Monday, November 17, 2008

Swept Away

It happens most when you have kids.

You praise them.

You laud their work in a very specific area, be it manners, grades, activities, and then it happens.

They blow it.

The very thing you were most proud of suddenly goes *poof* into thin air as you watch your kid do exactly the opposite of that which you were just congratulating them.

Rewind the to weekend---just as the HHB dared to pen a post exclaiming Atlanta's return to relevance they get caught sleeping in the nest for their game in New Jersey, which was hard fought, but the Hawks just gave out--and then returned to the ATL to lay an enormous Hawk egg all over the Philips Arena floor.

The "effort" threatens to somewhat undo what had been done during their bold 6-0 start, but really, fans and writers shouldn't jump to those conclusions yet.

A downtick was expected the day that Josh Smith went down. No team loses the second biggest piece to the puzzle and continue to excel to the degree that the team was excelling.

So now there has been a setback, and just like the test that the team needed to conquer when faced with whether or not they would build off of the Celtics series momentum they can now answer if they have the maturity to fight through Smith's injury and the negativity of a three game losing streak and use those things to get back on a winning streak.

Observations While Sitting on a Wire:

They live by the three and die by it. The Hawks have been uncanny from long range, but they seemed to get too dependant on the bomb and need to work on being aggressive to the cup. Fatigue will have a lot to do with that, but hey, it's an 82 game season and doing the right things in spite of the inevitable tiredness that goes with it is the key to being a winning club.

Al Horford needs to understand that the team needs his production every single night. He brings his heart, for sure, but unlike last season when he can blend into the fabric that is the Hawks night in and night out, he has to make his presence felt and be on the court every night. He needs to not hurry his moves to the basket and the following shot, and he needs to understand how tight the game is being called so that he can adjust his energy when it comes to reaching in, slapping at the ball, etc.

You can't depend on the bench to be your consistency on a nightly basis. The play of Ronald Murray, Mo Evans, and company can be very productive, but they are to be the extra toppings to the sundae that is supposed to be the starting lineup. So, defensively as well as offensively, the starting 5 have to be there, especially with Smith out. It seems as if the Hawks are depending on the bench's production, and that is parellel to a worker who counts on his bonus like it's his paycheck---a bad idea.

Looking forward, the HHB is confident that what was seen on weekend was a natural comedown to what was a hot start, and that is was not a return to past years' inefficiency. The team gets it's next shot at Indiana, a shot to prove that the team is truly different and that what was built over the team's first seven games wasn't swept away by a couple of bad ones.

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