Atlanta Hawks: Hawks have lost two of three (with video)

If the Hawks could make a holiday wish, what would it be? CineSport’s Noah Coslov gets the answer from The AJC’s Chris Vivlamore as they discuss the new-look Hawks.


Vivlamore reporting.

PHILADELPHIA — If there is a lesson to be learned from the Hawks’ recent games, including the loss to the Thunder Wednesday, it had better sink in fast.

While the big picture shows the Hawks having won 12 of the past 16 games, a closer look shows a different trend. The Hawks have lost two of the past three games. They were handed a 22-point home loss by the Warriors last week. They needed overtime to beat the lowly Wizards Tuesday. They trailed the Thunder by 17 points before a comeback fell short in a 100-92 loss Wednesday.

“Your pride kicks in,” Hawks guard Kyle Korver said of the Hawks rally against the Thunder. “There are a lot of competitors in this locker room. I thought our energy level picked up. We are not a team that is going to lie down. But we’ve had a couple tough games at home. We have to get better and learn from these losses.”

There isn’t much time.

The Hawks (15-8), off Thursday, play at the 76ers Friday in the middle of a stretch of four games in five days in three cities.  It concludes with a home game against the Bulls Saturday. This will be the Hawks’ sixth of back-to-back games this season and they end 2012 with two more. They are 8-2 in back-to-back games this season.

Hawks coach Larry Drew will go for his 100th career victory against the 76ers. With a 99-72 record in his two-plus seasons he would become the eighth Atlanta head coach to reach century win mark.

The 76ers (12-14) have lost five straight games as they continue to play without Andrew Bynum. The center has yet to play for this season due to bilateral knee bone bruises.

The Bulls (14-10) present a different challenge as they lead the Central Division despite not having star guard Derrick Rose.

Against the Thunder, Kevin Durant would have nothing to do with a Hawks comeback.

The Thunder star scored a game-high 41 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks failed to overcome the large deficit.

The Hawks pulled to within four points, 73-69, early in the fourth quarter. Then Durant went to work. He scored 18 of the Thunders’ next 22 points, including a stretch of 13 straight.

The Hawks continued to fight but could never pull closer.

“He’s very, very talented,” Hawks swingman DeShawn Stevenson said of Durant. “Sometimes you can play good defense but even good defense is not good enough for a guy who is 7-foot tall with a jump shot like that, with a handle. Tonight he had a great night. It was his night.”

Russell Westbrook added 27 points for the Thunder (21-4), who improved on their NBA-best record with their 12th straight victory. Westbrook scored 21 first-half points as the Thunder built their biggest lead in the second quarter. Durant and Westbrook accounted for 68 percent of the offense. Durant added 13 rebounds and Westbrook had 11 assists to complete double-doubles.

The Hawks were led by Jeff Teague with 19 points. Josh Smith added 17 points and 12 rebounds. Al Horford and Lou Williams scored 13 points apiece.

“It seems as the game progressed we wore down,” Drew said of the first half. “We weren’t as sharp executing our sets. That resulted in some bad shots. We had a lot of bad shots in that first half. That was the reason we got down. I told the guys at halftime, when you play against a good team, a team who defends the way they do, you have to trust in what you do. It’s not a time to fragment. I thought early we played too much one-on-one and it resulted in a lot of bad shots. They got out and ran and attacked us to the run.”

LATEST NEWS

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* Hawks 100, Wizards 95 (OT)

* Morrow out, Stevenson questionable vs. Wizards

* Morrow returns to practice

* A look at the Hawks at the season’s quarter mark

* Hawks look to put worst loss behind them

* Warriors 115, Hawks 93

* Morrow out vs. Warriors

* Hawks 113, Bobcats 90

* A share of first place on the line vs. Bobcats

* Hawks 86, Magic 80

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AJCHAWKS

130 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
11:25 am

beone

December 20th, 2012
11:28 am

“It seems as the game progressed we wore down,” Drew said of the first half. “We weren’t as sharp executing our sets. That resulted in some bad shots. We had a lot of bad shots in that first half….”
So there were a lot of bad shots the whole game!

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
11:28 am

The Honey-Moon is [ova].

Surprising start to say the least with one quarter down?

