"Good teams find a way to win. We lost the last two close games, so it feels good to come out on top like this."Mike Woodson:
"We can’t rely on [Smith] and Al to get rebounds. They were lacking in that area tonight [too]. Blatche and McGee had their way on the boards. We’ve just got to get better."A lack that's been obvious to some for about two-and-a-half years. You get better by 1) acquiring better rebounders or 2) putting your best rebounders in better position to get rebounds. The first isn't a possible solution at this time. It remains to be seen if something will be done about the second.
I don't know that a video package will do the trick. There's only so much the bigs and the smalls can do once they're inverted after switching defensively.
"At this point of the season everyone understands what they are supposed to do."A true statement, the implications of which (good and bad) a committed observer could spend a thousand words unpacking. For now, I'll not move beyond* wondering if Crawford's quote implicitly confirms the hopelessness of Woodson's quoted desire above.
*Liar. I will move beyond to note that Hoopdata has Josh Smith 1-5 from beyond 16 feet last night not 1-4 as a I figured manually last night. Smith mostly knows his role now but he also knows that there's no negative consequence for poor shot selection. He's made great strides by eliminating the three-point attempts but last night his long two-point field goal attempts passed (in 63 games) last season's total (in 69 games, 68 1/4 in truth).
"Our effort defensively has to pick up for the playoffs. We’ve been to pretty much the highest level, and we know what it takes. We have to come out and execute and play with effort."Twelfth in the league, the other four years eighteenth or lower, fourteenth this year...I'll repeat it until it sinks into the general consciousness. The Hawks have never been a good defensive team much less one that's "been to the highest level." Mostly because they haven't acquired very many good defenders.
Horford on Crawford:
"He just comes in and changes the game. He really gave us a lift when we needed him to. It was tied 66-66 and he came in and made two threes and I think that changed the complexion of the game."Andray Blatche, with a fair point regarding his seven turnovers:
"I'm not used to getting double-teamed. I just have to keep on learning from it, keep on trying to make better passes."At Truth About It, Kyle Weidie parses the good and the bad of JaVale McGee's night through text, pictures, and video.
The Human Highlight Blog at Peachtree Hoops:
Despite giving some ground up late (We heard folks saying here we go again even in DVR mode), two fourth quarter sequences stood out in a good way.
(No, we're not going to pick on Joe Johnson's airball from the corner--Geez, people would begin to think THHB doesn't like him and didn't really praise him in the Top 10 countdown and are currently trying to "run him out of town".)
One was with around 7 1/2 minutes left to go, the ball zipped in and out, and side to side, eventually landing in Zaza Pachulia's mitts near the baseline with (2) seconds left to shoot. He nailed it. Perfect way to kill clock while getting a good look. Pachulia had a nice second shift tonight and ended with a 5/3/1/1/+6 line in (18) minutes.
The other was a flashback to how the Hawks beat back the Utah Jazz earlier in Salt Lake City---using Josh Smith in the high post, looking to pass. On this play, Smith got the ball up there and looked as if he was going to pass to a shooter coming off a Horford screen under the basket. Instead, Horford slipped the screen and when JaVale McGee turned his head to potentially defend the shooter off the screen, Smith zipped the ball into Horford for a jam. Pure Poetry.