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Game Recap: Celtics 99, Atlanta 76

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This game could pretty much be summed up by knowing that at the 5:21 mark of the first quarter the Hawks had five total points. By the end of the first quarter the score was 39-13 and the game had long been over. I thought Bob Rathbun summed things up pretty well in the third quarter with these two statements:

"The Hawks never gave themselves a chance"

"Would be nice to see them get excited about playing the game"

More after the jump

Those two statements are pretty powerful ones that in my opinion completely sum up the Hawks effort in this game. I don't know what led up to this performance and I don't know if they were truly trying and just got outplayed. What I do know though is what I see and tonight I didn't see much effort on the defensive end. It looked like they missed a few shots early and mailed it in defensively. It doesn't take the greatest basketball mind to figure out that that combination is a recipe for disaster.

During this game I took a whole sheet of notes on how the Hawks needed to swing the ball from side to side on offense and that settling for jump shots was not going to be the answer but none of it seems terribly relevant to this game now. The importance of such things are lessoned when it seems that the team is just going through the motions at both ends of the floor. I see no point in calling out individuals in this performance because this result was a team effort. One might could say that games like this will happen over the course of an 82 game season but this is the second mailed in effort we have seen from this team and both were at home. The Hawks were well rested tonight and it didn't even matter against a team that was missing two starters from it's championship team.

The important thing going forward is for the team is to fix whatever is ailing them. Only those that are inside the locker room know the answer but it is important that they are addressed and fixed before it is too late. It is still early in this season but even my confidence is starting to waver. It has to get back to playing solid basketball at both ends of the floor because right now I have to echo Rathbun's statement. They simply don't look excited about playing the game.

If you are Hawks coach Larry Drew where do you go from here? The answer in my mind is that you go back to square one. You have to examine everything from top to bottom and decide who is playing what and if they are producing or not. To make matters worse you have to do it quickly because you are right back at it tomorrow night with a game in New Jersey against the Nets which given the way the Hawks are playing is anything but a gimme. At this point the Hawks can't look past anyone on the schedule.