Atlanta Hawks: Hawks vs. potential playoff foes

After looking at the numbers back on March 13, I concluded that the best outcome for the Hawks would be to draw Orlando in the first round and avoid Miami in the second. I updated the numbers for the Hawks today to reflect their rematches vs. Chicago and Philadelphia. I also added New York and Boston to the chart since it’s still conceivable the Hawks could face either of those foes in the first round.

Of the teams leading the Hawks in the East standings, the Magic still appear to be the best matchup, followed closely by Indiana. Every other matchup with the top 5 looks to be problematic.

The Sixers, currently seventh in the East but just a game behind Boston in their division, remain a terrible matchup for the Hawks. The Hawks have struggled to defend the Sixers even though they’ve managed to engage them in the low-possession games they prefer. Scoring against Philly hasn’t been easy for the Hawks, either, but at least they finally showed they could do it Saturday.

The one game against Boston showed that the Hawks labor to score against the Celtics like they usually do vs. good defensive teams. Maybe the Hawks figure it out in a series but probably best for them to avoid finding out.

Atlanta has only faced New York once twice, and it’s difficult to discount a team that puts the best player on the floor, but it looks as if work in the Hawks’ favor if they could somehow draw the Knicks. That’s especially true if Baron Davis and Mike Bibby will be absorbing Jeremy Lin’s minutes.

As for Miami and Chicago, that beatdown from the Derrick Rose-less Bulls last threw some water on the idea that Chicago might represent a better second-round matchup for Atlanta than the Heat. The defensive strength the Hawks showed against the Bulls in the first three meetings evaporated as they couldn’t slow Chicago’s space-the-floor, share-the-ball attack without Rose.

Here are Atlanta’s updated numbers against potential playoff opponents. Keep in mind they don’t take into account factors like injuries, schedule, etc.

Hawks (7-12 vs. peer group)

Opponent Record vs. Off. Eff. vs. Def. Eff. vs. Avg. Margin
Bulls 1-3 93.4 98.6 -5
Heat 1-3 97.5 102.3 -4
Magic 2-0 91.5 87.8 +3.5
Celtics 0-1 83.5 86.8 -3
Sixers 0-3 95.8 107.2 -10
Pacers 2-1 100.7 99.6 +1
Knicks 1-1 95.3 99.0 -3.5


180 comments Add your comment

Rev in Tampa

April 2nd, 2012
4:31 pm

Am I “First”?

bigdave

April 2nd, 2012
4:33 pm

barring a 1st round exit.. i say you still take your chances against Chi.

michael

April 2nd, 2012
4:35 pm

I believe we played the Knicks twice, not once..I thought we played one at MSG.

Michael Cunningham

April 2nd, 2012
4:41 pm

updated to include first game vs. Knicks.

Rev in Tampa

April 2nd, 2012
4:46 pm

So what seed would the Hawks need to be to draw Orlando?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
4:46 pm

I remember before reading that during a Miami game last year against a weaker opponent, LBJ went up to D.Wade (and maybe Bosh) and said something along the lines of “Look: we are a lot better than this team. Let’s put these guys away” and Miami took like a 27 point lead.

Why can’t we have that mentality vs crappy teams?

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
4:54 pm

Scratch that

Mike

April 2nd, 2012
4:59 pm

Rev, if the season ended today, the Hawks (6th seed) would face the Magic (3rd seed)

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
5:04 pm

Shame on Sund and ASG for not getting more bigs.

We have ZaZa (good player. We all love him here even though he can’t make open layups) and Ivan (who LD doesn’t use nearly enough) and the rest of our healthy bigs are pure garbage.

