Vivlamore reporting from Philips Arena, the day after the Hawks’ Game 4 loss to the Celtics.
A day later, Joe Johnson was at loss for words about the Hawks’ embarrassing Game 4 loss to the Celtics that has the team on the brink of playoff elimination.
His one-word answer to a question on his number of shot attempts spoke volumes.
Johnson took just eight shots in Sunday’s 101-79 loss to the Celtics, who are up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 5 Tuesday at Philips Arena.
“I don’t think they are doing anything different defensively on me,” Johnson said. “I think it’s just, basically, getting an opportunity to touch the ball. That’s it.”
When asked if he was not happy with his touches, Johnson answered with a simple, but emphatic, “No.”
Here is what some others had to say about Johnson’s lack of shots in Sunday’s game:
Larry Drew: “We run a lot of things through him. He’s got to be more aggressive in working to get his shots and we have to be mindful when he hasn’t had a shot in one or two trips down the floor we’ve got to get him the ball. All the things that we do run, and we do run a lot of things where we do go through him, I give Boston a lot of credit on how they have defended him. Collectively, while they are out there they have to get him the ball more. Just watching the film in flying back last night there were a number of situations where we could have just made one extra pass and the extra pass would have been to him. We’ve just got to be a little bit more mindful to make sure he is getting touches.”
Jeff Teague: “We’ve got him the ball in Game 3. He got a lot of touches. Last night, they took us out of our stuff and made it difficult to get him the ball. We will try to make a conscious effort in Game 5 to get him the ball and make sure he makes plays for us.
“He is our go-to player. Eight shots is not enough, especially in a playoff game for a guy who can play like him. We’ve got to make sure we get him the ball.”
Al Horford: “Joe is our main guy. We go to him. We has to get us going offensively so he needs to go out there and be an enforcer and make his presence felt. I don’t think my shots or Erick Dampier’s shots are affecting him. I think Joe needs to be aggressive. He needs to go out there and score the ball. That’s when we are at our best when he does that.”
This will be the subject of today’s story for the print edition. You can read the entire story online later. However, feel free to leave your comments on Johnson and his thoughts here.