Atlanta Hawks: Grizzlies 96, Hawks 77

Here is the new game story on the Hawks’ loss to the Grizzlies Thursday night with post-game quotes:

Larry Drew was afraid it would happen.

The Hawks coach issued a warning to his team. It didn’t help

Drew feared a letdown against the Grizzlies after his team’s recently completed 4-1 road trip had them tied for first in the Southeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

The letdown came in a big way Thursday night in a 96-77 loss to the Grizzlies at Philips Arena.

“When you come off a road trip like that the tendency is to have a letdown,” Drew said. “I was afraid today would happen. We weren’t sharp tonight. I’m not going to blame it on the road trip. Everybody else has to do it. They go off on long road trips and come back and play. We can’t use that as an excuse. The start of the first quarter that team just manhandled us. They played with physicality and we were a step slow in everything we did.”

The Hawks held a seven-point lead early in the first quarter. It was gone before the end of the opening period. By halftime, the Hawks trailed by 10, 53-43.

The culprit was turnovers. The Hawks committed eight in the first half which led to 14 points. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in steals at 10.48 per game, nearly matching that total in the opening 24 minutes. Rudy Gay became the Grizzlies’ all-time leader in steals with three steals in the first half as he surpassed Shane Battier (523).

The Hawks finished with 15 turnovers leading to 19 Grizzlies points.

“They are a team that is very active,” Drew said. “They are aggressive. They play good help defense and they gamble a lot. It’s nothing that we had not talked about. We didn’t do a good job of handling the pressure. We were very casual with the ball. We just weren’t sharp offensively. We got behind and then we started trying to do it ourselves. We fell even further behind.”

The Hawks (16-7) had a three-game win streak snapped and lost for only the second time at home this season. After winning their previous two games by 22 and 23 points respectively, they were on the losing end of a blowout.

Gay led the Grizzlies (12-10) with a game-high 21 points. Tony Allen (18), O.J. Mayo (18), Mike Conley (15) and Marc Gasol (11) all finished in double figures.

Smith finished with 11 points for the Hawks, which lost to the Grizzlies for the first time in five meetings. Joe Johnson added 10.

The Hawks have held opponents to an NBA-low 19.5 points per game in the first quarter this season. The Grizzlies surpassed that by taking a 21-19 lead. They went on an 18-7 run to end the second quarter and took the double-digit lead into intermission.

The Grizzlies scored the first four points of the second half, the last two on a steal and layup by Mike Conley that had the Hawks Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith exchanging words during a timeout. The start was part of a 24-8 Grizzlies run, as the Hawks missed their first seven shots, to grow the lead to 26 points at 77-51.

“It was obvious,” Pachulia said. “They had a better effort than us, talking about offensive rebounds and steals. That was the story. We gave the momentum to them. Any team gets a steal and a layup, they get more energized and they get the momentum.”

It would get worse as the Grizzlies led by as many as 30 points.

“They came out and out-played us,” Willie Green said. “We know we are a better team than that. … Once they made a run, it just seemed like we couldn’t get off our heals.”

The Hawks lost center Jason Collins to a left elbow injury in the first quarter. Collins was injured diving for a loose ball when his arm was pinned by the Grizzlies’ Dante Cunningham. He went to the locker room and following an X-ray was diagnosed with a sprained elbow.

The Hawks had to play Grizzlies center Gasol with Pachulia, who picked up two early fouls, and Ivan Johnson. The Grizzlies finished with 58 points in the paint.

“We look at the game and let’s be real about what happened,” Drew said. “I could have talked about plays that hurt us or strategy that didn’t work. I just told them ‘Guys, we got out-toughed.’ That’s something I haven’t seen in a while, where a team comes out and from a physical standpoint plays with more physicality.”

The Hawks’ four-game homestand continues Saturday night against the 76ers.

185 comments Add your comment

Rusty

February 2nd, 2012
10:42 pm

The idiot should warn himself about being stupid.

Rusty

February 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Yeah coach we all agree with you KH should be starting,not sure if JT should be in the NBA.

ntrigue

February 2nd, 2012
10:51 pm

He messes up rhythm of the gm with bad subs! I sure hope K-MART signs w us!