Why the hell is Tracy McGrady still on this team?
I want 1 good reason. This guy is f’ing useless. He only tweets about college basketball. He doesn’t give a S… about this team

Bravesfan79

April 2nd, 2012
5:04 pm

I wouldnt mind a 2nd round series against the Heat. At least if were gonna loose lets go against a entertaining up tempo style team! Plus Miami is more likely to have mental lapses.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
5:11 pm

I’d rather have kept Benson or that other scrub Rolle, rather than play once-a-month McGrady for 6 minutes. What a joke. I actually liked this guy back in December. Wonder what BKDASG thinks about this guy

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
5:12 pm

“I wouldnt mind a 2nd round series against the Heat. At least if were gonna loose lets go against a entertaining up tempo style team! Plus Miami is more likely to have mental lapses.”

People need to realize that we have to play almost impeccable basketball to beat the elite teams, whereas Miami could coast til halftime and destroy us in the 3rd quarter enroute to victory (what happened the last time we played them).

Once LBJ and D.Wade press the “on” switch (no homo), It’s A Wrap

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 2nd, 2012
5:14 pm

I think our beefcakes can handle the beefcakes from all of those teams.

The question is will they let me, um, handle them after the games?? MMM, BEEFY!!

Rod from College Park

April 2nd, 2012
5:15 pm

As I said a month ago, Indiana or Orlando in the first round or we are dead in the water. I still don’t think we could beat Indiana in a 7 game series either. LD would simply get outcoached, and over a 7 game series, I think that they would destroy us on the boards.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
5:32 pm

We seem to own Orlando this year, but in the playoffs we’d be without Horford & no Jamal heroics, so we’d need our bench guys to step up

Pretty sad state of this franchise when 5 years in with this core (6 if you exclude Al) and we are still worried about winning in the 1st round.

SMDH

sportschick

April 2nd, 2012
5:36 pm

Im just glad the hawks players are getting a well deserve rest. LETS GO HAWKS now dont rest to well if u knw what i mean :-D

BigDawg

April 2nd, 2012
5:39 pm

7 wins and 12 losses against the group overall doesn’t suggest a great postseason, AGAIN! At least they do better than the other ATL sports teams in the playoffs…

Jamaaliver

April 2nd, 2012
5:40 pm

@Grandmaster JeJe:

Because we’re not a very good team.

prison mike

April 2nd, 2012
5:44 pm

MC or anyone, what is the status of Horford. I understand he had surgery on 1-18-12. He should be getting some moderate rehab work in at this time.

steven a smith

April 2nd, 2012
5:46 pm

They have Zero chance of winning a playoff series this year. No protection at the rim which is priority in the playoffs.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2012
5:59 pm

JeJe what is possibly homo about pressing the “on” switch?

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2012
6:00 pm

I think the Hawks have a better chance of beating any of the 3 through 8 teams in a first round series — including the Sixers and Celtics — than beating Miami in the 2nd round. I stand by what I said before last week. I’d rather they get any seed that allows them to play Chicago in the 2nd round. That is their only chance, however slim, of making it to the ECF. They have no chance whatsoever against Miami.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2012
6:01 pm

Really, for pure entertainment value, I would love a rematch with the Celtics just so the Hawks can try to get revenge for 2008 and Zaza can match up against KG for an entire series. They might set a playoff series record for technicals.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
6:06 pm

Don’t think I want to see Boston’s vets & Doc Rivers in a series. KG is still a scary dude.

Najeh, it’s half-humor, half serious. By the way, gone fishing yet? I thought our league would have playoffs matchups for the lower seeds to try get 7th-12th places. haha

Mike

April 2nd, 2012
6:07 pm

But here is the true question, if the Hawks doesnt make it to the second round this year (it should be ECF but you know….), do you think its time to break it up for good? Hawks win some games but they wont passed the first round unless everybody step up.

doc

April 2nd, 2012
6:07 pm

p mike, here is what mc said in the knicks game thread the other night:

Al Horford said he lifted weights today for the first time since his pectoral surgery but still expects to miss the balance of the regular season: “Realistically, for me, it would be the playoffs. Two weeks from now I might feel a lot better but, realistically, I’m going to say the playoffs. That’s when I want to come back. I don’t know if I will be there but I hope I will be.”

