Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 101, Pacers 96

Indianapolis–This was a good W for the Hawks under the circumstances. You might even say it’s a great W if you ignore those shaky offensive possessions late in the game. “I thought, going down the stretch, defensively we did a really good job,” Larry Drew said. “Offensively, the execution wasn’t there.”

  • The scrambled possessions included a shot-clock violation and a couple missed 3s by Josh Smith. The Hawks got it done, tough. They withstood Indiana’s physical battering and answered each big shot with one of their own while holding the lead over the final 15 minutes.
  • “On the road, we have to withstand runs whether we are up or down,” Drew said. “We knew they would make a run. I’m just proud when they did make a run, we weathered the storm. We didn’t panic. We kept our composure. We stayed the course.”
  • That’s four Ws in five games for the Hawks, and three of those were bona fide quality victories. And considering their injuries and the 14-point deficit they faced against the Bucks, you can make a case to put that W in the good column, too.
  • “We are coming together and figuring out a way to win ballgames,” Josh said. “We are being tough on the defensive end. If we share the basketball like we have these last two games, moving the ball from side to side, finding the open man, we are a hell of a team.”
  • Smith was superb while making 6 of 6 shots in the opening 10 minutes and all five field-goal attempts in the third quarter. The early scoring barrage included an assortment of spin moves and fast-break dunks with a fadeaway J and a 3 thrown in. He sent the Hawks on their way. “Josh got us going early and the team took over from there,” Jeff Teague said. “It was a team effort.”
  • Josh’s third-quarter spurt was all Js. It looked to me like he started settling when he fatigued. “I was a little winded out there,” he said. “It’s great when your teammates can lift you up. They definitely helped out in that third and fourth quarter.”
  • The bench extended the lead in the second quarter, with every guy who played contributing something positive.
  • Ivan Johnson was back to looking to get the ball near the basket instead of catching it in the high post, where he tends to freeze up. Vladimir Radmanovic scored on a couple of his show-and-go drives and did what he could to offer defensive resistance. Erick Dampier did a good job keeping Roy Hibbert away from the basket, looked better on the boards and even had a nifty assist.
  • In the fourth quarter, Zaza Pachulia and Jannero Pargo hurt the Pacers with their two-man game.
  • Zaza got deep position and converted tough shots for a couple and-1s. He did his usual good work on the boards while outplaying All-Star Hibbert for the second time in three meetings. Zaza really has been playing well as the starter, even if it seems like not many have noticed.
  • Pargo, playing alongside Teague for much of the fourth quarter, made three 3s. “He’s been like that for us,” Drew said. “When he gets on a roll, the basket looks big. Tracy [McGrady] was doing a good job of finding him, particularly off some actions that we we were running. We swung the ball very nicely.”
  • McGrady continues to prove his worth as a playmaker. His probing, patient style was a nice complement to Pargo’s helter-skelter pace. If McGrady can find his shot and draw fouls at his usual rate, he’ll be a potent piece for the Hawks in the postseason.
  • Darren Collison made Teague work hard all night. Teague still had nine assists against there turnovers.
  • Marvin Williams ended up with a decent line but inexplicably fouled Danny Granger on a drive in the final moments. Marvin cut Granger off but then turned his back while sliding under him instead of either challenging the shot or getting out of the way. He found some redemption when he forced Granger to miss a 3, corralled the loose rebound and then made two free throws.
  • Jerry Stackhouse couldn’t make shots but stepped up to make the two big free throws to calm things down.
  • Joe Johnson (knee) got in a pregame workout: “It felt good. No soreness. But I still don’t know when I’m going to play on this trip.”
  • Willie Green (back) said he won’t play in Miami: “We are shooting for Detroit. It feels good but I want to get a couple workouts in before I play.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

191 comments Add your comment

@pcnitai

March 6th, 2012
11:20 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 6th, 2012
11:20 pm

Is Marvin ever going to have a big game for us?

You see Pargo killing it every night. This is the guy our incompetent coach refuses to play unless there are injuries. Pargo had 16 tonight. Has Marvin hit 16 in the last month?

