Hawks lay an egg and Drew threatens lineup changes

Josh Smith and the Hawks found no easy road to the basket. (AP photo)

Josh Smith and the Hawks found no easy path to the basket. (AP photo)

I normally don’t re-top a live blog. But the Hawks’ 117-83 loss to Philadelphia at Philips Arena Tuesday night was so humiliating on so many levels that I figured it was worth some sort of recap.

So here goes . . .

They trailed the Sixers — who entered the night with a 7-19 road record — by 20 points in the first quarter (33-13), when they committed seven turnovers and slept on defense (Philly shooting 14 of 23).

They trailed by 32 points at halftime (65-32), which set new standards for the most points allowed and the fewest points scored in the first half this season.

They never trailed by less than 28 points in the second half. (So much for the effect of wall-shaking halftime speeches.)

They played without starting center Al Horford (update below). Zaza Pachulia started in his place. Not that this was all Pachulia’s fault, but it’s worth noting he had as many rebounds at halftime (zero) as Horford, who was wearing a suit.

When it was over, coach Mt. Drew erupted as you would expected. Actually, coach Larry Drew didn’t merely erupt. He threatened to blow up his starting lineup.

Asked if he expected his players to at least rebound with a better effort in the second, Drew responded: “I was expecting that, especially after my halftime talk. But I saw what I saw in the first half. It’s totally unacceptable to come out and play with that type of energy, that type of so-called passion, to play almost as if they don’t care. That’s a reflection of me. If that’s the case, then I’m going to have to make some changes in my starting lineup. I’ve seen that way too often. If that’s the way we’re going to start basketball games, I’m not going to sit here and take it. I’m going to make some changes.”

We’ll see if Drew actually follows through on that when the Hawks play next Saturday against Charlotte. His options would seem limited. He’s not going to bench Joe Johnson or Josh Smith, so that leaves Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby.

One thing is certain: Great teams don’t lose like this, certainly never at home and not even when a key starter is out of the lineup. The Hawks have now done it twice in less than three weeks. They were dropped by New Orleans at home 100-59 Jan. 21.

Drew said he takes “full responsibility” for his players not being ready, but the more he spoke, the more he put on the players. Quoting again: “You’re going to miss shots but there’s no excuse for giving up easy baskets, and it starts with my starters. … We can’t play such a lethargic game when every game has such meaning to us. That’s just totally inexcusable.”

No argument here.

Here’s a link to an Al Horford column I wrote earlier Tuesday:

(Here’s the earlier live blog with Horford news.)

So I came to Hawks’ practice this morning to talk to Al Horford for a column I posted a couple of hours ago, fully expecting to update it after tonight’s game against Philadelphia. But that’s not an issue now.

Horford, who suffered a bruised back when he was clobbered by the Los Angeles Clippers’ rookie Winnebago,  Blake Griffin, and knocked to the floor last Friday, is a late scratch for the Sixers game.

It will be the second straight game Horford has missed, although this one is more surprising. Horford said after the morning shoot-around that he would play, but by the evening something had changed. Zaza Pachulia will replace him at center.

“He didn’t feel his back could take the pounding, so we’re keeping him out,” coach Larry Drew said.

It’s probably a wise decision. Horford is too important to the Hawks’ fortunes this season and in the playoffs. They can’t afford to have him aggravate the injury and lose him for an extended period.

But the game goes on. Even without Horford, the Hawks should be able to defeat the Sixers who are 23-27 overall and a horrible 7-19 on the road. The Hawks have won three straight and are 12-4 since January.

That’s it for now. I’ll be blogging live so pull up a laptop. I’ll check back shortly.

By Jeff Schultz


Earlier:

Al Horford is an All-Star at center but he’s taking a beating

Crowell’s recruitment aside, Washaun Ealey did this to himself

Title odds: Falcons 16-1, Dogs 50-1, Jackets 150-1

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

230 comments Add your comment

Air Zaza

February 8th, 2011
6:53 pm

First, and trade suggestion:
Mayo/Thabeet for Crawford/Etan

Give us a PG in Mayo who was in a really bad situation who has all star potential and is very talented who will fit in well in our system and Thabeet, well, he can try to make the bust status is a shame like Darko did.

Crawford is a tough one to lose but we have to get a player that can get us the contender status and Mayo can potentially do that. What do you think Jeff?

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
6:58 pm

Jeff

How far do you think the hawks can go in the playoff? They are 33-18 right now and are exceeding expectations again this year while being overlooked. Do you think a trade for steve nash could put them over the top to the finals?

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:14 pm

I love trade pitches. Keep ‘em coming.
I’m on record as wanting Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups. Can’t fix center situation this year but CAN fix point guard situation — and both of those guys are gettable.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:15 pm

Tech Stinger — Don’t know how you define “over the top” but to me Nash gets them past the second round.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:18 pm

it would take a lot to land nash or billups. do the hawks have enough to offer?

