RECAP: Mavericks 117, Hawks 103

Daniel Christian —  March 19, 2013


DAL(32-35) 117 – 103 (37-30) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 19 pts, 2 reb, 7 asts, 2 stl
D. Collison (DAL): 24 pts, 5 ast

Larry Drew’s overriding theme for the Hawks is energy. Whether that be energy on offense, energy on defense, or just a non-stop stream of movement on both ends of the floor that induces a controlled chaos, the Hawks had none of it to begin the game. Defensively, the effort was nearly nonexistent: rotations were poor, the pick-and-roll coverage was weak, and the lack of defensive rebounding opened up Dallas’s perimeter shooting even more. In short, 103 points should be enough to win any game or at least be competitive in any game, but it wasn’t for this game. The Mavericks scored 117 points and at least 30 in each of the first three quarters as they blitzed a lifeless Hawks team, clinging to the second night of a back-to-back, in what was a blowout or at least thoroughly controlled game from the beginning.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Statistically, Smith had a solid game. He scored 13 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and passed for 6 assists– those are good numbers, but sometimes those stat lines are empty.The emptiest category in that stat line is rebounding, which is not-so-coincidentally the same category the Hawks were destroyed in on Monday night. Dallas had 8 more rebounds on the night and doubled Atlanta in offensive boards. Smith, who was playing the four almost the entire night, was not an active participant on the glass, and that truly had a significant impact. Furthermore, it’s nights like these when the jumpers don’t fly. Settling, pulling up– you name it, he did it. He did make some nice plays in transition and also had a few buckets in the paint, but the areas in which he usually ameliorates his shortcomings are the ones in which he struggled: rebounding and defensive intensity. 4.5/10

Al Horford: Bob Rathbun tossed a stat on the screen last night that said Horford is the only player in the NBA who has averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds since the all-star break– that should provide everyone with a decent understanding of his constant production. On Monday night, that production was once again prevalent, but offset by a lackluster and lackadaisical team defensive performance. (It’s worth noting that the Hawks offense actually played pretty well last night. They got most of the looks they wanted, they just couldn’t string together a few stops in a row to pull the game within 10 points.) Anyway, Horford’s pick-and-pop jumpers seemed a little short, which might be a product of fatigue. This was the second of a back-to-back, but Horford still gave it a solid go and had a strong night rebounding (the only Hawk to do so); he finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Defensively, Korver was lost like a needle in a haystack in pick-and-roll coverage. I believe Larry Drew mentioned before the game that Dallas loves to run pick-and-rolls, and they sure do. Vince Carter showed up Korver early and often with a bevy of drives and open jumpers. On offense, Korver gave his usual production: two three-pointers, over 50% shooting, 11 points. 4/10

Devin Harris: Nothing spectacular from Devin on Monday night– 10 points, 2 assists, and some mediocre defense. There really isn’t much more to it than that. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague’s offensive performance was the only real positive for the Hawks on Monday night. Aggressive Teague showed up as he attacked the basket and was relentless in transition. Dallas tried to slow him by icing his pick-and-rolls a few times– they experienced minor success, but on the whole Teague’s ability to get to the hoop was a major reason Atlanta was able to keep the game from being a full-fledged blowout. For all the good he brought offensively, however, he brought almost as much bad defensively. He, like Korver, struggled in covering Dallas’s pick-and-roll as Darren Collison broke down Atlanta’s defense seemingly play after play in the first half. Jeff couldn’t stay in front of him, and the help was ineffective. 6.5/10

John Jenkins: Jenkins was the catalyst of a few mini-spurts throughout the night, providing a little of that aforementioned energy which the Hawks so desperately craved.He scored 10 points, made two three-pointers, and had a nice penetrate and kick early in the game. 5/10

Anthony Tolliver: If it weren’t for Tolliver’s strong first half, the Hawks would have been blown much sooner. That obviously doesn’t mean anything, but Tolliver delivered all 10 of his points in hist first 8 minutes on the floor. The rest of the night he was relatively ineffective on both sides of the floor. 5/10

Ivan Johnson: Another bench guy who provided some palpable offensive energy, but Ivan only amassed one rebound, so he didn’t really amass much of anything. He was very active around the rim offensively, which led to some free throws (and some weird Dallas lane violations), but the Hawks needed help on the boards tonight, and aside from Horford, no one was able to contribute in that area. 5.5/10

Dahntay Jones: LD threw him in the game after Dallas came out with their guns blazing, and he immediately challenged a missed three-pointer. His defensive activity can permeate any game and inspire teammates to defend as well, only tonight he wasn’t given much of a chance. He was ineffective offensively early, and thus he was pulled– but what Atlanta really needed was defense, so maybe he should have stayed in a little longer. 3/10

Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott: They both played five minutes and both made a basket. So, there’s that. 2/10

Larry Drew: The aftermath of potentially losing Zaza Pachulia for the season showed itself last night: Smith was inactive on the boards, Horford showed up– but who else does Atlanta have to rebound the basketball? It’s tough without a guy like that, but Larry Drew needed to get his team to play more effectively defensively to offset any sort of oppositional advantage due to the injury– that didn’t happen. He mentioned Dallas’s penchant for pick-and-rolls before the game, but yet Atlanta had no answer. I’ll have to look at the game again, but it felt like most of the points were coming from the ball-handler in those situations, so maybe Atlanta could have tried icing. Either way, Drew didn’t get the most out of his guys on Monday night, and likely would have benefited from giving Jones more minutes to see if he could really slow their offensive onslaught. 4/10

The opposition: They beat Atlanta down, there’s no questioning that, but their success was largely against a growing negative Hawks trend of poor perimeter defense. Part of that has to do with allowing a high disparity of offensive rebounds for the opposition, part of that is rotational– either way, Dallas pounced on the weakness and hit 13-22 three-pointers (59%) and never really looked back.  9/10


Next: Atlanta vs Milwaukee, Wednesday, March 20th

Daniel Christian


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