Atlanta Hawks: Nuggets 100, Hawks 90

J.J.'s 15 points after halftime couldn't save Hawks.

J.J.'s 15 points after halftime couldn't save Hawks.

Denver– I wasn’t thrilled with my seat for the game, which was over a tunnel in a corner opposite the Hawks’ bench. But it turned out to be the perfect vantage point to see the Hawks bumble with transition defense.

  • The Nuggets couldn’t wait to get out and run once they collected Atlanta’s errant long jumpers. From my seat I could see why. The Hawks were a jumbled mess as they tried to get back, stop dribble penetration, find shooters and defend the rim. They were lucky if they managed to do one of the four.
  • “We had bad floor balance, which is unlikely for us knowing we are playing a team that likes to get up and down the court,” J.J. said. “Knowing that if you didn’t shoot the ball, you have to get back. I messed up a few times on that and it costs us. Just boneheaded plays.”
  • L.D.’s message before the game was to control the tempo with good shot selection.
  • “Didn’t do it,” he said. “Didn’t even come close to it. We got into a jump-shooting contest early. We ended up 2 for 19 on threes, you are not going to win on the road taking that many threes especially with the other things we gave up. That’s way, way too many to give up on the road. The things we were concerned about coming into this game they completely took advantage of it.”
  • To be fair, Hinrich and Smoove could have made a difference for the Hawks in the second half. Hinrich because he’s likely to help the Hawks work for better shots, Smith because when all else fails he can protect the rim.
  • “When I went out after the first half, and then Kirk not being able to go I think it hurt us a lot,” Smoove said.
  • “I think it helped a little bit by Josh not being in the second half,” George Karl said. “Still a solid win.”
  • Josh said he sprained his right medial collateral ligament when J.R. Smith fell on his leg. He’s likely to get an MRI. It’s the same knee he banged earlier this season.
  • “For the past two games it was feeling like I was getting back to 100 percent and then this happens,” he said. “It’s kind of frustrating but I can’t control injuries.”
  • Al (21 points, 10 of 15 shots) was the most efficient scorer for the Hawks but got just two shots in the fourth quarter (and made both). Marvin was 0 for 4, Joe was 3 for 8, and Jamal was 1 for 3.
  • The game got away from the Hawks when they went more than three minutes without a field goal while down 89-85.
  • “This was a very winnable game,” Marvin said. “Obviously when Smoove went down the other guys had to step up. We had great looks at it we just couldn’t make shots tonight and couldn’t get stops when we needed it.”
  • “We missed looks we normally make,” Joe said. “I don’t know it was dead legs or what.”
  • “When they started double-teaming Joe we tried to space the floor,” Drew said. “This was one of those games where we could have used Kirk, could have used Josh Smith. Because one thing those guys can do is space the floor. We turned down some shots out of the double team which we can’t do. If they double team and you get an open look you’ve got to take the shot. We had some guys that were a little bit reluctant.”
  • Teague did his part to slow Denver’s dribble penetration in the halfcourt (and got six needed rebounds) but was 1 for 6 on field goals. By my (unofficial) count four of those misses were long jumpers, which still isn’t his thing.
  • Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith helped Denver’s bench enjoy a 44-17 scoring advantage. Only Jamal can match that firepower on Atlanta’s bench but the reserves didn’t help matter with poor shot selection during Denver’s rally in the second quarter.
  • So the Hawks finished their trip 3-4 with Ws against Detroit, Golden State and Portland and Ls to the Knicks, Lakers, Suns and Nuggets.
  • “You know, when you look at the thing as a whole, it’s OK,” Al said. “It could have been worse. This is a game I don’t like to lose but the fact that we came out and competed even though we were shorthanded I liked that fact. We were down one going into the fourth and we had a chance.”
  • “It could have been better,” Josh said. “I think we could have won that Phoenix game. We played well in Golden State and Portland.”
  • “Not all was bad but you look back at games we could have got,” Marvin said. “The LA game was going to be tough, I think everybody knew that. Phoenix, they got up on us and we fought our way back and could have snuck that one.”
  • “Obviously we would have liked to have done better but I think it’s acceptable to finish off 3-4,” L.D. said. “It could have been a lot worse. Now we are still in a position where we can control our own destiny. We have a boatload of games at home and if we have to go home and handle our business.”
  • “After the trade as you can see we had a lot of positive things happen,” Joe said. “Those two games were close. We have got to look forward to getting back everybody healthy. Hopefully Smoove’s injury is not serious.”
  • It’s Bulls, Thunder, Knicks, and the Lakers at Philips over the next eight days.
  • “The good thing about the good teams is there is going to be a crowd there, no matter if they are favoring the visiting team or ours,” Josh said. “I think that gets us going more than anything and trying to play in kind of a playoff environment.”
  • “I think we’ve shown that we’ve gotten it together the last few games,” Al said. “Even this game I think we played well aside from the transition aspect. We have to come out with energy and intensity and be ready to go because we have got some real good teams coming.”
  • I’m headed home after 15 nights on the road. Ken S. is on deck for the next couple days. Thanks for reading, blog people.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

