Hawks ready for dangerous game against the Wizards

The Hawks are rested for what a few players said could be a dangerous game against Washington at Philips Arena tonight.

The Wizards are the NBA’s only winless team (0-9), which would make them easy enough to overlook. On top of that, the Hawks are facing games at a resurgent Charlotte (5-4), vs. the Clippers (8-2) and vs. Charlotte.

But Al Horford said the Hawks won’t overlook Washington.

“They are hungry for a win,” he said. “They are going to be ready.”

Coach Larry Drew said the Hawks will start Horford, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris, the same starting five that defeated Orlando 81-72 on Monday in what was a ragged performance affected by some members of the team being struck by the flu and four games on the West Coast.

“I’m hoping we will be a lot better than we were on Monday night,” Drew said. “(I) didn’t see the sharpness or crispness with our execution.”

Drew gave the Hawks Tuesday off so that the players who have logged a lot of minutes could rest. Teague said it looked like the team got its legs back.

The Hawks will need to be sharp against the Wizards, led by guards Jordan Crawford and Bradley Beal. That duo is combining to average almost 24 points per game. Teague said the key to slowing them down is to consistently challenge them around the 3-point line. Washington is hitting 30.4 percent of its 3-point attempts and is averaging 86.9 points per game, compared to the Hawks’ 92.9 scoring average.

Though the Wizards are winless, five of those losses have come by seven points or less. They could be bolstered by the return of Nene.

“This Washington Wizards team is a team that’s very capable,” Drew said he told the team. “They’ve got some good players over there and some guys that have a lot of pride that have been in their ball games.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC (filling in for Chris Vivlamore)

253 comments Add your comment

Melvin

November 21st, 2012
2:38 pm

Jump on this team at the start of the game and put them away in the 1st half. They will play street ball once they’re behind by a large margin. This has no true PG to run their offensive sets….

jgsbirds

November 21st, 2012
2:51 pm

the way i see this one going is like this:

wizards control tempo and game thru 3 quarters or so and the hawks struggle to get the lead. midway thru the fourth the hawks make a run and instead of putting a lesser opponent away early at home–this one goes down to the wire with the hawks winning by single digits. i’ve seen this game a million times with the hawks and the falcons.

i hope i’m wrong and we blow them out by halftime–but don’t count on it!

go hawks!

Rev in Tampa

November 21st, 2012
2:51 pm

The real relevant information left out of the above article:

With Wall and Nene out the wizard’s perimeter defense will be porous and their rebounding will be non-existant. Look for Teague, Horford, Smith, Pachulia, & Ivan to have big games.

prison mike

November 21st, 2012
2:51 pm

Nene is coming back this game. He has always been a handful for the hawks. Not a sure win.

Doug Roberson

November 21st, 2012
3:05 pm

It’s not a sure thing, according to the Washington Post. I’ve added it to the blog.

Rev in Tampa

November 21st, 2012
3:07 pm

All I have read says Nene is still out.

Jamaaliver

November 21st, 2012
3:19 pm

Here’s hokping Josh doesn’t try to overcompensate for Monday’s bad performance and cost us.

I look for Teague and Korver to thrive against a pair of guards with some serious defensive deficiencies.

lewis

November 21st, 2012
3:42 pm

i look for teague to start hot

i also look for teague to be pulled inexplicably after said hot start

Doug Roberson

November 21st, 2012
3:53 pm

I’m not sure if Washington has the front-court depth to deal with the Hawks. That will be interesting to watch.

Ray

November 21st, 2012
4:23 pm

Well I know to division opponent Washington really wants a win, but as far as I can tell John Wall looking more and more like flirting with the B word(no for anyone thinking about some girls on the street lol).

prison mike

November 21st, 2012
5:00 pm

Nene just said he would only give 10 mins. if he were to go and might just wait their next game. Crisis averted, cause this dude always plays solid vs. us.

ag

November 21st, 2012
5:24 pm

I agree, NeNe is always a load for the Hawks. I also hope Josh does not play hero and play his game. Hopefully we will put them away early. I doubt the staters play a lot.

Astro Joe

November 21st, 2012
6:00 pm

If the Wiazards are a dangerous team, then heaven help the Hawks. Jenkins and Scott should be on the floor at the end of this game.

W.R. Terrell

November 21st, 2012
6:01 pm

The “Smoove” went 3-10 against Orlando with a few turnovers but he did begin to give the ball up to the guards and that is somewhat of an improvment. Lets hope he does not try and over compensate tonight against the Wizards. The HAWKS should jump on this team and TCB. The wild card is the “Smoove” and that “I am a Superstar BS”. I say, just play ball and in the “Smooves” case that entails rebounding, blocking shots, needed defense and common sense play but then I am talking about the SMOOVE.
The HAWKS are entertaining, fun to watch. IVAN is doing his thang, AL is banging, ZSA, ZSA is playing with more confidence. I’m gonna sit back and enjoy these fellas because they actually want to win and a premodonna mindset is not their thang. I think the HAWKS can beat up on the Wizards with hustle, defense and smart play. Lets hope the crazies and stupids chill.

