|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|MIL||86 ||1.058 ||45.9||31.1 ||29.3||16.3 |
|ATL||86||1.012||44.6 ||15.7 ||27 ||14|
Let's forgive the Hawks, anyone of us who ever assumed one of their blown fourth quarter leads was caused by disinterest. Tonight, at home, in a playoff game, in a playoff series tied at two games each, they scored 5 points* and allowed 18 in the final 3 minutes and 54 seconds to fall behind three games to two and head back to Milwaukee, where they've lost both games this series, in particular and the road, where they've lost 10 of 11 playoff games, in general.
*And the 5 points they scored came after the Milwaukee Bucks had scored 14 straight.
Even the nine-point lead the Hawks blew ended badly, with points 81 and 82 coming on a terrible possession that began with Joe Johnson making no effort at all to work fro an angle from which to feed Marvin Williams (guarded by Luke Ridnour, a matchup that had led to five Atlanta points on the previous two possessions) in the post and ended with a Josh Smith jumper (made, quite unexpectedly) with less than five seconds left on the shot clock.
Scott Skiles calls timeout and takes Ridnour out the game. Then...
John Salmons beats Josh Smith (who had switched onto him) off the dribble, draws a foul on Marvin Williams, and makes both free throws.
On the other end, Josh Smith misses a layup.
Salmons then makes a three-pointer while Joe Johnson worries about a yet-to-be-set ball-screen (that, evidence suggests, he would not have fought through anyway) from Kurt Thomas.
On the other end, Jamal Crawford misses a layup.
Joe Johnson commits his fifth foul closing out recklessly on Brandon Jennings beyond the three-point line with two seconds left on the shot clock. Jennings makes the first free throw. He misses the second wildly but Ersan Ilyasova beats Josh Smith to the rebound. Eventually, John Salmons gets Al Horford switched onto him, beats him off the dribble and gets fouled at the rim by Josh Smith. Salmons makes both free throws.
The Hawks take 12 seconds to set up a 1-4 set for Joe Johnson. With nothing doing and the shot clock dwindling, Johnson puts his head down and runs into Kurt Thomas in the lane. It's Johnson's sixth foul.
Ersan Ilyasova, after saving a mis-timed pass from John Salmons from going out of bounds, takes the ball from the left block across the lane and scores over Josh Smith.
Smith, a career 26.1% three-point shooter, responds by attempting a three off the first pass with 11 seconds left on the shot clock. Al Horford misses a follow try.
Brandon Jennings misses a runner in the lane. Ilyasova gets another offensive rebound and passes out to Carlos Delfino in the corner. Delfino can't find an open teammate, then realizes no Hawk is closing out on him. So he shoots, and makes, a three-pointer.
The Hawks call timeout. Three Jamal Crawford misses (all on one Atlanta possession) later the Hawks start fouling intentionally. One John Salmons missed free throw and one Al Horford banked-in three-pointer aren't enough to change the outcome.
Taking nothing away from the Bucks, who executed flawlessly on the offensive end down the stretch, it was also a complete meltdown on both ends for the Hawks, reminiscent of many (all?) of the late leads they blew in the regular season, and, barring an atypically strong performance away from home, the beginning of the end of five years worth of progress as a franchise.