281 comments Add your comment


March 1st, 2011
1:16 am

Wow . . I don’t think I’ve ever seen JJ say that he made “bonehead plays” before. It’s usually “us” or “we” didn’t play well. Not all your fault JJ. People other than Al needed to step up tonight, and they didn’t.


March 1st, 2011
1:26 am

“Al (21 points, 10 of 15 shots) was the most efficient scorer for the Hawks but got just two shots in the fourth quarter (and made both). Marvin was 0 for 4, Joe was 3 for 8, and Jamal was 1 for 3.”
This is our problem. I think Horford needs to start demanding the ball in the 4th.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 1st, 2011
1:27 am

I called 3-4 prior to the road trip, but I didn’t pick the games right (had them beating Denver and Phoenix and losing to Portland and Golden State).

Without the trade, though, they may have gone 1-6. So yeah, it could have been worse.

This was a winnable game, but part of me wants to give them a pass, between the altitude and the less than 24 hours rest after the win at Portland. I think the losses to New York and Phoenix were a lot less excusable than this one.

Not getting Al more touches in the 4th is just idiotic, though, and it’s a continuation of a pattern. Someone other than Teague has to make an effort to feed Al in crunch time.


March 1st, 2011
1:39 am



March 1st, 2011
2:37 am

Well, if Sund is lookin’ for a shooter,
Jason Kapono is most likely gonna
be available.
One of the best pure shooters -ever-.

He would [illiteration alert]
be better ‘n Bizzaro Bird.


March 1st, 2011
3:04 am

* alliteration

** only an illiterate person would spell it illiteration.

*** However being a learn-ed man, I’m completely alliterate !

**** For those who strive to be politically correct,
—– I do not wish to alienate the illiterates.

***** I simply wish to illuminate the error in my previous post,
——-to which should alleviate any misconceptions.

[...] [News Source] [...]

JoJo the Godfather

March 1st, 2011
5:47 am

Hinrich & Josh would have made a big difference…Teague had a +/- of +6…Josh was the only other positive player at +6 for the 1st half…Jamal, Marvin & Joe combined 2 for 16 from 3…Felton & Smith lit us up off the bench.


March 1st, 2011
5:53 am

U guys are still on that!!!!Josh Smith 19 points 7 Reb 3 assists 2 block and he didnt even play the 2nd half!!!Why do you guys hate josh smith.Also,if we did trade hi,who would replace him,josh Powel haha i dont think so.


March 1st, 2011
6:33 am

we need to do more, it is a shame that our best long range shooter is Josh Smith. we need to trim the fat and get some players that can actually contribute. could we cut Powell and Etan and pick up Jason Kapono, Mo Pete, and Murphy? if we try to get all three we could cut Jason as well


March 1st, 2011
7:08 am

“The things we were concerned about coming into this game they completely took advantage of it,” Drew said. “You have got to give [the Nuggets] credit. Obviously it’s tough to play here. They want to get you up and down and if you fall prey into that and start shooting jump shots and quick-shooting you can find yourself behind.”

