Atlanta Hawks at Bobcats: No. 82

Charlotte–The regular season ends anticlimactically for the Hawks tonight. They didn’t practice yesterday and I didn’t make this morning’s shootaround in Charlotte so no word on who will play and for how long. I will update pregame, in case anyone cares. . . .

PREGAME UPDATE: Hawks-Magic Game 1 is Saturday at 7 p.m. The rest of the schedule comes out later tonight.

Twin is out but his status is still a go for Saturday. “I think he will be fine,” L.D. said. “He got some work in yesterday. He came over today early and got some work in. He should be ready to go.”

Starters are Hinrich, Joe, Josh, Al and Zaza. Armstrong, Rolle and Twin are inactive.

Drew said he plans to play the starters “a few minutes.”

“I won’t have anybody in the 30s,” he said. “I will try to keep them in the low 20s.”

L.D. wasn’t talking as much about trying to use this game to gather momentum: “Just looking at what happened to the Lakers last night, Chicago had a couple of guys hurt–that’s always a fear in this particular situation. Hopefully we can get out of this game as injury-free as we can and move onto the playoffs.”

  • The signing of Magnum Rolle is unrelated to Twin’s injury, which L.D. still say says is a “minor” sprain. Twin was walking around without a noticeable limp before the game on Monday. The Hawks, like a handful of teams, signed Rolle with an eye to the (possibly lockout-disrupted) summer.
  • I predict that if Zaza helps the Hawks beat the Magic while leaving a trail of carnage in his wake he will become a beloved folk hero. I also predict that if the Zaza helps the Hawks forge a competitive series against the Bulls, and this in turn inspires the team to start talking about “continuing to grow the core,” then the feelings about Zaza would become bittersweet.
  • Smoove, asked why opponents become so irritated by Zaza, said: “Have you seen that head?”

Now for some linkage . . .

  • Sebastian Pruiti at NBA Playbook breaks down Hawks-Magic in a series of posts.
  • Tom Ziller at SB Nation wonders if the Hawks can take advantage of Orlando’s high turnover rate.
  • Bret LaGree at Hoopinion (accurately and depressingly) describes the futility of trying to drawn any analytical conclusions from these last four games, particularly since the task was not much easier over the first 78 games.
  • HawkStr8Talk, true to form, predicts the Hawks “are not winning a playoff game, much less a playoff series” in a post at Peachtree Hoops. However, he did express a bit of joy following the reserves’ rally against the Heat and even managed some begrudging admiration for L.D.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

384 comments Add your comment

tom

April 13th, 2011
1:46 pm

start the bench!

Rev in Tampa

April 13th, 2011
1:49 pm

MC, I did not quite understand Josh’s comment about Zaza’s head. Was he calling him ugly and that’s what irritates opponents?

JOSH SMITH FOR 3!!!

April 13th, 2011
1:50 pm

FIRE BILLY AND WOODY!!!

Melvin

April 13th, 2011
1:55 pm

Smoove, asked why opponents become so irritated by Zaza, said: “Have you seen that head?”

*Under my laptop desk* laughing…

Rev in Tampa

April 13th, 2011
1:56 pm

I’m not as concerned about whether the core stays together or not. In fact, I would be interested to see what this core could do with a true rim-defending/consistently scoring center. Twin only gives us half of that.

My chief concern is that Drew be fired immediately after the season regardless of their performance in the playoffs. I’ve seen enough to know that if the Hawks have some success in playoffs it will be in spite of him.

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
2:05 pm

@Rev: “MC, I did not quite understand Josh’s comment about Zaza’s head. Was he calling him ugly and that’s what irritates opponents?”

he’s saying the size of Zaza’s head and how he uses it irritates opponents.

mykhalc

April 13th, 2011
2:16 pm

82nd…thank the gods!!!

