"It is just totally unacceptable to come out and play with that type energy, that type so-called passion, to play almost as if they don’t care. And that’s a reflection of me. If that’s the case, then I am going to have to make some changes to my starting lineup. I’ve seen that way too often and if that’s the way we are going to start basketball games, I am not going to sit here and take it I am going to make some changes."To which Michael Cunningham asks:
Which changes could he possibly make to fix what have been persistent problems for this team?
Drew can get Al back in the lineup, ASAP. That’s not going to suddenly make the Hawks be a team that doesn’t rely heavily on making jump shots to score, rebounds on defense, defends dribble penetration and slows opponents in transition that match (or exceed) their athleticism.
"Bad defense. That’s all it was. We were broken down off the dribble where it was man-on-man. We were exploited off the dribble. We know Philadelphia has guys that are capable but we cannot come out and constantly let a team penetrate our interior like that. And it happened from the start and it happened until the end. When you play where team is constantly breaking down off the dribble, you are in a lot of rotation situations, you are forcing bigs to come and help, they put it up in the glass, they get the offensive rebound."More from Michael Cunningham:
Perhaps this a chicken-and-egg thing for the Hawks. Do they just not care enough to play better than this against an opponent they eclipse in talent, or do they just look like they don’t care when they can’t play better than this against an opponent they eclipse in talent?Marvin Williams:
"I don’t think anybody didn’t care. Obviously when you get down by such a huge deficit, guys’ body language is going to change and that’s what frustrates [Drew] the most. He doesn’t like to see that. But anybody that laces their shoes up cares, especially on this team. I can say that wholeheartedly."Jamal Crawford:
"I don’t care who we are playing, we should never be down by 30. I think that is just caring more. We have got to continue to hold each other accountable and keep getting better."Joe Johnson:
"When we wasn’t making shots, every rebound they got they were pushing it and pounding the ball down our throat. We wasn’t playing no help defense. The defense tonight was just non-existent. They got whatever they wanted."Drew:
"You are going to miss shots. But there is no excuse for giving up easy baskets the way we give up easy baskets. It starts from our starters. When they come out and play like that at the very beginning it’s hard to overcome a deficit like that."Doug Collins:
"The third quarter to me was all about maturity, and I told them that. We weren't going to let them back in the game."Josh Smith followed up the three jump shots he took in the first three minutes of the game with two jumpers in the first 110 seconds of the second half. Maturity.
Jason Walker on Smith's shot selection:
When you see Josh Smith score three times inside, over, around, and through Elton Brand, you wonder that Josh ever sees in that tramp, the jump shot.And Walker's shorter recap of the game:
Let's be clear: This had nothing to do with coming out flat or any other myth. It has to do with poor perimeter defense, lack of execution on offense, accepting a homogeneous shot selection that doesn't involve the paint, and carelessly turning over possessions.Micah Hart on the MVP race:
For me, the MVP debate is finished after last night, and the man whose name should be on the trophy is Atlanta’s Al Horford.
Horford has now missed four games for Atlanta this season. Yes, the Hawks are 2-2 in those games. But the two wins were over Washington and Charlotte, which doesn’t move the needle much. The two losses, on the other hand, were to New Orleans and rejuvenated Philadelphia, and the Hawks lost those games by — let me make sure I have this right — a bajillion points. At home no less.
I can’t think of a single other NBA team that performs as poorly sans one player as the Hawks without Horford.
/checks standings, sees Cleveland
Oh. Right. Well, maybe a second-place vote for Horford then.