Rondo 17 rebounds on Sunday. That’s more than Joe will have in his next 5 games when he returns.

I’m willing to bet if Joe was playing and Pargo was out all these games we’d be worse off

TMACfan

March 6th, 2012
11:21 pm

Good close out this game.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 6th, 2012
11:23 pm

Pargo is the 3rd best healthy Hawk right now. He is a killer.

Marvin is allergic to stepping up. I bet he has 10 and 4 tomorrow

@pcnitai

March 6th, 2012
11:23 pm

The team seems to respond well, initially, when key players are out. The Heat game will be interesting.

Adam

March 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

Joe Johnson’s MVP run continued tonight.

He owns each and every one of you.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 6th, 2012
11:27 pm

Marvin has hit 15 points 3 times this season, and all 3 were against awful teams.

THIS IS AS A STARTER.

Go look at Pargo or Willie Green’s numbers in their minutes

Ken Strickland

March 6th, 2012
11:31 pm

Do you remember at the beginning of the season when I said Sund really did a good job of putting together a solid bench? Do you also remember when I said we wouldn’t miss JCrawford or Bibby? We really have a talented, deep, and versatile bench, and this latest stretch proves it. So let’s give Sund a big show of appreciation.

O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
11:32 pm

Great win. When JJ is out of the lineup, the ball movement is so much better.

Ra’mon,

Most people dont question Josh’s talent. They question his mental capability of putting it all together consistently. With Al out, he stepped up, and with JJ out, he stepped up some more. He just needs to keeo it going.

Najeh,

Plenty of Lakers fans in Detroit, and they went wild when Kobe tied it up at the end of regulation. Where is the article talking about Detroit fans?

Swingman912

March 6th, 2012
11:33 pm

Josh Smith continues to carry this team without Joe Johnson. He is our best player whether you want to admit it or not. CHUUUUUUUUCH!!!!!!!

O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
11:33 pm

With each win without JJ, his contract looks worse and worse. Can we win a first round series w/o JJ? Possibly. But paying him the money he gets just to help one playoff series? I dont know…

O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
11:35 pm

And everybody contributed to the win tonight. everybody except Kirk, that is :twisted:

Rufus1

March 6th, 2012
11:42 pm

Tough Minded…

tyger

March 7th, 2012
12:00 am

It’s getting hott in here…

It’s an illusion, but Hawks look better w/o Big Pass Joe…
Fortunately, the season isnt judged in March…
Joe and Green will be needed come May…

Kudos to LD – he finds a way to win – no excuses…
Feel he likes not having to pander to a psuedo-superstar…
Everybody is playing, sharing, competing – no blood clots…

Team play works 90% time, but stars shine come playoffs…
Miami will be the test, let’s see how new look Hawks respond…
Excuses will be abound – back to back, injuries, blah, blah, blah…

Hawks can do it – this is a blue-collar, unionized group…
Even short-handed they are deep in right places…
Tmac, Hinrich, Vladi, Stack, Pargo, Ivan, Dampier all know roles…

Wade, Lebron will test their speed, athleticism…
Hawks lost at home to their 3rd string…remember that…
Josh, Marvin, Teague, Pargo can keep up…others need their A game.

I MUS WRITE

March 7th, 2012
12:01 am

Pargo should be the primary back up PG. Can we trade JJ for Rudy

I MUS WRITE

March 7th, 2012
12:03 am

Swingman stealing my lingo?…Whass up fam C Port in the Bldg

maloy

March 7th, 2012
12:07 am

Wow, good Josh shows up for 3 games straight. lol. Now he needs to learn to deal with double teams. His teammates and coaching from LD can help him in that aspect, can’t do anything much with fatigue considering the brutal schedule this season.

As for his jump shot, hopefully he could watch and learn from Chris Mullin. Best lefty jump shooter IMO.

Grandad

March 7th, 2012
12:15 am

MC

You need to read the blog on occasion.
Zaza gets a good bit of appreciation & respect on this board.

It would be a fair assessment to say:
Trade Joe for someone useful [a Big Man] immediately.

Pargo is playing well;
he is much better as a [2].

