Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 106, Nets 101

Newark, N.J.Larry Drew has been pretty conservative with his starters’ minutes this season. Until tonight, when he suddenly decided to ride them and go all out to beat the Nets. The absence of Marvin Williams explains some of that but I thought the bench guys had OK stints in the first half, only to never be seen again (except for Zaza Pachulia).

  • “Going into halftime, I was going to come out and see what happened and go off feel,” Drew said. “Once New Jersey made that run, I made a decision to ride the starters. I didn’t want to lose momentum. I went with feel. I kind of went with my gut.”
  • “I understand in this short season, every game is important for us,” Joe Johnson said. “I’m willing to do whatever L.D. wants. We talked, and he understands my mindset. He knows what I’m willing to do what I have to as a player to help this team get better.”
  • “He took me out in the fourth for about 20 seconds at the start of the fourth quarter and then put me right back in, and I was like, ‘OK,’” Al Horford said. “It was an important win. It’s the fist 10 games, and [at] 7-3 we are in a good position.”
  • Neither Jeff Teague nor Johnson came off the floor in the second half and Josh Smith sat for just 52 seconds. “I didn’t even notice it,” Teague said. “I was just playing.”
  • The Nets are not going to be mistaken for a good defensive team, but this game showed how many offensive threats the Hawks present when they share the ball.
  • The Nets had to worry about Joe’s runners, Al’s pick-and-pop (even if he didn’t square up on a couple of them), Josh’s athletic drives, and Teague’s dribble penetration. And then there was Vladmir Radmanovic waiting in the corner ready to make a 3 when the Nets reacted to all of that.
  • “I was wide open,” Vlad Rad said. “Not like [just] open. I was by myself and looking to see if somebody was coming. It was amazing. I think me knocking down shots is going to help [teammates] be more open and not have the double teams coming. That’s the kind of relationship we are trying to build. We depend on each other. I’m glad they found me today. Some nights I am going to have a lot of shots, some nights probably not. As long as we are winning, I’m OK. ”
  • Smith (26 points on 14 shots, six rebounds, three steals) filled up the box score again. He also took (and made) jump shots. But he also attacked the rim and earned 11 free-throw attempts. “I’m starting off aggressive, setting the tempo early and getting into the flow of the offense,” Josh said.
  • “He’s taking open shots and not worrying about what people say,”Teague said. “He’s driving to the basket and being aggressive. When he’s like that, we are at our best.”
  • “He’s doing a better job mixing up his shots and not just settling,” Drew said of Josh. “He’s driving, he’s taking the mid-range shots. He’s making really good decisions off the dribble.”
  • Another strong game from Teague, who got to the basket and finished, was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers, and distributed the ball well. Teague also was able to use the threat of doing all of those things to shake free and score in the 5-10 foot range. If his 3-point shooting holds up over the long term, it would provide yet another scoring threat for the Hawks.
  • Joe turned back the Nets with some of those familiar fadeaway Js against tight D. Each one deflated the Nets, who saw their best efforts negated by Joe’s size advantage and scoring talent. “It was nice to see Joe get in that groove late in the fourth quarter and knock down some big jump shots to stop the bleeding,” Josh said.
  • Apparently the Nets didn’t pay attention to their scouting report. There were a few times when they seemed to be very concerned about Jannero Pargo shooting but not so worried about Vlad Rad.
  • “I don’t understand how he’s the best shooter on the floor and he always seems to get wide open,” Joe said. “I don’t know what the defense is thinking. Leave me wide open sometimes. I don’t undestand how he gets wide open looks, especially with last game the way he shot it.”
  • Again, I think part of the reason for that is because the Hawks have so many scoring options when they have good player and ball movement (and, in those cases like tonight when Joe is feeling it, even when they don’t). Better defensive teams will be able to do a better job solving that puzzle in the playoffs but, as you saw with the Bulls the other night, even elite defensive teams can have their hands full with the Hawks (especially if the Hawks also get transition scores).
  • The Hawks got lax on their closeouts when the Nets came back (tired legs?), but New Jersey does have an elite point guard to set up a bunch of shooters.
  • “To be perfectly honest, I expected it to be a close ball game,” Drew said. “This New Jersey team is a very scrappy team. Avery has done a magnificent job, particularly because they are depleted with injuries. They are still playing hard, still competing. They have always played us well. They have guys who can hit shots. They are physical on the glass.”
  • After playing their sixth game in eight days, and with the starters putting in work tonight, the Hawks play a tough game at Indy Wednesday before playing host to Charlotte the next night.
  • “We’ll take advantage of tomorrow, get a little time off, rest our legs,” Joe said.
  • “We should be all right if everybody takes care of their body,” Josh said. “The bench guys are definitely going to come and help.”
  • Told that he should be fine because he’s a young guy, Teague smiled: “I guess. I’m still human.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

