Quick Recap For those who didn’t watch it….
Let’s sum this game up quickly. The Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers played a game that wouldn’t make a difference in the standings. The Hawks can’t move up or down the standings*, and the Pacers can’t move up the standings. The Hawks are stuck at the 5th seed and the Pacers are stuck at the 8th seed. That being said, the Hawks treated it like that, a meaningless game that won’t affect anything in the standings. Coach Drew did get to limit the number of minutes the starters got and he did give players that aren’t in the usual rotation minutes, but the Indiana Pacers did the same thing…so even playing field. Biggest problem for me was that the Hawks didn’t come in with the right mindset and energy, and that inevitably lost them the game.
There were other factors of course, such as shot selection and interior defense being subpar, but the Hawks never even gave themselves a chance by treating this game like an exhibition game. The Hawks simply need to play to the best of their capability and still try to fix some of the problems they are still struggling with in these last few games (3 games left now). The Hawks need all the momentum they can get and as less problems as possible to survive against the Orlando Magic.
The game was mildly boring from start to finish. There was a tiny altercation between Hilton Armstrong and Danny Granger at the end of the 3rd quarter, but again, there still wasn’t much excitement. The only two positive things worth noting are Jeff Teague and Pape Sy. Jeff Teague had a hell of a game in his hometown of Indiana, scoring 21 points (17 of the points came in the 4th quarter) with ease in only 21 minutes of playing time. Pape Sy got to play his first NBA game and he didn’t look half bad. He only got to play in the 4th quarter, in the last 3 minutes of the game, but he looked solid. In his limited minutes, Pape managed to get a steal that ended in a miss layup and an assist to Jeff Teague when he dribble penetrated and kicked the ball out.
Final Score: Hawks: 102 | Pacers: 114
This game still had the same problems the Hawks have been struggling with all season long and it seemed like the Hawks never tried to improve it like….
- Rebounding. The Hawks were simply outworked in the rebounding end. Asides from Zaza, none of the bigs rebounded. Al Horford only grabbed 4 rebounds in 30 minutes, Hilton Armstrong only grabbed 3 rebounds in 12 minutes, Josh Powell only grabbed 2 rebounds in 14 minutes, and Etan Thomas didn’t manage to grab one in his 9 minutes of playing time. Overall, the Hawks were out rebounded 36 to 49.
- Interior defense. The Hawks gave up way too many points inside, either from post ups or dribble penetration. Sure, Josh Smith not playing played a part to the bad interior defense, but that’s no excuse for giving up 54 points in the paint the entire game.
My other Noteable Notes:
- The Hawks are now unable to break the franchise record in most road wins in a season with the loss against the Pacers, but the Hawks will still be able to tie it if they win their next two road games: (@ Washington 4/9) and @ Charlotte 4/13).
- Danny Granger won the scoring matchup vs. Joe Johnson. Granger was efficient, seemingly scoring whenever he wanted to. Joe shot the ball pretty well, scoring 17 points in 8 for 14 shooting, but he still didn’t look comfortable offensively. Granger finished with 28 points in 9 for 18 shooting.
- The Hawks 9 game winning streak vs. the Pacers ended last night and the Hawks failed to sweep the Indiana Pacers two seasons in a row.
- The Hawks only have 3 games remaining in their regular season schedule. Two of the three will be on the road.
Next up: Hawks hit the road again as they faces old teammates, Jordan Crawford and Mo Evans, in Washington. The Wizards played last night as well as the Hawks, so fatigue won’t be an excuse for either team.
Final Thought: I want more of Pape Sy!