Defending the Highlight Factory

Thursday, May 5, 2011
By Jon Newberry

Haven’t we been here before?

The Hawks are back at the Highlight Factory with home court advantage in their possession. Now they are looking to the Atlanta fans for help holding on to it.

“They’re up there with the white towels, they’re giving us so much energy,” said Jamal Crawford after Thursday’s practice. “I think they’re the real sixth man.”

In order to get a pair of wins this weekend the Hawks will have to find some answers on offense. As a team they shot just 34 percent from the field, and if you take out Jeff (7-of-14) and Joe (7-of-15) the team shot a miserable 25 percent.

“We went back and we saw some things,” commented Al Horford. “We plan on changing our offensive approach.”

Part of that strategy will have to include reacting to double-teams that they send at Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson.

Crawford explained, “They came and double-teamed Joe on the side. They double-teamed me early on the pick and rolls. We worked on some stuff today that can adjust to that and get guys in the right spots so we can take advantage of them doing that.”

As has been the case for much of the season, the Hawks’ offense seemed to stall when shot selection and ball movement were not great.

“I thought in Game 1 we did a better job of moving the ball and not settling for a lot of early perimeter shots… by everybody,” said Coach Drew.

In fact, LD called a timeout in the first quarter after a few jump shots in transition. The team responded with their next four baskets coming on dunks and layups. Still, as the game wore on the Hawks settled for many contested shots from the perimeter. Look for the team to make a concerted effort to attack the paint in Game 3.