I missed the final five minutes of this game because my dog went to the bathroom twice in the span of 10 minutes in the house. He had never gone inside before last night. Sometimes you just have crappy games. Last night was one of them.
If the Hawks prove they can win on the road against the likes of Blazers, these types of games against the Kings become much easier to take. Following the Portland game, last night is a win and not a win that articulates the problem. The Hawks simply turned the ball over too much and for three quarters failed to play the kind of defense and put the proper effort on the glass to soundly beat any team in the league. This game was the Indy game against a worse team.
But coming in the second game of back to backs, with the win secure, all this one really does is give Mike Woodson reason to keep preaching the same thing he has always preached and allow us to get back to yelling the same thing about rookie point guards we have always yelled.
Winnng cures most everything, including winning badly. It would have been nice to see Jeff Teague more. Joe Johnson's relationship with the double team continues to live in the dysfunctional. Mike Woodson's foul patrol, tonight squarely focused on Josh Smith, continues to remain suffocatingly forceful. Zaza Pachulia guarding Beno Udrich out at the three point line on multiple possessions worked as well as Travis Outlaw the night before. And the Hawks still need two hands, four feet, and five seconds to secure any loose ball.
But the good news is the Hawks won. The west coast portion of the road trip ends at 2-1, and we can focus on how Jeff Teague looked good in the brief minutes he played. Josh Smith remained aggressive and effective despite the fouls and limited minutes. Joe Johnson actually beats those double teams more times than he doesn't, and come the fourth quarter, he beats anything and everything. And we can let Zaza guarding Beno go for a bit because Jamal Crawford has kept the awesome going, and it is much more fun to talk awesome than Zaza's perimeter defense.
The Hawks played bad for three quarters on the defensive end. They scored on the offensive end effectively by most any standards except maybe the standard of playing Sacramento. It is what it is, a crappy game. Saying the Hawks need better defense against better teams is beyond obvious. But harping on every way the Hawks should have played better would turn into an exercise of trying to squeeze two wins out of one.
Basically, any win on the road in the second of back to backs is a good win. No matter how obvious the crap is.