Atlanta Hawks: Bulls 98, Hawks 77

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, from the Hawks’ loss to the Bulls Wednesday.

It’s a dangerous game the Hawks are playing of late.

After falling behind by large first-half margins the past two games, the Hawks rallied only to fall short. The latest came Wednesday night in a 98-77 loss to the Bulls at Philips Arena.

The Hawks trailed the Bulls by 18 points in the first half. They used a 16-2 run to cut the lead to four points, 56-52, but could get no closer. The Bulls answered with an 18-4 run of their own in the third quarter to push the lead back to 18 points. Luol Deng provided the final nail in the coffin with a 3-pointer to cap the run. It came on a pass from Taj Gibson, who gathered the rebound of his own miss when Ivan Johnson failed to box him out.

From there the Bulls’ lead only increased.

“It’s very frustrating because we show signs of being a pretty good team but then when we play against some of the elites, like Chicago, we can’t have a lot of letdowns against them as we do against some of the teams that we normally get by,” Joe Johnson said. “Against a great team, you don’t have room for mistakes. As you see tonight, they took advantage of every mistake that we made.”

On Tuesday, the Hawks trailed by 17 points to the Bucks. They battled back to take a three-point lead before succumbing in the fourth quarter. They wouldn’t get that close against the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls.

Deng led the Bulls (41-11, 21-6 road) with a game-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers. Carlos Boozer added 20 points and Gibson had 19. The Bulls have won eight of their past 10 and have played without reigning league MVP Derrick Rose (groin) the past eight games. The Bulls took the regular-season series from the Hawks, 3-1.

As he has in the past, Johnson questioned the Hawks for not playing a role-oriented game.

“Chicago is a very disciplined team and everybody knows their role and plays their role to the fullest,” Johnson said. “As for us, sometimes we are not so disciplined. There may be a few guys who don’t know their role on this team. We do a lot that doesn’t help us, for whatever reason. That is why [the Bulls] are an elite team. They’ve got the MVP who hasn’t played in eight game and they go [6-2]. That goes to show they have guys who really value their roles and play their roles like no other.”

The Hawks (30-22, 16-8 home) lost for the second straight night, losing the final two in a streak of five games in six nights. After an off-day Thursday, the Hawks play a home-road back-to-back against the Knicks and 76ers and will have played seven games in nine days.

“I’m sure the guys are tired,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “But I told them we can’t use that as an excuse. We have to play the hand that’s dealt to us.”

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 19 points, but struggled from the field as he made 8 of 21 shots. Jeff Teague added 13 points and Johnson had 12 points.

The Bulls built its 18-point first half lead with a remarkable second quarter. They made 12 of 18 shots (66.7 percent), including five 3-pointers. For the first half, the Bulls were 7 of 8 (87.5 percent) from behind the arc. The only miss was a desperation heave at the buzzer. Deng had 14 first-half points as he made all three of his 3-point attempts. John Lucas had 10 points in the first half.

“Everybody was hitting shots from the point guards to the forwards,” Teague said. “Everybody was making shots. There isn’t much you can do about that.”

After pulling within four points in the third quarter, Drew said his team “got stuck in the mud.”

The Hawks led by eight points, 13-5, in the first quarter. But they would go cold in the second quarter, shooting just 8 of 21 (38.1 percent). Smith led the Hawks with 13 first-half points, but that came on 5 of 14 shooting.

The Bulls erased the Hawks early lead by going on a 14-2 run that ended the first quarter and started the second. They followed with an 18-7 run near the end of the half culminating with Lucas’ 3-pointer, the Bulls’ seventh straight, for a 54-36 lead.

“They made shots and when a team is making shots you have to tighten up a little tighter,” Drew said. “They had a good game tonight. You have to give credit where credit is due. We seemed to be a step behind in a lot of things.”

There were a few tense moments in a game that wasn’t close for long stretches. Johnson was close to being called for a flagrant foul with 6:41 remaining when he grabbed Gibson around the neck, pulling him to the floor, while trying to stop a layup. Zaza Pachulia, who on Tuesday ran into Johnson and opened a cut that required five stitches in his lip, inadvertently hit Kyle Kover in the head and drew blood.

74 comments Add your comment

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:09 pm

uno doe tres

newcomer

March 28th, 2012
11:10 pm

first…i win.

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:10 pm

Da Knicks are only 3.5 back and then there’s Friday Night!

newcomer

March 28th, 2012
11:10 pm

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:11 pm

Friday Night is a MUST WIN!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 28th, 2012
11:12 pm

“Everybody was hitting shots from the point guards to the forwards,” Teague said. “Everybody was making shots. There isn’t much you can do about that.”

