Well, that was unfortunate. This game was pretty ugly from start to finish. The game started rough for both teams and the Hawks got a big boost from Jamal Crawford in the second half , which the C’s responded with sending Shelden Williams out there to show the Hawks the rocks for hands they gave up on. Here are some bulleted musings with very little material to write home about:
In the preagame, Gary Tanguay and Tommy Heinsohn bandied the idea of Tracey McGrady coming to Boston after a buyout from Houston. I scoffed at the idea then, but getting McGrady would be like getting an infinitely better Jamal Crawford to come off the bench. I never thought I’d be in favor of getting McGrady, but Crawford killed the C’s tonight and there was no answer offensively. This is all moot considering the C’s health concerns, but if the C’s play the Hawks again with everyone healthy, I’m still not sure they have an answer for Crawford.
On a lighter note, the C’s introduced an new outlet play that I’ll be exploring later on. It seems like someone on the C’s coaching staff noticed that the Hawks were slow to get back on D after a miss and they exploited it with Rondo streaking up the side of the floor and Perkins rifling the ball, hitting Rondo in stride. Rondo really used his quickness against a very quick Atlanta team. One particular instance came when Jeff Teague attempted to keep his head on a swivel, while defending Rondo on the left wing. Teague got a nice “welcome to the NBA” moment proving his swivel speed to be set at rookie level. When Teague was busy looking at the motion, Rondo crossed him up and took it in for an easy lay up. Brilliant advantage taking.
This matchup between Perkins and Horford could end up epic. They are both very young, very tough, and very chippy. They had nearly identical lines tonight, although Perk got the advantage on the glass and Horford got the advantage on the number of baby hooks in the paint. Seriously, every time I saw it I broke out in cold sweats. I don’t think I can bear a baby hook in the lane becoming an opponents “go-to” move against the C’s. Too many painful memories. Too many re-lived on ESPN Classic (on a related note, I’m currently reading When the Game was Ours and it’s great so far).
Ugghh…this game just left a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, I’m the most afraid of a Hawks v. C’s playoff matchup, but I don’t really think they’d beat the C’s in a series. Still, I just can’t stand the posturing the Hawks do after every play (and I recognize the hypocrisy Hawks fans so I don’t want to hear it!),
Speaking of posturing, Rondo had a very impressive assist to Pierce for a transition three I’d like to mention. The C’s offense was flowing to maximum capacity/ efficiency and Rondo just adeptly no-looked under hand tossed it to Pierce, only to leave his arm extended like jump shot follow-through. Hey, if Rondo doesn’t have a strong shot, he might as well be proud of his other strengths (did I say Rondo didn’t have a strong shot? He knocked down two very nice threes tonight. Alas, all for not).
Quite the twilight zone game tonight. The Hawks out-rebounded and out-assisted the C’s while the C’s out-blocked the Hawks. Sign of the apocalypse or just another road game in January? You decide.
Well that’s it for now. More tomorrow. Perhaps you’ll read some things about Pierce taking over the fourth quarter offensively for the C’s. I don’t know, I’m not a mind reader. But if you do, it will most likely include a play-by-play analysis and a shot chart. Get excited!