Despite winning two straight games at home, Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew had some concerns about his team heading back to Indiana for a crucial Game 5. Those concerns came to fruition as the Hawks are now on the brink of elimination after a 106-83 loss on Wednesday.
More specifically, Drew said he was worried about the Hawks losing their composure. Atlanta did just that, especially during a rough stretch in the third quarter.
"There were two words I used going into this game tonight that I thought would be two areas of my biggest concern," Drew said. "One was composure. In the fifth game of the playoffs, it was going to be a situation where we had to go out and earn this win. In order to do that, we'd have to maintain our composure throughout the game. We did not do that. The other word I used was smart. We would have to play smart, and we didn't do that either."
Drew lamented some ill-advised shots by his team, noting that they were overcome with a "me, me, me" state that hindered execution. This was evident at the outset of the second half when the Hawks fell behind by 20 after going into the break down just seven.
Compounding the issue were a couple of technical fouls, with Josh Smith picking up one and Jeff Teague getting another minutes later. At this point, the Hawks were completely unraveled, and they never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Smith was noticeably frustrated due to foul trouble, which he battled all night. Smith sat for the last 6:48 of the first half due to two fouls and then picked up three more quick fouls at the beginning of the second half, leading to his technical.
"Just an emotional series," Smith said. "It was a very important game today and emotions are going to flare. It happens."
The Hawks will try to keep their season alive on Friday in Atlanta, where they have beaten the Pacers 13 straight times.
Quotes via NBA.com.