Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hawks 94 Pacers 84

Boxscore

Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
IND 87.9
0.956
45.7 12.3
18.8 14.8
ATL 87.9 1.07 46.6
14.9
33.3
13.7

Score one for just showing up and beating a team. It must be easier to do at home than on the road. The first quarter effort was shocking with both Mike Bibby and Josh Smith* spending much of the quarter walking from one end of the floor to the other. The Pacers played hard, were rewarded with open shots, and scored 31 first quarter points on 20 offensive possessions.

*Smith appeared interested (in basketball, not in complaining about calls referees got right) for about three minutes of the fourth quarter. He loafed through the rest of the game and finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He's ridiculously talented.

Jamal Crawford, Zaza Pachulia, and Jeff Teague* provided some energetic production early in the second quarter as the Hawks went on a 12-5 run to take a 38-36 lead. Jim O'Brien called a timeout, the energy waned, and the Hawks scored just 10 points in the final 9:29 of the first half.

*It's a shame Teague's good work wasn't rewarded with third quarter minutes in relief of the diffident Bibby. It would be nice if some of those good looks Teague creates for big men, fell to Al Horford and Josh Smith rather than Joe Smith and Pachulia.

Al Horford showed up for the third quarter, scoring 12 of Atlanta's 24 points and grabbing seven rebounds, as did Marvin Williams and Mo Evans who were both on the court for much of Indiana's four minute scoring drought that allowed the Hawks to take control of the game for good. Barely. The early insertion of Jason Collins and Mario West appeared to have as much to do with the head coach wishing the game to be over than it actually being over. Either that, or Solomon Jones is less wildly incompetent than a rather unnecessary double agent.

I empathize with Woodson's frustration even as a feel a firmer hand with regard to accountability could have held preventative value. If effort and attitude were the test, some of the Hawks failed outright. None scored perfectly. But Danny Granger shot poorly, the Indiana bench shot worse, and Atlanta got away with a win.

2 comments:

Derek said...

I know are team is in trouble. My wife walked in last night and I was watching Celtics v Spurs, after 2 minutes, she asked, "why do they pass the ball so much...it seems there whole team is running and every player touches the ball before a shot." I told her to email Woodson.

Brett,
Not sure if you could do this, but I have noticed that a lot of C and B level talent have blown up or played well above there average against the Hawks. Kapono, Reddick, A. Johnson, Robinson, Scalebrine 1/11, Daequan Cook, etc., Is there anyway you could research or give insight to why sub par NBA players blow it up against the Hawks?

Bret LaGree said...

Derek --

The short (and, even better for a Monday morning, research-free) answer is Mike Bibby. A more thorough and better organized blogger might have kept a list of all the unlikely opponents who have successfully scored in the post when matched up against Bibby.

The longer answer is that, due to a lack of good defensive players, which encourages the constant switching to make Horford and Josh Smith and (to a lesser extent) Marvin Williams the primary defenders no matter who has the ball, the Hawks are almost always in a position of giving something up so as to focus on the assumed point of attack. If the opposition then moves the ball well enough and the player in question moves well enough without the ball, he'll be open repeatedly because 1) the Hawks are reluctant to make adjustments and 2) other teams are much more willing than the Hawks to run a play or use a certain set over and over again if it's working.

This creates the perfect storm for unlikely scoring heroics.