Game thread: Drew, Smith talk after ‘poor shot selection’ late vs. Pistons (updated)

UPDATES: Ivan Johnson is definitely out tonight. He remained at the team hotel. … Hawks will start Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford. “In the last couple of games we’ve played in going with this lineup it’s been good for us,” coach Larry Drew said. “I think with both Teague and Williams in the lineup it gives us speed, it gives us the ability to play a little faster. … I think it’s important on the road to dictate the tempo of the game and when it’s time to run we have to get out and fly.” … Drew said there is a “probability” he will save DeShawn Stevenson for tomorrow night’s game against the Pacers.

Vivlamore reporting.

Hawks coach Larry Drew acknowledged Josh Smith’s late-game shooting issues against the Pistons Wednesday as “poor shot selection” and said the two have spoken and are ready to move on.

Despite finishing with 31 points, Smith combined to score only one point in the fourth quarter and both overtimes. He was 13-of-18 shooting through three quarters but 0-of-7 in the final 22 minutes.

“It was just poor shot selection,” Drew said. “He knows it. We’ve already talked about it. That was a game where I thought he probably settled a little too much on the perimeter. He acknowledged it. We look at tape and we talk about it and we just move on.”

* Tonight the Hawks’ main focus will be on stopping the Cavaliers’ dribble penetration.  The Cavs scored 46 points in the paint in their victory over the Hawks on Nov. 30 at Philips Arena. Now, they have point guard Kyrie Irving back.

“After looking at our last game, that is what really killed us,” Drew said.

Drew said the Hawks have added a few wrinkles for this game against the Cavs based on the last game. However, the focus will be on better execution both offensively and defensively.

“From an execution standpoint we have enough stuff where I think we can keep them off balance offensively,” Drew said. “It’s just a matter of us getting out there and executing the play and making sure we explore the option off the play, especially on the road. This is where it’s most important because we want to try to control the tempo on the road.”

The Hawks had trouble defending dribble penetration late in Wednesday’s game against the Pistons. Will Bynum scored 26 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods. When Bynum and the Pistons weren’t scoring on layups, they were dishing to Andre Drummond for dunks.

“It is something we saw the last game when Bynum was penetrating, a big man was helping and then Drummond had the wide-open dunks,” Zaza Pachulia said of the Hawks defensive breakdowns. “Other guys have to help the big guy. It’s like a chain. Everybody needs to help each other and be on the same page. That is the key. If you do that we’ll make it easier on ourselves.

“I’ve seen this team doing it the right way and helping each other so I know we are capable of doing it. We just didn’t execute it the right way.”

* The Hawks will get a break in the rebounding battle as the Cavs will be without Anderson Varejao. The center has missed four games with a bruised right knee and he will miss the next two more, including tonight against the Hawks.

Varejao had 18 boards as the Cavs out-rebounded the Hawks 49-28 in their last meeting.

Varejao is the NBA’s leading rebounder at 14.4 boards per game.

Drew warned it’s not only Varejao the Hawks must be concerned about stopping.

“They have guys who really go and attack the glass,” Drew said. “We’ll have to be good in our box outs, not only our big guys but our perimeters as well. They are going to have to get in there and chase some loose balls down. Their size is certainly something we are going to have to deal with tonight but, again, we might try to combat that with our speed and quickness.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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396 comments Add your comment

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:27 pm

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:27 pm

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:28 pm

MsDee

December 28th, 2012
4:30 pm

MsDee

December 28th, 2012
4:30 pm

Or maybe NOT

MsDee

December 28th, 2012
4:30 pm

Yep Slimjr, I surely said that about my boy Horford..he was making a point!!

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:34 pm

Hey Larry did you have a talk with your Allstar about his suspect free-throw shooting.

Hey Larry did you have a talk with your Allstar about his take on defending the paint..Does he feel more comfortable defending outside the paint? Does he not trust his team-mates so he will not leave his man to contest?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:38 pm

Our ALLSTAR Center must be thrilled that Varejao [the NBA's leading rebounder] is out resting his knee?

WHEW………………………….

