Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Roundup

NOTE: Due to extensive flight delays yesterday, and the grossly misplaced priorities that have conspired to create a world where I'm expected to show up for work on Monday morning I haven't seen either game yet. Any independent thoughts I am yet to have about either game will have to wait until tomorrow. Consider the regular blogging schedule to have resumed effective immediately. There's a longer piece in the works for later in the week. As always, thanks for reading.

Celtics 99 Hawks 93



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
BOS 86.6 1.14
53.2 26.9
33.3 16.2
ATL 86.6
1.07 46.6

Josh Smith:
"We got outplayed in the first three quarters of the game, really embarrassed to tell you the truth. We played Hawks basketball for the final eight minutes or so, but we were already down 17 points by then. Being down to a championship team, it’s kind of difficult to win the game."
Mike Woodson:
"We didn’t play until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. And you can’t beat a team like Boston when you don’t start playing until then. I thought they were the more aggressive team."
Maurice Evans:
"We had two glaring opportunities and we didn’t take advantage. Now we have to go up against a team, that once again is one of the best in the NBA. These games are turning into must-wins if we want to secure that fourth spot in the playoff race. And everybody behind us is not going to keep bailing us out by losing and making it easy for us to maintain our position."
Peachtree Hoops:
Three things did not show up for the Hawks last night.

1. The defense.
2. The offense.
3. The fans.

If the point of that game was to crush any hype and hope I had going in, it was wildly successful.

Outside of one horrible non-call on a travel by Paul Pierce, I didn't even get any knew material to dislike him. The game was just a disappointing let down.
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub:
The credit goes first to the team defense, and to the coaching staff for constructing a Hawks-specific scheme that worked well. Every time Joe Johnson touched the ball, the C’s double-teamed him or brought a second defender halfway over to help, trusting the guys behind the helper to rotate correctly. This is smart because the Celtics have no one who can guard Joe Johnson consistently. It also worked because the Celtics usually rotated away from the right players, by which I mean Josh Smith when Josh Smith was standing around the perimeter (which is where we like Josh Smith to be).
Hawks 86 Lakers 76



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
LAL 88.7 0.86
37.5 28.8
31.9 16.9
ATL 88.7
0.97 45.2

The 0.86 points per possession allowed by the Hawks yesterday is the second-best defensive performance of the season bested only by the 0.85 points per possession they allowed Miami on December 12th.

Mike Woodson:
"This was probably the best defensive game we’ve played all season."
Mike Bibby:
"We played together and our shots were going in. You couldn’t have asked for a better game."
Maurice Evans:
"I think everybody just got tired of not showing up and getting embarrassed at home by some of the top teams in the league. Even as bad as we played those last couple of games, we still had chances to win. So we knew if we came out and gave a better effort it was inevitable that we’d have one of those games when we came out and played like we know we’re capable of playing."
More Maurice Evans:
"Mario brings so much energy and effort. You just can’t help but respect it and root for it when he’s out there. That effort he gave us was huge tonight."
Mark Bradley:
This isn’t a great team, but we’ve known that all along. What we now know is that it’s again a dangerous team. Indeed, these Hawks are more dangerous than they were a year ago, when all they did was force the champs-to-be to a Game 7.

You wouldn’t bet on the Hawks to win the NBA title, but you wouldn’t want to face them, either. All the elements that fueled last spring’s run are still in place, with this bonus: They now know what the postseason entails, whereas last season’s team was flying blind.
Hawks Str8Talk:
Sometimes, it serves a purpose to simply revel in the positives. Other times, it serves a purpose to give it to you straight - today, we do both. First, congrats to the Hawks on handing the Lakers their apple bottoms in almost wire to wire fashion. Second, let's congratulate the bench for showing the fire that is necessary for the Hawks to be successful. Third, let's not take this victory too far (but far enough to get all the Hawks fans (and bandwagon jumpers) to buy their playoff tickets IMMEDIATELY) b/c in part due to the Hawks and in part just due to being sloppy - the Lakers did not play anywhere close to their best basketball. The positive there is that we didn't struggle to defeat a team that wasn't playing its best.

1 comment:

jrauch said...

Totally schizo weekend for the Hawks.

Some of that comes from the play of the opponents, but the team is still too inconsistent, and that has to fall, in large part, to the coaching staff.