Magic at Atlanta Hawks Game 6: Larry Drew’s move in ‘chess match’

Hawks players have said more than once that a playoff series is like a “chess match.”

Your move, L.D.

The Hawks have had success defending Orlando’s pick-and-rolls by frequently using a funky scheme, as detailed by Brett Koremenos at hoopspeak.com. (H/T Hoopinion) The alignment didn’t work so well in Game 5, though.

It’s a strategy that has been effective in large part because Hinrich, J.J., Smoove and (sometimes) Jamal all can cover enough ground to make the switch and run out to corner shooters. Those guys also are tall enough that they can bother the shooter even if they don’t make it all the way out. It also helps that the corner defenders who pinch in to help against the ball handler are big guys.

Watching the Magic’s Game 5 pick-and-rolls on Synergy Sports Technology, I noticed that Redick and Jameer changed up. Instead of going all the way to the rim and either looking for the corner 3 (which the Hawks have covered well) or try to get to the basket (where help awaits), Redick and Jameer put on the brakes and shot step-back Js.

Twin and Zaza weren’t mobile enough to challenge those shots while also protecting against Dwight’s roll to the basket. The corner help man couldn’t get over to contest. And the ball handler’s man was trailing the play (and also had to be in position to switch and run to the corner on a kick-out).

It was a subtle change. The Magic got their offense rolling because their guards made better decisions.

“That was clear,” Stan Van Gundy said. “I did not think we forced plays and I didn’t think we got going too fast. We had very few turnovers and, for the most part, we were making simple, solid basketball plays.

“When you get into this mentality with your back to the wall, we didn’t want ‘hero plays’ where a guy is like, ‘I will just take on two guys and score over them.’ That doesn’t end up working. You want to play your game, make simple plays, take open shots and live with the result.”

So how do the Hawks counter that chess move from the Magic?

“You adjust,” L.D. said today, smiling.

Van Gundy noted there are a finite number of (realistic) ways to defend the most common play in basketball.

“There is only so many ways you can guard a pick-and-roll,” Van Gundy said. “We all will make adjustments and try to do what’s best. But it’s not like I have a way to play the pick-and-roll that Larry and his players have never seen and we are going to shock them with it tonight. And it’s not like Larry has got a way to play the pick-and-roll that is going to shock our guys, where Jameer is going to say, ‘Oh, my God I’ve never seen this before.’

“You have got to make plays.”

Notes

  • Smoove wasn’t happy about Mike Bianchi’s “Atlanta Birdbrains” column in the Orlando Sentinel. Bianchi was in the locker room today and Josh gave him some typically-candid and colorful feedback.
  • “I’m not sure how you’ve got reporters calling people idiots and dummies,” Josh said in an interview. “I don’t understand how people can challenge somebody’s intelligence when you are talking about a basketball game. Some people take it too far.”
  • L.D. on his team’s focus: “I think everybody is ready. I’ve seen this group in this situation before. In the playoffs this is the type of position you want to be in. We have an opportunity to close on our home floor. It’s not easy to close out anybody but I’d rather do it in these circumstances.”
  • Jamal: “It’s us against the world. It’s funny how before the series everybody was all about Orlando. Then we went up 3-1 and it went back to us, and now it’s back the other way. They are fighting a hungry team.”
  • The Magic sent more doubles at Jamal in Game 5. “I watched a lot of tape and I will adjust,” he said. “I’m excited. I see how I can take advantage of different things and get myself going and get my teammates involved and come out with a victory.”
  • L.D. though the Hawks played too fast in Game 5. He’s OK with them pushing the pace at home: “We definitely want to get the crowd involved with the pace. We want to get up-and-down and use our athleticism. But we’ve got to be smart about it and not get caught up in a jump-shooting fest with that team.”
  • Al on his sagging shooting (19 of 49) since Game 1: “They’ve done a great job defending. This is a game that I’m coming in with the same approach. I’m just going to make sure I get myself going.”
  • J-Rich is expected to play after cutting his foot in some glass on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s OK,” Van Gundy said. “We didn’t have him go through the walk-through [today] because we didn’t want to risk him opening up the stitches.”
  • Van Gundy on the Magic’s shooting in Game 5: “I was only half-joking when I said a lot of this game comes down to making shots or missing shots.”
  • Magic CEO Bob Vander Weider told the Orlando Sentinel that he and team owner Rich DeVos are happy with Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.
  • “I can laughingly say that votes of confidence are the kiss of death,” Van Gundy said today. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. But knowing Bob and taking him at face value after working in the organization, you are always happy when your bosses are happy with you. But that’s not where my head is at. I just want to win the series.”
  • The Magic won’t necessarily go back to a Dwight-centric offense after they had success scoring other ways. “We found an offensive attack that was working,” Van Gundy said. “It’s not about who scores. We had our best offensive game of the year.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

793 comments Add your comment

vava74

April 28th, 2011
1:26 pm

From previous blog:

JeJe,

“If they do P&R and Collins is in, we are screwed because he cannot move AT ALL”

Actually you are dead wrong, IMO.

