On the flight back to Atlanta, Hawks coach Larry Drew watched tape of his team getting pushed around in Game 1 of the playoffs.
”I couldn’t believe my eyes, to be perfectly honest,” Drew said Monday.
So, the normally upbeat Drew delivered a scathing message to his players: If they don’t get more passionate and a lot more physical, this series against the Indiana Pacers won’t be lasting very long.
”It becomes a little bit mind-boggling, particularly when you get to the playoffs,” he said. ”You’re going to come up with schemes and ways to defend things … but the last thing you think you need to come up with is any kind of motivating to get the guys to compete and play at a high level.”
The Pacers were quite the bullies in the opener of the best-of-seven series - and the visiting team barely pushed back. Atlanta was outrebounded 48-32. Indiana got to the foul line a staggering 34 times, compared to just 14 for the Hawks. The result was not all that surprising: a 107-90 rout that led to the scathing critique from Drew.
– Reported by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press