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A Deceiving Performance: Hawks 98, Wizards 89

Box Score
Game Flow
Post Recap
Times Recap
Live Blog
Wizards Insider
Wizards Plus
T-Minus 3 to Epic Fail

Highest Plus/Minus: Mike James (+3)
Lowest Plus/Minus: Darius Songaila (-17)
Best Five Man Unit: Javaris Crittenton, Mike James, Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, JaVale McGee (+8 to end the 1st half)
Worst Five Man Unit: Javaris Crittenton, Nick Young, Antawn Jamison, Darius Songaila, JaVale McGee (-4 in the 2nd Quarter)

Four Factors

Photo of the Game

Right here.

Game Thread Comment of the Game: "Why is Jamison still in the game?  Come on Tap, it's half past Pech time." by Jon L

There's two positives that most people are going to take from this game:

  1. JaVale McGee's overall performance (save for that freebie dunk he gave the Hawks -- How has that not made its way to YouTube yet?.
  2. Dominic McGuire's career-high 9 assists.

As much as I'd love to harp on both of them, I don't think either performance was as impressive as it seemed.

JaVale got some extended burn tonight (a career-high 32 minutes), presumably because in the eyes of Tapscott he was doing a better job of protecting the paint tonight than he's done in previous games.  I'm tempted to agree, but you have to remember that the Hawks were playing the second game of a back-to-back and didn't arrive in Washington until 6:30 this morning because of the snow that came through the area that morning.  It's easier to look like a good defender when you're guarding groggy players with tired legs.

As for Taser, his nine assists were very nice, he did a good job of pushing the ball on the break and he had some nice passes in the half-court sets as well.  Moving over to the shooting guard spot with Caron Butler out gave him more opportunities to handle the ball which gave him more assist opportunities.  That's the good news.

The bad news is that by playing mostly at shooting guard tonight he was playing more on the perimeter, which takes him away from the basket where he can utilize his two best skills: rebounding and shot-blocking.  Six rebounds and a blocked shot are decent, especially for a shooting guard, but they're below what we've come to expect from McGuire since he was inserted into the starting lineup.  I'd much rather see him get nine rebounds than nine assists.

I'm sure most of what I've just written sounds like I'm raining on the parade, but I just want to make sure we keep everything in context.  McGuire and McGee both had very solid performances, but they also had very favorable circumstances that aided their efforts.