Atlanta Hawks: Heat 116, Hawks 109 (3 OT)

Al Horford summed it up: “This by far has to be my worst defeat here as a Hawk. I didn’t feel like we wanted to win this game.” Possible exceptions include Ivan Johnson, Willie Green and Tracy McGrady.

  • This was the kind of loss that people who can’t embrace the Hawks predict as soon as they hear LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are out. And then it happened. “I wish they would have played, to be perfectly honest,” Larry Drew said. “I think if they would have played we would have taken a whole different approach.”
  • To get a sense of the Hawks’ disarray in this loss, listen to the various explanations for the poor pick-and-roll coverages that plagued them all game.
  • Drew on Chris Bosh’s game-tying 3 at the end of regulation: “Mental, mental breakdown. Just total mental breakdowns from key players. We knew they were going for the quick basket. We were going to switch a lot of the things. When you make a switch, you come together. We didn’t do that. We tried to cheat the play and they stepped right in between us. It should not have been switched because we didn’t come together.”
  • Horford: “That’s a miscommunication there. That went on all game. Guys were not on the same page and we weren’t switching. We were having some problems with the coverages. Jeff [Teague], you can’t fault him, he expects it to be done the right way every time.”
  • Josh Smith: “I don’t know how much louder I can scream for whoever it is that a man is coming up and setting a screen. . . . We were giving up too many straight-line drives to the basket and dribble-drive layups. It’s disappointing to see that when somebody makes a play, as teammates we have to come up and help them. ”
  • Drew said he didn’t want to foul on Miami’s last possession of regulation: “I trust my defense in that situation. We did everything right except we had a breakdown on our switch. We didn’t switch it. It just took a moment for Bosh to step back and get open. I thought we did everything perfect up that point.”
  • The Hawks missed 12 free throws after halftime. “You’ve got to step up and make them,” Joe Johnson said. “I’m one of the biggest culprits.”
  • Johnson also missed 6 of 7 3-point tries. He missed all three of his shots in the third overtime, when the Hawks became just the 10th team in league history to fail to score in an overtime period.
  • The talk about Johnson’s renewed energy for this season looks flimsy now. For the second game in a row the Hawks needed their alpha dog to make one or two plays to win and he couldn’t do it.
  • Teague struggled, too. He had five steals and seven assists against two turnovers but missed 11 of 12 shots and four of eight free throws. He didn’t fight hard through screens at times though, after talking to Drew and the Hawks, I’m still not sure how much of that is his fault–because they didn’t sound sure, either.
  • Teague is still learning on the job but he didn’t look as confident tonight. “We missed shots and it carried over to our defense, starting with me,” Teague said.
  • McGrady (14 points on eight shots, five assists, seven rebounds) didn’t play after the first overtime. Drew said it was a strategic decision and then McGrady wasn’t able to return: “While he was on the bench he stiffened up and he couldn’t get back in there.”
  • McGrady: “I sat down for too long.”
  • Smith was spent for the third overtime. He slumped on the scorer’s table before the jump ball. Horford pumped his fist and yelled: “Smoove! Come on, man!”
  • Josh: “I understand that they are looking to me to generate most of the energy but at the same time we are all professionals. Everybody has to be able to go out there and play no matter who steps out there on the floor.”
  • Horford got Bosh in Miami; Bosh returned the favor tonight. “He’s tough, man,” Horford said. “He knows how to play. He buys into his role with his team and steps back, but we know he’s capable of doing that any time.”
  • Vladimir Radmanovic makes contributions but he can’t make a shot. This is a problem since that’s why the Hawks signed him.
  • The good vibes generated by the Hawks after the W in Miami are gone now. And they still have to play two more games in two days.
  • “The frustrating part is it’s little things we can control,” Horford said. “It’s free throws, it’s little things on defense that we do sometimes and other times we don’t. Tonight we probably let our guards down with those two guys being out. That’s somewhat of a factor, but that’s still no excuse.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

154 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2012
1:39 am

The core sucks. Give Teague a chance. Iso-Teague. Any two of the medium-sized three for Dwight. Fire Everybody.

Spyro

January 6th, 2012
1:40 am

How frustrating!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2012
1:42 am

The Najeh Davenpoop Sportsbook line for tomorrow’s game is Charlotte -15.

