Atlanta Hawks: Bulls 94, Hawks 76
D-Rose did a lot of this to the Hawks. (Chris Sweda, McClatchy-Tribune)
Chicago–Kirk Hinrich is new to these Hawks. He sounds like he can’t quite understand why the Hawks recognize what works for them but can’t stick with their plans now that the competition has toughened.
- “In the second half it was like we forgot everything we did in the first half,” Hinrich said.
- I doubt this will be the last time he expresses such a sentiment.
- The Hawks scored 30 points in the second quarter. They made 13 of 21 shots, were 5 of 8 in the paint and had two turnovers. Jamal and Al had the two-man game going and J.J.made a couple jumpers.
- In the third quarter, the Hawks scored 10 points. They missed 11 of 15 shots, were 1 for 2 in the paint and had five turnovers.
- “I don’t think we did what we did in the first half to stick around which is move the basketball and get good looks,” J.J. said. “We started playing a lot of one-on-one and our shot selection wasn’t the greatest.”
- “We definitely didn’t have the movement we had in the first half,” Jamal said.
- To be sure, the game changed because D-Rose decided he was going to change it. But L.D. and the Hawks hardly did all they could to prevent it.
- The coach stuck with a Jamal-J.J. backcourt when Hinrich was in foul trouble. The players did little to discourage Rose from dancing into the lane.
- “Rose got to the basket at will against us,” Drew said. “He attacked the paint and we couldn’t keep him in front of us. We tried a few zone possessions but he still got there.”
- Did L.D. consider sending in Teague for a crack at slowing Rose’s slices to the rim?
- “Thought about it but that to me that wasn’t the real issue at that point, him getting into the lane,” Drew said. “We did nothing with a physicality as far as taking any hard fouls. That was my thought process. Even when he was getting to the line, we did nothing about giving hard fouls. I don’t care who you are playing against, if you play that soft, you are going to have problems in the paint.”
- The problems extended to the glass, where the Bulls hammered the Hawks 50-28. The Bulls are the league’s best rebounding team, so this was a game where the Hawks desperately needed someone other than Al (seven rebounds) and Josh (six) to hit the boards.
- They got four rebounds in 17 minutes from Zaza and not much else. Marvin had one in 18 minutes. L.D. went with Wilkins and he had three in 21 minutes.
- Even with Boozer (ankle) sidelined, Chicago’s front line of Noah, Hawks nemesis Kurt Thomas , Taj Gibson and Omer Asik combined for 31 rebounds. Denghad more rebounds than Marvin and Damien combined in his 40 minutes.
- “They are a good rebounding team,” L.D. said. “They did a great job, which we expected. They did a tremendous job in attacking the glass. Both Noah and Kurt, he still has a little in his tank. He gets to the glass as well. I thought Gibson got to the glass. It’s nothing we didn’t expect. We are a team that’s had problems with the glass, and going into this game we wanted to pay particular attention to that, keep them off the glass and limit them.”
- The Hawks trailed 22-20 after the first quarter, when the Bulls missed some open 3s and Rose got into foul trouble. Joe made an effort to get into the lane early but, in contrast to Rose, was met by a sea of hands and bodies and kept losing his handle on the ball.
- “It was tough,” Joe said. “A lot of that could have gone either way. It happens. I have been and we have been going through a rut these last few games. We will get out of it tomorrow.”
- Josh had success spinning into the lane even if it was tough to finish down there. Things didn’t go so well when he had to dribble before making his move. He also missed both of his 3-point attempts as part of a 1 for 5 effort from beyond 15 feet.
- But at least Josh was willing to go hard to the basket and earned nine free-throw attempts. Horford, Marvin, Jamal, Zaza and Damien had none.
- “It was physical,” L.D. said. “We got the ball down low. I didn’t think we went away from it. We still went down to it we just came away empty-handed. A team like Chicago they have size, they have length. We were pretty much prepared for their double teams.”
- After he started 5 for 5 from the field and seemed to be in a flow, Jamal had just three shot attempts after halftime. The Hawks lately don’t seem able to go to whichever guy has it going.
- Al had five assists. He seemed reluctant to go around or shoot over Thomas.
- The Hawks have been better defensively since Hinrich arrived but the offense has stalled.
- “It’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Hinrich said. “The Hawks play a little different than any team I’ve ever been on. We have a lot of guys who post up and most of the teams I’ve been on haven’t had much of a post-up presence. A lot of isos. We have a lot of versatility. A lot of guys who can handle the ball. I think it’s a good fit. We just have to find a way to help each other on both ends.”
- The Hawks have lost four in a row for the first time since November.
- “We still have a lot more basketball left,” Joe said. “We have just got to stay positive and get out of this little rut we are in. I’m pretty sure I know tomorrow with us going back home knowing we have to get off this skid we have got to come out on all cylinders and try to get us one.”
- “We have got to get up,” L.D. said. “This is the NBA. All teams go through trials and tribulations. We are one of the teams at that time. It’s not a time to hang your head. It’s a time to look in the mirror and come out and bounce back. This is no different than what a lot of the other teams have gone through. This is a time to see what we are made of.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat