Oakland– That’s two games in a row where an all-systems failure led to a dispiriting loss for the Hawks. Same scene after each one, too: J.J. sitting dejectedly at his locker, still in uniform while his teammates hit the showers.
– Not hard to figure why he was bummed about this one. The Hawks did so much right to build an 18-point lead, then blew it by doing everything wrong.
– “We were too comfortable,” Al said. “We thought we could just let them make their run and come back and we would still win.”
– Instead the Warriors took it from them. They had just eight healthy bodies and probably no more than two players on the court who could crack the Hawks’ rotation. Yet they were poised while the Hawks fell apart.
– “We just failed to execute coming down the stretch,” Woody said. “We had a comfortable lead and we stopped doing the things that got us the lead. Defensively, we just shut down.”
– “We definitely stopped playing D,” Jamal said.
– They still had their chances to win. It was tied at 104-104 when Al missed a jumper and it went out of bounds off the Warriors. But Jamal was called for a technical foul, and the Warriors made the free throw for a 105-104 lead.
– “I thought I got pushed under the basket,” Jamal said. “He (the official) didn’t think so. I voiced my frustration and got the technical.”
– Crawford had a chance to make amends when he was wide open for a corner 3-pointer on a pass from J.J. He missed, the Warriors rebounded and Ellis made two free throws for a 107-104 lead.
– The last play for the Hawks: Smoove for a 3-point miss. Huh?
– For the second straight game, the offense stalled in the fourth quarter. Too much standing around and not enough ball movement. “I’ve got to get us out of that,” Woody said. “We are isolating too much now. I’ve got to get more movement, more ball screens, give the ‘bigs’ a chance to make plays.”
– Al is all for that. “The first three quarters we were great. We were unselfish and moving the ball. In the fourth quarter we got very stagnant. We can’t keep letting that happen. It happened early in the year, we fixed it, and now we can’t let it happen again down the stretch when the games are so important.”
– The fourth quarter Iso-Joe count: missed a shot that went off the rim and out of bounds; got fouled and made both free throws; made a 29-foot 3-pointer; missed a leaning jumper on the baseline that Smoove rebounded; and passed out to Jamal for that missed 3-pointer. That’s the most Iso-Joe plays in the fourth since I started keeping count.
– Rookie Stephen Curry ran circles around the Hawks, who never really figured out how to stop him from getting into the lane coming off picks. When they did slow him that way, he made shots.
– “He reminds me of his daddy (Del Curry) except he’s a better pick-and-roll player,” Woody said before the game. “And he’s got a jumpshot. That’s a tough combination.”
– The Hawks now head to Utah, where they’ve lost 15 straight, trying to get a split on the four-game trip. They couldn’t close out the Suns when Woody wouldn’t use his bench, and everyone had a hand in this debacle. “It’s a tough loss,” Woody said. “We are trying to stay at the top of the division. We are trying to stay .500 or better on the road, and now we have slipped under .500. We have some ground to make up.”
– I’m out, Hawks fans.