Atlanta Hawks: Rockets 114, Hawks 109

  • Well, so much for that. And that.
  • This looked nothing like the last two games for the Hawks. But then the Rockets are a better offensive team than either Orlando or Boston.
  • The Hawks were made to scramble as Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry danced through their defense. Bibby isn’t out there anymore so that’s on Hinrich, J.J., Teague and Jamal.
  • “We gave up too many dribble-drives, too much dribble-penetration,” Smoove said. “They scored 56 points in the paint; that’s way too many. I think if we could have closed in some of those gaps and made them kick it out to shooters, it might have been a different outcome.”
  • Closing out harder on those shooters, especially Scola, might also have helped. So too would being patient and taking better shots so the Rockets couldn’t corral long rebounds and take off running.
  • The Hawks were up 63-49 and in control near halftime but Lowry beat them down the court for an and-1 and Martin did the same to set up Budinger’s layup. The Rockets kept running in the third quarter and the Hawks helped them out with poor shot selection.
  • J.J. opened the period with a missed 5-footer. It would be another 12 possessions before the Hawks attempted a shot from closer than 14 feet and they didn’t earn a free throw either. During that time Atlanta’s 65-56 lead turned into a 77-77 tie.
  • “At some point you hope that it clocks in to stay with that’s working,” L.D. said.
  • The Rockets shot 57 percent from the field, a season high for a Hawks opponent.
  • “We didn’t do a great job helping one another,” J.J. said. “We gave up way too many points in the paint. We didn’t play inside out defensively and make them make those shots. We made it tough on ourselves.”
  • Compare two key possessions for each team.
  • The Hawks were down 107-105 after Jamal made a technical free throw. The Hawks called a timeout and drew up their “squeeze” play, the set they used to beat Orlando and Toronto when Bibby came off a double screen through the lane.
  • Jamal got the call this time but the play ended with him forcing a 3-pointer. “I didn’t catch it clean,” Jamal said.
  • “We just didn’t execute the play,” Drew said.
  • The Rockets had no such problems on their next possession. Lowry easily got into the lane, Atlanta’s bigs helped and Scola simply had to take Lowry’s pass and step into an open 18-footer.
  • Other than a brief stretch in the second quarter, the Hawks didn’t commit to finding ways to score other than by jump shot. “They hit a lot of jumpers [in the first half],” Chuck Hayes said. “Out of 60 points, they only had 20 in the paint. So they were taking the shots we wanted them to take, they just made them.”
  • The Hawks also scored 15 points from the line in the first half. That aggressiveness faded after halftime when they had just four free-throw attempts.
  • “They did just what we said they were going to do: isolations, post-ups and pick-and-rolls,” Rick Adelman said. “Then in the second half we came out with a much better effort defensively and then down the stretch we switched Courtney [Lee] onto Johnson. He did a great job on Johnson in the last three minutes. He made him take tough shots.”
  • Joe scored 25 points on 19 shots and had seven assists. “It felt all right,” he said. “I just tried to get to the post and get some easy baskets. They started doubling quick.”
  • J.J.’s three fourth-quarter turnovers included an errant pass that led to Martin’s layup that put the Rockets up for good and a palming violation with Atlanta down 103-102.
  • Al made three consecutive baskets in the fourth but otherwise was strangely passive against a team with no 7-footers to stymie him. He had just four rebounds in 41 minutes.
  • Josh more than offset some errant long jumpers by scoring 21 points on 16 shots and adding seven assists and two steals with just one turnover.
  • Marvin played just 25 minutes. Maybe it should have been more considering his defense and willingness to at least try to get to the free-throw line.
  • With Hinrich in foul trouble, Teague logged 20 minutes and was efficient and confident on offense. His one miss in five field-goal attempts was a rushed 3-pointer with the Hawks down 112-109.
  • Not even Teague could stay in front of Martin. “He can score,” Teague said. “That’s what he does. He can make shots and he knows how to get to the free-throw line. Somebody that is putting that much pressure on you all the time it’s always going to be a tough person to guard.”
  • Drew played just eight guys. Zaza was in foul trouble but none of the other three available bigs played. Neither did Damien, though he’s not the answer against the likes of Martin.
  • Lowry ended up with six stitches after a collision with Zaza. He tried to go after Zaza before heading to the locker room to get fixed up. “It was a dirty play by him,” Lowry said.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

132 comments Add your comment

hammer22

April 3rd, 2011
11:58 pm

hammer22

April 3rd, 2011
11:59 pm

Wow, I always thought I would never be able to do that.