That was LD talking…man this guy hasnt a clue. This team’s main problem is discipline, its been that way for a few years now. Avery Johnson or Byron Scott or even a Flip Saunders would have been able to take control of that huddle.

How many times after a game is Nancy Drew gonna say “jump shots killed us” this season???

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
7:11 am


Co-Sign! All the Josh for a bag of used NBA socks, traders got their wish.

These young fans probably believe Basketball started when MJ played.
If you don’t value what Josh means to this team? I guess that’s your opinion.

But, The Laws of Attraction are no Secret:
“Thoughts become words. Words become action. Actions become character. Your character determines your destiny.”

So, please be careful with your words. They go forth into the universe and return fulfilled. For the less philosophical, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”

Get Well Josh!

Section 303

March 1st, 2011
7:12 am

I think the Hawks win last night if it wasn’t for the injuries. Put Hinrich and Josh in for the entire night and the Hawks get the W. I just think the Hawks are the better of the two teams.

Gotta admit….I’m actually enjoying watching Teague play, now that he’s getting a chance. I agree that he has potential. I didn’t before. My only concern with him is his inability to finish. He continually gets the ball to the rim, but cannot seal the deal.


March 1st, 2011
7:26 am

Man i was hoping they could make a move again. This team is pretty good but after Crawford (who plays NO defense), things are really scarce.

Looking at a few things last night:
ZaZa, Teague and Marvin: those guys play too timid for my liking.

Collins, Etan and Armstrong…why are they here? I understand it takes coaching and I dont know all the facts but my gosh, these are NBA players! If you dont see the floor all season, then, seriously, WHY ARE YOU HERE???

Teague, im sorry to say folks, i like him, but he just does not have it and i did think he will either.

Marvin Williams is the most underperforming Tarheel i can remember. I wish this guy would just go away.

But as a team, they have got to get away from taking so many jumpshots!


March 1st, 2011
7:32 am

More of the very same. No surprises, including the empty, useless soundbites from the coach and “JJ” and the whining from “Smoove”. What kind of stupid name is Smoove anyway? It’s embarassing.

Of course Teague doesn’t have “it”. Same as Marvin never having “it”. You don’t develop “it”. They either step on the floor with “it” or “it” ain’t there.

Willie Coyote

March 1st, 2011
7:36 am

They are playing faster and with more of an edge it seems. Whether it’s strictly due to the PG play or the team got shaken up because a change was finally made, I don’t know but I like seeing them push the ball. Horford and Josh have been doing work on the defensive glass too, keep it up. Even Marvin got aggressive, too bad he can’t finish at the rim and his J has left him.

The shot selection was bad in that they kept shooting the jumpers even though they weren’t falling. They did get good looks but if you aren’t hitting them, take the ball inside.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
7:39 am

Section 303

Great observation re: Teague’s finishing plays at the rim.
That’s why these kids need to let their arms and legs get strong.
The NBA is not a developmental league. This is a Grown Man’s Business.
Like your BFF, Mr. Johnson said, “This is The NBA maane.”

But, back to your observation. Teague has beautiful arms, he is still growing muscle mass. His legs are getting stronger too. When he is full grown, (typically around 21-23 for men) Teague may be our Rondo.

If Teague could finish like Iverson? He would be The Answer.
Iverson had the heart of a lion.

Double Zero Eight

March 1st, 2011
7:40 am

Teague has potential. He will continue to gain confidence
before the playoffs.

The ARMY had a slogan a few years back: “Be all that you
can be”. We have seen Marvin reach his peak. He is “all
that he will be”. Marvin needs a new home. Maybe going
back to Carolina would be a good change of scenery for

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
7:41 am

“Denver– I wasn’t thrilled with my seat for the game, which was over a tunnel in a corner opposite the Hawks’ bench. But it turned out to be the perfect vantage point to see the Hawks bumble with transition defense.”

