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Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Atlanta Hawks 99 or sometimes you lose because you are not as good

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recap

What an odd game. The Hawks shot the ball better from the field and long distance than the Thunder. They hit their free throws. Joe Johnson was as efficient as he could be. In fact, no one had an outright bad offensive effort. I actually watched this one on DVR and tracked the fourth quarter possessions, there were only three semi bad ones. A Jamal transition three, a turnover by Horford, and a rushed shot by Josh Smith off too much Joe Johnson dribbling. The rest was honest to goodness offense. Even Joe's drives were off screens and producing easy floaters.

The Hawks just could not get stops, and when they did, they could not rebound. You cannot expect great games from every guy, but I do expect, when you get a great game from one guy and no one else kills the team, the Hawks to win, and they did not last night. They just got beat. The Thunder were better. Plain and simple, and when a team with a worse record is just better, that is a scary admission. That brings in talk about this team's ceiling.

Quick hitters

  • The defense was so bad that Jamal Crawford only got 28 minutes in a good shooting night. The Hawks did not have an offensive problem (outside of some costly turnovers). They had a rebounding and defensive problem and Jamal cannot shoot his way into solving those issues.
  • Al Horford could have easily gone for 20 points tonight and he needed more rebounds. Four of his five misses were at the rim. That is unheard of for Horford. Marvin missed easy shots as well. I really can't say it enough. The shots were there. They just didn't always go in, and unlike the Thunder, they didn't get a second chance to try again.
  • I can't say it any better than this, "Durant is for real. He also gets a lot of calls. Tough to say where one ends and the other begins." The end of the second quarter foul run was absurd, but not as absurd as in the final minutes of the fourth quarter Joe getting the ball poked away for a turnover instead of a foul and the very next possession Joe doing the same thing to Durant and getting called for a foul. The game went from in doubt to decided based on the refs. I don't even mind Durant getting all the calls. Joe actually got questionable calls for most of the game. I just don't like seeing the game end on blatant inconsistency. (By the way, I complain way too much about the refs. I am aware of this and working on my issues.)

We are reaching the tipping point of the season. The Hawks need to decide whether they are fine finishing a more hyped version of last year or take a real step forward.

Go Hawks!