Boston Celtics 99, Atlanta Hawks 93 or where the Hawks forgot these games are still important

Box Score

Recap

Three things did not show up for the Hawks last night.

  1. The defense.
  2. The offense.
  3. The fans.

If the point of that game was to crush any hype and hope I had going in, it was wildly successful.

Outside of one horrible non-call on a travel by Paul Pierce, I didn't even get any knew material to dislike him. The game was just a disappointing let down. And what do I like do after disappointing let downs? Hash it out and get angry all over again.

The Defense

This poor performance had nothing to do with Woodson not playing zone or switching on screens or any x's and o's strategy. It was just bad effort. Celtics were open and when an NBA player is open, they are going to hit there shot more often than not. Especially when they are open three feet from the rim. Those may have been the 22 easiest assists you will ever see. When one player destroys a team, you can scream about the defensive scheme. When Glen Davis, Eddy House, and Stephon Marbury destroy your team you simply played bad defense.

The Offense

Mike Woodson's "the offense will work itself out" offense might need to be renamed to "ok, it's your turn" offense. When Woodson calls a play, he is really just naming the player that is about to go one on one.

Sadly Josh Smith knows nothing different.

“We played Hawks basketball for the final eight minutes or so, but we were already down 17 points by then. Being down to a championship team, it’s kind of difficult to win the game.”

Those last eight minutes were the same as the first forty except in the last eight, the shots went in. The Hawks are better when they are making shots.It is horrendous analysis because it is true for every team. Except with this team it is magnified, as long as Woodson refuses to quicken the pace of the game, cannot stop Josh Smith from shooting jump shots, and runs the offense through Joe, Flip, and Bibby and not Horford and Josh in the post, the Hawks' game hinges on making contested jumpers.

The Fans

Sitting in the arena, I was a little embarrassed. Here I had written posts and defended rivalries and the crowd simply seemed ready to be entertained. Granted, until the fourth quarter, the Hawks did nothing to convince them to want over wise, but it was disappointing. Come on Atlanta, step up.

One positive, as I walked out of the arena a rather chubby Celtics fan was walking next to me wearing a Paul Pierce jersey sans undershirt. Naturally, I leaned over and said, "Hey you and Paul Pierce even have the same arms." It really shut him up until he realized they won the game and are world champions. As soon as that happened, he made me cry.

Again, the fourth seed matters

“We had two glaring opportunities and we didn’t take advantage,” Mo Evans said. “Now we have to go up against a team, that once again is one of the best in the NBA. These games are turning into must-wins if we want to secure that fourth spot in the playoff race. And everybody behind us is not going to keep bailing us out by losing and making it easy for us to maintain our position.”

Lets hope people start listening to Mo.

Comment of the game thread from Buzz Saw: "Randolph was on a hustle strike in protest of gillespie coaching at Kentucky. The strike has ended thankfully, due to the coach’s firing. I think we’re gonna see a whole new Randolph Morris from here on out."

Go Hawks!

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