Surrounding the King (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Wilkins' defensive effort seemed to inspire his teammates.The Heat scored just 13 points in the third quarter while missing 13 of 19 shots. James was held scoreless, Bosh scored four points and Wade seven as the rest of the Heat players managed two points combined.
I think it was really early for some to dismiss this signing. Damien is 6'6" and is fairly athletic with long arms and looked at least in a one game setting like he could play a little bit of defense. It is easy to rattle off defensive numbers but lets see how he fits in with this team.
In his post game blog post MC quotes Mo Evans:
The Hawks were 6 of 18 from the field in the fourth quarter with two assists. Mo seemed to suggest the problem was too much Iso-Jamal. "We were stagnant throughout the fourth quarter and a lot of the game," he said. "They started to lock in on the one guy who was handling the ball a lot."
Bret LaGree of Hoopinion talks about the two foul rule that sent Horford to the bench in the first half:
Horford sat for 5:22 late in the first and early in the second quarter as part of the regular rotation. Fair enough. One minute and 32 seconds into his second quarter stint, he committed his second personal foul. Due to Larry Drew's placing a greater priority on Horford not fouling out than on winning the basketball games, Hoford sat for the final 6:28 of the first half. He would finish the game with four personal fouls.
Surya Fernandez of NBA FanHouse talks about the Hawks third quarter dominance:
The Hawks started the second half by hitting four straight jump shots to cut a 14-point deficit at halftime to eight points in less than three minutes which prompted a quick timeout from Spoelstra. The two teams then traded baskets but the Hawks slowly gained control as Horford dominated Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joel Anthony inside while crowding the Heat's perimeter players and not allowing them any space to penetrate The Heat were forced to settle for long jumpers as the Hawks eventually closed to within just two points at the end of the quarter while Bosh and Wade sat.
David Dwork of SB Nation Blog Peninsula is Mightier talks about the Heat's four game win streak:
It wasn't that long ago when the Heat had lost 4 of their last 5 games and people were starting to panic. For now, those feelings are in the rearview mirror with the Heat winning four straight and showing that they can win games in different ways. Tonight it was almost all Wade, James and Bosh while others they have gotten major contributions from the bench, or drilled a bunch of trey's.
Michael Wallace of the Heat index quotes Erik Spoelstra on the decision to go to Chris Bosh down the stretch:
"We, on purpose, ran the offense through him down the stretch," Spoelstra said after the escape. "Chris gave us some relief opportunities."
A battle of national security ensued with Miami coming in 1st in Fewest Turnovers per Game and Atlanta a close 2nd. The Heat remained cautious with the ball, finishing with 10 turnovers to the Hawks 13 and keeping the title of safest team in the NBA so far this season. Hawks have now dropped to 5th.
Time to learn from this game and move on as we knew it wasn't going to be easy even if Joe Johnson had played.