Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pacers @ Hawks - 4/10/09

Game Recap - Hawks 122, Pacers 118

There's really a lot that can be said on a day like today. At the beginning of the season, we made the prediction that the Hawks would be 40-42 and the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. And if we had left it at that for the rest of the season - we'd be correct in saying it's time to celebrate the achievement of winning 6-8 more games and ending up as the 4th seed.

BUT...we made the assertion very early (around game 8) that this was a playoff team and therefore, our expectations should be adjusted accordingly. In fact, I'd take the team basketball we played during the first 6 games of the season vs. a Cavs team right now. So, while many are celebrating the 4th seed being locked up - we were of that mindset during the 7 game homestand (all victories) that the Hawks would end up with a 47-35 record and the 4th seed. With that in mind, there is little to celebrate today that wasn't being celebrated a few weeks ago.

So, let's keep going down the path of highlighting items we think are important to our playoff readiness:

1. Welcome back Marvin Williams! We are not only happy to see Marvin back, but we also are thrilled to see him slated to come off the bench for the foreseeable future. The Evans starting, Williams super sub audition begins now...
2. What's with the back muscles - Marvin, then Acie, now!
3. Apologies to all Hawks fans and followers for our lack of glee, but when your team wouldn't have made the Western Conference playoffs and there are 15 games between you and your divison leader - it's hard to celebrate a season when a championship is not anywhere in the cards.
4. Kudos to the offense for showing up over the past few weeks. Scoring the basketball has been a priority and that matters regardless of how poor the defenses that scoring comes against.
5. Kudos to Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Joe Johnson for coming to play on the offensive end.
6. How does Mario West escape the 2 foul rule in his first start and end up getting his 3 foul early in the 2nd quarter. What's he doing that makes it ok for him to play minutes that a more important (and less foul-out prone) player would not...
7. Kudos to Mike Woodson for acknowledging that rest is a priority in the last 2, let's make sure that that means less than 24 minutes a game.
8. Finally, can we just acknowledge that our defense SUCKS right now? Truly and completely up 110 pts for three straight games against poor offensive teams should be truly distressing at this stage in the season. Thank goodness Miami and Philly are both showing their inability to get better down the stretch when it matters.

Everyone get well - we'll see you again for Game 1 when we'll be back with old school game recaps. Go HAWKS!!!!

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