Atlanta Hawks: Clippers 96, Hawks 82

Los Angeles--At the end of a long road trip and with a roster depleted by injuries, the Hawks gave a pretty-good-if-sloppy effort against the Clippers but couldn’t make plays at winning times and finished the trip 2-4.

  • “We clearly just ran out of steam,” Larry Drew said.
  • Whether you see that as an excuse or a legitimate explanation probably depends on your mood. My guess is it’s not charitable because of the sting of close Ls at Miami, Detroit and, especially, Denver.
  • “We can’t hang our heads, but you have got to be a little disappointed,” Josh Smith said. “We had an opportunity to win in Miami. We definitely had an opportunity to win in Detroit. And the game last night was definitely our game and we gave it away. This is our last long away trip. We’ve got to take care of the home games and worry about these Eastern Conference teams and try to climb up.”
  • “We have just got to fine tune these last 20-something odd games,” Joe Johnson said. “The trip is definitely not as successful as we wanted. Nowhere near. We have just go to get back home and try to string some wins together and move up the ladder board.”
  • The Hawks already were down Al Horford and Ivan Johnson in the frontcourt and another option, Marvin Williams, was out too. Then Vladimir Radmanovic (back) was a late scratch and Josh was in early foul trouble.
  • “I’ve got to take my hat off to my guys,” Drew said. “We knew coming in this would be a physical game and, big-man wise, we were limited. Then we got word right before the game Vladimir couldn’t go because of his back. That left us with one big guy coming off the bench, [Erick] Dampier. So basically we were left with figuring out how to stay in the game and manage the game.”
  • It turned out the Clips guards Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe hurt the Hawks more than their bigs. But a good deal of that could be contributed to Atlanta playing zone and the guards sagging to help with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Also, Reggie Evans bulled his way 10 rebounds, four of them on offense.
  • “We paid so much attention to their inside presence and Chris Paul running the pick-and-roll that [Mo Williams] basically went out there shooting darts,” Joe said.
  • “It looked like they were moving a lot faster than we were,” Drew said of Mo Williams and Bledsoe.
  • You can see the Hawks’ offense slowly start to evolve to the point where it needs Josh on the court to function effectively. As soon as he entered the game in the second quarter after sitting with two fouls, he scored four straight baskets. As soon as he left after picking up his third, scoring became a struggle again.
  • “We didn’t have anybody to go to in the post to go to to pressure their guys,” Joe said. “We basically shot a lot of jump shots and we kind of lost rhythm.”
  • The Hawks managed to stay in striking position. Josh scored five points on one trip when he made two free throws after a clear path foul and then sank a 3-pointer. But that’s when it looked like the Hawks lost their legs at the same time Mo and Bledsoe were hitting everything.
  • Here’s how their next eight possessions went: Josh missed on a drive, Jerry Stackhouse had his layup blocked on the break, Jannero Pargo turned it over, Tracy McGrady turned it over, McGrady made a 3, McGrady turned it over again, Kirk Hinrich shot an airball, and Joe turned it over.
  • Joe: “No excuses. Everyone’s schedule has been pretty tough. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to win but we just kept turning the ball over and couldn’t really close the gap.”
  • Ivan Johnson is expected to return to play Friday against the Wizards. Marvin, Vladimir and Willie Green are up in the air. The Hawks just can’t ever seem to get their full complement of players dressed.
  • Drew: “It feels a little bit like ’snakebit.’ But it is something we are going to have to work through and push through and face. We can’t make any excuses because a lot of teams go through injuries. We will lick our wounds on this trip and we will go home and be OK.”
  • Joe: “We keep mixing and matching lineups. You don’t know who is going to play or not play. It’s a little tough and mind-boggling but, at the same time, the way the schedule is, we have just got to deal with it.”
  • The Hawks have to get it together because Boston is creeping up from behind in the East.

  • Josh: “We are not worried about it. We have just got to stay positive and not worry about anybody catching up to us and just put a strong of games together and not worry about the pressure of dropping a seed.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

271 comments Add your comment

Najeh Davenpoop

March 15th, 2012
2:09 am

From the AP recap:

Atlanta is 68-57 since Larry Drew replaced Mike Woodson as coach at the start of last season. It is the second-best start by any of the 12 coaches the Hawks have had since the 1965-66 campaign, when the franchise was in St. Louis. The only one with a better record through his first 125 games was Lenny Wilkens (76-49).

