Saturday, March 27, 2010

76ers 105 Hawks 98




Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
ATL 88.9
51.9 21.8
35.9 21.4
PHI 88.9 1.181 53.7

The victory against Orlando was down more to effort than execution. The loss in Philadelphia was similar, minus the effort.

At this point, the Hawks should be incapable of surprise. The perimeter players aren't suddenly going to become good defensively. Hawks whose first name begins with oe aren't suddenly going to stop taking almost every available jump shots. The team, as a whole, isn't suddenly going to commit to pushing the tempo, or moving without the ball in the half-court, or recognize the value mis-matches in their favor, or recognize the danger of the opposite.

Still, they're frustrating and the cause of the frustration may be ourselves. Perhaps these Hawks can't be better than they are. Perhaps their obvious weaknesses are as inherent as their strengths (both the obvious ones and those we assume to be latent) to who they really are and they will not become what we hope they might. Perhaps the franchise will continue to spend too much on good but great or competent but not good players and remain above average but unable to address their obvious weaknesses.

This is a team with relatively small goals. They print T-shirts for making the playoffs and give themselves a few days off after not quite blowing a game against a team trying to win the NBA championship.

Jamal Crawford:
"You always know after a big game like Orlando can’t have a letdown. We should have handled our business from the beginning and been done with it."
Al Horford:
"I think from the start we just weren’t with it.

I feel like we overlooked them."
Joe Johnson:
"From time to time we come out with a lack of focus.

Mentally we just weren’t in the game."
Mike Woodson:
"We haven't had many games like this one, but we are playing for something. I am trying to tell the team and push these guys to understand that you have to beat teams you're supposed to beat. There are no gimme games. I don't care where you play, when you play on the road, it is tough to win. We just showed up like we were just going to win and it didn't happen."
Joe Johnson:
"Our mindset was back in Atlanta. We just thought we were going to show up and beat a team that was struggling. It doesn't work like that. We have to regroup and get ready for Sunday's game against Indiana. I am very disappointed in the way we played."
I'm very disappointed that Joe Johnson spent more than one possession down the stretch of a second consecutive road game going one-on-one against a bigger, quicker defender. There are times he can dominate a single defender but not when that defender is Mbah a Moute or Iguodala.

The Human Highlight Blog at Peachtree Hoops
[T]ime and again the Sixers got wherever they wanted to on the floor, facing little resistance both in transition or in the half court set. Kapono, a known lethal shooter, got set up easily to tie his season high in threes (4). Holiday entered the lane with a free pass all night, setting up many of his (12) assists. The Hawks defense often waited for the ball to fall into their hands after a Sixer miss, and when it didn't, PHL collected their (15) offensive rebounds.
*The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of the Hawks' blogosphere

Soaring Down South:
If a less than casual fan had tuned into this game they would have thought that the Sixers were the team playing for playoff positioning and the Hawks were the team playing the season out.
Liberty Ballers:
So which is it? Did the Hawks sleepwalk through the game? Or did the Sixers decide to play hard? It's neither. The NBA season is 82 games long; there's going to be nights when teams have it, and nights when they don't. There's going to be nights when the Sixers shoot 50% from the floor and there's going to be nights when they shoot 40%. There's going to be stretches where they play good basketball (last 2 games) and stretches when they play terrible basketball (losing to the Granger-less Pacers and Lee-less Knicks).

The better team doesn't always win (tonight's favorites alone only went 5-3 so far), but that doesn't mean they weren't trying. And the worse team doesn't always lose, but that doesn't mean they all of a sudden decided to play hard.

There's a reason the Sixers are 26-47 right now, and there's a reason the Hawks are 46-26 - the Hawks are a good team and the Sixers aren't. They played a good game - leave it at that.


JMar said...

Aren't the Hawks paying Mario West a million dollars just to keep the focus and intensity of the team at a high level? Or was that a charade that lasted all of a week?

Bret LaGree said...

I think the Hawks are paying Mario West $354,000 (his pro-rated portion of a $1 million season salary--the Hawks, trying to save a buck on employing Mario West) because the genuinely believe he's such a good defensive player he can provide value in sub-20 second appearances and because they don't appear to work hard in (or trust) the scouting department.

rbubp said...

The Hawks just appear to be the very definition of laziness sometimes in just about every facet of the organization. It's amazing they're 46-26, frankly.

Jason Walker said...

Thank you for the mention. I think. :-)

Bret LaGree said...

Strictly a reference to how I referred to you when I re-read the post before publishing.

Jason Walker said...

Whew. Thought you might have meant that I peaked in 2002 and have been foolishly squandered resources in a vain attempt to capture that former glory.

And was scared that you might have been right.