Atlanta Hawks: Sixers 95, Hawks 90

Vivlamore reporting from Philadelphia. Here is my updated game story with quotes.

PHILADELPHIA — If the Hawks meet the 76ers in the playoffs they will have a body of work to study — and it’s not good.

Despite a game- and season-high 34-point effort from Josh Smith, the Hawks lost all three regular-season games to the Sixers. The latest was a 95-90 Sixers victory Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Hawks (31-23) lost for the third time in four games as they concluded a stretch of seven games in nine days. They have three days without a game before hosting the Bobcats at Philips Arena Wednesday.

Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Sixers built six-point lead, at 83-77, with 5:05 remaining. Led by Elton Brand’s season-high 25 points, the Sixers (29-23) won an important game in the Eastern Conference playoff race a night after losing to the lowly Wizards.

“Coming down the stretch we didn’t make the plays,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “We missed a couple of defensive assignments and left 3-point shooters open. [Also, there were] the two and-ones by Brand where we gambled in the post and he got the angle on us and got to the basket. It comes down to making plays when you are playing that hard and are right there at the end. You have to make the plays.”

Brand’s basket with 1:30 remaining gave the Sixers a 90-86 lead that all but iced the game. Iguodala added 18 points.

Smith added nine rebounds for the Hawks. Joe Johnson finished with 15 points.

“They beat us to a couple loose balls in the fourth quarter,” Smith said. “It seemed like every time we were a step slow, they capitalized on all of our mistakes.”

The Sixers won the previous two meetings against the Hawks by 11 and 14 points.

Philadelphia is the top defensive team in the NBA, entering the game as the league leader in scoring defense (87.7 points per game) and field-goal defense (42 percent). It was a concern for Drew and the main lesson for the Hawks going forward.

“Right now, they seem to have our number,” Drew said. “We played well in stretches but we haven’t been able to put together consistency in any one game. … We seem to implode against this team. When a team is a good defensive team you have to be prepared to grind it out. All three ball games we were in similar situations where we self destructed at the wrong time.”

Smith scored 13 of the Hawks’ 25 third-quarter points as they erased a narrow halftime deficit and went into the final quarter leading 66-62. Smith picked up four personal fouls during the quarter and spent the final two minutes of the third and start of the fourth on the bench. He returned with 7:30 remaining. Smith fouled out with five seconds remaining after making a 3-pointer that pulled the Hawks within 94-90.

“I sat and I think they took advantage of it early in the fourth quarter,” Smith said.

The Sixers tied the score at 70-70 with 8:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, setting up the decisive final minutes.

The Sixers took a two-point lead, 43-41, at halftime after erasing a nine-point Hawks lead in the second quarter. Iguodala scored nine points in the second quarter to spark the comeback. Brand and Iguodala each scored 12 points in the first half.

The Sixers were 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) in the second quarter, after being held to 8-of-20 (40 percent) in the first.

Smith led the Hawks with 13 first-half points, nine in the first quarter. The Hawks ended the opening period on a 10-0 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 23-17 lead. Seven of Smith’s nine points came with Sixers center Spencer Hawes trying to guard the forward.

“I didn’t want to settle,” Smith said. “I knew he had me length-wise so I wanted to be quick on it. I was able to make some quick moves to the basket and get my rhythm going. But it would have been great if we could have gotten this win.”

The Hawks are sixth in the Eastern Conference and trailed the Pacers, who played at the Spurs Saturday, by a half-game entering the day. The Sixers are battling the Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Division and the fourth seed in the conference. A No. 4 vs. No. 5 playoff matchup between the Sixers and Hawks is a possibility with a month remaining in the season. If it gets to that, the Hawks have a lesson plan to study.

“It could be,” guard Willie Green said of the potential matchup. “They’ve got our number right now. This team, I’m sure, believes they can beat us and they’ve shown it but we’ve got to learn that it’s going to be a physical game. … We lost focus for a little bit down the stretch and they took advantage of it.”

218 comments Add your comment

BILLY KNIGHT

March 31st, 2012
10:47 pm

Keep your head Larry the Family still support you.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 31st, 2012
10:56 pm

JeJe, I missed the playoffs the day after the draft when my 3rd round pick decided to have foot surgery and sit out the season.

Melvin

March 31st, 2012
10:59 pm

Dumb coaching lost this game. ZaZa a DNP in the 4th qtr. Playing Josh at the 5 with 4 fouls to guard Brand instead of playing Ivan or ZaZa at the 5. Marvin played the entire 4th qtr but was invisible except for the 3pt shot he made late in the quarter.

