Al Horford on The Horford Treatment:
"I understand where Coach is coming from this game. I thought that Josh Powell and Zaza came off the bench and did a good job. I was OK with it. Obviously it’s frustrating because you want to be out there but I understand Coach’s philosophy behind it."It's great that Al Horford is such an obviously great basketball player and a seemingly good guy. But, four fouls.
Horford finished the game with four fouls.
He committed his third with 3:10 left in the fourth quarter setting an illegal screen, perhaps overambitious to contribute as he'd barely touched the ball since returning to the game with 6:51 left. He committed his fourth foul with 1:22 left in the game and the Hawks down 11. Were there important minutes to be played after that for which Drew was saving Horford?
Horford played less than 13% of the team's total minutes. He scored 28.6% of the team's points (on 13.8% of the team's shots) and grabbed 23.7% of the team's rebounds. He has been the team's best player over the first quarter of this season. He has been this team's best player almost on a nightly basis. Why in the world would you look for, then stubbornly cling to, reasons not to play him?
Mo Evans on Jamal Crawford filling Joe Johnson's shoes during the fourth quarter to the tune of four points on six shots and one assist:
"We were stagnant throughout the fourth quarter and a lot of the game. They started to lock in on the one guy who was handling the ball a lot."Al Horford on Damien Wilkins:
"I love that. I love his intensity. I love his toughness on defense. It’s something we need. I’m saying it now: I hope we keep him and he’s with us for the long run. A guy like that can be helpful."Larry Drew on why he played Mo Evans at small forward down the stretch rather than one of the (now) two small forwards at his disposal:
"When we got it to two, and with the guys that were in there, I just felt good about what we had in there. That’s not something I would second-guess myself over if I had to do it again."Michael Cunningham provides further context for the decision:
To be fair, there were two mitigating factors for Drew to consider. Wilkins obviously doesn’t know all of the plays and coverages yet, and Drew said he thought Marvin’s energy was sapped on the back-to-back as he still works his way back from the knee injury.I may have begun to grade Josh Powell on a bit of a curve as Jason Walker's review of Powell's performance last night echoes mine following the Memphis game:
Josh Powell proved tonight that, unless he continues to hit 90-100 percent of his shots, it's not worth the minutes he's playing. His stats look good, but what isn't shown are the massive misses he conducts defensively. Out of position and lacking good post defense, Powell got scored on more than he scored and played way too many crucial minutes, those in the fourth quarter, where his deficiencies surely cost the Hawks. He's a hustle player who is better in much smaller doses, and certainly not down the stretch.ESPN Stats and Information points out that the Heat set a season high in fast break points last night. Which is what tends to happen when Jason Collins enters the game and clearly improves your transition defense. That's a lot of man to have to circumnavigate to get to the rim.
Erik Spoelstra on Chris Bosh's nine fourth quarter points:
"We, on purpose, ran the offense through him down the stretch."You can do that?
At the Heat Index, Kevin Arnovitz graded the Hawks' performance as a C+, commenting:
With Joe Johnson sidelined, Al Horford has become the fulcrum of the Hawks' offense. Horford was magnificent, utilizing his speed against Zydrunas Ilgauskas. But those motion sets Larry Drew has installed don't have much command without a perimeter slashing threat. The Hawks had success had on the other end with strong 1-on-1 defensive stands, as they lured the Heat into launching a barrage of contested jumpers.