Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 116, Pistons 84

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my updated game story, with quotes, for those who would like to comment.

No letdown, only a smackdown.

The Hawks erased any concern they would fall to an inferior opponent minutes into a 116-84 utter dismantling of the Pistons at Philips Arena Wednesday night. They set season-highs for points in a quarter (39) and points in a half (72) in building an early lead the Pistons had no hope of overcoming.

Consider:

  • The Hawks led 39-20 after the first quarter as nine different players scored.
  • They led 72-42 at the half as all 12 available players entered the scoring column. The .622 shooting percentage was the best of the first half all season. The Hawks led by as many as 37 points in the second quarter. The lead eventually reached 41 in the fourth quarter.
  • Joe Johnson logged the most first-half minutes of any starter with just 12. Many starters jumped to their feet and waved towels as the reserves continued to pour it on.
  • The Pistons made only 15 of 44 shots (.341) in the first half. The Pistons ended the first half with 42 points, a total the Hawks had reached with 11:28 remaining in the second quarter.
  • The Philips Arena crowd even attempted the wave in the third quarter.

The Hawks (37-25) were guarding against a letdown similar to the one suffered against the Raptors on Sunday, a loss they rebounded from the following night in Toronto. They led by 10 points with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter, by 20 with 11:44 left in the second quarter and by 30 with 4:42 left in the first half.

“That’s two games in a row we came out with a lot of energy,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “After a poor start against Toronto as far as our energy was concerned, we came out tonight and we got off to a good start really getting up and down the floor, moving the ball well and once we started going to the bench they energy was there as well.”

The Hawks kept pace with the Celtics (37-26), Friday night’s opponent, who defeated the Magic Wednesday. On the line over the final four games is the right to host a first-round playoff series. The Hawks, currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, will try to avenge two earlier season losses to the Celtics, who currently would be their first-round playoff opponent.

“I’m not sure what happened Sunday, but we are ahead now,” Joe Johnson said. “We control our own destiny. We just have to win out and everything else will take care of itself. Every game from here on out is important. We knew we let one get away our last home game so we wanted to come out and really set the tone.”

With four home games remaining in the regular season, the Hawks are searching for consistency and momentum going into the postseason.

The Hawks have won two consecutive and six of their past eight. They won the season series with the Pistons, 3-1, and ran their home winning streak against them to eight games.

The Hawks had six players in double-figures scoring, led by Tracy McGrady with a season-high 17 points. The others were Ivan Johnson (16), Joe Johnson (13), Josh Smith (12), Marvin Williams (10) and Willie Green (10). The team also recorded a season-high 72 bench points.

“With the guys we have coming off the bench, some of them could be starters on other teams, we’ve got veteran guys that know how to play and we provide great energy on both ends,” McGrady said.

The Pistons (23-39) lost for the sixth time in eight games. They were led by Greg Monroe with 17 points. They closed the game on an 11-2 run, as they Hawks went on a stretch of 4:21 without scoring, and still lost by 32 points. They prevented the Hawks from surpassing their largest margin of victory of the season (36 points versus the Nets on Dec. 27).

“It was very important considering these last few ball games we are still playing for something,” Joe Johnson said of the fast start. “The starters came out and set the tone and the bench came in and maintained and went a little higher. That meant a lot. That means everybody was very focused and aware of what we need to accomplish.”

Mission accomplished on this night.

121 comments Add your comment

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:04 pm

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:05 pm

Northcyde – I think Parker, Nash, Ellis, or DeRon get those last two spots. If they do the 1 PG, 1 SG thing for 3rd team All NBA – JJ has a slight chance, or maybe better than slight, against Monta.

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:06 pm

Boy that Orlando/Boston game was a playoff atmoshpere.

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:07 pm

Last 4 will tell it all. Win out, and Homecourt is ours. We’ll need it against Boston.

And the Bucks are sure imploding

KevinM

April 18th, 2012
11:10 pm

Collins must be the reason since he started at C.

i wanted to see if he could log 20 minutes.

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:17 pm

ESPN Boston is reporting that Rondo, Allen, and Pietrus may miss Friday’s game as well. That would be good news for us of course.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 18th, 2012
11:19 pm

““We have to take care of home,” said Johnson of all five remaining games at Philips Arena. “We’ve shown we can be a great team.”

