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.