SIDENOTE: Be sure to sign up for the Bullets Forever March Madness pool on Yahoo. Group ID is 22090, password is swag.
Regular Season Game 61
Wizards (34-25) at Hawks (22-39)
The Wizards hit the road to play the Hawks tonight, a team that is reeling like no other. They've lost six games in a row, and Chase from Impending Firestorm is not happy.
Coach Woodson also needs to run more and push the ball up the court. It is clear from every opposing announcer that the young team is best when running the fast break. Pretty much everyone on the team can handle the ball minus Lorenzen Wright and Esteban Batista, yet Coach Woodson continues to make the team play slow and hold down the possesions. The problem with this is that Atlanta still turns the ball over like crazy, but they don't get enough opportunities to make up for their mistakes, which makes them the lowest scoring team in the league. If we are going to turn the ball over 20 times a game, we may as well do it trying to get more chances to score. It is absolute idiocy from the coaching staff to run such a slow, ball control offense with no point guard. I wanted to give it a shot and loved the focus on defense, but it just isn't working and I just can't take it anymore.
This sounds eerily like the first Jordan year here, where we had MJ who didn't want to run, and a bunch of youngsters like Rip Hamilton, Courtney Alexander, and the like wanting to run. This year, we're hearing many of the same complaints out of Cleveland, where many feel guys like LeBron and former Wizard Larry Hughes would benefit from getting out on the break more.
The problem is that few seem to understand that it takes more than having a bunch of athletes to run a successful up-tempo team. Atlanta seriously lacks a point guard, and they already commit too many turnovers even in a half-court game. If they were to push the ball, they would simply turn the ball over more and make their offense even less efficient. This is the fundamental problem with the Hawks. With no point guard to complement all their athletes, they're never going to be able to reach their full potential.
As far as tonight goes, if Atlanta tries to push the ball against the Wizards, they're getting killed. The Wizards push the ball better, and they try to enforce that style on you anyway. If the Hawks play more under control, like they have in the first two games, it'll be close, and luck may end up being on their side tonight.
Your lines for tonight.
Wizards at Hawks: Hawks by 1 (huh?)
Over/Under on Big 3: 68.9 points.
This is an open game thread, so anytime Shelden Williams enters the game, laugh. I order you.
Update [2007-3-7 18:58:11 by Pradamaster]:: Just heard on Sportscenter that Joe Johnson is hurt and won't go tonight. The Wizards better win by 20 now.