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 2nd, 2012
6:23 pm

“But here is the true question, if the Hawks doesnt make it to the second round this year (it should be ECF but you know….), do you think its time to break it up for good? Hawks win some games but they wont passed the first round unless everybody step up.”

We should’ve broken it up 2 years ago. What is the point of keeping this core together? We flat-out cannot beat elite teams on a consistent basis. We will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever contend with this core.

Melvin

April 2nd, 2012
6:27 pm

I think Hawks would be better off as the 5 seed with homecourt advantage and playing Indy then playing Chicago in the 2nd round. If they could get passed the Bulls and Magic could beat the Heat. I can see the Hawks playing and defending the Magic in the ECF…. I think this scenario would be the Hawks best chance to go to the finals.

Indy- 1st rnd
Bulls- 2nd rnd
Magic- 3rd rnd

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
6:40 pm

The Hawks are not a good team, unless there defense improve, looking at how they struggle against teams under 500 and get blown out from team over 500, showing that LD is a clueless coach and have no idea making adjustment to see what starting five can compete on higher level, JUST DAM.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2012
6:53 pm

“I thought our league would have playoffs matchups for the lower seeds to try get 7th-12th places. ”

They do. I was so good this year that I have a first round bye in the consolation bracket. haha

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2012
6:58 pm

20 months ago, if anyone on this blog had said that the Magic would be the Hawks’ dream playoff matchup, they would have been laughed off this blog. All it took was one fairly obvious coaching adjustment to turn Orlando from a terrible matchup to a great one.

I don’t think it’s any different with any of the other teams in the East who don’t have significant talent advantages. Against the Bulls and Celtics, Ivan should be starting at PF and the Hawks should go big. Against the Sixers, the Hawks just have to man up, not lose focus, and not do stupid things like taking Zaza out of the game for the entire 4th quarter. All those teams are beatable. It wouldn’t be easy, but it can be done.

The Heat are the only team with so much talent that there’s nothing the Hawks can do to stay competitive in a series. All they can do against them is pray they screw up.

tom

April 2nd, 2012
7:06 pm

I wouldn’t want to face the HAWKS in the first round.

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
7:18 pm

Collins is done with only 1 arm, but Dampier should be backing up Zaza so atleast have some one big in the paint to make more difficult for teams to score in the paint, giving your defender better chance to defend the perimeter much better instead of helping down low, thats the big issue when ever the Hawks Guards collapse down low there man is wide open for the 3.
BULLS MISS ONLY 2 SHOTS FROM THE THREE, so whats the end result Hawks are blown out, LD IS JUST CLUELESS, JUST DAM.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

slim

April 2nd, 2012
7:26 pm

Meh. Just go big with Josh+Pachulia+Ivan and hope Ivan can hold his own while JJ paces the scoring.

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
7:28 pm

It’s easy to see have not LD went to a much bigger line up against Magic in the playoffs, they would have been swept by Magic, but because LD made adjustment and let Marvin come off the bench this team became more defensive mind in the playoffs making it more difficult for teams to score so easy, and also almost upset the Bulls in the playoffs because of the bigger line up, so this year i guarantee if LD continue this smallish line up with TEAGUE, HINRICH, JOE, JOSH, ZAZA, THEY WILL BE SWEPT OR WIN MAYBE 1GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

DawgNole

April 2nd, 2012
7:29 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
April 2nd, 2012
5:32 pm

Pretty sad state of this franchise when 5 years in with this core (6 if you exclude Al) and we are still worried about winning in the 1st round.
___________________

I’m still worried about winning in the 1st round 45 years in with this city.

Slimjr

April 2nd, 2012
7:34 pm

“20 months ago, if anyone on this blog had said that the Magic would be the Hawks’ dream playoff matchup, they would have been laughed off this blog. All it took was one fairly obvious coaching adjustment to turn Orlando from a terrible matchup to a great one.”

20 months ago Orlando had:

Vince Carter: A Marvin Williams Cloaking Device
Matt Barnes: ISO Shutdown Artist
Mickael Pietrus: A JC1 Harasser
Marcin Gortat: Made ZaZa irrelevant along with making All NBA ineffective with D12’s help

Orlando had won the last 7 of 8! Totally owned the Hawks…But Hmmmmmm.

