I think a case could be made that Joe Johnson is less self-aware than Josh Smith with his basketball skill masking the whole charade.
"We've got enough guys to score the basketball, make plays, defend and rebound," Johnson said. "I don’t think that's ever going to be a factor. As long as everybody just stays focused and confident and keeps the negative out, we're going to be fine."
Ummm, Joe, you were the one bringing the negative in less than a week ago. Oh well, 2-0 and everyone is happy. We should root really hard for 82-0 because this team gets along great when they win.
Weirdest part of the 2-0 start? I cannot think of one thing to criticize Woody about. He has already managed a 10 deep roster for two games, admitted a mistake about keeping Jamal Crawford on the bench too long, and figured out a way to keep Joe's minutes at 30 last night without sacrificing team play.
And after lauding the offensive ability of this team, I actually agree with him here.
"But you win in this league on the defensive end, in terms of defending and rebounding. And tonight, we made a serious effort to defend and rebound the ball."
The Hawks look great offensively against two not great defensive teams. If they want to consistently win or even compete against the heavy weights, defense will be key because those shots are not always going to fall and a couple games are going to have to be won scoring in the high 80s.
So I am far from ready to call it the winter of love with me and Woody, but this brief fling feels good so far.
You really cannot articulate what Jamal Crawford can do and not do for this team and how important a coach is to the whole preceding better than this by Bret.
Crawford kept shooting but didn't keep making his shots. Just as it appeared Crawford might shoot Washington back into the game* Mike Woodson did what Jim O'Brien failed to do Wednesday night. Woodson accepted what he'd gotten form his bench and turned the game over to his starters. With 8:42 left and Washington within seven, Mike Bibby re-entered the game, ball movement re-entered the Hawks' half-court offense, and Washington never drew closer. That's how it should be. Jamal Crawford was acquired to shoot the ball. It's his primary skill as a basketball player. It's Woodson's responsibility to let or not let him shoot as best serves the team.
On the good news bad news front, Bullets Forever points out:
In other news, Dallas throttled the Lakers 94-80 last night in L.A., which makes Tuesday's performance [by the Wizards] look even better in hindsight.
It also makes our win look better and the likelihood of winning on Sunday more remote. Don't see the Lakers losing two in a row at home.
The Human Highlight continues to bring a dose of truth telling or pessimism or optimism of what the Hawks could be if they put all this together. Really it is whatever you want it to be.
Sure, the Wizards never truly challenged after the Hawks spotted their guests a 15-5 lead, but with Antawn Jamison out, Caron Butler getting hurt and not playing the second half, Gilbert Arenas turning the ball over (7) times, and Flip Saunders deciding to play Nick Young and bury JaVale McGee until too late, the game was there for the Hawks to salt away long before all doubt was erased. It was reckless play by the home team that allowed the game to be even the margin that it was.
More Victory Bullets
- There may be a way to stop JaVale McGee from alley-ooping on every play, but I have yet to figure it out since the Hawks did not try.
- Other than sample size and irrelevancy, I can't think of a single reason why the start of this season is less impressive than last year. Ok we beat Orlando last year, but I can't think of a second reason.
- Why does Mike Miller not shoot more?
- Andray Blatche is impressive. DeShawn Stevenson is what ever the opposite of that is.
- If Oberto is getting wide open lay ups and dunks, the Hawks defense is clearly not running at full bore yet.
- Zaza played a dirty, hard, and quite bad game but his free throws were pretty dang important during a stagnant third quarter.
- The Hawks video score boards are horrible. How can an arena sponsored by Philips have the stats up where you cannot even read them?
- Halftime entertainment was a reenactment of the Thriller video. I dare someone to argue for something better.
- Josh Smith youngest player to 900 blocks. Even in with the added advantage of coming straight from high school, a pretty impressive feat. And as we all saw, he found a pretty good way of celebrating with that alley-oop.
Comment of the game thread got to three recs! You can see the thumbs up next to the two post. I had to decide and because I am a sucker for cheap, dumb humor, the winner is Duff Man with
"Mike Miller is one handsome lady."