Sunday, January 25, 2009

Suns @ Hawks - 1/25/09

Preamble Ramble

I felt it time to go back to the old school (actually 2008) version of my blog tonight in honor of Blog Night. Let me start with a big shout for our host Micah Hart. I appreciate the invite and everything you do for the Hawks (and the Blog Nation). That said, my track record with sitting in suites and us winning is low, so I might have to skip Blog Night if it results in losing...

Game Recap - Suns 104, Hawks 99

Str8 Butter Award - Again, in a loss - I find myself trying to debate whether to give the Str8 Butter Award to Josh Smith for his DND (Deez Nutz Dunk) on Steve Nash or the impressive play of Solomon Jones. B/c Josh melted down in the last 5 minutes of the game - we're going to go with Solomon (if for no other reason than we'll probably see Solomon back on the bench with DNPs as soon as Al comes back).

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* Williams - Well, I wanted Marvin to be the Hawks midseason MVP and now, I'm feeling like he is begging me to revive my Marvin as SuperSub mantra from earlier this season. He wasn't bad tonight, but I definitely think that Marvin as the scorer off the bench to give Flip a reason/option not to shoot every shot he possibly can.
* Smith - For 43 minutes, Josh Smith was the guy we want him to be. Shooting inside 15 ft, making an effort on the boards, on the defensive end (albeit with a few jumpers and turnovers that we can accept), but then down the stretch - more of the bad Josh...dribbling too much, not realizing that he's open b/c he's not a good jump shooter, and so on. I definitely wish I could have spent this time talking about the DND and the DND alone, but we lost, so here we have - good Josh and bad Josh
* Pachulia - 2 fouls and bye, bye ZaZa. Obviously, having to guard Shaq will do that, so I'm not sure what to say about ZaZa other than to say - he didn't miss a shot, got some boards, didn't do much bad other than just foul. Sure wish we could have seen more of him in the 2nd half.
* Bibby - Awful is what we call awful that you wish we could have seen Acie in some spurts to go with Flip, but man...awful.
* Johnson - Awful shooting night. So, when your star is having an awful shooting night. What is the right call down the stretch? To get away from your offense that was scoring against a poor defensive team and to just give it to awful shooting night guy and hope that he can generate points against a double team for the next 5 possessions or so. Let's see - oh, yeah...ball game - Suns 104, Hawks 99.

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* Murray - First, let's go ahead and end the mystery. Flip was signed to be our backup point guard and shooting guard. I thought he was going to be our backup shooting guard. Our GM Rick Sund put that to rest, so while not knowing what it is about Acie that keeps him from playing - we did find out that he WILL be our backup PG and SG for the remainder of the season despite any semblance of point guard ability. That said, he had a good game tonight. We also lost.
* Jones - Solomon played great D and put up points while the game was in contention. Played early, late, and often. The kind of game that we can build off of, so kill me now b/c I KNOW he'll be back to DNPs when Al comes back. Not to say he's the answer, but it sure would be nice to see if he can bring this kind of effort in 8-10 minute bursts.
* Evans - Solid effort...not much else to say - which is probably how he wants it.
* Law - DNP. I'm sure the excuse is injury, but if your PG and SG suck at shooting the ball and you are short handed...maybe a look, maybe...possibly.
* West - DNP
* Morris - Came in and didn't do anything but foul which is what we brought him in to do. To not mess up anything on the offensive end and foul Shaq...job well done.
* Gardner - DNP
* Hunter - Actually got in at the end of the 1st half and looked LOST. Sure wish he had made that one shot he took - he might not see the rock with a game in contention again until 2010.

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

As I noted today, bald Mike Woodson winning at .600 clip. So, I'm trying to just work with that and stop complaining. The one thing GM Rick Sund said that made sense is that the locker room chemistry is good with the Hawks right now. I can't complain on that and we are winning games, but I was not happy to hear that Acie is probably not going to be a part of the rotation or that Flip was brought in to be backup PG/SG. Kinda just want to see adjustments when players are floundering...

And I'd trade all of that for something better than the Joe Johnson Down the Stretch Dribble Around Against the Double Team (particularly when you're shooting 5 for 20 and missing bunnies at the rack) 4 straight possessions with the game on the line. Maybe having your PG bring the ball up the court and run a play that has options vs. just hope Joe can figure it out...

Str8 Talk Love

I think much of my live blogging (if you call it that) had what was happening, so I'll just say that the Blog Night was fun. A good mix of talking to fans of the Hawks, talking to friends, Hawks staff, and seeing more of the Hawks than I'm accustomed to. That being said - the highlight was seeing the most beautiful creature to grace Philips Arena. I won't divulge the name, but know that we'll probably try to incorporate our quest to connect with said creature into the blog...stay tuned.

Season Prediction

We're at 26-17. I know I went south with the prediction when we got crushed at Orlando. It's been at 44-38 since then, so I'm going to go upwards to 47-35. Not quite 50 wins, but with our current injuries and injuries to come - I can't trust that we're going to play as well down the stretch. Let's hope I'm wrong. Go Hawks!!!!

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