I know besides Dwight there wasn't much else to get excited about in Game 1. Jameer went off in the third but did so without getting others involved. On offense, guys just need to step up, plain and simple. No more excuses, new team this, getting used to eachother that. It's playoff time, this is when the team is supposed to wake up right? It doesn't work that way. Those of you who thought they could just flip the "on" switch were mistaken.
First off, Jason Richardson, I can't even explain how poor his performance was yesterday, on both ends. This guy is getting paid 14-16 million/per year range? WOW! He might be one of the worst defenders in the NBA. He presses up against Joe Johnson about 30-35 feet from the basket, Johnson patiently waits for his team to get in position to spread the floor, and he goes right past Richardson for an easy 10 foot floater that he's obviously worked on because he knows Dwight will be there. I think Johnson scored at least 5 of those alone yesterday, not to mention pretty much getting any other shot he wanted, when he wanted it. I could go on for two pages about how bad Richardson's play was yesterday, but I'm pretty sure everyone is already in agreement.
Second, Jameer can score. We know this. He's always been able to score. The problem is, he's not very good at setting up others for their shots. We have a whole bunch of players who need a PG to get them the ball in space for an open shot. (Ex. JJ Redick, Jason Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Q-Richardson, Brandon Bass) These guys specialty is not creating their own shot, I'm sorry but it's just not what they do. They hit open shots. All the Hawks did was take a page right out of the Boston Celtics Defensive philosophy which is play Dwight straight up and let him get his, while everyone else stays at home on the shooters. Therefore nobody else was able to get going throughout the game. (With the exception of Nelson)
The good news. Dwight is becoming a different animal. He's more patient, he's a little better from the line, he's finishing three point plays, he's making the right decisions. Flawless game for Dwight. At times, I feel bad for him, because he really does look like an alone player out there at times with his team just standing around and watching.
The shots should come, Van Gundy will figure out a way to get guys open, and the Hawks probably won't shoot such a high percentage the rest of the series. They were on fire yesterday. The one thing that worries me, is will guys dig in and play DEFENSE?! I mean come on. Jason Richardson, it appears pretty evident how bad you are at defense, so lets not guard Joe Johnson 35 feet from the basketball. I'd rather him hoist 3 pointers all night than getting layups and 10 foot floaters. Let's try and close out on Horford huh? What do you think? The guy seems like he's pretty good at knocking down that jumper. Bass and Anderson need to stay home on him. When jamal Crawford is in the game, give the ball to Jameer immediately. I think using a little more trapping defense would help too, get them out of sorts every once in while. All I know is when J-rich on an island alone with Joe Johnson, bring help fast. ORRRRRR maybe, just maybe, these guys can dig in and play some DEFENSE!!!