Saturday, March 28, 2009

...And Knowledge is Power!

Now You Know--Swept by the Celtics Edition:

  • That the perimeter, hand-off and dribble offense won't be too effective (just like last year) against teams that actually are interested in defending.
  • The Hawks attempt to out-athletic everybody instead of focusing more on team offense and defense---they beat most of the teams thanks to their abilities, but struggle against the truly good teams.
  • The Hawks simply don't go to the post with any regularity or authority.
  • Al Horford, rushing his shots and committing his move inside too soon offensively, isn't giving them a reason to go inside more often.
  • The intensity with which the team can play simply isn't seen as consistently as you see it on the truly excellent teams.
  • This team, despite it's warts, can make any game close with only a sorry bucket of team play.
  • The top teams do not waste possessions on either end of the floor as much as the Hawks do. The Hawks may be in the top (5) in turnovers, but that stat doesn't measure poor decision making.
  • Joe Johnson is great and can create many shots for himself, but that doesn't mean he is at his best or even close to his most effective when he is doing so.
  • Josh Smith's shot blocking presence inside simply isn't felt in the same way as in previous seasons. He got (3) blocks, but rarely did it feel like the Celtics were intimidated or moved in any way by the threat.
  • When the ball stops for the Hawks, so does the offense.
  • Mo Evans and RFM have indeed been excellent pickups off the bench, but in top games, the bench can only be an accessory, not the primary point of attach or production.
  • The Zaza Pachulia in the starting lineup maneuver, endorsed by the HHB, didn't seem effective or great in any impact.
  • It's not right that Stephon Marbury can have his best game this season by knocking down 4-5 for his (11) points or that the Hawks never can get that key addition to give themselves some depth. It will be a clear indicator that the team/franchise has turned when they can.
  • Statistically, the game looks a lot closer than it felt--in large part to the Hawks playing one quarter with the urgency that should be used in all four.
  • Some teams/staffs can take a second round player like Glen Davis or Eddie House and develop him to the point where he can darn near dominate a game here and there. Other organizations seem to squander talent, misuse and misappropriate their skills, and let another draft pick go unproductive.
  • Doc Rivers took it as an offense when the Hawks would get hot at all. He used his timeouts to defuse the crowd any time the Hawks were making a run.
  • If the idea is to see if the Hawks would play any differently against the Celtics than they did against the Spurs, we have to say we didn't see it. The Hawks always seemed to be at arms length.
Trying to put a finger on exactly who or what beat the Hawks 99-93 against the Celtics doesn't seem like a worthwhile exercise. It's hard to assign specific fault or blame when the analysis comes back with the fact that the Celtics believe in and execute team basketball and the Hawks don't show that they understand what that concept is all about.

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