mike Bibby in his prime

February 23rd, 2011
7:36 am

Hawks fans will never pack the arena. Atlanta is not a basketball town.

Wabe

February 23rd, 2011
7:37 am

The entire organization is either in denial about the true state of the Hawks…

Or

They’re just out to deceive the entire city of Atlanta thinking we’re really that stupid.

We’ve seen this script before…

We’ve seen it for years.

No defense.
Inconsistent offense.
No PG play.
Falling in love with the jumpers.

When the playoffs come around, and the game slows down, we all know that the team that can get easy buckets is the likely victor. We learned (at least fans learned, don’t look like this team learned ish) in last season’s playoffs that our jumpshooting style pair isn’t gonna beat a team that can pound that ball inside and get easy buckets. But, as Drew said, “they continue to settle…and it’s becoming a trend.”

Really? Becoming a trend? No coach, it is a trend, which is why so many on this blog continue to point out that this is the same ish, different season. It’s the same reason we got whopped in last season’s playoffs, and it’s the same reason people are losing confidence in your ability to get the guys to buy into what you say in every pregame interview, “I really think we need to play inside-out.”

Well, why is it not happening?

Why do you keep contemplating changes, and then we see the same ish?

Do you not have the power to make changes, even a minor change here or there?

Or do you not have the stones?

It’s gotten irritating following this mess.

Tremaine

February 23rd, 2011
7:41 am

“GIVE TEAGUE A CHANCE!”

jfreak13713

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

Hinrich is a pro and a nice player but he isn’t what this team actually needs and it won’t change the outcome of this season but what it may do is keep this entire season from slipping totally away! At the start of the season I thought the Hawks were probably a really good team but not quite a championship team. As it stands now they are slightly above average! This season is slipping away from them right now and some changes have to be made to stop the slide.

Devin Harris would be a great fit but if not Harris then Hinrich or Felton, Ray Ray from the local gym will have to do. This team will need to be blown up at some point. If they can move Bibby, Marvin, and Josh Smith I would make that move and start to build around Horford (who is their best player) and JJ.

Time to move one way or the other Hawks!

joe

February 23rd, 2011
7:58 am

I went to a Hawks game over xmas with my son, they were awful. Soft D and no heart. When they signed JJ to 120M I thought it was the worst choice I had ever seen. Confirmed !!!

Tremaine

February 23rd, 2011
7:59 am

JEFF TEAGUE would be a nice fit.

Mike is back

February 23rd, 2011
8:03 am

MC, you are a gracious host…your level of decorum is unmatched…clearly LD seems overmatched at this point of the season…these guys are beginning to sound like a broken record already…excepted AL of course…AL is ready to lead this team…LD AL is your true leader…run your offense through AL already…Geeeez.

Out of the name that’s left I would take Kirk Hinrich over Session…that’s almost a no brainer to me.

cdbgolf

February 23rd, 2011
8:03 am

Time to blow this team up and start over.I am tired of hearing”we just weren’t’ ready to play”.

Tremaine

February 23rd, 2011
8:05 am

Michael Cunningham, you guys see this team all the time. Why don’t you ask Larry Drew to put Teague in the lineup?

Najeh Davenpoop

February 23rd, 2011
8:08 am

Devin Harris is fully available. Sund just doesn’t have the balls to pull off a trade.

twitter.com/fakericksund

Trojan

February 23rd, 2011
8:09 am

I am just an average guy who use to play all sports just like everyone else. While playing basketball sometimes no one on your team would be hitting their jumpers so I would simply start driving to the hoop. I couldn’t hit a jump shot but I could drive and make something happen.

We don’t a point guard to help like that.

I believe that we should start playing Teague. We CERTAINLY can be no worse. He potentially could be exactly what we need. The Hawks are not going anywhere as presently constructed. Why not try it?

Trojan

February 23rd, 2011
8:09 am

MC: You do a great job. Thanks.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

This is exactly what SI said would happen. When you get the players Coach, what happens when you can’t make everybody happy?

Playing Bibby and refusing to play Teague. We started this downhill garbage of double digit losses on a regular basis when Teague finally was taken out of the rotation. I wonder what other teams are writing on their scouting reports? Exploit Mike Bibby!

And since Jamal has taken Teague’s minutes at the Point full time, he’s terrible. He’s a scorer, not a Point.

And playing Mo’ and not even giving Wilken’s a chance? Come on Larry.

This whole debacle of the blowouts is on LD. Not Sund, unless he’s the guy who hired Larry, I heard it was ASG’s call. Not the players. It’s LD.