Wink

April 13th, 2011
2:22 pm

Game 82 of 86…then BOOM!

ag

April 13th, 2011
2:25 pm

There seems to be a bit of a debate. Many of us want us to start JT and other believe it really would not matter. I think with JT starting gives the Hawks a better bench. JT just needs to break down the offense and dish. He will get his shot blocked but in the process, he may be able to pick up a couple of fouls against Dwight. Marvin, Hinrich and Crawford along with ZaZa is a good bench. Alternate Josh and Al at PF, and we are in good shape.

Did all the starters make the trip? I think JJ,AH and JS should not even traveled. Activate everyone else and let them play. Play Marvin and even rest KH.

lewis

April 13th, 2011
2:25 pm

lol @ zaza’s head – it is quite the weapon

Grandad

April 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

*Re-Run/Re-Peat/Re-Post/Re-Print/Re-Donethat*

*Trade Joe Johnson:
—to—
NYK
—for—
Chauncey Billups
*straight up*

Works on trade machine.
I’m gonna keep pushin’ this on.
It was discussed on last blog.

*Reasoning*
It gets us out of Joe’s contract !

*Heck – make Chauncey player Coach;
-been done before- !

JeJe

April 13th, 2011
2:38 pm

Everyone on this team besides ZaZa is soft as cotton candy. Damien is not bad.
This list includes Collins, who does nothing unless it’s vs. Dwight (he better be healthy and stay out of foul trouble come Saturday) and Hinrich who got owned by Mike Freakin Bibby

FIRE LD

Stinger 2

April 13th, 2011
2:39 pm

My concern is that the way the Hawks are playing these
last few games (which granted don`t mean anything as far as seeds, etc.) will carry over into the playoff series. Sometimes a no care attitude can be hard to turn around quick enough when it is needed. I realize some rest for the regulars is helpful after 82 games, but it seams the Hawks are carrying this approach to the extreme.

JeJe

April 13th, 2011
2:39 pm

I actually think ZaZa has a very reasonable contract. We have to put him in situations where he is going against PHYSICAL players. When he goes against non-physical players, that’s when he turns into ZaZa MJ for us, which is not what we want

FIRE SUND

Hawk Str8Talk

April 13th, 2011
2:40 pm

i would just like to say that I used to be very complimentary of the Hawks. My pessimism matches the professionalism the Hawks GM, coaches, and players have applied to the past 2 seasons. When that changes, so will my approach to the Hawks’ fortunes

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
2:43 pm

@Hawk Str8Talk: “When that changes, so will my approach to the Hawks’ fortunes”

as a big fan of skepticism, i would miss it.

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
2:46 pm

@ Stinger 2: “My concern is that the way the Hawks are playing these last few games (which granted don`t mean anything as far as seeds, etc.) will carry over into the playoff series. Sometimes a no care attitude can be hard to turn around quick enough when it is needed.”

for a team that has taken multiple beat downs, including an historic one from the same team they will play in three days, it certainly isn’t a good look.

drmaryb (*_-)

April 13th, 2011
2:50 pm

TKO!

Rev in Tampa! My interpretation of ZaZa’s head size is comparable to Mike Tyson and all other opponents who incessantly complained that Evander Holyfield head – butted them. The head-butt in boxing is deemed as an illegal weapon.

I can never forget the front page image in The AJC when ZaZa went head to head with KG and The Hawks rallied to never back down in the face of defeat. Bibby also called their fans out for the futile years of paper-bagging their faces in shame of The Celtics losing teams.

Rev, another angle could be The Dennis Rodman effect of:
Getting into their heads with the wreckless elbows and hard fouls that are never over the top enough to be called flagrant.
(see Mutombo’s secret weapon)
_________________

IMHO, Rev.

northcyde

April 13th, 2011
2:56 pm

MC . . I’ve been saying for some time now that the starting lineup the Hawks should consider rolling with, is one with Zaza at center, and Teague at PG.

Zaza, when motivated, does bring the physical skill set that we need in the middle. Teague adds the extra speed and athletic element at PG.

