Atlanta Hawks at Celtics Game 4: Celtics 101, Hawks 79

Boston–I could sense the anguish among tweeps over this one. Just when they thought they could at least expect the Hawks to compete, they do this. So much for management’s boasts about being in the same league as the Celtics and the Lakers.

  • Now comes the mockery from Charles Barkley and every other critic who said the Hawks would eventually go belly up. The Hawks never really surrendered like this all season. So why did it happen now, when they were healthier and the stakes were so high?
  • “I really can’t [explain it],” Al Horford said. “I’m trying to sit there and look at it but the only thing that I can tell is that from the beginning of the game, from the jump ball, they established themselves and were way more aggressive. I think we were on our heels from that point on. You can’t do that in the playoffs.”
  • “It felt like we was going to do something good, what, the first five or six minutes of the first quarter,” Josh Smith said. “They just went on a run and scored, what, [32] points in the first quarter? That’s giving this team way too many points in one quarter.You catch yourself climbing uphill against a team that’s good like this that knows how to put a team away.”
  • “It’s very disappointing,” Larry Drew said. “It’s a playoff game. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be jacked up to play. The fact that we did not respond to their aggressiveness, it just totally took us out of our game. We didn’t respond to it all. We didn’t have the zap, we didn’t have the speed. We were doing everything at about 60 percent. This is the the playoffs. How can you not have it?”
  • On a day when Mike Woodson finally managed to end his streak of playoff embarrassments, Drew delivered one of his own. His rotations were out of whack again. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d made all the right moves considering his team wasn’t ready to play, but we didn’t get to find out.
  • Drew on not playing Ivan Johnson until garbage time: “He was available. I just decided I was going to play Al those minutes.” Ivan wasn’t very good in Game 3 and Jason Collins had been effective in Games 1 and 2, but it quickly became clear this game better suited for Ivan’s energy than Collins’ beef.
  • Drew on leaving the starters in through the third quarter, when the Hawks never cut the lead to less than 25: “I was going to try to put a dent in it. We had two or three possessions where we had some good things happen. I just said if we couldn’t close the gap in the third quarter then I would just let the starters” sit.
  • I can sort of see why Al continued to play. He needs to knock off the rust and there’s no increased risk of re-injury (though that collision with Ray Allen was a little scary). The counterargument is the Hawks are such longshots to come back and win this series, what’s the point?
  • Leaving Josh in is harder to understand. He’s got patellar tendonitis and there’s a chance of re-injury because of weakness in the joint.
  • In any event, both Josh and Al made it through the game unscathed. Josh said he would play in Game 5: “It felt OK. Obviously it was a little sore to begin with but when the game started flowing my knee started getting warm and a little more flexible. It will probably feel a little sore tomorrow but that’s how it is when you come back from an injury.”
  • Josh clearly didn’t have his same explosiveness and he deserves credit for playing on a bum knee. But I thought his focus was lacking early, too. Those two careless turnovers in transition are nothing new but they ignited Boston’s running game.
  • Al: “It’s a different feeling. It’s just exciting to be out there. I’ll be able to tell more how I feel tomorrow. Right now I have the adrenalin going. I will have to see how I feel [for Game 5].”
  • Al had gone back-and-forth on whether he’d play in this series. “It was just being able to mentally prepare myself for a playoff-intense kind of game,” he said. “I knew that I wasn’t there two days ago and [also] my body feeling good. After yesterday’s practice I felt good enough and I told myself if I woke up Sunday and felt good I was going to try to give it a go.”
  • Drew: “He came in after he warmed up and said he felt good, that he wanted to give it a go. My plan was to play him about five minutes a quarter, just to get his legs, get his wind a little bit longer. In the second half he got into a pretty good rhythm where he felt good.”
  • Al looked (understandably) shaky during his first stint. By the second quarter he looked good enough that you remembered how badly the Hawks could have used him to start this series. That’s true even with Al missing his mid-range shots.
  • That’s about all there is to talk about with the Hawks in this game. It was pretty much over after Paul Pierce made three Js during that 12-0 run early in the fourth quarter as the fans went wild and Atlanta bumbled through possessions.
  • No doubt the Celtics made shots. It’s one thing for Paul Pierce to light it up but when Rajon Rondo, Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling are raining down jumpers, it’s not a good sign. But it’s also true that the Celtics played at a pace Atlanta couldn’t match.
  • “They shot the mess out of it tonight,” Josh said. “I’m watching it being a real observer on the bench, and they are just running the plays way more harder than we are. Whatever play is called for—Ray Allen is coming off screens 100 miles per hour, Paul Pierce is finding a way to get open. [Kevin Garnett] setting screens and getting the guards open. We have to be able to try to duplicate what they do and get open. They are trying to hard to not let Joe catch the ball and being physical. We have to try to return the favor and see if they like it and stop being so passive.”
  • The Hawks were a good transition D during the regular season (sixth in efficiency during the regular season, according to Synergy Sports Technology). The Celtics are a slow-paced team but that doesn’t mean they don’t run: Transition was their third-most used play type, according to Synergy. They ranked just 18th in efficiency but it’s been hard to tell against the Hawks.
  • “We came into the series with a mindset of having to get up and down the floor, push the basketball and to make it a game of transition,” Drew said. “But it seems like they are doing it to us, which at the start of this series that would be an area where we should be able to flourish. But we have not done a good job of that. They are dictating the pace and rhythm of the game.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

