Guest Post: Recap of the Worst 3OT Game in NBA History


Anybody that watches basketball knows that, occasionally, your team just doesn’t have it: free throws clank off the rim, layups spin out, and sometimes the other team is just nailing every shot. As a fan, you usually just accept the loss and hope that the team comes out on all cylinders for the next game.

More rarely, however, you see games that make you want to pull your hair out, send your blood pressure skyward, and necessitate calls for the brain bleach, hoping that you didn’t actually witness such an awful game.

Unfortunately, the Hawks just had that rare type of game.

In this game vs. the Heat, the Hawks flat-out gave a terrible effort, especially on a night where LeBron AND Dwyane Wade aren’t playing. You can argue that the lack of the two superstars can affect the effort in such a manner, but the opportunity to take a second game from Miami in a week should have been enough for the Hawks to get up for this game.

For starters, Jeff Teague (who had been a bright spot so far this season) looked really bad. He couldn’t finish at the rim, he was hesitant on taking open jumpers, and played terrible pick-and-roll defense. He looked completely disinterested this game and became a defensive liability late in the game. For a player that is trying to prove himself to his coach, Teague needs to play more aggressive on PnR D and he needs maintain confidence in his jumpshot.

Josh Smith continued his Larry Bird impersonation, which you know by this point in the season to be extremely bad. Smoove was 3-8 from outside the paint, but was actually worse when he was attacking from the inside. (3-9) I know that I will never be able to dissect the reasons for Smoove’s behavior, but he was extremely soft in the paint, preferring layups and finger-rolls to the rim-rattling dunks that he is known for. On a positive note, Josh did continue his good work on defense and the team was obviously bad at protecting the rim when Smoove was on the bench. Wait, that last part isn’t exactly positive at all…

Which leads me to Al Horford. I love what Al brings to the game on offense, but the guy has to get some defensive awareness. Josh cannot defend every player that gets into the paint and Al has to get this by now. Yeah, it’s bad when the original defender get beat, but it is much worse watch Horford’s extreme tendency of just conceding the layup. However, Al did have an efficient night (5-7 for 10 points), but couldn’t get the ball consistently at all. Part of this is on his shot creation abilities (which aren’t great), but mostly on the team for not giving him the ball. (as usual)

And finally, my last bullet of rage goes towards Joe Johnson. This makes the second game in a row that Joe just killed the team on offense. Joe went 1-7 from three, slowed down the ball movement too much in crunch time, and did a god-awful job on rebounding. Two rebounds in 50 minutes? TWO?! Jamal Crawford would be proud. Considering that Joe was the highest paid player in the building tonight, his effort was inexplicably sad. He had a chance to earn some of his paycheck in the eyes of the fanbase and completely failed.

All negatives and rage aside, there were some positive take aways from the game. T-Mac played another great game (14/7/5 in 30), but couldn’t get back in the game late because his knees stiffened up during his last stint on the bench. Willie Green made his shots tonight (5-6 for 14), which really kept the Hawks in the game in the 2nd quarter. Ivan Johnson played great in his first big NBA minutes and led all Hawks with a +/- rating of +17. (McGrady was the only other player substantially positive at +12) Ivan was also big in keeping the Hawks in this one late and was the only one showing any semblance of aggressiveness at times, but he eventually fouled out in OT. Hopefully this performance will earn his some more playing time in the upcoming games. He definitely deserves it.

Zaza, Pargo, and Collins all played. That about sums up their contributions.

Overall, this loss looks bad, especially combined with Tuesday’s loss at Chicago and the extremely cramped schedule over the next week. In a game where the Hawks could have easily cemented their place as one of the East’s top teams, they fell extremely flat and, honestly, should be embarrassed by this performance. Let’s hope they bounce back and never play like this again, because it could get ugly if they do.


This blog entry was a piece written by a Hawks fan who submitted it to us, Soaring Down South. If you have something to say and have nowhere to put it, you can submit it to us. If we like it, we’ll post it, just like this one. This entry was written by Bo Churney.