With Smith and Horford drifting more and more to the outside and playing less physical, and JJ unwilling or unable to draw more fouls to get to the FT line, we need specialty type players who can do the dirty work to either keep possessions alive, or supplement what the “core” doesn’t do.

Zaza does that with his physicality. Teague does that with his speed and, when confident, driving to the hole and drawing fouls.

The Hawks are definitely a “soft” team. They’ve been soft since 1997 to be honest.

Here’s an old throwback clip from the 1994 playoffs, when the Hawks were the #1 seed in the East, but was without Nique, and not a “soft” type of team.

A little “incident” happened in that series.

Some of you may recognize the names and faces in that clip. Some of the players on the other team would find themselves to be future Hawks. The clip is actually a collection of about 6 “incidents”. So if you want to fast forward to the Hawk “incident”, go to about 3:08 in the video.

This brings back memories. I remember that game.

northcyde

April 13th, 2011
3:03 pm

As for tonight . . I don’t want to see JJ, Horford, or Smith on the court AT ALL. Let them rest until Saturday or Sunday.

PG – Teague
G – Hinrich
F – Marvin
PF – Powell
C – Zaza

Bench

G – Jamal ( in limited minutes . . maybe 20 )
G/F – Wilkins
F – Thomas
PF – Rolle
C – Armstrong

Let Teague play 35 – 42 minutes. Play Hinrich a lot too, to see if he can get himself back on track. Marvin, depending on how hurt he is, may only see 20 minutes as well.

This is a meaningless game, so treat it like one for our key people.

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
3:05 pm

THE ATLANTA HAWKS HAVE SET AN NBA RECORD FOR MOST HISTORIC BEAT DOWNS IN A REGULAR SEASON WITH A WINNING RECORD..SO IT WOULD BE SAFE TO ASSUME THAT MORE BEATDOWNS ARE COMIN??????????? huh??

up next tonight; the bobcats win by 15, if the starters play
if the starters are benched, Hawks win by 8!!!!

Grandad

April 13th, 2011
3:06 pm

Str8Talk — Co-Sign !

I would also say the opprobrium on this blog
matches the:
noncompetitive, surrendering, unambititious & cheap
nature of the ASG, Sund, coaches & players. [amen]

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
3:08 pm

“opprobrium” come on Grandad, I went to Devry not Harvard??? LOL

drmaryb (*_-)

April 13th, 2011
3:12 pm

Isn’t it Funny?

Isn’t it funny how we complain about Josh’s complaining re: bad calls and how we tout that he is too emotional, so let’s trade him for whatever we can get? (3 scrubs would do nicely, and we will never win with him in a Hawks uniform .. Blah Blah).

Yet, let’s go get Dwight Howard (whom I absolutely love), who plays off the charts with technical emotions!

Who is more emotional than MJ, KG, Barkley, Kobe – et.al (and others) were/are?

Please stop with the nit-picking of Josh. He is our emotional warrior and leader and plays with more heart than all his teammates combined.

Josh cares! Without him, this team has no pulse and no heart beat.
These refs ought to be ashamed of them selves.
_________________

And, BTW stop saying Nique’ didn’t pay for some home-made suits!
This whack Rashan fella, has reportedly been shipping unsolicited sample suits and shirts to many:

Doug and Ryan Stewart (The 2 Live Stews), Ryan reported an issue of receiving “sample shirts” from Rashan unsolicited as well). Doug actually placed an order later and Ryan never did. Rashan got agressive with Ryan and suggested he should then pay him for the samples. Ryan, being offended had to straighten Rashan’s demeanor and thought processes. Allegedly, Solomon Jones and his Father had a discrepancy in the Arena Tunnel, after Solomon received these unsolicited sample suits as well, when Rashan demanded payment. And, now Nique’? Nique said he thought they were a gift!

Apparently, this wanna-be suit maker has some “skully” marketing and gangsta tactics for pushing his product. Apparently his retail shop folded due to a lack of Business Skills?

Lesson to be learned: Stop bearing gifts that you can’t afford!

If someone sent me a gift- card in the mail with a 12K credit line? Heck, I might use it too!

