Hawks Claw Wizards 94-82: What You Surely Missed in Pictures and Words | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Hawks Claw Wizards 94-82: What You Surely Missed in Pictures and Words

Updated: January 14, 2010

Of mice, of men … the Hawks were the predator and the Wizards were the prey. Early, both teams were cold. I’ll concur with a comment of Wiz broadcast TV HOFer (or at least he should be if he’s not … if that type of thing exists), Steve Buckhantz, who said that unlike versus the Pistons, the Wizards started against Atlanta with energy. They just couldn’t buy a basket, and neither could the Hawks in the beginning.

The Wizards should have felt at home though, the Phillips Arena looked dwarfed by the Verizon Center in capacity. After getting down by as many as 22 points, 40-18 with 3:43 left in the second quarter, the Wizards made the game competitive, getting as close as two points, 66-64, with 11:41 left in the game. But they never could get over a seven point hump late in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards were bested by only 43.5% shooting from the Hawks and a couple ineffectual turnovers. They lost to the better team, and not necessarily because of lack of effort, but because they are not very good.

It’s worth observing that their reason to play inspired basketball has drastically dwindled. If two things plague this team most, one is lack of discipline, which is on the account of the players inconsistently following Flip Saunders’ game plan and often free-styling at crucial points of the game. The second is that the Wizards are not hungry, as in, ‘Did you see D-League call-up Mario West hustle his ass off?’ West had four offensive rebounds in 12 minutes.

As a team, the Wizards don’t know how to play like the Mario Wests of the world, many evidently comfortable with the status quo. Someone tomorrow will take solace in the fact the Wizards fought back from a deficit the size of Jim McIlvaine‘s jersey number. That same someone has started out the decade rooting for moral victories.

You surely missed the game, here’s what happened …

{first quarter}

5:03 – I’m just saying, I don’t think it’s the best idea for Randy Foye to leave Joe Johnson and go all the way across the court to double Josh Smith with Brendan Haywood when Smith isn’t that close to the basket. Maybe someone else didn’t rotate, I don’t know. I do know that Johnson gets the cross-court pass and hits a wide open three.  9-4 Atlanta.

4:19 – Caron Butler has as many carrying violations as the Wizards have field goals, two each.

3:01 – Whew, Randy Foye nails an extended mid-range jumper off a Haywood screen. The Hawks didn’t pick him up at the extended left elbow. I thought the Wizards were going to be stuck on four forever. 11-6 Atlanta.

And you thought the fans at the Verizon Center were bad/sparse. Guess this means the Wizards can’t use mediocre home crowds as an excuse.

0:06 – Here, Randy Foye can’t go behind the pick … assuming that Brendan Haywood communicated to him that it was coming, which I’m sure he did. Haywood is a talker, former blogger, multiple time WNBA television analyst, and a man with media aspirations after his playing career is done … I’m pretty sure he communicated. Foye goes behind the pick anyway and Jamal Crawford nails the open jumper. 17-13 Hawks.

Season low 13 points for a quarter.

{second quarter}

10:25 – Blatche’s first shot since January 8th: A pull up jumper on Joe Smith, off the dribble and off-balanced moving to the left … airball. 19-14 Atlanta.

Who Gets the Rebound?

9:28 – I certainly empathize with Andray Blatche for having two players in his area to block out … but why did he leave Mario West, who is closer to the basket, to go block out Joe Smith? Then again, does it really matter?

West gets the offensive board, but the Hawks can’t convert the second chance.

>>Points in Paint – 12-2 Hawks.

6:54 – Blatche fakes a pass on the smaller man, West, and drives to the basket strong, And1 — FT miss. 27-16 Atlanta.

4:58 – Boykins shot gets blocked – When the offense is bad, guys are trying to take the first open look they can get, thinking they will take advantage, but it’s really detrimental to the offensive flow overall.

4:48 – Wizards have 16 points. The Hawks have 37 points.

3:46 – Nick Young tries to lazily reverse the ball in a swing from the top of the arc, gets deflected, turnover.

Washington ending the half on a 9-0 run sounds pretty good, but not if that run only cuts your opponent’s lead to 12.

45 – 33 Hawks.

Bench scoring at half: Hawks 21 – Wizards 2

{third quarter}

Nick Young is not living up to recent praise of his defensive improvement. DeShawn Stevenson starts the 2nd half.

11:07 – Stevenson’s 1st three in almost a month, December 14th against the Clippers was the last time to be exact. 45-36 Hawks.

10:00 – Foye drains a three pointer, his consistent shot could pique a GM’s interest … if only he could improve his ability to create better offensive flow. His numbers are nice, and I remember in training camp when everyone bragged about his steady presence, but he’s no Chauncey Billups, not even the very poor man’s version who hopes to soon earn more cash version of Flip’s former point guard in Detroit. 47-39 Hawks.

9:18: Back-to-back jumpers for Foye, this time a two. He knows how to pull up off a pick when given room .. the Hawks are giving him room. Randy is 6-9 from field. 47-41 Hawks.

8:45 – Of course, Randy’s heat check three leads to fastbreak points for Atlanta. 49-41 Hawks.

7:44 – More fast break Hawks points … after a Wizards turnover (of all things). 53-41 Hawks.

2:52 – 18 points, 15 rebounds >> The Gentleman Antawn Jamison: as warrior as warriors come. 61-56 Hawks.

1:49 – Hawks move the ball well and Marvin Williams ends up with a dunk. When the Wizards try and double, it is simply not crisp enough against a team that makes the extra pass. 65-56 Hawks.

Well, the Wizards are staying competitive … can’t complain too much about that.

66 – 62 Hawks

{fourth quarter}

7:03 – Blatche has been working closer the basket on offense …. positions himself for an offense board and earns a trip to the line, drawing a 5th foul on Horford. 76-70 Hawks. Blatche also earned 2 FTs on a drive at the 7:52 mark

2:21 – Foye with another J. The Wizards are hanging around. … unfortunately, they are one of those teams you can let hang around wtihout much consequence. 89-82 Atlanta.

1:31 – Foye stumbles a little on a fastbreak chance off a Hawks turnover, recovers, tries to make a tough lob to Andray …  who can’t handle and misses the dunk. Fitting. 91-82 Atlanta.

{the end – 99-90 Hawks}

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.