Atlanta Hawks at Magic: Game thread

OrlandoLarry Drew says Erick Dampier will be dressed tonight so look for Dampier to get a shot at checking Dwight Howard. “We need a big body,” Drew said. Hawks coaches went over plays with Dampier last night.

  • Josh Smith on being left off the All-Star team: “I felt I deserved it for two years in a row. You’ve got to factor in there is a lot of politics involved in the All-Star selection. Once you get that it’s really about politics, then nothing really surprises you. I call it ‘Nothing But Associates,’ NBA. It’s all who you know. I guess I don’t know the right people or kiss enough ass. All I can do is play my game. The whole world knows I deserve to be in an All-Star. I can’t be salty about not making it I’ve just got to keep doling the things I’ve been doing on the court and that’s playing at a high level.”
  • Josh on media and fellow players saying he got snubbed: “I watched TNT. I thank those guys for having me as an All-Star. I think that Louis Williams deserves to be on there. He’s been the most surprising player and the most efficient player for [the Sixers]. Rudy Gay should have made it. But it is what it is. I can’t really point a finger and blame anybody because, at the end of the day, when you leave it up to certain people that still have ties to their agents [and] players in this game today probably [are] just putting in a bid over the phone or however they do it. You have to factor that in.”
  • Some Tweeps ask me if Josh was taking a shot at Joe Johnson with his comments. He wasn’t. As you can see, he’s just mad at the politics involved in how the team is picked.
  • A Magic media guy asked Josh if he thought Ryan Anderson also was snubbed: “He’s played good but he also plays my position. So I felt I deserve it over him, too. Maybe he deserves to be in the three-point contest. I’ve been playing at a high level for two years now. I guess you have got to get snubbed two or three times before [you make it].”
  • Josh on whether the snub will motivate him: “I can’t play no better than what I’m playing, you know what I’m saying? Just keep playing the same way I’ve been playing since Al [Horford] went down and that’s at a high level [like] even before the injury to Al.”
  • Drew: “It’s really unfortunate. I just think he’s definitely an All-Star. The way he impacts both ends of the floor, he deserves to be on that team.”
  • Joe: “He’s been playing great and he has the numbers to show it. It just didn’t happen. It’s unfortunate. I think we all feel he should have been an All-Star but it happens. For him, he just has to move on and continue playing. I feel like he’s an All-Star in everybody’s eyes here.”
  • Stan Van Gundy: “The guys who make the team are really good players but there are always guys who are left off that can make a case. Smith is one of them.”
  • Joe on his selection: “It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of it. It never gets old. I’m looking forward to coming back to Orlando in a couple weeks with my family and enjoying everything Orlando has to offer.”
  • After coming here like 57 times during my Heat beat days, I’m still trying to figure out what Orlando has to offer. February days like this are an attraction, of course, but weather wasn’t really a factor when I lived in Miami and it still isn’t enough to make me like it here.
  • Van Gundy on the Hawks: “They are different without Horford. They’ve moved Josh Smith back to the four spot and now they’ve got a little more 3-point shooting in the floor and they shoot it very well.”
  • More Van Gundy: “They are a huge post-up and isolation team. There’s not a lot of movement. They do a great job passing out of double teams. So we either have to dig down and play them one-on-one or double and rotate out of it.”
  • Van Gundy on last year’s playoff series: “Their defense was good against us and it affected us. We missed some shots that were presented to us but their defense was outstanding. That certainly was the biggest factor in our struggles.”
  • Glen Davis: “Me and Dwight are physical guys. We bang down there. But at the same time that doesn’t matter if we don’t match their intensity. They are physical, too, like with Ivan Johnson.”
  • Following shootaround the Hawks made Ivan sing “Happy Birthday” to Zaza Pachulia, who turned 28 today. Ivan enthusiastically fulfilled his rookie duty with a smile.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

680 comments Add your comment

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

Ivan enthusiastically fulfilled his rookie duty with a smile.

I refuse to believe that Ivan Johnson can smile.

honest_abe

February 10th, 2012
3:58 pm

ivan johnson is the man!

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
4:00 pm

Hopefully Josh takes out his frustrations on the Magic. I would love to see him put it all together after getting snubbed again.

