Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hawks/Cavs - Round 2, Game 3 Recap

Let's start this game recap off with a few items:

1. For the first time in this round of basketball, effort was not an issue for the team. It's pretty sad that that has to be a point, but after a series of games where we haven't always played hard - it needs to be noted.
2. Again, we have lost in double digits in every game we've lost in 2 years of playoff games, spanning TEN games...again, Coach Woodson - what is it that we learned from the Boston series last year?
3. There really ought to be an unbiased look at how fouls are called with regard to LeBron James. It used to be Shaq's play that was difficult to call consistently, but there is a new king in town (no pun intended). While we can appreciate that a player who attacks is rewarded, there should be consistency to calling fouls ON LeBron. There were at least 4 times when contact occurred and no call came, but on the opposite end - if LeBron was touched - he was at the line IN OUR HOUSE.

Game Recap - Cavs 97, Hawks 82

Again, with so many thoughts jumbled up from the game, let's just bulletize this recap:
  • Since we can subtract effort from the Hawks' deficiency list tonight, we can point to the strategic decision to not try to take away a team's best weapon. We respect the fact that you may want to allow for a bad night on single coverage, but at the point that you realize that LeBron James wants to play like the best player in the world (apologies to Kobe Bryant) - maybe you would determine that this merry band of players should not be playing him one on one. Those people are Maurice Evans, Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, and Josh Smith. Or what we'd like to call - anyone on the Hawks roster. This game - like every game vs. D Wade screamed for a double team. Anything to get the ball out of the hands of the BEST PLAYER ON THE PLANET. At some point, taking your chances with lesser players is probably better than watching one player laugh at your attempt to employ the switcheroo defensive philosophy.
  • You could almost see the players fighting their common basketball sense that said to go and double vs. their switcheroo teachings.
  • LBJ scored 47 pts EASILY. Now, the two times I noticed a double team - there was a 24 second violation and a Big Z jump shot for 2. We do not consider challenging a drive 5ft from the basket as a double team or even worth the effort.
  • We were impressed with the Hawks first half fight. At least, they realized that effort can trump poor shooting or strategy.
  • We also are impressed with Zaza's emotion, but unfortunately it must be managed well. Yes, it was a questionable call and yes, we can accept the technical (though we think it only should have been ONE technical).
  • Finally, we think that the Hawks fan base has all gotten the memo - Josh Smith is not a jump shooter. Too bad, the Hawks coaching staff has not gotten the memo that maybe we ought to design plays and offense that eliminates Josh Smith outside of 10 ft as a possibility. As my mom (Happy Mom's Day) says, sometimes you have to save people from themselves (and their decision to shoot jump shots).
  • We applaud Coach Woodson for allowing Mike Bibby to play through his foul trouble. Of course, Bibby rewarded that faith by only receiving 4 fouls. Catch the hint.
  • We applaud Joe Johnson for getting mad and trying to take over the game. We are disappointed that that occurred when the game was over.
  • We applaud the fans for being allowed and engaged during most of the game, but we're disappointed that that ended once Zaza was ejected. We needed you MORE, not less at that point.
That's all - there's not much here. We didn't think we'd win a game in this series. We were hoping to win 1 game. That still may happen, so we'll just call it a victory that we decided to fight and scrap in this game. Maybe next game - our strategy will match our effort. We'll take a dose of transition offense and a scoop of Joe Johnson being mad and wanting to take over, please. See you on Monday!

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