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
4:41 pm

Cousins is something special [his game]..

His offensive skills are more advanced than any Big the Hawks feature for sure..

Once he matures, look out..

Grandmaster JeJe

December 28th, 2012
4:43 pm

I predict LD uses small starting lineup, we get killed on the glass, and probably lose

Duluth Joe

December 28th, 2012
4:48 pm

That is a really good break with Varejao out. After catching a bad break vs. Sixers when both Holliday and Turner were healthy in time for us after missing a few, we catch a break now. Have to take advantage and pay back the Cavs.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
4:51 pm

For those that say LD never criticizes Josh or ever pulls him out of the game this is another example. I challenge you to find an article, a blog post, or any interview of LD ever calling All Star Al out.

“It is something we saw the last game when Bynum was penetrating, a big man was helping and then Drummond had the wide-open dunks,” Zaza Pachulia said of the Hawks defensive breakdowns. “Other guys have to help the big guy. It’s like a chain. Everybody needs to help each other and be on the same page. That is the key. If you do that we’ll make it easier on ourselves.”

At least Zaza understands the help the helper concept. Horford on the other hand, ……….. Layup line.

drmaryb .(""_ ^).

December 28th, 2012
4:54 pm

STUFF ROLLS DOWNHILL!
__________________________

Sounds like Mr Ferry got in Mr Drew’s backside after that lame presser the coach have after the Pistons debacle. Hmmmmmm ….

First, Mr Drew calls out Jeff & now, it’s Josh turn to fall on the sword today. These boys better straighten up and, fly right. Mr Ferry is not playing around with the mediocrity of the past. There is just too much talent and, money put into this once young roster, to not have improved on fundamental basketball plays up to this point.

The deadline is near.

terrell

December 28th, 2012
5:05 pm

Has Uncle Larry called his own self out yet?

Slimjr

December 28th, 2012
5:07 pm

Larry remind your guys to help the helper on that front line..

AllStar Al its time to start playing volley ball with those little point guards.

Take off those freaking restricting knee pads and rise up on the balls of your feet.. Playing flat-footed will not allow you to be in position to make an impact on the defensive end consistently…

terrell

December 28th, 2012
5:08 pm

Why change the starting 5?

Stick with Teague/Lou/Korver/Josh/Al, and leave it at that. What is he trying to gain? Sick of this musical chair nonsense.

terrell

December 28th, 2012
5:10 pm

Al’s not playing flat footed. He is flat footed. lol. Not hatin on him. Just sayin. It is what it is.

Swingman912

December 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

Rod,

I stand corrected. He called Josh out, but youre right about Al. He played poor D, missed game clinching free throws, and there’s nothing about him.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

C-Viv,

I will be waiting on the next blog post when you post the one concerning Coach Drew talking to his All Star Center about letting point guards waltz down te lane all game an continuosly converting buckets while he stands their flat footed looking in to thin air. I know that is the article you are writing right now. Can’t wait. LOL. I won’t be holding my breath. Also write the article about where LD sat Al down and spoke to him about missing game determining free throws.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

Sounds like Zaza was explaining how the Hawks center can’t simultaneously defend the PG who gets dribble penetration AND the opposing center who rolls to the basket. If the Hawks PG is beat by the opposing PG, he is supposed to do more than stand there and watch… like try and box out the opposing center who is rolling to the basket.

“Other guys have to help the big guy. It’s like a chain. Everybody needs to help each other and be on the same page.

vava74

December 28th, 2012
5:15 pm

FTPB,

Rob “not even Buster Douglas” FCP,

So the fact than immensely talented offensive player averages 18/20ppg shooting ,400 from the floor for lottery teams is not under achieving because he got 10 million per year contracts???

Then I guess Marvin’s production was also validated by his 7.5 million per contract?!

By valuing ppg and $$$ over WINNING as you did already so many times you have indeed showed that although you do know something about basketball, you also “DON’T GET IT”.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:15 pm

Yeah, Zaza already said it. Al was likely waiting for a teammate to do what they practice. Funny thing is that folk were expecting Al to simultaenously defend the PG AND the rolling big man. Only guy who did that on a regular bases was Ben Wallace.