To perform this well without a legit rim protector or #3 scorer is amazing…

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
11:29 am

Hey Larry, news flash, your squad was not sharp all game long…

Buddy

December 20th, 2012
11:32 am

Finally two mid-tier Eastern Conference teams the Hawks will be battling for playoff position. More concerned about what the Hawks do in the next two games than the last three.

kwooden1

December 20th, 2012
11:36 am

Last night’s game was tough, Durant was Superman and Westbrook was Robin! Looks like the Thunder have figured out how to play without Harden. The free-throw problem has started to result in losses, the guys really have to take care of this because it will help them get through stretches where they’re not making 3’s.

I finally took some time to look at realistic trades for Harris and the only one I found that made sense was Wilson Chandler. Denver is a small market, with a lot of salary tied up in players next year. They could use another guard, to backup Lawson and Miller, especially if one of those guys gets hurt. Wilson has been hurt and Denver has played well without him. Harris’s salary also works for Derrick Williams, but I don’t think Minnesota has given up on him yet and they could also do a lot better. We might have to wait until the summer to really see the problem addressed, but by that time we will have a completely different team.

GO HAWKS!!

vava74

December 20th, 2012
11:38 am

A home loss against the team with the best record, in a night in which Durant clearly wanted to make a statement and had good backup from Westbrook is nothing to worry about.

We are an average team with upside. No one in their right state of mind would think that we would be competitive with the big boys.

Having refurbished our roster so dramatically we should be satisfied with the fact that these guys had enough fight in them to come back and make the game competitive.

Not sure what LD wanted to accomplish launching JJ2 onto the wolves in a night like this and have Durant guarded so many minutes by two guys who are 6′5” (with only one of them known for his defense)…

Zaza had 10 rebounds (5 offensive) in 18 minutes. Beats me why he did not play more…

A quick guess on what is happening:

The wheels on LD’s little go kart are coming off whilst the NASCAR bombs fly past him :-D just like during the playoffs.

And to be honest: I am relieved, since I want to LD “gone in 60 seconds”…

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
11:41 am

Derrick Williams,

he was a good #2 pick! Got to land this guy. A match up nightmare at 6′8″ playing the 3!

vava74

December 20th, 2012
11:46 am

kwooden1,

And Minny has a bunch of PGs so their motivation would be close to zero since there would be no immediate return with a rotational player.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
11:56 am

I wonder if C-Viv gets paid per blog :smile:

kwooden1

December 20th, 2012
11:56 am

vava, I wanted LD gone too but he’s done a pretty good job with the hand he’s been dealt. I’m not convinced this team would be any better with James over Tolliver, which is the only personnel move I really think LD had control over. I would like a healthy Chandler, but I still would have picked Jeff Taylor over Jenkins, which I think was a mistake by Ferry. Taylor would have been a young, cheap SF, that would have filled a need. I will have to assume that Ferry is definitely looking at letting Harris, Stevenson and possibly Korver walk next year, and Jenkins would be his primary option at SG.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
11:59 am

Kwooden1,

The problem with trading Harris is we don’t have another backup PG, so what happens if Teague gets hurt?

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
12:01 pm

As for KD last night, did we ever send double teams at him? Or force him to give up the ball? It’s like he got whatever shot he wanted, and he was open on some of his shots too.

Our defense and rebounding needs to tighten up.

vava74

December 20th, 2012
12:03 pm

kwooden1,

I think LD has a good X’s and O’s ability but it ends there.

We won in OKC with Zaza and Horford on the floor many minutes together (Zaza plated 28 minutes and got 6 and 6) and with Josh out, we got a bit lucky with how we played Durant then.

Last night we should have gone bigger IMO, as we should have gone big against GS (Barnes is stinking night in night out minus against us and Dallas against whom he had great performances) and that is on LD who thinks he is a wiz at match ups and changing line ups.

For me, he has been lucky with his “go big, go small” and his luck has run out.

kwooden1

December 20th, 2012
12:04 pm

O’Brien, Harris is the best trade option we have. If Teague gets hurt Lou is going to have to start and Morrow is the backup. Not good, but works.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2012
12:08 pm

vava, so in one statement you say No one in their right state of mind would think that we would be competitive with the big boys. Only to turnaround and suggest that LD is doing something wrong.

