Atlanta Hawks: Bulls 76, Hawks 74

Chicago–The Hawks so thoroughly dominated the Bulls for 33 minutes the United Center turned on the home team. Then Derrick Rose got off, the fans got live and the Hawks wilted under the pressure. They blew a chance to become the talk of the East for a few days.

  • “The most important thing for us this early in the season is that we learn from it,” Larry Drew said. “We are going to be in these type positions a lot more times and it’s important to learn from it. When you are on the road, 19 points is nothing. It can be chipped away very easily. We made some mistakes with that 19-point lead that gave them hope. You can’t do that with a good team. Chicago is a very explosive team and with Rose on the floor anything can happen.”
  • At the same time Rose got hot, Atlanta’s reserves got stagnant. Jannero Pargo’s 3 was more of an isolation heave than any kind of set play. Vladimir Radmanovic missed a rushed shot and Rose answered with a 3-pointer. Zaza Pachulia got stripped of the ball by Luol Deng, who went in for a layup on the break to cut it to 59-54.
  • There wasn’t any one thing that lost the game for the Hawks but clearly that sequence made it a tight game after they were in control. This was a night when the bench didn’t have it, Rose was staring to take over and the Hawks have a rest day tomorrow.
  • Still, the starters should have had their legs back after that break but they had miscues down the stretch, too. When Drew called a timeout to get the starters back in, Jeff Teague promptly forced a driving shot that Omer Asik blocked.
  • The Hawks never had a consistent offensive flow in the final quarter. They did get a couple lob dunks but those were canceled out by lots of standing around, too much one-on-one by Joe Johnson, a couple Josh Smith jumpers (he did make a big one) and missed free throws. “We definitely got stagnant,” Drew said. “We were put in a lot of situations where there was low time on the clock. We didn’t get organized like we should. We will learn from it.”
  • “I thought we passed up a lot of shots, honestly,” Johnson said. “I thought guys were passing up shots and trying to get another shot and it was leading to bad shots and turnovers.”
  • The Hawks missed 11 of 25 free-throw attempts, including 6 of 10 in the fourth quarter. Three of those misses came in the final 17.5 seconds, with two from Teague and one from Horford.
  • “I don’t know how I missed those free throws,” Teague said. “It happens. It will probably get at me for the rest of the night but I will be all right. It happens in basketball. Guys miss shots all the time. When I get home I will probably watch the game and try to move on from there.”
  • Probably fatigue played a factor in the missed free throws. “No question about it,” Horford said. “We weren’t good from the line tonight. Normally we are a good free-throw shooting team. I myself missed a couple. We weren’t knocking them down like we should. Other than that I felt like we played a great game. We were right there with them. We dominated them for most of the game. Just Derrick Rose happened.”
  • When Rose is pulling up and making 3s it’s a tough task to slow him down. “When he came out hitting those 3s in the second half, it’s hard to guard,” Teague said. “He has the green light to pull at any time and his team knows that. When he gets to hitting them, his confidence is up and now you are worried about him shooting threes. They were playing loose. They were down and they were just fighting to get back. No shot was a bad shot.”
  • I thought Smith was good with the help defense on Rose but Rose got a couple calls. “I think we did a good job on defense,” Josh said. “We understood that with the lead they were going to be able to get to the free-throw line pretty much on anything. We expected it coming in and it’s just disappointing to see the lead decreased like that.”
  • Deng slipped behind the defense thanks to a pick by Rose and confusion by the Hawks. “I was kind of covering the ball with Joakim [Noah],” Horford said. “We all assumed the ball was going to come back to Rose and we were going to trap. That was a great play by them, by their coach, to take the pressure from Rose and hit Deng on the backdoor. We didn’t expect that at all so that’s a great play by them. I think we just fell asleep on the back line.”
  • “We had multiple options,” Tom Thibodeau said. “Obviously we were trying to get the ball to Derrick. They did a good job of taking away the first two options. Derrick set a great screen and Joakim made a great pass and Luol made a great cut.”
  • On the final play the inbound pass went to Horford far away from the basket and Johnson got off an awkward 3-point try at the buzzer that missed. Johnson was 3 for 17, including 1 for 5 in the fourth quarter. I wonder if back-to-backs make his thumb flare-ups worse. It probably also didn’t help that he checked Rose at times (and was fairly effective at it for stretches).
  • Teague was chasing Rose off screens a lot and wasn’t able to affect him in isolation, either. He was better than Pargo, though.
  • Smith was all over the boards and made Chicago work for everything in the paint. But there was one fast break in which Teague passed out to Johnson in the corner instead of hitting Smith in the lane (does any team do that more then the Hawks?). Smith got frustrated and gave up on the play. If he’d stayed with it, he would have had a putback of Johnson’s miss.
  • Marvin Williams (14 points on 10 shots, eight rebounds) had another solid game but he threw the ball away when the Hawks had a 71-70 lead. At some point Drew probably is going to have to figure out a way to keep Marvin in the game along with Tracy McGrady. Maybe someone else comes out instead.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic made his first shot, a 3-pointer, and then missed his next three. By now it’s clear Willie Green is going to shoot when he gets in so the Hawks have to hope there are more 2-for-4s than 0-for-6s. Zaza Pachulia kept getting the ball late in the shot clock in bad position and at one point appeared to tell Green that’s not cool.
  • McGrady said he banged his left knee during the Miami game and has a bone bruise: “We will see how it feels over the next couple days. It felt like [crap] today.” He drove to the basket against the Bulls but kept looking for calls that weren’t coming. McGrady had three turnovers against two assists but did get six rebounds in his 15 minutes. In addition to his length, McGrady has a feel for how the ball is going to come off the rim.
  • The Hawks earned a split at Miami and Chicago and get another shot at both teams during the back-to-back-to-back.
  • “I was planning to win both of them,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately we came up short tonight in a game we felt like we should have won. For whatever reason it got away from us. We didn’t come up with the big plays down the stretch.”
  • “We can feel disappointed that we let this one get away from us we have nothing to hang our heads over,” Drew said. “I thought we played hard and played well for three quarters and we seemed to run out of a little bit of staem in that fourth quarter. We didn’t defend the way we did the first three quarters.”
  • “We know we can play with the best of the best,” Smith said. “Obviously this was a disappointing loss but we can’t hang our heads. We have to know we can play anybody. These are the top two teams in the Eastern Conference last year.”
  • “Obviously we can play with anybody,” Teague said. “We had them down 19. They made some plays. They made shots. Our defense was playing great; they just made some shots. They came back and stole one from us.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