Najeh Davenpoop

March 15th, 2012
2:10 am


“Last eve – LD singlehandedly lost the game ?
(a 1 pt loss in OT)
Wow !
So if Kirk hits that FT or Gallinari misses that “3″
LD would have singlehandedly won it ?”

No, but if LD doesn’t inexplicably go away from Josh in the post and waste two crunch time possessions running iso-Joe, it never comes down to a Gallinari 3 or a Kirk missed FT.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

March 15th, 2012
2:33 am

Excuses Excuses

Buddy Grizzard

March 15th, 2012
2:39 am

Latest rumor is that Dwight has flip-flopped AGAIN and is considering firing agent Dan Fegan and will waive his ETO in the morning.

Hawks should trade Joe to ORL for Hedo and JJ Redick. Nobody else is going to take on Joe’s contract, and ORL has no other way to upgrade while sending out Hedo’s contract. The Hawks would save $60m and be out from under Joe’s contract in two years instead of four. Also, ORL would be in no cap position to try to sign Josh as a free agent after next season.


March 15th, 2012
3:23 am

I would be very happy with Dwight if he stays in Orlando.

Big Daddy

March 15th, 2012
4:02 am

Clips had our number tonight and the guys have to be tired after Tuesday’s game. No excuses though. Everyone has a compacted schedule. Now they come back into our time zone after being out for how long? Hopefully, they will get some rest, have a good practice and be ready for the Wizards on Friday.


March 15th, 2012
5:42 am

Our inside presence in this game was almost non-existent, which left our chances of winning rather slim when our jump shots weren’t falling consistently. Josh couldn’t get much going inside once the Clippers started playing him physically and put Kenyon Martin on him. Griffin is not a very good defender at this point in his career, but from an athletic standpoint, Josh was unable to outclass him and score using pure athleticism too, which is something he can do against a lot of PFs. Also, Martin is another very athletic player who is a great defender at his position, and you could see that his pressure bothered Josh enough to make Josh pass the ball out of the post in the quickly in the second half. The Clipper guards did a good job of pressuring Josh with help defense too. That led to Josh playing primarily on the perimeter.

Once that happened, we had almost no interior presence on the offensive end. Joe was being defended by Butler and Simmons, players of similar size to Joe, which took away his typical size advantage in the post as well, making him play more off-the-dribble, and as a catch-and-shoot. player. The results were mixed. Teague also was timid at shooting from outside (as usual) and hesitated to get to the basket knowing Jordan, Martin, and Evans were there ready to either block the shot or give a hard contest/foul.

Surely, the Hawks were tired, but the physicality from the Clippers (particularly the second unit) seemed to take it’s toll on the Hawks as well. By the end of the game, they looked tired and very perimter-oriented. This loss was not surprising.

With all of the injuries that the Hawks currently have, the Clippers were clearly at a talent advantage. Not only did they have an overall advantage inside with Griffin, Martin, Evans, and Jordan, but they also had a guy who could stay with Teague on the perimeter in Bledsoe, and a tough defender in Butler whom Joe could not bully in the post. This was just a tough matchup for the Hawks, and it made it much worse than Mo Williams went off.

It’s time to move on to the next one.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 15th, 2012
5:45 am

Hawks should trade Joe to ORL for Hedo and JJ Redick. Nobody else is going to take on Joe’s contract, and ORL has no other way to upgrade while sending out Hedo’s contract

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 15th, 2012
5:47 am

Reggie Evans bulled his way 10 rebounds, four of them on offense.

former Supersonic. Signed for vet min.

We signed 15 guards last offseason instead of getting a big.



March 15th, 2012
5:49 am

The good news for the Hawks is that the Wizards are coming to town and the schedule is lightening up. Aside from a few tough opponents here and there, the rest of the season looks very promising for the Hawks in terms of quality-of-opponents. The Hawks have a good chance of keeping the 6 seed or moving up to even the 5 seed if they play solid basketball for the remainder of the season. You can get away with a lot of sub-par play in the East and still make the playoffs, so the Hawks are still in a pretty good position to move up in the standings a bit.


