Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 106, Nets 70

Newark, N.J.–The Nets without Brook Lopez are not very good and they likely were gassed after coming back from 21 down to win at Washington last night. On the other hand, it kind of felt like the Hawks could have won with their second unit, and when’s the last time you could say that about them against any opponent?

  • The reserves scored 55 of 106 points and collected 27 of 51 rebounds. More importantly, the Hawks extended their lead even as the reserves kept checking in. None of the starters played more than 26 minutes.
  • “Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”
  • There’s no one on the bench you can expect will regularly have the kind of scoring impact as Jamal Crawford. But maybe there are enough pieces that can do a little bit of everything to cobble together an effective unit. “It’s a little different look,” Al Horford said. “We don’t have that explosive scorer like Jamal but we are doing it as a unit.”
  • Zaza Pachulia (13 points on 8 shots) was getting deep position on post-ups and did his usual good work on the boards. He dunked on Shelden Williams for an and-1.
  • Like he did in the preseason, Vladimir Radmonivic (five assists, four steals) showed he can offer more than just 3-point shooting. The Nets for some reason kept losing him at the 3-point line. He passed up a couple open looks because the Hawks were coasting and he wanted to use some clock.
  • After sleepwalking through camp, Tracy McGrady suddenly was posting up, driving to the basket and generally playing with pep. He didn’t get a couple calls on drives and was hit with a tech for complaining about it.
  • I figured he T-Mac was saving it. “I’m a gamer, man,” he said. “That’s what I am. I just get bored with preseason. I know that sounds crazy but I really do. The anticipation builds up for the offseason, especially being healthy and get out there and play. I’m like, let’s get this real thing going on.”
  • Marvin Williams was the most effective starter. It was the textbook for how he can get involved: crash the glass (four offensive rebounds), get to the line (6 for 7 on free throws) and get in the open floor. His 3 for 9 shooting line included a couple tip-ins that wouldn’t fall.
  • “I know his back is feeling better,” Larry Drew said of Marvin. “I told him I want him to be more aggressive. I want him to get the ball off the glass and bring it the length of the floor. He’s capable of doing that. Sometimes he gets a little timid.”
  • “He’s been telling me to do that the last couple of seasons,” Marvin said. “I worked on my ball-handling a lot in the offseason and even still 15 or 20 minutes after practice or before games. I feel more comfortable with it.”
  • Josh and Al helped control Kris Humphries. Jeff Teague and Jannero Pargo made Deron Williams work. “We’re having a tough time getting Deron space out there on the floor,” Avery Johnson said.
  • Pretty much every time the Nets turned the corner or swung the ball there were bodies and flailing arms waiting. “We have guys that are versatile and have length,” Drew said. “Our defensive scheme tonight was to try to put them under as much duress as we possibly could.”
  • Teague said his left ankle is still sore. It was hard to tell on a couple of those explosive drives to the basket. And if he really has improved his 3-point shot, look out.
  • Drew used some of the trapping and ball pressure schemes the Hawks showed in the preseason. It had the desired effect of forcing the Nets to speed up and they aren’t good enough to make plays at that pace. The approach won’t work against better opponents or if Atlanta’s reserves don’t bring it like they did tonight.
  • “Some nights we trap, some nights we don’t,” Drew said. “We try not to be a predictable ball club. A lot of times the game and the personnel predicate how we cover certain things.”
  • I’m curious to see if the Hawks drill Washington tomorrow, too. “We can’t get satisfied with this,” Zaza said. “We have to keep it up. We should put this game behind us when we get to the plane.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

100 comments Add your comment

Grandmatser JeJe

December 27th, 2011
11:40 pm

Grandmaster JeJe

December 27th, 2011
11:41 pm

Told you all:

We should’ve won by 20-25, easy.

Deepest bench in ages

Must start 3-0. These teams suck
Why has it taken Marvin 6 years to figure out he is 6″9, has long arms, and should be getting 7-8 rebounds a game?

#Pathetic

We need to be EXTREMELY careful to keep T-Mac healthy. 20 minutes is not a small amount. He still has swagger but his finishing is a bit off. He still had 12 points at least

I also said Radmanovic is the sleeper signing of the year.

MARVIN AND ZAZA: KEEP ATTACKING

Grandmaster JeJe

December 27th, 2011
11:44 pm

“Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”

That’s all this team aspires to be – a “pretty good team.”

Ask the players. Ask the owners.

NO ONE wants to win a championship on this team. This isn’t a negative post – it’s the truth

Reality Check

December 27th, 2011
11:45 pm

So, did Deron “check out”?

kerpal

December 27th, 2011
11:48 pm

it was a great game but its only a scrub team.

