‘Throws and ‘Fros and Euros

Pick a play. Any play. Or any plays.

Any that stood out to you the most in the Hawks’ 106-102 loss to the streaking Orlando Magic. If you picked two plays, I’ll bet I know which two you picked. Actually, I have no clue whatsoever, so I’ll just share the two that stuck with me the most.

The first one had to be Josh Smith’s coast-to-coast run, finished by a soaring, thunderous jam in front of a couple of hapless Magic defenders. It wasn’t so much of a stunner as it was a dazzler. The whole time I kept thinking “Josh, whatever you do don’t let them cherry-pick you from behind.” He didn’t. Then I thought, “Don’t try to make some insane pass play.” He didn’t. He dunked it….hard. The best part was watching the replay, where it clearly showed him eyeing his teammate, looking as if he’s going to pass it to him the whole time, then you see him get that look in his eye. All I could think was “Look out belooooooow!” Ah yes. The sweet sound of a rim getting rocked like a dance club at 1a.m.

Then there was the second stunner. It started with the steal, then the quick pass. Then the Bibby layup…wide open, ahead of Turkoglu, who wasn’t even contesting it….blown. I could not believe it. Just couldn’t. Not this close, not when it could have brought the game within two points. Well, these things happen. Still couldn’t believe it. It’ll pass. Bibby will probably re-live it for a minute, but you better believe he’ll get his sleep, and come Friday night….he’ll be ready to go to war.

As I watched this game, I noticed the number of times we missed defensive rotations. The number of times we DID rotate correctly, but to no avail,  as the taller Magic scored easily from the perimeter. The number of times we just could not seem to get an easy basket to help get us going. We sure could have used an easy basket here or there. We could have used a slick player, slipping in for an easy dunk or putback over the none-too-physical Lewis and Turkoglu. We could have used a guy with some length, who would have bothered Lewis, Turkoglu, and Reddick, as they rose from the perimeter time and time again. Sounds like a job for the Afro Samurai. With so many other things clicking for this team, he would have been like icing on the cake. Or honey on a piece of Baclava…

Not having our favorite European (Georgian, to be exact) hurt. Zaza’s  presence would’ve guaranteed more offensive rebounds, and even given Woody the option of playing him alongside Horford, which would have no doubt created some mismatch opportunities on the offensive end. As it was, Horford played a great game, and Solo showed that he is always ready to come into a game and have an immediate impact. Sure, he’s a little foul prone. But you can only learn to maintain an effective and efficient defensive intensity by playing real time minutes. Lest I stray prematurely into that tempestuous subject, let me get onto my final point….

Life at the charity stripe was awful tonight. Not only did we send the Magic to the line 36 times, but we made things worse by missing on nearly HALF of our own attempts. How did we miss nearly HALF of our free throws? JJ going 2-4 was a surprise, while Josh going 0-4 and Marvin going 5-8 were disappointments. To add insult to injury, Flip Murray, who had a good night offensively overall, went 2-4 from the line. Somewhere in Atlanta, Mark Price has GOT to be gnashing his teeth…

To sum it up, our defense was horrible in the first half, and we played catchup in that area, finally dominating most of the 4th quarter with a 21-6 run, though we stalled ourselves with the missed free throws. It wasn’t good enough for a home court win, and it won’t be when the team travels to Orlando. Another thing to consider was how and where we were scoring. Our starting backcourt had an off game, firing up a total of 34 shots, and only hitting 11 of them. The 18 assists (Joe and Bibby had 9 apiece) were nice, but just not enough. In the meantime, our starting frontcourt had a nice-shooting first half. Thanks to yet another 20 point night from the suddenly hot Josh Smith, the three frontcourt members hit 19 of-you guessed it-34 shots. Hmmm, something is not adding up here. Or rather…it’s adding up all too well.

So. What do YOU see the keys are to winning the next game against Orlando, on their own court? A couple of things bear consideration. One, Jameer Nelson is no longer the weakest link on the team. Two, Stan Van Gundy is employing a nice 9 or ten man rotation with good balance (1 pg, 1 sg, two bigs), and his bench is playing with confidence. Three, Courtney Lee and JJ Reddick are playing well enough to make the loss of Michael Pietrus go largely unnoticed, despite the fact that good shooting guards have given the Magic trouble. So there are a few points of interest. Getting it done against a good team will be a job. Getting done on the road against a good team will be an accomplishment.

