Anger. That's what this game has caused me to feel. And so, with that, all bets are off on the proclamation to be completely positive throughout the playoff run.
Game Recap - Heat 108, Hawks 93
That claim came with ONE rule/caveat. Play hard and coach hard. That's it. If you miss shots, get beat by better plays, players, schemes, etc - that's acceptable, but not playing hard or coaching hard - that's just not acceptable.
Let's recount the disappointments:
1. Upon getting home, the TNT post-game analysis said what I whispered in my mom's ear all night (yes, we sucked on the night I finally bring my mom and stepdad to the game)...our offense is atrocious. And it's been repeated all year...an offense that relies on 3 pt shooting built off of one-on-one individual plays vs. one that focuses spacing, low post play, and transition offense is starkly different. Yep, the Joe Johnson run around until you can find a shot 4th quarter offense was back...
2. Officiating aside (and yes, it was bad despite the split in free throws), the decision to not follow Game 1's successful strategy of pressing and forcing the ball out of D-Wade's after say...the 2nd 3pter falls seems strange and disappointing.
3. Just when the 2 fouls and you're done for the rest of the half strategy was starting to fade, we have the 'get 4 fouls and sit for the rest of the quarter despite being on the precipice of being blown out completely. Sure, Joe didn't have it tonight, but having him on the court in the 3rd quarter to ensure that we're close enough in the 4th quarter might have been helpful
4. Marvin? Marvin? 19 minutes for your starter, particularly when you sit your best player for 10 minutes. I get trying to manage minutes and injuries and all that, but if you can't play in the crucial minutes of the game - why even play him at all? Why not just shut him down until he's able to play for a full game?
5. Finally, the question of why we don't use Josh Smith and Al Horford on the blocks vs. a less than formidable low post defense remains...juxtaposed against a backdrop of Flip Murray being able to squeeze off 15 shots (the most on the team) on a night when he clearly was off.
We won't mention the free throw shooting b/c that's been a constant all season (including the obligatory missed technical free throw), the poor 3pt shooting, or the fact that we couldn't finish at the rim (which happens sometimes), but we think it was said by someone (read: Joe Johnson) that we are not a halfcourt team. Well, if you know what you aren't, then that should mean that you RUN at every opportunity.
Anyway, let's just call these suggestions. We still feel strongly that Miami is an inferior team. It's pretty simple - we play hard and to our strengths and there's NOTHING Miami can do to defeat us. But if we want to allow the 3rd best player in basketball have his way and give his teammates confidence, then sure - we can lose this series. I still believe we win in 5. I know that defies logic, but the point here is - if we lose, maybe there is a long term benefit. All I know is our in-game adjustments were ... non-existent. And with that, we still stick to our prediction - Hawks in 5!
Oh, did we mention anger is what I feel right now?
Peachtree Hoops Podcast: Talking Hawks-Nets, playoffs and more - On this week's episode of the Peachtree Hoops Podcast, Phil Naessens and I discuss Atlanta's first round playoff series and spotlight some of the things...
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