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Friday, April 17, 2009

How to Predict A Victory With A Blown Mind

Blah blah blah, a host of excuses go out to our 11 readers (Hi Mom!) as to why there haven’t been many posts lately. But, my friends, here is the good news:
Daniel and I are making a commitment to blog about the Hawks playoff run. We won’t be predicting “Hawks in 6” or anything. Rather we will just preview each game as it comes and predict a winner for that game. Honestly, game by game will be a better way to preview and anyone who knows us, knows that we tend towards optimism when it comes to our feathered friends.

I get to talk about Game Win, I mean One happening Sunday. As 'Nique would say “I already shot my wad” with the previous sentence. I’m reasonably confident in the Hawks ability to win Game 1. My rationale in list format:

--We play better when we play confident. After winning at home in the playoffs and taking the 4th seed, we are brimming with confidence.

--We play great at home. Everyone knows this and it plays into the point above. Atlanta fans have been better lately at showing up for big games and certainly this is one.

--It’s going to take more than 1 game for the Hawks to get frustrated by the “Wade calls” and I bet there are fewer “Wade calls” by the refs in order to be able to claim impartiality. I’m dubious that it will last, but for game 1 I think we’re okay.

--While it will take a lot of energy to slow down Wade, we have two people capable of doing so: Joe and Mo will be rested and ready to slow Wade down. Conversely, there isn’t a defender on the Heat that worries me immensely against Joe, especially a rested Joe.

--Bibby looked tired as the season wore on but a week off will have done him good. He’ll drain at least 3 3s. Defensively, Chalmers doesn’t have the ability to break Bibby down the way the other quick point guards have all season.

--Bibby is also savvy enough to get Chalmers into foul trouble, which will put Chris Quinn on the floor. This is a good thing for the Hawks.

--Jermaine O’Neal and Jamaal Maglore are old. JO has aged in dog years over the last 3 season and looks to be about 57. Combine the energy of the home crowd with that of Smoove and “The Boss” Horford and O’Neal/Jamaal will be gassed early.

--Beasley will be shaky and commit some stupid turnovers and/or fouls. He will get frustrated. He may even get T’d up. He reminds me a LOT of Josh Smith and when things don’t go his way he tends to give up. He’ll give up early.

It is likely the Hawks will do their normal routine of getting down in the first quarter, bringing it closer in the second, playing even or worse in the third and pulling away in the 4th. Wade won’t let them get down by a ton but with about 8 mins to go in the 4th the Hawks will have the game in control and will work out the victory (something they have been improving at towards the end of the season).

Final score: Atlanta 101 Miami 93
Joe puts up a line around 22 pts 5 rebs 7 ast and limits Wade to about the same (which is a good thing since the rest of the Hawks’ roster is demonstrably better than the Heats’)


Daniel said...

Strategy Question to Ponder...
These are the facts:
- Wade is a man among boys on the basketball court
- The rest of his team cannot consistently create offense for themselves. Wade has the highest usage rate in the league. When he is on the court, the ball goes through him.

These are the strategies:
- Have all of your defenders focus on Wade and scramble/help on everyone else. This takes the ball out of Wade's hands more, but it also leaves his less-skilled teammates with easier shots and open 3s.
- Guard Wade straight up and have the other four defenders shut down the other four Heat players. This ensures that Wade will go off for at least 30 with the possibility of 40 and 50 point games. But you cannot win an NBA game with 50 points.

I have always been in favor of playing straight up man-to-man. Yes Wade will go off. But who else on the Heat team can score without the help of Wade?

What do you think?

MLT said...

I say put ZaZa in early if Wade starts to put his head down and drive. Let Z rough him up a bit legally.

Other than that play man D as I suggested and let MoJoe do their best. Wade is going to have to expend himself quite a bit on the defensive end trying to cover Joe and to a lesser extent Flip.

I rarely advocate leaving any NBA player open because most can hit an 18 footer if left unguarded.

MLT said...

Well. I was right on some points. Not too many calls on Wade.
We didn't see Jamaal but JO looked old and got ran off the court.
Chalmers couldn't do anything to Bibby on the offensive end.
Beasleys totals came in garbage time.
Great defense by Joe and Mo on Wade all game stymied him.