Hawks 84 Rockets 92: Sometimes you have to wonder if this Hawks team is perhaps too cocky for its own good. What else can explain the team’s lethargic starts on a semi-regular basis? Could they be drinking too much of their own Kool-Aid?
To steal Sekou Smith’s description of the opening quarter, the Hawks started off the game like “zombies” as the Rockets ran circles around them and built up a 13-0 lead. The Hawks were slowly able to chip away at the lead, eventually leading by the third quarter and posting a solid 8 point lead with six minutes to play in the fourth, only to see everything fall apart.
While its easy to be critical of Josh Smith mainly because his game is so “maddening,” the fifth year power forward has still yet to learn how to play the game “under control.” Smith shot a horrendous 5 of 19 and committed a key turnover down the stretch overthrowing Joe Johnson on a lead pass as the Rockets came roaring back. Woodson eventually benched Smith, opting to go with Pachulia who was no better. (Pachulia, by the way, may be even more maddening than Smith given his up and down output from game to game.)
Look, Smith is a fine player. He’s arguably the most athletic player in the game right now and his contributions to this team are immeasurable. But Woody needs to sit him down and explain to him that the NBA game does not need to be played at 95 mph. Slow it down young fella. Let the game come to you. Don’t let defenders tempt you into 18 foot jump shots and three’s when you can soar by them and dunk it in their face or get fouled. The sooner Smith realizes his unique talents – his full plethora of unique talents that is – he will be an even greater force to be reckoned with.
BROADCAST WOES: For those who had to digest the Rockets broadcast team, I apologize on their behalf. The team of Bill Worrell and Clyde Drexler may have been the worst I have heard all season (and that’s having heard the Celtics home team with Tommy Heinsohn). Worrell went on record as saying Maurice Evans was an “awful” outside shooter. Drexler, to his credit, tried to correct Worrell by pointing out Evans’ shooting percentage of 44% from behind the arc. Even with those stats presented to him, Worrell still disagreed, pointing out that Evans was a terrible outside shooter at the University of Texas.
Bill, I hate to see people lose jobs, especially during these rough economic times, but you sir should just give yours up. Either do your homework, and know the strengths of opposing team’s players or admit your mistakes. It’s one or the other. Evans shot nearly 40% from three point land last season and is up past 44% this season. That – in no way – qualifies as a “horrible” outside shooter. If anything, those are solid numbers. Moreover, judging a player’s game based on what he did in college seven years before entering the league is non-sensical. Chris Bosh didn’t have an amazing post up game at Georgia Tech nor did he have a great 15 footer. Now look at him. Worrell, do us all a favor and quit while you’re ahead. Your broadcasting skills are beyond horrendous.