Atlanta Hawks: Thunder 111, Hawks 104

  • After this one, there seemed to be a disconnect between what L.D. and the players were saying.
  • The coach thought the Hawks didn’t push back against the Thunder’s physical play: “Take nothing from Oklahoma City; they are a good team. The disappointing thing is the physicality in which they played with, we didn’t match it. We didn’t get after loose balls. We didn’t get on the floor. Yeah, they were coming over our backs on some plays but you have got to box out, you have got to get your body into them. They fought screens. They played with a physicality that we did not match.”
  • The players seemed to think they gave what they had but just couldn’t get it done.
  • “That was a tough one, man,” J.J. said. “I thought we came out with the right energy and effort in how we wanted the game to be dictated. But we just didn’t get stops when we needed them down the stretch like we wanted to.”
  • “I like the way that our team came out and showed up,” Al said. “Yeah, we could have probably picked up the intensity more. But I felt like we played hard. We were one or two plays away but we couldn’t get it done.”
  • Under the circumstances, I’ve got to side with the players.
  • The Hawks ran into a very talented offensive team with a top 5 player in Durant playing at a high level (despite a supposedly sore ankle). Westrbook is a tough cover, too, and he was playing with a swagger. The Thunder made some shots and were 20 of 21 on free throws.
  • “The Hawks are a great team and they bring the best out of us,” Durant said. “We shot well against them from three, and me and Russell and James all were hitting from outside.”
  • “They are a very talented team,” Drew said. “They can beat you in a lot of different areas. They are big, they are physical, they are strong in the backcourt. Obviously Durant is one of the top 10 players in this league. You can have to bring a physicality when you play this team. If you don’t they beat you up.”
  • Sure, but the Hawks had Josh in a suit and Al saddled by foul trouble. So of course they struggled to protect the paint and box out. Who else on this team is going to do those things against OKC’s solid front line (that will be scary deep when Perkins returns)?
  • “I don’t think we did well as far as protecting the paint,” Al said. “It had something to do with me being in foul trouble and not wanting to be as aggressive helping out. They took advantage of that in the first half. After that, they seemed to have the shooting and the scoring in the paint going.”
  • Perhaps more Zaza (six minutes) might have helped. And after praising Armstrong before the game L.D. gave him a DNP-CD and played Etan (who did have a productive seven minutes).
  • I thought the only thing the Hawks were horrible with was protecting the ball. They had 16 turnovers for 27 Thunder points and a decent amount of those were unforced errors.
  • Hinrich struggled to stay with Westbrook (and jawed with him throughout the fourth quarter). Eventually Hinrich started going under screens, which opened everything up for Westbrook.
  • Teague didn’t have much better results vs. Westrbook and Maynor gave him a little trouble, too. But Teague was making his floater (he’s 4 for 4 in the official boxscore but I remember him missing a free-throw line jumper).
  • James Harden got to the rim, too. “When he’s playing aggressive and takes the ball to the hole, he’s hard to guard,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said.
  • Jamal had 19 points on 13 shots. He twice drew fouls on 3-point tries.
  • The Hawks had success with Joe posting up Sefolosha early in the game. Then Joe left with a cut lip courtesy of an Ibaka elbow to the face. In the second half his attempted post-ups never really materialized and the offense stagnated as he dribbled.
  • After the Hawks got within 102-100 on Marvin’s putback, they failed to score on their next three possessions. Al missed from 20 feet, Jamal missed a forced 3 and Al missed a turnaround J. Al got five shots in the fourth, second to Jamal’s 6, but couldn’t get in a rhythm.
  • Westbrook made the dagger.
  • “I thought Kirk played great defense,” Joe said. “He took a tough shot and made it.”
  • “That’s a shot that we would live with,” Drew said. “The only thing is we didn’t contest it. He knocked down a big shot.”
  • The Knicks are next. Then the Lakers, Bulls and Blazers.
  • “They are going to keep coming,” Al said. “We have to move on. We have to learn from this.”
  • “We are all right, man,” J.J. said. “We are in a good position right now. We control our own destiny with these last 20 games left. Somewhere along the line we have to string together five, six, seven eight good wins.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

79 comments Add your comment

O'Brien

March 4th, 2011
11:37 pm

Even if Hilton doesnt know the plays, he should get PT over Josh Powell.

In addition to the turnovers, another reason for the loss was our shooting from behind the arc. JJ and Jamal were 2-11 from behind the arc. Overall, Hawks shot 6-17 from 3.

For a team that takes a lot of jumpers, the Hawks need a shooter like Mike Miller or Kyle Korver.

rocknblues81

March 4th, 2011
11:38 pm

So much for the Hawks “defensive improvement”. They played with excitement for a few days following the trade, but like always… They revered back to the bad defensive team that they are. Kirk Hinrich proved that he is NOT a big upgrade and he will NOT help the hawks very much.

rocknblues81

March 4th, 2011
11:39 pm

Mike Millers and Kyle Korvers only mean bad defense. The Hawks can’t afford to have anymore bad defenders on the team.

rocknblues81

March 4th, 2011
11:43 pm

lol at the people that actually thought Kirk Hinrich was going to be a meaningful upgrade.

leo

March 4th, 2011
11:51 pm

I like what the players had to say about the game. They sound like they played hard and just took a lost. Can’t win them all. Some players maybe tired, others aren’t getting a chance to play. Which seems to be a problem. Al is in foul trouble, Josh is hurt. Play Hilton Armstrong.
We will have a new coach next season.

Larry Drew is not the answer.

slimjr

March 4th, 2011
11:53 pm

it was a terrible loss,,,,,,,one and done……………….next

slimjr

March 4th, 2011
11:53 pm

MJ MJ MJ=Mark Jackson…..

slimjr

March 4th, 2011
11:54 pm

45 more years?????????????????Really??????????????? No Championships?????????

slimjr

March 4th, 2011
11:55 pm

8 pts from the lousy #2 Lottery pick…………………………..Yawn………………..

leo

March 4th, 2011
11:57 pm

I wish Larry Drew would think outside the box and try something different. Challenge them to attack the basket more and stop taking so many jumpers. I also wish we could get the Refs to call the games correctly. These are just my thoughts. I am not a NBA GM or Coach so don’t quote me.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 4th, 2011
11:59 pm

I guess the perceived lack of physicality from LD’s vantage point explains the sudden playing time for Etan Thomas, who did play pretty well. Going forward I’d like to see more of him and less of Josh Powell, if either one is to get playing time.

With that said, I agree with Al. The real problem was the inability to defend the rim. When Al got in foul trouble early and went out of the game, Westbrook went into attack mode and never backed off. The Hawks had no shot blocker who could step in and guard the rim, and even when Al came back he didn’t contest shots for fear of picking up his third foul (which he eventually did anyway). Smoove was missed big time.

Turnovers were also a pretty major issue. If there is one discernible dropoff from Bibby to Kirk, it is that Kirk is more turnover-prone (not that he was solely responsible for the turnover issues by any means). I’ll gladly trade that for his increased mobility and defensive toughness, but let’s be real, Westbrook worked him over tonight. No shame in that, since Westbrook is a fantastic player, but Kirk definitely didn’t have anywhere near the kind of game defensively that he had on Wednesday. I actually thought Teague clearly played better D in this one (which I wouldn’t necessarily say about the previous few games) although Kirk had a good game scoring the ball and commanded minutes as a result.

Too bad they couldn’t pick up this win, though, what with Orlando and New York losing. For all their faults, they had the opportunity to win it near the end. Just couldn’t get stops when they needed it, and the lackluster help defense inside all game was a contributing factor.

Also, nice game Joe, but please work on that 3 point shot. Smoove has you beat in that department right now.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:01 am

“he’s 4 for 4 in the official boxscore but I remember him missing a free-throw line jumper”

Ibaka was called for goaltending on that one.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:02 am

“In the second half his attempted post-ups never really materialized and the offense stagnated as he dribbled.”

