Atlanta Hawks 97, Portland Trail Blazers 91 or where Jamal Crawford shows enough awesome to anger at least four cities

recap

boxscore

Horrid offense, Joe Johnson pressing, Josh Smith with actual, legitimate reason to pout, on the road, against a good team, with jump shots already being settled for. That is the Hawks lose by 20 soup recipe. It has been passed down for years, a regular family tradition. And last night, the team threw all the ingredients in. They were ready to pass out the bowls of suck, and then, Zaza Pachulia and Jamal Crawford said screw it, we're having steak.

Defense

This was a great win. The Hawks played team defense. They out rebounded a far better rebounding team by ten. Al Horford played well enough on defense and well enough against guys that much bigger is pretty darn good. Josh Smith carried his lunch pale. LaMarcus Aldridge probably helped by settling for a lot for a lot of fadaways jumpers, but Josh can only guard what is there and he guarded it well. And the Hawks as a team (the only way you can the guy) only allowed Brandon Roy seven points in the final three quarters. Effort and skill on the defensive side of the ball is so pleasant.

Jamal Crawford, a man of ease

Seven assists and zero turnovers. Seven assists?!? Zero turnovers!? Here are your crazy pills everybody. Swallow them down.

Yes, you just watched a game where did everything. Jamal scored. He got others involved. Shoot, dude boxed out enough to get an over the back on a Blazer. And the seven assists were not guys making jumpers. Six of them were created shots by Crawford. And that is without mentioning that he was one of the two catalysts in the second quarter comeback. History says all the JC games won't be like this, but he sure makes it look like they could be.

The return of Zaza!

Welcome back my cuddly Eastern European bruiser of unathleticism awesomeness. At one point in the first half, Zaza was the offense. Seriously. And his defense keyed the whole thing. Zaza can't be your offensive leader if your not getting defensive stops too. Zaza blocked two shots. He played good man to man defense. Protected the rim. Basically, Zaza did what he does best, make me happy.

And if you did not see Zaza celebrating with a minute to go after Jamal Crawford's behind the back pass to Horford, I challenge you to watch it and not smile.

Joe Johnson does not give a damn about your credit

Joe Johnson was awful in the first half. I mean anger inducing, ready to trade awful. But I must give the guy credit, he was 8-11 in the second half. Who goes 8-11 in the second half of a game and you barely notice? Joe gets called out when he fails. He should. He is the leader, the highest paid guy, but he succeeds and no one says a thing. We almost forget. 8-11 in the second half is an MVP second half. Joe might not be good enough to avoid a good number of bad halves, but dude, rarely fails for a whole game.

Victory Bullets

  • I don't want to brag and I also enjoy lying. So rewind the third quarter. Watch it. The Hawks push the pace in two sections with a slowed down jumper fest in the middle. Which worked better? Just saying. Just saying.
  • Note to Al Horford don't try and block Steve Blake's shot. If you do, someone will be dunking on your head in rapid succession
  • To his credit, Josh Smith will sacrifice his body for his for a charge. To his deference, he never gets it. So to my great surprise and awe, Josh picked one up against Brandon Roy. Pretty impressive. 
  • By far, the best rotational defense the Hawks have had all season.
  • Dear Joe, please learn a double team is not code for let me make a highlight jumper. Hawks rarely make the highlights anyway. Thanks. Hawksdawgs
  • One should not congratulate someone for doing what they are suppose to do, but Josh Smith could have pouted and he didn't. So good work being a normal professional Josh. You are so much more fun to watch when you are.
  • Marvin is teetering on losings his confidence. I am getting very nervous he is going to abort his afro growing as a response. Almost beyond nervous.
  • I complain and moan about Horford not getting his shots. Well, he has this season, and I think the Hawks are better for it, but those shots have only dropped one game. It seems like they should drop more. I hope they do. Because the Hawks will be scary good if it happens.

Everyone go celebrate like Zaza. Good win.

Go Hawks!

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