Atlanta Hawks: Would they be hopeless without Hinrich? (Update: Hinrich doubtful for series)

7:30 p.m. UPDATE: Hawks say Kirk Hinrich is doubtful to play in series vs. Bulls because of “significant strain” to hamstring.

Kirk Hinrich had an MRI this afternoon. The Hawks haven’t released the results yet but say they expect to announce something today. I’m told it didn’t look good for Hinrich last night but there was more optimism today because he was moving better.

If Hinrich can’t play or is very limited, the Hawks are in serious trouble against the Bulls. I’m assuming they can’t suddenly change their offensive habits to the point where they can score efficiently against the league’s best D. They need Hinrich for scoring, too, because if you are going to be a jump-shooting team it’s best to send out as many jump shooters as possible, especially one capable of getting his own.

So it seems Atlanta’s best chance in this series is to play rugged defense and pull out some grinding games. They did that against the Magic but the Dwight Defense is null against Chicago, which plays through D-Rose instead of the post. Among Atlanta’s guards, Hinrich is their best chance to slow D-Rose–if not by staying in front of him, then by going under screens and then recovering to challenge his (so-so) jump shot. As Hinrich showed during the Orlando series, he’s pretty good at that.

Hinrich’s availability is so crucial, in fact, that L.D. and his staff couldn’t really make a lot of decisions on their game plans today because they didn’t know if they’d have Hinrich.

“It certainly changes things,” Drew said. “Hopefully he will be able to go but if he’s not we will have to make an adjustment. Not knowing what we will do at that point, we will talk about it as a staff and then make a decision. We are looking at matchups to see what will work best for us and not really knowing if Kirk can go, can’t go, play some or can’t play at all—a lot of that will change things.”

If Hinrich can’t play or is ineffective, the other options to defend Rose are Teague, J.J., Jamal, and Damien.

L.D. hasn’t put much trust in Teague all season and now would be asking him to guard the best offensive point guard in the league.

“We’ve been talking to Teague already, getting his mind prepared,” Jamal said. “He understands the challenge at hand. I think he’s prepared himself for the opportunity. I think he got a little down when he was not paying as much. Sometimes things work out in strange ways. Now he gets his change to play.”

J.J. doesn’t like checking points and has proven to be effective at it only in small stretches. Plus the Hawks are going to need all the points they can get and tasking J.J. with chasing Rose through screens and also carrying his usual offensive burden is a lot to ask.

“I am sure through course of the series he will spend time on [Rose],” Drew said. “There is a high probability a few guys will see time on him. [The Bulls] put you in a situation where they do force you to switch. Joe has guarded point guards before; he’s comfortable defending point guards. Hopefully it won’t be much. I’d like to keep him off of him.”

Damien generally has fared better against opponents he can body up rather than those who require quick feet. Jamal had his moments playing acceptable team defense against the Magic but clearly this is not an assignment for him.

The pick-and-roll alignment the Hawks used against Jameer and the Magic probably doesn’t make sense. Noah isn’t a big threat on the roll–he’s scored 1.09 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports Technology, but only had 61 attempts. Rose is generally less concerned with kicking out to 3-point shooters than with getting to the basket for scores (he was third among point guards in field-goals per game at the rim with 3.8 and averaged five against the Hawks) or drawing fouls (.35 free-throw rate overall, .32 against the Hawks).

And, anyway, Rose has been much more efficient scoring in isolation (1.09 points per possession, ranked No. 4 in the league) than on screen-rolls (.87 ppp, ranked 45th). It could get ugly for the Hawks if the Bulls clear out for Rose and an Atlanta guard is forced to defend him in space.

There’s some sentiment in the Hawks’ locker room to play a zone against the Bulls. Good luck keeping the Bulls off the glass with that strategy. They were the fourth-best offensive rebounding team this season and they hammered the Hawks on the board in all three meetings this season.