Section 303

April 13th, 2011
3:13 pm

I have to think that so many people counting out the Hawks is a good thing. I am a firm believer in the idea that a team plays well after having to sit around for days and hear about how they are going to get killed.

Case and point: listen to the NBA Today podcast. Rick Buchar is talking about how the regular season match ups do show who is likely to win a playoff series. So, for instance, since the Heat have beaten the ‘6′ers in the regular season (3 to 0, right?) the Heat should be the heavy favorite to win that series. When the host of the podcast pointed out that the Hawks held a 3 to 1 lead on Orlando, both guys laughed. And, they laughed for a while. Buchar finally said something about there being exceptions to every rule.

I have been predicting an Orlando sweep. I not sure if that irrational fan is getting a grip on me, but I’m starting to think the Hawks will put up a fight. Maybe even win this series……wondering if I should strap my nuts to a car battery for writing that..

Grandad

April 13th, 2011
3:20 pm

Tag team of Collins and Zaza @ the [5]
Al @ the [4], backed by Josh
Josh @ the [3], backed by Joe
Joe @ [2], backed by Jamal
Tag team of Cap’n Kirk & Teaguer @ the [1]
“get ‘er done”
The last line was for poetic purposes.
*8 man rotation = No Marvin !
*If you go 9 = Damien.
*Etan as needed.
*Pape Sy before Marv or Powell !

reebok

April 13th, 2011
3:26 pm

only 5 more games and the hawks will be out of our misery for a few months

drmaryb (*_-)

April 13th, 2011
3:33 pm

BTK (Bind – Torture – Kill)!

“wondering if I should strap my nuts to a car battery for writing that..”
_______________

Ok, I’ll take the bait here: now 303, my Grand-Daddy intimated to me that you might be a lady and not a mister? But, if you possess the option of strapping your nuts to a battery?

Then, I’m reminded a song verse: “you must be a special lady, and a very exciting girl …. you must be a special lady … cause you got me, sitting on top of the world … sitting on top the world.”
- artist from the ’70’s –
________________

ROF – LOL! Don’t do it 303 … Don’t do it! Don’t be that squirrel.

Grandad

April 13th, 2011
3:36 pm

Slimjr

*opprobrium = bitterness, vitriol, verbal attack, malevolence,
sarcasm, virulence, acrimony, castigate, or to scold………..

Hey, I went to Austin Peay State University,
northcyde will tell you,
“not exactly a bastion of culture”
Peay rhymes with pee.
Our cheer @ the Peay was / is:

“Lets Go Peay”

Have A Great Day Slimjr !

lewis

April 13th, 2011
3:42 pm

Not sure how long many of us can continue being enthusiastic of this team as its currently constructed. Potential, which used to keep me coming back night after night, cannot be used to describe a “veteran” team. Nor do the Hawks deserve the right to be called a veteran team, as its players slowly realize half of their potential, at the halfway point of their careers.

newkid

April 13th, 2011
3:45 pm

@MC, any response to my question on previous blog regarding desire to see at least a short article on Atlanta Dream selections in Monday’s draft, and the trade? Who in AJC’s sport shop has the Dream beat? Thanks

Eric

April 13th, 2011
3:51 pm

It’s spelled anticlimaCtic, not anticlimatic.

jgsbirds

April 13th, 2011
3:53 pm

i can tell you why other teams don’t like zsa zsa–it’s because he actually plays like he cares. he doesn’t put up with their crap. he doesn’t let lebron go uncontested for a dunk more than 3 or 4 times without knocking him down. he’s not afraid to box someone out. he will give a hard foul when that situation arises.

say what you want about zsa zsa but in my mind he has been our best player since the all star break without question. sure opponents don’t like him because he’s the only one on our team that shows some resistance. he’s white-so they don’t like that some white guy is pushing them around either.

