|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|NJ ||90.8 ||0.98 ||43.7||31.6 ||24.4||17.6 |
|ATL ||90.8||1.31||66.0 ||26.7 ||27.6 ||19.8|
The Nets are too poor a team and gave too listless a performance to give the Hawks credit for a job well done but Atlanta got the job done, and, courtesy of an outstanding collective shooting night (56.6 2PTFG%, 59.1 3PTFG%, 95.2 FT%), got the job done early. Only Joe Johnson cracked 30 minutes (and he only by 28 seconds) ahead of the Hawks' three games in four days against Boston (twice) and Orlando.
Due to the sheer volume of wide-open shots generated against New Jersey's inert zone defense, this game will likely have no bearing on how the Hawks perform in any of the next three games with one* exception: team defense. The Hawks jumped out to a 17-point lead after one quarter courtesy of a fine team defensive performance coupled with the lack of resistance they faced offensively but didn't put the game away for good until the bench went on an 18-2 run early in the fourth quarter despite scoring 57 points over the second and third quarters because they allowed New Jersey, the league's least efficient offensive team, to score 55 points on 45 possessions.
*If you, dear reader, can discern the future meaning (if any) of the technicals drawn by Woodson (up 19) and Josh Smith (up 16) you're ahead of me. I've failed to formulate any insight beyond "unnecessary."
The defensive performance across the middle two quarters may be nothing more dire than a manifestation of the mismatch but its timing was odd, coming as it did, on the heels of a players-only meeting from which the players emerged speaking of a renewed commitment to defending selflessly.
This is an example of why I hesitate to draw a lesson from last night's game.
"They zoned us. We've got good looks against zones in the past, but we just haven't knocked them down."I know Jamal Crawford thinks they're all good shots, but isn't that, inherently, the problem? And the reason for skepticism following a perfectly acceptable 30-point win?
There were eight more possessions last night than in the Miami game but the Hawks attempted just four more field goals and, of those field goals, attempted just one fewer jump shot. Now, last night those jump shots were clearly defended far less enthusiastically. They were nearly all, bless you, 'Nique, rhythm jumpers but getting loads of open jump shots against a terrible defense, coasting defensively for two quarters, and watching the bench get to the line in the fourth quarter to put the game away is not an especially sound long-term strategy.
Though there's no reason to believe that the effort level will be the same Friday night, in front of a (presumably) packed house, when the Celtics come to town.