|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|ORL||90.9||0.97 ||43.7||24.1 ||26.5||14.3 |
|ATL||90.9 ||0.90||40.9 ||24.7 ||17.4 ||15.4|
Though last night's loss has most to do with Orlando's superior long-term strategic planning resulting in acquiring a true franchise player* and surrounding him with suitably complementary players, it wasn't Mike Woodson's finest night either. He contrived to play Solomon Jones more than Zaza Pachulia, saw his defensive stopper Mario West surrender scores on both defensive possessions he participated in at the end of the second quarter, kept a clearly disengaged and unproductive Josh Smith on the court for the entirety of Orlando's 29-8 run, and, with Orlando up 13 with 2:32 left, attempted to raise the white flag of surrender, sending Solomon Jones and Mario West to the scorer's table only to have to recall them as his first unit made a futile effort** to win the game.
*At far less cost than Atlanta's acquisition of Joe Johnson.
**But an effort nonetheless and effort not being such bounteous commodity in Hawksland that one can easily dismiss the appearance of one regardless of score and situation.
Now, the good news...
- Al Horford played well considering the opposition and being ignored offensively* for most of the second half.
- The Hawks will win at least six more games than last season.
- The Hawks have a two-game lead for the fourth-seed with five games to play. They will probably have home-court advantage in the first round and if they have home-court advantage they will probably win their first round series.
"We had our best offensive players on the floor when we went into that drought. So you have to give Orlando credit."Orlando's 29-8 run lasted 11:12. Al Horford was on the bench for 5:32 of that. Draw conclusions as you will.
"I thought we gave ourselves a pretty good lead. We got a little complacent. We let fatigue become a factor. They made a run, and we never got back in the game."First commenter that makes sense of this quote from Woodson wins my respect:
"Those teams are not going to lie down and say, 'Here, Atlanta, you can have it.' That's the positive behind tonight's loss. We're still in the driver's seat."I think he's trying to say what I said in my third bullet point above, but I'm not positive* that's the case.
*Make your jokes about "I'm not positive." I can take it.
While we are befuddled, let's go to the Mike Woodson press conference. First comment "Fatigue set in during the game, but we can't use fatigue as an excuse." Uh, isn't saying that fatigue set in basically the sly way of saying - that's our excuse. Otherwise, why not point out what we didn't do - such as play unselfish basketball, get a spark from the bench, work the post, etc. and leave it at that.Third Quarter Collapse's Ben Q. Rock:
Hawks coach Mike Woodson absolutely baffles me. On a night when the Magic's wide-open three-pointers aren't dropping, he still elected to double-team Howard despite the fact that Al Horford had some success pushing him off the block and, in one instance, stuffing his hook shot at the point of release. Were I coaching the Hawks, I would have elected to play Howard one-on-one and force the Magic's perimeter players to shoot contested three-pointers. Instead, they got enough open looks to work themselves into a groove. That was about all she wrote.