Box Score (look at your own risk)
This was a game I could have lived without ever watching. Boy, how it was ugly.
Paul Silas was clearly not ready to give up on The Tyrus Thomas Small Forward Experiment, but I was before this game even started. And then the game started, and I was really ready for it to be over. Thomas guarded Joe Johnson for some reason, and was not very good at it. Atlanta ran Johnson around screens, all of which Thomas tried to run through all gangbusters, but instead just caught up in them. Johnson would have 13 points in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Bobcats failed to execute much of any type of offense. They found room inside to score, but could not get anything outside.
The Hawks didn't get much either from deep, but they earned plenty of extra possessions by destroying the Bobcats on the glass. At halftime, the offensive rebounding tally was Hawks - 12, Bobcats - 2. Boris Diaw guarded Josh Smith poorly, unable to contest Smith's quickness, whether in fighting for rebounds or taking Diaw off the dribble and driving into the paint. Augustin and Henderson played admirably as the starting guards, but just couldn't space the Hawks defense. Tyrus was better as a small forward on offense than I expected, but still isn't a great fit there either. And Diaw? Diaw might as well have not played. He seemed to be completely disinterested in the game at times. He finished with zero points, six rebounds, four assists and two turnovers. At one point, Jeff Teague drove into the paint and jumped through the air to attempt a layup. Boris Diaw was right in front of the rim, in prime position to at least challenge the shot. But he did not jump. He did not even raise his arms. On the ensuing timeout, Paul Silas was seen chewing out Diaw. Moving on...
Byron Mullens started tonight. Yes, I started a whole new paragraph for Mullens. He wasn't outstanding, but scored well with 21 points on 16 shots. His rebounding still leaves much room for improvement, as does his defense. Still, better than starting Diop, in my book. He was a good option on pick and rolls when the defending big man got back to prepare for a driving guard as the defending guard got held up on the pick. When the passes come in those situations, Mullens is always a threat to knock them down. So, good game Byron. Better than most of the rest of the team.
The second half was also quite bleak. The Bobcats' deficit grew greater and greater, as the Bobcats' offense sputtered while the Hawks continued to maul Charlotte on the offensive boards.
The rookies were frustratingly inconsistent. Kemba hit two shots and some nice passes, some of which the shooters couldn't knock down despite how open they were. Biyombo was benched early after two early fouls (why not let him try to play through it?) and wouldn't return until the game was well out of hand. And even then, he didn't play very well. He had some rebounds but still looks a little uncomfortable. I do have to remind myself that he didn't have any time with the team before the season, and that this team is still meshing. Still, it's not a good roster.
Speaking of rookies, I almost forgot about Cory Higgins, who scored six points off some nice backdoor cuts.
Other than that, I really don't have much to say about this game. It was ugly. It had bad lineups. It had poorly-executed offense. It had abominable rebounding (OREBs Hawks - 20, Bobcats - 4) -- without Al Horford. The Hawks outperformed the Bobcats in every category, except for blocks. Atlanta had 12 more field goal attempts than the Bobcats, and hit a higher percentage. The only Bobcats' three-pointer came from Kemba Walker with 9 minutes left.
"We've given up. I don't know what to say," Paul Silas would say after the game.
And on that note, good night everyone. See you tomorrow for Bobcats-Pistons.