Atlanta Hawks at Bulls Game 2: What about Al?

Chicago–So let’s say J.J. doesn’t shoot 10 of 13 from beyond 15 feet again, Jamal doesn’t shoot 3 for 3 at the rim and 4 for 4 from the line and Teague can’t stick the floater.

Then what for Atlanta’s offense? Maybe they should try to run more of what probably was their most underutilized play in the regular season and still is during the playoffs: Al on pick-and-rolls.

According to Synergy Sports Technology, Al had 226 of those plays during the regular season (2.94 per game) and scored 1.1 points per possession (eighth-best in the league). In the postseason he’s been involved in 21 screen-rolls (3 per game) and scored 1.14 points per possession.

On those 21 plays, Al made 12 of 20 shots and had one turnover. Seven of the screen-roll passes came from Hinrich, seven from Jamal, and two each from Teague, J.J. and Josh. He went to the basket six times and popped out for jump shots for the other 14, with six makes (one of the misses was the rushed 3-pointer in Game 2 at Orlando).

So Al is shooting 6 of 14 on pick-and-pops in the playoffs. But he’s shooting only 39 percent overall (16 for 41) on attempts from 16 to 23 feet after shooting 53 percent from that distance during the season. That was the best mark in the league among guys who had at least 70 attempts.

Looking at the video of the postseason screen-roll plays with Al, he’s not getting the same time and space to shoot as he did during the regular season. Three times he’s responded to hard challenges by faking the J and driving.

“I think it’s really different because teams really tune in on coverages and make an effort to challenge and contest, like we are doing to them,” Al said. “I think the shot is still there. I just think different areas of our offense are still working so we are sticking with that. Joe is scoring the ball; Jamal is doing his thing. I don’t think its called for me to run high pick-and-roll.”

Maybe not yet, but it’s a strong option if what worked in Game 1 isn’t working tonight. Smoove in the post works, too, but it’s tough to count on that after he took five shots from beyond 15 in Game 1 and missed them all.

Al’s defense and rebounding were key to Game 1 and it figures to be the same in Game 2. The Hawks might also need his scoring.

“I got in foul trouble and was kind of taken out [of Game 1],” Al said. “At this point of the year I am doing whatever it takes for my team. I didn’t have to worry about scoring much last game. Tonight I just have to stay ready.”

Notes

  • Same starters tonight as for Game 1. Same inactives: Rolle and Etan.
  • L.D. on the expectation that D-Rose will get to the line more: “[Game 1] was officiated very fairly. I thought there were some times we should have got to the line but we didn’t. It was both ways. That is a big point for us to try to keep them off the line as much as we can. We have to anticipate that he is going to get to the free-throw line and we have got to play through it irregardless of what the situation is.”
  • Jeff Fogle at Hoopdata.com notes that maybe it’s not such a good assumption that D-Rose will get more free throws since he really hasn’t done it since hurting his ankle.
  • L.D. on the goal vs. D-Rose: “Making sure we don’t give him the seams, the gaps to dribble penetrate. We try to make a conscious effort to take that away. You can’t stop him but overall if we can be consistent at that it gives us a chance.”
  • L.D. on Rose in Game 1: “He probably didn’t have the game he’s accustomed to but I would like to credit the way we defended him with that.”
  • L.D. on if he thinks guys are content with winning one in Chicago: “I would not allow that to happen. I thought that was the case against Orlando. We did not come out with a sense of urgency for Game 2. We had a lot of slippage. I take full responsibility for that. Here we have another opportunity staring us right in the eye. It’s up to me to get my team ready. Its’ up to me to make sure we come out with a whole different focus. We are going to see their best shot. It’s important that whatever happens, we are able to weather it and move on.”
  • Al on what he expects from the Bulls tonight: “All-out effort. They are here at home, in front of their fans. I thought that came out hard in Game 1 but I am sure they will be all-out tonight.”
  • L.D.: “That team will come out and play hard and play with energy and effort. We have to match that. We have to be smart. We cannot lose our composure under any circumstance. We have to play through any situation and stick with what our gameplan is. That’s a very talented Chicago ballclub, It’s no fluke that they won 62 games. So to come out here and not expect them to give us our best effort is totally ridiculous.”
  • K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune’s says the Bulls are trying to “master the learning curve of being the favorites.”
  • J.J. on Atlanta’s balance causing problems for Chicago’s D: “We got a few guys who can really put up big numbers. We do tend to keep a team off balance. I am sure they will come up with different schemes and tactics to slow us down. We have just got to stay poised and we will be all right.”
  • Josh on the knee: “It feels all right. Each and every day it gets better, it gets a little stronger. I have just got to stay on top of it. What’s helping me out is I am not thinking about it. I am just playing basketball. It’s something I just have to worry about after the season.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

926 comments Add your comment

SteveW

May 4th, 2011
3:03 pm

SteveW

May 4th, 2011
3:03 pm

Unbelievable

SteveW

May 4th, 2011
3:04 pm

Al will respond – I hope

JJ

May 4th, 2011
3:12 pm

Josh – “…..I am not thinking….”.

