You know what I was wondering today? What five days of crappy would taste like. I guess now I will know. Thanks Hawks. Tonight, the Heat played better defense, shot better, and looked like they actually thought they were better for nearly ever bit of the 48 minutes.
Examples abound, but here is one. To understand it, you have to start with the Hawks thinking and probably deserving some foul calls in the second half. That is a fine fact. It had nothing to do with the game's results, but a perfectly reasonable feeling. Yet despite those "bad" no calls, the Hawks had fewer personal fouls than the Heat (13 to 18) and two of those thirteen came on a Bibby "get me the hell out of this game" reach in and Mario West three point foul on Wade. Both of those came with under a minute to go. So eleven fouls in 47 minutes. The Hawks could not have fouled out two guys. That was not lacking toughness, that was being so far away from guys they did not have a chance to foul. I have never seen so many wide open people five feet from the rim. I would say the Hawks were playing a defense that dared the Heat to dunk if they were not also daring them to shoot threes .....and mid range jumpers.
Jamal's sixth man candidacy just received a lift
The Hawks desperately missed Zaza Pachulia and Jamal Crawford. Zaza has not been great this year, but he is an all-pro next to Collins. I struggle to see how Randolph Morris is worse than Collins. Not every night of course, but I can say tonight, I would have been as useful as Collins. I am 5'11'', and in pick games, people make fun of me. And I am not exaggerating. I wish I was, but I am not. Outside the requisite moving from one end of the court to the other, I think Jason took three steps tonight. To think he only played four minutes.
On the other side of things, the Hawks desperately needed a shot maker. A guy to loosen up a very good defense. Crawford has shown an ability to do that against anyone, and he has shown an ability to do that at a youtube level against the Heat. Jamal would have helped. Shoot, we needed both Zaza and Jamal. It was clear. But you don't get blown out by 18 at home. That is embarrassing. Fine to chuck up a missed opportunity loss due to an injury, but Atlanta got dominated. The Hawks are the better team, and they played like a team that planned to flip a switch when it counted. They are not that good. Ever. And they certainly are not that good with our their 6th and 7th man. Immediacy is not something one feels come playoff time. It is something one cultivates over the season. Consider this one harvest missed.