First from Sunday's loss to the Suns:
From MC's pre-game post on the topic of switching against Nash and the Suns:
L.D. said the Suns run so many pick-and-rolls the Hawks will get caught in switches whether they want to our not. If it turns out the bigs can’t handle them then he said he would go smaller.
During his pregame press session coach Drew still wasn't decided on the plan of attack against the Suns. He was very concerned thus I think that is why you saw the Hawks try a variety of tactics. He pretty much said that the switch had been successful in the past against Nash and we weren't surprised to see it down the stretch.
Facing a high-powered offense for the first time, the Hawks appeared slow-footed on their rotations and unsure about their assignments in transition. Marvin and Mo would have helped check all those perimeter guys, but J.J. said: "It’s tough but no excuses. We are a better defensive team than that. Give them credit. They exploited what they thought were mismatches. They made a lot of tough shots down the stretch."
Nash had 2 TO's against 15 assists. If he had tired legs, he found a way to get them energized. Tonight he wasn't forcing things the way he was in the first 4-5 games. Further, if you dish 15 assists out, there's a good chance you and your teammates are on the same page.
It was a treat for me to get to see Nash in person for the first time. I wish that it would have come with the Hawks winning but still it is unbelievable how this guy never stops moving. He sees the game so clearly and makes plays before they happen.
Horford consistently stayed in front of Nash and forced him away from the paint. That Nash can hit the step-back jumper and find teammates on the move from any angle is to his eternal credit. That Horford forced Nash to display the full array of his gifts in order to remain effective is amazing. Despite Nash's second-half efficiency, despite the loss, Horford's defensive performance was spectacular.
I have to agree with Bret. I thought Horford did a pretty good job. Nash knocked down some really tough step back fall away jumpers.
So really, it worked out for Childress (his game got better/stayed the same and he made more money), and it worked out for the NBA (no one really followed his lead). I guess the only party it didn’t work out for was Atlanta, which became the last Eastern Conference team to lose a game. Which come to think of it, makes them a winner too.
I for one was really surprised with the reception Childress got. Given all of the bring Chills back talk that has frequented most Hawks blogs and message boards the past two seasons I was expecting a warmer reception.
More Trade Chatter
I explained to my scout friend that I’d heard a great trade rumor about the Hawks and Pistons discussing a package to swap Prince (and another piece like Will Bynum, who cannot be moved until after Dec. 15) for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague (which would be an interesting swap for the Hawks since they don’t really have great depth in the backcourt)
Ok Peachtree Hoops, what do you think of this trade proposal?
Tonight against the Magic
The bad news for everyone else is that Howard has shown some growth in his game this season, although it is indeed quite early. Too early to draw many meaningful conclusions, in fact. But so far, he's showing more refinement at the offensive end, which certainly bears watching going forward.