Smack / Nov 17, 2009 / 4:20 am

Monsters vs. ATLiens

Joe Johnson (photo. Zach Wolfe)

Joe Johnson (photo. Zach Wolfe)

As this edition of Smack is being written, ESPN’s 24-hour marathon of college hoops is underway. Writing about basketball in the middle of the night while live basketball is showing on TV with no end in sight for hours? This is the life … Are the Hawks really this good? When we ranked Atlanta 5th yesterday on Dime’s weekly NBA Hit List — maybe the highest we’d ever had them ranked, at least in the last 2-3 years — the response was surprisingly strong that Joe Johnson and Josh Smith and crew should have been in the top three, maybe even holding the No. 1 spot. True, the Hawks had won four straight going into Monday’s schedule, but they’ve always been one of those Zab Judah/Asafa Powell-type teams: Even when they have the talent, you wonder if they’re mentally tough enough to seriously be an elite contender. Last night, Atlanta made a good case for themselves, knocking off the Blazers to win their fifth in a row … We might have underrated the Hawks, but we never underrate Joe Johnson. More people need to realize that this dude is a beast, one of the 15-20 best players in the world. He was icewater in crunch time against Portland: JJ hit a pair of big threes in the fourth quarter, and with ATL down by one with under 30 seconds to go, drove and got a right-hand finger roll. Johnson (35 pts, 9 asts) then stuck a pair of free throws with four seconds left to give the Hawks a three-point lead, and after Rudy Fernandez sent it to overtime with a ridiculous three (more on that later), Joe took over in the extra frame with fadeaways and pull-ups. If you’re a fan of one of those teams pining for LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh or Amar’e next summer, don’t feel bad if you end up with Joe Jeezy … Rudy’s three was strangely reminiscent of Rex Chapman‘s famous shot. Rudy (19 pts, 4 threes, 4 stls) took the inbounds and was fading to his right just like Rex, but instead of shooting on the run, he stopped on a dime, got Al Horford out of his way, and canned the triple. Dude is a gunner — he always looks to shoot when he initially gets the ball — but when he’s on, he’s a problem … Greg Oden is turning himself into the next Hack-a-Shaq candidate. He missed another crunch-time free throw last night, one that would’ve tied it with 40 seconds left in the fourth. Lucky for him, Brandon Roy (17 pts, 9 rebs) snuck in for the offensive rebound and later made a layup to give Portland the lead … Magic/Bobcats had that first-game-of-the-season feel to it, between Rashard Lewis‘ return from suspension and Stephen Jackson suiting up in his first game for Charlotte after being traded earlier in the day … S-Jack must have felt like he’d never left Golden State. He was on the court for 45 minutes, went 4-for-14 from the field (13 pts, 9 rebs), and his team lost. Between S-Jack and Flip Murray (31 pts), the low-scoring Bobcats now have two of the most unapologetic jackers in the League. Those two couldn’t even play 2-on-2 with each other because nobody would pass and they wouldn’t get past the check-ball stage … Too much more of this and we’re gonna need to take a one-week moratorium on praising Brandon Jennings. Scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Young Money hung 25 and eight dimes on the Mavericks and looked like a vet while doing it. With under a minute to go in the fourth quarter, Jennings gave Milwaukee the lead with a floater in the lane, but then Jason Terry (19 pts) responded with a tough baseline pull-up to force the extra frame … We’ll set the scene, and you take a guess as to what happened: Overtime, three seconds left, Dallas ball on their sideline. Dirk Nowitzki (32 pts, 11 rebs) is positioned near his favorite spot on the floor with 6-8 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute guarding him, while Jason Kidd — who can probably pinpoint a grain of rice through a Cheerio from 20 feet — is handling the inbounds … Dirk pretended to set some screens and Kidd pretended to look for other options, but you knew where he wanted to go. The only surprise was that Dirk’s fallaway didn’t catch all net; it bounced around the rim to tease the Bucks before dropping in at the buzzer … So now what happens with Allen Iverson? The Grizzlies and A.I. have decided to get a divorce, and people in A.I.’s camp admitted New York would be an ideal destination, among other East Coast teams. Which one do you see Iverson fitting in with most? And which teams would actually take a chance on him? … We’re out like Oden’s free throws …

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  • KBY

    NY should just do it, Duhon has been awful and it’s not like the Knicks have anything to lose.

