Heart - well, again - we got kicked in the teeth toward the middle of the 3rd and it was all downtown from there...so, you're not getting me to tell you that a 14 point loss on the road is a result of playing better with effort and with heart. No, we made some shots and then our ugly tendencies showed up and we couldn't keep ourselves from doing what we know doesn't win basketball games. Plain and simple, so I'm not giving the guys credit for things they should do every single playoff game (i.e. I'll give a pass for not doing this 82 straight games).
Time for some game bullets:
- I hate my coach for saying it takes a near perfect game to beat the Magic.
- I hate every blogger and writer and commentator who says that they like what they saw from the Hawks tonight.
- Kudos to Hubie Brown for doing what Mike Woodson should have done 2-3 years ago and publicly called out Josh Smith for dogging it during this game. Josh Smith should have been benched for his play in the first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter. And by benched, I mean - for the rest of the game. I'm sorry, but I will not lose with players who aren't committed to the team and to the game. And this from someone who has always thought of Josh Smith as my favorite Hawks player.
- Dwight Howard is getting protected by the referees. He committed 9 fouls and only got called for 5. Though you gotta give him credit - he made free throws tonight.
- No one wants to talk about this loudly, but let it be me - Joe Johnson is playing about as well as Mike Bibby, only Bibby is sitting on the bench as a result.
- Here's why stats can be misleading. The Hawks have the #3 offense from the regular season, but yet have a bad offense. Why is it bad? Well, because the offense is built on a faulty foundation. Our foundation is built to weather a regular season marathon. It's not built for the postseason sprint. You can't win a title shooting jump shots off isolations. You can't win a title when you don't attack the weaknesses of the other opponent. You can't win a title when you are a fast breaking team and you don't actually fast break. You can't win a title if your franchise player can't play like it. So, on a night where you are 60% from 3, 97% from free throws, and better on the FG%, you didn't do bad, but when your power forward is turning the ball over, shooting jump shots at the WORST time, and simply not on his game - your stats can look ok and it still be part and parcel for why you lost the game.
- All season I've been hearing about why Mike Bibby is so valuable come playoff time and why we can't develop Jeff Teague at the expense of Bibby's valuable jump shot and playoff experience. I will use the 2010 NBA playoffs as my final salvo to Peachtree Hoops and every commenter who wanted to clown me for emphatically saying that if we want to win a title in the future - Jeff Teague should have been STARTING for this team THIS SEASON. If nothing else, Jeff could be guarding Jameer Nelson just a tad better than anyone else is right now...oh, and maybe he'd be taking us on fast break or two.
- The Orlando Magic are really good.
- So, you want me to believe in you, Mike Woodson. So, now you want to be the adjustment master...RandyMo, Jason Collins..really!?! Those guys deserve PT and yet, Joe Smith and Jeff Teague don't.
- Rick Sund, you don't escape any criticism too - so, no one else was worth picking up outside of Mario West. No one...
- What does it say about me and my fandom that I bought tickets for Game 3 and 4, and have all the hope in the world that we can even this series despite every logical measure telling me that we're going to be swept.
- Jameer Nelson is making a mockery of every doubter of his NBA ability.
- Oh, and that's 14 of 15 playoff losses in the past 3 years where Hawks have failed to keep the losing margin inside 10 pts. Again, debunking ANY thought that there's a moral victory to be had...it was close for a minute, then you just gave up...AGAIN!
Did I mention that I'm calling out anyone who starts with the Hawks and outstanding effort/heart angle? Seriously, if I see that after playing only 30 of 48 minutes, I'm going to blow..AJC, Hoopinion, Peachtree Hoops, The Vent, Soaring Down South...you're on the clock.