Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trail Blazers 108 Hawks 98



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
ATL 89.4 1.10 51.9 21.8 23.5 14.5
POR 89.4 1.21 52.2 13

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I quite enjoyed Josh Smith's defensive rebound last night. 9:07 of the third quarter will live in my memory for a long time. The other 39 minutes he played, the defensive rebound-less minutes, the jump shot missing minutes, the proving himself incapable of guarding Travis Outlaw or Brandon Roy minutes, and the blowing defensive assignments minutes (Of course, the resultant points from either of those last two scenarios are not Josh Smith's fault. These were petulant minutes, as well.) won't soon be forgotten, either.

It wasn't Mike Woodson's finest night, leaving Smith out there to undermine the team on both ends of the floor rather than using either of the hard-working, assignment-sound, and offensively productive frontcourt players available to him.

It began all too familiarly. Marvin Williams sat the for the final 9:14 and Al Horford the final 8:11 of the first half because they had the temerity to commit two personal fouls each. Thus limiting his options for no good reason (Williams finished the game with 4 fouls, Horford with 2), Woodson played Smith the entire time he sat Williams and Horford. Smith produced the following stat line over those 8+ minutes:

0-1 FGA

Even more inexplicably, Woodson, after removing Smith from the game halfway through the fourth quarter (presumably for some combination of poor defense, repeated fouling, and the increasingly intolerable (to this viewer, at least) complaining about being called for the fouls he commits after getting beat), Woodson put Smith back in two minutes later rather than use Al Horford to close out the game. Smith's stat line for the final four minutes:

(this space left intentionally blank)

It really shouldn't be so difficult to figure out your fourth quarter rotation on a night when only five guys (Bibby, Johnson, Murray, Williams, Horford) are playing well. That unit was on the court for two fourth quarter stints, one lasting 1:45, the other 1:48. In contrast, Nate MacMillan played his best lineup (Blake, Roy, Fernandez, Outlaw, Aldridge) for a single stint lasting 9:23 of the fourth quarter during which time Portland was +6 even after accounting for Flip Murray's productive garbage time cutting a 16-point Portland lead down to the 10-point margin of victory. The longest the Hawks played a single unit in the fourth quarter was 3:39 and that didn't occur until after they'd fallen behind by 16 points.

1 comment:

rbubp said...

You need to change it from "only five guys are playing well" to "only five guys are playing." Josh Smith is among those who are not playing. Woodson lets him get away with it, for reasons taht escape me. I'm beginning to think Smith is almost trying to not play so Woody will have to take him out just to get to what's wrong, which is that Little Girl Josh only wants to pway when he gets to shoot the widdle ball more often.