By the time Luck Larry showed up last year, Orlando’s subtraction became the Hawks Addition…

April Fools= Jason Butter Collins

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
7:37 pm

RUMOR HU, TMAC WANT TO BE RELEASE SO HE CAN SIGN WITH THE HEAT, JUST DAM.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

slim

April 2nd, 2012
7:38 pm

Hey I got unbanned? Must be because the trade deadline passed!
Thanks MC!

Here’s some big lineup vs Chicago albeit vs backups in a blowout. This was with Horford starting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIRqlWBvYE

But with Chicago Horford gave us a mini Joakim Noah. A center who can push the ball and now we have mismatches all over the court.

If we meet these teams we go big. Muck the game up with Smith vs their SF like we saw with NY.

- New York (Smith v. Melo)(Ivan/Horford v. Brand)
- Boston (Smith v. Pierce)(Ivan/Horford v. Garnett)
- Chicago (Smith v. Deng)(Ivan/Horford v. Boozer)
- Philadelphia (Smith v. Iguodala)(Ivan/Horford v. Brand)

- Orlando (Smith v. Turkoglu, Marvin on Anderson)
- Indiana I would also explore going big at times.

Keep the score low and wear there SFs out with Josh.

Then get out on the break and get a few double teams posting up with Josh.

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
7:39 pm

Slimjr – LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT SOME FUNNY SH!T

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Slimjr

April 2nd, 2012
7:39 pm

A Joke right?^^^^^

slim

April 2nd, 2012
7:40 pm

Here here BIG DOG! And idk what a 1 legged McGrady expects. Sometimes if you watch very closely …the man’s actually limping.

Slimjr

April 2nd, 2012
7:42 pm

Thank you Big Dog…hehehe

pointguardslim

April 2nd, 2012
7:42 pm

My bad guys. I went short in my tag. “Slim” is short for pointguardslim.

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
7:43 pm

Slim – Exactly why can LD see that, not only that even in a half court game what SF can guard Josh in the post, Josh at SF might score 50points in the paint, JUST DAM.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

doc

April 2nd, 2012
7:44 pm

slimj are you a poser?

doc

April 2nd, 2012
7:49 pm

pgs and anything else?

welcome back

BIG DOG

April 2nd, 2012
8:00 pm

The big line up

Teague, Joe, Josh, Ivan, Zaza

Hinrich, Green, Marvin, Vlad, Dampier

Pargo, Stack, Collins,

Tmac IR

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

brigadierjerry

April 2nd, 2012
8:04 pm

drmaryb,

I guess you didnt make the quote of the Latener thing in comparison to how TMAC behaved. Sorry about that.

Horford reminds me a lot of Buck Williams although Horford has a better outside shot. Buck Williams was the 4th option on those Portland teams in the 90’s. Horford on a championship type team is a 3rd option at best. Smith 2nd or 3rd as well.

Looking at the big picture u realize that it is so much better to get a star or superstar player via draft or FA/trade or two and build around them and fill the rest of the pieces and get depth than to do it the other way around by having good players with depth and not have any superstar or star player you can build around. This is the problem with the Sixers, Indy, Denver,Memphis and even Hawks to a lesser extent. These teams will do well regular season but it will be hard for them to go far in the playoffs when you can game plan against their best player and need to rely on the other players to pickup the slack. The Hawks biggest problem is that they thought when they signed Joe Johnson, they thought you can build around him but he is a very good player just not a superstar player which is hard to get because overall lack of superstar talent in the NBA that you can draft. Smith is a good player but you cannot build around Smith or Horford as your 1st option on offense because when it comes down to it and the game is on the line when your down two and if you are able to one on one for a tie or win, i will take my chances with Joe than Smith or Horford.

