|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
A poor start, but everything after Udonis Haslem's tip-in with 5:18 left in the first quarter to give Miami an 18-5 lead was quite pleasant.
The Hawks put in a good defensive performance though, last night, that mostly consisted of making life difficult for Dwyane Wade and letting the rest of the Heat's offense implode. Shawn Marion and Haslem accomplished little and, once the Hawks blew the game open with a 17-1 run in the third quarter, Miami's plans centered around Mario Chalmers and Daequan Cook shooting them back into the game. That plan did not work.
Outside of the run in the third quarter, the Hawks offense was no great shakes itself. The 12-point third quarter didn't hurt Atlanta but offered another example of the team's inability to put an opponent away. Converting good defensive possessions into easy shots on the other end of the court is still a novelty.
What's not novel is the difference in value between Josh Smith shooting jump shots and Josh Smith doing anything else. In lieu of The Josh Smith Jump Shot Log, today I'll try out The Josh Smith Personalized Box Score.
Despite that middle row above, Mike Woodson said the following after the game:
"I just told him that’s the Josh Smith we need to play for us. He has to fly around and make things happen for us from a defensive standpoint. And when you’re struggling to shoot the ball you either have to go get an offensive rebound, a steal, a block or something to get yourself going, and in turn get us going.”
Smith's quotes don't make much more sense, but I'll assume he's just being generic in the manner many athletes favor in post-game interviews:
"I just had to get back to myself and trusting my body and not worrying about anything but playing hard like I always do. And Coach stopped me and told me that was much better, and then he repeated that about three more times. But it just feels good to get my confidence back and get out there and help my team.”
Joe Johnson's on board:
"We’ve got to keep him high energy, flying around out there on defense and offense, and keep him away from shooting all those long balls.”
Woodson also rated the team's defensive performance ahead of their opening night win in Orlando, or their victory in New Orleans:
"That's the best I've seen them play defensively."
The big difference last night was the Hawks atypically strong performance on the defensive glass augmenting a good offensive rebounding night. They'll need more of the same when the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town tonight.