Pretty sure I’ve seen Joe or another player say this exact same thing every year for the last 4 seasons

LinkReport this comment
Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
April 18th, 2012
10:46 pm

T-Mac and Ivan tonight:

Just wow. Incredible job by both gentlemen.

LinkReport this comment
Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
April 18th, 2012
10:58 pm

SMH @ Smoove throwing 2 horrendous full-court passes which weren’t even close to his teammates and then acting afterwards like it wasn’t his fault

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Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
April 18th, 2012
11:00 pm

How many And-1s does Marvin have in his career? Can’t be over 10. The guy cannot finish a play at the rim if there’s the slightest bit of contact

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Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 18th, 2012
11:22 pm

Can someone at AJC PLEASE LINK THE MOST RECENT BLOG TO THE TOP OF THE AJC HAWKS page? The Raptors game was 2 freaking days ago

Melvin

April 18th, 2012
11:24 pm

According to this site, the Hawks has two of the top 25 worst draft picks in the last decade. The shocking thing is Marvin did not make the list. And I lost count with how many of those picks were made by Rick Sund…

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/937861-25-worst-nba-draft-picks-of-the-last-decade/page/13

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 18th, 2012
11:32 pm

Bibby got lit up by Sundiata

TMACfan

April 18th, 2012
11:41 pm

From NBA.com

McGrady continued playing well. His season-high 17 points came on 6-for-10 shooting and he added four rebounds, four assists, a steal, a blocked shot and a turnover in just 17:24. In his past three games, he has averaged 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and a steal while shooting 14-for-24 and 3-for-7 from distance. … Ditto Johnson. In his past three games, he has averaged 17 points, 8.3 rebounds with 19-for-32 shooting.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 18th, 2012
11:42 pm

Ajc Hawks page is mess. Put most recent BLOG AND NEWS AT TOP OF PAGE

Slimjr

April 18th, 2012
11:43 pm

The Vent

Vents from a slightly irrational Hawks fan
Monday, April 16, 2012
Rick Sund, We’re Over You

“So Rick Sund has reportedly been offered a new deal to remain Atlanta’s GM. This makes me sad. What has he done that leads anyone to believe he’s going to make the necessary moves to put this team over the top? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Many people like to point to the belief that he’s hamstrung by the owners, well be that as it may, he’s sticking around taking all the credit/blame for these decisions so he must be fine with them. When he’s filling out his resume, the years with the Hawks are not going to have an asterisk beside them. All of the moves or lack thereof are going to be attributed to him. So, that’s how I choose to evaluate him. He’s not a good GM. There’s plenty of evidence to support this theory. We could discuss the Joe Johnson contract, but why beat a dead horse? Let’s talk about his inability to turn expiring contracts into assets for this team. What is the point of keeping talented guys on your roster that you know damn well you’re not going to re-sign? Why was Jamal Crawford on the roster after the trade deadline last season? Why is Kirk Hinrich still on the roster right now? Speaking of Kirk Hinrich, why did it take so much to get him? Why is the Hawks bench consistently filled with NBA artifacts as opposed to young talent? These are questions that Rick Sund should have to answer, but he keeps getting a pass because ownership is so inept. Well, I’m not willing to give him a pass. He’s the GM, and no matter what’s going on with ownership, he’s accountable for these decisions. He cashes those checks bi-weekly, or however often they get paid. It’s all on him. He brought Eric Dampier here for crying out loud! They need to go in a different direction, and it sounds like he may not want to GM anymore anyway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn’t. It’s obviously going to have to be up to him to decide when his tenure with the Hawks is over since ownership is clearly okay with the job he’s done. For what it’s worth, I’m over the Rick Sund era. If you’re a Hawks fan, you should be too.”

RETIRE SUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jamal crawford fan

April 18th, 2012
11:45 pm

It might not have been a blessing in disguise the tmac benching throughout the season. He is now fresh and looking like a weapon. I think his body feels good because of the extra rest and should be a devestating weapon off the bench . Scoring with his playmaking ,rebounding , vet leadershp and expierence not many teams in the playoffs will have a guy with his all round packiage coming off the bench.

Slimjr

April 18th, 2012
11:47 pm

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:17 pm

“ESPN Boston is reporting that Rondo, Allen, and Pietrus may miss Friday’s game as well. That would be good news for us of course.”

Those guys will be ready come playoff time and we know that Pietrus is an ISO shutdown specialist….sigh……..

