Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 101, Wizards 83

  • The Hawks held another opponent to lousy offensive numbers but this time Larry Drew sounded so-so about the effort. “There were parts of the game where we lacked defensive intensity,” he said. “You’ve got to put teams away, especially a team like that. They never stop playing. I never felt we had a total grip of the game even when we were up 20. A team like Washington, you have to take away hope.”
  • The Wizards do a pretty good job of that on their own. At times you could see John Wall’s frustration as he tried to make plays for his teammates only to see fail to help. Even Nick Young’s 21 points on 6 of 12 shooting were pretty empty since he started 5 for 5.
  • Neither the Nets nor the Wizards are sharp offensive teams so it’s tough to judge Atlanta’s defense right now. The Hawks know that, too. But there’s no denying that the talking, helping and energy have all looked good so far. “It’s two games, but I do see some good things,” Al Horford said. “We are starting to trust each other more on the defensive end.”
  • Wall got to the basket when he wanted. “It’s tough to guard somebody that has freedom like that,” Jeff Teague said. “At any time he can take off and do what he wants to do. But when it’s like that if we can hold everyone else down we can get wins.”
  • Wall met some resistance at the rim, particularly from Josh Smith, who got one of his two charging calls against Wall. Most of his six turnovers came when he got out of control.
  • Young buried some 3s. Pogo stick JaVale McGee gave Josh and Al some problems when he got free around the basket. Otherwise, though, the Hawks pretty much held down the Wizards.
  • When Marvin Williams (eight rebounds) helps on the glass, the Hawks can do things like hammer the Wizards 45-32 on the boards. Josh and Al had 10 boards each. “He’s being very aggressive on the offensive boards,” Al said. “We need that from him at that position.”
  • It was another Marvin Blueprint game: rebound, make the open shots when they come and get to the free-throw line. “Knock on wood, he looks pain-free,” Drew said. “He’s really shooting the ball well when he gets his feet set. When teams double on the block he has to be able to hit those shots. Last year when he caught the ball at times he wasn’t even looking at the rim. Now when he’s catching the ball in his shooting range he’s looking to score.”
  • “I just feel better,” Marvin said. “Sometimes before on a back-to-back it was tough to recover. Tonight I felt perfectly fine.”
  • Atlanta’s offense benefited from some of their long 2s turning into 3s (9 of 23). Tracy McGrady’s effeicient effort was another positive: 11 points on five shots and four rebounds in 19 minutes. But all of Atlanta’s reserves except late sub Ivan Johnson ended up with negative plus-minuses.
  • A lot of that was because the Hawks gave back most of their 15-point lead in the first half as Jannero Pargo missed his first four shots. Both Pargo and Willie Green still look a bit lost. “They are not comfortable yet with what we are doing,” Drew said. “As soon as they get in a comfort zone, I’m confident they will play the way they can play.”
  • Teague’s ankle still isn’t 100 percent: “It’s getting better. I can’t jump like I want to but I can play.”
  • The Hawks missed their first 11 shots of the fourth quarter but Washington wasn’t doing much scoring, either. The Wizards had five misses and a turnover over their first 11 possessions of the period. Al scored on back-to-back scores at the basket to calm things down. “That’s when we rely on our defense to bail us out,” he said. “We held the lead and hit some key shots.”
  • “We got comfortable a little bit,” Teague said. “It happens in games but we recovered and got the win.”
  • You can see Al trying to score around the basket more often. He had some success backing McGeee under the rim to neutralize his length and leaping ability.
  • Jordan Crawford played just 21 minutes as Young stole his thunder and Joe took him to school. Jordan tossed up a half-hearted airball at the buzzer and quickly scurried off the court.
  • As promised, Crawford engaged Teague in some trash talk. “That’s my man,” Teague said. “We held him in check tonight but I know next time we see him he’s going to try to be better.”
  • The Hawks get the day off tomorrow.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

111 comments Add your comment

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

December 28th, 2011
11:15 pm

Josh Smith isn’t going to be any more than he already is, a high flying shot blocking and dunking machine that is a pretty good defender but lackluster on offense. Bad Handles, Takes too many jump shots for a guy who doesnt have a dependable J, and pretty good passer. Though a totally different type of player, He’s got that Jamal Crawford effect in a way. What I mean by that is one game he can be the solo reason you won, the next he can be the main reason you lost.

