Nets shredded, Celtics next

Nothing like a blowout in our favor to stave off the drama for a few seconds, eh?

Be honest. You know it was against the worst team in the league, but you’re still glad it was a blowout. Because anything less would be an indicator that the recent problems plaguing the Hawks had not gotten any better, and may have gotten worse. So a moment’s reprieve, and another win. Would it have felt better if it was a road win, rather than a home win? Maybe, maybe not. It wouldn’t have mattered to the New Jersey Nets, who are losing no matter where they play. But it might matter to the Hawks. Or, maybe they are just glad to get back to playing the way they should and winning. Of course, the true test of mettle awaits, and it comes in the form of the Boston Celtics. But more on that later. For now, let’s indulge in a diversion of sorts.

We’ve discussed (and will continue to do so) all the things that we see happening in games, and like the collection of broken records that we are, we keep posting them. Sometimes we manage an artful “theme and variations”, but in the end it can get repetitive. Of course, such is our nature as fans.

Fellow Hawks fan Astro Joe offers another take on things and writes the following:

How about a “why do you think?” blog?  Instead of asking folk to judge or criticize, challenge them to think of why?
 Why does Woody run the iso play in close/late games? Why does Josh whine to the refs? Why does Joe turn into a ball-hog at certain points in the game? I don’t know, maybe that’s just a silly game that I like to play… not always judging but trying to gain an understanding from the perspective of that player/coach. Of course, it starts with a base assumption… that no one intentionally wants to fail. 
Very insightful, I think. It IS so much easier to judge and criticize. Every fan is a critic if he/she has an opinion at all.  Attempting to gain understanding from a different perspective, now that’s a change of pace, and not a silly one. So let’s look at the three questions above. I’ll start off by giving some of my own guesses, but don’t be shy….add yours.
 
Why DOES Woody run ISO plays late in the game? 
A coach is going to do what he is most comfortable with. If he is most comfortable with putting the ball in the hands of his most potent offensive players, that is what he’s going to do. It doesn’t matter if it works all the time, it has to be something the coach thinks has the best chance of being successful. Perhaps Woody feels that sharing the ball and running different plays is all well and fine for the bulk of the game, but if the chips are down…he wants the ball in the hands of the guy or guys he is most comfortable doing that with. Not all teams have more than one guy who is equally as dangerous as another. For instance, the Spurs have Duncan, Ginobilli, and Parker. Any one of the three spells trouble for the opposition. Do the Hawks have a trio of assassins? Mike Woodson may not think so. He’ll want the ball in Joe Johnson’s hands. Failing that, maybe it will go into Crawford’s hands, or maybe Bibby’s. But nine times out of ten, it will be Joe.
 
Why does Josh whine to the refs?
This one isn’t going to be easy. Or maybe it is. Personally, I don’t know what Josh is thinking, but I do know that he has to stop thinking it sometime soon. If not, it’s going to be a fairly long rest of the season. Josh Smith has worked on his game, and he has improved. On top of that, he has matured and learned to make better decisions with the ball. Does Josh feel that he’s good enough to be entitled to some calls? It’s possible that he sees how the officials tend to treat Joe Johnson, and doesn’t want the same thing happening to him. I don’t think Josh realizes how he sounds or how he looks to the refs. He wants respect, but he doesn’t know how to get it from the officials. And it seems that nobody is lending a hand in this matter, though on occasion his teammates have realized that when he lets fouls and foul calls take him out of his game, the team suffers from it. On top of all of that, aggression is Josh’s game. Emotion is Josh’s game. Both have to be channeled in such a way as to benefit the individual and the team as a whole. Perhaps this is just another step in the maturity and growth of Josh Smith. He has improved on fundamentals and decisions. But he also has to learn other nuances of the game, such as player-to-referee “politicking.”
 