Contest them?

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:12 pm

After pulling within four points in the third quarter, Drew said his team “got stuck in the mud.”

Larry got jokes…hahaha

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:13 pm

Gibson is a Hawk Killer!

Deng is a Hawk Killer!

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

Orlando was down by 39pts. in the 3rd quarter! Huh?

Najeh Davenpoop

March 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

“Chicago is a very disciplined team and everybody knows their role and plays their role to the fullest,” Johnson said. “As for us, sometimes we are not so disciplined. There may be a few guys who don’t know their role on this team. We do a lot that doesn’t help us, for whatever reason. That is why [the Bulls] are an elite team. They’ve got the MVP who hasn’t played in eight game and they go [6-2]. That goes to show they have guys who really value their roles and play their roles like no other.”

Difference between having one of the 3 to 5 elite coaches in the league and having one of the 20 average coaches in the league.

soullrenaissance

March 28th, 2012
11:16 pm

LD, fedex yourself back to Cali with your family. Sund retire from the NBA with class – you have ruined many an basketball team for 3 decades.

Slimjr

March 28th, 2012
11:18 pm

Will Woody school his friend and former assistant coach Friday night? Stay tuned!

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:18 pm

cudos even read it.

look chicago as jj said is a well honed team together for two years. again if i took our guys and placed them best to worst and did tye same for theirs maybe josh if placed second would be the only player better than theirs. if i put him as our best no way he is better than rose.

it is fun to watch these guys play because no egos are on display just gutsy team first, i know what i am to do in every situation and if i dont at all times i will hear it. if i do it well i will hear that too and from my teammates. sad to say i enjoyed watching them play, kind of like i enjoy watching okc play. please god stern dont get in their way to the finals.

soullrenaissance

March 28th, 2012
11:18 pm

True Najeh – a real coach assigns roles and enforces them. Hold them accountable and praise them when they do well LD. Hinrich needs his minutes reduced. Put in Stack, TMac and Pargo when he is back.

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:20 pm

newcomer is a slow comer.

soullrenaissance

March 28th, 2012
11:21 pm

They were tired and listless because LD is running the starters ragged. Collins has been so out of sorts its pitiful.

kevkat

March 28th, 2012
11:22 pm

Does anyone know the Hawks record while J.J. was out?

Just Joe

March 28th, 2012
11:22 pm

Knicks close with a tough 14 game schedule including 9 road games, and match ups with Chicago twice, Hawks twice, Bulls, Magic, Pacers, Clips, and Bucks. Not sure they can make up 3.5 games when Hawks only have 5 road games left and much easier matchups. Boston on the other hand, is already tied with us in the loss column (same record as Philly). Looking like a 7 seed to me.

Just Joe

March 28th, 2012
11:23 pm

Bulls above should be Heat.

High-sider

March 28th, 2012
11:24 pm

The Hawks are only one game ahead of the 7th seed team [Boston Celtics]. And [to think] some of you [bloggers] said the Hawks have a favorable schedule to close out this regular season.

http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Cnf.html

prison mike

March 28th, 2012
11:27 pm

Expecting a bawn burner this friday like chuck tends to say. NY ninjas will be all up in that joint.

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:27 pm

you know when i go to games i will sometimes just watch the coach and every move thibs makes is right on. man he could be one of the greats. sad he didnt glance our way even though at that tike we were the better team wity better players coming off 53 wins. yup, we are sliding with our make shift back ups and no long term plans or internal player development.

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:28 pm

high-sider not i.

Hawks Fan Down Under

March 28th, 2012
11:28 pm

LD gives us cliches….JJ gives us analysis.

JJ is right and what e talks about is a total condemnation on the coach. If players dont know their roles thats on LD. And thats why LD will never coach a championship team.

No doubt the Hawks have the players to challenge for the East but they simply dont have the coach. If the Hawks re-sign LD then I dont see the point in supporting them until they are serious about winning.

ricardo anyaz

March 28th, 2012
11:30 pm

Why is Hinrich given so many minutes. The guy is a scrub at best. Drew is a complete moron.

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:31 pm

boozer aint quick big but not quick. on one plat collins was a goid six feet trailing him as boozer left him in his dust. why?

James

March 28th, 2012
11:34 pm

Joe may be right about some players not knowing their roles, but L.D. has never clearly defined roles in my opinion. We all know Joe is the go-to scorer and Zaza is the “dirty-work” guy on the inside (I mean that in a good way, and Zaza flourishes in that role), but aside from that, a lot of the other roles are debatable. Josh, for example, doesn’t really have a clear role. He basically does what he wants. Teague and Hinrich often look confused trying to make a play, etc, etc.