219 comments Add your comment

Tootsi

May 6th, 2012
11:31 pm

No word from Joe?

Tootsi

May 6th, 2012
11:33 pm

After his latest epic no show? Obviously can’t pin a beat down like this on one guy, but it would be nice if he just carried the team for one game and got us a win when we didn’t expect it.

The series was lost when we blew the game 2 lead. Hope changes are coming.

northcyde

May 6th, 2012
11:33 pm

We have to try to return the favor and see if they like it and stop being so passive.”

That is correct Mr. Smith.

doc

May 6th, 2012
11:33 pm

I could sense the anguish among tweeps over this one. Just when they thought they could at least expect the Hawks to compete, they do this. So much for management’s boasts about being in the same league as the Celtics and the Lakers.

heh heh my thought was if we get blown out here then we can at least stop one more of the spin charades the basg throws out there that has no meaning.

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:36 pm

For what its worth: Philly would have dropped kicked the SWANS in 4….Yes?

northcyde

May 6th, 2012
11:37 pm

Tootsi . . the Celtics were shooting 60% FG until they put their scrubs in the 4th quarter. Unless every Hawk came out as hot as Boston did, we still get blown out. Even if you take the 1st half point total that the Hawks had in Game 1, we’d still be losing 64 – 49 at halftime.

The problem was on the defensive end . . . all night. And the possession killing turnovers.

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:38 pm

Prediction:

Sund and Larry Leisure will be back..

The streak will continue.

13-24

bigdave

May 6th, 2012
11:39 pm

Say what you want to say about his shot selection, or errant passes, but the boy knows basketball.

I’ve been stating since game 2 that the hawks have to keep the celtics from getting points from quick hitters.. be it in early offense or the transition game. Make them work to score. They can struggle in the half court…

Adam

May 6th, 2012
11:39 pm

Joe Johnson’s MVP run continued tonight.

He continues to own each and every one of you.

bigdave

May 6th, 2012
11:39 pm

And get a hand up dammit… stop with the lazy half arsed close outs!

bigdave

May 6th, 2012
11:41 pm

Wait, joe had (nothing) to say?

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:41 pm

Woody got a win with his 3 point guards injured? Wow…..Against Miami no less…

christopher mehegan

May 6th, 2012
11:41 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOU BUNCH OF WASHED UP REFEREE BIYATCHING DEPENDS SCRATCHING PANTS POOPING FAKE PARQUEE DIVA DIVE ARTIST’S R NOW DOWN TO THE CELTICS 3-1 IN THE SERIES WITH A CHANCE FOR THE CELTICS TO OBLITERATE U GUYS FROM THE 1ST ROUND AND PROVE TO U BUNCH OF ATLANTA PLAYOFF FOOTNOT STEPPING STONE CHOKERS ONCE AGAIN THAT U WILL ALWAYS BE KNOW AS THE NBA’S MOST TALKED ABOUT ATLANTA PLAYOFF FOOTNOTE STEPPINGSTONE CHOKERS HAHAHAH CLOSING TIME ATLANTA TIME TO SAY U QUIT BECAUSE THE 1ST ROUND PLAYOFF EXIT IS CALLING U INTO THE OFFSEASON HOME FOR GOOD HAHAHAHA GREEN & WHITE FOREVER GO CELTICS LIKE THE OLD SPORTS SAYING GOES WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

Joe for 3

May 6th, 2012
11:41 pm

Joe for 3

May 6th, 2012
11:42 pm

christopher mehegan – moron.

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2012
11:43 pm

“The problem was on the defensive end . . . all night. And the possession killing turnovers.”