29 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

January 7th, 2009
11:00 pm

Okay, that’s just STRANGE. All I wanted was apostrophes at the beginning of my words. Had no idea they’d look that crazy on the face of the page, at least until you actually click on the blog topic itself. I have got to get used to this…

doc

January 7th, 2009
11:39 pm

one was the lack of play where we didnt take advantage of jj reddick’s inability to defend. he should have been abused.

second was the play i remember where josh got too cute, being within 2 inches it seemed of the basket to slam it home. instead he seemingly took the ball out of the basket and passed it to marvin waiting at the three point line. the decision to distribute at that point was a surprise as from my vantage point he had it made and elected to play good teammate and share the ball. make one more pass josh when you are on the perimeter and time allows it, not when you have the ball in the cylinder.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 8th, 2009
12:08 am

Having Zaza back will definitely help. Morris and Jones are simply not physically ready to provide quality minutes against Dwight Howard. It’s just gonna come down to execution — defensive rotations, knocking down free throws, etc. Even if Turkeyglue and Lewis are taller than our forwards, just having a hand in a guy’s face every time he throws the shot up makes a huge difference.

On the bright side, I don’t think the Hawks can play much worse than they did in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and they still managed to only lose by a few points. If they can bring it for four quarters I think they will be fine.

Nice to see that Josh Smith dunk though. Good to know that he’s officially back.

G Money

January 8th, 2009
6:42 am

I found it inexplicable that the Hawks would come out like this after 3 days off, home court to protect, and with ground to gain on the Magic. Lack of senior leadership is what I attribute it to.

Doc, I take some umbrage at your singling Josh out. Given the leader of the team goes 29% from the field, 25% from 3 pt line, and 50% from free throw line. Yes, I’m calling out JJ. Bibby doesn’t do much better – 35% from the field, 20% from the arc, and 4-4 from the charity stripe. Josh goes 10-15 for 67% from the field, 50% from 3pt land, and 0-4 for free throws (totally unacceptable as well). Josh may make mistakes, but I didn’t see any one play that precipitated the demise of this team. In big games, the leaders have to come to play. He and Marvin were trying to fill a void.

If everyone recalls, Garnett put the Celtics on his back in the 2nd half and carried them to the W. Everyone on this blog can recall important games where the leaders/stars rise up and put in high quality performances. Didn’t happen last night. My assumption is that JJ is hurt; thus, the reason he isn’t beating anyone off the dribble, isn’t hitting most of his shots, and seems lethargic most of the game. Or perhaps, he likes playing 40 minutes plus a game, and isn’t feeling like he’s in the flow unless he has a certain number of touches or minutes. I don’t know but I find it a little worrisome. He’s too valuable to the success of this organization. The team goes nowhere without him and Bibby performing at a consistently high levels.

On another note, I was encouraged to see the bench used. It was kind of amusing to watch Morris play – he didn’t have much of a clue and I’m sure was surprised to be on the floor. He’s a big guy with long arms. Perhaps he goes to the “Solo” school of development and comes back a beast next year. Solo acquitted himself well even though he gave up way too much to Howard (ergo 4 fouls in 11 minutes).

Maybe we solve the equation tonight. Everybody has a bad game every now and then.

Would love to know from Sekou or anyone, what’s going on with our fearless leader.

doc

January 8th, 2009
7:15 am

g money josh played a great game if there was great game for a hawk last night. i was asked to discuss plays and that is the first sentence of this thread. that one stuck out in my mind and i discussed it coherently and pointedly. i came close to saying josh learns and hopefully we wont see that again. look only to the last post where i said some very positive things about josh got taken umbrage for it as well, cant win with josh. i have long been a supporter of him especially being called on the carpet by many for the fiasco that almost came of this summer’s botching of contracts to know again it is an isolated thing. that was the theme. now maybe i could say solo didnt do that or this because he isnt an icon and you wouldnt be offended however that type of play set the tone that he and the rest were playing in.

now pick your plays and be a playa. pick apart some plays of jj, unfortunately there were many and if you go over to the other blog you might find a few comments of jj as well that were of a broader nature.

i think this has the capacity to be josh’s team and should be as he is the leader in the wings; said that last year as well not this year. he has to make the right plays at the right time. that was not the right play. later he didnt defer to anyone and threw down a thunderous dunk when he could have passed. that was what i was talking about only too late to make a difference in this game in question. got it bro?

speaking of botching contract negotiations. wren and liberty are making us forget how the sund/basg coalition almost cost us dearly last year only to be rescued by the clippers and davis or the sixers and brand.

