Recap: Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks

Jamaal FosterCorrespondent INovember 8, 2008


This match-up features what some may say is the best forward-center combination in the East, Jermaine O’neal and Chris Bosh against the soon-to-be darling of the NBA. 

From the opening quarter it was obvious that this game was not going as expected.  The ATLANTA forward-center combination led to bad shot after bad shot and bad pass after bad pass when Toronto had the ball. 

The Hawk’s bigs out hustled O’neal and Bosh to loose balls the help defense was intimidating and physical

On the offensive end, the Hawks were deadly.  The first half was a feature of Mike Bibby at his best.  We saw Bibby make plays on defense and offense.

Bibby finished the game with 19 points 12 assists and was 5 of 7 from the 3-point line.  He was truly the floor general lacing passes between defenders, pushing the ball up court at every possibility and was completely heartless from the arc.

Joe Johnson also stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 6 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal. Joe was dismantling anyone who dared step to challenge him. 

In the first quarter Johnson took a defender baseline with his right hand, stopped, gave another jab with his right,  went around his back to his left hand (defender falls), and dropped the open jumper. 

Joe Johnson broke down defenders to the point of collapse like this 3 times last night. This man is Silky smooth and to guard 1-on-1 is futile.   He’s not overly quick but he can do whatever he wants with a defender and is just too big for most 2 guards.   

After one of his vintage victimizations I pledged to come-up with a good nickname for this man.  Henceforth, Joe Johnson will be dubbed, Joe “Slik” Johnson.  (yes, no “C”  because you can’t seem him on the court).

The biggest takeaway from this game was truly how good the 2nd team of the Atlanta Hawks is.  The “Flip-Mo Squad” is devastating.  Combined for 31 pts ( 6 of 8 from 3-point land), 3 assist, 2 steals, and 6 boards.

These Hawks are for real and they are not the same team the took the Celtics to 7, they are better.

On a side note, if you live in Atlanta and don't ever go to Hawks games, shame on you!  Even if you don't like the basketball, the scenery is rediculous.  I have never seen so many women with skin tight jeans and snow boots.  I know its the new fad, but 15 years from now we will look at this like the jerri curl.