Game thread: Hawks wary of Pistons’ bench

Vivlamore reporting from Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The Hawks take on the Pistons tonight and will use the same starting lineup from the past six games of Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford.

In speaking with coach Larry Drew before the game, he is wary of the Pistons’ bench players. It was the Detroit reserves, you’ll remember, who combined to score 85 points, erase a 22-point deficit and force two overtimes on Dec. 26 in a Hawks’ 126-119 win.

Will Bynum scored a game-high 31 points off the bench for the Pistons.

“We have to be better against their bench,” Drew said. “That particular game, their bench just played well. I don’t think that has happened to us thus far this season but that game. Their bench played well, really shot the ball well. We have to be better defensively. We know what each guy is capable of doing. Defensively we have the game plan, the game strategy and we just have to be good when those guys come into the game.

“We have to make those guys a priority. Given the way this team has played the last seven or eight ball games, their bench is a huge part of why they’ve had the success they’ve had. We have to really buckle down and we have to really zone in on their bench.”

The Pistons have won five of their past six games with the only loss coming to the Hawks.

Drew said the issues in blowing the 22-point lead rested mostly with his team.

“I was actually just in there watching a little bit of it,” Drew said. “Defensively, we had breakdowns. Offensively, just bad shot selection, bad floor spacing, bad execution. That was the result. It was funny as I was watching the fourth quarter. I believe at the six-minute mark we were up by 14 or 16 (points) and you had not seen that game or stopped the game at that point you would have never guessed it went to double overtime.

“We didn’t do a really good job offensively. We settled – a lot. When you settle, that’s the end result especially if you are not making the shots. And the Pistons just ran the ball down our throat. Bynum got to the basket pretty much at will. They had some guys who made some shots. You have to be more efficient in those situations. When you get a lead you have to understand how you got the lead and you have to learn how to really work the offense. That game we didn’t do it.”

In other news:

* The Hawks played without guards Devin Harris (sore left foot) and Anthony Morrow (right hip strain) and center Johan Petro (stomach illness). The three did not travel to Detroit and their status for Saturday’s game against the Celtics in unclear.

* Josh Smith ranks eighth on the Hawks’ franchise list with 5,001 rebounds. He entered Friday’s game trailing Cliff Hagan by 18 rebounds for seventh on the list.

“It’s a great honor,” Smith said after getting his milestone rebound against the Hornets Tuesday. “It lets me know I’m getting older. I still have a lot more in my tank to go but it’s a blessing to be doing this as long as I have.”

* Entering Friday’s game, Al Horford had 207 field goals this season with 45 (21.7 percent) assisted by Smith.

- Chris Vivlamore

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313 comments Add your comment

Rod from College Park

January 4th, 2013
7:05 pm

Ken Strckland,

(From previous blog) I ask you this question. We are behind the Knicks and the Heat in the standings. The Knicks have been starting Carmelo Anthony at the 4, and the Heat started Lebron James at the 4 in the finals last year. Based on your theory that Horford would mesh better with Howard than Josh would I ask you, based on the above knowledge, would Horford have a chance guarding Lebron or Melo? Who would he guard?

Points

January 4th, 2013
7:06 pm

John Jenkins.

Last 3 games. 68% from the floor. 83% from 3 pt range.

For some reason Teague seems to look the other way when the 2 are on the court together. I would love Jenkins taking the shots that Tolliver ends up hoisting.

Rod from College Park

January 4th, 2013
7:06 pm

“* Entering Friday’s game, Al Horford had 207 field goals this season with 45 (21.7 percent) assisted by Smith.”

So 21% of Horford’s buckets come from the guy with low basketball IQ who should never get the ball unless he is on the block? Interesting….

Macaroni Tony

January 4th, 2013
7:07 pm

Macaroni Tony

January 4th, 2013
7:08 pm

I think Teague will have a big game today.

NORRIS CHUCK

January 4th, 2013
7:17 pm

Word is on the streets is Memphis wants to move Rudy Gray

Swingman912

January 4th, 2013
7:19 pm

I hope Teague redeems himself defensively. Bynum is quick but instead of gambling, make an attempt to saty in front of the guy…

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:29 pm

“For some reason Teague seems to look the other way when the 2 are on the court together. I would love Jenkins taking the shots that Tolliver ends up hoisting.”

I don’t think Jenkins is entirely comfortable playing with the starters yet. Sometimes he finds himself in the wrong position on the floor when other players are looking to pass to him. Doesn’t mean he isn’t playing well overall for a rookie, but some of Jenkins’ lack of touches while he’s on the floor are on him.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:29 pm

Rudy,Josh, and Horford could challenge Miami and the Knicks!