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

December 28th, 2011
11:17 pm

Both Horford and Al were supposed to be 20/10 guys a couple years ago according to some bloggers, fact is both of them are pretty good but they’re never going to be real stars.

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

December 28th, 2011
11:18 pm

Horford and Josh* I mean…but anyway we’ll see what this team is made of against the Heat and Bulls.


December 28th, 2011
11:20 pm

Hi MC,

Thank you for the great article.

Question: Can you please change your twitter background? :S

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
11:22 pm

“Reminds me of Ginobli…”

Still laughing!


December 28th, 2011
11:25 pm


December 28th, 2011
11:27 pm

Good game. Not as good as last night but I will take the win. Knew it would not be like last night but I will take it. Teague is showing growth. I don’t know if it is the Teague affect or what but guys are going to the rack more so-far, but it is only 2 games.

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
11:32 pm

Wizards playoff bound with JC2 leading the way!


December 28th, 2011
11:33 pm

suti u picku materinu jesi glupan


December 28th, 2011
11:37 pm


December 28th, 2011
11:37 pm

The Hawks are much improved over last year. I like what I see thus far!

Buddy Grizzard

December 28th, 2011
11:46 pm

Pargo is 3-of-12 on the season… somebody please ask him to stop jacking up shots.

Rev in Tampa

December 28th, 2011
11:58 pm

Buddy, if you check Green’s shooting pct. I believe you will find its similar to Pargo. He was 2-10 last night and had a few bricks tonight. They need to know that their role is to play enegetic D and distribute the ball. Their shot selection is hurting an otherwise effective bench.

Grandmaster JeJe

December 29th, 2011
12:01 am

Solid win.

Too many jumpshots.

Josh, ATTACK the hoop damnit!

And why has it taken Marvin 6 years to realize how long he is (no homo) and that he should be on the glass? Has NO ONE in this franchise ever told him this?


December 29th, 2011
12:22 am

Hawks will be a lot better when Hinrick and Sloan come back, current backup guards have not done much

McGree going to be real good player, 23 years old he pretty good now

Buddy Grizzard

December 29th, 2011
12:23 am

Jeez you’re right… Willie Green 3-for-13 on the season… why does this guy have a guaranteed contract?

Buddy Grizzard

December 29th, 2011
12:33 am

Brett LaGree noted that Josh is 2-for-10 on jump shots through two games. Maybe he doesn’t want to make the All-Star team after all.


December 29th, 2011
12:36 am

Good game from the starters, tough outing for the bench. Overall very good win, because of how tough the scoring got in the 4th, but the rebounding and defensive was solid. (most of the game)

First of all it was good to see Joe get back to the shooter that we know he is. (%50 from 3!) Marvin played another solid game, clearly the back surgery has made a significant difference. I like the attacking from Al and Josh, they also did a nice job on the boards. Jeff is definitely playing like a guy that is a starter in this league. Hopefully his ankle will get to %100 soon.

The bench had a tough night, Pargo wasn’t shooting the ball well and they just had a rough time with Nick Young. I actually think the bench was tired from playing so much last night. The trap wasn’t as effective, but as poorly as they played we still won by almost 20.

2 less wins we have to get!



December 29th, 2011
12:40 am

Good to see the Hawks START FAST on back to back night when so many times last year they were playing catch up after the first 10 min. Al and Smoove prob would’ve had a 20-10 game if they wouldn’t have missed so many shots…Marvin IS the X-factor though. His productivity is making teams account for him, which gives our other guys more freedom. Teague’s ability to score does this as well…Looking good early, but we always do…this time, for a change, KEEP IT UPPPP!!!!

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

December 29th, 2011
1:05 am

“Contenders” NYK and CHI beaten by the Warriors
Western Conf Finals Media Locks, LAC smacked by the Spurs
Boston 0-3
Heat nailbiter with the Bobcats


Big Daddy

December 29th, 2011
1:16 am

Good write-up MC. The Hawks are off to a good start and it was nice to see JT drive the lane and JJ get in a rhythm with his jumpshot. There were a few moments when I thought the Wizards were going to surge ahead but the defense was turned up and they pushed them back. A good win.

Do you think it is really a good idea for the starters to come down the stairs at introduction from the 2nd level? All it takes is for one opposing fan to stick a foot out or one crazy fan of ours who is upset with some player to send him tumbling. Someone could be out for a long period of time if that happen. I did think that it was good marketing for them to have select season ticket holders to come to the floor and get jerseys from the players. That was a nice touch. GO HAWKS!!!!


December 29th, 2011
1:23 am

Happy to see the Hawks snag another one they should’ve snagged. The Wizards got some young talent, but that’s all they have at this point. Still don’t know how to win consistently in this league yet.

We definitely need to clean some things up. Felt that there were plenty of portions throughout this game that looked sloppy. But, even with that, we managed to step on a team, and everytime it seemed as though they’d put a dent in our lead, we built it right back up. The bench squad didn’t look as great as they did on opening night, but still very effective. T-Mac gave us what I hope to get from him every night. Right around 10-14 ppg with a couple of dimes sounds good. Between him and Rad, we have a bit more pop on our bench than I thought. Both Green and Pargo are serviceable.

Real quick:
I know folks will use JC2’s performance tonight to try and justify the trade…

And I still say dude would look nice coming off our bench.

He’s a baller, despite his performance tonight.


December 29th, 2011
1:27 am

Quick knee-jerk reaction of our performance thus far…

Eastern Conference

1 – Heat
2 – Bulls
3 – Hawks
4 – Knicks
5 – C’s

I think the Hawks really do look like the 3rd best team in the conference. I’m fully aware that it’s pretty premature for me to be suggesting this, but I just like our depth over a lot of the other teams in the conference. We’ll see how they do as the season progresses, and we’ll get a chance to measure where we stand when we play better opponents.

But, as of right now, based not only on our 2 convincing wins, but the different peices we’ve acquired, I say we’re the 3rd best team in the East.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
2:12 am

I was at the game. A few observations:

The Hawks seem to be making a conscious effort to get to the line more, and it is showing in the box score.

This team is good enough to blow out bad teams even when they play at less than their best. The Hawks didn’t play as well today as they did against New Jersey, but they still cruised for most of the game.

Willie Green is horrible. Jannero Pargo is only slightly better. Zaza and Vlad had lackluster games, but both at least look like they belong on a court, and I think they will probably provide quality minutes more often than not. T-Mac looked good again. I guess 3 out of 5 ain’t bad.

Less than a sellout crowd, but still a good crowd for this game. Thanks to the DASG for the free T-shirts. Also, some Hawks employee outside gave me and my people 4 free tickets, which was probably the coolest thing the Hawks have done since they had the Hawk-A-Licious promotion.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
2:14 am

Oh yeah, one more observation: The phrase “basketball IQ” is overrated and overused, but if there was ever a textbook example of a team that lacked it, it is the Wizards. There is no excuse for a team with that much talent to play that poorly.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
2:15 am

And if Marvin keeps playing this well, even Rod is going to have to give him props.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 29th, 2011
2:37 am

Its still early. If we beat the Heat by 18 I will start to believe.


December 29th, 2011
2:42 am

Man, it’s sad that when we win this board is so dry. A bunch of female dogs post around here


December 29th, 2011
2:57 am

McGrady for the Vet minimum is the steal of the year.By mid season he will be even better because right now he is still adjusting to the game plan.Unlike Crawford, if tmac is having a bad shooting night, he can compensate for it by his court vision/playmaking and his versatility. Un like Jamal who was a one trick pony.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
2:58 am

““It’s two games, but I do see some good things,” Al Horford said. “We are starting to trust each other more on the defensive end.””

