Hawks try to get out of rut vs. Lakers

Greetings, all

This is the story that got posted Monday night for Tuesday’s paper. Sorry I don’t have more for you. Kind of a busy day.

Ken

After losing two games in a row, Hawks coach Larry Drew assured the team Monday that it was not time to panic. He did think, though, that the Hawks need to play better in transition and not settle for jump shots.

This might sound familiar.

After narrowly beating Minnesota Nov. 14, center Al Horford noted the team was a little careless with the basketball and “not necessarily running our offense like we should have.” After losing to New Jersey Dec. 19, Drew said shot selection “was a little bit questionable at times.” After losing to Milwaukee Jan. 26, Drew confessed “it was not a good display of shot selection, which we talk about over and over, especially on the road.”

It may not be time to panic, but the clock is ticking. The Hawks have 19 games remaining, starting with Tuesday night’s game against the two-time defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers at Philips Arena. Since reaching a season-high 13 games above .500 with a win at Washington Feb. 5, the Hawks are 4-8. They’ve lost their last two games, both at home. In the most recent, a 92-79 loss to the New York Knicks Sunday, the Hawks became just the second team in Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s three-year tenure to fail to score 80 points, prompting Drew’s observation that “Right now, we’re in disarray.”

After the team’s Monday practice, players used phrases like “in a rut” and “a little bit out of sync” and “no movement on the offensive end” to describe the offensive state of affairs. This does not have the markings of a team ready to make a closing run.

“I have no idea,” guard Joe Johnson said, asked to explain the recent failings. “If I knew, I would say something to the guys, but I don’t know.”

Forward Josh Powell, who won titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, saw a lack of trust.

“What I mean by that is, defensively, little things like rotation, communication, stuff like that,” Powell said. “Offensively, sometimes you have to turn down a good shot to get a great shot or set a screen or make a hard cut, look out for somebody else.”

After poring over film and statistics, Drew and his staff determined that the answer lies in playing more transition basketball. The Hawks have averaged 9.5 fast-break points in their past four games, about five points below their season average.

“That’s not the team we want to be,” Drew said. “We’ve slowed the ball up.”

Of course, the challenge with the Hawks has not necessarily been finding answers, but implementing them. Drew said championship-caliber teams like Boston and the Lakers can figure out their problems and stop slumps quickly.

“Some of the other teams, including ourselves, we haven’t found that yet, how to do that yet,” Drew said. “We allow it to linger and to go on. But I’m confident that we’ll find that little niche on how to stop the bleeding and play the way the game should be played.”

135 comments Add your comment

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:31 pm

The ship be sinking………….

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:32 pm

LA by 25 at the Half…In total control…

Najeh Davenpoop

March 7th, 2011
9:39 pm

Orlando predictably lost to Portland without Dwight Howard.

This is the point where I would normally say the Hawks’ next game is important to pick up a game on Orlando, but at this point the likelihood of the Knicks passing the Hawks for the 5 seed seems a lot greater than the likelihood of the Hawks catching up to the Magic.

O'Brien

March 7th, 2011
9:45 pm

Ken S,

I’m a fan of statistics, but for LD to imply the answer lies in 5 more transition points is way off base (imo).

If he wants to talk nimbers, let’s talk nimbers;

Against the Knicks, we went 6-17 from 3, with 19 turnovers.

Against OKC, we went 6-17 from 3.

Against the Nuggets we went 2-19 from 3.

Against the Lakers, we went 1-15 from 3.

Against the Bobcats, we went 5-23 from 3.

It makes more sense to talk about those numbers to me.

What he needs to focus on is our shot selection, especially when our 3’s are not falling, or when we get jumper happy.

5 more transition points is 2 or 3 better possessions, and we need more than just 2 or 3 better possessions (imo).