“We have to come up with a game plan to try to slow down the potential MVP,” L.D. said. “It won’t be an easy job; it’s going to be tough. He’s seen probably every conceivable defense there is. One guy won’t do it. It will take a total team effort.”

True, but that effort would appear to be doomed without Hinrich.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

425 comments Add your comment

Stuart

April 29th, 2011
4:48 pm

will

April 29th, 2011
4:51 pm

time for Teague to put on his big boy pants and play some D.

Stuart

April 29th, 2011
4:52 pm

Even if Hinrich is OK, the Hawks will still need Teague to step up. I am not sure why Drew has not used Teague more often. Teague is just as quick as Rose, but he does turn the ball over more and doesn’t play consistent D… but it’s good enough. But how can Teague get any on the job training and learn from such mistakes if he never plays? That is what the regular season is for, and Drew decided to play JJ and Jamal extended minutes instead. The Hawks (coaches) never seem to fully utilize the team’s talents.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
4:53 pm

FREE JEFF TEAGUE

Jerry West

April 29th, 2011
4:54 pm

TEEEEEEEEEEAGUE!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
4:58 pm

“Jamal had his moments playing acceptable team defense against the Magic but clearly this is not an assignment for him. ”

I seem to recall the Bulls blowing the 2nd regular season matchup wide open in the 3rd quarter in large part because Jamal was playing point guard matched up on Rose and did absolutely nothing to slow him down. Something tells me this isn’t going to stop LD from continuing to roll with Jamal at PG for extended stretches in this series.

I have no problem with playing Jamal for extensive minutes in this series, particularly if he’s hitting and the big guys are having trouble scoring, but it’s gotta be at the 2, not at the 1. Jamal on Rose is a recipe for disaster.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
5:03 pm

“There’s some sentiment in the Hawks’ locker room to play a zone against the Bulls.”

A zone may not be a bad idea for stretches at a time. I think a better idea, though, is one I saw a team use against Chicago earlier this year in a game I saw on WGN (I forget the opponent; maybe the Bucks?) In that game, the opposing point guard was checking Rose man to man, but they used Keith Bogans’ man as a sort of shadow to follow Rose around and disrupt his passing lanes. It wasn’t a true double team since the object wasn’t necessarily to get the ball out of Rose’s hands, just to get in his passing lanes and make him think twice about swinging the ball to the open guy, but it was pretty effective from what I saw. Of course this requires that the Hawks recover when Rose does eventually pass the ball, but that may be something the Hawks could try, particularly with Smoove whose strength is help defense.

yodaddy

April 29th, 2011
5:05 pm

Without Hinrich it is over….hate to be the bearer of bad news

Sautee

April 29th, 2011
5:07 pm

“Jamal on Rose is a recipe for disaster.”

True dat.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
5:09 pm

Also, the Hawks would be smart to knock Rose down on his first trip into the lane in Game 1. Put Zaza in and let him take the flagrant if necessary.

Michael Cunningham

April 29th, 2011
5:11 pm

@ Najeh: “I seem to recall the Bulls blowing the 2nd regular season matchup wide open in the 3rd quarter in large part because Jamal was playing point guard matched up on Rose and did absolutely nothing to slow him down. Something tells me this isn’t going to stop LD from continuing to roll with Jamal at PG for extended stretches in this series.”

yes, Hinrich went to the bench with foul trouble and Rose went off on Jamal. the Hawks also tried a few possessions of zone but that didn’t go well, either. after the game Drew said he didn’t use Teague because dribble penetration was less an issue than the Hawks not being physical with Rose when he went to the basket.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
5:12 pm

For whatever it’s worth, only one ESPN analyst is predicting a Bulls sweep. Everyone else has the Hawks winning at least one game. None of them pick the Hawks to win the series, but still, for this team even that is a sign of respect. Maybe.

bigdave

April 29th, 2011
5:14 pm

JEFF TEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGUE!

i think Jeff is capable of defending Rose. in fact, it appeared that Rose attacked more when Kirk was on him. Jeff applied pressure to the ball and Rose passed the rock.

limit Joe Johnson on Rose.. please. dont need the fouls leading to limited mins. dont need the tired legs leading to lack of effort. id much rather have him limit Deng’s production.

make them make contested shots. Bulls arent invincible.

