Let's review. If the Hawks outplay, out hustle, complain less, win the turnover battle, and rebound the ball like it is the only thing that has purpose in the world, they are a pretty good team. I was 99% sure that was the case, but now, I know. And since that team slogan, I feel pretty dang good about it.
I do not think rebounding has ever been so sexy. That was a sultry effort of brute force. It was Zaza Pachulia in Josh Smith and Al Horford's body. The Hawks out hustled KG. That is about as high a compliment as you can give.
The Hawks were impressive, not just good, but impressive for at least 39 of the 48 minutes, and maybe the best thing was how quickly and calmly the Hawks came out of those less than incredible 9 minutes. The responses to Boston's mini runs were swift and borderline easy. What it was was Atlanta in control of the game. Many things have happened in limited stints over these last few years, but a game against an elite team where the Hawks simply were better. That might be new.
I will admit something to you. I did not think about Hot Flip once this entire game. His defense on Ray Allen made me pause the game to collect myself. His shot selection has no rhyme or reason. The travels in the first half were bad for anyone trying not to drink tonight, and yet, the Hawks don't win this game without Jamal Crawford. He allows for such better spacing on offense. He can handle the ball and pass. Makes crucial jumpers. Crawford does exactly what people have accuse him of not doing his entire career, he does the little things.
- It is official. Joe Smith is an upgrade over Solomon Jones. Although there was no fist fight tonight, so that is a downside I guess.
- Switching on every screen still makes no sense to me. Every screen. Every anything is bad. But switching on screens and giving max effort to double team, switch back, and fight for position actually makes the strategy look alright. It kept Boston from being patient all night.
- Twice KG had Mike Bibby guarding him on a switch, and he passed. Five fake dollars to fine a comparable analogy from another sport.
- The Joe Johnson/Jamal Crawford dribble show went about four possessions too long in the fourth quarter, but at least it ended.
- Woodson's best coached game of his career? Maybe.
- Can't remember seeing Mike Bibby more focused for a regular season game.
- Jeff Teague looked worse than a rookie, but still fast. Still very, very fast.
- Jason Collins with the first Mario of the season. Pour one out for Mr. West.
- The Shelden Williams revival came to an abrupt end sometime in the first half.
- Paul Pierce did nothing to endear himself to anyone in the entire world in this game.
- Josh Smith crossed over of Garnett made me happy even if the shot did not go in.
- Speaking of which, layups are easy. I get that Josh, but dunks are easier. Dunk please.
Great win. The Hawks now have a better start than last year. Go Hawks!