This game made two things very clear. The Hawks are better than the Nets, and when Atlanta knows it will win, they play good basketball, which is to say confident basketball, which is also to say team basketball. That is three things said. Still two things clear.
The Hawks still took a lot of jump shots. It is not like they pounded inside. Al Horford and Josh Smith took a combined 13 shots. Outside of sixteen feet, the Hawks attempted 40 shots. Over half their total. They made 24 of them including 13 threes, but it was more than bad defense and streaky shooting. Atlanta assisted on every single one of those makes (including every three pointer) but three of them.
So yes, it was the Nets, and there defense was bad and open shots fell that might normally fall, and all that good stuff that Hawks need to know so they don't go out and jack 30 threes against Boston. Still, if you have efficient play in the post by your front court and Jamal Crawford goes 5-6 inside and you make the extra pass and you get out and run, jump shots are not only serviceable, they are offensive kill shots.
Of course, Atlanta might get up against another, better team and good defense might stop a few good offensive possessions and the guards might start to think if they throw it down low they will never get it back or Joe might worry if he kicks it out the guy won't hit the shot or Jamal Crawford will actually have to play defense and be too lazy to drive or 15 other things that breed selfishness and stifle ball movement. But we know these reactions end bad, and we see trust and confidence end well.
The Hawks will have to work harder against some teams, get luckier against others, but without trust, they are not going to out shoot too many elite rosters. On the other hand, if Atlanta believes they have the five best guys, they are going to get a good shot against anyone more times than not.
And their ain't a loss I will lose sleep over because of missed good shots.
Mini Victory Bullets
- Woody's mustache is back!
- Apparently somewhere in the first quarter, Josh Smith realized he could jump higher than anyone else on the floor. Dude skied for rebounds like I have not see him to in a long time. Shoot like I have not seen anyone in a long time.
- Josh Smith passed on the long jump shot by giving the extra pass to Marvin. Best shot clock violation ever.
- Yi apparently forgot how to shoot in the first quarter. Luckily for the Nets future, he remembered later.
- The Hawks had two technicals and won by 30. Your welcome charities.
- I cannot begin to tell you the lover affair I would have on Joe Johnson if he had 20 points on 13 shots every night.
- Nique said the Wizards did pretty good with Gilbert Arenas last year. The Wizards won 19 games.
- Nice to know every shot near the rim is an "and 1."
- Is there a more beautiful, nonathletic movement than Zaza diving out of bounds?
- Anytime you see Marvin Williams lead the team in plus/minus you got to smile. You are smiling right.
- And now, the gauntlet begins.....