JeJe

April 29th, 2011
5:16 pm

ASG is probably happy about the injury. Now they can claim we lost in round 2 because of injury and can keep the core next year

*yawn*

bigdave

April 29th, 2011
5:17 pm

“the Hawks not being physical with Rose when he went to the basket.”

the Pacers front court hammered Rose and didnt care. Hawks cant play w/ out intensity and grit and expect to win.

darrell starks

April 29th, 2011
5:25 pm

MC if hinrich is hurt teague must starte point blank period, like i have said the only way the hawks are going have success is to starte TEAGUE, COLLINS thru out the playoffs, it’ balance the team out and make the hawks a better team, NO LD CAN BE THAT DUM AND GO BACK TO THE TRADITIONAL LINE UP.
HINRICH, JOE, MARVIN, JOSH, HORFORD this lineup will loose in four by a margine, marvin is a better player coming of the bench so starting is a default.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2011
5:28 pm

Damn. Amare Stoudemire stealing one of the Hawks’ formerly most loyal celebrity courtside fans. Oh well. Al Horford will always remember the good times.

ntrigue

April 29th, 2011
5:28 pm

Teague needs to be utilized on order for us to have a chance to win! He is really the only person that can guard Rose besides Kirk, And he also has the ability to drive the baskets and create shots for everyone else. But im not going to get excited because I know Drew is not going to play Teague if he does only at the end of the qtr when Rose is on the bench. He will have Jamal and Joe checking him watch. For whatever reason he wont play Teague or give a good reason as to why hes not playing. MC sense you cant get a good aswer from Drew you need to ask Sund how he feels about Teague getting no playing time.

MB in SC

April 29th, 2011
5:29 pm

Great coverage so far in the playoffs, MC. Nothing to add, just want to say thanks.

darrell starks

April 29th, 2011
5:32 pm

Collins is the reason why your defense look good, his big body in the paint make the hawks more physical and tough, coach LD have stay with the big line up as you can see the hawks are better on the board with collins, with out collins hawks get dominated in side the paint and on the board, collins must continue to starte along with teague.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roddy

April 29th, 2011
5:32 pm

Is Kirk Hinrich playing or NOT? This article just confused the he ll out of me.
“We’ve been talking to Teague already, getting his mind prepared,” Jamal said. “He understands the challenge at hand. I think he’s prepared himself for the opportunity. I think he got a little down when he was not paying as much. Sometimes things work out in strange ways. Now he gets his change to play.”
“It certainly changes things,” Drew said. “Hopefully he will be able to go but if he’s not we will have to make an adjustment. Not knowing what we will do at that point, we will talk about it as a staff and then make a decision.

Buddy Grizzard

April 29th, 2011
5:34 pm

Teague gets his shot on the biggest possible stage. Las Vegas Larry has nobody else that can come close to staying in front of him. This is actually good for the Hawks in the long run because our point guard of the future gets to gain some playoff experience.

darrell starks

April 29th, 2011
5:36 pm

Stay with the big line up and starte TEAGUE, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, COLLINS, the hawks win this series.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandad

April 29th, 2011
5:36 pm

Triangle & two, match-up zone or sagging man.
The triangle focuses on the Bigs + Box-outs.
The two = one man tight on Rose,
while the 2nd shadows (sagging off his man so much)
*that he can [trap, run & jump, fake trap, help, hedge, etc].
** Yes this leaves the [2] guard somewhat open and
we would be vulnerable.
But you have to give something to get something.
Would you rather take your chances against Rose or;
Korver, Brewer, or that other guy.
My point is;
if you can’t even think of his name…let him try & beat you.

Mike is back wanted some X’s & O’s and I’m happy to oblige.

