Monday, December 27, 2010

Atlanta Hawks 95 Milwaukee Bucks 80


Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
MIL 88
0.909 40

A positive, sound performance like this tempts one to doubt how conscious the good coaching and good play on display actually is, but let's resist that temptation and catalogue that which was good:
  • Atlanta's five best offensive players enjoyed relatively equal shot distribution.
  • Josh Smith, for a half at least, stayed inside of 10 feet and dominated offensively for a spell.
  • Al Horford used 9 offensive possessions in the fourth quarter.
  • Josh Powell received a DNP-CD and Jeff Teague played 18:19.
  • Mike Bibby had a poor night and sat for the final 13:25.
  • Jason Collins started, kept Al Horford out of fake foul trouble, drew a couple of charges, and grabbed 12* rebounds.
  • Jamal Crawford focused on getting his own shot, but did so in a team context (primarily running pick-and-roll) and was effective and efficient.
  • Marvin Williams probably didn't deserve to start the game on the bench given his recent play but a modest change of role did not reduce his effectiveness.
*Last time that happened? April 11, 2006.

Good though it was in parts, it was far from a perfect performance. The Hawks followed up an excellent offensive first half with a jump shot happy, iso-Joe heavy third quarter. Even without Brandon Jennings around to pressure defensively and penetrate offensively, the Hawks turned the ball over too often and were too porous on the defensive perimeter. Milwaukee only managed to turn 17 Atlanta turnovers into 10 points.

As for Keyon Dooling and Earl Boykins combining for 28 points (on 24 shots) and 11 assists (against 5 turnovers) and John Salmons moving to 17.4 Pts/36 and 62.5 eFG% in two games against the Hawks versus 13.6 Pts/36 and 41.9 eFG% in twenty-six games against the rest of the league this season...perimeter defense is a problem that is not going to go away for this team and, in lieu of a solution, they'll need more offensive performances like the first half in New Orleans or the bulk of tonight's game to overcome it.

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