Why does Joe turn into a ball-hog at certain points in the game?
This can be a controversial subject. You have to ask yourself, is Joe really a ball hog? Is it ball-hogging when he takes the most shots in a game, or throughout a period of the game? Maybe that’s part of the normal game plan. As versatile as this team is, Joe Johnson is still the leading scorer and the best player on the team. Right? Heh heh heh. There will be some argument as to that particular statement alone….some will say that Joe is no longer the best player on the team. Others will say he is no longer the best player “head and shoulders above the rest.” But back to the original question: why does he do it? Again, this is very likely a staple of the normal routine. Give the ball to your leading/best scorer. What’s abnormal about that? The ensuing question is probably this: WHEN should Joe dominate the ball during a game? And this goes back to the first question. A coach is going to implement what he feels most comfortable with. Joe “hogging” the ball may be that comfort zone. Is it the best formula for success? Probably, if you have the right caliber of player, and use this tactic at the right time. Does this apply to the Hawks? Hmmmmm.
On the other side of the coin, what about Joe? Maybe Joe dominates the ball because he feels most responsible for providing offense. After all, that’s one of the biggest reasons he was brought here. Maybe he feels that if the ball is in his hands, he can get done what needs to be done, whether it’s scoring or making the play. Knowing when to do it and when NOT to do it is no cake walk. Look how long it took Kobe to figure it out. Lebron James still may not have the concept down pat.
Now it’s your turn. Why do YOU think those things happen? Don’t be shy. Blast away!
 
HAWKS VS CELTICS
 
Boston just survived an overtime thriller against the Heat in Miami, and will be flying in to meet the Hawks in the Highlight Factory. After that is another flight to Toronto, where they’ll face the Raptors, before flying back home and playing the Hawks again. No doubt the Celtics plan on making this a 3-0 road trip, but the Hawks will have other plans.
Fresh off a demoralizing loss to the Heat in Miami, the Hawks mopped the floor with the New Jersey Nets and got back to doing mostly what tends to work best for them: playing defense, outrebounding the other team, and running the break when the opportunity presents itself. The starters got to sit down for a good chunk of the second half (mostly the 4th quarter) and the bench got some burn. Now both teams take Thursday to prepare for each other.
 
In the last game…
The Hawks beat Boston for the first time since game 6 of the first round in the ‘07-’08 Eastern Conference playoffs. Even better, they did it in Boston. How did the Hawks manage this? Well, with Boston shooting a little bit better percentage, Atlanta had to gain advantage elsewhere. And they did just that by hammering the Celtics on the boards with a 47-29 advantage, including 16 offensive rebounds. The loss put the Celtics in a moment of doubt, where they lost games to Indiana and Orlando (sandwiched around a win against Golden State) before they embarked on an 11 game winning streak and rose back to the top of the Eastern Conference heap.
The Celtics will be looking for some payback. The best way to get revenge against a team who has beaten you on your own court? Beat them on theirs.
 
Keys to The Game
 
The Celtics are absolutely bent on being the best defensive team in the NBA. Few things demoralize a defense more than a three point play, but one of them is an offensive rebound. The Hawks will have to pound the Celtics on the boards as much as they can, and on the offensive end especially. Atlanta will want to limit fast break opportunities for Boston and get second chances when bad shots are taken offensive rebounds will do that. Defensively, it should be a titanic struggle. Both teams are/can be good at contesting shots, denying passing lanes, and creating loose ball situations. The Celtics are far more consistent where this is concerned so again….rebounding will be key.
Jamal Crawford is a weapon to be used against the best of teams. In the last contest, he came off the bench to score 18 points, which was just 6 points shy of what the entire Boston bench managed to muster. Crawford provides what he was brought here to provide: Joe Johnson level scoring, when Joe Johnson is not in the game….at a quicker pace and in less time, at that.
Rajon Rondo is the new Celtics Linchpin. Oh, Garnett is the heart of the defense and Paul Pierce is the team leader. But this year, Rondo seems more and more to be the one who puts the Celtics over the top when all else is equal. Don’t be fooled by his mere 13.2 points per game. Rondo can and will explode for 20+ points at any given time. More importantly, he’s shooting over 52% from the field. Oh, and he’s averaging just a hair under 10 assists per game, and 4 rebounds per game. This from a point guard?
 
The Flip Side
Okay, we all know that Josh and Al are big keys to this game. Who is the X-factor in this matchup, though? Who puts Atlanta over the top. Crawford? Or somebody else?
 
Hate is Good
 
In this case, it really is. No really, just hear me out: The Hawks hate to lose to the Celtics. And I think that’s why they play them so hard. I don’t know whether it was because THIS Hawks team cut their playoff teeth with the Celtics or if it was the fact that after taking them 7 games in the first round of the playoffs, nobody even remotely involved with the Celtics (except Doc Rivers) would give the Hawks the credit or respect for being anything remotely close to a rival. While Boston is clearly “Big Three” and Atlanta is still “best of the rest”, it seems that the Hawks come ready to do battle at the very mention of the Green Machine. Maybe if the Hawks hated to lose to other teams as much as they seem to hate losing to the Celtics, they’d win even more games. I don’t know. What do you think?