Mitchell

February 2nd, 2012
10:59 pm

Rusty please tell me youre being sarcastic

Hawks Fan Down Under

February 2nd, 2012
11:03 pm

Can hardly blame LD on this one. This loss is squarely on the players. Total lack of effort on the defensive end. Gifting the Grizz over and over, poor transition defence, horrible blocking out. Thats not the coaches fault. As much as LD pisses me off this one’s on the guys on the floor…simply not good enough.

As usual just when this team gives you reason to get excited they suck the life out of you.

Hawks Fan Down Under

February 2nd, 2012
11:06 pm

For once I’d like to see a Hawks player come out and say “I didnt work hard enough tonight.” Almost all of them could be saying that right now but……

Rusty

February 2nd, 2012
11:08 pm

You got to have a decent coach to be consistent in this league.

Kontract

February 2nd, 2012
11:09 pm

That just a home dud tonight?

Rusty

February 2nd, 2012
11:16 pm

I love every thing about Ivan Johnson. I really want to see him succeed in the NBA.

NUNNA!!

February 2nd, 2012
11:30 pm

This team hardly plays for LD..They are more buddy buddy than coach-player in their relationship with him..Well,buddy-buddy may not be the right term but i think you all know what im saying..
They have no fear in this coach..
They have no fear that if they’re not playing hard or showing up that he will sit them or get on them about poor play..

LD has no fire in him and if he does he lets it burn inside of him and he even holds his breath to hold in the smoke..

I like LD..I think he is a good coach..But,he is more of an assistant than he is a Head Coach..

HIgh School,College,maybe even semi-pro players will give him a better response than NBA players,especially on this team..

And maybe the reason the players wanted him to coach them is because they knew they could go to him and he would listen and put into play their ideas..But mostly,they knew he would,EXCUSE THEIR MISTAKES AND CONTINUE TO PLAY THEM WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING BENCHED OR SCOLDED AT..

I agree that they win in spite of him based on talent alone..
And i would say that he has lost this team,as far as them listening to him and respecting what he asks them to do..

But,i really doubt that he even had them from Day 1..

Slimjr

February 2nd, 2012
11:31 pm

RESPECT????????????????

Hey section 303 no since in being annoyed at the national media for ignoring these pretenders..Huh????

Their best player out with an injury and the Hawks were still destroyed!

Hey Marvin you were called out on ESPN for giving up on Rudy Gays reverse dunk! You cant hide Marvina..Your so soft!!!

Another Western Conference team owns these Atlanta Hawks…..

Contenders? More like reality beatdown at home…….Oh well back to the drawing board…

Hey ISO what happened? You put on the cloak of invisibility tonight too….Toast!

Slimjr

February 2nd, 2012
11:33 pm

One and done…

Slimjr

February 2nd, 2012
11:41 pm

“i dont think the sixers have a tony allen on their side. he ruined jj tonight.”

Hey doc, you have way with words.. “he ruined jj tonight”

Slimjr

February 2nd, 2012
11:43 pm

Lost another big Sund! Get help in here yesterday!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

February 2nd, 2012
11:48 pm

SSDS

FIRE LD.

PLAYERS DONT LISTEN TO YOU

MARVIN 3 BOARDS IN 21 MIN

Rasputin

February 3rd, 2012
12:01 am

I think he did the right thing with Tmac. The game was gone by the first few minutes of the third so he decided there is no point risking him in a loss. Granted tmac had 4 assists in 12 minutes and probaly should have had a few more if his teammates werent trying to build a city with their bricks.

Tmac is pacing himself for the playoffs. e is not everting himself to much right now on offense and is picking his spots right now.

GERRAD

February 3rd, 2012
12:05 am

Marvin is a tease. Has the talent but lacks the fortitude and the will power to be anything worthwhile.By the playoffs i wanna see tmac playing more minutes then him. I think rasputin is right that McGrady is coasting to keep himself in check till the playoffs arrive

Tim

February 3rd, 2012
12:10 am

The Hawks are a much better team than that.You can’t come out and get manhandled like that on your own floor.If you want to be a really good team you can’t let that happen tonight.You have to validate yourself against teams with winning records.This team has the talent do just that,just cant have letdowns like that.Erase this game tonight from your systems and get ready for the sixers on saturday and get a win as expected.

