Short takes: Horford deserved a foul but not an ejection

Hawks guard Shelvin Mack looks on as Cleveland celebrates a 114-111 victory in over time in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Hawks guard Shelvin Mack looks on as Cleveland celebrates a 114-111 victory in over time in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Hawks guard Shelvin Mack looks on as Cleveland celebrates a 114-111 victory in over time in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

CLEVELAND — The Hawks may have gained more respect in defeat Sunday night than they did in any of their eight postseason wins. The end result of a 114-111 overtime win is the same — the Hawks now trail Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals 3-0 and may play their final game Tuesday night. But given the circumstances of Sunday, they deserve a better fate. Here’s a link to my game column on MyAJC.com (check back for updates).

1. The 1980s laughs at the 2014-15 NBA: Al Horford deserved a foul for firing an elbow into the back of Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova in retaliation after Horford believed Dellavedova went after his legs when the two got tangled up in the second quarter. But to be called for a Flagrant 2, which brings an automatic ejections, was universally panned (well, outside of Cleveland). Horford said he should’ve done a better job controlling his emotions but he didn’t deserve the ejection. He stopped short of calling Dellavedova dirty but said he told the referee, “In the heat of the moment he went after my legs.” (There are more comments in the column.) It was evident, however, that Horford and teammates hold Dellavedova partially responsible for Kyle Korver’s ankle injury in Game 2 since he landed on top of him. Horford: “He can be careless at times.” The NBA automatically reviews flagrant fouls and will determine whether Horford will be suspended for Game 4, but that seems doubtful.

2. Hawks get points for courage: The Hawks lost Thabo Sefolosha late in the season. They lost Korver to an injury, Horford to an ejection and faced a 2-0 deficit as they went on the road to Cleveland. Most expected them to go quietly — credit to them that they didn’t and, in fact, nearly pulled off a miracle win. They got 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals from Kent Bazemore and 13 points off the bench from Shelvin Mack, although he missed consecutive three-point tries in the final seconds. “We played hard and that’s all you can ask for,” said Jeff Teague, who led the Hawks with 30 points.

3. LeBron James is also ailing: The Cavaliers have their own injury problems. Guard Kyrie Irving missed his second straight game with a knee injury and LeBron James also suffered from knee soreness and cramps that needed to be worked on during the game. James missed missed his first 10 shots of the game and made only 3 of 16 in the first half. But he poured in 15 on 7-of-11 shooting in the third quarter and hit a three-pointer with 36 seconds left in overtime to give Cleveland a 112-111 lead. His final stat line: 37 points, 18 rebounds, 13 assists, three steals. At the end of the game, he collapsed on the floor in exhaustion.

Recent ramblings
— AJC: Bazemore in, Carroll still standing and Hawks say they’re ready
— MyAJC: Hawks have been running on fumes for a while
— AJC: These really were the throwback Hawks — and that’s not good
— MyAJC: Carroll’s clean MRI alone won’t fix Hawks’ problems
— AJC: Carroll’s MRI negative, game status still uncertain
— MyAJC: So many negatives won’t work in this round for Hawks
— AJC: Game day: Hawks need Korver to find scoring touch
— MyAJC: Is Hawks’ sum greater than one LeBron?
— AJC: Odds say Cleveland, but when have odds ever said Hawks?
— AJC: Hawks in conference finals — and so is Josh Smith
— MyAJC: Mike Budenholzer’s leadership may continue to grow
— MyAJC: Hawks finally reach East’s promised land
— AJC: Short take: Pierce foiled, Teague finishes strong, Hawks move on
— MyAJC: Hawks in East finals would make Atlanta top 10
— MyAJC: Hawks in one win from higher elevation
— MyAJC: Hawks come through when it matters most
— AJC: Short takes: Horford comes through, Teague bows out
— MyAJC: Desperation shouldn’t be Hawks’ prime motivator
— MyAJC: Brady, Patriots got what they deserved
— AJC: Another lesson for Brady, Patriots: Don’t cheat, don’t lie
— MyAJC: Jalen Collins determined to make Falcons’ pick look good
— AJC: Wall’s injury shifts odds in Hawks’ favor for game, series
— MyAJC: Braves’ McDowell trying to repair some damaged egos

Reader Comments 0

156 comments
itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

@JacketDetective danny ferry gets credit for putting this thing together but he has done some goofy stuff.drafted people to only give them away.drafted people and have simply not used them.so far shroeder seems to be his only diamond.we have too many one dimensional players, scott,korver,antic.you could almost put bazemore in the same category but I do see him making strives on the offensive end.then you ask why resign Elton brand then also go get Austin daye if they are not going to see the floor.by the way Austin daye is 6-10, why not have him guard james, 

Kennyd_va
Kennyd_va

I don't know where people think that Brooklyn was a bad team and the Wizard was weak. This is the NBA and these guys are some of the best players in the world. The Hawks don't have a solid player, who can step up ever game and make a different . Let's take Korver (weak and no heart), Mike Scott  (Never consisted), Dennis Schroder (Too many turnover and maybe someday he will know how to go to the glass and make a layup), Milsap (I could find him in the last too games, need to know how to take control on the floor). Our bench is very weak and thanks that we have B-More (BIG HEART) coming off the pine.