179 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

January 7th, 2010
10:14 pm

Yeah… I’m convinced that we would end up with PJ Carlesimo or Bob Hill.

Big Ray

January 7th, 2010
10:53 pm

First off guys, let me tell you that the repartee here has been FANTASTIC. This has been some of the best reading of posts in a while, if you ask me. Looks like Astro Joe’s idea was a hit! And all it took was a little ol’ e-mail (hint, hint to the rest of you).

Second, the spam filter is on hyperdrive. Sorry if not all of your posts are coming up right away. As I’m able to check into the system and check up on comments, I find what’s in the spam filter and sift through it. If some of your posts get eaten by the “blog monster”, don’t feel bad. I posted a few comments on this blog and others in past blogs on “general use” computers at work, and watched my own comments get swallowed up as well. Since more and more are getting digested, I’ll have to check more frequently.

One thing though: when your comment gets rescued, it posts at the time you actually submitted it. So if it’s 11 pm now, but you posted at 9 am, a rescued comment will show up at 9am, not 11 pm.

Addressing a few people/topics:

Daniel ,

No, man. No way. I was pontificating along with you, nothing more. I just felt that while Smith has his issues, he has been trouble free in so many ways that it’s been amazing. Look at other talented youths over the years, some with college experience, some without- Leon Smith (anybody remember him? 1st round pick of the Spurs in ‘99), Eddie Griffin (RIP), Michael Beasley looked like he wasn’t gonna make it for a second there, Javaris Crittenton (he just deep-sixed himself), and many, many more.

I’m not a big fan of AAU ball, but it exists, and I’m not going to bash it completely. Some good things probably happen there, but I’ve never gotten close enough to know, so I can’t judge too harshly. But AAU isn’t the whole story. Josh had no college experience, which would have helped. And then he had no veteran player or players in front of him until this year, where he can learn from Joe Smith some. But that’s 4 years of NBA experience, most of it as a starter, with no mentor. Not good for a kid coming out of high school, without the otherworldly talents (and more importantly FUNDAMENTALS) of other high school-to-pros types such as Garnett, Kobe, Jennings, etc.

Nah, I’m not trippin’ off of your reply. Just puffing my cigar alongside your pipe in the “thinking room”…. :)

Astro Joe ,

If we got PJ Carlesimo, I’d petition Rick Sund to sign Sprewell to a 10 day contract, just to choke him out again….same with Bob Hill….

MannyT ,

Great posts. Especially on the “why does Joe ball hog” question.

Niremetal ,

What the heck. I’ll leave them both up. By the way, caught some of your other posts in the spam filter. They’re up now….

Astro Joe

January 7th, 2010
11:28 pm

nire, are you suggesting that we will win 47 or fewer games this season?

How many sterling seasons has Diaw had? One (two if you include this year). Excuse me if I don’t get overly excited by a 10-12 point a game scorer… especially at $10M/year.

Joe blew one lay-up in Chicago after missing a shot in the lane against a smaller defender. There was NOTHING wrong with either play… the player just missed. And of course, your time-based analysis of how long since we’ve won a close game is wildly misleading, giving the number of blowout wins we’ve had in that span. But hey, we all embellish sometimes, right?

nire, where did you predict the Hawks would finish this season? 2nd? 3rd?

Big Ray

January 7th, 2010
11:32 pm

doc

January 8th, 2010
12:06 am

well saban aint singing moon over miami is he? would have liked to see the game if colt had played.

niremetal

January 8th, 2010
1:08 am

I said 3rd, AJ, ahead of either Cleveland or Orlando.

niremetal

January 8th, 2010
1:11 am

This roster is good enough to win 55 games, and it’s good enough to get to the ECF. I’ve said that ever since we signed Joe Smith. But under Woody, I doubt we get higher than 50 wins and I seriously doubt we make it past the second round of the playoffs.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
7:00 am

Good to see Astro clicking on all cylinders… it immediately takes the blog to a higher level.