They are also being more aggressive, trying to get in passing lanes and denying entry passes more than they used to. That is making a big difference in keeping the opposing team out of sync. A few times they got burned when they were too aggressive, and that will probably be a bigger issue against better teams, but the aggressiveness keeps teams off balance.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
3:00 am

“But all of Atlanta’s reserves except late sub Ivan Johnson ended up with negative plus-minuses.”

In my opinion this is mainly Pargo and Green’s fault. Pargo was helpless on D against Wall and did very little on O, and Green got torched by Nick Young and didn’t do anything to compensate on the other end. The other reserves may not have been great but they weren’t that bad either.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 29th, 2011
3:03 am

Worldwide is still here. No matter how many games we win I will still be on that FIRE SUND. Only a championship can shut me up. Wins against NJ and Washington are good but not impressive.


December 29th, 2011
3:04 am

Hawks looked fantastic.

I dont want to sound too critical because the Hawk’s effort is there, the execution is there, along with the defensive focus.

A couple of things to consider for improvement:
-we are taking a boat load of threes.
they are open after our good ball movement, so they’re not bad shots (except for Smoove’s) but its worth noting were living and dying by the three. Can Teague and Marvin continue to knock em down at the clip they’re at? Hmmmmmmmmmm
-Also i don’t want to rag on Smoove, personally he’s my favorite player on the Hawk’s, but every jump shot he takes is like a turnover. Compound that with his already high turnover rate and he’s destined to have a very low +/-. In my humble opinion, he should camp under the basket and attack the glass. That’s where he he can cause the most damage. Teams will just double off of him when he is out on the perimeter and dare him to shoot.
-Also, i want to see L.D. experiment a little with his lineups. He did today but not enough to find a rhythm. This is the time of year to find some wrinkles and play with matchups.

Combo lineup:
TMac JJ Marvin Smoove Al

Big lineup:
Teague J J Marvin/Smoove/Tmac Al Zaza

(Teague/JJ/Tmac) MARVIN!!!! (Smoove/JJ/TMac) Al Zaza

Maybe the wildcard lineup might be better with the second the unit but LD used a variation of this tonight for about a minute. It resulted in Marvin posting up John Wall, who was defending. Marvin at the 2 is very intriguing, or at least a big lineup featuring TMac J J and Marvin will force mismatches against any team. We should be exploiting this!!!!!!!!!

All in all, impressive start by the home but there is always room for improvement. BTW, i have the Hawks in 7 against the Thunder in the NBA Finals for the CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

December 29th, 2011
3:06 am

The Hawks have looked impressive so far, but it’s unwise to jump to any real conclusions until January 7, which is when they would have finished playing Miami and Chicago twice each in the same week. How well they do in those games (and what their record is after that) is a much better indicator of what to expect from them than these two wins.

That is a rough week schedule-wise too. Five games in six days, four of them coming against the two best teams in the conference.


December 29th, 2011
3:14 am

Good Win in front of a good attendance. In typical hawks fashion we have shown that we can beat the bums of the conference and start the season off strong, it is nice to see us get out to quick starts, something not so typical of these guys. The key as Marvin pointed out is that with so many back2backs etc. this season it is Really important to take care of business in that first game so they have the energy to come out the next night and compete. Just two games but im intrigued by this crew with a healthy joe, a fixed marvin and this veteren bench… Let’s just try to not get blown out by the good teams (especially at home) boys and make some noise this season in the east. GO HAWKS!


December 29th, 2011
3:49 am

I agree, I will not make much out of this, but I am looking to the end of January to really gauge things after the first 22 games. Even with this 2-0 start I still say 14-8 is pretty much what I expect. At that rate we will win 39-40 games. I really thought we would be more like 36-30 so I am satisfied. We play 5 games next week and I am so realistic that I would not be mad at 2-3, 3-2 I am happy. Anything better than 3-2 I might start to overreact, but I caution against that because it is too early that’s why I say end of January when we have played a 3rd of the season.


