If a less than casual fan had tuned into this game they would have thought that the Sixers were the team playing for playoff positioning and the Hawks were the team playing the season out. Rather than recapping this game the traditional way here are some bulleted points of offensive ineptitude:
- I would guess that maybe 3 of Jamal Crawford’s 13 shots were good shots where he was open.
- Josh Smith repeatedly backing down Jason Smith and scoring two times in a row and then with the Hawks trying to exploit the match up settling for a contested jump shot.
- Josh Smith backing down against single coverage only to pass out into the waiting hands of a Philly defender.
- Marvin Williams lazy lob pass that resulted in an Iguodala steal and put back dunk.
Those are all offensive mistakes. Those all didn’t cost the Hawks the game. They instead just made the game difficult. What cost the Hawks the game was their defensive mind set. The Hawks came into this game with the mindset of winning this one on the offensive end of the floor which probably would have been possible had Philly not played above their heads defensively. The Sixers contested everything, the Hawks contested little to nothing. The final rebounding numbers were even, but watching the game it felt like the Sixers were getting two to the Hawks one every trip.
Nothing illustrated the Hawks’ effort issues like Philadelphia’s 58 points in the paint and 28 fastbreak points. Not hard for the Sixers to shoot 50 percent with all those easy points. And the Hawks’ 19 turnovers were due to poor focus against an athletic, scrappy team that tries hard. The Hawks could be twice the team if they consistently added those last two traits to their talent
So True So True.
There really isn’t a lot more to recap in my opinion. Hats off to the Sixers who in back to back games have knocked off the Eastern Conference’s fourth and fifth seeds. Hats off to Andre Iguodala for coming one assist shy of a triple double. I also came away impressed with Sixer rookie Jrue Holiday who finished with 13 points and 12 assists and seemingly penetrated the Hawks defense at will the entire night.
So chalk this loss up to coming down from the emotional high that was the dramatic Orlando game or chalk it up to being just one of those road games during a long season. Either way the warning signs are still in place that night in and night out this team is equally capable of beating anyone or losing to anyone. I will leave you with Jason’s summary from Peachtree Hoops:
This result is no debacle–just another example of what happens when the Hawks don’t have their full-time game faces on. Before the game, Joe Johnson told sideline reporter James Verrett the Hawks had to figure these things out now, before the playoffs started. Let the record (and the final score) show that those things still need to be figured out.