A familiar site for the Atlanta Hawks defensively. The sequence looks something like this:
Detroit player penetrates Atlanta perimeter defense,
Atlanta help defense comes,
Detroit player kicks out to wide open shooter,
Atlanta defense is slow in rotating or doesn't rotate at all,
Three point shot swishes.
I won't pretend that sequences like this were all that was wrong with the Hawks tonight but a steady diet of the above persisted throughout the game particularly in the blow out fourth quarter. There was other factors like Detroit's hot shooting, Detroit's decided advantage rebounding (43-31), Detroit's 21 points off of 16 Hawks turnovers just to name a few. Perhaps the biggest of all was a simple lack of energy and production from the Hawks bench.
Bulleted points today because this loss was just too disgusting to recap fully.
- Josh Smith 26 points on 8-17 shooting but only four rebounds on a night that the Hawks simply had to have more for him on the boards
- Al Horford 17 points and 12 rebounds on 7-14 shooting in 43 minutes for those of you that are fixated on such things.
- One more note on rebounding, Horford's twelve boards were more than the other four Atlanta starters combined (11)
- Mike Bibby 14 points on 6-11 shooting with six assists
- Not terrible offensive numbers from Bibby, Horford and Smith yet offensively wasn't exactly the end of the court the Hawks were lacking in on this night.
- Jamal Crawford awful, two points on 1-6 shooting, four assists and five turnovers. He was quoted following the game that his back was hurting and he wasn't sure about playing on Thursday in Boston. Makes me wonder if he communicated the situation with his back to the coaching staff pre-game.
- Marvin Williams and Zaza Pachulia, send out a search party.
- I concur with Jason on the Hawks point guard situation as this team has no one capable of running the point that can get the team into an offensive set when Bibby is off the floor.
- Mo Evans is hurt and only played 14 minutes tonight. I doubt he would be playing if Joe Johnson was healthy enough to play. If Wilkins is up to speed with everything then it might be time to let Jordan Crawford soak up some of the minutes at shooting guard and sit Mo for awhile.
When these two teams met in Atlanta it was much of the same recipe with the Pistons leading and the Hawks keeping it close until a late run put them over the Pistons. This game looked very similar to me yet this time it was the Pistons that slammed the door shut in the fourth. I talked about it in the pre-game the importance of not letting Detroit hang around yet that is exactly what they did.
Hats off to the Pistons for coming up with a great effort when they themselves and their coach needed it the most. For Atlanta it is time to put this one firmly in the rear view mirror and move along.