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That Was Ugly: Hawks 97, C’ s 86

 

ESPN RecapPeachtree HoopsHoopinion

Pace: 85 possessions (slow)

Offensive Efficiency: 101 points/100 possessions (league worst)

Defensive Efficiency: 114 points allowed/100 possessions

Bullets (with full recap coming from Brendan later):

• Two games does not make a trend. It does not mean something is wrong with the team in a fundamental sense. But that’s two straight teams with young and athletic big men that have killed the C’s with offensive boards. Utah had 17 on Wednesday, Atlanta grabbed 16 tonight—and that 16 amounted to 41 percent of all available offensive rebounds for the Hawks. That can’t happen, and it’s how you lose a game in which you shoot 49 percent and hold your opponent to 45 percent. 

The C’s looked…old. And Josh Smith has arrived. Finally. 

• There is no circumstance in which Rajon Rondo should take just four shots in a game against Atlanta. I don’t care how the Hawks defended him. He needed to me more of a force on offense tonight, and I’m not sure why he wasn’t. I’ll have to watch the tape again. 

• The other stat of the game is obviously the C’s 1-15 mark from three. It’s only the fourth time since 2007 the C’s have made one or zero threes in a game, according to Basketball Reference. Needless to say, the C’s aren’t going to win a lot of games in which they make one three.

• The Hawks lived up to their reputation as a team that switches often on screen/rolls, and that left the C’s with all sorts of tantalizing mismatches—Bibby guarding Pierce, Horford guarding Rondo. Credit the Hawks—they were quick and active enough with their help to prevent the C’s from taking advantage of those mismatches.

• The C’s continue to have no consistent answer for Joe Johnson. Last year, when they defended Atlanta well, they geared their entire defense toward Johnson—aggressive double teams far from the hoop, overloads on the strong side, etc. The Hawks are solid enough now (offensively) at every position that the C’s, at least tonight, couldn’t afford to play them that way. 

• This was a “Hey, we sort of miss Glen Davis” game. We all love Shelden Williams, but the bottom line is that he just isn’t athletic or coordinated or whatever enough to finish around the basket in traffic. Big Baby is. Shelden of course brings unique strengths, but on a night when the C’s needed every basket they could get, Shelden’s troubles finishing down low hurt.

• The C’s continue to turn the ball over far too often for a team playing at an ultra-slow pace.

  • Micah

    we live by the three and also died by it and the fact that we couldn’t grab a board to save our lives

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Some good points. The Cs played some good D at times, but then could not finish the deal by putting a body on someone for the rebound. I don’t like the thought of Rondo hoisting up shots. Instead, I wanted to see Rondo totally focus on the D boards. Some players are perceptive & adept enough to SEE & fill the need of the team (remember how good Bird was at seeing what was needed for each moment:rebounds, scoring, passes, etc.). We all know Rondo can rebound & even steal rebounds. It’s like it’s too much for Perk or KG or Paul to block out & grab the ball with these young, athletic Hawks. They should have just focused on putting a body on each Hawk big & moving them out of the paint (the old sacrificial kamikazze move–I’m not getting the rebound & neither are you) while Rondo whizzes in to clean up the board. On the offensive end, I felt like Ray has to get more than 8 shots. Ray was 5-8, & he is much more of a scorer than Rajon. Rondo is a good scorer in the lane, but tonight the lane was choked up in a heartbeat & the refs were slow to call contact fouls (Paul got fouled 3 times–bump,face slap, shove when he hurt his knee–Hubie was pointing it out on espn). Besides, if Rondo got fouled attempting a shot, it would have been like a loss of possession the way he is missing free throws. Seems like he shot them better before the Mark Price intervention. I love Rondo, but it seems like he is thinking too hard at the free throw line. The C’s also need to really work on their low post play. KG hates to post up. He loves the mid range jumper. Sheed hates to post up. He loves the 3 point line where he lives & dies by the 3. That just leaves Perk who tries very hard & is NOT afraid to battle, but he does not have the speed or skill yet. So where is the Cs low post game??? The post is supposed to be higher percentage shots plus the benefit of a possible rebound/put back/free throw. When the bigs are shooting j’s from 10+ so much it is much harder for their size to pay dividends with an offensive rebound. They are just to far away from the hoop. I love the Cs, but they are looking kinda soft.

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