Running with Zaza

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Quick Hits...Hawks Beat the Wizards

The Hawks just finished beating the Washington Wizards tonight in a close game at Philips Arena a.ka. the Highlight Factory. The outlook looked pretty bleak with the Wizards leading for large portions of the game and clinging to a 4 point lead with just under a minute to play. In the last minute, the Hawks came through with two huge 3-point shots and two solid defensive possessions. Tonight, the Hawks played like the veteran winning team and the Wizards self-destructed on their final possessions.

Joe Johnson made two great plays in the final minute. On a side-out, Johnson broke to the ball and scored on a quick shot off the inbounds pass. The Hawks stopped the Wizards. Down by one point, Johnson set a ball screen for Bibby. Bibby was on fire tonight going 12-22 for 25 points, but had struggled in the 4th quarter. The Wizards doubled the ball screen and Bibby was able to get the pass to Joe. A younger player might have forced the shot, but Johnson is one of the most unselfish all-star caliber players in the NBA. When the Wizards rotated on defense, Johnson took a dribble and hit Marvin Williams for an open 3-point shot. Williams nailed the jumper for the game-winning shot.

Here are some quick thoughts about the game:

1. Marvin Williams is playing very hard. What it's a contract year? Oh, that explains the 14 tough rebounds. Marvin is a solid player. I think he would be great as a 4 man coming off the bench to stretch the defense. He just seems to be a player without a natural position. I like it when he plays hard and he is proving that he is a clutch shooter.

2. Our man from Georgia (the country), Zaza Pachulia, rebounded like a man tonight. He is injured. The guys in the post game show said he barely can raise the left arm up, but he was diving on the floor and hustling. I liked early in the game when the Hawks ran a set play and Bibby hit Zaza for a lay up.

3. Anytime the camera cuts to the Hawks' bench and I see Speedy Claxton, I cringe. Claxton has made an egregious amount of money on this contract without any production. I need to break this down in a future post.

4. When Bibby does not have to contend with a scoring point guard, the Hawks have a great chance to win that night. I want to know why the Hawks cannot find one guy with personality in post game interviews. This town is starving for a NBA guy with personality to take it by storm.

5. I like Maurice Evans in the starting line up beside Joe Johnson. It is a more natural look for the line up. Please stop making Johnson guard the other team's best player for long stretches of game action.

*What is the story with Drew Gooden's beard? That is terrible. Three years ago the Bulls had some crazy rule where Ben Wallace could not wear a head band during games. Now, they are allowing this beard! The Blazers are killing the Bulls right now. Mike Breen just said that Vinny Del Negro is looking down his bench for answers...probably not going to find any on that bench--Tyrus Thomas, really?


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