The Thunder did a real good job getting into passing lanes (mainly Westbrook) and denying Joe and Al the post entry pass. That really screwed up a lot of the Hawks’ offensive flow.

slimjr

March 5th, 2011
12:03 am

ISO Joe= Robin…………………

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
12:03 am

Najeh,

Is Kirk turnover prone, or is it that he handles the ball so much more than Bibby, that he turns it over more?

And you made a good point on Al. Taking him out of the game opened up the lane for OKC, and when Al came back in, he played a little timid because he didnt want to pick up his 3rd.

I think that goes on LD. Al finished with 3 fouls in 35 minutes, so LD has to learn to trust him even when he has 2 fouls.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:04 am

I mentioned Orlando and New York losing (in the Knicks’ case, they are now 0-3 against the Cavs). I did not mention that the Heat just lost by 30. Even to the best team in the league, for that team to lose by 30 is insane.

superiorblogman

March 5th, 2011
12:05 am

Teague had success against Westbrook. Westbrook could not beat Teague off the dribble, he had to beat him with backdowns. He just took Hinrich to the rack at will with blow bys. Hinrich is extremely overrated and he is not a PG. He has averaged just as many To’s as assists since joining the Hawks. I would much rather Teague take his bumps than keep playing this stopgap. Horford did not get enough shots. He played enough minutes, no way he should be on the court for 35 minutes and only get 10 shots, that’s LD’s fault and the PG who was on the floor the most which is Hinrich, but he is not a PG. Same ole Hawks till they develop Teague.

youngrules26

March 5th, 2011
12:07 am

Hawks stink like they always do. If you put faith in them they will let you down everytime.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:14 am

“Is Kirk turnover prone, or is it that he handles the ball so much more than Bibby, that he turns it over more?”

Probably a little bit of both, but he definitely did force a few passes today. In fairness, most opposing point guards are nowhere near as good as Westbrook when it comes to disrupting the passing lanes.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:16 am

“Jason Collins, the Hawks’ starting center Friday, is taller and stouter than Armstrong, but has limited mobility. Reserve center Zaza Pachulia isn’t as athletic as Armstrong, and Josh Powell hasn’t proved to be a strong defender at the rim.”

Josh Powell hasn’t proven to be a strong anything at the anything. I know the Hawks’ big man depth is pretty bad, but Powell should be last on the depth chart even behind mediocrity like Hilton, Zaza, and Etan Thomas.

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
12:19 am

Mike Bibby; 29 minutes, 2-6 FG, 0-3 from behind the arc, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 pts and 4 fouls.

I think he would have been a better fit in Boston, but maybe he didnt want to go there after the way he got fans riled up for being fair-weather fans back in ‘08.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:22 am

It is hilarious to see ESPN practically in mourning after the Heat’s dismantling by the Spurs.

The Truth

March 5th, 2011
12:28 am

Watching the game live revealed once again how JJ “ball hoggish ways” stood in the way of progress and prevented us from winning the game. Hinrich nailed a 3 late in the 4th qtr that started some momentum followed by a missed shot by OKC. The Hawks cleared the rebound and Hinrich got back to his “sweet spot” expecting JJ to feed him again but guess what happen? JJ goes into his “hog ball mode” probably thinking “I’m the man”, “it’s my team”, “it’s my turn to be the hero tonight” “Horford was the hero the other night” I’m the hero tonight”.

Thus, he dropped his head and never looked for Hinrich, and ended up launching a tough shot and missed. The crowd roared in disbelief. OKC cleared the rebound and ended up scoring on the other end resulting in a possible 5 point turn-around had Joe given the ball up and fed the “hot hand”. These are the little costly thing that JJ did (at the wrong time) that won’t show up on the stats. Regardless of the final score, the margin of the loss was only 6 points.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 5th, 2011
12:49 am

Dwight Howard got his 16th technical today. Orlando will be without him against Portland on Monday if the technical stands.