SteveW

December 27th, 2011
11:49 pm

Norris Cole, like I’ve said before, may be just good enough to put Miami over the top. He’s a pesky, speedy guy.

Be a good back up for Teague.

kerpal

December 27th, 2011
11:49 pm

we need to see if we can beat good teams as well.

Buddy Grizzard

December 27th, 2011
11:49 pm

Just in case you missed it:

“lol if Sy becomes a premier SG. Reminds me of Ginobli” – superior blog troll

Pape Sy.

Can’t make the French national team. Plays for a third-division French team and has been a bench player most of his career. Can’t run the point in the NBA and got cut by the Hawks. But Superior sees Ginobli…LMFAO.

UGA

December 27th, 2011
11:50 pm

WOW……….whatever the case, this was impressive.

SteveW

December 27th, 2011
11:51 pm

I wonder if we’re really this good? Al and Josh are going to have a tough time against big 5 and 4 combo’s some nites I would guess – be our bench can help there.

If Marvin turns into something approaching Luol Deng, we may be a very tough team all season.

And Teague did what he did last season – He makes the other PG have a subpar game.

SteveW

December 27th, 2011
11:53 pm

These scrub teams were pressing the Hawks last year – this felt good.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 27th, 2011
11:53 pm

FTPB

“Ken, Najeh, and any other Hawk fans I do not know what you guys think but my litmus tests for the Hawks will be when they play Chicago and Miami.”

Absolutely. It should be that way for any Eastern Conference team.

I was very encouraged that the Hawks didn’t let up in the second half, and kept their feet on the Nets’ throats and blew them out. That is a change from last year when they would routinely let inferior teams back in the game. I hope this is a sign that they have developed the mental toughness to where they will climb back into the game when they inevitably trail against Chicago and Miami, rather than getting blown out like they routinely would last year. More than anything, that’s what I will be looking for next week.

SteveW

December 27th, 2011
11:54 pm

And If TMac approaches anything like his former self…

And I was dead wrong about Vlad rad – at least to this point – guys way better than I ever thought.

jdewayneatl

December 27th, 2011
11:57 pm

Who needs Jamal when we have the BenchSquad. The keys to the game was suffocating defense, excellent ball movement, and a bench that knows how to play at a high level. When Hinrich comes back, the Hawks will have 5 legitimate bench players that have played big minutes as starters.

JSS

December 27th, 2011
11:59 pm

Get your rest MC!!!

SteveW

December 28th, 2011
12:01 am

Man, and I hate to say it, but that Leuer guy beasted tonite – 14 and 8, a couple of blocks in only 20 minutes.

Now we really get to hear about that trade for the 37,000th time.

Wouldn’t it be funny if Sund called about the trade months ago, the Bucks said no way ever, and this guy is about to have a meltdown to get it done?

I doubt that happened – but trades are proposed all the time behind the scenes that are never leaked to the public, due to the sensitivity of the players.

SteveW

December 28th, 2011
12:03 am

MC – Good article BTW – Thanks – You’ve been off the chain the last month or so.

Gwinnett Fred

December 28th, 2011
12:07 am

VERY nice write up on the game MC!

And a VERY nice game to write up too Hawks!

Hope more than just me and my family took advantage of $18 lower level seating Wednesday and have at least the lower bowl sold out. Hope to see you there!

superiorblogman

December 28th, 2011
12:07 am

Go Hawks! Waiting on 2morrow night. Wiz are definitely better than the Nets.

Wall
Crawford/Young
whoever
Blache
McGee

Should be a good matchup. Really interesting to see what Jordan and Chris Singleton look like.

jake

December 28th, 2011
12:10 am

Remeber when i said dont judge tmac on two meaningless preseason games. His first step was the most impressive aspect of everything. He’ll het better and better.I dont expect 20 a night anymore, but 10 points 5 assiosts from here on is a real gettable goal.

[...] Cunningham, Atlanta-Journal Constitution — Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 106, Nets 70 Overwhelmingly positive vibes for Kris Humphries, who was under vocal attack from opposing fans [...]

SoullRenaissance ~ formerly Hawks Fan in New Orleans

December 28th, 2011
12:19 am

Is MARVIN no longer THE DUCK!!!???
Wow. I know its just a bad Nets team but if Teague and continue to impress (IMO Teague is our point finally), Marvin permanently elevates this game, and the bench plays like this – LOOK OUT EAST!
Imagine if Teague started from jump last year – those blowout loses may not have happened, who knows. I do know that this is LD’s chance to make amends for the rookie coach blunders last year and utilize his bench efficiently and effectively…I am happy to say I am back in ATL to stay, I did not have to hear the Saints Fans harass me about them knocking the ‘bird doodoo’ outta the Falcons…Being able to catch more Hawks games would be equally rewarding….DAYUM that bench looked good tonight.

