Saturday, January 23, 2010

CLT-ATL Game Review: Banging That Drum

Looking at the road record of the Charlotte Bobcats coming into Friday's night game in Atlanta, you wouldn't be surprised if you looked and the score ended up 103-89 in favor of the hometown Hawks.

The Bobcats now hold a road record of (3) wins and (16) losses. That is--uh, stinky. The Hawks were able to use some early turnovers, late turnovers, and some turnovers in between to score (29) points off of the Bobcats considerable gifts, helping to snap Charlotte's 6-game winning streak.

They needed it too, because Gerald Wallace (8-12, 25 points) and Stephen Jackson (10-20, 24 points) were pretty warm and the visitors enjoyed a 30-14 edge in free throw attempts for the game.

The Hawks took the first quarter 31-17 thanks to those early gifts and converting, but spent the second quarter trying to hand it back by getting comfortable around the perimeter. The Hawks lost that quarter 26-16, but came out roaring again in the third quarter, scoring (36) points to the Bobcats' (22) and took an (18) point lead into the fourth quarter.

There the Hawks continued to work the ball inside, giving Al Horford the chances we have been begging for late in games. While it wasn't always successful, the Hawks remained balanced on the offensive end and used (14) Jamal Crawford fourth quarter points to give them their final margin of victory.

Crawford scored (18) points in the game's final 13:24 and is one of the mightiest streak scorers this team has seen. While scoring all those points Crawford rarely seemed to force the shots, being assisted on (4) of his (6) made baskets in that stretch.

All the Hawks starters and Crawford shot at least (50) percent, except for Joe Johnson (7-17), including a (10-17) game from Al Horford, who responded to a decent workload in the middle with (24) points, (9) rebounds, and (5) assists.

Johnson would have joined his heavy minute brethren in the .500 club if not for a miserable 0-5 fourth quarter where Joe showed some lapses in late game savvy (early shot clock three, one-on-three break attempt). Joe was 7-12 on his other attempts and had (7) assists as well.

Manna From Heaven

Al Horford got (17) shots, including many touches in the post, Jeff Teague played 11+ minutes, and Flubber West DNP'd. In all, with the Hawks win, it was a great night for the Hawks blogosphere.

We love the energy that new AJC beat-meister Michael Cunningham has brought to the coverage. He links out to the local crowd, makes astute observations, and seems to be extremely down to earth. If you have not checked him out already, take a pause and hit up his AJC Blog right here.

Josh Smith is beginning to be so consistently solid (caution: scary!) that he is getting into Joe Johnson territory in putting up good games that gets lost somehow in some other angle. Smoove had a 6-10/14 points/6 rebounds/4 assists/4 steals night and while he wasn't credited with any blocks, we know we saw Boris Diaw wet his britches on a shot in the lane with J-Smoove nearby.

Raymond Felton turned his ankle somewhat early in the game and did not return, leaving some extra time for last year's Jamal Crawford for the Hawks, Ronald "Flip" Murray. All RFM did was score (11) points and distribute (9)! assists and post the abberant +14 on a team full of minuses Friday night.

In the battle of the #10 Hawk(s) of the Aughts, Nazr Mohammed started for the Bobcats and beat out Zaza Pachulia, who played only 6:48 total against Charlotte. Nazr picked up (3) offensive boards and (2) blocks while shooting under .500 for the 'Cats--almost seemed like he never left Philips Arena. And, as Peachtree Hoops noted in their pre-game writeup, he's only (32), putting him on the Jamaal Magloire All-Stars as players who seem older than their actual age. Feel free to drop some more Magloire All-Stars suggestions in the Comments Area.


RivBoatGambler said...

Balance Watch


Josh S ..6-10..........6

Total 8-15........3

This game was the best example of unselfish play and great passing with balanced scoring for the year. When we play like this we can beat anybody. I can't remember a time when we took a Texas trip and got a win. With this style of play there is no doubt we can. Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason Walker said...


Great breakdown--thank you! I agree--this team can take the next step forward if they go all in to this approach.

Joe Johnson's 4th quarter and Reggie Theus like attempt to stat-stuff notwithstanding of course.

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