Najeh Davenpoop

March 31st, 2012
11:07 pm

A win in this game would have pushed the Hawks into 5th and put enough distance between themselves and Philly to where they could practically rest assured that they wouldn’t drop to the 7 seed. Now they are in a dogfight to stay away from Miami in the 1st round.

Huge loss.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:10 pm

“JeJe, I missed the playoffs the day after the draft when my 3rd round pick decided to have foot surgery and sit out the season.”

Lol. My 1st rd pick is out for pretty much season. Dumped him. Never drafting Amar’e again

DawgNole

March 31st, 2012
11:12 pm

Najeh Davenpoop
March 31st, 2012
11:07 pm

A win in this game would have pushed the Hawks into 5th and put enough distance between themselves and Philly to where they could practically rest assured that they wouldn’t drop to the 7 seed. Now they are in a dogfight to stay away from Miami in the 1st round.

Huge loss.
_____________________

They’re ALL huge losses–no matter when.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:19 pm

A win in this game would have pushed the Hawks into 5th and put enough distance between themselves and Philly to where they could practically rest assured that they wouldn’t drop to the 7 seed. Now they are in a dogfight to stay away from Miami in the 1st round.

Huge loss.”

Dude. We’re the Hawks. I don’t see any reason why we’ll beat Boston, LAC or the Mavs this season and we could easily slip vs. Toronto or someone else

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:27 pm

Najeh, I don’t necesarily agree your season was lost when Brook went down.

You gotta find players. I found Pekovic who was ripping everything up for weeks. Then he and Amar’e got hurt. Pekovic was probably one of my 5 best players for a 1 month stretch

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:28 pm

Saw you guys are 30.5 back and I’m 28 back. Think I miscalculated the math and thought you were 1.5 back of me. Just made all these roster moves to be safe. Not trying to NOT make the playoffs with 7+ moves left hanging out there

Najeh Davenpoop

March 31st, 2012
11:32 pm

JeJe, look at my roster. My draft was a joke. Pretty much my entire team is free agent pickups. The only reason I even had a chance at the playoffs going into this week is because of the various Pekovic-like players I picked up (Lin, Ilyasova, Thompson, etc.) And the reason I’m not going to make it is because all of them decided to get injured this week.

jeppz23

March 31st, 2012
11:35 pm

Guys, the hawks will still be the 6th seed by the end of the season, beat Orlando in the 1st round and give Miami or Chicago a tough matchup..i just hope al comes back, he would be a valuable asset off the bench

soullrenaissance

March 31st, 2012
11:35 pm

Drew you suck badly. You NEVER hold yourself ACCOUNTABLE.
“Coming down the stretch we didn’t make the plays,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said.

Resign Josh and rehire Hubie or hire Aldeman.

O'Brien

March 31st, 2012
11:40 pm

FTPB,

Najeh,

I still think the Hawks will win a playoff series against this team. They are not that good. Hawks shoot themselves in the foot against them..

You do realize the Sixers are 3-0 against the Hawks this season, right?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:40 pm

Yeah! Hire Aldeman!!!!!

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:41 pm

Haha Najeh, look at Sy’s roster. Looks damn good on paper

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

March 31st, 2012
11:42 pm

I still think the Hawks will win a playoff series against this team. They are not that good. Hawks shoot themselves in the foot against them..
********

Najeh also said we are as talented as CHI a few days ago. I think we have a shot vs both teams if LD coaches well

O'Brien

March 31st, 2012
11:44 pm

How often does Josh and JJ have a good game together? 15 pts for JJ will not get it done.

And although Marvin looks better coming off the bench, he is very unclutch (if that’s a word). Too many of his points are empty points SMH.

Hawks played 8 guys tonight, and in the playoffs, LD will definitely shorten his rotation to 8 or 9.

jj

March 31st, 2012
11:47 pm

I know I am probably in the minority,but with this schedule from hell and all of our injuries,I think they are going 2 b fine in playoffs if we can get some guys healthy.I agree CD’s coaching in 4th leaves me a little ticked.Man,I just wish we can get healthy!Heck,Philly don’t scare me!GO HAWKS

Rusty

March 31st, 2012
11:51 pm

We really have to give LD credit,he is really good at something & that is loosing games for the hawks.

Slimjr

March 31st, 2012
11:51 pm

1-3 last 4 games=zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

At least their consistent at losing to playoff bound teams for sure…..

Andre is an ISO STOPPER. Game, Set, and Match!