J.J.M.

December 28th, 2011
12:22 am

anybody have a video of that willie green crossover please post it!

Section 303

December 28th, 2011
12:28 am

Good start. I had to watch the game on my iPhone. I’m up in Michigan visiting family. Will be watching on my phone tomorrow, too.

Hawks just took care of business. Like that none of the starters where overextended. Saving legs is going to be so important this season. Guys should be fresh for the home opener tomorrow night. Will be the first home opener I have not attended in 9 years.

Thought Zaza played a strong game. Plus, T-Mac looks like he can still play. Just a good start all the way around. Not much else to say.

SoullRenaissance ~ formerly Hawks Fan in New Orleans

December 28th, 2011
12:29 am

@Steve W, I totally agree with your 11:53 post. The Hawks had a knack for playing down to the competition in seasons past and last year, they built leads at the half only to squander them in the 2nd half and had many weak offensive 4th quarters. This was probably due in part to starter fatigue and and crappy 2nd unit minus Jamal. And Jamal’s putrid defense.

Ken Strickland

December 28th, 2011
12:37 am

Everyone likes to make a issue of Jamal Crawford’s prolific scoring ability, but they to take into consideration how much he has to:
1-control the ball
2-dominate the OFF
3-how many shots he takes
4-how streaky he can be.
When he’s on, he’s unstoppable, but when he’s not, he hurts the team because he does little else besides score, and he’s a total DEF liability. Excluding Zaza, Sund has put together the deepest, most talented bench since the days of Mookie Blaylock, and they did it for less the money we would have paid to resign Jamal alone.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2011
12:50 am

Let’s not go too overboard pumping up this bench and minimizing what Jamal did. This bench still has to prove it can be this effective against better competition, and while Jamal’s flaws were obvious, the guy did contribute significantly when his shot was falling.

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

December 28th, 2011
12:53 am

“Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”

real talk

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
12:56 am

“I also said Radmanovic is the sleeper signing of the year.” – Grandmaster JeJe

I think the tendency with Radman in the past has been to judge him based on what he doesn’t do because of his size. He’s a finesse 4 that plays outside and has alot of game. But you put him on a team like the Hawks with the best backup center in the NBA and nobody is asking him to be a banger, which isn’t his game. You can see that Radman and Zaza look like they’ve been playing together their whole career.

ntrigue

December 28th, 2011
1:03 am

December 27th, 2011
11:46 pm

Hawks will be better due to deeper bench. I said it all along ….we didn’t get a superstar so everyone starts to doubt this team but this team is built as a team that can score from position thats on the floor. The biggest differnce between last yr and this year is team defense if we keep this up we should at least be in the East Finals! Go Hawks! Where are the haters that been saying our pickups were terrible I guess you all will come out soon as we lose one game. FYI we will lose a gm this year every team does lol but when we lose that when all the Josh smith bashers come out of hibernation! I love it just wish we had more die hard fans like me born and raised in Atlanta!!!!
Go Hawks!!!

Tron

December 28th, 2011
1:20 am

T-Mac is going to be a beast this year and predict 6th man of the year. I saw all you guys complaining of his signing. He is going to help this team win a lot of games… PERIOD!

NT1914

December 28th, 2011
1:25 am

We need to be EXTREMELY careful to keep T-Mac healthy. 20 minutes is not a small amount. > Thats a quarter and 8 minutes. That’s not even 1 half of basketball. He needs to get 30 minutes a night. Jamal Crawford had 14 points in 30 minutes a night TMAC prob can give us 18-20 with minutes like that.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2011
1:29 am

Great win for the Hawks tonight. And with the starters not playing many minutes, they should be ready to go tomorrow. No excuse for not being 2-0.

And I’ve given Marvin a hard time in the past, so I will give him his due tonight. I liked his game. If we can get that consistently, that will be a great asset for the Hawks.

Ken S,

Slow down buddy. Let’s see how the bench looks against Chicago and Miami, and then we’ll have a better idea of what to expect against good teams.

O'Brien

December 28th, 2011
1:33 am

I dont know how Kevin Love does it, but dude had 31 points and 20 rebounds tonight. He was only 6-18 from the field, but he did have 24 FTA. In 2 games, he is averaging 26.5 pts and 16 rebs per game.

