Quick Thought: (Sing-song tone) Beat the Knicks, it's the greatest thing in the world. Beat the Knicks, send those Orange and Blue loudmouths home sad.
The Hawks used Joe Johnson to obliterate Landry Fields and the like for the Knicks. Then they double teamed him every time and the Hawks had to change.
The Hawks went inside to Josh Smith with considerable success -- in fact, the Knicks were powerless to stop him. That is, until they sent two or three players at him hard and forced the ball out of his hands.
Then the Hawks turned to Willie Green. Yes, Willie Green. Given that the sheer limitation of having five players on the court prevents double teaming every player on Atlanta, give Larry Drew credit for realizing that Green was hot, hot, hot all night long and was just the player on this Friday night to make the Knicks pay for doubling Joe and Josh.
First one goes to Willie, who had been strug-a-ling lately. Willie kept the hot side hot and the cold side tucked away behind some deodorant and shaving cream in his locker. Willie went a can-you-believe-it 6-7 from the floor in the fourth quarter, blending drives in with jump shots -- the definition of money. 20 stinking points off the bench -- mmmm -- makes me happy.
Joe Johnson shook off the double teams and kept it rocking, hitting 10-20 for his game high 28 points. Girls wanted him and guys couldn't stop him. He was fantastic against a great matchup for him.
He's not perfect, but Josh Smith's a baller, y'all. Dude was hungry tonight and showed it. He was hammered more than that dang nail in the floor that always catches my sock just right at night and -- wait, what was I talking about? Oh yes, baller. He ran the floor, often gave the ball up (though with only six rebounds he had fewer ops to 'lead' the break). He battled Carmelo Anthony, though 'Melo (36 points, nine rebounds) surely won the war. But I can't forget how pwnee he was in the first quarter when Mike Woodson had to command a double when Josh got the ball inside.
Thought Marvin balled well and it seemed as though Anthony was more willing to drive on Smith than on Marvin, for whatever that's worth -- Anthony had it going on and on and on tonight.
Jeff Teague showed both the good and bad tonight -- might have to end up in the Josh Smith happy place eventually with him -- but his Neon Deion steal of the ball late and subsequent dunk was boss. Jeff also had three blocks -- all fantastically facial in nature.
Zaza Pachulia had 12 rebounds -- did anyone notice?
Again, kudos to LD for understanding that Kirk Hinrich didn't have it tonight and Willie did. Won the game for the team, I claim.
Ummm, someone should rotate out to Iman Shumpert sometime soon.
Baron Davis and J.R. Smith: 57 minutes, 4-18, nine points, four assists, six turnovers.
Admit it, it's good to see Woody back on the sidelines, yes? He looks as animated as Chris Tucker (circa the movie Friday) compared to LD.
Did I mention how much I enjoy watching the ATL represent and beat the Knicks. One more game ball to all the fans who made some noise and outcheered the Knicks 'faithful'.