423 comments Add your comment

HawkZ

January 4th, 2012
12:42 am

FIRST~!~!~! DUHHHHHHHH~!~!~!

Hmmmm

January 4th, 2012
12:47 am

OH SNAP JOSH HAD DOUBLE DIGIT REBOUNDS?!?! I’M PLAYING THE LOTTERY NEXT WEEK.

Mike Jones

January 4th, 2012
12:48 am

Humm-mmm

January 4th, 2012
12:50 am

Oh Snap Snap… Al Horford only had 6 rebounds and no blocks again…. im going back to bed.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2012
12:50 am

Keep playing D like this, attack on offense, and things will be fine. Losses are losses, but a loss like this is much better than a loss like the one against Houston.

Hmmmm

January 4th, 2012
12:51 am

BOTTOM LINE, THIBODEAU OUTCOACHED DREW WHEN IT MATTERED. IF THEY SWITCHED SIDES IN THE SECOND HALF, HAWKS BLOW EM OUT.

DAMN, THE HEAT AGAIN? STERN HATES THE HAWKS MORE THAN THE LAKERS LOL.

Humm-mmm

January 4th, 2012
12:51 am

Can some one please tell me

Humm-mmm

January 4th, 2012
12:52 am

WHY AL IS ON THE PERIMETER AND NOT UNDER THE BASKET?

Humm-mmm

January 4th, 2012
12:53 am

Does any body know?

Humm-mmm

January 4th, 2012
12:55 am

Is it Al Nowitski or Dirk Horford?

Hawks Str8Talk

January 4th, 2012
12:56 am

I’m glad that MC is finally reporting one of my pet peeves on this team..the transition JUMPER! I can’t imagine that any other team shoots more jump shots on the break than us. Good move if you have Ray Allen or Dirk, but otherwise – go to the cup. That plus the center and power forward bringing up the ball at any time.

SoullRenaissance (formerly Hawks Fan In New Orleans)

January 4th, 2012
12:56 am

Gotta win these games to get nation wide respect.

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
12:59 am

The difference in LD and the way I coached:

“We can feel disappointed that we let this one get away from us we have nothing to hang our heads over,” Drew said. “I thought we played hard and played well for three quarters and we seemed to run out of a little bit of steam in that fourth quarter. We didn’t defend the way we did the first three quarters.”

Don’t ever let your team off the hook for a bad loss.
They should feel;
“pissed off”.
No – don’t hang your heads but don’t talk about how well you played for three qtrs.
That’s for us fans.
Be mad that you wet your pants for the last half of the last qtr.
Now build on that.
Issue a challenge to their manhood – do nor sissify them !
Heck yeah I was old school !

“Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses”
- Don Meyer -

Slimjr

January 4th, 2012
1:00 am

I saw that patented turn around fade away set shot again from All NBA! Not working dude..Shelve it…

Slimjr

January 4th, 2012
1:01 am

Let Grandad coach this team! We’d be 6-0!

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
1:02 am

LD did not get outcoached.

Thibs has Rose, LD does not.

Rose has Stern. period.

DC Bravos Fan

January 4th, 2012
1:03 am

This was a game that only the Hawks could lose. They consistently snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

LD got outcoached again tonight. You have to call a timeout during that Bulls run to cut the lead. He should have called one at 12, 10, or 8, but no, he waits until the lead is 5.

Just awful coaching. He had to get the starters back in there with a good lead, but he let it get whittled down to five.

Just awful.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2012
1:04 am

This front line Core cant score the ball consistently..

Need help. Need a Paul Pierce type scorer at the 3 to put them over the top in the 4th quarter.

DC Bravos Fan

January 4th, 2012
1:06 am

They pay the starters a combined $57 million, but LD lets the bench dudes (making a combine $8 mill) get rolled up by D Rose. He got outclassed tonight. You just cannot allow the bench to lose a 19 point lead.

By the time the starters were back in, the lead is down to five. HOW DO YOU NOT USE TIMEOUTS? LD knows they don’t roll over to the next game, right?????

Slimjr

January 4th, 2012
1:06 am

ZaZa look lost and intimidated tonight?

superiorblogman

January 4th, 2012
1:07 am

LD lost the momentum of this game. He always talks about the PG controlling tempo well shouldn’t the PG on the bench whom has more experience than any player on the floor be able to control momentum better than what LD showed tonight? Missing FT’s did not help and Teague missed them at the worse time. Lastly, MC who do you suggest comes off the floor so T-Mac can be in during the clutch and doesn’t that sound just like the same mess we did with Jamal for 2 years. That mess cost Marvin and possibly stunted his growth, this mess will cost someone and I figure it is Teague’s groeth you are wanting to pay the price for McGrady.

superiorblogman

January 4th, 2012
1:09 am

And don’t be tripping because I spelled growth wrong

hawks fan down under

January 4th, 2012
1:09 am

total choke tonight but judge the team on how they respond to the loss more than the loss itself.

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
1:10 am

Slimjr

I think LD is doing a good job and has improved over last year.
He is still an enabler.

I might be 0-6;
but the players would know the difference in Boss v Employee.
If they did not carry out assignments;
“hind on the pine”
works at any level.
Now I might be unemployed very shortly after I pissed off
several $ millionaires ?
But, hey, old farts like myself don’t care about such.