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
12:13 am

Tmac is in ld’s doghouse.

Walt Frazier

February 3rd, 2012
12:14 am

At least the Hawks weren’t like tonight’s Knicks. They kept the fans out of it by giving up the game early and gave me an excuse to watch the Knicks, who were mostly in it and even got the crowd excited throughout this lethargic game, only to lose. Back in my Knicks days, better was expected and better was gotten-the fans had their say. Now a days, it’s a cess-pool of egomanic bottom of the sewer-underachievers that would get booed all the way to Delancy street to Coney Island. After 30 something odd years-is this what the “Big Apple” is all about-B? Maybe I should get my seats in Brooklyn.

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
12:15 am

Its tradition in Atlanta for sports teams to have losing records against the winners..

Braves,Falcons,Hawks….Something in the water?

Buddy Grizzard

February 3rd, 2012
12:15 am

Let’s talk about the final 5 minutes of the first half when the Hawks played with Josh Smith at Center and the Grizzlies went on 17-8 run. Prior to that, with Collins injured and Zaza on the bench getting the Horford Treatment with two fouls, Ivan Johnson was doing a very credible job of bodying Gasol and keeping him from getting deep post position. WTF happened?

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
12:17 am

The brutal February schedule has begun!

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
12:18 am

out scored 26-12 in the 3rd quarter? Game over…..

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
12:20 am

The Hawks would be a 10th seed out west!

JaeEvolution

February 3rd, 2012
12:30 am

Mozgov killing the Clippers, but what do I know.

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
12:47 am

Rose=2x the player jj is

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
12:52 am

Tom thibodeau = 100x the coach ld is

High-Tech Lynching

February 3rd, 2012
1:02 am

High-Tech Lynching

February 3rd, 2012
1:04 am

^That should be…”It looks like another All-Star [snub] for Josh Smith.”

http://www.nba.com/2012/allstar/2012/02/02/east-reserves/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
1:04 am

JT=5x the pg KH is

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
1:06 am

Woody= 7x the coach LD is

doc

February 3rd, 2012
1:06 am

northcyde havnt read all written about this game so some may be out of context however in response to your posts from the last blog:

“The minute that Josh feels that no matter what he does, he’ll always be criticized or blamed for the mistakes he makes, that’s when he’ll say that he wants out of Atlanta.”

number one, you cant cosach scared someone wont be back beacuse you dont treat him like an entitled child instead of a man who can accept criticism when it is appropriate like they did queen in cleveland.

second, i was at the game, josh threw one away and seemed to start yelling at teague who he had thrown it away, though it was his bad, real bad and he should have been kicking himself. he and zaza seemed to get into it and that was the last seen of josh.

basically the griz had it from the 13-6 lead of the hawks on. we were lucky to have been as close as we were in the first quarter. every player sucked tonight and they have to come back big after looking themselves in the mirror. if not, it is going to be a long saturday night too and a long home stand.

rusty rose is 2x the player josh, jj and jeff are combined, mvp dude.

doc

February 3rd, 2012
1:13 am

well slimjr, he did. allen flat out took all the air around him and sucked it away. jj could not breathe. that is intensity and was really fun to watch even if it was the other team’s guy. conley got game and healthy swagger, gasol is a load, gay can bring it with a few other solid complimentary pieces. now they are over the blow of losing randolph and gay has a lot of confidence after his injury which was very hard to overcome. good little team put together in a lot shorter time than these hawks.

now philly. no 8-5 or 9-4 on this string like this. 6-7 and i will be happy for the last half of the season.

High-Tech Lynching

February 3rd, 2012
1:15 am

Carmelo Anthony should give his All-Star invitation to [Danny] Granger or Josh [Smith]. The Knicks should not have any All-Star players representing the Eastern Conference.

