Atlanta Hawks: Exhibition opens with 92-79 win over Heat

Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena. Here is my game story from exhibition opener against Heat.

The Hawks defeated the defending NBA champion Heat Sunday.

Yes, it’s just a preseason game. But it’s a good start for these new-look Hawks who are implementing a new style, with different offensive and defensive schemes, on a roster that currently has 14 new players.

Josh Smith scored 21 points and newcomers Lou Williams (18) and DeShawn Stevenson (11) were in double-figures in the Hawks’ 92-79 victory over the Heat at Philips Arena. The Heat did play with three of the Big Four with LeBron James (24 minutes), Chris Bosh (23 minutes) and Ray Allen (27 minutes). Dwyane Wade did not play.

The Heat led 26-19 after the first quarter. However, the Hawks outscored the Heat in all three remaining quarters, including by nine points in both the second and fourth stanzas.

“We were a little rusty early on,” Smith said. “After the first quarter, we tightened it up on the defensive end, got some stops, pushed the ball pretty good.”

Jeff Teague started at point guard, but coach Larry Drew used Williams at the position for much of his time in the game. Williams hit 5 of 6 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. The Hawks collectively shot 38.1 percent (8 of 21) from beyond the arc.

“I was very happy with the way he led the team,” Drew said. “He was a point for us tonight. In the past he’s played a lot off the ball where he’s been predominately a scorer. He’s been playing some point guard through training camp and I wanted to use him in that capacity tonight. He was aggressive when he had to be. He got us into an offense when we needed to be. I was extremely, extremely happy with how well he defended.”

Smith and Teague said the Hawks were “rusty” for their first game of a new season. New players are still learning – and getting comfortable with – the new schemes.

“A lot of it is just implementing our whole system and being comfortable with it and not having to think about it but it’s your natural reaction,” Kyle Korver said. “Are we forcing high? Are we forcing low? What is our coverage going to be? I’m speaking for myself, I’m still thinking. That just takes reps. This is a different system. We have a lot of new guys, getting used to a lot of new faces. It’s just going to take some time.”

Bosh led all scorers with 22 points. He scored 11 of the Heat’s first 13 points of the second half as they temporarily took a one-point lead, 58-57, early in the third quarter. It would be their last lead. The Hawks went on a 14-6 run to start the fourth quarter, building a 12-point lead, and cruised.

Drew said he was pleased with the Hawks defensive energy, the team’s effort defending the paint and contesting shots after the first quarter and the chemistry. He wanted to see more than the 19 assists but said that will come as the offense clicks.

“My main objective with this team is to get them in a defensive-mind presence every time they step out on the court,” Drew said.

At one point during the game, Drew was shouting instructions when Smith told the coach ‘We’ve got this.’ The forward said he and his teammates must learn to play instinctually.

“We want to get the guys some confidence to play defense by themselves, try to figure out what plays will work for us instead of always having to look for guidance,” Smith said. “We need to play in the flow and not always have to look to him when we are in a half-court set.”

The Hawks had a starting lineup of Al Horford, Stevenson, Teague, Korver and Smith. He said the group will likely change for the next exhibition game, Wednesday at San Antonio.

Keith Benson, John Jenkins, Carldell Johnson, Isma’il Muhammad and Mike Scott did not play. Drew said that was by design with a roster of 19 players.

Zaza Pachulia (groin) and Devin Harris (knee) did not dress out for the game. Both have been limited practice participants during training camp. Drew said he was “almost certain” each would play during the exhibition season.

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

* Starting lineup for exhibition opener

* Practice report: Starting lineup preview?

* Korver had eventful journey to Atlanta

* All 19 won’t dress for exhibition opener

* Morrow and Muhammad reunited

* Hawks react to NBA’s anti-flopping rule

* Q and A with DeShawn Stevenson

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

113 comments Add your comment

BC

October 7th, 2012
6:05 pm

Round ball. Yea !

S;imjr

October 7th, 2012
6:13 pm

Uh Oh Teague you in trouble already..Watch out for those splinters..
Looks like Drew found his new favorite pt. guard and it only took one preseason game?