Ole Hawk's Fan

April 4th, 2011
12:04 am

I didn’t see the game and judging by the comments here or lack of comments, says it all. Those of us old enough to remember the song by Karl Douglass, “Fung Fu Fighting”, change those lyrics to Da Hawks……………….Jump shooting ……………….Da Hawks were Jump Shooting………….add your lyrics.

MJC

April 4th, 2011
12:05 am

In before “Al Horford is soft” and “Jordan Crawford.”

Ole Hawk's Fan

April 4th, 2011
12:06 am

No comments……………………WOW! Did anyone watch the GAME?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:11 am

“Other than a brief stretch in the second quarter, the Hawks didn’t commit to finding ways to score other than by jump shot. “They hit a lot of jumpers [in the first half],” Chuck Hayes said. “Out of 60 points, they only had 20 in the paint. So they were taking the shots we wanted them to take, they just made them.””

Chuck Hayes was keeping track of this?

niremetal

April 4th, 2011
12:13 am

Welcome to the NBA, Lowry – better late than never.

Ole Hawk's Fan

April 4th, 2011
12:14 am

Don’t you love LD’s comments after each lost. What A Coach!

dz

April 4th, 2011
12:19 am

It was a fun game to watch atleast.

drmaryb (*_-)

April 4th, 2011
12:22 am

“ J.J. opened the period with a missed 5-footer. It would be another 12 possessions before the Hawks attempted a shot from closer than 14 feet and they didn’t earn a free throw either. During that time Atlanta’s 65-59 lead became a 77-77 tie.”
- MC -
_________________

I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t know anything about basketball.
Maybe MC should “Turn Down The Stupid” too?

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:23 am

Hawks out scored by 19 in the Third!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:26 am

From the previous blog…

“Apparently, there are a lot of opposing coaches who disagree with you. When asked about Horford, most coaches cite his post-game as a strength before mentioning his jump shot”

Who, exactly, are these coaches who think Al’s low post game is a major strength?

Al has two back to the basket moves that he uses with any kind of regularity — his righty jump hook and his turnaround jumper. He’s a lot more versatile when he’s facing up, but more often than not when he gets opportunities to do so he stutter steps and dances for so long that he doesn’t get a good shot. But scoring with his back to the basket, if anything, is one of his more obvious weaknesses, especially against anyone who is the same size or bigger than him.

“That’s why he so often gets doubled in the post.”

Al gets doubled in the post?

Joe and Smoove, yes. But Al? No. Not in any instance that I can remember recently, and certainly not to the extent that Joe and Smoove do.

“but I don’t think the issue is that he doesn’t have the skill, but moreso that he doesn’t have the confidence or the desire to want plays run through him more often. ”

I do agree with this. His skills are certainly far ahead of his aggressiveness at this point.

MJC

April 4th, 2011
12:27 am

drmaryb (*_-)

April 4th, 2011
12:22 am

“ J.J. opened the period with a missed 5-footer. It would be another 12 possessions before the Hawks attempted a shot from closer than 14 feet and they didn’t earn a free throw either. During that time Atlanta’s 65-59 lead became a 77-77 tie.”
- MC -
_________________

I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t know anything about basketball.
Maybe MC should “Turn Down The Stupid” too?
——————————————————
Actually, he made a good point. During that stretch, we averaged 1 point per possession; that isn’t going to get it done.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:29 am

Feel bad for Al… People think this guy should hang out on the block because he listed at 6′10.5″
“News Flash” Al has no go to post up game!!!!!! Did you watch how Hayes moves around down there on the block then compare how Al moves?? Its like NIGHT and DAY…Al moves like he 60 years old out there and nervous as all get out!!!!! This Guy is totally over rated…….

Rufus1

April 4th, 2011
12:29 am

Our wins mean nothing, but our loses single the end of the world….WFT?

We always lose to teams like the Rockets. They have quick penetrating wing players, who break down our defense. SO WHAT, they are in the western conf and we don’t have to play them in the playoffs. We are built for the east. We are made for physical, low scoring games and that isn’t the Rockets.