Big Daddy

December 28th, 2011
1:35 am

Great write-up MC. I was impressed with the team ball in this game and the fact they kept the pressure on and did not let them back in the game, once they got them down. The bench is definitely deeper which means any number of people can get hot on any given night and be the spark for the team.

There were good and timely substitutions and the bench players were allowed to stay in and contribute. That is going to be especially important given the tight schedule everyone has in this shortened season.

Big cheer for JT on his first start as the man at point. He is only going to get better and although his outside shooting needs a little work, I have confidence that it will as well as his all-around game. Josh is hitting his medium range jumper also. Rad is a big surprise and we will definitely need his outside shooting in games, particularly against the better teams. This will help us inside against the top clubs. I hope Joe gets his shot back. Besides his salary, he needs to be the guy nobody wants to see on the wing by himself and he needs to make them pay everytime he finds himself in that situation. His elbow should be fine now.

I feel a lot of optimism about this team and am looking forward to watching them do very well this year. GO HAWKS!!!!

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
3:01 am

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/34685/what-will-magic-want-for-dwight

Sources told ESPN.com that the aforementioned Hawks, meanwhile, engaged Orlando in trade talks for Howard earlier this month with an offer believed to be headlined by $124 million guard Joe Johnson and swingman Josh Smith. You have to figure that the Magic, though, would insist on Al Horford if such discussions ever got serious.

The Hawks are not on Howard’s short list of preferred trade destinations alongside the Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, even though Atlanta is his hometown. That’s presumably because Howard wants no part of Atlanta’s perpetually unsettled ownership situation. The Hawks nonetheless took the risk of pursuing Howard anyway and, according to sources, felt like they were making some semblance of progress before the Magic shut down talks.

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
3:10 am

Old Horse not playin ya’ll.

JaeEvolution

December 28th, 2011
3:14 am

I think Atlanta is a darkhorse to receive Dwight, we have a lot of favorable young pieces and expiring contracts in Teague, Smith, Horford, Hinrich, Marvin, and even Zaza is a good trade chip, also we have 1st rounders and we could put together a pretty good package.

Until he is traded I have hope we can get him, my personal trade would be Zaza, Hinrich, Hoford, and 2012 1st rounder, but I doubt they would ever accept that. If they did though Teague, Johnson, Marvin, Smoove, Dwight along with keeping a majority of our bench man we’d instantly be legit contenders for YEARS.

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
3:32 am

I’ve been saying Joe and Al for Dwight and Hedo. We know ORL wants to dump Hedo’s contract on whoever gets Dwight. They probably would also like to dump Duhon. From that point it’s all about what they want. They may want to take Marvin and get three starters for two. They may want Hinrich’s expiring contract.

If we did Al, Joe and Marvin for Dwight, Hedo and Duhon, our lineup would look like this:

C: Dwight, Zaza
PF: Josh, Vlad
SF: Hedo, T-Mac, Ivan Johnson
SG: Kirk, T-Mac, Green, Stack
PG: Teague, Duhon

Shooting guard immediately goes from a strength to a weakness but, um, we get Dwight.

tjhook

December 28th, 2011
3:32 am

Who’s looking at requesting a #77 jersey? Vladimir Rad bought the game last night

wordsmithtom

December 28th, 2011
4:54 am

Telling stat: bench scored 55 points.
Two points to consider, one from a blogger and the other from MC. No iso + Vlad passing up open shots in 4th quarter in order to run down the clock. That’s vet leadership plus better ball distribution. If we were a rebuilding team, then we should keep rookies on the bench to develop. We’re no longer in building mode. It’s time to do it. When you have vets on the bench that know how to play, you get 55 point nights….nights to let the starters rest….nights when you extend leads instead of giving them back.
One game…I know….but one game I didn’t see last year.

northcyde

December 28th, 2011
5:11 am

Good win for the Hawks last night. Good teams usually take care of bad teams and immediately put them out of their misery, and that’s exactly what the Hawks did last night.

Despite Jersey coming back and beating Washington, the Wizards are a better team, and will put up a little more resistance than the Nets did. If we can keep them off the boards, and force Wall and Jordan to take tough shots, we should be looking at a 15+ point win.

Last night was all about the defense and the energy the team brought to the table. You rarely saw that out of all 10 guys last year.

I agree with most that the true litmus test for this squad, will come next week, when we play those insane stretch of games against high quality squads. Until then, I will hopefully enjoy watching these next two games vs the Wiz and the Nets once again.

Oh . . by the way

Jamal Crawford

6 points
4 assists
1 rebound
1 steal

2 – 12 FG
0 – 3 3FG
2 – 2 FT

( +5 ) for the night

in 25 minutes

northcyde

December 28th, 2011
5:12 am

My bad . . . I made a mistake.

