– No quantitative analysis really necessary. The Hawks got outworked by an opponent that played last night, outrun by a team that’s not as fast, outscored by a team with less offensive talent (but better depth).
– The Bucks outscored the Hawks 45-18 in the last 16 minutes of the first half. They had a 17-6 rebounding edge over that period.
– “We came out like we wanted to win,” Josh said. “In the last three quarters, I don’t know what happened.”
– “It’s hard to explain,” Al said. “I don’t understand what happened between the start of the game and the end of the first quarter. I thought we had a good thing going. We had a lot of energy. It’s one of those things you can’t really explain.
– Maybe worst of all, the Hawks stayed down once they got down. “That’s a big concern because I’ve always looked at this team as when it gets a little tough, we have a tendency to hold our head down,” L.D. said. “Anybody can go through stretches where they play well and they win and everybody is high-fiving. When it gets tough, that is when your character really gets tested. When it gets a little tough, I don’t want to see guys hanging their heads. I don’t want to see guys giving up.”
– That’s what happened. The Hawks pretty much let everyone know they had no intentions of making a game of it when Milwaukee opened the third quarter with a 9-1 run and the Hawks didn’t seem to care. “You don’t come in here against the Hawks and expect to be up 30 points,” Scott Skiles said.
– I knew it was over for the Hawks when I saw Smoove get frustrated and fall into one of his don’t give a flip moods in the second quarter.
– “He wasn’t the only one,” L.D. said. “The one thing I don’t want him doing is I don’t want him displaying it. There is a place for it. Certainly we don’t want him doing it out on the floor where the whole world can see he’s upset. We talk about doing it during huddles or at halftime but we don’t want to display it out on the floor. If you get upset, dig your heels in and play a little bit harder.”
– Judging by Josh’s comments after, he was mad because guys weren’t passing: “We didn’t play with a lot of intensity and we didn’t share the ball offensively. That’s what lost us the game.”
– The bench played a big part in this debacle. Don’t let the boxscore fool you. The Hawks got nothing from their reserves until garbage time. L.D. and his staff are always talking about the bench at least maintaining leads they are handed, but two nights in a row they immediately gave them back.
– “We got off to a very good start,” L.D. said. “The minute I started subbing, we went dead in the water. That’s probably the third game that has happened. I have got to find a better substitution patterns or find better combinations. Our energy was the most disheartening thing because when we go to the bench I expect us to be a very high-energy team.”
– Maybe the Hawks just don’t have the depth to beat the better teams when everyone is healthy. No doubt missing Marvin and Mo has fouled up the rotation but how much better could the Hawks really look with those two in the lineup tonight?
– This is the second game in three nights where Twin proved to be out of his element and Etan didn’t play. Powell had trouble checking Ilyasova and Smoove couldn’t keep up with Maggette even when he tried.
– Atlanta’s roster remains unbalanced. Meanwhile, Milwaukee, with roughly the same payroll as Atlanta, played without Carlos Delfino and got little from starters other than Brandon Jennings and John Salmons. But they rolled to a W with useful pieces like Corey Maggette, Ersan Ilyasova, Earl Boykins and Keyon Dooling.
– Now Utah comes to town after back-to-back comeback Ws at Miami and Orlando. The Jazz never lay down, defend like they mean it and run a precise offense that requires focus and effort to defend.
– “We will fix it real quick,” Smoove said. “I am not worried about us getting out of a slump. We are too good of a ballclub.”
– I’m out, Hawks fans.