Mike, you don't have to stop posting up on the three-point line, but you can't do it here.
So you may have heard that Mike Bibby was traded to the Wizards, along with Mo Evans, Jordan Crawford and a first rounder, for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong. Obviously, this is a marginally positive development. But more player movement could be on the way.
Zaza Pachulia was held out of last night’s loss at Phoenix, as the Hawks continue to work on possible deals leading up to the 3 p.m. trade deadline. My initial reaction, forgetting any on-court implications, is “Nooooooooo!” Zaza is a fan favorite, just as Bibby was a non-fan favorite, so it would be sad to see him go. But uh, yeah, professional basketball is a business and all that, so good luck with the trade talks, Rick Sund. Hope it works out. And congrats on ridding the team of the Alb-Bib-tross.
Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong, welcome to Atlanta. To the former, I hope you improve the team’s on-ball defense and maybe contribute an occasional assist, which is much more than I can say for your predecessor. To the latter, I hope you and Josh Powell get along nicely on the bench.
Posted in Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, NBA
Tagged Atlanta Hawks, deadline, Hilton Armstrong, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Bibby, Mo Evans, Rick Sund, trade, Zaza Pachulia
Al Horford will not play tonight, per Ken Sugiura, but plans to return for Tuesday’s game vs. Philadelphia. In Al’s stead will be Zaza Pachulia, making his second start of the season after getting just 9:36 of floor time last night vs. the Clippers.
Oh, and one more thing – The over/under for “times John Wall blows past Mike Bibby like Bibby’s not even there” is unofficially set at 32.5.
The Larry Drew era couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start. On the strength of rebounding and ball movement, Atlanta ran over the Grizzlies, 119-104, in the season opener for both teams. Sure, Memphis was without its top two front court options — Center Marc Gasol was a out with an ankle injury and forward Zach Randolph did not return after a hard fall in the first quarter– but all in all, an encouraging start for the 2010 Hawks.
Taking advantage of the depleted frontcourt, Zaza Pachulia was a terror on the glass. Zaza finished with 11 boards after grabbing nine in the first half. Working in a brand new Motion Offense, the Hawks shooters had plenty of room to knock down jumpers, and that they did. Mike Bibby was 4-4 from three-point land, while J-J-Joe Johnson made uncharacteristically high 11 trips to the line (making nine) and finished the night with 22 points and just two turnovers against seven assists.
Not as encouraging: Jeff Teague turning the ball over twice in just 16 minutes of floor-time. It was great to see #0 get some non-garbage time for a change, but we’re still a long way from being able to trust the sophomore guard for extended minutes at the point.
81 more games hand wringing though, for now let’s just enjoy the great start. Next up for Atlanta, a Friday night slate with the Sixers in Philadelphia. Philly is 0-1 after dropping its opener to the Heat on Wednesday.
Bobcats 109, Hawks 100. Not a surprising outcome, given Joe Johnson’s sore thumb and Mike Bibby’s ingrown toe nail seem left the team without its starting backcourt. Win number 50 will have to wait, perhaps until tonight (at Detroit), but more important than that is that the team enters the playoffs at full strength, even if it costs it the 3-seed. However, the Celtics also lost last night, to the Knicks, so for at least another day, it’s still in the Hawks’ possession by the slimmest of 1-game margins.
Here’s a good breakdown from Brett Lagree at Hoopinion, who wasn’t thrilled with the lineup management today (and also gets into the larger issue of roster construction, which is a far more foreboding outlook for this team’s chances to compete this spring).
I get that the Hawks aren’t starting Jamal Crawford while Joe Johnson’s out because they want Crawford to be named Sixth Man of the Year. I don’t get why that precludes using Crawford as the team’s sixth man. Nor why Mike Woodson chose to use West (-18 in 9:51 of non-garbage time play during the first half) instead of Jeff Teague or Williams or anyone else capable of playing NBA basketball at a regular pace…..Tonight we witnessed both the cost of punting roster spots 10** through 15 and not recognizing that said roster spots were punted.
Yikes. Anyway, it’s on to Detroit, again without Johnson, and likely without Bibby as well. Zaza Pachulia, who left last night’s game due to hip flexor tendinitis, will be a game-time decision. The team has been fortunate to not run into many injuries this season, and this is a real bad time to start. But there’s no time to feel sorry for anyone. 5 games left. 1 win from 50. Let’s get it Hawks.
The Hawks needed overtime, but got the win tonight, 93-92 over the Bobcats. Some questionable things jump out when looking at the box score and play by play: Josh Smith coming off the bench, Josh Smith committing 6 turnovers, and Josh Smith taking the final shot in regulation. Some positives, balance from the offense-five Hawks scored in double figures-and great play from the front court. It was a trio of double-doubles tonight for Al Horford (13 and 13), Josh Smith (18,11) and Marvin Williams (12, 14). Nice to see Mavin respond with a 5-10 shooting night after the disappointing 1-10 against Toronto.
The biggest story of the night was the triumphant return of Joe Johnson. After starting the game 0-9, Joe dropped 16 in the 2nd half+OT and, oh yeah, hit the game winning shot with .01 left on the clock. Amid all the talk that the Hawks may be fine without Joe, having their best player on the floor tonight proved to be the difference maker. Joe’s overtime winner was the perfect remedy for a team which saw Chris Bosh break its heart a game before; most importantly, it got the Hawks win #44. They’re in perfect position to win 50 games for the first time since 1997. Up next in the Highlight Factory, where the Hawks are 27-7, the aging San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. The Spurs are 8-2 in their last 10, with the losses coming to Orlando and Cleveland, the only teams the Hawks look up to in the East. This is a great opportunity to prove we’re capable of challenging the elite teams this spring.
- Here’s a great recap from someone who actually saw the game: PeachtreeHoops
Getting to know: Zaza Pcaluhia
Not to be confused with Zaza Pachulia.
Image from larrybrownsports.