Jamal was 2 – 11 FG . . . not 2 – 12

ICECOLD

December 28th, 2011
5:13 am

GrandMaster Je Je
“Man, I tip my hat to those guys,” Josh Smith said. “This is probably the deepest bench we’ve had in a long time, where [starters] are coming off and the bench is keeping the same intensity and energy as the starters, if not more. If we have this on a consistent basis I think we are going to be a pretty good team.”

That’s all this team aspires to be – a “pretty good team.”

Ask the players. Ask the owners.

NO ONE wants to win a championship on this team. This isn’t a negative post – it’s the truth

SHUT UP!!!! THEY NEVER WON A CHAMPIONSHIP, SO THEY CANT SAY, WELL THIS YEAR WE GOING TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.. LET THEM PLAY THEY ROLE AS A TEAM THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN…. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO KEEP UNDERESTIMATING THEM, LET THEM DO IT.. THEY NEED TO SAY THAT UNTIL THEY WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP, A PRETTY GOOD TEAM.

Even after they win, they should say, well we was a pretty good team, so hopefully , we would be a pretty good team next year and win another one..

SWAGG!!

wordsmithtom

December 28th, 2011
5:19 am

ICECOLD, too true. Except, Stack said when he signed he thought this crew could get him a ring. I know, that’s a stretch to think a 15′th bench player can be a difference, but maybe, just maybe he can light a fire under the core and get them to thinking they CAN actually win. From all the negative press, and I might add blog posts, they CAN’T, so why should they say they can. Until their LEADERS say CAN, the rest won’t. Last night, the bench said CAN CAN CAN CAN. With their effeort, if not their words.

wordsmithtom

December 28th, 2011
5:20 am

And while I’m on a soapbox, where are the macaroons who said to amnesty MW? 14pts and 9 boards in 22 minutes. Amnesty material???!!! Sheesh, the idiocy of some posters.

tony

December 28th, 2011
5:31 am

Tron

December 28th, 2011
1:20 am

I saw all you guys complaining of his signing.
____________________________________________

I thought it was a smart move to sign T-Mac but I was a little worry about his performance in those 2 preseason games but maybe he was saving his best for the regular season, who knows? Nevertheless, I think that young man has alot left in the tank.

I think Vladimir Radmanovic has found his comfort zone in Atlanta thanks to LD for believing in him. I didn’t realize he could defend as well as he has. Good job young man. I think the 2nd unit is just as good as the 1st unit especially from a scoring standpoint but they need to maintain that same level of play throughout the course of the season……if they can do that, the skies the limit for this basketball team. Last night they played like a 52-14 team but can they play that way for 65 more games? Good job LD.

ICECOLD

December 28th, 2011
5:32 am

LAST YEAR
Jamal Crawford has to score a lot to be relevant , because he didnt play any defense. Name one championship team who top scorer didnt play any defense. Im glad they got rid of him because you can not have a true contender with key players not playing any defense. Thats why when he had his off nights, and he in the game a lot, we got blown out. Everybody was stuck and didnt know what to do. Our bench didnt have any depth so when the Hawks was off, they was off bad.

Now if somebody is having a off game, our bench is deep enough where we can at least keep the game close or hold a lead because we have veterans that know how to play and finish games

Jamal Crawford never really knew how to win. He had never been to the playoffs, he was inconsistent, and didnt play any defense. The only thing I was afraid of was not being able to replace his three point shooting, and speed on offense. Now Teague starting and is capable of both, and we have a pure three point shooter with size who also play decent defense ( 17 point game ) .

So yes we are better then last year, a lot better.

As a team, while other teams trying to stack up and get three superstars and no bench.. The Hawks are loaded with a starting five with 3 all stars in Joe Josh and Al, a point guard who could be a all star one day, and a more confident Marvin Williams.

Teams I know we are better then who suppose to be contenders who could beat us before
Lakers
Orlando
Boston

Teams that we would probably struggle with,
Clippers ( Jeff could stay in Front of Chris Paul and our Bench is deeper then theirs )
Miami Heat ( but I think we are better then them, deeper bench )
New York ( which I think in the playoffs, we could grind that out and win that series )
Oklahoma ( and the only time to worry about them is in the Championship game )

thats it. seriously.. This season is looking good. I would take this team over any other team. Who else we might struggle with?

FreshFromAtl

December 28th, 2011
5:40 am

wordsmithtom,

I agree 100%. Couldn’t have said it any better.

FreshFromAtl

December 28th, 2011
5:41 am

Referencing to your 4:54am post.