No truer words have been spoken from him even if that’s not at all what he meant.

RalphCramdon

May 4th, 2011
3:12 pm

Two Hawks should be MORE AGGRESSIVE ON OFFENSE. JSMOOVE and AL HORFORD. I cant say the same thing about Smoove, but Al Horford has played much like a young “WILT CHAMBERLAIN” so I know that Al can get back to playing like that. Smoove, on the other hand, is ruining our chance to move on and he needs to STOP HOISTING UNNECESSARY THREES UNLESS HE WANTS TO LOSE HIS STARTING JOB.

JJ

May 4th, 2011
3:14 pm

Oh what a difference it would make if Josh lived INSIDE 15 feet instead of outside.

K.W.

May 4th, 2011
3:17 pm

Let’s Go Hawks!

Neki Ecko

May 4th, 2011
3:19 pm

We all know that they are going to play tighter defense v.s. JJ and JC, so other players have to step up and produce like JT0, Al and others. Josh Smith, for the love of all things that is wonderful and awesome, JUST DRIVE IN THE BASKET HARD!!!!. Please no more jump shots, please. Hawks will win this one in a closer game about 5 points either way.

JeJe

May 4th, 2011
3:19 pm

“Here we have another opportunity staring us right in the eye. It’s up to me to get my team ready. Its’ up to me to make sure we come out with a whole different focus. We are going to see their best shot. It’s important that whatever happens, we are able to weather it and move on.”

I will DEFINITELY be looking at this quote after the game tonight and evaluating if we did this or not.

Josh, please do not take any jumpshots tonight

hawks_4_life

May 4th, 2011
3:24 pm

Ive been LD’s case all season but I have to say Ive been impressed during the playoffs. We seem to forget (myself included) that this is his first year coaching. No one is perfect and alot of those growing pains suffer through him can be attributed to that. That said the quote from above, rotation and overall schemes have been really good. I know what people will say about Teague’s lack of time, got it but no one is perfect but at this point its good to say better now than never.

GO HAWKS…..SHUT THEM OUT IN THEIR HOUSE.

Sleepy

May 4th, 2011
3:24 pm

I actually wanted to see more pick and pop with Al last game .

They are gonna ride JJ and jamal away from the basket and so Al and Josh are gonna have to keep there spacing right cut to the basket and make good decisive decisions with the ball.

The one thing you know for sure about this Bulls team is that on defense the rotation is always coming just like Boston so the extra pass is what really does damage to there defense

KMP

May 4th, 2011
3:27 pm

Great point and even better stats MC! I have noticed the decline in these situations for AL as well. Could be a big weapon for us tonight – if he stays out of foul trouble. Let’s Go Hawks!!

Sleepy

May 4th, 2011
3:36 pm

from a chicago newspaper …………

Derrick Rose didn’t shoot any free throws in Game 1.

“He’s got to attack more. I thought he settled for some shots,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But he’ll be ready. He studies. He’ll be prepared. I thought some drives, he didn’t go as hard as he usually does, but that will change.”

Thibodeau talked again about how Rose is so athletic, he may draw contact, but not always get the foul calls. That’s been a problem since Rose arrived in the NBA, but he went to the foul line more often in the second half of the season.

“I think he’s got to make the officials make the call,” Thibodeau added. “When he does that, that’s when he’s at his best.

“He has the ability to take the hit and still get it up and sometimes he doesn’t get the call, but when he’s attacking the basket and he’s going north and south and not dancing with the ball, he’s impossible to stop. So that’s what we’ve got to get him to do.”

Fireld!

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

Fireld!

May 4th, 2011
9:23 am
What was most impressive about Teague’s performance other than being expected to slow dwn the mvp and doing a solid job and staying professional while dealing with a boss who has completely tried to break any level of confidence he has(while stunting his development in the process) is his ability to adapt. This iso offense while it’s has seemed to work thus far does nothing for his true skill set. Althogh he can shoot he really does have the total package. The whole 2nd half he dribbled up the court and gave the ball to jj or jc. I just don’t see that working if we make it to the next round and Lebron is on Joe and Wade is on Jamal. We really need to run more picks out high for him and use his speed off the edge. He really has not been able to show even 1/2 what he can do. Just imagine Rondo in this offense passing the ball setting a pick for Joe and spotting up on the side. Yall saw his Jump shot last night. LD’s offense is very flawed. UNLEASH THE TEAGUE!

i_am_soulstar

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

Hawks just keep believing in each other. Keep the cohesion alive and we will play a good game 2.

