Atlanta Hawks: Dwight Howard not feeling his hometown Hawks (and more notes)

Orlando–Well, so much for my theory that the Hawks could have let J.J. walk, pared down the rest of their payroll and then made a run at Dwight in 2012.

It sounds as if the Hometown Hawks aren’t good enough for Dwight. This is where I imagine my blog people, normally inclined to agree with Dwight on this matter, find your inner Hawk fandom and tell Dwight to STHU. Unless he really wants to come home and play for the Hawks, in which case, never mind.

Anyway, here are some next-day notes that didn’t make the cut for print . . .

  • Stan Van Gundy said the Hawks have identified Redick and Ryan Anderson as mismatches: “Clearly they are going to go at Ryan every time and go at J.J. virtually every time. We have got to be prepared to deal with those kind of things because those two guys help our offense and help give us a lot more space on the floor. So we need to play those guys at the offensive end and we need to find some ways to help them at the defensive end.”
  • Van Gundy and Magic GM Otis Smith both called out Turkoglu for looking to pass more than score off screens. “When he got 17 assists he turned into a point guard, pass first and shoot second,” Smith said. “He has to do it the other way around if you have the ability to score the ball, which he does.”
  • Translation: Turkoglu should be able to score on Smoove, and if he’s not, then he’s not really providing anything out there.
  • Smith said it’s going to take more than just a half a season for Arenas’ game to fit with the Magic, if it can at all: “I’m not sure. My thing with him now is he has to take care of the basketball, make open shots and defend his man.”
  • As might be expected from a coach with a defense-first mentality, the Magic didn’t spend much time going over their offense despite the Dwight-Jameer-or-nothing Game 1. “People focused on we only had two guys score but the bigger problem is we had 18 turnovers,” Van Gundy said. “If we can get that down to 10 or 12—every turnover is worth a little bit more than a point–then you cut six turnovers and you are [adding] about eight points.”
  • More Van Gundy on defense: “Where they really hurt us–and this is how they play– is perimeter pull-up jump shots. They only had eight layups in the game. Johnson, Crawford, Hinrich all hit pull-ups and obviously Horford gets his pick-and-pop jumpers. Our focus has been on protecting the paint but they are not really looking to get to the rim a whole lot.”
  • Translation: Expect the Magic to make the Hawks put the ball on the floor and drive into the land of Dwight iN Game 2. There was a time when I would have said the Hawks couldn’t adjust and pull off such a plan but I saw enough in Game 1 to make me think that maybe they can.
  • And, yes, that is one of those statements I may later regret because is there another team that can make you look stupid faster whenever you praise or criticism them?
  • Van Gundy on the value of size: “When I was first working with Bob McAdoo in Miami, and Bob had been one of the great shooting big men in the league, and he always said playing against smaller guys always gave him tremendous confidence. Because at the end of the day no matter how hard they played he knew he could always get his shot over the top. All he had to do was concentrate on making it. He didn’t have to adjust, he didn’t have to rush. That’s where the size gives them an advantage. They can just raise up. What we have got to do is do a better job of taking away their space to get the pull ups. We have got to get our help to them a little bit earlier and try to keep them out on the perimeter a little bit.”
  • I can tell you from my days covering the Heat that McAdoo can still stroke Js. I saw him take cash in shooting games from more than one naive rookie.
  • Van Gundy on the Hawks: “It’s not just that they don’t double team. They switch a lot of the time, they stay home. They are using their size to contest shots. They are going to basically play their defense one-on-one and they want their offense one-on-one. We made a couple of mistakes where they ran some good things and got stuff open but not many. It was basically: ‘At the end of the play we are going one-on-one.”
  • More Van Gundy: “Jameer comes on his pick-and-rolls and they don’t really rotate over. Dwight’s guy is just trying to get back to him and Hinrich has got to do the best job he can–or Joe Johnson or whoever–getting over the picks and play Jameer. They will help out of the corner a little bit but that guy is pretty much on his own. The other [Magic] players aren’t open and it limits your chances to move the ball so we have got to find some way to get into some ball movement and get other people involved because we don’t want it to be played just as a one-on-one game.”
  • It’s weird to hear the Magic talking about they need to share the ball when their All-NBA center was scary-efficient scoring machine. But doesn’t it kind of make sense at the same time?
