With his dual-personality basketball team facing playoff elimination Tuesday night, Hawks coach Larry Drew started a center (Al Horford) who was coming off his first game in nearly four months and a forward (Marvin Williams) who had played his way on to the bench for much of this season.
“We wanted to give a different look and see if it jump-starts us,” Drew said.
This is where the average Hawks fan inserted the just-rearranging-the-chairs-on-the-Titanic joke. Because, well, what is an Atlanta sports fan if not someone with a sense of impending doom?
But something weird happened. Actually, more like something Hawks happened. Philips Arena was Sybil Central again.
They trailed by 10 early. They led by 12 late. They blew the lead (of course). They got it back (of course).
They led 87-83 with a minute left, but left Paul Pierce wide open for a 3-pointer (seriously?). Then they led by one point and had the ball with 10 seconds left, but Josh Smith threw away an inbounds pass to Rajon Rondo (Smith later on Rondo: “He’s got long fingers.”), only to knock away a pass at the other end as time expired.