Quick Recap for the people who didn’t watch it:
In my Nuggets vs. Hawks Game Preview, I said the Hawks will win by 8. I was obviously wrong.
With Joe Johnson still wearing the headband, I expected a good game from him and this Hawks team. That didn’t turn out so well. Even in the beginning. Joe Johnson was the first player on the court to attempt a shot and he bricked a three. Joe wasn’t the problem in the 1st quarter though. It was Josh Smith. He got off to a horrendous start. Asides from getting the tip at the start of the ballgame, he didn’t really help the Hawks much. Whatever Josh did in the 1st quarter wasn’t working. His passes were off the mark. His jumpshots were off the mark. His layups were off the mark. His inside shots wouldn’t fall. It was just a terrible first quarter for him. In the first 7 minutes of the game, Josh Smith attempted 8 shots. He only made 1 of them( a fastbreak lone dunk). Out of the 7 missed shots, 4 of them came from jumpers. Coach Drew sat Josh Smith for the last 5 minutes of the 1st quarter, and that’s when the Hawks really started to get going. They were sharing the ball and the offense looked pretty decent. The Hawks eventually took the lead in the quarter and kept it. Hawks were up 3, 17 to 20, after one quarter.
In the start of the second quarter, the Hawks continued their big run. The Hawks got up by as much as 12 points in the second quarter, thanks to a 14-2 run. However, when that run ended. The Nuggets made a run of their own. The Nuggets, led by Nene and Ty Lawson, answered back with a 16-2 run of their own in the second quarter. The Nuggets offense were penetrating at will and the Hawks settled for jumpshots (where have I seen that story before?). Because of the big run, the Nuggets had the lead at halftime, 46 to 42.
In the third quarter, the Nuggets continued to make shots, in particular Wilson Chandler and Aaron Afflalo. They combined for 18 of the 26 points the Nuggets scored in the third. The Hawks (somewhat) stayed in striking distance though. Despite the Hawks having troubles offensively, the Nuggets seemingly scoring at will, and Josh Smith sitting on the bench for a good time in the quarter because of foul trouble…..the Hawks only found themselves down 9 after three quarters. Being the optimistic fan that I am, I was thinking the Hawks will turn it around in the 4th quarter and make a comeback.
Boy, I was wrong. The Hawks played decently in the start of the 4th, cutting the lead down to 4 with 9 minutes left in the game…but like most of the Hawks’ stories this season, they shot themselves on the foot. Players (Joe, Jamal, Josh) started to play hero ball. Josh Smith and Jamal forced shots and Joe went Iso-Joe. Of course, the plan didn’t work. The Nuggets made sure that they didn’t do the same thing and that eventually gave them the win. J.R. Smith led them in the 4th quarter, scoring 15 points. The buzzer sounded and the Hawks players congratulated the Nuggets on the win.
Final Score:Nuggets: 102 | Hawks: 87
What Hawks fans should slightly worried about after this game:
- Jeff Teague has had two pretty subpar games since the Trailblazers game. Can he prove that he is worthy of a starting role and more minutes?
- Joe Johnson had a terrible shooting night. Is he back to his shooting woes?
- Al Horford only got 5 attempts in the game.
- Josh Smith shows no sign that he’ll stop making bad decision.
- Josh Smith’s trade stock is lowering. Just sayin’.
- When the jumpshots aren’t falling, how come the Hawks don’t go inside?
- Can the Hawks win a game against a good team when their jumpshots aren’t falling?
- The Hawks story and problems continue to be the same. Bad decision making by players. Subpar gameplan by coaching staff. Horrible execution by players. Will it be fixed before the playoffs?………..CAN it be fixed?
My other Noteable Notes:
- I think Bob Rathbun (@hawksvoice) made a good point on the tv broadcast about the Hawks gameplan. If the Hawks are struggling as much as they were in the halfcourt, why not push the ball and try to outrun the other team? Yes. I know the Nuggets are one of the best run-and-gun teams in the NBA, but at their best, the Hawks transition game is at the top too.
- Give props to Zaza Pachulia. He was the best player for the Hawks yesterday. He played hard and sticked to his game and not try to do anything he’s not capable of doing. He scored 19 points (season high) and also grabbed 10 rebounds. This is his only second double double of the season.
- Two thumbs up for Marvin Williams as well. This is a second straight game Marvin has produced decent numbers. He scored 10 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, and got 4 assists in 21 minutes. I actually wanted him to be more aggressive since no one’s shots were falling, but hey, that’s pretty good numbers for Marvin.
- Make no mistake. I complained about the Hawks a lot in this recap, but the Nuggets team PLAYED. Yes, The Hawks did a lot of things wrong yesterday, but the Nuggets did a lot of things right. Even if the Hawks didn’t make some of the mistakes they did, this game would still be a hard one to win. I underestimated this Nuggets team. Come playoff time, no one better underestimate them, or they a comin’.
Next up: The Hawks have a day off today. Their next game is on Friday. The return of Mike Bibby. So yes, we are facing “The Heatles”. Hawks better start gameplanning. That game will be a tough one.
Final Thought: Headband, why you no work? You s’posed to be magical on Saint Pattys Day.