I would like to see;
Zaza, Josh, & Ivan together for a stretch.

LD let Ivan sit too long & too much after a very productive 1st half.

When the Hawks were having trouble scoring near the end;
V-Rad might have been a good choice off the bench.
Off / Def with Marv & Vlad.

LD quit running plays for Zaza also during the late dry spell.
Zaza was drawing fouls. [+ making shots]

LD -is- however, keeping this bunch together. applau.

Officials;
My Word; the game lasted 17 hrs & 23 min !

Can we trade Joe ?

Joe and Teaguer for Bargnani & Barbosa ?
That one will keep somebody awake.

Grandad

March 7th, 2012
12:18 am

‘`we are a hell of a team`’
- Josh Smith –

I really like this quote.

It`s a different kind of Hawks quote.

It shows self assurance.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

March 7th, 2012
12:30 am

LD coaches better with folks hurt.

FIRE LD

Hawks Fan Down Under

March 7th, 2012
12:37 am

“We are coming together and figuring out a way to win ballgames,” Josh said……

…..until they find a way to start losing ballgames like they have done consistently for years on end. This team is so up and down.

With LD I think limiting how many players he has actually helps his bad rotations because he cant take out dudes just to put different dudes in.

I say at least 1 starter should miss every game…this can only help LD as a coach!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 7th, 2012
12:51 am

“Plenty of Lakers fans in Detroit, and they went wild when Kobe tied it up at the end of regulation. Where is the article talking about Detroit fans?”

Haha I noticed that too. And that’s in a city that won a championship seven years ago beating the Lakers.

prison mike

March 7th, 2012
1:03 am

Proud of the team, hadn’t said that in a long long time. Oh man I’m not YC but we “scrubs on scrubs on scrubs….. scrubs on scrubs on scrubbbssss.”

prison mike

March 7th, 2012
1:04 am

…got too many scrubs on this team that is.

The Truth

March 7th, 2012
1:16 am

“They kept us off balance with good ball movement and we couldn’t seem adjust to their schemes. We just weren’t able to figure them out in time to stop them. They made a lot of second shots and you can’t give those kinds of shots and win games. These are both contenders and teams that we could meet later. So we’ve got to improve on these, pack it up and move on to the next game.”
– West

We kept them off balance because the Hawks are an unpredictable team without JJ. If JJ had played in this game, we probable lose because the Pacers would have adjusted their defense to stop JJ. They would have easily decoded the Hawks offense down the stretch and made timely plays to disrupt them. Instead of winning by committee (as we did), JJ (as the focal point of the offense) might have heroically taken difficult jumpers from the perimeter with multiple defenders in his face while teammates stands around to watch creating a stagnated offense.

So if and when JJ returns, the Hawks offense should never be the same again. At least up to this point with Josh balling on another level, there’s a case to made that Josh should be become the “new” focal point of the offense. Ball movement should flow “more” inside-out through Josh instead of outside-in through JJ.

The “2” on JJ’s jersey should stand for the second option if Josh continue to ball like this.

Big Ray

March 7th, 2012
1:22 am

Daaaaaaamn.

All I can say is this is the Josh we wanna see. The man continues a string of wonderful performances with this one, another real win for us (beating a playoff bound team).

I hope to see Josh continue this type of play. No, he doesn’t have to nail down near 30 point performances every night. But he does need to play like this . Dude is so effective when he’s dunking and finding other ways to score around the basket. It actually helps him get into a bit of a rhythm at range.

In other news, I realize Teague didn’t shoot well, but I don’t care what Teague haters say – I’ll take 9 assists from my starting pg anyday, especially when it comes with a 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Hate Teague if you want, that is how a pg lays it down and contributes, whether his shot is on or not. That said, what is his freakin’ deal at the FT line?

I see Marvin managed to rise to his usual mediocre stats. Good enough for one night, it would be something if he could put down 12 and 6 every night, then it wouldn’t seem so mediocre, now would it?

Pargo continues to help those of us with sense NOT miss Jamal…

Ivan continues to be a bit of a diamond in the rough for us. In fact, the bench was pretty good, which meant something against a deep team like Indy.

