Saturday, October 31, 2009

Game Recap - Wizards @ Hawks

Preamble Ramble

Another game and another victory vs. the improved, but injury prone Washington Wizards. It's always great to have a weekend game where there are plenty of things that are happening around the game itself such as Thriller tributes, Opening Weekend After Parties, the best seats ever, and some commentary on the Hawks Dance Team. Now, these game recaps are NEVER gonna be done as quickly as our friends at Hoopinion, THHB, Peachtree Hoops, and the like (The Vent does not apply until it gets to every game status - smile), so if you want to get more timely game recaps, you might want to subscribe to our Hawks blog brethren and sistren. We only promise more funky Hawks entertainment and observation than them...so without further ado - let the observations begin

Game Recap - Hawks 100, Pacers 89

Overall Observations:
  • The 2nd highest scoring team in the NBA..yep, these are your Atlanta Hawks.
  • Overheard right after the Osh Smith (who will be Josh Smith on this blog if he goes one more game shooting over 60% from the field) committed his fourth foul..."Coach, you gotta learn how to trust your starters" and Coach Woodson's retort.."...gotta learn how to trust my bench". Now, we're not sure if he said HE has to learn or Osh needs to learn, but either way - it was a telling quote. While we would argue that a deeper bench means you have to worry LESS about players fouling out, it is heartening to see that quality options can be inserted into the game and that Coach Woodson was quick to acknowledge that trust of the bench must be adhered to over the protestations of any one player.
  • The Wizards cannot keep their best players healthy...that'll keep you from the playoffs every time.
  • We argued with a lot of people over the impact of Gilbert Arenas on the Wizards this season and, injuries and turnovers aside, it's obvious just how good he is.
  • Atlanta has not yet gotten the memo - the SEASON has started. I'm not sure if it's the economy or what, but we need the 6th man!!! Let's support the home team.
  • Thanks Coach Woodson - minutes dispersed in great fashion
  • Finally, we will put this in the "beat a team you're better than" category and move on. Any litmus test went out the window when Caron Butler didn't show up for the 2nd half.
Str8 Butter Award - Jamal Crawford, welcome to Atlanta. We appreciate Coach Woodson asking a player to do what he does best and that's score the basketball and that's what Jamal did in the first half. He put on display his considerable talent of scoring the ball. We also can see that he will need to be managed or else he could lose as many games as he won. How that is managed and his defensive effort will be high on Coach Woodson's watch out and coach meter. Until then, we give Jamal the Str8 Butter award for making three Wizards look like Bibby was guarding them on the way to his first points of the game.

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* M. Williams - This was a perfect example of why we have been pushing Mo Evans to start and Marvin to be the super sub. Marvin didn't do much of anything in this game until the 4th quarter. Now, at that point, he did make some big shots and pull down some rebounds.
* Osh Smith - Happy 900 blocks, Osh and a great effort tonight. We still want him to stop the 'heat check' jump shot at the beginning of the games (you were 1 of 3 with jump shots and 7 of 8 otherwise). That's what we call - something you should pay attention to, but let's not spend more time on an issue that doesn't have enough evidence in 2009-2010 to give us concern, but so far - Osh has shown the superstar quality he possesses. Let's see if it can continue.
* M. Bibby - Mike the game manager...that's pretty much what we've seen so far. As long as he's not allowing his defensive assignment go off for 40 and 10 - that's fine by us.
* J. Johnson - Joe is still struggling with his shot and we'd like to see some plays to get him open looks would be nice, but in victory - we look at this as a positive that we are still the 2nd highest scoring team in the League!
* A. Horford - Well, there was a challenge out there and you sir didn't hold up your end of the bargain. It's already been said - we expect more than 10pts and 10 board double doubles. So, let us know what it'll take and we'll do what WE can to make it possible (in an Internet campaign kinda way).