Nire, you are relentless arguing all points worth arguing. Aren’t you studying to be a Lawyer? You’ll be a terrific one.

My take:

Woody goes ISO on account of a cumulation of factors:

1. Lack of a point guard who is able to breakdown defenses with his dribble (sorry folks, JT0 is not there yet);

2. Lack of X-O’s skills;

3. Fear of looking for other options which may end up in a TO;

4. He trusts JJ.

The consequence of this is that either:

1. JJ manages to get by the defense and is hacked without a call going our way (many times);

2. JJ is completely boxed in double or triple team defense away from the basket and immediately after he crosses the half court or receives the ball from the sideline after a TO.

Since everyone knows that the only play in crunch time is ball » JJ » ISO this makes it really easy to defend); or

3. JJ launches a bad shot and misses in 70/80% of the tries.

Why Josh complains so much:

1. Because he is right in 70% of the occasions and does not get the calls.

2. Because he is immature and childish, although good hearted.

Why does JJ ball hogs… Again, due to a number of reasons:

1. He believes he is slightly better than he is and he came to ATL to be THE MAN.

2. Because he is given that responsibility and Woody does not know enough X-O’s to get him better shots.

JJ would be DEADLY if he got the game winning shots out of screens. When have seen him take shots this year out of screens every once in a while and ALL GO IN.

His stroke is smooth and quick even without his feet set and the Hawks employed a bit of X-O’s on their offense we could be vastly more effective.

Overall I think that Woody is a very likable fellow and has done a very good job, however, unless he evolves, I think that the Hawks have reached the point where they have outgrown his coaching skill set.

Also, I am not impressed at all with John Drew’s ability: against the Nets we were smoking hot but playing a very unbalance type of BBall.

If by any change we had gone cold we could have been in trouble because the team was playing exactly in the same way that kills us against better teams and when out shots are no falling.

Whilst Glenn said during halftime that the Hawks were playing too dependent from their outside shot and should hammer the Nets inside, Drew said that out offense was doing great and that we should continue to play exactly the same way.

It worked, but only because the Nets’ perimeter defense was non existent and we were hot beyond any reasonable levels.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
7:07 am

A few major typos: “We have seen…”, “If by any chance…” and “Drew said that our…”

doc

January 8th, 2010
8:29 am

yeah, it is good to see aj back at work … heh heh

vava74

January 8th, 2010
8:55 am

Yet another major “LARRY Drew”!

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
8:58 am

vava- you should be ashamed with all your typos. I mean my Portugese is perfect…. Just messing with you, man. Quit being so hard on yourself.

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
8:59 am

Hey vava,
will you root for Spain or USA in the World Cup?

doc

January 8th, 2010
9:00 am

vava at halftime drew also said we had done a pretty good job on nate in the first half and no adjustments were necessary. ouch!

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
9:05 am

Alright, I am going out on a limb here (not a real stretch for me)

I say we sweep this weekend two wins against Boston and one against Orlando and come Monday the top 4 in the East are all within a game and a half. The Hawks put that miserable 4 games behind them, Clyde is so happy with Alabama he actually says to keep Woody. Rod loves Marvin’s clutch play and aggressiveness and Nire says it is not about stats its about wins!!!!

Hey, it is frozen outside so maybe H*ll has frozen over.

wordsmithtom

January 8th, 2010
9:14 am

Daniel, I want some of what you’re smokin’

Growing concerned about the poor use of the bench. Like last year, this will bite them in the butt. Not just Teague; but Smith isn’t getting much play.

Feels like Woody is playing scared. In the pool hall, we have an expression: Scared money can’t play. Well, this coach acts as if he’s coaching scared. In the long run, that’s a recipe for failure.

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
9:22 am

wordsmithtom- My tongue was firmly planted in my cheek on that one. But, hey I am rooting for it! I think Joe Smith’s playing time is due to his age and injury. To be fair to Woody, Teague has been very erratic again with his play.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
10:08 am

Daniel,

You’ve asked and I’ll answer: I’ll root for USA.

We have an historical rivalry with Spain which completely overrules rooting for them. Since inception (1149 – our date of independence) Portugal was embattled against either the realms which preceded Spain or against Spain itself.

For the less knowledgeable in world history, at a certain point in time (1494) we signed a treaty with Spain whereby we split the world in two hemispheres giving exclusive exploratory rights to half of the world to each nation.

