Things got ugly early for the Atlanta Hawks (18-24) in their eventual 116-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 20.
Down 10-0 before scoring their first point, the Hawks got the score to 25-23 before the deluge.
They were on the second leg of a back-to-back and entered the game with a significant rest disadvantage. But Head Coach Quin Snyder wasn’t willing to accept that fatigue played a part in the outcome.
“We don't want to offer that. Because you're going to have tired legs a lot, and you want to be able to play through that,” Synder told reporters after the game. “We didn't have competitive fire at the beginning of the game. And when you don't have that, it's hard to generate it. We tried. There was stretches where you could feel an energy pickup. But they didn't feel us early.”
The Hawks scored 20 points in the opening frame and then 25 points in each of the following three quarters.
They allowed Cleveland to score 68 points in the second and third quarters combined.
Atlanta tied Cleveland in paint points, was minus-2 in second-chance points, but was plus-1 in fastbreak points. They were also minus-5 on the glass, though the biggest difference remained their efficiency.
The Cavs shot 50.6% from the floor for the game, and they went 11-for-25 from deep in the two middle quarters.
Conversely, the Hawks shot 39.8% overall and hit 11 of their 38 threes in the game.
Quin Snyder singles out Cavs’ Jarrett Allen but still points to Hawks’ offense
“Allen, particularly in pick-and-roll, was really good,” Snyder said when asked what made the Cavs’ defense so challenging. “His ability to kind of be up and have a presence up the court, and then and then his mobility to protect the rim.
“The key for us is the connectivity that we have on the offensive end. And over the course of a game, when you have that, you get you know better opportunities. I did think there were stretches where we had some good shots and didn't make them, and sometimes it's like that. But there's there's other things I think that we can control that will help us.”
Snyder also noted that the Hawks’ offense hasn’t clicked on all cylinders for a “few games” while also commending the defense’s effort over their previous two outings.
The Hawks are now 6-14 on the season when shooting below 36% from beyond the arc.
“We've been Mercurial,” Snyder said. “I think that's the challenge for us, is mentally to find consistency in how we play. … You stay at it. You keep grinding.”