  • quest???

    iverson should go to the knicks, to prove he still has it. Maybe they can turn it around and go to the playoffs. The other destination is Charlotte. They need his scoring.

  • Josh Tha roc

    Hahaha that cherio line is classic.
    Let’s say no one wants ai and move on.
    Jennings is bullet proof right now.

  • Josh Tha roc

    Even without his armour on.

  • H3

    Iverson is a punk! Sad to see his career is goin down the drain.
    Marbury of 2010. At least Tinsley got a job now.

    Hate 2 see capt jack leave Golden State.
    He helped the Oakland comminity a lot durong his stay.
    Hope Warriors management realize they screw up big time.

  • Flip

    Oh right… Dirk isn’t clutch?!

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    AI and Steven Jackson jacking shots for the Bobcats, at least they’ll make a little more money with that line-up, not sure there’s enough shots for those two to share, but hey, SteJack and Monta played a lot together.

    I say New York – the Knicks suck and AI would at the very least, be an upgrade over the other 10 shooting guards they put out there.

  • TJ

    Tinsley got a job because he kept his mouth shut. I used to love Iverson, but am tired of his act by now. He is not a professional. Professionals do what is best for the team/company and handle themselves with dignity. He has been so selfish and egotistical it is amazing. Listen, they pay you, so you have to (well, I guess “you should” is more appropriate when talking about AI) listen to the coach and owner. You aren’t playing for free with your buddies at the park.

  • TJ

    Sorry to keep venting, but I’d rather have Marbury than AI at this point. Yes, he’s shown that he may be one of the most unstable people in the world, but at least he has shown that he can sacrifice and TRY to play within a team concept last year with the Celts.


    Joe Jeezy ain’t ghetto enough. Dude need to rape someone, pull a 187, or be arrested. Then Joe Jeezy will get his due.

    Dude don’t even talk smack during a game. How is that? Dude is black, all black people love to talk smack, all the time.

  • http://www.hoops-insider.de oO

    Yeah AI go to NY. Let’s face it, there will be no other Larry Hughes sighting this year… Hope that this is not turning to be another Sprewell story. I always liked that little guy. He should get another chance to compete..

  • That’s whats up

    Iverson wore #3 with the Grizzlies – exactly the number of games he played with them.
    I thought he chose #3 because he was the 3rd option.

    If he goes to New York he will probably wear #1, because that’s who he looks out for

  • http://smack! JOB33

    ESPN’s hit list has the other ATL CourtBirds ranked at numero uno. Now if only the TurfBirds could get it together…

  • dank

    Joe Johnson > Paul Pierce.

  • That’s whats up

    ^^^Joe fuckin’ Johnson??? You got to be fuckin’ kidding me

  • That’s whats up

    stank > dank

  • dank

    if AI goes to NY, d’antoni will create another scene to attempt to hide wat we all should know by now, he does not know WTF hes doing. which is why his teams fail.

    honestly, AI needs to go to a team where he can be #1 and only #1. the Nets are the best and only option for him. nothing to lose there, harris isnt good enough to be #1 every night, and he gets injured. meaning AI can start often and jack as many shots as he wants to. he cant go to a veteran team, he cant go to a contender. he needs to start from scratch.

  • lee

    How about Indiana for Iverson ?? Or maybe Utah as Iverson could play the 2 with D Will although it could be a battle with Sloan !!

  • That’s whats up

    Iverson in UTAH???

    They would sign Suge Knight before they signed Iverson

  • http://smack! JOB33

    AI in Utah? you’re on that stank and dank. But maybe there’s hope. Maybe AI could get Sloan to be a guest performer on his next gangsta rap cd…

  • Diggity Dave

    Joe Johnson, while a very good player, isn’t a franchise player. He’s a great second option at best. When he comes through in the playoffs with some stellar performances, then I’ll change my mind.

    Next season, a team with an established franchise player would be wise to sign him. Unfortunately, it’ll probably take max money.

  • watchingandhi

    John Wall anyone?



  • alf (from melmak)

    Iverson in Utah just might work. I have been suggesting that scenario or Stephen Jackson for a very long time. He will get his shots. He knows there is a big hole at the 2 spot in the Jazz roster.