Section 303

March 7th, 2011
9:45 pm

What a bunch of f’ing losers. They’re going to get killed tomorrow.

mykhalc

March 7th, 2011
9:45 pm

@KenS…it’s cool bro. as Hawks fans we’re used to recycled quotes!!!LOL (and that was meant in fun bro) ;-)

JeJe

March 7th, 2011
9:46 pm

Wow our superstar 120M player says he doesn’t know why we are sucking

Good job

Geemack

March 7th, 2011
9:48 pm

This team is not interesting at all. How do you allow the Knick to come into your house and beat you at a time you went 3-3 on a road trip?

You come home to stack up wins not lose to a team barely over 500.

mykhalc

March 7th, 2011
9:48 pm

i’ll bet cha Joe was even the leader on his HS team!!! geeesssshhhh

mykhalc

March 7th, 2011
9:49 pm

was NOT the leader…

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:50 pm

Waive Marvin…………….

O'Brien

March 7th, 2011
9:50 pm

Najeh,

And thats why it made no sense for a team with a $90 mil payroll to not have a backup Center, when Howard is prone to picking up technicals. Tonight, they started Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and Hedo in the front court. Really Otis Smith?

And worse case scenario, what if D-12 gets hurt and has to miss 5-10 games? They dont have anybody who is a backup center.

mykhalc

March 7th, 2011
9:50 pm

@Najeh…absolutely take the Clippers…they play with heart.

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:50 pm

iso Joe=Robin jr………….

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:52 pm

I get it now Mr. Stern.. There will be no NBA Championships in Atlanta ever……………………………….

JeJe

March 7th, 2011
9:52 pm

Just win tomorrow and lose the rest of the season

I don’t care

I just don’t want to lose to Kobe

slimjr

March 7th, 2011
9:53 pm

Chicago up by 17 at the half on Atlanta this week….In control…..Marvin just sit down………….

Najeh Davenpoop

March 7th, 2011
9:54 pm

Forget heart — the Clippers have a budding superstar (who is arguably better than everyone on the Hawks already) and more talent and cap flexibility than the Hawks. Taking the Hawks’ roster over the Clippers’ roster is just asinine.

Geemack

March 7th, 2011
9:55 pm

O’Brien

Great post. The other thing is the Hawks were a top 10 offensive team last year.

They spent all that time with the new offense in training camp, and according to SI.com the Hawks are 24th on offense and 7th in defense.

That new offense must really be working.

Geemack

March 7th, 2011
9:58 pm

slimjr

It’s not Mr. Stern’s fault that the Hawks failed to draft CP3. That move would have put them right there with Miami and Boston.

Also the arena would be packed every night.

mykhalc

March 7th, 2011
9:58 pm

no doubt…but i’ll take the Clippers on ‘just’ heart alone compared to this team!!!

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:01 pm

For those complaining about high ticket prices BTW, I love this new dynamic pricing. I have found many seats for a buck, and several more for 2,3, and 5 dollars. No, it’s not against the Heat, but there’s just something about being at the game. And no, it’s not courtside, but not bad for a cheap night out really. Parking is the most expensive thing, unless you take Marta.

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:03 pm

Najeh – I may take the Clippers except one nagging thought in the back of my mind; microfracture surgery for Blake. He may only have 6 years left. And Gordon is going to be a great one, but IDK if he’s worth Josh, Al, and JJ.

Now if we could have contraction and combine the two teams, I think your looking at phenomenal team -

O'Brien

March 7th, 2011
10:04 pm

And if he wants to get deeper, LD can talk about the fact that behind the 3-point line in those 12 games, JJ is 7-39 (18%), Jamal is 18-57 (32%), Josh is 6-24 (25%), Marvin is 5-25 (20%).

Those are some of the numbers from those 12 games and our 3-point attempts (I didnt mention Bibby because he has taken his declining talents to South Beach via Washington).

If our 3’s are not falling, we have to drive the ball and get more shots in the paint, and more FTs. I thought the motion offense made everyone a threat to score?

