|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|MINN||86.8||1.12 ||51.3||36 ||27.9||13.8 |
|ATL||86.8 ||1.26||58 ||9.2 ||32.4 ||10.4|
If the Timberwolves we're trying to win that game, I'll eat my hat. The Hawks' starters didn't show up for the second half*, the bench beyond Flip Murray and Pachulia just isn't capable of contributing in any meaningful way**, and the Hawks were never in any real danger of losing because, as I mentioned, the Timberwolves weren't trying to win.
*During which Minnesota scored 61 points.
**In 28:46 they cumulatively missed four field goal attempts, made two free throws, grabbed two offensive rebounds, blocked a shot, and committed five fouls.
Flip Murray (right) deserves praise for his shooting night and for the even more unexpected 5 assists he dished out. Al Horford was his usual steady and productive self in each of his four brief stints. Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby were great in the first half but thoroughly phoned it in in the second. Josh Smith continued to suggest that rebounding (just one last night) and taking bad shots (just one last night) are somehow intrinsically linked in his mind. Zaza Pachulia out-rebounded Kevin Love.
There were good things on display from the Hawks last night but the second half provides a further reminder, as if Saturday wasn't enough, how the Hawks differ from a genuinely good NBA team: They don't defend consistently, they don't put teams away, and, with Marvin Williams and Acie Law IV out they literally have seven active players capable of contributing in an NBA game. Sure, Solomon Jones or even Mario West might steal you a few minutes if they share the floor with four real, live NBA players but last night, the end of the Timberwolves' (the Timberwolves) bench showed themselves far more capable of making plays, creating offense, whatever you want to call it, than the Hawks' bench.
But, you know, congratulations on clinching a winning season and moving one game closer to securing home-court advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. In the short-term, there's little for Hawks fans to worry about. For anyone curious as to how this collection of assets, under the control of this franchise, progresses beyond being the fourth-seed in the East to compete for a Conference of NBA Championship has to wonder if that's possible before even beginning the difficult task of imagining how that could happen.
"My teammates were finding me and we had some good mismatches. I had some chances early where I got to go down in the paint and get it started in the post with a little guy guarding me. And then in the second half we switched out a lot on the pick and roll and I had a big man on me and I was able to [isolate] a lot and shoot over the top."Josh Smith:
"Flip’s in playoff form right now. He was on fire out there and we had to ride that. And everybody else needs to follow his lead, because there’s no reason not to step it up now as we get closer."Joe Johnson:
"Play time is over. Flip is a vet. He knows that. I think you could tell by the way he was playing tonight and how focused he was. There’s no more messing around for us."Mike Woodson on Acie Law's back injury:
"It’s a tough one. We could really use Acie right now, especially with the teams we’re going to see this week. He just woke up one morning and his back had locked up on him. I hate it for Acie because he really had a chance to help us right now and he’s out."The timing of Law's return is uncertain.