This was called the “Tordesillas Meridian”.

Under the treaty Portugal got a bit of South America (because we already had secretly reached Brazil and found America a good few years before Columbus), all of Africa, the Indian Ocean (including India which was Columbus objective) and all the way to Japan.

Spain got most of America, the Pacific Ocean and the a bit of the Philippines. A bit later we traded the Moluccas Archipelago for a bit more of Brazil, thus moving the Meridian a bit further to the West.

Also, during a short period of time and due to a dynasty hiccup we shared the same ruling kings and lost our independence (1580 – 1640).

Overall I like Spain a lot: they are a lively people and have a certain “pizazz” that we lack. We are the least latin of the latin nations since we did not have the benefit of having the Mediterranean Ocean bathing our shores and giving us easy access to trading routes to other nations (we only face the Atlantic which, on wooden boats made trading and inter cultural exchanges far from a joy ride).

However, in spite of the fact that Spaniards individually (or in small groups) are a very likable people, as a nation they are quite annoying most of the times.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
10:13 am

doc,

Drew is the offensive coach… so what does he know? (I know that he should know)

Also, during the first half we had Teague on Nate for a few minutes, didn’t we?

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
10:14 am

vava- Great answer man. Thanks, It is really cool to get your perspective on this stuff. That is kinda what I thought you would say, but wasn’t sure.

I will actually root for Spain (love Torres and Alonso– I am a Liverpool guy) and even England. USA first though!!!! I will certainly be rooting against France like everyone else. Henry should be ashamed to show his face.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
10:32 am

Daniel,

Interesting preference in English football.

I am sure that you know that Liverpool is one of the most hated clubs, if not the most hated club in England and the people from the city itself are also commonly referred to in a derogative way due to their lack of sophistication and horrible accent.

Football (soccer) is such a rigged sport that I don’t watch it any more, however, my preference always went to Argentina since my parents were immigrants there (my mother grew there, came back to Portugal for a short period, met and married my father and he went back to Argentina with her, where my brother was born).

Consequently I typically root against Brazil which is a rare occurrence here in Portugal since they were our colony and we speak the same language (although the difference between portuguese portuguese and brazilian portuguese is far greater than british english and american english – the best comparison would be between british english and the english spoken in american streets. To add up to the black people introducing their own input to the way portuguese is spoken in Brazil, they also had a lot of immigrants late 19th/beginning of the 20th century (in particular italians) who added their own “flavors” to the language.)

Can you notice that I have a lot to do in my office but I am avoiding doing it by wandering around these marginal issues??

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
11:15 am

yes, I know we are “hated” to some extent. I am also a fan of a lower level club called Luton Town, which is just north of Heathrow, kinda immigrant slummy area. I just feel allied with the “leftovers”. Plus, Gerrard is my favorite player of all time.

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
11:17 am

We have some cold weather (18 degrees) and a little snow, like an inch so the whole city is shut down for the most part. That is why I have so much free time at my desk today as well.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
11:21 am

well, I don’t have the free time… I am just procrastinating!

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Vava ,

Your 7a.m. post….off the chain. Very good, very interesting answers.

Daniel ,

Your 9:05 post….great stuff. And going out on a limb is what it’s all about!

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
11:47 am

Larry Drew is the offensive coach? I heard he was the “pg” coach, but I don’t see much evidence of that either.

I recall the attempted mass exodus of the Hawks assistant coaches when Billy Knight was still here (hey, one of them actually made it outta here to the Heat staff).

I recall Woody saying a year or two ago that he fought his assistants all year long on a couple of issues.

And I can only think that Astro Joe has it right: Woody is most likely rather poor at delegation….

vava74

January 8th, 2010
11:55 am

Big Ray,

Thanks for the props!

Your post – and Astro’s lead – were excellent topics since they touch the chord of most of what is discussed around here apart from Truth-Serum’s usual nonsensical posts, Rod’s pet hatred on Marvin and JeJe’s general negativity …

doc

January 8th, 2010
12:01 pm

vava, the point is i think he was maybe part of the discussion and planning that went on at halftime. i figured he maybe over heard something of import to pass on to the listeners.

vava dont forget the capacity to scroll a very powerful instrument. sometimes it makes it go away completely. it is kind of like if a tree falls in the woods does it make any noise if no one is there to hear it?

doc

January 8th, 2010
12:12 pm

daniel @ 9:05 ROFL.

hmmm caps still work.

doc

January 8th, 2010
12:18 pm

uh ray i said that woody doesnt delegate first aj for once was agreeing with me. heh heh

the latter was more important to say than to correct you and get the cred placed on my crown where it is deserved. ;-)

i know, you cant remember everything, only think you do.

doc

January 8th, 2010
12:19 pm

so i guess i can say officially; “hey ray, thanks for the non-props man!!!”

