Atlanta Hawks: Suns 105, Hawks 97

Phoenix–The news of the trade shouldn’t overshadow the fact that the Hawks are suddenly reeling. That’s three straight Ls and five of six with Golden State (tough matchup), Portland (tough team) and Denver (tough building even without Melo) still to go on this trip.

  • Zaza was held out as the Hawks continued trade discussions. I’m thinking any swap would be big for big but no word yet on the details of the teams/players involved.
  • But first some more reaction to the trade that did go down. . . .
  • L.D. said the Hawks had been calling around on point guards for the last couple weeks.
  • “As everybody knows we’ve been searching for a point guard for a while, somebody who can come in and run this club,” he said. “Not saying that Mike didn’t go a good job, but there just comes a point where a change has to take place. We as an organization felt like it was that time.”
  • L.D. on Hinrich: “Kirk brings such a wealth of toughness at that position. He’s a heady guy, he’s a smart guy. All the intangibles you are looking for he brings to the table.”
  • Jamal: “It’s tough to tell now [how the trade will work]. Mike was the leader at point guard for a while. Jordan has a bright future. Mo is just solid, gives you defense and 3-point shooting. But I played with Kirk Hinrich [in Chicago] and I know what he’s about.”
  • Bibby was a popular teammate. He has a goofy personality and saw it as his job to keep the team loose (though I think the Hawks could end up benefiting from Hinrich’s more serious approach).
  • It’s a business, of course, but there was a real sense of personal loss in Atlanta’s locker room.
  • “Any time you make trades, it’s always tough, especially when you grow close and attached to players,” Drew said. “But that’s just the nature of this business. It just comes with the territory.”
  • Bibby, Mo and JC2 were informed they might be part of a trade and stayed behind at the team’s hotel. Word trickled through the rest of the team but players weren’t told of the pending deal until just before game time
  • Al: “It’s just tough for us right before the game to get this news. It’s kind of not unexpected since we’d heard but to hear it just actually happened . . .”
  • Joe: “We let three good guys go who I had become really good friends with. But at the same time we understand the business aspect and this is the profession we chose knowing that trades happen. You have to deal with it. Getting Kirk and Armstrong is definitely going to contribute to what we are trying to do. Kirk is very defensive-minded and a guy who can really knock down the open shot and penetrate and make plays for others as well. I think he is going to be beneficial for us.”
  • Moving Jordan and the first-round pick is the latest indication the Hawks, when push comes to shove, are more focused on making moves they think will help now vs. player and asset development in the future. I’m sure opinions vary on that approach among my blog people but, as I always say, the Hawks will be judged on what happens this postseason.
  • Al: “Jordan, as short as time he was here, we know he has a lot of potential.”
  • Drew on Armstrong: “He’s a big body. He’s athletic. He bangs. I like the fact he’s a guy who plays hard. You can’t have enough type of those guys.”
  • Josh on Armstrong: “I think in the paint he can block some shots and be able to add that inside presence and help us out down there a little bit. When we played against them he was a effective in a couple of games.”
  • Now on to the game . . .
  • The Hawks rallied from 18 down to tie it at 92-92 with five minutes left. The Suns closed them out by winning the kind of possession-by-possession sequences in which the Hawks tends to falter. Not a good idea to get into a shootout with the Suns, who made 10 of 14 shots in the fourth.
  • Perhaps it would have been different at the end without the big deficit or a back-to-back but it’s an L all the same.
  • “It’s tough to spot a team 18 points and having to fight back, especially a team like Phoenix,” Drew said. “They shoot the ball so well, particularly from the 3-point line (13 for 26). We exerted a lot of energy to get back and I thought our guys wore down at the end.”
  • The Hawks started switching on every screen, an approach that they theoretically should be able to scrap with Hinrich on the floor.
  • “We couldn’t get [stops],” Josh said. “We ended up switching. Nash is a smart point guard. He knew where the mismatches were. Tip your hat to Channing Frye, he hit some tough shots on Damien. Damien was all over him but when you are 6-10, 6-11 you get that ball in position you want it’s kind of hard to block the shot.”
  • Jamal’s scoring and Damien’s defense helped the Hawks get back in it. Jamal made five straight shots but didn’t have an attempt from 6:53 of the fourth until a meaningless layup in the final seconds. “I’m getting back to being me, for sure,” he said.
  • Teague got his second career start was noticeably more decisive in driving the ball. Finishing was another matter though he still was 3 for 6 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line.
  • “I thought he came out aggressive in attack mode and used his speed and quickness,” Drew said. “We need that. I thought he did a tremendous job breaking the defense down and getting to the basket. That’s the way he has to play. Don’t worry about turning the basketball over, just keep the pressure on the defense.”
  • After 10 nights on the road I’m officially on the injured list (shoulder) after a bench press mishap in the gym yesterday. It’s after the All-Star break so I’ve got to push through it. Hurts like hell to lug around bags but I refuse to take the L of getting on one of those old folks carts at the airport tomorrow.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

