This will be short.
The loss was so bad that there is little positive to say, and my mama always told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” (She never said that to me).
In the first half, Ivan and Zaza Pachulia brought some much needed energy, cleaning up the boards for easy putbacks. They combined for 6-10 for 13 points and 8 rebounds in the first half alone. “Fourth Quarter Lou” turned into “Third Quarter Lou” for tonight, going 3-4 with two three pointers in that period but 1-8 in all other quarters.
Despite more ill-advised long range shots, Josh Smith was still the best Hawk on the floor, which is saying very little. Al Horford again struggled shooting from midrange, finishing 2-10 overall, Teague was invisible although not as much as the usually ghost-like Stevenson, and the bench was of little help.
Philadelphia gashed the Hawks on the boards 45-37 without their largest big men, Andrew Bynum and Kwame Brown, and ran roughshod over the sluggish Hawks defense in the paint and in transition (40-24 and 20-11 respectively). Letting an undermanned and mostly jumpshooting 76ers team shoot over 50% is something that has to make Larry Drew’s blood boil.
On the positive side, holy John Jenkins in garbage time!
This Hawks team is a ton better than what they showed Friday night, as their 15-9 record will attest. There is little time to dwell on the many areas of improvement needed, as the Hawks travel home to take on the Chicago Bulls Saturday night. It is another chance to proven themselves against middle of the pack Eastern Conference fodder. They say the season does not begin until Christmas so let us hope this rings true as Atlanta hits the reset button headed toward the New Year.