281 comments Add your comment

Macaroni Tony

January 9th, 2012
11:49 pm


January 9th, 2012
11:53 pm


January 9th, 2012
11:54 pm

Just win baby!


January 9th, 2012
11:54 pm

Not even close


January 9th, 2012
11:55 pm

JT is playing great, exactly what this team needed. Now having to worry about so many different dynamics, it is extremely hard to guard the hawks.


January 9th, 2012
11:59 pm

Joe turned back the Nets with some of those familiar fadeaway Js against tight D. Each one deflated the Nets, who saw their best efforts negated by Joe’s size advantage and scoring talent.

“I was wide open,” Vlad Rad said. “Not like [just] open. I was by myself and looking to see if somebody was coming. It was amazing. I think me knocking down shots is going to help [teammates] be more open and not have the double teams coming. That’s the kind of relationship we are trying to build. We depend on each other. I’m glad they found me today. Some nights I am going to have a lot of shots, some nights probably not. As long as we are winning, I’m OK. ”

Now what’s Marvin’s excuse? Oh wait. 6′10 Vlad > 6′8 marvin #SizeAdvantage #ToughHawks #BigHawks


January 10th, 2012
12:04 am

gawd I wish SLB would go away.


January 10th, 2012
12:05 am

this team could be dangerous when they get Hinrich back.


January 10th, 2012
12:10 am

We have caught a break playing the Nets 3 times with Lopez hurt. He hurts us on occasion, and gives them another scoring option.

But then they caught a break catching us with Hinrich and Marvin out, and TMac evidently getting rested. Rest TMac as much as needed. We’re going to need him in the playoffs


January 10th, 2012
12:15 am

We caught the Heat w/o LeBron and Wade also – some break. We did better with them in the lineup.

This season is just weird because of the lockout. A guy is out for a week, and all of a sudden he’s missed 5 or 6 games instead of 3. No practice times for weeks on end, and that after a very short training camp as well.

Good to see Teague doing so well. The stat I keep checking on him are the Turnovers. He’s one of the best PG’s in the NBA right now at not turning the ball over.


January 10th, 2012
12:17 am

I thought Marvin was 6-10 after the back surgery?


January 10th, 2012
12:21 am

I’ll be interested to see how Al plays Hibbert on Wednesday. Or maybe LD will break out the big lineup. Hibbert keeps improving little by little. Decent C right now. If we don’t go big, I’m not sure how Vlad Rad will do against Granger.

The Pacers SG – George?, looks like he’s going to be a player in a year or two. I think he’s only 21, but doing pretty well.


January 10th, 2012
12:41 am

Boxing Out !

I do not know how to correct it with our present personel;
and with Uncle Larry at the helm.
LD is doing a fine job [X's and O's] but he is not a hard ass
with the troops.
(sometimes not a bad thing)

NJ had 10 offensive boards
*[we had 9 against them]
we were rebounded overall by seven 40 – 33.

It’s the 10 off. boards we surrendered.
I could not find the stat but I’m certain those ten off. boards by NJ
translated into at least 14 to 16 points.
It’s very disheartening to play suffocating defense for 20+ seconds
then give up a hoop on a rebound.
I do not wish to pick on anyone but yawl can watch for yourself
and see who’s leaking out [snow birding / cherry picking].
Plus the ones who stay inside do not always put a body on a man !
(It’s as if they do not want the opponents perspiration on their jersey)

This is one area, w/o pulling off a trade that could immensely help.


