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Atlanta Hawks 105, Miami Heat 90 or double digits

Well, that happened exactly as I expected. As a Hawks fan, I have said that countless times over the years. It just has never been referencing a win. The Hawks are winning. Against good teams. And we expect it. So basically, you should feel weird right now, wonderfully, excitedly weird.

Style of play

On PTI today, Steve Nash pointed out that the Suns don't run the fast break that often. Instead, they just push the ball up the floor, penetrate in the half court, and open up quick shots. Atlanta is not Phoenix, but when they mix actual fast breaks with quick, open shots off penetration, they are deadly on offense. The team does not need to be a fast break team, but they no longer have to be a team that gets in their set with nine seconds to go on the shot clock. The offensive weapons at every position demand immediate attention and that creates mismatches quickly and open shots efficiently. Of course it also help when Mike Bibby can throw the ball near the basket like it is a medicine ball and allow Josh to dunk.

Al and Josh

The Hawks have something special going on in the front court. They are so improved it is tough to know how much of an impact they could have on the team, but right now, they are the difference in this year and last year. Sure, they might cool off a bit, Atlanta will play some stouter front lines, and opposing coaches will adjust, but watching Josh and Al hover over people, daring them to shoot, and then swallowing up shots that should be called something better than a block, seeing those two run the floor for dunks or follow each others' misses with dunks, own the post, draw fouls, it is hard to talk yourself out of asking, how special are these guys? Tonight? Just 26 boards and 32 points. Ho hum. 

Victory Bullets

  • I don't know if Joe Johnson is the most important guy on this team, but man is that dude vital to why the Hawks are as good as they are.
  • And did I really see Joe with a put back dunk?
  • Always nice to watch Dwyane suck. 
  • Even when teams make runs like the Heat did to open the second half, I don't even freak out. What is going on here?
  • Josh Smith wimped out on Dywane Wade's dunk
  • On a better Josh note, best possible first three point attempt of the season.
  • On an even better note, Josh Smith is awesome.
  • Zaza Pachulia and Greg Oden are probably not compared very often, but they both dare the ref to call their obvious traveling violations every time they touch it. 
  • Joe Johnson dribbled more in the first quarter than Jason Collins has in his entire career.
  • Zaza's block of Shavlick Randolph was very close to the highlight of the game.
  • Not sure Joe should shoot 11 three pointers every night, but it was nice to see a great mix of jumpers and drives. 

Go Hawks!