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
1:43 am

“….“I wish they would have played, to be perfectly honest,” Larry Drew said. “I think if they would have played we would have taken a whole different approach.” …”

SO APPARENTLY HE CAN’T GET HIS OWN TEAM MOTIVATED TO PLAY HARD, THEREFORE HE NEEDS THEM TO BE STARSTRUCK BY THE OPPONENT.

I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS MAN’S HALL OF FAME INDUCTION.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2012
1:43 am

MC, no comments from/about Ivan? Any indication that LD isn’t just BSing when talking about “finding a way to get him minutes”?

Adam

January 6th, 2012
1:45 am

Joe Johnson is the single greatest player in the history of western civilization, and it isn’t even debatable.

If the Hawks don’t go 63-3, and win the NBA Championship, I’ll be shocked.

Booya.

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
1:47 am

“…Teague is still learning on the job but he didn’t look as confident tonight. “We missed shots and it carried over to our defense, starting with me,” Teague said. …”

THE YOUNGEST PLAYER IS THE ONLY ONE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND FALLING ON THE SWORD. YOU HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE TEAGUE. IT MAY NOT BE HERE, THOUGH.

FreshFromATL

January 6th, 2012
1:47 am

To be honest, it does not matter who the Hawks trade or bring in as a free agent, until this organization hire a competent coach that DEMANDS more from his players, this type of thing will continue to happen. No player in the league is going to change this team’s fragile mentality, NONE. Larry Drew may have just coached his way out of Atlanta with this one.

And check out the off camera truth from the announcers tonight:

ch?feature=player_embedded&v=XOAPL5Td7uo

JIM

January 6th, 2012
1:48 am

u just knew it right? when the free throws started clanking off the rim that it was over. we have lost 2 straight because of that…

isn’t a free throw something you practice every day?

FreshFromATL

January 6th, 2012
1:48 am

JaeEvolution

January 6th, 2012
1:49 am

We all know how Ivan’s minute will end up, he will start out getting about 15 then slowly, slowly but surely he will fade back to the benchwarmer role even after contributing more than anyone else there and making play after play, just like Teague was stuck there for 2 years.

Hawks Fan Down Under

January 6th, 2012
1:50 am

Heartless, gutless and mindless.

That’s how they played tonight.

Do even the owners think this team can win a title?!?!?!?!?

Neki

January 6th, 2012
1:50 am

This core has to go!!! No question asks. I don’t think you can lose like this to a team that didn’t have both of their superstars in the game. Missed FT, Lack of Mental Toughness, and the fact that Horford, Smith, Johnson and others was outplayed by a player until this year, he was playing in Korea. ASG needs to make a change right now, regards if they beat Charlotte by 100, The core needs to be shaken up or destroy. They need to tell the Magic, they can have any two players for Dwight.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 6th, 2012
1:51 am

Oh sh-t, Jon Leuer dunk on the TNT highlights. I know someone who’s going to need to change their pants…

Reggie

January 6th, 2012
1:52 am

Time to make a move,Josh Smith:headcase who like to shoot jumpers, DeMarcus Cousins:headcase who shoots from paint….i’ll take the headcase in the paint for 200 Alex.

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
1:52 am

THESE PLAYER QUOTES SHOULD HAVE DWIGHT BANGING ON OTIS SMITH’S DOOR TO DEMAND A TRADE TO THE HAWKS, AMIRIGHT? LOL

Dewayne

January 6th, 2012
1:55 am

Two words for the Hawks. Soft and weak. That is all!!!

Big Lou

January 6th, 2012
1:55 am

Freaking play Ivan Johnson; he has grit, heart, and physicality — way more than our overpaid, lackluster, no-heart starters(except Teague). How can you not realize that this guy is hungry? I’m so sick in tired of the crappy management in ATL. You can spend 120 million on a loser, but you can’t spend money on a decent coach? So much fail in this organization.

The Falcons may have their flaws, but at least they spend money on decent management and have players that play with heart. Fire LD? Fire the Hawks owners, and the coaching staff!

doc

January 6th, 2012
1:56 am

Drew said he didn’t want to foul on Miami’s last possession of regulation: “I trust my defense in that situation. We did everything right except we had a breakdown on our switch. We didn’t switch it. It just took a moment for Bosh to step back and get open. I thought we did everything perfect up that point.”

just plain stupid with no logic and he should be fired immediately.