Anyway, this loss was not very surprising. I just don’t feel like the Hawks are at the same level as the Bulls. In my opinion, the Bulls are the best team in the NBA. They are excellent defensively, and they execute well on the offensive end most of the time. Their team is full of a bunch of unselfish players who excel at their roles, and due to their outstanding defense, they are a dominant team even without rose. The beauty of being a great defensive team is that you don’t have to worry about being blown out or falling out of a game if you are having trouble scoring. I hope the Hawks can one day become a great defensive team.

As far as the issues in this game, I thought the biggest impact came from Chicago’s interior. Their big men did not necessarily dominate the game offensively, but they certainly sealed off the paint defensively, and that coupled with the individual defense of guys like Deng took away almost any weapons the Hawks had. At times, it felt like Joe was not even in the game. Meanwhile, Josh took a bunch of shots (as usual), but couldn’t seem to get anything going. Gibson and Noah had him locked down inside, and the perimeter obviously isn’t his strongest area. With Joe and Josh both being outplayed at their respective positions, the Hawks aren’t going to win many games, unless the shot distribution is more equal and someone else has it going. With Josh and Joe (especially Josh) consuming such a huge portion of Atlanta’s offensive opportunities on average, they basically have to play well for the Hawks to beat good teams. Joe only had 12 tonight, compared to Deng’s 22 points on 8-14 shooting. Meanwhile, Josh had 19 pts. and 7 boards, but it took him 21 shots to get those points, meanwhile Boozer and Gibson scored 20 and 19, respectively, on a combined 16-25 from the field, meanwhile combining for 15 rebounds in 54 combined minutes of playing time. With those statistical comparisons, the Hawks just weren’t in a very good position to win this game.

Furthermore, the Bulls always seem to dominate us on the glass, and that never helps. A combination of Chicago’s ability to lock down the paint, control the boards, and move the ball on the offensive end ultimately spelled disaster for the Hawks.

The Hawks should have a better chance of winning on Friday vs. the Knicks, but they are playing well and have tons of talent, so I wouldn’t take them lightly either.

doc

March 28th, 2012
11:38 pm

najeh there was a time when i agreed with you on the possibility of our beatng them. not any more if they can paste us even without rose. it wasnt close and even if we were clise they could still close us down. even that rag tag gunner korver plays hard defense and that was not something he was known for even playing with jerry sloan.

James

March 28th, 2012
11:47 pm

If the Hawks do end up falling to the 7 seed by the end of the season, which I doubt they will, it definitely would be a better matchup for them to face the Heat, as opposed to the Bulls. We match up much very well with their “big 3″, and they are less balanced than Chicago. They have weaknesses on the defensive end that we can attack, meanwhile, Chicago has no truly significant weaknesses on defense. I doubt we’d end up beating either team in a series, but I think we’d have a better chance against Miami.

Buddy Grizzard

March 28th, 2012
11:55 pm

“Friday Night is a MUST WIN!”

LD bout to get WORKED by WOODSANITY!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

March 29th, 2012
12:19 am

“najeh there was a time when i agreed with you on the possibility of our beatng them. not any more if they can paste us even without rose”

Well, it is only a possibility. I never predicted the Hawks would beat the Bulls. I just think they have a chance against them, as opposed to Miami, who the Hawks will never beat in a series in a million years.

The Hawks could have won this game if they played to their strengths offensively throughout the game. Not enough post ups, too many pointless pick and pops on the perimeter. In the 3rd quarter, when the Bulls went cold and the Hawks got it to within 4, if they had been playing well they would have continued that run and stayed competitive.

The Bulls are a very good team, but they are not vastly superior in talent like the Heat are. It is a long shot, but if the Hawks come up with good schemes and play to their strengths they can compete with the Bulls. They can play as well as they want and they are not going to win a 7 game series against a team with the league’s two best players.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 29th, 2012
12:24 am

^Two of the league’s 3 best players. Can’t forget KD.

Rusty

March 29th, 2012
12:27 am

1- Larry Dumbass is a hawk killer
2 the dummy takes out the whole first team after we play them even except for KH who really brings nothing to the table overrated & washed up ,a scrub
3 Larry dumbass gives up games to early
4 Larry dumbass has no real offense system wants JT to give the ball to JJ & JS just one on one basketball.
5 Larry dumbass ha MW ,KH & JC on the floor at the same time ,whi is going to score points.
Larry dumbass let’s JS do whatever he wants to
6 Larry dumbass holds grudges & is unfair,kills confidence
7 any one who gives Larry dumbass credit for anything is a dumbass.