What I saw…

I saw Josh attacking the basket.
I saw JJ starting to find his offense.
I saw Jamal playing better defense and understanding how to get point at the PG.
I saw Teague.
I saw another solid game for Marvin.
I saw Zaza “The Enforcer”.
I saw better coaching.
I saw a team playing as a team.
I SAW A TEAM THAT IS GOING TO BEAT THE MAGIC IN THE PLAYOFFS.

I don’t know what a lot of you saw, but this was just a bad match-up that doesn’t mean anything.

GO HAWKS!!

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:31 am

Orlando in 6…………….YAWN……………………………Next???

Thunder CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YEAH………………………..

northcyde

April 4th, 2011
12:31 am

Rusty

April 4th, 2011
12:19 am

Nortcyde yea jj 3 turnovers late in the game didnt hurt us & yes you were right about Joe we would lose if he doesn’t take 20 shots in the game, he only got 19 if he would have gotten one more shotbwe definitely would have won. Too bad he made those 3 turnovers he might have been able to get that last shot.

**************

As always, your non-spelling self misses the point. The dude had it somewhat going for most of the game. Get him the ball more in that 3rd quarter when Houston was down. If he makes a few more shots in that quarter, maybe the Hawks hold their 6 point lead, or even extend it to double digits.

Like I said Rusty . . you live and die with your best players making or not making plays. That’s what every other team does. People can’t expect JJ to live up to his contract, but not try to make plays either. It doesn’t work both ways.

He had 3 turnovers in the 4th ( 2 questionable calls on that ), and had 8 points and 3 assists.

Houston got 4 points off of those 3 turnovers in the 4th.

JJ scored or created 15 points in the quarter.

He did what he had to do.

drmaryb (*_-)

April 4th, 2011
12:33 am

“ Al made three consecutive baskets in the fourth but otherwise was strangely passive against a team with no 7-footers to stymie him. He had just four rebounds in 41 minutes.”
- MC -
_________________

When I said this, a jack-azz called me stupid. I guess I’m not the only one who knows anything about basketball, apparently neither does: MC, but hey! He only a beat writer.

superiorblogman

April 4th, 2011
12:33 am

Anybody that saw that game knows why we lost. Horford, Hinrich, and LD. Horford can’t even dominate small PF’s, Hinrich is a joke on every level and LD refused to play Jamal or Jeff over Jamal and they both gave more than Jamal. By the way, Teague stayed in front of Martin from what I saw but Martin can shoot over Teague and he gets every foul from kicking his legs up and all type of foolishness. That was a horrible recap by MC, he did not point out what was truthfully going on and decided the outcome and that was Hinrich and Horford being severly outplayed. No matter what Martin did Joe was over his average and Jamal did okay offensively. Martin was offset by those 2 but there was no answer for how Horford got outplayed, and even though there was a answer for Lowry in simply playing Teague more LD did not choose that answer. This lost is on Horford, “Lateral Move” Hinrich, and LD.

Big Daddy

April 4th, 2011
12:33 am

The Hawks certainly had their chances in this game and they just did not hit their open shots in the 4th quarter. It is not often you see Josh get man-handled but Hayes had his number for this game.

I can’t believe that the play from the timeout in the last few seconds of the game called for Jeff Teague to have the ball in his hands to take that shot. I have wanted JT to play as much as the others but the ball should have been in JJ, JC or KH hands.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:35 am

I don’t know if I’m in the minority about this or not, but I don’t think LD is nearly as responsible for this loss as he has been for most of the Hawks’ losses recently. For most of the game, the Hawks were running good plays, and aside from playing an ineffective Kirk more minutes than Teague on a night where Teague was clearly playing better, there weren’t any substitution patterns that I took major issue with. Yeah, going big down the stretch and forcing the Rockets to adjust may have been more effective than going small trying to match up with them, but with Al being less than effective in the paint, there’s no guarantee that would have worked either. And maybe Marvin should have played more in the 2nd half, but he wasn’t exactly doing any better against Kevin Martin than anyone else.

To me this loss was on the players. Kirk/Joe/Teague are all supposed to be good defenders, and none of them played their defensive A game tonight. And 4 boards from Al is unsatisfactory.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:35 am

“I can’t believe that the play from the timeout in the last few seconds of the game called for Jeff Teague to have the ball in his hands to take that shot. I have wanted JT to play as much as the others but the ball should have been in JJ, JC or KH hands.”

