Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 9:01 am  |  46 responses

Post Up: Hawks Fly High

While the Nets sink low, low, low.

by Holly MacKenzie/@stackmack

The Nets got the record. 0-18. Worst start in NBA history. And, man, did they get there in a fitting way. The Mavericks dismantled the Nets in the second quarter, blowing the game open as they shot 17-19 from the floor in the quarter. They were 81 percent from the floor in the first half. They scored just 12 points in the fourth quarter and still won by 16. They were led by former Net, Jason Kidd who had a great line of 16 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and five steals.

Hang in there, Nets. We’re with you.  At least, I am.

The Raptors gave up 33 points. 42 points. 39 points and 32 points in four quarters to the Hawks. I wasn’t expecting a W, but my goodness, I was expecting more. After losing to the Wizards at home, I was expecting some soul-searching and digging deep down to pull out a spirited effort. The only spirit in ATL was the mascot. The Hawks had nine players reach double-figures. The last time that happened was December. Of 1987.

CoCo, I’m sorry for not believing in your team like I should. Bibby, Horford, Smith x2, Johnson, Williams, Crawford, Teague, Pachulia. I see you.

Another gross game was the Suns/Cavs as Phoenix appeared to be tired from playing in NYC the night before (although, I can’t figure out why, since they didn’t show up for the entire game against the Knicks, so they should have been fairly rested), and scored just 14 points in the first quarter, trailing by 19 at the end of the first quarter. From there, it was all Cleveland as the Cavs had seven players in double-figures and won big despite LeBron finishing with just 12 points (and eight rebounds and 10 assists).

The Knicks lost to Orlando, but the real news in that one was the benching of Nate Robinson. I’m not sure what’s going on between Rob and D’Antoni, but it’s not good. D’Antoni addressed the benching by saying, “We want to win and if he’s conducive to winning then he’ll obviously be back in the lineup. If not he’s not.” Yikes.

While all of the blowouts were going on, Milwaukee and Washington gave us a battle, with the Wizards winning their second straight, on the second night of a back-to-back, 104-102 as Earl Boykins again came to the rescue late, draining two free throws with one second remaining to win the game for his new team after Brandon Jennings hit a three to tie the game at 102 with 10.5 seconds to go. Loved hearing Nick Young call Boykins, “mini mouse,” loved Arenas scoring 22 points to go with nine assists and really loved Young finishing with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting.

I still think Young’s going to turn into a really, really good NBA player.

I also think Scott Skiles has got to be one wild guy to play for. Did you see the technicals in the first quarter? He flew onto the court after that ref. Can’t imagine how heated he can get in practice when things are not going how he’d like.

Memphis and Minnesota also gave fight, with Memphis coming out on top, 97-95 after Ramon Sessions got to the line, missed the first free throw and had to intentionally miss the second, with the TWolves unable to grab the board. Mike Conley, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph scored 20 points apiece for the Grizzlies while Ryan Gomes was tops with 20 for the Timberwolves. Seeing Sessions in the fourth, felt like the most I’ve seen of him all season. This means I need to watch more Minnesota games. I really haven’t seen enough of Jonny Flynn this season. He finished with 12 points and nine assists in the loss.

Russell Westbrook with a career-high 15 assists as the Thunder took down Philly 117-106. Kevin Durant had 33 on the night and the Sixers wait for Iverson. Also, shout out to Nick Collison for his 18 points off of the bench on 8-for-9 shooting.

26 points. five rebounds. six assists. Tyreke Evans. His shot kills but, but my goodness he’s fun to watch, isn’t he? I haven’t seen enough of the Kings this season either and I’m committing myself to watching more Timberwolves and more Kings. Flynn and Evans deserve it. The Kings are 9-8. Who thought that was coming? I certainly did not. #Kingsipromisetowatch

Oh yeah, how weird was it watching Dwight in those retro Magic unis?

Or how great it was watching Mickael Pietrus drain three after three against the Knicks?

Didn’t like the Chicago fans booing Ben Gordon. At all.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the night was seeing Jrue Holiday pull up and drain a pair of three-pointers. They didn’t contribute to the win (Philly lost), but they were fun. The loss was Philly’s eighth straight. dun.dun.dun. Here comes Allen I!
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  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I’m a star! And, I can’t believe Chicago booed Ben Gordon.