Slimjr

January 6th, 2012
1:56 am

“Al Horford summed it up: “This by far has to be my worst defeat here as a Hawk. I didn’t feel like we wanted to win this game.”

All Dirk Jr scored 10 pts in 40 minutes and fouled out with 4 turnovers..

This stiff has got to be one of the worst AllStars ever…..

Slimjr

January 6th, 2012
1:57 am

Drew just quit man….

doc

January 6th, 2012
1:58 am

fresh you want to try it again or sum up what they said?

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
1:58 am

THE HAWKS AREN’T YOUNG ANYMORE. IT’S PAST TIME TO TAKE OFF THE TRAINING WHEELS AND GET A COACH WHO WILL TREAT THEM LIKE MEN AND HURT THEIR FEELINGS. BUT SINCE OWNERSHIP IS CHEAP AND UNCERTAIN, VAN GUNDY AND SLOAN MIGHT LAUGH IF THEY GET A PHONE CALL.

DREW LOVES TO TALK TOUGH AFTER THE GAME BUT IS SCARED TO BENCH THEM WHEN THE SUCK AND GET LAZY ON THE FLOOR.

Slimjr

January 6th, 2012
2:00 am

All NBA = Catwomen! He and his new bride could dress up as twins for Halloween…

JJ is not Robin, Sorry Robin…

doc

January 6th, 2012
2:00 am

one guy maybe two played to win if you combine green and tmac. ivan for sure, tmac almost a whole but he missed too many free throws himself.

ld would be gone if there was a basketball mind in the house but gearon and sund dont count.

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
2:03 am

POPPVICH WOULD HAVE PUT SOMEONE IN A CHOKEHOLD AFTER BOSH HIT THAT 3 LOL.

EmirS.

January 6th, 2012
2:03 am

What’s with Horford and Josh? Neither one of them have done anything impressive thus far in the season. Have they declined or is the love just being spread around more?

And remember on the previous blog, I stated the “gut feeling” that we will lose. Well there you have it. And I also agree that I do kind of wish LeBron and Wade played. We could have maybe won. or atleast a 3 OT loss vs a Miami team WITH Wade and LeBron would have been easier to digest then losing to a Bosh led team.

Oh well. Bring the on the Bobcats.

P.S. We blow out the Bobcats tomorrow.

Big Lou

January 6th, 2012
2:03 am

Free throws have cost us two games this year. All I can say is Wow.

Joe for 3

January 6th, 2012
2:07 am

Horford and Ivan Johnson look like the only ones that carry some enthusiasm.

Marvin looked really aggressive early against Chicago. Tonight, not so much. Be aggressive, Marvin!

Joe Johnson, the non-leader, with a leaders contract, fails again miserably. JJ actually does pretty well when he posts up, along with the driving floaters. The 20 second dribbling iso-joe sets don’t work, though.

J-Smoove attacked the basket late and all Hawks fans yelled with glee. Keep that up. Take a wide open jumper here and there, but don’t let that be your game. A few days ago, AJC reported that LD told smoove to stop taking those long jumpers after he went on a dry spell from 22 feet. Apparently he forgets those instructions at the start of every game.

Teague, take a few of those wide open 3’s you get… you are better off shooting them than Smoove.

GO HAWKS!

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
2:08 am

JOE DOESN’T BEAT ANYONE OFF THE DRIBBLE ANYMORE, AND RARELY DID IN HIS PRIME, YET THIS CLOWN COACH DRAWS UP ISOLATION PLAYS FOR HIM WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE TUESDAY AND TONIGHT. WHAT A BUFFOON LOL.

Alpha, Bravo, Whiskey

January 6th, 2012
2:08 am

Oh where, oh where, has our alpha dog gone?

Neki

January 6th, 2012
2:09 am

Right now, i don’t really care about the Bobcats but this team needs help in the worst ways.

EmirS.

January 6th, 2012
2:10 am

One more I thing,

Nate McMillan knows how to use Jamal Crawford. Or atleast it seems as though he knows.

