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New York Knicks 114, Atlanta Hawks 107 or where the Hawks prove reason has no place in the NBA

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Watching this game on delay was miserable. It completely negated any pleasure of the terrific start by the Hawks or the solid third quarter effort. And they were great. Up to Josh Smith's jump shot six minutes in, Atlanta really could not have played better on offense in the first. Unfortunately, they figured the Knicks would keep missing shots which made close outs optional, fighting through screens an afterthought, and contested shots in the paint a maybe. And the Hawks played a legitimately inspired third quarter which just goes to show how horrible they were the rest of the game.

There really was no effort tonight. There were some mirages but don't be fooled, the Hawks made sure they ruined all good will they saved up from the Toronto game. It might have been fully embodied in the second quarter after a jump shot miss by the Knicks, and resident hustle Zaza Pachulia just stared the ball down as it took three dribbles seemingly out of bounds. That is until Al Harrington actually tried and ran it down, settled, and nailed a three pointer as Marvin and Zaza stood, apparently unable to move but conveniently right under the basket for easy retrieval of the make. To thwart that lack of effort, Joe Johnson went down the floor, dribble around, and shot (and missed) a long two.

The script has now been written for the Hawks to lose. No ball movement. Lacking any hustle of defense. Become self-aware of lack of hustle and attempt to make up for it by shooting jump shots. It is sin on top of sin, and a lot of eating of one's own tail. I have titled it the "Vegas effort."

On Josh Smith being idiot.

I really cannot say it any better than the Human Highlight Blog.

Then, explicably, Josh Smith began to be enamored with his second favorite basketball vice, the complaint. After making a tough shot with a slight bit of contact, he blew up at Bob Delaney, earning him a technical foul. The Hawks were so de-focused as a team that they allowed Smith to continue to unleash venom at Delaney to the point where his services were rendered disqualified for the rest of the night. So on a night where the Knicks were ramming the ball down the Hawks' throat offensively, Atlanta's strongest lane deterrent chose obscenities over participation. The other Hawks seemed amused by this, but THHB was not. Not by Smith's actions, nor his teammates inaction.

Josh Smith deserves a fine. The team deserves a wake up call.

Loser Dots

  • The Hawks started the game 3-5 from downtown. They finished 4-21. Vegas baby, Vegas.
  • And by the way if you get thrown out on a made basket, you are a fool. Period.
  • Zaza celebrates everything.
  • In the third quarter, Al Horford grabbed a board and started the break. Zaza ran the floor and Al could not get the ball to him because Zaza cannot jump. That play is two points with Josh on the floor. Atlanta came away with zero.
  • Joe Johnson still bad at fouling.
  • I guess the refs cannot call every travel by Zaza.
  • Not to let the Hawks off the hook, but they missed a lot of close shots/tip ins. A bit unlucky. Still, the Hawks played bad enough defense to make sure luck had nothing to do with it.
  • What is the expression? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Something like that. Well, Josh Smith's absence really puts in perspective how much he protects the lane. He should make second team all-defense simply for his help D. Unfortunately, my heart is not fonder. Because Josh Smith is an idiot.
  • Al Horford never pouts. Games like this articulate the love affair so many have with him.
  • Mo Evans tried. That was nice.
  • Jeff Teague plays very little in another lose. Again, I am not saying Teague will help. I am not even saying he will develop into a solid rotational guy, but Woody is doing no favors for himself on the criticism front. When the Hawks are playing bad, Teague gets no time. When they are playing well, he does. At some point, it might be time to see if Teague can actually change the pace of a game since he has already solidified that he can keep the pace.
  • I can flawlessly guess correctly whether Marvin will make his shot as soon as he touches it. 
  • The fact that the Hawks took the lead going into the 4th and still lost....is depressing.
  • Following the three by the Knicks to tie the game, Joe dribbled around and took a contested jumper with nine seconds on the shot clock, missed, and Larry Hughes went back down and scored to take the lead. I don't care who you blame, but someone is to blame there (and it is not Al Horford). 
  • Are the Hawks trying to show they can win in a variety of different ways? Yea, the third quarter was great, but lets demonstrate we can beat the Knicks on jump shots and Joe Johnson in the fourth. It will be so creative! Well, let me tell you something, ambidextrous winning is overrated, especially when you lose trying to do it.
  • A little good news. At least Ken Sugiura got to use the word "gesticulating."

Go Hawks!