Harford (comes to play ever game and a Huge Heart)

Carroll (Hurt and refused to let his teammates down...playing hurt)

Bazemore ( this cat brings his A-Game  every game)

J Teague ( miss too many lay up's, but keep the team in the game)

LET'S GO HAWKS

Ray Russell
Ray Russell

@Kennyd_va  I watched Bazemore play many times in college, ODU.  He is a gamer and an asset to any team he signs with.  I was surprised that the Lakers let him go.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

The Hawks have not played well. They put themselves in this predicament, with a little help from the Refs.

They should have won game three nonetheless. Teague had an open shot and missed. I don't think LBJ would have been ejected if he was involved in a similar play.  The Hawks are scared of LBJ and intimidated by him. Let's hope they can "man up" and get physical tonight. They need to get angry an play with some emotion.

jezel
jezel

@Rhetoric Yep have not played well. But now it is OUR time to do the thuggin and muggin. Play like the refs are not in the house.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Toast.

This has not been a good playoff run for the #1 seed.  Tough, tough series against a horrible Brooklyn team and a weak Wizards team that was barely mediocre the last 1/2 of the season, and now a sweep by a good, but not great, Cleveland team.  Whatever the criticism of the Hawks has been, it's been accurate. 

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

I have to laugh when I hear the Hawks are hobbling with assorted injuries.  And the Cavs don't miss Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, both far better than Korver and Horford on their best days?  America doesn't want to see another minute of the Atlanta Hawks.  If you want to see a deer in the headlights, look at Coach Bud on the sidelines.  He can't wait for this season to end.

WellsL
WellsL

@WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR But the Hawks don't have the best player in the league either.  This isn't an excuse this is just fact.  When Lebron leaves a team you can really see how he changes the complete make up of the team.

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

I sit here this morning and realized I have been going on and on about basketball while I look at the news, and what all is going on. I hope everyone is safe this morning. So I am going back through and delete all my negative post. All I have to say is Go Hawks, they have and always will be my favorite team Hope the best for yours.

JAS0N
JAS0N

-Allow one team to beat up the other.

-Over-punish any infraction by that other team.

-Be emphatic and dramatic about your punishment-sell it well.

-After the game, let the national sports media do the rest.

Its a formula that has been plaguing Atlanta teams for years. 

We are simply not a profitable media market.

We do not make national sports organizations money. 

We do not make the national sports media money.

We must lose.

And when we do, expect insults, or better yet, apathy. No one cares about Atlanta.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@JAS0N Atlanta pro sports teams have sucked in basically every postseason outing in their history but 1.


The disrespect and animosity are very well earned.

daddydog
daddydog

D Howard just hit a player in face and was not ejected. I missed Hawks game 3. Was James still allowed to hold players off with his off arm? 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

And push and foul and do whatever else he wanted...but hey he had a Triple Double

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

Its terrible that Cleveland has a player that hustles 100% of the time and constantly gets under the skin of the Hawks.  Horford orchestrated the entire play that caused his ejection and tried to make it look as if Delly rolled onto his knee.  Open your eyes people.

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

Ultimate short take...everything has bounced the Cavs way. Every. Single. Thing. Unfortunately, the 60 win regular season is meaningless...all anyone will remember is a sweep. Hawks don't need to blame the refs or dirty Outback Jesus...cold shooting, an inability to finish games, cold shooting, lack of rebounding, cold shooting, and cold shooting lost us this series. A team that relies on finding an open shooter....has to have shooters that can make shots...not shooters that go 18% and 22% from threes...that's what cost us this series. And the Cavs are sooooooo beatable this year. GSW should have a field day with them. 

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

@JesseWhite

Translated:  Cavs defense destroyed your beloved Hawks and all of Atlanta blames a bench players from Australia. LOL!!

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@JesseWhite  I agree that Cleveland is less than half speed with Love and Irving out.  By the way, if the Cavs had any respect or fear for the Hawks, Kyrie Irving would be on the court.  They are comfortable resting him against a team with no game plan and fear in their eyes, starting with their head coach.

Aikendawg
Aikendawg

After reading all of these posts the consensus is that the series is rigged through the referees. The NBA wants to create the story of LeBron bringing the championship home to Cleveland. That is the perspective from the Atlanta Hawks fans. The question: What can be done about it?

jezel
jezel

@Aikendawg First you settle some scores from the previous games and then you play the game with the rules your opponent is playing by. And don't worry about the refs...already know their mission so take that out of the equation. This is about personal and team pride and making an example.

