Lakers 101, Hawks 87

Greetings, all-

I think this is a good time for me to hand the reins back to MC, because I think I felt better about the Hawks’ play than the Hawks did. I thought the Hawks did about as well as they could do, save a handful of bad possessions and getting mauled on the boards. The Lakers are just better and hot and there was no way around either.

“I can’t fault my team’s effort tonight,” Larry Drew said. “We ran against a really good team. We ran against a hot team.”

- I don’t know what the numbers are, but I’d be interested to know how many shots Al Horford and Josh Smith took in the paint. It’s funny – they actually outscored Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum 33-30 and won the assist category 9-8 – but to me, Gasol and Bynum won the game for the Lakers. They out-rebounded Smith and Horford 27-15 and I think Bynum set a tone in the first quarter when Bynum blocked Horford’s shot for the second time in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Phil Jackson: We didn’t want to give up as many fast-break points as we did, but we were able to overcome it with our size down low and the play of our big men tonight.”

Note: Bynum and Powell had a combined five inches and 55 pounds on Horford/Smith.

- If you’re wondering, Drew said he decided to go with the “regular” lineup rather than the big lineup with Jason Collins because they went that route in the first game and didn’t get enough offense from it. (Collins was 0-for-1 for 0 points in the first game, if you’re wondering, although Bynum only had five points.) (That was Mike Bibby’s last game. 0-for-3, 0 points, 0 assists, 1 rebound. Ouch.) With the team struggling offensively, Drew said he thought he had to go with Horford at center.

- The Hawks were intent on running the ball and, for the most part, I thought, stuck with the plan. Drew said he thought the team ran out of gas in the third quarter, when the Lakers distanced themselves with a 16-3 run.

“We tried to put a lot of emphasis on playing up-tempo,” he said. “It jus seemed like we ran out of gas at a bad stretch.”

Horford: “We started at the beginning with some energy but as the game wore on, we didn’t run with that intensity that we needed.”

The Hawks shot 7 of 12 on fast-break opportunities, which doesn’t strike me as very efficient.

- Some careless turnovers and bad shots. Kirk Hinrich threw the ball right at a Lakers player on one break. Marvin Williams tried a touch pass to Horford that he wasn’t ready for. Three (I think) shot clock violations and other shots thrown up to avoid violations. I think I saw Zaza Pachulia attempt a baseline fadeaway jumper.

- Hawks shot 33.3 percent over the last three quarters. I give the Lakers credit for that, mostly. They made the Hawks work so much on each possession. There were times when it felt to me like you were watching a 2 vs. 15 first-round NCAA game, where one team was trying its best but was just outmatched. The Lakers, going into the game, held opponents to 43.8 percent shooting, fifth best in the league. (You’ll be interested to know that the Bulls lead the league in that category, and I’m guessing will be smarting after losing to the Hawks at Philips last week.)

With Ron Artest defending him most of the time, Joe Johnson was 4-for-14 for 11 points.

Drew: “They’re a good defensive team, and they can take you out of your things.”

- Kobe Bryant passed Moses Malone for sixth place on the all-time scoring list. Bryant now has 27,423 points. Drew was an assistant with the Lakers when they made the draft-day trade for him.

Drew: “Here’s a young kid, 17 or 18 years old, and the talent was off the charts. It was just a matter of learning the NBA. It was a matter of understanding and picking his spots and learning to play the game on the NBA level. And he did that.”

This is not related to the Hawks, but I guess it’s easy to forget Charlotte drafted Bryant. I know Chris Paul/Deron Williams vs. Marvin Williams is agonizing for many of you, or perhaps all of you. But what about being a Charlotte fan and knowing your team traded away the greatest player of his generation?

Interesting read here.

- I asked Johnson about that foul that Bryant drew on him as he took a 3-pointer. If you saw the replays, you saw what a total acting job that was. Bryant rose up, Johnson didn’t bump him and Bryant somehow fell over. I guess you have to hand it to Bryant. If you’re going to get those calls, might as well do it. Johnson got uncharacteristically hot after that.

Anyway, Johnson: “I’m going to leave that alone.”

- This was interesting. Drew, in talking about the decision to go with the regular lineup, said the plan was to help Horford and Smith on Gasol and Bynum.

