|Team ||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|LAL||83 ||1.217 ||52.5 ||22.8 ||37.1||12 |
|ATL||83||1.048||44 ||16.9 ||34.8 ||16.9|
The Atlanta Hawks can compete with any team in the league as long as their jump shots go in. When they don't, they can't because they aren't, as a team, especially good at anything. Against lesser teams, the Hawks can take advantage of being not bad in a number of areas and punish the inferior team for its mistakes. Against better teams, the Hawks aren't offered nearly as many mistakes to punish (only two teams in the league force turnovers less often) and frequently fall victim to the variance inherent in shooting a lot of jump shots.
It's a game like this that gives the lie to scapegoating effort after losses. The Hawks (outside of a not-so-surprising 5 cumulative defensive rebounds from Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, and Marvin Williams in more than 98 cumulative minutes) were not lacking for effort. They grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. They scored 20 fast break points. They held Los Angeles to five fast break points. Zaza Pachulia scored eight points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and was one of six Hawks, despite the team scoring just 87 points and making just 33 field goals, to earn at least a pair of assists. Damien Wilkins got himself open enough to score 10 points on six shots. The Hawks lost, the Hawks were clearly inferior, to the Lakers not because of a relative lack of effort (unless one wishes to categorize the long-standing, organization-wide lack of accountability as a kind of effort) but because of a relative lack of talent: on the court, on the sideline, and in the front office.
Larry Drew was given a difficult, if not impossible task, before the season. If he is to succeed, he'll either have to implement a heretofore hidden solution to get this group of players easy points at the bucket and the free throw line or exhibit the courage to leverage the second guaranteed year of his contract into forcing those above him to provide more and more varied talent for him to coach.