Saturday, March 21, 2009


We know things have changed 'round these parts when a 95-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks can bring about a feeling of satisfaction, yet still having a honest feeling that the Hawks won the game on a much less than perfect effort.

This---is called progress.

It is truly a lift in expectation when an (8) point victory over a team that used to cause problems can lend itself to what some could argue is nitpicking.

You call it nitpicking, we call it---constructive criticism.

But it's progress to feel good about winning a 7th game in a row, even if it is all home games, yet still know and expect that things can get better.

We know--Do tell, HHB, how you all think things might have been better.

As you wish:

Joe Johnson, for the second straight game, didn't score his first point until there was about 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half. He still scored (24) and had an unnoticed (6) rebounds and (7) assists. If Joe had been even a little on earlier...things might have been better.

It's been said, many times-many ways, that the Hawks lack a true big man in the middle. The Mavericks had (16) offensive rebounds, (6) of which were by Ryan Hollins, who also helped himself to three or fourt alley-oops in the half court game. Keep the Mavericks off the boards and things might have been better.

Defensively, the Mavericks were unable to check Al Horford. It is great progress to see that Al can't be checked by a growing percentage of players in the L. However, imagine if Mike Woodson actually used Al in the post, running the offense through there. If the Hawks had done this even just a smidgen more---

Down the stretch, two things were obvious. One, the Hawks were going to hand the ball off around the perimeter to get Joe Johnson a shot. Two, the Mavericks were going to commit all (15) players and the coaching staff to stop it. Suspend reality for a bit and think if the Hawks actually did something else down the stretch offensively---in other words, make an adjustment---and not just rely on Joe Johnson to hoist 1 on 3 shots. The Hawks worked the ball into the post exactly (1) time in the last quarter, and the result was Al nearly killing himself dribbling---but Woodson allows the perimeter play to fail time and time again, so one bad play in the post shouldn't rule it out for the next (3) seasons.

Anyway, you get the picture. Again---the Hawks won the game by (8) points over another "tough" Western Conference foe---and the game never seemed in doubt. To defeat a team fairly soundly and still show so much room for improvement is progress.

Last One in is a Rotten Egg

We poured over the (65) seconds that Acie Law played against the Mavericks like the Zapruder film to see what he did to get yanked so quick after checking in. He did let JJ Berea go to the hoop and score, but he played two or three more possessions after that and seemed to get the team into the offense pretty quickly without any more defensive lapses. The only logical conclusion is that Mike Woodson saw him on the floor and said "Acie Law? No, I asked for Dental Floss--There is some pre game popcorn in my teeth."

We dont know what the aforementioned Berea did to coach Rick Carlisle, but leaving him on RFM for so many possessions in a row was cruel and unusual punishment. There is a reason that RFM had a team high (+24)--and that reason stood about 5'10.

For the first quarter of the game, the Hawks seemed like they might have thought they were still playing the Kings. Whisper quiet defense allowed the visitors to get a (29) point quarter out of the Hawks, but that was all.

Carlisle must have had a Damages episode to watch or something because his tantrum and subsequent exit from the game area was over something that was very minor.

We wrote on the Twitter Hitter that Jason Terry's performance was going to be a key to the game and it was. The league leader in 4th quarter 3's and in the top 10 in scoring in that period had one of his worst games as a visitor to the arena and brought to mind some of the colder days that Jet had as a member of the good guys.

Finally, The Official Spouse of the HHB said "Did Dominique just say that a the Mavericks 'shot their wad'?" Yes, he did, baby---yes he did indeed.

The HHB 50 win bandwagon is rolling along---plenty of seats left on it---reservations and meal orders can be placed in the Comments Area.

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