Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 103, Bulls 95

Chicago–It’s not hard to figure out why lots of people don’t like the Hawks.

  • The numbers guys disdain them because they don’t compute on some things they hold sacred, like victory margins and inefficient shot selection. Old school fans don’t like the Hawks because of the way they’ve dogged it at times. Those who like their offense fluid scoff at Iso-Joe.
  • I’ve been as hard on the Hawks as anyone. They deserved the scrutiny with so many home beatdowns. They don’t play to their strengths often enough. Some of L.D.’s ’s tics are hard to figure, like the two-foul rule and the banishment of Teague and Zaza to the end of the bench.
  • But, at some point, don’t the Hawks deserve some credit? If one of the knocks against them was that they too often lie down, then why don’t they seem to be getting any Ps now that they keep rising up?
  • “People talk about Boston, Miami, Orlando and Chicago in the East and nobody talks about the Hawks,” Jamal said. ” We kind of like it that way. We don’t get the glory. We just come out and try to win.”
  • Truth is, the Hawks didn’t give anyone much good to talk about until they flipped that switch in Game 1 at Orlando. They’ve won 5 of 7 playoff games since then, though, and yet it seems people still don’t know what to make of the Hawks.
  • “If you looked at us in the regular season, we are a roller coaster,” Al said. “We come out and play great, the other game we get blown out by 50, and so people are saying, ‘Same Hawks again.’ And I can understand that. But I think the guys have come to realize we have an opportunity to do something special. We are just embracing our chance to still be in the playoffs.”
  • After the game, the questions for the Hawks from Chicago media types were along the lines of: “Now that you’ve got the Bulls’ attention, how do you expect them to react?”
  • I would have thought the Hawks beating the Magic in six would get Chicago’s attention even with Hinrich out. And if it didn’t what does that say about the Bulls, who had an excellent regular season but have proven even less than the Hawks in the playoffs?
  • The Hawks scored 103 points on 89 possessions against the best defensive team in the league. That’s with Al scoring just seven points on seven shots and Josh skewing the numbers with an assortment of poor shots (but making a key jumper and getting a key block late).
  • The Hawks shot just below their average on long 2-point jump shots but got more baskets from 15 feet and closer.
  • “We did a much better job in our shot selections,” L.D. said. “We had some moments where we started playing too much isolation basketball and it gets us in a bit of trouble but we played out of it.”
  • Teague was thrust into what looked like an impossible situation and flourished. He’s almost as quick as D-Rose, might be even more athletic and showed no fear.
  • “Jeff was absolutely phenomenal,” L.D. said. “He played like a seasoned vet. His aggression, his attack state, his ability get into the paint–he played like a kid who has been playing a lot of minutes for me. He really stepped up big with the assignment he had and having to deal with the pressure of being in the playoffs.”
  • Teague’s speed makes Atlanta’s half-court sets more dynamic. He turns the corner so fast he demands a hedge from the big and tonight he was good at threading the traps with his passes.
  • Teague also looked for his own shot and was much more assertive with the floaters and runners. “I think that’s how I play,” he said. “L.D. came to me and told me to play my game and don’t just focus on guarding him. Make him guard, too.”
  • “On the offensive end, not being shy, not being timid and just playing the way I know he is capable of playing,” L.D. said. “I told him, ‘I want you to play like Jeff Teague.’ I don’t want you to bow down to anyone you are playing with, I don’t want you to bow down to your teammates. You are just as important.”
  • D-Rose was strangely passive at times. Perhaps he was trying to get his teammates involved but have you seen some of those teammates try to score?
  • Rose was 4 for 9 at the basket, 7 for 18 from 3 feet and out and didn’t attempt a free throw.
  • “The game plan was to just try to contain him,” Drew said. “We didn’t want to trap him off the bat to open things up. I think my big guys did a really good job at showing out on the screens. Our guards were good as well at corralling.”
  • Al and Josh were strong on the boards and with protecting the rim and combined for eight assists against just one turnover. That’s a testament to Atlanta’s sharp ball movement through its big men.
  • Zaza, Damien and Twin didn’t play much but made their minutes count.
  • Damien was energetic and had a couple steals and baskets. Twin helped the Hawks get through foul trouble with five rebounds and two made jumpers.
  • Zaza had some garbage buckets around the basket to keep the Hawks afloat in the second half and finished with five rebounds.
  • “We were kind of dead in the water,” L.D. said. “He got his hands on a couple balls around the basket. They were a couple busted plays but the ball was in his hands and he laid them in. Zaza is my energy guy. I need his physicality. He’s a banger and when he plays like that it just makes us a better ball club.”
  • I know what you are thinking: The Hawks tried to trade Zaza and Teague was buried on the bench behind Bibby. Better late then never, I guess.
  • The same thing can be said for all of the Hawks.
  • “We came together before the Charlotte game,” Smoove said. “We had a team dinner and we was talking amongst ourselves about how talented this ball club is and what we are capable of doing. We understood and knew the focus that we had to have to go into the postseason. Guys are playing all out for each other. We are playing with nothing to lose.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