December 29th, 2011
3:58 am

I can’t wait until Kirk comes back so Pargo can be gone, I don’t like this guy at all…

How many more games until Marvin is promoted out here, forget his scoring dude has gotten 9 rebounds in 22 minutes and 8 rebounds in 29 minutes while adding 14 and 17 points in those games, if Marvin can be consistent like the 07-08 season where he was at 15 and 6 I will be very happy.


December 29th, 2011
4:25 am

where is Jason Collins? I know he likes sitting on the bench but isn’t he still a part of this team? And willie green. Crap. He is terrible. Get sloan in there once his” injury” has healed up


December 29th, 2011
4:26 am

As many of you have said already, it’s too early in the season to draw real conclusions about the team. However, I like a lot of things that I’m seeing so far. The Hawks are playing like an actual team so far this season. They are not just having one player dribble the ball and isolate while the other 4 players stand and watch on the perimeter. The ball is moving on the offensive end, and guys are being very unselfish as well as selective with their shots. Defensively, the team looks a lot more active as well, and the help defense looks improved.

I see some positive signs from individual players as well. Al looks like he’s not just settling for jump shots on the offensive end. He’s using his jump shot to open up drives for him and doing a good job of driving to the paint instead of just taking the jump shot. Not all of his drives have been successful, but l like that he’s trying to expand his game on the offensive end. Also, as MC pointed it, it looks like Al is trying to score inside more. He’s gotten great post position many times in these last couple of games, and when he’s caught the ball inside, he’s been very aggressive and physical in the post, and tonight he actually looked more effective inside than he did outside. His jump shot has been off in these first two games, but I don’t worry about that. We already know that Al can shoot the ball from mid-range, and I’m sure once he gets his legs under him and gets into the flow of things as the season progresses, he’ll start draining his jump shots at a high rate once again. Also, on the defensive end, Al looks like he’s improved his help defense. He’s rotating over to help others and protect the paint moreso than he did last season. You can see it in the way he’s blocking more shots, and along with Josh, he’s helping the Hawks to contest every shot at the rim.

I see some nice things out of Josh also. He looks very active on both ends, and the loss in weight looks like it’s really helping him out. He’s been everywhere on the court, and has contributed in pretty much every facet of the game thus far. He’s still taking more long jump shots than he should, but it looks like Josh’s shot selection and decision making has improved. I’ve noticed him giving up the ball and making the right decisions rather than taking a lot of the lazy jumpers than he would shot last season. Other than taking a few too many long jumpshots, Josh has looked great. His numbers haven’t been overly impressive, but I expect that he and Al will have increased production this season once things get rolling.

The player I’ve been most impressed with is Marvin. He’s looking a lot more like the Marvin of 2008-09, when he was averaging around 15 ppg and 7 rpg. In fact, he’s looked better. I know it’s early, but this is the best Marvin has looked in a long time. He’s being much more aggressive on the boards and is looking like a legit starter. He’s knocking down open shots and making use of his physical ability and length inside. I’ve always though that if Marvin had a larger role in the offense, he might flourish. It looks like not having anyone dominate the offense (e.g. Joe or Jamal) is really helping Marvin out. Hopefully, Marvin can keep this up.

One more thing. The bench has been so-so, thus far. They were great against the Nets and not so good against the Wizards. However, it does look like the bench will have pretty good chemistry and the pieces will likely complement eachother well. McGrady and Radmanovic look like good pickups, and once Kirk gets back, I think we will have a pretty reliable bench unit.

Obviously, we don’t know if guys are just playing well against bad teams or if we can truly expect good things out of this group. I’m looking forward to the games against the “contenders” next week to find out more about the team.

It was not a bad pick

December 29th, 2011
4:59 am

Ok so here we go again!..Marvin, the almost 1st pick of the whole darn draft is showing everyone why Knight passed on Paul..the only reason his production slipped was Jamal and his 1000 shots coming to ATL…. But will joe and Josh continue to let him shine, or will they start hogging the ball..Thats the ?….Marvin, when used properly is no doubt a top 5 SF in the NBA..LBJ, Melo, Durant…Marvin?…


December 29th, 2011
5:14 am

Marvin is so impressive, I knew it before the start of the season. I think T-Mac need to score more as well as Willie Green, we are doing good job defensively. No doubt we will become one of the better defensive team this season because our bench is playing well defensively.