DC Bravos Fan

January 4th, 2012
1:11 am

The Hawks were actually getting whistles tonight as well. They took terrible shots down the stretch and just gagged.

All this crap about how they can play with the best teams in the league is for the birds. They can’t close out the best teams in the league consistently so they are doomed to more mediocrity. Is there one dude on that team who will get in some faces and demand that they play better. There are no winners on that team, just dudes collecting checks.

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
1:12 am

It was not a total choke job.

DC Bravos Fan

January 4th, 2012
1:16 am

If I was the owner, I would fine any player who said “Hey, at least we know we can hang with these guys?” There is no column in the standings for moral victories last I checked.

There are too many guys who are just happy to hang with the good teams. No one there wants to dominate the good teams. This team is already settling for just being okay.

Bring on another mediocre season with a first round exit.

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
1:18 am

DC Bravos Fan

Which game did you watch and what was the score in that one ?

superiorblogman

January 4th, 2012
1:20 am

MC who do you suggest comes off the floor so T-Mac can be in during the clutch and doesn’t that sound just like the same mess we did with Jamal for 2 years. That mess cost Marvin and possibly stunted his growth, this mess will cost someone and I figure it is Teague’s growth you are wanting to pay the price for McGrady

hawks fan down under

January 4th, 2012
1:28 am

also those Bulls commentators were garbage. Stacey King was just a cheerleader at times.

real talk

January 4th, 2012
1:30 am

Good game for the hawks. Your highest paid player went 3 for 17 and LD got out coached. Otherwise, good effort against the mvp and the bulls.

Rusty

January 4th, 2012
1:30 am

Why the hell would you give the last shot to jj when he coulnt throw the ball into the ocean,you had to know he couldn’t drive to the basket & get fouled. I blame this loss strictly on ld &jj. Jj tried to play his one on four slowdown dribble dribble offense taking us completely out of syc.how often does jj come through in the clutch,not much

Hmmmm

January 4th, 2012
1:33 am

HOW DID THEY WIN MONDAY NIGHT? WAS IT BECAUSE WE HAD HORFORD, TEAGUE AND T-MAC AND THE HEAT ONLY HAD LEBRON, WADE AND BOSH?

I DON’T BELIEVE THIS GAME IS ANYTHING TO CRY ABOUT. IF THE KNICKS BEAT MIAMI THEN LOST TO CHICAGO BY TWO THE NEXT NIGHT, ESPN WOULD CROWN THEIR ASSES LOL.

real talk

January 4th, 2012
1:36 am

Feel u on that rusty….JJ and LD should’ve let others like marvin, horford, and mcgrady get into rythm offensively.

Hmmmm

January 4th, 2012
1:38 am

SERIOUSLY, WHO HAS A BETTER JOB THAN SPOELSTRA?

“HEY LEBRON, WADE, Y’ALL DO WHAT YALL DO. BOSH, YOU GO CRY IN THE CORNER. I’M GONNA BE OVER HERE WITH THIS CUBAN MAMI WHILE PAT CUTS THE CHECK LOL.”

real talk

January 4th, 2012
1:40 am

What did they say was wrong with mcgrady?

Michael Cunningham

January 4th, 2012
2:01 am

@hawksstr8talk: “I’m glad that MC is finally reporting one of my pet peeves on this team..the transition JUMPER!”

i’m sure i’ve written about it before. but, quite obviously, it wasn’t before you.

Michael Cunningham

January 4th, 2012
2:05 am

@superiorblogman: “MC who do you suggest comes off the floor so T-Mac can be in during the clutch”

well, i didn’t say in the clutch. but if that’s your scenario clearly it shouldn’t be Teague. i just think at some point Drew will use a lineup with Marvin and T-Mac together. perhaps T-Mac at 2 guard instead of Willie Green or at the 1 instead of Pargo. Drew keeps saying T-Mac is versatile so let’s see a creative alignment.

tyger

January 4th, 2012
2:07 am

Really Joe? Really???….

