Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Raptors 100 Hawks 88



My DVR picked up two-and-a-third quarters worth of

This Channel Should be Available Shortly.

last night.

My eyewitness account accounts only for the comeback at the end of the third quarter and immediate capitulation at the start of the fourth. So, bullet points...
  • I was a night early with my worries about a two-headed point guard shredding the Hawks' D. The combined line of TJ Ford and Juan Calderon: 48 minutes, 41 points (16-21 FGA, 8-10 FTA), 15 assists, 3 turnovers.
  • At some point Acie Law IV needs to start making shots in situations other than end-of-quarter buzzer beaters. He's shooting 44% on two-point attempts and 20% on three-point attempts on the season. Since returning from his ankle injury he's making just 32% of his two-point attempts and is 1-7 on three-pointers.
  • In 24 hours Josh Smith went from outplaying Dwight Howard to getting outplayed by Shelden Williams. 7 turnovers, 9 missed field goals (only two of them perimeter jump shots, though), just 2 free throw attempts, and 6 fouls.
  • This team is not very good when Smith plays poorly. Josh Childress returned and was effective. Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson both shot the ball well. Shelden Williams played a second consecutive good game off the bench. Al Horford and Acie Law were solid. Only Anthony Johnson joined Smith in struggling (hardly unexpected) and it was enough to make Toronto look the clearly superior team.
  • Mike Woodson letting Josh Smith foul out of the game makes his refusal to play Al Horford when Horford's in foul trouble even more particularly strange.
  • Al Horford's foul on TJ Ford was most unfortunate--the result of Horford's effort to block a shot and Ford's effort to prevent his shot from being blocked. It was not a dirty play, something Ford was apparently well enough to acknowledge to Horford late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning at Piedmont Hospital. One hopes both for a quick return from TJ Ford and no lingering effects on Horford for having committed the foul.
  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star disagrees with me:
I abhor basketball fights, mostly because, as Sam says, players can’t fight. But surely to all that’s good in the world, someone should have at least got in Al Horford’s face just a wee bit, don’t you think?

Not to punch him, but to say something, maybe push him, let him know smacking a kid in the head on a drive is stupid, very, very stupid...

...I have no doubt Horford had no thoughts of slamming Ford to the floor when he tried to foul him and maybe the rookie learns from it. Grab him around the waist, foul him at the free throw line or in the lane before he gets in the air.

Don’t swing your arm with no idea where it’s going to land.

And even though there was no malice intended, I really think the NBA has to suspend him a game and take some money away from him just to learn a lesson.
Ballhype: hype it up!

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