Jenkins took a lot of bad angles on defense during his stint in the game. He was easily picked off and didn’t seem to know (yet) how to fight through the screens. I really liked how he turned down a good shot opportunity by passing to Morrow for a better shot oportunity. it showed good maturity and awareness. I think that I am going to enjoy watching him play in a Hawks uniform over the next 2-3 years.

glw

December 20th, 2012
12:12 pm

@kwooden1

I dont think Ferry really had much to do with Jenkins. Ferry was brought in right before the draft, and while he could have probably vetoed the pick, he decided to go along with LD, scouts or whoever was involved in the draft and choose Jenkins. Had Ferry been here longer, I suspect we would have went a different route.

But I do agree with you. I wanted the pick to be Taylor, it made more sense. We knew Marvin wasnt the answer and bringing in a young guy like Taylor made more sense, than Jenkins. Taylor was viewed by most as a potential starter here this season, where as we knew at best Jenkins was going to be backup who got inconsistent minutes at best.

Astro Joe

December 20th, 2012
12:15 pm

Actually, when Jenkins was selected, the Hawks didn’t have a back-up SG on the roster. A few weeks AFTER the draft, Ferry acquired Stevenson, Morrow, LouWill and Korver.

vava74

December 20th, 2012
12:35 pm

AJ,

“No one in their right state of mind would think that we would be competitive with the big boys”

Yes, being that what I said related 50% to roster deficiencies and 50% to LD.

I have never been on the LD bandwagon and I never thought that he is a good enough coach to get this franchise to the next level.

Makeshift roster + LD = my sentence which comes in a post which CLEARLY launches doubts over LD’s choices.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
12:45 pm

AJ,

Co-sign. I have no issues with DF drafting Jenkins. My issue is that they did not sign a legit SF before the season started.

Rusty

December 20th, 2012
1:01 pm

It’s.quite apparent that this team desperately needs a real coach,it’s certainly not LD.

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
1:27 pm

For you doc:

“A day after announcing they are benching starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets are shopping him around, gauging trade interest around the league, according to numerous reports Wednesday.

The New York Daily News went so far as to say that Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick, who like Sanchez has fallen out of favor with his current team, would be open to coming to the Jets if Sanchez is no longer the QB. And the feeling may be mutual.

“Bring it on,” the Daily News quoted a Jets source as saying about adding Vick if he is available. “He was hit too many times [behind a subpar offensive line] the last two years.”

“Ryan loves him,” the Daily News quoted a team official as saying about head coach Rex Ryan’s feelings about Vick.” NY Daily News

drmaryb.(""_*).

December 20th, 2012
1:34 pm

TRUTHFUL-NESS!
—————————

Slimjr
December 20th, 2012
10:42 am

I suggest you use the scroll button when [BravesFan79] peeks his warped presence in this awesome Atlanta Hawks blog..

You people are the best!
____________________

Look here my cohorts … Yawl gone think I invented and coined “The Scroll-A-Troll” Key. Actually, I did do that on here when, I arrived on the Hawks Blog scene in August of 2007. [lol]

It worked for me then and, not surprisingly? It works today. SlimJr, I scroll roughly 95% of these numb skulls on here. They know who they are, when they awakened by [The Grace of God] this morning.

Keep it moving bad guys.
_______________________

As for my beloved Hawks? They need the same things they needed when Mookie, Smitty & Mutumbo left town in the mid 90’s.

My hope is that The GM of The Year – Mr. Ferry, can gets things turned around and, moving in the right direction very soon here. Starting with the trade deadline and this Summer of 2013.

drmaryb.(""_*).

December 20th, 2012
1:37 pm

Fabulous!

Any quirps on Fab Melo around the league? I haven’t heard his name since draft night.

Duluth Joe

December 20th, 2012
1:39 pm

Before we complain about Larry Drew, let’s watch the a few more games with all our players back. Honestly, outside playing Ivan which he’s been doing more, what else can he do with this roster? Yes he can go big, but do any of you really believe Zaza is starter material? He hurts you some nights, helps you others. As backup he is ideal. I also want Zaza to start, but more of a desperation move. This roster is work in progress.