Johnson: “Defensively, I don’t think that we’ve had a game that we played like this in quite some time where we weren’t helping as much. Normally, our defense has been pretty good of late. I just thought we had a bunch of miscues defensively that cost us.”

- Despite their shortcomings, the Hawks had a chance late. They were down 90-82 after a 9-0 run with a little over five minutes to play when Hinrich took a 3-pointer that missed. It would have cut the lead to five points and perhaps it might have made the Lakers sweat a little. Instead, Hinrich missed and then here’s what followed. Shot clock violation. Hinrich missed a 3-pointer. Smith missed a jump shot. Johnson missed a running jumper and then Pachulia missed two follows and then Johnson traveled. Johnson missed a 3-pointer. By that point, the Lakers were back up 16 and there was less than 2:30 to play.

- Pachulia played well off the bench. He was unafraid going into the lane and finished with a team-high 10 rebounds in 22 minutes. He was on the floor for the final 14:10, which has to be some kind of record.

“He came in, played great,” Johnson said. “And that’s what we need from him.”

- This is the aggravating part. If they’d played like this against New York and Oklahoma City, I imagine they would have won both and this loss would have a different feel. Instead, it’s the third loss in a row with a trip to Chicago looming.

Drew: “We’ll keep plugging away.”

The hopeful Hawks fans among you, perhaps, see this as the start of the Hawks figuring out how to do things (again). Something tells me there aren’t a ton of those folks out there in blogland.

- I’m off to cover the SEC tournament and other sundry events. MC will be back freshened up and ready for the stretch run. Take care, blog people.

223 comments Add your comment

flea

March 9th, 2011
12:33 am

My Man Woody

March 9th, 2011
12:39 am

I think charlotte fans probably dont care about trading Kobe

A) he did not want to play for them and expressed as much

B) the hornets fled to new orleans within 5 years

C) they now root for least interesting team in the NBA, would anyone besides jordan care if they got contracted

flea

March 9th, 2011
12:41 am

I feel ya Ken. Kind of hard to beat up the Hawks when they did try. But they were sorely overmatched. The team has reached its ceiling. With the 76ers, Knicks, Pacers, and even Bucks gaining ground time is and has run out for the Hawks. It has the feel of the Hawks back in the day when we were just not good enough with Mookie, Smith, and Mutumbo. The Hawks were stuck with Alan Henderson’s contact, and now they are stuck with Joe Johnson’s. Horford is our best piece but unfortunately we need a superstar and no one is in sight

Gutz

March 9th, 2011
12:42 am

Hawks will be a 7th seed in the playoffs. Book it. This team is done. Time to trade Smoove who is a cancer to this team. Remember we beat the Bulls the other night without Smoove and his dumb play.

JeJe

March 9th, 2011
12:43 am

START DAMIEN WILKINS

HE HAS MORE HEART THAN ANYONE ON THIS TEAM, INCLUDING HORFORD

I DON’T EVEN THINK KOBE SCORED MORE THAN 2 PTS ON HIM. SOMETHIN LIKE THAT

flea

March 9th, 2011
12:43 am

Bad contracts and draft picks ruin teams for years and the only ones we got right(horford) are stuck with the mistakes and their are way too many to name

Najeh Davenpoop

March 9th, 2011
12:47 am

The Heat are winless since they signed Bibby.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 9th, 2011
1:02 am

The idea that starting Horford against Bynum would have been good for the offense is just plain stupidity on the part of LD. Surely he has seen Horford over the last couple of years become tentative and indecisive against Bynum and Dwight Howard. Why he chose to roll with that matchup is beyond me.

The box score doesn’t support the idea that Gasol and Bynum dominated the boards, largely because Zaza got a bunch of boards against the Lakers’ backups to boost the Hawks’ overall rebounding total, but in the first half the ability of those two to get offensive rebounds and tip ins even on possessions when the Hawks played good defense not only kept the Lakers in the lead but surely deflated the Hawks.

