Quin Snyder offers telling key to Hawks' Play-In Tournament loss vs Bulls

Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder offered an honest assessment of the key to his team's loss versus the Chicago Bulls in the Play-In Tournament.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder
Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Things went very differently for the Atlanta Hawks (36-46) in their final meeting versus the Chicago Bulls, a win-or-go-home matchup for the right to face the Miami Heat in the second round of the Play-In Tournament.

The last time they met, the Hawks outscored the Bulls 57-21 on threes. This time, both teams scored 33 points on threes. But the Bulls were 11-for-26 while the Hawks were 11-for-37.

More importantly, according to Head Coach Quin Snyder, they were relentless in the paint.

We didn't start well. So a lot of times when you're playing catchup it takes a lot of energy. And it felt like when we did cut the lead … at a certain point, we just ran out of gas. And wanted to dig down deep for a playoff game. but hats off to Chicago they played well,” Snyder told reporters on April 17. “Thought our offense hurt our defense at times.

“I think the biggest thing was driving the ball. They were on the rim a lot.”

The Bulls were 36-for-51 in the paint and 28-for-38 in the restricted area. The Hawks went 22-for-38 and 13-for-20, respectively. That is a 72-44 point disparity. The Hawks erased an 18-point first-quarter deficit only to fall behind by as many as 23 points in the second half.

Their season-long affliction with allowing big third quarters continued as they let the Bulls score 37 points in the frame.

Trae Young: Hawks 'put ourselves in a tough situation'

“The NBA is a game of runs,” Trae Young told reporters. “Just like they made runs and they were they were beating us pretty bad early, we came back in the game and made it a game too. We had a run. But it's just tough when you get down that much, fighting that hard to get back in the game. It's tough to take the lead too.

“We put ourselves in a tough situation, and they played really well and shot the lights out.”

Young finished with 22 points, 10 assists, and two rebounds. But he shot 33.3% from the floor, belying his 3-for-8 night from beyond the arc. He also had six turnovers, five of which came in the first quarter.

Young discarded the brace on his balky left hand after struggling, and he scored 21 of his points after that rough opening frame.

“My doctor would probably not be happy with me,” Young said about ditching the protection. “She's probably just happy I made it through the game. But, yeah, it was just frustrating to begin of the game and just kind of took it off to kind of just have my mind not even think about it anymore.”

Young enters an offseason that figures to be rife with speculation about his future.