Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sonics 126 Hawks 123, 2OT



That was a bad loss. Furthermore, it was a dispiriting loss; the first indication that this roster may not possess sufficient depth to finish the 82-game season at or near .500.

Struggling, to some degree, in the absence of Josh Smith and Acie Law IV, isn't reason to condemn the result. The failure to convert chances to win the game in regulation likely compounded the damage of the loss by forcing Salim Stoudmaire and Tyronn Lue to play more minutes than their health warranted. With Anthony Johnson making himself unavailable (which is not to excuse the fundamental wastefulness of acquiring and using a roster spot on him in the first place), Mario West was exposed as little more than a nice story.

The Hawks were -15 in the 3:16 that West played. Obviously, that's not the sole responsibility of West but there's very little West can be expected to contribute in terms of tangible value. The Hawks can't spend five roster spots on two unavailable backup point guards, an injured backup point guard, an undersized (and injured) two guard, and a walk-on.

As far as I know, Hassan Adams is still available.

Who knows who will be available to play tonight and for how many minutes their bodies can reasonably be expected to hold up. I'm pretty confident that, if he fired up League Pass to do some advance scouting, Michael Redd recognizes a good opportunity for the third 50-point game of his career awaits.

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

In concern with the Hawks being minus 15 with Mario West on the floor...I think that's a miususe of that tool. He's hardly ever on the floor when the Hawks even have the ball, which is why his point differential is so low. During the game last night, they were repeatedly took out Salim to use West on defense and then put Salim back in on offense.

He comes in with 25 seconds left in regulation, Damien Wilkins scores, Hawks call a timeout with 16 seconds left and Salim comes in. He comes back in with four seconds left to defend Delonte West, who makes a poor inbound pass, and Salim comes back in with three seconds left.

First overtime, Sonics call a time-out and West is subbed in for Salim again. Hawks get a defensive stop with 1:50 left and call a timeout to put Salim back in. He comes back in for another six seconds and Horford fouls Damien Wilkins, and Salim comes back in for the Hawks' possession. This went on repeatedly through both overtime periods.

Sicne he never has a chance to be one the floor when his own team has the ball, they won't score any points, and his point differential will always be negative. It doesn't mean he's a worthless player-he was playing some good defense against the Sonics last night and h ad some good minutes. I can't disparage a guy who knows his role and does his job as best as he can. He likely wouldn't even have a spot on this team if Lue and Salim weren't totally inept defensively.

One thing about Woodson I didn't get was why he never went big later in the game. We never saw Horford on the floor in the fourth quarter or either overtime. Zaza played pretty well in some limited playing time, but I thought for sure the Hawks would try to create size mismatchs after Collison fouled out-and it never happened.

Bret LaGree said...

Good points all, Bronn, especially concerning my flippant use of West's +/-. I, too, have nothing against him. He's doing what he can to help the team but the team's not good and/or healthy enough to use a roster spot on a situational defender.

And if the rest of the team's so bad defensively that they give up points on five of the six defensive possessions he's on the court doing his thing, then what's the point anyway?

Which speaks to my general mood after back-to-back losses to not very good teams.