317 comments Add your comment

Grandad

May 3rd, 2011
1:14 am

Grandad 12:45 am

Zaza has become a better interior defender than Josh.
Josh’s block’s are down, and he’s still a good perimeter defender,
but when he tried to guard Boozer, he got his back-side whupped.
*[don't anyone say...it's affected by where he plays on offense]
*(where one plays on offense has no effect on whom you guard)

Back to Zaza – he is more physical than Josh.
[who has turned into a finesse (sissy) player]
Zaza and / or Collins give us a true Big.
One or the other needs to be on the floor;
- guarding Boozer – in this series.

When Josh is on the bench – he cannot take bad shots.

K.W.

May 3rd, 2011
1:16 am

Nice win Hawks!

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
1:16 am

FREE JEFF TEAGUE

EAT A DICK JOHN HOLLINGER

Alex

May 3rd, 2011
1:17 am

Great stuff. Keep it going Hawks!

Grandad

May 3rd, 2011
1:18 am

Could it be…was I actually…naw…never…but I wuz.

” still awake ”

Yawl thought I was gonna’ say 1st, didn’t you ?

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
1:23 am

Hoopdata needs to get their sh-t together. It’s nice to finally see a box score count “charges taken” as a stat, but once again Collins takes a charge and isn’t credited by them.

Mike W

May 3rd, 2011
1:23 am

LOL CO SIGN NAJEH

JeJe

May 3rd, 2011
1:24 am

START DAMIEN OVER MARVIN

AND TELL JOSH TO GET A BBALL IQ

DO THAT AND WE SWEEP THIS TEAM

JeJe

May 3rd, 2011
1:25 am

COLLINS HAD 3 REBOUNDS IN 7 MINUTES

YAGA

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2011
1:25 am

Teague 45 minutes! Zaza 6 points and 5 rebounds in eight minutes.

jc_dawgs

May 3rd, 2011
1:27 am

The Hawks are a very dangerous and experienced playoff team. Guess the Bulls are going to find that out the hard way! Go Hawks!

Grandad

May 3rd, 2011
1:28 am

JeJe

Zaza
had 5 rebs in 8 min

Hawks vs Bulls

May 3rd, 2011
1:32 am

a physical, more experienced Pacers team probably could have won more games in their opening series against the Bulls. They are, however, not anyone of those…. the Hawks are though …. the Hawks won game 1 too.

Pacers did push the Bulls, made em work but couldn’t knock em out. If the Hawks play smart, they can knock em out … dare I say if they win game 2 ….. they’ll sweep? Long shot? Sure but stranger things have happened and this IS the Hawks we’re talking about

Rusty

May 3rd, 2011
1:36 am

JT my favorite player, a man who is super quick & likes to drive to the hoop rather than take jumpshots & plays great defense, just what the team needs.

JeJe

May 3rd, 2011
1:40 am

Damn, LD’s in-huddle comments are very encouraging

FIRE LD

ignition

May 3rd, 2011
1:41 am

Need to play Za Za more on Boozer perhaps .. I think Noah is to quick for Za Za.

Worldwide Clyde

May 3rd, 2011
1:44 am

Free Teague

I miss Jordan Crawford

Worldwide Clyde

May 3rd, 2011
1:45 am

Its sad that Drew was forced into playing Teague.

Worldwide Clyde

May 3rd, 2011
1:48 am

They put the brooms back in the pantry. Tell them folks at ESPN they better recognize game.

JeJe

May 3rd, 2011
1:49 am

“JeJe

Zaza
had 5 rebs in 8 min”

northcyde always rags on Collins for not rebounding. I’m proud of Twin

Need Joe to play close to this good EVERY night

RayBud

May 3rd, 2011
1:54 am

Great game Hawks!!! I’m glad to see Teague hold his on!!!! Let’s see if we can get a second game in Chicago!!!! Let’s go Hawks!!!

