Atlanta Hawks: Knicks 113, Hawks 112

  • The Hawks had what might have been their best offensive game of the season against a top 5 defense. At the very least, it was their best offensive game since Dec. 31 at Philadelphia. They lost both games because of lackluster defense and shaky late-game execution.
  • Depending on your view, it could either a good sign that the Hawks showed the ability to score against good defensive opponents or a bad sign they squandered those efforts when they finally got them. Or maybe another way to look at is the Hawks have shown they can play consistently effective defense so maybe not doing it this game was a fluke and their offense is finally ready for the playoffs.
  • Josh Smith didn’t sound too worried. “It wasn’t like we got blown out of the game,” he said. “If we didn’t compete at all, then I would be concerned.”
  • But there is a worrisome disconnect with the Hawks when it comes to their offense. It’s been that way since I’ve been around and it was brought into sharp relief while listening to Larry Drew and Joe Johnson talk about the offense after this game.
  • Drew: “We had enough stuff that I knew we wouldn’t be predictable offensively in what we did. We run things where we put things in Joe’s hands but, for the most part, we had good ball movement, we share the basketball and we get things moving from one side to the other.”
  • Joe: “Down the stretch, I just figure you have got to put the ball in the hands of your playmakers. Point blank. The Knicks did it all game. [Carmelo Anthony] shot 32 times, man. They made sure they got the ball to the right man.”
  • The Hawks didn’t do that? “Naw,” Joe said. “Not when we needed buckets.” So that means he should have gotten the ball more? “Of course. I always want the ball down the stretch.” But weren’t the Knicks forcing the ball out of your hands? “Naw. It was probably more just play-calling.”
  • There are obvious holes in what both Drew and Joe said. Drew’s offense often devolves from what’s working–whether it be the share-the-ball philosophy or post-ups for Josh–into Iso-Joe. And Joe, for all his talents, just isn’t as effective as Anthony in that situation.
  • Witness Joe’s forced, missed fadeaway 20-footer with the Hawks down 113-112. Or look at the next possession, when Joe dribbled out the shot clock in isolation before passing out to Josh for an airballed 3-point try.
  • Joe took three shots in seven fourth-quarter minutes and made three. Marvin Williams, who was hot all game, took five shots and made three in 11 minutes. Josh took three shots and missed them all in 11 minutes. Jeff Teague missed both of his field-goal attempts in seven minutes.
  • I just don’t see Joe’s gripe here. But I do see that this disconnect could be Atlanta’s undoing in the playoffs, and not energy or effort or defense or any of the other things the Hawks tend to attribute to their losses.
  • That’s not to say nothing good came out of this from the Hawks. Aside from 19 turnovers and seven missed free throws, the Hawks were about as good as they could be offensively: 54 percent shooting, 26 fast-break points, 15 of 23 on 3-pointers. The Hawks engaged the Knicks in a high-possession game and nearly matched their output.
  • “We knew they were going to get up-and-down, especially with ‘Melo’ playing the four,” Joe said. “They’ve got so many shooters to spread the floor. We didn’t put no force behind it when we was guarding him. You have got to make it tough. He’s a scorer in this league.”
  • “We was getting [offense] from all different angles,” Josh said. “I loved what I saw from Marvin, especially the outside jump shots.”
  • Marvin was nearly flawless: 29 points on 14 shots, 11 rebounds, three blocks, one steal and just one turnover. He did a really good job with spacing, catching, and shooting with confidence when the Knicks doubled Joe and Josh.
  • His final dunk attempt missed but it came too late, anyway. The Hawks ran a play similar to the one they used to beat the Clippers last season, when Al Horford was decked by Blake Griffin and recovered to make two free throws.
  • “Similar play,” Drew said. “Marvin made the right play. Probably didn’t get there quick enough, but he got to the rim and we got the look we wanted.”
  • Marvin thought Amar’e Stoudemire fouled him. It looked like a clean challenge to me. “I don’t think anyone should complain that there was any contact on that last play,” Amare said.
  • The Hawks didn’t immediately call timeout after Joe rebounded Anthony’s miss, with Joe instead passing to Kirk Hinrich. That cost them 1.5 seconds, which ended up being costly. There didn’t seem to be much situational awareness from the bench or the players on the floor.
  • Marvin did what he could to slow Anthony but it’s tough when Anthony is making those pull-up Js with very little air space. “He’s a tough cover when he’s not making that,” Marvin said. “In my mind he’s top five, top three best scorers in this league. The things he is able to do is unbelievable.”
  • Joe had 23 points on 14 shots but couldn’t consistently take advantage of Iman Sumpert’s tight defense (even if Shumpert got away with a lot of reaching). Joe tried to get around him with his hesitation dribble move but it was ineffective. So Joe often had to resort to making challenge Js, which he can do, but it wrecks the offensive flow when he misses.
  • Josh took some good turns on Melo but never found his offensive flow. In games like this he has to earn more than three free-throw attempts. But it’s hard to do that when he’s so slow to make his move that he allows the Knicks to poke away the ball.
  • Baron Davis should not be able to slip past Teague so easily to get to the basket. Teague should be able to score 23 points on 14 shots, and he did.
  • Hinrich’s line (three points on four shots, four assists in 28 minutes) sticks out on a boxscore where so many others did much more.
  • Jannero Pargo led the charge in the second quarter with nine points on five shots. He’s been pretty consistent with those outbursts. Pargo’s defense has been good this season but not today.
  • Tracy McGrady is having a career-worst season on long 2s. That’s not so costly when he’s playmaking and rebounding but he didn’t do much of either today.
  • I thought Ivan Johnson would make more of an impact in a smallball game like this.
  • Melo’s 39 points on 32 shots weren’t so bad for the Hawks. Basically New York’s offense was Melo in isolation, Amar’e rolling to the basket (until the Knicks forgot about him late) and Landry Fields catching-and-shooting.