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2010
12:21 pm

Ray, I think that Drew produced a “How to be a PG” instructional DVD for kids. Kind of ironic, huh?

If I remember correctly, Drew wanted to get to Cali so that he could be closer to his son for his senior year in high school. Now, his son is playing for UNC… so I wonder if he would prefer to join LB’s staff.

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
12:31 pm

doc- thanks for the props man.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

Big Ray,

I’ve seen somewhere that Larry Drew had more responsibility on our offense as opposed to other assistants. Maybe I’m wrong but I was under this impression.

doc, I am afraid that I am not following you on this last one. Are you talking about by off-topic posts taking up too much space in the blog?

vava74

January 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

“…my off-topic posts…”

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
12:45 pm

vava- He was referencing your statement about JeJe and Rod. He was agreeing with you. Not that doc needs me to post for him…. just did it anyways.

vava74

January 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

OK. That make sense!

I felt that doc was a bit cryptic since I did not feel that the references made to TS, RD and JeJe were that relevant and did not look at his post with that in mind!!

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
1:05 pm

BLOG CREDIT CORRECTION:

It was indeed Doc who said Woody may be poor at delegation, and Astro who agreed.

Ok, we return you to your regularly scheduled programming….

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
1:07 pm

Astro Joe ,

Irony indeed. As to why Drew wanted to move, I can’t argue with your synopsis, as I don’t really know why. I just recall that he and one or two other guys were trying to get the heck out of dodge at the same time. Don’t know if that was because of Woody or not….

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
1:08 pm

Daniel ,

I see you liked my “defense” of JeJe on the other blog…. :)

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

Yeah Ray… that was some good stuff, he and I don’t get along. And I consider myself such a likeable guy. Glad you made the correction for doc, can you do something about tickets, too? Since you seem to have all the power.

shyt talker

January 8th, 2010
1:22 pm

A simple test is to see how often the team that score more points in the paint wins the game. Looking at the past two regular seasons (06-07 and 05-06) it comes out like this:
Pts in Paint
edge Won Lost Win%
1-5 323 279 53%
6-10 464 347 57%
11-15 221 131 62%
16-20 211 105 66%
21+ 170 61 73%
Any Edge 1389 923 60%

So at a glance it can seem impressive, but keep in mind you would expect an advantage since we know the team with more points in the paint has at the least outscored its opponent in that one department, which means the opponent has to make up points elsewhere (free throws, field goals made outside the paint) to win.
Another way to examine the issue is to look at season long totals and whether they have much correlation to overall team success.
Team Points in the Paint Stats
The table below shows the per game points in the paint for each team during the regular season.
Team Pts in Paint
(Off) Pts in Paint
(Def) Pts in Paint
(Net) Won-Lost
Orlando 43.2 34.0 9.1 40-42
New York 45.2 38.1 7.0 33-49
Utah 43.1 38.2 4.9 51-31
Miami 40.6 36.1 4.5 44-38
New Orleans 41.8 37.8 4.0 39-43
Golden State 46.8 43.9 2.9 42-40
Houston 35.3 33.0 2.3 52-30
Cleveland 40.3 38.1 2.2 50-32
Denver 46.7 44.8 1.9 45-37
Milwaukee 45.3 43.5 1.8 28-54
Phoenix 43.8 42.3 1.4 61-21
New Jersey 36.6 35.6 1.0 41-41
San Antonio 39.9 38.9 1.0 58-24
Chicago 35.7 35.1 0.6 49-33
Seattle 42.6 43.6 -1.0 31-51
Philadelphia 39.9 41.2 -1.3 35-47
Dallas 35.3 36.9 -1.6 67-15
L.A. Lakers 42.1 43.7 -1.6 42-40
Detroit 35.3 37.2 -1.9 53-29
Indiana 36.7 38.7 -2.0 35-47
Boston 39.0 41.7 -2.7 24-58
Washington 38.9 41.6 -2.7 41-41
Memphis 42.5 45.4 -2.9 22-60
Charlotte 39.1 42.0 -2.9 33-49
L.A. Clippers 36.9 40.0 -3.1 40-42
Portland 38.1 41.2 -3.1 32-50
Sacramento 38.5 41.8 -3.3 33-49
Atlanta 38.7 43.0 -4.4 30-52
Toronto 35.3 40.0 -4.8 47-35
Minnesota 35.0 40.4 -5.5 32-50

