Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Would You Invite Anthony Tolliver Over For Dinner?
If you're an NBA junkie (you're reading this, so that's a check), then you probably peruse HoopsHype's rumors page several times a day. If that's the case then Anthony Tolliver's smiling face must be as familiar to you as that of an old friend. "The Decision" had nothing on what I referred to as "The Summer of Anthony Tolliver," where HoopsHype breathlessly covered every piece of speculation about his intentions.
Tonight's game at Indiana was Tolliver's opportunity to show that he belongs on the opening night roster, and he made the most of it. Tolliver started and scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting with 5 rebounds in 24 minutes, and posted a team-best +10. His hero-ball 3-point attempt with 34 seconds remaining in the game missed and the Pacers held on for a 102-98 victory. But it was still a nice performance for the Hawks as the starting front court of Al Horford and Josh Smith sat this one out.
Among other players without contract guarantees, Damion James and James Anderson each played only 12 minutes. Anderson again failed to make an impact on the box score, while James posted 5 points and, get this, 8 rebounds. I have raved about James' defensive impact, but I don't know if it's so much his on-ball defense as it is the number of opponents' offensive possessions that he terminates with a defensive rebound (he's averaging almost 5 per game in the preseason).
Lou Williams shot the ball better, leading the team with 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting and again leading the team in free throw attempts (5-for-6). Mike Scott again failed to look like an NBA player, shooting 2-for-9 and posting a team-worst -14. I simply cannot understand why Danny Ferry promised a roster spot to a defensively-challenged volume shooter on a team loaded with them. Against San Antonio, Scott was absolutely torched by Josh Powell, whom multiple NBA front office-types considered the worst player in the NBA when he played for the Hawks.
And I love Ivan Johnson to death, but somebody has got to tell my dude to calm down. He did a bit of jawing with Roy Hibbert, and some sort of minor altercation with an opposing team's center is becoming a nightly occurrence The Hawks coaching staff needs to sit him down and explain that footage of his behavior is being distributed among NBA refs as we speak, and they will be specifically instructed to pay him the kind of attention that is not beneficial to the team.
It's 13 days and 21 hours until the tip-off of the regular season. Anybody else looking forward to games that count?