Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Silver Lining to Last Night's Loss to the Spurs

It exists and it's relevant to the next meaningful game the Hawks will play (approximately 10 days from now). The Hawks did a good job defending the three-point line. Not so much because the Spurs shot 12.5% from beyond the arc but because just 8 of San Antonio's 74 field goal attempts came from that range. Most impressively, the Hawks repeatedly ran Matt Bonner off the three-point line. Bonner was 1-8 from the field with six of his eight field goal attempts coming inside of 10 feet. In his previous 61 games this season, Bonner attempted just 58 shots inside of 10 feet. From that range, Bonner entered the game making 48.3% of his shots whereas his eFG% from beyond the arc was almost 70%. Good trade.

this didn't help the Hawks win the game because San Antonio had three guys (Parker, Ginobili, and Hill) who could attack off the dribble and the Hawks had (at most) one guard (plus Al Horford) on the floor at any given time who could reasonably be expected to stay in front of his man and did not have Josh Smith providing help defense at the rim.

The Orlando Magic have just one player (Jameer Nelson) who can consistently bedevil the Hawks off the bounce so a commitment to defending the three-point line aggressively could pay greater dividends (assuming the Hawks are healthy) in the upcoming playoff series than it did last night.

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