Instead, it has made everyone a threat to take too many jumpers.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

I am about as harsh a critic of the DASG as you will find on here, but there is one area in which I will stick up for them. Hawks ticket prices are very, very reasonable compared to most other NBA markets of this size. And if you have a problem with the way tickets are priced, go to seatgeek.com (kinda like Priceline or Expedia for tickets). The same tickets the box office tried to sell me for $55 were up there for $30 yesterday.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

Reposted from last Blog for Slim-Shady Jr:

“Will the real Slim-Shady – Please stand up?

“99 years after the Titanic hit the one lone rogue Iceberg that was siting there waiting, there’s still that mentality that it wont sink.. At that time only a few knew the real deal..The ship was going down in about 2 hrs”
________________________

Fantastic Analogy!
Last week a political pundit was on the News Network discussing:
“The State of The Union”. The Ed Show on MSNBC was talking about the governmental rift between the Republicans and Democrats.

Ed said this, “The Tea Party and Republicans infighting are like The Titantic is going down and they are fighting over the bed sheets!”

Imagine that, The Governer of Milwaukee wants to snuff out the labor unions to trim the National Debt of a Trillion Dollars by reducing 45 years worth of employee contributions to their pension payments that are now due them and the caveat is they also want to reduce Health Insurance Benefits on top of it all? They want School teachers, Firefighters, Policeman and all the other Public Servants to leave 10% of their salary on the table in addition to that?

Why not just hire Worldwide Clyde and Jeje to FIRE everybody and replace them with Mexicans and Homeless People? They will do half the job for pennies on the dollar. Outsourcing work right here in America?
_______________________

What is this world coming to? The End!
___________________

I’m gonna’ make like a baby and head on out.
G-Nite Yall!”

terrell

March 7th, 2011
10:35 pm

Here come the Knicks.

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:37 pm

LD says we gotta run. We do that most effectively with Teague in the game.

Just decided to look up some prices for upcoming games – Stubhub still has plenty for a buck for many upcoming games.

And for those that don’t like Stub hub, Ticketexchange with Ticketmaster on the Hawks website still has plenty of tickets for $7.70 each.

They even had some 200 level seats for 11.00 bucks. Not bad.

Regular game tickets are available like for the Bucks game next Tuesday for $8.00. That’s just regular Hawks pricing. Parking is 12.00 I think. Not a bad night.

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:38 pm

Boston and the Heat have higher prices, but Orlando and the Spurs you can still get cheap. Ya just gotta be a shopper in these tough economic times.

terrell

March 7th, 2011
10:39 pm

Kobe’s prolly shootin jumpers right now. Joe prolly sleeping. Should be the other way around with the way Joe’s been playing.

terrell

March 7th, 2011
10:40 pm

Correction:
Joe prolly on the phone with Bibby. lol!

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:48 pm

Najeh – Thanks for the seatgeek info! Good stuff. Just found some tix to the Sat. night Portland game for $11 and $13, and some 200 level tix for $23. Good source.

But the ticketexchange on the Hawks website is better – just got 2 tickets if I would have wanted them for the Portland game for $19.30 total – 7.70 each and like 1.95 service charge per ticket. Not bad.

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
10:50 pm

Still got plenty of tickets for that Bulls game on the 22nd for 7.70 per ticket also for all of us cheapskates out there. Splurge, and they have some 11.00 and 12.00 tix available also

Section 303

March 7th, 2011
11:00 pm

Gosh…you guys are making me realize what a horrible investment season tickets are. Not only are you paying to see a worthless team play in worthless games, but you are overpaying to do it.

Who’s the jacka$$? This guy!

W.R.Terrell

March 7th, 2011
11:00 pm

We are going to play the Lakers tomorrow. I will muster up the courage to watch that fiasco and hope we don’t get beat by 50 points or more. The last time we played the Lakers we lost by 24 and they were not playing that well, but, they are playing great now and we are who we are. The Atlanta “SOFT’S” with Josh the do stupid things smith and Iso Joe and Missing Marvin and Jamal the ball Hawk. If by some chance we win it will be a fluke but one guarantee is for sure, we will definitely see “STUPID BALL” and the catalyst will as it always will be is that smoove” person. The things fans have to suffer through

northcyde

March 7th, 2011
11:07 pm

And no Najeh . . I would not take that Clipper team over the Hawks. Because all you’ll have are 2 exciting players on a squad that doesn’t play a lick of defense.

