– After the game the Hawks were pumping up the Wizards as tougher than they seem because they had been competitive in losses lately. “We’ll take it,” Horford said. “They’ve been struggling but I’ve seen them play close games against good teams. We weren’t taking anything for granted.”
– I understand the Hawks taking a victory any way they can get it against whichever opponent, especially after what happened at Miami and New York. And I know all heck would have broke loose with a loss so give the Hawks credit for surviving.
– But come on, man. It’s getting a little late for that “all teams are tough, sometimes you have nights like this” stuff. The Hawks got outworked for most of the game by a team headed for the lottery. They let a bad offensive team have an easy time scoring for long stretches and let a so-so rebounding team dominate them on the boards.
– How does that happen considering what’s at stake? “It is disappointing,” Woody said. “We can’t rely on just mSmoove and Al to get rebounds. They were lacking in that area tonight (too). Blatche and McGee had their way on the boards. We’ve just got to get better.”
– The Hawks had to sweat out a victory against the Southeast’s last place team when they supposedly are trying to win the division. It’s one thing to have a bad shooting night but Woody stressed defense and rebounding and then got neither.
– Woody is putting together a video highlighting his team’s problems in those areas so he can see show his players how they need to pick it up. He will need to splice in plenty of new footage from this game.
– How bad was it? Rookie Alonzo Gee, recently signed to a 10-day contract by the Wizards, got his first NBA basket on a dunk in the second quarter. He should know it’s not supposed to be that easy against good teams.
– But was that easy for the Wizards. They shot 53 percent and scored 28 of their 51 points in the paint in the first half while taking a 19-11 rebounding advantage, including nine on offense. How can the Hawks come out with that kind of effort?
– OK, don’t want to be too negative here. The Hawks forced 21 turnovers with 11 steals so they were active at times. They survived the Wizards’ final surge while reducing their head-scratching offensive plays even when Washington played zone.
– “Good teams find a way to win,” Al said. “We lost the last two close games so it feels good to come out on top like this.”
– The Hawks can thank Jamal’s hot shooting and aggressive drives to the basket for this one. He made two 3-pointers to start that 19-7 run that gave the Hawks some breathing room. He also made 9 of 11 free throws, all in the second half, when nobody else was making them.
– “At this point of the season everyone understands what they are supposed to do,” Jamal said. “When they make a run, it’s up to certain guys to step up. That’s a part of my job description.”
– Good thing because J.J. had another off shooting night (8 of 19) and Josh wasn’t doing it all like usual (noticed a few times he didn’t seem to have the same energy). Also big that Bibby came through with 16 points and 7 of 11 shooting. Zaza made a couple big shots, too.
– But, man, I keep coming back to Washington’s 49.4 percent shooting and 42-29 advantage on the boards. I can’t stop thinking about how listless the Hawks looked most of the night when they were supposed to be desperate. It’s like they think they are much better than they are despite plenty of evidence they aren’t as good as they can be.
– And I don’t care how many close games the Wizards have been playing. They are headed to the lottery and after that trade have maybe three guys who could get major burn for the Hawks.
– Dang, there I go getting negative again about a victory. I think J.J. feels me, though. “Our effort defensively has to pick up for the playoffs,” he said “We’ve been to pretty much the highest level and we know what it takes. We have to come out and execute and play with effort.”
– Iso-Joe in the fourth: missed fadeaway jumper, missed straight-up jumper.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.