  • “He took 32 [shots] to get them,” Drew said. “I’m happy about that. I told our guys before the game, when you play guys who are high-volume scorers and big-time scorers you make a decision what you want to do against them and we carry the same approach against all scorers. Similar to how we play Dwight Howard, we try to defend him as best we can one-on-one and try to lock in on the other guys. Our problem is we didn’t lock in on the other guys.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

194 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:29 pm

FIRE LD
FIRE SUND

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

OB, did doc suggest Teague was incapable of ever playing well? Just wondering?

With about 2:20 left in the game, Joe drew a double team and passed to a wide open Teague behind the 3 point line. Teague gave the ball up immediately like it was a hot potato. He is coming along but his next step is showing more late game confidence, especially when he is wide open. If he refuses to attack the defense in the 4th quarter, the opposing PG will double Joe and Josh everytime down the floor.

It was a thrilling game. Hawks can’t lose focus at the free throw line like they have done several times this season. A few less of those careless TOs would have been nice.

BTW, can’t get too excited about a game that featured such anomolies as over a dozen made 3-pointers and Marvin going the F off.

Fun game.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

Nothing is ever Joe’s fault. Josh too.

It’s never their faults

Najeh Davenpoop

April 22nd, 2012
6:31 pm

“The Hawks didn’t do that? “Naw,” Joe said. “Not when we needed buckets.” So that means he should have gotten the ball more? “Of course. I always want the ball down the stretch.” But weren’t the Knicks forcing the ball out of your hands? “Naw. It was probably more just play-calling.””

This is such BS. He had the ball in his hands nearly every possession down the stretch. He converted on the possessions where he was set up by a teammate and failed on the possessions where he tried to create offense on his own. As usual.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:31 pm

U gotta keep Melo on the perimeter. He is too strong once he posts up

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:32 pm

MC’s postgame blogs are excellent

Viv’s are just AP-looking stuff with no opinions or anything

Najeh Davenpoop

April 22nd, 2012
6:33 pm

“With about 2:20 left in the game, Joe drew a double team and passed to a wide open Teague behind the 3 point line. Teague gave the ball up immediately like it was a hot potato. He is coming along but his next step is showing more late game confidence, especially when he is wide open.”

How much of this is lack of confidence on Teague’s part, and how much of it is an effort to get the ball in the hands of the so-called “playmakers”, as Joe calls it? I wouldn’t be surprised if Teague deferring has at least as much to do with trying to grow into a so-called “true” PG as it is due to any confidence issues.

