Atlanta Hawks vs. Mavericks: Game thread

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena.

The Hawks will be without Al Horford for at least the first round of the playoffs. This we know. It’s looking more like they could be without Zaza Pachulia. That’s the All-Star center and his backup not in the lineup versus the Celtics.

Horford, rehabbing from a torn left pectoral muscle, said he isn’t ready from a physical standpoint.

Pachulia, who will miss his seventh straight game with a sprained left foot, was wearing a walking boot when he left Philips Arena following shoot-around this morning. That’s something that he hasn’t been wearing the times I’ve seen him since suffering the injury against the Magic. Coach Larry Drew continues to term Pachulia as day-to-day. He is scheduled to be re-examined this weekend. The Hawks open the playoffs on Sunday.

I wanted to get a better idea of how the Hawks offense with differ without the two big men.

Drew made it clear this morning that it won’t be the first time they have played short-handed in such a way.

“We’ve been without both guys before,” Drew said. “We’ll just have to go out and play solid basketball, number one, and number two we’ll have to be prepared to make some adjustments. Not having your starting center and your backup center throws a monkey wrench into things but you have to keep moving forward. We hope and wish that we could have had a full squad this season, and at this point in the season, with injury being part of the game. You can’t sit around and mope about it. You have to keep moving forward and that’s what we plan to do.”

From a technical standpoint, the Hawks have been without one of their man scoring options without Horford. That has put more pressure on Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

“One thing I have tried to exploit, at least since I’ve been here, is putting [Horford] in more pick-and-pop situations,” Drew said. “I think he is one of the better pick-and-pop big men in our league. I’ve really tried to put him in more situations like that.”

While Pachulia wasn’t a primary scoring option, he knew when and how to get his points. It is his defense and rebounded that will be missed.

Without the two centers, the balance of scoring shifts according to Willie Green. That is why the Hawks’ deep bench has been such an asset this season.

“When you have Al, when you have Zaza, when you have those guys implementing your offense you are going to have a few guys dominate more – you are going to have Al, Joe and Josh. It’s going to take some shots away from other guys.

“Without those guys, you have to have substitution guys step up. It also creates a bigger role for Josh, creates a bigger role for Teague, creates a bigger role for Joe. Those three guys we are really leaning on to carry us in the starting lineup. The substitution guys can come in, get points, get some steals, create some ruckus on both ends of the floor. It’s a balance situation when you have guys in and guys out. You try to pick up the slack where you can.”

375 comments Add your comment

Rob

April 26th, 2012
6:03 pm

Rob

April 26th, 2012
6:06 pm

When Marvin stays in attack mode off the bench, and Teague is driving to the hoop aggressively, we are a completely different team. These two things need to happen consistently. Maybe brain transplants will help so they dont forget! Both have been aggressive and more productive as of late

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2012
6:14 pm

From last blog:

“Rod, you don’t want Blatche on any team you care about.”

Trust me I would take him before Marvin anyday. Sometimes your surroundings dictate who you are a player. especially for guys right out of high school. It’s obvious that Washington has no team leaders or coaches that are respected. Notice how the malcontent Javale McGee has gone to Denver, and you have not seen any of those stupid plays since. George Karl, aint having it. Blatche just needs new scenery.

“And I still don’t understand the draft discussion relative to Marvin. After a player’s rookie contract, his draft status is as relevant as your high school GPA when you interview for a job after graduating college.”

Totally untrue. If Marvin Williams or Greg Odom are not drafted so high in the draft, they never get that second contract. Teams have much more patience with high round draft picks than they do with lower picked players. Marvin never makes 8 mil per season toady if he were not drafted #2 in the draft.

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2012
6:15 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
6:18 pm

FTPB

“Simple – No College. Two rookie coaches in the NBA. (a classic know-it-all!)”

Kenyon Martin played 4 years in colleges and still doesn’t have an offensive game. Al Jefferson came straight out of high school, same year as Josh, and is one of the most fundamentally sound post players in the league.

The idea that college makes players better is the biggest myth in basketball. The only people who are benefited by players going to college are NBA GMs who get more game tape to properly evaluate players.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
6:21 pm

FTPB

“Count me among those who don’t see the significance in tonight’s game. I doubt that any series defeat will be excused due to lack of home court advantage in hindsight.”

