Updated: November 11, 2010, 11:00 AM ET

1. Hawks' Lack Of Depth Exposed Against Bucks

By John Hollinger

ATLANTA -- Well, so much for that 6-0 start.

The Hawks dropped their third straight in impressively awful fashion on Wednesday night, converting a 13-point lead into a 30-point deficit with alarming speed before falling to Milwaukee 108-91.

Cosmetic scoring made this game seem close, but it wasn't. And if the scoreboard seemed lopsided, the difference in effort was even more noticeable.

"Very dispiriting," said Hawks coach Larry Drew.

Believe it or not, Atlanta led this game 22-9 with three minutes left in the first quarter. Just 27 minutes later, they were losing 88-58. Do the math and Milwaukee went on a mind-boggling 79-36 run, outscoring Atlanta by 43 points in that span. The Bucks could have made it worse, too, but called off the dogs to start the final period.

"The minute I started subbing we just went dead in the water," said Drew. "That's probably the third [straight] game that has happened."

It's a jarring change of affairs for the Hawks, because the past two seasons they were accustomed to extending leads in the second quarter when the bench entered. But injuries to Marvin Williams and Maurice Evans have left the team without a true small forward and thrown the entire rotation out of whack.

Nobody has been affected more than Josh Smith, who has slid down to small forward and is still adjusting to the new role, both offensively and defensively. Of particular note was a late first-quarter sequence when Smith conceded wide-open 20-footers to Corey Maggette on successive possessions, jump-starting Milwaukee's rally,

"Josh isn't used to playing guys like that," said Drew, who said it doubly hurt because he couldn't use Smith in a more natural matchup against Ersan Ilyasova. Those two Milwaukee bench players combined for 37 points, and each had more points than any of the Hawks.

Offensively, Smith couldn't space the floor for his teammates the way Williams or Evans can, a weakness exacerbated by the offensively inert Jason Collins starting at center. Collins went scoreless, with his one shot attempt a wide-open, straight-on 15-footer that barely grazed the side of the rim before skidding harmlessly out of bounds.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they can't stay sound defensively with Smith in his natural 4 spot.

"We can't play too small," said Drew. "Then they'll post up my perimeter guys, so I have to be very careful how I match up at the 3. I played a few minutes with Jamal [Crawford] at 3 and they took him to the post right away."

Atlanta's effort level turned noticeably south once the bench entered late in the first quarter. Crawford made a lily-livered effort at giving up a hard foul to stop a 2-on-1 break, leading to a John Salmons 3-point play, while Smith became agitated by Maggette's buckets and pouted to the sideline.

"He got upset," said Drew. "He wasn't the only one, but the one thing I don't want him doing is displaying it. We don't want to show the whole world; we'll talk about it in the huddle or during halftime."

Believe it or not, the Bucks were the team on a back-to-back. Their league-high fourth, in fact. But they've made it to the other side after a 1-4 start, returning home a respectable 4-5 against a difficult early slate after back-to-back blowouts of the Knicks and Hawks. Atlanta finds itself in the opposite quandary -- looking good in the standings at 6-3, but finding its lack of depth exposed by injuries.

Yet most of what happened can be explained less by injuries and X's and O's, and more by the fact that the Hawks were simply out-competed -- embarrassed, I dare say -- on their home floor.

"We can't just stop playing when things aren't going right offensively," said Smith.

Dimes past: Oct. 27 | 28 | 29 | Nov. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 7 | 8 | 9

2. Jazz Rally For Win ... Again

By Mike Lynch
ESPN Stats & Info

The Utah Jazz trailed by 18 points in the second half against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, but just as they did in their previous two games, the Jazz rallied from a deficit of at least 18 points and won, defeating Orlando 104-94.

Elias tells us the Jazz are the first team in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to win three consecutive games after trailing by 10 or more at the half in each one.

Utah's past two rallies have been from at least an 18-point deficit in the second half and have come on the road on back-to-back days. According to Elias, the last team to do this was the Portland Trail Blazers on April 7-8, 2009.

It's also the second time in Jazz history they have posted wins in Miami and Orlando on consecutive days; the last time they did that was on Dec. 19-20, 1996 -- they went on to lose in the NBA Finals that season.

To read the entire story, click here.

3. Daily Dime Live Recap

ESPN.com writers and TrueHoop Network bloggers chatted with fans and gave their in-game opinions throughout Wednesday's games -- all in Daily Dime Live.

4. Streak Continues For Spurs

Elias Sports Bureau

The Spurs posted their 18th consecutive win over the Clippers. It's the longest current team-versus-team winning streak in the NBA. San Antonio has fashioned a longer winning streak against only one team: 21 in a row against the Grizzlies from 1997 to 2002. The Clippers' 18 straight losses to the Spurs is the second-longest losing streak against one team in franchise history. The only longer streak began with the inception of the franchise, when the Buffalo Braves lost their first 22 games versus the Celtics (1970 to 1974).

The Clippers haven't defeated the Spurs since March 7, 2006 at Staples Center, when Elton Brand scored a game-high 30 points in a 98-85 victory. The only current Clipper who was on that team is Chris Kaman. The only current Spurs players who took part in that loss are Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. • More from Elias


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