Hope all are well. A few things:
While some interesting things were said on the topic, I am going to completely not venture an opinion on the European players thing.
KevinA – thanks for the number crunching (the Hawks are 8-0 when they hit 22 or more assists and 10-1 when JJ has five or more assists) . I think this obviously says plenty about what makes them go. It’’s something that the players and Mike Woodson recognize, that they play their best when they’re unselfish and when they get out and run. Al Horford says this a lot.
This isn’t exactly the most insightful observation you’re about to read, but this obviously happens most when they’re defending and rebounding to start their transition game. It’s trite, but they have to defend well to win.
One thing I’ll say about Jeff Teague – even when he wasn’t playing much, he wasn’t having too much trouble getting to the basket. But he had a pretty low percentage on his drives. It seemed like 1 out of 4 shots in the paint was going in and the rest either bounced off the rim or were rejected.
I asked Jamal Crawford about this, and he said Teague had to figure out the angles he was taking to the basket and so forth. So maybe he’s figured out something. I think it might be a little premature to say he’s ready for a steady diet of minutes – I’d feel differently if he’d gone for 19 points, 15 assists, four steals with just three turnovers against, say, Miami and Milwaukee and not Chicago and Toronto and, too, I don’t know if the NBA is similar to baseball and the NFL where a rookie can have success out of the box but then the “book” gets out on him and he plateaus – but he may well have turned some sort of corner. He would make the second unit, and in turn the team, so much more dangerous.
Anyway, Joe Smith will not be playing again Sunday. Wednesday against Memphis might be the day.
Things I’ll be watching against the Nets:
1) How is Brook Lopez defended?
2) How are the minutes apportioned with the second unit?
3) Can Teague keep up his excellent run?
4) Can the Hawks play even better than they have the past two games?
Apropos of nothing, but Charlotte is in the No. 8 spot in the East right now. and Miami is just one game over .500 (11-10).