Haha. It’s not about after the fact excuses. It’s about what gives them a better chance to win going in. If excuses are the focus, not having Al and possibly Zaza is a much more valid excuse than home court.

In 2008, the Hawks were worse and the Celtics were better and the Hawks won all three home games in the series. This year, the Hawks are a nearly .700 home team and barely over .500 on the road. The Celtics are over .700 at home and below .500 on the road. Yeah, the intensity and what not changes in the playoffs, but it’s not like home court is irrelevant.

TMACfan

April 26th, 2012
6:22 pm

LETS GET THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
6:23 pm

SWEET CHRISTMAS!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
6:26 pm

People have been talking up Shawn Marion as a DPOY candidate. Will be interesting to see how he handles Joe.

terrell

April 26th, 2012
6:27 pm

Cant wait to see LD’s starting lineup and bench rotations without Zaza. Might serve him well, not having as many players to put in the WRONG situations. lol. Get well soon Zaza.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 26th, 2012
6:33 pm

Najeh

OH! OK … One thing is true, Josh has improved each and every year. I’m just glad he is on my team. However, will you admit that Josh would have benefited from a proven and successful – Elite type coach?

As it relates to fundamental tendencies like giving the ball to your PG and, filling the lanes in transition and, shot selection, at this point in his short career.

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
6:34 pm

Co-sign Najeh about the college myth….Good stuff as always dude!

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
6:34 pm

Going to have up both Hawks/Mavs & NFL Draft up on these monitors tonight. Hawks game should be over by the time my Mighty STEELERS pick comes up.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
6:40 pm

“However, will you admit that Josh would have benefited from a proven and successful – Elite type coach?”

Totally agree with this. I just think players are generally more likely to get proven, successful, elite-type coaching in the NBA than in college. I think even an average NBA coach like LD does more and knows more about fundamentals of the game than most college coaches do. If you replaced LD with, say, Mark Fox or Paul Hewitt, I am almost certain this team would be worse.

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
6:40 pm

Darn wish the Falcons could have drafted RG3!

This dude has 4.3 speed with a cannon arm and a 3.67 GPA in political science!

The Redskins will be pleased…

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
6:42 pm

Atlanta will be looking for a QB in about 2-3 years…

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2012
6:47 pm

Slimjr,

No. Remember wev’e got Matty Ice. The guy who can’t complete a pass over 15 yards. LOL

Chris Vivlamore

April 26th, 2012
6:49 pm

Jannero Pargo is out tonight with sore back.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
6:50 pm

Pargo being out = more Kirk at PG. SMGDMFH

RG3 will play Vick twice a season. Those games will be worth the price of admission.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 26th, 2012
6:54 pm

Men -vs- Boys!

” I think even an average NBA coach like LD does more and knows more about fundamentals of the game than most college coaches do. If you replaced LD with, say, Mark Fox or Paul Hewitt, I am almost certain this team would be worse.” -Najeh-
____________

You digress. The argument that College is overrated as it relates to success in the NBA has been made. However, even there, I must add, the college players for the most part do not have NBA ready bodies nor mindsets born from basic maturity.

So, If we skip college all together, then you can’t come back and insert Paul Hewitt, Mark Fox and the Lon Krugers’ of the world. Let’s stay with the college is irrelevant argument and just simply compare Larry Drew to the Phil Jackson’s and Larry Brown’s of the NBA.

Fair Enough, Najeh?

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
6:57 pm

Pargo out? Shoot!

“RG3 will play Vick twice a season. Those games will be worth the price of admission.”

For Sure!! Nationally televised games to boot!!

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 26th, 2012
6:59 pm

Najeh

Off topic but:

Do you like the Asante Samuel signing, without doing anything big on the D-Line?
What do you think about the approval for the New Dome Stadium with a retractable roof?

I like the last one a whole lot. IDK, if Asante will make an impact if our D-Line is as is – terrible. I saw NO penetration or QB’s under pressure last year and, feel Abraham should have been let go of. Ray Edwards is awesome against the run though, against t he pass, Ray is irrelevant.

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
7:02 pm

Iv’e said it before and I’ll say it again: Matty Ice = Vanilla Ice.