Kirk fouled out, or else he would have been in the game.

MJC

April 4th, 2011
12:36 am

drmaryb (*_-)

April 4th, 2011
12:33 am

“ Al made three consecutive baskets in the fourth but otherwise was strangely passive against a team with no 7-footers to stymie him. He had just four rebounds in 41 minutes.”
- MC -
_________________

When I said this, a jack-azz called me stupid. I guess I’m not the only one who knows anything about basketball, apparently neither does: MC, but hey! He only a beat writer
————————————–
I called you stupid because you claimed that Horford has played like this all season when that is simply not true.

northcyde

April 4th, 2011
12:36 am

Carolyn Peck is fine too. Super fine. She looks much better today, than she did back when I was at UT, and she was a young assistant coach under Pat Summitt.

It may be a good makeup artist. Or she may have had some work done on her face. But for a 45 year old woman, she is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Scrumptious even.

Ok . . that’s enough of me lusting after ESPN commentators. Back to Hawk talk.

superiorblogman

April 4th, 2011
12:37 am

By the way, Al is 6″9.75 you can go to draftexpress.com and get his official measurements when taken at Draft Combine. Marvin and Josh both have better combinations of length and height than Al and they are your SF and PF. Al is smallish for a C, no doubting that but he is also weak for a PF IMO, he is taller than Boozer but if Boozer was healthy all the time I am starting to think I take Boozer. Al has not been impressive since that Chicago game

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:37 am

The Houston guards make dribble penetration look easy against the Hawks who have no shot blockers anymore….Its going to get them killed in the playoffs..Playoffs????

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:39 am

Hey Northcyde check out MONIQUE MINOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEW……………………………………

Andrew

April 4th, 2011
12:40 am

“Al gets doubled in the post?

Joe and Smoove, yes. But Al? No. Not in any instance that I can remember recently, and certainly not to the extent that Joe and Smoove do.”

Wow, and I thought you watched Hawks games closely. All I can say, is wow. I’m really stunned by this comment. Go look back at any game you want in which there was not an elite post defender against Al, and notice how they almost always double him when he gets deep post position. I’m still shocked. Just look at the footage. Outside of Joe, no one on the Hawks starting unit attracts more defensive attention than Al.

He doesn’t get doubled in the post every time, but against a lot of teams, especially ones that don’t have elite post defenders who are used to playing every post player straight up, Al quickly gets doubled once he has good post position and the ball.

Rufus1

April 4th, 2011
12:42 am

JJ 25pts and 7ast….What else do you want from him?

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:44 am

Al’s foot work needs a ton of work down there. hes not fluid in his motions or comfortable that why he take so long to make his move..Its not his gift. He aint got it!!!! Got it????????????

superiorblogman

April 4th, 2011
12:45 am

Al Horford Hinrich and LD’s fault. If you have to ask someone if they think it is mostly on the players and not LD you can’t see or don’t have a basketball mind. Jamal and Kirk played 2 many minutes they could have easisly been subbed for Marvin and Jeff and that would have been a win

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:45 am

Speaking of Teague, I guess I should post my Teague update. I should point out that LD f-cked me over in this game. Teague had played 19 minutes and 53 seconds when Kirk fouled out, and as a result Teague had to play the last 11 seconds of the game — the sequence where he bricked the desperation 3 and Houston rebounded and iced the game. Not really Teague’s strength, pulling up for 3s with the clock running down. As a result, this game is going to skew the hell out of my Teague update, despite the fact that Teague played very well and the Hawks quite possibly may have won if he had played more in the 2nd half, considering how much Kirk struggled to keep Lowry in front of him. But it’s all good. In the interest of honesty, I’ll count this as a loss when Teague cracks the 20 minute threshold.

Since the Bibby trade, the Hawks are:

4-3 when Teague plays 20+ minutes, 6-8 when he doesn’t
4-3 when Teague starts, 6-8 when he doesn’t
2-1 with the Teague/Kirk starting back court, 8-10 with all other lineup configurations

Free Jeff Teague

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:45 am

Al for NENE yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:46 am

“Go look back at any game you want in which there was not an elite post defender against Al, and notice how they almost always double him when he gets deep post position.”

