It was one of those games where chances to comeback were aplenty, but the Atlanta Hawks struggled to make a run in the 2nd half.
The Indiana Pacers dealt the Hawks a significant blow for the second time this series. One of the main reasons for this was the scoring output and overall energy (Yes, I said energy on purpose. I’m looking at you, Larry) the Pacers bench displayed. Their bench outscored the Hawks bench 35-27, thanks to a 15 point outburst from
self-proclaimed dunker world-proclaimed dunker the best dunker we’ve seen in decades since Josh Smith (homer pick).
More important than the clutch shooting they provided was the hustle and energy that the Hawks have been lacking. I will give the Hawks credit, though, for showing that they do in fact like to get on the floor and run the floor. The Pacers
reserve stud big men, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph, accounted for 13 total rebounds, 7 of which were offensive. As a comparison, Ivan Johnson and Johan Petro snatched up 2 total rebounds, both of which were offensive.
DJ Augustin and Gerald Green seemed to make every other three-pointer they attempted. Wait, what’s that? They made exactly half of their three-pointers? Wow, its almost as if I read the box score before I wrote this. Anywho, whenever the Hawks made a few stops and capitalized on their chances, DJ and GG would make a big three.
I won’t go out on a limb and say that Hawks players aren’t putting in effort on the glass and that’s the reason they’re giving up all of these boards. However, one can propose a solution to these problems with simplicity. The answer, you ask? Foul trouble. In Game One, it was Larry Drew who only allowed Al Horford to play 28 minutes while he was within reach of getting in foul trouble. The Hawks missed his presence and, in my opinion, Al’s absence was the reason that they were out of reach in the 2nd half. In Game Two, Josh Smith decided to get aggressive early (perhaps too aggressive) and left the game with two fouls after just two minutes. Yikes.