  • L.D. on Orlando’s Dwight-or-nothing offense: “He was just manhandling us. They just kept posting and, to be honest, I might have done the same thing. You go with what’s working. He was very efficient in his post-ups. With that being said, it does create a problem with the other guys [with] are they being involved enough. My concern is not Dwight. My concern is the other guys.”
  • J.J. on timing his shots around the rim to avoid Dwight: “I try to get a good feel. I don’t know what they are going to do change up, but I know when I get to the basket, if the dump off is not there, I know he is coming trying to block my shots. I am just trying to get my shot off quick or get it up high enough where he can’t get it, or if he does get it then it’s a goal tending.”
  • Hinrich on getting in Jameer’s grill without getting whistled: “You have to be careful and be smart about your fouls. I just want to be aggressive. It seems when you are not so aggressive that’s when you get cheap fouls. Just be aggressive and try to play tough defensively and we did a pretty good job.”
  • L.D. on the core: “We are not that young team anymore. Having some experience under our belt, I think it is important going into any playoff season. One thing when you look at this team, it’s a little different than it’s been in the past. When teams make runs on us on the road you don’t see that sense of panic like you have in the past.”
  • AJC wise guy Jeff Schultz on L.D.
  • L.D. on Twin vs. Dwight: “The things we need him to do against Dwight, he’s doing it. He is going to foul him at times, give up positioning at times. He’s going to get dunked on at times. The most important thing is to try to make him earn anything and when he does that he’s done his job.”
  • L.D. on No Twin vs. Dwight: “We didn’t play Jason last year. The reality is Jason is our best big defender. It’s one of the reasons why when I got the job, I was adamant that we re-signed Jason. I had Jason when I was in New Jersey and I’ve always looked at him as a guy who knows how to defend down low. At the end of the day when you look at the stat shot not be impressed but as a coach I watch the tape and I see the little things that he does away from the basketball.”
  • L.D. on if he’s content that staying home and letting Dwight get his is a winning strategy: “I’m not content but I may not have any choice. We don’t know how we will defend him come Tuesday night. All we know is what we have done in the past has worked and sometimes it hasn’t worked. Do we deviate from it? I’m not sure right now.”
  • L.D. said players lobbied him to abandon the Dwight Defense as he kept thrashing all of Atlanta’s big men. A key moment came when Arenas made a corner 3 on a broken defensive assignment in the second quarter.
  • “We defended it how we did last year,” L.D. said. “I saw a little bit of–I won’t say panic—but our guys thought it was time to make an adjustment, which I clearly did not think it was time because it was a one- or two-point ball game at the time. I’ve got my main three big guys on the bench with two fouls. As long as we kept it close I was going to continue to just play him head’s up as much as we could. I called timeout to reiterate, ‘That is not the game plan, we not not going to start opening up that game plan.’ I saw a little temptation might have been there but I was not going to do it at that time.”
  • Twin on that play: “We only had one mistake where we came on the double team and didn’t rotate. That was in the second quarter and L.D. quickly let us know that wasn’t the game plan.”
  • J.J. is all for sticking with the Dwight Defense: “If we can win, we will definitely keep it the same way. Hopefully he slows down throughout the series. As perimeters we pretty much have to stay home on their shooters because if their shooters are making shots they are going to be tough to beat.”
  • Al sounds as if he’s with it, too: “They are such a dangerous team they can make threes and score inside. We have to be able to live with one of them. For us we are trying to do our best job and not give them any clean looks from the 3-point line. The 3-point line is the biggest equalizer, so that’s our biggest focus.”
  • Van Gundy on Atlanta’s 3-point D: “Not that we got a lot of them but we had better looks last night than during the regular season [vs. the Hawks]. We missed six or seven corner threes. I don’t have an answer for that. They are not going to come off Ryan on anything, which is fine because that just opens up more space.”
  • J.J. said he came out looking to test Redick after he missed so much time with an injury: “Going right at him. For a guy who hasn’t played for 17 games obviously it is going to be a little difficult early. So we just wanted to try and come out and take advantage of that.”
  • Some media types keep asking the Hawks about last year’s playoffs and the Hawks keep shrugging off the questions. Said Al: “I kept telling people we left last year with last year, at least I did. When you start dwelling on the past and revenge and things like that, that’s when you get caught up and they can be in your head. The first game of this regular season [at Orlando], that’s when we were able to put it behind us.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