Slimjr

March 31st, 2012
11:54 pm

Heat in 4, Chicago in 5, Philly in 4……..

Your right Sautee, road games do suck especially for the Hawks…

Slimjr

March 31st, 2012
11:57 pm

How to Guard ISO: Put a 6-6 to 6-8 long armed athletic defender on the jumper shooter and just harass him into being a non-mother freaking factor…Checkmate!

jeppz23

April 1st, 2012
12:01 am

Slimjr, I think the hawks would beat Philly in 6, but were playing Orlando, so it doesn’t matter

doc

April 1st, 2012
12:01 am

ok, for february and march i had the hawks at 16-16(6-7 and 10-9), they went 15-17, not bad. what is it going to be for april guys when it goes silly season as teams rest stars and teams quit to earn lottery balls? it will be tougher to predict because of the injuries and time to heal before playoffs and more dnp’s for fatigue and old age might crop up if coaches honest.

it is going to be ugly for those of you in fantasy trying to do the playoffs under these conditions. no envy there.

0-45!

Slimjr

April 1st, 2012
12:05 am

doc, if they repeat last season, the players will shut it down the last weeks and may lose the last 6-8 games? They lost the last 6 at the end of last season.Saved it for Orlando?

Rusty

April 1st, 2012
12:08 am

We have the X factor Larry Dumbass.

doc

April 1st, 2012
12:11 am

slimj again that is the dilema in the prediction. i dont think they fade like last season because they know pairings and home court is important and they will have an easier time of it if they do well. that is because they are smarter and older feeling less invincible with youth like you might. i’ll say 7-5 and they end up with 38 wins for the year placing them in elite category again percentage wise and exceed my own preseason thought of 36 wins tops. good season for them but they got to go higher in the playoffs and will fall flat but we got to see how it lays out in the seedings before going too much further.

9-2 baby?.

Slimjr

April 1st, 2012
12:15 am

9-2, but no Lin..Its a trap….lol!

beone

April 1st, 2012
12:22 am

Not much ability to keep on topic tonight it appears. Sort of like the Hawks who “lost focus”. If Josh ever played for a Coach who could control him, he would be great. But Coach’s of that caliber will never be in ATL. They earn too much!

doc

April 1st, 2012
12:36 am

heh heh speaking of making predictions:

doc
March 30th, 2012
2:02 pm

thanks for setting it straight for me mark.

i thought the last night was going to be strictly blue with ku and uk going after it.

did you consult your esteemed colleague mr dave o’brien on this or go out on a limb by yourself?

nailed it.

again sorry to MC.

doc

April 1st, 2012
12:37 am

slimj what isnt a trap in your warped mind? ;-)

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
12:39 am

Bite Me!

“The only reason I even had a chance at the playoffs going into this week is because of the various Pekovic-like players I picked up (Lin, Ilyasova, Thompson, etc.) And the reason I’m not going to make it is because all of them decided to get injured this week.” -Najeh-
__________

I see injuries BITE on Fantasy Island too, were they in shape? LOL

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

April 1st, 2012
1:18 am

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:34 am

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
March 31st, 2012
11:19 pm

Dude. We’re the Hawks.
____________________

Says it all.

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:37 am

jj
March 31st, 2012
11:47 pm

I know I am probably in the minority,but with this schedule from hell and all of our injuries,I think they are going 2 b fine in playoffs if we can get some guys healthy.I agree CD’s coaching in 4th leaves me a little ticked.Man,I just wish we can get healthy!Heck,Philly don’t scare me!GO HAWKS
____________________

You SHOULD be in the minority. Inexplicably, you probably aren’t.

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:40 am

doc
April 1st, 2012
12:01 am

ok, for february and march i had the hawks at 16-16(6-7 and 10-9), they went 15-17, not bad.
__________________

15-17 is “not bad”???????????

That’s why we’re called “Losersville.”

doc

April 1st, 2012
1:42 am

dawgnole, not bad prognostication. too funny.

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:42 am

What–did everybody go to sleep? Cmon guys, wake up! The day’s early.

DawgNole

April 1st, 2012
1:43 am

Go to bed, doc.

Ole Hawks Fan

April 1st, 2012
4:54 am

Please get rid of Twin AND Dampier off this roster. There are better players playing in the D-league who could give this team some minutes off the bench and thse would be productive minutes. Marvin still goes invisible in crunch time and Capt Kirk is killing the team with his JJ inpersonation(dribble the ball too much) plus who can he guard. LD sucks. I thought Willie Green should be getting the minutes Kirk is getting. Fire LD, SUND and ASKG. Tyler Perry please buy this team!

