Atlanta Hawks: Four game road trip starts against Clippers

Vivlamore reporting from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles – Josh Smith is ready to put a tough loss – and a tough offensive game – behind him as the Hawks start a four-game West coast trip against the Clippers Sunday.

There were positives in the Hawks’ 95-89 home loss to the Heat Friday. They played right with the defending champions for 47 minutes. It’s just that an NBA game lasts 48 minutes. A couple of missed scoring chances in the final seconds cost the Hawks what would have been another signature win early in the season.

The team flew to California Saturday with film to study in preparation for a game against another tough Western Conference opponent in the Clippers (4-2), the first of four games in six days. Games at the Trail Blazers (2-3), Warriors (3-3) and Kings (2-4) follow on the team’s first extended trip.

“We had some plays that we could have made that weren’t made,” center Al Horford said after the loss to the Heat. “It’s tough. We have to learn from this. … I think we were encouraged as a team to see the potential we have. We played well. We just need to play consistent throughout.”

The Hawks (2-2) already have a road win at the defending Western Conference champion Thunder and a 14-point comeback win against the Pacers. They nearly erased a 16-point deficit against the Rockets in their season opener and had a late lead before losing to the Heat. The two victories have come by a combined 12 points. The two losses came by a combined 13 points.

Against the Heat, Smith finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. However, he was 6-for-19 from the field and 1-for-5 from the free-throw line.

“I have to be better offensively for this ball club,” Smith said after a game he spent much time guarding LeBron James. “As a leader I have to be more efficient. I have to be better at the free-throw line. I apologized to all my teammates because that was just a poor effort offensively by me. I mean it is a tough task to give energy on both ends of the court but I have to be more efficient. And I will be more efficient.”

Several other Hawks struggled offensively against the Heat. Devin Harris (four points), DeShawn Stevenson (three), Zaza Pachulia (two) and Lou Williams (two) all finished well below their averages. The four combined to shoot 3 of 19 from the field.

Smith said he was encouraged that the Hawks could have defeated the Heat despite those offensive struggles.

“We’ve been fighting (together),” Smith said. “We’ve been sharing the basketball. Numerous guys who normally have good games offensively didn’t have good games and we were still in the ball game. That’s a positive that we can take. We have to look at the film and figure out better ways to give ourselves a chance at winning.”

The Clippers boast all-stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. However, it’s a former Hawks player that is leading the team in scoring early in the season. Jamal Crawford is averaging 21.8 points per game, well ahead of Paul (17.5) and Griffin (15.7). Crawford entered Saturday’s NBA schedule tied for seventh in the league in scoring. Still coming off the bench, Crawford won the NBA’s Sixth Man award playing for the Hawks in 2010.

The Clippers also have Willie Green, who played 53 games with the Hawks last season, starting a guard.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said he wants his team to concentrate on the opponent at hand during the road trip.

“Any time we go out on a road trip, particularly a long one, our philosophy is to take it one game at a time,” Drew said. “I will tell our guys that. We can’t look beyond any game.”

When the Hawks return from the west coast, they will play seven of their next eight games at home.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

79 comments Add your comment

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Josh Smith is an athlete, not a basketball player

MattP

November 10th, 2012
4:58 pm

Sounds like Brown might become the Hawks head coach this off season when Drew’s contract expires. I can see Drew making it through this season without being fired but I doubt he will get an extension.

Jae Evolution

November 10th, 2012
5:00 pm

If Josh Smith is traded…I said IF he is traded it better be to the Pistons in a deal headlined by a CENTER namely Andre Drummond and the Pistons pick. We would have to probably take on Villanueva ’s contract but I would still take it if we could get this deal. We need to be going after young prospects not old ass frail Pau GASOFT…

For those that are unaware this was last night against the Thunder…in ONLY 19 minutes…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsP1O8Sgk8g

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

Anthony Morrow looked good offensively ….. I seriously hate to say this ….. but, Josh Smith is no leader…. just b/c you’ve been here the longest doesn’t make you a leader by default. I like his hustle, but he’s not accountable as a leader. Still takes bad shots, still argues w the refs, still tries to bring the ball up, instead of running the lanes …. By the end of this year, if this keeps up …. Ferry might just have to go in another direction. If it acts like a duck, and it quacks like a duck,it probably will stay a duck

Jamaaliver

November 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

L Drew has got to start normalizing minutes in the backcourt.

I understand allowng more PT for the hot hand at guard. But Teague, if he’s going to e a mainstay, needs to play 30+ minutes everynight.