    Iverson might also be scared enough, think Larry Brown Sixers, to actually obey and follow Sloan orders.

    My meal allowance still cannot get over the Pacquiao win the other day. Anyway, who would win a basketball one-one between him and say JJ Barea? Or Mugsy Bouges?

  • Dean

    I don’t see any of these east coast teams giving AI a contract. He’s a distraction & only that. He cannot help any of them WIN. He’s done, stick a fork in him.

    Outstanding carrer but always too selfish….not a winner.

  • http://threeb.forumotion.net/ Dean

    Oops, forgot. Check out B’s website. Link is in my name. Forgot to add it, it’s there now.

    GO HEAT!

  • jnuh

    I’m sure Iverson will sign with someone.
    I mean there must have been 10 or 11 teams going after him hard this summer. One of them is bound to step up now that he’s free. Of course he originally chose Memphis because they offered him a kick ass contract and they were his best chance to win the title he so desperately wants. Wait…wtf…that’s not right.
    My bad.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    Iverson in utah is just about as good as Obama as part of the KKK.

    Big hole at the 2 spot in utah? Yeah, they have one of the most efficient SGs in the league (as seen in his epic 50+ fg%, take a look at other sgs in the L) who is big, long and plays defense.

    prob best to get rid of him and add a short guy who is a gunner and shoots a poor percentage. and is actually smaller than the PG.

    because scoring is utah’s problem, right? nope. it’s defense. getting rid of one of the only guys who does play D from the starting line up for an over the hill guy who can’t play as part of a team is a really bad idea. (check what ivy did in detroit last season when it mattered most)

    that said, i’ve love iverson on the knicks. that would pretty much secure the jazz to have a great lotto pick. (because the jazz own the knicks pick this year)

  • kevin k

    Joe Johnson was clutch in the 4th and in OT indeed but top 15-20 in the world??? You out of your damn mind. Did you even bother watching the game instead of just looking at the stats at the end?? 31 shots to score 35?? Before he caught fire, dude had to jack 23 shots to score 21… The whole night, Nique and Bob were talking about no ball movement and too many isos. And every time it was when Joe had the ball. Overall, Joe played atrocious except the last 9 min of the game.

    The 2 guys who were the reasons that Hawks stayed afloat and gave them the chance to win was Al Horford and Josh Smith. Horford was beasting up GO and LA and the reason that Hawks were down so much at the 2nd quarter when Horford was on the bench. Josh Smith was everywhere and dropped 20/16…and yet only love they get is Horford getting nailed by Rudy and J smoove just getting his named mentioned…

  • Posterboyforflyness

    Career wise Joe cant hold Pierce Jock Strap….but Joe Johnson now is younger, faster, he has the handle’s that paul pierce wish he still had, and he is a better shooter, passer, and slasher, and much better shape. As far playoff performance I could swear back in 08′ Joe was Rippin Ray Allen and Paul Pierce a new one on the perimeter….Joe is a legitimate superstar some people are just blinded by some of the other great athletes in the league.

  • Posterboyforflyness

    Career wise Joe cant hold Pierce Jock Strap….but Joe Johnson now is younger, faster, he has the handle’s that paul pierce wish he still had, and he is a better shooter, passer, and slasher, and much better shape. As far playoff performance I could swear back in 08′ Joe was Rippin Ray Allen and Paul Pierce a new one on the perimeter….Joe is a legitimate superstar some people are just blinded by some of the other great athletes in the league, Joe dont even break a sweat puttin up 35pts and 9ast…shit is rediculous…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabriel-Brogden/507128757 GABRIEL BROGDEN

    Uhhhh, umm, Young Money is an NBA rookie – true. But just in case y’all forgot…

    Brandon Jennings is a professional veteran.

  • kevin k


    um you must have had too much colt 45 to kill your brain cells. Joe a better shooter and slasher than Paul Pierce? Better shooter? Their %s in FGs, 3s, and FTs are about the same. Better slasher? To a dude who jacks more 3s than FT is a better slasher than the guy who goes to the line 8x a night which is almost the double the amount Joe goes to?