Get Throwed

April 22nd, 2012
6:33 pm

waiting for Amare to make an angry tweet about pargo and marvin like he did Al last year

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:34 pm

Similar play,” Drew said. “Marvin made the right play. Probably didn’t get there quick enough, but he got to the rim and we got the look we wanted.”
***

no he didn’t make the right play. He waited 2 seconds and I knew the time would run out. You are a terrible head coach

Tootsi

April 22nd, 2012
6:35 pm

Someone please give me some reasons as to why there should be any confidence in this team making some noise in the playoffs? You absolutely cannot afford to lose either of the next two. The only chance we have is to get home court in the 1st round otherwise it will be a quick exit.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:35 pm

Ppl should be worried about BOS, reardless of HC. Gotta beat KG PP Ray Rondo Avery AND Doc 4 times…

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:36 pm

We will not blow BOS out in any games. Need to play outta his world to win a 7 game series vs them.

Then get owned in Rd 2

Najeh Davenpoop

April 22nd, 2012
6:37 pm

“But it’s hard to do that when he’s so slow to make his move that he allows the Knicks to poke away the ball.”

This is the second game in a row against the Knicks that Woody has made his players aggressively double Josh and poke at the ball to try to force turnovers. Other teams haven’t caught on yet, but Josh needs to be ready for this the next time the Hawks and Knicks play.

pointguardslim

April 22nd, 2012
6:37 pm

“We knew they were going to get up-and-down, especially with ‘Melo’ playing the four,” Joe said. “They’ve got so many shooters to spread the floor. We didn’t put no force behind it when we was guarding him. You have got to make it tough. He’s a scorer in this league.”
—————-

Josh at the 3 come playoffs. Chandler will be back.
Win Shares Per 48 Minutes (Chandler)
2010-11 NBA .218 (top 5)
2011-12 NBA .222 (top 7)

Najeh Davenpoop

April 22nd, 2012
6:38 pm

“Hinrich’s line (three points on four shots, four assists in 28 minutes) sticks out on a boxscore where so many others did much more.”

Kenneth Faried last night: 18 points, 14 boards, 1 steal, 3 blocks, zero turnovers, 2 assists, 9/13 shooting. JUST SAYING

pointguardslim

April 22nd, 2012
6:38 pm

Josh at the 3. I mean small forward.

He’s like Iguodala. He’s not a #1 option. But he can defend, rebound and terrify in transition.
We have enough scoring. We need his defense.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:39 pm

Teague passes up way too many open 3s

pointguardslim

April 22nd, 2012
6:43 pm

“Hinrich’s line (three points on four shots, four assists in 28 minutes) sticks out on a boxscore where so many others did much more.”
************

He’s an (unathletic) tweener in size shooting and slashing ability. Emphasis on unathletic. Only 6′3 and change.

What do you expect?

Come playoffs, this man should not be starting. Rather 3 big man frontcourt rather than 3 guards.

Our identity has to become size and the defense and rebounding. That comes with it. We have to feature Josh as the 3 if we expect to win.

But that relies on health.

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
6:49 pm

Astro Joe
April 22nd, 2012
6:30 pm

Fun game.
______________________

It’s never fun to lose.

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
6:53 pm

One of the most painful aspects of today’s game is that it ended the way espn hoped it would.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
6:53 pm

Yo Najeh,

What popup blocker do u use again? Sorry I keep asking. Accidentally got rid of it and these ads are horrendous

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
7:14 pm

Najeh Davenpoop
April 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

JeJe, it is AdBlock Plus, but it won’t block the toolbar on the bottom of this page.

Harry

April 22nd, 2012
7:14 pm

What about turnovers? I really wish Josh would take ‘nique’s advice and give the ball to the point guard – being the finisher instead of trying to initiate the play.

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
7:16 pm

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)
April 22nd, 2012
6:53 pm

Yo Najeh,

What popup blocker do u use again? Sorry I keep asking. Accidentally got rid of it and these ads are horrendous
________________

If it’s the “Meebo Bar” you’re referencing, you should be able to go to the icon at the lower right of your window and “Hide” it.

Dave

April 22nd, 2012
7:20 pm

“Fun game”

LOSER TALK.

hbcuclassics

April 22nd, 2012
7:23 pm

HBCU Classic Sports
2012 Draft Preview:

WR, Mario Louis, Grambling
#1 WR in HBCU Football

http://www.hbcuclassics.com/​hbcu_showcase

High-sider

April 22nd, 2012
7:24 pm

Woody finally got his “revenge.”