MsDee

May 3rd, 2011
2:02 am

Free at last, Free at last…THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, TEAGUE IS FREE AT LAST!!!!!

ATLinCHICAGO

May 3rd, 2011
2:03 am

Just saw Joe Johnson at a bar having a couple of drinks after the game with a bunch of friends… felt like telling him, “Great Game, but go home cause there is still 6 more games and the Bulls are not going to go down quietly…” but I am sure these NBA superstar knows whats best!?!?@!?

mykhalc

May 3rd, 2011
2:05 am

i feel the need to repeat myself…whaaaaa hhaaa haaappen to my AAU team????

Harry Hawk

May 3rd, 2011
2:07 am

After the game, the questions for the Hawks from Chicago media types were along the lines of: “Now that you’ve got the Bulls’ attention, how do you expect them to react?”

…I would have thought the Hawks beating the Magic in six would get Chicago’s attention even with Hinrich out. And if it didn’t what does that say about the Bulls, who had an excellent regular season but have proven even less than the Hawks in the playoffs?

I think the Chicago media types were just looking for a reason to explain why the Bulls came out flat. The Bulls didn’t look great against the Pacers, so they have to decide how good they want to be. The Hawks, for all that is made about their Jekyll and Hyde personality, have a considerable amount of playoff experience now. They are not going to lay down for a team that won’t put a death grip on them. The key to this series will be whether the Bulls can find that ability. If they can’t (and the jumpers keep falling for the Hawks), the Bulls will be left wondering what might have been.

Grandad

May 3rd, 2011
2:08 am

JeJe – oh, okay.

I had a running dialogue with nc about Collins boxing-out this wk.

BILLY KNIGHT

May 3rd, 2011
2:11 am

CONGRATULATIONS JEFF TEAGUE, you played very good tonight, keep up the good work young man.

Booo!

May 3rd, 2011
2:11 am

Freee The Teague!

Unleash the Beast!

Look at MC, giving JT all those complements :-P

I’d hate to se your blog write-up on JT if he had played poorly ha.

Go Hawks!

BILLY KNIGHT

May 3rd, 2011
2:14 am

I have call my homeboy and ask him why teague is not getting the burn he deserve, but now it’s teague time to show the world why he is future point guard for the hawks.

Worldwide Clyde

May 3rd, 2011
2:18 am

Falcons – First round exit

Braves – First round exit

Thrashers – Pre-Season exit

Hawks are the best team in Atlanta.

Fire Sund

Art Vandelay

May 3rd, 2011
2:19 am

Man, Teague is just great for this team.

If this is a jumpshooting team, then from a “gaming” perspective, we NEED a guy that can drive and dish like Teague for the mix-up game.

I don’t realize how LD just could not realize this sooner.

Kirk going down is definitely a blessing in disguise.

GO HAWKS

Grandad

May 3rd, 2011
2:32 am

The Bulls have played balls to the wall all season.

Then had a knock down drag out with Indy.

Those legs, might be seeming a bit heavy right about now.

Remember Wdsn used to wear the tread off Joe’s tires / 40 min a nite

The Celts always try & leave a little in the tank.

I’m out of metaphors.

One more;
at least Teaguer oughta’ be fresher than a nose hair after a sneeze.

Worldwide Clyde

May 3rd, 2011
2:37 am

Hawks gonna make me buy tickets for game 3 and 4. Meet me at the Jack Daniels.

northcyde

May 3rd, 2011
2:38 am

I guess Teague is the biggest surprise tonight, so he definitely gets props and the most press, I guess.

But as much as you have complained and made a point to mention how ISO-JOE stagnates the offense this past season, I’m disappointed in you MC that you didn’t mention one aspect of what he did tonight. How he literally DESTROYED the best defense in the league. Speaking in team terms, instead of putting the spotlight on what that man did tonight.

JJ PLAYED LIKE A FREAKIN SUPERSTAR TONIGHT.

You would think that the beat writer that covers this team would mention that . . just once. Dude was EASILY the best player on the floor tonight. If he plays like this, or even close to this for the rest of the series, we’re taking the Bulls out. And we’re taking them out easily. With Teague in the lineup, we now have 3 guys who they must defend off the dribble, when the Teague – Jamal – JJ trio are in there together.

LOL . . no mention of what JJ or Jamal did ( because Jamal was huge too ). Kind of sruprised at that, seeing that when Jamal balls, you take time to point that out . . borderline gushing about it.

