|Team ||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|ATL ||87 ||0.92 ||48.5 ||20.6 ||8.3 ||18.4 |
|DET||88 ||1.17||53.8 ||24.4 ||26.3 ||13.6|
Detroit's plan was clear: attack Mike Bibby or Jamal Crawford in the half-court offense and push the ball up the floor to take advantage of Atlanta's poor transition defense. It wasn't a foolproof plan, the Pistons aren't nearly good enough to be unstoppable. Even in this blowout defeat, the Hawks slowed them in the second quarter and stopped them in the third. But, in the first and fourth quarters, the Pistons scored with ridiculous ease: 67 points on 47 possessions.
The rest of this recap will serve as an introduction to a sort of open thread because I haven't a clue what Larry Drew's plan was tonight. An exaggeration. Larry Drew obviously planned for the Hawks to run lots of deliberate* pick-and-roll with Bibby and Crawford. When that didn't generate easy buckets due to a combination of really poor decision-making from Crawford (2 points on 6 shots, 5 turnovers), Bibby's physical limitations, Mo Evans and Damien Wilkins combining to play 46 minutes of court-compacting offensive basketball, and competent pick-and-roll defense from the Pistons, the Hawks stubbornly pressed on with more of what wasn't working. Al Horford's lone fourth quarter field attempt and single assist for the game further exemplified the offensive dysfunction.
*The Hawks played the game at Detroit's pace and still allowed the Pistons a 23-10 advantage in fast break points.
Drew's rotations made no sense, either. Josh Powell, he of the recently sprained knee and long track record as a unsuccessful professional basketball player, sat for three quarters, then started the fourth. As if the predictable influx of poor defense wasn't bad enough, the Hawks ran two more plays for Powell in the post in the fourth quarter than they did for Horford.
31 minutes for Crawford on a night when he contributed little positive offensively and was his usual liable self defensively is unacceptable. 32 minutes for Damien Wilkins creates a similar problem in reverse. Though he's a better defender than Crawford (or, against bigger opponents, Maurice Evans as well), each minute Wilkins is on the floor further demonstrates his limitations* as an offensive player as much as it creates wonderment with how rarely he gets called for a hand-checking foul. Whatever the reason for that, there is no rational explanation, barring an undisclosed medical condition (and even then it's a toss-up at best) for Marvin Williams to play fewer minutes than Damien Wilkins.
*His uncle's broadcast protestations notwithstanding.
Moving further down the bench, following a dynamite performance against the Pacers on Saturday night, Jeff Teague received just two minutes and nine seconds of meaningful playing time at the end of the first half. At this rate, the Hawks ought to put Teague in a suit next to Jordan Crawford and Pape Sy once Joe Johnson's right elbow heals. They can call themselves "The Draft Picks" and fight crime stylishly while their elders get to play.
If you, dear reader, have an explanation for any of this, please be so kind as to share.