January 10th, 2012
12:48 am

I thought it was poor coaching tonight riding the starters the entire 2nd half. Some fresh legs could of helped when things got stagnant and LD could easily yank the backups if the game got too close. It will be important come playoff time for the starters to not log too many minutes early in the season.


January 10th, 2012
12:56 am

Kudos ….. to Ken Strickland !

He told us for three years that having a pg
that could stop dribble penetration and be a defensive force
would be more valuable than a shot-blocker.

He told us of the switching defense used to compensate
for Bibby’s diminished foot speed.
How teams would exploit Bibby and he was the basis
for our foundering defense.

Now, after Ken S has called for two years, Teaguer has shown
Ken Strickland to be prophetic.

Teague has become what many of us knew or hoped he could become.

A Defensive Stalwart.

A great big ” Huzzah ” for Teaguer !

Najeh Davenpoop

January 10th, 2012
1:00 am

Bad minutes management, bad zone defense and rebounding in the second half, bad offense in the final minutes when burning clock became a bigger priority than getting quality shots.

The Hawks won this game because they are more talented, not because they played better. Gotta step it up against a quality, deep Indiana team on Wednesday.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 10th, 2012
1:09 am

Teague is currently 7th among starting point guards in assist/turnover ratio, 3rd among starting point guards in steals, and 3rd among starting point guards in defensive rating. He is still a work in progress at times figuring out when to attack, when to defer, and when to shoot, but he is getting the job done on both ends of the floor.

Buddy Grizzard

January 10th, 2012
1:26 am



January 10th, 2012
1:35 am

^^^^^ i know….too funny!!!LMAO

hittman jamillion

January 10th, 2012
1:36 am

Grand dad lay off the meds. I wouldnt trade you for bargiani.
David stern take your fake NY ass BACK home. If you don’t like Atlanta leave,to not like the team is one thing,but to talk about the city’s another. Let me guess these pretty women in Atlanta must won’t give you any play,or is it the men u desire in tight pants.


January 10th, 2012
1:40 am

^^^Yea, I must admit, that was a pretty funny story form MC, LMAO.

hittman jamillion

January 10th, 2012
1:43 am

Yeah i dig those numbers on teague
They the realdeal
Wit maturation next year he’ll be our rose/rondo
All we need now is DH


January 10th, 2012
1:52 am

Would love to see Timofey Mozgof here, people sleep on him but he is pretty much everything we want Zaza to be.

Legit 7 feet
Big body, good hands
Block shots, mobile
Finishes around rim with dunks, not brick layups

Would be the most afforable big in a trade because his contract is still low and he is still young so we could keep him for along time and watch him continue to develop.

Prison Mike

January 10th, 2012
1:56 am

About the Nets: How can they trade their ‘12 first round pick when they traded their previous first rounder to the Jazz. Did the new CBA allow teams to trade back to back picks?

Hate it for Marv but Vlads dead eye shooting is just what the starting unit needs. Once he gets started, he’s unconscious. Would love to acquire a vet big for Marvin.


January 10th, 2012
2:35 am

hittman jamillion

Thanks h j
-the other mad hatter did not have as good a nite as our Hawks-

Can’t lay off the meds … they are what’s keepin’ me around, hey hey.

I should have figured out that was you earlier & sooner ? LL right ?

Evenin’ to you & yours !


January 10th, 2012
2:38 am

Why is T-Mac playing only 8 minutes the last games? Is this because of his bruised knee or what? Man, he showed he has still this spark… Let him play, he is the best man on our team, whatever you say! Period :)

Big Daddy

January 10th, 2012
2:58 am

It is great to watch Jeff Teague mature and evolve into what many of us thought he could be. He is still growing but the potential is there and it is showing. It is scary that Josh hit so many of his jump shots tonight. If he continues with the accuracy, that is exceptional. If it was just one of those nights and he continues to try to make it a regular thing, it could be a frustrating year for him and the fans. I still don’t know why he won’t give the ball to Teague in the backcourt and dribbles it up himself.