March 15th, 2012
6:11 am

I personally can’t understand why is hinrich logging all these min and pargo coming off the bench out scoring him every time with less min

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 15th, 2012
6:19 am

Woody said he is going to hold players accountable.



March 15th, 2012
6:20 am

The only excitement left in the regular season is to see who’s traded by the deadline. Just bring on the playoffs no matter what seed the Hawks are, see what happens, and somehow enjoy this particular group for the last time.


March 15th, 2012
6:29 am

Hawks suck with Joe as the leader. Point blank. Cant win with this guy.

Larry T

March 15th, 2012
7:04 am

“Atlanta is 68-57 since Larry Drew replaced Mike Woodson ”

Gee, I some how thinks that he couid not have developed his own team. Hes just living off of what Woodson built. There is no improvement. Just an continuation of what Mike Woodson built. In fact if the Woodson trending in terms of games won each year were measure, then it would be more obvious that the hawks are no longer rising but actually trending backwards.

Woodson did a phenomonal Job with the Hawks, and Drew is just reaping the benefits of woodsons work. To add to that Woodson never had the bench that Drew has to his luxury.

Trade Al Horford!

Larry T

March 15th, 2012
7:12 am

*Gee I some how think
**was measured


Section 303

March 15th, 2012
7:47 am

I hit this point every year. I just need to get away from this team. Did not expect them to win last night, but tired of watching them blow games like Detroit and Denver.

Focusing on the NCAA Tourney for this weekend. Hawks can go F themselves for the next few days.


March 15th, 2012
8:12 am

I keep hearing folks talking about how the hawks need to finish in this place and that place in the eastern conference so they want have to play one of the big boys and be able to make it to the 2nd round. Seriously, thats what it’s come to, hoping to make it to the 2nd round knowing your going to get beat if you make it past the 2nd. Please forgive me if I say I could care less about making just to the 2nd round. good grief.


March 15th, 2012
8:27 am

I think Marvin is faking his injury to hurt what little trade value he has!


March 15th, 2012
8:29 am

Admirable Snackbar

March 15th, 2012
9:16 am




March 15th, 2012
9:50 am

Well according to ESPN Ariza, Kaman and Okafor are avaliable.

There are 3 people we could match up with them or even just two, and that is Al Horford and Marvin plus they’ll give us a draft pick if we take Okafor off their hands lol.


March 15th, 2012
9:55 am

Lets see how bad Washington wants to move Javale Mcgee and Andray Blatche as a package. Take Marvin and Zaza. Underachiever trade! I like Zaza but he is not athletic enough. I would love to see Mcgee blocking shots and rebounding for this team.


March 15th, 2012
10:00 am

@ Dukester

You might want to back off on that trade request just go to youtube and look up a bunch of retard stuff Mcgee does.

Plus Zaza might not be the best Center, but he got Heart and Pride which is rare these days.

As for Mcgee he belongs on the Harlem Globetrotters that’s how he plays and it’s not a joke.

Now I need to make something clear on my last post. I’m not big fan of Ariza or Okafor, but the reality is this

Ariza > Marvin and Okafor(non-injury) > Jason and The Damp.

Would you rather the line up be Zaza, JC, and Dampier

or Zaza, Okafor, and Kaman?


March 15th, 2012
10:00 am

The Hawks had their chances at Miami, Detroit, and Denver, so those losses were very frustrating. However, I dont feel too bad about last night’s loss. Injuries, back to back, high altitude the night before…I am willing to look the other way.

However, Hawks have to turn it up now. We cannot afford to be the 7th or 8th seed, because that is a guaranteed 1st round loss (imo). Although…would a 1st round loss lead to LD’s 3rd year option not being picked up?


How bad have the Hawks been (players and coaches) for LD’s (68-57) .544 win% to be the best start since Lenny?


March 15th, 2012
10:02 am



Amazing the amount of attention JJ gets sometimes..

I think Josh should be the focal point of the team’s offense. When that happens, it will be interesting to see how he responds when teams give him all the defensive attention.

