Atlanta Hawks: Spurs 105, Hawks 83

  • The Hawks are deeper than last season but the bench didn’t look so good against a team like the Spurs. This time Larry Drew decided not to ride ride his starters once it became clear the reserves had little to offer.
  • Hawks starters other than Jeff Teague weren’t anything great offensively but at least they played some defense. The Spurs made 31 of their 50 twos and 11 of their 23 threes. It felt like 20 of those twos came off cuts to the basket or roll men.
  • Matt Bonner is a good 3-point shooter. The Hawks allowed him to get off seven attempts (only one was challenged that I remember) and he made five.
  • “We had some defensive breakdowns to allow them to get some good looks at the 3,” Larry Drew said in a postgame interview with SportSouth’s Jerome Jurenovich. “In most cases we do a pretty good job defending the 3. Time and time again we kept losing people. At the same time, you have to tip your hat to the Spurs for the things they ran and the things they exploited.”
  • This was another game that highlighted Atlanta’s lack of length (Ivan Johnson) and athleticism (Zaza Pachulia) in the middle. Atlanta’s centers did their best to tangle with Tim DuncanTiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair but that’s a lot of size and skill.
  • Duncan, Spliiter and Blair combined for 39 points and 22 rebounds in 73 minutes, shot 16 of 25 from the field and had 10 of San Antonio’s 15 free-throw attempts. The Atlanta trio of Zaza, Ivan and Josh Smith: 26 points and 13 rebounds in 68 minutes, 11 of 27 from the field and six of Atlanta’s 10 free-throw attempts.
  • Zaza actually did a respectable job checking Duncan (after he also was good vs. Andrew Bogut) because he seemed to frustrate Duncan with his grappling. Ivan struggled to defend down low (but did get a couple blocks). Zaza and Josh Smithprovide the only resistance for Atlanta around the basket against opponents with any kind of skilled size.
  • Teague was the catalyst during Atlanta’s comeback in the second quarter and not just because he had his floater working. He gave Tony Parker fits defensively with his quick hands, nicely set up Zaza (who got fouled) and Joe (who missed an open 3) and started the break that led to Josh’s and-1. Teague had no assists but it wasn’t for lack of trying to get guys good shots.
  • “Jeff has really been playing well for us,” Drew said. “He was able to match speed-for-speed with [Tony] Parker.”
  • The times Smith made up his mind to attack the basket he often spun right into Splitter/Duncan/San Antonio’s zone or fumbled the ball away. I’m not sure why he was arguing that charging call that led to a T.
  • Joe Johnson missed some shots on clean catches, couldn’t get anything going Iso and then seemed to lay back in the second half. He did make some good passes off drives and out of doubles while earning seven assists.
  • Kirk Hinrich made his season debut and looked surprisingly smooth at times (some nice catch-and-shoots) , a bit ragged at others (simply losing the ball for a turnover). “I was very encouraged by Kirk’s performance tonight,” Drew said. “I thought he would come back winded. He played with a nice rhythm and his shot looked good.”
  • If tonight is an indication, and you never can tell sometimes with Drew, Hinrich will get most of his minutes at point guard. That would mean Jannero Pargo slides to the end of the rotation while Willie Green stays put.
  • It was another “Tracy McGrady, Playmaker” night. You can see that his mind is way ahead of his body.
  • Ivan Johnson shows hard off screens, which is good, but he tends to linger too long on the perimeter and fails to get back to his man in time. He’d be a much better pick-and-roll defender if he had more awareness in that situation because he’s certainly quick enough to cover a lot of ground after the show.
  • Radmanovic’s minutes in the power rotation provided evidence of why he belongs on the wing. Then again, his defensive awareness and energy on the perimeter leaves him vulnerable to giving up unchallenged 3s (See Bonner, Matt). Vlad Rad now appears to be in some kind of funk.
  • Word is the Hawks won’t practice tomorrow in Detroit. Hoping I can still find a way to catch up with them before Friday’s shootaround.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

148 comments Add your comment

Scrooge McDuck

January 25th, 2012
11:55 pm

“you have to tip your hat to the Spurs…”

Uh oh, he’s channeling Fredi Gonzalez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL

Donte

January 25th, 2012
11:55 pm

“The times Smith made up his mind to attack the basket he often spun right into Splitter/Duncan/San Antonio’s zone or fumbled the ball away. I’m not sure why he was arguing that charging call that led to a T. ”

I know why, because he’s weak mentally and needed some way to finally let out his temper tantrum. No sweat though. I’m sure he’ll “stuff the stat sheet” against the Piston and-or Hornets and Hawks Nation will some how conclude that it means he can do it, consistently, against top tier playoff teams

Najeh Davenpoop

January 25th, 2012
11:57 pm

At least they close out the trip against three scrub teams. Not surprised they lost, but it didn’t have to be a blowout if LD managed his rotations properly and the Hawks had better big man depth.

Trade Kirk for a big man.

Scrooge McDuck

January 25th, 2012
11:58 pm

“The times Smith made up his mind to attack the basket he often spun right into Splitter/Duncan/San Antonio’s zone or fumbled the ball away. I’m not sure why he was arguing that charging call that led to a T.”

Kind of sums up his NBA career, doesn’t it?

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:00 am

It’s only a matter of time when even the most blindly optimistic, tomorrow will be a better day, turn the other cheek fans admit the truth about this team.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 26th, 2012
12:01 am

All y’all who keep saying Josh needs to drive are starting to realize his handles are worse than his jump shot. He needs to be receiving the ball with his back to the basket. When he faces up and smart opponents take away his left hand, he’s better off shooting than trying to dribble.

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:04 am

“The times Smith made up his mind to attack the basket he often spun right into Splitter/Duncan/San Antonio’s zone or fumbled the ball away”

You mean similar to whats going to happen when he spins into Hibbert, Asik, Hawes, Vucevic, etc. in the post season???

Apple

January 26th, 2012
12:04 am

“He needs to be receiving the ball with his back to the basket.”

That would require Josh to actually to get on the low block, though. Something we all know he does not want to do. But it’s OK since, you know, he hit a 3 against the Bucks.

bird

January 26th, 2012
12:06 am

Pargo has been knocking down shots, and seemed to be in a nice rhythm with the 2nd unit. I hate to see him lose his minutes, now that Kirks back. I hope this doesn’t disrupt the bench moving forward.

Slimjr

January 26th, 2012
12:06 am

Shop Kirk, and Marvina, for a Big..

Believing All NBA 9.4pts/7.8 reb. avg in the playoffs are going to get you to the promised land is just plan foolishness…

Crack is wack!

Rufus1

January 26th, 2012
12:08 am

Donte,

I just think that a lot of Hawks fans forgot what losing was like. Having hope going into season is what every fan wants and I am willing to trade away key players, just because we haven’t won a title.

losing to good teams on the road happens…AsK the Bulls, we beat them by 20pts.

I remember winning 13 games and don’t ever want to go back to that.

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:08 am

All NBA, All Star, 2x NCAA Champ (….still a 2nd round exit tops) you mean Slimjr

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:12 am

Rufus1 – That’s Correct, but with the “Core” now I dont think we necessarily have to “rebuild” we could make moves and “rearrange” and if things dont work out the way we want at worst we could still be a playoff team. I’d rather try something different and come up short and at least can say we tried rather than keep banging out head on the same ceiling with same group of core guys. It’s like the twilight firggin zone.

Apple

January 26th, 2012
12:13 am

Oh yeah, which poster was it that was making excuses for Marvin? Whoever it was, please don’t have any kids.

Rufus1

January 26th, 2012
12:18 am

THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!! We lost to the Spurs on the ROAD!

Why do you ppl think we can’t get to the ECF. We won’t have to play the Spurs to get there. We have beaten Miami, Chicago, and The Bucks. We lost to the Sixers, Pacers, Bulls and Heat. I don’t see why we can’t compete. Some teams are bad match-up, that is the NBA.

PS. The Bucks beat the Heat on the Road…Should they trade Wade?
Balance….We are a good team and we can win.

