It was easy enough to figure the plus/minus numbers for Stephen Curry last night, as he played all 48 minutes, and Golden State lost by 5. You have to tip your cap to his remarkable shooting performance that nearly single-handedly took the Hawks to the wire in a home game. The talk before the game was all about how bad the Warriors play on the road. You could certainly have fooled anyone in the arena last night.
The bigger issue is how the Atlanta Hawks could let a bad team with a rotation devastated by injuries, forced into using just 8 players, could be taken pushed so hard through sheer hustle and pure shooting. Stephen Curry could shake any Atlanta guard any time he felt like it for an open jumper. He abused every man asked to stick on him, all the way down to Mario West, and he found repeated opportunities to pull up and show off that pure shooting stroke of his. This was complicated by the fact that two of the players tasked with guarding him-Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford-both were horrible shooting in the first half. That this was a tie game at the half is a testament to the horrible front-court defense of Golden State.
It's to the Hawks' credit that they're one of the top scoring teams in the paint. And on a night when the primary two perimeter threats were struggling with their shots, it was a nice night for Mike Bibby to decide to swing the Bibby/Teague argument over in favor of Peachtree Hoops. We thank all other applicants for participating, but Mike Bibby clearly showed what he's meant to bring to this team-the ability to knock down open jumpshots at a high rate.Victory Bullets
- Golden State clearly confused Marvin Williams with Mario West. He was never blocked out at all, not even for a second, and nearly reached double digits in offensive rebounds alone.
- Speaking of offensive rebounding, think about this. The Hawks missed 39 shots on the evening, and came up with 20 offensive rebounds-a missed free throw attempt that bounced off of a Golden State player out of bounds counts as the 20th, if you're wondering where that came from.
- Josh Smith rejects the notion that Curry did everything, as he played over 45 minutes despite fouling out, and made another great push for a 5x5, finishing 2 blocks and 2 steals short.
- Think about this-during the 2 minutes and 58 seconds Josh Smith was off the floor, Atlanta was outscored by 7 points. Josh was plus 12 for the night.
- Speaking of plus/minus numbers, Teague was minus 10, but that's a true disservice to the quality minutes he played. Part of the issue was being on the floor while Crawford went 0-5 shooting and missed a pair of free throws.
- Isn't it getting kind of typical for Crawford to start off 0-6 and then make 5-7 in the second half? No, typical is having missed everything, then throwing up a near circus shot from the corner without looking at the basket and strolling back casually on defense afterward without even watching it.
- Al Horford's 15/15 line was the 3rd in 4 games for the Hawks, the other two belonging to the artist formerly known as Josh Smith.