It seems based on what we seen so far, key for success for Hawks are Harris and Teague. They add the element of speed and penetration. They balance all the outside shot makers we have (including Al and sometimes Josh).

Without Harris in lineup, Teague becomes the lone attack wolf with some help from Josh and Ivan. Without Teague and Harris, we become easy to defend. Predictable. Borderline playoff, borderline lottery. With Teague and Harris, we have a chance to make some noise, but we are far from perfect roster wise.

drmaryb.(""_*).

December 20th, 2012
1:40 pm

Doubtful

‘I wonder if C-Viv gets paid per blog [smiley face]” -O’B-
____________

I doubt this since Mr. Cunningham only posted blogs about once per month. Pure laziness there. Did he even fill in more than once when C-Viv went on vaca? [lol]

MattP

December 20th, 2012
1:49 pm

Cunningham mostly used twitter. Viv and MC are different, one likes blogs and other likes twitter.

drmaryb.(""_*).

December 20th, 2012
1:53 pm

The Telling!

When Telling the Truth, one has to surmise and lament that:

Any coach can be great when, given a roster ladened with Hall of Famers at his disposal. It’s like playing Football on Madden 2013 [Plug-n-Play]. A great coach emerges, when he can take a team like Larry Brown did in Detroit, MI and, do it with a team loaded down with role players, like these Hawks.

A teacher of men, is what this roster needs. And, a superior modicum of disciplined palyers willing to buy into their roles.

drmaryb.(""_*).

December 20th, 2012
1:56 pm

Like-Ability!

‘Cunningham mostly used twitter. Viv and MC are different, one likes blogs and other likes twitter.”
__________________

We don’t give a rats tail what Mr. MC likes. His job as a Beat Writer, is to feed the local fan base – Period. We don’t care if, he did it with a mega-phone from Mt. Everest … The simple fact is, he didn’t do it at all.

DS

December 20th, 2012
2:29 pm

Corey Brewer, Dorrell Wright, Aminu. Those are the only players I see we could get without giving up a major piece of our team. We could probably get any of those guys for Morrow. All 3 teams need a good 3 pt shooter by the way.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 20th, 2012
2:31 pm

LD needs to draw up more plays in the half-court. Can’t draw up a iso all the time.

SteveW

December 20th, 2012
2:34 pm

Not a real deep FA market after Dwight and CP3. Josh is maybe the next best FA, then Jefferson, Millsap and Tony Allen. I’m sure I’m forgetting some guys. And a few RFAs and some who can opt out, nothing spectacular. Bynum ? Yuck

Philly has nosedived with Jrue Holiday out. This was his year – All Star kind of year. He can miss tomorrow nite also if he wants.

actual Atlantan, human being

December 20th, 2012
2:34 pm

CVIV?!?! How you gonna let your fellow “journalists” at the AJC commit this crap? I seem to like you, and your coverage- best find another venue like those before you managed to!

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-georgia-sports/2012/12/20/need-hawks-tickets-heres-one-for-916-a-game/

SteveW

December 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

Aminu I’d give a shot. Another ATL kid

Duluth Joe

December 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

“Any coach can be great when, given a roster ladened with Hall of Famers at his disposal”

DrMaryb, we ran a coach out of town three years ago.

Same coach is currently leading the East with Knicks and the front runner for coach of the year.
Is it the coach or the talent?

SteveW

December 20th, 2012
2:38 pm

Dalembart may be a good bench FA for a couple of years.

David west will be a FA, but he’s lost a little

SteveW

December 20th, 2012
2:41 pm

There was a reason holiday went #17, Lawson #18, and Teague #19. It’s called ceiling. I’m still not sure Teague won’t end up better than Lawson, we’ll see.

Johnny Flynn was the outlier that draft

I’d sign jarrett jack in a heartbeat. Great backup PG – Teagues off season workout partner.

kwooden1

December 20th, 2012
3:02 pm

DS, I would take any of those guys for Morrow also. I like how Brewer attacks the basket and his athletic ability. Wright was a good shooter with Golden State as I remember. I’m not sold on Aminu, but I would definitely give him a shot.