this kind of reminds me of when the falcons started bobby hebert–i for one hated hebert. in my mind we was a weak-armed qb that threw a ton of interceptions and everyone else said he had a lot of heart. yeah he made a pro bowl or two–because every defense in the league loved to face him. he was the best man in about 7 or 8 corner backs weddings too. they all just loved the guy–he did have a great heart–he just didn’t have an arm to go with it.

other nba players love all the hawks except zsa zsa for the same reason. they go over and hug lbj, d-wade, d-rose and all the other bandwagon players like they are the best friends–these hawks don’t seem to mind if they get beat by 30, or if lebron dunks on them 8 or nine times when their already down 20…so sure opponents love those guys–zsa zsa doesn’t when in fact-the big z is even a friend of his and he got into it with him.

learned a long time ago–once the game starts and you get between those lines–there are no friends from the opponents team–once the game or series is over than i’m ok with it.

i wish zsa zsa’s attitude would rub off on about 11 other guys.

Grandad

April 13th, 2011
3:57 pm

Slimjr

When I was growin’ up we was so poor
all I had to read was;
a dictionary and some old National Geographics.
[the Nat Geographics - all I did was look at the pics]
To this day, I’m still moved by the sight of nekkid women in Africa.
(I’m sorry Rev, I shouldn’t have said that)
*[I still have that SI swimsuit issue / from when they went over there]

MannyT

April 13th, 2011
4:01 pm

Will Magnum Rolle get a press conference deserving of our 2011 1st round draft pick?

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
4:01 pm

@northcyde: “Zaza, when motivated, does bring the physical skill set that we need in the middle.”

the “when motivated” part with Zaza means “when he’s getting consistent minutes.” this is pretty obvious to me, which is why i was surprised L.D. (and Woody to a lesser extent) didn’t see it, too. you have to play Zaza to keep him into it. you’d hope a guy would be ready anyway but you have to know the psyche of your players and Zaza is prone to brooding if he’s not getting minutes. add in the fact that he’s the only decent big on the bench and there’s been no reason not to play him.

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:12 pm

“When I was growin’ up we was so poor
all I had to read was;
a dictionary and some old National Geographics.
[the Nat Geographics - all I did was look at the pics]
To this day, I’m still moved by the sight of nekkid women in Africa.
(I’m sorry Rev, I shouldn’t have said that)
*[I still have that SI swimsuit issue / from when they went over there]”

sight of nekkid women gets all of us excited Grandad!!!!! LOL
Hey I heard that Karina,that prof. dancer with “dancing with the stars” has a playboy spread coming out in May!.They will sellout very fast…She is a beauty…. WHEW……..

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
4:14 pm

@Eric: It’s spelled anticlimaCtic, not anticlimatic.

but how do you know the game is not detrimental to the weather? fixed

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:19 pm

Grandad, have you heard of a guy named Steve Quayle? Check out his website@ stevequayle.com when you have some time…

This dude is an amazing researcher..

brigadierjerry

April 13th, 2011
4:21 pm

I was thinking the other day seeing how some of these players whose game is so much based now on athleticism than skills. It seems the players last 10-15 years not as skilled as before.im personally a fan of getting rid of the one and done rule in the NBA and creating a system thats kind of a combination of how the nfl and mlb do things… if you go to college… youve gotta stay there for 3 years… and if you opt to come straight outta high school… you go to the d league on like a two year contract or something… and then nba teams can pluck you out of the d league when they feel youre ready after some minimum period of time… which may be sooner for some then others… but you have the draft essentially the same… and force teams to determine whats of more use to them… obviously its not a fully fleshed out idea… but i think something like that would be a good start…

Michael Cunningham

April 13th, 2011
4:21 pm

@newkid: “@MC, any response to my question on previous blog regarding desire to see at least a short article on Atlanta Dream selections in Monday’s draft, and the trade? Who in AJC’s sport shop has the Dream beat? Thanks”

we had a story on draft and Dream trade in print. not sure if it’s online. we don’t have a beat writer dedicated to the Dream, will use freelancers.