MC, you had the best seat in the house. A Hawks eye view.


March 1st, 2011
7:44 am

The need to just get what they can for Marvin during the offseason. I dont care and I think I speak for 90 % of the Hawks fans. Marvin and Thomas along with Collins.


March 1st, 2011
7:44 am

Did not see the second half. But it looks like this is a game we could have won, especially if we had Hinrich and Josh. Hopefully both guys wont be out too long, because we need them for a tough home stretch.

Hawks need to get the ball to Horford more. Al had 15 shots (10-15), Marvin had 14 (4-14,including more shots than Al in the 4th)? And how does Jeff Teague out rebound Marvin?

And 2-19 on 3’s? Wow. That’s turrible. Were they open looks and we missed them, or did we force them?

I thought we would have won 4 ouyt of 7. But the Hawks can still take care of business by winning at home. On to the next one…


March 1st, 2011
7:46 am

And I hope Teague is putting in extra work with his jumper and floater.


March 1st, 2011
7:48 am

LD conceded the game last night by giving Hinrich the night off with a sore calf??? Remember when Horford got slammed on his back, he stated the next day he was ok. LD held him out three more games and the Hawks lost them all. Now Josh is injured, I wondering how long they are going to hold him out. When Josh doesn’t play the league throws a party in the lane, Hawks can’t win without him!!!

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
7:57 am

Here comes the” josh is dumb” posters. They’ll change their logon I’d’s and start crying, “we can’t win without josh now.”. LOL

Mike is back

March 1st, 2011
8:04 am

MC, it was getting late…so I only seen the first half of the game…it started out promising…however, despite the fact that Hinrich and Josh would have made a difference…again this lost belongs to LD…if LD is going to just be a clone of Woody…can we get him out of here after one year…or if management change…I’m sick of those lame rotations that make it easy for the opponent to score…LD should know by know that playing Zaza and Powell…is the equivalent of playing Bibby and Jamal in the back court…it ain’t gon work…and last but not lease…matching-up Jamal on one of the opponents top scorer.

You do all that hard work to get a lead…then your coach goes with the same bad mix of guys too long…well you know the rest…it getting close to the playoff…dude needs to stop with all the lip service already…cuz talk is cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap!!!!!!


March 1st, 2011
8:15 am

I believe in Teague. Someone has got to help develope that young man a jump shot. His jumper is super broke. I agree with that he will be better at finishing at the rim as he developes more muscle mass. I’m glad Drew is FORCED to give Teague more PT. This squad needs a center in the worst way ( broken record chatter ). I love the Tar heels and pull for all alumni, but Marvin Williams has gots to go. Please cut your losses as we did Shelden Williams. The Hawks basically admitted that was a busted pick, same situation with Marvin. Lets see what happens this off-season.

Jerry West

March 1st, 2011
8:16 am

It’s amazing how efficient a scorer Horford is (especially with the amt of jumpers he takes), and yet there’s really not an effort to get him more shots, and specifically more shots late in tight games.

One thing that jumped out last night (besides the usual too many jumpers) was that Teague’s too deferential with the ball. take the ball and get to the hole. don’t just walk it up, pass to Joe or Josh and go wait on the wing. get into the lane and make something happen.


March 1st, 2011
8:20 am

Heard Josh has a sprained MCL.Is he out for a while? We really need him Wed against Boozer.


March 1st, 2011
8:22 am

I will say this much if this game proves anything it’s that beyond the starting 5 plus JC1 and Hinrich we have a weak bench Zaza did okay, but this offseason.

Marvin, Zaza, Collins, Powell, JC1 as well must be shipped out trade them to Sac-town probably could get Jason Thompson or someone like that.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
8:23 am

No MRI needed for Smoove’s MCL sprain

After a report emerged late Monday night that Josh Smith would need an MRI for the sprained MCL he suffered in his right knee earlier in the night, a subsequent report indicated that he would not be taking an MRI after all.

