Short takes: Hawks off-target, lose and give Nets hope

Al Horford drives to hoop here but he was one of several Hawks to struggle offensively Saturday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Al Horford drives to hoop here but he was one of several Hawks to struggle offensively Saturday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Al Horford drives to hoop here but he was one of several Hawks to struggle offensively Saturday. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Forget the sweep. The Hawks had a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven, first-round playoff series against Brooklyn, but they stomped out all hope for a quick series with Saturday’s 91-83 loss to the Nets. I’ll have a column on the game posted later. Until then, here are my three “short takes.”

HERE’S A LINK TO THE GAME COLUMN.

1. STILL IN CONTROL, BUT… This is not a game the Hawks want to play. Kyle Korver himself said the team would be “playing with fire” if they went into game three with a mindset of just splitting two games in Brooklyn. Now the Nets have new life. They gave effort, they were strong defensively and they have held serve with a win. Win again Monday night and the series is tied. The Hawks gave a defeated team hope, partly because they showed little rhythm offensively, shot so poorly from the outside, missed layups and turned the ball over too often early. The Hawks shot 32 for 90 (35.5 percent) from the floor.

2. BACKCOURT PROBLEMS: The only Hawks’ player who shot well was DeMarre Carroll (9 for 12). The rest of the team was 23 for 78. But the biggest issues were in the back court. Kyle Korver seemed invisible at times and made only one of eight attempts, including 0-for-5 from three-point range. Jeff Teague was 4-for-13 and Dennis Schroder was 1-for-9. The sum of those three: 6-for-30. Credit Brooklyn for some good defense but they missed a lot of open shots.

3. BROOKLYN, THE FORGOTTEN ONE: When the Nets moved to Brooklyn, they believed they would have a more passionate fan base than they had in New Jersey. But it hasn’t happened, at least in part because the team has underachieved relative to its perceived star value. The Nets ranked a few notches down the sports pecking order in the New York-New Jersey area, behind the Yankees-Mets weekend series, the Rangers and Islanders both being in the NHL playoffs and even the buildup to the NFL draft. Barclays Center was an estimated 40 percent full at tip. By the second half, most seats were filled, although some suites remained empty, and it was easy to wonder whether there was an unofficial ticket distribution going on outside the doors.

A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Hawks know it’s playoffs and style points don’t matter
— AJC: Hawks in Brooklyn knowing they need to think sweep, not split
— MyAJC: Braves’ starting pitching is coming up short
— AJC: Braves swept by Mets, as Teheran is latest starter to struggle
— AJC: Hawks’ sale positive but does Gearon’s role ensure Ferry’s exit?
— AJC: Poll: Should Falcons pursue Adrian Peterson, Randy Gregory?
— MyAJC: Falcons’ risk-reward scale may tip in new direction
— AJC: Budenholzer wins coaching honor, and it shouldn’t have been close
— AJC: Millsap, Sefolosha, Horford — what’s going on with Hawks?
— MyAJC: Hawks need a better Millsap for long playoff run
— MyAJC: Budenholzer knows what playoff success is all about
— MyAJC: Hawks hoping to leave Atlanta playoff wreckage behind
— AJC: Hawks lose lottery pick but get better playoff match-up: Nets
— MyAJC: Jordan Spieth: Perfect champion, perfect story

 

Reader Comments 0

54 comments
nomanland5
nomanland5

embarrassing playing almost the entire time. wondered how teague and Carrel were allowed to stay out their with the defense they played. teague just watchs Williams shoot on him

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

The Hawks are still in the upper crust- just no longer an elite team. Will likely survive the Nets. However, suddenly the Wiz look like world beaters. Can we survive a hot team like theirs while we're in this funk?

playmeortrademe
playmeortrademe

Game 4 will tell the tale.  Can CMB and the staff make adjustments?  Can Horford find his shot?  Can Teague step it up? If yes, we're done in 5 and on to a better matchup vs. the Wiz.  If no, I think the Hawks will still win in 7 by holding serve on their home court, but it won't bode well for deep run.  We'll see what these Hawks are made of on Monday.


But remember, the '08 Celtics that had to go to 7 against 8 seed Atlanta eventually won the whole enchilada.  The trophy and rings are still the same if you win 16, doesn't matter if you lose 12 or 0 along the way.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Lopez 59 pts. Al, 31,  total mismatch.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Kevin Love just separated his shoulder in the Cavs' game vs the Celtics. That's gonna hurt Cleveland's chances.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Qualitatively, the Hawks haven't been an elite team in about three months. Some of that has had to do with Bud liberally resting players during the second half of the season, but even when they've had their full complement of players, the Hawks haven't been able to recapture their January magic. So, while I'm a little bit surprised the Nets are playing the Hawks so evenly, I'm not shocked.

What we saw in January might have just been a really good, but not great, team catching lightning in a bottle. The Hawks still should be good enough to get the conference finals, but this no longer looks like a title contender.

