Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hawks @ Cavaliers - 11/22/08

I have to be honest - I never put a W in the Hawks column for this game. On the back half of a back-to-back, on the road, and short handed. No, a game like this (while a hoped for victory) is more useful in its revelation of team fortitude. We are on record in saying that there are no moral victories, but we do believe that the effort displayed in some losses reveals the character of a team. For this game, the keys were tough minded-ness and use of the bench..oh, and a strategy for victory. Well, it was a failure on all accounts except ONE...see below

Game Feedback - Cavaliers 110, Hawks 96

Str8 Butter Award - No one deserves Str8 Butterness for this game, so let's just use this time to say - LeBron James is a ridiculously talented guy. If they ever get a Pippen to his Jordan, I have no doubt that he can be the best player to ever play the game. Yes, I said it.

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* Horford - 37 minutes in a relative blowout for a guy who is gimpy on a back to back. Hmmm
* Johnson - Wow! That's all I can say...we'll just act like this night never happened. Will make no conclusions and keep it movin'. I mean, even Jack Bauer gets his lunch handed to him every once in a while.
* Bibby - I actually wonder what the market would be for Bibby...a scoring PG who doesn't play defense at $14M, what does that get you? Could it be a pass first, defensive stopper. No, this isn't based on this game, but unless JSmoove's return shows me that the pros outweigh the cons - I'm officially not against Bibby getting traded at the deadline.
* Williams - No comment on his game today, but it was interesting to see that sharp shooting Marv wasn't shooting threes during this game.
* Pachulia - Glad to see him take a early seat when the game was out of reach (which was at the end of the 1st quarter)

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* Evans - Too bad your A game was wasted in a game like this. Would give you some credit, but during a clunker - not so much.
* Law - Now, to the only delight of the game - I called for 20 minutes for Acie and he got 23. And while you can't draw much from a blowout, he was not in the game during garbage time only (if you call anything after the first quarter...not garbage). 20 pts, 6 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover...a line that we hope gives Woodson some confidence to play Acie REGULARLY.
* Murray - As noted by ESPN's John Hollinger and Peachtree Hoops, there's serious doubt that Flip could keep up his torrid start. The worry now is that he actually thinks he should shoot almost any time he gets into the game. We like your game, Flip. We like an offensive philosophy where Law runs the 2nd team offense better, though having you two on the court together hasn't worked so far.
* Jones - Same line - feels good to see your energy in the game, but I'm longing for some JSmoove right about now.
* West - Garbage Time
* Hunter - Garbage Time
* Morris - DNP
* Gardner - Inactive (Note: Is there a reason that we can't get Gardner active and on the court for a game like this. If any game screamed, come out and just shoot 3s to see if we can possibly get hot and make it a game, THIS WAS IT!) I'd much rather have a player with a defined skill than watch Mario West get in for those 5 second spurts...
* Smith - Inactive

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

Listen, we'll eschew the opportunity to bag on Woodson's lack of motivational tactic or strategy for the game to say - HE PLAYED ACIE LAW IV. Early and often. So, you sir get a pass today. The fact that we got blown out and looked pretty bad doing it (though shorthanded and playing the best player in the game) should tell you how important I think it is that we continue to build Acie's confidence and ultimately toward playing to our main offensive strength, which is to RUN! RUN! RUN! and you can't do that if you are only going to play with one point guard.

Str8 Talk Love

How terrible was this game - uh, I left during the second quarter again. Yes, I knew that no strategy was forthcoming to help us win the game, so why waste a Saturday night. So, to Six Feet Under we go...nothing like blackened catfish and watching another old fashioned molly whoppin' by the Oklahoma Sooners to take the edge off of a butt kickin'. And watching the HD edition of the Hawks / Cavs later just proved that it was a great decision.

Season Prediction
Since I didn't have this one in the bank anyway, no change is warranted. 44-38! now, I can't wait until LeBron comes to Atlanta on the 13th of December (right in the middle of prime Christmas party season - how do I decide what to do - Lebron vs. free food, free drinks, Christmas cheer...ugh! Suggestions, please)

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