Ryan

March 5th, 2011
1:29 am

Alot of the comments on here make me sad. I’m not sure hawks fans deserve a championship. NBA teams don’t go 82-0. The team competed and never gave up. We didn’t have Josh tonight. Joe and Kirk played well. Most of them did really. I do feel that Al isn’t getting the and ones that he deserves.

arty

March 5th, 2011
2:09 am

They lost the game because JoJo hogged the ball too much. I saw he missed 3-4 jumpers in a roll. What did he do the next time when he had the ball? Shot another jumper and missed again. After that I stopped watching the game. JoJo should share the ball and put winning over his stats (he has already gotten his max $). L.D. is coaching very similar to the previous HC; the offense scheme is still very much like before – center on JoJo. The Hawks don’t have a superstar, so they should run a shared and balance offensive game plan in order to win consistently. Why did Horford only see 10 shots? Another reason they lost this game is the Hawks bench is just too weak (2 players came in for only 4-5 min and they are minus 8; Hawks only lost by 6).

I thought Kirk did a reasonable good job to slow down Westbrrok. Kirk didn’t shut down Westbrook, but Westbrook didn’t shut down Kirk either. In fact, Kirk shot more efficiently than Westbrook (7/13 – 53.8% for 21 pts with 4/6 on 3s’, while Westbrook shot 11/23 -47.8% for 28 pts; had Kirk took that many shots, he could easily score 30+). Overall, Kirk definitely neutralized Westbrook. Why didn’t the coach mix up a little? Have JoJo guard Westbrook sometimes to disrupt his rhythm (you have to give Westbrook or the like different looks to slow down him); also Kirk is playing with an injured calf.

Also the coach needs to let the team PG runs offense, not still use the old offensive scheme (i.e., most of times, PG carries the ball passing the half and throw to JoJo, let him dominate the ball). It’s good for everyone including JoJo; if JoJo is not trying to play PG, maybe he can shoot better. Also everyone in the starting lineup (if Josh plays) can score, let Kirk distribute the ball to initial a balance offensive attack. Kirk had 3 TO, but Teague had 2 TO (with only 14 min), JC had 3 TO, Westbrook had 3 TO, so he is not more prone to TO than the majority of PGs (his Ast/TO ratio over his career is reasonable good, compared to other PGs). Hey, the so-called best PG Rose had 6 TO in last game and 4 TO with only 5 Ast today (even though offense goes through him). Kirk can’t get more ast because the Hawks offense goes through JoJo or JC. I don’t care who get ast, but Kirk is a better PG than both; JoJo is a better SG than Kirk.

Grandad

March 5th, 2011
2:38 am

arty

Interesting perspective. Constructively critical, on point.
Nicely done ‘`arty’`.

Worldwide Clyde

March 5th, 2011
3:13 am

Wake me up when the playoffs start.

tony

March 5th, 2011
4:21 am

This fanbase is an embarrassment to the nba. UNBELIAVABLE! TURNOVER PRONE? This team would have lost by 20 points without CAPTAIN KIRK. Kirk takes care of the BASKETBALL better than anyone in the nba. He’s just going through a transition period with his enept teammates. Kirk, keep playing your game young man. This team is 10 times better with you in the lineup. This fanbase is sick!

LD’s substitution and his zone is what hurt the hawks last night. The Thunder is a very good basketball team and if you don’t bring your A GAME against them, they will demolish you.

HIRE BILL LAIMBEER NOW!

mykhalc

March 5th, 2011
4:29 am

i didn’t see the game. but if OKC was able to get to the rim so easily then why didn’t LD use Armstrong??

lewis

March 5th, 2011
4:51 am

powell and etan saw the floor together..bad coaching LD

vava74

March 5th, 2011
4:57 am

I think that yesterday there was a rather unfortunate conjunction of factors that undermined our chances.

I did not catch the first minutes of the game so I cannot assess if Al got called for dubious calls then but one thing I can tell you, there were plenty of calls and non calls going against us.