Now if you look at correlations over the last two seasons (so include 05-06 as well) you get the following:
-.11 for PTS in PAINT on Offense
-.34 for PTS in PAINT on Defense
+.20 for net Pts in Paint
The 95% CI’s are huge with just a 60 team-season sample, but the basic premise is offensive points in the paint don’t have a huge impact, defensive points in the paint allowed are the most connected to winning record (it’s showing a negative correlation since fewer points allowed in the paint is the goal) and the net is somewhat related to record.
Over the past two season the eventual NBA finalists ranked 1st (Miami 05-06), 8th, 9th, and 13th in net points in the paint…but the 2005-06 conference finals losers were Detroit (ranked last in the league in net pts in the paint) and Phoenix (ranked 26th).
So you find good and bad teams at both extremes in the rankings, albeit in both years the top fifteen teams in net points in the paint outperformed the bottom fifteen as a group, winning 54% overall in 06-07 and 53% in 05-06.

Daniel

January 8th, 2010
1:34 pm

good grief, shyt talker, I thought I was nerdy and bored. Thanks for making me feel better about myself.

Astro Joe

January 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

I’m sure that Nate did everything right in this brewing conflict between player and coach… because, if nothing else, his name isn’t Woody.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2010/01/practice_exchange_between_andr.html

Fundamentals

January 8th, 2010
2:53 pm

Definitely interesting development in Portland. With all the injuries some real discontent might make them make a change or two. Some nice pieces there we could use?

Any rumors yet on our 13th man situation?

MannyT

January 8th, 2010
3:20 pm

Astro, thanks for the Portland story.

It reinforces the idea that a coach wants the final say…especially given the job most likely at risk is his own.

Vava & Daniel, I’m not much for soccer, but the history lesson was interesting.

Trying to find 2 sled dogs to get me to the game tonight. Not wild about driving among folks who don’t respect ice.

BWAF

Fundamentals

January 8th, 2010
3:37 pm

Are the roads icy in the ATL? They’re clear here in the NE GA Mtns.

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

Daniel ,

Come on, now. Ya clown…

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

Daniel ,

Wish I could get you those tickets you SHOULD have won earlier….

Astro Joe ,

You’re going to need another ladle soon. The one you have now has GOT to be about to break…LOL. Good link, though.

I’ll say this: substitute Woody’s name with Nate’s and tell me if he survives all the injuries, or uses them as fuel for another contract instead…..

Big Ray

January 8th, 2010
4:46 pm

Found these parts of the article interesting:

The exchange culminates Miller’s simmering discontent that has been evident since the end of training camp when Steve Blake was awarded the starting point guard position even though Miller outplayed him.

Although he never made a scene about his frustrations, Miller brooded for much of the early season and periodically took veiled shots at McMillan and management, insinuating he was lied to when the team courted him this summer in free agency.

He has mildly complained about the team’s “methodical” playing style, and more than hinted that McMillan is a “controlling” coach that stifles free play. He also has slipped into interviews he is confused about his role, which has twice alternated between reserve and starter, and recently has expressed bewilderment over a growing trend of playing little, if any, in the fourth quarter.

On Thursday, the normally quiet and introverted Miller erupted. Shortly after leaving the team’s practice facility, Miller sent a text message to his agent, Andy Miller, the agent said.

When reached by phone, Andy Miller said he had yet to speak with Andre, but when he heard an account of the day’s events, Miller didn’t sound that surprised.

“What happened today is probably the culmination of events and conversations that have taken place since the start of the season,” Andy Miller said. “What’s happening is that unfortunately, the transition of Andre to the Blazers wasn’t as seamless as hoped or imagined from the outset. Whether Andre is able to be integrated over time remains to be seen. Certainly, it is taking longer than anticipated.”