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* J. Crawford - It's been stated, but we'll state it again - you are a very talented offensive player. Stay that way...
* J. Teague - Any comments made would only highlight the similarities between this and Acie Law's career beginning, so we'll save them. Let's see if you see the court vs. the Lakers and we'll have more on this.
* M. Evans - Solid defense, good shooting, and an increasing feistiness on the court. Is it us or are we noticing that you look a little more focused and upset at things on the court these days? Every ball lost, every missed assignment, brings Randolph Morris-like scowls. Now, if this is your example of leadership and not settling for less - we can only say...WE LIKE IT!!!
* Joe Smith - On one hand, we like your demeanor and defensive presence, but I gotta admit - make or not, WE'VE HAD ENOUGH WITH THE POWER FORWARD 3s. If your name isn't Dirk Nowitski...stop it!
* Z. Pachulia - Zaza, we hardly saw ya, but even in 9 minutes - I didn't think it was possible for you to not get a rebound.
* R. Morris - DNP
* J. Collins - DNP
* Hunter - Inactive

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

Not gonna say anything but good things - you deserve praise for your pre-game comments to Jamal Crawf0rd. You deserve praise for not ceding control of your team to Osh Smith and you deserve praise for figuring out how to trust your team without Joe Johnson on the court. How our eyes lit up seeing only 30 minutes for Bro. Johnson.

Str8 Talk Love

Ok, there is always something interesting that happens when I go to Hawks games, so let's get to the fun - first, these were maybe some of the best seats I've ever had (aside from my two times courtside)..midcourt only about 10 rows up and yes, I can learn to like this. What we can't learn to like is an organist that plays hip hop (what happened to the band?). What we can learn to love are homages to Michael Jackson during halftime. The Thriller dance routine by Harry and the dance team ...yep, that's what we call entertainment. We didn't see any celebs for a change, but then there weren't a lot of people at the game anyway - guess the Halloween parties sucked the life of the building (Get it - sucked the life...I know, I'll be playing at the Punchline all week...).

Final note - as you know, part of the reason our recap comes the next day is because we like to enjoy an after party and we got two...the first being the Atlanta Hawks opening weekend after party at Stats, complete with dance team, players, coaches, management, and their friends. We wondered what happened on Wednesday and it looked like they wanted a bigger turnout, so it was moved to Friday and it was a great time had by all (how could you mess up free food, open bar, and Hawks all around). The things of note being - Joe Johnson's Gucci shoes (which did not match and therefore, should not have been worn...I'm sure C C would not have approved), Jeff Teague looking like he's 12, Jamal Crawford learning why any single (we hope he's single) NBA player should play for Atlanta (you hear that, D Wade). We also would like to give one final big up to Coach Woodson who was gracious as a fan asked - "hey, what happened to our scoring in the 3rd quarter? You really need to fix that." Coach's reply - "we won the game and that's what's most important" before heading to get more food. We criticize him enough in print, but if I'm at my company after party and WE WON - save your critiques, folks.

After that party, we headed to Atlantic Station for more fun and revelry at Strip for the Sol Fusion Hollyween Party and let's just say it was sublime and we must say that women and poles seem to have a magnetic effect. That and the holiday's effect on the amount of clothes women will wear...not sure I ever recognized this, but skin is IN for Halloween, it seems.

Dance Team/Game Ops update - Speaking of skin, the Dance Team put on 3 routines and according to our friendly neighborhood former dance team member, she set me straight on the fact that the team deserves more praise. Like a B-, so we give them that B-, but I also think that if one person is off - you get a F. Sorry, that's just how I feel about it...anyway, I did meet a few more dance team members at the after party and they are really sweet girls, so I'll make sure to ease up on my criticisms and hike up the praise. :)

Shout Outs - Will Stephens, Star, Harlee, Stacie, Fard, Craig, Ken, Boma, Andrea, Malaika, Ceylon, and so many others...

Final Notes - The one area that needs to be addressed is the A Town Dancers. Ok, I get it - the men dancing is funny and entertaining for infrequent fans. It's mildly entertaining for frequent fans, BUT just like with the women - there needs to be some standards. And one standard that can't be dismissed is a man who has better breasts than many women. Yes, I said it and I will not be silenced on this. Now, the breast to stomach ratio must be adhered to. If you were there, you know what I'm referring to and something must be done. I can't bring any underage folks to the game to see that - in fact, Jeff Teague isn't old enough to look at that. Please, Hawks management - do something about that...please!!!

Season Prediction

47-35 is still the prediction, though if the Wiz can't stay healthy - we can mark them off the list of contenders for that 4th seed. Til Sunday and the Lakers...we bid you adieu!

1 comment:

thirdfalcon said...

The most positive thing to me was the 3 stops Jamal Crawford had on Caron Butler. I'm not ready to go crazy about that yet but I think alot of the things we think we know about this guy might have to be reevaluated. The list of players that changed their stripes once they got the chance to win is long.

Again there is no reason to go crazy about this after 2 games, but it is something to look at for sure.