Atlanta Hawks 103, Los Angeles Clippers 97 or renting the front court is ok as long as you still own it

boxscore

recap

I would like to personally thank Mike Dunleavy for not doubling Joe or really providing any help defense at all in the fourth quarter. And of course a solid shout out goes to Eric Gordon for what I believe Jamal Crawford circa 2006 called "horrible shot selection."

On the more active side of winning, Josh Smith probably altered or blocked 20 shots tonight. I should go back and get the exact number just so it does not look I am exaggerating. Because Josh was good enough not to need exaggeration.

Josh's front court companion was no worse. Holding Chris Kaman to 7-21 shooting is fantastic.. Considering the defense started out rough, Horford put together a great game. Until a late foray into horrible jump shots, the Clippers kept attacking the paint. They shot the ball 48 times within ten feet, and nearly every one outside a few run out dunks, was contested. At some point, you just get tired of tough shots (unless you are Joe Johnson). Even with a barrage of makes, the Hawks never gave up the paint, and in the end, they held it down when it counted.

Marvin joins the club

Marvin Williams had a double double last night. He also shot the ball well, made some assertive moves, and had zero turnovers. Now, Marv has frustrated me this year with a seeming lack of basketball knowledge, missed shots, and overall ineffectiveness, but for me, he remains the "x" factor come playoff time. If he can make elite small forwards work on offense with an under control game, it is a huge lift for this team. Not only in its offensive variety and ability to make the defense account for one more guy but the way Marv's offensive output seems directly tied to his focus in other areas.

On guards still shooting

Maybe it is only funny because we won, but with over five minutes to go, Bob Rathbun announced "will it be Jamal Crawford or Joe Johnson for the lead." It was Jamal, and the contested jump shot was blocked.

Our guards had great offensive games. Despite the fact that Jamal only shot the ball once inside ten feet. It should simply be stated that these kinds of nights open up one on one post play and easily erase ten point second half deficits, but they cannot be relied on. Very few teams are going to let Joe play against an Eric Gordon type defender all game.

You enjoy these kinds of games. You applaud the effort and marvel at the skill but don't use it as a reason the Hawks need almost half their shots to come from two players. That all being said the Clippers gave very little reason to do something different, and I give generous butt slaps to Jamal and Joe for taking advantage of Baron Davis' willingness to foul repeatedly on jump shots.

And as a side note, my thoughts on a Joe Johnson extension would be completely different if he got/earned/given the foul calls he has the past two games. If Joe gets to the line 10 times a game, he is an elite player. Defense help aside, Joe made things look easy all night, and if someone can't get guard, you can lampoon the defense, but not without giving massive credit to Joe for giving the opportunity for such a lampooning. And as side note within a side note, lampoon should be used more often in everyday speak.

Victory Bullets

  • Teams that win the tip against josh smith scare me.
  • Every Jeff Teague defensive possession shows glimpses of being really good in between heaps of rookie mistakes. I find it actually quite enjoyable.
  • Can there be a rule against "heat checks" when you are losing?
  • Joe Smith and Zaza Pachulia front line breeds the Joe show like they are playing in an incubator.
  • I like Joe Smith a lot more when he hits that two point jump shot, but then I remember he made up a Hawks rap and I figure out a way to laud his toughness in those blocking fouls.
  • "That was a grown man move."  Nique.
  • "Kaman was just kind of holding the ball like, ‘Come here and get it. I don't want it.'" Nique
  • Maybe it is set run all the time, but in the second quarter, Joe ran along the baseline, faked a post up, curled out of it, Marvin came in and posted up and Joe came off a screen at the top of the key. The play ended up not working, but it was fine looking set. It made me happy. I at least like it better than the other offensive set I am aware of which I have affectionately  named "the hand off" because that is all that happens.
  • Nights like this I thank God stats exist. Without them, I would have stayed up all night dreaming how unstoppable Josh Smith would be if that jump shots starts going down. Instead, I just googled his career numbers and slept like a baby.
  • Joe Johnson three pointers are terrific shots when they are wide open.
  • Josh Smith argued a call in the second quarter where he could audibly here some use of the word "damn" five times. "Gosh damn, damn man, gosh damn, I mean damn, (long pause) damn." Well said.
  • Josh Smith is turning into a great passer.
  • Just from research last tonight comparing Horford and Zaza, I have concluded that even with adequate minutes Zaza could not be an all-star. Consider the case closed.
  • More impressive, Kaman's ugliness or Baron's beard? Discuss.
  • Sometimes it is good Jamal Crawford only half tires on defense. It stopped at least three "and 1s."
  • Don't dare him, Zaza will miss an open layup.
  • Does each Camby rebound count double? That dude quietly gets a ton of boards. None of them are impressive. Luckily, he gets to point to the final numbers as he cashes his million dollar checks.
  • In all honesty, the first six minutes by Chris Kaman reminded me of 7th grade. Which is another way of saying terrible.
  • Please, more pick and rolls. Please.

Go Hawks

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