Tis the season, so lets look at this game as positive as possible. JR Smith went out before the game, procured 10 pounds of kindling, dried it out, doused himself in gasoline, and upon realizing the Hawks were not going to provide any defensive friction, lit himself on fire. 41 points is not unheard of for Smith, but even with bad defense (and it was not all bad defense), sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a guy.
Last night was why people mention a team is playing in "the second of a back to back." And it was how the home team should play anytime they know that. Denver drove the ball unmercifully into the lane to start the game. The Hawks were a step slow to stay in front, get back, and rotate over. Combine that with the refs calling a quick whistle all night (on both sides) and all of a sudden the Hawks were reaching in for easy "and 1s" or not even close enough to reach in at all. And like any tired team, Atlanta looked to make up for the strategic disadvantage by shooting shots worth the most points and require the least amount of energy.
Sometimes you can withstand an onslaught by one guy, but you have to get easy buckets and the Hawks were not interested/capable of doing that this night. Joe Johnson's shot chart looks like a jump shooting drill. And without any unexpected spark from Bibby, Mo, or Marvin, it was all just too much. Denver does not lose at home. So stealing a win is a high end heist. The Hawks were not prepared. There was Johnny Five. I was hopeful for a Christmas miracle, but alas, no angel got its wings last night. JR Smith was too busy throwing them on the fire for more fuel.
- Pretty impressed Jeff Teague did not have his arms ripped off by Kenyon Martin.
- Josh Smith's free throw shooting looks soooo much better. Maybe there was a Christmas miracle.
- On a night like this, it would have been nice to see what would happen if Al Horford got 25 shots.
- Marvin gets no calls. Probably because he increasingly looks like rookie year Marvin when he has the ball, but still. I demand calls.
- The Hawks would of only lost by like eight if JR Smith did not play....which is nice.
- Lawson looked pretty good (at least on the offensive end) but going into Josh Smith's body for a layup in the third quarter, well that was a thing of beauty.
- Carmello gets a lot of calls. I get that, but how did they call that "and 1" on Josh Smith? Was it because Josh was playing bad defense and the refs wanted to teach him a lesson?
- JR Smith only played 30 minutes. It felt like 400.
- I would love to see, instead of coming back to get the ball, Jeff Teague run out more like Ty Lawson. He is as (close to as fast?) fast and a better finisher.
- Mo Evans is not going to get a Christmas present from that cup of ice.
- Apparently, offensive push offs were legal in this game.
- "What is happening here? What is happening here? We got ball boys on the court! Chaos has broken out" Maybe my favorite sequence from Bob all year.
- Just for the record, if Al had 25 shots he would have had 40 too. Or at least on pace. Good enough for me.