Atlanta Hawks: Here come the Heat

Vivlamore reporting. Here is my story advancing the Heat game that will appear in the Friday edition of the AJC.

The Hawks are about to get fire tested.

For here come the Heat.

The defending NBA champions will give these new-look Hawks an indication of just where they stand early this season. With back-to-back dramatic victories, a short-handed road win over the Thunder and a comeback home victory over the Pacers, the Hawks have shown some resiliency. That resolve will be challenged against the Heat and their Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and a strong supporting cast.

“Certainly, Miami is as good as it gets,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “We’ll have to play a really solid game on both ends of the floor. I’m excited and anxious to see how our guys respond to the challenge.”

The Hawks (2-1) want to use the lessons learned from their first three games, including the season-opening loss to the Rockets where despite being outrebounded by a large margin they had a chance to win late.

“That would be a great identity for us to develop,” center Al Horford said the team’s resiliency. “We don’t want to have the reputation that we fold as a team. We are going to keep fighting. We are going to keep playing hard.”

The Heat (4-1), winners of three straight, enter with the Big Three all in the top 14 in the NBA is scoring average. James is fifth at 22.4 points, Wade is 12th at 20.4 and Bosh is 14th at 19.4. James is also tied for ninth in the league with 9.8 rebounds per game.

And the Heat have those rings.

Horford leads the Hawks with 17.7 points per game, tied for 29th in the NBA. However, the Hawks tout a team game, both offensively and defensively. They will need it against the Heat.

Drew said the Hawks match the Heat in their style of play. Both teams are going to look to push the ball in an up-tempo game. The Heat have speed and quickness and are excellent in the open court, especially with James and Wade, Drew said. So, how do you stop them?

Drew said the key will be limiting the Heat and their momentum plays. The Hawks can’t afford to let the Heat reel off points in bunches. The Pacers went on an 18-0 run against the Hawks Wednesday that left them bickering about the officiating and taking ill-advised shots. Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia were hit with technical fouls before the Hawks won the game with an 18-0 run of their own.

“We can’t respond to a run in a negative way,” Drew said. “We have to know how to mash runs and make sure that we maintain our focus. This game is a game of runs. They are a team that is very explosive. They have guys who can go off on any given night. We just have to make sure we go out and focus on what we have to do. Defensively we want to be solid. We want to play our style of ball, getting up and down and getting into an open-court game. We have to be smart with it. We have to be in an attack mode.”

The technical fouls came in the middle of the Pacers’ run that pushed their lead to 12 points. The Hawks managed to regain their focus and start their winning run. That won’t be so easy against the Heat.

Smith said he took responsibility for the call against him and addressed the team about it during a timeout.

“I let the officials get in my head a little bit,” Smith said. “It was a carryover affect. I let the team know that was on me. That was my bad. Everybody just closed our mouths and let our games speak for ourselves.”

Drew said he has yet to decide on a starting lineup against the Heat, who have won three straight against the Hawks. He he is still deciding whether to go with a smaller, quicker unit as he did against the Thunder or a bigger group as he did to match up against the Pacers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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124 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 8th, 2012
5:03 pm

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
5:13 pm

*[ F. T. P. B. ]*

R f C P

Rod I appreciate you at least acknowledging KKorv
is better than Marv.
Had you not done that, I would have given up.

Having coached, I`m accustomed to understanding
the game within the game.
Understanding the game is not just Black & White.
Basketball is filled with nuance, `tis more than blocks & steals.
95% of basketball is played w/o the ball.
80% of basketball is played away from the basketball.
Therefore, basketball is played within the Gray.

I contest that KKorv is known league-wide as a ” bad ” defender.
Admittedly he will never make the all-defense team.
Yet there is a quite a difference between being good/great—&—bad.
Of which KKorv is neither Great nor Bad.

Although, playing within the 80% [gray] area he is:
solid, smart, always in the right place, *hustles, accountable,
appears to be capt of the def when in the game, and …
he may very well be the best *boxer-outer on the team.
* 1. hustles – JoeJohnson – supposedly good to great defender;
never played hard on defense, never, made hustle plays,
took plays off, never boxed out, always out of pos.
yet – known league wide as a good to great defender.
* 2. boxer-outer – allows others to grab rebounds;;;
by holding his man off the boards !
____________________________________________

Rod;
I know you will come back with a good counter argument.

I respect your opinion.

However … I have rested my case.

Sam

November 8th, 2012
5:14 pm

We are gonna lose!

Sam

November 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

…but I would love it if we won!!

DS

November 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

Big lineup with Stephenson in place of Korver, so he can check Wade and put Smoove on Lebron. We can win this!

Just Joe

November 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

If the 3’s fall, you always got a chance. Hawks haven’t been hitting that shot so far (except for Stevenson).

