Thursday, December 27, 2007
My First Attempt at Microsoft Paint
15-12! Yes, it's early. Yes, the Hawks have slightly out-performed their point differential, which is even. Yes, the Hawks have played five more home games than road games. Yes, the Hawks are exactly one game ahead of seventh place. Screw it all, the Hawks are not only in playoff position, they would actually have home court in the first round if the season ended today. They've won five in a row! If ever there was a time to throw perspective out the window and engage in some Gamecock-style irrational exuberance, this is it!
A few thoughts on the game last night:
1. The Hawks had six players in double digits with Josh Childress right behind at eight points. A possible explanation for the team's success that is so simple, I hesitate to make it: years of being bad has given the team enough high draft picks that they now have a lot of good players. Rather than one or two superstars, this team is built on the Bulls' or Pistons' model of having six or seven good players.
2. More irrational exuberance: Anthony Johnson's assist/turnover ratio is 3.47/1. Chris Paul's ratio is 3.5/1. Steve Nash's ratio is 3.41/1. Deron Williams' ratio is 2.55/1. Those of you who thought that this would be the case after AJ was dreadful in the opener and banished to the bench for several games thereafter raise your hands.
3. I was going to compliment Al Horford and Shelden Williams for holding Jermaine O'Neal to 16 points and then I checked O'Neal's stats, which reveal that he's averaging, wait for it, 15.9 points per game. Remember when Jermaine was viewed as a star? So instead, the number that jumps out at me in the box score is that Jamaal Tinsley took 21 shots and made six. When did he turn into Allen Iverson? Did he see former teammate Anthony Johnson opposite him and think he could go off? If so, then thanks, Jamaal!
4. Last night marked the seventh straight game that Marvin Williams made at least half of his shots. In contrast, Joe Johnson hasn't hit over half of his shots in 12 games this month. I'll be interested to see if opposing defenses shift more of their attention to Williams in 2008 and if they do, how Williams will respond. Marvin is experiencing his first period of meaningful success in the NBA. Let's hope it continues. FYI, Williams also had a hand in holding Danny Granger to nine points, eight below his average. Williams and Smith have given the Hawks some very good defense at the forward positions. Speaking of which, the Hawks see Nowitzki and Lebron on the road in the next two games.
5. This seems as good a time as any to fellate myself for taking the position that Billy Knight was at least as good a GM as Rich McKay before it was popular to do so.