And so it ends in a manner that makes a fool of anyone who allowed themselves some morsel of hope or put some measure of faith in this team's ability to compete in a road game against a good, motivated opponent. Had the Hawks converted some of their interior field goals attempts (or if Josh Smith had picked an opportune moment to renounce the complicated layup and found religion in terms of dunking on people) and grabbed a reasonable percentage of defensive rebounds in the first quarter the result would have remained in doubt later into the afternoon.
The evidence of the second and third quarter does not suggest that a better start would have given the Hawks a chance to win the game as the surpassed any fan's most outrageous, frustrated hyperbole in appearing rudderless: five disparate individuals rather than a team, sharing the court but no philosophy. In that respect, Game 7 should provide a fitting conclusion to the Mike Woodson era.
The Billy Knight era could have concluded yesterday as well though its impact will linger through this pick-less NBA Draft and in Marvin Williams' suspension that will surely delay his 2008-09 debut. Williams committed a frightening and thankfully not destructive foul. Bizarrely Williams body-slammed Rajon Rondo without a hint of malice. Williams simply didn't know what he was doing (the lack of instruction young players have received as employees of this franchise is not limited to offense and defense), thus ending his season, a season that began with such promise, with a sadly appropriate aimless and awkward act.