Let's just start with the obvious - the Lakers are better than the Hawks! So, our observations and comments are not complaints as if we were supposed to win, but are thoughts for what will prevent the Hawks from beating great teams consistently.
Game Recap - Lakers 118, Hawks 110
- It seems like Mike Woodson is on the yo-yo regarding this minute distribution. Yes, we want Joe to get rest...no, we don't want Joe to get rest when he's KILLING the Lakers. So, you can rest him when we play the Kings or the Timberwolves to make up for the extra 6 minutes playing the Lakers...
- So much for regaining the J in your name, Osh Smith.
- The upside to this game was Jeff Teague and fuel for my Marvin as a Super Sub mantra. Marvin didn't show up and I think it's because he's not ever going to be someone who we are trying to get going with this starting 5.
- Rick Sund, are you sure Al Horford is a center? Even without Pau Gasol, the length of the Lakers (and we're talking Bynum, Mbenga, Powell) gave Horford fits on the inside. And especially if Osh isn't going to play as a 'get me rebounds' power forward.
- The third period was our case study for 'Why we give the ball to the point guard to run the offense from the time we get the rebound until we get into our offensive sets'? (I know, what offensive sets?, but work with us on this one)
Starter Kudos/Smackdown -
* M. Williams - Ok, just repeating here - using Marvin as a spot up shooter in this offense is not going to provide the Hawks the bump in productivity that would look like a major leap for Marvin. So, let the Marvin as Super Sub machine start...
* Osh Smith - Ok, just repeating here - designing ANY offense where Osh Smith is on the perimeter in a shooting position OR that doesn't drive the point that you must make all shot attempts outside of 3 seconds on the shot clock INSIDE 10ft is bad offense. It should really be a fireable offense to have it work that way.
* M. Bibby - No turnovers from and some good shooting early in the 2nd half was good. Not having the ball in your hands as the POINT GUARD in the 3rd period was bad.
* J. Johnson - You tried your best, but once the other team decided to do what we would have done to Kobe (if he wasn't scoring in transition so effectively) and that's make someone else beat them - the game was over. Sorry, but if all our 'offensive firepower' goes in the tank when we need it most - it's gonna be hard for you. That said, we probably should have given you the ball more (or better yet, just not sat you down when you were on fire) to see if you could match those 41 from Kobe.
* A. Horford - Let this be my example of 'getting too excited about Al Horford dominating a team for the 2nd time in his entire career' is hazardous for your health, THHB (said in my Ryan Cameron - offensive foul voice). Like we always say, we LOVE Al. You just can't get excited about Horford when our offense is a dribble to beat your man to score offense. That's pretty much it...
* J. Crawford - Again, the defense is questionable, but if you can outscore people while you're on the floor - we'll take it. On nights like tonight, the turnovers, no defense, and inability to hit from 3 hurts a bit.
* J. Teague - It was great to see Jeff being given the shot to provide a spark. Hopefully, Woodson will use this to great effect. The best thing I can say without gushing is - maybe you've found your Mario West energy guy in the body of someone with more skills to boot.
* M. Evans - There's nothing here to hype, but Mo has played solid ball this year. Turning into a defensive stopper would aid my efforts to get him a starting role.
* Joe Smith - Not much again to get excited about other than the takedown of Jordan Farmer to FINALLY say - enough with the layup line happening at our rim. That's what we want to see from our veterans - next time, let's start at the beginning of the run, not the end.
* Z. Pachulia - Not really bad on the offensive end, but the length and athleticism of the Lakers bigs made Zaza look really ineffective
* R. Morris - DNP
* J. Collins - DNP
* Hunter - Inactive
Since I don't want to sound like a broken record, I'll just say a few words. We never thought we'd win this game anyway, so why beat up on Coach Woodson...oh, because we can. A few things that puzzled me - First, why not use your timeouts to stop the bleeding in the 3rd quarter (or to figure out a new defensive strategy in the first half)? Second, I would like it stated once again - I don't care what your defensive rankings are at the end of the year, but against good teams - our defensive strategy will be exploited to great effect. You just can't beat good execution and good basketball players with the philosophy we have. On the good side, I do like the fact that 10 players STILL got to play vs. the Lakers - finding a good mix is the sign of a coach who is trying to trust his bench and is coaching his way to a solution during a game that is getting out of hand. Now, we weren't successful in the end, but seeing everyone still playing was a great sign. Last year, only 8 players played vs. good teams no matter what...baby steps, baby steps
Str8 Talk Love
It was fun watching the game at the crack of dawn to get this out. That's called being a true fan when a full weekend and the World Series cause a delay in watching a big game.
Dance Team/Game Ops update - N/A
Shout Outs - N/A
Final Notes - We also want to note that we like the new Joe Johnson mantra of calling out the team. In this postgame interview, he noted that "the Hawks are too soft". Well, we've been saying this for a while. That toughness, rebounding, perimeter defense, and leadership were the areas we needed to improve. Well, we kinda got some leadership, but the other 3 are still sore spots and last night was an example of why we want more focus on these areas in the vein of building a championship team.
Nothing's changed - 47-35! Let's see how we measure up against the Blazers, but if we're guessing - this is a crucial test of how we adjust and focus on the road.