Hawks 110 Raptors 92

Boxscore

Gameflow

Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
TOR 94 0.98 45.7 22.2 17.1 12.8
ATL 94 1.17 61.7 12.3 21.9 15.9

I like...

  • that this team that plays defense and takes advantage of the three-point shot. 
  • Solomon Jones* making an extended emergency appearance in the first half and shoring up the defensive rebounding.
  • having to figure out why Flip Murray can shoot well enough all of a sudden. 
  • Marvin Williams playing aggressively and (mostly) under control.
  • Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby both making over 70% of their shots.
  • neither of them having to take more than 12 shots.
  • them combining for 18 assists**.
  • that Al Horford was +27 in 16:35.
  • Maurice Evans making open shots and hitting the defensive glass.
  • Acie Law IV with the ball in his hands.
  • Randolph Morris displaying a soft touch in his Hawks debut.
  • Sam Mitchell's suit.

*I also like Solomon Jones celebrating a strong finish more than Jermaine O'Neal thought necessary leading to a bit of jawing between the two of them before Jones tripped over the half-court line while getting back on defense at which point O'Neal transitioned from anger to amusement. Solomon Jones: You can't stay mad at him.

**Did I miss one of the finest displays of passing in the history of basketball or was the scorekeeper a little assist-happy last night? The two teams combined for 79 made field goals and were credited with 64 assists.

I don't like...

  • Josh Smith injuring his left ankle and not returning.
  • the news that he'll miss two-to-four weeks.
  • Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia getting in foul trouble concurrently.
  • even having Acie Law IV on the floor if Flip Murray's going to run the offense.

I very much like that the first list is longer than the second.

Joe Johnson keeps it simple:

"It was one of those nights where pretty much everything was clicking."

Mike Woodson, like the rest of us, can't complain:

"I’m very impressed. Guys are mentally into it. Physically they’re giving me the effort. And that’s what it’s going to take. If we’re going to accomplish some of our goals this year and try to get back to the playoffs, this is how we’ve got to play night in and night out.”

Mark Bradley continues his early-season hyperbole:

When you play the way the Hawks have, basketball can look easy. Past seasons have been squandered because simplicity yielded to ostentation, but this one won’t be. The Hawks are going to lose some games — even the greatest team in NBA history lost 10 times — but they aren’t going to fall on their face. They’re too well-rounded, too tough-minded.

Or, maybe he's just explaining NBA basketball to SEC football fans. The column also contains references to JR Rider, Billy Knight, Michael Vick, the Thrashers, and takes an unnecessary and inexplicable shot at Jason Terry. It's all over the place.

Sam Mitchell:

"There was just nothing we could do to stop them. We just couldn't guard them tonight. Almost everybody was off. It happens.''

And:

"We scored enough points, we just didn't get any stops."

92 points? On 94 possessions? With 15 of Toronto's points coming in garbage time? Don't kid a kidder, coach. Though it's true that your guys didn't get any stops.

Mitchell offers one reason why:

"Their starting lineup is all first-round picks. Have y’all ever thought about that? There is a reason they’ve got talent. It’s a unique formula. You look around the league now and the teams that get better, guys have to develop. And if you look at the starting lineup, you just see talent. The key to that is giving it a chance to mature, giving those guys a chance to learn how to play in the NBA and giving them a chance to learn how to play together. Once that happens, they’ve got a chance to be pretty good."

I'm guessing that didn't encourage follow -up questions from the assembled press corps.

Arsenalist has the litany of Toronto's failings at Raptors Republic. As much fun as I has at the game last night, his intro makes me wish (a little bit) that I'd been watching the game wherever he was at:

You know it’s garbage time when the entire pub starts sarcastically chanting MVP, MVP as Joey Graham gets soundly rejected off the glass in a 24 point game.

Joey Graham is awful. But he brings people together.

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