G Money

January 8th, 2009
10:20 am

Point well-taken doc. As for the plays that stick out…obviously, the biggest was the missed lay-up. Aside from that for me it was the missed fourth quarter 3 taken by JJ. Everyone was waiting for the usual heroics which were not there. They hadn’t been there all night. Frankly, with the game winding down, the biggest gaff was Woody calling another clear out for JJ when he clearly wasn’t on. It would have been great to kick it to Marvin, Josh or try something else. In thinking about it, that for me was the biggest play – not recognizing what you’re working with. You gotta go with the hot hand.

As for the team being Josh’s – he’s not ready. He will be at some point, but not this year. I wonder if that is part of the problem. It feels as if there is a push-pull dynamic going on. NBA adolescence??

doc

January 8th, 2009
10:43 am

yup g, not ready but josh is building towards it and more my point and theme the last 12 months.

ask astro, whom i enjoyed being with immensely last night and my bud melvin er milton, heh heh, if he is reading. the subject the three of us talked at length about is one of the hawks apparent short comings of not playing to the hot hand until it gets un-hot. there are five scorers at least on this team maybe six or seven if flipmo is included. they should be made to feel and act that way. the notion well played out here is woody often takes out the hot hand instead of playing to it. last night if there was a hot hand or energy it was smash or marvin, both leading fast breaks in the fourth quarter not jj or bibby. agree whole heartedly and see very common ground. neither one was in the mix for the final shot. how many times did i hear in my right ear, “why didnt marvin even touch the ball on that last possession”? milton has the answer.

if we are to take the next step marvin and josh have to be ready for it and the sooner they learn it the better. the day of depending on iso jj in the last minute is done and the sooner we break that pattern the iso jj begins to work when it is not so relied on. as a coach on the opposite bench i stop him and force the other guys to win the game, not like we did in new jersey when anyone except vince carter should have been forced to beat you. too many times we see it work for the other team in show downs at the end where the ball dribbles off jj’s foot as he is double or triple teamed in the crunch whether it is at the end of quarters or games. jj is not lebron, dwayne, kobe or even pierce (oh, i hated to say that last name) let us put that behind us and go forward.

Sautee

January 8th, 2009
11:28 am

I’m reposting this from Sekou’s blog. There was some discussion there about whether the responsibility for the loss fell on the players or the coach.

Woodson certainly has some culpability in the loss, but as I see it it’s from a scheme standpoint.

As Ray pointed out, the starting backcourt took 34 shots, and shot a poor percentage. That’s gonna happen some nights, but where the culpability lies is in the scheme that had the backcourt taking that many shots.

Look, it’s worked fairly well so far don’t you think? 22-12 is so much better than last year. And JJ and Bibby ARE our most experienced players. But when you put that many eggs in the “backcourt basket”, you’re bound to break a few every now and then.

Yes, the players must execute, and failed to last night, but a scheme that has us taking that many jump shots WILL fail if our backcourt shooting is off.

If the scheme is tilted THAT much toward the backcourt, we’ll end up putting our fate in the percentage that JJ and Bibby shoot. and that scheme is just what Woody wants right now.

We need more consistent frontcourt offense, so that we’re not as vulnerable to games of this sort. That’s on Woody to find a way.

Don!

January 8th, 2009
12:47 pm

Man, I go away for one week and we see what happens …

Look at the bright side, we’re playing better than the Celtics right now. LOL!

Anyway, this is one of those games that happen during the 82-game season. Heck our last three could have all gone either way. I would have liked to get one of those games back — especially the Nets game, but there’s going to be times like this through the season. Two years ago, this team would have been sleepwalking though all four quarters and losing by 20. Now we’re just sleepwalking for shorter periods — and in certain areas of the game.

The one thing that I appreciate about Woody’s style is that he focuses on defense. There are going to be nights where your shot doesn’t fall or the bounces just don’t go your way. But good defense will get you through that — and in an 82-game season, there’s 20 or so games where both teams are tired/unmotivated/uninvolved — and in those matchups, defense usually wins.

I think Woody will put his foot down in practice this week, and we’ll see some better defensive intensity out of this team in the next couple of games. When we came out of the box with that great start — it was all about the defense. Since then, we’ve kind of lost that focus, due in part to injuries and (dare I say it ..) players getting a bit tired (due to too many minutes?) in the second quarter of the season.

From now until mid-February is where you really make the playoffs. The cream rises to the top, because good teams fight through this grind. Good defense makes the grind easier. The last month, you’re playing for seeding. But we still need to focus on the here and now, and not take our good start for granted.

Two things will help. First, focus on the defense first. Second, keep your player’s heads in the game by having them play in shorter, focused spurts within the game. In other words, sometimes the coach needs to just say — no matter what the score, up or down — let’s just win these next five minutes.

Of course, extending the rotation to get some more time for you younger folks will help both those points … in my humble opinion.

Later,

Don!

P.S. Free Acie and Mario!

doc

January 8th, 2009
12:57 pm

from now into feruary you stay in the hunt is the way i see it don. this is crunch time grind time and the c’s are feeling it now. that is how i hop we can muster energy t stay above the mark we have set then to surge back in march. we are not at home but about three dates in february. this team will have to man up to stay where it is to have something left in march when they come home for about 11 of 12 games.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2009
1:05 pm

Sautee, I recall seeing the Hawks try hard to establish themselves inside during the first few minutes of the game. I also watched as they missed lightly contested shots in the paint and or couldn’t finish strongly at the basket. In summary, they played like wimps at the beginning. Orlando came out ready for a playoff-type contest while the Hawks were sleep-walking through the first 8 minutes of the game. After getting it to a 29-29 tie, Orlando put it in another gear that the Hawks couldn’t maintain until their furious 4th quarter rally. I think the scheme was okay, it was the lack of execution (and energy) that forced the team to play from behind most of the game.

I COMPLETELY disagree that this is Smith’s team or becoming Smith’s team. But I will agree that the team plays much better when he decides to play a physical brand of ball. We know that Horford and Zaza are always willing to bang. When Smith joins them and “man’s up” then this is a completely different team. It seems like Smith often starts out slowly during many seasons and there is usually a 3-4 game spurt when he becomes an ultra-productive player… and then that light typically stays on for the remainder of the year. The play that Ray pointed out, when he took it hard to the hole (after previously passing out of a comparable opportunity as Doc discussed) may signal that the light is green again. We’ll see. His scoring is definitely back but it doesn’t feel like he’s the same rebounder and shot-blocker as pre-injury.

Bottom line, this team still has a tendency to “go soft”. That shows up when we shoot too many 3s on offense, get pounded in the paint and/or can’t box out. While a “legit” big would help, we have seen that the simple “don’t f with me tonight” mindset also gets the job done. If we’re going to win Friday night, our front court needs to walk on the floor thinking “this ain’t the night to f with me” and then break their foot off in that Magic a$$.

doc

January 8th, 2009
1:53 pm

agree to disagree only the guy that sets the tone becomes the man. he is the only player of that stature now that can come close to the present man jj. right now he is the only one signed past 2010 as he is signed for four more years. further salt deeper into the wound is we will look like idiots when we find out he isnt available for the next year.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2009
2:57 pm

Doc, I was actually thinking about Horford. Now that isn’t to say that he will be better than Smith (or Marvin) but that he will “set the tone” (to use your phrase). When there is a missed defensive rotation, I see Horford talking to a teammate. When we’re getting bum-rushed in the paint, I think Horford will be the one to deliver the “aggressive” foul to send a message. But if we want to establish a low post game, we really need both of those guys… since Horford’s game is still a work in progress and Smith tends to stray away from the paint. Since neither are Duncan, Bosh or KG… it will definitely take the two of them in tandem to “set the tone” against the league’s elite.

honest_abe

January 8th, 2009
3:40 pm

howdy…………..

good points doc & aj.

i think the hawks are soft on some nights because they just don’t match up very well physically. imagine trying to bang with someone who is typically taller, heavier and stronger than you are. this is the situation josh and al find themselves in on most nights.

like someone mentioned earlier. jj came out real flat. i wonder if he’s 100%… he looked pretty weak coming off of 3 days rest.

yo can anyone tell me how jj reddick was blowing people up? tough loss. lets bounce back against philly!

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2009
3:50 pm

Abe, we haven’t heard from you since Huckabee & Edwards were among the front-runners in their respective parties. Stick around.

G Money

January 8th, 2009
4:19 pm

Guys I don’t know if you see it or not, but I hate to give Ando an “in” but what I am seeing is that perhaps we are tiring of the night in/night out banging inside against guys bigger and stronger. We really missed ZaZa It does take a toll, particularly if you didn’t prepare for this kind of grind in the off-season.

Astro, I didn’t say this was Smoove’s team. It could be one day, though.

Sautee, you’re right on the scheme. The reality is that other teams watch tape. They see what the Hawks have been doing. They now see how to defend it. What’s next??? We don’t have a what’s next!!! While defense is imperative, we still have to score points.

Our interior scoring sucks. I don’t think I’ve seen three interior passes that haven’t gotten disrupted or stolen. We don’t whip the ball around like we used to either. We tried a little motion offense last night, but either the picks weren’t strong enough, we weren’t quick enough or Orlando is just a better team (I don’t want to believe that one).

Doc, the guy who sets the tone is the man. You’re absolutely correct. As I said before, I believe Marvin and Josh are trying to fill a leadership void on the court. I hope they don’t have to as we move deeper into the season. That means JJ and Bibbs are stepping up.

Big Ray

January 8th, 2009
7:24 pm

Wow. The comments are off the CHAIN. I’m not surprised though, as I know most of you (at least in the online sense) and have an innate appreciation for your knowledge and insight.

Honest Abe,

Don’t go away again like that. I thought I was going to have to put the ol’ BCU Missing Persons Task Force on the road to find your crazy butt. Good to see you again, and I look forward to your rapier wit on this blog. :)

Doc and Astro Joe,

Very good contrasting points, and I can see that there is more in common than there is in contrast. In particular, I can see the concept that AJ puts out there about Al and Josh. Clearly, they balance each other.

Josh does need to get back to terrorizing the opponents on defense and he DOES need to get back to that 8-9 rpg level. But I’ll damn sure take these 20 point nights where he’s shooting above 50%.

Here’s the thing about Josh passing out to a teammate when he’s in a position to score- I recall another player who he has been compared to constantly. A guy who has much of the same game when it comes to having the ability to score, rebound, block shots, and get assists (but he shoots way better). Hell, they even gave him a name for it: The Matrix. Yeah. THAT guy. Shawn Marion. Josh may never shoot like Marion does. But he has the potential to be better than Marion is. We’ll see how far he goes.

Also, I like Astro Joe’s “Don’t F with me tonight” attitude idea. It’s hard to beat a team that’s mentally tough, but even moreso when they’re coming at you with a “I am not the one to F with” mentality. We need that edge. And it will probably have to come from our frontcourt. We won’t get it from our backcourt, though they will follow along if led.

Don!,

That 21-6 run we went on didn’t start until we started getting our hands on the ball, whether it was passing or dribbling. We showed plenty of defensive intensity….too late. We spent a little more than two quarters letting the Magic shoot from wherever. And despite what the numbers say, Dwight Howard doesn’t really beat us up that badly. Yes, 19 rebounds is a hell of a lot. But guess what? There was only a difference of one rebound when comparing both team total rebounds. But 23 points? That’s “containing” a superstar. The man works for it against Horford. Howard didn’t beat us up. The wings and perimeter guys did. And that makes no sense.

I’ll say this as well: Flip is an offensive spark plug (when he’s on). He is not a defensive spark plug, and we need one of those in the game. More specifically, we need on in the backcourt. Do we have one already (that just isn’t playing), or do we need to go get one?

Big Ray

January 8th, 2009
7:36 pm

G Money,

I have to admit that my initial reaction was to argue with Doc’s first post. But after a few seconds of thought, I knew exactly what he was trying to say (though that play didn’t stick out to me…he does that same pass a lot). Also, you’re right about the execution of the screens and the interior passing/scoring, at least in last night’s game. I think we can attribute some of that to what Sautee brought up…

Sautee,

Great points about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Every team that is able to win off of ISO plays late in the game has solid ways of scoring throughout the game, therefore lending strength to the ISO plays.

In Portland, guys like Aldridge, Outlaw, and others hurt you all game long. Then Roy finishes you off in the 4th if he’s needed.

Dirk Nowitzki is definitely the guy to go to in crunch time (well, most of the time). But without the contributions of guys like Terry, Howard, Bass, etc, he’d be worn down and even his tremendous mismatch advantages wouldn’t be all they could be.

Boston throws several guys at you all night. But in the end, it’s Pierce and Garnett. Sometimes just Pierce.

If the Nets were more able down low, they’d win more games. As it is, they still have possibly the best backcourt in the East (we’re pretty close ourselves).

The old Suns teams would kill you with Stoudamire, Marion, etc. Then Nash would nail the lid in the coffin when his scoring was needed. All because you could not ignore the others. And that’s the trick. To get by on bread and butter plays, to effectively involve the bench. To get consistent, solid scoring from a few sources. Then use your most lethal weapons at the end if needed.

O'brien

January 8th, 2009
9:00 pm

With the kind of shooters Bibby and JJ are, how come we can’t run that play the Magic did, when Nelson was left open. I think one of their bigs set a pick, and Nelson was open for 2 or 3 easy shots. Everytime we try that play, we (usually Zaza) get called for a foul.

Also, I agree that something is wrong with our scheme. Either the players can’t execute, or Woody needs to come up with a better scheme.

Big Ray

January 8th, 2009
10:28 pm

O’Brien,

I’d bet on a mixture of the two. We aren’t executing for some reason, and some of Woody’s schemes are questionable. All that aside, our defense was awful. Considering that we’re a still predominantly young team that’s just now learning how to be a WINNING team, I’d say that defensive execution and intensity will have to take a front seat to offensive execution. We’re not good enough yet where our offense can make up for our defensive lapses.

Sautee

January 9th, 2009
11:28 am

Ray,

I’m gonna disagree with that last statement. I think, unfortunately,or VERY fortunately, depending on how one looks at it, we are JUST BARELY good enough to hit enough jumpers on a GIVEN night to make up for lack of defensive intensity. This was all too true in the dozen or so games that Josh missed. And it might be the difference in our record this year, as I certainly don’t think we’ve “brought it” on defense every night.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, when the jumpers are going in. And I’m sure Woody is pounding that message home.

I DO agree that when we execute defensively and play with intensity, we’re a TOTALLY different team. That’s the team that started 6-0. That’s what we need tonight. And SHARE THE BALL! This means you Flip Murray!

Big Ray

January 9th, 2009
11:45 am

Good point, Sautee.

I should have been more specific, in that I was thinking we are not CONSISTENTLY good enough against GOOD teams to do overcome our defensive deficiencies with offensive execution alone. The reason I say this is because GOOD teams are much more likely to defend us well enough to keep our new found perimeter/jumpshooting abilities from helping us seal the game. We found that out against Orlando a night ago when our starting backcourt went 11-34 from the field. We’ve found it out against teams like Cleveland. New Jersey has done it to us, too, and they’re not even a team that has a winning record (but they match up well against us). But hey, I could still be wrong.

Big kudos to Woody for calling ALL of his players out in practice about their defense, as reported by Sekou Smith. Things always start with leadership, and Woody needs to hold his top guys accountable. I am glad to see he did that, as JJ is one in particular who needs to ramp it back up on defense, as some others have noted.

O'brien

January 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

I hope they worked on free throws in practice too.

I’m sure others have noticed that when good teams turn up the defensive pressure, the Hawks play better when they get out and run. Which is what Sekou suggested the Hawks should have done more against the Magic to wear Dwight out (and take advantage of the Magic shooters who are not that great defensively).

Even if the other team scores, we can still get out and run, especially since we struggle from inconsistent offensive execution. Maybe Woody will allow them to run more (although he says that in order to run, you must play good defense first).

doc

January 9th, 2009
9:41 pm

where did everybody go?

Frank Wren

January 9th, 2009
9:48 pm

And you thought Atlanta sports was having a rough week BEFORE…

Suckers.

G Money

January 10th, 2009
6:45 am

Hey Doc,

I think everyone is in shock. I watched the game in amazement and disbelief last night. Not in my wildest dreams could I have conjured up such a mauling. It was worse than the Christians and the Lions. Some things really are inexplicable.

Big Ray

January 10th, 2009
7:42 am

An aberration. Nothing could go wrong for the Magic, and nothing could go right for us.

However, there was also a complete breakdown. We can’t chalk it all up to simple bad luck. The bad luck just really came over the top of bad play. Everybody gets a piece of the blame on this one.

Big Ray

January 10th, 2009
7:44 am

Thing is, we’re still a team with a winning record. Time to go get after Philly. A loss to them (particularly a bad loss) would suggest that something else is at work. But until I see that, no reason to believe that we’re suddenly on the downward spiral, back to where we came from.

And the typical calls for trading Bibby or canning Woody will come, but they’re just not necessary. However, I can think of some other trades I’d make, and they wouldn’t be because of two losses to the same team.

Big Ray

January 10th, 2009
8:16 pm

New blog up, if anybody’s reading….