I do think he would handle it better than JJ does, because Josh is a good passer, especially out of double teams, while JJ would do his tricky dribble routine, and then pass the ball with less than 10 seconds left on the clock.


March 15th, 2012
10:03 am

If we give up Marvin, Horford, and Kirk or just Marvin and Horford.

We can then Amnesty Joe I’d rather them amensty Joe instead of trying to find a trade for him it’s almost impossible.


March 15th, 2012
10:04 am

I wish the hawks could get Javale Mcgee and Adray Blatche. Our defense would be ranked #1 in the league. Move Josh to the three, Horford to four and Javale as center. WOW!


March 15th, 2012
10:05 am

@ O’Brien

Josh should have always been the focal point, but because of Woodson and his Iso-Joe offense they messed that up quickly.

They won’t win a championship with Joe Johnson being the focal point it has to be Smith.


March 15th, 2012
10:07 am

@ Mark

Just like I told Dukester go to youtube and look up Javale Mcgee boneheaded mistakes you will see why this guy might not be the best fit for us.

After watching that vid I wanted no part of Mcgee.

Buddy Grizzard

March 15th, 2012
10:10 am

Laugh all you want GM, if the Hawks don’t find a taker for Joe’s contract this will be a lottery team in 2013-14.


March 15th, 2012
10:10 am

True Ray! He actually would fit in with this BONEHEADED TEAM and BONEHEADED COACH. I like the fact that he can rebound and block shots. Anything, but ZAZA starting

Astro Joe

March 15th, 2012
10:38 am

Josh is just now showing the discipline to be more of a focal point. I’m still not sold… ponly playing .500 ball in this new design.

He should do a better job of passing out of double teams because of his athleticism to jump and pass over outstretched hands AND because Joe will movewhen he sees Josh doubled, while Josh often stayed flat-footed on the perimeter when Joe is doubled. Sometimes a receiver needs to get open for the QB, not always the QB’s fault.


March 15th, 2012
10:51 am

This what we need to do today before the deadline. Trade Marvin and give 2 round pick to Nola for Chris kaman. Then second we need to trade al,Teague, to nj for d-will.


March 15th, 2012
10:57 am

I hate to say this, but the Hawks will probably stay pat this year. I think they can make some noise in the playoffs but I just cant see them, beating Heat, Bulls or 76ers 4 out of 7 times, with our hot and cold personnel we got on the team.


March 15th, 2012
11:02 am

If Howard opt-in to stay in Orlando for another year, that will put pressure on the Nets to trade Deron b/c he will probably leave this summer in Free Agency. Therefore, I say we send they Al and Teague or Hinrich for Deron. Get it done Sund.

Anonymous Trade Proposal

March 15th, 2012
11:05 am

Under new CBA, can you trade injured players? If so, here is a three-way trade (Atlanta-Boston-N.O.) that works for everyone (Hollinger’ analysis predicts increased win totals for all three teams):

Maybe N.O. throws in one of those nice 1st round picks to entice Boston to take on Okafor’s contract. If so, how does anyone say no to this deal? (Keep in mind, Boston is not going to compete for a championship this year, so the trade is more of a trade that allows them to put themselves in a good position to compete next year. Also, N.O. wants to get off salaries. And this trade will make Atlanta better this year and probably next year.)

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

March 15th, 2012
11:06 am


Seems like Sund is satisfied with the team.


March 15th, 2012
11:13 am


If Josh continues to play the way he has been playing of late, I won’t hold the team results against him.


I dont think Nets will trade Deron. They will hold onto him, and try and convince him to sign over the summer.

Meanwhile, the Sixers acquire Nick Young, and they only gave up a second rounder who is currently playing in Argentina.


March 15th, 2012
11:33 am

Lakers trade talk;

Los Angeles would give up one of its two 2012 first-round draft picks in the deal and use its $8.9 million trade exception, acquired when it traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December, to absorb Beasley’s approximate $6.3 million salary..

Sixers trade;

Nick Young is expected to be put into the 76ers’ $2.7 million trade exception the team received as part of the trade in January that sent forward Marreese Speights to the Grizzlies..

