|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|ATL||86.2 ||1.16 ||57.4||20.3 ||23.5||17.4 |
|PHI||86.2||0.997||50.0 ||14.1 ||15.0 ||15.1|
There were two distinct kinds of offensive possessions for the Hawks tonight: those where Joe Johnson handled the ball and good ones. That's a slight exaggeration but it was no coincidence that Atlanta's key second half run came with Johnson on the bench.
Late in the third quarter, the Hawks bedeviled the 76ers with a series of Jamal Crawford/Al Horford screen-and-rolls on the right wing which created good shots for either Crawford or Horford or allowed one of the two to create, after penetrating the Philadelphia defense, good shots for their teammates.
In the fourth quarter, the Hawks went away form the Horford/Crawford screen-and-roll but, even though Woodson left the ineffective Johnson on the floor until Johnson, mercifully, committed his fifth foul* the Hawks refused to let Johnson ruin too many possessions. Instead, Al Horford continued to receive, then distribute, the ball from the high post. Marvin Williams and Josh Smith got the ball on the left block. Jamal Crawford dribbled only a reasonable amount and did so while moving toward the basket. Mike Bibby finished possessions by taking (and mostly) making jump shots others created for him. For one night, an isolated Joe Johnson (in this case isolated on the weak side, one arm raised in a largely futile effort to call for the ball) freed the Atlanta offense. His teammates ignored him; as he had ignored them far too many times himself.
*Thus instigating my first celebration of Woodson's sixth foul phobia manifesting itself.
It was only an otherwise nondescript game against a depleted 76er team but any evidence that the Hawks can thrive while shedding their dependence on Joe Johnson to dominate possessions in the pursuit of contested shots is an opportunity for growth. Combine that with the material difference between Jamal Crawford attacking the basket (tonight) and settling for long two-point jumpers (last night), the reminder that Al Horford, when brought out of the post and put in motion, can use both his quickness and passing ability to negate an opposing center's size advantage and this could game could stand as something greater than the Hawks winning a game they ought to have won.