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

@creative I didn't even mention the last game. I said the Hawks don't look like a title contender based on the last three months of play.

But maybe they'll find that magic formula again. I hope so.

creative
creative

I know. When was the last time a title contender lost a game? I can't remember it happening ever. For the past 20 years all I can remember are undefeated teams from start to finish.

nomanland5
nomanland5

@We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again all-star break ruins players, i feel like teague has this i am the best attitude and takes selfish shots now. teague time is a joke. always has for first time players at the event

Dawggie
Dawggie

The "January Hawks" would not have let the Nets within 15 points of the lead. So make no mistake, this is not the Hawks of the middle of the season.

This is the Hawks of the end of the season - the one who couldn't beat nearly anybody.

Even if they survive the lowly Nets, they will get swept by WHOMEVER they play next.

Same old, same old, in the ATL . . .

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

@Dawggie poor little dawgie hater, sounds like a troll cleveland fan or something... the hawks will dominate tonight and kick the crap out of whoever you route for.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@CowbellHell

We're supposed to believe this latest version of your numbskull predictions?

Remember, YOU are the dimbulb who predicted that your beloved Miss St would beat both Bama and GTech last football season. 

You need to be laying real low after those mindless proclamations.

slydawg
slydawg

There is one simple thing wrong with the Hawks: The offense os not playing with the same rhythm they had before the All Star break. They used to pass the ball 4-5 times before a shot went up. Now it's dribble, dribble, dribble some more, now make a move. Their ball movement is what kept the defense unbalanced. Also, they need to pick the tempo up and control the pace. This would neutralize Brooke Lopez on the other end. They are allowing a much, much, lesser team to bog them down physically and mentally. The Hawks believed they could play any style against the sorry Nets, not have to impose their will, and everything was going to be all good. This loss needed to happen to vent some hot air out of their arrogance.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

And what accolades. Every Atlanta team save the Braves maybe, could take their ommision from the national press as an endless source of motivation.

Not one article all week on the ESPN NBA page. You can bet they will be there now trashing them if they struggle. This has been a constant my whole life with the media. 98 Falcons being the best example! They spoke of it publicly after beating Minnesota!

And tree was right by the way....I will never forgive Eugene for that. He had a couple rings already I guess.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

I've seen just about every big man in the NBA let some one walk up to the rim at times. D is optional in the league....not supposed to be in the playoffs though.

But if shroueder keeps progressing, we will have a very valuable commodity to possibly trade for an athletic big.

Maavelous
Maavelous

The past month has been a series of performances resembling this series. But it was all worth it to have a well rested team.Soon the entire team will have full time rest.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I have said all along the NYC incident would disrupt this team in the playoffs - just like Eugene Robinson incident in the Falcons' Super Bowl. You can tell that momentum and swagger just aren't there.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

This is no automatic series for us - many of our players look tight because of the playoffs.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

That game was hard to watch. I don't mind getting beat by a better team but the Hawks totally beat themselves. Hopefully this game is not a harbinger of things to come. ATL sports fans are used to these type disapointments and have come to expect them when the postseason arrives.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GeorgeJetsen

Used to these type disappointments?

You betcha!

That's what a half-century of postseason failure does to a fan.


Borodawg
Borodawg

Poor shooting percenage in all three games.  Couldn't even buy a layup yesterday.  Just make most of the layups and they probably win.  They probably win with just making ten percent more of their tres.  And, whodathunk Bogdanovic would have possibly the best shooting game of his career. 

mic404
mic404

4-1 Hawks is what I predicted, I didn't predict them to come out with no energy in a playoff game. They showed me they don't have that killer instinct. They'll win this series, hopefully 4-1, and believe it or not Washington would be a much easier opponent in the next round. 

atlfanman
atlfanman

Lionel Hollins is an old school coach who knows the value of physical play especially in the playoffs. Still, the dilemma is not between the strategies of the coaches but the toughness of the players. This series is about the physical and mental toughness of the Atlanta Hawks. Throughout the season the Hawks have been able to get away with being more finesse than physical and the Nets want them to think about the physical. There were too many easy shots missed in this game by the Hawks. If they had shot their normal percentage they would have won but that is what physical play will do take a player off their game.


This is not the time to think the refs are going to be your friend or a time to be cute, this is a time to battle, a time to show that your regular season was not a fluke. I believe the Hawks win this series and in the process be a better team for it. But I also believe nothing will be given to them, they are going to have to earn it. The only omission that has surprised me is Coach Bud not playing Mike Muscala.


I believe! GO HAWKS!  

Harpie
Harpie

I've never seen ANY basketball team - from peewees on up - miss as many layups as the Hawks did yesterday. That was what lost the game, and that was totally disgusting!

DewayneDixon
DewayneDixon

The Hawks need a rim protector like when they had Mutombo. Their interior defense is a big weakness!