Joe Piskepo

April 18th, 2012
11:47 pm

will horford be available 4 playoffs

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:48 pm

Clips Tickets are as low as $10.00 for next weeks game at stubhub

Mavs $12.00

Playoff tix starting at $18.00 – I know it’s the bleeds man, but if you ain’t got much cash you can still maybe afford a game.

Go Hawks!

Slimjr

April 18th, 2012
11:48 pm

32 lackluster years..GET OUT OF THE GAME AND GO FISHING!

TMACfan

April 18th, 2012
11:51 pm

I’m calling it, TMAC gonna take a dump on the Dallas Mavericks.

He hates that team.

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:52 pm

Slim – I know. And Boston has like 4 days off after they play us, so they’ll bring it Friday even without those guys.

And the way Bradley’s been playing, and he’s only 21, I’m not sure he doesn’t get added to that list of up and coming SG’s being talked about earlier today. He’s only Teague’s size, but plays good D and starting to light it up on O. 10-14 tonite.

And Paul Pierce has been playing awesome the last couple of nites. That’s why he’s a superstar, and JJ’s a star.

Pierce is one of those guys that folks on this blog can pick apart his numbers etc., but in a tough game, and at crunch time, I want him on my team.

sebastian

April 18th, 2012
11:56 pm

Will drew admit his mistake regarding tmac?

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:56 pm

JJ, Josh, Teague, ZaZa, TMac, and Ivan can do some damage in the playoffs.

Kirk, Marvin, Green, and Pargo are decent time fillers, who may give you something on occasion.

Vlad, Collins, Stack – not so much.

Where’s Dampier?? Maybe he got on LD’s bad side also. A 40 point blowout in the 4th, and he still doesn’t touch the floor? Wow.

Rev in Tampa

April 18th, 2012
11:56 pm

This is off-subject but well worth two minutes of your time. I was flabbergasted, horrified, and amused all at the same time. I sent it to some of my church members.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HLXW_Y0S4-c

Rev in Tampa

April 18th, 2012
11:57 pm

I sent it to my church members with a sense of humor. Otherwise I might be fired.

SteveW

April 18th, 2012
11:58 pm

I know we want ZaZa healthy, but who would have thought that maybe TMac and Ivan were the keys to our Postseason, ZaZa and Al or not?

And props to Teague and Josh – Every game this compressed season, they’ve played. Good job.

Slimjr

April 18th, 2012
11:58 pm

SteveW, Paul Pierce is Mr Clutch forever! Love his game! Wish we had him too!

I’d take him over ISO every day all day. This guy shows up for the big games. The other guy not so much anymore……

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
12:00 am

Teague, TMac, JJ, and Josh on the floor at the same time is a tough guard for any team. Now who for the 5th guy – Ivan, ZaZa, Marvin, Kirk, Willie, Pargo?

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
12:02 am

“Where’s Dampier?? Maybe he got on LD’s bad side also. A 40 point blowout in the 4th, and he still doesn’t touch the floor? Wow.”

Oh you did not get the memo? Dampier is hurt.He hurt his calf lifting a Jersey Mike Sub…Sheesh…….

Its Ivan and Collins at the 5 now.. Good luck!

Rev in Tampa

April 19th, 2012
12:08 am

Iol at the fakericksund twitter:

“We just beat the Pistons by 37 points. They just beat the Cavs by 39 points. Therefore we will beat the Cavs by 76 points”

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
12:08 am

“The Grace Factor – FU (Forgive You!)”

Awesome Rev!!!!!!!!! LOL! I need to FU some of my people!

I FU Big Lou too…..

SteveW

April 19th, 2012
12:13 am

Pierce is 34. We can only hope JJ ages that well. Pierce has actually upped his game this season over the past 2.

And on back to backs against two playoff teams, he gets to the Line – 30 times in two games!! And makes 28 of them. And it’s not all on the refs either, come on, give me a break.

Shoots 20-33 from the field – including 4-6 from trey line last nite.

And dishes for 14 assists tonite with Rondo down.

The dude is a beast, especially in clutch time. Marvin, Kirk and a 1st pick – I wonder if the C’s would have taken that deal at the deadline? I doubt it.

But it would’ve been nice having him in the playoffs. Teague, JJ, PP, Josh, and ZaZa, with Ivan and TMac off the bench – it woulda been sweet.