Dave

April 22nd, 2012
7:25 pm

“Josh at the 3. I mean small forward.

He’s like Iguodala. He’s not a #1 option. But he can defend, rebound and terrify in transition”

YOU FORGOT, “AND TURN THE BALL OVER, GET DUMB TECHNICALS, GET OUTREBOUNDED BY PLAYERS SHORTER THAN HIM, TAKE DUMB JUMPERS THAT KILL THE FLOW OF THE OFFENSE AND LOOK TERRIBLE TO CASUAL FANS, EVENTUALLY BECOME THE REASON THE HAWKS WILL GET BOUNCED IN THE PLAYOFFS, ETC ETC ETC.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
7:29 pm

Thanks DawgNole. Need it for when I watch games online

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
7:33 pm

YOU FORGOT, “AND TURN THE BALL OVER, GET DUMB TECHNICALS, GET OUTREBOUNDED BY PLAYERS SHORTER THAN HIM, TAKE DUMB JUMPERS THAT KILL THE FLOW OF THE OFFENSE AND LOOK TERRIBLE TO CASUAL FANS, EVENTUALLY BECOME THE REASON THE HAWKS WILL GET BOUNCED IN THE PLAYOFFS, ETC ETC ETC.
**

cosign

Ole Hawk's Fan

April 22nd, 2012
7:34 pm

Joe will never see that he is the one not making the plays in crunch time against GOOD NBA TEAMS. He needs to look in the mirror to see where the PROBLEM LIES> It is you ISO JOE…………YOU HAVE THE BALL and dribbling while the shot clock runs down and then you fade away jumper misses. GET JJ OUT OF HERE………………….DON”T BRING BACK LD and SUND>.

Dave

April 22nd, 2012
7:41 pm

“But that relies on health.”

CERTAINLY NOT TALKING ABOUT AL RIGHT? BECAUSE IVE SEEN YOU DOG HIM OUT AS IF HE WAS THE PROBLEM AND JOSH WAS READY TO BECOME TIM DUNCAN ON THE BLOCK. THIS IS THE GROUP YOU ALL WANTED, DON’T CRY ABOUT IT NOW. GO OUT THERE AND GET IT DONE. NO EXCUSES.

JSS

April 22nd, 2012
7:51 pm

Maybe we finally get a breakout performance over two weeks from Marvin like we got out of Josh Childress in first Boston playoff series? Not saying it will happen, but like Falcons fans, I’m using blind some hope!

Man in Black

April 22nd, 2012
7:54 pm

FREE THROWS. When we don’t make our free throws we lose. We missed 8 free throws today and lost by 1. Joe was 0-3 from the line – we missed a T free throw. Look at the 26 games we lost this season – 23 of them we would have won if we shot 90% from the line.
Pat Riley said it in the 80’s – you don’t make free throws – you don’t get rings.

Melvin

April 22nd, 2012
8:02 pm

I wonder if that was Melo on the last second drive instead of Marvin, would Melo had gotten a foul call.

steven a smith

April 22nd, 2012
8:19 pm

Please..Dwight Howard,AKA Superman could not have gotten that shot off in 3.4 seconds.

steven a smith

April 22nd, 2012
8:20 pm

Superman..AKA Dwight Howard could not have gotten that shot off…

steven a smith

April 22nd, 2012
8:21 pm

It does not matter. The Knicks would defeat the Hawks 4 games to 1 in a series anyway…

deddeee

April 22nd, 2012
8:24 pm

What happened was that the Hawks had to hit the Knicks in the mouth, which they did, but then they forgot that the Knicks had and other elite teams always do have some weights inside those jock straps, if you know what I mean, and the Hawks seem to forget they have them too. MArvin should have driving to the basket on that miss where the Hawks got lucky and got the ball back and he should have taken a jumper knowing it was a 3.5 second played bothered by the Knicks for 1 second or so when that play began. Not enough time to dunk, no fouls would be called. Joe cannot dunk so he would had taken the jumper – and miss? It happens almost every time against elite teams, the Hawks lose those games because they let the other team get to them which results in bad shots, rushed shots, you name it.