So what should we do defensively to keep Rondo, Pierce, Allen, Garnett,and Dooking from hitting long jumpshots? LOL

bigdave

May 6th, 2012
11:43 pm

Certain shid should just come with 120 big guy.. what’s your take on what transpired?

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2012
11:44 pm

“Dooling”

Rick

May 6th, 2012
11:45 pm

Ok Hawks when the media dumps on you I got you back. When these so call transplants from other places fill our arena and cheer for the visitor I got you back. When you dont play well I got your back. I am a fan true blue born and raised in the ATL so I got your back. However when you dont compete and QUIT before you start to play tou make it hard for us fans who have to defend you to the likes od those ESPN and TNT host and these so called fake fans here. You OWE real fans some heart in these next 3 games. YES I said 3you because I expect you all to play with passion and with heart. Go Hawks.

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:46 pm

Why the blow out? Look who showed up? Robotus, who has the defensive presence of the former Miss Camel _____.

Was he not a major participant in those massive record setting blowouts last year? Hmmmmmm

Can you say the word “CHEMISTRY”????????

Rick

May 6th, 2012
11:48 pm

Sorry about the typo’s.

HighlightFactory

May 6th, 2012
11:48 pm

Boston fans are so ignorant. The series is not over yet. The celts won three in a row now its our turn. Go Hawks.
Trade marvin and kirk!

NightmareFactory

May 6th, 2012
11:49 pm

Enter your comments here

brigadierjerry

May 6th, 2012
11:51 pm

Question for all hawks fans. Hawks will lose this series whether in 5 or 6 games but my question for all is what moves or who would you look to get rid of as far as the core of Williams, Johnson, Smith Horford. I expect Teague to be around and Hinrich not to be back. The Mcgrady’s, Pargo’s Willie Green will be gone. Ivan Johnson probably 50/50 if he will be back. So what moves would you make as far as the core 4 because this team has peaked. Team is mentally weak. I think it may be better to focus on building around a superstar player and then build with some solid core pieces around them.

Joe Johnsons time should be done here. Same with Marvin. One of them need to be amnestied. If management doesnt want to keep around Smith or Horford trade the one you dont want for picks or some solid role players.

This team needs a new coat of paint. Time for this group to move on to other teams.

I also would take a long look at hiring Jerry Sloan or maybe take a chance on Sam Mitchell or even Mike Dantoni but this group of Hawks players minus a few need to move on.

I would be willing to take 2 steps back to be better off in the future/

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

“We came into the series with a mindset of having to get up and down the floor, push the basketball and to make it a game of transition,” Drew said. “But it seems like they are doing it to us, which at the start of this series that would be an area where we should be able to flourish. But we have not done a good job of that. They are dictating the pace and rhythm of the game.” -Leisure-

doc owns Larry Leisure..

doc

May 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

yeah josh the game speeds up in the playoffs. you better tell your teammates to wake up.

brigadierjerry

May 6th, 2012
11:53 pm

christopher mehegan,

Can we make a wager that your team doesnt make the Finals?

christopher mehegan

May 6th, 2012
11:55 pm

HEY,JOE FOR 3 @JOE FOR 3 HAHAHAHAHAHA THE ONLY ONE WHO IS THE MORON FOR POOPING UR PANTS AT THE SIGHT OF SEEING UR ATLANTA STEPPINGSTONE PLAYOFF FOOTNOTE CHOKERS IS YOU PSST UR MUDDER IS CALLING U HOME TO CHANGE UR DEPENDS AND SHE IS ALSO TELLING U TO RACK OUT UR OLD GOLF CLUBS POLISH IT UP REAL NICE MAKE PLANS TO ARRANGE TEE-TIMES AT UR LOCAL OUT HOUSE GOLF COURSE CAUSE COME TUESDAY YOUR SEASON WILL BE OVER JUST LIKE TONIGHT BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED CLOSING TIME ATLANTA PLAYOFF STEPPINGSTONE FOOTNOTE CHOKERS TIME TO RACK UP UR GOLF CLUBS CAUSE THE 1ST ROUND PLAYOFF SERIES EXIT IS CALLING U TO UR OFFSEASON HOME FOR GOOD GREEN & WI=HITE FOREVER BIYATCH GO CELTICS LIKE THE OLD SPORTS SAYING GOES WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

High-sider

May 6th, 2012
11:55 pm

“…The problem was on the defensive end . . . all night. And the possession killing turnovers.” – northcyde

Here we go with this bullsh-t again. The Hawks only scored a total of 79 points tonight in Game 4 vs. the Celtics and he [northcyde] says the [main] problem was on the defensive end. This motherf-cker is stuck on stupid. I’m sick of your [northcyde's] idiotic a-s. He [northcyde] thinks he knows everything [about Hawks' basketball] and doesn’t know sh-t. This is the same guy [northcyde] who gave Marvin Williams a rating / grade of 81 / “B”- for his [Marvin Williams'] regular season performance. Are you bloggers going to continue to listen to this sh-thead?

