Atlanta Hawks: Lesson to be learned in technical fouls

Vivlamore reporting before Hawks practice.

There was so much to write (and completely rewrite!)  about after last night’s dramatic win over the Pacers. I couldn’t get to the two technical fouls called against the Hawks. In speaking to coach Larry Drew and players after the game, those calls played a role in the outcome. Maybe, if a lesson is learned, they will have a part in other outcomes this season.

Here is what happened.

With 4:02 left in the third quarter, and the Hawks trailing by three points, Josh Smith was called for a technical for arguing with the referee. The call was made as Smith was leaving the court and being replaced by ZaZa Pachulia.

Exactly one minute later, Pachulia was called for technical foul while running up the court after he was stripped of a rebound.

The calls came in the middle of a Pacers’ run that increased their lead to 12 points heading into the final quarter.

I asked Drew what he told his players during a timeout with 5:45 remaining in the game – the start of the Hawks’ decisive 18-0 run.

“I told them, first of all, we are not going to panic,” Drew said. “Second of all, I told them we are not going to turn to the officials for help. Let’s just be men. Let’s go out and play. If they beat us, they beat us. We are not going to use any excuse as far as the officials. We are not going to do that. We are not going to turn to the officials when it starts getting tough. They all were in total agreement. I was proud that, one, they responded that way and, two, we went out and played our brand of basketball.”

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

Pachulia said it’s not always easy but  the Hawks must remain calm.

“We should be smarter than that,” Pachulia said. “It’s easy to say now but in the heat of the moment we lost control. We have to do a better job of controlling ourselves and remaining calm.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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55 comments Add your comment

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
10:38 am

CV,

This is a post by northcyde that you probably didnt get the chance to read since it was kinda late (1:53 am to be exact). Im curious as well so I just HAD to repost it for him…here it goes….

C-Viv . . . I dare you.

No . . I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to ask Drew this question

“Ivan Johnson has been giving you good minutes off the bench, why isn’t he getting more playing time over a guy who is struggling, like Anthony Tolliver?”

I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU to ask LD that question in the next press conference or beat report interview.

Gray Mule

November 8th, 2012
10:52 am

We know that, sometimes, instead of being a man about it, the
little boy inside comes out. The mouth has to run. It’s either gripe
or explode.

Zaza, finally he shut up after the call. Josh was told to hush his mouth
by the officials and he refused to do so. Two little boys inside came out.

Coach put them both on the bench and let them cool their tempers just as
soon as they got the tech. call.

In a tight game like this, those fouls could be the diference. Gotta grow up.
Let your actions speak instead of your mouth. Make the ref. your friend and
not your enemy thru the use of your mouth.

GO HAWKS

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
10:56 am

Who knows, maybe some of these guys are maturing. Sounds like Josh may have taken a step forward with his acknoweldgement that refs can’t get in his head. And I think Teague may have crossed a fear-boundary related to 4th quarter performance last night. Both would go a long way toward the team bypassing expectations.

Sam

November 8th, 2012
11:00 am

Josh is good at letting stuff get in his head. Only problem is that it goes in one ear and out the other.

Sam

November 8th, 2012
11:02 am

Astro Joe, Josh Smith and the word “mature” do not belong in the same sentence.

Ken Strickland

November 8th, 2012
11:04 am

MSDEE-Now that was a TOO THE POINT and a very important question that needed to be asked, although we all know the answer. LDrew, like MWoodson, is obsessed with 3pt shooters regardless of whether they are doing it well or can do much of anything else. For them, that skill takes a priority over DEF, rebounding, and every other attribute that might be needed.

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
11:21 am

Yea, KenS,

northcyde posted that from the previous blog and I just HAD to re-post it for him..I was just as curious to know what Drew would say.

ag

November 8th, 2012
11:21 am

Ms Dee, I can tell you what LD is going to say, “We are looking for the best matchups.”

Westurd

November 8th, 2012
11:25 am

C-Viv
…..if you are reading our comments, the fans want to know why Ivan the Terrible isn’t getting more burn. Please look into……oh and Kudos to you on the blog work. Always so much to read!

ag

November 8th, 2012
11:27 am

There ae several different opinions on this blog. They range from:
1. How well the Hawks are going to be (some of us think they will get as high as the second seed, others think they are a lottery team)
2. Who is the best Josh or Al
3. Is Al soft or an All-Star (despite him being an All-Star twice). Should he play C or PF
4. Those who say we should trade Jeff Teague or allow D. Harris to start
5. We mostly all agreed on Marvin Williams except ‘It Wasen’t A Bad Pick” – whom we think is just his grandmother..
6. Jamal walks on water… or he doesn’t walk on water.

I can go on and on… Jews, Obama, Vick, Ryan, etc. I really think ONE thing we ALL agree on… WHY IS LD STILL PLAYING TOLLIVER OVER IVAN!! TOLLIVER SUCKS!!1

There are those who even think Ivan would be a good president, lol!!!

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
11:27 am

I like Ivan. Liked him from the moment I went to the free scrimmage last December and he set a wicked screen on a teammate. That said, Ivan came in the 4th quarter and made a few made mistakes at a crucial time in the game. Tolliver is struggling to score but I also saw him make a sweet bounce pass to a cutting guard and he has mostly been in the right place at the right time on defense. Lastly, I’m not sure that LD sees these guys as mutually exclusive… Tolliver or Ivan.

Sam

November 8th, 2012
11:31 am

I love the ESPN Grantland diary of Ivan. Makes me laugh every time I read it.

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
11:40 am

Nice little read by DIME MAGAZINE

We don’t often lead Smack with the Pacers, but what transpired in Atlanta last night was too depressing not to. We found out yesterday morning that Danny Granger is now going to miss three months of action, and for Indiana, that’s a major loss. It showed in a 89-86 loss to the Hawks. After going up 14 in the fourth quarter, the Pacers’ offensive rhythm made us want to cry. They were more of a mess than Romney‘s campaign strategy. With Atlanta scoring 13 straight while Kyle Korver was balling like Jimmy Chitwood, Lance Stephenson went all Lance Stephenson on us and tried to connect on a 40-yard touchdown pass that got intercepted. The Pacers then had an ugly shot and a turnover to end their next two possessions before Roy Hibbert missed a layup and Paul George missed a wide open triple. After Jeff Teague (15 points, six boards, six dimes) converted the lead-swinging three and a layup to finish off an 18-0 run, Paul George airmailed a three-pointer in the final five seconds. If Lance Stephenson is the only one on your team who can make a shot late in the fourth quarter (he made one triple), you have problems … What’s up with tiny Atlanta guards making nightly trips to the Robert Pack hot tub time machine? Normally it’s been Teague. Last night it was Lou Williams, who introduced Tyler Hansbrough to shame …

Sam

November 8th, 2012
11:43 am

ag, you forgot the 7th thing this blog goes on and on about…

7. The cult of Damion James

Everyone was making it out like he would be such a superb player for the Hawks…but he can’t even make anyone else’s team. NO ONE has signed him.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
11:44 am

“Horford so far 17.7 pts 8.7 reb 2.3 ast 1.3 blk 58.5 fg% pretty good so far to me. Keep it going Al and ignore the haters!!!”

If he plays like that for most of the season, he won’t have many haters. Usually he plays like this 12.8 pts, 9.5 reb, 2.4 ast 1.1 blk 53%fg, while passing up shots, and leaving much to be desired on the defensive end of the floor. I am not a Horford hater, actually like him, but now is the time for him to step up, and games 2 and 3 he has done that. Game 1 he did not.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
11:45 am

MsDee, if LD has EVER lost a game for the Hawks with his player substitution, then Vogel did himself in last night by leaving Stephenson in the game. He is clearly a talented player but I’m not sure that he can be trusted on the road in a tight game. But of course, our head coach loses games for us while the players win games for us (opposing coaches have nothing to do with their team losing, only our head coach has something to do with his team losing).

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
11:50 am

Horford’s career scoring average is more of a function of the guard heavy offense he played in during his first 2-3 seasons than it is his scoring ability. If a player is unfortunate to be the 5th option early in his career, it is hard to rapidly improve his career scoring average. When Al started, Joe, Flip/Jamal, Bibby and Josh were all ahead of him in the pecking order. Probably 40% of his career was linked to those line-ups (considering he missed most of last season). The better benchmark for Al is the last season when he was a featured offensive player… I think that was around 15 PPG in 2010-11.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
11:52 am

Grandad,

No matter what you think or how you feel, it is a known fact in the NBA that Kyle Korver is not a good defensive player. He is a great offensive threat shooting the ball, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. I have no problem with him playing for us because I would much rather see him shooting that open 3 pointer than Marvin Williams shooting it, no mater what the percentages say. Let’s not try to talk about how smart he is, or how he is always in the right position defensively (Heard the same crap with Kirk Hinrich) . He is a liability on the defensive end of the court, always has been. We should only hope that we are able to play good team defense to cover for his defensive problems, like Chicago did. Best believe when we play teams like Miami and Boston they will look for the matchup with Korver on the defensive end and try to exploit it.

DS

November 8th, 2012
12:08 pm

Does anyone know if Tolliver’s contract is guaranteed? I think yesterday was proof that Smoove at the 3 and Big Al at the 4 is our best starting lineup. All we need is a decent backup C, Fesenko anyone? And cut Tolliver!!!

Ken Strickland

November 8th, 2012
12:09 pm

After 9yrs in the NBA, JSmith is still struggling with the same issues of emotional and psychological immaturity and poor decision making. Otherwise, he’s solid as a rock. At this stage of his career, after being told repeatedly about what he needs to change or do to get better and get more recognition, it’s clearly on him and him alone to make it happen.

We have never seen Horford, and seldom seen any of our other core players, put the team in jeopardy at critical times due to lose of a loss of emotional control. Ivan Johnson has obviously had far greater issues with controlling his emotions and maintaining his focus throughout his basketball career than Josh, seems to have done a better job of finding ways to control his on court emotions and focus.

Like so many of his fans, Josh thinks of himself as a Superstar caliber player and gets angry whenever the refs whenever he doesn’t receive the Superstar caliber calls. The gap in maturity, just like the gap in overall talent, is very wide compared to the majority of his teammates.

Decision makers in and around the NBA recognize his vast talent and potential, which he still has even after 9yrs, but keep waiting for his maturity level to catchup to his talent.

DS

November 8th, 2012
12:10 pm

But Smoove needs to do what he did in the begnnig of the game and take advantage of his size by staying close to the paint.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
12:14 pm

“Horford’s career scoring average is more of a function of the guard heavy offense he played in during his first 2-3 seasons than it is his scoring ability. If a player is unfortunate to be the 5th option early in his career, it is hard to rapidly improve his career scoring average. When Al started, Joe, Flip/Jamal, Bibby and Josh were all ahead of him in the pecking order.”

His career scoring average is where it is because of those guard heavy offenses. If we depended on throwing the ball in the post to Josh or Al for the last couple of years, and letting them go to work in the post, neither guys career scoring average would be as high as it is. Al simply needs to go back to early in his career when he played more aggressive, and continue to work on his post game whether he is playing PF or center. He should also take shots, when he has them, and stop deferring. Some call it high basketball IQ, I call if low baskeball IQ if you are 10 ft from the basket, and kicking the ball to Josh for a long jump shot. Joe is gone, so I actually would expect Al’s ppg to go up, and his FG% to come down becuase he should be taking more shots. Teague’s ppg should go up as well. Josh’s ppg compared to last year, should come down.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
12:24 pm

“After 9yrs in the NBA, JSmith is still struggling with the same issues of emotional and psychological immaturity and poor decision making. Otherwise, he’s solid as a rock. At this stage of his career, after being told repeatedly about what he needs to change or do to get better and get more recognition, it’s clearly on him and him alone to make it happen.”

So Ken, I assume you have utter hatred for the games of Raheed Wallace, Dennis Rodman (who is a Hall of famer), and Allen Iverson, who constantly stayed arguing with refs for their whole careers. I guess you also feel the same way about guys like Kendrick Perkins, DeMArcus Cousins, Blake Griffin and Tyson Chandler who all had the same amount or more technical fouls than Josh did last year. I’m sure you hate Dwight Howard who has led the league in Tech’s a couple of times. I fail to recall any year when Josh led the league in technical fouls. Maybe you have some info that I am not privy to.

Ken Strickland

November 8th, 2012
12:30 pm

AG-That’s one of LDrew’s biggest problems. He’s always looking to matchup with the opposition rather than looking to force the opposition to matchup with us. So far our abundance of speed, quickness, athleticism, and depth have won out over size and height, and I think that will continue if Drew stops being stuck on stupid with his rotation preferences.

Using the same preseason approach during the regular season to determe who starts is not a recipe for continued success. Drew needs to establish his best starting lineup, especially along his frontline, and make changes or adjustments only when it’s not working. His current approach of changing lineups from gm to gm based on who the opposition is won’t work longterm.

And there’s no intelligent or logical excuse for last yrs #1 backup C and PF to receive so few mins and opportunities while playing 2nd fiddle to a one trick pony like Tolliver.

Chris Vivlamore

November 8th, 2012
12:44 pm

Folks, yes I read your blog comments. On the Ivan thing, let’s just give it a little time. It’s three games into the season. Drew said, I have asked and written, that Johnson will get more playing time this season. He flew to California twice in the offseason to talk to him about it. I will keep my eye on the situation and if it becomes an issue I will address it – despite northcyde’s triple dares. The more likely issue is a changing role for Ivan – less shooting, more dirty work. We can get into that later.

move on PLEASE

November 8th, 2012
12:44 pm

Typical Josh Smith. Trade him now while you can still get something for him. This franchise needs to move on.

He’s too stupid and too much of a baby to be worth the new contract he’s going to get.

darrell starks

November 8th, 2012
12:45 pm

LD finally woke up and played the correct lineup that i have been preaching for the past 3years.

Let Zaza starte at center.

Take the pressure of Horford by moving him 2 PF.

Let Josh use his height as advantage playing SF in the paint, this will force teams 2 double Josh in the post at SF forcing defensive break down from your opponent leaving Korver or Lou wide open jumpshots.

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

Ken Strickland

November 8th, 2012
12:47 pm

ROD FROM CP-You seem obsessed with using any lame excuse to defend anyone that you have a MAN CRUSH on. I don’t care about any of those players you mentioned, because none of them have an impact on JSmith. Unlike you, I’m not concerned with using their unacceptable on court behavior to justify Josh’s unacceptable on court behavior.

I just want Josh to correct his unacceptable on court behavior and become better at what he’s capable of than any of those players. That’s something you can’t seem to grasp.

Section 303

November 8th, 2012
12:48 pm

Both of those T’s hurt last night. I get that. On the other hand, the officials were killing the Hawks from mid 2nd quarter through the 3rd. I am not surprised Zaza and Josh (especially Josh) got upset.

I understand what LD is saying…focus on playing, not the officials. But, the Hawks continually get the short end of most close calls. There’s a fine line, but LD needs to get in a ref’s ear sometimes. I think officials get a little too comfortable screwing the Hawks.

move on PLEASE

November 8th, 2012
12:50 pm

darrell,

That lineup only works if Josh doesn’t hang out near the perimeter. And that’s a big IF b/c he loves it out there.