KevinM

February 10th, 2012
4:03 pm

Josh is letting everyone know that he is more than deserving and also that he can’t improve his game at this point.
I don’t like the bitter part…just too much negativity like the Turner TV crew.

Just play your game, improve your numbers and good things will come his way.

MC, are you in ORL tonight? Have you been given a reprieve to attend road games again?

‘Damp’ gets to make his mark tonight; let’s see if he can stay between D12 and the basket.

Rod from College Park

February 10th, 2012
4:03 pm

O’Brien,

“I think Josh should have gone instead of Pierce, but I can see why Iggy and Deng made it.

The Bulls have the best record in teh East, while the Hawks are 5th. But you would send 2 Hawks players, but only 1 Bulls player to the all-star game?

Also, Philly has the 3rd best record in the East, but the Hawks should have 2 all-stars while the Sixers have none?”

I can’t. It just makes no sense. Is the all star game a lifetime achievement award, or is it based on your team winning, or is it based on your production? Iggy’s numbers are not comparable to Josh’s at all. For all the bad shots that we all think Josh takes, he gets to the line more and has a higer FG% than Iggy, Deng and Pierce. Josh’s numbers are much better than Iggy’s and a little better than Deng’s and Pierce’s. Plus he is a better defensive player and rebounder than all of them this year. Josh irritates me as much as anybody else, but he got screwed. It is what it is.

honest_abe

February 10th, 2012
4:04 pm

whats the over/under on dampiers minutes tonight? i’m going to put it 6 minutes.

in terms of fouls, he’ll obviously get 6.

6 – 6 – ?

jlewis

February 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

To me, that is why Josh is not an All-Star, learn some humility, don’t continue to piss people off. The team was picked by the coaches, I don’t believe players on other teams kiss their butt. GROW UP JOSH, if you would concentrate on rebounding and playing defense, you would be a 5-time all-star by now. Josh brings a lot to the table, but everytime he shots an untimely long jumper, gets it off the glass and goes down and turns it over, when the point guard is right beside him, he hasn’t matured.

KevinM

February 10th, 2012
4:09 pm

Abe, I give Damp 5 minutes in the first half and go from there.

MC, any update on Teague? Any lingering injury from Wed night?

lea

February 10th, 2012
4:15 pm

lol mark and jlewis y’all mad huh? get over it, he said what he said and should not take it back. NO one not even josh biggest haters can justify bums like hibbert making it over him.

Blast

February 10th, 2012
4:15 pm

The big losers here are the fans who do not get to see Josh play on a regular basis. Josh’s game is tailor made for the All Star game. Those dangerous passes that are so thrilling when they hit their mark. The hops that lead to those amazing dunks. The out of the world blocks that leaves us uuhing and aaing. The steals, his overall game will be missed at the all star game. The NBA coaches sucks.

Ignore the snub, Josh, and just keep playing your game. Keep playing at a high level, and the coaches will not have a choice but to vote you in. Josh deserves it way better this year than Deng or Andre and even Pierce.

Go Hawks, gotta beat the Magic tonite, though.

Runner-

February 10th, 2012
4:18 pm

Smoove thinks he can’t play any better than he is now? How about improving that free throw percentage and your PPG will skyrocket!!

honest_abe

February 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

man josh would get ripped each and every time he tried to bring the ball up the court. kind of like the last game against the pacers when it was a 2 on 1 and instead of giving it up he tries to be the playmaker and gets it stolen. HA too funny. his handles are worse than mine which is saying something. it wouldn’t be an issue if he didn’t make it a primary aspect of his game.

and blast we’ve only watched him almost every game since he was drafted. the oooohs and aaaaaahs are nice but there’s more nooooooos for him to be an all star.

jlewis

February 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

Lea:

I’m not upset at all, its nothing in it for me if he makes it or not, but show some class. Statement “I thought my team and I have done an excellent job with Al being out, I thought with the help of my teammates I had raised my level of play, obviously not high enough, I will continue working and hopefully one day it will happen”. Whether you mean it or not, be smart.

KevinM

February 10th, 2012
4:21 pm

I think the Hawks are at their best when Josh doesn’t shoot his jumpers, but apparently the organization doesnt feel the same way.
The Magic shot 42 frickin 3’s against the Heat! That’s hard to imagine with D12 in the lineup.
They will live and die by that I guess….doesn’t sound like a good formula to me.