Collins may not be fast but he moves his feet and shows his hands in the right defensive postures a lot better than most players in the whole league.

That is why he got more charges called in our favor than all other Hawks put together before the Hinrich trade (who is the close second).

If correctly assisted by the Guard who is playing with him the pick and roll D he is not such a liability that justifies him not being on the floor at all out of being afraid of the PnR.

vava74

April 28th, 2011
1:27 pm

MC,

IF it was you that put the Bianchi column on the lockers, send me an e-mail and I’ll fulfill my promise and transfer you $100.00 :-D

Neki Ecko

April 28th, 2011
1:28 pm

1st and Now I have to switch between the draft and this game. Thanks Hawks

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
1:30 pm

I dont think LD knows how to play Chess. He is probably pretty good at checkers though.

JoeCool24

April 28th, 2011
1:31 pm

Wooooooooooo

Section 303

April 28th, 2011
1:39 pm

I really hope my attitude changes when I walk into the arena tonight. I hope I go through the Section 303 portal and suddenly start to believe that tonight will be anything but a disaster. That’s what I hope. Right now, just not feeling it. Watching the Hawks quit on Tuesday took nearly all the wind out of my sails.

We’ll see….they act like they have a plan going into tonight. We’ll see….could be the last home game this group plays together in Philips. They lose and this team gets blown up.

Buck

April 28th, 2011
1:44 pm

That was almost close to amusing O’brien.

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
1:45 pm

thanks for the link bigdave.

From Sekou;

You have to wonder if Joe Johnson is watching what’s going on around the league right now, if he knows what time it is for players of his ilk?

Surely he’s seen the highlights. He’s witnessed the work guys like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Zach Randolph, Brandon Roy and so many others have done these past two weeks.

The Hawks will need more than just an average Joe Johnson to finish this job and finish off the Magic. They need the All-Star, the wunderkind that wore No. 2 for the Hawks in January and averaged 26 points on 50 percent shooting form the floor while leading them on a near month-long tear. They need the Johnson that helped them win Game 1 of this series in Orlando with those 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting.

What won’t work is the Johnson we’ve seen since then, the one averaging 17 points and shooting a combined 23-for-65 (35.4 percent) from the floor, the one who scored just five points in a blowout Game 5 loss.

The Johnson that plays without any emotion, with that blank stare on his face, will do the Hawks no good tonight. If ever there was a time for Johnson to step out of character and show his fangs for all to see, this is it. .

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/04/28/hawks-need-more-than-average-joe/

I hope JJ can get it going early, becuase that will open things up for the other guys. As a matter of fact, the team needs to get it going early. If they don’t, I can see the fans gettng real quiet and restless. And even if we lose, it should NOT be because JJ had a bad game.

Except for January, JJ has struggled. If he has a big game tonight, I think all will be forgotten….until game 1 against the Bulls :smile:

Hawk Str8Talk

April 28th, 2011
1:46 pm

“L.D. on his team’s focus: “I think everybody is ready. I’ve seen this group in this situation before. ” This is what scares me. You have said this before all the games, Larry. And you also said how you didn’t think they could flip the switch, then come playoff win #1 – you had all the confidence that they could do it, etc, etc. I don’t believe you have any idea what this group can do if you are sure they are ready because you’ve been there 7 years. Other teams don’t have the confidence to say they are going to see you in round 2 or openly question whether or not you will fight unless they know something about your team that you seemingly don’t. Let’s be honest – tonight is a referendum on the Hawks. If they lose tonight by anything but the greatest effort put forth by the Magic, put a stake in the heart of anything positive you can say about this team. You can’t have a team, its fans, its coaches, and the media question whether you can compete and then not compete on your home court.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
1:49 pm

LD BETTER PLAY THE SICILIAN TONIGHT

THAT INVOLVES GOOD DEFENSE AND A STRONG COUNTER-ATTACK

O'Brien

April 28th, 2011
1:50 pm

Section 303,

Are you wearing your JJ jersey tonight?