    “As far playoff performance I could swear back in 08′ Joe was Rippin Ray Allen and Paul Pierce a new one on the perimeter…”

    Is this from your NBA2k8 games?? Joe had 1 good game out of the 7. Except the games in ATL, the hawks got murdered on the road. Ray played like shit throught Eastern Conference playoffs but tore it up against the Lakers. Pierce was the Finals MVP and outplayed Lebron and Kobe during the playoffs. I hate Pierce to the core but he was the Truth in 08 son

  • http://www.FireLuviSmith.bastard Chicagorilla

    Jennings is Allen Iverson with a membrane. For some reason, the kids seems to enjoy passing (especially to Bogut) and getting his team involved. Then when it’s time, he takes over. If AI would have ever learned that, he’d be STARRING for Philly right now instead of looking like another STARbury.

    Dirks Fallaways tore the Bucks heart out and pissed on their souls.

    Joe Johnson needs to land in Chicago. Would fit perfect next to DRose. And maybe we get Bosh too, hell i’ll take Amare as well.


    don’t know if you guys caught this last night. UCLA vs (can’t remember the name of the school) early in the first half, some kid named Jarron Anderson (I think) drove baseline and gave someone on UCLA a Kevin Johnson gretting with Ballsack all on his back. Youtube it.

  • zaboo

    Hey i have that shirt. Man all this time i thought it was fake. it has the tags and everything but i got it for a bday one year and i thought maybe it was a knockoff or someone at the sweat shop misinterpreted AIR. Thanks JJ now i can wear my shirt.

  • SWAT

    @ #10…ummm no just no to your whole comment.

  • http://www.FireLuviSmith.bastard Chicagorilla

    Joe Johnson = Better talent than Paul Pierce
    No matter the time of year or what decade we are in.
    Pierce uses his talent better, and equally matches Joe’s output.
    PP’s is highly overrated. Joe Johnson (like a pit bulls farts) is a slient killer. Any GM in the L would rather have Joe Johnson’s surgical pick you apart game, over PP’s flopping wwhining, str8 Jacking game.

    But seeing as how most of you have bitten the NBa’s media storm apple, you would think Pierce is the better player. I’m glad none of you are Talent scouts for the bulls. Or we’d have OJ Mayo/SuperBees instead of Rose.

  • Diego

    Last night’s Hawks/Portland game = Sloppy as hell game by both teams.

    Josh Smith = BEAST.

    Rudy Fernandez = Popping multiple 3s like that autistic Youtube kid from a few years back.

    Oden = Looks like 60 yrs old; post game of 11 yr. old.

    Teague = Horrendous.

    Juwuan Howard = Driving slam for 3-pt play?!?

    Joe Johnson > or = B. Roy, and > = to current P. Pierce.

    Andre Miller = Sitting on bench chatting with fans in crunchtime and OT, and = next AI or S. Jackson, for sure for that unhappy camper!

  • manifest

    why are all ya’ll trippin over Iverson? this is not hollywood…the NBA is a job to these players. What would you do if you join a company where you are more experienced than anyone on your team, hell, a LEGEND in your industry and relegated to a lowly role you weren’t expecting when you got hired? True, some of you would try to stick it out longer than AI did and hope that eventually changes would be made, but a lot of you would quit your job the second you felt disrespectd in that manner. Especially if you were already cakin

    Iverson was on the bench during the end of games they lost…anyone who truly thinks he shouldn’t have been on the court is retarded. Put yourself in his shoes,that’s bull.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabriel-Brogden/507128757 GABRIEL BROGDEN

    OK Diego, a lil’ poetic license with the last part.

    “Oden = Looks like 60 yrs old; post game of 11 yr. old”

    HOLD UP, maybe I agree with everything before the semi-colon.

    But ehh, post game of an 11 yr old? Really.
    Well I recently saw this 11 year old MAN HANDLE Tyson Chandler all freaking night.

    11’s a stretch, maybe a 19 yr old beast. He’ll develop. He’s not even 22 yet. 22!

    Furthermore, why knock him? For what?? Josh was giving him problems but he’s one of only a few with the body type to give this 7 footer a problem.

    Hmm, what else? I take it because Dime knocked him on those free throws, you feel like knocking him too.

    Dude didn’t really have a bad game, not to the point where he has the post game of an “11 year old.” Nah, aint buying it. Atlanta’s a top tier team at this pt of the season and their length contributed to his ‘bad’ passes and picks.

    And you already know Zaza’s gonna get a cheap foul…somehow someway. But moving on…

    The shots he missed, you wanted that look in the first place.

