Friday, March 20, 2009

Hawks 95 Mavericks 87

Boxscore

Gameflow

Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
DALL 91.7 0.95
43.8 14.6
34.8 14.2
ATL 91.7
1.04 49.4
24.7
19.5
15.3

The second quarter exemplified the Hawks at their best: alternating three-pointers with layups/dunks, keeping their opponent out of the paint, forcing the occasional turnover, and doing an effective job on the defensive glass. Most impressive is that the bulk of the Hawks' 18-0 run came while playing 4-on-5. Mike Woodson saw something so distasteful in Acie Law IV's one minute and four second of play in the second quarter that he felt the need to yank Law from the game (never to return) in favor of letting Mario West not keep Jason Terry in front of him for the next 3:41 while also continuing to be a comical non-factor offensively.

The second half was something of a different story. The Hawks struggled to score (37.3 eFG%, 62.5 FT%) and they took their recently re-implemented defensive strategy of forcing opponents into shooting jump shots to a dangerous extreme. In the second half, Dallas had the ball down eight or fewer points on 25 possessions. On those possessions they were 6-23 from the field, 7-10 from the line, and turned the ball over four times. They scored 21 points on those 25 possessions, failing miserably to take advantage of their own solid defensive performance in the second half.

Now, it wasn't strictly a case of Dallas* missing open shots. Atlanta did some good things defensively, none more important than frustrating Dirk Nowitzki with physical defense. Certainly, on a different night with a different officiating crew Nowitzki would have attempted more than four free throws. Last night, though, the Hawks figured out that they could bang with Nowitzki before and after he received the ball in the high post, and, to their credit, they took full advantage even gaining the benefit of three points on technical fouls drawn as a direct result of defense on Nowitzki that he and Rick Carlisle found unduly restrictive.

*It might have strictly been a case of Jason Terry missing open shots.

Carlisle:
"I thought Dirk was being held and pushed and got fouled repeatedly. I kept asking for a foul to be called, but it wasn't. I turned to the official and just got thrown out."
Final mention must got to Flip Murray who flourished against a team unable to put a big guard on him. Murray got going by backing down Jose Juan Berea a couple of times early in the second quarter before diversifying his game with a corner three, a couple of transition buckets, and three trips to the free throw line.

Mike Woodson:
"The main quarter that counts is the fourth quarter, and we've been pretty good this year in the fourth quarter. That's where the game was won tonight, I thought."
Scoring by quarter:

Team1st2nd3rd4th
DALL29162715
ATL23332019

LINKS

10 comments:

Drew Ditzel said...

i hate when we have almost the exact same recap because it shows how much better a writer you are than me.

i guess i need to start praising mario west more....

Bret LaGree said...

With the team's overall level of competence, the current homestand where they've won pretty much every game the exact same way, the not-very-tight race for the 4th-seed, and the fact that it would take a hardened soul not to give sympathetic mention to poor Acie Law I'm struggling to find anything useful to write.

My tendency to watch and just enjoy when they play well and only take furious, detailed notes when things are going poorly doesn't help either.

CoCo said...

The consistency of both of you disgusts me a little. But, it's gotten you places i.e. Truehoop and Yahoo so I suppose I should be inspired.

M said...

Acie missed a defensive assignment (I think Barea layup)... i was at the game and i remember telling my friend that Acie just missed that defensive assignment and Woody was pissed. I didnt think he would pull him that soon though.

Bret LaGree said...

M--

Thanks. It was unclear from the TV coverage what particular sin Acie committed and it's amusing to know that one blown defensive assignment by him at a point where the Hawks had given up 33 points in a quarter-and-a-sixth deserves such unique punishment.

atlstew said...

it looked ugly for both teams but a good win nonetheless.

Bronn said...

While the Hawks are proving that they are an excellent home team, they're also choosing this point to play their best basketball of the season. While the timing could have been better, I was afraid that they had left their best games back in November.

JDS said...

So Bibby and West can't guard anyone at all but Acie must be perfect at all times to get more than one or two minutes of gametime.

Bret LaGree said...

Apparently Acie was also suffering from back spams.

THHB said...

Can't believe that Henry is taking enough heat that he had to address it like that---Henry has done a great job--I am not sure that the Network of blogs has done anything to hurt that.

It would be different if the THNetwork were a wholly manufactured effort by ESPN, in other words, they just plopped some junior interns in and have them provide content, but they went to places like here to "network".

Keep up the great work, Bret---you ruiner.