Sam

November 8th, 2012
12:50 pm

Ken Strickland, I think that diatribe on Josh Smith is one of the first things you have ever posted that I strongly agree with.

move on PLEASE, I’m right there with you, bud. Especially on the second sentence.

darrell starks

November 8th, 2012
12:51 pm

The Hawks still have Tolliver on the team, UNBELIEVABLE.

3 FOR 16

7 REBOUNDS

PLAYED 61MIN

What in the world going on.

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

Section 303

November 8th, 2012
12:51 pm

Best part of last night…Hawks up one, with the ball, a little less than 2-minutes left. That is ISO-JOE time!! Only, there is no Joe to iso for. So, Teague attacks the rim, scores. A much better option, as it has always been. Nice not watching Joe Johnson go east-west, rather than north-south, and force up a prayer jumper that never goes in.

I really think the Hawks lose last night, if Joe Johnson were here. There clutch hoops down the stretch from Teague (and Korver) probably never happen if #2 were on the floor. Hawks will be more productive down the stretch of games throughout this season. I have no doubt about that whatsoever.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
12:53 pm

Rod, I would suggest that Al hasn’t been in “deferral mode” since before the 2010-11 season. He does NOT force shots and is a willing passer. He does not have a scorer’s mentality and I would never suggest that he should become the #1 option. I agree, neither Josh nor Al were ready 2-3 years ago for an advanced role in the offense. I was simply saying, that using his career scoring average as a benchmark for his offense is misleading. Rather it is development of their skills, ability to stay out of foul trouble or a redefinition of their role, some players simply don’t get the FGAs to be 15+ point scorers from day 1. I predicted around 17 PPG for Al before the season started. And if that happens, it will probably bring his career average up to maybe 13.5 points… no where near representative of his actual and current level of offensive production.

darrell starks

November 8th, 2012
12:53 pm

What will the Hawks do if Zaza foul out, then your left with no center.

Danny need find a backup center behind Zaza ASAP.

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

chuckw/deadjournalist

November 8th, 2012
12:56 pm

as part of the old-guard, original hawks blog crew from when it first launched, a big thank you to c-viv for the content this season.

as for the rotation, remember how much it changed last year from the first 10 games to mid-season. that will shake itself out …

my biggest complaint from last night, was why drew didn’t call a time-out in the 3rd after the pacers run hit 8-0. the hawks were in the midst of a complete break-down and needed one badly.

Jenkins4Three

November 8th, 2012
12:59 pm

Chris,
What’s the word on why Jenkins and Mike Scott? Neither have seen the court in 3 games. I would think that they would play ahead of somebody on this team.

Jenkins4Three

November 8th, 2012
1:00 pm

*Why Jenkins and Mike Scott haven’t played*

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
1:05 pm

Rod from CP,

Wow, actually found something POSITIVE u posted,

“If he (Horford) plays like that for most of the season, he won’t have many haters…I am not a Horford hater, actually like him, but now is the time for him to step up, and games 2 and 3 he has done that. Game 1 he did not.”

Well, NO ONE stepped up in game 1..plus, lets let game 1 stay where it is, which is, “2 games ago”. We have done VERY well these last 2 games and I KNEW Horford would deliver like he has so far.

“Joe is gone, so I actually would expect Al’s ppg to go up, and his FG% to come down becuase he should be taking more shots.”

Oh so NOW u say Horford ppg should go up?? A few blogs ago u basically said Horford SUCKED as a PF( well, maybe not those exact words), but that he was soft, had NO moves NONE WHATSOEVER..but NOW turns around and say, “his ppg to go up??” WOW!! And u say u not a hater..well, I guess with the case of Romnesia, u would CHANGE your story to all of a sudden, ” I am not a Horford hater, actually like him.”

wordsmithtom

November 8th, 2012
1:05 pm

Section 303. Cover that with a dollop of whipped cream. Instead of pounding the air out of the ball, deflate the defense by attacking the rim. Too many bad things happen trying to run out the clock on ones heels, like the Hawks did with JJ. Let Teague and Williams push the rim and draw those fouls. Plus, it’s lots more fun to watch than the former sandbagging stuff.