And the Hawks as usual played scared; instead of taking it right at Gasol and Bynum to try to get fouled, they settled for jumpers. Horford in particular was guilty of this. I realize Bynum is a tough matchup for him in the post, and LD should have known better, but there comes a point where Horford has to start playing more aggressively and trusting his own abilities more. Sure, his back to the basket game is elementary at best, but there is not a single center in the league who can guard him off the dribble when he makes a strong move facing up. Instead of doing his little pump fakes and stutter steps, he should have taken the ball and gone right at the rim and challenged Bynum’s lateral quickness.

mykhalc

March 9th, 2011
1:04 am

Najeh Davenpoop

March 9th, 2011
1:04 am

Also, I still like Captain Kirk, but dude needs to cut down on the dumb ass turnovers. I prefer trying to make something happen and screwing up to not trying to make something happen at all (which was the case with Bibby), but some of Kirk’s turnovers are just completely unnecessary.

slimjr

March 9th, 2011
1:10 am

next 19 games the Hawks will go 6-13! Stick a fork in this bird!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bye Sund……………

flea

March 9th, 2011
1:11 am

Hawks next 3 opponents, @Bulls, home against Blazers and then Bucks. 0-3

slimjr

March 9th, 2011
1:19 am

Sund you shot your load with the Heimlich maneuver and now 1 win in the last 4 games! The Blue pills wont help ya…

7th seed in 3 weeks!! BTW Andre Iquodala had 10 assist tonight.. Remember him? BK pasted him up for that buster Josh Childress…..What a retard that “basketball expert” was…Screwed this team for the next 10 years…………….

Jerry West

March 9th, 2011
1:32 am

Since we’re bringing up Kobe being a Hornets pick that was shipped away, what about the “playoff bound” Hawks drafting Pau Gasol and shipping him off to Memphis for Shareef? Pau won Rookie of the Year, has been an All Star a few times and actually led the Grizz to the playoffs a few times, something Reef never did with the Hawks.

I know, it pales in comparison to missing out on Kobe or missing on Marvin, and Pau’s kinda soft and has that neck-beard, but since we’re throwing out randomness….

slimjr

March 9th, 2011
1:32 am

“0-1 Spurs 0-2 Mavs 0-2 Lakers 0-2 Thunder 0-1 Nuggets 0-2 Hornets 0-2 Suns 0-1 Rockets
2-0 Jazz 2-0 Grizz 1-0 Portland
5-13 Against .500 West teams

Man if we were a West Coast team we’d be eaten alive.”

Sund your team is GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KICK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike W

March 9th, 2011
1:38 am

Effort was their during the 9-0 run in 4th qrt but just wasnt enough against a bigger and better team defensive and offensive, I know everybody is going into 1 and done mode all ready.We played two title contenders in west lost both and one east team(NYK)that was making every shot in the 4th qrt plus our turnovers. Hawks need to worry about how yu do against the magics,heat,boston,and chicago(already beat them once lets see how we do on road against them) this month,now if we go 3-1 against those teams this month i wouldnt be suprise cause i know hawks can play with all these teams,boston most troubled one, Wait to we play them before yu assume one and done, I have faith in hawks all the way till the fat lady starts to sing. Go Hawks!!

NorcalHawk

March 9th, 2011
1:41 am

Ken, how many among us who’ve closely followed the team are really going to fall for “the Hawks might be starting to figure it out again” routine? It’s ironic that they’ll make the playoffs despite playing no better than just a handful of teams in the league.

Rashod

March 9th, 2011
1:44 am

Joe Johnson Sucks !!!

South Ga boy in the Atl

March 9th, 2011
1:48 am

Najeh, it’s not about Al playing tentative against Bynum. It’s about him playing out of position and being asked to do something he cannot do against the league’s best. They all press when the pressure is on, anymore. Smoove thinks he has to shoot jumpers because he feels he has to show us he can play away from the basket, but he can’t. Joe is as lost as an Easter egg in high weeds. He feels pressure because of his contract that he cannot live up to. Marvin is lost because he feels the pressure of being the No. 2 overall pick and can’t live up to it. And on and on. It’s got to be broken up, trades made, and re-cast this team. Everything else is just conversation

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
1:50 am

LD SUCKS his coaching style is horrble, 6′9 josh 6′10 horford against 7′0 bynum 7′0 gasol no way LD can be that retarted, LA dominated the hawks with easy basket at the rim because of this smallish line up he continue 2 put on the floor.
GO HAWKS!!!!!

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
1:52 am

COLLINS 0MINS
ARMSTRONG OMINS
ZAZA 22MINS
PLAYED ONLY ONE BIG MAN THE HOLE GAME WOW!!!!!!!
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

slimjr

March 9th, 2011
1:55 am

“The Hawks are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 1-6 ATS in their last seven home game”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
= One and Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! enough said……………….