Biggest problem with Johnson and my biggest gripe with him is that he refuses to draw contact so that if he misses the shot he can draw contact for a foul to get to the line. That is the difference between him and Pierce and Kobe. Comparing him to Kobe is unfair. He is more comparable to Pierce although they play different positions.

You can win going the Dallas Mavericks route with a superstar player and good players/depth around you but you have to be willing to spend and go into the luxury tax. You can go the Celtics route as well when they got Garnett and Allen and Pierce and Rondo already drafted. You can also go the slower route of OKlahaoma and Chicago Bulls drafting wisely and making good acquisitions/trades, etc.

To me it comes down to I have always felt that the Hawks management doesnt really have a plan as far as building a team, they seem to just want to patchwork things. If the Hawks want to get better they are either going to have to do 3 things after this season to: 1)Go the Boston Celtics model and either trade Smith or Horford for a star player such as Dwight or for a player that is better than Smith or Horford or 2)get a new coach who is established and has a history of success or 3)blow it up and start from scratch and go via the OKC model and try and draft wisely and see if you are able to find a star player and build through that way a team.

As far as this playoff goes, Hawks can beat any team other than the Celtics and Heat and the caveat I have with Chicago is that Hawks can beat them if Rose is less than 100%.

doc

April 2nd, 2012
8:06 pm

for all of you with your heart felt concern about al h, his rehab and that weight training actually increases a bssketball players chances of an onjury that takes 6-9 months to rehab here it us:

TORN PECTORAL MUSCLES FROM BASKETBALL

Mar 28, 2011 | By Hannah Mich

Although pectoral tears or ruptures are uncommon, they are more common among athletes. Basketball is a very intense and physical sport that demands players to dive, jump and bound. A reach for a rebound, dive for a loose ball or overhead pass could all lead to a torn pectoral muscle. If a ruptured pectoral muscle is suspected, receiving immediate medical attention and treatment is crucial.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
Basketball players are not considered at high risk for sustaining a pectoral muscle injury. However, an explosive contraction of the pectoral muscle, which could occur while reaching or throwing the basketball, could cause the muscle or tendon to tear or rupture. Weightlifting is actually the most common activity to cause pectoral muscle tears, according to a 2006 report in the journal “International Orthopaedics.”

An increase in weight training during basketball off-season or playing basketball immediately after weight training may increase your risk of sustaining a tear or rupture. Other factors include muscle tightness, muscle fatigue and muscle strength imbalances. Age may also be a contributing factor, because your tendons and muscles lose their elasticity as you age.

SIGN AND SYMPTOMS
A pectoral muscle usually tears or ruptures at its tendon where it attaches to the bone. A visible knot or deformity of the muscle at the chest is a sign of a complete rupture of the pectoral muscle or tendon. Swelling, bruising, pain and muscle weakness are symptoms of complete ruptures and partial tears, with ruptures symptoms being more severe.

CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION
Treatment and rehabilitation for a pectoral muscle tear requires assistance from a physical therapist or athletic trainer. To reduce pain and further injury, rest, take over-the-counter pain medication and wear a sling. Before any exercises, perform light stretches to help you regain your normal range of motion. In approximately six to eight weeks you may begin strength exercises; and in six to 10 more weeks with the approval of your physical therapist, you may return to play.

Conservative treatment is more successful for partial pectoral tears than for complete ruptures. According to a 2001 study published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine,” patients treated conservatively for a pectoral muscle rupture regained only 56 percent of their strength back.

SURGERY AND PREVENTION
Surgery is highly recommended for complete pectoral ruptures and for athletes wanting to continue to participate at a competitive level. A 2006 study reported in “International Orthopaedics” found that all athletes were able to return to sports between six and 12 months following surgical repair of the ruptured pectoral muscle.

Rehabilitation following surgery is similar to conservative treatment, including four to six weeks of shoulder immobilization, six weeks of stretching and three to six months of strengthening exercises. To prevent further injury to your pectoral muscle, stretch before and after playing basketball and weightlifting; and avoid playing basketball immediately after intense weightlifting.

tmi or in category it doesnt support your agenda? heh heh