Thursday, March 03, 2011

Quotes, Notes, and Links: Atlanta Hawks 83 Chicago Bulls 80




Larry Drew on Al Horford:
"He was an absolute beast tonight. … He was our anchor tonight. During the timeouts, he was in the huddles cheering the guys, and just telling the guys to keep plugging."
Horford on his corner 3:
"My heels were at the 3 (line) so I said, 'I might as well take a step back' and I was in a rhythm and I feel confident taking that shot."
Marvin Williams credits Joakim Noah for inspiring Al Horford's dominant performance:
"Al won't admit it, but I think it's personal, not in a bad way. Noah brings out the best in him."
Joe Johnson on Horford's corner 3:
"When he shot that 3 in the corner, I knew he was rolling. So I just wanted to make sure I got him the ball in the sweet spots."
Drew on the newfound possibility of point guard defense:
"[Hinrich] gives me the luxury of matching [Johnson] up late. Whereas matching up early, it can wear him down."
Joe Johnson on the turnover he forced on Chicago's penultimate possession:
"When I noticed him taking the ball out. I wanted to deny him, because I knew he'd throw it in and get a handoff. I just wanted to deny him the best I could and make Boozer throw a tough pass."
Marvin Williams on his spectacular fourth quarter block of Derrick Rose:
"I was just trying to make a play. I was telling these guys, it was a split second from going the other way, he probably could have put me in the basket. He's an explosive jumper, but that didn't cross my mind; I just went after it."
Tom Thibodeau on Atlanta's defense on Rose:
"They did a good job on him. I thought he had some shots he normally makes that he couldn't put down."
John Hollinger on Kirk Hinrich's early impact:
Atlanta used the combination of Hinrich and Joe Johnson to shut down Chicago star Derrick Rose, enabling the Hawks to rally from a 19-point deficit and stun the Bulls 83-80.


Hinrich did all the dirty work through three quarters, but the bigger Johnson took over down the stretch run. With fresh legs, Johnson denied Rose off the ball and forced a turnover as Carlos Boozer attempted a handoff, and went in for a dunk that put Atlanta up three with 20.6 seconds remaining; out of timeouts, Chicago's two desperation tries for a game-tying 3-pointer came up empty.
Mark Bradley sounds like he's back on the Hawks' bandwagon:
The second half I saw a team worth watching. The second half reminded me why, not so long ago (meaning pre-Orlando sweep), I’d come to like the Hawks and the way they played. You can say it was just one game of 82, and you’d be correct numerically, but if this one game had become just another meek home loss we’d have been dismissing the Hawks altogether. But you cannot dismiss a team that surges from 19 points down without its third-best player to run down a big-time opponent at the end.
At Peachtree Hoops Kris Willis points out a further benefit of Larry Drew moving a fresh Joe Johnson onto Derrick Rose late in the game:
Jamal Crawford was matched up on Korver when he made both of his shots in the fourth quarter, yet with a three-point lead on the final possession it was Hinrich that drew Korver while Johnson was matched up on Rose.
More from Thibodeau:
"We couldn't get stops and we couldn't score. Beat ourselves at the end. Fouls 94 feet from the basket. Turning the ball over. But the game was lost long before that. When we got the big lead I thought we got real loose at the end of the second quarter. It carried over to start the third. ... You got to play 48 minutes. You don't do that, you're not winning in this league."

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