Slimjr

May 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

You have to shop Marvin, Josh and All Whatever…

Josh is going to get his 100 million after next season..He’s out of here! Trade him for picks..

Trade Marvin for a 3rd round pick! OOPS my bad, wrong sport…

We are stuck with ISO for at least two more years…

Big Ray

May 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

We have to try to return the favor and see if they like it and stop being so passive.”

No kidding.

Nice to see Horford back out on the floor, not bad work for 20 minutes. Wish he was at full strength, feel the same way about Josh.

We miss Zaza.

The bench didn’t have it….not that Larry Drew knows how to use them. Ivan Johnson is a guy who can light the situation up, whether it’s a hard foul, a jam….something. But he gets 5 minutes….LD is a fool.

Joe Johnson….gon’ and get paid, man. ‘Cause you ain’t doin’ sh!t else…

DDub

May 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

I think not seeing a published comment from Joe Johnson once again makes my point. Over-paid, Over-rated, Under-stated, Under-whelming and apparently not the leader on a team with a leadership problem. 3 more years on that contract and counting…..Wake me up when it’s over :O

HighlightFactory

May 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

Christopher, are you out of breath?

northcyde

May 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

Rod from College Park

May 6th, 2012
11:43 pm

“The problem was on the defensive end . . . all night. And the possession killing turnovers.”

So what should we do defensively to keep Rondo, Pierce, Allen, Garnett,and Dooking from hitting long jumpshots? LOL

************************

The same thing they did to us . . make sure we close out on them.

It’s one thing to make tough shots with a hand in your face. But most of the shots Boston made tonight were wide open jumpers.

This is the playoffs. No way can you allow a team wide open looks like what they were getting. Just a lazy effort by this team on the defensive end.

Fats OKelly

May 6th, 2012
11:59 pm

Followed the Hawks for 30 years and there is no excuse for this. Did they think the tradition rich Celtics were going to treat this like a practice game. Celtics have won many NBA championships and they treated this game like they were going to war. The Hawks just showed up and now I hope the Celtics show them the exit door in Atlanta. I am done with these frauds.

Big Ray

May 6th, 2012
11:59 pm

Slimjr ,

You and I better both hope you’re wrong. I don’t want to see LD with any more rookies/youngster, I don’t care if it’s a lottery pick (which it won’t be).

If Josh leaves and Joe stays, it better be via a trade. But that’s not the way Hawks ownership does things. Nope, they’ll let him walk for nothing like the dumba$$es they are.

Two more years of ISO and no J-Smash/Smoove, and Horford will be trying to get traded as well. The ship is sinking….

najah dappenfart

May 7th, 2012
12:01 am

No outside shooting..no half court offense..ISO Joe..time for Estate Sale…blow up the Spirit Group!

Big Ray

May 7th, 2012
12:03 am

And I’m out….I’d rather talk about the Falcons having nothing to do until rookie camp opens than this BS.

Let’s just get the dang series over with so somebody else can show the Celtics the door like they should be.

Reason why the Hawks aren’t better than the Falcons – when it comes to playoffs, the Hawks beat teams that are ranked lower than them (except last year’s rotten Orlando squad who was doomed to begin with…that was the anomaly in this theory). Never do they beat teams that are ranked higher.

Contrast that with the Falcons, who in their last 3 playoff appearances, have been matched up with the NFC team that went to the SB.

Big difference….

Big Ray

May 7th, 2012
12:04 am

time for Estate Sale…blow up the Spirit Group!

That already happend, via spontaneous internal combustion.

Somebody let the Unibomber out….he missed a couple of guys…

northcyde

May 7th, 2012
12:06 am

High-sider

May 6th, 2012
11:55 pm

“…The problem was on the defensive end . . . all night. And the possession killing turnovers.” – northcyde

Here we go with this bullsh-t again. The Hawks only scored a total of 79 points tonight in Game 4 vs. the Celtics and he [northcyde] says the [main] problem was on the defensive end. This motherf-cker is stuck on stupid. I’m sick of your [northcyde's] idiotic a-s. He [northcyde] thinks he knows everything [about Hawks' basketball] and doesn’t know sh-t. This is the same guy [northcyde] who gave Marvin Williams a rating / grade of 81 / “B”- for his [Marvin Williams'] regular season performance. Are you bloggers going to continue to listen to this sh-thead?