All you’d get in ATL with the Clipper team here, is a bunch of ooohs and aaahs on the offensive end, and constant defensive breakdowns on the other end.

But a team like that you could “hope” they come around in about 3 – 4 years, and be a lower playoff level team.

Meanwhile, if the organization “lucks up” and makes just one right move, it could elevate the current guys to conference finals status.

Give me that squad, over “young hope” any day of the week. I want to win NOW, not 4 years later.

Dr. Warren

March 7th, 2011
11:10 pm

Where is Michael Cunningham?

northcyde

March 7th, 2011
11:17 pm

It is sad though that the Hawks have lost 8 out of 12. Because if they could pull things together and put together a string of wins, we could gain ground on both Orlando and Miami by the time April 1st gets here.

Orlando plays 10 of their next 13 on the road

Miami plays 7 of their next 8 vs playoff caliber teams.

Carl McKinney

March 7th, 2011
11:21 pm

Two things definitely wrong with this team: Joe Johnson dribbles and holds the ball to long going one on one superstars wins games by getting their teammates involve. Joe, do you remember Magic Johnson and Larry Byrd? Josh you are not a point guard nor a great outside shooter. You killed the rally against the Knicks when the Hawks had everything going there way. Know your LIMITATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!. The Hawks need a center but need to make salary cap room to acquire a decent one.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 7th, 2011
11:24 pm

Thanks for the seatgeek and other leads for affordable tickets.
I never knew those deals were out there. Man, my operating expenses are about $9,500.00 per/month, before I get paid.

So, this does help. I can even splurge for my posse of employees to join me. Then we can heckle the New York fans right outa’ here.
Oh waite! My Father (rip) was a native New Yorker. Oh hell! I will heclle them azzholes anyway! They are so obnoxious to have been so irrelevant for so long.

I will see yall at the next few games. I’ll let yall know where I’m seated, in case we can meet up. Section 303! Who you wit?

Mac-Town, Georgia (urban-macon.blogspot.com)

March 7th, 2011
11:25 pm

“I have no idea,” guard Joe Johnson said, asked to explain the recent failings. “If I knew, I would say something to the guys, but I don’t know.”

Team Leader
Max Contract

drmaryb (*_*)

March 7th, 2011
11:33 pm

I think our team is just tired. Hey, I heard Greg Anthony on NBA TV talking about DWade, I believe, dribbling the air out of the ball for 20 seconds and then jacking up a crazy off balanced shot, when Mario Chalmers was standing behind the 3 pt line watching him.

That 3 ptr would have won one of those 16 games they lost from ball hogging! Sounds familiar? These players are just selfish! Bottom line.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 7th, 2011
11:58 pm

“But a team like that you could “hope” they come around in about 3 – 4 years, and be a lower playoff level team.”

It probably wouldn’t take that long for them to become an upper echelon playoff team in the West. They have one guy who is probably better than every Hawk, another guy who is arguably as good, and three other very promising building blocks, and unlike the Hawks none of those players overlap positions.

“Meanwhile, if the organization “lucks up” and makes just one right move, it could elevate the current guys to conference finals status.”"

This is the problem. For this inept management and ownership to make that “one right move”, it would take a stroke of luck the likes of which haven’t been seen in this city for 40+ years. What exactly is this “one right move”, and if that move is really out there, why have the Hawks not made it?

If there was a “one right move”, it would be to get a legit superstar on this team like Blake Griffin, one who could actually have the Hawks in title contention at some point in the foreseeable future. But the Hawks don’t have any lottery picks any time soon, and they would have to perform some major cap gymnastics to be able to sign any of the 2012 free agents.

