Recapping the Atlanta Hawks’ defeat at the hands of the Washington Wizards.
The 8-30 Atlanta Hawks were looking start kick their mini, 2-game road trip off with a win in Washington Friday night. They were ultimately able to do so for just two quarters, which is not ideal to win a 4 quarter game.
Even after falling behind by 15 fairly early, the Hawks were able to battle back and carried the lead for most of the 2nd half.
The 1st quarter was extremely sloppy – for both teams, but especially the Hawks.
Specifically, the Hawks tried three lobs in the opening minutes, two ending in turnovers, with John Collins missing the lone good pass, setting up an easy transition bucket for Washington.
The 2nd and 3rd quarters were fruitful for the Hawks, out scoring the Wiz both periods and carrying a lead into the fourth.
The offense just fell apart in the final quarter, as it drew up just 22 points compared to the Wizards’ 30. They turned the ball over four times in the final period, finishing with an awful 18 on the night.
Trae Young totaled less than 20 points for just the 6th time this season, and the team really showed their reliance on him on the offensive side of the floor. He still led the team in scoring with 19, and assists with 7.
John Collins contributed 15 rebounds and 15 points, blocking 4 shots as well.
What we learned:
- Free throws are important
Yeah, it’s an understatement, but Atlanta saw exactly why coaches preach perfection at the stripe. They made 9 of their first 16 from the line, with seemingly everyone joining in on the fun. It was a key reason they fell behind by 15, and they attempted just six in the 2nd half, a key reason in their defeat.
- The Hawks play up, down to opponents
The Atlanta Hawks have lost three of their last four, but they gave a gauntlet of contenders a sweat during that time. I noted after the Nuggets game that it was probably the Hawks’ best stretch of basketball this season. Given that good play against good teams, most would have pegged them as reasonable favorites over a Wizards team without Bradley Beal.
Instead, after playing some real sharp ball of late, they played one of their sloppiest games on the season. Even when they got the lead later on, they seemed determined not to pull away. That was their ultimate demise, as while they did carry the lead for most the 2nd half, let the Wizards linger around until they could strike.
- 2nd chance points, rebounds in general continue to kill Atlanta
The Hawks have been killed by 2nd chance points all season, and tonight was no different. The Wiz shot just 37.5% from the field, but attempted 23 more shots than the Hawks thanks to 19 offensive boards.
Washington nearly doubled their 10.5 season average of offensive rebounds per game.
- Trae Young can have off nights
Young has been such a star night in and night out for the Hawks this season, really only putting up one dud back in early November when he scored just 9 points on 3-12 shooting.
Tonight wasn’t as bad for Young, and he did have a pretty good 2nd quarter. But the 7-20 shooting combined with 6 turnovers isn’t a good look for him. I’d be pretty confident in a bounce back game on Sunday.
In other point guard news, backup Brandon Goodwin had some highlights off the bench, playing 23 minutes, a career high.
The Hawks now fall to 8-31, retaining their ‘league’s worst record’ title belt.
They next play Sunday night in Brooklyn, with tip set for 6 P.M Eastern.