Don't ever say the Hawks fail to offer you something in a loss. Whoever you enjoy blaming for Hawks' losses, they gave you a plethora of material.
The ol' stand by
My go to will always be Mike Woodson. He actually had a top three today.
- His overwhelmingly clear ability to show he was out coached coming out of the locker room at halftime.
- Allowing Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford to take 14 fourth quarter shots to Al Horford and Josh Smith's combined three.
- Designing a play for Jamal Crawford at the end of the game when he was 0-5 in the period.
There was no rhyme or reason to the game plan today. I am nearly positive the pick and roll worked every time but once and that was a fluke poke away steal when Josh was going to have a wide open basket. To Woody's credit, it was a small sample size because the Hawks stopped running it pretty early in the first half.
Desperately trying to pile on, it is nearly laughable when your coach either allows for or cannot control against two players to shoot from the outside and miss, move inside and miss, and then go back outside and miss some more. Don't feel too bad though, both our front court guys still got a "screw you" double double.
Jamal Crawford, seductively bad
Man can this guy sweet talk you. He drills two threes at the end of the third and dishes out some nice assist and the next thing I know I am sucking my thumb and cheering horrible jump shots and out of control drives. I love what Jamal has brought to the team, but rule number one with Jamal Crawford is control Jamal Crawford. Because the man will keep hucking shots. In the fourth quarter, all the Hawks did was push him to go faster down the hill of frustration.
Joe Johnson, money maker
When the Joe Show starts in the first quarter at a time when Josh Smith has seven points on two easy baskets and two trips to the foul line, you know it is going to be a long afternoon. Every shot Joe hit today was met by "finally" instead of "yes." It was basically a game of "tough shots" but the tough shots came at the expense of all that was good about the offense. Unlike so many nights, Joe did not attempt to bail the offense out today. He attempted to get his points.
And for once, I only blame him so much. Because the man is trying to make money. Tonight he finished the game with his box score at plus 20 points, played hard on defense, and went 5 to 1 assist to turnover. And as far as I can tell, Joe either has no other option within the offensive game plan but to take 12 bad shots a game or he has no coaching influence that asks him to run something different
Put another way, up to, the Thunder ran Kevin Durant off a couple screens with last one KD rubbing raw. He caught the ball and immediately rose up for a jumper. It was the fourth quarter. It was an actual play for the best player. And I felt weird seeing it happen.
The whole dang team
The crowd was surprisingly great. We honestly could not have rooted the team on harder to get over the hump when everyone and their mother and then their grandmother was missing shots in the fourth quarter.
The crowd became a serious factor...against the Hawks. The team just kept jacking up threes. One might have been a bad shots. A few were early in the shot clock. But for the most part, they were wide open misses. The Hawks just could not hit shots when it mattered. And credit to the Thunder for staying focused and hitting enough to win.
At some point though, I think the crowd cheered a few Hawks on to shoot the dagger three when all we needed was an easy layup. The recap would have been different if a few of those had gone in, but players are paid to hit open shots and there ain't no credit for being open when you miss.
So easy to blame and the Hawks missed way too many open opportunities down the stretch down for it to matter, but if Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson got the same calls Durant got, they might not have been almost doubled up on free throw attempts combined. There is absolutely no way Joe Johnson deserves as many calls as it looks like. He lacks the athleticism to initiate and finish which has led him to be incredibly crafty in the lane to avoid contact. But if they are going to call chest bump fouls 20 feet from the basket, Joe should go to the line 10 times a game.
But for real not the refs thoughts, but a whole post about complaining would almost be remiss. Don't ever accuse me of not being a homer.
Who else am I missing? I wanted to blame Mario West and his three point foul, but I figure others will me more passionate. At the very least rest easy with this, Marvin Williams did not pick up another foul after he sat for over 12 minutes to avoid his third foul in the first half.