Sherewshevsky

February 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

I also thought Josh should have made it last year and this year. No doubt.

Sherewshevsky

February 10th, 2012
4:25 pm

Igoudala? No way. He’s a junior version of Josh, if anything.

Michael Cunningham

February 10th, 2012
4:26 pm

@KevinM: “MC, are you in ORL tonight? Have you been given a reprieve to attend road games again?”

yes, i’m in ORL. also will be in LA, PHX and PDX. C-Viv is at CHI and NYC.

Michael Cunningham

February 10th, 2012
4:27 pm

@KevinM: “MC, any update on Teague? Any lingering injury from Wed night?”

he’s good to go.

Sherewshevsky

February 10th, 2012
4:27 pm

Mark, there is not a player who has weaknesses (that’s plural). Not a one. Even Lebron. Much of this is relative.

hbcuclassics

February 10th, 2012
4:38 pm

HBCU Classic Sports
#2 Player Overall
DE/OLB Adrian Hamilton
http://www.hbcuclassics.com/hbcu_showcase

Just Joe

February 10th, 2012
4:39 pm

Dwight vs. Pachulia & Dampier.
Big Baby Davis vs. Ivan Johnson.

It’s definitely a heavy weight fight tonight!

Ultimately, I believe the game gets decided by whoever makes their 3’s. Hawks have the better shooters. Hawks win.

Jason

February 10th, 2012
4:41 pm

This is a game that I would have really looked forward to if the Hawks had a healthy roster. It’s always nice to face an old playoff foe the following season to see how things have changed and which team has progressed. For me, the loss of Al, and Collins to a smaller extent, has take some of the excitement away from this matchup. The Magic are facing a watered down Hawks team which is very different from last season. The bench is almost entirely new and the core is not at full strength, so it just doesn’t seem like this game will be as exciting as it could have been if both teams had healthy rosters. It should still be interesting, but with the Hawks in their current state, I think Orlando has the upper hand. I guess we’ll find out tonight if the Hawks can still play with the Magic. When healthy, I’d say the Hawks are the better team, but without Horford and Collins, I feel like we are very vulnerable inside, especially against Dwight, so look for him to have a field day tonight, and if we double him, look for the 3 point shots to start raining down on us.

MattP

February 10th, 2012
4:44 pm

“Igoudala? No way. He’s a junior version of Josh, if anything.”

Please tell me this is a joke. Iggy is a play maker, Josh is no where near a play maker, he just thinks he is. Iggy isn’t even the same type of player Josh is.

But in my opinion, they have way too many SF on the East Roster. 5 SF not counting Joe and only 1 PF in Bosh, unless you count Hibbert which is east only backup center.

Sautee

February 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

Right off the top:

I think that Josh should have been an All-Star.

But this statement bothers me: “I can’t play no better than what I’m playing, you know what I’m saying?”

No Josh, I don’t know what you are saying, since just last year, you shot a higher % from the field, from 3 pt range, and from the FT line. And now you say that THIS YEAR is the best you can play.

Are you saying that you are regressing?

I sure hope not.

Just Joe

February 10th, 2012
4:46 pm

Hawks will have 7 guys shooting 38% or better from 3 (Teague/Hinrich, Joe/Willie G, Marvin/Tmac/Vlad Rad), and Pargo is definitely capable as the 8th man.

8 shooters & 4 bangers (Josh, Ivan, Pachulia & Damp).

Just Joe

February 10th, 2012
4:48 pm

You guys are reading too much in to Josh’s quotes. He’s a basketball player, not a public speaker.

Dept. Of Unintended Irony

February 10th, 2012
4:49 pm

“Mark, there is not a player who has weaknesses (that’s plural).”

So, if I understand you correctly, all players are perfect, since they all (that’s plural) lack weaknesses?

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
4:49 pm

STAY AWAY from the 3 point line and STAY NEAR the basket on offense.

Do people ever think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, some of LD’s plays REQUIRE Josh to be out by the three-point line? Y’all do realize that coaches (or PGs if they are trusted enough) call plays that REQUIRE a certain player to be in a certain place and that player that just decides “stays near the basket” is actually the one that is being selfish?