I’ve said for a long time around here that people just flat out do not respect Joe Johnson. Whether he plays good or bad, the respect just isn’t there. Forget the 5 All-Star appearances . . forget the 3rd team All-NBA last year . . forget the fact that he’s never played with a high quality PG, or a low post center, or whatever.

He’s the most “taken for granted” player in Hawks history.

You get a pass from me this time MC . . barely. But the next time that man puts up a game like this, give that dude his props please sir. Because if he happens to have a terrible game, and goes 4 – 17 FG and we lose by 25, there’s no doubt that you, and everyone else, will point out how he lost the game for us. How he dribbled the ball into submission and how he only scored 13 points on 17 shots.

I said at the beginning of the playoffs that this team goes nowhere, if JJ doesn’t play like a star. He plays like a SUPERSTAR tonight, and the Hawks gets their first 2nd Round win in 14 years. We’d lost 15 2nd round games in a row, before tonight’s win.

Great game JJ. And I love the fact that you said your favorite phrase AGAIN in that press conference

“We can care less what they say about us.”

I LOVE IT.

Hawks fan down under

May 3rd, 2011
2:46 am

Just shows how dumb LD is. Why hasnt Teague been played sooner? So frustrating. Kirk injury is a blessing and I hope LD persists with Teague after he will inevitably make some mistakes.

Josh is great on D and woeful on O. Can’t we just sub him every time up the floor?

I still hope this isnt fools gold with LD. If we lose series does he deserve to keep his job? We’ll see.

northcyde

May 3rd, 2011
2:46 am

yeah JeJe . . . I was proud of Collins tonight. Making jumpers and actually rebounding. He was -10 tonight, but at least he showed up on the stat sheet.

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2011
2:54 am

“Its sad that Drew was forced into playing Teague.” – Worldwide Clyde

It’s GREAT that Vegas was forced to play Teague… nobody can ever doubt his ability or hold him back again. This doesn’t make him an all star, but nobody can question if he is a rotation NBA player ever again.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
2:56 am

Yeah, Joe did deserve more love from this post game write-up. I noticed that too. Once again, though, it’s not like he got all or even the majority of his points from isolation plays. Yeah, he hit a couple of contested perimeter isolation shots, but he got going off of clean looks resulting from ball movement and driving the ball for floaters.

How many shots he gets isn’t as important to me as what kind of shots he gets. Get the man the ball in a position where he can get easy buckets. Dude played like an MVP tonight.

The Real Mandingo

May 3rd, 2011
3:01 am

Message to Skip Bayless @ ESPN who said the Bulls will sweep the Hawks.

Like Jalen Rose said in one of his debates against you, that’s why everybody calls you Skip “Say-less” because you could say more but why?

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2011
3:01 am

“dare I say if they win game 2 ….. they’ll sweep?”

SLIMJR?? What’s the word from the High Gangsta! Hawks sweep??

northcyde

May 3rd, 2011
3:02 am

Buddy . . Drew just has to keep it simple for Teague. If Jamal is going to look for his own shot all the time with the 2nd team, Teague has no chance to develop how people want him to. When he plays with the starters, he’s far more comfortable out on the court, because he may get a chance to make plays. He knows that he may get the ball back from them, so that he can do his thing.

The data has been there since March, that Teague playing with that group may be the way to go. It was just a stroke of luck that Hinrich gets hurt on a fluke play, forcing Drew to play Teague with that group.

It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments the Bulls make in Game 2. Most interesting will be how they will attack Teague on offense and defense.

Hawks fan down under

May 3rd, 2011
3:03 am

“nobody can ever doubt his ability or hold him back again” – Buddy Grizzard

I wouldn’t be surprised that if Kirk gets healthy LD would bench Teague again. This happened in the reg season after Teague played well against Port and Mil. I hope I’m wrong though!!!!

#21=Top50,1stBallot

May 3rd, 2011
3:04 am

Hey Worldwide Clyde,

Falcons = 2nd round exit. You can still fire Sund though if you want.

RISE UP

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
3:04 am

I’m obviously glad to see Teague get to prove himself, but it sucks that it took an injury to a quality player who has done everything the Hawks have asked in order for Teague to get his shine. If this organization wasn’t as dysfunctional as it is Teague should have been starting from Game 1 and Bibby and Mo could have been traded for SF help or something while Jordan Crawford waited in the wings to replace Jamal down the road.

northcyde

May 3rd, 2011
3:18 am

JJ’s game tonight reminds me of the game he had at Boston in January 2010, when he scored 36 on them. He was making 3’s, made a wide array of midrange shots, and didn’t hesitate to shoot the ball in that game as well.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
3:23 am

MVP chants for Joe in Game 3, let’s do it.