WindyCity Winner

April 29th, 2011
5:36 pm

I believe that the Bulls will have a god series against the Hawks. I dont expect the Hawks to lay down but I do feel that cohesion is their primary issue. isolation does not work against the Bulls and defensively we match up across the board. Bogans can play Joe and Deng was considered a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. Boozer I believe will see a better series and Noah can matchup against any Big Atlanta has. I have the Bulls winning in 6!

Buddy Grizzard

April 29th, 2011
5:38 pm

“Drew said he didn’t use Teague because dribble penetration was less an issue than the Hawks not being physical with Rose when he went to the basket.”

Welcome to the conference semi’s Las Vegas Larry! I don’t think even you will be able to stomach making such absurd comments to the national media you will be giving postgame interviews to.

Buddy Grizzard

April 29th, 2011
5:41 pm

Be prepared for more “I never lost faith in Teague” speeches.

Slimjr

April 29th, 2011
5:50 pm

Hawks did get blown out in all three games vs Chicago this season..But why were they able to come back twice in the 1st match up and not the 2nd or 3rd? Allstar Al and JC1 may have had some significant impact in all 3 out comes this season?

Can the Hawks grab a lead and maintain it?

Homework for the coaching staff?

This observation I do agree with Najeh. Allstar AL, you must go quicker in the post! He who hesitates is lost.Sir you look lost at times down there……………..Trust your gut…You got it big guy!

Thanks drmaryb!!! I got lucky last night with my prediction……LOL……

And yes winning game 1 about 78+ %, and winning game 3 about 72+% will win the series in a 7 game format…. Larry has to make sure he’s not down by 15 midway through the 2nd quarter, why not be up 5-10 pts??

northcyde

April 29th, 2011
5:52 pm

It’s funny how the only ESPN analyst who picked the Bulls to sweep us, is the same analyst that is based in Atlanta and watches us more than any of those other guys . . John Hollinger.

Then again . . at one time, Hollinger thought that the loss of Josh Childress would make us the worst team in the East going into the 2007 – 08 season, because Chill’s PER was so good.

Slimjr

April 29th, 2011
5:56 pm

We should have took DENG or Andre at #6 over Childress!! ……Your ego got the best of you Billy Knight..Mr. know it all?? Huh???

Buddy Grizzard

April 29th, 2011
6:15 pm

Now phx can’t give away chills contract… I was wrong to criticize sund for giving him away

The Real Mandingo

April 29th, 2011
6:23 pm

Part of the reason the Hawks underachieved in the regular season this year was due to LD’s constant lineup changes and erratic substitution pattern. Since some of the reserves couldn’t get accustomed to routine playing time, this threw a lot of bench players off their rythmn and game. Outside of the Kirk Hinrich injury issue, LD should stick with the same starting lineup he used against the Magic. I’m suspect about Jeff Teague. I hope I’m wrong but I think he will probably be very nervous playing against the Bulls in Chicago. After all, he didn’t see much playing time against the Magic. In the beginning, unfortunately, I see JT creating turnovers, making bad passes, taking bad shots and committing imprudent fouls.

Message to LD: If Kirk Hinrich is out with injury and you choose to start Jeff Teague over Jamal Crawford, don’t hesitate to substitute Crawford for Teague especially if Teague begins to play with reckless abandon.

superiorblogman

April 29th, 2011
6:24 pm

I hope Teague goes out there and intentionally turns the ball over 10 x’s a game and goes 0-50 this series if Larry Drew only plays him because he feels he is forced to play him. That’s total disrespect, like when someone tells you that they would not mess with you if you were the last person on earth.

The Truth

April 29th, 2011
6:24 pm

“Jamal on Rose is a recipe for disaster.”