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
1:53 pm

I agree with the person from the other blog who said that Horford is playing at the 4 and does not do nearly enough by just taking jumpshots. LOL

PLEASE WIN TONIGHT

MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN MUST- WIN

Fireld!

April 28th, 2011
1:55 pm

Too Bad because LD is a checker player. LD can’t even make the proper substitution, let alone a counter move. Hawks fans who want to win this series just pray the Magic go cold because it’s your only hope. Hawks fans who want to see us one day win a Chip, just pray LD gets canned ASAP. FREE JEFF TEAGUE!

Section 303

April 28th, 2011
1:55 pm

O’Brien, I have two jerseys (Horford (navy) & Joe (red)), neither of them fit the “Dwight-out” dress code. But, I have a white Joe Johnson t-shirt that I wore on Sunday night. I may go with that again tonight.

Over the years, I have built up a pretty strong collection of white, Hawks t-shirts.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
1:55 pm

Excellent Synergy link, MC

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
1:58 pm

I WOULDN’T MIND THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT TONIGHT. IF THEY COUNTER WITH THE BENONI, WE CAN EASILY DECLINE IT. IF THEY TRY THE ALEKHINE, WE GOTTA CHASE THE “SUPERMAN” AROUND UNTIL HE GETS TIRED AND WE CAN ATTACK THE KING

YAGA

Buck

April 28th, 2011
1:58 pm

I’ve been a Hawks fan a long time and can’t ever remember hoping they would lose a game. But now I’m wondering what will happen if they win tonight. Let’s say they win and get blown out by the Bulls. Will the ASG change the coach? the lineup? or will we have the same team next year with a new rookie to trade away?

For that matter….what if they lose? Will changes be made?

Well, Hawks for life….go birds!

jmarable

April 28th, 2011
2:00 pm

The hawks will settle 4 the jump shot tonite,especially josh,when there is no one one the floor who can stop him going 2 the hole. Marvin wont show up and no one can stop him going to the hole.jj will pound the ball 50 times with the double team on him instead of swinging it. the hawks will lose because they will not do what they do best drive the ball. ever wonder why the hawks r last going to the free throw line.because josh and the rest dont want to work hard going to the hole,they settle for the jumper. case close season over.we cant shoot the jumper that well josh.GO TO THE BASKET 4 CRYING OUT LOUD.

UGAKev

April 28th, 2011
2:02 pm

How about we all go to philips arena tonight and give our full support to these guys for atleast this one game. If they let us down tonight then we can trash them or whatever. But, I am fixing to buy tickets for 8 bucks on stubhub to the game tonight…you can print them off your computer. You cant beat 8 bucks!! Let’s go Hawks!!!

Section 303

April 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

Buck, I’m almost willing to bet that if they win tonight and then get railroaded by the Bulls changes will be made.

They just need to win tonight, for now.

hawksfancents95

April 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

if ld needs help with this chess match i know some people in woodruff park that can help, neway i hope we carral the magic into goin to dwight ever possesion, let dwight score 14 in the first so his ego can say keep scoring and then its all post ups and no ball movement, let dwight get the ball early and dont let others get shots so they dont get into any type of rhythm, also joe should not get the ball when the shot clock dips below 10 secs, i cant standstagnant dribble then fadeaway airball from 20 ft, go hawks!

UGAKev

April 28th, 2011
2:05 pm

1497 tickets available on stubhub…I hope alot of these tickets get bought before gametime!

Nate ArchiBALL

April 28th, 2011
2:06 pm

Let’s go Hawks!!!

Fireld!

April 28th, 2011
2:10 pm

LD was an assistant for 18 years. I wonder why? Just because you have supervisor skills does not mean you will be a good boss or schedule maker for that matter. FREE JEFF TEAGUE!

Michael Cunningham

April 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

@vava74: “MC, IF it was you that put the Bianchi column on the lockers, send me an e-mail and I’ll fulfill my promise and transfer you $100.00″

wasn’t me but i could use the $100.00 after APD gave me a ticket yesterday.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
2:11 pm

If we win tonight , WE MUST TREAT GAME 1 VS. CHICAGO AS A MUST-WIN. WE CANNOT ACT LIKE IT’S EARLY IN THE SERIES AND BEST OF 7

EVERY SINGLE GAME A TEAM PLAYS IN THE PLAYOFFS SHOULD BE LIFE-OR-DEATH/MUST-WIN.