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:20 pm

Sixers up 10-2 until Bibby hits a 3.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:21 pm

slooooow start.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:21 pm

Brandon — I don’t know if it would take a lot — and Jamal’s salary slot is viewed as a significant asset to a lot of teams.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:22 pm

Thaddeus Young in the game for Philly — a sign when things started to go bad for Tech.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:23 pm

Huuuuu—miliating… Iguodola misses a breakaway dunk. That will be on Sportscenter.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:24 pm

what is jamal making this year?

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:26 pm

Hawks need to wake up here. Getting drilled 23-9. Horford is their best player, and he’s scratched.

Beast from the East

February 8th, 2011
7:27 pm

WTF? I just tuned in an the Hawks are already down by 16? Could be a long night.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:28 pm

Brandon from WR — Jamal Crawford makes $10.080 million.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:29 pm

Beast from the East — Just a little pre-game nap that happened to extend into the game.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:29 pm

kind of reminds me of the new orleans game at the factory of tears a while back.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:30 pm

what i could do with that kind of money!

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:33 pm

Early shooting: Philly 12-20. Hawks 5-16. … Maybe I should’ve gone to the Georgia-Xavier game.

Beast from the East

February 8th, 2011
7:33 pm

You could almost hear a pin drop in the arena.

Beast from the East

February 8th, 2011
7:34 pm

Jeff,
Xavier has small lead with about 3 minutes to go in the first.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:34 pm

Josh bounces ball off his foot. That’s at least seven turnovers. …. Louis Williams cans a J: 33-13.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:35 pm

Hawks play the quarter from Hell. Trail Philly 33-15 after 1st. 6-17 from floor, 7 turnovers.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:36 pm

this is brutal.

Beast from the East

February 8th, 2011
7:36 pm

Ya’ll wake me up when the Hawks show up, will ya?

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:38 pm

Jeff

We all know that this might be the last year with this core group being together. Who do you think we should package beside Crawford to get a good guard.

Ted Sheckler

February 8th, 2011
7:39 pm

Is Horford considered the best center the Hawks have had since Jon Koncak. He wasn’t the highest paid player in the league for nothing. That boy had skills. Seriously, though, do people still watch the NBA?

Air Humar

February 8th, 2011
7:40 pm

Two trade scenarios: Smoove and Jamal for Mayo and Marc Gasol; Smoove and Teague for Monta and Biedrins. Thoughts?

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:41 pm

i would not part with josh smith.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 8th, 2011
7:41 pm

al just threw his shoe at Josh who layed a brick from 3 piont land

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:42 pm

Andrew Bynum is on the block. Very young center at age 23, but he is very fragile. I like the monta ellis deal though.

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:43 pm

Jeff

Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard? Who is the league’s best center

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 8th, 2011
7:44 pm

am all in for nash. can you imagine josh baling to the corner with his arm up wanting the ball with nash dishing?

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:44 pm

Tech Stinger — First thought is anybody or anything, save: 1) Horford; 2) Joe; 3) Josh. But if they can pull a trade for a high quality and relatively young PG, I’m open to dealing Josh. … Easy giveaways: Marvin, draft pick, Mo, etc.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:44 pm

i wouldn’t mind seeing GM Sund make an attempt at marc gasol.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:45 pm

Air Humar — I’m not a big Mayo fan … Monta Ellis is a shooting guard. Hawks need a point.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 8th, 2011
7:46 pm

Teague would be the leading scorer for the Thrashers.

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:48 pm

is that the rookie checking in? shocking.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Schultz, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: My work day on Instant Re-Tweet (Part III). NOW: LIVE Hawks blog (who must go again without Horford). #Hawks http://bit.ly/i00nvv [...]

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:49 pm

50-23 . . . seriously? I don’t know what else to say.

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:50 pm

Seriously, this is the kind of game where Hawks owners should say:”You know what? Thanks for coming and here’s your money back.”

Brandon from WR

February 8th, 2011
7:50 pm

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:51 pm

Boston has Shaq, J.O’Neal, Perkins, Glen Davis, Garnett and Erden. Maybe we can get a big body from them.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 8th, 2011
7:51 pm

Hawks would be wise to consult Al before any trades. He is the team, is smart and honest, a winner with a pedigree.

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:52 pm

Jeff you need to get up and go to the locker room and give these so called Pro Players a Halftime Speech.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 8th, 2011
7:53 pm

Jeff Schultz- Shoulda went to Athens or the GoldRush.

10 inches

February 8th, 2011
7:54 pm

Jeff,

“Thaddeus Young in the game for Philly — a sign when things started to go bad for Tech.”

You are right! Gt did not get any calls that year..or last year..They play in the coach K league..Where its all about the coach..get a life

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:54 pm

No defense at all

Jeff Schultz

February 8th, 2011
7:54 pm

Tech Stinger — If I just bang out a quick blog and distribute it at halftime in the locker room, would it have the same effect?

Tech Stinger

February 8th, 2011
7:55 pm

Jeff should stay out of athens, the Clarke County Police Department might mistake him for a UGA player

Beast from the East

February 8th, 2011
7:55 pm

29 points! Are u kidding me?