170 comments Add your comment

ClassicHawks

April 17th, 2011
8:12 pm

FiRsT!! Man If We Play At The Level We Played At Yesterday, Chicago Will Have A Tough Time Beating Us! Mark It Down, Hawks In The Conference Finals Against Miami!

Ernest

April 17th, 2011
8:15 pm

I wonder if Thomas or Powell will be swapped out for Armstrong in the next game. Armstrong has length though not much bulk. If he plays postitional defense, he could provide another valuable six fouls while pestering Howard.

I’d also like to see someone make Howard work harder on the defensive end also. It will go a long ways in tiring him out on the offensive end. We need someone other than ZaZa to do that.

Go Hawks!!!

jason

April 17th, 2011
8:25 pm

Hawks should keep using Rocky on D12 lol really “cuz its my home town team” give me a break!

Marcus

April 17th, 2011
8:28 pm

One down ….lotta more work to do… this happens when we go up on an even or supposedly superior foe … the Orlando Sentinel is probably blowin’ up ……. LOL

JeJe

April 17th, 2011
8:37 pm

Nice blog.

drmaryb, the fact you address me on every single blog means you must be magically infatuated or just have a lot of time on your hands. I feel bad for someone so obsessed with herself that she has to incessantly post useless garbage about celebrities when she allegedly is some Doctor (LOL).

Bye

O'Brien

April 17th, 2011
8:39 pm

More Van Gundy on defense: “Where they really hurt us–and this is how they play– is perimeter pull-up jump shots. They are going to basically play their defense one-on-one and they want their offense one-on-one.

We made a couple of mistakes where they ran some good things and got stuff open but not many. It was basically: ‘At the end of the play we are going one-on-one.”.

I am glad the Hawks made their shots. but I hope LD has a plan B in his pocket already, because I dont think the Hawks will continue to be successful going on one, and making their jumpers.

JeJe

April 17th, 2011
8:42 pm

And I can promise you I know a hell of a lot more about the NBA than your annoying @$$ does

Grandad

April 17th, 2011
8:54 pm

Players not understanding;
explains the
“nasty commode full of swirling puke”
called an offense they’ve been running lately.

jason

April 17th, 2011
8:55 pm

Lol, Jeje vs. drmaryb*_-, who will win?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2011
8:55 pm

“It sounds as if the Hometown Hawks aren’t good enough for Dwight.”

I didn’t get that impression from those comments at all. The impression I did get is that he doesn’t think much of the Hawks as a viable playoff opponent right now, not that he doesn’t think much of them as a free agent destination in the future.

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
8:56 pm

ios said we are just jumpshooters!!!!
Bob McAdoo was one the greatest sharp shooting big men ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Led the league in scoring 3 years in a freaking row at 30+ a night at 6′10″…Played in Buffalo,NY, and Lakers where he got two rings. He would take iso and Jamal’s club money today in a shooting contest…

Hawks live and die with their jumpshots!!! Need DeAndre Jordan,DeAndre Jordan yesterday to protect the rim.. He’s the next NBA Dunk Champion!! A Beast!!! A high riser….Human highlight jr….

Grandad

April 17th, 2011
8:58 pm

O’Brien

motion offense 101

slip screens – make the 2nd cut.

When they help on jump shooters;
basket cut open all night long.

JeJe

April 17th, 2011
8:58 pm

Seems like Joe tanked the season except for January and just now is realizing what he’s capable of

Grandad

April 17th, 2011
8:58 pm

O’Brien

Oh yeah, I forgot = plan B.

Booo!

April 17th, 2011
8:58 pm

Go Hawks! Excellent write-up MC!