ReyB77
ReyB77

@DewayneDixon You speak the truth sir. I've seen too many times where Pero will watch someone literally walk in and do a layup uncontested. Hopefully this will change next year with the emergence of Walter Tavares over in the Euro league.

mike8472
mike8472

It's only one game but the biggest problem I had was that our NBA Coach of the Year Budenholzer allowed the Nets to go on a 18 point run without calling a timeout when it was clear that the momentum was swinging in the Nets direction.


That's not something his mentor and former boss Gregg Popovich would have allowed I can tell you that.

Wink77
Wink77

The more accolades the get the worst they get!


4 players named All Stars, Korver shooting 49% from 3, 5 players named player of week, Bud named Coach of the Year, and team has a buyer for team and not mention the NIque statue for publicity!


I believe their heads are blown up because this current team does not resemble any of those accolades.


Since last game before All Star Weekend, this team is on downward spiral and not due so much to recent injuries to Paul & Horford....Teaugue is just not the consistent leader of this team...forget the shots he missing at the the BOTTOM of the RIM, but his turnovers are Killa!!

Wink77
Wink77

Teague stunk, stinking, stank!1

Wilbo
Wilbo

I guess you still have to say the Hawks are going to win this first round, but I would find it soooo hilarious if they choked the playoffs away before they even got to the good teams.


In Atlanta pro sports, the question is never is the team going to choke in the playoffs. It's when in the playoffs is the team going to choke.


GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

U can leave town anytime! What a life. Wishin a team would get beat. Lowlife!!!!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GetontheGusBus

Don't you wish the Nets would get beat in this series?

Does that make you a lowlife?

Hello?

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

Horford can't shoot and Pero sucks as a big-man. Lose Monday, and these guys may be toast.

Peachtree Bart
Peachtree Bart

Basically, they're last year's Hawks with Horford added.  The magic of December and January is gone.  I couldn't believe the number of layups they missed.  And 18 unanswered points after you just took the lead for the first time?  Not good.

David McCallum
David McCallum

The bottom line is that the Hawks need to come out Monday night and lead wire to wire. The Hawks all of a sudden look like previous Hawks teams. No. I'm not panicking but I'm watching a team that looks unprepared for the bright lights which is the playoffs. A blowout win is all that I need to see. Brooklyn actually believes they can win this series.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Folks, we could easily be down 1-2.  We got lucky at the end of game 2.  Defensive effort is not there. Our point guards should be dominating, but are getting scared, and Alice is just plain getting abused by Lopez. 

Fierce
Fierce

It's all good. I never expected a clean sweep. Hopefully, they wrap it up in 5. That being said, I don't think you can use the excuse for the NFL Draft keeping away fans from Barclays, since it's in Chicago this year. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Fierce: "It's all good."

___________________

What's so "good" about losing?

Ever wonder why they call this city "Losersville"?

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Wish I could feel more confident, and the Hawks may have peaked way too early. There has been a slow downward  turn since the All Star break. But, got my fingers crossed. 


And usually people step up. Carroll did, but he did not have any company, and one or two guys hitting on all cylinders on a "team basketball" playing team, with the rest badly misfiring or not firing at all, that is not going to cut it. 


Brooklyn played well this time. But, the Hawks had to be mentally tough enough to start making lay ups and to start hitting three's, and forcefully, by sheer will power alone, turn it around. And they didn't. 


Only the teams that fight through these mid series and mid game slumps and down turns, and stop the runs by their opponents . . . only those teams make the finals. 


This will either turn out to be a much needed wake up call, or the beginning of the end. And, the end may not come with Brooklyn. The Hawks are resilient and they can still very well win this series. 


But, if they play like this without any changes, and squeak it out against the Nets, and do not quickly develop a whatever it takes attitude, and a true killer instinct, they won't beat the next, much better team that will be waiting for them. 

SaulK
SaulK

no big deal--ATL was just flat and overconfident in this game---they'll win game 4 big then close it out in game 5 in a blowout!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ClubShark

And that idiotic assessment is based on their glittering postseason history. Right?

Duh!

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

Antic was putting up 3's like Josh Smith. They looked lethargic. Maybe they stayed out too late last night. Coach Bud might want to consider a curfew for Game 4.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Horfords turning into Bruce Jenner.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Lopez is kicking Al's rear end all up and down the court.  Put in Muscala, he couldn't do worse.

tyger
tyger

Blood in the water...


Hawks had Nets on ropes...

Couldn't deliver the KO...

Now roles reversing...


Nets know they can WIN...

They're bigger, more physical...

Have figured out Hawks...

Stop Korver, stop Hawks...


Smell blood in water...

Hawks cant get easy buckets...

Live by 3, die by 3...


Maybe this what Hawks needed...

Swift kick in the pants to remind them...

You're not that good, you have to play well...


Everytime...


SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

Nets still have no hope, this lost could be the best thing for the Hawks.