– Too much Kevin Durant (again), too many defensive breakdowns for the Hawks. “Defensively we were nonexistent in the second half,” Woody told FSN South’s James Verrett. “That third quarter was a bad defensive effort.”
– The Hawks pretty much controlled Durant in the second half but let Russell Westbrook get loose and kept giving up rebounds. The Thunder is a good rebounding team but 17 offensive boards?
– And what about nine boards for Westbrook vs. five for Al, six for Smoove and six for Marvin?
– The Thunder collected 28 of the Hawks’ 39 misses (72 percent). The Hawks got 26 of the Thunder’s 44 misses (59 percent).
– The Hawks got within two when Durant made a couple jumpers and set up his teammates for two scores. That was it. He’s the first player since Allen Iverson nine seasons ago to score at least 25 points in 22 consecutive games
– Durant is for real. He also gets a lot of calls. Tough to say where one ends and the other begins.
– J.J. (37 points) was feeling it. He prevented the Hawks from getting blown out in the third. And even though he wasn’t getting calls, he got to the line for eight free throws.
– This wasn’t one of those games where the Hawks had something else working and went away for it for Iso-Joe. J.J. was what the Hawks had working, they went away from him early in the fourth, and the offense stalled. “He had it going, ” Woody said. “We were picking and choosing (going to other guys) but we weren’t consistent offensively.”
– ‘Nique was calling for J.J. to come off screens instead of running isos. He got his wish late but it only served to clog things up for J.J. The Thunder was able to double him and force him to give up the ball, and no one else could make big shots at the right time.
– “We made a game of it in the fourth but then we shot ourselves out of it,” Woody said.
– But, really, this loss wasn’t about the offense. “We weren’t too flat but we just couldn’t get stops,” Woody said. “Defensively and rebounding the basketball, we are struggling a little bit in those two areas. Those are the main two areas you’ve got to be clicking to win games, especially on the road.”
– I saw one Iso-Joe in the fourth quarter though not sure if I should include it in the count because it wasn’t a called play. Al set a screen and his man doubled J.J., who backed out and decided to take Thabo Sefolosha one-on-one. He lost the ball out of bounds on the drive. Looked like a foul but goes down as a turnover.
– The Hawks put some good traps on Durant, particularly Zaza, who was showing hard. Trapping Durant might have worked if the Hawks rebounded the ball when his teammates missed.
– More early minutes for Joe Smith. He rebounded and played solid D. I still get the feeling he’s going to help the Hawks in the playoffs. He’s the kind of vet who knows how to stay ready.
– Al is making strong moves to the basket but was missing chippies lately. So it was good to see that dunk off a Bibby feed in the third quarter. But where was he in the fourth?
– Smoove is so much better when he catches the ball and immediately makes his move. When he pauses, it gives defenders a chance to scrape at the ball once he puts it on the floor.
– He’s really good at taking hard bumps and still getting off his shot. And did you see his drive and kick to J.J.? Where did that come from?
– Smoove got his 1,000th career block. He’s the youngest to do it.
– Dang ‘Rio hung in the air for that tip dunk. A little extra bounce in his step due to the new cheese?
– Marvin was just kind of out there. He really can make something happen when he attacks the basket but then he settles for jumpers and finishes his moves going away from the basket.
– Bibby’s shot seems to be back. He also was setting guys up. Hawks need that more than once every three or four nights.
– Jeff Teague was a pest on defense, made a nice runner and generally didn’t foul up. That jumper is going to take time, though.
– Hawks almost got screwed on another shotclock error. Woody was going crazy until Hawks got the ball back.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.