Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quotes, Notes, and Links: Boston Celtics 99 Atlanta Hawks 76



Hoopdata boxscore


Larry Drew:
"This was very, very embarrassing. If I had to sum it up in one word: embarrassing. To come out with that type energy; that type urgency. What I see with our team right now I don’t feel real good about.


I am disappointed that we are not playing with a hunger. We are looking to point fingers. We are playing the blame game. More importantly, our energy level is not good at all. We are not doing things quick, we are not doing things with speed, we are not doing things with urgency.


We are playing like we are coming off a back-to-back-to-back. I told the guys I don’t know what you are doing the night before we play, I don’t know what you are doing away from the floor. Something is going on that is not allowing us to play with an energy and passion that we should be playing with. As a head coach, I’ve got to find out what it is.


Something is going on and I’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Players have to know themselves. They have to know their bodies. They have to know how to get physically and mentally ready for every game, especially at the start. First four minutes of the game, when I see my players bending over grabbing their shorts because they are winded, something is going on. Something is wrong."
Al Horford:
"I don’t think we are [accountable]. We tend to have excuses for everything."
Future coach, Mo Evans:
"The Celtics know who they are. We don’t have an identity, unless it’s when things go bad we go the other way. Maybe that’s out identity and we don’t know it."
Funniest* post-game quote is a photo finish between Joe Johnson:
"I never would have thought we would come out so not ready to play. They remember we swept them last season. They wanted to come in and send a message and they did it."
Come out not ready to play? The Hawks?

And this one from Josh Smith:
"Guys have got to understand you can’t be sensitive to policing."
Josh Smith, stoic.

*If you didn't laugh, you'd cry.

Michael Cunningham compared the scene to (gasp) the Orlando series:
The scene was eerily similar to the aftermath of the Orlando series. Bickering players, poor body language, lack of resolve and booing fans during the game. Quiet locker room and questions about character after it.
Mark Bradley one-upped his colleague:
It took the Hawks six years to stop listening to Mike Woodson. It has taken one month for them to tune out his successor. To say the effort the Hawks gave against the Boston Celtics on Monday night was amateurish is to discredit the concept of amateurism and to distort the meaning of “effort.”
Paul Pierce:
"Teams think we’re [soft] after losing the last two games, and with a team that beat us four times, it’s sort of like a statement game really. This may be a team we play in the playoffs. The regular season is a time when you can take away a lot of confidence from a team if you play and beat them the right way."
In the midst of criticizing the Hawks players for their effort, let's also take a moment to acknowledge that Paul Pierce, in his post-game comments, exemplified a longer-term perspective than anyone in management has for the Atlanta Hawks in memory. The dysfunction is deeply entrenched in the organization.

Doc Rivers:
"Before the game I don’t even think I said the word ‘offense’. Our defensive disposition from the start was terrific. I felt that we were going to compete defensively, but the big question is, can we do this every night? We’re a veteran team and sometimes it seems like we’re counting how many games we have until the playoffs."
Pierce on Kevin Garnett:
"He’s our defensive leader. Tonight he showed it. He was aggressive. Pick-and-roll defense is the biggest thing for us and I thought he did a great job of clogging the lane, making other guys take shots other than their stars."
I think it's telling that the other team is always the one who makes specific defensive references in their post-game comments.

Celtics Hub's Hayes Davenport on Garnett:
I don’t want to ignore Kevin Garnett’s performance against Josh Smith tonight. Weirdly, Garnett started the game on offense as clumsily as he left off yesterday’s, just much luckier: he threw one transition pass away, fired an entry pass into the rim that Shaq somehow gathered and stuffed, and banked in a hook shot off his outer hip to set up a three-point play. But then Smith came down with mono or something. For much of the early game, it wasn’t that Smith couldn’t find a good shot, it was that his teammates couldn’t find him. And he did the absolute bare minimum to stop KG, someone Smith regularly frustrated last year, on the offensive end.

Smith and Joe Johnson sometimes play like they’re trying to punish their crappy home crowd, and it kind of seems like that’s what happened tonight. KG was great and all, but he may not have been as great as Josh Smith was bored.


jrauch said...

So, anyone hoping for a lottery pick this year?

Adam Malka said...

There are so many things about which we as fans can discuss right now--the bizarre minutes Horford and Teague have been getting; the utter uselessness of Powell and Evans; the umpteenth step backwards by Marvin Williams; the lack of defensive accountability or aptitude for the three primary guards; the waste of valuable resources expended upon three terrible "big men"; even the possibility that the Hawks have already quit on their coach--but for me, it all comes back to that contract mindlessly offered to Joe Johnson this summer. When watching the Hawks, it's often hard to fathom that he's the "superstar." Indeed, the fact that management thought Johnson was the key to the team's future (or even present) success hints at such a lack of vision, and such a lack of understanding about this team in general, that all of the other aforementioned issues were in some ways predictable.

Bret LaGree said...

Adam --

I'm coming around to the idea that Williams is playing through rather than recovered from his knee injury. Not that he was blossoming before Greg Monroe fell on him but he's possibly suffering (as is the team) right now from the inexplicable decision to back up both the third-string center and combo guard rather than the starting small forward.

Bronnt said...

Didn't get to see the game last night, but I'm going to assume that we had a re-emphasis of one of the major previous Hawks themes: When the offense struggles, they do the opposite of what most teams do. Rather than working harder in their offensive sets to get easier looks, they stop running offensive sets at all and sit back to get the laziest possible looks at the basket.

Bret LaGree said...

Bronn --

First, congratulations on missing the game.

Secondly, Drew was absolutely right about not doing things quickly. There was a heavy and predictably unproductive dose of pick-and-rolls with Johnson or Bibby as the ball-handler. Neither of those guys are going to trouble the Celtics with the ball in their hands.

So, either Drew doesn't understand the strengths and weaknesses of these guys any better than Woodson did or he's no more successful in getting them to run what he wants. And why should they? Their minutes aren't going to be reduced. Not when Jeff Teague's around to be taught a lesson about the importance of perimeter defense when you're down 25.

jrauch said...

Has a max level contract ever looked more indefensible?

And we're not even 20 games into the first year of this thing yet.

He makes Jon Koncak look like a bargain basement deal.