A few observations, so as not to overanalyze this game and end up killing the entire organization with a 1200 word missive tonight...
1. A good first quarter for the Hawks
2. That was all that was good. We got punked on the interior, played scared, and looked like the Bobcats out there. Lamar Odom looked like Moses Malone out there...
3. Blowouts happen to teams who rely completely and solely on perimeter scoring (and the Joe Johnson isolation play) to spur their offense.
4. Basically, anytime that a player in the main rotation is unable to play - we have a slump. Either that supports the fact that the bottom 4 suck OR it supports the fact that we aren't getting guys ready throughout the year to play in big basketball games. One is the GM's fault, the other is the Coach's fault - pick one to lie blame to.
5. Kobe didn't do anything in this game of ANY noteworthiness and we lost comfortably by 15 (Note: I didn't wait until the game was over to write this.). Also, you know you are getting your ass kicked when the opposing squad is smiling and joking through the late parts of the 3rd quarter and early parts of the 4th quarter.
6. We still can't hit the free throws by virtue of the technical foul.
7. I'd like to again say ... I'm actually starting to believe that Al Horford is either being severely underutilized or he's having an awful sophomore season for a 'cornerstone' player. People keep writing about how great he is, but I'm sorry - being a solid defender, getting some boards (but not being a beast on them), and making solid screens and putting in about 10 pts a game is NOT my impression of 'most important, most talented, etc, etc' Hawk. To me, that just makes him Joe Smith, Robert Horry (without the clutch 3), and the like. The fact that we haven't had a good low post talent is starting to cloud our collective judgments. (Note: I do acknowledge that the offensive strategy doesn't utilize Al well, BUT it doesn't do anything for Josh Smith either and yet, despite all his flaws - you absolutely get many glimpses of what he can do if he had the discipline to not ever shoot a shot outside of 12ft). I'm STILL waiting for him to have a game that even approaches the game he played in Chicago (27 and 15). NE way, I'm sure someone is going to try to tell me why I'm crazy, but I'm going to ask them to get away from intangibles and show me the tangibles. We're at game 54, people.
8. Finally, Joe Johnson is our best player and we like to talk about how hard he has to play and his minutes, etc. But Joe is not playing great basketball these days either, certainly not shooting well. I've watched far more 5 for 17 nights than I care to see from our best player.
Ok, this is getting long, so let me stop talking, but quite frankly - we sucked.
I think I said 46-36 at that All Star break and I'm going to stick with that, but let us lose to the Kings and I may have to go back to my 44-38 standby.
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