Melvin

November 21st, 2012
6:11 pm

I’m on the same page as Chad.,,

Vinnie (ATL)

What happens to Josh Smith? I thought the new CBA protected draft picks by offering more years and money to stay with the player’s team. Josh has to wait till year’s end to get those years and money. Why gamble like Cleveland did? Trade Josh before the deadline Hawks have to protect themselves.
Chad Ford (1:31 PM)

I think the Hawks are actually hoping things go sour in LA, Dwight decides he doesn’t want to be there and will join his good friend, Josh in Atlanta. So I’m not sure he goes anywhere this year …

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
6:12 pm

Doug Roberson, you have an opportunity to become an all-time Hawks blog legend. If Jeff Teague has another hot start and gets pulled early, ask Larry Drew if he thinks Teague is playing at an All-Star level. If he says no, ask him if he thinks Teague might have stats worthy of All-Star consideration if Drew played him 5 more minutes per game.

kevkat

November 21st, 2012
6:13 pm

One thing I can say, nobody is better at pointing out what’s wrong with his team than LD. Getting them to do what he asks is the problem, along with his weird coaching at times.

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 21st, 2012
6:14 pm

” Dangerous Game ” might be a little melodramatic …. but for sure it’s never good to be the first to lose to a winless team …. DA HAWKS just need to come out strong & bury them early …. b/c we’re the better team right now …. come on Josh, Al , Teague , Ivan , KK , Lou & Morrow …. Let’s get ‘er done

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
6:17 pm

JC2 gonna go at Teague.

Ken Strickland

November 21st, 2012
6:35 pm

I want everyone to take a look at the following preseason stats and tell me if we wouldn’t be better off with DJames at SF rather than playing ATolliver, DStevenson and KKorver out of position.

DJ-MPG 19.2, PPG 6.5, RPG 6.8, APG .83, SPG .83
KK-MPG 20.1, PPG 9.0, RPG 2.7, APG 1.2, SPG .5
AT-MPG 18.9, PPG 8.1, RPG 3.4, APG .85, SPG .57
DS-MPG 21.0, PPG 5.0, RPG 1.75, APG 1.75, SPG 1.4

While playing fewer mins than Korver or Stevenson and only .3MPG more than Tolliver, James came within 1.05RPG of matching the combined total of all 3 players(6.8 to a combined 7.85RPG). Does anyone think we couldn’t use that level of rebounding at the SF position? Korver’s outside shooting, and James’ ability to do just about everything else well, would give us a solid SF combination.

Ken Strickland

November 21st, 2012
6:42 pm

One other thing. Is there anyone who feels we would be any worse off financially, and better off talent and production wise if we had cut Petro and kept KBenson? And it’s still not too late to make it happen. Like DOC said, we need to cut our losses and admit a mistake was made by cutting James, and I’d add Benson as well.

terrell

November 21st, 2012
6:46 pm

Kinfolk in the house tonight. Do your thing Chris Singleton. In a loss of course. lol. Go Hawks!

terrell

November 21st, 2012
6:48 pm

An 0-9 team shouldnt be dangerous, btw. Sounds like some of LD’s words of motivation.

richbrave

November 21st, 2012
6:54 pm

Listen I follow the WIZARDS……..o.k. I admit it although I’ve started wearing a bag on my head to the phone-booth, the two times a year I journey up to D.C. for a game.

With NENE on one foot and his first game back, you’ve got nothing to worry about…..unless the HAWKS just don’t show up. HILARIO can’t possible add 10 to the final outcome with his hobbling presence.

Just play you game and win HAWSTERS. Now if he and WALL are in playing shape come February, you might think about how to approach the game. But with the way the WIZ are constantly snake-bit with injuries, I don’t expect them to ever be on their ‘A’ game this season or any other dor that matter.

Good luck HAWKS fans, and extend these schlubs to 0-10. It enhances the probability that a new GM who actually knows top talent will be ready to pick in the #1 lottery slot for the WIZARDS next June.

bubacar aw

November 21st, 2012
6:55 pm

I am pretty sure that someone on the Wizards will have a career night against the Hawks !!! All the atlanta sport franchises suffer from the same disease which is LAZINESS !! There is a lazy spirit that has plagued Atlanta and the south and its only spread over into sports as well. Atlanta, with all its distractions, is a hard place to create a team that will bring home a championship.

richbrave

November 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

Oh BTW, HAPPY THANKSGIVING HAWKSTERS one and all. Enjoy.

richbrave

November 21st, 2012
7:00 pm

JORDAN CRAWFORD just can’t wait to get to the floor at PHILLIPS. He’ll jack up 30 and hit 10. get ready. Maybe JAVARIS CRITTENTON…….oh, maybe not, doc. Be cool man. Later.

dylan

November 21st, 2012
7:09 pm

Dude no way is john wall a bust. Dude was seriously the only good player for the wiz since he came in and has been very good. 18 and 8 are very good numbers for anyone, especially a Page with no other offensive threat.

i_am_soulstar

November 21st, 2012
7:10 pm

Yeah, sounds like LD’s trying to make sure the Hawks don’t take the Wiz lightly.

