Friday , Dec , 07 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

If Counting Sheep Doesn’t Work, Try Counting Timberwolves and Hawks

In case you missed it, because you probably did … Wait. I hope you missed it because if you live outside of Georgia or Minnesota, you really had not business watching this game … (yes, I watched because the Suns get the Hawks lottery pick this year).

Well, in case you missed it, you didn’t miss much. Except an 8-point – yes, 8-point – third quarter from the Hawks. You also missed the wonderful color commentary. I think I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I love the local feeds on NBA League Pass. During the fourth period, the color guy said, and I quote, “The Hawks are having trouble with Minnesota’s pick-and-roll because there is so much movement.” Yeah, thanks.

Later, Al Horford grabbed his 14th rebound and the home guys went nuts after he kicked the ball back our, got it back and scored a short jumper. For some reason, the Wolves defenders decided that they didn’t need to guard the guy after he passed the ball. Really, though, I can’t blame them because no offensive player on either team made any runs or cuts off the ball the entire game. So, the fact that he slid out from under the basket to avoid a 3-second call must have really confused the defense.

I digress. On the other end, he was guarding Al Jefferson. The announcer proclaimed Horford was a great all-around player because he was doing such a great job. The announcer failed to take into account the fact that Jefferson posted him on the law block and after one dribble was into the restricted area.

My favorite, however, was when Marko Jaric bounced the ball off his foot and the announcing team decided to proclaim it was great defense.

How about Jaric dribbling around Josh Smith from the top of the key for the win? Smith looked like a cornerback expecting help from the safety that never comes. Fortunately for the announcers, they didn’t say anything stupid after that. Unless you count the statement, “To be very frank and honest, they [the Hawks] have blown [the game].”

Joe Johnson hit a buzzer-beaters to snatch the victory, winning 90-89. From the celebration, you would have thought the Hawks clinched a playoff victory; you wouldn’t have guessed they narrowly beat a 2-14 team. Remember that guy who sued so that his partners wouldn’t sign Joe Johnson to a max contract? No comment, just an observation. Kind of makes you wonder, though. But, you know, Joe got the “respect” that he wanted in Atlanta. What he didn’t get was more big free agent signings that he expected. Do I sound bitter? Nah. Grant Hill is a good replacement.

Anyway, here are some of the other highs and lows:

Corey Brewer grabbed 18 rebounds but shot 3 of 15.      

Marko Jaric had 20 points and the last 4 Wolves’ points, but had 5 turnovers, including the aforementioned foot-dribbling.

Josh Smith had 7 blocks and 28 points on 11 of 19 shooting, but somehow managed a +/- of -4. I guess he spent a lot of time on the floor in the third quarter.

The Hawks won but had only 17 assists on 30 of 74 shooting.

The Wolves took 95 shots – 21 more than the Hawks – but still lost. Well, Brewer wasted 12 of those opportunities.

There were some decent instances of individual play and athleticism but I’ve seen more offensive movement in a curling match. Which is probably why these teams are in the cellar.