802 comments Add your comment

Lionhearted

February 24th, 2011
1:25 am

Hawks are turrible right now

Lionhearted

February 24th, 2011
1:27 am

And can the Hawks learn how to rebound. Josh stop stoppping at the 3pt line and get into rebound position 4 once

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:28 am

“It’s a business, of course, but there was a real sense of personal loss in Atlanta’s locker room.”

I hope it’s also coupled with a sense of personal responsibility. Bibby was the fall guy for shaking things up, and he certainly wasn’t giving the Hawks what they needed from the point guard position, but it’s not like everyone else was blameless either.

I thought Teague was solid given that it was his second career start. Good to see LD feels the same way, although we should all know better than to expect LD’s actions to align with his words at this point.

niremetal

February 24th, 2011
1:30 am

Food for thought: Say that the trade deadline comes and goes tomorrow without the Wizards shipping Bibby to a contender. Does Bibby approach the Wizards’ front office and ask for a buyout, a la Ilgauskas last year? If so, do we want him back? I can’t speak for Bibby, who would be giving up a lot of money (not to mention his Bird rights) if he agrees to a buyout. To him, the issue is whether he prefers playoff appearances to dollars at this point in his career. But if I’m the Hawks, I’m hoping he does.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:32 am

“the Hawks, when push comes to shove, are more focused on making moves they think will help now vs. player and asset development in the future. I’m sure opinions vary on that approach among my blog people ”

Ideally, player and asset development is what keeps organizations stable and successful. In this particular organization, the people responsible for drafting and player development do such a p-ss poor job at it that thet might as well trade them for proven talent that doesn’t require development. I’d like to see the day, though, when this organization can acquire people who will bring in good talent and develop it while also winning games, like every successful organization does.

niremetal

February 24th, 2011
1:35 am

And Najeh – Bird rights are still valuable even if a player won’t be making above the mid-level. Many teams use their full mid-level on Player X and then decide they also want Player Y but don’t have the capacity to offer him more than the minimum. Bird rights provide an opportunity for such a team to acquire Player Y at a higher salary. If Bibby were bought out, even the Wizards and Hawks would have to use either cap space or a portion of their MLE to “keep” him this summer.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:38 am

I don’t know why I keep feeling the urge to post trade ideas — maybe deep down inside I’m hoping someone within the Hawks organization will see it and get an idea or something — but anyway, I leave y’all with this for now.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4m6ravx

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:40 am

Oh OK, didn’t know that part about Bird rights.

I’m not sure after tonight I want to do anything that will further encourage burial of Teague on the bench, but Bibby in a bench role could be useful.

Grandad

February 24th, 2011
1:43 am

I will admit it if I’m wrong but I have never been enamored with JC2.
Any rookie that is going to be a SS would have played his way onto
the court. Personally I like players like Hinrich [glue guys].
Heck, I liked Bibby and wish him well. When he returns, we owe him
a warm welcome. We need another one or two hard nosed leader types,
and rid ourselves of some of the rot. * Before tomorrow’s deadline *

I must give Sund a little credit for doing something. (anything)
This team had to be shaken up.
More so than Zaza, I wish for Marvin to leave.
One old man’s wish list of my kind of players…just one or two:
Battier [Heads the list] Lowry, Murphy [rebounder] Artest…..
Gerald Wallace, Amir Johnson, Sessions, Grant Hill, Varejao,
or Reggie Evans, et al.
These guys display some or all of these characteristics;
smart, leaders, tough, play hard every night, glue guys,
they will fight you in order to win, they play defense,
they will knock you down and are great teammates.

Don’t quit now Sund ol’ boy, stay after it.

Once again, Mr. Michael Cunningham…..Thanks!

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
1:46 am

@Najeh,

Great trade idea but WHY WOULD DETROIT MAKE THAT TRADE??

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:49 am

Detroit would save $2 million off next year’s cap and a little less than $1 million this year. They are being sold and do not want to take on additional salary. I wouldn’t mind throwing in one of the Hawks’ two second round picks this year if it helped get the deal done.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta Hawks Buzz, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: Atlanta Hawks: Suns 105, Hawks 97 http://bit.ly/dVTKrf [...]

