Archive for March, 2011

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 …

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Thunder at Atlanta Hawks: Drew says Hinrich ‘infectious’ on D

In three games with Hinrich, the Hawks have allowed 252 points in 268 possessions, or .94 points per possession. For the season, Atlanta has allowed 1.03 points per possession.

Lots and lots of caveats apply here–small sample size with no elite offensive opponents, Hinrich doesn’t defend all five position, and he was only on the court for 145 possessions for the first two games (the data hasn’t updated with the Chicago game). But I keep asking Hawks players and L.D. about what’s been the difference, and they keep coming back to Hinrich.

“The main factor is we have done a good job at the point of the ball,” Drew said. “With Kirk playing the ball he’s been known to be a pesky defender. He’s come in and he’s really done a really good job defending the ball. I was very impressed particularly in our game against Chicago just how he defended Rose and just kept him in front of him. Rose got a away a couple times and got to the basket but overall collectively thought we did a good …

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Atlanta Hawks: Video: Al Horford, plus the Hinrich effect

I talked Hawks today with CineSport’s Jerry Recco.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

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Josh Smith may sit again with knee injury

1. Don’t count on Josh Smith playing Friday night. Larry Drew isn’t. Smith, who sat out Wednesday’s win over Chicago with his right knee ligament sprain, did not practice Thursday. Smith said the problem is the pain he feels when cutting on the knee. It’s the first game he’s missed this season.

“I’ve been blessed throughout this whole season to really not be plagued with an injury,” Smith said. “I guess it was my turn. I’m definitely frustrated. I’m a competitor and I definitely want to be out there, but my teammates were telling me just to rest my body and get myself as close to 100 percent as possible before I get back out there.”

Smith joked that he’s a player-coach and that, if he doesn’t play against the Thunder, he’ll take a seat next to Drew and help him draw up plays.

2. Drew does plan on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant playing. Durant sprained his ankle in the Thunder’s win Wednesday against team. He was listed Thursday as doubtful to play against the …

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Hawks 83, Bulls 80

Greetings, all-

Hope you enjoyed the game. Abysmal first half followed by an inspired second half, led by Al Horford.

- Hawks gave up 30 points in the second half. That’s their best in a half this season by five points. Chicago shot 30.6 percent and had nine turnovers in the half after 51.4 percent and seven in the first half. The Hawks would have done even better if they’d done a little better rebounding. Chicago had 10 offensive rebounds in the second half alone, leading to eight second-chance points.

- Horford had it in another gear – 31 points, 16 rebounds, including 9 of 12 in the second half. Larry Drew: “He was an absolute beast tonight. … He was our anchor tonight. During the timeouts, he was in the huddles cheering the guys, and just telling the guys to keep plugging.”

I thought it was an interesting observation on Drew’s part. I didn’t get to ask Horford this, but I would imagine that with Josh Smith not in the game and not even on the bench, he felt more …

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Hawks-Bulls game thread

greetings, all-

1) Starting lineup: Jason Collins, Al Horford, Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson and Kirk Hinrich.

2) Larry Drew’s concerns: finding an answer for Chicago’s bigs. At the pre-game media session, Drew said he didn’t know yet how he’d match up Collins and Horford with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Said Horford would have to play smart with his fouls without Josh Smith, and also that he’d use his bench bigs more than in recent past.

3) Hinrich is not 100 percent with his calf, but will go. It’s a bruise he sustained about two weeks ago when he was kicked.

4) Drew: “Certainly we would like to get in that position where we can get the fourth spot or get on a roll and we get the third spot. Our focus is just to take it one game at a time.”

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Hinrich to start, Smith out for Hawks

After coming off the bench for his first two games, new Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich will make his first start Wednesday night at Philips Arena. He’ll do it against his old team, the Chicago Bulls.

Hinrich won’t have the benefit of having forward Josh Smith in the lineup, however. Smith, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against Denver Monday, tried to practice at the Wednesday morning shootaround but was in too much pain.

Since acquiring Hinrich in a trade that sent Mike Bibby to Washington last Wednesday, coach Larry Drew had been starting Jeff Teague to give Hinrich time to acclimate. Drew said he felt Hinrich had learned enough of the team’s plays and defensive schemes to start.

“I want him to get acclimated as fast as he can,” Drew said. “He’s going to be my starting point, so I kind of want to throw him not the fire and get him into a role that he’s going to be in for the remainder of the season.”

Hinrich missed the Denver game with a sore right …

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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 …

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