After the game it was reported that his leaving the game was a precautionary measure, but the proof is always in the MRI pudding, as many players say that they’re okay only to have an MRI remind them that they’re not. Barring a massive turn of events, owners dodged a huge bullet tonight. Regardless, we’re going to call him questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Bulls for now.
-source Hawks PR twitter-


Prayer works! Get Well Soon Josh!


March 1st, 2011
8:30 am



March 1st, 2011
8:34 am

Do the Nuggets have a full-time Tattoo artist on staff? That has to be the most tat’d team in the NBA and that’s saying something! The freak with the mohawk looks like someone on death row.


March 1st, 2011
8:39 am

OB, a game that the Hawks could not keep a hold of…they simply ran out of gas in the 4th….the Nuggets kept getting in the lane most of the game….Josh and Kirk were severely missed.
Why do I say that? Marvin had 2 or 3 rebounds at the half….a total of 3 for the game…and Josh didn’t play the 2nd half. That is a huge weakness…Marvin does not compensate when Josh is out. 38 minutes was essential from him. Powell AND Wilkins…0 rebounds total.
We settled for way too many jumpers and that might have been due to Larry telling these guys not to run. That was a bad strategy…you are telling your guys to hold back.
But truly, Teague vs. Felton&Lawson….hard to compete in that scenario.
And I think Teague is proving Lawson isn’t that far ahead of him…and Lawson’s minutes this year? 1400+ compared to 625 for Teague….I like what we have here with our PG combo.

Other good note: Joe started hitting a groove 2nd half also….less holding the ball and challenging his defender. Chandler had him thinking too much with the ball in his hands. When Joe gets double teamed, we have to produce to take the weight off Joe.
I can see Joe leading this team a bit better now.

Zaza, all I can say is wow! Anderson got him twice and Zaza never responded. Blocked a layup attempt (for a 7footer!) and swiped across his arm in the open court and Zaza gets a T for it. Bad timing for Zaza. We probably could have used Collins tonight.

I am still trying to figure out Larry and his substitutions. Not that we had a full bench last night, but he easily could have gone offense/defense a bit more. These guys drove the lane over and over in the 2nd half. Denver played a game to wear us down, and it worked.

A good 4th quarter and we have this game. 29-20 isn’t going to do it. That is on the coach at this point. He should know who gives us the best chance to win. Al/Teague/Joe/Collins/Jamal


March 1st, 2011
8:40 am

The only thing keeping Anderson from becoming a graffiti billboard is his thin build. To each his own I guess.


March 1st, 2011
8:43 am

This one’s for Najeh….the list of free agents for 2011….not an up-2-date list, but a list to ponder who would come in here and get themselves a roster slot…and Prince and McGrady are there….


March 1st, 2011
8:47 am

And last night….15 assists for the entire team…and 36 buckets…the ratio was not there. Denver, 22 assists, 43 buckets.

Shake Something

March 1st, 2011
8:54 am

Corey Brewer has been bought out and I do believe Atlanta would upgrade alot at the SF if they could sign him…Al Horford needs to get on the phone and start recruiting him.Main pitch should be telling him there is a starting job at the 3 position

Man a 6′9 Guard Forward who can defend and would be a great addition.

D man

March 1st, 2011
8:54 am

This team is a mess. What a shame for our great city…


March 1st, 2011
9:13 am

Why after EVERY single loss do we have to hear LD talk about how we settled into jumpshots rather than getting in the lane?

This is so damn pathetic.





March 1st, 2011
9:13 am

I like Brewer as well…his calling card is defense…not a better place to start for this team. And seeing Corey in college, this guy can play both ends.
Grab him before Chicago does.


March 1st, 2011
9:15 am

one and done…….Playoffs? Really?

steve brown

March 1st, 2011
9:18 am

In this day an age a first round point guard who can not shoot a mid range jump shot is inexcusable. Who in hell scouted Teague. Until Teague proves otherwise he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
9:36 am

“Maybe going
back to Carolina would be a good change of scenery for

This is true. Then, Marvin’s commute for Summer classes will be much shorter. Perhaps, he can scrimmage The UNC Men’s Basketball Team.

Geez! He was awful last night. Teague passed to him on the right block and he passed it back to Teague two times, like the ball was a hot potato.
Why not make a move to the post? Unforgivable, Marvin.
Thank goodness, Teague penetrated and drew a foul.

Marvin was useless and his jump shot is turrible. Marvin can’t hit the side of a barn. He does not square up to the basket, he leans in with his right body, he releases from a 45 degree angle. Not a fundamentally sound shooter and has no impact on the game consistently. A Major Bust at #2 or #22. No passion for the NBA game, lazy. But, as we saw last week, there will never be a taker with his contract. A bad pick compounded with a bad contract.


March 1st, 2011
9:42 am

“A Major Bust at #2 or #22. No passion for the NBA game, lazy. But, as we saw last week, there will never be a taker with his contract. A bad pick compounded with a bad contract.”

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln? :lol:

drmaryb (*_*)

March 1st, 2011
9:43 am

“When Joe gets double teamed, we have to produce to take the weight off Joe.”

How about a teammate bailing Joe out for a change? Can not one player run to the ball and help out there. Give the man a passing lane/line? That’s what i like about Kirk, he is constantly moving w/o the ball – imagine that?


March 1st, 2011
9:43 am

“The good thing about the good teams is there is going to be a crowd there, no matter if they are favoring the visiting team or ours,” Josh said.

The second half of that sentence…only in Atlanta…


March 1st, 2011
9:43 am

All we need from Marvin is to knock down his shots more consistently, and get us 7+ rebounds. Is that too much to ask? He did have a good game against Portland, so maybe he will have a good game against the Bulls.


Sometimes I dont know what LD is thinking with his lineups. Like in the Portland game, he had Jamal in the game when Portland made their run in the 4th. Given that we had a 20 point lead with 5 minutes to play, we needed defense, not offense.

But LD stuck with Jamal instead of bringing in Marvin, who actually played well on defense that game (and had 11 and 7).

And its obvious that the Powell and ZaZa together has not worked. I wonder if LD will try and get Hilton Armstrong some PT…


March 1st, 2011
10:25 am

Mike Bibby
I’m taking my horrendous defense and occasional 3 pt shooting talents to South Beach.

Rod from College Park

March 1st, 2011
10:50 am


“But LD stuck with Jamal instead of bringing in Marvin, who actually played well on defense that game (and had 11 and 7).”

You and Vava keep complaining about Jamal being on the floor instead of Marvin at the end of the game. Are you guys watching the games? Marvin can’t be on the floor at the end of the game because HE CAN’T SCORE. You can’t leave a total liability on the floor, especially when you know teams are going to get the ball out of Joe’s hands. We held Denver to 100 points, and I think that they are the highest scoring team in the league. Defense was not the problem, scoring in the 4th was. Plus Marvin’s defense is very overrated. He stays in front of his man, but provides no intimidation or shot changing ability.


*weak hands…[don't ever talk about Zaza's hands again 'til MW's gone]
*can’t jump off two feet…[w/o a runnin' go]
*can’t shoot…[retract that - can't make a shot - unless it's free]
*the single most awkward player I’ve ever seen [counting all the white guys]
*overrated on defense
*can’t or doesn’t rebound
*jumps late:
**[notice how many times he catches a reb @ the waist & he's still on his way up] ”

Would I be wrong if I said I told you so? I might not know much, but a bad basketball player is easy to see. If he was not on the Hawks, where he gets some of the most wide open shots in history, he would not still be in the league. I really don’t think he would be an above average D-League player. He has too many flaws that can’t be corrected. Let me add that he gets his shot blocked by much smaller players 1 to 2 times a game. he can’t finish, and he falls way too much for a 6′9 player. It’s only a matter of time before he seriously injures himself.


March 1st, 2011
10:51 am

Jamal is the scorer….

Jamal makes 10.8mil a year just to score…He went 3-12 in the Game and 11pts. If he goes 8-17 and score 22pts we win.