It’s good to see teams having discussions and using their exceptions. When was the last time the Hawks used any exceptions? Mid-level, Bi-annual, the Childress exception, and there is probably more I have missed…SMH


March 15th, 2012
11:37 am

Hawks standing pat what else is news Sund still believes in the core how depressing is Atlanta sports these days Hawks , Braves , and Falcons .


March 15th, 2012
11:41 am

Boooooo to Sund. Booooo to Sund.

Just Joe

March 15th, 2012
11:41 am

It’s silly to not try to upgrade one of these roster spots: Dampier, Collins, Hinrich, Stackhouse, Marvin, Radmanovic, or McGrady……and that’s assuming we’re OK with Ivan, Green & Pargo.

If you can’t upgrade, at least set us up for a better offseason.


March 15th, 2012
11:50 am

It is silly to not try to utilize Hinrich’s expiring contract (he is not helping us win extra games)
It is silly to not try to upgrade or upgrade the future with all of the cheap tradeable pieces that we have.
It is silly to trade pick (like in the past) for trade exceptions and not use them.
It is silly for fans to expect ANYTHING creative from the Hawks organization.


March 15th, 2012
11:56 am

why couldn’t we trade our 2nd round pick for barbosa. Our gm sucks he messed up by not signing josh and letting him get an offer by Memphis then matching he should’ve just gave the man the contract. His refusal to do anything to make us get better is terrible doesn’t have to be a major move but do something I don’t wanna hear nothing good was available out there!


March 15th, 2012
11:57 am

typical doing nothing..they are so cheap ..not willing to go into luxury tax.. we could easily trade a scrub bench player and a 2nd round pick(which we would screw up anyways) for kaman..has anybody seen how he been avg. a double double since okafor beens out…!!!!!!!!! typical hawks.. i love them.. but management and ownership sucks rock


March 15th, 2012
11:58 am


March 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

aj i amgoing to take one from your book and suggest the same to you. i am going to enjoy good josh as long as it lasts and bro he has kept it together for a run of games probably only a few hawks since nique have done. really anyone? maybe jj? maybe jc? not in total nimbers for them only points. he has been huge.

meanwhile a few woody question comments:

should be interesting to watch. doubt woody gets to stay to really deal with media.

iso-melo attack?

amare becomes josh smith watching melo

can chandler be the center/defender woody never had

does bibby teach lin how to give up the ball and stand at the three point line

does lin merely become the reincarnation of acie and be buried behing the vet davis?

many questions but wo ody has a lot of really good pieces to get er dun with.

he might succeed if he doesnt call many time outs to design plays because they never worked unless iso-melo is on because that will be it.


March 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Okay let me go through this list right now just make a few points clear.

1. DERON WILLIAMS or D-will is not coming to the ATL Hawks it’s been said numerous times that he’ll probably land in Dallas.

2. If we get Dwight Howard he will be a rental and as a matter of fact he’s saying he’ll stay just for how long don’t know.

3. Rajon Rondo can’t shoot yeah that’s a big thing a PG is suppose to know how to do.

4. Javale Mcgee is playing boneheaded basketball he shows off tooooo much again this ain’t the harlem globetrotters.

Our best bet for getting rid of Marvin Williams is the New Orleans Hornets not going to lie at first I wasn’t so big on trading for Kaman, but then with this rash of injuries and Marvin reverting to his old ways even without Horford or Joe in the lineup at times. It has come time something needs to be done.

Telling you right now Don’t give up on Jeff Teague he is a future at least good PG not going to say superstar, but at least way above average PG you’ve seen what he can do if LD is not on his back and same for Mike Woodson.

I’d send Al Horford and Marvin to New Orleans in a heartbeat right now. Get us Ariza and Kaman that’s a good straight up trade.

Or give us both Kaman and Okafor plus Ariza and that draft pick we’ll need it.


March 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

I think that all of the Atlanta fans from all of the team are immune to torment from these team. Seriously, its pain me so much because most of us will love to see Atlanta on top of the sport world but each year, they just let us down.

I understand they are handcuffed by Joe’s contact but they shouldn’t be content of just being in the playoffs and thats it. Oh well, the fate of being an Atlanta sports fan.