What could the Hawks offer Memphis?

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:29 pm

AL HORFORD vs LEBRON JAMES??? or AL HORFORD vs CARMELO ANTHONY???

Let’s keep it real……….This is not even serious conversation… Al can’t guard either of them!!!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:31 pm

Nique has already said “nimbers” twice and the game hasn’t even started yet.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:33 pm

Trap? Perhaps…

Horford cannot “kick the can” tonight like he did in the previous Detroit engagement..

Greg Monroe is a load for him..

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:33 pm

Trap? Perhaps…

NORRIS CHUCK

January 4th, 2013
7:34 pm

1st unit – Teague, Lou, Rudy, Josh, Horford would be a heck of a unit. Just dont know what they would want in return though. Mr Ferry, get on the phone!

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:39 pm

Pistons are a hot team…..I do not have a good feelng about this game…Kind of think “Coach of the Month” should have started Zaza tonight, and allowed him to play 30-35 minutes….

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:41 pm

Rudy for Josh straight up????

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:41 pm

Al Horford vs. Al Horford..

I’d may pay to watch that battle…lol!

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:41 pm

Josh will never change….

MattP

January 4th, 2013
7:42 pm

Smith long 2 for first shot… Going to be a long night.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:42 pm

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:42 pm

Can someone get a rebound???

Rev in Tampa

January 4th, 2013
7:43 pm

Tashon needs to lay off the adult beverages before the game.

Luke Cage

January 4th, 2013
7:43 pm

SWEET CHRISTMAS!!!

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:44 pm

Greg Monroe abusing Al…..

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:44 pm

Greg Monroe abusing Al…..

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:47 pm

Hawks making that extra pass early on offense. Gotta tighten up the post D though.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:48 pm

How much more can Al take? Get up Zaza…

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:49 pm

Hawks had great success overloading the strong side and pressuring Detroit’s PGs to force turnovers in the last game, but there hasn’t been a turnover yet (by either side) in this game.

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:49 pm

We need Zaza in the game..

Rev in Tampa

January 4th, 2013
7:50 pm

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/16488/miami-heat-whats-their-motivation

This whole article is about the Heat’s competition in the East. It mentions the Knicks, Bulls, Pacers, and Nets, but does not even give the Hawks any consideration. Doesn’t even mention them in the whole article. SMH

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:50 pm

Nice reverse by Al against Monroe on the block.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

January 4th, 2013
7:51 pm

Horford playing offense but no defense.

JaeEvolution

January 4th, 2013
7:52 pm

Wow that three looked extremely confident from Josh.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:52 pm

Ball movement by the Hawks on offense has been good. Defensive rotations still a little slow.

Rev in Tampa

January 4th, 2013
7:52 pm

Enter your comments here

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:52 pm

We are in trouble now…Stuckey gives us fits….

Luke Cage

January 4th, 2013
7:53 pm

The new “JJ” has arrived.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:54 pm

Korver now 0/4 from 3.

Al has 6 rebounds already.

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
7:54 pm

“Horford playing offense but no defense.”

so your saying the escort service is fully operational tonight once again? Hmmmmm

Imagine Favors defending the post/rim? Nice

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:54 pm

Kyle is a little off tonight…He has to keep shooting it…All great shooters have a bad night..

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
7:56 pm

Josh + Al = 8/11 FG
Rest of the team = 0/6 FG

Sautee

January 4th, 2013
7:56 pm

“Greg Monroe abusing Al…..”

Monroe: 4 pts, 1 reb

Horford: 8 pts, 6 reb.

keith

January 4th, 2013
7:58 pm

Josh making a “GROWN MAN MOVE!!!”

J.J.M.

January 4th, 2013
8:00 pm

Lol same garbage teague and people thought he was good because of that one game…guy is best as a backup point guard

keith

January 4th, 2013
8:02 pm

TEAGUE plays so inconsistent….He needs more self confidence!!!!

Slimjr

January 4th, 2013
8:03 pm

“Horford: 8 pts, 6 reb.”

He keeps this pace he could go for 32 and 24?

Melvin

January 4th, 2013
8:05 pm

Josh and AL need help on the offensive end …

Sautee

January 4th, 2013
8:05 pm

Anyone else having connectivity problems? This blog won’t refresh properly. Takes 2 minutes just to refresh.

Slim

January 4th, 2013
8:05 pm

Lou should not be a starter!

Najeh Davenpoop

January 4th, 2013
8:06 pm

Same sh-t different day. Pistons second unit killing the Hawks.

The Hawks other than Josh and Al are still getting skunked more than one quarter into the game.