I will keep it rather emotional here since I think it is neither the fouls nor the poor shooting or even the untimely foul out that lost the Hawks this game. The Bucks won the game. Over the last three games, they have been the far better team against a team that they are far worse than. What can you say but well done. Is the series over? No. The Hawks still can win two in row easily. The drastically disappointing thing about this whole series is that our team could win the next two games quite easily. But it certainly feels over.
And that is the sad thing. This team, this rebuilding process seems over (not done but certainly a chapter complete). We will certainly get into more anaylsis of the game. More talk about match ups and poor shots and player mentality and coaching strategy and all those things we love to debate and find witty ways to lampoon.
But tonight, you can know when I hear "fear the dear" I do not get angry or trivially upset. I get it. I really do. If I was a Bucks fan, I would be somewhere beyond happy land right now. But for every national media and opposing blogger that sees the Hawks as one more moving piece in their playoff meme, you can know for us Hawks fans it is not some intriguing way of talking about tomorrow's news cycle or unexpected match up for the next round of the playoffs; it is our heart and soul.
So for all you Hawks fans that bleed from this loss, who feel worse than angry, who actually feel sad. For all you who have railed Mike Woodson, who have lamented Joe Johnson's skills, who have called out Josh Smith's maturity or Al Horford's "go to" status, for those who have mocked Marvin's draft status or wished Jamal Crawford tried on defense, I know this is no joyous moment of redemption. I know this is no "I told you so" moment about your least favorite player or coach. This is fan rock bottom. This is hours of loyalty and miles of hope that feel worse than wasted, they feel over.
So yes, there are real coaching issues with this loss that point back to prior problems we have seen all season long. There are player performances that raise questions about team building blocks and ceiling. And there are actual blogging points to discuss as the team moves forward in a series that is far from over. But tonight? Tonight I mourn. I mourn 13 win seasons and player development. I mourn a free agent from Phoenix that took a chance on a city and a seven game series that made that city come alive. I mourn unlimited upside and player development and I mourn coaching question marks and franchise players. Because for this set of players, the unknown is over. The ceiling has been reached. And no words or box scores or analysis make that easier to take. Because it is just sad, but you can know I am sad right there with you.