Kind of like a CB who expects the safety to provide coverage after so many yards down the field. Fans think the CB was burned when the reality is that the safety didn’t do his job.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:16 pm

This may be a sign guys. Maybe our head coach is learning and is starting to hold all of his guys accountable. I know the article concerning All Star Al is coming. No way he would call out Teague, and Josh in the media, and leave Al out…………………..

terrell

December 28th, 2012
5:17 pm

Isnt Ivan doubtful for every game? That last blog made me laugh CV.

vava74

December 28th, 2012
5:19 pm

Rod,

Another thing Rod, I went and checked a couple of plays and Al was on both the “helper” so who was the guy missing on helping the helper on those plays when Drummond converted the dish?

My guess is that was Josh.

Not excusing Horford, who I do think has gone softer, but there’s no need to blindly join the bandwagon.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
5:19 pm

From two blogs ago:

“Most head coaches are more likely to forgive physical mistakes rather than mental ones. ”

Why is this a good thing? If a player isn’t producing and someone else can play better, he shouldn’t be on the court. Doesn’t matter whether it’s because his mistakes are mental or physical.

And anyway, not every “physical mistake” is out of a player’s control. Maybe LD can’t ask Al to grow 2 inches but he certainly could have benched Bibby for going overboard with the Krispy Kremes.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:21 pm

“Yeah, Zaza already said it. Al was likely waiting for a teammate to do what they practice. Funny thing is that folk were expecting Al to simultaenously defend the PG AND the rolling big man. Only guy who did that on a regular bases was Ben Wallace.”

The difference is Zaza does what he is actually supposed to do defensively which is to stop penetration. Zaza regularly draws charges and commits hard fouls. Horford on the other hand………. So based on your logic, Zaza is continuously making the wrong defensive play huh.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:23 pm

Excuse my grammer. It’s horrible today. One of those days.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:27 pm

Najeh, that’s easy. A head coach ONLY has playing time to use to influence performance. He can’t fine a player for not wearing his big boy pants to a game. The one way to correct mental errors (and even emotional outbursts like Cousins), is through playing time/suspensions. If you don’t correct the behavior of a young player, you may never see him become a disciplined player capapble of reaching his potential. Not that we have an example of that on our team.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:30 pm

Rod, actually, I think it is quite feasible that LD has told Zaza it is fine for him to get in foul trouble while the same does not hold true for Horfrod. I think it is very plausible that LD (and other head coaches) have a designated “goon-type player” who can use all 6 fouls while not wanting another player to do the same. I think it is quite possible that the expectations for how Zaza defends (foul hard) is different than how Horford should defend (move your feet).

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:31 pm

Vava,

“Another thing Rod, I went and checked a couple of plays and Al was on both the “helper” so who was the guy missing on helping the helper on those plays when Drummond converted the dish?”

This goes so much farther than the Detroit game. I can remember off hand 5 to 6 times during the Detroit game that Horford never even attempted to stop penetration. I think Najeh even mentioned it during the game. Stopping penetration is always #1 priority defensively unless you hvae an elite shot blocker in the paint, and since our elite shot blocker is now on the perimeter, there is no way that it is not his reponsibilty. Much harder for a guard to convert an alley oop, than a layup.

Concerning the bs you posted concerning Marvin, I never had a problem with the 7.5 mil Marvin was making, I had a problem with the length of the contract, and the fact that we did not let him test the market, and match if we wanted to.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

December 28th, 2012
5:33 pm

When our guards drive to the basket bigs from the other team are there to meet them. When guards from opposing teams drive to the basket our bigs stand and watch.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
5:34 pm

“Sounds like Zaza was explaining how the Hawks center can’t simultaneously defend the PG who gets dribble penetration AND the opposing center who rolls to the basket. If the Hawks PG is beat by the opposing PG, he is supposed to do more than stand there and watch… like try and box out the opposing center who is rolling to the basket.

“Other guys have to help the big guy. It’s like a chain. Everybody needs to help each other and be on the same page.”

