Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hawks 119 Kings 97



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
SAC 93.6 1.04
43.7 41.8
28.3 13.9
ATL 93.6
1.27 60.5

The Kings didn't/couldn't* play any defense last night. The Hawks didn't play any defense for three quarters. (Sacramento scored 1.22 points per possession over the first three quarters.) It took just six minutes of good basketball from the Hawks on both ends of the floor to open the fourth quarter to blow the game open.

*reader's choice

In the face of no resistance all eight Hawks who played meaningful minutes had productive offensive nights. Defensive credit to Acie Law IV, Flip Murray, Josh Smith, and Al Horford* for putting the game away early in the fourth. Sympathy to Kevin Martin for playing so well on such a bad team and further sympathy to Sacramento fans who must spend their days waiting for the draft and trying to convince themselves that Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson have a bright future.

*Half-credit each to Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby who split time early in the fourth quarter.

Josh Smith:
"It’s fun when everybody can score and contribute to a win."
Al Horford:
"We weren’t on our game defensively, but we’re going to have nights like that. We did what we had to do to win."
Horford on Spencer Hawes' hard foul:
"I know I’m going to feel it in the morning."
Mike Woodson:
"We picked it up in the third and fourth quarter. The way we started the game, I didn’t think we would ever get to that point. We had no defensive presence in the first half. You can’t start the game the way we did, thinking we are going to outscore teams, without having some sort of defensive presence."
Smith, again:
"We didn't want to lose to a team like Sacramento. No offense to them, but (after) beating New Orleans and Utah, teams who are on top of the Western Conference, we didn't want to let ourselves down by losing this game. We're just trying to separate ourselves from the pack. Miami's right on our heels still."
Kevin Martin:
"We stopped playing together tonight, and this is happens when you play selfish basketball. I think we all learned a little lesson tonight. They were aggressive from the start. Al Horford is a load in the paint, and Josh Smith is one of the most athletic guys in the league, so that made it tough for us."
We've been shining the bronze bust of Al Horford out here for quite a few games now, but we must add that we've seen a dramatic improvement on his finishing inside after contact. It's just another brick in the wall in what should be a nightly memo to Mike Woodson that the game should, in some part, go through Horford in the pivot. When you have a big man that can pass (oh by the way, Horford had 6 assists) and has great hands (my hand twin!), you have to leverage that high percentage option. Well you don't have to, but you could be considered foolish or stubborn to not do so.

1 comment:

rbubp said...

Josh Smith can talk about "having nights like that," but I am inclined to think nights like this are what confuse a team's identity. When you know you're not bringing your best, what are you focused on doing first?

It's not defense, or rebounding for that matter, for the Hawks. They only bother with those when they want to bring the A game.