In order of the damage each did to the Hawks' (admittedly slim) chances of winning last night:
1) The impossible to overcome combination of dreadful defensive rebounding (Boston got 39.4% (13 of 33) of all possible offensive rebounds.) and poor field goal defense (Boston made 56% of their two-point shots and 45% of their three-point shots). There aren't enough more free throws to attempt in the world to make up for that degree of deficit in the baskets that count two or three at a time.
2) Josh Smith's shot selection. Smith was 4-13 from the field on the night. That breaks down to 3-3 on layups and dunks, 1-2 on non-dunks inside of 10', 0-4 on two-point shots outside of 15', 0-3 on three-pointers, and 0-1 on a heave at the end of the third quarter. Factor in that none of the 10 free throws Smiths shot came on fouls drawn outside of the paint and the national audience sat through a session of Josh Smith Doesn't Get It.
Or, as Bronn put it in the game thread:
I'll say this for him. He never lets the fact that he's missed every jump shot he's attempted discourage him from taking another.3) Josh Childress had a bad game. Three-quarters of his field goal attempts were missed. Half of his field goal attempts were blocked. He made but a single free throw. He was -19 in 26 minutes and didn't provide a useful alternative to Marvin Williams (-22 in 37 minutes).
4) Sam Cassell makes shots in Boston and Mike Bibby does not. For the series, Cassell is 13-23 from the floor, 3-6 from beyond the arc in Boston and 1-7 from the floor without a three-point attempt in Atlanta. Bibby is 6-25 from the floor, 3-12 from beyond the arc in Boston and 9-20 from the floor, 4-8 from beyond the arc in Atlanta. This is a key reason why Atlanta won both home games but it's really only affected the margin of victory in Boston.
Game links and the commentary of others to follow in a subsequent post.