BrittishAnger

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

Let’s go Hawks! SUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little Fawkers

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

I hate Josh Smith. He is out of shape, complains all the time and has the worst jumper in the history of NBA. Not worried about Al. Josh is the do or die player to me. Hope this is his last season in Atlanta. He is the Hawks version of Mike Vick (pre jail). So much potential but not dedicated to being best he can be.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

MC you have really been on top of your game during these playoffs. I have been saying for a while that the Hawks need to run more pick and roll plays especially now that they have point guards who can move.

With that said:

“Smoove in the post works, too, but it’s tough to count on that after he took five shots from beyond 15 in Game 1 and missed them all.”

It seems to me that those shots from outside 15 come when the play isn’t called for him and he gets the ball on a kick out from someone else. I would think calling post plays for him would be an effective way to keep him near the basket. Hubie Brown said something to this effect during the Orlando series.

Rev in Tampa

May 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

At the beginning of the season LD said that if a player did not get to play in a game they would have to ride the exercise bike for a given period of time to keep them in shape. Drew said a lot of things in the preseason that didn’t exactly happen during the regular season, but I hope that he kept this requirement because Teague’s legs could be gone tonight after playing 40 minutes on Monday.

Rev in Tampa

May 4th, 2011
3:42 pm

I am glad to see that LD took responsibility for the game 2 loss in Orlando. I haven’t heard him say anything like that before. Maybe he is growing into the job.

DinasaurFenton

May 4th, 2011
3:50 pm

Josh Smith is a LAZY DOG. He makes millions of dollars and could be just as good a player as either D-WADE or LaBron James. However, Josh complains to the refs a lot (drawing unncessary technical fouls); Josh shoots jumpshots from outside the 3-pt line (which he makes about 20%), ESSENTIALLY WASTING OPPORTUNITIES AND LOSING POINTS THAT THE HAWKS WOULD BE GETTING HAD THOSE BEEN HIGHER PERCENTAGE SHOTS THAT HE COULD MAKE. JOSH IS HURTING THE TEAM AND HE NEEDS TO BE EITHER REPRIMANDED OR KICKED OFF THE TEAM.

hawksfancents95

May 4th, 2011
3:59 pm

quick funny note*
my grandpa has been a chi cubs fan since he was 5, hes 72 now, he watches every game on wgn and is a die hard fan, ive been a hawka fan since 95 but have only watched every game on tv for bout 5 years now, i asked him on the phone yeaterday whos gona win a title first my hawks or his cubs? he said “toss up” lol
neway tonights game is going to be great i feel it, drose will be attacking and lookin for deng and korver, if we limit korver and deng to less than 30 and get 30+ from al & josh we get another W, my crazy prediction teague almost triple double sometin like 12 pts 9ast 7 reb

Gainesville#1

May 4th, 2011
4:07 pm

I agree with a lot of people. Josh is the main piece of the puzzle. He will be unstoppable and get the bulls in foul trouble if he just goes to the basket. To me its like everyone is scared to tell him that or something. I dont get it.

hawkville

May 4th, 2011
4:11 pm

Marvin Williams still starting, WHY….

BrittishAnger

May 4th, 2011
4:12 pm

Ahhhh……Kyle Korver….he won’t last much longer…Deng might put up a beast of a game tonight, Noah will probably pick up Boozer’s slack….Jeff needs to push his right side heavy to keep Rose on that messed up ankle…the only way to get something in his head that will slow him down or at least annoy him will be Jeff Teague working his left ankle into a fit of stupidity and general aggravation….

BrittishAnger

May 4th, 2011
4:15 pm

How many Tech’s did Josh get this season compared to last?

Rod from College Park

May 4th, 2011
4:17 pm

DinasaurFenton,

Lazy dogs don’t play injured for half the season. Josh does not have D-Wade or LeBron’s skill set, so no way he could play like them. Tell D-Wade, and Lebron to get 1,000 blocks in 5 years. Josh is not even in the top 15 players in technical fouls. Some guys that are, include Wade, Carmelo, Howard, and Kobe. This year, in the regular season, Josh shot 33% from 3, which is respectable. The hawks don’t shoot many high percentage shots, the whole team shoots jump shots. NBA players have guaranteed contracts, so you can’t just kick them off the team.

