The Boston Celtics came into Atlanta on the second night of a back-to-back and played with a Hoover Dam’s worth of more electricity and energy than their hosts. The Celtics were pissed about losses, the Hawks were…
We don’t know. Hawks coach Larry Drew doesn’t know. But in some of the most direct post-game comments you are going to hear, he called his team out for possibly partying or doing something the night before games that has them not ready to play.
“I’m disappointed that we are not playing with a hunger. We’re looking to point fingers. We’re playing the blame game. But more importantly, our energy level is not good at all, it’s just not good. We’re not doing things quick, we’re not doing things with speed, we’re not doing things with urgency. I said this after the Milwaukee game, we play like we’re coming off a back-to-back-to-back.
“I told the guys I don’t know what you’re doing the night before we play. I don’t know what you’re doing away from the floor. I don’t know what it is, but something is going on that is not allowing us to play this game with an energy and a passion we should be playing with. As a head coach I’ve got to figure out what it is….
“I’ve got to find out what that is, I’ve got to find out what is going on with our players. I’ve got to find out what they are doing the night before we play. Because this is not the first time this has happened, this is actually the third game.”
The Hawks did not open their locker room to the media after the game and apparently had some more frank discussions.
Hawks management believes in this roster, this core (we have issues at the point guard spot, but we’ll let that slide for now). They think it can grow into challenging the Celtic and Magic in the East. But maturity and effort are at the heart of that kind of champion. Larry Drew gets that, but until his charges soak it in the Hawks have no chance of making the leap to the next level.
Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.
But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.
There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.
Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….
Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.
This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.
If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.
The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.
Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.
Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.