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A Closer Look At Al Horford's Fearless Drive Against The Clippers

Atlanta's final possession from Friday night's game against the Clippers was broken down in fine detail by NBA Playbook's Sebastian Pruiti. Click on the link to check out his still photos with diagrams. 

Sebastian touches on it in his article and I talked about it some in the recap, but this was an outstanding call out of a time out by the Hawks coaching staff. First of all even with Jamal Crawford scoring 34 points on the night, I would have laid good money that the ball was going to Joe Johnson. If not Johnson then it had to be Crawford. I am sure that was the Clippers thinking on the play as well which was why Horford caught them so off guard. Not only was it a great call, it was perfectly designed because by putting Jamal Crawford in the corner on the same side of the ball it severely limited the Clippers chances at help on Horford's drive. 

This replay is painful but don't focus on the fall, focus instead on the execution. 

It is this kind of diversity that best exemplifies the difference from this season to last season. If this game had occurred last season Joe Johnson would have took the ball at the top of the key and been free to drive left or right. Perhaps he would have made it but the point is that everyone in the building would have seen what was coming. 

More on this play after the jump

Obviously with the result of the play, there has been some discussion on whether or not a flagrant foul should have been called. NBA Fanhouse writer Michael Katz writes that the Hawks weren't shook up about the foul and that they didn't think anything excessive occurred on the play.  

"It happened too fast, I didn't even get a chance to gather myself," Horford said before Saturday night's 99-92 win against the Wizards. "It's just unfortunate. It wasn't a dirty play or anything. He was making a play on the ball, you can't fault him for that."

More Horford

"I was just hoping that I was able to just get up and just walk it off," he said. "At that point, I thought I was just going to leave the game. But once I was able to get up, and I felt fine, I was good after that."

I can remember a time in the NBA when that play wouldn't have been determined as a flagrant foul. If the shoe was on the other foot, I would hope that a Hawks player would commit a similar foul with the game on the line. It was just unfortunate that either player had to get hurt on the play.