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LJWorld.com weblogs 'Hawks in the NBA

Tuesday/Wednesday recap + overseas update: Drew Gooden stuffs stat sheet; Jackson, Langford spark teams to wins

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden (0) drives during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. The Celtics won 102-96.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden (0) drives during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. The Celtics won 102-96. by Nick Gerik

  • Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) started Wednesday against the Boston Celtics despite nursing a back injury from the night before. You couldn’t tell it by Gooden’s stat line, though. The Bucks big man scored 23 points with eight rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes, but Milwaukee lost, 102-96 (full stats here). For the second night in a row, Gooden made his living at the foul line, sinking all nine attempts.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) drives past Milwaukee Bucks forward Carlos Delfino (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) drives past Milwaukee Bucks forward Carlos Delfino (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. by Nick Gerik

  • Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) had 10 points on 5-for-12 shooting, with six rebounds and five assists on Wednesday in a 102-96 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks (full stats here). He turned the ball over four times in 35 minutes, but big games from teammates Kevin Garnett (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) offset the poor offensive showing from Pierce.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison, top, goes for the loose ball with Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Thunder won 92-88.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison, top, goes for the loose ball with Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks (20) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Thunder won 92-88. by Nick Gerik

  • Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) stepped back into the Thunder rotation Wednesday after a three-game absence due to a quad contusion. Collison went scoreless in 20 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers, but he grabbed six rebounds and a steal (full stats here).

Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich (6) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors forward Jeremy Tyler (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich (6) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors forward Jeremy Tyler (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. by Nick Gerik

  • Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) scored two points and committed four fouls in 11 minutes on Wednesday as the Hawks lost, 85-82 to the Golden State Warriors. Hinrich also had a rebound, a steal and one assist to one turnover (full stats here).

  • Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) made just one shot against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, but he secured a big defensive rebound in the last 16 seconds that helped seal an 85-82 Warriors victory. Rush had six rebounds total to go along with his two points. He also contributed two assists and a block in another zero-turnover 29 minutes (full stats here).

  • Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) played just six minutes and had his only shot attempt blocked on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors. The Hornets lost, 95-84 (full stats here).

  • Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies) played five minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in his first game back from a D-League assignment. Selby scored three points off of a driving layup and one of two makes at the free-throw line. His other shot was blocked. Selby added one assist and zero turnovers as the backup point guard as the Grizzlies won, 96-85 (full stats here).

  • Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets) played two minutes at the end of a 104-83 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday (game stats here). Marcus did not register any statistics in his garbage-time minutes.

  • Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) did not play (coach’s decision) against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. OKC won, 92-88 (game stats here).


Tuesday recap

New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry (4) shoots over Chicago Bulls forward Kyle Korver during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Chicago.

New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry (4) shoots over Chicago Bulls forward Kyle Korver during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Chicago. by Nick Gerik

  • Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) gave the Hornets a nice spark off the bench against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, scoring 12 points in 18 minutes. The Hornets lost, 99-95 (full stats here). Henry chipped in six rebounds and a steal and hit 6 of 7 free throws — an encouraging sign, considering he’s shooting foul shots at a dismal 55 percent clip this season. His 12 points were a season-high and the most he’d scored since a career-high 17 points on Dec. 5, 2010.

After the game, Hornets247.com’s Ryan Schwan wrote:

Henry has an attacking mindset like I’ve never seen. It leads him into lame offensive fouls and blocked shots because he NEVER shoots until he’s being humped by the other team, but it also generates a lot of nice free throws too. He had a strong game tonight, and with each passing week I am more and more confident he has a future with this team.

Milwaukee Bucks' Drew Gooden is fouled by Washington Wizards' Chris Singleton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Bucks' Drew Gooden is fouled by Washington Wizards' Chris Singleton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Milwaukee. by Nick Gerik

  • Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) double-doubled in just 23 minutes on Tuesday against the Washinton Wizards. Gooden was extremely active in his first minutes since Feb. 15, but his night was cut short after he was fouled hard in the third quarter. Gooden finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. The Bucks won, 119-118 (full stats here). Nine of Gooden's points came from the free-throw line, where he shot a season-high 11 attempts.

Indiana Pacers Dahntay Jones (1) guards Golden State Warriors' Brandon Rush (4) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. The Pacers beat the Warriors 102-78.

Indiana Pacers Dahntay Jones (1) guards Golden State Warriors' Brandon Rush (4) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. The Pacers beat the Warriors 102-78. by Nick Gerik

  • Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) put up 14 points and seven rebounds in his return to Indiana on Tuesday night, but the Warriors lost to the Indiana Pacers, 102-78. Rush, who played three years in Indy, shot 6-for-11 overall and 2-for-4 from three while the rest of the Warriors shot 34 percent overall and just 14 percent from three-point range. Rush also took care of the ball and did not have a turnover in 35 minutes on the floor (full stats here).

Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (34) passes the ball past Cleveland Cavaliers' Alonzo Gee (33) in the fourth quarter in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Cleveland. The Celtics won 86-83.

Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (34) passes the ball past Cleveland Cavaliers' Alonzo Gee (33) in the fourth quarter in an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Cleveland. The Celtics won 86-83. by Nick Gerik

  • Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) wasn’t very efficient and turned the ball over six times against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, but the Celtics hung on for a 86-83 victory. Pierce scored 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and had just two rebounds in 34 minutes. He also had six assists and two steals (full stats here).

