Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quotes, Notes, and Links: Cavaliers 95 Hawks 84



Mike Woodson:
"Offensively, we were our own worst nightmare tonight. We didn't handle the pressure in terms of being able to execute. We haven't been like this from an offensive standpoint. I don't know how to even begin to explain it. I don't know how to even begin to explain it."
Jamal Crawford:
"I don't think panic set in. We just knew that every time down was more pressure to score."
Equally discouraging, Josh Smith:
"They weren't doing anything special defensively. ... We had shots we normally make and kept missing them."
LeBron James on Joe Johnson's hot start and slow finish*:
"It was a complete team effort. The coaches came up with a game plan after he went off for 11 in the first three or four minutes, then the guys buckled down. We just kept different faces and different schemes on him and kept him off-balance."
There was no counter-game plan to re-balance Joe Johnson.

*Johnson made his first four shots, scoring 11 points in the first 5:52. He made 1-10 shots, scoring 4 points in the remaining 36:51 he played with the only made shot coming with 2:00 left in the game, cutting Cleveland's lead to 89-80.

John Hollinger:
For the fifth straight time, Atlanta failed to score more than 85 points against the Cavs, even though they entered the game ranked second in offensive efficiency. Included was a ghastly 9:20 stretch of the third and fourth quarters where the Hawks didn't score a single point, piecing together 17 straight empty trips and sucking the life out of a Philips Arena-record crowd of 20,150.


Cleveland took advantage of Atlanta's habitual switching on pick-and-rolls by running plays that would draw Mike Bibby or Crawford on to LeBron James. Crawford, in particular, often seemed to switch even when he didn't have to, taking the more robust D of Marvin Williams out of the play. While that didn't directly lead to many James baskets -- he shot 6-for-20 -- it produced the penetration and double-teams that created his game-high 10 assists.
Notes from perusing the Hoopdata Boxscore...
  • 10 of Joe Johnson's 14 field goal attempts were taken at least 16 feet from the basket. He shot 40 eFG% from the floor on those attempts.
  • In related news, Johnson attempted 4 free throws in the game, two of those attempts coming courtesy of a defensive three-second call and Delonte West's fourth quarter technical foul for taunting.
  • 12 of Jamal Crawford's 17 field goal attempts were taken at least 16 feet fromt he basket. He shot 83.3 eFG% from the floor on those attempts.
Brian Windhorst on Delonte West:
"He made about five huge hustle/strength/quickness plays in the fourth quarter alone. Perhaps none bigger than when he got the steal and dunk with 4:22 left that pretty much broke the Hawks' will. How do I know it broke their will? Because West got a technical for what he said to Josh Smith after the dunk and Joe Johnson whiffed on the free throw when the Hawks already hadn't scored for seven minutes."
John Krolik on West at Cavs: The Blog:
"Jamal Crawford had 21 points before Delonte checked into the game with 3 minutes to play in the third; over the next 15 minutes, Crawford banked in one three over a perfect Delonte close-out and made a shot with less than a minute to go."
Here's the Hawks' side of the play-by-play ledger leading up to Mike Woodson's technical foul...
  • Johnson 3pt Shot: Missed
  • Horford Turnaround Jump Shot: Missed
  • Pachulia Turnover : Lost Ball (2 TO) Steal:West (1 ST)
  • Horford Jump Shot: Missed
  • Horford Turnover : Bad Pass (4 TO) Steal:Varejao (1 ST)
  • Evans Dunk Shot: Missed Block: Moon (1 BLK)
  • Crawford Turnover : Traveling (1 TO)
  • Johnson Turnover : Bad Pass (2 TO) Steal:James (4 ST)
  • Johnson Layup Shot: Missed Block: James (1 BLK)
During that stretch, Cleveland made just one basket. They scored just two points to extend their lead from 75-74 to 77-74. The clear path foul called on Josh Smith gave Cleveland two free throws and the ball. Was that really the time to give a team that had made one bucket, scored two points in the last 5:16 a chance to score an extra point?

The technical free throw Mo Williams made with 7:55 left in the game was Cleveland's 80th point. Atlanta scored its 80th point 5:55 later.

If Woodson's technical was a conscious effort to fire up his team rather than a loss of self-control it didn't work. Here's the Hawks' side of the play-by-play following Mike Woodson's technical foul...
  • Crawford Jump Shot: Missed
  • Smith Jump Shot: Missed
  • Horford Turnaround Jump Shot: Missed
  • Johnson Turnover : Bad Pass (3 TO) Steal:James (5 ST)
  • Johnson 3pt Shot: Missed
  • Johnson Turnover : Bad Pass (4 TO) Steal:West (2 ST)
  • Johnson Free Throw Technical Missed
  • Crawford Free Throw 1 of 2 Missed
  • Crawford Free Throw 2 of 2 Missed
  • Bibby 3pt Shot: Missed
The summary of the fourth quarter scoreless streak's 17 possessions: 6 turnovers, 5 missed two-point jump shots, 3 missed three-point shots, 3 missed free throws, 1 blocked layup, and 1 blocked dunk.

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