Monday, March 2, 2009

Respond, Don't React---Awww OK, React!

It's not so easy---to put aside the innate reaction to something as obvious and yet stomach punching as the Hawks 88-87 home loss to the Cleve-land Cavaliers.

The HHB can't say that the room wasn't boiling as it watched the home team blow opportunity after opportunity to score in the critical times of the fourth quarter---and eventually lose the game helpless watching the NBA Superstar (trademark pending) move the visitors ahead shooting for uncontested points.

The Official Diamond Encrusted DVR/Satellite Remote Controlleratrix was spiked---words were exchanged with inanimate objects---all of which was signifying hardly anything---the score remained unchanged.

Still---we rewind back to earlier years, when we were taught that with every situation there is a chance to respond, rather than react. This exercise teaches to take a step back from the emotion of the situation and think about things from a broader perspective---then step back in and respond, rather than the aforementioned anger induced tossing of parts in the HHB Studios.

Sure, we could rail on about the Hawks frittering away chances from the free throw line (71 percent from the line, including more technical free throw misses) or the (3) offensive fouls which stalled Hawks momentum like a holding penalty kills pigskin drives.

Or we could go back to our last salvo, given after the Heat win (or even the Fault Tolerance entry), where we pointed out that the Hawks isolation and execution in final possessions has grown ineffective.

We believe in Joe Johnson, and the last shot taken with a second left on the clock was well suited for his Killer Sauce, but the previous (2) possessions were misspent---one with Joe hoisting a shot over Lebron, when Joe was easily beating James to the cup throughout the game, a point unmentioned by the Worldwide Follower--lest it cast James in a negative light---

Sidenote: We have nothing against James as we believe he is a great player, but the love given to him throughout the telecast was something just short of Tebowish---and we believe that ESPN was using the same camera filter given Cybill Shepard during her Moonlighting run to make her look angelic---just our penny on the matter. (end note)

The other possession ended in RFM, who was very much in control on the night, but just couldn't get even the simplest of shots to fall, apparently wetting himself before barely reaching front iron on the critical shot. The pick and roll with Joe had been leveraged and RFM, who was playing Mike Bibby in the particular production, was left 18 feet from the hoop and wide freaking open. Instead of just pulling the trigger---RFM checked the wind or some other cosmic force before finally shooting, this time with a Cavalier in his face, and missed badly.

It's a shame that the Hawks chose to end the game in this manner offensively, as they had overcome the reality that the Cavs had kept the Hawks at arms length for most of the game until they started to get everyone involved---then started making shots---including a large "3" by Marvin Williams, and gained control of the game.

Still---we shouldn't react to such missed chances at making a statement, overrated as they are---all of this is stated however, to mitigate the howling over what was called at the end of the game when Lebron took the ball to the basket and got what he was looking for---a whistle.

The game never should have been in such peril. Besides, the Hawks can't let James get into that position where the officials could potentially determine the game. You have to make another player beat you---able as James' teammates are/were---that's the fact---but it's an angle/strategy that escapes the common senses of the Hawks, who have let other teams' best player (Pierce and Carter come to mind) determine the game rather than wager against a lesser compensated/accomplished teammate.

Big picture--The Hawks played good defense, adequate offense, especially with Mike Bibby only having half his normal shooting range due to his inactivity and sickness, and stayed active throughout the game---but they have to find a way to finish these things out---and in the HHB's well educated opinion, it should start with a different approach to finishing games out on the offensive end.

And that's an anger/frustration free response----though it's not as fun or a satisfying as a good spiking of some handheld object.

Off on a Tangent

A Jason Terry tip-of-the-cap to Zaza Pachulia and Al Horford who helped control the glass in the second half which got the Hawks back in the game. Zaza did his thing especially well on the offensive glass, getting (6) of his (8) rebounds in his own personal playhouse. Marvin also used his moustachio powers to get (10) boards of his own--but couldn't avoid getting Pauled by ESPN when talking about his growth as a player.

Josh Smith sat down the stretch---just sayin'.

Had to chuckle when we heard ESPN discussing the "great" signings of RFM and Mo Evans---Murray has been key, no doubt---but come on--Mo Evans is mostly repped due to a good guy persona and obvious hustle---but (14) minutes on the floor and a single shot and foul to show for it is practically punching the clock---Yes, we know---another cheap shot at the "replacement" for Josh Childress, but The Fro's absence is felt nightly by the HHB---between his gap in the roster and the fact that every other (it seems) Eastern contender is adding a key vet or two for the playoff run makes it look like the Hawks are trying to win with one half of the checkbook tied behind their back.

Again, just sayin'.

The HHB is sending mental snow brushes to the ATL after seeing the snow around the Arena---canned goods and water can be left for the masses in the Comments area.

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