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Preview and Game Thread #18: Toronto Raptors @ Atlanta Hawks

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Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game #18

Toronto_raptors_medium

@ Atlanta-hawks_medium
7-12
12-5
Philips Arena
Dec. 2nd, 2009, 7:00 PM
Fox Sports South, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Jose Calderon
PG Mike Bibby
DeMar DeRozen SG Joe Johnson
Hedo Turkoglu
SF Marvin Williams
Chris Bosh
PF Josh Smith
Andrea Bargnani C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None

Raptors Injury Report: Reggie Evans and Toronto's defense are day to day.

Blogging With the Enemy: Raptors HQ

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Oddly, Amir Johnson. I blame it on the still fresh scars the Pistons left.

Game Preview:

Sorry for the lack of post recently. I needed to step away from the Hawks world for a bit. It was a classic case of failing to see the forest because of all the dang trees. The NBA season is long. A few bad losses make that all the more clear. The more we read blog posts, dissect power rankings, and worry about true rebounding percentages, the more we forget to enjoy the team we love.

I love this blog because I love the Hawks and it allows me to talk about the team with people who are intelligent, entertaining, and passionate. No reason to use it as a spiral into "woe is me" fandom.

The Hawks started out 6-0 last year. Quickly, they were 12-9. So in that sense, I hope the players can do the exact same thing fans sometimes need to do and take a step back. The team is still off to a better start this year. They still can be much better than last year. But the more "woe is me" mentality sets in on the team, the more we are going to see little freak outs that lose games. This team is good, and the more the players see the big picture, the more they can trust and the more they trust, the better they will be.

This could not be more important for this game. The Raptors are excellent on offense and really quite bad on defense. The Hawks team effort on both ends of the court should easily be enough to get a win at home, but a quick run by the Raptors on offense could open up the spiral of bad shots and no ball movement. No need for that. Focus on the forest and win the game.

Key to the game:

  1. Remember that the Hawks can be good at rebounding. That they have been good at rebounding.
  2. Bad defensive teams are made worse by good ball movement.
  3. Joe Johnson slump busting.

See you in the game thread and go Hawks!