Goodbye Sekou Smith, these links and quotes will never be the same

Ladies and gentleman a top 15 reason to be excited is down for the count. Sekou Smith, beat writer extraordinaire, is headed to NBA.com. Not sure who is replacing Sekou but he or she is going to have a tough time replacing the sheer amount of quality recaps, blog posts, twitter notes, and quotes that Sekou brought year round. With all that material, Sekou made blogging easy. If you could not find something to say in the sheer volume and quality of Mr. Smith's work well you really didn't have anything to say. He will be missed. But with Micah Hart and now Sekou, NBA.com just got a whole lot more knowledgeable about the Hawks. I demand 20 national tv games next year.

I am slightly speculating here, but when Jamal Crawford is playing well, there might not be a more refreshing quote producer.

"This is about the growth process," Crawford said. "We had that big win in Portland last night but it wouldn’t have been for nothing if we didn’t win this one. There comes a turning point in every game where you can go one way or another. We just dug in and made sure we took this game."

Crawford seems so self-aware and articulate. He just gets what is going on, which I assume will make his 2-14 nights filled with poor defense all the more annoying. And his articulate, on point quotes will go from refreshing to over the top annoying. But it's Jamal. We have to live in the moment, and the moment is good.

The Human Highlight Blog expertly articulates the finer points of optimism to be found in last night's game. He opens with this portrait of the game and only does on to describe exactly why last night was not crappy at all but progress.

It's something when THHB can sit back and stroke their collective long, gray, novelty beards while the Good Guys appeared to be conserving energy and effort throughout a game, allowing an inferior team to hang around until the final quarter, where their good friend "Defense" waited for them to arrive. Then they conspired to close out their hosts and send the other team away rather unhappy.

No worries. No doubt. That's progress.

Over at Hoopinion, Bret points out that Charlotte is more or less the exact opposite of the Kings.

Charlotte's excellent defense and execrable offense will provide a different challenge on Friday night. I look forward to that game teaching us a touch more about this team.

The change of pace will be nice, but I could do without too many games ending in the low 80s.

Victory Bullets after the jump

  • I have not rewatched any games or really focused on Jamal Crawford's defense in real time, but so far outside of some poor effort avoiding screens, he has not been bad. Considering atrocious and league worst were thrown around, I am pleasantly surprised.
  • Again, Joe Johnson is not good at fouling people. Every foul is done with an attitude of resignation and responsibility. And I mean that in the worst way possible. 
  • I was preparing my "why Marvin has had a slow start" post, but after a slow start, he had a solid night. The difference was that he attacked the basket. 
  • And that block of Kevin Martin on a two on one fast break made Marv look like he was bullying a seven year old. 
  • Mo Evans is just doing it and doing it and doing it average. And it is great. 
  • If Jamal Crawford plays like this the rest of the season, I demand he become everyone's favorite Hawk behind Zaza.
  • On the offensive end, Kevin Martin could not be more annoying or have a smoother shot. 
  • In the fourth quarter, Josh Smith picked up a blocking foul that looked like good defense. He whined a bit, but, on the throw in, went back to playing good defense and helped get a stop. Then the dude just took off in dead sprint and beat everyone down the court for an easy slam. It is times like these where good Josh reigns supreme that make bad Josh so very, very bad.
  • When Joe mixes up his drives and his pull ups like he did in the fourth, he becomes so much harder to guard. 
  • What do you think Jason Collins and Randolph Morris talk about on the bench?

Comment of the game thread from Hawksdawgs with only our third "thumbs up" of the year with

"Teague will drive past you. "You" being the pronoun i am using for anyone."

Go Hawks!

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