Buddy Grizzard

December 29th, 2011
5:16 am

“If Marvin can be consistent like the 07-08 season where he was at 15 and 6 I will be very happy.” – Jae

I have been predicting this all summer based on the departure of JC1. I didn’t even know about his back injury but a return to health coupled with the sudden availability of shots has created the perfect storm for Marvin. As predicted, his trade value will have increased dramaticaly from the start of the season to the trade deadline.

“And willie green. Crap. He is terrible.” – jd

Yeah… Pargo and Green are garbage. They’re wannabe Jamal Crawfords who throw up every available shot. Meanwhile T-Mac, Vlad and Zaza are playing team ball on the second unit, but their efforts are being wasted by sharing the court with this trash. Please get better Kirk.

Prison Mike

December 29th, 2011
5:49 am

Certain things I noticed about the game. Josh the few times he got the ball on the block would INSTANTLY get double teamed. I counted about three times (will watch the replay soon) they gave him alot of respect in that aspect.

Al when in the same position was left alone with Mcgee which made sense. He made them pay for the most part with one on one coverage. Tmac and Marv looked great, just need them to avoid nagging injuries. Teague looked around 90%, he had two breakaway fastbreak chances but came up kinda of lame. He usually yolks those.


December 29th, 2011
6:50 am

One constant thing I keep reading about the Hawks impressive start is the consensus statement that “It’s only two games” or “Its against two bad teams – Nets and Wizards”.

I’m not taking anything away from the Hawks. The fact of the matter is both the Nets and the Wizards both send 5 professional starters on the court same as the Hawks and they both have at least 5 more players in backup bench help.

Bottom line, you play who you play. I find the Hawks efforts impressive because last years team would have “played down” to the competition and those games last year would only be a 4 to 6 point victory, whereas this year they are blow outs.

Just Joe

December 29th, 2011
7:02 am

Just looking at schedules again. This is going to be a crazy season. Celtics lost bad to the Hornets (without Gordon) last night. The age of the regulars, plus so many new faces on the roster, are going to make it tough for that team.


December 29th, 2011
7:03 am

It was not a bad pick

December 29th, 2011
4:59 am
You obviously don’t know basketball that well if yo think Marvin Williams is a top 5 Small forward:

Try these on for size….(other than the obvious Melo, LBJ, Durant)

Andre Iguodala
Paul Pierce
Danny Granger
Rudy Gay
Dorell Wright

Just Joe

December 29th, 2011
7:09 am

Once healthy, there are five holes on this team (IMO):

Teague / Hinrich / ????
Johnson / ????
???? / McGrady
Smith / Radmanovic / ????
Horford / Pachulia / ????

Now I’d love to pencil in Marvin and Ivan in to two of those holes, but I need to see more. Maybe Sloan can grab that third PG slot as well, but I think another center and a solid backup SG will have to come through trade or free agent signing. Michael Redd and Joel Pryzbilla would be perfect.


December 29th, 2011
7:14 am

This is truely funny, even though we not only win our only two games thus far we as fans still find reason to grip. Misery loves company and if you call yourself a hawk fan and only dwell on the negative then you are not much of one.

hittman jamillion

December 29th, 2011
7:47 am

Hey hawks forever, marv has the skill set,it’s a difference when you have talent but play in a pecking orderof good players and when you nice but are a coaches decision to be a designated option.
Just look at it like all the picks woody ruined by not developing them. Think about it BK evaluated JJ by based on talent even though at Phoenix his pecking order position was fifth. We now see he was the third best player on that team after stat or maybe second. Duck always had the skill but it’s only one ball pimp,and it’s only so many possessions.


December 29th, 2011
7:52 am

MC The hawks looked awesome last night, I was at the game. Im excited about the rest of the season. Watched this game live streaming on this site and is actually verry good, they have been streaming every game…