3 Takeaways from Atlanta Hawks’ Loss to Rockets

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /
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Atlanta Hawks
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 08: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets draws a foul as he drives against DeAndre’ Bembry #95 of the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at State Farm Arena on January 08, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. Second Unit Troubles

Outside of the 1st quarter in which they allowed 45 points, the Hawks had a pretty good night defensively, especially given their opponent averages the most points per game in the league.

Trae Young led the offense, with John Collins and Kevin Huerter also doing their thing.

Who did not show up to this game however was most of the second unit.

If the Hawks were going to win this game, especially after digging a 20-plus-point deficit, they would need all hands on deck, and they just didn’t get that.

Just looking at the box score plus/minuses isn’t always a good indication of who was good, and who wasn’t, but tonight’s was pretty telling.

Vince Carter, Paul Watson (in his NBA debut) were just a tick in the positives, while the Hawks’ best defender, Alex Len, actually led the team off the bench with a +13.

The rest of the bench however, all finished with double-digit numbers in the negative.

Damian Jones (in just 3 minutes of work) and DeAndre’ Bembry totaled a -10, while Allen Crabbe scored a -13 in 24 minutes and two-way guard Brandon Goodwin finished with an awful -16 in just 13 minutes.

Outside of Len, the bench racked up just 19 points and a combined +/- of -46.

The main cause of concern for the Hawks this season has been the center position, with fans clamoring for help at that spot, but realistically the bench needs the most work on this team.

Brandon Goodwin has been good in spots, and looked confident shooting the ball tonight, but is easily one of the team’s worse defenders.

Allen Crabbe doesn’t add much of anything outside of three point shots and Bembry just refuses to develop his game.

Unfortunately it’s a spot that the Hawks likely won’t be very good at for a while, as a key cog off the bench, Jabari Parker is out for at least two weeks.