Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hawks 103 Bobcats 89




Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
CHA 85.6
48.6 43.5
33.3 19.9
ATL 85.6 1.203 54.3

Had I both the time to study everything* that interests me and the technical ability to parse play-by-play data effectively I would take a keen interest in how offense and defense influence each other. For example, how much a team's offensive efficiency is related to how often they force turnovers** or how well they rebound defensively. Conversely, does a team's defensive efficiency reflect its ability or inability to score on a high percentage of its offensive possessions and thus get its defense set.

*I speak here of just the basketball-related things that interest me which is a marginally less ridiculous thought-experiment.

**There would, I assume, be a difference between live and dead-ball turnovers.

I bring this up because I think that both of Atlanta's big runs, the 19-2 run late in the first quarter and the 21-6 run in the middle of the third were made possible by good Atlanta defense punishing a poor offensive team. The stops then allowed the Atlanta offense to attack before Charlotte's defense could get set and do its usual excellent work of trying to make up for its offense. Similarly, Charlotte's excellent defensive performance in the second quarter had a lot to do with all the shots they got and converted at the rim.

The theorizing out of the way, let's move on to celebrate Al Horford co-leading the team with 17 field goal attempts, all five of Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, and Jamal Crawford getting between 10 and 17 shots (collectively making 58.7% of their shots), each of the top six players earning at least three assists, and Joe Johnson getting to the free throw line five times. Regardless of the influence defense had on the Atlanta offense their collective effort demonstrated, for one night at least and against stout opposition, their full potential as a multi-headed beast embodying post-positional basketball.

Josh Smith:
"Everybody had a chance to see who was on tonight. Whenever we get a chance to see who has the hot hand, we are a good team."
Mike Woodson:
"We shot it pretty well, but defensively I thought we were solid.

That third quarter is as good a third quarter as we played all season."
Gerald Wallace has no time for the theories espoused by Coach Woodson or myself:
"They didn't affect anything we did. We just came out tonight and played terrible ball. We didn't share the ball. We didn't hit the open man. We didn't make the extra pass. Defensively, we didn't rotate, we didn't help out."
Larry Brown turned the sarcasm dial from dry to exaggeration after the game:
"We take bad shots and turn it over. That's incriminating."
There may be a T-shirt in that quote. Or this one from Josh Smith:
"You have to hustle whenever you can, and do whatever is necessary."
At Queen City Hoops, Brett thinks the Bobcats were done in by more than their inconsistent offense:
[E]ven if the Bobcats got to play with special rules where the opponent is not allowed to score on steals, they still got lit up.

1 comment:

weemsildinho said...

A pretty good performance in all. The last six minutes of the second were terrible, as the Hawks continually gave up open layups, allowing Charlotte to get back into it. Everyone was involved in the offense, with 32 assists being an excellent output. The third quarter in particular was great, with the Hawks making a concerted effort to get it to the rim, resulting in easy buckets and double digit free throws in the quarter, while also using its defense to create some fast break opportunities.

I'm excited for these next five games (HOU, SA, BOS, ORL, OKC). With four on the road, it will be another measuring stick for the team.