"We got the stops. We were kind of going back and forth in the first half. Then, we started getting stops and rebounding better, and we scored at the other end."One important thing I didn't include in the game recap (because I'd rather take the accurate numbers from the PopcornMachine boxscore than tally everything by hand from the play-by-play) was the difference on the glass between the two halves. Though the Hawks were out-rebounded on the game by the Pacers, the Hawks narrowed the final margin after being thoroughly dominated in the first half.
Atlanta Hawks rebounding rates by half:
Michael Cunningham reports on the Horford Treatment:
Al picked up his second foul early in the second quarter and L.D. again gave him the hook. Horford said he was “frustrated” by having to sit.Al Horford on defending Roy Hibbert:
"Just contain him, keep him off the paint and make him shoot over the top. Obviously he’s gotten better but we weren’t going to come double and just kind of let him shoot over the top."Larry Drew on attacking Hibbert the defender:
"If you play a halfcourt game and allow him to sit there he can affect the game. We wanted to get him on the move."Cunningham also reports that the Hawks made a conscious effort to sacrifice offensive rebounds for transition defense:
L.D. said the Hawks only sent their centers and power forwards to the offensive boards because they were focused on getting back in transition to cut off 3-pointers. Indiana had four fastbreak points and was 4 of 18 on 3-pointers.Roy Hibbert:
"I wasn’t able to get to my sweet spots where I wanted to go. They did a good job of pressuring me. I should be able to do more. I can’t have a real good first half and drop off in the second half."You can when Josh Powell and Jason Collins disappear from the court.
Another item on which I could have kept better notes during the game concerned shot location. I know that, of Atlanta's first 17 field goal attempts, 2 were in the paint, 1 was a three-point attempt and the other 14 were two-point jump shots. For the game, the Hawks attempted just 9 shots at the rim and another 5 inside of 10 feet. 34* of their 74 field goal attempts were long two-point jump shots. They made 16 of those (47.1%) and 11 of the 16 makes were assisted which is always a mitigating factor when examining the lowest percentage shot in basketball.
The league averages 40% shooting from that range with 61.1% of the makes being assisted. The Hawks lead the league in shooting from that range (at 45.4%), but overachieved compared to their already lofty standard.
*Josh Smith led the way with 7 shot attempts between 16 and 23 feet. After the game he said:
"In the first half, I wasn't stepping into it, I was fading. I made some corrections, and my teammates were able to find me, and I was able to knock down shots more."Smith improved all the way from 1-3 to 2-5 (including, to be fair, a three-pointer).