The team has gotten off to a good start and it is certainly something we can build on. Let’s hope it continues and when that time does come when the other team is really on, the coaches can come up with adjustments and strategy that will keep us competitive in the game. GO HAWKS!!!!


January 10th, 2012
3:06 am

*earlier & sooner;

That’s kinda like if you hurry up you get there quicker & faster
which is both redundant and repetitive
and thats really messed up ’cause if it’s
“both” redundant “and” repetitive
it’s like being earlier, sooner, before you were ahead of time
or being redundant, repetitive, & recurring before starting.

What ?


January 10th, 2012
3:07 am

MC, nice writeup

Marvin, VRad is digging this role and giving 14/6, very similar numbers that you give us at times….

Teague tonight was en fuego…he is def comfortable in his DWill matchups.

Get healthy Joe; a bum thumb isn’t good for anyone.

Dr. Warren

January 10th, 2012
3:46 am

Hawks make the Falcons look bad. At least they get to the 2nd round.

real talk

January 10th, 2012
4:05 am

Rav 2:38 I feel u. Not only is his min Down but so are everybody else. If LD doesn’t give the bench a chance, they will not play for him. If Mac got those min Vlad is gettin, he easily average 17, 5, 5.


January 10th, 2012
4:12 am

Just think if we won both of the games last week. One when LJ or DW didn’t even play and the 19 point blown lead we had against Chicago. 9-1 through 10 games. NBA would be taking the Hawks very serious. But I guess it’s good. Let everyone keep under estimating the hawks so we can go steal some wins for the other team not being prepared.

Senator Blutarski

January 10th, 2012
4:20 am

–glad the Hawks won, but was concerned about the starters having so many minutes…no explanation especially for McGrady not playing more, unless it was to rest his knees for the long haul. At least they have a day off before Indiana. Fun team to watch and root for!–was watching the Hawks instead of the LSU-Alabama national championship game!


January 10th, 2012
6:58 am


Are you going to fill up the blog on your own? :-D


January 10th, 2012
7:21 am

Bye Bye Birdie!

Gone to Auburn is Brian Van Gorder – Good Writtens, Sir!


January 10th, 2012
7:26 am

I am very happy with this win.

The starters getting so many minutes is not a good sign of LD’s ability as a coach (he got out coached by Avery) but…

… I really thought that they would drop this one (and the next) in typical Hawks fashion.

Maybe LD sensed this as well and wanted to do what he thought would assure him that we would not lose it.

Good to see Josh playing with poise and confident. Hopefully he can keep it up (although I cringed at every jump shot like usual).

Strangely enough – I am not usually very forgiving on knuckleheads – but maybe, just maybe, we should simply give Josh the car keys and anoint him as the team’s leader.

Maybe he will rise to the occasion and continue to play at this level.

Buddy Grizzard

January 10th, 2012
7:36 am

“Hate it for Marv but Vlads dead eye shooting is just what the starting unit needs.”

Get this… Marvin and Teague are among the leage leaders in three point shooting percentage.


January 10th, 2012
7:38 am

i dont care about regular season

Its all about the Playoffs


January 10th, 2012
7:40 am

So when is Joe going to score 40+ and earn that money??

Scoring 16-17 a game is not worth 20 million..


January 10th, 2012
7:50 am

LD played Teague for an ENTIRE half?
“It’s the big one. Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you honey”.


January 10th, 2012
7:50 am

“Told that he should be fine because he’s a young guy, Teague smiled: “I guess. I’m still human.”

Who ever said that needs to be shot.


January 10th, 2012
7:53 am


Stick with it LD..


January 10th, 2012
7:56 am

I feel like Skip Bayless supporting Tim Tebow, when it comes to Teague. “I told yall” this kid could ball from the beginning, but the haters kept hating. It’s all good though. lol


January 10th, 2012
8:02 am


Are you going to fill up the blog on your own? ”

I wouldn’t doubt that he would. He seems to have a lot of time on his hands, and he loves creating new identities. I guess everyone needs some attention sometimes. If this keeps up though, it’s going to take a lot of scrolling to find a post that isn’t his. LOL.