I think the recipe for disaster happens if LD subliminally demonstrates a loss in confidence in Teague before the series get started. Given Hinrich injury, if he doesn’t embrace Teague as a key element to his game plan equation, Teague might play timid. Teague needs a vote of confidence from his teammates and coach to play his game. To do what he does best with an expectation of success. In the recent past, when LD had no choice but to play Teague, Teague delivered. Given Rose quickness, Teague might exactly be a better matchup in our favor with extended minutes. Rose had his way KH in previous games as if he knew his tendencies. Teague, on the other hand, is still unknown to him. Teague defensive highlights should raise his flag.

glw

April 29th, 2011
6:32 pm

Along with Teague, Joe, Damien, how about trying Pape Sy on him. Pape is 6′5 or so, it cant hurt, anybody but Jamal.

RealSquawk

April 29th, 2011
6:35 pm

Lets talk about matchups and lets talk about story lines. Match up wise if we use our bench we can cause a lot of problems for the Bulls. Horford and Zaza can outwork Noah, but it won’t be easy. The 4 is a little tricky because Boozer was nullified against Indiana and I don’t know why, but I think it can definitely be recreated with a mix of Josh and Marvin. I personally Marvin can match up well with Boozer and really trouble him. The three is another task for Marvin and Damien I feel they can keep Deng really busy. No question we have the edge at shooting guard we just need Jamal and Joe to make the right decisions. At the one well yeah Rose has it whether Hinrich plays or not.

I think the story line is simple Larry Drew trusted his Jason Collins and the team relatively stuck with his game plan. In this upcoming series DREW NEEDS TO TRUST TEAGUE. Teague has already shown he can compete and play at a high level and he has the speed to keep up with Rose. I am not saying start him, but I think he should be getting major minutes against Rose and Crawford should never be in that position.

ignition

April 29th, 2011
6:36 pm

I don’t see it… Hinrich got DESTROYED by D Rose last game straight up got taken to the woodsheed.. How is it now that we need Hinrich???? I hope Hinrich is OK but he is way to slow to stop Rose in any way.. Teague was the best option before and is an even better option now.. This doesn’t mean that we don’t need Hinrich we need everyone to play help D to slow him down..

ag

April 29th, 2011
6:42 pm

For those on KH, in three games vs Bulls 5-16 fg 3-7 3pt 1-3 ft total 14 points or less than 5 ppg in 29 minutes. Rose went for 34 and 30 the last two meetings.

Teague 7-12 fg 4-5 3pt 4-4 ft 22points or 7 ppg in 29 minutes or less than 10 minutes per game.

Teague had one to, KH 4

START JEFF TEAGUE

The Game Has Changed

April 29th, 2011
7:03 pm

You guys are killing me. Rose is not Magic, Jordan, or Kobe. Give me a break. Its seem like yall are saying he is going to score 60 ppg and dish out 20 ast. This is the same reason we lost to Orlando last year. People were saying what we needed to do to stop Howard and didnt realize there were other players on the team. Let us all relax. We cant allow Boozier, Deng, and Korver to have their way. Just like last year we let R. Lewis, JJ, and V. Carter have their way. Have the bigs make Rose pay when he drives. And stay on the shooters. They are not creatures. If he take jumpers, then thats fine. You cant stop both but dont allow him to drive and kick or worse drive and score and get fouled. Have a lil faith people. Also, Teague is not ready for the big lights. Sorry

ag

April 29th, 2011
7:05 pm

superiorblogman I beg to differ. If JT plays well, it will continue to show how much of an idiot he is. Remember, one of JT’s best game of the year came against Chi-Town – although in garbage time. He did play against D-Rose, and I believe Rose was 1-5 with Teague checking him

ag

April 29th, 2011
7:14 pm

Teague will show up big….like I have said ALL SEASON

START JEFF TEAGUE
FIRE WOODY-LITE

Irony, if Teague plays well and we advance, Woody-Lite will be the most loved person in this city. To get the Hawks to the ECF. He may even get a Paul Hewitt type of contract.

delo

April 29th, 2011
7:16 pm

the person guarding derek rose need to make him work for everything he gets. make him work to receive the ball, make him work to dribble the ball, attack him at half court and get the ball out of his hands. i’ve seen other teams start to back up just as soon as he crosses half court and let him do what he wants. don’t back up attack him. stay on his right arm and make him go to his left. make him a left handed player and he wont be as effective. make him pass with left hand just stay on his right side. if he shoots he’s still got to bring the ball to his right hand stay on his right hand

SteveW

April 29th, 2011
7:23 pm

We can debate all day about why LD will not play Jeff Teague. But none of knows the reason for sure.