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
1:57 am

Watch how phill coach he rotated his big man at all time, and always kept one on the court because he no you have have size in the paint 2 put pressure on your opponent, that the difference between a good coach and a amerture, FIRE LD.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

northcyde

March 9th, 2011
1:58 am

Bynum destroyed Collins on the boards in the first Laker game, which is why Drew went with Horford.

But maybe the answer to the Hawks woes, is for Drew to finally shake up the lineup, and start Zaza and Teague.

I pick those two for these reasons:

TEAGUE – just so he can be a factor and contribute with a unit where he can get out and run with our bigs, plus play defense

ZAZA – so as to have a garbage man style rebounder to grab Hawk misses off of those plethora of jumpers that we shoot.

Offensively, run everything through JJ, Horford and Smith . . and Teague on a few occasions. All we need from Zaza and Teague, is for them to do their job, and nothing else. Play both of them to start the 1st and 3rd quarters. Reward them with extra minutes in the 2nd and 4th if they play decent. If not, leave them on the bench.

Maybe that startin lineup will give us more balance.

Your bench would be these 4 guys:

G – Hinrich
G – Jamal
F – Damien
F – Marvin

These 4 + one of our “core” ( JJ, Al, or Josh ) may be a better bench to throw at people. With this group, Jamal’s usage should be reduced, unless he starts out red hot. But it should be a group in which multiple people can be looked upon to score.

You’re probably looking at Hinrich, Jamal and Marvin still playing 20+ minutes a game, but none should probably play 30+ minutes.

It’s time to start riding JJ, Al, and Josh . . with others getting theirs wherever. Even if those 3 have to take 16+ shots a game, they’re the ones that need to start carrying this team.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:01 am

COLLINS, ARMSTRONG, ZAZA, DON’T HAVE 2 SCORE NOT 1POINT, but just play solid defense and box out and rebound thats it, and keep horford at powerforward at all times, the guy is not a center period.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

northcyde

March 9th, 2011
2:05 am

Wow @ what Slimjr posted about those West teams. Last year, the only team that swept us, was the Thunder. And we should’ve swept Dallas, if not for Kidd running into Woody and drawing a tech.

This team right now couldn’t beat Memphis. And Rudy Gay is still hurt, but the Griz almost have the same record as we do right now. They’re playing like we played last year.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:06 am

Najeh – I know what you mean about Captain Kirk. On the other hand, we had a PG who did nothing but stand and wait for 3’s for so long, I think we may have forgotten that PG’s that are good to make TO’s occasionally.

Watching Drose is like that. 3/4’s of the time your dumbfounded how good he is.

And 1/4th of the time your saying how did he make that stupid mistake.

And that’s one thing that has been a pleasant surprise about Teague. His turnovers recently have been way down. Some stupid plays, yes, but very few TO’s.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:06 am

NORTHCYDE no he didn’t i saw the game bynum score not at the rim like he did tonight agianst horford, collins atleast keep his opponent away from the rim, but agianst horford it was like a layup at will, HORFORD IS NOT A CENTER PERIOD. i like my chances better with collins at center guarding bynum than horford.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:10 am

Northcyde – Co-sign about at least trying that starting lineup.

And what about the Trailblazers? Same record as us, red hot, beat the Heat tonight, have won 7 in a row on the road. And this is a team most had given up on when it seemed like 1/2 their team went down with knee injuries. That Nate McMillan is doing a great job. Always liked him as a player also.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:11 am

MARVIN 4POINTS why is this guy still starting is beyond anybody drinking grape coolaid, so sad as the clock strike 12:00.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:12 am

Tonight if we would have started Collins/Teague and brought ZaZa, Marvin, and Hinrich off the bench, I think we could have won. I don’t buy this 2seed vs. 15 seed stuff.

And just in case LD doesn’t work out, I am thinking of guys we should go after…

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:15 am

About the Griz – I predicted in Oct. that if they re-sign Gasol and Randolph, in a couple of years there in the conversation with OKC in the West.

I really think this season and next are it for the Lakers. They’re done after that for awhile.

