– I wondered if L.D. would try to keep an even keel after this beat down. You know, try not to overreact to a bad regular-season loss. Keep it in perspective. Say something soothing instead of the something scathing.
– Nope. Not even close. He finally emerged 20 minutes after the game ended and ripped his team for its second surrender in the last two weeks.
– “This was very, very embarrassing,” he said. “If I had to sum it up in one word: embarrassing. To come out with that type energy; that type urgency. What I see with our team right now I don’t feel real good about.”
– The scene was eerily similar to the aftermath of the Orlando series. Bickering players, poor body language, lack of resolve and booing fans during the game. Quiet locker room and questions about character after it. “We came out tonight and didn’t compete,” Jamal said.
– Same group, new coach, and so far the same results. Actually, I can’t even say same results since the Hawks beat some good teams along the way to 53Ws and the No. 3 seed. They haven’t beaten any yet this season. The Hawks are supposed to match up better with the Celtics, especially with Rajon Rondo (ankle) in street clothes.
– Matchups hardly matter when the Hawks fail to show up. “We have some soul-searching to do,” Al said. “I don’t think we are [accountable]. We tend to have excuses for everything.”
– “I never would have thought we would come out so not ready to play,” J.J. said. “They remember we swept them last season. They wanted to come in and send a message and they did it.”
– Not surprisingly, there were some flareups in Atlanta’s huddles. At one point Al tried to huddle up the team and calm things down. “Guys have got to understand you can’t be sensitive to policing,” Josh said.
– “I am disappointed that we are not playing with a hunger,” L.D. said. “We are looking to point fingers. We are playing the blame game. More importantly, our energy level is not good at all. We are not doing things quick, we are not doing things with speed, we are not doing things with urgency.”
– The Hawks again looked more sluggish at the start than an opponent that had played the day before. The same thing happened against Milwaukee and Dallas.
– “We are playing like we are coming off a back-to-back-to-back,” Drew said. “I told the guys I don’t know what you are doing the night before we play, I don’t know what you are doing away from the floor. Something is going on that is not allowing us to play with an energy and passion that we should be playing with. As a head coach, I’ve got to find out what it is.”
– Nate Robinson ran circles around the Hawks in the opening three minutes with five points and two assists. Plenty of open shots were available for the Celtics and they made most of them. Boston collected pretty much every Atlanta miss.
– “Something is going on and I’ve got to get to the bottom of it,” L.D. said. “Players have to know themselves. They have to know their bodies. They have to know how to get physically and mentally ready for every game, especially at the start. First four minutes of the game, when I see my players bending over grabbing their shorts because they are winded, something is going on. Something is wrong.”
– The Hawks never really threatened to rally after Boston’s opening barrage. The Celtics’ older, experienced heads schooled the younger, faster and more athletic Hawks.
– “We never hit back,” Joe said. “We made it real easy for them.”
– “The Celtics know who they are,” Mo said. “We don’t have an identity, unless it’s when things go bad we go the other way. Maybe that’s out identity and we don’t know it.”
– Before the game, L.D. said he thinks the Hawks hadn’t yet figured out how to “tighten the screws up” when they face adversity but he believes they have the personnel to do so. The close losses to Phoenix, Orlando, Dallas and Utah and the beat downs from Milwaukee and Boston suggest otherwise.
– “We start making excuses,” L.D. said. “We start getting on the officials. We start getting on teammates. All of those things start to seep in when things aren’t going well. That’s not a good sign at all.”
– L.D. has talked about accountability. What can he do once he figures out the problem with his players? “I’ve got to address it with each individual,” he said. “If I see something wrong, I have to address it. It can’t be sugarcoated.”
– Sorry for not posting the usual pregame blog post. I had it written and it was a masterpiece. But when I tried to post it the blog monster turned on its owner and ate it, leaving behind no remains to salvage.
– I’m out, Hawks fans.