Detroit makes Atlanta look awful offensively. The Hawks don't run a lot of interesting (or effective) sets on a good night, but the Pistons stifle whatever ball and player movement the Hawks attempt and, should anyone successfully attack the basket, 'Sheed, McDyess, and Jason Maxiell render the Hawks incapable of finishing.
I checked out at halftime. Watching the tape Saturday morning, it appeared the Pistons did the same before regaining control mid-way through the third quarter and cruising to their third victory of the season against Atlanta. Something to keep in mind when predicting Atlanta's win total: only one more chance to be schooled by Detroit.
Hawks 93 Bobcats 84
The Hawks are approximately as much better (head-to-head, anyway) than the Bobcats as the Pistons are better than the Hawks.
Josh Childress, Acie Law IV, Salim Stoudamire, and Tyronn Lue all missed the game through various injuries, reducing Atlanta to a 7-man rotation including Mario West and the dubiously healthy Zaza Pachulia. Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, and Josh Smith played heavy minutes and did the heavy lifting quite successfully.
Sam Vincent didn't hurt matters, either. That's from the Hawks' perspective. I don't get Vincent's infatuation with Jeff McInnis. The man's not a good backup point guard but that doesn't stop Vincent from using McInnis not just as such, but as his primary reserve at both backcourt spots. Neither Matt Carroll nor Jared Dudley are the key to leading this Charlotte team to the playoffs but they're both better basketball players than McInnis and neither one pushes Raymond Felton out of position when they're playing.
Vincent used the two point guard backcourt (or, more accurately, the one good point guard not playing point guard so Jeff McInnis can, backcourt) for 14 minutes and 9 seconds during which Atlanta outscored Charlotte by 22 points.
I think I'll have to refrain from calling Mike Woodson the worst coach in the NBA for a while longer.
The Hawks still sit seventh in the East. Utah comes to town tonight (probably without Mehmet Okur) and there's no new injury news. Really, what's the point of reporting this:
It would be much more manageable for the Hawks if they weren't dealing with all these injuries. Josh Childress (groin), Acie Law IV (knee), Tyronn Lue (calf), Salim Stoudamire (ankle) and Speedy Claxton (knee) were all on the bench in suits against the Bobcats.on Monday morning except to fill inches? If they're not giving you any new information, write about that so someone like me doesn't wonder if you're bothering to ask in the first place.