A popular take on the Hawks monumental 121-97 failure at home against the Clippers (now 12-39!) will be the following:
Sometimes you just have one of those nights---and will probably be followed by a sheepish shrug of the shoulders or some other "what are you gonna do" expression of defeat.
Sometimes maybe that would be true, but the HHB watched every disgusting frame of this film---once was all we could muster---and the verdict from our perch was not one of some arbitrary galactic inevitability, but something of a much more tangible reasoning for the Hawks collapse.
No defense + No effort = Big Loss
Complicated calculations to be sure--and we know that the mathematical titans over at Hoopinion probably have some similar reasoning to ours for the destruction of the Birds nest---and we doubt it will involve horoscope or 88 sided dice.
Now---we don't intend to go off on a rant here---we're sure that The Vent, Str8Talk or Peachtree Hoops can hold down the fort in this area---besides, we feel we got that out in the open when we scribed this prescient posting.
No, the HHB simply wants to call a fish a fish---and last night the Hawks looked like minnows.
We hope the home team enjoyed watching Al Thornton, Zach Randolph, and even Ricky Davis run all over their court---laughing and carrying on like they were taking all the Hawks lunch away and eating their loot right in the Hawks forlorn faces.
We hope that the effort that they didn't spend playing team defense was well worth the embarrassment of giving up a mind-boggling (38) assists and (57) percent shooting at the hands of a team that---let's just say isn't synonymous with offensive efficiency (last in NBA in FG%).
No, this wasn't a cosmic fluke that "happens" to teams every so often in an 82 games schedule---it's the natural outcome of what happens when you don't play as a team in any way shape or form at any part of the game.
They came out slow early, as is their way, gave the visitors confidence by not showing any defensive resistance---got down early---got down big early----and then let the game go without much of a whimper.
Against the Bobcats, we argued that we would take the win because the value of a win in the NBA is high---against the Clippers, the Hawks acted as if losing one game in the grand scheme of things didn't matter all that much. It shows, and really it continues to spotlight, the long way to go for the team mentally---and how they grow in this area will be directly correlated to how much further they advance through the postseason---and how few of these stinkers you'll see during the season.
The Hawks cannot show up and win, even at home--they must play together in a team offense/team defense configuration or more games like the one Saturday night will be the result--and those who want to use the "it was in the stars" defense of the team will be forced to look at the real symptoms of the team's downfall.
The HHB is busily checking the alignment of the planets to see what's for breakfast---All seers are welcome to prognosticate or comment in the Comments area.
April 24: Game 3 Pacers vs Hawks
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