Postgame Thoughts: Hawks vs. Cavaliers

Saturday, December 1, 2012
By Micah Hart

Some thoughts on the Hawks excruciating last-second loss the Cavaliers Friday night at Philips Arena, snapping the team’s six-game win streak:

— The Hawks have impressed so far this season in their ability to hold off opponents in late game situations, but their luck ran out tonight against a determined Cavaliers team. Atlanta led for most of the night, but just could never put Cleveland away and eventually the Cavs made a run at the right time.

Josh Smith took full blame for the game’s final play, when Alonzo Gee got behind the defense for the game-winner with 0.4 seconds left. Said Smoove in the locker room, “It’s my fault — didn’t box out.”

— It’s admirable for Smith to own up to the lapse, but truthfully there was no one play that cost the Hawks the game. Cleveland outrebounded Atlanta 49-28, and rang up a 27-14 edge in second-chance points as well.

— The loss spoiled an excellent offensive night for Smith, who led the team with 25 points along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

— Things were looking good at the half, after the Hawks scored a season-high 67 points and ended on a high note with Ivan Johnson‘s double-clutch buzzer-beating 3-pointer. However the 11-point lead was shortlived, as Cleveland started the second half on a 17-6 run to cut Atlanta’s lead to one and the game was back on again.

A frustrating loss no doubt, but every team is going to have a few of these per season. Cleveland got some big performances from some unexpected sources, shot 21-22 from the foul stripe, and found themselves in the right place at the right time repeatedly.

The Hawks have a few days off now to think about it, and hopefully the rest will bring the team back full speed when they take the court next Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets.

Tags: , , , , ,