    And, I don’t believe Portland got to the line in OT.
    Can’t pin this one on G.O Dime.

    And not that it matters, but if I can recall he made the 1st shot of OT and the 1st one of regulation for his boyz.

    In addition to all that, give the kid props. He made it all the way to OT. OT!!!!!!!

    This dude is used to fouling out at 20 minutes of tick.

  • Diego

    @ Brogden: Certainly I exagerated with 11-yr old comment (although Oden’s offensive post game looks dreadful to me–I think crafty Zaza could have lured him into 4 straight fouls). Oden simply overpowered Horford in college finals but either he has regressed or Horford has greatly improved. And Josh and Horford are each maybe a year (2 MAYBE for Josh) older than Oden?

    With the size and athleticism of Oden, Przybilla and Aldridge, it should be Portland that dominates Atlanta inside, not vice-versa.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabriel-Brogden/507128757 GABRIEL BROGDEN

    “With the size and athleticism of Oden, Przybilla and Aldridge, it should be Portland that dominates Atlanta inside, not vice-versa.”

    Ahhh my friend Diego, I see where we disagree.

    I just don’t believe that. I believe the frontline of Josh, Horford, and Marvin are longer and more athletic and the exact type of match-up that will give Portland problems to me.

    I believe Oden, Pryz, and Lamarcus are stronger, stouter, for sure.

  • rell

    Joe Johnson is more athlete than Paul Pierce but “The Truth” is a better player. The only thing Joe Johnson does better than Pierce is handle the ball and pass the rock. Pierce plays less minutes but get to the line more than Johnson so Johnson can’t be a better slasher than him. If Pierce is overhyped than Johnson must be wayyyy overhyped. Johnson haven’t done nothing in the playoffs. In the last 2 years that ATL made the playoff Johnson had maybe 3 good games.

    Judging by people reaction on this board I guess Boston have the most overrated players in the NBA no matter who it is. I bet if Wade, Kobe, Duncan, or Lebron was on Boston most of dime would say they are overrated to.

  • LakeShow84

    Damn Jennings is making the NBA age minimum look moronic.. he didnt no tick last year in europe??

    thats a travesty lol

  • K Dizzle

    1) JJ startin to own the matchups with Roy. Still not feelin Roy startin at the 3.

    2) Hawks are better than the 5th seeding they got in the rankings. At least top 3 right now

    3) Stephen Jackson might be a jacker, but he’s never been selfish. He usually averages 5 assists a game and had 15 last week against Minny

    4) Anybody think Golden State can still get Amare for Curry and some other players?

  • http://dime uh huh

    Talent & Skill are too different things. Also remember Pierce is older and has that veteran savvy JJ will get. He also plays with a PG and 2 H.O.F. means something. JJ can play 4 positions WELL. He has to be more clutch but on any given night the Hawks could beat anybody in the league. J.Smith is a freak of nature. He’s talented but has no skill. They shouldn’t have drafted Teague. He’s not a PG. Very good but doesn’t do what they need. Marvin Willimas for Marcus Williams & D.Carrol or Sam Young. Even Daryll Arthur. Would help the hawks tremendously. Andre Barett is on the wire you know guys. R.Morris is stealing money. Brandon Jennings seems to be one of the most seasoned Rooks i’ve seen. Imagine he was Stern teacher pet. He’d cover Lebron jersey with a bucks t-shirt. A.I. needs to go to the Heat & Start. Chalmers needs no development in to what?????????????????????????????

  • http://dime uh huh

    Marvin would be very good with a facilitator. Bibby can’t break nobody down. He’s like Fisher w/o Kobe. LOL. Let me know if you get it.

  • Da_Griff

    At least Bibby can still shoot. Fish needs a zimmer frame to get up and down.

  • Da_Griff

    @K Dizzle – Since when did Golden State have Curry?

  • Big Island

    PP is sauce. He got hype for being the best player on a team in Boston. Nobody is more overrated than PP.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    the age limit makes sense in terms of marketability alone…Jennings move to Europe created a large hype around him, more so than being Parade’s HS player of the year did or could…

    the Blazers need to lay off that Miller, Blake, Roy lineup–Steve Blake guarding Joe Jeezy is not pretty.

  • MetaMeta

    A.I. is toxic and not worth the gamble for any team.