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:08 pm

“No. Remember wev’e got Matty Ice. The guy who can’t complete a pass over 15 yards. LOL”

I never understood the hate for Matt Ryan, but I guess it’s the same reason why people hated Vick(I love both, no homo).

Matt Ryan stats:

61.3 completion percentage 4,177 total yards 92.2 QB rating

He was top 8 in the league in total yards and top 10 in QB rating. He’s just got to get over that playoff hump. I agree that he must perform in the playoffs this year, but not many QBs have success within their first 4 years.

I think he’ll have a big year in 2012(baring injury).

If you’re an ATL fan, you should cheer for your team if they win.

As DawgNole said:

Negativity will go away if they win. If the negativity stays with some people no matter what, then you find who are the trolls.

TMACfan

April 26th, 2012
7:09 pm

Is anyone gonna watch the NFL draft today????

GO STEPHEN HILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
7:11 pm

Browns trade with Vikes for 3rd pick, also get a 3rd rounder

Astro Joe

April 26th, 2012
7:11 pm

Rod, I’m pretty sure that Marvin averaged 14 in his contract year. There is not a GM in the league that would not offer a contract to a 23 year-old player who just averaged 14 as the team’s 4th or 5th option. Not one. Unless, of course, that player was engaged in some criminal enterprise.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 26th, 2012
7:11 pm

“Jannero Pargo is out tonight with sore back.” -ChrisV-
_______

This is the same reoccurring injury that caused Pargo to be out for what 2-3 weeks last time. Or, was that Green? Who had an appendectomy? Oh well … just forget it. I’m confused with all these injuries.

I was gonna’ say that Pargo had more than a sore back last time. After getting more info, I diagnosed him with bilateral sciatica due to the groin pain and hamstring weakness complaints. That is why it took so long to come back from, a sore back makes it sound so minimal, when it really is more serious and nagging.

I just forgot who had what? Errrrrr!!!

Stop with all these injuries – please! Coach – stop practicing these guys and just give them IV Fluids and Rest!!! Leave Them Alone!!! They already know the 5ive plays you got up your sleeve!

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
7:12 pm

Rumor has it that the browns want Richardson

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:12 pm

“Do you like the Asante Samuel signing, without doing anything big on the D-Line?”
drmaryb

I have to cut in here…

The draft has not happened, yet. They’ll most likely pick up a DT the second round. Asante was just the right place for the right price. The Falcons will be an above average team this year and have a great chance to win the division.

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
7:15 pm

Hey Sautee your the stat guy! Answer this, what is the Falcons record against the winners last 11 games(span of 2 seasons 2010 and 2011)? Include playoff losses.. Hide the children cause it wont be pretty…

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:15 pm

“I like the last one a whole lot. IDK, if Asante will make an impact if our D-Line is as is – terrible. I saw NO penetration or QB’s under pressure last year and, feel Abraham should have been let go of. Ray Edwards is awesome against the run though, against t he pass, Ray is irrelevant.”

It’s hard to put pressure on a QB when you rush three guys third and long. Mike Nolan will instantly improve that team by incorporating blitz packages. He will make the defense top ten. Book it.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
7:16 pm

“the college players for the most part do not have NBA ready bodies nor mindsets born from basic maturity.”

I agree that some high school kids are not ready, either physically or mentally, and of course for them going to college is the right move. I just don’t agree with the idea that going to college necessarily makes you a better basketball player. Most of the examples cited of players who “should have gone to college” are players whose talent was overrated from the start, like Kwame Brown, who would have just been exposed in college instead of in the pros. Every year, there are 5 star recruits straight out of the McDonalds All American Game who are average at best in college. That’s what the Kwames of the world likely would have been. I don’t think Kwame would have improved in college any more than he did as a Wizard. I just think NBA GMs would have realized he sucked and been smart enough not to spend #1 overall picks on him.

“Do you like the Asante Samuel signing, without doing anything big on the D-Line?”

Asante is a good player, but he is a zone corner who likes to gamble. If they don’t have a good pass rush, he’s going to get burned on more of those gambles. It is a good trade but they really should follow it up by getting more help on the line.

“What do you think about the approval for the New Dome Stadium with a retractable roof?”

