I feel the same way I felt going into February and that's that the Hawks aren't playing better basketball down the stretch than they did to start the year and that's exactly how I felt last year. Not a good sign for a young team, but it's simply what happens when you don't give the players who are the players who have the most upside and can help you in areas of need a chance to indeed do those things. So, with no further ado, we have a recap AND an announcement of monumental proportions...
Game Recap - Hawks 106, Bucks 102
- Let's just say it - Joe Johnson in OT was great. Joe Johnson during most other parts of the game was not...
- Jamal Crawford - you sir are very talented offensively, but when you don't have it...you really ought to learn how to be a decoy and that passer you tried to be during game 1.
- The Hawks frontcourt at some point has to think about a coup against the backcourt. When your frontcourt goes 18-31 (1-1 from 3) and 9-11 from the FT line for 46 pts and 10 asts vs. your 15-48 (2-11 from 3) and 10-11 from the FT line for 42 pts and 11 asts, I think a team meeting where I get to say - hey, the frontcourt has been doing work and we deserve more opportunities to win the game down the stretch b/c we're the ones getting us the lead for the most part in the first place. Letting you guys shoot us out of the lead AND try to shoot us back in is not a fair deal.
- I would kill to have Chauncey Billups making decisions for us down the stretch of basketball games.
- Again, Jeff Teague sure didn't do anything to make me believe that he didn't deserve more minutes tonight.
- As a contrast, when Ridnour and Stackhouse brought production from the bench, they sure didn't get put back on the bench for much of the rest of the game. Also, now, I'm just thinking that Stackhouse was available for how long...might he have been an upgrade over Mario West.
- John Salmons wanted that victory!!
Starter Kudos/Smackdown -
* M. Williams - Good night...some defense, some made shots, and that's really it...though we were happy to see him play in the 4th quarter.
* Josh Smith - 22 and 15 and 6...yeah, that's real baller status, Josh
* M. Bibby - Hmmm...the Jeff Teague starting campaign is not threatened by this effort.
* J. Johnson - Thanks for the OT love...
* A. Horford - A double double and good defense...the All Star Center formula
* J. Crawford - finding a way to be good contributor when not making shots...which means - making free throws...ding, ding, ding!
* J. Teague - Good first half stint...that's all that needs to be said
* M. Evans - Mo, good energy and it was nice to see some offense/defense trade offs down the stretch from Woody. Nice!
* Joe Smith - It's actually funny seeing guys try not to stop action in the game because they know it'll mean it's the last time they will play in the game.
* Z. Pachulia - Not sure what happened to mean Zaza, but I certainly expected to see him try to light up his former team tonight
* R. Morris - Inactive
* M. West - DNP
* J. Collins - DNP
I've already done the I don't understand Woodson blog, so I'll let my disappointment with so many things ride right now and talk about a few things I like - like a full court press and like offense and defense exchanges with Evans and Crawford and like ...oh, that's it. We'll revel in that part, but we do want to just log this complaint. Who puts players in for one stint a game in the first half and doesn't play them again no matter what they do with that stint? I just can't recall a coach that plays a player for a stint in the game and never goes back to them consistently.
Str8 Talk Love
53-29..ok, so as much as I've felt like we've regressed - we only have 5 more games vs. teams that are tough or tougher than us. 4 of those 5 games are at home. So, only the road and lapses in our game should prevent us from having a 50 win season (or an injury)...with that, I have to change my prediction for the rest of the season and give us the benefit of the doubt that we'll handle our business and end up as the #3 seed. Let's go Hawks!!!!