How often does he even get deep post position in this offense?

Roger

April 4th, 2011
12:47 am

I can’t believe the heat Al is taking for this loss. I guess the Al haters just couldn’t wait for Al to have a bad game so that they could finally have some support for what they say. I thought Joe and Josh took a lot of heat, but damn, one bad game and people want to point out every single flaw they can think of in his game. At least, it’s only one night.

This makes me really feel bad for guys like Jamal who actually read this blog. He gets roasted by a lot of you guys almost every single night that the Hawks play, and he actually takes time to read the insults. I know he says he “loves the fans”, but he probably hates a lot of you. I can’t blame him if he does.

There’s a reason why most athletes stay away from blogs and media discussions about them. It’s really a waste of time, as an athlete to hear people who don’t even know much about your sport try to critique your game, but hey, I guess if you want to enjoy the money and all the spoils of being a pro athlete, you have to put up the stupidity and negativity by some people too.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:47 am

Hey where was our #2 lottery pick in the 4th??????????????????????????????????????
LD you got to give him mins so his trade value will rise in the off season dude…………………

Rufus1

April 4th, 2011
12:49 am

The problem with AL, he went 7-17. He needs to get back to shoting his 57% from 16 to 23ft. If he shot his average, we would have won the game……Al isn’t a great low post player, his skill is 16 to 23ft and the is enough for us to win. Josh needs to stay on the post.

Ron

April 4th, 2011
12:49 am

“How often does he even get deep post position in this offense?”

Actually, fairly often. He very rarely receives the ball when he is deep in the post though. Al having deep post position with the ball in his hands is almost as rare as Joe dunking the ball.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:49 am

Al need to block some FREAKING SHOTS MR SOFTY…………………………

drmaryb (*_-)

April 4th, 2011
12:50 am

I said Al has been shooting jumpers ALL season, instead of getting And-1’s in the post! Just Go Away! Jack-AZZ!

MJC

April 4th, 2011
12:50 am

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:45 am

Al for NENE yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
————————————————————–
Denver will glad do this in a heartbeat. They get a player who is already better and younger.

But, I am pretty sure you are trolling.

Rufus1

April 4th, 2011
12:51 am

“shooting”

SWAT Native

April 4th, 2011
12:51 am

@ Northcyde – I agree wholeheartedly on Carolyn Peck. She’s really something.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:52 am

dribble penetration at will will kill this team in the playoffs..Absolutely no intimidation factor….No tough guys …..Prima donnas= quick exit from the playoffs….

Najeh Davenpoop

April 4th, 2011
12:53 am

“I can’t believe the heat Al is taking for this loss. I guess the Al haters just couldn’t wait for Al to have a bad game so that they could finally have some support for what they say. I thought Joe and Josh took a lot of heat, but damn, one bad game and people want to point out every single flaw they can think of in his game. At least, it’s only one night.”

What “Al haters”? Al is probably the least criticized Hawks player on this blog, and for the most part rightfully so. Pointing out that he had a bad game on both ends of the floor tonight is not “hating”, and pointing out that him failing to be aggressive is hurting this team is not “hating”. He, like everyone else on this Hawks team, is not a superstar and has glaring weaknesses. Doesn’t mean he’s not liked or appreciated.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:54 am

MJC keep drinkin the Hawks Koolaide…..ASKGEEmen thank you ….

Elliot

April 4th, 2011
12:55 am

“Denver will glad do this in a heartbeat. They get a player who is already better and younger.”

Denver would really love this, especially now that they have Mozgov. They could play Al at the 4 or the 5. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind even mind if this trade really happened. I’d gladly jump onto the Denver bandwagon. That would be a very nice team with Al on it. They have tons of depth, unselfish players, a good coach, and smart owners.

MJC

April 4th, 2011
12:56 am

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
12:54 am

MJC keep drinkin the Hawks Koolaide…..ASKGEEmen thank you ….
—————————————
WTF does that 2nd part even mean? I’m sorry I appreciate facts over illogical fallacies.

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
1:01 am

Here’s the facts, this team is going backwards compared to last year…Another beatdown is on the way…

slimjr

April 4th, 2011
1:03 am

“I’d gladly jump onto the Denver bandwagon”
well then start jumpin………..LOL