MsDee

November 8th, 2012
1:11 pm

I have a question for the BLOG PEEPS

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

Ghost of Woody

November 8th, 2012
1:14 pm

Well if the coach is just going to stand there with his arms crossed all the time, of course the players are going to get technicals!

Sam

November 8th, 2012
1:46 pm

If James, Wade, and Bosh all get hurt and are out of the game on Friday night, perhaps I would pick the Hawks to win the game. Snce all are going to play, prepare to be 2-2 Hawks fans.

terrell

November 8th, 2012
2:01 pm

From last blog:

Yes DS, Im related to Chris Singleton.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
2:04 pm

“Oh so NOW u say Horford ppg should go up?? A few blogs ago u basically said Horford SUCKED as a PF( well, maybe not those exact words), but that he was soft, had NO moves NONE WHATSOEVER..but NOW turns around and say, “his ppg to go up??” WOW!! And u say u not a hater..well, I guess with the case of Romnesia, u would CHANGE your story to all of a sudden, ” I am not a Horford hater, actually like him.”

MsDee, you are putting words in my mouth. I never said Horford sucked, and never would say that. I said Josh was a better PF than Horford which is still true. I said Horford’s post game is not very good, which is still true, and I said he needs to stop playing soft, which is still what he needs to do. If he palys like he palyed that last two games on a regular basis, then their won’t be as you say a Horford HATERS club. The only reason Horford ever started getting bashed on this blog is because he was never called out by fans, his coach or the media for playing soft when Josh and Joe were always called out. I have only heard on basketball analyst ever call Horford out, and that was Jalen Rose in the playoffs when Al was sticking up the joint against Orlando and the Bulls. He is the All Star remaining on this team, so yes, he should be held to a higher standard.

Rod from College Park

November 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

“ROD FROM CP-You seem obsessed with using any lame excuse to defend anyone that you have a MAN CRUSH on. I don’t care about any of those players you mentioned, because none of them have an impact on JSmith. Unlike you, I’m not concerned with using their unacceptable on court behavior to justify Josh’s unacceptable on court behavior.”

Is it unacceptable behavior if he has never been suspended or taken off the court for good for it. Obviously it’s not unacceptable behavior because he continues to do it, as do numerous other professional basketball players. Cool it with the gay references. I like women and I have no performance problems when I am with them, I’m sure you can’t say the same thing.

terrell

November 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

Ken, that tech didnt jeapordize the game, the ENTIRE 3rd qtr did. Did he go to far? Maybe. But Hell, Josh has to be fiery. Nobody else is going to say anything. Marvin wouldnt, Joe wouldnt, Al wont, LDeacon for damn sure wont. He just stands there with his arms folded. Funny thing is, you never hear about the superstar players callng the refs out,(which happens nearly every game)when theyre making lame calls, but when Josh does it, it’s blown out of proportion. Btw, I’d be ECSTATIC, if Horford went off on the refs for once. Sometimes your team needs a fire lit under their azzez.

vava74

November 8th, 2012
2:29 pm

ag
November 8th, 2012
11:27 am

Brilliant!!!

57 states

November 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

you ain’t going to win with 5 guys
you can’t get players going by sitting them on the bench.
you gotta play your players. that is why Tolliver is getting pt. we will need all of them before it is over.
good job coach Drew. don’t let the blognuts get you down.

Astro Joe

November 8th, 2012
2:40 pm

MsDee, IMO, the Heat were trying to deliver a message to a team that could challenge them by the end of the season. I don’t think they will feel as compelled to deliver a knock-out punch to the Hawks (a 12-round unanimous decision will suffice).