Darn it!!!!!

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
6:18 pm

settle down grasshopper

The Fal-cons opponents are 39-57 combined.. Yea a bunch of nobody’s..

6-0 going into Philly. At the end 13-3…

And there’s the Playoffs… PLAYOFFS??????

Mr Blank must be so proud of his investment into this schedule? Hmmmm

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
6:32 pm

1-0, up next the dreaded Spurs who own the Hawks for decades…

C’mon men, turn this ish around!

terrell

October 7th, 2012
6:34 pm

Not good for Teague. LD has his new Jamal. smh

Grandad

October 7th, 2012
6:35 pm

LD:
” My main objective with this team
is to get them in a defensive-mind presence
every time they step out on the court ”

Why is it his 3rd yr and he`s “”-trying-”"
to get them into … [defensive-mind presence] ?

For any coach worth his salt:
* This would have been a done deal 3 yrs ago when he got the job.
* New players would have expected no less.
* Finally;
a coach doesn`t “”-try-”" to “”-get-”‘ players to do anything !
** They do what you say or:
Two Choices = **highway or **bench

LD must quit trying to coerce his players and start
demanding Excellence in whatever area of concern he may have.

Another thing;
Josh hollering at the HC toward the bench.
Can you see Josh doing that to:
‘Pop’, JSloan, Auerbach, … I think not.
Just another case of “Uncle Larry”.
____________________________________________

On the bright side !

C-Viv … You are the man !

I like our players & I like our team.
I think our guards will be able to pressure;
both the ball and the pass.
____________________________________________

LD = 30 games

MattP

October 7th, 2012
6:36 pm

I am really curious as to what will happen when Harris becomes health. Will he play 2 guard alot or will drew play him at point. If Drew plays him at point I think Teague might get sent to the back of the PG rotation.

Jenkins will not see any minutes this season. This is a guard heavy roster and we all know Drew hates rookies.

terrell

October 7th, 2012
6:36 pm

So in other words, Josh told LD to stfu. lol

Ken Strickland

October 7th, 2012
6:53 pm

The Hawks exceeded everyones expectations after losing Horford so early in the season. The starting lineup that played the 2nd half of the season was PG=JTeague, SG-KHinrich, SF-JJohnson, C-ZPachulia, PG-JTeague. AHorford’s return, assuming he merely duplicates his 2010 production, will more than replace the production we got from Pachulia and Hinrich combined.

And LWilliams will replace Pargo and Green’s combined production. I guarantee you that the combined production of whoever starts for us at SG and SF will equal or exceed JJ’s overall production. I see this yrs team eventually becoming a much better OFF team than any we’ve had in the past decade of so.

I don’t see us falling off all that much defensively, if at all, as soon as everyone gets on the same page. There has to be an adjustment and learning period under fire when you return only 5 players from last yrs season opening 15 man roster, including only 3 starters.

Big Ray

October 7th, 2012
7:25 pm

LOL @ SlimJr …..

But you’ve as good a chance at being right as not….

Would not suprise me to see Lou take over at pg for us MANY a night. Especially if he can defend his position adequately.

Big Ray

October 7th, 2012
7:28 pm

The only way Teague keeps his spot is if he defends well and can stay consistent on offense…keeping the team in their offense, being aggressive, not missing up close to the basket.

No time for fragile egos or lost dogs.

Harris and Lou come with inner dogs installed (especially Lou).

Teague may have been told that the job is his….umm… to lose .

But we’ll see. One preseason game…we need not say what the meaning of it is…

cpsman_atlanta

October 7th, 2012
7:30 pm

Screw the Hawks. Once Atlanta Spirit Group is gone, then I will care again.

Buddy Grizzard

October 7th, 2012
7:33 pm

Astro Joe

October 7th, 2012
7:44 pm

I assume no one will balk between Teague, Harris or Lou starting or finishing. If you like one, there really isn’t too much reason not to like the others.

Seriously, Devin will likely be the odd man out… as long as Teague doesn’t tuck his tale and hide like a scared puppy when things get tough.

jlewis

October 7th, 2012
7:45 pm

Thank you, Teague was this bad last year on defense, he can not guard anybody. I want the Hawks to succeed, but all the rage went toward one guy when others were horrible. Teague is a combo guard, play him some point, but he is not a true point and he can’t guard the one.

Section 303

October 7th, 2012
8:03 pm

I was disappointed Jenkins did not play. Did not understand why. Drew acted almost giddy after the Hawks selected Jenkins. Why would Jenkins not get any time in a preseason game?

Josh Smith looks even slimmer than last season. No doubt that guy does his work in the offseason. He probably took too many jumpers today, but he also attacked the basket several times. He also took over as the final Hawk introduced during introductions. Was weird not hearing “J-J-J-J-Joe Johnson!”

Horford was terrific. Guy always plays well.

Teague….he was alright. Things got sloppy at the end of the game. The Hawks had three turnovers in a row that were totally unforced. I as far as I’m concerned, Teague has to prevent that. Demand the ball and run the show. Other than that, he was decent. I’m betting there will be nights Harris is better.

Korver was solid.

I like Tolliver. Was surprised to see him look so comfortable shooting three’s. He played hard. Tolliver should make the team.

Ivan is Ivan. That guy is just a bad a$$.

High-sider

October 7th, 2012
8:03 pm

Buddy Grizzard,

You are an excellent writer but what’s up with all the Teague-bashing after the first preseason game? Let’s not forget what Teague did last [regular] season in his first year as a starting point guard [2011-2012 NBA Regular Season: 12.6ppg, 4.9apg, 2.4rpg, 0.476FG%, 0.757FT%, 0.551TS% and 0.514eFG%].

P.S. Teague also started all 66 [regular season] games. Now, that’s what I call durability and dependability.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/t/teaguje01.html

prison mike

October 7th, 2012
8:16 pm

The inside defense looks like it could take some hits. We will be competitive buy may fall short of the playoffs. The perimeter defense has to be top notch if we want to make the playoffs.

DS looks like a decent stop gap at 2 guard. Still have to see how Zaza, Horf, JS goes and who the guards will be. There has to be a young athletic big out there we can trade for.

High-sider

October 7th, 2012
8:20 pm

Buddy Grizzard,

Believe it or not, Jeff Teague finished the 2011-2012 NBA regular season eighth in Total Steals [106] and tenth in Steals Per Game [1.6]. Jeff Teague is more than an adequate defender.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2012_leaders.html

Buddy Grizzard

October 7th, 2012
8:28 pm

High-sider, it’s not bashing. Teague’s performance as a defender is completely what I expected. He looks exactly how he looked in the playoffs against Boston, which was a major contributing factor to the series loss.

Buddy Grizzard

October 7th, 2012
8:30 pm

By the way, Johan Petro looks like the second coming of Jason Collins. That means he will play 20 minutes per game.

Harpie

October 7th, 2012
8:45 pm

Larry Drew is the World’s Worst Coach, and he will take this season’s Hawks team down, the same way he has in the past. What a waste of talent, to put an idiot in charge…

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

October 7th, 2012
8:48 pm

hittman jamillione

October 7th, 2012
8:59 pm

this fool ld starting off f^cking up jj should start,he did the same thing with teague and hinrich busterazz… kyle korver nor deshawn stevenson should start over jj dude a stud, this fool the same reason jc2 got traded . he’s worse than woody with this not play the rookie ish

The Truth

October 7th, 2012
9:05 pm

“If Teague wants to be the starting point guard for this team, he needs to start studying game film of Lou Williams fighting through picks.” – BG

This was an observation I wrote about Teague last season after a loss against Detroit. I went on to point the finger at coaching as well for allowing this “bad behavior” to fester for so long. Yes, Teague should study film but not by himself. Coaches and/or instructors should assist him in overcoming his shortcomings. I expect Teague to be a “fast learner” when the errors of his ways are pointed out to him.

Hopefully the new assistant coach Kenny Atkinson can help him in this area.

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
9:07 pm

Mike Woodson for Mayor of Nueava York!!!

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
9:08 pm

Lou> Teague.. It maybe a wrap…Larry loves his guards who can shoot the rock…For real

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
9:13 pm

Grandad, Coach Larry Drew is coaching for his job! For sure…He’s no dummy.. He is on a short leash..

But like I have stated before Larry Drew = round peg/square hole..He should not lead men, but assist them..

Get it? [ASSIST] them…. hahahahah

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
9:21 pm

Teague is a very talented guard, but he seems to give off this vibe that he is not really giving his all on defense at times. Also its obvious he does not understand the game as well as say CP3..Not in the same universe there…

I’m glad his [nimbers] do not reflect what the eyeballs appear to see at times..

And his jumper needs much improvement from all over the court..But he has a terrible release that should have been corrected a long time ago by his father or coaches…Brutal release.Just flat out ugly!

leonljustice

October 7th, 2012
9:26 pm

Ready this article has really upset me. Teague has earned the right to lead this team and once again our great coach has screwed him. Yup not looking good.

darrell starks

October 7th, 2012
9:28 pm

You guys are straight up dum bashing Teague, 1st preason game, SMH

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

October 7th, 2012
9:30 pm

Teague is the best PG on this team, and is all so going into his second year of starting.

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

darrell starks

October 7th, 2012
9:35 pm

Lebron James 5 -12 with 10points

Josh Smith 8 -17 with 21points

I guess Josh Smith is a better player than King James ?

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

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
9:42 pm

Larry looks at Lou and says that was me 30 years ago..

O’boy.

steven a smith

October 7th, 2012
10:18 pm

John Jenkins is a bigger JJ Reddick. John Jenkins should “NOT START.” He is a liability on the defensive end of the Basketball Court.

steven a smith

October 7th, 2012
10:20 pm

Lou Williams is the “Best PG on the Atlanta Hawks basketbll Team. Devin Harris is the 2nd best PG on the Atlanta Hawks Basketball team, PERIOD, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!!!!

High-sider

October 7th, 2012
10:20 pm

Steve Nash [is] a Laker. GSW vs. LAL is on right now.

Ken Strickland

October 7th, 2012
10:31 pm

DHarris is a veteran PG, and former Allstar, that was Utah’s 2nd scoring option and 2nd leading scorer last yr. Yet, his overall numbers weren’t as good as Teagues, who was in his 1st yr as a starter and the teams 3rd or 4th scoring option. With a yr of experience under his belt, and the additionaI confidence gained, I wouldn’t count him out on winning the starting PG battle.

You can never tell with LDrew, but I believe he likes the firepower LWilliams brings off the bench, much like he had with JCrawford, except, unlike Jamal, Lou can actually be effective playing PG and SG.

Rusty

October 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

We have some idiotson here who are always downgrading JT. He is by far the best defensive pg on this team. It Is shame that we have that idiot LD leading this team.

Slimjr

October 7th, 2012
11:00 pm

“At one point during the game, Drew was shouting instructions when Smith told the coach ‘We’ve got this.’ The forward said he and his teammates must learn to play instinctually.”

“We want to get the guys some confidence to play defense by themselves, try to figure out what plays will work for us instead of always having to look for guidance,” Smith said. “We need to play in the flow and not always have to look to him when we are in a half-court set.”

Wow, maybe Josh should coach this team? lol…

Michael

October 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

I really hope the rookies get to play next game.

Rusty

October 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

Steven Smith you are the dumbest blogger on this site,no doubt about it.

Rusty

October 7th, 2012
11:12 pm

What coach in the nba wouldn’t play there rookies in a exibition game .

Ken Strickland

October 7th, 2012
11:44 pm

Najeh Davenpoop

October 7th, 2012
11:47 pm

I didn’t watch the game, but with that said, it is a preseason game. The performance of any given player or players is no more indicative of what will happen in the regular season than the final score.

Haven’t checked the schedule but I hope they don’t have any Sunday games until February.

Harry Hawk

October 7th, 2012
11:52 pm

Someone’s linking to Bleacher Report?

Christamighty, we’re really grasping at straws.

The Hawks can be a decent team this year. That’s about it. We need to get something for Josh ASAP.

I was There...

October 8th, 2012
12:10 am

at the game.

Teague got some deflections and steals but mainly he was just setting people up. He hit a three and when he drove really heard the defense had no choice but to foul him….AND he played a lot of minutes so y’all chill.

Lou had 18 (so much for Joe) and was VERY efficient doing it. Drew a foul from the three point line using a pump fake and got to the line tons of times. He’s familiar with the offense b/c Eddie Jordan (Princeton Offense) ran something similar when he coached Philly for a season (Lou started at PG that season) so it doesn’t surprise me that he looked so comfortable running Drew’s sets.

Honestly we really didn’t run more than we did last season. It’s basically the same offense with more pick n’ rolls and more ppl running of screens (Morrow/korver)

Damion James (BEAST on defense/ Sieve on offense…his handle is worse than marvin’s and his jumper is no bueno….but MAN he’s such a beast defensively) LBJ wanted to elevate for a dunk but Damion wrapped him and kept him glued to the ground lol. Ususally Lebron just drags whoever along for the ride/and-1 but not damion haha.

James Anderson (I think he will stick BEAST defensively and Very good offensive player. Really smooth of the dribble and the jumper was on point tonight. He had a very nice flow to his game.)

James and Anderson caused havoc on the defensive end. Either one of the two were guarding LeBron when Smoove wasn’t (Smoove pretty much shut him down btw.)

Stevenson (hit two threes and a jumper) gave someone a nasty crossover as well. But you know what you get with him. Basically a spot up shooter who defends well. He came off a screen for a jumper and looked really good.

Korver – Surprised me defensively. Gives good effort snagged a few rebounds and of course the STROKE. He and Morrow were being doubled HARD on any and all catches off screens picks or whatever..

Morrow – wasn’t in a good rhythm Played solid aggressive D. And started to be aggressive on Offense in the second half…just couldn’t get anything to go.

Ivan was a grown man among sissies – nothing else need be said

Johan Petro – Waive him (Garbo) PLZ Danny WAIVE HIM Smh!!!

Josh – Beast

Horford – Boss

James Anderson, Damion James, Jeff Teague, and Of Course Josh & Al all were in the passing lanes wreaking havoc and getting steals.

Anthony Tolliver – Hit a three & had a put-back Didn’t really stand out, but didn’t disappoint either.

PPL Who didn’t play – Zaza, Mike Scott, Squeaky Johnson, John Jenkins, Devin Harris, Ishmail Muhammmed

I was There...

October 8th, 2012
12:21 am

Not Gonna Lie – Teague underwhelmed but Miami was giving him special attention (along With our Snipers Korver/Morrow). It was evident that he needed a pressure release in the starting unit (Stevenson doesn’t dribble much….just not his game). They Doubled him on EVERY pick n’ roll he ran trying to make him give up the rock. Having D-Harris in the backcourt with him would have put a stop to all that nonsense. But Teague didn’t seem rattled. He just looked for the open man & got people involved. Ho-Hum game from him but on a couple drives in the second half he turned on the jets and like I said, Miami had no choice but to foul.

I was There...

October 8th, 2012
12:25 am

Also Lou played mainly against Miami’s second unit while Teague played mainly against Miami’s Starting unit. so let’s not be so hasty with the judgement. Wit that being said, Like Teague, Pressure didn’t rattle Lou either and he performed really well.

I was There...

October 8th, 2012
12:38 am

You guys obviously haven’t watched the interviews on Hawks . com Teague said it & so did Devin Harris. Harris will be our Starting Shooting Guard! Sheesh!

He will also see minutes at PG but honestly with Lou, Teague, and Devin. It really doesn’t matter who brings it up & initiates the offense. They can all play off the ball.