Archive for February, 2010

Clippers at Hawks, AKA Al the All-Star vs. Almost All-Star

Kaman could have (should have?) been an All-Star (msnbc.com)

Kaman could have (should have?) been an All-Star (msnbc.com)

The Clippers are an awful road team and they played at Chicago last night. They are finishing up an eight-game road trip. Everything points to a drama-free Hawks victory except for Clippers center Chris Kaman, who returned after two games missed with an ankle injury and lifted the Clippers to a victory over the Bulls. From the Los Angeles Times:

“He gives us another scorer out there, a guy who can command double-teams and we can play out of it, and it creates a lot of open shots for everybody,” said Marcus Camby. “So hopefully with him back we can start to roll.”

When All-Star reserves were announced last week, Kaman was one of three players averaging 20 and 9 along with Zach Randolph and Bosh. They are All-Stars and Kaman is not because his team is bad.

Kaman is a tough cover for Al, who is an All-Star in part because his team is good. Like usual, Al is giving up size in this one. The new thing is he’s been missing …

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Hawks Squawks: Thunder 106, Hawks 99

Durant 2, Hawks 0. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

Durant 2, Hawks 0. (Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

– Too much Kevin Durant (again), too many defensive breakdowns for the Hawks. “Defensively we were nonexistent in the second half,” Woody told FSN South’s James Verrett. “That third quarter was a bad defensive effort.”

– The Hawks pretty much controlled Durant in the second half but let Russell Westbrook get loose and kept giving up rebounds. The Thunder is a good rebounding team but 17 offensive boards?

– And what about nine boards for Westbrook vs. five for Al, six for Smoove and six for Marvin?

– The Thunder collected 28 of the Hawks’ 39 misses (72 percent). The Hawks got 26 of the Thunder’s 44 misses (59 percent).

– The Hawks got within two when Durant made a couple jumpers and set up his teammates for two scores. That was it. He’s the first player since Allen Iverson nine seasons ago to score at least 25 points in 22 consecutive games

– Durant is for real. He also gets a lot of calls. Tough to say where one ends and …

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Hawks at Thunder, AKA Could You Help a Beat Writer Out?

The debate over Iso-Joe got me to thinking, and that’s always dangerous. Wouldn’t it be cool to have some numbers that shed some light on the effectiveness of Iso-Joe?

So it’s my hope going forward to track the results of fourth quarter Iso-Joe situations, defined as any play where it appears the primary aim is for J.J. to take his man one-on-one in a set halfcourt. The possible results are a made shot, missed shot with defensive rebound, missed shot with offensive rebound, turnover, assist, foul with no free throw or foul that leads to a free throw, all by either J.J. or a teammate (holla if there is a possible result I’m missing).

Some of you stat types might know a better resource than me, but the best fourth-quarter numbers I could find are these ‘08-’09 breakdowns at 82games.com. They are interesting but they don’t say anything about this season, nor do they break it down by play type or possessions. So I think tracking this myself is the best way to go about it.

But I …

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Mario West signed for rest of season

West is sticking around (NBA.com)

West is sticking around (NBA.com)

The Hawks today signed Mario West for the remainder of the season, the team announced.

West had signed consecutive 10-day contracts with the Hawks and, under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the team was required to sign him for the rest of the season to retain him. West, a Douglas County and Georgia Tech product, has appeared in eight games and averaged six minutes during his most recent stint with the Hawks.

He played in 117 games for the Hawks from 2007-09 but was cut in training camp last summer. He was playing for the D-League’s Maine Red Claws when the Hawks signed him to the first 10-day contract on Jan. 12.

MC

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Why Iso-Joe Can Be OK

Iso-Joe in action (NBA.com)

Iso-Joe in action (NBA.com)

After covering the Hawks for a couple weeks, I can see why Iso-Joe late in games makes some of you mad. It slows the Hawks’ pace. It’s not pleasing to the eye when Johnson dominates the ball while his teammates stand and watch, makes a move to the basket and then misses. When Iso-Joe doesn’t work, it can look so bad. That’s got to be frustrating for you fans.

But what about when it does work? What you saw against the Celtics is the beauty of Iso-Joe when he’s going good (and please don’t forget that’s much more often than not). He made seven shots in the fourth quarter against the Celtics. None of them were assisted.

“They isolated us all game,” Paul Pierce said. “They’ve done that all four games, and they’ve beaten us all four games.”

To Celtics coach Doc Rivers, that’s no coincidence. When it’s not Iso-Joe, it’s Iso-Jamal, and he said that’s what will make the Hawks a dangerous team to face in the playoffs.

“Those two guys when they get the ball …

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