  • http://hoopmixtape.ning.com/ Simon S.Y Lawy

    Hawk Rocks. COngratulations to Lang, Co Co and all the hawks fan.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    There are some plays where LeBron looks like a grown man playing in an 8 yr. old YMCA league. That block on J-Rich was one of those plays.

  • Vish

    I really feel for the Nets. These guys need to get a W soon….they have the Bobcats and Knicks up next….come on guys, I am sure you can get one of them

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Lebron is the chase down from behind shot block player of the year.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    He’s also averaging 29 a game on 19 shots, his lowest shot per game avg since his rookie season. I love it. I also love the fact that the Cavs can put points on the board even when he’s not scoring at all like last night. / Earl Boykins took Jennings to school on that last play. he said in the interview after the game that he knew BJ was going to be overly agressive and go for the pump fake. Jennings has made a lot of mental mistakes in crunch time so far. When you think about it, he has never really played crunch time basketball because Oak Hill were killing teams and he was benched in Italy. That’s one thing he could have learned at Zona (not that he was eligible anyways…). Still love the kid.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I also love the fact that everyone is killing him about his lack of post game. There is nothing more to say about the jumper.

  • http://www.digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Tyreke was amazing in the first quarter last night with 16 points. The Pacers had to focus on him the rest of the night and opened up opportunities for the rest of the kings. Sactown is surprisingly good this year. They have a little swag and it is helping them weather runs by the other team. That and good ball movement/trust in the offense is helping them be successful. Danny Granger looks huge. Was he on muscle watch this summer? Dude is starting to look downright scary. Oh, and Nocioni played a really great game last night…all of the kings did…Jason Thompson was draining 15-18 foot jumpers, Hawes was bangin down low and shooting spot-up threes, Udrich & Rodriguez held down the point and tyreke was causing Havoc. Also liked DOnte Green’s steal of the inbounds to pretty much lock up the W.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I haven’t really watched the Kings, Reke starts at the 1 and then drifts to the 2? At what spot does he play the most of his mins?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The only reason people point out LeBron’s “jump shot problem” (which he doesn’t have) is because they need to find SOMETHING bad to say about his game. Nobody in the NBA is going to feel comfortable leaving LeBron open for a jumpshot, and that’s that.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    The Kings are doing all of this without their two leading scorers from last year, Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia. Pretty amazing, actually.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Boykins is awesome.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    LeBron shooting is still the lesser of the two evils when playing defense on him. If he gets a lane he is certain to score.

  • http://www.digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    Tyreke plays at the two mainly but he handles the ball and brings it upcourt quite often. Or Udrich will bring it up and just hand it to Reke to set up a lay or iso. Kinda Brandon ROy-esque in his role right now. Ballhandling two-guard. Not much true off ball positioning.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    I’m wondering how long it will be before Chris Bosh goes off.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Boykins handled Jennings like a vet, but Young Buck still hit a KILLER three at the end of the game to before he commited that dumb foul. He’s back to Earth, but he’s still vicious for a rookie. And look out, cause Derrick Rose appears to be cleared for take-off. He looks physically right again, and that means trouble for everybody trying to stop him.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    TAD, isn’t that the casewith all superstar wings when they’re at their peak physically no matter how good a shooter they are? It’s just silly how he can walk the dog for 4-5 dribbles and rise up for a basically uncontested J everytime down the floor.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Watching the raptors play this season makes me eyes bleed. So much for trading everyone for Hedo..

  • RV

    Nice Ariza jam on Kaman last night..

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Agreed Z. They showed some clip on NBATV the other day showing that Bron has scored the majority of his points so far this season from 15-18 feet. That actually surprised me a lot.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lebron here’s the haters and is driven to prove them wrong.
    Only he doesn’t like to show it. He’s shy like that.