Whopper Dawg

January 6th, 2012
2:11 am

7 games into the season and it is definitive that this team will not contend for the eastern crown much less the NBA.

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
2:11 am

WOAH SLOW DOWN ON GUARANTEEING WINS AGAINST THE BOBCATS. YOU SEE THEY JUST EMBARRASSED ESPN’S FAVORITE TEAM THE KNICKS IN THEIR OWN BUILDING. IT WAS SO BAD KNICKS FANS WERE CHANTING “WE WANT SHUMPERT” LMFAO.

CHARLOTTE MIGHT RUN THE HAWKS OUT OF THE GYM AND NONE OF US WOULD BE SURPRISED, THEN LARRY WILL SAY “WE HAD NO ANSWER FOR GERALD HENDERSON” SMH SAY WUT LOL

Prison Mike

January 6th, 2012
2:12 am

Smith was spent for the third overtime. He slumped on the scorer’s table before the jump ball. Horford pumped his fist and yelled: “Smoove! Come on, man!”

JS gave it his all but his decision making will always be questionable. Horford I thought played femalish on defense. He’s the team best center and has to protect the paint. The lack of a true point guard is hurting the team. Teague can’t be scared of the three point line.

Joe once again misses a game winner. Just because you payed him all that money doesn’t mean he is clutch.

real talk

January 6th, 2012
2:16 am

All I’m saying is this, if players like Kobe, Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Marcus camby, Jason Terry, Steve Nash, Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Drew Gooden, and Tahshon Prince can get 30 min and be very effective, why can’t Mac get those minutes. More the Half those players are older than Mac. Why he can’t get those min consistently. Any answer?

JaeEvolution

January 6th, 2012
2:17 am

Lol, no one really talking about how Joe Johnson had TWO rebounds in 50 minutes…I rarely bash Joe, but come on dude you’re a softy right now in EVERYONE’s eyes, Ivan Johnson come off the bench and put up the same amount of attempts that Horford have, these guys really don’t understand what position they are in, give them some shock value for once LD start Ivan or something he earned his time.

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

January 6th, 2012
2:17 am

This aint rocket science here folks. Read the self admitted problems the coach and some of the key players are saying. A unit where the core has been together so long and still having problem such as those MUST be broken up. It’s time to turn the page.

About this core:
It was fun finally making the playoffs after a long drought and challenging Boston to seven games.
It was fun being a top 4, top 5 eastern conf playoff team for a few years (though clearly not even thought of in contending with the top 2 or 3, ever)
but it’s time to move on

Prison Mike

January 6th, 2012
2:18 am

Forgot about Ivan. Barkley obvious jab at Zha Zha and Twin being stiffs aside, Ivan Johnson is better than any back up big we have. He has to play more with Josh and Al.

real talk

January 6th, 2012
2:19 am

Anybody please?

real talk

January 6th, 2012
2:23 am

Joe for 3

January 6th, 2012
2:24 am

Zaza, not zsa zsa, not zhazha…

real talk

January 6th, 2012
2:26 am

Can u say” Dwhight around you lips” in my Mike Epps Voice

Hmmmm

January 6th, 2012
2:26 am

I’M STILL BLOWN AWAY THAT BARKLEY SAID IVAN SHOULD START OVER JOSH ON NATIONAL TV. CHUCK WATCHED HIM PLAY FOR 2 MINS AND KNEW HE HAD MORE HEART, DAMN.

MC SHOULD HAVE RELAYED THOSE COMMENTS TO JOSH. NOW THAT’S A RESPONSE I’D LIKE TO READ LOL.

uga-brave

January 6th, 2012
2:31 am

najeh, at what point is the give up point at your smove?

Joe bricks another game winner

January 6th, 2012
2:31 am

Zha Zha is exactly what true fans call him.

uga-brave

January 6th, 2012
2:35 am

HE CANT go right, he cant post up. all he does is dunk. he misses that half the time.

zero post game.

Harry Hawk

January 6th, 2012
2:36 am

Well, at least we have a players’ coach.

Buddy Grizzard

January 6th, 2012
2:36 am

This was one for the ages. It’s beautiful to be a Hawks fan. Pure artwork.