Morrow has to get into the rotation at SG. He’s earned it. At least 20 minutes a game depending on machups.

Korver and Deshawn can split time at SF.

Louis backups both guard spots. Devin is tied to the bench for a few games.

doc

November 10th, 2012
5:41 pm

amazing 1600 total yards in the tech/tar heel game won by the bees 68-50. crazy sh!t.

tide behind 21-0 early.

clyde might jump from a bridge or do a hari kari if that trend keeps up. hope he is in rio to salve his wounds if it comes to that. brazilain women make you forget everything eh, clyde. on second thought maybe he and rod are still out carousing form last night. when he wakes up it could be rude.

Buddy Grizzard

November 10th, 2012
5:43 pm

Anthony Morrow was on fire, shooting 6-for-11, and you play him only 15 minutes? But you found 20 minutes for Devin Harris to do what, exactly? Morrow was +5 for the game, Harris -10.

http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400277792

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 10th, 2012
5:49 pm

Random thoughts:

1) If I had to choose between Horford and Josh, it wouldn’t be close. Horford’s performance vs. OKC is something we need on a consistent basis. Is there a SG or SF out there we can get for Josh if we need to trade him?

2) Ferry’s Cavs lost 2 TOTAL home games in one of his final seasons in Cleveland (maybe the 2010-2011 season). We already have 2 home losses one week into the season, and one of them was against a team without one of the best players in the NBA

3) It’s kind of cool going on Hoopshype and other sites and seeing our GM mentioned – we finally have a front court office member with credibility, not Rick ‘I am going to resign our core players to bad contracts and go to sleep until next summer’ Sund. Has anyone else noticed this?

4) I am a big DeShawn fan, but there is NO reason to start him tomorrow. Start Morrow on Willie Green and let DeShawn guard Jamal when he comes in.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

November 10th, 2012
6:02 pm

Is it common or usual for an owner/GM to tell a coach he should focus on playing certain players?

Like, since LD is in his final season of his contract, could Ferry possibly tell him he should put in certain players or is that unrealistic?

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
6:11 pm

Romnesia runs rampant on these blogs..His [Fan Club] has crawled out in full force…Hmmmmmm

We’ll post Josh ALLStars [nimbers] last season when he led this team too the playoffs with barely iso there to help in any meaningful way and AllStar Al gone for almost the entire season later….

Unless somebody else would love too?

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
6:12 pm

doc, you sure you got the right Sport? hehehe

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
6:13 pm

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

1st quarter= 3-3
2nd quarter=0-0
3rd quarter= 1-1
4th quarter=1-5

In what time continuum do these [nimbers] licit the thought of an Allstar showing up for work in a [statement] game to the World…Certainly not this one, [pause] for some…….

Crickets, pin-drop, eyes roll back and forth, round and round……zzzzzzzzzzzzz

paian

November 10th, 2012
6:52 pm

I really wish you all would stop the debate about al and josh b/c they cant play perfect every game if they could then they would both be superstars. It don’t make sense to keep bringing up facts on who is better or not because each game they will perform different

Rod from College Park

November 10th, 2012
6:54 pm

Do any of the Al is the savior posters understand that basketball is played offensively and defensively. So for the past two games in which Al has put up 16 and 9 and 10 and 7, his man, both allstar PF, have put up 20 and 6, and 24 and 5. I guess defense means nothing to most of you. No one seems to mention that Josh Smith, who had a terrible offensive game, did an above average job defensively on the best player in the NBA holding him to 21 points without D Wade playing. Of course our brilliant coach decides not to match him up on Lebron at the end of the game, when it mattered. Do you think Lebron pushes Josh down like he did to Stevenson? Somebody in trying to prove their Al is the savior point actually had the nerve to say Bosh only scored a couple of points from the field and had 10 Free throws. You do realize that free throws count as points right? Then we hear Al does not get enough shots. He does not get enough shots because he does not feel comfortable taking more shots. He passes up numerous opportunities to score points every game.

Sautee

November 10th, 2012
6:57 pm

Slim, isn’t that a pretty small sample size?

Try this one, not big, but a more precise view of his season:

In 4 games: 15.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg. 2.3 apg, 1.5 bpg, 0.5 spg

I expect better, but we’ll see. If that’s the high-water mark for the season, I’ll be surprised, but I’ll also be calling for a trade.

