Monday, April 26, 2010

The Unsurprising Game 3 Blowout

Color Us Unsurprised

Preamble Ramble

First, let's just not be the least bit surprised that this happened. It's not any more acceptable, but simply put - the Hawks being a superior team to another talent-wise doesn't have anything to do with whether or not we'll lose a game on the road. So, Bogut or not...I am not surprised we lost. What I am surprised at - is that we couldn't prevent ourselves from yet another double digit loss to the opposition in the playoffs. Seriously, it's beyond embarrassing at this point that if we don't have our best game going OR if we do and the other team actually dares match us - we have no intestinal fortitude to actually make a game of it in the 4th quarter.
Despite the fact that there are teams who are in more precarious situations than us, it is with few exceptions that those teams are at least playing games down to the wire. So, no - I don't want to be the Lakers, the Nuggets, or the Mavs right now, BUT one more double digit loss and my next blog might be the sacrilegious post that includes the phrases 'let's lose' and 'fire Woodson'. In reading all the analyses of the blog nation and media, the most laughable one is the Hawks Fan Blog that mentioned the fact that the coach should get a pass for that loss. THAT easily is the one post this year that even the most ardent Woodson supporter could co-sign on.

Game 1 Recap - Bucks 107, Hawks 89

Overall Observations:
  • Let's start with the good - Joe Johnson...yes, the 9-22 shooting from the field Joe Johnson. That and the shooting of Zaza Pachulia. Pretty much all that we had going for us and a team fighting for its life on the road is not going to lose to Joe Johnson and former Buck Zaza.
  • So, I'll just go back to the same things I've said since midseason for why the 2nd round is our ceiling, which lead to my 100% utter lack of surprise at this loss and the size of it. This team has no heart (unless we are playing the Celtics). No leadership. No alternate coaching tactics.
  • If there's anything that the playoffs should be teaching us, it's that teams aren't going to quit regardless of injuries or inferior talent. It would be wise for the Hawks to remember that.
  • Is it fair to say that despite my contention that Woodson will be retained (and should be) at the end of this season that this should be stated with the fairly large disclaimer that we not be taken to 7 games by the Bucks AND we win a 2nd round game? If I hadn't said that, I am adding that to my contention.
  • The Hawks will lose 100% of the games that require Mario West to be inserted outside of his 5 second stints.
  • Osh, so much for trying to prove that you are mature enough to bring it every single game.
  • The irony of this post is that it's being written while I'm on my way to Atlanta (THROUGH Milwaukee). What kind of luck would I have to have to get a few flights cancelled so that I'm stuck in nothing to do Milwaukee. Which would mean that the gods absolutely want me to be in the house?
  • Oh and Brandon Jennings and John Salmons are good...just wanted to make sure no one got that confused.
Str8 Butter Award - No one is getting an award after I spent 3 of my Los Angeles vacation hours in a sports bar watching my team get waxed. Not only that - I was in one of the best restaurants in town in a HAWKS throwback...think of all of the ladies I sabotaged my chances with for the sake of a butt kicking. Seriously...an award!

Starter Kudos/Smackdown -

* M. Williams - Marvin, show up for the playoffs, please.
* Osh Smith - Osh, play before you speak...please!
* M. Bibby - Thanks for giving me a reason to write a 'why Jeff Teague should start in the playoffs blog, just to piss off Peachtree Hoops.
* J. Johnson - You got your props, now let's keep it moving - 4 dribbles or less..ok?
* A. Horford - You too get no pass - 3 rebounds is NOT going to cut it...and I've now also determined that you are the only player who can reasonably be a leader on this team, so I need you to lead as well...starting tonight!

Bench Kudos/Smackdown

* J. Crawford - At any point at which you want to start acting like you want to be in the playoffs for long - we'd appreciate it.
* J. Teague - You already know you aren't doing anything this postseason, so no comment.
* M. Evans - Now is the time for you to also step up as a leader...right after you bring your A game to the playoffs.
* Joe Smith - So much for the revenge on your former team...
* Z. Pachulia - Way to go, bro. Too bad you were the 2nd best Hawks player despite being the 8th best player on the team...yeah, that can't end well for us.
* R. Morris - DNP
* J. Collins - DNP
* M. West - Well, I said he'd only play in blowouts and sure enough - he played...and it was a blowout.

Coaching Kudos/Smackdown

Simply put, I'm just repeating what I've said all year, all last postseason, and nothing has changed. It's not always effort, it can be getting outplayed because the team you're playing doesn't know how to adjust to your adjustments. It's an indictment to me that you can't get your team to do the things it does poorly. It's an indictment of large proportions if your team doesn't fight back when it takes a haymaker on the chin. The Hawks have taken playoff haymakers for 3 straight years and when it connects - it's a wrap. I hate to say it, but we're the Glass Joe of the playoffs. Now, unlike Glass Joe, we actually have some firepower in our fists too, but seriously - you can't keep losing by double digit totals and convince me that you're for real. And this is a problem in coaching - the expectation of this team isn't to fight to the final whistle by the coach or the players. I don't need Coach Woodson to overcoach this team, but I do need him to call out the team and publicly explain the expectations here. Not once have I heard that - I've just heard about effort and denials of trends that negatively portray this team...so it's no surprise that blowouts happen against good teams in the postseason. That this is the case after 3 postseasons is disappointing to no end...there's no excuse.

Str8 Talk Love

No love, but thanks to Nichole, Lamar, and the Katsuya staff for cheering me up and allowing to cheer against the Lakers only steps from Staples Center. Watching the heart of the Thunder just made me feel better (and even made me wish I could trade the entire Thunder organization for the Hawks one. I really, really like that team.

Dance Team/Game Ops update - N/A

Shout Outs - N/A

Final Notes - Did I say that I wish my team was the Thunder? A team stolen from Seattle...that's who I want. Yep, this is what happens when you continue to lose by double digits against bad teams (yep, the Heat last year were bad).

Playoff Prediction
All that said, still rolling with it - Hawks in 5!

1 comment:

CoCo said...

The thing that concerns me more than anything about this team is that they believe the only reason they ever lose games is because of effort. I mean, everyone is content to go around and act like their game plan doesn't have flaws and never needs adjusting. Don't get me wrong, they didn't give great effort in Game 3, but hell one could argue they didn't go all out in Games 1 and 2 and I certainly will. They play in spurts, just hard enough to win games and that's something they've been doing all season, so we can't cite effort as the only reason they ever lose. The only game I can think of where they played hard from start to finish is the Lakers game and quite possibly those Boston games, but they're too far back for me to recall. Anyway, Holman tweeted "At shoot around with the Hawks. They know the Bucks didn't make any great adjustments last game, just played harder. Must bring it tonight"

Skiles did make a couple of adjustments, that clearly worked out perfectly and they need to acknowledge the fact that they didn't do anything to counter those adjustments.