So much for learning from your mistakes. When asked after practice today if he had any second thoughts about the decision to sit Al Horford for the majority of the first half after he picked up two quick fouls Larry Drew gave a detailed answer outlining the decision.
"When he picked up the early two fouls it put it us in a bit of a bind. You don’t anticipate your starters picking up two early fouls like that. When he went to the bench, had we hit a bad stretch at the start of the second quarter to the middle of second quarter, I would have put him back in. We actually had a really good stretch in the middle of second quarter, three minutes hit a bump in the road and jeopardize him picking up his third when we were going good."
There are a couple of different things at work here. First, I agree with Drew that it wasn't the correct decision to enter him into the game with less than three minutes to go in the half. It is a very common practice to get players out with two fouls before the half ends to protect them from picking a third up late in the quarter. However, sitting him the first nine minutes of the quarter with two fouls is an entirely different thing.
After Al had sat for nearly nine minutes of the first quarter, I think it would have been the correct choice to start him in the second and trusting him that he would not pick up another foul. Then you think about getting him out of the game around the two minute mark. As I pointed out earlier today, Drew gambled and lost on the move. Had he got to halftime with the lead and Horford not playing then he would have gotten lucky, but the odds were heavily against that especially when the fouls started to pile up on Atlanta's frontcourt.