Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hawks 84, Cavs 95 or Where when the jump shots don't fall, the Hawks have no Plan B.

The Hawks lost real, real ugly to the Cavs. I mean, they only lost by 11, but they literally did not score one point in the 4th quarter until there were under four minutes left. Not one damn point. I'm not going to do a Good Bad and Ugly. I'm not even all that upset about this game, but for my article in Score this week I made the case (as much of a case as you can make in 350 words) that the offense should run through Al. I'm going to post it below and everything you see in bold is directly related to what happened in the 4th quarter tonight. Oh yeah, Marvin defended LeBron better than any of us could have reasonably expected. Kudos to him.

Al Horford is being horribly underused in the Hawks offense. Is he “undersized”? Sure, but whatever he lacks in size he more than makes up for with athleticism, quickness and determination. He is not a perfect post player, but he is the Hawks most efficient post player. He’s shooting almost 60% from the field and that’s mostly due to his hard work on the offensive glass. In other words, a lot of his points come from rebounding his teammate’s misses. One can’t help but wonder what might happen if the Hawks consistently ran plays for him. Horford is being treated like a dirty work player and he deserves better than that. Quite frankly, the offense should run through him. Jump shots will not always fall, however they will always be available. The one thing the Hawks have is a group of guards who know how to get their shots off whether they’re being defended by one player or three players. They could get easier shots if they establish a consistent post game. Horford works extremely hard in the post and there are many nights when the guys who are guarding him have no chance of stopping him. The only people who stop Horford from being dominant are his teammates. Having a legitimate post threat would make the game so much easier for the shooters. Imagine Horford being double teamed and passing the ball to a wide open Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford or Mike Bibby or Marvin Williams or Mo Evans. If the Hawks want to be a serious contender they’ve got to figure out a way to score points when the jump shots aren’t falling. It’s early in the season, but we’ve seen this team go through some awful shooting slumps. The second half of the Orlando game and the second quarter of the Dallas game were the worst. Their only defense against that is to throw the ball down low and get high percentage shots. Make things a little easier on yourselves in the New Year, and let the “Boss” lead the team.

Al had a rough night tonight, but my feelings are the same. He is their best shot at getting an easy bucket and they consistently fail to use him. If the guards are going to dribble until they're open or semi open, then at least dribble towards the damn basket. You cannot dribble for 18 seconds and still be 27 feet away from the goal when you decide to shoot. You just can't.

For more thorough Hawks analysis visit Peachtreehoops, Hoopinion, Hawstr8talk or Humanhighlightblog

No comments: