Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Heat 92 Hawks 75


Hoopdata Boxscore



Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
37.3 31.0
15.2 10.9
82.3 1.117 48.7

Most of my thoughts are over at The Daily Dime (#1, a personal best). It's not an especially complex game to analyze from the Hawks' perspective: few transition opportunities led* to lots of jump shots, the jump shots didn't go in, the Hawks got killed on the glass, and Michael Beasley teased Heat fans with one half of devastating offensive basketball.

*Lots of things, things stretching back years, led to lots of jump shots but that's all been written about here and elsewhere at length.

Mike Woodson:
"Unacceptable, how we played tonight."
Mike Bibby:
"If we would've put a little more effort in, it would have been a different story."
Al Horford:
"It happens. That's the way the season is. There are highs and lows. Right now, this is our low."
I don't think the Hawks should be panicking right now but it's not encouraging, even to a skeptic, that the progress the team seemed to be making over the first couple months of the season now seems to be illusory. Tactics played a big role in blowing the 15 point fourth quarter lead to Nate Robinson (and, to a lesser extent, the New York Knicks) but they players bear the bulk of the responsibility for, admittedly, lacking effort the next time out.

The coup de grace though, comes from Michael Beasley:
"We just wanted to finish like professionals."
Yes, the Hawks collective effort put Michael Beasley in the position to exemplify professionalism. Credit to him that he did.

To his credit, Mike Woodson took responsibility for the team's lifelessness:
"We just didn't come out ready to play. I have to take responsibility for that."
Woodson, again:
"The big difference in the game was their hustle plays and rebounding the ball."
Big differences, to be sure, but while we're on the subject I'd also point the head coach to this article at 82games.com:
So Ball Movement Advocates -- here's your proof: the faster the ball is moving from one player to another, the better the results overall!

George Karl is one of a number of coaches who preach that once you get the ball you need to do something right away otherwise you're just allowing the defense to reset...and he's right! In the NBA the players are so fast and so good, that any momentary advantage the offense creates can easily be nullified if the defense gets any time to react.
The numbers though show that the worst efficiency comes with the most dribbles, so over-dribbling can be a real problem: on 6+ dribbles the league as a whole shoots a woeful .398 FG% and averages a meek 81.5 points per 100 possessions. What you're really looking for is a guy with a great handle who also makes smart decisions, ideally being able to pass and shoot with the best...wondering why Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups get so much praise and attention? Look no further!
Just when we thought it was simply execution that was at issue - we are introduced to something new...the Atlanta Hawks (we don't give a ...) edition.
Matthew Bunch at Hot Hot Hoops describes the Heat:
They’re far from perfect; they lack depth, they lack height and they lack a super-reliable second scoring option. But despite all that (and despite what you may think you see from Dwyane Wade from time to time), they typically work really hard. Sometimes it doesn’t work out (i.e. San Antonio) but sometimes it does (i.e. Orlando, Atlanta). It’s going to be that kind of season.
Be sure to read the caption on the picture accompanying Drew's recap at Peachtree Hoops.

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