"We should have dominated this series but they match up well and D'Antoni's a great coach."
It bears repeating, if the Hawks hit the same number of contested and open shots as the Knicks, they win. They didn't. They were not as good at a fundamental part of basketball. I believe most people call it, making baskets. But this quote naturally leaves me again disgusted with what seems to be a lack of any kind of positve impact Mike Woodson has on a game.
I looked at the starting lineup Sergio Rodriguez, Bill Walker, Wilson Chandler, Danilio Gallinari, and David Lee. Those were the starters. Who matches up well against the Hawks? Maybe Sergio against Bibby, but everyone else is at best a draw. Horford usually dominates Lee and played him to a draw last night. Gallinari obviously has a different skill set, but he sure is not better than Josh Smith, and as far as matchups, jump shooting power forwards usually are not the issue. And you don't want me to get to their backups. Eddie House vs. Jamal Crawford. Please. The Hawks don't matchup poorly against the Hawks. D'Antoni just put Bibby on Gallinari, and Woodson let him. That is a bad match up.
Last night was the difference between milking advantages down to the last drop and then cussing the advantage cow for not giving more and sometimes remembering you have them. The Hawks went inside, when they felt like it, and when they felt like it, they ran simple post ups or hand offs and said "ok take advantage." Post players can move, you can set screens for big men, you can drive more than once a possession. The Hawks offense is simplistic. We all know that, but it seems easy enough to do some things that make offense actually easier. Now, not every coach just lets you screen one of the worst defenders on the hottest shooter in the game, but still, how about a back screen by Joe Johnson to free up an easy post up for a big.
On the defensive side of the ball, it is clear, that 82 games was too long to play 4 on 5 defense anytime someone drives the ball. At max effort, the Hawks are pretty darn good on defense, but the max effort is not equally demanded across the starting five, or better put, max effort by some is needed to mask the max effort of others. I don't know any job where that goes over well day in and day out. It is a shame our coach could not figure out a way to lighten the load for Horford and Josh. Instead, he rode the horses for as long as he could. Now that it is obvious the Hawks do not have a plan B, it may be time for the organization to start thinking of one for their coaching job.