Oh well, maybe TMac will blow our minds – and Ivan also. TMac certainly looks fluid out there.

fluke cage

April 19th, 2012
12:16 am

aye man ivan 9 to 5 ras kass mr mean johnson is a cot damn beast he needs to play like he played tonight every time he steps on the court.

doc

April 19th, 2012
12:23 am

rev, loved it and i say f u to you bro. all of y’all even the haters. heh heh

High-sider

April 19th, 2012
12:37 am

jamal crawford fan
April 18th, 2012
11:45 pm

It might not have been a blessing in disguise the tmac benching throughout the season. He is now fresh and looking like a weapon. I think his body feels good because of the extra rest and should be a devestating weapon off the bench . Scoring with his playmaking ,rebounding , vet leadershp and expierence not many teams in the playoffs will have a guy with his all round packiage coming off the bench.
——————————————————————————–

@jamal crawford fan

Is that you, Rod from College Park? [LOL]

High-sider

April 19th, 2012
12:39 am

@jamal crawford fan

You can run but you can’t hide. [LOL]

Najeh Davenpoop

April 19th, 2012
12:40 am

“Teague, TMac, JJ, and Josh on the floor at the same time is a tough guard for any team. Now who for the 5th guy – Ivan, ZaZa, Marvin, Kirk, Willie, Pargo?”

To be honest, the way Zaza has played this year, I would have framed that question by saying Teague/Joe/Josh/Zaza gives you 4 quality players on the floor, so look for a 5th guy to join them. At this point I really have no idea how much of T-Mac’s sporadic playing time is related to injuries, how much is related to poor practice habits, and how much is related to LD’s incompetence. But if he is capable of playing every game like he played this one — and he has generally played well when given more than spot minutes — then there’s no reason why he can’t be that 5th guy.

The problem is that he is so instrumental in the bench’s ability to score that moving him into the starting 5 might not benefit the team as a whole.

There is no perfect solution to this problem, because this roster is unbalanced with respect to positions (too many guards, not enough big men). At least in the playoffs, though, I would start Ivan, bring T-Mac off the bench, and let T-Mac finish games with the starters (like he did in the early season road win at Miami). Against Boston, going with this bigger lineup allows the Hawks to dictate matchups rather than vice versa. Joe will be matched up on someone he can post up, the Celtics will pay on the glass if they put KG on Josh, and since Ray Allen comes off the bench now, the Hawks should bring Kirk off the bench since he is the Hawks player most comfortable chasing players around screens.

Starters Teague-Joe-Josh-Ivan-Zaza
Bench Pargo-Green-Kirk-TMac-Marvin (not all playing at the same time)
Finishers Teague-Joe-TMac-Josh-(whoever between Ivan and Zaza has played better or matches up better in any given game)
Spectators Collins, Dampier, Vlad

Najeh Davenpoop

April 19th, 2012
12:41 am

^And if Al can give the Hawks anything at all in the playoffs, that bench becomes so much better even if all Al does is stand around knocking down mid range jumpers coming off the bench.

sebastian

April 19th, 2012
12:45 am

Not one comment of praise for McGrady by Drew in his press conference. not one. What a bitter ass clown

Rod from College Park

April 19th, 2012
12:52 am

Not me High-sider. I’m not that big a fan of his, Just a realist.

sam

April 19th, 2012
1:10 am

I was at the game, so I didn’t see postgame, but Sebastian’s comment that Drew didn’t mention TMac in his press conference is extremely disappointing and, unfortunately, I agree that he is a classless, bitter ass clown. He’s done the same thing to Teague most of the season, acting like he plays well occasionally, when he’s done a terrific job all season. Too bad he can’t be up for rookie of the year, since, like I’ve said in the past, that’s really what he has been this season. TMac has done a heck of a job for us as well and looked GREAT tonight. It’s a shame we seem to have some weirdo, classless coach who has been very lucky his players have risen above him this year for a terrific season, even without Al. Most people thought we would go nowhere without Al, and look what they’ve, with the constant help of our true ALLSTAR – JOSH SMITH, accomplished. Had he and our management showed any class at all, they would have pushed for his ALLSTAR status to finally be validated after three years of getting screwed. The guys all seemed pretty together tonight, cheering for one another. A real camaraderie – and, I agree with you, Sebastian, Tracy is key to this run. The players know this. Maybe Drew needs to be hit over the head with it. I don’t think he realizes how “lucky” he’s been to have players to rise above him. They also encourage Teague and Ivan – where are you Larry? What are you doing?

