The Hawks fell behind 0-2 in their first round series to the Wizards on Wednesday night with a 109-101 loss. Atlanta, which had made a furious comeback in the third quarter to take a four-point lead going into the fourth gave it all back in the final period as Washington outscored them 35-23 in the fourth.
The game wasn’t pretty and featured 55 foul calls and 71 free throw attempts between the two teams. The series turned physical in Game 1 and it was clear that the referees were not going to let anything get out of hand in the second game. After the game, Hawks center Dwight Howard, who played only 19 minutes with six points and seven rebounds, was extremely efficient with his post-game media availability, offering 12 words to five questions, including saying “I don’t know,” to three of them.
Riveting stuff from Dwight.
His frustration is understandable, both with the team’s performance and his reduction in role on Wednesday night. Howard, who averaged 30 minutes per game for the Hawks during the regular season was relegated to a much smaller role due in part foul trouble and to Washington going smaller and the Hawks needing to match their pace better. There’s also a financial reason not to take the bait on questions about the officiating or the number of fouls called, for fear of the potential for a hefty fine from the league office.
After losses, you don’t expect a ton out of guys from their media scrum, especially those that had bad games, but you do hope for a little bit more than three “I don’t know” answers, a “no,” and an “it’s basketball.” As for the Hawks, they better hope someone has some ideas on how to right the ship, or else this will be a very brief playoff run.
(h/t Pro Basketball Talk)