P.S. He can’t get Smoove down low either. They’ve tuned LD out about 6 years quicker than they tuned Woody out.

Does LD not understand that about 3 more 15+ losses and he’s on a major hotseat if not out of here? Come on LD, you had the All Star break to think things over, and we get this??

MsDee

February 23rd, 2011
8:16 am

MC,

Great question from Tremaine..Why not just ask him already, “Why the DNP for Teague all the time? Why not start Teague like u start Collins?” We arent asking for Teague to play 30+ mins, just maybe 10-15min a game. Start Teague when you play the small lineup, and start Bibby with the Big lineup. The small lineup is a faster group with Teague leading the way while u let Bibby run the slower group with Collins as center. MC, ask him already..NO BEATING AROUND THE BUSH!!!!!

Diego

February 23rd, 2011
8:16 am

Josh for Danny Granger
Marvin and Zaza for Kaman
JC1 for Felton
Lets get it done please.

Samuel

February 23rd, 2011
8:18 am

That’s what you get when you fire a good man for a “turncoat”.

MsDee

February 23rd, 2011
8:20 am

Hoping for a trade TODAY w/o including Joe, Horford or Teague!!! Teague WILL be our mini-Tony Parker in about 2-3 yrs from now..DO NOT TOUCH!! Everyone else, CAN BE GONE!!

Wabe

February 23rd, 2011
8:22 am

^ LMAO

In case you haven’t noticed bro, most people here are p!$$ed because we’re seeing the same ish…

It’s the same ish as last season, and season’s past.

So no, nobody’s upset about Woody being gone.

mj

February 23rd, 2011
8:22 am

Overpaid second tier players with exception of Horford. Johnson a great player but not the leader needed for the pay scale hes on. Ownership having financial trouble with the Thrashers certainly will effect the Hawks. Reminds me of ownership of Falcons before Blank bought them. Make the playoff and exit when the top three teams come into town.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:23 am

Wanna blow this team up?

Smoove for Curry and Biedrins (Throw in Collins and Powell if you want)

Bibby, Sy and a 1st and a 2nd for Hinrich if the Wiz’s would do it

JC2 and Mo’ and a 2nd pick for Sessions and Harris

Jamal for Troy Murphy

Jeff Teague for Jason Thompson.

Now you’ve got a backcourt of:
Stephen Curry
Kurt Hinrich
Ramon Sessions
JJ

A Front court of:
Jason Thompson
Al
Troy Murphy
ZaZa

Still got Marvin and Wilkens on the wings, with a good, young Manny Harris.

I’m not ready to go that extreme yet, but I would def. dump Bibby, Mo, and Jamal with picks for 2 decent Points and another big. And it can be done evidently, if the news reports are true

Wabe

February 23rd, 2011
8:24 am

Because truthfully, I’d rather lose games playing fundamental basketball 101 than lose games with my center picking up PG’s at the top of the key…

Then again, Woody may have been onto something…

Could Al be any worse off defending PG’s than Bibby is?

But, no, really, switching with ISO’s 24/7 isn’t really a forumula for success.

MsDee

February 23rd, 2011
8:24 am

Hoping for a trade TONIGHT, I meant. I dont think nothing will take place b4 the game tonight. ASG still have to make their final decisions after the game tonight to make sure they are letting the right players go for the right players in return. Lets just hope this time Thursday morning we have a new and improved team!!

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

Jerry Sloan just quit coaching because of the type losses the Hawks are experiencing.

Double Zero Eight

February 23rd, 2011
8:28 am

Drew = Hewitt

Hawks = Tech

“They have lost their way’.

Bertie

February 23rd, 2011
8:32 am

Go get Devin Harris! Might have to take Travis Outlaw awful contract back to make it happen but under the proposal below the team stays away from luxury tax this year.
ATL gets D. Harris, T. Outlaw, Damion James and Ben Uzoh.
NJ gets Marvin, Bibby, Mo Evans, Teague and Ethan.
Still need a center.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:34 am

Unless LD like freaks out and starts breaking whiteboards and stuff and does what that Detroit Coach has done and say hardest workers start, end of story. Anybody who disobeys me sits, end of story, I’m afraid unless he does that stuff, he’s through. Done as a Coach. It’s that bad.

You can’t lose like we are consistently and it no affect your psyche. This is the worst stretch of Hawks B’ball that I’ve seen since before Mike Bibby got here. When he was good.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:36 am

I know why Sund has to trade Bibby. Because if he doesn’t, LD still starts Bibby regardless of who we trade for. Sund knows he’s got to get Bibby out of town to have any type of chance.

