I assume that the reason I did not wake up and read the headline, "Hawks Fire Woodson" is that it was not yet 6am PST. Just because a man has no business coaching an NBA team doesn't mean he deserves to be fired before his morning coffee. Even if it is overdue.
Everything I wrote after the blown lead in Charlotte last week still holds. Mike Bibby or no, this team isn't good enough to overcome a head coach who can't design or implement a sensible offense and can't impart the value and importance of defensive rebounding. (First quarter: Lakers had 5 offensive rebounds, Hawks had 4 defensive rebounds.)
The Hawks aren't going to win very often against a team that has better players, a better coach, and the home court advantage. That a victory last night was unlikely doesn't excuse the Hawks' failure to compete. There was little effective effort defensively and the offensive gameplan seemed to consist of 1) Make Joe Johnson try and beat Kobe Bryant off the dribble and 2) Look shocked and disorganized when the Lakers press full court following a made free throw.
Down 36 at the half, Atlanta opened the third quarter running the sets that might have prevented garbage time from beginning mid-way through the second quarter. Josh Smith and Al Horford had plays run for them in the post. Joe Johnson's teammates were allowed to create open looks for him. Marvin Williams didn't try to beat anyone off the dribble.
Washington and Phildelphia also lost last night so the Hawks didn't lose ground for either the 6th or the 8th seed in the East. Atlanta's best chance at avoiding an 0-5 road trip looks a little more difficult tonight after Sacramento returned from the All-Star break and won at Portland last night.
Here's hoping Woodson has the sense to do his part (I assume everyone else is resigned to his continuing incompetence.) to make this final element of the game recap much smaller tomorrow morning.
Josh Smith Jump Shot Log
February 19, 2008 vs. @Los Angeles Lakers