The perfect strip by Teague on Maynor, at least 3 or 4 bumps on JJ, a foul on jamal’s drive in the 4th, the no basket continuation on Al, the charge foul on Durant that they call blocking on Hinrich…

I grant that some of these calls were not horrible and that maybe one of jamal’s 3 fts was dubious , but the fact is that playoff teams playing at home usually get all those calls going their way and we didn’t.

If we couple that with Jamal’s horrible 3 point attempt and 3 or 4 perfectly avoidable TOs (one being Jamal’s horrible pass to Hinrich late in the game and another Al’s full court pass to nowhere in crucial moments) and you’ll see where the game slipped.

Damn OKC also where on fire for most of the game hitting difficult and crucial shot every single time we got close.

Alex

March 5th, 2011
6:37 am

Ok…Hinrich played very good game… maybe not best defense but he just cant shoot down every player in the NBA.Westbrook took some shoots and they follow him not much you can do.Overall whole OKC team was on the fire Ibaka give us problems Harden,Collison even Maynor hits some big shoots its just that kind of night.You just cant blame one man for this loss we are much better team with Kirk Hinrich and lets all be bether fans and give this guys litle more support its easy too be fan in the wins but we also need to be fans in losses!And just dont forget that we played without Josh i think that was big factor too we give up too much point in the paint.

JeJe

March 5th, 2011
7:58 am

Horford finished with THREE PERSONAL FOULS. HE WAS NOT CLOSE TO FOULING OUT. If a player is in foul trouble, he’s more likely to NOT foul out than he is.

Why do these Hawks coaches not see this? Horford got ONE foul in the 2nd half

tim

March 5th, 2011
8:08 am

Where is the “MOTION OFFENSE” that we heard so much about in pre-season??

I still see the “NBA stand around and watch” offense.

When are the refs going to actually referee??

Typical NBA crap “basketball”.

Trojan

March 5th, 2011
8:42 am

We were missing Josh last night. We were NOT missing Bibby. Teague is improving, Hinrich is a great upgrade. Why not at least try Armstrong?

doc

March 5th, 2011
9:40 am

harden penetrated and scored at will and was the x factor we couldnt stop. westbrook and durant played their games and played well but didnt go crazy. jj and hinrich matched them pretty well. no one stopped harden and he was the difference last night as he carved us up.

some of the to’s are also from guys not expecting the ball from hinrich at times. the team as a whole all tend to be sloppy with possessions especially at critical times. impatience or overreacting to the situations, jj still tends to force things as much as anyone on the team.

doc

March 5th, 2011
9:42 am

there was one time hinrich was all over westbrook and he still scored. his defense couldnt have been any better without a weapon.

STRETCH

March 5th, 2011
10:28 am

“He gives us something a little bit different than our other ‘bigs,’” Drew said before the game. “Maybe just a little bit more athletic, maybe just a little quicker. He certainly brings something to the table that we can definitely use.

“He’s pretty active around the rim. He gives us some presence when he is in the game.”

Jason Collins, the Hawks’ starting center Friday, is taller and stouter than Armstrong, but has limited mobility. Reserve center Zaza Pachulia isn’t as athletic as Armstrong, and Josh Powell hasn’t proved to be a strong defender at the rim.

Drew said Armstrong’s skills would allow him to try some defensive strategies he was reluctant to use before his arrival.

I cant figure ot this Larry Drew! Why then are you NOT playing the guy??? ANYTHING is better than the bigs they have now!

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
10:30 am

One play that stood out to me was the dunk by the OKC player (I think it was Harden) when Etan was in the game. Rather than take the foul, Etan just let him go by.

I think we need more attitude in the paint, and even when Al is in the game, we just dont have that. We need to be willing to foul guys hard (but clean), and send them to the line. But our guys are just too nice…

O'Brien

March 5th, 2011
10:33 am

The growing pains of Jordan Crawford. After going 5-9 in 17 minutes with 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 turnovers, he has struggled in the 2 games since;

Against the Bulls; 16 mins, 1-6 FG, 2 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers, 2 pts.

Against Golden State, 12 minutes, 2-7 FG, no assists, steals or turnovers, 4 pts.

