Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hawks 98 Wizards 89



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
ATL 86.6 1.13
56.3 25.4
17.6 12.7
WASH 86.6 1.03 46.9

Last night's game was rather anti-climactic following Sunday night's tilt with the Cavaliers. I'm not going to read much into the Hawks lackadaisical performance for the better part of three quarters. I chalk it up to travel (or worse, waiting to travel) and tipping off the second game of a back-to-back 23 hours after the first game began.

I was less sanguine when Washington (less Gilbert Arenas, DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, and late scratch Caron Butler) tied the game at 61 with 3:48 left in the third. I don't know if the ensuing 14-2 Atlanta run resulted from the Hawks finally getting their legs under them or Washington's youngsters and reserves losing theirs but credit the Hawks for quickly averting potential disaster and taking control of the game for good.

On to the bullet points*...
  • Even occurring in a rather pedestrian regular season game against an opponent decimated by injuries, Marvin Williams' performance (and the number of plays run for him) inspires great hopes for the future.
  • Marvin's performance is not possible without Joe Johnson willingness and ability to create shots for his teammates.
  • I don't know the exact cause-and-effect nature but Al Horford is a much better player when he's playing hard and is included in the offense.
  • Another thing I don't know: Is Mike Woodson starting to value Zaza Pachulia's rebounding more or is he just fed up with Josh Smith?
  • Speaking of Smith: 1-5 FTA brings the season FT% down to a season-low 55.4%. His career FT% has dropped two full percentage points as a result of the 47 games he's played this year.
  • Ideally the starters would not have had to play so many minutes to dispose of the understrength Wizards.
  • How weird was it that Acie Law IV and Solomon Jones entered the game for the first time with two-and-a-half minutes left indicating that Woodson thought the game was decided but both Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams stayed in well into the game's final minute?
*Pacing myself for the busy week. Also don't have much to say about last night's game and there's more and varied content to come later today.

Marvin Williams:
"That’s what they call a total team effort right there. And everybody was tired. That was a crazy experience, being stuck on that plane all night. We didn’t get into our [hotel] rooms and actually get to sleep until 8:30 [a.m.]. And everybody was tired. That was a crazy experience, being stuck on that plane all night. We didn’t get into our [hotel] rooms and actually get to sleep until 8:30 [a.m.]."
Joe Johnson:
"This game here was just as important as the one [Sunday night]. For us to come out and work hard in spite of everything we’ve been through was big for us. This win was big. Every win we got from here on out is big for us."
Mike Woodson:
"I like the way the guys in our locker room responded. That was a tough game we lost to Cleveland. That’s the kind of game that can sit with you for a few days if you’re not careful. Then you toss in our travel troubles, and it can really snowball on you. We didn’t let that happen. Marvin was great, and the rest of our guys were right there when we needed them to be."

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