It’s Tanking Time! Hawks Fall to Heat 115-86

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 4: John Collins
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 4: John Collins /
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Though this tilt was tight for much of the first half, the Atlanta Hawks were left in the dust by a switch-flipping Miami Heat team – led by Boston playoff hero Kelly Olynyk, who scored 12 points in the 2nd quarter to pry the momentum away from the home team Hawks.

Miami’s depth, defensive intensity and playoff pedigree downed the Hawks on this night, as no player on Atlanta’s roster other than Taurean Prince (who only played 24 minutes because tanking) had anything going.

Miami shot a smoldering 44.7 percent from beyond the arc (17 of 38), with Olynyk drilling an incredible 5 of 7 from deep, and the Heat bested Atlanta in every major statistical category. Even with franchise centerpiece Hassan Whiteside only scoring 4 points, he still affected the game with 3 blocks and 13 rebounds.

Heat two guard Josh Richardson also played well scoring a supremely efficient 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting (a perfect 2 of 2 from deep) and also pestered every Hawks player with stellar defense at some point. Richardson’s length and athleticism made it seem as if he was everywhere on the court, and his defensive instincts were peerless in this contest.

The Heat are still playing for playoff positioning and despite sitting out Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade and James Johnson for rest purposes on the second night of a home/road back-to-back, the team’s effort and energy against a hapless Hawks team is unsurprising.

Despite this utter clobbering, the Hawks had a few notable performances.