Ken Sugiura

March 9th, 2011
2:17 am

@ northcyde – interesting. i don’t know that zaza (and teague, for that matter) are consistent enough for it to work – perhaps with more minutes they would be – but it’s not like the current lineup is working miracles.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:19 am

Fri vs the Bulls:

Horford can beat Noah
Josh can beat Boozer
ZaZa can keep up with Gibson inside
Marvin can keep up with Deng
JJ can take whoever at the 2
Teague/Hinrich can do decent against Rose.

We can take them again if LD does his rotations correctly, and we believe we can beat them.

When your 3-7 in your last 10, you start to doubt yourself. I am a little concerned with the psyche of this team.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:19 am

KEN I COSIGN
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken Sugiura

March 9th, 2011
2:20 am

@Norcal – i think i kind of answered your question in the post. but, to answer your question, i’m guessing not many.
@ jerry west – i thought about including that trade but didn’t want to go too far down the rabbit trail. neck beard – ha!

slimjr

March 9th, 2011
2:21 am

Marvin=D League…Waive him………………

northcyde

March 9th, 2011
2:22 am

Darrell . . I said he dominated Collins on the boards. Not on the scoreboard. Bynum had something like 5 rebounds in the first 6 minutes of that game out in LA.

Collins is effective vs big centers whom the team tries to run offense through. But Collins is one of the more poorer rebounding centers in the league. The active centers who rebound tend to get the best of Collins.

If Drew wanted to go big tonight, Zaza would’ve been to way the go. At least Zaza will bang and fight for rebounds ( when he puts forth the effort ). Collins should only play when we play Orlando, and possibly Boston with Shaq.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:23 am

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, COLLINS OR ARMSTRONG DEPEND ON THE TEAM, like tonight collins should have started because you need beef not quickness.
BENCH HINRICH, JAMAL, DAMIEN, MARVIN, ZAZA
RESERVE ARMSTRONG, POWELL
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:26 am

When LeBron shoots 14-20 and plays 46 minutes
And Wade shoots 12-21 and plays 43 minutes

And you still lose at home going away, you have real problems.

Spolestra may be in bigger trouble than LD right now.

Ken Sugiura

March 9th, 2011
2:28 am

one thing, though, northcyde. i don’t see this happening (for a lot of reasons, and perhaps you do, too). drew said a day or two ago it’s not time to panic. a move like that would indicate it is time to panic, and i don’t think that’s a message drew would want to send to his players. i think this is something you try for a couple games in december or january, not march.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:30 am

Collins/ZaZa can handle Bynum
Al/Hilton can give some length against Gasol/Odom
Marvin/Wilkens can go with Artest/Barnes
JJ/Jamal should be able to come somewhat close to Kobe/Brown
Teague can punk Fisher
Hinrich is better than Blake

We can beat the Lakers if we do our rotations correctly and believe we can.

But you don’t say you want to run, and only play your best runner 3 minutes until your down by 22 in the 3rd quarter. This is just common sense guys.

northcyde

March 9th, 2011
2:31 am

@ Ken S . . . I don’t know if they are either. God knows I’ve doubted Teague all year, and still doubt him somewhat.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:32 am

Ken S – We suggested it in early Jan., but no go. The worse Bibby/Jamal/Mo played, the less Teague and ZaZa played.

When Teague and ZaZa play well, it’s time for their playing time to be reduced.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:34 am

When your 3-7, and say your team is in disarray, and staring a 7th seed squarely in the face, maybe not panic, but time to get creative with a sense of urgency.

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:34 am

NORTHCYDE collins is a solid role player, the guy don’t have 2 score but keep his opponent of the boards and box out thats it nothing more or less, and he doe’s a great job when in the game, but LD SO QUICK 2 TAKE HIM OUT JUST LIKE HIS OLD BUDDY ALWAYS PANIC and take player out.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:36 am

For the record, Collins is basically terrible at rebounding, scoring, and shot blocking. He is a good body on body defender. Can occasionally shock you and hit the 15 foot jumper.

Play Etan!

northcyde

March 9th, 2011
2:36 am

You’re right Ken. A move like that would be dramatic and smell of panic. And Chicago may definitely be not the place to try something like that.

SteveW

March 9th, 2011
2:37 am

I wish we had a Darrell Starks about now. Hinrich is close, but we need somebody else that would go punch JJ in the face and dare him to say anything just to toughen him up. That was a tough Knicks team back when

darrell starks

March 9th, 2011
2:42 am

WHAT in the world have happen 2 jamal ?
go hawks!!!!!!!!!