Atlanta Hawks: Rapid Reactions to Loss to Bucks in Penultimate Game

Vince Carter #15 of Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Vince Carter #15 of Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Rapid reactions to the Atlanta Hawks loss on the second-to-last game of the season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Just a week after the Atlanta Hawks’ thrilling overtime win against the Bucks, they met again tonight in Milwaukee.

Quite a bit changed in those 7 days however,  as only 4 players who started last week between both teams also started tonight, and the result was different as well, with the Bucks winning this time 115 to 107.

Trae Young, who hit the game-winner last week was notably missing tonight, and the offense seemed lost more than a few times without him.

Still, even without the star rookie and leading scorer John Collins, the Hawks kept it fairly competitive considering they were facing the team who just clinched the NBA’s best record.

Jaylen Adams and Issac Humphries, who played together in Erie this year, got their first NBA starts in place of the aforementioned and neither made much impact on the game. Combined, their on/off rating was -35.

Alex Len was the key cog in keeping Atlanta in the game however. His 33 points is a new career-high for the center, going 6-11 from three.

Oh, and he laid down a nasty dunk on Brook Lopez:

Outside an early 17-point lead for the Bucks, the lead was around 10 nearly the whole night with both teams going on small runs occasionally. The fourth quarter was were the Hawks finally put it all together, and cut it down to 3 with 3 to go.

Without a real point guard (Bembry was the pseudo-point at that juncture) in crunch time, the Atlanta Hawks struggled to get good shots against the Bucks who had to put their starters back in.

Those starters did quickly put the game out of reach, but the Hawks never said die, keeping the home team from simply taking a knee to end the night.

Box Score Notes:

  • Trae Young finally got a rest after starting each and every of his first 80 NBA games. He would have been the first Hawks rookie since Stacey Augmon (’91-’92) to start all 82 games.
  • With the loss and the Mavericks loss earlier, the Hawks are now locked into the 5th best lottery odds for the draft. That nabs them a 10.5% chance for the top pick and a 42% probability at landing a top-4 selection.
  • After getting blown out by Milwaukee in their first two meetings, the Hawks managed to be aggressive and competitive in their final two match ups with them.
  • Alex Len could have had a even bigger night, but he struggled immensely from the free throw line, making just 1 in seven tries.
  • Just 10 turnovers on the night is a small win for the Atlanta Hawks without their starting point guard.

Atlanta slips to 29-52. A win will give them a clean 30, which is fairly impressive considering some thought it would be a stretch for them to get to 20.

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The Hawks have one chance left on the season to get to 30, a home affair on Wednesday against the Pacers.