Hey Josh, do you know that if you play 90% of your offensive game in the post tonight, you could have an easy 30? Did you know that?

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
7:10 pm

Ken S. I agree with your points re: James and Benson as I documented at repatl.blogspot.com during the preseason. I absolutely agree that the Hawks would be a better team if it cut Petro and Scott and replaced them on the roster with Benson and James. However, this is simply not going to happen. For whatever reason somebody in the Hawks is in love with Scott, who will NEVER be a rotation NBA player. And they aren’t going to cut Petro because they may need his salary for matching purposes at the trade deadline.

What you see is likely the Hawks’ roster until the deadline passes. After that, anything can happen. Once Petro can no longer be traded, it becomes much more likely that the he will be released to open a roster spot for a more productive player… like Eddy Curry for example.

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
7:13 pm

Also interesting to note: Tolliver had the best aggregate +/- in the preseason, just ahead of James. But he’s currently dead last for the Hawks, as Willie Green was last year:

http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=1&season=22012&split=9&team=Hawks

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
7:17 pm

Damion James being cut in the pre-season is all about Al Horford wanting to be a power forward. By carrying zero small forwards on the regular season roster, it forces Josh Smith to play a lot of minutes out of position at small forward, thus opening up more minutes for Horford at power forward. If the Hawks had a legitimate defender at the 3 position like James, it would only be natural to let Josh guard power forwards and Al guard centers.

Najeh Davenpoop

November 21st, 2012
7:23 pm

“Tolliver had the best aggregate +/- in the preseason, just ahead of James. But he’s currently dead last for the Hawks, as Willie Green was last year:”

More evidence that preseason doesn’t mean sh-t.

Doug Roberson

November 21st, 2012
7:24 pm

It looks the Wizards are going with Beal, Vesely, Seraphin, Crawford and Livingston

Najeh Davenpoop

November 21st, 2012
7:27 pm

Good to see Josh working on free throws before the game.

ag

November 21st, 2012
7:29 pm

Ken, I was very surprised as well as a lot of bloggers to find out he was cut. I actually would start James at the SF. He would really help us with our rebounding. I would also use him to cut and grab offensive rebounds. Like you always say, LD likes offense over defense.

I did not understand the Benson move either. He played better than Scott in the Summer League, and in his first and only preseason game he scores 10 points – and let go. Petro is pretty bad. I would rather have Twin back than this guy.

Eventually, I must admit, LD does do the logical thing. He is playing Ivan and sitting Tolliver. I don’t know how much he influences pick-ups or cuts.

I honestly think JT0 could lead this team in scoring. I think the coaching staff holds him back. Does anyone have the same or different opinion on JT0? He drives to the basket any time he wants.

Doug Roberson

November 21st, 2012
7:48 pm

Smith already has 7 points, surpassing his total from Monday

keith

November 21st, 2012
7:49 pm

We should have kept Keith Benson. Keith (great name) Should be our starter at the 4. He had an outstanding summer league. His game is NBA ready, he just needs minutes….

Blast

November 21st, 2012
7:53 pm

Nobody on the Wiz team wants to shoot, except Crawford.

Blast

November 21st, 2012
7:54 pm

And maybe Nick Young.

Horford is smoking.

2 FOR JOHN DREW

November 21st, 2012
7:56 pm

Hey did anyone notice the Spurs picked up F James Anderson again …. w/ injuries to K Leonard & S Jackson

Najeh Davenpoop

November 21st, 2012
7:56 pm

Nick Young is a 76er.

Hawks off to a pretty good start… would be better if the Wizards hadn’t hit some improbable shots.

Just Joe

November 21st, 2012
7:59 pm

Foul line Shawty got it going tonight.

Blast

November 21st, 2012
7:59 pm

Don’t think any Hawk player has a foul yet.

Doug Roberson

November 21st, 2012
8:00 pm

Nene is in for Washington. Quick basket and draws a foul

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
8:02 pm

I like this lineup. Defenders/hustle players at 3, 4 and 5 and two scoring guards.

Rev in Tampa

November 21st, 2012
8:03 pm

Nene comes in with instant impact

ag

November 21st, 2012
8:03 pm

Good for Anderson, but he did not impress me much. At work so missing the game – although I am recording it. Looks like we are off to a good start.

Buddy Grizzard

November 21st, 2012
8:04 pm

Soon as I say that they let WAS back in the game.

Just Joe

November 21st, 2012
8:04 pm

Hawks bench 1 of 6 so far.