And how about Zaza? Continues to be darn solid as our starting center.

Big Ray

March 7th, 2012
1:27 am

Maybe we can’t win without Joe in the playoffs. But I’d like to see us try, to be honest. It would be a good proving ground.

I think we need to shed him and his contract any dang way. He isn’t going to get better, and it seems he’s not aging as gracefully as some folks said he would. I’d welcome a trade.

Thanks for everything you’ve done for us Joe, but this team has wasted the opportunities it has had to build around you and now it’s too late to build that way. Time to go another route, even if a potentially less stable one. That contract is murder on this organization’s ability to make any real changes, so it’s time to go.

Not Joe’s fault. That’s entirely on ownership/management.

But then, I was saying this BEFORE Josh’s surging 3 game rumble.

By the way, it only helps if Josh has far more games like this, and far less of the other kind he’s also known for.

The Truth

March 7th, 2012
1:34 am

“By the way, it only helps if Josh has far more games like this, and far less of the other kind he’s also known for.” – Big Ray

Yeah, Big Ray, what I was thinking too

We Shall See

tom

March 7th, 2012
1:42 am

LOL at all the crazy trade talks. The Hawks will need a full and healthy roster to make a deep run in the playoffs.

doc

March 7th, 2012
2:04 am

seems like folks like the smash smith version of 5. he did settle at the end and things got very sloppy as they got away from what worked bt a huge win.

zaza is the man right now, loved his walk away from a writhing hibbert lying on the court like a fighter going to the neutral corner to await the obligatory 8 count.

TMACfan

March 7th, 2012
2:17 am

Zaza balled out today.

GaSouthernSmooth

March 7th, 2012
3:13 am

When JJ returns RUN THE OFFENSE THROUGH JSmoove. I love watching the ball movement these past few games. DAMP > Collins but we all know that, except for our lame duck GM & Coach. Pargo is legit, time to trade Captain Kirk for a draft pick. Make the move Sund the clock is ticking! O and is this team really 1 game back from 3rd in the east?!?!

vava74

March 7th, 2012
3:37 am

The Truth:

“So if and when JJ returns, the Hawks offense should never be the same again. At least up to this point with Josh balling on another level, there’s a case to made that Josh should be become the “new” focal point of the offense. Ball movement should flow “more” inside-out through Josh instead of outside-in through JJ.

The “2” on JJ’s jersey should stand for the second option if Josh continue to ball like this.”

My exact assessment since a few weeks ago. BEFORE JJ went down and Josh went on a tear.

About LD:

Less choices make LD look better as coach. This is a clear indictment on him.

With a full roster he can’t make truly good decision on the bench.

It’s only when he has no option that he uses assets which had been producing and that he had burried in the bench: Pargo and Ivan.

vava74

March 7th, 2012
3:40 am

These undermanned wins are the clear evidence that if we had a real HC on the bench for the past 2/3 years we would be contenders to win it all.

Watch is flounder when JJ and Green return and LD completely miss manages the rotations again.

Buddy Grizzard

March 7th, 2012
4:42 am

Here’s my Joe Johnson “If he wasn’t faking a knee injury trade of the day”:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7u7pvm8

Trade machine says Hawks gain 4 wins!

Just Joe

March 7th, 2012
5:34 am

Buddy…I think if you take Billups out, take back Gomes, and add one of our vets as a throw in, you’d have a deal as far as the Clips are concerned.

Don’t forget that Orlando is desperate for a “Robin” as well. I think they would take Joe off our hands.

Just Joe

March 7th, 2012
5:51 am

Don’t get caught up in a few quality wins.

This may be our last chance to trade the bad contracts of Joe and Marvin.

