Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Game Recap - Hawks @ Timberwolves

Preamble Ramble

Interestingly enough, a blowout where the Hawks don't particularly play well - sounds a lot like Christmas. For a team that in its recent past had to do everything possible well to win games on the road no matter what the opponent, it is not lost on us how fun it is to watch a team play ok and still win by 25 on the road. That plus best start in the last 25 years makes the words of Ice Cube appropriate - "Today was a good day!" So, without further ado, let's just get to the recap.

Game Recap - Hawks 112, Timberwolves 87

Overall Observations:
  • It seems like the next project for the blogosphere needs to take form. First, it was the Josh Smith jump shooting strike, then it was the 2 fouls and you sit brigade, and now it's (sorry Josh, we're back) the Josh Smith SHUT IT campaign. I haven't spent a lot of time researching the development of Rasheed Wallace's ability to draw technical fouls, but I can't help but think that it took some years to develop and it's simply time to stop it before it gets any worse.
  • Wonder if the endorsement potential that resides in a smiling, jumping, active Josh Smith could be the elixir for what ails Bro. Smoove. Smoove's agent needs to draw up some numbers on how much Josh is losing by complaining to the refs after every call. If anything makes Josh look like he still doesn't get it, that's it.
  • While we're still on this rant, is it really too much for someone on the team to grab Josh and say - 'hey, that really was a foul' or 'hey, refs miss calls and rarely reverse them, so relax and focus'.
  • Since we're on this rant, did Teague really end up being the last player to enter the game on the team against the Timberwolves? On a back-to-back road trip? On a night when 3 players used 17 of their 18 alloted fouls when another player was out due to injury?
  • Al, Jamal, and Joe - that's all it takes to beat a T-Wolves team by 25, huh?
  • So, T-Wolves GM David Kahn thinks that the Hawks are a team to be studied in understanding how to rebuild a franchise...who'd a thunk that 3 years ago?
  • Coach Woodson, since you won by 25, let's hope that this fouling out thing doesn't cause any new dramatic changes in how you govern our you can see - it is better to get all the minutes out of the players by force than not get them by choice.
Str8 Butter Award - Jamal can you argue with a point a minute? Thanks Jamal for making this an easy win.

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* M. Williams - The signs of aggression in the paint were well taken.
* Josh Smith - Fouls aside, it actually was a very good start to the game. Maybe that's why you were so angry when you saw that career highs were in reach.
* M. Bibby - On a night when you were playing vs. my offseason fave Ramon Sessions, point for Bibby. Sessions couldn't throw it in the ocean.
* J. Johnson - It's really nice to see your shooting stroke start coming back, JJ and those 34 minutes with a big back end to a back to back doesn't hurt either.
* A. Horford - A Boss-worthy effort in trying to defend two young Wolves studs, Jefferson and Love. Thanks for holding it together long enough for the Jamal train to get rolling..

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* J. Crawford - I take this time to reiterate how wrong I was about 1) that this might not be a good trade for the Hawks and 2) that Flip Murray could provide basically the same production at a lower price tag. WRONG! and WRONG!
* J. Teague - Still not sure what has occurred, but 6 minutes vs. the Bulls (but at least one first half stint) and then this garbage time stint. We'll continue to be the official Teague must play Hawks blog since no one else seems to care as much as we do about this.
* M. Evans - Thanks for having your poor shooting night on a night when it doesn't matter.
* Joe Smith - DNP
* Z. Pachulia - Stunned that you can foul out vs. Love and Jefferson when they didn't do a ton on the offensive end.
* R. Morris - Doubly stunned that you can foul out in 10 minutes...Solomon Jones would be proud
* J. Collins - Anytime we see you playing in the first half and we still win by 25 - these are heady times in Hawk land.
* Hunter - No offense, but how you are getting the same minutes as Teague still boggles the mind.

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

Just gonna keep beating the 'develop Teague' drum. So, he barely played in a close game vs. the Bulls can be justified, but it's hard to understand why during a game that's not in contention - why Jeff Teague didn't touch the court until the game was over. We are trying our best to not harken back to the days of Acie Law IV, but this situation bears watching.

Season Prediction

54-28 stands...

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