Right, but one of those links in the chain is Al stepping up and helping the guy with the ball. I would have been much less critical of Al last night if he was, in fact, challenging every Bynum drive and Bynum was finding Drummond. The responsibility to prevent Drummond from getting a dunk, then, would fall to the next link in the chain, who presumably would have been helping off of someone like Austin Daye.

So in other words, if the system had worked properly, the Hawks would have been leaving some perimeter shooter open and Bynum would have had to pass to that shooter once Al came up to contest his drives to the basket. The Pistons proved for three quarters that they were incapable of finding open teammates on the weak side, and chances are that strategy would have continued to work with Bynum at PG.

The most basic concept in transition defense is to stop the ball and make the ball handler pass to a teammate. If Bynum and Drummond were running a fast break and Al was the last line of defense, the right play would be for him to stop Bynum and make him pass it. I don’t see why that same concept wouldn’t apply in this situation.

And the biggest problem was that while Al stayed back on Drummond instead of helping on Bynum, it’s not like he was keeping Drummond from scoring and getting boards either. He has the responsibility to stop one or the other and he stopped neither one.

Al is generally a good defender, better in one on one situations than in help situations, but last night was not his finest hour defensively.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:36 pm

Astro Joe,

That’s nonsense. You don’t draw a foul for a charge. You move your feet and get in position or you contest the shot. No way LD teaches anything different. Even if he did, Horford’s basketball IQ is so high from what i’ve been told by numerous bloggers here that eventually after he continues to see point guard 6′2 and under make layups right next to him, he should be smart enough to realize that he needs to try to prevent the easiest shot in basketball.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:39 pm

The Pistons clearly found a weakness in the Hawks defensive system, that is cvlear. A back-up PG scored 31 and a rookie center was having his way. Excuse me if I am not of the opinion that both players feasted exclusively on Horford. If a player says that there is a “chain” and suggests that players need to help the big guy, then I am left to believe that the breakdown was coming from players who did NOT help the big guy. I’m not sure how to reach any other conclusion based on Zaza’s comments.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
5:41 pm

Of course none of that is to say that Al was solely at fault. Bynum started heating up against the Hawks’ bench, and kept it up after Teague came back in, and nobody checking him had the presence of mind to force him away from the middle where he was doing the most damage. If he had been forced to drive away from the middle it would have been much harder for him to involve Drummond in the play.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:41 pm

Vava,

I know that Floyd Mayweather post really got to you. Your like that old boxer suffering from too many concussions still trying to get in the ring. LEt it go. Give it up. Enjoy the rest of your life.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
5:45 pm

Meanwhile, Hoopsworld has some nice things to say about the Hawks. Somehow they seem to have more Hawks-related content than every other NBA site put together.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:45 pm

“When our guards drive to the basket bigs from the other team are there to meet them.”

Interesting Clyde. I guess LD is running some defensive system that nobody else uses. I wonder why when Josh or Ivan or Zaza is down on the block they always contest or try to step up to draw the charge. I guess Horford plays by his own rules huh. No way possible he is not doing what he is supposed to do.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:46 pm

You don’t draw a foul for a charge. You move your feet and get in position or you contest the shot.

Rod, nonsense? So every attempt at drawing a charge is always successful? No one is ever called for a blocking foul while attempting to draw a charge?

And considering the 2 foul treatment that AL has dealt with previously, why is it not possible that the rules are different for Al vs. a back-up center with limited 2-way capabilities? I’d bet anything that Josh has different “privileges” than Josh. Ivan could commit 2 fouls in 4 minutes and keep playing, while the same is NOT true for Josh.

W.R. Terrell

December 28th, 2012
5:46 pm

The “Smoove” has been talked to before about poor shot selection. I give it mebbee 3 games and then he will get stoopid again. He cannot learn to play where his strengths lies. Danny is not playing and LD cannot get the “Smoove” under control. Woody tried and tried hard, LD has tried the buddy, buddy route and the same scenario presents itself. The “Smoove” has tremendous talent but no B Ball IQ and that’s the way it is. The best way to handle him is to bench him when stoopid takes over, that in itself will negate the rest of the team from losing focus. This is nothing new, it’s been going on for years and that is the main reason he will never go to the HOF or be taken seriously as a SUPERSTAR, the “Smoove”, is his own worst enemy.

