One could say Josh Smith's first quarter won this game for the Hawks. 9 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 1 stls, shooting 4 of 5 from the floor. Without a hint of revisionist history, I say with sincerity that I am not sure someone can set the tone for a game better in the league than Josh . The tone does not even need to last four quarter (and it didn't tonight). The permanence does not really matter. Twelve minutes in the Bulls knew Josh Smith could take over the game at any point. The 22 offensive rebounds were just a nice reminder of such throughout.
Mo Evans plays HORSE, wins.
On a night where one can talk about Deng being on the bench, Rose limping around, and the jump shot happy third quarter, I think a better use of our time is to focus on Mo Evans totally awesome shot from behind the basket. When Kobe hits that shot, it led Sportscenter. It should. Kobe Bryant is, shall we say, better than Mo. But the Hawks don't have Kobe Bryant, and they don't have shots like that either. So yes, I made my wife watch that play six times. Yes, I screamed Mo Evans four times. And yes, it made me like Mo Evans more as a person. And since I do not ever see shots like that I don't know if ridiculous statements like "those types of plays can get a guy going" are true or not, so at least for one night, I plan to believe this game just birthed a new Mo Evans.
A bloggers dream
All things considered, second of a back to back, road game, playoff team. You take this win, and I find it all the more gratifying that the ways many of us preach worked and the ways many of us lament did not. It was the antithesis of last night. It seems so easy. Attack the boards, push the pace, pound the paint. Cliches galore, but cliches that work for this team. It is why poor third quarters are so frustrating. No one is asking the Hawks to reinvent the wheel. We just want them to roll the one already invented.
- Marvin rebounds. Marvin defends. Marvin cuts to the basket. Marvin hits half his jumpers. Marvin is awesome. It all seems so easy.
- Following Jeff Teague's one rebound, he pushed the ball as hard as I have seen a Hawks move all season. Naturally, no one was down across half court when he was in layup position.
- Mario West's dunk could not have epitomized him any more than it did. Garbage time, trying when no one else is, falling down afterward. Mario being Mario.
- Do the Bulls run an offense that tries to limit Derrick Rose's assist totals?
- What a weird offensive game for Jamal Crawford. Before looking at the box score, I would have said he didn't score a lot or shoot well but they were loud baskets. Instead, he was 6 for 13 for 21 points. How did that happen? I thought he was like 3 for 15 with all his makes being three pointers. Don't try and figure out Jamal on offense. Just don't do it.
- I wish Marvin Williams got a technical every game.
- First shots by Mike Bibby. Drilled. And that was that for the night. Goes without saying Bibby is really struggling. The question is not whether he should start or not. He should. Or whether he should get 20 minutes or so. He should. But whether Teague should start to get more burn with the first team this season. Come playoff time, I would love to feel confident putting Teague out there for 15 minutes.
- Since this summer, Acie Law and Flip Murray have been on a combined five teams.