YOU HAVE TO WANT IT. YOU CAN’T JUST GO OUT THERE AND ACT LIKE YOU HAVE URGENCY. YOU GOTTA SEIZE THE DAY DAMNIT

JOSH, PLAY MATURE TONIGHT. COMMIT A HARD FOUL. START AN ALTERCATION. GET A TECHNICAL FOUL. THIS GOES TO ANYONE ON THIS TEAM

I WANT TO SEE HARD FOULS

I WANT TO SEE GUYS ATTACKING THE BASKET.

I WANT TO SEE TRASH-TALKING

I WANT TO SEE FIRE, PASSION, EMOTION, INTENSITY, AND A DAMN WIN TONIGHT AT PHILIPS

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
2:14 pm

LARRY DREW’S GAME 2 AND GAME 5 COACHING:

GAME 2: LEFT HORFORD ON BENCH WITH 2 FOULS. HE FINISHED WITH 2 FOULS

GAME 5: TOOK OUT HINRICH AT 5 MINUTE MARK (HORFORD THEN TOO I BELIEVE). NEITHER WAS IN FOUL TROUBLE

LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FLOOR TONIGHT. WHO CARES IF A GUY IS IN FOUL TROUBLE?

PLAYERS NEVER FOUL OUT OF GAMES (VERY SELDOMLY) UNLESS THEY’VE PLAYED MAJOR MINUTES OR HAVE BEEN MAD EFFECTIVE

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
2:15 pm

PLAY DAMIEN TONIGHT OVER MARVIN

DON’T PLAY MARVIN “GET STRIPPED IN POST BY 6″0 JAMEER NELSON” WILLIAMS

DAMIEN WON’T MAKE 1 MISTAKE ON THE FLOOR, MAY GET A LAYUP OR 2, AND WILL SHUT HIS MAN DOWN

MARVIN LITERALLY HAS DONE NOTHING THIS SERIES

HE HAD THAT 1 STEAL IN GAME 1

THAT’S IT

Pedro el gitano

April 28th, 2011
2:22 pm

Enter your comments here Escriba su comentario aquí

oldmike

April 28th, 2011
2:23 pm

@Section 303. Reading your post makes me almost sad. Because you are investing hard earned money in this team. My investment is just time in front of the TV and the occasional game. For you to be so down on their prospects is testimony to how much good will this core has wasted over the past 2 years. And what a horrible job the ownership group has done protecting and growing their investment. I also feel that they will get embarassed again the next 2 games. My son calls me a fair weather fan. I think I am a realist. This team has laid down so many times it becomes almost second nature. I’d like to be proven wrong but the bottom line is this is a very flawed core with little or no upside. Unless they can win a title this year there’s little hope for the future. UGH!!!!

Easy Win

April 28th, 2011
2:53 pm

No worries—Atl wins this game easy. They were just flat and overconfident in game 5. Orlando’s soft and only has 1 good player. Mark it down—the hawks win by 15 plus.

JOEY1

April 28th, 2011
2:57 pm

come on guys,

i know we just got beat up but did we expect to win in a do or die situation against orlando on their home floor???
the difference was they hit shots and we did not …..it simple they hit 7 more 3 pointes than us thats enough to put us in a very close game.
hawks will win at home thursday in a tough game bc they know if they lose they will not win in game 7 in orlando.
i think with howard on the floor that slows down their offense, if hes in the game they dont shoot as many 3 pointers we cover them better bc of ono on one coverage of howard.

i said before the series hawks win in 6 and they will close it out in front of a spectacular crowd..
so guys lets show up to phillips arena a cheer on our hawks to win, bc we are the sixth man

BBIB

April 28th, 2011
2:58 pm

I think the guys will leave it all out on the floor tonight.

Prepare for the ultimate DWIGHT OUT. Take Dwight out of the playoffs and out of Orlando.

Section 303

April 28th, 2011
3:03 pm

old mike, I hate being a downer. But, Game 5 just p#ssed me off. Like you said, we’ve seen this team fold/quit too often. I thought they were past doing that. They aren’t.

I can live with losing….can’t live with not playing hard.

Hawks owe us on tonight. They can put that in their f’ing lockers. THEY OWE US ONE TONIGHT!

