Good game, good time, and a visit from Lady Karma
Now, that was entertaining basketball, wasn’t it?
A bit of everything, some ‘wow’ moments, not decided until the last second and I’m pretty sure as a night out or a night in front of the TV, everyone has to admit it was worth the time to watch.
And solace in a piece of free pizza today! -
The right play?
The best thing these guys run is high screen-roll and I don’t have any issue with them running with Jose and the game on the line.
Yes, Jay even opened himself to second-guessing by wondering if he needed to have the ball in Leandro’s hands with eight seconds left (you can read his quote about it in here) but hindsight’s hindsight and as the play unfolded, it seemed to me to be the right one.
Trouble is, they didn’t get the layup or the call and after watching the replay a handful of times, I don’t think there was a foul there. Horford defended it really well and it was one of those things that just didn’t work out.
What the Hawks did that was practically unnoticed, though, was defend everyone else quite well. They didn’t leave a shooter open, there were no obvious passes for Jose to make and it was just a good defensive play all around.
Long before the Bibby shot and the failed drive and Bargnani’s last-ditch shot, there were a couple of moments when the HOTH botched a couple of plays that, in retrospect, were important.
In one, they come down on a break with numbers and instead of making the easy play, a lob goes awry and the Hawks end up converting a bucket at the other end.
About a minute later, DeMar back-rims a dunk when he could have probably laid the ball in and Atlanta turns that into a basket at the other end.
Now, they may not have seemed significant at the time but they were in the end.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Raptors team commit more turnovers on fast-breaks than this one does.
Jay alluded to it early in the season, saying he was frustrated by the desire to make spectacular plays rather than smart, easy ones and it’s still an issue.
One that needs to be resolved.
Jamal Crawford makes three free throws with about 53 seconds left to put Atlanta up one (it seemed a rather impressive theatrical move to get the call now that I think of it) and I’m sure everyone in the joint expected the Raptors to call a timeout.
Except that they didn’t because I know Jay figured he’d need every one at his disposal in the final minute and there was no need to blow one right then.
Turned out to be a pretty good move, too, since the Raptors went down, ran a high screen with Johnson and Calderon and got a big three-point play out of it.
Now, if we could just convince every NBA coach to eschew timeouts like that more often – and even later in the game – finishes to close games might be a whole lot more fun.
More? I’ve got a bit more.
Remember way back before the season began? I said I thought I could develop an affinity for the Clippers because they might be fun to watch and a good story out west?
Well, I came off that in a hurry when the started so slowly and Donald Sterling reaffirmed his position as the worst owner in all of sports and Baron Davis continued to steal money after attending the Boris Diaw School of Conditioning.
Maybe it’s time to rethink? Saw a bunch of their win over Heat and they were kind of fun to watch and Blake Griffin might be the best story in the league this year.
Oh, wait. Sterling’s still Sterling and Davis seems to try about every fourth game.
To hell with ‘em.
But Griffin’s something else.
I trust the folks who took in the game in the MGD Best Seats In The House thing had a good time? Thanks again to the beer folks for passing on the tickets and, yes, we’ll do it again sometime.
I’d love to tell you how the Atlanta Journal-Constitution played up that game but they didn’t have anyone here to chronicle it.
This comes from the mail and goes to a point in the game:
Q: Doug, a strategy question for you.
1 second left in the game, Atlanta is up by one, shooting from the stripe. They make the first - wouldn't it have made more sense to intentionally miss the second shot? It seems that that one second would be spent fighting for the rebound - or at least some of the time wouldn't be there to make a play. Instead they make the shot and give the Raps a full second to make a three. Am I missing something fundamental?
1 second left in the game, Atlanta is up by one, shooting from the stripe. They make the first - wouldn't it have made more sense to intentionally miss the second shot?
It seems that that one second would be spent fighting for the rebound - or at least some of the time wouldn't be there to make a play. Instead they make the shot and give the Raps a full second to make a three.
Am I missing something fundamental?
Thane B, Toronto
A: Lots of debate about this one and I guess you could go either way.
Personally, in my opinion, you make the shot and take your chances on a desperation three at the buzzer because in that case, the worst you can have is overtime.
Let’s say the Hawks miss and the Raptors rebound the ball 8-10ths of a second left and with a timeout remaining.
Now, not only does a crazy three-pointer lose you the game, the two-point hole opens up myriad other possibilities for Toronto out of the timeout.
Now, if Toronto’s out of timeouts and it’d take a 90-foot heave to win, I might miss but the way the situation played out, I’d have done the same thing.
Oh yeah, LeBron James sprains ankle in loss to Clippers.
Karma? Yes, she’s a bitch.
Couple of little reminders.
We’ll do a Question and Answer thingy here tomorrow at noon if anyone’s interested.
And I know there are people out there who promised me questions and hellos in the mailbag (you know who you are) and it’s still pretty bare over there.
I forgot to finish my MLS Mock SuperDraft.
At no time in last night’s game did I look out on the court and think Joe Johnson should have come out of the summer as the highest paid free agent of a class that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh.
But he did.
And I’m still amazed.