I say with LD’s psyche at this point, he’s got to get Jamal out of town also, or we’re still messed up.

Peter

February 23rd, 2011
8:38 am

Joe Johnson for All -Star HA HA HA…..as long he doesn’t have to show up and play when it counts..like last night.

Blow up this team, get rid of a horrible GM….actually sell the team to someone with a CLUE !

All busts….Marvin, Bibby, Teague, Zaza…and JJ at his numbers.

What a JOKE !

drmaryb (*_*)

February 23rd, 2011
8:40 am

SteveW,

Sloan quit for a lot more reasons than losing a few games! Trust Me.

desa

February 23rd, 2011
8:41 am

I repeat, trade Joe while you have a chance. The season is over, re-make the backcourt in Free Agency. Get some one who wants to rebound. Move Zaza/Jamal for cap space.

Double Zero Eight

February 23rd, 2011
8:42 am

1 in 175,711,536 are the odds for winning Mega Million.
1 in 195,249,054 are the odds for winning Powerball.

The Hawks odds of winning an EC or NBA championship
with the current roster are comparable.

BirdDirty

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

Watched some of the game last night, but turned it off right before halftime. How can a team win any games without a point guard? Derek Fisher torched Bibby early for 6 straight points to open the game. He was taken out after about five minutes and replaced by Crawford. The Hawks played basically the rest of the game without a true pg. And you wonder why they lost by 24 points. A true pg would never continuously pass the ball to Josh Smith standing behind the 3 pt line with the shot clock running down. Joe Johnson did it on numerous occassions. And Josh does not have enough sense to drive the ball to the basket. Chris Webber and Kevin McHale pointed this out last night on NBATV. And Marvin Williams is worthless. He is not aggresive enough to ever amount to anything. Josh was throwing the ball to him on those two lob passes that almost shattered the backboard. Marvin was ahead of the pack both times but never even looked at going after the lob passes. Just running down the court with no purpose. Zaza is pathetic as well, but what else is new.

Double Zero Eight

February 23rd, 2011
8:45 am

LD,
Please give Bibby 2 games off to rest his weary legs,
and start Teague. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself”.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:47 am

Lose the last 2 home games to the Sixers and ‘Cats, the Sixers by like a 100 points, and you want us to come support you?

Lose a couple weeks before that at home to the Hornets by 41?

Refuse to play your last 2 draft picks unless your getting crushed?

Play Mo’ over Wilkens all the time?

Coach who can’t get Josh in the low block?

You want us to support this team really?

Get embaressed on National TV by the Knicks and Lakers our last two games?

Pay money to see people blow past Mike Bibby? To watch LD be incompetent? Really?

BirdDirty

February 23rd, 2011
8:48 am

And for the life of me, I don’t understand why Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford don’t get any playing time? That is inexcusable. Mike Bibby is horrible!! And I know for a fact that Jeff Teague is better. It is impossible to be any worse.

Trojan

February 23rd, 2011
8:49 am

The Hawks have no leader, no pg, no hc, no management. Other than that, we are fine!

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:49 am

Drmaryb – I know. I’m just venting right now. We’re terrible

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:52 am

Hawks scouting report for the Lakers game:

Ramon Sessions just crushed the Lakers. DFish and Blake can’t guard a young athletic PG. They’ve been exploited all season.

I know. We’ll play Bibby, and give one of the top 5 fastest PG’s in the game a DNP – Coach’s decison. That should win the game for us!

Larry, you’ve been watching to many Twilight Zone Episodes dude.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
8:54 am

Sund help! I know you don’t use a computer, but if your secretary can pass these blogs along to you. Help! We’re bad and getting worse.

Step it up

February 23rd, 2011
9:02 am

Marvin Williams and Jamal’s expiring contract to Denver for Nene. We know we need a point guard but we keep losing to the “big boys” because we need a true center so Al can play the 4. The Lakers have proven that stable point guard play is good enough to win a title. The Hawks have scoring from the 2 (JJ), 3 (Josh S.) and 4(Al) if they make this move for Nene. They ARE NOT going to resign Jamal so get some benefit from his expiring contract because history has shown free agents may have a home in Atlanta but they don’t want to play in Atlanta.

Astro Joe

February 23rd, 2011
9:03 am

Samuel, that was funny.

