Well, I wanted to do a Hawks 1st half season recap. And I'm currently wasting a rainy Wednesday night watching this Hawks-Kings clash of the titans. So unfortunately, it looks like you're getting one of those half-liveblogs, half-posts that meshes about as well as this lovely lady and any article of clothing smaller than a tablecloth. Enjoy:
We pick it up with about 5 minutes left in the first...and the Tyson Chandler trade to OKC is rescinded? Wow. Everyone in New Orleans rejoices except for George Shinn. Karma's a bitch.
I hate being so Shanoff-esque, but this game really is a must win for the Hawks. They haven't proven that they can beat a quality team on the road, and a 1-4 roadtrip is a very real possibility. Add in the fact that the Hawks are benefitting from the Kings' apparant fire sale, and you
GOOD GOD! That woman behind Nique is stacked and ain't afraid to show it. Unfortunately, some of the money put into those boobs could have been better spent on some botox. Then again, she's sitting VIP at an NBA game and I'm sitting on my buddy's couch drinking a half- frozen Killians, so maybe I should just shut the hell up.
Joe misfires a three that leads to a sequence where Solo misses a dunk and Kevin Martin nails a 4-point play to take the lead. Joe just seems injured or tired out there...he's not himself.
Fucking Shelden Williams just brings down the house with a two handed jam. What the hell is going on out there? I'm glad Shelden feels the need to prove he really did deserve to hold his spot ahead of Solo in the rotation last year.
Solo on the baseline is not the shot you want to try and regain the momentum after a shitty end to the first half. Halftime fools.
Now that we're here, some thoughts on the 1st half of the Hawks season:
1. The lack of development by these young cats on the Hawks kills me. Big Al's offenseive production has seemingly plateaued. Drew and Larry (Larry Drew?) can go to the mattresses over where the problem lies on this issue; but if Al isn't getting the touches, it can be attributed to the fact he hasn't yet shown he's a more legitimate scoring option on the blocks, than say Josh Smith or even Marvin Williams. Why hasn't he developed this skill while the tools are clearly there? Therein lies the coaching question.
2. Marvin Williams and Josh Smith have shown flashes of brilliance that remind you that they do indeed have all-star level talent. Then they'll throw up a 5 point/30% shooting stinker. No consistency from these two, and still have unfufilled potential in their 4th and 5th years, respectively. Not good. But do be on the loookout for a big 2nd half from Marvin on the contract tip.
Back in the 2nd half, Sacto is controlling the pace of the game. Kevin Martin is fun to watch in a "any team prominently featuring him will suck" kind of way.
Bibby nails a big three followed by knocking down a couple free throws, which leads me to point #3 about the first half:
3. Bibby has been outstanding. Everyone has benefitted from having him controlling the ball, allowing JoeJ to free himself up in crunchtime, never turing over the rock and shooting lights out from all over the floor. Having a team of solid defenders behind him has helped mask his liabilities on that end, but there's not many PG's that would fit better with this squad than Bibby.
Between Udrih, Martin, Garcia, Hawes and Jason Thompson out there, I think the Kings combined weight out there is approximately 500 lbs and nary a bicep in the bunch. Their S&C coach definitely ain't earning his keep.
Spencer Hawes on Joe. All day baby. Joe looked like he was playing in slow motion and still ran that in.
Horford runs the break, feeding Josh for an easy layup. Usually a center trying to pull off a pass like that is girlfriend-talking-to-your-grandparents awkward. Big Al pulled that off like he was CP3. Without being a whiny ass.
Arrrgh Joe pulls up for an 18-footer in a 1-on-3. I'm convinced he's injured or completely fatigued.
Fernando Garcia plays like his pregame meal consisted of three rolls. If he was on my team I'd hate him, but I'm strangely enjoying the hell out of watching this. The fact they have Spencer Hawes throwing up 3balls helps, no doubt.
4. I know it's the last year of his contract. I know he's regressed or plateaued since his first year here (noticing a trend?). I know that his "age" ("24") may not be all it's cracked up to be, but I still see potential in Zaza, espicially on the defensive end. Not to go all Michael Lewis on you, but hes really improved his defensive positioning and rebounding ability. I think that tough/dirty persona he gained in that Celtics series has helped. As far as Euros go, he D's it up with the best of them. Do with that info what you will.
Al takes it up against a double team for an easy deuce. I'm all about it. When Joe ain't on, feed it to Al. Josh will get his points like he normally does. You can't run an offense through him. Let Horford learn on the job. Whoever the hell is gonna play outfield for the Braves will have to!
Bobby Jackson has been in for like ten minutes tonight and is probably the Kings best player outside of Martin. Pretty much sums up their season, right there. Give it to Spencer Hawes some more, though.
Annnnd....I've been on the phone for the last four minutes of the game. Take away my fan card.
After the Kings get a favorable call, Udrih turns the ball over and Joe is at the line to effectively clinch the game. These Kings remind me of the Hawks from 00-05. They. just. don't. got. it.
Joe misses the second shot, Kings ball, down by three. Maybe Joe would be better at these end-of-game-must-make free throws if he was more adept at getting to the line DURING THE OTHER 47 MINUTES OF THE GAME.
Nice offensive rebound by Marvin, and we're in the drag it out phase of the game. Solid win against a shitty team. Always gotta love a win on the back end of a back-to-back though, so I'll take it. Win one of the next three on this trip, and you're sitting pretty for the second half of the season. 32 wins! In February! I'll sleep to that.