Monday, February 1, 2010

Long Awaited: Game & All Star Thoughts

Friends, Atlantans, Hawks Fan Nation,

Yes, we've taken a 2 week break from the blog during a pretty critical juncture in the season, but life circumstances (and a vacation to the nether regions of the country) had an impact on the ability to produce worthwhile blogs, BUT we were able to watch all the games and have some thoughts about the Hawks last 6 games, the All Star berths for Joe and Al (and the bids made by Josh and Jamal), and finally some review of our offseason musings relative to the team at the midway point of the season, so without further ado - let's get to it.

Game Recaps (Quick Thoughts from the Kings, Bobcats, Rockets, Spurs, Celtics, and Magic)
  • First, let's just keep the perspective here - we won 4 of 5 (and the 5th was vs. the team we never beat, so we did what we were supposed to do. Let any critiques come with a view of the postseason, not an indication of whether we did enough to win
  • Most impressive win - I'd normally say quickly - Rockets on the road, but with our ability sometimes to not circle a game and then execute a definitive performance - we must say that the Bobcats victory was of particular importance to us. After being blown out by the Bobcats early in the season and the Bobcats on a hot streak - it would have been easy to let that game slip through our fingers. To win it convincingly, that was sweet. The Rockets game was sweet too, though.
  • Most depressing loss - Since we will rarely do back to backs and aren't planning to change our tactics vs. the Magic, we'll say that the Spurs was more disturbing than the Magic loss. We already know the Magic story (so wake us when we try to do something different other than try to just make the same shots and defensive tactics work), but when you know a team is struggling - you have to raise your level of play and honestly, that just didn't happen. Not only that - we really didn't do anything to highlight what the Spurs did to us with devastating ease.
  • How crazy is it that sweeping the Celtics did not make our most impressive win status in a 6 game stretch? Honestly, there wasn't much that the Celtics did that made us think that losing to the Celtics should have happened. It should be noted that the C's are on 3-7 run, so they aren't playing well - and when that's the case, we are simply a better team (esp. since we're never going to stop being focused vs. them - we can beat any team where we are focused and determined). Plus, it's hard to give kudos to a 4th quarter strategy that while successful - maddeningly and infrequently going to win a game. Sorry, but the days of iso-Joe being the best option for the Hawks are over.
  • We are currently 30-16, 5th in the NBA, and 2nd in our division. It's about as good as you can ask for in Hawks land these days.
All Star Thoughts
  • Congrats to Joe Johnson and Al Horford for making the All Star Game.
  • We concur with everyone by saying that Josh Smith should have been in the game over ANY other Hawk, but let's provide one piece of perspective. Of all of the players on the team, who would be least affected in their approach and the impact of the All Star Game? I would pick Joe and Al. For those who have touted Josh (and to lesser degree, Jamal), I believe it's best for the HAWKS, if he still has a carrot (or snub) to work from. Josh still has improvements to make and it would be nice to believe that he believes that there is more work for him to do and more things for him to prove to the league.
  • Same for Jamal - I love what Jamal is doing on the offensive end of the court, but let's not get carried away, people - Jamal is not an All Star. 6th Man of the Year - yes! All Star - no! Now, whether he's better for the team than Joe right now (or even making a push for Joe's job next year) - maybe, but Joe's our All Star and let's just leave it at that.

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