Astro Joe

April 22nd, 2012
8:30 pm

Najeh, when the playmaker sets you up with an open shot, you have to take it. He (Joe) managed the double team to perfection. Surely even the most loyal Teague fans recognizes how differently he plays in the first half vs. the second half. Again, I’m not trying to slam the guy, especiallyafter an overall solid performance, Just highlighting a specific area where he must improve. Sometimes, a young player has deficiencies, irrespective of some previous perceived victimization or the ongoing bullying from the mean teammates.

Brian

April 22nd, 2012
8:36 pm

This game was just another sign that the Hawks can’t get it done when it matters. They lost the season series to Chicago, Miami, NY, Philly and Boston. Which means they should just forfeit their playoff spot and sit home because THEY WILL fail again. They always do. They’ve won about three or four good games all year and that’s it. The rest is just filler. Including the pointless wins over Orlando. That team isn’t top notch anymore, but fans act like the hawks have won the title when they beat Orlando.

The Hawks are failures. The only reason they’re in the playoffs is because the east is so weak. The hawks would be under .500 out west.

Fats OKelly

April 22nd, 2012
8:38 pm

We had little Spike Lee worried most of the game. That was worth something:)

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
8:43 pm

This game was just another sign that the Hawks can’t get it done when it matters. They lost the season series to Chicago, Miami, NY, Philly and Boston. Which means they should just forfeit their playoff spot and sit home because THEY WILL fail again. They always do. They’ve won about three or four good games all year and that’s it. The rest is just filler. Including the pointless wins over Orlando. That team isn’t top notch anymore, but fans act like the hawks have won the title when they beat Orlando.

The Hawks are failures. The only reason they’re in the playoffs is because the east is so weak. The hawks would be under .500 out west.
***

exactly what I’ve been saying for the last 3 months.

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
8:44 pm

Brian
April 22nd, 2012
8:36 pm

This game was just another sign that the Hawks can’t get it done when it matters . . . . That team isn’t top notch anymore . . . .
______________________

Uh, could you tell me exactly when it was that they were top notch?

Brian

April 22nd, 2012
8:46 pm

Note… They made the finals a few years ago. That’s more than we can say for this team since they’ve been in Atlanta. This team hasn’t even won a division title since 1994. Even Nique was a playoff failure by never getting anywhere.

DawgNole

April 22nd, 2012
8:52 pm

Brian
April 22nd, 2012
8:46 pm

Note… They made the finals a few years ago. That’s more than we can say for this team since they’ve been in Atlanta. This team hasn’t even won a division title since 1994. Even Nique was a playoff failure by never getting anywhere.
__________________________

Yes, Orlando did, but I thought he was referring to the Hawks. If not, my mistake.

Section 303

April 22nd, 2012
8:54 pm

I see two problems in this game. One, is free throw shooting. The Hawks are just leaving way too many points on the floor. Hurt them today.

Two, I do not think Josh Smith is playing well. He was not good Friday and today. He was matched up on three straight possessions in the first quarter with Josh Harrison (sp? The kid from Kentucky) and failed to score each time. Getting that favorable of a matchup, on three straight trips, and getting no points was costly.

Also, not sure what the F was going on before the timeout prior to the last shot. Everyone looked unsure. Lost nearly two seconds. Can’t happen next weekend.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

April 22nd, 2012
8:57 pm

How do you call a timeout before a last play and don’t even get a shot off?

Shame on Marvin. The idiot held onto the ball way too long before dribbling.

Pargo or Willie would’ve ethered NYK there. Instead, we went to freaking Marvin Williams. All he did today was knock down open shots he ALWAYS GETS. There’s no proof or evidence he will repeat this performance again this year. This game was an anomaly for him and he will fade into mediocrity after tonight

Slimjr

April 22nd, 2012
8:59 pm

Small ball against the Celts and its over in 4….

47

O'brien

April 22nd, 2012
9:01 pm

Najeh,

Doc Rivers is a much better coach than Woody, so I think Josh might struggle (agains) against the Celtics.

Against Josh, the ways to play him are 1) If he is trying to post up, reach inside and try to poke the ball away, especially since he has shaky handles 2) Mix in a few timely double teams 3) If he is facing up, play off him and entice him to take the jumper.

And Doc will make the necessary adjustments.