Sporting their alternate red unis (my favorites), the Atlanta Hawks lost to the Miami Heat 95-89 at home at Philips Arena. This was the final game for the Hawks before heading out on a four-game road trip. With the loss, the Hawks dropped to 2-2 on the season and fell to 0-1 in the regular season series with the Heat. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the backcourt, DeShawn Stevenson and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Al Horford at center. Johan Petro (lower back pain) did not play. The leading scorer for the Hawks was Jeff Teague, with 20 points. He also dished out 11 assists, giving him a double-double on the night. Anthony Morrow added 17 points off the bench. Josh Smith contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 11 points. Al Horford had 10 points and seven boards. The leading scorer for the Heat was Chris Bosh, with a game-high 24 points. In the first quarter, the Heat went on a 15-2 run and tied the game at 25 at the end of the period after the Hawks took an early lead. In the second quarter, the Hawks outscored the Heat 21-17 to take a 46-42 lead over the Heat at the half. In the third quarter, the Heat went on an 8-2 run to take a 72-71 lead over the Hawks heading into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the Heat started off with a 10-2 run. The Hawks answered back with a 12-3 run. The Heat, however, closed the game on another 10-2 run, and the Hawks lost by six. I think the key reason the Hawks lost was because of points in the paint. The Hawks were outscored by the Heat 40-26 in that category. They needed to use the Heat's biggest weakness (the center position) to their advantage, and they didn't. Josh Smith insisted in jacking up jumpers instead of attacking the paint. The Heat are the defending NBA champions, and the only team that has beaten them so far this season are the New York Knicks, who have one of the best frontcourts in the league and used it to their advantage. The Hawks have a very good frontcourt with Smith and Al Horford, but they have to play to their opponents' weaknesses. I think another reason the Hawks lost was because of Coach Drew's rotations. First off, he started the game with DeShawn Stevenson, Smith, and Horford in the frontcourt. This game was a perfect opportunity to utilize the bigger lineup of Smith, Horford, and Zaza Pachulia to take advantage of their size advantage. I understand that he wanted Stevenson on LeBron James, but Smith is the second-most capable player on the team of guarding him. Also, after Anthony Morrow had been shooting well all game, Coach Drew chose to ride Kyle in the fourth quarter instead. Did Korver have an okay game? Yes. Was Morrow playing significantly better? Yes. I am still confused as to why Coach Drew is so reluctant to play Morrow a lot of minutes. He was a starter in New Jersey who averaged double-figures, and he shot over 90% from the charity stripe last season. In my opinion, he should be startling over Korver. Tough loss for the Hawks against the division-rival Heat.

Josh Smith guards a drive from the perimeter vs. MIA