****************

We give up 64 points in the 1st half to a team that can’t break 90 points on most nights . . with the Celtics shooting well over 60% FG . . and you think the problem was OFFENSE tonight?

I see the “little boy” comment got under your skin. Now you’re cussing like an immature “little boy”, Grow up “little boy”, and learn about playoff basketball.

This is the Eastern Conference. Defense has been a staple of this conference for decades. You play defense, or you DIE.

EmirS.

May 7th, 2012
12:06 am

So wtf is this? A 22 point loss in the playoffs?

I couldn’t watch the game, but looking from the outside in:

* Horford comes back and we lose by 22. Now please understand I am not trying to bash Horford or anything, but don’t be surprised when everyone else does.

* Pargo took 11 shots. Joe took 8 shots. What’s going on here?

* Was Bostons Defense THAT good and their Offense THAT on point?

BIG DOG

May 7th, 2012
12:07 am

We complain about the media not giving Hawks respect, HA NOW I SEE WHY.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

BIG DOG

May 7th, 2012
12:10 am

No way do Hawks bring coach LD back after this season, if so Highlight factory will be mad empty next year.

BIG DOG IN THE HOUSE

najah dappenfart

May 7th, 2012
12:13 am

Marvin an 81? LMAO! May be his wingspan….Time for this experiment to hit the road,,, with the SPIRIT Group!!!!!

christopher mehegan

May 7th, 2012
12:13 am

HEY,HIGHLIGHTFACTORY @HIGHLIGHTFACTORY HAHAHAHAHAH I AM JUST GETTING STARTED LET’S FACE IT U BUNCH OF ATLANTA PLAYOFF STEPPINGSTONE FOOTNOTE CHOKERS HAVE AN INCOMTEMPT ORGANIZATION AN INCONTEMPT COACH WHO LOOKS LIKE A BLOODSHOT DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS AFTER HE TOOK A HUGE CRAP IN THE ATLANTA PLAYOF FOOTNOT CHOKERS OUTHOUSE NOT TO MENTION AN INCONTEMPT FAN BASE THAT WILL NEVER SEE AN NBA TITLE NEVERMIND THE NBA FINALS HAHAHAH UR MUDDER’SCALLING U TO LET U KNOW THAT COME TUESDAY THE BOSTON CELTICS WILL BLOW U GUYS RIGHT OUT OF UR OWN HOUSE JUST LIKE THEY DID TONIGHT CLOSING TIME ATLANTA PLAYOFF FOOTNOT STEPPING STONE CHOKERS UR SEASON’S JUST ABOUT OVER AND THE 1ST ROUND PLAYOFF SEASON OFFSEASON HOME IS CALLING U IN FOR GOOD GREEN & WHITE FOREVER GO CELTICS WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

Joe for 3

May 7th, 2012
12:14 am

“So wtf is this? A 22 point loss in the playoffs?”

Emir S. It was far worse than that.

bigdave

May 7th, 2012
12:14 am

I’ve been wanting them to look at Sam Mitchell….

Rod from College Park

May 7th, 2012
12:14 am

Northcyde,

Why is Philly, averaging 92ppg against the #1 defensive team in the league? They played most of the season without D. Rose.

Slimjr

May 7th, 2012
12:14 am

“It’s one thing to make tough shots with a hand in your face. But most of the shots Boston made tonight were wide open jumpers.

This is the playoffs. No way can you allow a team wide open looks like what they were getting. Just a lazy effort by this team on the defensive end.”

Hawkie 2012: Ah Houston, we have a problem!

Houston Control: Whats the problem Hawkie 2012?

Hawkie 2012: This coach is in assistant mode not HC mode and we’re losing altitude.. Vertical Thrusters are having no effect!!

Houston Control: UH OH! HAVE YOU DEPLOYED THE PARACHUTES AS OF YET?

Hawkie 2012: Awe Ch$t, we forgot to pack them!

“radio silence” Then you hear crickets……………

jon kontract

May 7th, 2012
12:15 am

LD was an improvement over Woodson…but coached just like him in this series….ouch…Keep him for another yr to see improvement.