One thing I learned from last night's victory is that just playing the Heat can triple the amount of articles that is written about the Hawks on the internet. Here is to hoping that the Hawks can build on this success. On to the links.
For reference purposes the Hawks only won 19 games on the road all of last season.
Joe hurt the Hawks with too much iso play in the second quarter. He also threw the ball away with Atlanta up 76-75. But then he tied it on a classic Joe move: Hesitate, dart into the lane then score on a floater.
The play in question was the failed lob play to Smith coming out of a time out. The bad thing was that Smith was wide open and Joe just airmailed the pass. I thought it would have been a great play coming out of the time out had the Hawks been able to execute.
Yes, that was the final score of a game between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, in a game featuring, what, five 2010 All-Stars/borderline All-Stars? (By my count: LeBron, DWade, Joe Johnson, Al Horford with Josh Smith on the border, and Chris Bosh, the potential sixth, sitting out with a sprained ankle.)
More on that All-Star talk in a bit.
Hoopinion's Bret LaGree on the things that the Hawks did to earn the victory:
Not that the Hawks didn't do things to earn the victory. Most important were the 16 points they scored on 10 overtime possessions. But their 15 offensive rebounds (including a team-leading four from Horford before his early exit) shouldn't be overlooked, nor the 16 Miami turnovers they forced. And, though neither James nor Wade showed any consistent interest in driving the basketball, the Hawks did little to encourage them to do anything other than settle for using 27 of their combined 50 field goal attempts on jump shots, 14 of those being three-pointers.
But the Heat aren't healthy. Chris Bosh sat for Hawks-Heat, and Atlanta took advantage en route to a 93-89 road overtime win. LeBron returned from his two-game absence to play 44 minutes. Joel Anthony filled in for Bosh; Joel Anthony took exactly zero shots and zero free throws en route to zero points. He did, however, have 16 rebounds and three blocks. He ended up with center duties in relief of Zydrunas Ilgauskas much of the night, forcing LeBron to play long stretches at power forward.
Now I am one of Ziller's biggest fans but he doesn't note that Al Horford missed a significant part of this game with an ankle injury not to even mention that Marvin Williams didn't suit up. LeBron did play a lot of power forward but the Hawks were forced to play Josh Smith at center of all things to match up. The Heat could have went bigger but chose not to. Exit Question: Did the Hawks miss Al Horford and Marvin Williams more than Miami missed Chris Bosh?
The Hawks have been steadily climbing the standings by winning 12 of their last 16 games and now stand only two games behind the Heat for first place in the Southeast Division. Despite having similar records to the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic, the Hawks are rarely part of the discussion of elite teams. Hawks forward Josh Smith isn't concerned with national perception as long as his team is playing well.
I wonder if LeBron would agree with that assumption? I am sure his entourage would not.
And according to Elias Sports Bureau, only two other players since 1967 have accomplished the feat: Dennis Rodman and Wilt Chamberlain.
He goes on to point out that Chamberlain done this in the 1967-68 season in which Wilt was obsessed with leading the league in assists. Look it up, Wilt was even selfish when he was passing the ball.
Did Joe Johnson (19 pts, 10 asts) suddenly realize he might not make the All-Star Game this year? He’s been more aggressive over the last two games – last night in Miami and Monday when he dropped 36 on Sacramento – than we’ve ever seen him. Last night he was in constant attack mode, like the play in OT where he caught the ball around midcourt, realized the Heat must have thought Atlanta was going to take a timeout, and exploded to the rim while Miami fell asleep to set up Jamal Crawford for a wide-open three
I am not sure if Johnson can make up for the lost time enough to make the All-Star game. Clearly Josh Smith and Al Horford are deserving but I am worried that this could be a year where the Hawks get shafted and only Horford makes the team.
Many believed it wouldn’t work. The thinking was, Johnson’s ego would be an obstacle. That hasn’t been the case. Maybe it isn’t fair to fully judge the offense yet because Johnson is still not at 100 percent since coming back from elbow surgery (though his 36 points Monday against Sacramento showed he’s close). But any problems the Hawks have had this season have been based more on an inconsistent defensive effort than a predictable offense.
Really a lot of good stuff in this article. Be sure and check it out.