Rusty

March 29th, 2012
12:32 am

The list could go on & on.

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 29th, 2012
1:26 am

Hello?

“LD gives us cliches….JJ gives us analysis.

JJ is right and what e talks about is a total condemnation on the coach. If players dont know their roles thats on LD. And thats why LD will never coach a championship team.

No doubt the Hawks have the players to challenge for the East but they simply dont have the coach. If the Hawks re-sign LD then I dont see the point in supporting them until they are serious about winning.” -down under-
____________

The bloginator ate my diatribe, and I’m glad because this guy here is the POSTER of the night. Down Under put the nail in the coffin!
____________

Grandmaster JeJe! Call your boy WorldWide and FIRE up the presses!!!!!!!

Print them T-Shirts right now. I need 10K:

FIRE DREW’S AZZ YESTERDAY! This man is a “FKG” idiot. He is:

NO CLUE DREW! Get his black azz outa’ town … He has lost all credibility and this team has tuned him out! He is a bafoon. His comments alone is sickening.

HIRE JOE JOHNSON! Joe is:

A silent observer, who leads with very few words but, has his finger on the pulse of what is wrong with this team. TMac, I apologize to you, you QUIT because you see this ISH too. Why break your knees for sum BS like this? If I were you, I would stay home on road trips too. Let Stackhouse coach. Or get us a bonafide coach in here. Fire DREW NOW give it to STACK and, re-group from there.

Oh Yeah! Take Sund with you and put a FART BOMB under the owners azzes.

I QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!! TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Buddy Grizzard

March 29th, 2012
1:43 am

DONT QUIT DRMARYB U JUST GETTIN STARTED!!!

You know what else is just getting started?

W O O D S A N I T Y ! ! !

kiss the hawks rears

March 29th, 2012
1:56 am

Yes as usually AJC writes for Joe Johnson we have some players who play for selves gee were u talkin of you self JJ and what about that cheao shot tryin to put a bulls player out of action like that you said right few not show up and You are it moron…..further more Untill ASG is out of atlanta period this team will be say a AAU Basketball team no titles just early exits…Joe Johnson Josh smith the cancers of team and growin excuse’s more sorta like blame oil companys for Gas to Rise…Just alot of hot air from Phillps arena!

Buddy Grizzard

March 29th, 2012
2:05 am

“It is a long shot, but if the Hawks come up with good schemes and play to their strengths they can compete with the Bulls.” – Najeh

What’s scary to me is that Thibs has a playoff series against the Hawks under his belt. Who do you think learned more about his opponent, filed more information away and will be prepared to make adjustments and apply that knowledge should the Bulls and Hawks meet in the playoffs again? Thibs or Larry Drew?

drmaryb.[*_*].

March 29th, 2012
2:18 am

HawkEye

March 29th, 2012
3:01 am

Rusty,

“1- Larry Dumbass is a hawk killer
2 the dummy takes out the whole first team after we play them even except for KH who really brings nothing to the table overrated & washed up ,a scrub
3 Larry dumbass gives up games to early
4 Larry dumbass has no real offense system wants JT to give the ball to JJ & JS just one on one basketball.
5 Larry dumbass ha MW ,KH & JC on the floor at the same time ,whi is going to score points.
Larry dumbass let’s JS do whatever he wants to
6 Larry dumbass holds grudges & is unfair,kills confidence
7 any one who gives Larry dumbass credit for anything is a dumbass.”

LOL. Still laughing at this.

Think the Hawks will bounce back against the Knicks and maybe the Sixers but that games gonna be rough. Hawks just don’t match up well with that team.

They gotta start winning some games and hope the Celtics lose a few. Cannot drop to 7th seed or below. The TNT crew should send the Hawks fishing at the beginning of the playoffs if they are matched against the Heat. There is no way that Stern and the NBA will allow the Hawks to beat the Heat in a 7 game series as a 7th seed in the first round.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

March 29th, 2012
3:25 am

Knowing the history of sports in Atlanta I want no part of the game on Friday.

vava74

March 29th, 2012
3:48 am

Najeh Davenpoop

March 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

“Difference between having one of the 3 to 5 elite coaches in the league and having one of the 20 average coaches in the league.”

CO-FREAKING-SIGN

As I have been saying for loooooooooooong, our major deficit could not be solved with a trade deadline more.

It can be solved at ANY MOMENT by firing LD and hiring a QUALITY HEAD-COACH.

Sloan and Larry Brown are sitting at home.

Look at what Adelman did in Minny, as opposed to what another HC-wanna-be Rambis did?

