With no local TV coverage to fall back on I'm ignorant of what by all accounts was a fine performance. Sekou Smith reports today that both Josh Childress and Josh Smith attribute the comfortable win to playing at a faster tempo.
"The most important thing for us is to really, really make a concerted effort to push the tempo. Even [after opponents' baskets], we need to get out and run the [fast] break. We'll get into the half-court sets, we know that. But we can save that for the end of games. The first three and a half quarters, though, we've got to roll and make teams keep up with us. And for 48 minutes, I don't think most teams can."Granted, Childress loses his way there a bit in the middle where the influence of Mike Woodson rears its end of game equals half-court sets head but I think the reference to "48 minutes" in his final sentence at least cancels that out.
"We don't talk about running because we like how it sounds. We see how the crowd feeds off of what we're doing when we play like this. And if you look at what we did, it really is good, sound basketball. We knocked down our shots (.518) at a high clip, we shared the ball, we stayed aggressive from start to finish and we defended the way we know how. Again, that's good basketball. It's not just us running around like crazy people and not thinking through what we're doing.Every time Smith gets quoted at length he clearly demonstrates that he's intelligent and perceptive which makes his occasional bursts of self-destructive play all the more puzzling.