J. Johnson G 40:20 3-17 2-2 2-9 +7 2 4 4 0 3 1 2 10
J. Teague G 34:39 2-8 3-6 0-1 +10 0 1 4 0 1 2 3 7

1. Not to harp on what somebody else makes, but damn Joe, really???
2. That’s the Jeff Teague I know, didn’t recognize the guy in MIA…
3. Hope TMac is OK, obviously we can’t win without him…
4. Gotta like Marvin’s consistent, smart, fundamentally sound efforts…
5. Unleash Stackhouse, one bucket was all we needed…
6. Stack would’ve calmed that 5 min. of disarray, why did u sign him???
7. Gave up on ZaZa too soon, too slow on the timeouts too…
8. Damn Joe, 3-17???…really????
9. That was an oppurtunity to make a “statement”….not!
10. Real progress wouldve been to win the game… not, oh well, $hit happens…

Buddy Grizzard

January 4th, 2012
2:13 am

Sup my blog peeps. Please see:

http://www.hoopinionblog.com/

For my first post for the TrueHoop Network. I would appreciate any comments on the site. Not trying to steal MC’s audience. I think this blog is so popular, aside from MC’s outstanding Hawks coverage, because of its open nature. Having to deal with facebook or other login accounts is a pain and accounts for the scarcity of reader comments on Hoopinion. I would love to get feedback from the regulars here, though. And as with Big Ray, though I blog elsewhere, I will remain a part of this community.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

January 4th, 2012
2:15 am

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

January 4th, 2012
2:16 am

Where was Horford when Rose was driving to the basket?

HB Ando

January 4th, 2012
2:18 am

Bring back Ray…..

Grandad

January 4th, 2012
2:30 am

If I were taking out a starter in crunch time;
it would be Josh, based on his basketball IQ alone.
One would want the most reliable players in during
“crunch time”.

A Coach sometimes must use his instincts
at any period during games.
Occasionally you may want your best player sitting
for a myriad of reasons.
Many times good Coaches elect to go offense / defense
at crucial points during games.
A terrible mistake is to have a set formula and stick by said formula
regardless of the circumstances.
To take a formulaic approach to substitutions or coaching in general
replaces wisdom, experience, aptitude, ingenuity, or cunning.

The simple answer is still;
“take Josh out” !

-speaking of cunning-

When it comes to cunning linguist, I’ve been told,
I’m one of the best.

EmirS.

January 4th, 2012
2:33 am

I’m loving the defense.

Yes, we lost…but I think it’s safe to say we MIGHT make more of a splash this season then last years.

Also, that is one of the reasons we are not an elite team. Up by 19, only to lose by 2. That is what separates us from the Bulls, Heat, Thunder, Lakers, etc. Unable to finish in the stretch. Glad this wasn’t game 7 of the ECF! :)

Hmmmm

January 4th, 2012
2:38 am

“…“We all assumed the ball was going to come back to Rose and we were going to trap. That was a great play by them, by their coach, to take the pressure from Rose and hit Deng on the backdoor. We didn’t expect that at all so that’s a great play by them.”

AHEM. READ THE LAST SENTENCE TO YOURSELF. OUT-COACHED.

Buddy Grizzard

January 4th, 2012
2:49 am

“If I were taking out a starter in crunch time… it would be Josh, based on his basketball IQ alone.” – G-Dad

I’m inclined to agree with you on one level. Bring T-Mac in at Small Forward and shift Marv temporarily over to PF. Marvin has had an outstanding season and has been playing great team ball.

But at the same time, as I posted on Hoopinion, Chicago’s rally began when Vlad came into the game for Josh in the third quarter. It was like someone flipped a switch and the Bulls started attacking the basket.

SoullRenaissance (formerly Hawks Fan In New Orleans)

January 4th, 2012
2:57 am

right on Hmmmm – outcoached, outsmarted.

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

January 4th, 2012
3:02 am

Same Core = Same Results

Reggie

January 4th, 2012
3:16 am

Bottom line is if the Hawks make their free throws then this is a win