Westurd

April 13th, 2011
4:26 pm

@MC, yo dude, I think I found a typo in your blog. Your wrote, “…Zaza helps the Hawks forge a competitive series against the Bulls…” That made me laugh.
The Hawks arenn’t going to see Chicago in the playoffs unless the Hawks can slip into the playoffs next year as an 8 seed.

Fundamentals

April 13th, 2011
4:30 pm

Minutes, brooding, ect go out the window now that it’s playoff time. If ZaZa can get in another head butting match and have the impact he did against the C’s a few years back all will be forgotten, till next season. Yes ZaZa can bring the physicality and toughness, but he’s not the answer. Hopefully he’ll bring it, as hopefully they all will.

I don’t see them forging the type of consistent play it’ll take to win so I’m honestly pretty down about the playoffs. I don’t know how they can’t understand they need momentum, they need to inspire fans, they needed to put it together from the All Star break forward. Instead we come limping in with the same what-if’s…..BBBBBOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM! It’ll go one way or the other. Next week will tell us the story.

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:32 pm

Anybody hear the latest news on Bynums knee injury last night??? Is he done for the playoff’s??

northcyde

April 13th, 2011
4:32 pm

LOL @ Grandad

I remember in high school at APSU games, we used to chant

Let’s go Peay
Let’s go Peay
Let’s go Peay, on the ref-er-ee

LOL . . good ol Clarksville. A place ran with a small town mentality, that needs to expand their thinking in all ways, before they get overwhelmed . . much like the ASG.

The population is 132,000+ in the city as of 2010. This town/city is growing way too rapidly, and these city leaders seem like they’re 5 years behind on everything. Poor regional planning too, considering that almost 300,000 people now live within 30 miles of the city. They’re trying, but the old time small town ideas aren’t going to fly anymore

We could easily have 400,000 people in the “Metro Clarksville” area, with a projected 180,000+ just in the city by 2020. That’s unbelievable to me. And we’re definitely not ready.

Even Austin Peay is growing rapidly. 10,000+ students at that school now.

Technically, we’ll overtake Chattanooga as the 4th largest city in the state in about 5 years, although Chatt’s metro area is twice as large.

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:35 pm

Its real tough to win game one on the road after going 0 for 6(last 6 games of the season) going into it…Heck its going to be almost impossible to win game two on the road if they lose game one…..

What about game three if they are 0-2 going into Phillips???
I say bench the starters..bring them off the bench…..

superiorblogman

April 13th, 2011
4:36 pm

Via Hawks Press Release:

Eastern Conference Playoff Schedule:

Saturday April 16

Game 1 – Indiana at Chicago 1:00 p.m. ESPN

Game 1 – Philadelphia at Miami 3:30 p.m. ABC

Game 1 – Atlanta at Orlando 7:00 p.m. ESPN

The whole world will start a fire LD chant starting Saturday at 7 pm when Teague outplays Hinrich in his 8 minutes of action to Hinrich’s 30 minutes of play.

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:41 pm

@northcyde,

wow you guys grew up in the “country”!!! LOL
I grew up in a place in the Bronx that had 60,000 people living in 1 square mile!! My High school had a graduation class of almost 900 people!!!! but I got early with about 34 others……..whew…..

Slimjr

April 13th, 2011
4:45 pm

I suspect the Heimlich leg(calf) is still bothering him? He’s not hitting that wide open shot he used to drill in Chicago????? He a tough cookie though…..

# 1 hawks fan

April 13th, 2011
4:47 pm

I will be glad when the hawks beat the magic and make all of your comments look so stupid. It’s funny how the team gets no respect even when they do good in their own city. I understand why Joe said what he said last year about the fans. How can you expect a team to progress and grow if all they hear is negativity and a lack of support from so called fans in Atlanta. Yes we have had hard times and yes things can be better but it sure would be nice to one day see some positivity on this blog about the hawks. What really sucks is fake fans? Are there any true hawks fans left? If not, so what? I will forever cheer for my beloved city and any team including the hawks that represents it. Go Hawks!