Tonight’s game against the Warriors is the the type of game that can turn an ok road trip into a bad one. The Hawks so far are 1-1 on the current trip and have tonight’s stop in Oakland and a trip to Utah tomorrow before returning home.
The Warriors come into tonight having been defeated in 11 of their last 13 games. Still they are a team that is capable of putting up some outstanding offensive numbers and play at a very fast pace. Even a little bit of defensive effort from the Hawks tonight could significantly slow down the Warriors and should enable the Hawks to leave with a victory.
It seems that not a lot changes when the Hawks struggle on offense. When they are unable to make a jump shot, instead of focusing on ball movement or pushing the ball into the post too often they go into hero one on one mode. The loss to the Suns is a great example as the team totaled only 12 assists for the game with only 3 of those coming in the second half. That in itself shows that there was entirely too much one on one play to hope for a victory, especially against a good team on the road.
Defensively the Hawks need to crank up the effort and get after the Warriors. The Warriors will take bad or rushed shots and don’t really have that much of a reliable inside threat. They will however have to guard against a Monta Ellis explosion. This would also be a great night for the Hawks to beat up an opponent on the glass. The Warriors are not a good team and much like the Clippers the Hawks will be able to get any shot they want when they want it. They just must move the basketball and come up with some high percentage looks rather than settling for long jump shots.