Swingman912

December 28th, 2012
5:49 pm

Centers are supposed to be rim protecters. Bynum got hot and was able to penetrate, but no one was there to contest, or either they came lat, so Bynum was able to score at ease or dish to the roll man. Your wing player has to be a poart of the rotation as well. If Al commits to Bynum, the wing comes and tries to deny the roller, or foul(no harm in fouling Drummond. you would think he played for the Hawks how bad his FT shooting is). After that the closest man is responsible for getting out on the wing shooter. Simple basketball. Wasnt just Al, but it was part his fault. Wasnt just Teague, but partly his fault as well. It just wasnt good TEAM defense. Bad team defense+ bad shot selection= squandering a 19 pt lead in the 4th Quarter

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:50 pm

“If a player says that there is a “chain” and suggests that players need to help the big guy, then I am left to believe that the breakdown was coming from players who did NOT help the big guy. I’m not sure how to reach any other conclusion based on Zaza’s comments.”

Obviously you have never played the game or if you did you have no concept of defensive principles. What Zaza said was correct the difference is Zaza was doing what he was supposed to do, which is to stop penetration, which allowed the ally oops, Horford was not doing what he was supposed to do with allowed layups by point guards all night long.

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:53 pm

Rod, Zaza was calling out the guys who are supposed to help the big guy. Read the quote. Help the big guy. The scheme requires that the big guy gets help. That’s what Zaza who is playing in the scheme just said. Stop being hard-headed. A center on the Hawks who has been there for quite some time said that the defensive scheme requires that the big man get help. That’s the quote.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:54 pm

“Wasnt just Al, but it was part his fault. Wasnt just Teague, but partly his fault as well. It just wasnt good TEAM defense.”

Agreed Swingman912. So Teague has been called out in the media by LD, and so has Josh. Now we are just waiting on the article about Al……

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:55 pm

“Other guys have to help the big guy”.

Rod from College Park

December 28th, 2012
5:57 pm

Astro Joe,

Again, I know exactly what Zaza was saying. He was saying that when he went to HELP, nobody HELPED him. So why would Horford not be expected to HELP, so somebody can HELP him?

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
5:57 pm

A quote from a center who is currently in the Hawks system and listens to his coaches teach the team defensive concept, “Other guys have to help the big guy”.

I wonder if Zaza would have an inkling as to what the center is supposed to expect in the chain of defense? Probably not, he isn’t originally from Atlanta.

Najeh Davenpoop

December 28th, 2012
6:01 pm

The way I interpret that Zaza quote in context of what happened on Wednesday night is that Al may have seen that his teammates weren’t rotating onto Drummond and then decided to stay back on Drummond instead of helping on Bynum. Even if that’s the case I still think it’s Al’s job to contest the guy with the ball and make him pass rather than giving him an open layup. Like I said in the previous post, I’d be a lot less critical of Al if he was contesting Bynum’s shot and his teammates weren’t rotating over in time to pick up Drummond.

And anyway, would it really surprise anyone here if a Zaza quote didn’t exactly convey 100% of what he was trying to say?

Astro Joe

December 28th, 2012
6:04 pm

Rod, sometimes Horford stayed with Drummond and other times he tried to contest Bynum. Keep in mind that Bynum is very undersized and has perfected the high tear drop shot…. it is why he has an NBA career. I watched Horford unsuccessfully try to block Bynum’s shots. Much like I saw Josh unsuccessfully block the lay-up that Bynum missed towards the end of one of the OTs.

It was like playing “monkey in the middle”. They read what Horford was doing and exploited it. If Horford stayed with Drummond, Bynum drove. If he went to help on ynum, Drummond went to the front of the rim for the pass. Meanwhile, his teammates watched. Zaza was saying that a 2 on 1 sutuation in the halfcourt set is an issue not for just the big guy (who is stuck in the middle) but for the one who doesn’t rotate to help.