On a more serious note, this was the type of win that I didn’t get very excited about. We played with a mild effort and beat a struggling team, there’s nothing to brag about. Jeff Teague was great, Joe looked like he was getting his rhythm back, and Josh made a lot of jumpers. I’m not sure I really like that last part. I don’t Josh to fall in love with the jumper more than he already has. Sure, he can shoot them when he’s open at times, but I feel like he’s going to be a lot less effective than he could be if he continues to attempt long jumpshots at a high clip. Al looks like he’s getting his game legs back, his rebounding looks like it may be picking up (hopefully). As far as everyone else on the team, they played as expected.

I’m curious to see how we do against Indiana on Wednesday. It’s going to be interesting to see who L.D. chooses to match up against Granger. I expect that game to be much more competitive than last night’s game. I still feel like we’re a superior team when compared with the Pacers, but the question is…will we play like one?

Section 303

January 10th, 2012
8:05 am

I don’t think it is that big of deal playing the starters big minutes. Just means the bench guys got rest. T-Mac, especially benefits from that.

I have never seen Josh Smith play better than these past 3 games. Good shot selection (even with jumpers!), making great decisions, and just playing hard. He keeps this up and no telling now far this team can go. Josh has always been the X factor with this team.

The game with Indy tomorrow will be a good one. Two high energy teams. Pacers always play hard.


January 10th, 2012
8:09 am

Paid Up!

“So when is Joe going to score 40+ and earn that money??

Scoring 16-17 a game is not worth 20 million..” -truth-

Tell that the the Celtics whose big three scored 15 points each on their way to the trophy case. Mr. Johnson does not have to earn his money – that contract is guaranteed.

Thank goodness Joe didn’t get paid and ride the bench for the next six years with real or perceived injuries like countless others: Jermaine Oneal, Eddie Curry, Alan Houston, Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas … we could do this all day.

Joe has a fractured orbital bone, puts on a face mask and plays for the Suns in the play offs. Last year, Mr. Johnson has elbow surgery and returned in what, 10 days? The surgeon recommended he sit for 10 – 12 weeks. His reoccurring thumb ligament is torn now and for the past two seasons, what does he do? He put duct tape on it and neary one word of complaint. Question his quietness but, NEVER his toughness.

People really need to get over Joe’s contract, I wish someone offered me a contract, I would sign that too.

This team has really come together. IDK how much credit Sund should get for a terrific bench or how much of his success is just dumb luck? But, this is the most useful bench of my recent memory.

Never underestimate the heart of a man in a battle. You fight until the other guy stops breathing. Keep fighting Hawks, your fr-enemies are still breathing and LBJ is till thumping his chest – kill ‘Em!


January 10th, 2012
8:13 am

MC: How is McGrady? Is he healthy?


January 10th, 2012
8:15 am

dr maryb,

did u hear wade may have plantar problem?


January 10th, 2012
8:21 am

Blog Con-Troll!

Trent and vava74, I hear you fellas.

MC! Wassup with the new blog system that was supposed to begin in January 2012? ONE user I’d per ONE verified email address is old technology these days. That simple feature shouldn’t put the AJC over the luxury tax threshold.

Arthur Blank started rolling heads last night: BVG is the first coordinator pink slipped – he gone to Auburn, back to college where he belongs. Who’s next?

I would hire a new DC who could pressure Mike Smith to step up his play or be replaced by mid season next year. What do you think Najeh, Ken Strickland?


January 10th, 2012
8:23 am

Truth, I’ll take the 17 and 6 Joe over the Iso “40 +” Joe anyday. It means we’re getting EVERYONE involved. Joe cant beat teams by himself. He’s proved that. We dont have to run Iso’s now. WE’VE GOT A PG. NOT JUST A GUY HANDING THE BALL TO JOE AND STANDING BEHIND THE 3PT LINE.(Bibbster)