I didn’t know it got approved already. I thought they were just seeking approval. I am generally against the general public subsidizing billionaires whining because they can’t make as much money as other billionaires. I would actually be more sympathetic to the DASG if they made a similar claim, since more profitable teams can spend more money on player salaries. A higher profit margin would make absolutely no difference to the Falcons because there is a hard salary cap. All it would do is help pay for Arthur Blank’s great-grandchildren’s college education.

At least they are mostly using taxes collected from out of state people, but even then, there are more pressing problems in this city and the Dome is fine. I would think they can build more luxury boxes at a fraction of the cost if that’s all this is about.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
7:17 pm

I’m also a fan of the Mike Nolan hire. He has been successful everywhere he has been and he probably will be here too. Maybe not immediately, since he is a 3-4 guy and this team has 4-3 personnel, but definitely by next season.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
7:18 pm

The Browns lost the draft already.

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2012
7:20 pm

“I never understood the hate for Matt Ryan, but I guess it’s the same reason why people hated Vick(I love both, no homo).

Matt Ryan stats:

61.3 completion percentage 4,177 total yards 92.2 QB rating

He was top 8 in the league in total yards and top 10 in QB rating. He’s just got to get over that playoff hump. I agree that he must perform in the playoffs this year, but not many QBs have success within their first 4 years.”

It’s not negativity it’s truth. I am a Falcon season ticket holder, I have seen every game he has played in since we drafted him, and since we drafted Vick. Matt Ryan is a game manager. He is the present version of Chad Pennington. He just happened to get drafted by a team who has put a huge amount of talent around him. Matt Ryan has 10 time the talent around him that Mike Vick did. All those stats you quote, and he has done absolutley nothing in the playoffs. He can’t throw the deep ball accurately, thats a fact. He’s got one of the best recieving corps, one of the best tight ends, and one of the best running backs statistically in the league, and the offense still struggles. He has no pocket presence, and can’t extend plays. He is a average quarterback, who has been billed to be great. No points in the playoffs against the Giants. LOL

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
7:21 pm

Mr Blank, you should have hired Lovie Smith when you had the chance!

Its been 8 years and 3 rookie Head coaches since you won a playoff game with Professor Dan Reeves men! sigh….

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:22 pm

“Hey Sautee your the stat guy! Answer this, what is the Falcons record against the winners last 11 games(span of 2 seasons 2010 and 2011)? Include playoff losses.. Hide the children cause it wont be pretty…”

In 2010, the Falcons were 3-4 against winning teams.
In 2011, the Falcons were 1-6 against winning teams.

Yes. They declined in 2011. Yet, they did quite well in 2010.

Luke Cage

April 26th, 2012
7:23 pm

Sadly stats in this pass happy, can’t touch the QB, can’t touch the WR, Fantasy league are often inflated because the game has changed so much, so we have to put the value of a QB in games won in the playoffs & Super Bowl, thats how you have to measure them now. Just my opinion.

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
7:24 pm

Thanks for the ‘nimbers”! Dam…..

Rod from College Park

April 26th, 2012
7:29 pm

“Rod, I’m pretty sure that Marvin averaged 14 in his contract year. There is not a GM in the league that would not offer a contract to a 23 year-old player who just averaged 14 as the team’s 4th or 5th option. Not one. Unless, of course, that player was engaged in some criminal enterprise.”

Yeah, that why no other GM in the NBA will trade for him. He has been mentioned in trade rumors numerous times, and no other GM makes the move. Marvin never gets the deal he got with the Hawks for 5 years with a player option at 8 mil per from no other GM in the league except the Hawks. Hawks gave him that deal to basically save face, and based strictly on potential, as Rick Sund said.

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:29 pm

“It’s not negativity it’s truth. I am a Falcon season ticket holder, I have seen every game he has played in since we drafted him, and since we drafted Vick. Matt Ryan is a game manager. He is the present version of Chad Pennington. He just happened to get drafted by a team who has put a huge amount of talent around him. Matt Ryan has 10 time the talent around him that Mike Vick did. All those stats you quote, and he has done absolutley nothing in the playoffs. He can’t throw the deep ball accurately, thats a fact. He’s got one of the best recieving corps, one of the best tight ends, and one of the best running backs statistically in the league, and the offense still struggles. He has no pocket presence, and can’t extend plays. He is a average quarterback, who has been billed to be great. No points in the playoffs against the Giants. LOL”

Well, I can tell you’re a complete hater or liar… and probably haven’t watched a game since Vick left. Matt Ryan runs no huddle and has won many come from behind games. He’s one of the top QBs with that stat. Mike Vick has not lasted a whole season without injury since he’s come back. All you’re going by is speculation. Yet, numbers don’t lie. His QB rating, total yards, and turnovers are all more than Matt Ryan’s. He’s more of a game manager than him. Just because he can make some great plays, doesn’t make him better. He can’t finish games. I’m a huge Vick fan, but I’m no homer either. Vick has his pluses and so does Matt Ryan. I don’t think he would do better with this talent.