Admiral Snackbar

April 1st, 2012
8:53 am

poor coaching decision at the end of the 3rd quarter when Coach Drew took out JJ who had one foul and left in Josh who had 4 fouls and within a few seconds Josh picks up #5 and Coach Drew takes him out and puts JJ back in. I saw it when he did it and thought that was dumb then within seconds Josh gets his 5th foul and it’s like WTF!! that had to be one of the DUMBEST coaching moves I’ve seen in a while.

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drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
9:29 am

Why?

Ivan: 16:14 mins, +2, 6rebs, 7pts
Zaza: 24:16 mins, -5, 7rebs, 4pts

Why did these guys sit out most of this game? They were rebounding and we were out rebounded by 6 boards total: 41/35 … Just wanna know what was coach’s rationale for rationing these minutes?

Why?

Teague: 31:58 mins, +8, 4asst, 1stl, 2TO, 8pts
Hinrich: 40:38 mins, -11, 6asst, 0stl, 2TO, 8pts

Just why did Jeff sit , nearly 10 mins longer than Kirk and 16:06 mins total? I thought Jeff and Kirk were playing awesome in tandem? Maybe I am missing something from a coaching stand point re: minutes distribution. And, why does Marvin play 27:14 mins over Ivan’s total of only 16:14 mins. What does Ivan have to do to get some quality minutes on a permanent basis. He’s got a kid to feed, let him make his money!!!!!

No Clue Drew! Fire op the presses WorldWide and let’s get them T-Shirts to the market. (smh)

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
9:33 am

O'brien

April 1st, 2012
10:03 am

DMB,

I was wondering the same thing. Plus hawks are off for 3 days, so why didn’t Teague, zaza and Ivan play more minutes? IMO, LD does not have a good feel for the game in terms of substitutions and adjustments.

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 1st, 2012
10:16 am

Radio Legend!

Mel from SW Atlanta – has coined the famous quote:

“We need a WINNER, man … We don’t need no LOSERS!”
_______________

O’Brien I’ve been on your bandwagon for years, you have a great feel for what’s wrong with this beloved core and both coaches. Who knows where we would be if, we had a really proven coach to teach all our “rooks” and Joe their roles.

It would be remiss to ship out potential talent with high upsides without having had proper coaching here. Because for one, you never know what you have until it’s gone and, secondly it’s more difficult to replace good players than good coaches.

Sautee

April 1st, 2012
10:19 am

doc,

I was right therewith you for Feb. and Mar. I predicted 5-8 in Feb (they were 4-9), and 10-9 for March (they were 11-8) so my aggregate for Feb-Mar was right on the money. Not bad, indeed.

DawfNole, you see, THAT is reality, and not sugarcoating what this team is, or blindly being a homer.

ntrigue

April 1st, 2012
10:33 am

JJoe was back to his old self dribble dribble and more dribble trying to breakdown down double teams by dribbling instead of passing to open man! Josh is a willing passer when teams double him Joe needs to learn to pass quick in those situations. 76ers has Joe number and if Joe or drew don’t realize that by now then hopefully they mk adjustments if we face them in playoffs! Coach drew kept calling ISO instead of letting josh go to work in the post!

doc

April 1st, 2012
10:35 am

yeah sautee, folks were on a delusional roll there in january thinking how the hawks might never lose again. heh heh that 16-6 stat got us going in spite of losing one of the main stalwarts of the team for the rest of the regular season.

ya know the nba is tough. every team, when it gets it going, can beat you and in most games the decision is made maybe on three possessions as most games are that close especially between evenly matched good teams. it is more a chess match than we think as it flows quickly and so fast with such high scoring. it is what makes it frustrating and stimulating at the same time.

right now, the hawks are winning at a pretty good rate on par with what would normally be a 50 win season or durn close to it, in spite of our negativity here. that is the reality. the illusion is we suck the expectation and delusion is that there is no game we should ever lose and someone is to blame with every loss. silly notion but held frim among the minions. funny, the scrutiny but again that is what makes it so fascinating and good for the fan because there is so much to focus on and we each see it differently. love it.

so, how do you see it in april? got some toughies but real cream puffs as well. how many teams are tanking now and how many good teams will sit players to save their legs and reenergize them in anticipation of greater and more important things? how does that affect the predictability going forward? good luck.

Sautee

April 1st, 2012
10:49 am

doc,

I’ll say 6-6 for April. Not quite as optimistic as you. But close. Is 6-6 a half full glass?