Hawks Hand the Heat First Loss of the Season: All You Need To Know

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images

Got to give a lot of credit to Coach Larry Drew for this win. In the Hawks’ first real test this season, they passed with an “A” performance. Coach Drew made a great decision abandoning the man-to-man early in the game and decided to run the zone defense. The zone defense killed the Heat’s momentum that they had early in the game, as the Heat fell in love and struggled with the mid range jump shot.

The defense wasn’t the only reason for the Hawks comeback win though. The offense, which was jump shot oriented early in the game, improved as the Hawks had a more balanced attack, going inside and penetrating and dishing out to the shooter whenever a shooter was open.

The Hawks played well at both ends and made a statement to the league as they handed the Heat their first loss of the season. Final score, Hawks 100, Heat 92.

After the jump, see some of the other game notes I have from this Hawks win…

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Jamal Who?
Okay, I’m just kidding….I still miss Jamal (most likable Hawks personality), but man, McGrady is sure making the grieving process a bit easier. “Return of the Mac” as Joe Johnson said. McGrady played all of the 12 minutes in the 4th quarter, and he played big. He scored 13 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter. He also grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists in the 4th quarter. McGrady did what Jamal did here the past two seasons, which was score and hit big shots, but McGrady did even more than that as he played solid defense and actually passed the ball pretty well.

MV-TEAGUE
Okay, Teague wasn’t the Most Valuable Player last night, but he was easily the best point guard in the game last night. Mario Chalmers is a respectable point guard and Norris Cole is a hidden gem for the Heat, but it was clear that Teague was the better of the three. Neither Chalmers or Cole could keep up with the speed and the quickness of Teague. He had his way and got to the rim whenever he wanted.

Rematch on Thursday
The Hawks’ bragging rights is only safe for a couple of days, as these two teams will meet again (this time in Philips Arena) on Thursday. You can expect the Heat to look for revenge. Hopefully the Hawks will be ready to show up in their home court, especially since it will be nationally televised. The game will be televised on TNT. According to Arthur Triche, the TNT broadcast team will be Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley.

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Tracy McGrady’s Highlights and Lo-Lights:


Credit goes to SGhoops4life for the video. He’s probably one of the biggest Tracy McGrady fans out there. Subscribe to him for daily videos of T-Mac.

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Hawks & Heat Players & Coaches Quotes/Reactions:

Tracy McGrady on the win and his performance:

This win wasn’t about one player. It was about the way we grinded as a team. We just dug in and tried to match them blow for blow. All I did was my part. … I’m a competitor. Especially competing against the best, LeBron and D-Wade. I’m always up for the challenge. Those guys, they bring the best out of you.

LeBron James on Tracy McGrady:

He played exceptionally well. When you’re born a scorer, you’re always a scorer. No matter what may happen to athleticism or anything like that, he’s a natural born scorer and we saw that tonight.

Tracy McGrady on how he felt last night:

 It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling. My legs feel fresh. Everything just feels good. It feels right. That’s a good sign. I haven’t felt this good in a long time, probably since the beginning of my knee injury.

Erik Spoelstra on the Hawks’ zone defense:

They went to the zone and we got out of our rhythm and what was disappointing was it affected our concentration from then on.

Jeff Teague on what the win meant:

I think everybody in this locker room is confident. I think we know we are a good team that can play with anybody . But I don’t think it proved anything. It’s still early in the season. It’s another game but it’s a good stepping team for us as a team.

Larry Drew on what the win meant for him:

If you look at this game and the game at Houston, you see two different ballclubs. We have to become a more consistent ballclub. When we reach that stage, yeah, we can start talking about statements. Right now we are just trying to find ourselves as a club and get better.

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Extra Short Notes:

  • Rapper Lil Wayne and actor Adrien Brody was courtside last night. What was Lil Wayne wearing?
  • The PA announcer for the Miami Heat can sure get under your skin…
  • It was Kirk Hinrich’s birthday yesterday. He’s now 31 years old.
  • Josh Smith was still jump shot happy. He went 1-7 in his jumpshots last night. He made his first one and missed six straight after.
  • Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague were a combined 11-14 from field with 25 points in the first half. Both players played a big part keeping the Hawks in the game in the 1st half.
  • Joe Johnson finished the game with a team high 21 points in 8-16 shooting.
  • Jeff Teague finished the game with 15 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals while shooting 7-11 from the field.
  • Al Horford also contributed 16 points and 9 rebounds.
  • Jannero Pargo still hasn’t impressed me too much, but he made me like him a little more yesterday as he hit a big shot and played good defense in the 4th quarter comeback.
  • The Hawks have six players (tied for most in the NBA) currently averaging double digits in points this season.
  • The Hawks scored 50 points in the paint last night. No, that is not a typo…
  • After the game last night, this happened on Twitter….
  • Skip Bayless actually tweeted about Tracy McGrady yesterday.
  • Hawks took care of ball in the second half, as they only turned the ball over 3 times. The Heat meanwhile turned the ball over 7 times in the 2nd half.
  • Hawks took advantage of the Heat’s 16 turnovers and converted them to 19 points.
  • From Elias: Tracy McGrady made three three-pointers and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks came from behind to defeat the Heat, 100-92, in Miami. It was the 11th time in his NBA career that T-Mac has hit at least three three-pointers and scored at least 13 points in a fourth quarter. But you have to go back more than three years – to Nov. 21, 2008 – to find the last such game.

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Other Recaps:

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Next Game:

Atlanta will wrap up their three-game road trip tonight, facing the Chicago Bulls at 8 ET. The Bulls are (4-1) in the season.

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Thanks for reading once again. I always appreciate every reader that stops by.

Be sure to stop by the site again later for the Bulls/Hawks Game Day Preview.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Jannero Pargo Jeff Teague Joe Johnson Larry Drew Miami Heat Tracy McGrady

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