Hmmmm

January 26th, 2012
12:19 am

STILL CAN’T BEAT OLD MAN TIMMY HUH? DAMN SHAME. WON’T EVEN GET OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND GET OUTREBOUNDED LIKE THIS. YOU BETTER PRAY AL COMES BACK PLAYING MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE, BECAUSE UHHH I DON’T TRUST SUND TO MAKE A SHREWD TRADE AT THE DEADLINE LOL.

HOW BOUT THEM KNICKS THO? LMAO

Slimjr

January 26th, 2012
12:21 am

PS OKC will sweep this squad for the 5th consecutive year…

These Western Conference team sure now how to dismantle these Hawks for years…..Yawn…

Slimjr

January 26th, 2012
12:22 am

Rufus1

January 26th, 2012
12:25 am

Donte,

I think a “shake up” is needed, but I am not trading…
Marvin for cap space
Josh for Pierce
Al for Javale Mcgee

We have already beat the “2 best teams” in the east this year…. I am going to tell you a secret…The Heat and Bulls aren’t that much better.

beone

January 26th, 2012
12:29 am

MC, Appreciate your honest reporting. Also like your bullet point style of presenting the facts in a succinct manner. Now if certain Hawks players could be as professional!

Grandmaster JeJe

January 26th, 2012
12:31 am

Grandmaster JeJe
January 25th, 2012
11:45 pm

Why even play at LAL OKC OR TX? We cannot win in any of tgoseplaces. That includes all 3 Texas teams.

Let Mart Freaking Bonner beat us

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Buddy Grizzard

January 26th, 2012
12:31 am

The Hawks are 5th in the NBA in total future salary committed at over $244 million, close to the total value of the franchise:

http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/index.jsp

And yet, with this massive investment in player personnel, they have made the minimum conceivable investment in the coaching staff. Where’s the logic in that?

Greg Popovic showed tonight what superior coaching can do with inferior talent. Just imagine if the Hawks had had a top 10 coach on the bench for the last 3-5 seasons. Think about what could have been.

Grandmaster JeJe

January 26th, 2012
12:31 am

Popovich>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>LD

Rufus1

January 26th, 2012
12:33 am

Ms. Jones,

I watched the Bulls series last year and we lost to their bench…In 6 games. Our coach and GM saw that and signed a bench this year….I think we are close, but the injury to Al has set us back. If Al come back healthy, I think we get to the TITLE GAME. …..We owned the Bulls with a Healthy Al.

Ryan

January 26th, 2012
12:34 am

I only trade kirk for a clearly better big man. Kirk should be getting the back up PG minutes and they can even start Kirk. Going JT, KH, JJ, JS, ZP against some smaller teams.

Rufus1

January 26th, 2012
12:35 am

Popovich>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>LD LD is a 2nd year coach…not fair.

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:37 am

Rufus1 – That’s all true, but what’s on the other side of that picture? A collapse to the Bulls. Losing to the Heat WITHOUT Wade and Lebron, and horrific performances against most of the other + .500 teams we’ve faced (Rockets, Sixers, Pacers) two of which we could and probably will meet up with in the post season. Now given our past history with this core, which Hawks’ team seems more likely to be the one that shows up on a consistent basis in the playoffs? The one that A) beat the Heat and Bulls, or the one that B) collapsed against the Bulls, gave up against the Sixers??? You know the answer to that…

Donte

January 26th, 2012
12:40 am

What have you seen the Hawks do more of? Collapsing in the 3rd and 4th Quarter of games OR beating top tier teams??? Again, you know the answer to that. So, why should I start thinking the ladder is all of a sudden about to start happening, consistently, with the same core???

GaSouthernSmooth

January 26th, 2012
1:38 am

No surprise here but i agree what no need for an ugly blowout, that will hurt our hollinger ranking haha. Still, 4-1 on this road trip will be a success and better than i would have thought (3-2). Lets not dwell on this one Hawks and take care of business against a DET team that just gave the Heat a run for its money. Lastly… You know you need a big when Splitter is going off on your A#$.
-Do something Sund Do anything

Ed

January 26th, 2012
1:44 am

“Vlad Rad now appears to be in some kind of funk.” You can blame that on Drew for being so inconsistent in his substitution patterns. How could he not even play for Vlad for an entire game?

darrell starks

January 26th, 2012
1:50 am

If the Hawks wants to have a chance in the playoffs make this trade.

