Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Milwaukee Bucks 91 Atlanta Hawks 87


Team Poss Off Eff eFG% FT Rate OR% TO%
MIL 86
45.9 31.1
29.3 16.3
ATL 86 1.012 44.6

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.


Bronnt said...

Thoroughly, utterly out-coached.

Two significant turning points: 1) Kurt Thomas subbed back in and immediately stole the in-bounds pass.

2) Josh Smith MAKES his jumpshot, (that was also with Marvin being guarded by Ridnour) and spends the rest of the game on the perimeter, including that awful, aforementioned 3 he took with the Hawks down one.

Aaron said...

"...the beginning of the end of five years worth of progress as a franchise."


Unknown said...


Why do the Hawks fail to get Marvin the ball for so long? He was playing great, then went to the bench and then didnt touch the ball in the 2nd until he was fouled without the ball while the Bucks were in the penalty. It seems like in the second half it took us forever to get him the ball. I did not count but I would be suprised if Marvin was passed to over 12 times this game.

Jonathan said...

i disagree. this is the best case scenario in my opinion. woodson finally goes back to being an assistant coach, no more iso joe's, and we at last turn into the young, athletic, running team that many have been advocating since horford was drafted.

we might not win 53 games next year, but with our young stud frontcourt and an actual offensive philosophy, we can be a consistently good if not great team.

now all we need is an elite coach.

Unknown said...

First, I hate Kurt Thomas. I want the NBA to re-name the moving screen, "Kurt Thomas." That offensive foul JJ took for his 6th was BS. What a joke. JJ had already passed the ball out to Crawford (who of course hits a 3 and could have changed the whole game).

Second, what were the refs thinking during the whole Al 3 point play review. I mean, they just gift-wrapped a long time out for the Bucks to set their next play. AND, they let the Bucks sub in better free throw shooters?! Brett, what's up with that?

Did I mention Kurt Thomas sucks?

weemsildinho said...

I was pulling my hair out over that undersized bucks lineup for the 1st six minutes in the fourth. It makes no sense how we weren't able to dominate that lineup and put the game on ice. I mean seriously, they had Ridnour on Marvin, and Stackhouse on Smith for like the 1st seven minutes of the 4th. Bad execution by the players, and bad coaching from Woodson. I just don't feel like Woody ever holds those guys accountable for the things they do on offense, and its why I think we need a new coach. Its one thing to let the players play and give them some freedom, but some messages need to be sent from time to time during the regular season to instill accountability in the players, and it was never done. And that is mainly on Woody.

Bret LaGree said...

Derek --

Marvin Williams is not a significant part of the offense. Other than posting him on the left block (which is the same thing they run for Horford most times), I don't know that they have anything designed specifically for him though I may be forgetting something.

Arif --

The only substitution the Bucks made there was Mbah a Moute (career 71.7 FT%) for Kurt Thomas (career 76.5 FT%).

It took a long time, but the refs have to get that call right and play the final 10 seconds with the proper score on the board. It's not a situation where it's reasonable to wait until the next time out to review.

nolan said...

Equal parts frustrating to make the same mistakes over and over and over, and to watch the momentum the Hawks have built in this non-NBA city dissolve. Winning this series convincingly, like we CAN but DON'T, would go a long way towards raising Atlanta's consciousness of this potentially exciting team. Also, FIRE MIKE WOODSON.

Arthur said...

It's just not in the cards for this group. Just when we're supposed to be peaking at the culmination of six yrs of steady progress, we have the darkest moment in franchise history and get bounced in the first round in 6 games by a far inferior (athletically and skill-wise at least) team.

Woodson must go, Josh doesn't get it, and maybe Jamal not playing in the playoffs wasn't such a bad thing after all. Love the guy but he really killed us last night.

Bibby is THE poster child for defensive liability. We've got to get him out of here. Any time we face a decent PG (Rondo two yrs ago, Jennings now) in the playoffs, they just do whatever the hell they want.

I hope we can avoid a total rebuilding yr next season. If we can stay above 40 wins and build from there, this progress won't be for naught. But damn, things are BAD right now.