It stands to reason that as soon as I get back to wanting to do my game recaps old school - the Hawks decide to play old school (as in 99 - pre-Bibby), so I refuse to put the effort into this blog that I normally would. Now, I'm sorry to disappoint the 1.7 people who follow this blog, but it is what it is.
I will point out the 2 things that I saw that I haven't seen reported much anywhere today (or during the season for that matter). The Joe Johnson 4th quarter charade of an offense has been well reported as has the 'we didn't have energy, effort, (enter another synonym here). It's curious that at the Suns post game press conference - Coach Woodson said he liked how we are playing and the last night's quote was 'I don't like how we're playing'. Maybe we need a reporter to probe that further to make sure we aren't missing something in the translation, but since the Magic games - I haven't been excited about anything we've done offensively or defensively. The fact that we won games was because those teams sucked more than we did, but I'm unsure of what he saw in 24 hours that made him go from liking our play and blaming the loss on shots not falling vs. tonight. (Note: looks like this blog is turning out to be something - yay for the 1.7)
Ok, so to my 2 things:
1. The Hawks are the 3rd worst free throw shooting team in the league at around 70%. Last night they shot 24-34 which is 70.6% and that was brought up significantly at the end of the game when we went 11 for 12 (meaning we started out 13-22 from the line.) The best free throw shooting team comes in at 80%. That's 3 free points a game if you're shooting about 30 free throws a game - we just give away. Not to mention the fact that we again missed a free throw given for a technical. I hear about free throw shooting all the time in college, but not the pros. I'm not sure why, but if Joe missing a free throw in the clutch against Boston was an indicator or watching us consistently miss free throws all season isn't being discussed by Coach Woodson - it should be. Growing up, I could hit 7 of 10 free throws consistently with an hour's practice a month. If this is what you do for a living...(I shouldn't have to complete this sentence)
2. Forget our terrible offensive game plan - I've been saying that for years and it doesn't look like it's changing, so I just have come to live with it. What I can't come to live with is players not finishing at the rim. I remember when I was playing on a 8 ft rim as a kid - I couldn't miss a layup, a dunk, etc in the neighborhood and I was only 130 lbs. Last night, it felt like a combination of Martin's Dragonfly Jones and Otis The Security Guard were blocking our path to the goal (I could hear them saying "I'ma take ya here and I'ma take ya there, young punks" - man, how I miss those first seasons of Martin) as they swatted 12 shots - at least 10 at the cup. I've long chided Marvin Williams on his inability to make shots at the rim and thankfully he's taken that challenge seriously and has increased his And 1 rate this year, but everyone else missed the memo. Joe has taken to missing at least 3-4 layups at the rim a game over the last 6 weeks. Bibby's missed layup against the Magic was painful. I know these things happen, but they've been happening with increased frequency lately in a way that as a fan I can't remember.
Why do I bring these things up? B/c both seem to have to do with concentration and focus. I can accept a bad shooting night, but let's be fair - the Heat were AWFUL last night (save D-Wade), so maybe if we hit half of those bunnies and get back our 3 free throws - we're losing by 4 pts not 16. And if we're down by 4, maybe we're in the game and the Heat choke down the stretch. Better yet, maybe we don't look like the 7th seed instead of the 4th seed.
Anyway, here's when I just rant and provide some thoughts - you can call them Deep Thoughts by Hawk Handy:
1. Big up to Solomon Jones and Flip Murray on back to back productive outings. I would get excited about Solo, but as I said - he's just a Horford sighting away from a DNP. So, any confidence gained will be squashed shortly. Same for Acie - not even going to muster a thought that he's not going to be back to DNP status as soon as Horford is back in the rotation regardless of how tired and bad our backcourt looked last night.
2. It wasn't lost on me that I watched 11 Heat players play vs. the Hawks...sigh - how nice would minute distribution be in Hawk-land. Seeing if Gardner can shoot on a night when no one save Flip Murray is making shots (oh, right - he was inactive last night) would have been a revelation.
3. Anyway, here's a novel thought - can we send players to the D League? Is there any reason why we don't send Randolph Morris, Othello Hunter, Acie Law, and Gardner to the D League so they can PLAY? I'd rather see that and bring 'em up when you plan to use them than do what we're doing now.
4. Can we get Mario West in during those - 'we didn't come out with energy' quarters? Why have an energy/defensive guy unless you plan to use him when we don't have energy or when we aren't playing defense (on say...D-Wade)?
5. Why am I still writing this blog entry? It's time to get to work...Deuces!!!
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