Michael Cunningham

May 4th, 2011
4:17 pm

@Najeh: “It seems to me that those shots from outside 15 come when the play isn’t called for him and he gets the ball on a kick out from someone else. I would think calling post plays for him would be an effective way to keep him near the basket.”

someone asked L.D. during the Orlando series if he calls post-ups for Smoove. he smiled and said: “yeah, but somehow he ends up floating out to the 3-point line anyway.”

Presham from Port Arthur

May 4th, 2011
4:18 pm

Thats how we know the Hawks don’t have a leader. No way Michael Jordan lets Rodman fire away jumpers and not get on his ass. No way James Worthy fires away three’s and Magic or Kareem dont get on his ass. Somebody has got to tell Josh to stop. There has got to be a fight in the locker room. Somebody got to kick his ass and tell him dont shoot no more jumpers. With that said..We need him like hell. tremendous help defender. We got the chip now we need a leader. Go Hawks!!

DinasaurFenton

May 4th, 2011
4:22 pm

Rod from College Park: I understand your point. Josh does help us defensively in many ways. I just wish that coach Larry Drew would get in Josh’s grill and tell him, Josh you are hurting the team by shooting 3-s which you only make 20% of the time. Instead of doing that, put the ball on the floor, drive hard to the basket and either pass the ball off to an open teammate or stuff the ball through the nets (since you jump high and will already be above the rim). WHY CANT THIS MESSAGE GET TO JOSH SMITH SO HE WILL STOP MAKING A FOOL OF HIMSELF EVERY NIGHT.

20 ft brick

May 4th, 2011
4:23 pm

Jamal had a quote on the radio yesterday about Josh. He said “Josh plays better when we give him the freedom to create, and that is what we have done”. Translation is: Josh never went to college to have to learn about team basketball. If Josh is forced to play down low, he will pout and mentally check out. Hence the Woody era.

BBIB

May 4th, 2011
4:27 pm

LD basically just said tonight we will have to play through the officials

Emphasis on Game 1 was reffed ‘FAIRLY” which implies the obvious that the NBA will not let the Hawks take 2 games in Chicago against the MVP “FAIRLY”

Rod from College Park

May 4th, 2011
4:33 pm

“There has got to be a fight in the locker room. Somebody got to kick his ass and tell him dont shoot no more jumpers.”

I’d put my money on Josh. He is from College Park ya know. Only guys that would have a chance would be Powell, or Etan, and they don’t play enough to say anything.

Scoop

May 4th, 2011
4:41 pm

Great Stuff MC!!!!!!!!!!!!

And your dead on. Al in the pick-and-pop game is our most efficient play, especially with Jamal at pg it becomes unstoppable. If they take away the drive, Jamal dishes it to Al for an easy jumper, if they hedge over on Al that gives Jamal his patented fade away mid-range jumper, and if the big defender doesnt help then Jamal has a lane to the basket. Also, Josh should be active around the basket for offensive boards, if Noah is gaurding Al then he will be pulled away from the basket, as I’m sure chicago will adjust and semi-zone the paint if that play is working. In all honesty, I would run that play until Jamal or Al get tired.

Rod from College Park

May 4th, 2011
4:42 pm

DinasaurFenton,

“WHY CANT THIS MESSAGE GET TO JOSH SMITH SO HE WILL STOP MAKING A FOOL OF HIMSELF EVERY NIGHT.”

If anybody could answer that question my friend we might have been to the finals by now. I will say this though, when he does pass to open team mates, mainly Marvin and Horford, they tend to pass it back to him, like it’s a hot potato. I think they are just as responsible as he is.

Rod from College Park

May 4th, 2011
4:47 pm

Scoop,

“And your dead on. Al in the pick-and-pop game is our most efficient play, especially with Jamal at pg it becomes unstoppable.”

I agree also, but the problem is Al has become very tentative, and has started holding the ball like Joe was doing during the regular season. I’m sure everyone on this board, as well as the coaching staff would much rather see Al taking that 15 to 20 foot jumper, than Josh launching 3’s. Al has to realize that and be more aggressive, because Chicago will not doubt focus on Jamal and Joe.

Astro Joe

May 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

t. Smoove in the post works, too, but it’s tough to count on that after he took five shots from beyond 15 in Game 1 and missed them all.

Now we all know that Josh only shoots those shots when the shot-clock is at 2 seconds or because his head coach has told him to stand and shoot from out there. Dude has never taken a bad shot without a logical reason. After all, he learned all the plays for all of the positions on the team.

KevinM

May 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

“someone asked L.D. during the Orlando series if he calls post-ups for Smoove. he smiled and said: “yeah, but somehow he ends up floating out to the 3-point line anyway.”