Okeetee
Okeetee

Look, I'm as big a homer as any Atlanta Hawk fan, but these games have not been won or lost by the refs!  No question that the ejection of Horford was as bogus as it gets, but the Hawks are playing turrible defense, shooting poorly from outside, inside and the 3 point line and frankly deserve to be where they are (possibly could have won last nights game with Horford not getting ejected) and after losing both home games to the Cavs, we put ourselves in a hole we won't be able to dig out of!  The best we can hope for now is a 4 game pasting by the Warriors, sending the Cav's into the off season with just as bad a taste in there mouths as we have about this years playoffs!  

Aikendawg
Aikendawg

@Okeetee  From game 1 the refs have stolen the Hawks momentum. Call it as you may but this thing is tilted.

joatl
joatl

Everyone makes mistakes but without the bad calls we are up 2-1 in the series. The bad calls and non calls have been all 3 games.

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

@joatl

LOL!!!  And the Cavs have played the entire series without 2 of the Big 3.  

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@Okeetee  Well said and by the way, with Love and Irving out, I don't see a way in the world for one player to beat GS.  The Hawks should feel terrible about allowing #23 to steam roll them.  As for LeBron always getting the calls, no player in the NBA is hacked, tackled, slammed like he is.  Only because he's big enough to handle the punishment, is he able to stay in these games.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

the truth hurts we lost this thing at the trade deadline.cleavland did nnot stand pat.we acted like an arrogant little cat and said, "hey we don't need any help,b/c we have the best record on basketball".

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

@itsslomotionbaby

Cavs mgmt realized they needed to dump the locker room cancer Dion Waiters.  They also found a willing knucklehead in Phil Jackson. Waiters and a 1st rounder got Cleveland Mozgov, JR Smith and Shumpert.  In addition, the Hawks peaked early. Can't say you didn't see this coming.

JacketDetective
JacketDetective

@itsslomotionbaby

Or was it that we took Ferry from his job?

The sports press made a mountain out of a molehill to sink us.

We became a ship without a captain.

Or without the captain who put this team together and might have added more.

We should have told them all off and put him back to work.

JacketDetective
JacketDetective

At least get it back here so we can tell LeBron and the cheap shot artist what we think of them.

LeBron will never have faced such a hostile crowd.

Who couldn't be great if they got to break the rules like he does?

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

@JacketDetective

The only cheap shot was done by Horford. He dragged Dellavadova down and claimed Delly purposely rolled into his legs. Look at the video!  Your team is letting an undrafted bench player from Australia (of all places) to beat them.  Its an excuse.  Plain and simple.

JacketDetective
JacketDetective

C'mon guys.

Use the Red Sox as your role model and win four straight.

Just about everyone thought they were done that year when the Yankees won the first three.

Mr. Math Expert
Mr. Math Expert

your team lost because your team sucks.


good bye tomorrow...enjoy the offseason.


Atlanta Failures

Wrecker
Wrecker

@Mr. Math Expert Classy.  Calculate the number of Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championships for me, so-called math expert.

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

@Mr. Math Expert So, the team that you just beat in OT with an epic game by Lebron...sucks? Shouldn't you beat a team that sucks by 40 points? If we suck, and you can barely beat us, what does that say about your Cavs? 

Trey Drier
Trey Drier

@JesseWhite

LOL!!!  A sweep is a sweep dumazz. All that will be remembered is "the Hawks were swept by the Cavs in 4 games".  Such a sweeeeeeeeet sound!

mar1049
mar1049

@JacketDetective  That mistake by the lake will be going on in the playoffs. Maybe after tonight you can join the Hawks at a local sports bar to watch Cleveland continue on.

JacketDetective
JacketDetective

@Mr. Math Expert

Coming from a loserville city like Cleveland, that makes me laugh.

What do the northern cities call your town?

Mistake by the lake, LOL.

tyger
tyger

Hawks played better...


w/o Horford, KKorver, Thabo...

circled the wagons 2 games too late...

Can they beat Cavs? Sure...once maybe...


But this is ceiling...none talented enough...

Had Budz not shortened his rotations...

Scott, Mack don't miss those shots...

Budz out-coached himself...


Teague can't play any better...

Shroder doesnt understand...

Millsap barely shows up...

Muscala abused...


A.Payne, Sweet Lou shining right now...


Question is how to get what we already had?




DawgNole
DawgNole

@tyger: "Teague can't play any better . . . ."

_____________________

Well, he could've bagged a few of those missed layups so the final seconds of regulation wouldn't have to come down to him throwing up a 3.

tyger
tyger

@DawgNole @tyger My point is he cant, they cant, they gave it all they had, there isn't any reserve in the tank.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@tyger @DawgNole

And my point is the same as it was--he could've bagged a few of those missed layups . . . . THAT would've made his play better.