Steve Nakasone

November 10th, 2012
7:00 pm

When I watched the hawks game yesterday, I noticed something. Everytime Josh Smith or Al Horford got the ball, they seem to hold on to it just sizing up their defender for like a few seconds and then everybody on the team stops moving. But I saw good plays being called with good rotations and good ball movement for their shooters like for korver, Stevenson, and morrow. It’s almost like josh and al kills the plays. That was the same problem we had with joe Johnson. Maybe Larry drew is not that bad of a coach because all the new players seem to be running the plays correctly and the ball moves quickly and it actually looks like an organized play. But then when the ball goes to josh or al, the ball stops and the players stop. I wonder if joe rubbed off on josh and al so that its become a habit. It’s still too early to tell if what I noticed is true but if it is, we made need to move josh and al for other good players that are fresh to this offense and will not kill the plays, because when I see the ball moving, it looks like a really good , organized play. I will continue to focus on that the next few games to see if that is the case.

keith

November 10th, 2012
7:01 pm

I would like to see Josh Smith as our 6th man. Coming off the bench may help him grow up.

Rod from College Park

November 10th, 2012
7:11 pm

“I would like to see Josh Smith as our 6th man. Coming off the bench may help him grow up.”

You don’t bring your best defensive player off the bench. Makes no sense at all.

Sautee

November 10th, 2012
7:12 pm

Co-sign, Rod

Reggie

November 10th, 2012
7:29 pm

Ok how bout this…Hawks,Lakers, and Grizzleys make a deal….Lakers get Josh Smith,Grizz gets Pau Gasol and John Jenkins, Hawks get Zach Randolph and Lakers first round pick

paian

November 10th, 2012
7:46 pm

Reggie why would we want another powerforward? Why would we give up a rookie for another rookie? It’s not like the lakers going to be in the lottery.

Moose

November 10th, 2012
7:51 pm

How about if we try out Sonny Weems, he seems like an interesting player.

paian

November 10th, 2012
7:57 pm

Sonny weems is in a russian league

keith

November 10th, 2012
7:59 pm

We do not need Zach Randolph. We need a Center real bad.( See the Houston game: Omar the round mound of rebound Asik, had a REBOUNDING BUFFET on the Hawks Frontline….

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
8:09 pm

Sautee, try this one:

Y_A_W_Nzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
8:18 pm

Sautee, I over reacted to your post..Not the first time? LOL!

delete: [YAWNzzzzzzzzzzzzz]

zeyfromtheay

November 10th, 2012
8:23 pm

I don’t know what’s wrong with Josh Smith’s shot lately, but he IS going to have to improve his jumper. It was painful to watch him miss all those shots and embarrassing. His shot was decent last year, he improved a lot. That is why his scoring was up. Bottom line is that he is going to have to develop a respectable jumpshot in order to be considered an allstar and to lead this team.

Either get that jumpshot together or stop taking them!

I’m curious to see John Jenkins play, hopefully he’ll get his chance soon and surprise everyone, but OTHER THAN THAT Anthony Morrow is a much safer bet because of his defense and experience. Clearly Anthony Morrow should be playing more IMO, he really saved us last night. I’m really loving this team though!!

GO HAWKS!!!

zeyfromtheay

November 10th, 2012
8:27 pm

Al Horford is FLAT OUT LAZY. He plays NO defense and guards can drive on him and he won’t go for the block as hard as he should and he jumps late. He obviously can play defense if he tried harder, and I’ve seen great defensive sequences from him, but he content with allowing barely contested jumpshots. He’s better than this man, smh -,-

ag

November 10th, 2012
9:00 pm

I think LD did a poor job at the end of the game – playing offense and defense. Stevenson’s defense is overrated,- and he struggles checking guards (see James Hardin). His foot speed now is just good enough to disturb SF’s, but really was not a good matchup with LBJ at the end of the game. What a couple of us asked for – Ivan on LBJ never happened.

Josh and Al have to be consistent EVERY game. The Hawks will get better just by LD shortening his rotations (sorry Devin, you earned bench time along with Tolliver).

Slimjr

November 10th, 2012
9:10 pm

“I expect better, but we’ll see. If that’s the high-water mark for the season, I’ll be surprised, but I’ll also be calling for a trade.”

Co-sign Sautee.

RaJaH

November 10th, 2012
10:04 pm

Can’t wait til the trade deadline. Got a feeling Ferry will be shocking some people. Also think the coach for next season will be interesting.

MattP

November 10th, 2012
10:52 pm

What do yall think about Mike Brown coaching the Hawks? I am sure Ferry will go after him this summer, maybe during the season if Drew continues to have these stupid losses.