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 19th, 2012
1:11 am

Najeh

I love your game plan, problem is IDK if zaza is a go. We are not hearing any information from the beat writers and, the org is keeping his true level of injury under wraps for some reason.

The foot has basically no muscles in it. 27 bones, a gazillion ligaments which encapsulates those 13 bone joints and 5 tendons which meshes the muscles into the small bones. truly a complex/matrix of 13,14 intersections coming together. The hind foot is attached to the distal tibia and fibula and achilles tendon.

Zaza has been laboring with the calf muscle, which has been very weak since returning from playing in Georgia this summer all year. His achilles tendon has been swollen and sore all year, which is probably what caused his foot to be susceptible to this sprain. They should have MRI-ed him already and, put him in a walking boot and ice baths, no muscle stim should be used. Ultra-Sound may return him to us in weeks. If they have not done this, then the medical staff should be fired too.

I’m very concerned about zaza’s return najeh. I can not pencil him in as of yet. What is your plan B, because I loved your plan A. should we waive Eric and pick up a D-leaguer to back up Ivan and Collins? Because, IMHO, zaza has waned under the brutal schedule. He may be ready for round 2 if the medical staff do their job and, we get lucky. zaza should not be walking bare foot right now at all. Get him booted.

TMACfan

April 19th, 2012
1:15 am

LD in the post game talked about JJ being explosive and Jeff and Josh playing well.

Not a word about TMAC….

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
1:18 am

MEMO TO LARRY DREW, PLAY THE MAN!!!!!! PUT YOUR ISH aside and play T-Mac 25-30 mins per game in the Playoffs..ISO will be targeted to be neutralized..He will need help offensively big time!!

GO FU(Forgive You) WOODY AND T-Mac! You’ll feel better….

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 19th, 2012
1:19 am

Tucsan Sam!

You ever hear of paragraphs? Break that post up man so, the old people can read it on a smart phone … looks like a runaway train got loose and jumped the tracks.

I’d love to read what you had to say, but I can’t. (smile)

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
1:20 am

TMACfan

April 19th, 2012
1:15 am

“LD in the post game talked about JJ being explosive and Jeff and Josh playing well.

Not a word about TMAC…”

Kinda like how he treats Woody…Not a word..Sad little man….

drmaryb.[*_*].

April 19th, 2012
1:25 am

The main foot muscle is basically the plantar padding. Does anyone know what happened to zaza’s foot? The MOI, (mechanism of injury) did someone step on his planted foot and he rolled his ankle. I never saw/heard what happened.

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
1:28 am

When I heard the reason why he suspended Ivan, I almost hit the roof! This dude is extremely insecure…

Slimjr

April 19th, 2012
1:35 am

I did not see the play ZaZa hurt his foot..I’m afraid it maybe a lot worse the injury..Why else would they keep it such a secret around these parts?

Sund really screwed up with his lack of quality big men acquisitions…He should have known this compressed season would take its toll on the players..Especially the bigs…..

damienwilko

April 19th, 2012
1:51 am

It’s quiet a shame if he had(Drew) the intelligence requierd as a head to put you’re personal feelings aside and concentratye of the big picture and played Tmac earlier, our win count would surly be higher meaning better position and playoff matchup then what we probaly will get.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 19th, 2012
1:53 am

Barkley’s Rant!

SlimJr, I just wanna’ give Sir Charles a shout out for turning our season around with his TNT rant! He called out everybody on national TV and threw “no clue drew” under the Ivan Greyhound bus for saying something stupid:

“I need to find some minutes for Ivan.”

WTH? Find some minutes, when the whole team was playing like a soft boiled egg? Drew is so weak, he posted Barkley’s comments on the white board to embarrass them into playing harder. That old dog had run outa’ trix?

So yeah, Barkley lit a fire under this team and Ivan gets suspended for yelling at his team mates about their effort. No clue drew should have sent himself home, like 11 secret service men in Colombia who can’t srape up $60 between two guys to pay one TRIX. Busted!

Ladies! Collect your fees up front and ‘Bite Em off if they don’t pay. Who on here likes a “cheap azz” or, should I ask, a “cheap piece of azz”?

Dimes cost about 1K – 2K per hour for full service, last I checked. LOL!
____________

Aye Drew! Stop mind-fkg the players and:

LEAVE TMAC ALONE!
LEAVE IVAN ALONE!
LEAVE TEAGUE ALONE!