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
1:51 am

Apparently Bob Rathbun the eternal optimist has a Twitter. Didn’t know that until just now.

Grandad

February 24th, 2011
1:52 am

*[not a rumor - just a thought / idea]*
Zaza & Marv to GS for Troy Murphy
before they buy him out.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
1:53 am

Is Hilton Armstrong our NEW center??

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
1:57 am

Thx Najeh, makes since now!! Would LOVE to get Big Ben and company..we could REALLY use some rebounds since Josh nor Horford knows how to get them!! Its a shame players like Kevin Love can shoot AND get as many rebounds as he is getting to be the same height has Horford!?!?

K.W.

February 24th, 2011
2:02 am

#icant with the Hawks right now.

Andre

February 24th, 2011
2:09 am

MsDee,

I doubt Hilton will be a consistent rotational player for us, unless he really impresses L.D. or we end up trading Zaza. I definitely don’t think Hilton will start. I think he’ll most likely have a reduced version of Jason Collins’ role. Don’t be surprised if Hilton gets a lot of DNP-CDs.

Andre

February 24th, 2011
2:13 am

MsDee,

Horford is not a part of the rebounding problem for the team. He’s really the only guy on the team who consistently boxes out and pursues rebounds. Keep in mind that Horford is a top-10 rebounder in this league, and he is playing against the largest players in the league. The biggest problem for us in terms of rebounding is that our team, collectively, does a poor job of boxing out and gang rebounding. The guards typically start sprinting the other way when a shot is missed, and Josh often relies on his jumping ability to get rebounds rather than boxing out. Josh is still a pretty good rebounder, but he does it unconventionally. Those of you who don’t believe what I am saying should watch some of the game tape.

At any rate, I’d still love to get someone like Big Ben on the team, along with someone like prince. Those types of trades of extremely unlikely to happen though, so don’t get your hopes up.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:15 am

@Andre,

Really?? He looked pretty good on youtube. Granted it was a couple years old but still, hoping he could still deliver just b/c he is in another environment. Well, I guess thats why ZaZa is end works of being traded, hopefully for another center cause we so desperately need someone, anyone who can REBOUND THE FREEKIN BALL!!!

Ron

February 24th, 2011
2:17 am

Realistically, how many people think that the Hinrich trade is going to be the only move made before the deadline? I’m desperately hoping that another trade is made, hopefully for an impact player either better than Hinrich, or for a quality center to allow Horford to play the position he prefers. I’m really doubting that any other move is going to be made, though. I’m curious, how many of you think another move will take place before the deadline. Time is running short, and we haven’t heard anything concrete yet as far as Zaza goes.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:19 am

Breaking news:Clippers trade Baron Davis for Mo Williams of the Cavs

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:20 am

Yahoo Sports reporting the Clippers & Cavs trade!!

Andre

February 24th, 2011
2:22 am

MsDee,

I’m not saying Hilton Armstrong doesn’t have any ability, he’s actually a very solid interior defender. He’s pretty limited on the offensive end, but the main reason I don’t expect him to play much is due to the fact that we have Zaza, Collins, Powell, and even Etan already on the roster as backup bigs. Also, considering Collins barely plays on nights when he isn’t in the starting lineup, I don’t think there are many minutes to go around behind Josh and Al. Zaza is the only backup big who consistently gets minutes, and unless L.D. trust Hilton, I just don’t see him playing much. On the defensive end though, I’d definitely take him over Zaza, Powell, or Etan. I think he can help us out there if he’s given a chance. He’s got good length, size, and athleticism.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:23 am

Mo Williams, Jamario Moon, & draft pick.

Ron

February 24th, 2011
2:24 am

I had a feeling that the Cavs-Clippers trade would go through soon. The Clips have been unhappy with Baron for quite some time, and Cleveland desperately needs a dynamic scorer who can create for others. Also, David Aldridge was mentioning this trade earlier, and he hates to discuss trades that he doesn’t think are going to happen.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:25 am

@Andre,

I’m hearing that ZaZa will soon be gone by tomorrow..only reason for him sitting out tonight. Hilton can start while Collins comes off the bench, til we get a betta center for ZaZa hopefully!

EmirS.

February 24th, 2011
2:27 am

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=68ums42

Huh? Come on rate me. Give me a grade on a number scale from 1 to 5. I’m bored…I thought that worked out pretty good. ‘Cats get Jamal of the books at the end of the year and a VERY talented forward.

We get DEFENSE!

Avoid the + Wins thing. We all know thats a pile of chicken poop.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:31 am

@EmirS,

Not happy with that trade, no one on the Bobcats is worthy of Josh Smith’s ‘bonehead’ plays..like Najeh’s trade idea betta with Detroit.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
2:32 am

I give it a 1..sorry!

