Atlanta Hawks: Rapid Reaction to Controversial Loss to Lakers

Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After an action-packed NBA weekend, the Atlanta Hawks returned to the floor to face the Los Angeles Lakers.

In a tightly fought affair, the Atlanta Hawks managed to stave off the Lakers until a flurry of bad calls from referee as well as some heroics by LeBron James and Tyson Chandler – though, of course, many Hawks fans feel like both players should’ve been penalized down the end of the game.

Firstly, The King continues to miss clutch free throws for his new team, yet he was bailed out by Chandler manhandling both Taurean Prince and and Alex Len, holding both of their arms in a vice grip that neither could escape.

Chandler’s escapades allowed Kyle Kuzma to nab the offensive board, put up a layup that rimmed out and allowing James to get a stylish putback dunk to give the Lakers the lead. After the dunk a timeout was called, but James hung on the rim for a good 7-10 seconds after the play finished.

No technical foul was called. Just to recall, Dwight Howard (then of the Atlanta Hawks) was ejected for this minuscule maneuver on the rim during the 2016-17 season:

Not to cry over spilled milk, but that seems like a fairly cheeky no-call from the refs for one of the game’s most recognizable players of all time. Methinks that if Kent Bazemore or DeAndre’ Bembry had performed similar hijinks they would’ve been t’d up immediately.

There was more drama to come, however. Trae Young, who had a very strong game in front of a hyped-up LA crowd, had a chance to win the game in regulation for the Hawks, but his layup was “blocked” by Tyson Chandler as time expired. While many concluded that it was a goaltend, one must respect Chandler’s shot-blocking prowess by not allowing him to patrol the paint on the game’s final possession.

Omari Spellman, as a rookie, was not thinking of that element of the game and pulled Chandler into the paint to allow him to easily swat/goaltend Ice Trae’s last shot.

Even with that narrow miss, Young had a terrific game against Bron and the Lakers – even with good defender Lonzo Ball playing opposite him. Young finished with 20 points, 12 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal in a team-high 35 minutes. His three-point shooting returned in this one, as he finished the night shooting 50 percent from deep (4 of 8), including some insanely long-distance bombs:

Big man Alex Len also had one of his best games of recent memory, serving as an excellent target for Young’s pinpoint dimes. Len tallied 17 points, 11 rebounds and a team-high +22 in box plus/minus in 26 minutes of action.

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The Hawks continue their West Coast trip against the defending champion Warriors on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. EST.