The Highlight Factory smelled good tonight. Ryan Cameron made me feel at home. My old ushers all remained in placed. And the Hawks continued to give a big middle figure to people who want to be pessimistic about the preseason.
Josh, the transformer?
If you would like, make the argument that Josh Smith is playing at regular season level and everyone else is playing at a preseason one. Just don't say he is not playing well above most people on the floor. Yes,a double negative is needed to prove that point.
The Inspector lived on the low block, contested shots he had not business contesting, worked defensively one on one, and fought for rebounding position on both ends. He was far from perfect but considering he will never be, it was quite a performance. One bad jumper that went down as a make, a couple bad post moves, and energy on both ends of the floor far above anyone else is a recipe for success. Period. End of sentence. Don't tell me what month it is.
Jeffrey, the rookie
Jeff Teague continued his good impression from the radio to reality. He took multiple bad shots. Shots that were far beyond rookie heaves. He made a couple of passes that were questionable. But the rest of the time, Teague made other 19th picks of the last couple years look silly. He may not be a top five draft pick contributor, but I struggle to see how he does not have that talent. On the other hand, anyone that expects such is totally, straight against the wall crazy.
Jamal, the blog reader
It is as if the guy read every blog post.
He was an assist machine. He was Marvin Williams with better handles out there. He passed up buckets for assists like it was going out of style forever. And man can he pass. It is the preseason and so many of those would have been stolen, but it was also out of a Piston Pete movie. So you can live on whatever side of reality you would like.
On the other side, man can he not shoot. For a while it looked like someone had combined Joe Johnson, Marvin, and Mario West into a super non-producer. Jamal refused to take shots the first 10 minutes he was on the floor. I was weirded out and I have never seen him live. Come regular season, of course he will have to score, but that has never been a problem. If Jamal is pass first and slightly interested in defense, you can mark this down as a win.
Bullets and highlights after the jump
- Jason Collins is huge. Certainly in the running for largest posterior in the league.
- Al Horford got everything I have ever asked from him on offense with those 15 shots. And he did not make me look that smart. Lots of jumpers. Only seven makes. And no free throw attempts.
- The intern refs were much better in person. Or maybe they were just much better last night.
- Mario West will not make this team based on preseason play.
- Jeff Teague makes layups very exciting.
- Seriously, who is the Maruice Evans guy? He has now scored more off the dribble in two games than he did all of the last year.
- First Jamal Crawford crossover was pleasant on the eyes.
- Jeff Teague's first NBA three was banked in at the first quarter buzzer.
- Shooting 55% against any kind of defense is good. No players injured. Jeff Teague jersey fund taking a higher priority. I will go ahead and mark my first game down as a success.