EmirS.

February 24th, 2011
2:33 am

@MsDee

Yea I like his alot better as well. Thought I’d have a bit fun with that machine.

Realsquawk

February 24th, 2011
2:45 am

@MC get some rest and don’t be afraid to get some help or else you will be on the IR a lot longer.

superiorblogman

February 24th, 2011
3:21 am

Dumb trade. Give up 2 1st round picks for a serviceable player. “DUMBSUNDOFAGM”. Zaza is not going to get us anything worth speaking of. Maybe we can get Corey Brewer at most. Which is another good wing and would be good to have him back with Horford.

superiorblogman

February 24th, 2011
3:23 am

People take your wishy washy arses to sleep. We are not getting anyone that will really help Hinrich was a stupid trade, 2 1st’s for a serviceable player. Zaza will not bring anything worth speaking of. If we are lucky as they come we get Corey Brewer or Thabeet.

vava74

February 24th, 2011
3:48 am

Najeh,

Popcornmachine.net proves again my view on Jamal:

When league left the court on the first period, we were even.

It’s true that Teague was having difficulties defending the pick ‘n roll, but he trying and fighting.

Jamal then played a bunch of minutes (19 – all the rest of the first half) and during that period the Hawks were outscored by 14 points whilst Jamal had 5 points and shot horribly.

The hawks got back into the game with a modest but significant recovery to open the third when Teague materialised a 3 point play, had a terrific dish to Horford who converted 2 FT and a good drive which Horford rebounded and dunked in.

Then Jamal was obviously hot and had 8 or 10 points almost in no time but then he disappeared and after being tied, the game got away from us with Jamal hurting us on D to close the game.

LD should have taken Jamal out and either go big (with JJ at the point and getting Marvin in – who played well on D) or give Teague the closing minutes as change of pace / good effort on perimeter D move. Like I said, he was struggling a bit on D but who isn’t against Nash? And at least he was giving it a good effort.

hawks_4_life

February 24th, 2011
4:47 am

Another trade should be coming or else………….

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
5:49 am

@vava74,

Totally agree, no reason for Teague not to be in the game towards the end. He was not hurting us. Driving and attacking the basket is what he was doing out there. He could draw fouls since he is pretty good at the ft line.

MsDee

February 24th, 2011
5:53 am

I guess the way Woody and LD see Teague is like a parent hesitate when allowing their 16yr to drive a car for the 1st time. Even though they have their drivers license, us parents will never truly be comfortable with our kids driving. LD is hesitate to trust Teague to close out games, even if he is an excellent ‘DRIVER’!!

JSS

February 24th, 2011
6:15 am

Arnstrong is a 8-10 guy because of his inability (or lack of) rebounding. Say ZaZa with an ability to block and challenge shots. I like the young man’s athleticism, but I still hope there’s a physical presence in the proposed ZaZa deal…

@ Niremetal…
Do you think that the “infamous” trade exemption finally gets used a deal involving ZaZa? Or is that even a possibility?

hawks_4_life

February 24th, 2011
6:54 am

Sources: Clips, Cavs agree to trade

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By Ramona Shelburne and Chad Ford
ESPN.com

The Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed in principle to a trade that would send Baron Davis and the Clippers’ 2011 first-round draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon, league sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

Davis
Davis
Williams
Williams

The deal saves the Clippers considerable money the next two seasons while giving them a younger point guard who made the All-Star team while playing with LeBron James.

Davis is still owed nearly $28 million over the next two seasons and the balance of his $13 million contract this year. Moon’s contract expires after this season. Williams is owed the balance of his $9.3 million salary this season and, with player options of $8.5 million for each of the next two years, potentially could get out of his contract altogether. The savings should give the Clippers more flexibility in free agency the next two seasons.

The Clippers would give up a likely top-10 lottery pick to make the savings happen. “That just shows you how much we hate this draft,” one Clippers source told ESPN.com.

But the lottery pick from the Clippers was exactly what the Cavs were after. A Cavs source told ESPN.com that the trade was made primarily for the draft pick.

“We know we’re going to have to build this team through the lottery,” the source said. “We hope Baron works out, but our primary focus was the pick. We really wanted two top-10 picks to infuse the team with young talent.”

In Davis, the Cavs would get a veteran who, when he’s engaged, is one of the top point guards in the league. But will Davis be engaged on a team with the worst record in the NBA?

