Sunday, February 8, 2009

No Matter How Thin You Slice It---It's Still Baloney

A popular take on the Hawks monumental 121-97 failure at home against the Clippers (now 12-39!) will be the following:

Sometimes you just have one of those nights---and will probably be followed by a sheepish shrug of the shoulders or some other "what are you gonna do" expression of defeat.

Sometimes maybe that would be true, but the HHB watched every disgusting frame of this film---once was all we could muster---and the verdict from our perch was not one of some arbitrary galactic inevitability, but something of a much more tangible reasoning for the Hawks collapse.

No defense + No effort = Big Loss

Complicated calculations to be sure--and we know that the mathematical titans over at Hoopinion probably have some similar reasoning to ours for the destruction of the Birds nest---and we doubt it will involve horoscope or 88 sided dice.

Now---we don't intend to go off on a rant here---we're sure that The Vent, Str8Talk or Peachtree Hoops can hold down the fort in this area---besides, we feel we got that out in the open when we scribed this prescient posting.

No, the HHB simply wants to call a fish a fish---and last night the Hawks looked like minnows.

We hope the home team enjoyed watching Al Thornton, Zach Randolph, and even Ricky Davis run all over their court---laughing and carrying on like they were taking all the Hawks lunch away and eating their loot right in the Hawks forlorn faces.

We hope that the effort that they didn't spend playing team defense was well worth the embarrassment of giving up a mind-boggling (38) assists and (57) percent shooting at the hands of a team that---let's just say isn't synonymous with offensive efficiency (last in NBA in FG%).

No, this wasn't a cosmic fluke that "happens" to teams every so often in an 82 games schedule---it's the natural outcome of what happens when you don't play as a team in any way shape or form at any part of the game.

They came out slow early, as is their way, gave the visitors confidence by not showing any defensive resistance---got down early---got down big early----and then let the game go without much of a whimper.

Against the Bobcats, we argued that we would take the win because the value of a win in the NBA is high---against the Clippers, the Hawks acted as if losing one game in the grand scheme of things didn't matter all that much. It shows, and really it continues to spotlight, the long way to go for the team mentally---and how they grow in this area will be directly correlated to how much further they advance through the postseason---and how few of these stinkers you'll see during the season.

The Hawks cannot show up and win, even at home--they must play together in a team offense/team defense configuration or more games like the one Saturday night will be the result--and those who want to use the "it was in the stars" defense of the team will be forced to look at the real symptoms of the team's downfall.

The HHB is busily checking the alignment of the planets to see what's for breakfast---All seers are welcome to prognosticate or comment in the Comments area.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I buy that. How often would you expect the Hawks to win with Mike Bibby in street clothes, Joe Johnson just back (probably a day or two too soon) from the flu, and Al Horford still getting back into playing shape after a lengthy absence? Perhaps it should have been a closer game given that it was, after all, the Clippers, but I'm inclined to give the team a rare pass for this stinker.

Unknown said...

I won't let your comment section go without an AMEN. Yes, I have a rant ready at Str8Talk, but getting off the plane after a week of sublimeness giddy at the thought of seeing my Hawks crush the Clippers was a serious buzzkill. What I think Ron misses is that it's not losing that brings a rant. There have been several games where I said - hey, we weren't meant to win that game, but I just watched the Bucks (sans their best player) whoop up on us at home. Now, maybe those circumstances for us allow for a loss, but they don't allow for an ass kicking. And that's what I watched last night. Be ready for the rant, but Ron E - you can give a pass if you like, but that might also be why we allow for this team to be content with mediocrity. I, for one, won't be content with mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

This team is needing some kind of boost in the worst way. In case the Hawks have not been looking at the schedule, they're gonna want games like this back in the worst way when they get through the upcoming 11-game stretch: Denver, Lakers, Portland, Utah, and Detroit on the road, among others, and their only home games against Cleveland and Miami. It is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that they could lose all 11 games after Washington!

They better start giving a damn or they'll wake up in March to find themselves looking up at lesser teams like Miami, Philadelphia, and Detroit in the standings. I'm getting a little disgusted with this. Who wants to cheer for a team that only occasionally bothers to show up?

Shaver Sports said...

Great Site Guys...I am a Cavaliers Fan from Cleveland and have you guys linked as a reference on my blog - Shaver Sports - for all things Atlanta Hawks...feel free to check out my blog - -and link it up as well if interested. Either way, keep up the good work! JD

CoCo said...

I'm not predicting gloom and doom on this extended road trip. Everyone did that in the beginning of the season and they actually played quite well. The thing about this team is WE NEVER know which team is going to show up. After all of these years under the same coach this team still has no identity. I'd be fine with losses if the same team showed up and their gameplan just failed because hey that's what happens sometimes. It takes me back to the Warriors. Not that they've had a lot of success, but under Don Nelson you know exactly what kind of team they are. They are going to shoot and run and shoot really bad threes and run some more and shoot and shoot and hope to outscore you. That plan obviously will not always work, but at least you know who the Warriors are. I'd kill for the Hawks to have an identity right now, even if it were an extremely flawed one.

Jason Walker said...

Larry--Loved your rant after this game! Parts 1 & 2, though we felt like there were some unresolved questions that we fear will never see the light of Part 3--sort of like Usher's Confessions---

Ron E---We don't doubt that there are folks that will have no trouble giving them a pass on the Clips loss---just that for us it was the culmination of a slew of games that they got into the habit of starting slow defensively that caught up with them---You hope that a team would learn from that--and now it appears that they did---

--which brings us to CoCo---young teams are roller coasters---up and down is the defining trait of this team--you can tell almost from the first 4 minutes what team is there---if it's the take-the-temp team, then it's a matter of will the other team let the Hawks back into the game---the Bobcats did, the Clips most certainly did not---I prefer the team that showed up defensively against the Whizz and Pistons---surprise!!

Jason Walker said...

Left out rb---who is right about that they better start caring---they are not good enough to show up and win--they are talented, no doubt, but their defensive effort has to be there from the opening tip---fortunately, they seemed to have gotten the message the Clippers delivered to them--when will the next come though, right?