Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thunder @ Hawks - 12/23/08

Preamble Ramble

You can either call it Thunder vs. Heat or you can call it the Old Hawks vs. the New Hawks. Yes, that's how I felt when watching the game inclusive of the quiet b-ball star in Durant. If those weren't the Hawks of yesteryear complete with close but no cigar loss, then I don't know what it was. There's more analogies, but it's Christmas Eve - I have Christmas shopping to start and there is little time to waste.

Game Recap - Hawks 99, Warriors 88

Str8 Butter Award - The Hawks first triple double since 2006 suggests that it's worthy of a Str8 Butter award courtesy of Joe Johnson. We've been saying that the first few games of the season dubbed the Super Joe era had been replaced by the Sloppy Joe era (complete with missed shots galore) and with 8 for 23 shooting - the contention could be made that that's still the case. But with triple doubles come kudos, so welcome back, Super Joe. Now, bring your shooting stroke back with you.

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* Williams - 9 for 13, 21 pts, 7 boards...as I said to some Hawks staff during the game - I'm beginning to think that my Marvin for super sub is beginning to sound more genius by the day and that Marvin adding some finishing touch at the rim may be all we need to see 18-20 pts out of him each week to go with some defensive prowess. Keep an eye on Marvin through the next 14 games to see if he can be my midseason MVP.
* Smith - Now, JSmoove on the other hand - not really feeling the energy and explosion from you. Putting up 19 pts on 6-11 shooting may seem impressive, but then you remember you are playing the Thunder and we decide that maybe that's not much of an accomplishment. Where is my superstar potential at, Smoove?
* Horford - I'll put you in the Smoove category. Never in a million years did I think that I would like to see more Marvin and Zaza over more Smoove and Horford, but right now - that's where it is. I know EVERYONE loves your game, Al, but I would like to see more production. Double doubles should be at a MINIMUM your nightly output - less than 10 shots or not.
* Johnson - See Str8 Butter Award...
* Bibby - An mildly good game - never feeling in jeopardy, some penetration, made some shots. Just enough to keep this from the disaster that was last year's Seattle 2OT victory.

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* Murray - Oh just another night of Flip at backup point guard. [smashing head against wall]
* Pachulia - As I noted above, I actually wanted to see Zaza stay on the floor over Al for the rest of the game. The box score doesn't reflect the hard work Zaza was doing on both ends of the court. If no one else does, we appreciate you, Zaza (well, I guess maybe another blog does being that they named it after you...)
* Evans - At the rate Mo's shooting has tailed off, it's time to see some lockdown defense to justify your presence on the court. Surely, poor performance would require you to sit on the bench for games on in like other Hawks players (wait for it.....Acie) vs. letting them play through it. Of course, that's the way it works, right?
* Law - So, we've resigned ourselves to list a reason per DNP (yes, 1 minute in garbage time is called a DNP to me). Tonight's reason - Acie was Coach Woodson's Secret Santa and got him a turd sandwich...yes, that's why you didn't see the floor vs. the worst team in the league. Couldn't risk you shining against Earl Watson or anything or worse mess up your confidence while being taken to school by Russell Westbrook...
* Jones - Well, at least you jacked up and hit a 3 - that's the way to make those garbage minutes work for you.
* West - DNP
* Morris - DNP
* Gardner - Inactive
* Hunter - Inactive

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

I share Drew's (from Zaza's Playground) sentiments - if you can't play Acie last night, basically, you're saying to me - Acie, you're not playing until someone gets hurt and I HAVE to play you OR it's a blowout. Otherwise, you're not getting into a game. The question I want Sekou Smith to ask is - can we please get an understanding of why Acie and Solo can't get minutes? I'm desperate to see a backup point run the offense (well, maybe I should say - run, period). I really hate to complain after W's, but isn't this apparent to everyone at this stage? How can it make sense to play Flip Murray at point guard? NOTHING about his game says point guard. Nada! Have we yet said - wow, these guys look really good with Flip running the offense...I'll buy a drink to the person who can point to a 5 minute stretch when anything said yeah, the Flip at poing guard experiment is where it's at...

Seriously, I'd rather see the Joe Johnson dribble around isolation offense than that (and everyone knows how much I love our 4th quarter isolation offense).

Str8 Talk Love

1. The Crowd - Crowd SUCKED! Period.

2. The Overscene - See Crowd, The

3. Our experiences - See Overscene, The

4. The Honey Quotient - Sensing the pattern here.

5. Hawk Shouts - Merry Christmas to Stacie, Boma, Will, and everyone else at Philips

6. The After Party - There was an after party. Actually a couple - it was either go to Devyne's VIP Black Tie party with stars and women galore or go to my boy's family soiree complete with casino games and ... uh, funny cigarettes. Well, while most would go with the black tie, mainly due to my love of the Hawks and the company I kept - we went with the game. Actually, both invites were extended at the last minute, so it would have been a hassle to do both anyway...I mean going to a Hawks game in black tie would have been a little much...

Season Prediction

48-34 isnt' going anywhere, but again - the pace is 52-30 right now, so just keep riding the wave, Hawks fans...what a Christmas present 18-10 is.

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