More On The Clippers

For more news, notes and analysis of L.A., check out the ClipperBlog. Blog

“Baron won’t be happy,” said a GM who has had past dealings with Davis. “This is a worst-case scenario for him. He was just starting to get happy in L.A. playing with [Clippers rookie] Blake Griffin. There’s not much to get excited about in Cleveland these days.”

The trade agreement is a revival of discussions that began over the summer, when the Cavaliers scrambled to upgrade their talent to appease James, but those talks ultimately collapsed when Clippers owner Donald Sterling nixed the deal.

Neither Davis nor Williams suited up Wednesday night. Davis sat out the Clippers’ loss to the New Orleans Hornets with swelling in his knee. Williams sat out Cleveland’s loss to Houston, after returning from a hip injury before the All-Star break.

The notion of Davis’ being reunited with Cavaliers coach Byron Scott would be met with skepticism after the two clashed earlier in their careers in New Orleans.

However, a source with knowledge of the situation said that their relationship has improved somewhat in recent years and a potential reunion “has to be OK” because the trade talks have progressed to this point.

There also is a question of how the trade would affect Griffin, who seemed to be developing a chemistry with Davis.

“I think anything’s possible,” said a source with knowledge of the talks. “I mean, would Utah really trade Deron Williams?”

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Chad Ford is an NBA Insider for ESPN.com.

JeJe

February 24th, 2011
7:01 am

We need another trade.

TRADE JOSH SMITH.

Watch players like Josh rebel against Hinrich’s serious demeanor. Smoove will be mad that he isn’t allowed to do what he wants anymoer

JeJe

February 24th, 2011
7:12 am

No thanks @ Bringing Bibby back.

LD would probably start Bibby as soon as he got him back and freeze out Hinrich.

Bibby is never coming back to this team (Thank God).

The only team in NBA History that would start Bibby 3 years in a row when it’s clear he’s worthless half the time out there (same for Marvin)

JeJe

February 24th, 2011
7:14 am

LOL @ people mad about Jo-Craw and the 1st rounder.
What the hell is this team going to do with the 18th or 20th pick in the draft? Draft another 6″11 stiff or wing that will never play? Jo-Craw made it clear he has no game besides chucking wild shots.

We got rid of garbage (Bibby and Mo) and upgraded at PG. We also have money left that we saved last summer.

I’d like to see one more trade

Ernest

February 24th, 2011
7:17 am

Love this trade and count me among those that hope there is another one planned before the trade deadline ends. For those that cannot understand the instant improvement in perimeter defense will save both penetration and fouls while resulting in lower shooting percentages for our opponents, they are not truly basketball purists. If Armstrong can protect the rim when he gets into the game, that is a plus.

Tremaine

February 24th, 2011
7:22 am

Bad rotations by the coach. Teague looked great and seems to be the only one on the team that can get to the basket.

KevinM

February 24th, 2011
7:31 am

Baron Davis is snakebit. He can never get any talent around him long enough to make a push to a winning record. I understand his lax of being in shape to start the season, and the fact that that team hasn’t really started winning with regularity.
Baron around vets would be a good get; that contract is just unfriendly.

And please, no suggestions to bring back Bibby. He doesn’t offer up any winning attributes going forward. Let him work behind Wall and see how his attitude is now…he wasn’t going to be happy coming off our bench.

As for Marvin / Zaza rumors, both need to be jettisoned to a new start. As for Larry rewarding minutes for those who play well…

Marvin, 29min/2pts on 1-7/5 rebs/2 assists…and his defense was questionable on any Phoenix Sun he matched up with.

Time for Marvin to allow his potential to grow elsewhere. Give me a Battier or Brooks at this point as both fit the need here. And no, our PG issues are not yet resolved.

And what value do draft picks really have for this coaching regime? As long as Larry is here, they will mean very little.

KevinM

February 24th, 2011
7:35 am

And why cannot Collins check Gortat? He had a good game the night before and gets 4 min?
Larry’s words don’t match his actions.

KevinM

February 24th, 2011
7:37 am

The Knicks are 4 behind for seed #5…look in the rear view Larry. Your team is about to get jumped!

JeJe

February 24th, 2011
7:44 am

Thing that sucks is that the Knicks will pass us after the deadline passed. MAKE A TRADE NOW

Carlos

February 24th, 2011
7:44 am

Make an even louder impact today by moving Marvin Williams and Josh Smith for a legit C and SF.

1 – Hinrich
2 – Joe
3 – SF that cant be any worse than Marvin
4 – Horford
5 – Legit Center

Josh Smith is a team cancer that doesnt have an identity on offense and tries to do too much. He’s an overrated on ball defender and still spends about 2 secs complaining about foul calls on his turnovers or missed shots when he should be hustling back on defense.