Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rosen: Hawks' offense won't cut it in playoffs

After calling the win "extremely important for the Hawks' collective psyche," Charley Rosen lets loose a litany of limitations witnessed:
[D]espite their dramatic, hard-earned triumph, the Hawks' highly predictable offensive game plan precludes the possibility of their venturing deep into the playoffs.

Here’s why:

The Hawks ran three discernible plays in their half-court sets that involved more than two players. Not three plays run several times each, but a total of three plays.
Johnson was the chief practitioner of Atlanta’s one-on-one sequences. For sure, he’s mighty tricky with the ball, can finish and/or pull going either way, and is a willing passer (eight assists) when he’s stymied by a double-team. At the same time, while JJ had the ball on a string, his teammates were virtually statuesque.

The same absence of ball and player movement occurred when Smith, Williams, Horford and Jamal Crawford took their turns playing one-against-the-world.
[I]f superior defenses know exactly where the ball is going to wind up on any given sequence, they can easily force the isolator to help areas, prepare to ambush the available passing lanes, and rotate to cover dive-cutters. As the weak sisters are weeded out of the playoff picture, the defenses of the surviving teams get sharper and smarter with each succeeding round and iso-oriented offenses become increasingly ineffective.
It's not exactly groundbreaking analysis for those who watch this team regularly but it's very thorough and it's nice to have one's own observations validated and worries about familiarity breeding contempt mitigated for a time.

1 comment:

rbubp said...

Sounds a lot like the Cleveland series last year and the first three games against Orlando.