Most satisfying mid level win? Maybe the Rockets at Houston. Maybe. But this one felt like the Hawks took the third round knock out blow from a guy that can knock people out and kept smiling. Literally that happened. There were at least four shots of Bibby and Josh smiling two minutes into the second quarter after Memphis shot 75% from the field. Basically, if Rocky IV version of Rocky played basketball instead of boxed and Rocky was the favorite, so in a sense, if basketball Rocky was Drago but Rocky was still Rocky so he could take a punch, that was the Hawks tonight. Which of course means America won something pretty big this evening.
Dumbest intro ever? Certainly, but the truth remains, that was a surprisingly good win. Maybe better put, that was surprisingly good offense. Especially in the face of incredible offense by the opposing team for two quarters. If you take away the turnovers, this is as good as the Hawks get on offense. That is not to say it as good as they could be, or even are, but as the Hawks are built and run, that is as good as they can play on offense turning the ball over 15 times.
I say that because I am a sucker for diversity and made jump shots. I am. But the fact is the Hawks took that knock out blow and didn't even panic because they didn't put the burden on one guy to carry the load. That was refreshing. Marvin looked like a guy other teams want. Joe looked like the MVP of the stop gap and not the MVP of most shots, Jamal was the heat check guy that needed no heat check, and Josh and Al man handled themselves to great efficiency. Not to mention Bibby and Joe Smith. It was just nice. Easy and nice. Maybe most great teams easily use bad defense as an excuse for good offense, but bad defense has rarely been used as an excuse with this team at all. So I say well done.
And that is all to say that great offense didn't mean crap until the defense came together. That last sentence is sponsored by Mike Woodson.