|Team ||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|ATL ||79 ||1.051 ||48.6 ||19.7 ||22.9 ||12.7 |
|CHI||80 ||1.188||51.4 ||29.2 ||28.6 ||13.8|
The problem with energy is that it's finite. The Atlanta Hawks fell behind early in Game 5, they fell behind by a lot: 15 points just 10:37 into the game. They worked hard to get all of that back before the third quarter ended but had nothing left in the tank to compete effectively in the fourth.
The Bulls played Taj Gibson and Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer for the entirety of the competitive portion of the fourth quarter. In normal circumstances, they aren't collectively better than Jeff Teague and Josh Smith and Al Horford. When they're fresh (none of the Chicago trio had played more than 10 minutes in the game prior to the fourth quarter) and the Hawks players are exhausted, well, energy won out.
It's not a knock on Teague or Smith or Horford or Joe Johnson that they ran out of gas three-quarters of the way through the 93rd game of the season. They gave all they had. Nor is Larry Drew in line for criticism for riding his starters too hard. Only Zaza Pachulia provided any productive auxiliary minutes. Jason Collins didn't hurt the team when he was on the floor but he didn't help, either.
The same can't be said of Jamal Crawford. If anything, Drew played Crawford too much. That early 15-point deficit came about, in no small part, because Crawford allowed Keith Bogans to score roughly a week's worth of points (that would be a total of 8 points) on three consecutive possessions. Crawford provides no value if he's not making shots and he missed eight of his nine shots tonight, generally showing a greater interest in flopping post-release than even pretending to play defense.
Some joker on Chicago's stat crew inserted nine minutes, two points, and a rebound on Marvin Williams' line of the box score. I watched the game. I know better.
Even if Drew doesn't deserve criticism for the lack of options at his disposal tonight, a Hawks fan couldn't help, even while savoring the possibility of the Hawks winning the game, but watch Jeff Teague score 21 points on 11 shots, earn 7 assists, refrain from committing a turnover, and make Derrick Rose work for many of his 33 points, and feel angry about many, if not most, of 1674 minutes he watched Mike Bibby play for the Hawks this season. Some of the pleasure of this (modest-to-date) playoff run derives from the element of surprise. In no way, though, would a second-round playoff exit or a trip to the Conference finals be undermined had Teague (and, to a lesser extent, Pachulia) played as much during the regular season as his talent (especially relative to the alternatives) clearly warranted.