Buddy Grizzard

May 3rd, 2011
3:29 am

“He’s the most “taken for granted” player in Hawks history.” – northcyde

True story. You just kinda expect the production from him. What I didn’t expect was the efficiencey.

“I still hope this isnt fools gold with LD. If we lose series does he deserve to keep his job?” – Hawks fan down under

Well, if the Hawks get embarrassed in four straight and lose 4-1, yes. It all depends on how Thibs adjusts and motivate his players to fix what’s not working against the Hawks. Once Thibs does his job, Las Vegas Larry has got to adjust an not just sit on the bench and pray for the jumpers to go in so he can keep his job.

Don’t know where my boy slimjr is hiding, but he will tell you, the Lord High Gangsta David Stern wants no part of the Hawks in the ECF. Vegas will need a presidential pardon if he lets that happen. Watch for a key Hawks player to get benched without foul trouble in the second quarter of Game 2.

vava74

May 3rd, 2011
3:34 am

Anyhow, just finished watching the game and here are my grades:

JJ: A++ brilliant on offense and almost shut down Deng in the second half (if you were not paying attention, look at Deng’s numbers in the first with Marvin on him and then in the second half)

Teague: B+ OK offense, good in the first half, a bit unlucky in the second. On D made Rose work without fouling him, which is crucial, not giving him the lane in most occasions and putting an hand on his face. a few mistakes here and there but his best job was actually on Korver.

Marvin: C – – invisible man showed up again but he did play an important role during the first few minutes with a corner jumper, a couple of rebounds, a block, active hands and a dive. Then Deng burned him to a crisp. Looked as clumsy as ever on offense.

Smoove: C++ (maybe a B – -) a few horrible shots, a few “good misses”, but hit an important jumper when it mattered the most, few rebounds, but altered many shots on D and had a few crucial blocks. He contributed with little things that off-set his usual bad things.

Al: B the victim of some horrible officiating in the first half with 2 quick fouls which are never called in the playoffs. Can’t discuss when a guy gets 13 rebounds on a fairly low rebounding game and against a good rebounding team, in particular since 9 came in the second half.

Jamal: B++ this guy is making me swallow my words game by game. Still questionable shot selection but he attacked the weak D of Korver driving to the lane, made some incredible shots, showed some horrible D (2 Korver 3’s in the first half prompted LD to put Jamal on Rose (!) and Teague on Korver) and some decent D (on Rose).

Zaza: A-. Active on both ends, rough on D, rebounding on offense, looks a different player. A bad pass earned him the (-)

Collins: B+ made 2 jump shots, got a charge, got 2 offensive rebounds. A bit soft on the defensive glass.

Wilkins: B+ great few minutes. A shame that he missed badly that baseline jumper with Deng on him, giving a slightly bad after taste to his performance.

I think the Hawks are playing with a different mind set, but nonetheless, they are being helped by incredible outside shooting by Jamal and JJ.

It’s a difficult thing to keep up but, on the other hand, I think Teague’s presence on the court with his dribble penetration creates more space since CHI’s D was forced to scramble.

I also think Al and Josh will not continue to have mostly ineffective offensive games.

Another interesting factor may be that Thibs never had any scouting done on Teague (how could he?) so they did not know how to play D against this line up.

I expect the master of defensive adjustments to come back with a completely different defensive set up.

If we manage to be competitive and do not have a disheartening loss in Game 2, we have a chance, but if we receive a beat down, it may be difficult to keep our mojo flowing.

We did manage to do it against ORL but those guys were lost and mostly dead in the water.

Again, NOT TO over react to a single player is the best possible tactic and mind set. We trapped and switched in the precise measure necessary to close the lane and invite Rose to take jump shots.

Game 2 program: step on Boozer’s toe and on Rose’s feet as many times possible.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 3rd, 2011
3:36 am

The big guys, Al and Smoove in particular, did a really good job hedging to help on Rose and recovering quickly to prevent Rose from finding the open man for the easy basket inside.

vava74

May 3rd, 2011
3:37 am

northcyde,

AND WHAT ABOUT JJ’s D on Deng in the second half?

24 minutes: 4 points on 2/3

JJ played “DENY DEFENSE” hardly letting him get any looks nor the rock in his sweet spots.