So are you telling us MC that Josh doesn’t listen to LD? I would not be surprised.
I am watching the replay of Game 1 on NBA TV and getting interrupted by the Blake Griffin rookie award press conference (yawn). At the start of the 2nd half, Josh comes out and shoots up to 19 ft ‘junkers’ because I can’t call that a jumper, and 2 wasted possessions to keep CHI in the game. We have been so lucky to still win despite wasting these kinds of offensive possessions.
And Zach Randolph’s jumper looks a lot better and he knows better than to waste possessions by throwing up junkers.

There has to be someone to tell him to stop doing it. That’s where a leader will step up and put him back in the post.
I could say the same a lot of times about Marvin, because if Marvin doesn’t hit those jumpers, he gives little else.

Rod from College Park

May 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

KevinM

May 4th, 2011
4:52 pm

Watching Blake Griffin and noticing that Vinnie Del Negro coached DRose his first year, and now Blake Griffin.

What does Vinnie do for an encore this time?

tyger

May 4th, 2011
4:52 pm

tyger

May 2nd, 2011
3:19 pm

Hawks in 7, here’s why?

1. LD will devise a D to neutralize Rose. I suggest a zone blitz.
2. Hawks mentally/physically/spiritually tougher after Magic series.
3. Individual matchups are pretty even overall.
4. JJ’s playing better, his domination of Korver/Brewer is key.
5. Teague contributes after watching Rocky I, II, III, IV.
6. Damian ain’t scared to throw ‘dem bows.
7. Smoove/Deng is a good matchup, younger legs prevail in 7.
8. Horford has Noah’s number.
9. Big lineup will neutralize Noah, Thomas, Boozer.
10. Watson scares me.

KevinM

May 4th, 2011
4:55 pm

Watson vs. Teague…even matchup

Can Marvin give us anything?

Will our jumpers fall as they have been lately?

Astro Joe

May 4th, 2011
4:57 pm

You can always tell which bloggers have never managed adults. Typically, the ones who think that you can simply tell an adult employee what to do and they will always do it (because they are so very quick to learn and adapt) are the ones who have NEVER been in a position to manage adults. Ask your boss if adults always do as they are told… and then wait for an answer after he/she finishes laughing. Josh has been told ad nauseum about shot selection. Joe has been told countless times about passing quickly out of double teams. Jamal has been told repeatedly about pulling up for a 3-ball on a 3-on-1 fast break. Zaza has likely been told not to head-butt opponents. And some of y’all have been told to show up to work/class on time. These guys are human and are prone to make mistakes (repeatedly) just like those of us who frequently misspell words on the old bolg. :lol:

KevinM

May 4th, 2011
5:00 pm

Its all about ‘how Joe goes’…

And Rose gets hurt in the last second, and the remaining crowd gasps.

Not sure if I have ever seen that before in the last second of a game with no consequence?

MistaGamer

May 4th, 2011
5:03 pm

DinasaurFenton,

Actually Josh makes 33% of his 3’s. Not exactly below the league average!

MistaGamer

May 4th, 2011
5:05 pm

That doesn’t mean i wish he wouldn’t be sooooo open to take some of those shots lol…

Josh Smith

May 4th, 2011
5:09 pm

Hey, Hawks fans, thanks for the advice about not shooting so many J’s. I feel pretty good about tonight’s game now. ‘Preciate it.

ag

May 4th, 2011
5:17 pm

I agree with hawksfancents95 that Teague will have a near triple double 12 7 7 or even high steals. He has to keep playing Rose and make him go right. He also has to continue to take 10-15 shots and when Rose goes to the hole, he has to take off and try to score an easy basket. The Hawks must run run run to win.

The X factor is Marvin. He has to help Al and Josh on the boards. Usually, if Josh has a bad game, he tends to concentrate on his strenghts, so he will shoot more shots in the lane. Al will have a good game, but expect Joe to fall off.

Although not as sure, but I really believe if we execute this game plan we will win. Expect several bad calls and Rose will live on the line tonight.

Also, read MC article about JT and him saying it was his best game. To me it was maybe his 5th best game.

James on Pharr Rd

May 4th, 2011
5:22 pm

Marvin is going to have to hit the open shots he gets tonight-we need about 14 points from him, and no kidding- Al cannot continue to perform below the radar if we want to win.(Same for Josh on rebounding and put backs)
Something tells me Jamal is going to go for 30 tonight because of the sudden national attention-don’t expect much passing from him today.

Najeh Davenpoop

May 4th, 2011
5:25 pm

“could be just as good a player as either D-WADE or LaBron James.”

Not even close.