He is well on his way to being a poor man’s Jamal :smile:

As for Armstrong, I dont understand why LD talks so glowingly about him, but didnt give him any PT. Its another example of LD’s words not matching up with his actions.

The guy is a PF/Center, so how many plays does he need to learn before LD feels comfortable with him out there?

Rev in Tampa

March 5th, 2011
10:33 am

Who would you rather be?

The Hawks who are universally ignored in the press whether you win or lose…

or

The Heat who are universally jeered after two embarrassing losses…

clancy

March 5th, 2011
10:43 am

I guess some people have been sitting around waiting for a loss to complain about Kirk.

I thought he was OK defensively, and good offensively last night. Westbrook did play well, but he’s had better games this season. Without the normal inside defense to help, I felt like the guards did what they could. OKC hit some tough shots, and sometimes that happens. To suggest this proves he’s not an upgrade means you think the result would have been better with Bibby on the floor. That thought actually makes me laugh. I understand people who feel we gave up too much future potential in the trade, but I have no idea how anyone in their right mind could argue that Kirk is not a huge upgrade at the point.

His assist and TO numbers are upside down from his season and career averages right now. Given the long history of taking care of the ball, I’m comfortable in assuming that will work itself out as he becomes more comfortable with the system and his teammates. He possibly never will have huge assist numbers here – I noticed that Bibby’s assists/36 under LD were the lowest of his career (including his short tenure in Miami on a team of ball dominant guys). I have no concerns with that as long as team assist totals are reasonable. A lot of guys get a lot of assists in this system. Better Kirk (or anyone, really) makes the hockey assist pass that results in a score than dominates the ball. Having watched the last games, I’m comfortable with how he’s picking up on things.

Rufus1

March 5th, 2011
10:44 am

Shot Blocker….

LD read the game wrong…..We lost because we didn’t have Josh to protect the rim.

doc

March 5th, 2011
10:55 am

uh rev, three losses that were embarrassing. didnt they lose to the knicks with a 15 point lead in that game to start the slump? it may only get worser. ;-)

teague didnt help on one drive letting someone go by to the basket while he hesitated to move to block the penetration or swipe at the ball. it was a team hawks effort last night. the better team on the court last night won, simply put.

terrell

March 5th, 2011
11:05 am

terrell

March 5th, 2011
11:06 am

Slimjr, where were you after the Chicago game?

terrell

March 5th, 2011
11:07 am

No Josh Smith = layup drill.

rusty

March 5th, 2011
11:26 am

As long as ld is a head coach this team this team never will play up to it’s potential. We will never win anything with jj , this guy just wants to get his shots, our offense runs with him instead of the pg.jj is finished as soon as the other teams start to double team him as he holds on to the ball way to long. He gets most of his assists from someone making a jump shot with the cloak winding down. He holds on to the ball way to long while his team mates have to be open. His style of play ruins our offense. He is too inconsistent with his shooting to be taking 20 plus shots a game.ld makes horrible decisions & holds no one accountable.

Shake Something

March 5th, 2011
11:27 am

The players didn’t lose last night…LD lost it last night.Westbrook was backing Teague down and scoring, while Hinirch forced him to shoot more jump shots or contested lay ups,so why keep Teague matched up on.At least put Joe on Westbrook.I liked LD in the beginning but now I see he isn’t the coach for this team,who needs to win now and not develop coaches.When will he use his bench more.Zaza,who has been playing better lately, only gets 6 minutes,but Marvin plays the 4 and gets 35 minutes,which he should never get.

Play Armstrong!! Perfect time to being playing him is right now and he still should be played more after Josh come back.You got Hilton Armstrong as possibly your most athletic big behind Josh&Al, who can defend the rim and you don’t play him?!?!?Why did you include him in a trade if you aren’t going to use him. You can tell Josh is missed by not having a shot blocker,but Armstrong can supplement till he comes back.

Joe is doing better by backing down weaker, smaller guards and putting up 24 points, which is great. LD needs to play with different lineups and give Joe some rest.LD is just disappointing me now.