Dwayne Wade is good. Dwayne Wade scores a lot. He is a highlight machine, but it is the small things that he affects or the Hawks keep him from affecting that might turn the series.
The Wade Help Block
Outside of Bibby and Marvin, the Hawks have a tendency to lock in on shooting. Whether it is methodical penetration by Joe or under control back down by Al or "I might as well be blind folded" drive by Josh or Zaza, the Hawks tend to get tunnel vision. Sometimes this is ok. It works for the Hawks. They can draw fouls. They can out athlete a lot of guys at the end. Of course, I wish there was more ball movement, more cutting to the basket, but that is not just going to start happening at this point in the season.
Which means the Dwayne Wade help block could come to the front and center of this series. Rarely is someone that athletic, that quick, also that good at blocking shots. He can slip down off his man in half a step. Hawks players cannot feel satisfied with simply beating their man. Dwayne Wade will be lurking.
The Horford Effect
Mike Woodson fears a sixth foul the way most people fear the scariest thing in the whole wide world. He would rather lose bodily extremities. Fifth fouls drive him to drinking. It's bad, real bad. I get nervous just watching him get
nervous out of his mind crazy.
Normally, the storm can be weathered. I certainly think Zaza can guard O'Neil adequately. I know Marvin can manage against Beasley. The problem is that one of the Hawks greatest advantages is having Horford and Josh protect the paint. They are agile, adept shot blockers/changers where as Zaza is good at picking up blocking fouls. Wade might actually be too quick for Zaza to even foul him hard.
I think Josh Smith should be better than whoever is guarding him. Horford has shown he can dominate against the Heat as well. But seven games series are not won by people averaging a respectable 17 points a game. They are won with defense.
Horford and Josh must stay out of foul trouble so that Woodson can use Zaza in advantageous situations and not as a stop gap. That or Woodson needs to take some sedatives and send our boys out there with two fouls in the first half.
As multiple Hawks defend Wade, it is going to get tougher and tougher to box out and pull down defensive rebounds. I don't care if it is hard. This is the playoffs. The Hawks still need to do it. Dwayne Wade shoots a lot of shots, and he is good at shooting. When he gets two chances to be good at something he is already good at, that is big trouble. What I am saying is Bibby, get to work on your box out technique.
Can the Hawks do the little things? Lets hope so.