Ball game. That is what this is. This series is a ball game. And not just in that, "It is 2-1 so it could be tied up next game" but "we just got dominated and destroyed all confidence of 96 minutes in just under 40" kind of way. Hats off to Milwaukee for straight up dominating.
The Bucks hit their shots. That you can take. Made shots is what desperate teams that can execute do at home, but what a fan gets angry at is complete and total lack of effort and what a fan throws full pitchers against the wall that he just bought at Taco Mac is zero game plan. Last night, the Hawks went up against a hot team and countered with no effort or game plan.
May 2nd 2008. That was the last time Mike Woodson coached a playoff game that was within 10 points. Let me be clear. You blame the players first. And Joe Johnson's horrible shots, Josh Smith's poor misses, Al Horford's inability to create, and Jamal Crawford failure to hit open shots are all to blame, but the Hawks were never in this game on either end of the court and never switched their strategy outside of three pick and pops by Al Horford in the third quarter. And that is on Woodson. There are three things coaches do/should get credit for 1) teams showing effort 2) out of time out plays and 3) close game wins. No loss in the playoffs has shown any of that since 2008. It is players making plays or not, and while 90% of the time, that is what the NBA is. So if the other 10% is at zero, it raises some questions.
The front court did not play well in the paint. The haters can certainly and rightfully should point to that, but the counter is no one shot well and the advantage ten times out of ten is still the paint. So go back and watch the Hawks out of timeouts. Every time (or at least most every time without me double checking) ended in a guard shooting a jump shot. It is all so desperate. When the Hawks need a bucket, they go to the guard jump shot. And for as great as Joe or Jamal or Bibby are, it is not the best way every time. It just is not. It is desperate.
Simply from a player perspective, the Hawks played like this was game 62 of the regular season, and the biggest bugaboo of this team may be that they let beat downs stay beat down. They had literally no answer on defense, no answer on adjustments. No attempt to play as a team on offense.
The very best of news though is that no answer the Bucks gave (outside of hitting every jump shot they saw) is an actual advantage if you match up basketball player to basketball player. It is just going to take effort, skill, and coaching. None of which the Hawks showed last night.
Miraculously or horribly, I still expect the Hawks to win in five. That is a good thing, I am just not sure how this game give you any confidence for that.
- I have seen bad 16 point games. Zaza Pachulia's 16 point game might have been the worst. On 85% shooting!
- Moderate hate involved here, but when is the last time Joe Johnson shot 81% from the floor like John Salmons?
- Why is Mike Woodson resting guys like it is February?
- I do not care who you want to shoot. Ball movement please. Holy crap. Ball movement.
- As a Marvin Williams homer, this is though for me to say but that was one of the worst game I have seen from him play on either end of the floor in a long time.
- It is not inappropriate, and I would love it if it was my team but Brandon Jennings ego is annoying.
- Pick and roll, pick and pop with Al Horford, please. It can't be stopped, or at least it can't be stopped 60% of the time.
- Down nine in the third quarter, the Josh Smith jump shot that led to a three pointer was the end of the game. Just in case you needed more reason to hate Josh Smith jump shots.
- This could have been the bench's redemption song. If you want to ignore the coach, the Hawks starters played horrible and the bench played like the first two games.
- Stop shooting so many jump shots please.
- No one runs the baseline but Mo Evans. Everyone on the Bucks runs the baseline.
- How bad was this game? Mario West played like Mike Bibby.