SVG is damn straight! We’re not giving Ryan Aderson an INCH. He’s been possibly the biggest thorn in our side!

jason

April 17th, 2011
8:59 pm

Hawks offense against the Magic yester day was like diarehia(if i spelled it right :P ) kept on running!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:03 pm

“It sounds as if the Hometown Hawks aren’t good enough for Dwight. This is where I imagine my blog people, normally inclined to agree with Dwight on this matter, find your inner Hawk fandom and tell Dwight to STHU.” LOL

Astro Joe

April 17th, 2011
9:15 pm

I’ve never heard and read so much chatter about the “good” defense played on someone who just went for 40+ points. Geez, Jason didn’t allow the Hawks to focus on the other Magic players.. The “let the other guys score” worked because Hedo, J-Rich and Bass were playing like D-League wannabes. I wouldn’t bet a mortgage payment on holding all but 2 players producing around 10% of the team’s points for the remainder of the series.

mykhalc

April 17th, 2011
9:20 pm

@MC…you got your playoff blog-game on brah!!! TASTY!!! :-)

hawks play when?

April 17th, 2011
9:20 pm

when do the hawks play next????????

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:21 pm

Come on knicks hang in there and beat the men in GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

northcyde

April 17th, 2011
9:22 pm

Wow @ Amare Stoudamire

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:24 pm

NEW YORK! NEW YORK up 5 ! Amare posterizing Jermaine!!!!! WOW……………………

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:26 pm

put the ball on the floor took Garnett off the left elbow and put up a top 10 tonight!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:30 pm

Tony D with the dagger 3!!!!

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 17th, 2011
9:30 pm

I really hope the hometown team sends Dwight to his hometown early after a first round elimination.

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:33 pm

Hawks play Game 2 Tuesday night at 7:30pm….

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:34 pm

Refs dont want the knicks to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! turrible call on Anthony…

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2011
9:36 pm

“I’ve never heard and read so much chatter about the “good” defense played on someone who just went for 40+ points.”

Giving up 46 points on 23 shots is not good defense. Forcing 8 turnovers while keeping him in foul trouble all day in large part due to forcing him into offensive fouls is good defense. Contesting pretty much all the other players’ outside shots, with the exception of the shots Nelson got on Jamal, and for the most part denying the Magic penetration into the lane is good defense. Sure, regression to the mean dictates that the Magic will at some point make some of those outside shots regardless of how well they are contested, but at the same time regression to the mean dictates that Dwight isn’t going to shoot 10% above his season FG% for the entire series.

I don’t think the Hawks’ blueprint in yesterday’s game is a fluke. Maybe the Magic step up their level of play and overcome the Hawks’ strategy, but this strategy is enough to keep the Hawks competitive in this series.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2011
9:37 pm

And regardless of the outcome of this Knicks-Celtics game, I wouldn’t feel too confident as a Celtics fan that even with Jermaine O’Neal playing well at center the Celtics are still struggling to finish off the Knicks at home.

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:40 pm

Carmelo shooting a 28 footer????? Are you kidding me?????? turrible shot…………end of game.

Carmelo= Patrick Ewing, choke in big games…No rings…..

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:42 pm

OKAY GANG NOW ITS TIME TO WATCH HIGHLITES!!!!

ENJOY OKC/NUGGETS MATCHUP! BOTH ARE TOP 5 IN SCORING!!!!!! YEAH!!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:43 pm

NENE SO GRACEFUL!!!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:45 pm

WINNER TONIGHT HAS TO SOCRE 115…

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
9:45 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2011
9:52 pm

From Hawks BasketBlog

–> Nelson’s Total Numbers:
—-Minutes – 35:47
—-Points – 27 (10-of-18 FGs, 4-of-7 3FGs)

–> Nelson with Hinrich on the Floor:
—-Minutes – 27:39
—-Points – 12 (4-of-10 FGs, 1-of-3 3FGs)

Kirk may not have guarded him every possession, but for the vast majority of the time Kirk was on the floor, Nelson was being guarded by him. And for the vast majority of the time Kirk was off the floor, Jamal was guarding Nelson.

In the 8:12 where Kirk sat while Nelson played, Nelson scored 15 points on 6/8 shooting, 3/4 from 3. That is pretty insane.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 17th, 2011
10:00 pm

By the way, whenever I type the word “suolucidir” backwards in a post, the blog monster eats it. Why does the blog monster like that word?

