C-Viv reporting from Philips Arena.
Hawks coach Larry Drew did not use the word “quit” again to describe the Hawks’ performance Friday night at the 76ers. However, the coach did not back off his post-game comments.
Drew would not single any particular player out. He also said he has not address the team following his post-game comments.
Here are some quotes from Drew during his pre-game interview:
“I’m not going to call out any names. It got a little tough and we didn’t respond. We did not respond.”
“Yes [he stands by his post-game comments], I went back and watched it. We had a good first half. They made a run in the third quarter and, as stated, we didn’t respond to it, which is very disappointing. I’ve made statements in the past, I really thought we had turned that corner a little bit in that situation. Teams are going to make runs. Good teams are going to make runs. Philadelphia is a really good team. They played very well. We talked about it at halftime, that that team was going to make a run. We couldn’t fold the tent when they did. We had to mentally be strong and push our way through it when they did. That was not the response we got when they made the run.”
“What I said last night after the game is done. It’s time to move on.”
“Shot selection [was the reason for the poor second half]. Bad shot selection against a team as good as Philadelphia. Bad shot selection is just as good as turnovers. That’s what gets the team going… For a half we played and followed our game plan. Then we came out in the third quarter and completely lost focus of what got us the lead in the first half.”
“Certainly having a key guy like Al [Horford] that can bring some stability in a situation like that. He’s been the type of guy that would get guys to settle down and was vocal in the huddles. Those are the type of situations where you can use a guy like that because his presence along, being on the floor and being in the huddle, is definitely felt.”
“I think it’s everybody’s responsibility, mine included, when you get in those situations you have to be very aware of the flow of the game. Players on the floor have to be aware of the situation. Certainly our guys felt the momentum shift in that third quarter yesterday. And yet, we continue to be seduced into taking ill-advised shots. I just thought we had turned the corner from that. That was the disappointing part. We will bounce back from it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not a situation where we are going to cave in. We are going to learn from last night’s game and we are going to continue to try to get better and better.”
Here are a couple comments from Jerry Stackhouse, the 16-year NBA veteran:
“Hopefully we respond positively. It’s one game. In a long NBA season you are going to have nights like that. But it was a little disappointing to see with almost four minutes left in the game, a 12-point game, we called off the dogs so to speak. But I guess from being around this group [coach Larry Drew] sensed something he’s seen before. Hopefully we can get past that. We’ve talked about growth a lot with this group. Maybe the message after the game and the fact we have a game right back today, we can come back and make amends for not finishing the game the way we should have.”
“It’s on the individual. When you are dealing with a team you’ve got to know which players to push and which players to coddle. The guys that need coddling might be affected differently. We hope not. Hopefully everybody looks at it for what it was. I think his comments were spot on. Now it’s just a matter of responding. More so than what he said last night, he’s looking for a response. Hopefully we can give the proper response tonight.”