MARVIN, KIRK FOR MARCIN GORTAT, CHILL.

This trade will balance the team from inside out, and when Horford comeback with him playing PF and Josh SF, this team on defense will be tough and have chance at NBA CHAMPIONSHIP.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 26th, 2012
1:52 am

darrell starks

January 26th, 2012
1:56 am

darrell starks

January 26th, 2012
2:07 am

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, TMAC, JOSH, GORTAT

BENCH PARGO, GREEN, VLAD, IVAN, ZAZA

RESERVE STACK, COLLINS, CHILL

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 26th, 2012
2:10 am

When Horford return.

STARTER TEAGUE, JOE, JOSH, HORFORD, GORTAT.

BENCH PARGO, GREEN, TMAC, IVAN, ZAZA

RESERVE STACK, COLLINS, VLAD,

STREET CLOTHES CHILL

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandad

January 26th, 2012
2:12 am

Najeh;
very observant regarding Josh handling the ball in traffic.

Josh is also a two one jumper; [leaper]
which makes it difficult to power through all that length
after post moves or on offensive rebounds.
Two foot jumpers are more power type players inside,
able to muscle through contact.

I’m also thinking Josh has average size hands.
He rarely controls the ball inside for one hand dunks.
*(not talking about finishing on fast breaks)
Ivan has Huge hands !
As he, many times, holds the ball one handed.
_____________________________________________

None of this has been a criticism of Josh.
-only observations-

The only criticism would be that any player has to play to their strength.

To which, MC & Najeh both alluded to that fact.
_____________________________________________

We sure do need a Big & real soon.
_____________________________________________

One other thought:
T-Mac is our best Post Player offensively – hands down.

I would play him at the [5] on offense !
*(we play a whole lot of double post offense anyway)
*for those who are gonna say where’s so & so gonna play or this & that.

Grandad

January 26th, 2012
2:16 am

* Josh is also a two foot jumper; or a leaper]

*** NOT ***

* Josh is also a {{two *one}} jumper; [leaper]

That was dumb / a typo / but still dumb !

JaeEvolution

January 26th, 2012
2:28 am

No need to make a big trade like that darrell, make smart moves. We can see 3 guys who when they got minutes after not getting any they produced at a very good level and look to be solid bigs in Mullens, White and Speights.

Trade a 2nd round pick to Cleveland for a 7 footer in Erden who is active and can be just as good as Gortat given his MPG, it’s all about giving them playtime to show their skills.

tyger

January 26th, 2012
2:35 am

Same ole Hawks…

Cant beat over .500 teams…
Going gets tough, Hawks quit…
Josh 6-17????
Joe Johnson 10pts.????
All-stars my a$$$!!!

kevkat

January 26th, 2012
2:48 am

I know Josh has issues at times but I can’t fault him if he was arguing the call when he got the “T”. Apparently you don’t have to be stationary when taking a charge anymore..the refs played a part too in this game somewhat.

Buddy Grizzard

January 26th, 2012
3:09 am

LOL…

John Hollinger: Regression to the mean night in the NBA: Sixers, Jazz, Rockets all lose at home to bad teams and Hawks pounded by 22. about 36 minutes ago

