Michael Cunningham had a more charitable view of the effort than did I:
After a poor effort led to a dispiriting loss at Eastern Conference also-ran Philadelphia on Friday, the Hawks said they would be ready for lottery-bound Indiana on Sunday.Mike Woodson on Horford:
It took them more than a quarter but the Hawks finally backed up their talk with action. Jamal Crawford and Al Horford provided jolts and Josh Smith helped put the finishing touches on a 94-84 victory at Philips arena.
"He’s been consistent from Day One he stepped foot in Atlanta and put on a Hawks uniform. He’s been fantastic. He’s been on a nice roll here of late by getting the doubles-doubles and we are going to need him to continue to do that."Woodson on the second unit:
"Our second unit came in and really picked up our defense up and got us going. I thought that was the difference in the game."Crawford on Crawford:
"Now that’s what my team expects of me. If I’m not doing that I am kind of throwing everyone else out of wack."Danny Granger on Atlanta's D:
"Atlanta always gives you problems because they switch every ball screen. We just really didn’t take advantage of the switches like we should have tonight."In Indiana's defense, it's difficult to take advantage of switches when you have just one player capable of creating his own shot.
The perpetually enigmatic Brandon Rush on the same subject:
"Their switching on defense really gave us problems today, which really took us out of our rhythm to make any shots"Indiana's all-Kansas City starting backcourt made me wonder if any other NBA team starts two guards from the same city. Not so much that I'd do the research myself but enough to wonder out loud. This query ignores whether or not Indiana wants to start an all-Kansas City backcourt.
"Their athleticism up front always gives us problems. They were quicker to the offensive rebounds, quicker driving by us with Josh Smith and Al Horford. We've struggled with them all year."Horford's first quarter defense against Roy Hibbert was exemplary and, perhaps, the only thing that kept the Pacers under 40 points in the opening quarter. If anyone wants an object lesson as to why an increased role for Veteran Big Man Joe Smith in the playoffs sends a chill down my spine, compare Horford's repeated stmyies of Hibbert to the ease with which Hibbert scored the first time he caught the ball in the post after Joe Smith entered the game.
Eight Points, Nine Seconds compares Horford and Hibbert.
Josh Smith finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He was the stat star of the game, but the quintessential play may have been his lazy self-led fast break in the third quarter where he dribbled half speed down the court, demanding you see how little he cared, then picked up his dribble around the free throw line and seemed to say, "I can think even less if I just run with it." Josh picked up an offensive foul and then a technical. There are better examples of going through the motions, like if someone is in a charades game and is trying to act out "going through the motions" but other than that Josh pretty much has it nailed. If you are looking for a positive, Josh Smith tried for around five minutes of this game and still dominated. Which is a pretty big positive, especially if the Hawks can find a way to play the Pacers in the playoffs.Zing!
Soaring Down South provides the definitive sentence about the game:
Well it wasn’t pretty but a win always looks better than a loss.Indy Cornrows searched high and low for positives in defeat:
Solomon Jones showed up against his former team, putting up 7 hustle points and 7 pride filled rebounds in front his old fans.Solomon Jones had fans?