Monday, March 30, 2009

Caught Up

Hawks/Celtics
  • It feels a bit churlish to complain about Mike Woodson trying something different but starting Zaza Pachulia rather than Mo Evans doesn't make much sense* and it didn't work well. The Hawks were -11 in the 10:18 Zaza played with the starters to open up the two halves.
  • Should the Hawks explore re-signing Mike Bibby** I recommend bringing a copy of this game tape to the negotiations. Bibby got beat every which way one can defensively: off the dribble, off the ball, or simply playing poor positional defense after a switch.
  • Were it not for Bill Walker and Mikki Moore's incompetence, the Hawks' team defensive performance would have looked much worse. Stephon Marbury scored 20% of his points on the season in this game.
  • The shock of Glen Davis's performance, as expressed by Bob Rathbun and Dominique Wilkins, serves as a useful reminder of the unique nature of the Hawks' bench. Sure, Davis was not efficient, but, other than Acie Law IV, you couldn't give anyone outside the Hawks top eight 24 offensive possessions to use and expect them to score 19 points and provide two assists. See also Solomon Jones' 5+ trillion performance.
  • Kevin Garnett is Boston's best defender, but the team's defensive gameplan doesn't suffer in his absence.
*Was he putting a less capable defender (Josh Smith rather than Evans) on Paul Pierce so as to match up better with Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins?

**An idea to which I'm not necessarily opposed.

Hawks/Lakers
  • I'm not going to hit the archives to answer a semi-rhetorical question a day late but when was the last time the Hawks played a really good defensive first quarter?
  • Completely rhetorical question: How do you attend a game wearing purple and/or gold, root loudly for the Lakers at the start of the game, but root loudly for the Hawks at the end of the game?
  • Things tightened up not after Horford left in the second quarter immediately after picking up his second foul but after Woodson refused to put Horford* back in the game after Pachulia picked up his third foul. Solomon Jones played the final 2:15 of the half instead, putting up his second trillion of the weekend as the Hawks were outscored 8-2. Not that Mario West's decision to shoot a jump shot during that stretch helped much on the offensive end either.
  • Marvin Williams' interview with James Verrett did nothing to inspire confidence that he'll play again this season.
  • Yes, the Lakers missed some shots they normally make but any team's best defensive performance of an 82-game season is going to come on a night when that team plays good defense and their opponent misses some makeable shots.
  • Mike Bibby made his share of shots. He also did an admirable job guarding Derek Fisher. That may not sound like much but it's an obvious difference and may highlight the most important distinction between Atlanta's good and bad defensive nights: How much the opposition punishes Mike Bibby the defender.
*He played the entire second half (Hawks were +9) and finished with four personal fouls. Hell, Pachulia played less than seven minutes of the second half and finished with three fouls.

1 comment:

apizzabagel said...

Yeah I have mixed feelings about resigning Bibby too. He's a huge help on offense when his shot is falling, but when it's not he brings almost nothing to the table. My ideal situation would be to bring Bibby back on some sort of short-term deal (at a reduced salary obviously) with the knowledge that he wouldn't be here forever. If we don't, it really limits our options to either letting Acie run the point, gutting the bench and letting Murray play the point (an idea just stupid enough that the coaching staff might try it), or signing a FA to cover the position. Since FA isn't exactly loaded with great young PG's (Raymond Felton is probably the only starting-caliber-on-a-playoff-team one who is under 30, and even that's boarderline), that would leave us in a tough position...