Brian

November 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

If anyone doubts that Kyle Korver attracts attention, just go back and watch the inbounds play where Lou gets a dunk. Count how may players are on Korver…2, maybe even 3 guys jump to keep the ball out of his hands….result DUNK!

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

-sarcasm alert-

I think LD oughta start Toliver [guard LBJ],
and start DHarris [guard DWade],
in order to “mash those runs” early on.

27 and counting.
____________________________________________

Instead of always matching and countering everyone else;
why not establish an identity,
then make others counter-attack us ?

Sam

November 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

I think we need to mix the lineup some against the Heat.

Teague vs. Chalmers
Stevenson vs. Wade
Korver vs. Battier
Smith vs. James
Horford vs. Bosh

cwm

November 8th, 2012
5:24 pm

chris v.. could you write an article and tell us how the former hawks are doing …..

grimey

November 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

Hey c viv can u ask ld if he considering putting our rookies in the d league

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

November 8th, 2012
5:31 pm

F the Heat but I might go to the game and try and pull me a groupie. They come out in packs when Lebron comes to town.

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
5:49 pm

Brandon Leak ‏@Hometeam_BLeak
Hawks guard Jeff Teague says there’s a better chemistry with this year’s team

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

November 8th, 2012
5:51 pm

vava74

November 8th, 2012
5:58 pm

Come to Clyde’s world, where basketball is a mere pretext for short ranting spurts, t-shirt catch phrases and getting busy…

HoosierHawk

November 8th, 2012
6:08 pm

I agree that Korver is smart and usually in the right place but got drained on for that game tying 3 near the end of last nights game.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
6:12 pm

Imagine going to the game to hook up with Lebron and leaving with Clyde.

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
6:37 pm

HoosierHawk

The Hawks were in a zone on Stepnenson`s shot.

Indiana ran Stphnsn on a loop/flair cut,
Ind set a double screen using a pin + a flair [screens] -v- the zone.
Stphnsn actually came out too high;
KKorv was sagging [zoning] at the FT line/elbow area,
he recognized stephnsn coming out, but,
*note – [no one expected Stephnsn to take the shot]
did not close out strong,
Stephnsn caught and shot with quick release.
however, KKorv was there to contest.

My points:
1. shot was made against a zone.
2. KKorv could have closed out stronger
3. he was in pos
4. Stephnsn hit the shot
____________________________________________

-nuance-

The game within the game = 80%

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
6:40 pm

“F the Heat but I might go to the game and try and pull me a groupie. They come out in packs when Lebron comes to town.”

Meet me at the bar in the club section Clyde.

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
6:40 pm

HH

I`ll discriminate the loop flair cut if need be.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
6:43 pm

“Although, playing within the 80% [gray] area he is:
solid, smart, always in the right place, *hustles, accountable,
appears to be capt of the def when in the game, and …
he may very well be the best *boxer-outer on the team.”

The guy with the so called lowest basketball IQ on the team is the defensive caption of the team, and has been for the last couple of years. Everyone on the team will tell you that. Believe what you want Grandad.

O'Brien

November 8th, 2012
6:53 pm

Hawks need to bring their mental A game tomorrow, because we know the Heat will get the superstar calls.

Josh and the Hawks cannot get frustrated. They have to play through it. But this is the kind of game (imo) where LD needs to have his players back, and let the refs hear about it.

ag

November 8th, 2012
7:00 pm

Win or lose, when we watch the highlights on ESPN, they will be filled full of Heat highlights! Even if they lose, ESPN will try to dissect why they lost – and not focusing on the Hawks win.

doc

November 8th, 2012
7:08 pm

if korver was as bad on defense as some say then he wouldnt have played a minute for thibs in chicago. bottom line, the guy works at it, though he may not be as gifted at it. some we have had here as gunners only played and gave effort on one side of the ball. laughingly, in the face of the disdain for korver, that individual is still held in such high esteem without acknowledging his own limitation on display so many times at the phil. on the other hand that is all they see in korver who is definitely better than the god they still worship. blinders work in horses and work here on the blog as well it appears. maybe it is just the color of the horse. ;-)

High-sider

November 8th, 2012
7:19 pm

This is how you “clown” a defender who keeps playing “physical” even though the game [or contest] is already “academic.” Click on the link below. Hey, Mitt Romney and Karl Rove, I hope you [two] are reading this [post].

http://www.nba.com/video/games/clippers/2012/11/08/0021200064-jamal-crawford-dribbles-clippers.nba

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
7:25 pm

Still think LD and Woodson are best friends doc? LOL

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2012
7:26 pm

“Ok, with Miami basically cremating the Brooklyn Nets by 30 pts, do yall think we will do better than or worst than the Nets??”

The Hawks will lose but not by 30. They will keep it close for a while and then the Heat will put them away with a huge run in the late 3rd or 4th quarter. I am really just interested to see how they defend Wade and LeBron. There is nobody on this team who is even remotely well suited to guarding either one of them.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
7:27 pm

High-sider,

What’s up my brother. These Jamal Crawford haters are still in full effect. They hate to admit that they were wrong.

Ken Strickland

November 8th, 2012
7:28 pm

I wonder who LDrew will start at SF and SG against LeBron and DWade? Will he go with last nights starting lineup, or go strictly OFF and start Tolliver and/or Korver at SF and SG? If he uses intelligence rather than personal preferences, he’d definitely start last nights front line of Josh SF, Zaza C, and Horford PF.

We all know he’s going to start Korver, since he started him our 1st 2 gms even though he was an OFF and DEF liability.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
7:28 pm

“There is nobody on this team who is even remotely well suited to guarding either one of them.”

Yes there is. We have Kyle Korver. He tries harder than most guys in the NBA to let some tell it. LOL

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2012
7:30 pm

“Imagine going to the game to hook up with Lebron and leaving with Clyde.”

That was cold.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2012
7:34 pm

“if korver was as bad on defense as some say then he wouldnt have played a minute for thibs in chicago.”

Well, Thibs just signed Nate Robinson and continues to start Carlos Boozer, so it’s not like he hasn’t schemed his way around other bad defenders. I think he has enough confidence in his schemes to be able to hide players like that, the way the Hawks hid (or tried to hide) Bibby and Jamal.

Korver has been better on D in the first three games than he has been most of his career, but he has definitely been quite horrible nearly every time I have seen him play prior to this season.

Brian

November 8th, 2012
7:35 pm

I’m not so sure that Kyle gets beat on defense any more than any other player in the league….I’ve watched Kyle for a long time and the thing that I have seen is that when he does get beat, he’s actually disappointed in himself (slaps his hands in anger). Compare that to more athletic defenders when they get beat…they are just off to the other end of the floor. It seems as though this may actually draw attention to his defense and the perception is that he’s getting beat a lot.

doc

November 8th, 2012
7:38 pm

rod, never said they were best friends, never. you have misconstrued that one as well. so be ti if that is the type eprson you are.

i see that woody is still hurting from not getting the big pay bucks here when a guy could do it for a quarter of what he did it for. he should just be glad for where he is and see it that it worked well for him and he got his pay day. it didnt matter who it was, they werent going to pay him 4 mil a year ever again nor give him a raise for a job well done that he thought he was going to get and whined about for the last half of the season.

rod, i hate it for woody but management found a cheaper and complete replacement for him sitting right next to him and sent him packing. business is cruel. that is the bottom line. if it wasnt LD it would have been somebody for a lot less on the dollar than woody wanted. if you think the asg was going to pay woody what he wanted? then you are a whole lot not as smart as i think you are and give you credit for.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 8th, 2012
7:38 pm

If the Hawks go big against the Heat, they are going to have serious problems. The Heat go small full-time now. I don’t think Zaza can guard Chris Bosh, and Al will have a hard time guarding LeBron for a whole game (although he may be able to hold his own for a possession here and there). Their best bet is probably to go with the Teague-Harris-Stevenson-Josh-Al lineup they used in the first game and rotate Stevenson and Josh on LeBron while trying to hide Harris on Battier as much as possible. I’m sure they will also continue to throw in a lot of zone (I think they used zone to beat the Heat early last season).

Anyway, the real key to beating the Heat isn’t half court matchups, but rather cutting down on turnovers and denying them fast break opportunities. They are great in the half court but they are unstoppable in transition.

Speaking of Karl Rove, I don’t care much about politics but he was sounding an awful lot like Marvin’s grandma at about 11 PM a couple of nights ago.

BIG DOG

November 8th, 2012
8:14 pm

Najeh Davenpoop – Why you worry about other team, Like Ken say let teams adjust to you instead of the way around.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
8:15 pm

Rod;
I suppose I used the wrong terminology when I said defensive capt.
Please excuse my oversight.
Reponse:
1. KKorv has not been here previous to this yr
2. Yes – KKorv has been calling defensive signals;
[obviously] ” only ” when he is on the floor.
3. You were the one who drug Josh`s low B-ball IQ into this equation.
I do not recall a compare & contrast of the two.
4. I believe what I know.
____________________________________________

Rod;
why are you so invested in minutiae;
proving KKorver to be a “bad” defender,
when he is certainly a valuable Hawks player.

Are You not a Hawks fan.

My argument was not to prove him a great defender !
____________________________________________

Najeh;
to be as knowledgeable as you are;
sometimes your intentionally wrong just to be ornery.
____________________________________________

Ken S;
I`m not real sure what Korver has done to upset your applecart ?

BIG DOG

November 8th, 2012
8:17 pm

Hawks with big lineup should be big time Fav. for Hawks on the boards.

I have the Hawks winning this game easy with big lineup.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

Grandad

November 8th, 2012
8:23 pm

Najeh

5 man basketball

All Miami`s players can and will play everywhere on the floor.

***** You are completely right !
Zone is the Way to Go ! *****

Regardless of whomever Zaza is guarding;
they will pull him outside.

They will Post LBJ all night !

High-sider

November 8th, 2012
8:38 pm

@Rod from College Park

Rod from College Park
November 8th, 2012
7:27 pm

High-sider,

What’s up my brother. These Jamal Crawford haters are still in full effect. They hate to admit that they were wrong.
——————————————————————————————————-

You’re right. These [Jamal Crawford] haters are like the Republicans on Election Night 2012; they refuse to “concede” [the point]! LOL

i_am_soulstar

November 8th, 2012
8:43 pm

Astro Joe
November 8th, 2012
6:12 pm

Imagine going to the game to hook up with Lebron and leaving with Clyde.
*************************************************************************************

LMAO!!

i_am_soulstar

November 8th, 2012
8:46 pm

Hawks win if Josh doesn’t take more than 2 jumpers and Lou is feeling it.

i_am_soulstar

November 8th, 2012
8:50 pm

Copied this from Hawks ESPN page. Glad to know my doubts that the Hawks would come back to win were reasonable, considering that this kind of comeback only happens once a season.
****************************************************************************************************

Hawks Beat Pacers With Special Kind Of Comeback
From Elias: The Hawks defeated the Pacers for the 10th straight time at Phillips Arena on Wednesday night, the longest home winning streak that the Hawks have had against any opponent since they won 14 home games in a row against the Nuggets from 1990 to 2003. But it was how they did it that was so noteworthy. Indiana held a 14-point lead, 83-69, with six and one half minutes remaining but Kyle Korver scored eight points as Atlanta out-scored Indiana, 20-3, the rest of the way. How often do you see an NBA team win a game in which it’s at least 14 points down with six and one-half minutes to play? You’re in the right place to get those answers: it happens roughly once in each NBA season; in fact, Wednesday’s game marked the seventh time it has been done in the NBA over the last seven seasons.

i_am_soulstar

November 8th, 2012
8:59 pm

Josh on Lebron, Stevenson on Wade, Horford on Bosh (although Bosh usually get the better of this match up, we don’t really have a better alternative.)

keith

November 8th, 2012
9:13 pm

Hopefully we will zone the Heat, otherwise, Bosh and Lebron will take us off the dribble all night long! I smell a blow-out looming?

hawksordie

November 8th, 2012
9:14 pm

ag that is exactly correct f espn nbatv they alwayssss disect why the other team lose rather than show hawks highlights ..it realllllyyyy is stupid and prejudiced how national media replays over and over and overrrrrrrr blahhhhh the same heat celtics and etc highlights but if falcons or hawks win its well the thunder lost because or indiana is playing their 5th game in 8 nights …really …hmmm maybe atlanta won?? and those millionaire trained professional players should actually be able to play EVERY NIGHT I DID AND STILL DO ..SO IM SICK OF HOW THEY EXCUSE LOSSES TO ATLANTA HAWKS HANDS

keith

November 8th, 2012
9:16 pm

Missed opportunity. Mehemet Okur retires from the NBA today. We could have used his offense and size off the bench.

keith

November 8th, 2012
9:20 pm

I do not want “4 MORE YEARS OF JOSH SMITH JACKING UP 3 POINT SHOTS.” Trade Josh Smith by the trading deadline. Please trade him.

hawksordie

November 8th, 2012
9:23 pm

and u wait til hawks gel and get in rhythm it will shock plenty because they are good i was watching from 114 row f last night and kyle korver is active as active can be he moves alotttr …on defense he is better than i thought after hearing u guys talk bad…he actually forced a couple t.o. by being positioned correctly and he RARELY IS OUT OF PLACE ..now..what i did see is other hawks players fed him the ball out of rhythm so their timing on passing to him was real late and as a pure shooter once he gets free he should receive that ball period point blank i mean the guy holds the nba single season record for 3p fg %…so if im doubtin anyyyy shooter it wont be HIM

ag

November 8th, 2012
9:29 pm

Keith, how can you use him if he “retires?” You need the ESPN Insider to read why he retired. I still think we should sign Curry or Benson to back up ZaZa so we can start ZaZa at center.