Read more: http://hoopshype.com/twitter/media.html#ixzz1kY9RdQTO

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

January 26th, 2012
3:15 am

Gimme that ole time Religion

*yawn*

FIRE SUND

Ole Hawks's Fan

January 26th, 2012
3:28 am

Why was 3 point Bonner not being guarded? He only shoots 3’s……………even the fans on this BLOG know this. We don’t have anyone on this Squad who can lock down a player like Bonner and make him put the ball on the floor. The Hawks trying to help out on D and left Bonner open for the 3’s. What happen to the Princeton Motion Offense? I thought Woody was back on the bench as Head Coach the way we run the ISO all this season with JJ dribbling the ball until there are seconds left on the shot clock and he does his Trademark faded away Jumper that has no chance of going in. These CORE PLAYERS need to be broken up and shipped out of here. Marvin gives you nothing on a nightly basic but Woody Light continue to start him every game like he is a productive player. Josh wanna be a PG and Three Point Champion who reminds me of Kevin Willis who would take a jumper far from the basket and if he made it, that was where he would be shooting from for the rest of the game. Get rid of Woddie Lite and bring in a No None sense Coach who would sit these so call stars on their behind for not running the offense that has been inplemented. They just stand around on offense and watch JJ trickey dribble while the shot clock is expiring. This is Woody offense that didn’t work against above 500 teams and it still isn’t working under Woddy Lite. Sund get your LAZY ARSE up and make some changes on this Team. This team needs a BIG but you aren’t doing anything to address it. Damn, I thought Bobby Lite was coach the Hawks, when I read you have to “Tip Your Cap”………………….Damn Woddy Lite……………..Show us you have some BALLS. Holds these CORE GUYS ACCOUNTABLE for Games like this in SA and games like Philly!

Willie Jones

January 26th, 2012
4:35 am

prison mike

January 26th, 2012
5:34 am

This was to be expected. A first ballot hall of famer against Zaza… Hinrich played way too much. Drew should have let Teague play the role of Iverson (40+ mins.) because he was getting whatever he wanted.

Marvin with the clumsy botch on the break made me turn off the tv. It was effectively over by then.

Marcus

January 26th, 2012
6:04 am

Question: Have the recent losses vs. 76ers and Spurs and the manner in which we lost underlined our limitations without Horfords presence?

For the rest of the season & whatever playoff aspirations we have for 2012, is Heinrich better served as a steady backup PG or as trade bait to get some (temporary) talent in the middle?

Mac-Town #maconchevyrider

January 26th, 2012
6:35 am

Marcus…they underline limitations we still had even with Horford, it’s not like he was some physically dominating presence on the glass or a real rim protector. We need glass crashers, and I think Kirk is trade bait.

Big Daddy

January 26th, 2012
7:01 am

We definitely showed our vulnerable places in this game. Most of these guys have been playing together for a long time, they have won championships and besides having a first ballot HOF all-star like Tim Duncan, they also have a first ballot HOF coach in Popovich. When his team was not functioning well he subbed out effectively so the offense ran the way he wanted. It also helped that he had the players to sub out effectively.

We need a good serviceable big man who won’t want to get on the perimeter but can also do something with the ball when he gets it. I understand that is a tall order, but they are out there and the GM has to find them and make the deal. Time after time we seem to get frustrated and start just shooting jump shots. When we do that, we play right into the hands of the opposing team, especially when we are not hitting our shots.

This is a top tier team that had one of its stars out, just like we did. The game should have been closer and more competitive. We have won on the road, played competitive, even in a loss on the road. It is the blowouts that we have to stop. We should not get blown out by anyone at this point. The bench has been playing well and I hope this is just one of those bad games that teams have from time to time. I just would have thought this type of game would happen at the tail end of a long road trip instead of the beginning.

Bertie

January 26th, 2012
7:29 am

I like JaeEvolution’s proposal of Erden for a 2nd rd pick mentioned earlier. I was thinking the same thing after watching the Cleveland game last week. Preferrably for the Hawks 2012 2nd rd pick and not Phoenix’s 2012 2nd rd pick which the Hawks own, but I leave that to Sund to find what would take for the Cavs to pull the trigger. The guy is long and I was impressed when he played against the Hawks last year when he was with the Celtics. My recollection from last year was that Erden and Asik were playing at a similar level but since then Erden got hurt and Asik has gotten better. Later the C’s surprisinly traded him, along with Harangody, to Cleveland for a 2nd rd pick. The Hawks can waive Stackhouse and add Erden without going into luxury tax territory.

Bertie

January 26th, 2012
7:37 am

Two teams that have 2 starting centers and probably will not make the playoffs this year are the Suns and Hornets. The Suns will have to eventually pay starting money to Lopez but they already have Gortat. After March 1 this trade will work: Lopez and Shannon Brown for Marvin and Willie Green or Pargo, add a 2nd rd pick if needed. The Hornets have to decide between resigning Kaman or keeping Okafor, it doesn’t make sense to keep both. The Hawks should offer Hinrich and Zaza for Okafor, and a 2nd rd pick if needed.