  • http://www.sixers.com 360vue

    Hawks are mos def for real

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Suns have decided to play this constant switch-off zone defense. The only problem is, they’re horrible at it and embarrassing themselves. I’m actually really disappointed in Nash, because even though he’s the only one scoring, he’s also not taking it seriously. Lopez turned the ball over, Nash was taken out, and he’s laughing with everyone on the bench… your team is getting embarrassed! Stop f*cking laughing!
    Cavaliers are a superior team when Lebron is playing the point guard, for real.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Perhaps that’s the reason why he’ll never reach the highest level of winning, Ju Ju.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    It may very well be.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    It’s weird with nash not being mad about losses, because it’s clear he works at his game as much as anybody…i guess it’s more of a “love of the game” inspired work ethic then the “losing makes me puke” inspired work ethic that jordan and other killers seem to have, which is why he is plenty skilled but lacks the killer instinct.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nash has killer instinct.
    Maybe he just figures it’s only one game, and since he has immunity with his butt buddies in the media, why not laugh it off? It’s good to be Steve Nash.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Nash doesn’t really have killer instinct. I know this is odd role reversal, Allen, but the dude only forces things when he feels comfortable doing it. Of course, Steve’s shot is on more than it’s not, so it ‘appears’ he has killer instinct. Nash is also such a great passer that, when his shot is not on, he can still get 40 assists and people will say he was amazing.
    But when the team isn’t moving (like yesterday) and his shot isn’t falling (like yesterday), he will NOT try and force the issue. He ran to the basket several times and passed it off to guys who had the same chance of hitting the shot that Nash did. Nash should have gone for 40 when he saw his team not doing ANYTHING both offensively and defensively… but instead decided to pass and laugh on the bench.
    No killer instinct there.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Still better than Kevin Johnson though.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Michael Jordan.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Nash is not consumed by losses. Never was, never will be. Playing his kind of game and being succesful at it is more important to him than winning at all costs. That’s why he perfects what he already does well and never really worked on his weaknesses and b!tches and moans when people talk about defense and dumping it down low. Fabulous player, but, yeah, he will never be mistaken for the ultimate winner. He likes to win, he’s not dying to win.

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  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Allenp, why do you hold so much disdain for a guy like Steve Nash who gets friendly media attention?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Anyone else laugh a few games ago when Steve Nash did the “upside-down hand goggles” to Violet Palmer (if that’s her name?) when complaining about a call? Hilarious.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Just joking, Allenp.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn, that’s a pretty harsh critque of Nash. Y’all are worse than me.
    I always thought Nash was pretty clutch and killer. Maybe I haven’t watched enough games.
    I mean, I knew he didn’t really work on his weaknesses (all the whiners talking about how he’s not strong…get in the weight room son). But, outside of defense, he doesn’t have that many weaknesses that I’ve noticed.

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    This is officially the VERY FIRST original SLAM content with praise for Mike Bibby that wasn’t mixed with irony or sarcasm or backhanded compliments.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Nash never backs away from a game winning shot. He hits them with ice coldness in his veins.
    Nash is clutch, one of the clutchest in the league.
    Killer and clutch are different. Killer means that if your team isn’t moving right, you god damn force the issue. if your team isn’t playing right, you tell them to wake the hell up and you’re not smiling at the end of the bench. If your teammates are missing wide open shots, you don’t defer to your teammate when you have the same chance of taking it to the rack.
    Nash is clutch, but he’s not KILLER.
    Z’s breakdown is way too over-exaggerated though. Nash was heart broken in 2007 and I think that sort of killed a lot of his competitive fire, knowing he never got a fair chance at his best. He went from “winning a championship is better than two MVPs” to “oh well, as long as I play where I am happy…”

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    they never got a fair chance?! oh lawd. by the way, i never said that nash wasn’t clutch. he usually steps up when the game is on the line. only that he takes losses a little too well to be considered a killer.

  • Bruno

    then they say toronto is not soft

  • Bruno

    but still … beware of ATL
    and I still believe in Arenas & Jamison

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Z: Do.. do you think 2007 was a ‘fair chance?’ Don’t give me that they had other chances. 2007 was their best squad, do you think they had a fair chance?

  • bbiq

    the hawks will be ok if joe johnson stops being a punk. he doesnt go to the line enough to be a premier player and due to his lack of common sense or love for atlanta he didnt sign a big @$$ extension they offered him. now he’s stinking it up because he’s playing for numbers in a contract year and it’s obvious. go hawks but they need to trade joe johnson asap. not because he cant ball but because a guy who turns down 60 million to be in a city like atlanta on a winning team really doesnt want to be there and he will walk in the summer.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ Teddy —- I SAW THAT ‘mask’/google thing too!
    Hilarious! We called that the “spiderman face’ back in the school yard years ago… it was such a random thing to do, it actually helped offest the chance of him getting a technical when he got in violent palmer’s face on that ‘non-call’, or whatever it was…

  • Veskit

    i think Joe Johnson will go to the mavs next year in a sign-and-trade for dampier+picks. that would be a killerteam whhich can contest the lakers. and that would increase johnsons chance of winning a championship

  • http://www.ipy.org roanwhisl

    long 1950 pre impact