Mike Woodson’s dumb Game 5 mistake
Perhaps if Mike Woodson had not served as an assistant coach under Larry Brown, he would not have cost the Hawks their best chance at victory in Game 5 by sitting Joe Johnson for nearly 10 first half minutes with two measly fouls. He finished the game with three. The Celtics spurted while Johnson sat.
Brown has an even more abnormal fear of losing a player to fouls than did his coaching mentor, Dean Smith. Brown coaches as if he has a bonus clause that says he gets $10,000 every time one of his starters finishes the game with three or fewer fouls. This approach has cost his team dearly in the playoffs. If Karl Malone hadn’t been playing on one leg it might have cost the Pistons the 2004 title and Brown his only NBA ring, as I explained here.