– Well, at least the Hawks won. “It’s a good win,” Jamal said. “The first game at home after a long trip is usually a tough one.”
– It didn’t have to be so tough. The Hawks were up 76-61 after outscoring Minnesota 27-15 over eight minutes of the third quarter. During that stretch they looked like an elite team handling their business against the worst team in the West.
– But then the subs started trickling in and that lead started withering away. “That’s kind of been a trend,” J.J. said. “When you sit down guys to start the fourth quarter teams are always going to make a run. That’s something we need to work on, whether it’s guys playing harder or more attention to detail.”
– Another game where Woody used the bench guys and they didn’t get it done as a group. Wither art thou, Big Z?
– It’s hard to fault the effort much when the Hawks beat a good rebounding team 46-38 on the boards. Maybe they blow out the Timberwolves if they get anything from Marvin (0 for 4), Jamal (0 for 7) and the usual efficient night from Al (5 of 14).
– Jamal is 18 of 54 (33 percent) since returning from the sore shoulder. “It’s all right,” he said. “It’s OK. I’m out there playing, so there’s no excuses.”
– (Ps to my blog people for noticing Jamal’s physical issues.)
– Good sign for the Hawks to see Mo and Bibby making shots. That’s how you avoid a bad loss when three of your main guys aren’t hitting.
– Well, that and Smoove doing his thang. If there’s a way to quietly go for 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, he did it. “Fantastic game,” Woody said. “He was all over the place.”
– He even made that 18-foot jumper when it was 88-82. I can imagine how it must feel for Hawks fans to see Josh winding up. Even when he makes it, you probably kind of wish he hadn’t because now he might take another one.
– Then again, imagine how unstoppable he could be if made them at a decent rate. “As long as I shoot without thinking and shoot with confidence, they have a good chance of going in,” he said.
– I’m down with the confidence. Not sure about that not thinking part.
– Bibby’s five field goals were his most since Jan. 18. “We’re going to need Mike to make shots and run the team like he has the last two years,” Woody said.
– If Bibby, Mo, Marvin and Jamal ever start making shots consistently all at the same time, wouldn’t a lot of this drama about isos and bench play fade away?
– That was the second time in the last two game that Teague took a bad foul at the end of a quarter. But he looked really comfortable directing the team in the first half. Sometimes, though, he seems a bit too nonchalant for a rookie.
– Different uniform for Damien Wilkins, but he looked the same against the Hawks. Remember when he scored 41 for Seattle vs. Hawks in ‘07? Good thing he only played 18 minutes tonight. “He always has big games in this building,” Josh said.
– I saw one Iso-Joe: he tried to lob a pass to Horford, it was deflected, he got it back and he made a short runner.
– Before the game, Woody riffed on the better offensive flow in the fourth quarter at Utah: “We had so many mismatches on the floor in the Warriors game we felt we could post Joe against smaller guys. Sometimes that is good and it works to our advantage and sometimes we get too stale and stagnant and we don’t get a whole lot out of it. The other night in Utah stayed in a bunch of pick-and-roll, and then when we needed to isolate, we put Joe in an isolation position and he was able to bring it home for us.”
– I’m out, Hawks fans.