Yes. He had a couple bad playoff games. Hardy har. At least he makes it. And it sure isnt because of his defense or offensive line.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
7:29 pm

“Sadly stats in this pass happy, can’t touch the QB, can’t touch the WR, Fantasy league are often inflated because the game has changed so much, so we have to put the value of a QB in games won in the playoffs & Super Bowl, thats how you have to measure them now. ”

Very true.

Ryan’s stats look great when you measure them up against the league in 1995. Nowadays, when rookies come in the league throwing for over 7.5 yards per attempt and racking up 40+ total TDs and 4000+ total yards, his stats are decent, but nothing special. The less-than-great stats are not a problem if he lives up to his nickname when the bright lights come on, but he hasn’t done that either. Gotta do one or the other to live up to the draft status and contract.

Anyway, this is the year for him. Can’t blame Mularkey anymore, final year for Tony G (who is much more vital to Ryan’s success than he gets credit for), Julio has a year under his belt, proven DC on the staff, he’s about to turn 27, and there’s a good chance they will bolster the O-line at some point in the draft. All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. If he’s going to take the next step, it’s gotta be this year.

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:30 pm

DawgNole

April 26th, 2012
7:30 pm

Big Lou
April 26th, 2012
7:08 pm

I never understood the hate for Matt Ryan, but I guess it’s the same reason why people hated Vick (I love both, no homo).
____________________

I believe much of the hate on Ryan is the result of his failure in the playoffs. It’s similar to the Hawks situation in that fans want to see victory in the BIG games–when it REALLY counts–and that’s in the postseason.

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:32 pm

By the way, I have season tickets, too. Let me know what section you’re in so we can meet up and debate this over an expensive beer.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 26th, 2012
7:32 pm

“There is not a GM in the league that would not offer a contract to a 23 year-old player who just averaged 14 as the team’s 4th or 5th option.”

There are also very few GMs in the league who would bid against themselves to give $8 million a year to their 4th or 5th option when they could give him a qualifying offer and make him find his own contract on the open market that would almost surely have paid him significantly less. The contract isn’t even as bad as the fact that they had the right to match any offer and still bid against themselves. If they could make Josh go get his own contract as a restricted free agent, they sure as hell could have done the same for Marvin.

drmaryb.(*_*).

April 26th, 2012
7:32 pm

Najeh

Thanks a lot! IDK about the new dome’s financing issues. I agree, I don’t want my tax monies paying for Blank’s kids college and their kids and so on. IDK about the new dome’s finance plan, but I don’t see why they just don’t replace the soft roof with a retractable one and upgrade the boxes.

I go to a lot of games there and like the current location, myself.
___________

I think T.D. is gonna take a TE with that first pick @ 55. And, probably get a DT in a much later round. Maybe a DT from wiavers on down the road.
________

Good basketball stuff too, re: Kwame, et.al. thanks again.

Slimjr

April 26th, 2012
7:33 pm

17th in yard completion is nothing special…Laying a goose egg against the 27th ranked defense on National TV is.

Big Lou

April 26th, 2012
7:36 pm

“I believe much of the hate on Ryan is the result of his failure in the playoffs. It’s similar to the Hawks situation in that fans want to see victory in the BIG games–when it REALLY counts–and that’s in the postseason.”

Not when you have people shouting noodle arm, or saying Vick would have been better. That’s just plain BS.

I understand Matt Ryan needs to step up this year, but I watch football hardcore. I know it takes years to develope a QB–great rookie season or not.

Najeh

Cam Newton had almost the same amount of turnovers as touchdowns. He lost more games then won. He’s way over hyped. I think RG3 will be a beast, though.