I guess everyone thought I was kidding when I said - 2009 can't be better than 2008. Well, so far - I'm being proven too correct. Listening to the game on radio (is the NBA scared of going up against the NFL playoffs or what?) - the one thing I learned is: if you smack the Hawks in the mouth early, you can beat this team. So, now to the enumerated facts as I deem them...
Game Recap - Sixers 109, Hawks 94
1. How do you get embarrassed TWICE by Orlando, then come home, get some Chunky soup, and ...get embarrassed again at home by the Sixers? Yeah, I know the Sixers were coming in playing well, but sorry - but this is not about missing players (sorry Al), this is about effort.
2. When the commentators talk about there being NO energy for 3 quarters - there's a problem? Again, I'll just reiterate my pre-season concern and now my mid-season concern - coaching!!!! As I understand it, the coach is responsible for the playing style, rotations, in-game adjustments, and motivating the players to play their best. I'm going to reserve judgment on much of this since my thoughts are debatable based on our current record (though my thought is that with better coaching we'd actually be around 28-8 vs. our current 22-14 and a 6 game swing based on coaching alone is noteworthy in my book).
3. If a player starts the game 4-4 (2 from downtown), why not feed him? That's a shout out to Marvin Williams...who started strong and then...oh well!
4. Josh Smith - why am beginning to see what people were saying about you never being able to get it? The game is easy for you - run, run, run, dunk, dunk, dunk, block, block, block, rebound, give ball to PG, get back for dunk...what is missing from that - jump shots, trying to play PG, complaining about anything other than doing those things. What don't you get about that? I can't tell you how badly I want you to be a superstar, but I also can't tell you how disappointed I am to start believing that all those naysayers may have a point. The skill set is there - the b-ball IQ might not be. I know you're 23, but so is LeBron and you don't see him trying to play as if he's a power forward or a center. Play like a small forward/power forward hybrid who doesn't have handles and isn't Dirk Notwitski...ok, please? I have some Amare Stoudamire tapes to show you just what i'm talking about if you need them.
5. Acie Law - if you get a chance to play two games in a row...don't come in without defensive effort. Again, most of the Hawk Blog Nation are in your corner. I read your blog and you seem to realize that Coach doesn't have a rhyme or reason for why he won't play you, so make the decision btw fool and genius more obvious, ok? Esp. in a game where a team that gave Royal Ivey minutes beat us.
6. Looks like our friends at Peachtree Hoops were correct - our start was based on some crazy offensive production and that our defensive prowess was a figment of our imagination. If I see one more half of 60%+ shooting, I'm going to predict that the Arizona Cardinals will host the NFC Championship game next week...
New Prediction - Yes, I went kamikaze on the prediction and I think today deserves another downturn...44-38! I just see too many things that don't lend well to a successful season. No low post presence (and no ATTEMPT to figure it out), too dependent on 3s, Josh Smith not playing as our 2nd best player all season, Al not playing better than Zaza Pachulia for most of the season, and no vocal, apparent veteran leadership (yes, that's directed at you - Joe, Mo, and Flip).
Al Horford versus Joe Johnson: A Max Contract Comparison - This upcoming off-season for the Atlanta Hawks will revolve around the status of Al Horford. I have previously detailed what his maximum contract would ...
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