This is definitely our last chance to trade Hinrich and McGrady. Neither will re-sign with us. You have got to trade both for something that can help us in the future. McGrady is like a late first, early second rd pick in the last two drafts. Send him to a contender in exchange for one of their young players like Dominique Jones in Dallas, Jerome Jordan in New York, Daniel Orton in Orlando, Trey Thompkins or Travis Leslie in LA, etc…

High-sider

March 7th, 2012
6:01 am

This is how the Hawks can rid itself of two underachieving players [scrubs] while getting a quality backup center, a clutch, prolific scorer and a solid, energetic small forward in return. According to the trade machine, the Hawks net [gain] only one additional win from this trade.

http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=7k4mfux

falCans

March 7th, 2012
6:13 am

disappointed there arent more “HOORAH FOR JOSH SMITH” post. sheeesh ppl. and fyi : HES BEEN THIS GOOD FOREVER!!!! FINALLY GETTIN THE CHANCE,ALBEIT BECAUSE OF INJURIES, TO SHOW HIS OFFENSIVE SKILLS. but his effort and continual filling of the stat sheets has been A1 since day 1. You fake fans betta hope he dosnt leave via free agency. the way you all have dogged him I wouldnt blame him if he left. Did I memtion hes the hometown kid??? lol

vava74

March 7th, 2012
6:24 am

High-sider,

Get off Jamal’s jock! :-D

High-sider

March 7th, 2012
7:19 am

vava74′

He’s [Jamal Crawford] my favorite player; I can’t help it. LOL

Marcus

March 7th, 2012
7:32 am

Big Ray!!!

Either I missed you on half the season blogs or you have been in Deep Cover (Snoop and Dre would be proud.

I like y’alls thoughts but unfortunately our best baller right now (Josh) is also our best trade asset. JJ’s contract puts a scarlet $ on his chest and Boss is hurt. Heinrich is also tradable, esp. with his contract (not sure if it is expiring after 2012) but whatever we get back may not be useful for a significant playoff push.

I wanna keep Josh, but we have very little wiggle room or assets to make a splash until one of the core members is sent outside the ATL city limits, never to return.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 7th, 2012
7:35 am

TMac for Travis Leslie????

ROTFLMAOLOLKTC

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 7th, 2012
7:38 am

T-Mac. Played 20 last night.

Looks like we need 48 min from Kirk because Tracy should NOT PLAY.

He should NOT have played vs OKC.

FIRE LD

Mac-Town (#maconchevyrider)

March 7th, 2012
7:40 am

“TMac for Travis Leslie????

ROTFLMAOLOLKTC”

that part was almost as good as Orlando and the Knicks being contenders.

Mac-Town (#maconchevyrider)

March 7th, 2012
7:41 am

contenders for 1st round exits…thats about it

Section 303

March 7th, 2012
7:43 am

O’Brien and Najeh, I 2nd your take on the crowd at the Palace last night. I watched a good bit of the 2nd half (after the Hawks game) and there were more than enough Laker fans in the crowd. Yet, don’t hear any bashing of the Detroit fanbase (of which I am a part of…Go Tigers!). The double standard towards Atlanta fans is almost laughable at this point. Atlanta fans, for the most part, no different than any other city.

Great win by the Hawks last night. Win softens the blow for tonight’s game, which will probably be a loss. Can be offset by wins in Detroit and Sacramento.

Gotta give the guys props for holding together with all the injuries. Though, I am a reluctant to pat them on the back too much. Seems like everytime I do, they go on a losing streak.

Some very winnable games at the end of the month. If they can just get through this road trip in solid shape, get Joe and Willie back, they could close ground on Orlando and the other teams ahead of them.

STRETCH THIS YO

March 7th, 2012
8:02 am

I’d rather have Pargo & Green playing than 5 Marvin Williams…

STRETCH THIS YO

March 7th, 2012
8:04 am

Zaza was playing well with his balls last night. Kudos !

vava74

March 7th, 2012
8:36 am

High-sider,

Then it’s a shame.

He is fun to watch and he is undoubtedly very very skilled, but unfortunately his game is not suited for success.

Basketball is a team sport and although I acknowledge that you need a degree of creativity and spontaneity in some circumstances, you have to play both ways (Offense-Defense) and you need to work with your teammates.

Jamal is like a grenade, sometimes you get terrific results out of using him, but if you get too caught up on deploying him, you end up getting a lot of kills by “friendly fire” on your side.