Go watch the replay. Josh Smith has his hands on his knees as the foul shot goes up. Amir Johnson shoots into the lane and Josh, seemingly forgetting these are some of the last few seconds of effort he needs to try for the night, lurches forward in a frantic move to regain position and pushes the ball out of bounds. The infuriating thing about Josh Smith is not his poor decisions (those are just frustrating) it is his lapses in effort. One can understand ego and lack of discipline for those decisions, poor effort is just inexcusable.
This was going to be a stolen win, the most satisfying win in a long time. Instead, it ends with gnashing teeth over Marvin's dreadful shooting, Josh Smith jump shots, and wasted Mo Evans gems. One more basket by the Hawks, maybe just one more rebound by the Hawks, and Chris Bosh looks like a lot of wasted money tonight. Instead, he leaves the max contract hero. In my mind though, Al Horford outplayed Bosh for every last bit of those 48 minutes. It is just a shame the other four guys on the court for the Hawks were a few points short.
I cannot say Joe Johnson was missed. Not with Maurice Evans 16 highly efficient points and decent defense. We all know Joe is no fast break stopper, and that is where Atlanta truly lost the game. Still, Atlanta was simply not patience enough on a few key possessions down the stretch. With under 35 seconds left, Jamal went to feed Horford in the post and after no more than a second, Jamal could not stand running a real play and he drove the baseline. A few passes later, Josh Smith missed a runner in the lane. The next time the Hawks got the ball back was with two seconds to go. Atlanta does not normally need patience down the stretch. They give the ball to a guard and spread the floor. Tonight, they had the opportunity to do something different and realized they don't know how.