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
10:00 pm

DENVER IS LOCKED IT TONIGHT!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
10:00 pm

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
10:01 pm

JC1=OLE’ FOR DEFENSE….ONE TRICK..

doc

April 17th, 2011
10:15 pm

mc, dwight aint coming here anymore than kobe will end up in philly. anyway he isnt even a draw in his home town as good as he is and being a native. nope not going to happen. he has never uttered even the slightest of hints that i can remember he wanted to come here. move on folks.

Section 303

April 17th, 2011
10:27 pm

I kind of hope the Hawks do take the ball at Dwight Howard more often on Tuesday. I think they would have a better chance of fouling him out. Josh Smith, if he decides he wants to, is capable of going at Dwight and drawing fouls.

I don’t think there is anything Van Gundy can do about the mismatches. There is no scheme out there that can make Redick handle Joe or Bass/Anderson handle Horford. Those problems are not going away.

Sleepy

April 17th, 2011
10:41 pm

Again like LD said about the team maturing and not panicking is the exact opposite of the fans as most of you basically crapped your pants after Jameer hit a couple of baskets.

When Kirk left the game in the 3rd he had already given up 7 of the Magics 8 3rd quarter points to Jameer . This stuff is typical Hawks fan over analysis at its best .

The home team magic made a 4 pt run and Hawks fans shocked news at 11 .

Booo!

April 17th, 2011
10:45 pm

Ewww! Nene with the nasty facial on Serge Ibaka!

———————-

KD with the sick english!!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
10:48 pm

NENE=THE MATRIX FOR REAL!!!!!!!!!

northcyde

April 17th, 2011
10:50 pm

As for Hinrich . . . I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. Because we’ve seen this from him before ( early March vs Chicago ). He looked like he could’ve defended anybody that game. After that game, he basically looked like crap for an entire month.

So is this the real Kirk Hinrich? Or is this “fools gold”?

If he can do this consistently on defense, and just make timely jumpers, I’ll be sold on the dude. But like with Marvin, we need to consistently see this . . not once every blue moon.

HawkFanWithClearVision

April 17th, 2011
10:54 pm

JJ scored 25? What? Is there an All-Star game after the Finals as well? Keep it up JJ. How about D-Howard? (Bleep) on him!!!

Slimjr

April 17th, 2011
11:02 pm

Refs helped Boston with the phantom foul against Anthony and no call offensive foul on Paul P in crunch time!!!

I see what your doing Mr Stern, clear as night and day…Your league is rigged!!!!!!!

superiorblogman

April 17th, 2011
11:10 pm

Grandad

April 17th, 2011
7:49 pm

superiorblogman

“When you respond you had better start it off like I told you from now on”

Why had I better ?

What you gonna do ?

“They don’t save you from death”
Nope your right – I’m lookin’ forward to it.

“suffering”
Makes you stronger !

” illness ”
I’ve had more than my share;
better me than somebody else.

“being poor”
Been poor all my life & actually kinda proud of it,
as it shaped who I am as a human being.

“fantasies” – naw, that’s called faith.

Clearly, I’ve come up harder, been made stronger by faith,
I’ve been made tougher by life than you.

Oh yeah, Grandad? I am 33 years old and I have already been stricken with an ailment that I will die with. I am sorry if I don’t really find a need to respect people like you and Sund who leave for many many years and never really learn anything worth learning. Those of us that can handle the truth like myself, are blessed at a young age to know the truth. The bible God does not exist and the bible itself is a bunch of bogus BS. As for you, I don’t hate you, I just think you are sad and anyone like you. How can you live that long off of fantasies? Why would you be a fan of the bible God? He is the most selfish myth ever. Everything is about him. Once again we take care of each other, we show each other real love or hate. Thus, I love you all. I guess I am the 666 now huh? LMAO at that whole BS concept.

Go Hawks. Fire Drew, Fire Sund, Sell Please ASG.

JeJe

April 17th, 2011
11:12 pm

I don’t expect Marvin to break 10 points in any game this series

I don’t think anyone here will notice either