"We didn’t come out ready to play. It wasn’t pretty in the locker room at halftime. I thought we came out and played Atlanta Hawks basketball in the second half, but the effort came too late."At least we're at the point where "Atlanta Hawks basketball" is (accurately) defined as trying to outscore a poor offensive team. The 64 second-half points the Hawks scored were impressive (though I don't think Charlotte matched their first half defensive intensity in the second and the Hawks decided to play 5-on-5* for the entirety of the second half) but allowing Charlotte 50 points in a half is acceptable only in comparison to allowing them 59 points in the previous half.
*The Hawks were outscored 30-12 over 20 possessions when Mario West was on the court in the first half averaging an offensive efficiency of 60 points per 100 possessions and a defensive efficiency of 150 points per 100 possessions. Bad as the first half was for the Hawks, they were only outscored by five when they filled their allotment of players on the court with real, live NBA talents. And that's with Joe Smith playing 13:17 of the first half..
"It was helter-skelter in the first quarter. After that we turned it around. I think they caught us a little off balance [without Johnson and Bibby]. I think we will be better [at Detroit]."Josh Smith:
"We got off to a sluggish start."Smith then perked an grabbed his first rebound with 4:18 left in the first half.
"We are looking to see what guys are willing to step up and play in the absence of other guys. We want guys who are not scared and can add that extra depth."I don't think willingness is the issue so much as ability.
Jeff Teague on his slow start to the game:
"That let me know what I need to work on. I was timid at first. When you are a rookie making your second start and things go bad, all of that is in your head."Woodson on Teague's second half performance:
"Jeff Teague came in and was more aggressive offensively and pushed the ball. I like the way we competed in the second half."Crawford on Teague:
"The rook' was good. That’s what it’s all about is getting experience and getting comfortable out there."Josh Smith on Teague:
"Jeff Teague did an outstanding job. He may have been a little shaken up in the first half but he came back in the second half and answered the bell."At Peachtree Hoops, The Human Highlight Blog assays Jeff Teague's extended run:
I thought Jeff Teague played fairly well. Though his shooting was suspect (3-10), his 6:1 assist/turnover ratio was right on, and he helped break down the Bobcat defense more than a couple of times by his ability to penetrate and dish. Teague needs more reps to get the defensive part down, because he got lost on switches a couple of times, freeing up Felton and Augustin for some open jumpers, but I see Crawford, Bibby, and Joe get beat on those type plays as well. The Hawks can't afford to have Bibby get another year older (and sources tell THHB that he will) and not have a defensive ready PG ready.Michael Cunningham reports* on the injury that prevented Zaza Pachulia from returning to the game:
Besides, for the plays that Teague does miss, he does possess the ability to use his quick hands to make some plays on defense as well. The Hawks can't be all high and mighty on Teague when it comes to defense when they have Bibby out there unable to stay with his man and Crawford simply getting beat on his. And we don't have to remind about Smoove's proclivity to jumping the passing lanes and the resulting 5 on 4 that ensues when he doesn't come up with the ball. Teague also can get out in front of the break and set up Al and Smoove as he did late when he was able to get out, draw the defense and flip the ball to Josh for a layup. Just play the kid.
Pachulia said he has tendinitis in his right hip flexor. He has also struggled with tendinitis in his left hip this season.Pachulia:
"I stretched it and warmed it up really good. I went in the game and it got worse and worse."*Cunningham also reports that Jason Collins has a right foot injury that left him unable to play last night (in the physical rather than absolute sense).
In further injury news, Mike Bibby doesn't know if he'll play tonight in Detroit and Joe Johnson could return Friday.
"We played great in the first half and got a great win. We needed that. Every time we get a win like that it's a step closer to getting in the playoffs and that's our goal."Gerald Wallace:
"We're not worried about their team. We were worried about our team tonight. The season is almost over. If we're going to do something, the time is now. It's time to prove we deserve to be in the playoffs. We've got five games left."Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer on the home team's hot start:
Granted, beating the Atlanta Hawks anywhere, anytime says good things about the Charlotte Bobcats.Atlanta's loss clinched the Southeast Division for Orlando.
But how they won Tuesday, particularly how they started this game, was the message the Bobcats should carry from a 109-100 home victory.
They trapped assertively from the start, disconnecting the Hawks from whatever they planned to run. They shared the ball freely. They spent as much time at the foul line as anywhere on the court.