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Hawks 88 Pistons 87

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Box Score

About the only interesting thing about last night's game (other than this) wherein the prime objective was not to get any of the regular rotation hurt was that Mike Woodson chose not to play Othello Hunter, Randolph Morris, or Thomas Gardner at all. I have no idea what this means with regard to any or all them making the team, but should they I think it's fair not to expect them to play without something catastrophic occurring. So expect a very short rotation in Marvin Williams' absence on opening night in Orlando.

Or, maybe not. Coach?

"...as we get prepared for Orlando right now, I’m still reaching to figure out my rotation and kind of how things are going to fit. That’s something you’d like to have done in the last two or three preseason games, but I just wasn’t able to do that."

Josh Smith:

"We were in a different zone last year, a different mode. We felt like our backs were up against the wall last year with all the stuff we had been through the two years before that. Our focus was locked in from the first day of camp last year."

That is an example of why I'm so discouraged about the apparent organization-wide belief that last season constitutes success rather than progress. If 37 wins and a first-round playoff exit is enough to foment complacency, I can't shrug off my natural pessimism. Again, I would gladly be wrong.

Elsewhere...

Effective in limited minutes is the most one should expect from Fazekas but effective in limited minutes would be a great improvement relative to recent end-of-the-rotation contributors. The prospect of a Fazekas/Pachulia frontcourt tandem is frightening to ponder, at least when the other team has the ball but I think Fazekas would complement both Al Horford and Josh Smith on the court...Nick Fazekas makes shots. Nick Fazekas rebounds. Nick Fazekas would probably work cheap.* Rick Sund, the ball is in your court.

*Know your audience.

  • DakotaWiz at Ridiculous Upside would want me to add Blake Ahearn to my list of free agents the Hawks should consider.

Blake Ahearn, the best basketball player to not have a guaranteed contract going into the NBA season, is still this way, as he was just released by the Timberwolves.  Hopefully the Timberwolves did this as a service to him and put him on waivers so he could be put on a team that could better utilize his skills, as Minnesota obviously wasn't able to do that, bringing him in for 37 seconds in his last game so he could pass the ball in.  Ahearn is a shooter.  He's been a shooter in college, he's been a shooter in the D-League, he's going to be a shooter in the NBA.  Bring the ball up the court, get Ahearn open, and let him put the ball in the basket.  If he's not open, make sure he still gets the ball, let him get fouled, and put him at the line for the two points guaranteed. Thanks.

Sounds better than Thomas Gardner and Mario West to me. Flip Murray, too, though that ship has sailed.

Look for another poll this afternoon plus any additional news that comes down the pike. Pre-season stats to be sifted for meaning over the weekend.