CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 11: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls knocks the ball away from Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center on March 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hawks 94-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
My apologies for this being brief but how many different ways can the same thing be said over and over? Atlanta came up with a pretty spirited effort in the first half actually leading the game then simply never emerged from the locker room afterwards. I thought this post game quote from Kirk Hinrich pretty much sums up the state of this team that has existed first week to week, then game to game, and now apparently half to half.
"In the second half it was like we forgot everything we did in the first half," Hinrich said.
The only advice I would offer Hinrich is either get used to it or take a stand and do something about it. We have waited for two seasons now for a leader to emerge from this team. Someone to stand up when things like last night happen. For two seasons now we have waited for a head coach or a player to become an authority figure in that locker room. All I can say to Kirk is that if you want the job it is yours, just understand what you are getting yourself into.
Other than that I don't have a whole lot to offer on this game. I thought the Hawks did a better job with ball movement and actually did find its way in the paint a few times. I noted last night I don't know if I have ever seen a team pass the ball out of the paint before being doubled as much as the Hawks. As far as match-ups go, the Atlanta Hawks are not going to win a game in which Derrick Rose is matched up on Jamal Crawford for more than half a game. I don't understand the reasoning for not going to Teague other than Jamal making a few shots in the first half. I will offer that I have no confidence in Jamal being able to score more than he will give up defensively.
Atlanta got physically whipped on the backboard and that was without Carlos Boozer in the lineup. Even with feeding the ball inside somewhat, this Hawks team still doesn't look like it knows what it is trying to accomplish offensively. Is it trying to set up Joe Johnson? How about Josh Smith? Jamal? It feels like it is all of the above and that clearly isn't going to work.
The good thing is that in the NBA sometimes you only get a day to think about a tough loss. The Hawks get yet another opportunity to bounce back tonight against Portland at Philips Arena. This team is capable of so much more and that is the most frustrating thing. It is time to figure it out.