Some fourth quarter details...
- The Hawks scored on just 5 of their first 14 fourth quarter possessions to go from 84-83 after three quarters to 93-100 with 4:14 left.
- The Hawks then scored on eight of their last nine possessions but failed to gain any ground as the Knicks scored on 7 of 8 possessions over the same stretch.
- The Hawks didn't make a jump shot (they missed seven) in the fourth quarter until Joe Johnson's with 1:29 left, down 100-109.
- In the game recap, I gave Teague credit for being +4 in 90 seconds of playing time, thinking that constituted just his third quarter stint. He was also on the floor for Jamal Crawford's garbage time layup, which gave the rookie a meaningless +2.
"Defensively, we were nonexistent. Josh covers up a lot of mistakes sometimes. We got exposed a little bit tonight."Joe Johnson:
"All the rotations we went over and over and over [in practice]; we just didn't execute."Ken Sugiura:
[Josh] Smith, who apologized to his teammates following the game, was not in the locker room when media were allowed in.Woodson:
"[Smith] just can't put himself in that position again."Marvin Williams:
"You kind of hope a guy can contain himself in situations like that. I don't know what happened. It didn't look like anything too out of control. Obviously, the referee didn't like it."Johnson:
"Those things happen. When they do, other guys have to step up."The details on Joe Johnson's excellent second half: 22 points (9-13 FGA, 0-1 3PTA, 4-6 FTA, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover).
"It was kind of a relief knowing when you went to the basket that he wasn't going to be there to knock it away."David Lee:
"When he got thrown out, it was big for us, he changes the dynamic of the game with his shot-blocking and presence. After he left, we were just able to go to pick and rolls."The Human Highlight Blog:
Josh Smith began to be enamored with his second favorite basketball vice, the complaint. After making a tough shot with a slight bit of contact, he blew up at Bob Delaney, earning him a technical foul. The Hawks were so de-focused as a team that they allowed Smith to continue to unleash venom at Delaney to the point where his services were rendered disqualified for the rest of the night. So on a night where the Knicks were ramming the ball down the Hawks' throat offensively, Atlanta's strongest lane deterrent chose obscenities over participation. The other Hawks seemed amused by this, but THHB was not. Not by Smith's actions, nor his teammates inaction.Posting and Toasting:
The Knick defense and shot selection was superior to their previous game against Atlanta and, well, about 15 other games this season, but the Hawks also deserve recognition for failing to make shots from absolutely everywhere on the floor. They shot 4-23 as a team from downtown and I'm pretty sure I saw someone miss a tip-in from inside the basket. Sometimes the rim's got a lid.Matt Moore wrote a very good post at Hardwood Parxoysm about the theoretical and practical implications of usage rate for individual players within the context of team success. I agree with almost all of it so, of course, I air my one disagreement in the comments.
The January 15th game against Phoenix and the March 21st game against San Antonio (both at home) will be broadcast on ESPN.