Just Joe

November 10th, 2012
11:05 pm

Hard to hold one player accountable for any one opposing player’s performance with this defensive scheme. Bosh took 10 free throws. Al committed 1 personal foul. Lots of switching. Playing more zone. Different lineups. More of a team defense for sure. With that being said, Al has plenty of room for improvement.

Jae Evolution

November 10th, 2012
11:32 pm

“What do yall think about Mike Brown coaching the Hawks? I am sure Ferry will go after him this summer, maybe during the season if Drew continues to have these stupid losses.”

http://i.minus.com/ixuZXMCEHE2Su.gif

Grandad

November 10th, 2012
11:57 pm

Josh Smith got a bit too tired and too much cred
for guarding LBJ last eve;
as DeSteve was assigned to him often.

Grandad

November 11th, 2012
12:01 am

Al did not play particularly well last eve,
neither did Josh;
there is no way around that fact.

Even as folks on this blog wish to compare and contrast the two;
making one evil always wearing a black hat,
while the other personifies all that is good while wearing the white hat.
-note-
I did not say which was which.

It only matters which camp your in.

Look guys they are both Hawks.

hawksordie

November 11th, 2012
12:06 am

bottom line teague shoulda plqyed 38-42 mins

Grandad

November 11th, 2012
12:08 am

A critic on this here blog mentioned that Josh
is the captain of the defense.
Also;
that everyone knows it.
Has been for yrs.

Perhaps ?

If `n he is;
he certainly is not the one who calls out the defense,
[as would the MLB in football].

Due to the fact he rarely gets back on def in time to call
the defense, as he`s too busy arguing with officials.
____________________________________________

Yes … I wear the mantle of Jack-ass comfortably.

paian

November 11th, 2012
12:16 am

Thank you Gdad ive been wondering why do they continue to compare and contrast whos better when they dont play their best every game ones gonna be up ones gonna be down

Grandad

November 11th, 2012
12:27 am

Honestly;
Josh nor Al is a SuperStar.

Alot of readers on this blog continually bring up two time all-star Al
as if it were a bad thing.
Also people worry about whether or not Josh makes the all-star team
way too much.

The all-star game is an exhibition;
and if Josh makes it, I`ll be happy for him.
It will be no reflection on Al one way or another.

Josh most likely has been excluded from the all-star team
unfairly [at least last yr].
It does not change who he is.
It says more about our organization and the perception of Atl
than it reflects badly upon Josh.

Still – It`s not a competition between the two.

Let`s enjoy both while we have them.
____________________________________________

Myself;
I`ll critique both as basketball players.

I like them both.

Once upon a time – I really, really liked JJohnson`s game.
Then, after further review … the gaps in his game began to widen.

Josh is especially frustrating – due to so much promise.
Yet the inconsistency *never ever* goes away.

Al is solid, we wish for more.
Unfortunately, that may be what Al is;
a really solid, smart, team player.
Good but never great.
Capable of a big nite on occasion,
but most nights just good solid Al … workman-like.

Our problem is – we want more – much more.
____________________________________________

Grandad

November 11th, 2012
12:35 am

paian

Thanks

However – my hypocrisy knows no bounds;
as I followed up with a compare & contrast type review.

In my defense;
I attempted to do such w/o pitting one against the other.

hawksordie

November 11th, 2012
12:40 am

josh ball play is not like previous yeats thus far hope gets better he used to make a great bit of jumoers set shots and free throws now seems way off hmmmmmm somebody may have gotten lazy (jsmoove) on practicing offseason shootin drills or else that shootin all around will increase practice enough anyone can elevate their game all around period

Lenny Wilkins

November 11th, 2012
1:52 am

I will never waste my time watching another hawk game til Josh is back at his position of PF. What a stupid move this was and is. Who is thinking such stupid thoughts.

Hawks suck.

Lenny Wilkins

November 11th, 2012
1:54 am

And Al needs to be traded.

MattP

November 11th, 2012
2:30 am

Lenny,

What do you mean? Josh plays PF and some SF. The problem is, Josh just likes to take jumpers if the coach allows him to.

Lenny Wilkins

November 11th, 2012
3:28 am

Josh is forced out of his game to accommodate Al lack of ownership of the post Josh is game is at power forward not on a wing or top of the key. He is there because of Al not because he likes to be.

Fort Valley Wildcat

November 11th, 2012
4:05 am

Trade Josh Smith to tjhat Chinese team for T-Mac lmao

kjb

November 11th, 2012
5:18 am

Enter your comments here

ag

November 11th, 2012
8:23 am

st Joe

November 10th, 2012
11:05 pm
-DITTO