Buck

April 28th, 2011
3:08 pm

@JOEY1…U are correct sir. The problem is that it should not be a contest of who hits the long shots. I think Orlando was pretty good at that during the regular season, and it is the easiest chance they have of winning. If the Hawks play ANY OTHER type of ball but shoot-em-up they have the clear advantage. But when they see the other team making 3’s, they are fatally attracted to it.

papason100

April 28th, 2011
3:09 pm

Horford needs to dominate like a 4/5 is susposed to. His jumper is great but shouldnt be his first option..

papason100

April 28th, 2011
3:14 pm

Kenny smith the otheer nite said it best, u can win by the humpshot but u dont have to die by it.. If it isnt fallin go inside or do something else instead of just keep firing away

J from the A

April 28th, 2011
3:17 pm

Hordford’s midrange jumper is the 2nd most effective midrange jumper in the league, and people are saying that his midrange jumper shouldn’t be his first option? I don’t get it. Yes, Horford needs to play more aggressively. Yes, he needs to not be afraid to bang inside. But that mid-range jumper is his bread and butter. He should have the green light to light it up.

papason100

April 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

I agree that his mid range is butter for sure but who do we have that plays inside? At least make Smoove take it to the baset if your gonna have horford shooting jumpers..

J from the A

April 28th, 2011
3:23 pm

OK. I see your point now. The Hawks do need to be more balanced with more inside play (and not just jumpers).

Josh should be bullying Hedo. Hopefully, he can get the ball on the block.
Our guards are bigger. They can run some post ups.
Horford needs to be willing to drive, but he needs to focus on what he is good at: The spot-up mid-range jumper.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:26 pm

J from the A,

Give me a break. Horford has been softer than toilet tissue lately. He has absolutely no post game at all (shoots fadeaways against that stiff Ryan Anderson) and is terrified of guarding Dwight.

Luckily for him, there’s no other centers in the East with Joakim’s injuries

Reddjonn68

April 28th, 2011
3:27 pm

This is just an observation from a serious point of view, if Chris Bosh & KG are both considered excellent outside shooting PFs yet they only take the 15 to 18 footer around the elbow of the lane….WTF is Josh Smith doing shooting 3-pointers & jumpers from everywhere when he is shooting only .500 from the d*mn free throw line with no one in his face. Larry Drew if you don’t take the ball out of J-Smoove hands & get his butt on the blocks where he belongs, you may be looking for work next year!

J from the A

April 28th, 2011
3:28 pm

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:26 pm

“J from the A,

Give me a break. Horford has been softer than toilet tissue lately. He has absolutely no post game at all (shoots fadeaways against that stiff Ryan Anderson) and is terrified of guarding Dwight.

Luckily for him, there’s no other centers in the East with Joakim’s injuries”

@JeJe: I didn’t say anything that disagreed with anything you just said.
Actually, perhaps what I said actually agreed with what you just said.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:32 pm

J,

I agree he has a nice midrange. But HE CANNOT SETTLE ALL THE TIME AND USE IT EXCLUSIVELY ON OFFENSE.

Horford needs to put on about 10 more pounds and take a hint or 2 from Carlos Boozer on how to play offensively

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

Losing the other night didn’t piss me off.

What pissed me off:

1) Joe did absolutely nothing on Gimpy Arenas
2) Josh did not take advantage of his mathcup

3) everything

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

Every time I see or think of Joe’s “I shouldn’t take all the blame” quote I get pissed. he obviously will never come close to being a superstar.

5 f’ing points in an elimination game for Orlando

Gurn Blanston

April 28th, 2011
3:35 pm

I don’t think your link “gave him some typically-candid and colorful feedback” goes where you intended.

J from the A

April 28th, 2011
3:37 pm

To recap: Al’s offensive strength is his mid-range jumper. He has a miserable post game. He cannot guard guys that are bigger and stronger than him. He often has trouble dealing with guys his own size. Lately he has been playing extremely tentative lately.

JeJe

April 28th, 2011
3:32 pm

“J,

I agree he has a nice midrange. But HE CANNOT SETTLE ALL THE TIME AND USE IT EXCLUSIVELY ON OFFENSE.

Horford needs to put on about 10 more pounds and take a hint or 2 from Carlos Boozer on how to play offensively”

Problem is Al is not going to put on 10 more pounds by tip off tonight. He is not going to develop a mean post up game by tip off tonight. However, maybe, just maybe, he can play a little less soft. Maybe he can find it in his heart to battle the Magic’s big men (sic). Maybe he can play a little less timid, tentative tonight. Hopefully, he will do all these things. We need him to show up.

Slimjr

April 28th, 2011
3:40 pm

Hawks by 13 tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slimjr

April 28th, 2011
3:43 pm

I am going to give Al a rest..It is what it is…..He cant carry this team…..enough said…………