Defense Sets Stage for Heroics

Monday, November 16, 2009
By Jon Newberry

Everyone will remember Joe Johnson’s 3-pointers and dramatic drive to the basket. They stood up and cheered when Smoove sealed the win in overtime with a jam. What shouldn’t be lost in the commotion is the defensive frenzy that started the quarter and gave the offense enough time to find its rhythm. It was over halfway through the quarter before the Blazers got a good look through their offensive set.

Here is a chart of the Hawks defensive possessions to start the 4th:
-Steal by Zaza
-Block by Horford
-Contested missed jump shot
-Forced jump shot as shot clock expires
-Offensive Foul
-Contested jump shot as shot clock winds down
-Forced post move by Oden (Offensive rebound by Miller who gets fouled and makes free throws)
-Turnover by Hawks leads to transition lay-up and free throw
-Marvin blocks a 3-point attempt
-Smoove blocks Oden’s shot; Oden misses put-back
-Turnover, stepped out of bounds
-Roy hits jumper with 5:48 left in regulation

Before Roy hits the jumper the Hawks had allowed one quality shot in 11 possessions, and that was allowed because of a mistake on defense. 11 possessions is usually enough time for Atlanta to make up more than a nine point deficit, but tonight shots were not falling until the defense kicked open the door and energized the crowd.

This wasn’t a struggling team having trouble closing the door on the road. This was arguably the league’s hottest team trying to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish their road trip 5-0. The Hawks athleticism and intensity was just that good to start the quarter and the result was a ‘W’ on a night when all signs pointed to a loss.

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11 Responses to “Defense Sets Stage for Heroics”

  1. Anonymous Hero/Hawks Guy

    Great win by the Hawks tonight! These guys have really grown over the last few years and are now showing the league that they are a force to be reckoned with! JJ put the team on his back and everyone else responded on both the offensive and defensive ends. Keep playing this way and the Hawks could possibly battle for that #1 seed!! Great game Hawks!!

  2. Woodrow

    they have become grown men on the court

  3. Nathan

    Its often said that the only thing holding the hawks back is themselves. This year, they seem to have figured themselves out because they are playing the best basketball in the league right now. GO HAWKS!!!

  4. atl resource

    The hawks playing some good baskeball and jj you a bad boy that’s all it is to that, mvp this year i think so keep doing you, you guys put it down last night.keep balling atl hawks. !GOOD GAME

  5. k19therapper


  6. All Hawked UP

    I heard some local sports talk radio host saying that the Hawks still are not as good as any of “The Big Three”. He stated it as it were fact. However, these people never admit later that they were wrong. The Hawks are going to ruin a few parades this season and I’m lovin it.

  7. atownhawk23




  8. Mr. Hawk

    It’s still early and I don’t want them thinking that they have accomplished enough to stop working hard, nor believe the hype that everyone is bestowing on them. It’s just 1/8 of a long season. I believe that they can beat any team in the league, just not get excited about it. It’s what they are suppose to do, GET BETTER. If Joe can get us 20 to 25 every night, and Al 15 and 10 evry night, Josh 20 and 10 every night, Bibby 15 and 7 assists, Jamal 15 and 5 assists every night,Marvin STEP YOUR GAME UP young man. i love ‘em, but let’s please stay focused. We need Atleast two All – Stars at the break. Now let’s focus on Miami and Wade. Great Job.

    Virtual Coach

  9. Mz. Hawkdafied

    Hawks Fan From Day One, I’m sorry I was not trying to hinder or spoil any spirited conversations between any of my fellow Hawks fans. I have spent a few weeks on the ajc blog which I regret, they have a negative vibe on there and I brought it with me to the Hawks blog. My apologies to you for that especially if I rained on your parade. I mistakenly lumped your comment in with ones I read on there and that’s where my referring to people came from.

    Notice in my comment I didn’t disagree with your stance on JJ being MVP solely by himself. Hey in my opinion the MVP has been changing every game. There’s just too many guys on the team that has been stepping up and just been so valuable to the team’s winning start that I can’t just give it to him either. My main thing is more about team accolades, not individual ones. That’s Eastern Conference Champs, SE Division Champs, or World Champs. That’s my thing. MVP, DPOY, POW, 6th Man, Most Improved, ROY those are individual awards. I really don’t care about that. My main thing is the team awards/accomplishments.

    Look forward to debating you and other passionate Hawks fans later on. It’s all about ATL Hawks ♥ anyway. Again my bad and my apologies to you.

  10. Mz. Hawkdafied

    The ATL Hawks turned up the D on em with some offense mixed in and came out with a well earned win. Just when it looked like the Hawks were going down, they came up flying. Defending homecourt and handling business on the road now that’s what it takes to rise up. Remember that, RISE UP! LOL! :-)

    NOW THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS KNOW that if they meet the ATL HAWKS in the finals, (wink, wink), it ain’t gonna be easy competition. Yeen know betta ask somebody.

    Okay I agree that it’s still early, however I just can’t say how many games into the season…?? Well on second thought I’m gonna go with half way 41 games in to see or be sure. But even then you just can’t tell. The best bet is until all 82 games have been played. HAHA!

    I say the team should just take it one game at a time like they’ve been doing. Keep that focus and determination and the sky’s the limit. Ahhh positivity, such a breath of fresh air.

  11. Mz. Hawkdafied

    Don’t forget to vote online daily. And also when you make it to the arena too. The added bonus of voting at games is that you get to punch as many ballots as you want vs being online. Lets put some of this blogging passion into voting our Hawks onto the Eastern All Star team. GO HAWKS!