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:23 am

Agreed doc, Memphis has done a good job putting together a really good club much very fast!!

Its amazing to watch these Western Conference teams just dismantle and dominate the Hawks time and again..

Thats how I measure the Hawks..How the play against the West! They are light years away from
Championship material……..

leear1n

February 3rd, 2012
1:23 am

They will do it every time play a team over 500 and they stink up the joint that is why i do not go see them anymore.Hawk people and news people don’t say anything about the fans not showing up to watch we know what will happen if a team is over 500 comes in .I for one will not pay my hard earn cash to see a team with no guts,no smarts.They had a day off to plan and look at the afford they displayed.Message To the Hawks players don’t get mad if none of you get picked for the ALLSTAR game You have earn it.

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:25 am

Najeh and I knew jj was in trouble..Allen is a beast!

I’d take him over Jamal every day of the week for sure……

WoefulHawkfan

February 3rd, 2012
1:26 am

Is nobody else tired of seeing Josh complain all the time? And it seems like it is always directed at Teague. Teague is a good young point guard and Josh is tearing the kid down and always ripping him apart. Josh accepts no responsibility for his poor shot selection or trying to bring the ball up the court and making a dumb or bad pass 8 out of 10 times. Highlight dunks and 2 blocks per game are not worth the headache this guy causes LD or the way he complains about everything and yells at teammates. About time Hawks fans start calling it like it is.

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:27 am

OKC will destroy the Hawks…..

doc

February 3rd, 2012
1:28 am

slimj i too thought allen would be a factor and mentioned it in a post a few days ago. i like this little griz team

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:33 am

Yes you did Sir..I like rooting for the Griz too! Lionel Hollins is doing a great job up there!

I may have to keep a closer eye on those guys! lol

doc

February 3rd, 2012
1:34 am

yeah slimj, the west is the marker. the okc are the team that is playing best against all comers, they are tough on the road and just eat up east competition like it isnt there. okc and bulls in the finals with no queen is what would do me well. however, usually top teams fom the season dont match it up in the finals.

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:34 am

Im getting tired of the Hawks failing to deliver against the winners sorta like those Falcons…

Its getting old fast…..

doc

February 3rd, 2012
1:37 am

still want to know what zaza and josh were talking. it wasnt whether bbq russian ga ribs were better than bbq southern ga ribs.

MC did you catch any of this?

Slimjr

February 3rd, 2012
1:38 am

goodnight doc I cant keep my eyes open….lol

doc

February 3rd, 2012
2:04 am

northcyde

February 3rd, 2012
2:10 am

Hawks Fan Down Under

February 2nd, 2012
11:03 pm

Can hardly blame LD on this one. This loss is squarely on the players. Total lack of effort on the defensive end. Gifting the Grizz over and over, poor transition defence, horrible blocking out. Thats not the coaches fault. As much as LD pisses me off this one’s on the guys on the floor…simply not good enough.

As usual just when this team gives you reason to get excited they suck the life out of you.

**************************

Ivan Johnson exits the game, and Vladimir Radmanovic comes on the floor at the 4:43 mark. Hawks are up 36 – 35.

3 minutes later, Hawks are down 8, and are about to go down 10 on the next possession.

The lineup Drew had on the floor during that 3 minute stretch:

- Teague
- Johnson
- Marvin
- Vlad
- Smith

A lineup that hasn’t played together ALL YEAR. But Drew, in all of his infinite wisdom, expects that lineup to work.

Forget about putting back in Zaza, who has been on the bench with 2 fouls since the 5:20 mark of the 1st quarter. Heck, even disregard the fact that he could’ve let Ivan play with 2 fouls the rest of the Half.

Nope, let’s go super small, and put in Vlad at the 4, and Smith at the 5, and see if that works.

tom

February 3rd, 2012
2:25 am

i treated my relatives from california to this piece of !@#@$%………what an embarassment. Thanks hawks. Thanks.

Rusty

February 3rd, 2012
2:30 am

I keep telling everyone he is an idiot,should never be a head coach.talked a good game at first but lacks any real sense & blames everyone else but is never ro blame.