For example, if a play is called that sets up a Teague or JJ drive to the basket, you might want Josh on the perimeter to get a big man OUT OF THE PAINT!! It’s simple basketball, for Christ’s sake!

I am tired of hearing that Josh is selfish. The guy completely changed his workout and body over the summer with the intent of playing at the three this year, because he thought it would be best for the TEAM to let Horford play the four, assuming that management was actually going to get a C during the offseason. And don’t say he is selfish on the court, because he isn’t. You want to see what a selfish player does on the court? Watch Carmelo, and occasionally, Kobe. Those guys with often hog the ball in situations where ball movement and passing is needed. Smoove DOESN’T do that and has never done that!

/rant

JM

February 10th, 2012
4:49 pm

MC, got to agree with you on Orlando. I’ve spent a couple of 2 month biz trips down there and it gets really old after a week.

As far as the game, I hope Smoove attacks the basket tonight and goes for 25-30. Hawks need a big when.

Go Hawks!

Mark

February 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

I call it ‘Nothing But Associates,’ NBA. It’s all who you know. I guess I don’t know the right people or kiss enough ass. All I can do is play my game. The whole world knows I deserve to be in an All-Star. I can’t be salty about not making it”

You sound salty to me Josh. Maybe the coaches will vote for you when you become COACHABLE. The WHOLE WORLD KNOWS I DESERVE TO BE AN ALLSTAR……yeah, yeah, yeah make a freethrow.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 10th, 2012
4:58 pm

FTPB

“Somebody from the Pacers will get a spot based on the team record, so either Granger or Hibbert would have gone.”

I would have no problem with Josh, Granger, and Rondo replacing Deng, Hibbert, and Deron Williams. Bosh can be the backup center.

Regardless, if team performance really mattered that much, Nash would have been replaced by a Denver Nugget.

Coaches just pick people they like. Time to take the vote out of their hands. The whole rationale behind coaches picking players is that they are supposed to know who deserves it more than the fans. If they keep proving year in and year out that they don’t, might as well let the fans pick everyone.

Big Lou

February 10th, 2012
4:58 pm

Josh deserved it, yet responses like that will not help you either. He should just go out there and kick the Magic’s butts tonight.

I just hope to God they stick to the old formula of defense and let the centers play Howard straight up. Last thing we need is for them to start trying to double him, leaving the three points open. Oh the horror of those old blowout games a couple years ago… *Shivers*

Priest Lauderdale

February 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

Can you confirm the reports that the Hawks signed Oliver Miller?

Preesh!

Big Lou

February 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

“If they keep proving year in and year out that they don’t, might as well let the fans pick everyone.” -Najeh

I don’t know. Fans vote in some crappy players for the Pro bowl every year. I just think Josh’s pouting and childish antics gets him in trouble.

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

Carmelo can shoot?!? When did this happen?!? He has in the past, but he’s shooting 40 freaking percent this year! He was literally hurting his team when he played. (Because he plays no defense)

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

And no, Josh really doesn’t hog the ball. Watch the games.

Heat Fan

February 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

Josh Smith and all-star is laughable, the kid has only scored 20 pts or more 6 times this year. Josh is a fringe player, he will never be on an Olympic team therefore I don’t consider him an all-star. 15 ppg is laughable, D Wade averaged 16 his rookie yr and he was only a starter half the season.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 10th, 2012
5:03 pm

“Is the all star game a lifetime achievement award, or is it based on your team winning, or is it based on your production?”

This is exactly my beef. It would be fine if they picked one of those and applied it across the board. But just as they say it’s about the team winning, they put Nash and Deron Williams on the team. Just as they say it’s about production, they put Luol Deng on the team. Just as they say it’s a lifetime achievement type of thing, they put Roy Hibbert on the team.

The bottom line is there is no standard. There is no rhyme or reason for why Nash, Dirk, Hibbert, Deng, and Deron Williams made it while Gay, Lowry, Josh, and Rondo didn’t. It is every bit as arbitrary as the fans voting in Vince Carter as an All Star several years ago, or the fans voting in Carmelo over Bosh this year.