From ESPNBoston.com:

Pierce, who has struggled with his shot all season, couldn't get much of anything to fall for the first 44 minutes of the game, but came up with some huge buckets down the stretch. That included a deep 3-pointer from the right wing that put Boston out front 78-76 with 3:19 to go and a vintage step-back jumper a short time later to again push the Celtics out front as the lead changed seven times in the final quarter.

  • Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets) did not play (coach’s decision) against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. The Rockets won, 88-85 (game stats here).

‘Hawks overseas

  • Darnell Jackson (Ukraine-Superleague - BC Donetsk) scored an impressive 20 points in 24 minutes as his team won a EuroCup Last 16 tournament game on Feb. 21. Jackson was super-efficient, hitting 9 of 11 shots. He added four rebounds, a steal and a block in a 93-87 victory (full stats here).

Then, on Tuesday, Jackson poured in a more routine nine points in 19 minutes in another EuroCup victory. This time, BC Donetsk won, 77-66, and Jackson had five rebounds, two steals, one block and an unsightly five turnovers (full stats here).

With the two latest wins — and a 5-1 record overall in the Last 16 tourney — BC Donetsk booked a trip to the quarterfinals, where play will resume March 20.

  • Keith Langford (Israeli Premier League - Maccabi Electra) scored 17 points in a 70-66 Euroleague Top 16 tournament victory on Feb. 23. Langford picked up his points on 6-for-8 shooting (2-for-2 threes), and he registered one rebound, two assists, three steals and four turnovers in 31 minutes (full stats here). Langford’s team played another Top 16 tourney game on Wednesday, but this time Maccabi Electra lost, 70-67. Langford had 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and one turnover in 31 minutes in that one (full stats here).

Maccabi Electra also played two regular-season contests in the last week. On Sunday, Langford’s 17-point, three-rebound, five-assist, zero-turnover night helped pace his team to a 87-81 victory (full stats here). Maccabi Electra played again on Monday, but Langford sat out (coach’s decision) and the team won, 85-64 (game stats here).

Highlights from the Euroleague victory (Langford at :26 and :53):

  • Mario Little (Ukraine-Superleague - SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk) doubled up with 11 points and 11 rebounds on Feb. 21 in a 78-70 regular-season victory. Little also had two assists, a steal and just one turnover in 31 minutes on the court (full stats here).

  • Sherron Collins (Turkish Basketball League - Hacettepe University) put up just four points and four assists in 22 minutes during a disastrous 83-46 loss on Saturday. Collins made just 1 of 3 shot attempts — all from three-point range — and 1 of 2 free throws. He also registered a rebound, a steal and one turnover (full stats here).

  • Sasha Kaun (Russia PBL - CSKA Moscow) was a non-factor after picking up five fouls in 10 minutes, but his team still won its Euroleague Top 16 tournament game, 96-64 on Feb. 22. Kaun contributed two of those 96 points (full stats here), and CSKA Moscow assured itself a spot in the Euroleague playoffs.

Three days later, on Saturday, Kaun went scoreless in 11 minutes during a regular-season game. He collected two rebounds, though, and his powerhouse team won, 74-53 (full stats here).

  • Russell Robinson (Turkish Basketball League - Trabzonspor) hit 3 of 4 three-pointers for 15 points in 22 minutes on Sunday, but his team lost, 87-72. Robinson committed five fouls during the loss and added one rebound, two assists and two steals (full stats here).

  • Aaron Miles (Russia PBL - Krasnye Krylya) didn’t have a big offensive game Saturday, but he scored five points with six assists and four steals in 22 minutes as his team won, 77-63. Miles also had two turnovers (full stats here).


Other notes

Morris' biggest strengths are posting up and spotting up on offense. He struggles, however, on defense, especially when he defends the post. In those situations, Morris is just in the 10th percentile in terms of PPP allowed.

Morris' biggest defensive shortcoming is that he fouls too much. According to Synergy, Morris fouls 20.9 percent of the time when he defends the block. Morris tends to be jumpy on defense. He falls for pump fakes and makes it easy for offensive players to get him off balance and out of position. Smarter offensive bigs are using this to draw fouls against Morris. Second, Morris reaches in too much. Yes, big men are expected to be physical when fighting for position, but once an offensive player has caught the ball in the post, putting a hand on him is a foul. Morris keeps his hands on his man too long, and it leads to excess fouls.

  • The Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman looked at whether Miami Heat starter Mario Chalmers could be considered among the league’s best point guards. His conclusion? Not quite. Winderman ranked Chalmers just outside the NBA’s top 20 floor generals.

Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games

Thursday, March 1

  • 7 p.m., TNT, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Orlando Magic

  • 8 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves

  • 9:30 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Portland Trailblazers

Friday, March 2

  • 6 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Toronto Raptors

  • 6:30 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the New Jersey Nets

  • 6:30 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks

  • 7 p.m., ESPN, Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Philadelphia 76ers

  • 7 p.m., Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the Dallas Mavericks

  • 7 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the Denver Nuggets

  • 8 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Utah Jazz

  • 9:30 p.m., ESPN, Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Los Angeles Clippers

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