So at what point do we stop saying “the offense is better than last year”? There isn’t a shred of evidence that says that the offense is better. These last few games, we look like a team incapable of scoring 90 points consistently. Time for some to recognize that we have taken a step backwards, not even a side-step. Many to blame but at the end of the day, we’re moving in the wrong direction (and no one can take satisfaction in the smoke and mirrors offense that produces fewer points and Josh standing in the corner on a fast break opportunity).

In the past, Boston, Orlando and Cleveland were better than us. Now, Chicago, Boston and Miami are better than us. In the future, Miami, Chicago and likely the Knicks will be better than us. We’re destined to be in that 4-6 range. “Welcome to the Slightly Above Average Team Nightmare on Marietta Street”.

STRETCH

February 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

People are pointing fingers but i have come to realize that its management. Seriously, WHO IS IN CHARGE?????

1. ASG is too cheap and selfish to put their personal fights aside and constentrate on bringing a winning team to Atlanta.

2. Sund is to ho-hum to make the proper moves. Somebody needs to grab that guy and shake the crap out of him! WAKE UP MAN!!!

3. Larry Drew is too scared to tell Smoove to STOP SHOOTING or SIT HIS AZZ down. Of all the coaches, they hired this guy???

4. Seriously, Josh is a great athlete (A+), but after that his BB IQ is terrible (D-). Its been time to cut ties with this guy for about 3 years now. Thats the problem with the guys up top, they KNOW NOTHING ABOUT Basketball.

Smoove needs to go and sometimes you have to move a guy like that to better your team. The Hawks have been in Atlanta for 40 years and not once have they been to the ECF’s…NOT ONCE.

5. And dont even get me started on JJ the “superstar” or should i say the “superslug”. Really???? the ASG is a joke and the main reason why THE CITY OF ATLANTA WILL NEVER SEE A CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE NBA…NEVER!

phil

February 23rd, 2011
9:09 am

Don’t watch the games. Don’t go to the games. Don’t listen to the games. No defense and little effort equals no watch, no go and no listen for the intelligent fan. This team stinks as was made clear last spring against the Magic.

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
9:12 am

Astro Joe – After the Sixers dimantled us at home, I have no evidence that we are better than the Sixers currently the 7th seed. I’m not sure we’re better than the ‘Cats right now. They beat us at our place right before the break as well.

slimjr

February 23rd, 2011
9:14 am

“Joe Johnson: “We didn’t have that fire, that competitive nature. It’s frustrating. I don’t know what to do.” #Hawks

i know…give back some of that Batman money, Robin!!! lol………….

slimjr

February 23rd, 2011
9:15 am

JOSH WILL NEVER GET IT………………….SAD………………….

SteveW

February 23rd, 2011
9:16 am

Rick Sund, ” I meant to say DeWayne Casey is the new Coach of the Atlanta Hawks. It’s like that reporter the other night. I just opened my mouth and gibberish started coming out, and before you know it, Larry Drew had inadvertantly slipped out. Well, he’s coached over 2/3’s of a season, only 2.5m guranteed. Time to correct my mistake. Our new Coach is DeWayne Casey!”

LD, thanks for the memories

Mike10

February 23rd, 2011
9:17 am

JJ said. “We didn’t have that fire, that competitive nature that we need. It’s frustrating, man. I don’t know what to do.”
I can tell you what you can do, you can start by making a damn shot and giving some of your paycheck back because your not worth what these idiots are paying you.Also we can start by getting rid of some of your teammates and h!! maybe you to.Thats where we can start.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 23rd, 2011
9:17 am

Smoove does not have the handles to drive the ball consistently. Anyone who thinks he does is deluding themselves. He’s not some LeBron-level talent. Offensively, he is a complementary player, not a go-to guy. Even in yesterday’s game, there was a possession early in the 3rd when he tried to drive, got his driving lane cut off, couldn’t go anywhere else, and ended up jacking up a contested fadeaway brick (his worst shot of the night).

What he needs to do is get on the block with his back to the basket, draw a double team, and kick to the open man. Unfortunately on this team, nobody else can drive the ball either (except Horford), and on the occasions when Smoove drew double teams and kicked it out yesterday, the result was usually bricks from Bibby/Joe/Marvin/etc.

slimjr

February 23rd, 2011
9:17 am

SUND HAS PROVEN TO US OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS HE’S IN OVER HIS HEAD AS A GM!!

31 YRS OF GARBAGE!!!!!
GEARON JR AND THE OLE BOYS KICK ROCKS……………………………….