If both the fans and the coaches are going to pick their All Stars at random, at least let the fans — for whom the game is played — pick all the All Stars, including the reserves.

J.J.M.

February 10th, 2012
5:05 pm

smh this mark guy still on josh nuts

Najeh Davenpoop

February 10th, 2012
5:06 pm

” the kid has only scored 20 pts or more 6 times this year.”

Iguodala has only scored 20 points 4 times this year, and has scored single digits 7 times this year.

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
5:06 pm

15 ppg is laughable, D Wade averaged 16 his rookie yr and he was only a starter half the season.

You should look into a stat called “usage rate”. It is really useful to look at instead of PPG.

Rod from College Park

February 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

“No Josh stop being selfish! You can be an allstar if you played the game within the TEAM concept. Get a rebound-pass to pg. STAY AWAY from the 3 point line and STAY NEAR the basket on offense. Grow Up and act like a man instead of a petulant little boy when things don’t go your way.”

Josh has only taken 21 3’s this year. He is rebounding better than he ever has in his career at almost 9 per game. The offense that his coach wants the TEAM to run does not have Josh NEAR the rim. Should he not listen to his coach and go NEAR the rim on his own? I watch a lot of NBA games, and most of the all stars that were selected by the fans act like petulant little boys when things don’t go there way. Wade, Melo, and Kobe come to mind. Who should he act like, Joe Johnson?

“It’s amazing how some fans get mad when you tell the TRUTH about a player. Josh SHOULD NOT be an allstar. What does Josh do that is so great? Has he won an award for anything or lead the league in anything besides whining? Yes he can block shots and rebound ,but he is average to below average in other categories.”

It’s not about what he does that so great, its about what he does better than the guys that were voted in at his position. If he is average to below average in all other categories, then why is he better than Deng, Pierce and Iggy in those categories. Pierce averages more assist and points per game, and FT% but that it. Pierce also turns the ball over more. Deng barely more ppg, and about one less turnover per game, and better FT% but thats it. Iggy is not even close in any category. All those ILL ADVISED SHOTS he takes, but he has a higher FG% than all 3. Please inform me what Pierce, Iggy or Deng lead the league in?

If you are going to post as a hater, then please do your homework.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 10th, 2012
5:09 pm

“It’s not about what he does that so great, its about what he does better than the guys that were voted in at his position.”

Co-sign. Josh > Deng.

Aaron

February 10th, 2012
5:12 pm

Najeh,

The method by which the Coaches choose players as reserves for the All-Star team is based upon a combination of production and winning. It’s a point-based system that factors in both and awards players a specific number of points based upon both. I’ve seen the ballot sheets, that is supposed to be the standard. Now, obviously, that is not the only thing that the coaches factor in, they are going to look beyond that when making their selections, but that is supposed to be the standard. It’s not supposed to be arbitrary.

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
5:13 pm

It’s also worth noting that Josh in 2nd in the league in DefWS, only behind Dwight. 5th in defensive rating, too.

Dept. of Unintended Irony

February 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

“The whole rationale behind coaches picking players is that they are supposed to know who deserves it more than the fans. If they keep proving year in and year out that they don’t, might as well let the fans pick everyone.”

Ok so you’re saying you’re smarter than the NBA coaches? Get a job as a coach then, since you’re so smart!!

J.J.M.

February 10th, 2012
5:19 pm

when the game counts…thats when the starters come in…to show the crowda good time thats where the high flying dunkers and shot blockers come in….getting your money worth

LeftyLeach

February 10th, 2012
5:22 pm

J, Grow up, work on your FT’s, quit ‘brickin’ long shots, & You’ll be an A-Star…

Spyro

February 10th, 2012
5:22 pm

Since I’ve got the stats page up, here are some other fun facts:

-Teague and Marvin rank 14th &15th in 3pt%
-Josh is 7th in blocks, 18th in total steals, and 18th in RPG (8th in DefRebs)
-JJ is 15th in FT%
-Teague is 7th in total steals, 11th in SPG

Rod from College Park

February 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

Mark,

It depends on what you mean by when it counts. Do you want a defender or a scorer. If defense and rebounding counts for anything, I would want Josh. If I needed a bucket I would take Pierce. If he acted like Joe Johnson he would be mute.