Quality coaching makes things work:

- sets up roles and rotations;
- adjusts them to the opposition when necessary;
- adjusts on the fly during games to change tempo and cause havoc;
- adjusts on the fly to react to opposing coaches’ moves.

Larry Freaking Drew TOOK 9 (NINE) SOLID MINUTES to go into Zone D against UTAH to react to Corbin’s adjustments and ONLY AFTER LOSING A 15 POINT LEAD.

9 minutes out of 48 is 18,75% of a game of basketball. Nearly a 5th of a game wasted by Larry just looking at the lead being wiped out by the opposing team.

Thibs keeps the Bulls’ winning without their MVP player, a guy whose importance ON PAPER for the Bulls far supersedes the importance of any Hawk withing our own roster.

Thibs makes adjustments on the fly to turn THE LOSS OF HIS MVP virtually irrelevant.

vava74

March 29th, 2012
3:49 am

trade deadline MOVE

Grandad

March 29th, 2012
4:47 am

I`ll say this;
LD is not an elite coach.

But I will point out -and- give credit when credit is due.

LD has been superior to Wdsn.

I lost count on Rusty`s list when he lost count himself.

So I will only mention one;
LD does have ‘`some`’ good offensive ideas.
Occasionally a lack of offensive talent, & balance,
is subversive to the success of said offensive scheme.

Now, I said something positive and gave LD ‘`some`’ credit.
_________________________________________________________

“any one who gives Larry dumbass credit for anything is a dumbass.”

Now Rusty;
I expect that you not follow up on your stated intent:
-of calling me a jackass-
Even though I fully embrace the idea. *[being a jackass]

vava74

March 29th, 2012
6:31 am

Grandad,

LD is ASSISTANT COACH material.

IMO, even a pretty decent one.

BUT, he is not HC material. NOT BY A MILE.

HC at the pro-level have to, first and foremost:

1. Identify roles and set up rotations;

2. Read the games, make adjustements and counter adjustments;

3. Manage egos, personnel, establish accountability, …

4. Draw from their assistants the technical expertise to make their offense and their defense click with all cylinders.

LD is weak on the first 3 points and seems to be OK/Decent as an “offensive coordinator” but even so, he seems to lose sight of many match up advantages and disadvantages and still fails to put the players in their best spots to succeed.

Just Joe

March 29th, 2012
6:46 am

In 4 games now against the Bulls, we’ve scored 74, 109, 79 & 77 points. Something tells me that the 109 in our only win was more about the law of averages.

In last year’s playoffs, in our 2 wins we scored 103 & 100 pts….in our 4 losses, never more than 83 pts.

What does Sund see that I don’t? Same teams….same results.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 29th, 2012
7:14 am

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 29th, 2012
7:17 am

I thought we played very well last night

Grandad

March 29th, 2012
7:18 am

vava

I won`t disagree.

I will continue to give LD -some- credit when due.

I will -not- tolerate someone saying myself or anyone else
is a dumbass only because he or she does not harbor the same
acrimony that a certain blogger ajudicates upon.

LD has been limited by This organization`s lack of commitment
toward a winning culture.
On the other hand he has benefitted from that same culture,
otherwise he would not be the HC.

I would like to assert my list of priorities of a HC:
(1) Know your Philosophy, establish it, stick to it
(2) Everone knows who`s in charge
(3) Preparation

I`m not trying to contravene your list of HC priorities.
-but-
I do wish to comment on a couple if I may.

* Identify roles … Joe made that statement … horse douvers !
The coach does not list roles and hand them out like assignments.
They are earned and and usually understood.
If a player is out of line with his thinking;
he comes in to the HC`s office behind closed doors.
I felt like [tonite] Joe was just falling back on a cliche.

* Adjustments and counter adjustments.
Quite frankly LD does an adequate job with this.
however, preparation *’`far`’* outranks adjusting in game sits.

* Managing egos etc.
Expectations of accountability as you mentioned;
is the most important of all within this category.
To the extent that the rest don`t matter all that much.
I think nowadays in all aspects of life;
we manage egos way too much … another topic for another time.

* Asst Coaches – Bear Bryant once said:
‘`I don`t hire an asst coach if he ain`t smarter than me`’
-nuff said-
_____________________________________________

vava

my remarks tonite were less about LD and more toward his antagonist.

FACTS

March 29th, 2012
7:31 am

“Chicago is a very disciplined team and everybody knows their role and plays their role to the fullest,” Johnson said. “As for us, sometimes we are not so disciplined. There may be a few guys who don’t know their role on this team.”

Joe calling out Josh. SHOTS FIRED BANG~~~