But we can say based on prior experience that LD will either not play Jeff, or he will put him a situation to fail. End of story.

Jeff Teague displayed endlessly during the regular season that he plays well with the athleticism of our starters.

That he can defend on a near elite level. Check the Denver, Portland games etc.

That he does have an outside shot, just no set shot.

That he can penetrate the lane

That he has no floater really as of yet

And LD has shown that he hates Jeff Teague for whatever reason. To the point of costing us JC2, a first pick, and maybe this series because of an irrational desire to not play Jeff Teague by all appearances.

I root for Jeff Teague, because I’ve seen Coach’s before that just have it in for a guy. And that’s why I root for Jeff, because that’s the way it looks from here.

But why does he have it in for Jeff, that is only speculation on all of our part.

The Game Has Changed

April 29th, 2011
7:26 pm

@Delo-Thats middle school coaching playboy. You concentrate on his right he will make you his school girl. Play off him and force him to drive or either pull up. No shooter likes to just stand on the perimeter possesion after possesion. It takes them out of thier rhythm. I know, I was a shooting guard. He wants to get everyone involved. Lets take that away from him. Bogans, Brewer. and Deng are not creatives and will not want to put the ball on the floor. Rose dribble enough for everyone

SteveW

April 29th, 2011
7:26 pm

And I did write on this blog before the playoffs began that LD may pay for the Jeff Teague issue, because Kirk Hinrich is oft injured, and LD may need him in the playoffs.

I don’t think LD will play Jeff over 2 or 3 minutes even if Kirk is out. He will just go with Jamal and JJ at the Point and be done with it.

SteveW

April 29th, 2011
7:30 pm

Jeff Teague was not a turnover machine by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t remember the last time he had over 2 TO’s in a game, even when he played fairly regularly.

Worldwide Clyde

April 29th, 2011
7:30 pm

Injuries are apart of the game. That’s why you need to have your reserves ready in case of an injury.

With Hinrich out I’m sticking by my prediction Hawks in 7. I think Teague is capable of filling in for Hinrich and he will do a good job. When we did not have Hinrich and started Teague the Hawks did ok. We went 2-2 but in those games we lost we did not get blown and the games we had a chance to win late.

To those that are saying we don’t have a chance yall are no better than Nique. Teague needs our support and its pretty dam bad when your “vice president of basketball operations” don’t believe in you. Everytime Teague has played heavy minutes he has proven himself to be a quality NBA point guard.

FIRE SUND

Greg

April 29th, 2011
7:31 pm

If Teague hasn’t done crap since he got drafted, how the hell do some of you people figure he’s going to now magically grow up and challenge Derrick Rose…in the playoffs, no less. Hilarious. As sorry as he has been, Marvin was a great draft pick compared to Teague.

SteveW

April 29th, 2011
7:33 pm

Remember also, LD wouldn’t play Teague against Bibby in that game after the trade, probably because he didn’t want Teague showing what an idiot he had been.

And make no mistake, besides the Collins lineup change, we won the Orlando series in spite of LD, not because of LD.

Sorry I’m being harsh on LD, but it’s just the facts.

And unless we do something extraordinary the rest of the playoffs, and get a ton of confidence for next season, we will be a 7th seed at best next season I think if LD returns as Coach, but with a distinct possibility of being a lottery team.

He’s been that bad this season. Historic losses. All time bad losses.

Worldwide Clyde

April 29th, 2011
7:34 pm

I say start

Pg – Teague
Sg – JJ
sf – Smoove
pf – Horford
c – Collins