Melvin

December 20th, 2012
3:03 pm

I only watched the last 6mins of last night game but I was wondering why LD didn’t have Josh guarding KD and allow Krover to guard Ibaka. I would much rather take my chances of Ibaka scoring 30pts or 10pts in a qtr versus letting the 3 times scoring leader be defended by guys that are 5 inches shorter than him. Especially in crunchtime/4th qtr.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
3:31 pm

Duluth Joe,

imo, the Hawks biggest issues are 1) rebounding 2) FT shooting and 3) 3 pt%.

Al, Josh and Zaza (and Ivan) are the only ones on this team who rebound, and even then…they are not always consistent (for example, Josh not boxing out in the Cleveland game we lost). But we need help from our SF and our guards, and they don’t rebound at all.

Hawks are one of the worst FT shooting teams in the league (we average 69.7%). And last night, we lost by 8, but missed 6 FT (OKC only missed 1 FT). Given our deficiencies, we have to make more FTs.

And we tend to fall in love with the 3 at times (we took 24 of them last night, missing 15). Against GS, we took 26, and missed 21 of them. If we are not making 3’s, we need to do a better job of finding other ways to score. Instead, we continue to jack up 3’s.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
3:39 pm

Steve W,

I like Dalembert, but only as a backup center, and the price has to be right, because mentally, he does not always give 100% (unlike Zaza).

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

December 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

If Jrue is out tomorrow, you might as well chalk up an L for us.

We all know by now that despite what LD says, he cannot motivate this team for games and that our record is mostly a result of a cupcake schedule

MattP

December 20th, 2012
3:54 pm

From what I hear Jrue and Turner might be out tomorrow.

O'Brien

December 20th, 2012
4:06 pm

Going back over the Hawks 8 losses, rebounding (or lack of) and terrible 3 pt % is what jumps out at me;

Against Houston: -22 in rebounding, shot 32% from 3, missed 15

Against Miami: shot 36% from 3, missed 16

Against LAC: shot 33% from 3, missed 10

Against GS: -15 in rebounding, shot 28% from 3, missed 13

Against Cleveland: -21 in rebounding

Against Miami: shot 32% from 3, missed 19

Against GS: -9 in rebounding, shot 19% from 3, missed 21

Against OKC: -8 in rebounding, shot 38% from 3, missed 15 of them.

Hawks must do better on the boards, and must shoot the 3 at a higher %. And even when the 3’s are not falling, we are still jacking them up continuously.

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
4:30 pm

OB,

the reason why this team is jacking up so many [3- ball's] is because the Hawks truly have no skilled post presence in the paint with the Big 3 [Josh,All-Star Al, and ZaZa].

Yes that’s right these [3] Bigs are very weak in the post! So the perimeter guys are trying to compensate..

The GM, DANNY FERRY WILL have to fix this with personnel changes..

Slimjr

December 20th, 2012
4:34 pm

Danny, you may have set the bar too high for yourself with the goal of turning this franchise into an Elite within two years..

More like 4 would be reasonable…Nice try…

Just Joe

December 20th, 2012
4:34 pm

I would consider trading Korver & Houston’s 1st rd pick for Derrick Williams.

Williams & Smith would be interchangeable at the forward spots, and Williams is still young enough that you could bring him off the bench when you wanted to start the “big” lineup.

I like Korver alot, but I realize you have to give up something to get something in this league (especially when who you’re getting back is still on his rookie level salary).

bfred

December 20th, 2012
4:37 pm

So in blowout games Jenkins doesn’t see floor time but in a road game against a contender LD remembers he’s on the bench. He then doesn’t bother to set any plays for the sharpshooter (0 attempts in 6 minutes, with one passed up for an assist).

Looking at O’Brien’s 3-point stats up there, they might think about finding ways to get JJ2 comfortable with the NBA pace, and fast. He shot 48% last year!

Which brings us to free throws – I can hit 70%; unless he’s a true Shaq-style big man, how any pro can’t make 80%+ is beyond me.

Mike is Back

December 20th, 2012
4:38 pm

Ken Strick, put Ivan on KD…CMON MAN.LOL

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

bfred

December 20th, 2012
4:41 pm

And slimjr is absolutely right. The Hawks have been playing without a true starter-quality center for nearly a decade, and the results speak for themselves. There’s just no getting around it, we’ve seen the ceiling without one.