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Victory Bullets

  • I am not sure how clear it was that Josh Smith was taking plays off, but he spent parts of the second and third quarter standing at the three point line. Doing nothing. Literally nothing, and making it quite clear that was his intention. In his defense, if he tried all the time, he would be a top ten player in the league. And that would be hard work. On the positive side of things, Josh Smith is really, really good.
  • The refs last night were wonderfully consistent and good (outside of the horrendous loose ball call on Josh Smith, which may have been a foul but was called only after the ball rolled out on the Bucks). If you beat your man on offense you got the foul call, even if there was not a foul call. If the defender had good position, there was no foul call even if one was committed. Josh Smith's head almost exploded over this consistency.
  • The reason this reffing worked so well for the Bucks for most of the game was they moved without the ball and constantly worked the ball around the perimeter and inside out. The contrast between the two teams was stark. It looked like Atlanta had never played together before. For a large portion of the game the Bucks did as much isolation as the Hawks. They let Salmons and Stackhouse go attack the rim, but their isolations attacked and started with Atlanta defenders a half step out of position. 
  • Third and final bullet on this. Joe Johnson's style is anti-attack. He makes the isolation as slow as possible. I don't know how to solve this problem. Certainly not posting up Joe two feet beyond the three point line where the entry pass still takes eight seconds would be start. Josh Smith on the other hand only needs a half step. The guy is unstoppable with a half step. It is a coaching cluster @#!$ to never try and put one of your players in a known unstoppable position. 
  • Ok, for real final bullet. Watching this game live, I cannot begin to describe how bad Mike Woodson was. He took out a struggling Joe Johnson after he finally made two shots in a row. He had a strategy of Joe on Jennings that worked great and then did nothing to figure out how to stop the wings from killing the Hawks. And he had no influence or literally nothing to say on what was a horrible offense for the entire game. I am sorry. I am a man of hope, but I have no hope in that man.
  • Kicking a defender away with your leg is just like pushing him with your arm. They are both offensive fouls. John Salmons commits a lot offensive fouls. 
  • Jeff Teague played very good defense on Jennings. Not awesome, shut down stuff you go bragging about, but it was good. And it was nice to see a PG actually guard a PG. He also ran his one pick and roll by hitting the jumper when the defender did not show and got to the lane at will. The only issues were a bad turnover (made slightly better by Mo Evans committing the exact same one on the next possession) and the fact that he did not have the confidence to finish every time he found his way into the lane. Again to harp a bit, how can you know a player can get to the lane and not have anyone cutting to the basket? I don't know if you noticed but this game made me angry.
  • Joe Johnson hit big shots when it mattered. Of course, it would not have mattered if he hit normal shots.
  • Nice to Marvin in during crunch time, and hey, it worked!
  • After sleeping on the game last night, I still find the flaws as egregious, but I have realized this game had a playoff feel. It was very physical. The (smaller) crowd was into the game. The intensity was there throughout (minus a few moments by Josh Smith), and players really wanted it. Horford and Bogut were dueling from the opening tip. Joe Johnson played defense for four quarters plus. John Salmons had a killer instinct until the overtime. There were 256 timeouts. And the Bucks are a playoff team that is playing well. So if this win actually had happened in the playoffs, I would have been beyond happy. Words like "gut" and "will to win" would have been tossed out freely. Yet this team and I have history and it is was February and the leap from bad win to tough playoff like victory is a tough jump. 
  • The Hawks turned 16 Milwaukee turnovers into 26 points. (via the Sporting News)
  • The opening three minutes of this game were some of the best basketball the Hawks have played. I almost completely forgot about it due to the terrible run of basketball over the next 30 or so minutes. But it was good, really good.
  • A win is a win. I can't ever argue with this logic.  

Go Hawks!