Let’s face it — there is no “one right move”. Not with the Hawks’ current cap situation. The minute they signed Joe to the max contract, they sent a message to the world that they are happy with where they are right now. I supported the max contract on the grounds that Joe was more likely to lead the Hawks to a title than Sund was to construct a title contender if Joe walked, and I stand by that, but both outcomes stretch the limits of impossibility.

In other words, the Hawks are stuck treading water with no legitimate hope of doing any better than a second round playoff berth. So in two years when the Clippers are looking like a title contender and Blake Griffin drops 40 on the Hawks in Philips while a bunch of native ATLiens in #32 jerseys give him the MVP chant while the Hawks are once again on pace for a first or second round playoff exit, don’t be surprised and don’t be mad. I won’t be any more angry at those fans than I would be at native ATLiens who buy plywood at Lowe’s or drink Pepsi.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 8th, 2011
12:05 am

I thought Slim Shady Jr. was Kirk Hinrich.

Jae Evolution

March 8th, 2011
12:15 am

“If our 3’s are not falling, we have to drive the ball and get more shots in the paint, and more FTs. I thought the motion offense made everyone a threat to score?

Instead, it has made everyone a threat to take too many jumpers.”

Wow, such truth.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 8th, 2011
12:20 am

“we have to drive the ball and get more shots in the paint, and more FTs.”

There is only one player on this team who knows how to create free throw opportunities. He wears #0 and doesn’t play enough.

Grandad

March 8th, 2011
12:42 am

Let’s face a few facts,
then enjoy our team for what they are.

(1) Joe has a low IQ.
* I didn’t say B-ball IQ either.
I really don’t like being mean spirited about Joe.
He is what he is.
Really though people confuse Joe and Josh.
For all of Josh’s criticisms; stubborn, “not smart”, etc.,
these critiques are really describing Joe.

(2) Last word on Joe;
he is the one bogging down the offense.
It’s as plain as day.
LD should call him out on it.
Why try and hide it.

(3) J.Powell – didn’t realize that the “trust each other” cliche
has been used ad nauseam around these parts to the point
of being redundant & repetitive, also that it’s been used way
too much to the point that we bloggers are sick of it.

(4) -drmaryb- has been sayng for a long, long time now that
we have mis-matched parts.
And we do.
We still wonder why we arn’t any better than we are?
I think…this is who we are.
Maybe we are actually overachieving?

(5) We do not have a Big
We do not have an inside threat.
We are a poor rebounding team.
We turn the ball over “way” too much.
*[TO's cost us the Knicks game]
Joe is not a ” Teamer “.
We do not get to the line / lack of inside threat.
*[+ Joe's soft]
Al is a [4] offensively. (jumpshooter)
Josh & Al are our best but don’t take the most shots!

(6) With the…..^…..above…..^…..facts;
Is it any wonder our record is what it is?

**Actually pretty good considering
*** + a rookie Coach getting on the job training.

Grandad

March 8th, 2011
12:51 am

***Oh Yes / I Forgot /***
We Shoot Way Too Many Threes !
***Considering***
We Shoot Such A Low % !
______________________________

If a player is shooting below 33%
then said player;
should not be shooting 3 pointers
as a primary weapon in his arsenal.

drmaryb (*_*)

March 8th, 2011
12:59 am

“I won’t be any more angry at those fans than I would be at native ATLiens who buy plywood at Lowe’s or drink Pepsi.”
_______________________

I prefer Mom & Pops plywood and Coca-Cola. So, I guess I won’t be chanting MVP for Blake any time in the foreseeable future.

Najeh you are one really special guy! You make this blog go ’round and ’round! Slim Shady Jr = Kirk Hinrich (priceless).

NorcalHawk

March 8th, 2011
1:08 am

Well, can’t blame LD for voicing optimism that his club will get it in gear for the playoffs; after all, his job may depend on it. The fact is the Hawks have been trying to “figure it out” for a couple months and not making progress. The 3-point shot percentages posted here are appalling and I can only imagine where we rank in points per game average. What is patently obvious is that teams like Memphis, the
Knicks, and the Rockets are steadily improving, while the Hawks’ stock plummets.