This game gets better the more I think about it. Just read Kelly Dwyer's recap and try not feel happy.
I haven't seen Atlanta play this hard since, well, the team's hot start to 2008-09. Oh, I'm sure they brought the effort during last year's postseason, but man, Atlanta really wanted this one.
Really worked it defensively, and looked to make the extra pass on the other end. A fantastic effort, and Jamal Crawford turned in one of those games that make you wonder why he hasn't been able to put it all together consistently.
And it is true. The Hawks are working. As the team walked off the court, the camera cut to Woody clapping and saying "nice effort, nice effort." It was as affirming and nonchalant as it should be. The Hawks are playing 48 minutes. Great. It is what good teams do.
Blazers Edge is a man amongst small children in the blogging world. They have the recap from every, conceivable angle. It is impressive. Really, they are so good you just follow them on twitter and take in the Blazer knowledge because it is just good basketball knowledge. One fine element for this game comes from this chart of FG% as the game progressed.
Again, this game just keeps bringing the happy. Even graphs are making me smile.
The Hawks should not think they simply played good defense and shot better. The Hawks won the points in the paint 50-34. In Nate McMillan post game presser, he outlined how Hawks should play over sized front courts in the future.
It's not in the sense that points in the paint comes from not just posting up but from penetration. When we talked about attacking the basket, it's not just post ups, it's from penetrating the ball. And right now we are settling for a lot of jumpshots as well as not going to the basket. They won the free throw line also. We only had 16 free throws tonight. We're a team that's averaged 24.
Listen to your friend Nate McMillan. He is a cool dude.
Hoopinion points out that Josh Smith played two different kinds of defense last night and both could be described as half way decent.
Outlaw took advantage of Josh Smith's wandering eye on more than one occassion but because, unlike in the first half, Smith wasn't occupied with LaMarcus Aldridge in the low post he was free to help defensively. It looked a fair trade for the Hawks. Smith ended the night with two blocks to his credit but he altered many more shots than that.
Finally, for the sake of symmetry on these first two road trip games, we end with a Joe Johnson quote where he sets aside the general for the matter at hand. And that matter being that Jamal Crawford threw down some awesome.
"I think he's the guy that got us over the hump," Johnson said. "He kept us close early and made big shots when we needed basket and that's what we're looking for from him, to put that ball in the hole."
Final Victory Bullets
- On one possession in the second half, Mike Bibby cut off a baseline drive by Brandon Roy with good defense. For reals.
- Rudy Fernandez and Travis Outlaw are really good at hitting timely three pointers. In Rudy's case, it may just be that he shoots a lot so the ones that go in seem timely.
- If Jamal Crawford was an above average rebounder, he would be in all-star contention. When he pulls down the board, he can go from defense offense about as quick as anyone. Unfortunately, Jamal is one of the worst rebounders in the league.
- I get Jeff Teague not playing last night. Sometimes the ten man rotation just won't work, and the Hawks won a tough game so I will not nitpick. I just hope the reasons were communicated to Jeff since he had his best game as a pro the game before. Expect big minutes (like 15) tonight though. I cannot see Bibby being real spry on this back to back, and Sergio Rodriguez seems the perfect place for Teague to come in and help the team.
Comment of the game thread goes to Bronn:
Post game interview